8 June 2007 Ron sent me a pointer to a NarcoNews story about Atlantica, which includes this nice bit of regionalia:
It reminds me of a joke that a Maine lobsterman once told me: Of the lobsterman near the Machias-New Brunswick border that had two pots in his boat, one for Maine lobsters and another for Canadian. One pot had a lid with a rock on top to keep it weighted down. "That's for the Canadian lobsters," he said. "If you don't put that lid and rock on top, they’ll form a chain and help each other climb out." And what about the bucket without a lid? "Oh, that's for the US lobsters. You don't got to worry about them. If one starts to climb toward escape, the others just drag him right back down again."
--Al Giordano, in Z Magazine Online
May 2007 Volume 20 Number 5
Atlantica, the East Coast's Asphalt Gateway
By Stuart Neatby NarcoNews (see more on him)
The "issue" of Atlantica, insofar as it's more than a curious blip in NENA Studies (North-Eastern North America), can be grasped via Atlantica.org and Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, and the opposition at stopatlantica.com ("United Against the Agenda for the International Northeast Economic Region").
I'm inclined at the moment to see this as a tempest in a teacup, rather than a serious Threat to Way of Life (not that there aren't such threats...). See Atlantica, the East Coast's Asphalt Gateway, By Stuart Neatby (Z Magazine Online May 2007 Volume 20 Number 5):
...For Crowley, the key factor for the Atlantica "concept" is to ensure that Atlantic Canada and New England act primarily as a transit point for goods and services being trucked through the region. According to this vision, the Canadian coastal city of Halifax would serve as an east coast "gateway" for Asian goods traveling on cargo containers too large to cross the Panama Canal, while the rest of the region would amount to an asphalt gateway for goods traveling to Boston, Montreal, and New York. According to Sean Cooper, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce, Atlantica will simply "move wealth" and, as a result, will apparently "create wealth."This episode takes me back 30+ years, to my own flirtation with North-Eastern North America, when I was an earnest studient of Regions at Stanford, struggling to put Nova Scotia into a broader context before I went there; and back 20+ years, to the sociopolitical struggles of various of my Sociology Department colleagues at Acadia.
...Aside from the elite nature of the decision-making behind the Atlantica process, much of the controversy around the initiative has focused on the free-market zeal expressed by Atlantica's backers. The Atlantica website lists "minimum wage legislation," "union density," "government employment as percentage of total state/province employment," and "size of government" as "public policy distress factors." Such displays of unabashed dislike for progressive social policy have served as a stark reminder to many people of the dismal effects that the NAFTA agreement has had on New England and Atlantic Canada. While the state of Maine lost close to 20,000 manufacturing jobs between 1995 and 2003, Canadian workers have experienced stagnating real wages, a decline in union protection, and an increase in the gap between rich and poor since 1994. In Atlantic Canada and New England, small family farms, once a staple of the local economy of the region, are facing a crisis point.