Murder, Inequality, Corporate Profits, and Free Trade Go Together | naked capitalism [This] is the macro picture, a graph of corporate profits mapped against net exports. The core relationship is the arbitrage of labor costs by the threat of offshoring. The Colombia FTA, which is supported by both Obama and Romney, is simply continuity with this framework. You can see the beginnings of financialization and globalization in the early 1970s. The trade gap gradually expanded during the Reagan Presidency in the 1980s, then the gap began widening after Clinton signed NAFTA and really took off in the late 1990s after American businesses figured out how to do business in China (after Clinton let China into the WTO). Then there was an explosion of the trade deficit and corporate profits after Bush came into office in 2000. This system briefly collapsed during the recession of 2007-2009. President Obama’s policy framework resuscitated this architecture of corporate profits at the expense of workers’ paychecks and, well, lives. Think of the widening gap in the above chart as the jaws of a neoliberal monster. Also, from the piece: Colombia remains by far the world’s most dangerous country for union leaders and members. Nearly 3,000 activists have been murdered there in the last 25 years, with convictions resulting in a paltry 6 percent of the cases. I remember a time when candidate Obama was opposed to the Colombia FTA for that very reason.