The Ford Factor

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Yet another thing we can blame on the nation’s most distinguished placeholder, Gerry Ford. After he left office!

Along with doing down Reagan, Nixon, much of the 70s, and the Clintons, Ford in the tell-all “Write It When I’m Gone” lets it be known that he was responsible for the North American Free Trade Agreement.

It happened at a 1993 Clinton sleepover in Colorado.

“Up until that point, President Clinton cared less about NAFTA. He wasn’t interested. I spent most of my time with him promoting NAFTA, urging him to take action, to get going … I honestly can claim full credit for getting him off dead center on NAFTA,” Ford recalled in May 1994. “Now, once he got interested, he did a damn good job. He twisted arms, he browbeat Democrats and he put on a good event in the East Room with Carter, Bush and myself. You know, he’s a helluva salesman.”

And the blessings poured fourth! Ourmostathleticpresidenttrademark3.gif can take the credit and the blame.

For fashion icon Subcomandante Marcos… zapatista-subcomandante-marcos.jpg

…but also for the NAFTA Superhighway maps which infest the web

nafta-superhighway.jpg [choose one!] nafta-superhighway2.jpg

The blessings continue today. The new year saw the fall of more barriers to American agriculture crushing Mexican farmers.

“The population working in the primary sector (agriculture, livestock, forestry, hunting, and fishing) fell drastically, from 8.2 million people in 1991 to 6.1 million in 2006… Those working in the primary sector represented 26.8% of the total working population in 1991 but only 14.6% in 2006. According to a study commissioned by the government, the number of agricultural households diminished from 2.3 million in 1992 to 575,000 in 2002.”

Wherever did all those farmers go?

The problem with Gerry’s story is that Clinton endorsed NAFTA before the 1992 election. So never-mind.

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