Ed Markey is no friend to the middle class


While many were sounding the alarms and flashing the warning lights back in 1993, Ed Markey stood alongside with Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, and Bill Clinton, and helped pass NAFTA.  Democrats like Paul Wellstone, Patrick Moynihan, Fritz Hollings, Dick Gephardt, and Barney Frank all voted against this devastating bill, which hollowed out high paying, middle-class jobs, with the manufacturing sector taking it on the chin.  Even Rick Santorum could foresee the devastating effects of NAFTA and voted against it!!

Thanks to people like Ed Markey, all 50 states can report a net loss in jobs due to the passage of NAFTA.  It is estimated the U.S. has shed 700,000 jobs due to NAFTA alone, 60% in the manufacturing sector.  Ed Markey facilitated the destruction of three million manufacturing jobs by supporting open free-trade deal agreements of the 90′s (NAFTA and GATT).  Many of these jobs were full-time, high salaries with good benefits.  They have been replaced by service sector positions that pay a fraction of the lost jobs, with no benefits to boot.  Can you say Walmart??  In 1993, the U.S. ran a 1.2 billion trade surplus with Mexico.  Today, the U.S. runs a $100 billion annual trade deficit with Mexico alone.  Thank you Ed Markey, may I have another?

Today, we see the consequences of Markey’s votes, with chronic high unemployment and low wage jobs today, dormant paper and textile mills, vacant factories and dilapidated cities who lost their tax base when factories shut their doors. This is why I, as an unenrolled voter, strongly urge Stephen Lynch to run in the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate

I know Lynch will have the backs of all middle class workers, not just some of the time, but 100% of the time.  Being a former iron worker, Mr. Lynch knows what it’s like to put in a full days work and he has not forgotten his roots.  Stephen Lynch voted against CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) by sighting the failures of NAFTA and GATT.  ”Now, given the experience that we have had thus far, with our subsequent trade agreements with NAFTA and others, you would think that with our experience of job loss that we have had there that when you find yourself in a hole that you might stop digging”  More recently, Lynch voted against trade agreements with So. Korea, Columbia and Panama, noting that while he is not against global trade, he feels these agreements hinder American job growth.

“I’m not against trade deals, but I want a fair trade deal, one that puts Americans to work as well as being good for the global economy,” Lynch said.

Mr. Lynch displayed courage by taking on the establishment by running against Billy Bulger’s son.  And when he made the jump to run for congress, many expected the typical flip-flop on positions in order to be more attractive to the base voters.  Not Lynch, he remained solid like a rock, something we can and should admire.  More recently, with pressure to vote against the Keystone Pipeline, Mr. Lynch put jobs first and voted yes to American jobs and energy independence and no to Chavez & Saudi oil.  At the same time, in typical Markey fashion, Ed voted against Keystone and the thousands of union jobs that go with the project.  Who is for the working class, I ask?

Now Lynch is suppose to be intimidated by the rack of endorsements Markey has accumulated already?  That how we gauge popular support by being told who to vote for by politicians or special interest groups?  Or lying about his voting record regarding the Affordable Care Act?  Lynch voted in favor of AHCAA in Nov 2009 but voted no to the Senate’s bill known as PPACA b/c he felt it was a surrender to insurance companies.  Lynch disagreed with the “deem and pass” process in the Senate and the Cadillac plan tax.  He is absolutely correct, no?

Massachusetts doesn’t need another cookie-cutter career politician like Ed Markey.   We need a fighter for the jobs that are still left, especially in the private sector, and recoup some that have been lost to foreign countries. We need a person who will stand on principle, even if it against his own party or president.  If Mr. Lynch does decide to run, even though the Democratic power brokers are trying to strong-arm any and all competition out of the race, then I would hope everyone on BMG give Mr. Lynch the courtesy and respect he deserves.  I would find it unfathomable for anyone who works for a union, public or private, to even consider Ed Markey.  The legacy of NAFTA and GATT is Markey’s scarlet letter for him to wear in this race.  If we just ignore it, we are telling the millions who lost their jobs, their self-worth, their livelihood, that we don’t care.  I do care and hope you do as well, and we can send them a powerful voice from Massachusetts.  That man is Stephen Lynch!


29 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Other NAFTA supporters...

    Ted Kennedy
    John Kerry
    Joe Biden

    All true enemies of the middle class, right?

    A fighter like Stephen Lynch, who will fight against national health care, against women’s rights, for a constitutional amendment against flag burning, for extending Patriot Act wiretapping…

    • When they cast that vote...

      Yes, absolutely. Ignoring the right wing economic policies of the modern Democratic Party might be a good way to keep Lynch out of the Senate. We shouldn’t fall into that trap, however. People like Kerry and Biden (and Kennedy to a degree) look like they’re standing up for the middle class because the opposition is so damn evil. But, compared to leftist leaders in the rest of the industrialized world, they’re right of center.

  2. Heeeeeeee's


  3. Are you kidding me?

    NAFTA is not the cause of job losses. Any jobs that would have moved to Mexico ended up going to China anyway.

    • Sorry, that's just not true

      When folks from the Council on Foreign Relations, hardly a leftwing group agree:

      …that NAFTA has had some positive impact on overall U.S. employment. But most also agree that gains have been accompanied by some painful side effects. Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, notes that wages haven’t kept pace with labor productivity and that income inequality has risen in recent years, in part due to pressures on the U.S. manufacturing base. To some extent, he says, trade deals have hastened the pace of these changes in that they have “reinforced the globalization of the American economy.”

      Trade is a complicated issue, but to suggest that NAFTA and other trade deals don’t weaken the labor movement, which in turn hurt the ability of all workers to improve wages, is just foolish. The argument for Lynch is weak, but the Democratic party has abandoned actually fighting for the working class to organize itself in opposition to capital.

      • You left out the more relevant part of the CFR quote

        “In addition, the USTR cites data showing that inflation-adjusted U.S. wages rose 19.3 percent between 1993 and 2007, as compared to only 11 percent in the fourteen years prior.”

        and later

        “Griswold says job losses are “part of a structural shift of the U.S. economy” away from a focus on heavy manufacturing and toward a focus on light manufacturing and high-end services. “It’s a cruel illusion to say if we just go in and tinker with NAFTA there will be some kind of industrial renaissance,” he says. Alden echoes this idea and says that broader economic trends affecting U.S. employment–the rise of China and skyrocketing energy prices, for instance–wouldn’t be substantially altered by U.S. policy shifts toward NAFTA.”

        Additionally, there’s a major economic impact that the CFR doesn’t discuss: reducing competition from undocumented immigrants willing to work for less than minimum wage. People who can get decent jobs in Mexico have less incentive to come here. Which means that for those jobs that have to be done here, such as service jobs or even more capital-intensive forms of manufacturing (usually the more skilled manufacturing jobs that pay best anyway), competition decreases and wages go up.

  4. Please

    Lynch’s no vote the second time around was because the Stupak amendment was defeated.

  5. Middle class income

    Under general conditions, open trade policies do benefit everyone: more economic activity is a good thing. In the long run, protectionism tends to protect the wrong thing: we should be protecting our workforce from dislocations by nurturing new industries and providing a functional safety net.

    What appears by every measure to have depressed middle class income has been the ever larger share the 1% (actually the 0.5%) skim off. This mostly results from regulatory capture.

  6. How long do we let the effects lag...

    …in order for post hoc, ergo propter hoc to be valid? The way I remember the Clinton years is that conservatives said raising the minimum wage would cost jobs; liberals said free trade would cost jobs. We did both at the urging of Clinton and by the end of his term gained more than 20 million new jobs!

    • look at the jobs we gained

      I spent the late 90′s fighting to keep unionized manufacturing plants in Mississippi, Iowa, Texas and Alabama open. Guess what, they all closed. So in Natchez Mississippi we lost 200 jobs that paid a good wage, provided health insurance, a defined benefit pension and retiree health care. During that same time, due to the Clinton policy of privileging finance and defense at the expense of everyone else Natchez gained more than 200 jobs at the Walmart, by the calculation of the modern democratic party, Natchez is better off having lost its tire plant and gained its big box retailer, but the way I see it, is that the community had its heart ripped out.

      If you’re a working class person, expect to live in poverty. You, yourself have complained about the impact of being a temp, who do you have to thank for that? Clinton and Obama. The Democratic Party has killed the American labor movement. Kbush’s comment above is technically correct – trade does have benefits, but if you take away the power of working people, the rents are that much easier to seek. NAFTA and its ilk hurt manufacturing, which had a disproportionate impact on unionized workers – if the workers in finance, or retail or (residential) construction were union, the general conditions might hold, but in the 90′s hundreds of communities were killed, and many have yet to recover.

      • dhammer- you said it all man!

        Several emotions came to me reading your post…sadness, anger, disbelief, etc. You were at ground zero during the full implementation of these free trade agreements that Markey voted for. I can only imagine the personal hurt you saw when proud working Americans, the backbone of our country, union folks to boot, were thrown to the wolves and nobody gave a damn b/c the dot-com bubble masked the devestation of NAFTA and GATT.

        I salute you in your effort fighting for those working families and the only good job they will ever have. The only thing I did was vote for Ross Perot, since he was the only candidate against NAFTA. At least I can say I did my part.

        I wonder if the millions of families who lost the only good job they will ever know, believe Ed Markey, by supporting NAFTA & GATT, is a friend of the middle class, as they work for slave wages at Walmart?

        Dhammer, I hope you write a post detailing what you saw in order to help people better understand the side effects of these trade deals, and yes, Markey needs to be held responsible, he did vote for them after all. I hope more than a few of us care enough by supporting Stephen Lynch as our next senator.

        • Well, I won't be supporting Lynch

          My view is that climate change is as an important issue (if not the most important issue) for the working class. Markey is a leader on this.

          Lynch is a good foot soldier when it comes to the big union issues, but he’s not a leader. He’s not criticizing Obama for not supporting card check and he’s not leading the fight for changing labor law in this country. The Senators from Massachusetts should be leading the left on important issues. I’ll take Warren supporting the leadership on foreign policy, even though she’ll likely vote in ways I disagree, because the benefit we get from someone standing up for the middle class is enormous. In the same way, I’ll take Markey not putting everything on the line to oppose a trade deal that the leadership in his party supports so that we can get someone who will be willing to fight to ensure we take the necessary, expensive, and potentially painful steps required to protect the planet.

          Our job is to make it so the political climate is such that there’s no down side to Markey supporting a vibrant labor movement and opposing trade deals that destroy communities.

          • dhammer- I hope you reconsider

            You were slugging it out, fighting for the very people that politicians like Markey say they care for, yet the very legislation he voted for, put millions into near or at poverty level and turned thriving communities into dust bowls.

            Don’t you worry about Markey towing the party line, selling his votes, in exchange for a favor down the road. Just so happens here is a quote from the Seattle Times after the NAFTA vote. “Energy – Announcing that he was keeping home heating fuel and natural gas cheap for New England, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., came out for NAFTA only after Clinton promised that he would not reopen free-trade talks with Canada on energy.”

            There is a reality show called Pawn Stars,Mohave you seen it. People barter back and forth on how much either side will pay or sell their particular item. If you believe the cost of NAFTA was worth what Markey got from Clinton, then what can I say?

            Dhammer, I hope you write a post about your experience about how NAFTA ruined, who I consider salt of the earth people, folks who just wanted a honest days pay for an honest days work. Perhaps then, if it is not too emotionally difficult since some may have been friends of yours, that you see how Lynch so far superior to Markey, that it isn’t funny. Then I hope you and others join me.

            Hey- thanks for the dialogue. You comments are informative but I think everyone’s opinions are, so I don’t do the rating thing, not my style.

  7. Got anything that isn't from 20 years ago?

    I hate NAFTA and GATT too. But we’re talking about 20 freaking years ago, when Steve Lynch wasn’t in Congress. The Clinton folks put all kinds of pressure on Congressional Dems to toe the line. DHammer is completely correct that many of Clinton’s new jobs were crap, low-wage McJobs. I recall a cartoon in about 1999 in which Clinton tells a crowd “in the past two years alone my administration’s policies have created 8 million new jobs.” And the waiter scurrying past mutters, “Yeah, and I have three of them.”

    But as for Lynch: hell no. If I wanted an anti-abortion Senator, I would have just voted for Scott Brown. Pro-Iraq war. He voted no on Sarbanes-Oxley, for God’s sake. Against gay rights until a week ago. Where was he for SEIU, basically the largest union we have and practically the only one growing, when the healthcare vote came around?

    The guy even demagogued on the mosque proposal in lower Manhattan, which if I recall correctly is not in his freaking district. My family goes back a long way in Southie, but most of the “values” to which he panders are not anything I want anything to do with. I wouldn’t lift a finger for him.

  8. Keystone - are you kidding?

    More recently, with pressure to vote against the Keystone Pipeline, Mr. Lynch put jobs first and voted yes to American jobs and energy independence and no to Chavez & Saudi oil. At the same time, in typical Markey fashion, Ed voted against Keystone and the thousands of union jobs that go with the project. Who is for the working class, I ask?

    That’s why SEIU, UAW, USWA, TWU and CWA have signed on to oppose it.
    This project will be at most 4,000 short-term jobs in a nation of over 300 million. The benefits are fleeting and the drawbacks are forever. The oil itself gets pumped down from Canada to the Gulf, never taxed here, and sold by refineries to highest bidder, generally on the other side of the world.

    The existing pipeline leaks every month or two and risks severe environmental destruction. Oil from the tar sands is the dirtiest around and extracting it causes far too much pollution. Not to mention the irony that, if we don’t kick this oil addiction, Steve Lynch’s district is a prime candidate to be underwater in 50 years.

    I’m all for construction jobs. We have plenty of things in need of building that don’t contribute to destroying this planet.

    • AFL-CIO Bulding Trades Council President is for the Keystone Pipeline

      In fact Mark Ayers said “[O]ur unions have been steadfast supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that is truly “shovel-ready” and a privately funded endeavor that would put significant numbers of American skilled craft professionals back to work under a project agreement that ensures safe and efficient construction.”

      I believe the opinion of a particular union who will benefit from Keystone outweighs that of a communications union who has no skin in the game.

      I have read estimates as high as 20,000 new construction jobs but water it is, it’s work. I do believe we must control that oil for American use only, not have it sold in the open market. Why not use it strictly to fill up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

      I am not familiar with oil leaking in the pipelines, but I have read how the caribou population near the oil platforms/pipelines are growing, while Porcupine Herd that uses no lands where oil and gas activity, is declining.

      I would not say the jobs generated under Clinton were “crap”. Have you ever seen photos of someone who has biceps that look like balloons? They use a drug called synthol to inflate their muscles. Since NAFTA, many of the jobs created by the Clinton and W bubbles are much like synthol.

      Do you really mean 50 years and Lynch’s district will be under water, or 500,000 years? If it is just 50 years, then we should just become the next New Orleans, and build a giant levy system. But the fact is Lynch did vote for the Cap and Trade system that many here are pushing for. Even though I think that vote was a mistake, I am not a one issue voter and hope you are not either.

      This is my last post for the night, thanks for your comments, and Mike Cote, I will catch up with you later, glad you posted as well. By the way, forget the number of recommendations, someone actually tweeted my post? Did I read that right? I am honored if that is the case. Can someone tell me how many tweets were sent? Did someone from the campaigns get it? Later folks.

      • Your belief is telling

        “I believe the opinion of a particular union who will benefit from Keystone outweighs that of a communications union who has no skin in the game.”

        Do you believe what the car dealer says when you’re buying a car? He must be telling the truth, because he’s got skin in the game, unlike Consumer Reports, who make no money from car companies and are therefore probably all wrong. Did you believe Dick Cheney when he pushed for exempting the oil & gas industry from clean-water laws, because of his self-interest?

        The pipeline project will benefit only two groups: the already-overprivileged oil companies, and (briefly) some construction workers. The rest of us will gain nothing from it, and will have to deal with any environmental impact from it.

        • Kirth-I believe your comparison is not valid

          While I appreciate your comments, you compared Consumer Reports to the unions who came out against Keystone. I believe that is flawed b/c Consumer Reports has no dog in their product evaluations. However, the unions listed by Fenway49 are heavy supporters of Obama and the Democrats and would receive no economic benefit (jobs) from Keystone. So they have a win-win situation with their opinion.

          If a union is actaully willing to forfeit contracts that put its members to work and forgo profits because of a political/moral belief, then that carries much more weight, IMO, than a union who is giving up nothing, but gaining political favor by taking the same position. As I pointed out, those unions who receive the benefit from Keystone are in favor of the project.

          Tis may be a better example. You know how Al Gore keeps telling us how fossil fuels are bad, need to conserve, cap and trade, do with less, etc. Yet he has custom made suits, stretch limousines, and private jet travel. Then he sells Current T.V. to Al Jazeera and makes $100 million profit, yet Al Jazeera is funded by Qatar, which gets its money from oil reserves. Easy asking others to sacrafice when you don’t have to. Please see Matt Laurer interview Al Gore. Thanks again for your comment.


          • Dan, you are starting to fall off the deep end ....

            I knew you would be going there at some point.

            It’s nice to just dismiss valid points with the only reason being that you disagree. Plus we should use “Tis” more, thank you for your efforts!

            • Johnk- sorry you feel that way

              It is not my intention to be argumentative or dismiss valid points. I read Kirth’s comment and I thought about, absorbed what was said, and respectfully, I hope, provided feedback so that Kirth and anyone reading the thread, better understand where I am coming from. That is all. It is not my intention to turn this into a “Rockem-Sockem-Robots” type of exchange and disappointed you feel my prior post was someone falling off the deep end, but I appreciate your comment.

              • and I appreciate your comment ....

                about appreciating my comment. While we are appreciating, I hope you appreciate quoting hard right neocon web journals attacking Al Gore and climate change while somehow “debating” unions might lead someone to believe that you were a bit nutty. I personally appreciate the level of discourse you have brought to the post and thread.

          • What

            If a union is actaully willing to forfeit contracts that put its members to work and forgo profits because of a political/moral belief, then that carries much more weight, IMO, than a union who is giving up nothing, but gaining political favor by taking the same position.

            But the Bulding Trades Council is not willing to forfeit those contracts and profits, so the basis for your argument is empty. You have also not shown how the other unions are gaining anything by opposing the pipeline. Making public statements about national issues that don’t affect their members directly doesn’t necessarily gain political favor, whether the issues are decided their way or not. Or is it your view that they should not take positions at all on issues that don’t affect their members? If so, say so.

      • Because it's not our oil

        I do believe we must control that oil for American use only, not have it sold in the open market. Why not use it strictly to fill up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

        It’s TransCanada’s oil, coming from Canadian land. They can do with it what they want, and they will sell it to the highest bidder.

        I am not familiar with oil leaking in the pipelines

        It has leaked, not in the pipelines, but from the pipelines. Now they want to build a much bigger one, with highly corrosive tar sands oil, and without the best leak protection system. Right through the giant Nebraska aquifer that supplies most of the Midwest’s drinking and farming water. Great idea.

        The Building Trades people are just wrong if they think any of this is justified by a few thousand jobs lasting a year or two.

        Do you really mean 50 years and Lynch’s district will be under water, or 500,000 years? If it is just 50 years, then we should just become the next New Orleans, and build a giant levy system. But the fact is Lynch did vote for the Cap and Trade system that many here are pushing for.

        I mean 50 years, maybe 100. Cap and trade is the bare minimum. It still lets people pollute as long as they buy someone else’s credits. That you don’t even support that is telling. If sea levels rise as much as predicted (and so far every prediction has happened much sooner than expected) a levy system will do very little for us. The east coast, including Massachusetts, has seen rising sea levels much higher than elsewhere. We’ll have a Sandy-like storm twice a year, every year. Time to get serious.

  9. DINO Lynch and Rick Santorum????

    Even Rick Santorum could foresee the devastating effects of NAFTA and voted against it!!

    Seriously!?!?!?!? Because Rick Santorum agreed with the pathetic DINO Lynch, that is a justification for supporting him??????????
    YET Another reason I will emphatically oppose the DINO Lynch.

  10. This posting has been available for 48 hours

    and yet, not a one single solitary recommendation!

    It appears I am not alone in my utter disgust of the pathetic DINO Lynch.

    I just hope that he or someone from his staff monitors this site. Because I live in his district.

  11. The lack of a recommend...

    …may also, fairly or not, be a function of who the diarist is. If this were Dan’s first post the reaction would probably be that here is a Lynch supporter making his case, even from the left on some issues. That happens all the time on BMG in contested primaries. Unfortunately, when Dan was here previously he developed a reputation bordering on the trollish at times for claiming to be independent while bashing Dems at every turn.

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