Of bad writing is, as often said, bad thinking...

THE CAUSE

March 07, 1994

THE CAUSE of bad writing is, as often said, bad thinking. But what isn't said enough is that the cause of bad thinking is stupidity."

-- H. L. Mencken

* * * *

THE benefits of the new North American Free Trade Agreement will soon be visited on 136 Nintendo workers in Washington state -- dislocation benefits, that is.

They're the first group of Americans declared eligible by the Labor Department for the unemployment retraining and

extended jobless compensation provided by the U.S. as a prop for the international trade pact.

The January layoffs in Seattle coincided with the Japanese video game manufacturer's announced opening of an assembly plant in Mexico, 10 days after NAFTA became effective.

About 20 petitions were filed by groups of workers for the NAFTA layoff benefits during the first half of February. The program covers employees who lose jobs because of employer relocations to Canada or Mexico between December 1993 and September of this year.

The Joint Economic Committee of Congress estimates that 500,000 U.S. workers will be displaced by NAFTA over the next decade. Current funding for the program is inadequate, the committee said.

The benefits are designed to cover only about 10 percent of workers displaced by the foreign job transfers.

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