The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, June 14, 2005  

I’m Just Saying

Opponents of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or Cafta, an expansive group that includes this writer, have taken to pointing out that the gross, gross domestic product of the six Cafta nations is roughly equivalent to that of the long and highly depressed city of New Haven, Conn., population 123,626.

With that in mind . . . Why not a New Haven Free Trade Agreement? A NewHafta, as it were? I’ll bet all 123,626 of them, New Havenites all, and those living in the city’s environs, would appreciate that.

Perhaps something similar for any number of other regions in the United States experiencing long-term, structural economic dislocation, oft-times the result of the very same sort of “free trade agreement” we’re being peddled once again?

How about a Pennsylvania Free Trade Agreement, let’s call it Pafta, to aid the cities and workers of Allentown, Altoona, Bethlehem, Easton, Erie, Johnstown, Pittsburgh, Reading, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre?

Or an Upstate New York Free Trade Agreement, UNYFTA for lack of something better, to provide a much needed boost to such locales as Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, Kingston, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Schenectady, Syracuse, Troy, and Utica?

I could go on. And while I don’t mean to get all nativistic about this, really, come on now. Priorities, people.

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