Remember that annoying little Texan — I forget his name — who said that if we passed NAFTA there would be a "giant sucking sound" as jobs whooshed south to Mexico? I forget his name, but I remember he kept popping in and out of the 1992 presidential race, and I remember that phrase — the giant sucking sound.

Can you hear it? The unemployment rate has dropped below 5% for the first time in decades, at the same time as inflation is low — kept down in part by the price competition of free trade.

His name slips my mind — he was short, I remember — but he had this know-it-all attitude that just reeked of contempt for our elected representatives. (Not that he was entirely wrong there.) If we elected him, the message went, the government and the deficit would shrink (they have), the economy would start to grow again (it did), and Fortune would be running stories like the one in its June 9 issue: "These ARE the Good Old Days" — the economy has never been stronger.

Not to offend those of you who voted for him, but — what was his name? — I think we have managed to bumble along OK without him.


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