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Monday, 03/28/2016 8:14:20 AM

Monday, March 28, 2016 8:14:20 AM

Post# of 122126
Bring on the $15 an hour wage. With NAFTA in place, what is left of manufacturing in the USA will disappear; with the notable exception of factories that are mostly automated and require very skilled workers. And with those factories will go jobs. We will be left with service sector jobs that require very little, or no skills. Companies will turn their attention to eliminating those jobs to gain a competitive advantage.

Now 30 years old and in charge of payroll, she makes about $1.75 an hour, on par with wages earned on the plant’s assembly line. It may not seem like much by U.S. standards. (Or, for that matter, to some of the workers toiling in the heat of Acuna’s factories.) To Gonzalez, though, the money has been life-changing. It’s given her things she says her mother never had: a washing machine, cable TV, a Ford Freestar minivan that she shares with her boyfriend, daily zumba classes at a nearby gym and the hope that her 11-year-old son, Angel, will be the first member of her family to attend college.

On the Mexican side of the border, the benefits are clearer.

Hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs have been created in the past two decades. In Acuna alone, there are some 38,000 factory workers today. Back in 1980, the town’s entire population was just 42,000. And while evidence of sharp wage growth is hard to find in these industrial communities, other data points underscore the role Nafta has had in helping boost the lives of many Mexicans: Gross domestic product per capita has climbed 23 percent and, more important, the decades-old surge of illegal immigrants crossing the border in search of work has receded. Since 2005, more Mexicans have left the U.S. than have entered it, according to Pew Research Center.