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WHY THE PRO-NAFTA HYSTERIA November 1993 Im puzzled Id like to know why so many free-marketeers so many free-market think-tanks and pundits are not simply pro-Nafta but are fervently frantically almost hysterically pro-Nafta Look I can understand though not agree with mild approval An old libertarian friend of mine for example told me that he was mildly pro-Nafta but not really interested in the entire topic That seems sensible So why the furor the passion the enormous resources poured into praising Nafta and reviling its critics Why is there a highly active free-market Nafta Network when no one has ever bothered forming a Repeal-the-Income Tax Network or an Abolish-the-Fed Network And if we want to confine passion to more directly political issues why was there no Lower-Taxes Network or Stop-the-Clinton-Budget Network Why is the entire pack the Cato crowd the rest of the Kochtopus or Koch Machine the majority of Heritage the Tony Snows and the Steve Chapmans why are they going all out playing hardball in their frenzy to get this thing passed Why are these gentry acting as if their lives depended on the passage of Nafta Could it be because if not their lives at least their fortunes though scarcely their sacred honor do in fact depend on it The twists and turns of this crowd have been truly a sight to see First they confidently strode forth to represent the free trade cause denouncing their opponents as leftists or ignorant protectionists But then when hard-core free marketeers and free traders such as people at Triple R the Mises Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute weighed in to attack Nafta as a managed trade and international statist scam in free-trade clothing the pro-Nafta gang wheeled around to denounce us as free-trade purists or as Tony Snow called it in all his tom-fool ignorance the Adam Smith objection But even if this crowd has no shame surely their sudden change of front must
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