It was a pretty good year for global free trade and thus capitalism.
Despite the loud and shrill opposition of leftists and Buchanan clones, voters in Costa Rica decided to join CAFTA. Meanwhile the Bush administration moved fully to implement NAFTA.
Congress passed a new free trade law, albeit watered down, with Peru. The vote largely was along party lines. Earlier in this administration GOP Congresses enacted along party lines much better trade laws with the likes of Australia, Singapore, Morocco and Western Africa, not to mention CAFTA itself.
Speaking of free trade, in the 14 years since NAFTA was enacted — during which the GOP controlled Congress for 11 years and the U.S. House for 12 years — the average annual U.S. unemployment rate has been 5% and aggregate consumer inflation has been 45%.
In the 14 years immediately preceding NAFTA, however — with Democrats in absolute control of the “purse strings” of the federal government plus the Senate for most of that time too — the average annual U.S. unemployment rate was 7.1% and aggregate consumer inflation was 99%.
7.1 avg. unemployment – 1980-1994 – pre-NAFTA – Democrats controlled gov’t purse strings
5.0 avg. unemployment – 1994-2008 – post-NAFTA – GOP mostly controlled gov’t purse strings
99% total inflation – pre-NAFTA – 1980-1994 – Democrats controlled gov’t purse strings
45% total inflation – post-NAFTA – 1994-2008 – GOP mostly controlled gov’t purse strings