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Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Published: 5/2/2006

NAFTA has impaired the middle class

Where does columnist Mona Charen live that she can't see that thousands of U.S. jobs have been shipped out to Mexico at an accelerated pace due to NAFTA?

There is simply no basis for her thesis that American jobs were not exported to Mexico after the passage of NAFTA.

Literally hundreds of thousands of our workers have experienced the "giant sucking sound." Their living wage, middle class jobs have been torn out from under them in record-breaking numbers.

First, since NAFTA's passage in 1993, the U.S. has lost more than 880,000 jobs to Mexico. The state of Ohio has lost nearly 50,000 jobs and is the fifth biggest job loser due to NAFTA.

Companies like Dixon Ticonderoga, Phillips Electronics, and Acuity Lighting relocated south of the border. The pinch on the middle class gets tighter and economic decline is very visible as wages erode. Workers at Delphi are but the latest victims in a series of tragedies for America's workers yielded by flawed and regrettable trade agreements like NAFTA.

Secondly, if NAFTA were working, the U.S. would be experiencing a trade surplus or balance. Instead, our trade deficit has hit an all-time high of $723.6 billion. Our trade deficit with Mexico and Canada is over $110 billion. It has grown worse every year since NAFTA passed.

The record-breaking hemorrhage of America's good jobs continues unabated. Every billion dollars in deficit equals more than 10,000 jobs lost.

As imports to the U.S. dwarf our exports, we risk leaving future generations a country of declining wages, increased exploitation, and the outsourcing of wealth creation that built the strongest middle class the world has known.

Marcy Kaptur

Member of Congress

Ohio's 9th District

God bless Dr. Lloyd Jacobs. He's willing to accept a meager 10 percent increase in salary in his new position of president of the merged University of Toledo and Medical University of Ohio. Why, that paltry amount (about $23,000) would barely cover housing and automobile costs.

What's that you say? In addition he'll receive free housing and an automobile? Well, yes, but I'm sure that's a standard perk and that should help make up for the "low" salary.

Come again? That salary doesn't include the $300,000 in bonuses over the next five years? I guess that means his actual compensation (excluding the house and car) would still only be about $445,000 a year ($385,000 plus a $60,000 bonus).

But those bonuses are incentive-based. He actually has to stay in order to receive them - you talk about a tough goal.

But that's not the worst of it for poor Dr. Jake. It seems that the board is going to saddle him with additional performance-based incentives that might give him extra motivation (beyond just "staying") to earn more money.

Boy, I wouldn't want to see his tax bill. After April 15 each year he'll be lucky to have any money left over for golf and socializing (good thing they're going to pay his membership fees at the Toledo Club and Toledo Country Club). No doubt he'll need that five weeks of paid vacation for a well-deserved break (to meet with his financial advisers).

All kidding aside (you've got to laugh to avoid crying), I sure hope this guy walks on water because that's how he's being compensated. I guess it's not inconceivable that he'll come close to matching the Ohio State president's annual compensation.

Will UT be joining the Big Ten soon?

Christopher boyer

Lambertville

If the price of a barrel of oil affects the price of gas, why does it not affect the price of oil for an oil change?

The price war over oil changes ranges from $19.99 to $4. Yes, I got an oil change certificate on-line for $4 in Toledo.

Why doesn't the price of a barrel of oil affect the price of an oil change?

DaLE r. perne

Talmadge Road

Why not just give Dr. Lloyd Jacobs a compensation package of $17 million now and a key to the city and anything else that one could think of? After all, this is only a public higher learning institution and you know how hard it is to attract top-flight talent.

In times of tight budgets and higher tuition, who cares what goes on any more? Sadly, it has become the norm.

The compensation packages given to today's executives are reprehensible.

I could be wrong, but isn't the compensation package here higher than what the mayor of the city of Toledo, the governor of Ohio, and the President of the United States receives?

Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Executives get paid progressively higher compensation packages regardless of performance and reality.

When was the last time an executive saw his or her compensation package drop because of poor performance?

hugh woo

North 109th Street

Would you please tell me why the school board is spending $35,000 to find a new superintendent when they have all these assistant superintendents? This is just another instance of money mismanagement by the school board.

And, in November they will go to the public and ask for more money in the form of a levy because it's for the kids.

Don't be fooled by their con!

Edward Seary

North Kennison Drive

I find it continuously hard to believe that people throw their arms in the air about gas prices. Most of the people doing the screaming are pulling up to the pump in their extended cab, 4x4, 6,500-pound Goliath of a vehicle that they had no business buying in the first place.

When was the last time, given the climate that we live in, that most people really used the four-wheel drive option that robs them of a good percentage of their personal vehicles gas mileage potential?

But maybe I'm forgetting one important factor. It's absolutely necessary to have proper traction in inclement weather to pull into Starbucks and plop down $4.25 for grande mocha latte.

The people who should be doing all of the screaming are the people who can't afford either.

Greg Oehlers

Holland

Letter writer Jim Boehm wrote April 25 about various people who disgust him.

He included rich people that say they are "giving back" when they contribute to charity (because they presumably have never taken anything), and "needy" people who have needs they are unable to pay for.

Clearly it's possible that the rich people may have not always been rich, and perhaps they received some assistance from government or private organizations that helped them to be successful. An even more obvious observation is that if a needy person had the money to pay for what they needed, they wouldn't need it.

Personally, rich people and needy people don't bother me much. Stupid people disgust me.

Mary Hartford

East Broadway



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