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 They have been replaced by service sector positions that pay a fraction of the lost jobs, with no benefits to boot.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!