5 Ways The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Undermined the United States

  1. Before NAFTA was enacted and went into effect 20 years ago, the United States never had, in any year of its history, a trade deficit of $135 billion or more.
  2. Every single year since then, for 20 years in a row, its trade deficit has been over $135 billion.
  3. Its last 14 trade deficits have been the 14 largest trade deficits in the history of the world.
  4. The nation has gone from $2 trillion in surplus with its trade to $11 trillion in debt.
  5. It has lost five million manufacturing jobs and roughly 15 million other jobs in the last 20 years.

Click here to learn how you can fight the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is NAFTA 2.0.

Sources: Lori Wallach of Public Citizen and Representative Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida, as interviewed on Democracy Now!

Follow me on Twitter @CholericSerpent!

8 Ways the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Will Lower the American Standard of Living and Hijack Our Concept of Freedom

  1. Would make it easier for corporations to offshore American jobs because it has provisions that give companies special privileges and protections that make it cheaper and safer to move our jobs to low-wage countries.
  2. It includes a lot of low-wage countries, which means American wages will get pushed down, when we are forced to compete, for instance, with workers in Vietnam who are making less than 60 cents an hour.
  3. It would create "extrajudicial tribunals" where panels of three corporate attorneys would be empowered to rule on a claim brought directly against the U.S. government by a foreign corporation claiming they should get compensation from our tax dollars for any domestic law they think violates their rights under the agreement, and they should get paid for their lost future profits for having to meet our laws.
  4. It would undermine Internet freedom.
  5. It would increase medicine prices by giving pharmaceutical companies extra monopolies.
  6. It would roll back financial regulation.
  7. It would undermine "Buy American," "Buy Local" preferences.
  8. It would undermine energy regulation and the policies that we need to combat the climate crisis.

Click here to learn how you can fight the TPP. Time is running out!

Sources: Lori Wallach of Public Citizen and Representative Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida, as interviewed on Democracy Now!

Follow me on Twitter @CholericSerpent!


Job Interview: Editorial Assistant Intern

I just interviewed for an editorial intern position at a digital media company. The duties required of the intern are maintaining social media outlets, proofreading, and transcribing. I submitted my résumé and cover letter on December 19 and heard back from them on January 7. That was twenty days. My interview was today, January 12, twenty-five days after my initial contact. It's a part-time internship paid at $10 per hour. The interview was at 10 a.m. 

I might have blown off preparing for this interview if it was not for my friend Fredi who knows that I have been very depressed. A few days ago, she called to check on me and I told her I had two interviews today, both editorial internships. She began telling me what I needed to do to prepare, what, in her opinion, the employer was looking for. That was enough to get me to do the necessary homework of writing down answers to possible interview questions and rehearsing them. I spent much more time creating the answers than actually rehearsing and memorizing them. I am glad I took time to prepare. It was the difference between an average interview (which is what I believe I had) and a terrible one.

Jocelyn Green interviewed me. She asked me around five questions. They were "Tell me about yourself," "What do you know about this job?" and "Do you have any questions for me?" Questions specific to the job included "How are you with social media?" "What part of the article writing process do you like the best: interviewing, writing, or transcribing?" 

She did not ask me what interested me about the opening, what I know about their company so far, my experience at my last job, what experience I have in the skills required of the job, my strengths or weaknesses. I think the relatively few questions she asked had to do with the fact that the opening is an internship, not a job, and maybe also that she practically had her mind made up to hire me. 

It seemed like that at times. 

Just after my interview began, she invited the resident Spanish editor. Green was impressed with my Spanish writing and translating credentials and she hopes that I can help the Spanish editor who is currently wearing too many hats. She asked me to tell the editor about myself and then invited her to ask me some questions first in  English, then in Spanish. Then the Spanish editor left, but not before Green had told her that she had researched my writing and found it "amazing." I was surprised and very flattered. 

In total, the interview lasted around twenty minutes. Green told me that the most important trait for the intern is flexibility and that the internship can turn into a full time job. These were her answers to the questions I asked her. I got very nervous at the very end of the interview, I broke a sweat, and was awkward in the final verbal exchanges. 

I didn't leave feeling well. Earlier, I said that at times Green sounded like she had made up her mind to bring me on board. My intuition tells me that my nervousness at the end of the interview and during parts of the actual interview (specifically my words with the Spanish editor) made her uncomfortable and may have switched her decision. 

I will know for sure in a couple of days. In the meantime, I need to pretend like I won't be hired and keep sending out résumés and cover letters; making sure I do well next time!