Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The "consumer wedge":
The New York Times has an editorial
that supports the introduction of Mexican trucks into the United States. In part, it reads:
... the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement was supposed to encourage free and efficient trade was by allowing long-haul trucks from Canada, Mexico and the United States to deliver goods throughout the three countries. Unfortunately, more than a decade later the Teamsters union ... and their allies in Congress are still working to keep Mexican trucks out.
... the Teamsters, which, we suspect, are just trying to stave off the competition.
That stubbornness is counterproductive. Keeping Mexican trucks out only keeps transport costs higher, harming American businesses and consumers.
Union busting would help American businesses and consumers, so should that be advocated? The standard of "is it good for the consumer" looks at only one side of the picture, that of the price of goods. The other side, who gets paid and how much, deserves as much attention. We've heard this argument before. But is catering to the consumer be the top priority? Remember, if something is good for the consumer, it can just as easily come from abroad - and in the process totally destroy a segment of the manufacturing base (and increasingly, the service sector). It was surprising to read in the New York Times an editorial that was explicitly anti-union.
PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico -
A dynamite-laden truck exploded after colliding with another vehicle on a busy highway in northern Mexico's coal country, killing at least 34 people, including three reporters at the scene, state and federal officials said.
Authorities said the two vehicles crashed into each other Sunday evening, drawing a crowd of curious onlookers as well as a small army of police, soldiers, emergency officials and journalists.
Shortly after the crowd arrived, the wreckage caught fire, and the dynamite exploded, sending a ball of fire into the sky that consumed nearby cars and left a 10-by-40 foot crater in the concrete, said Maximo Alberto Neri Lopez, a federal police official.
Filling our highway with Mexican trucks certainly holds the promise of more, um, interesting news stories.
Truckers need to work hard for what they get, and I also don't think the problem we're having is high prices for consumer goods, it's low pay for workers.