Political Hogwash: Causation is Not Correlation

Adel Alaali
3 min readJul 10, 2021

Though the unintended consequences of NAFTA have manifested a harsh reality for autoworkers, on a net basis, the trade agreement benefits the nation. And with yester-years executive-cabinet rhetoric, and its ensuing followership, it seems that the implausible has become credence — a situation where absurdity upends logic and basic reasoning.

Unfortunetly- under current circumstances, logic and reasonable thinking has been bartered for cheap-votes. The political hogwash of today propigates tomorrows societal issues.

Drain The Swamp, Or Make Your Own?

Nefarious premises backing political malfeasance have been camouflaged by unscrupulous government actors. Additionally, economic scapegoating with polarization eneacted by the phrasing- repeated ad-nauseum- that “NAFTA’s the worst trade deal in history” to the recently marginalized, further compounds the issue. False notions defy economic reasoning and hinder progression. Ironically, the same falsehoods that served as an impetus to Mr. Trumps presidency, in itself, actually destroy jobs. The political hogwash perpretrated by our recent administration has manifested an American reality: one fostered by hate and resentment.

Economic scapegoating and political pandering are dangerous and should be stopped. Trade is not a game that America needs to “win”, nor should it be a political crucifix used to prod false narratives. When in fair practice, restriction free commerce amalgamates as a function with one sole purpose: to allot scarce resources in the most efficient manner possible.

Correlation is not causation.

The economic marginalization of low-skill workers in the automotive industry was not prompted by NAFTA, but rather accelerated by it. Though American auto manufacturing has seen a decrease since NAFTA’s inception, auto-manufacturing jobs have been plummeting since 1960. Economic reports indicate less than 5% of jobs are lost through NAFTA.

However, facts are facts, and pandering misinformation is dangerous; but pandering falsehoods to a population of over 300m is not just dangerous, it is outright unfounded, foolish and — downright unprecedented. The oval office, in effect, has become an occupational hazard for the citizens of America. Trade should not be weaponized to sway sentiment and con votes. Even if such falsehoods were to be true, the dissonance created by the false rhetoric is far more dangerous than losing low skill/low paying jobs. I would suggest our former president and his cult-like followers adhere to economic consensus that “the benefits of greater regional trade outright any costs” (textbook, 255, 3rd paragraph.)

The current administration should set up an independent consul to investigate politicians who knowingly and pervasively pander falsehoods — especially when concerning public health, or the economy.

Additionally, the United States have long been the world’s largest foreign investor and one of the world’s largest exporters. The current administration should limit protectionist barriers. By restricting the travel of goods through excessive regulation, tariffs, and quotas the administration will invariably deter the U.S.’s global strategy: economic and absolute military superiority. America should avoid industrial protectionism, as it induces marketplace restrictions. To maintain the country’s economic position, I would encourage the current administration to expand NAFTA, and highlight the program’s actual benefits when presenting to legislation.

*Research and post at least one area or industry (Auto, Trucking, Intellectual Property etc.) in the United States that has been hurt since the inception of NAFTA in 1994. (You can also address how the middle class or small businesses have been adversely impacted.)*