Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.
Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.
CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.
The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.
Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683
Thank you for your support,
Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel
CounterPunch PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558
Mexico After NAFTA
On April 17, the Washington Post ran an article about Mexico’s economy and the North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect on January 1, 1994. Part of the focus was on market forces and the flight of some Mexicans to the U.S.
"Still, the past 13 years haven’t been all bad economic news for Mexico," wrote Manuel Roig-Franzia of the Post’s Foreign Service. "Spurred by NAFTA, Mexico’s gross domestic product has ballooned, multiplying nearly seven-fold, from $108 billion in 1993, the year before NAFTA implementation, to $748 billion in 2005."
If the Post’s data for Mexico’s GDP, or the market price of all goods and services produced within the country annually, was correct, it would be a world record for economic growth, according to economist Dean Baker, co-director of Center for Economic and Policy Review. Thus, economists and staff at the CEPR repeatedly contacted the Post concerning the assertion that Mexico’s GDP grew at a 17.5 percent annual rate over the past 13 years.
In fact, Mexico’s GDP grew at a 2.9 percent annual rate since 1993, the International Monetary Fund states on its Web site. Mexico’s per person GDP growth was 1.3 percent per year from 1993 to 2005 versus GDP growth per person of nearly 4.0 percent per year between 1960 and 1980, Baker adds.
Crucially, the Mexican economy as measured by GDP grew at an annual rate six times slower than what the Post reported for the 13 years ending in 2005. This is no small error for the top paper in the capital city of the U.S.
Does the IMF have a lock on growth figures for Mexico? No.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank also have GDP data for Mexico. And as of May 26, the Post had not printed a correction to its April 17 article, which reported that the Mexican economy "has ballooned" between 1993 and 2005.
Still, the paper’s ombudsman wrote on May 7: "The Washington Post is committed to correcting all errors that appear in the newspaper, just as we are committed to the kind of careful journalism that will minimize the number of errors we print. Preventing and correcting mistakes are two sides of the coin of our realm: accuracy. Accuracy is our goal, and candor is our defense."
The April 17 article ran on the front page of the Post. If the paper corrects the reporter’s error on Mexico’s GDP, will this admission find a home on page one?
SETH SANDRONSKY is a member of Sacramento Area Peace Action and a co-editor of Because People Matter, Sacramento’s progressive paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org