Sunday, May 14, 2006

Responsibility for the immigration problem

Immigration as it is presented is a complex issue. Here's my take on the current controversy.

First, there are two separate problems. One is a homeland security problem. We have to make sure that people can’t sneak into our country, because there are people who want to do just that, not to take part in the American dream, but explicitly to destroy it. A wall won’t make a dime’s worth of difference to them. After all, the vast majority of people who are in our country illegally came legally and overstayed their visas.

We can’t guard our borders, including our internal borders (i.e., airports) because the numbers of people coming in overwhelms our capacity to monitor them. How can we reduce the number of people coming into our country illegally? It is a matter of priorities, and there are economic interests opposed to making the elimination of undocumented workers a priority.

Who opposes keeping our borders secure? They are the people who hire undocumented workers. Why would they do that? Because they can pay sub-standard wages, not give benefits, not keep the workplace safe, etc. Not only do these people oppose keeping out illegal aliens, they oppose making them legal. Legal workers can organize. Legal workers can demand a fair, or at least a legal, wage. Legal workers have recourse if they are hurt on the job. Legal workers can refuse to work excessive hours.

People who exploit undocumented workers are parasites. These vermin create enduring cycles of poverty that they can exploit. They want to shrink government to the size where it can be drowned in a bathtub because they know that if government uses its powers to improve the plight or the prospects of the underclass, the parasites will lose their prey, the source of their wealth.

These parasites think that they are improving worker productivity whenever they force workers to take lesser wages. Then they reward themselves with obscene bonuses, and so it is that they are filthy rich.

As a result of the vast accumulations of wealth, they have also managed to acquire control of the mass media, and the combination of wealth and media control made it a forgone conclusion that they would eventually gain control of the government. Like so many parasites, they are patient, and their patience paid off.

Really, the only thing that stood between them and gaining control of government sooner was the fact that the prevailing form of government was a democracy, in which a poor man’s vote counts as much as a rich parasite’s. However, once they obtained control of the media, which, as always was for sale to the highest bidder, they were able to convince many that their own economic interests were not so important to them as were the economic interests of the parasites.

How did they do this? The evoked a religious creed that was actually quite foreign to American tradition. This new religious creed rejected the traditional beliefs of the American South, which held that it was wrong for religious institutions to involve itself in “worldly” politics. It rejected the mainline Protestant tradition, the spiritual heirs to Calvin, which held that man’s reward will be in the world to come. In its place, the teaching was that God’s favor is evidenced by an abundance of worldly goods. One religious leader, Jim Bakker, was applauded when he and his wife announced that for his birthday she had given him a pair of matched giraffes.

The power of the Catholic Church might have been enlisted to help the victims of parasitic capitalism, and in many individual instances it was. However, the Catholics had one big agenda item – abortion – and this superseded all other concerns. Worse, the parasite class was able to co-opt the Catholic church, which had once been a stronghold of the party of the people.

The power over the souls of men, and its consequential political power were intoxicating. Billy Graham, one of the foremost of the Charismatic Christians, was burned by his association with the disgraced Republican Nixon, and he bowed out of an active role in politics. But in all of nature, it is power that most abhors a vacuum.

And so it became de rigueur that the parasites would nominate and elect men with great public religiosity. The founder of the Republican party had said that “It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged.” But the current Republican party had nothing in common with Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln had waged war against the American South. For a century thereafter, the Solid South was solidly democratic. Now, it is the base of the Republican Party because in another break with its founder, the Republicans embraced “State’s Rights,” a code word for racism.

The Democrats embraced the Civil Rights movement and a lot of de jure racism was eliminated. The Republicans introduced new forms of hatred: homophobia, and xenophobia. These new hatreds were wrapped up in religious terms such as Defense of Marriage and a crusade against illegal immigrants. And over the course of time, there were nearly as many people who identified themselves as Republicans, the party of parasites, as there were people who identified themselves as Democrats, the party of the people.

It turns out that “nearly as many,” was enough, because of the vagaries of the Electoral College. And it further turned out the Republicans didn’t even need to have that many votes because the Supreme Court said that it was not necessary in a democracy to actually count the votes.

As the foregoing recap of history makes clear, it is the parasite class that has control of the legal system, including the making and enforcing of laws, and is also capable of controlling the terms of the debate. Were it otherwise, the way to immediately eliminate people coming over the boarder seeking an opportunity to work for the parasite class would be obvious.

It is to make mandatory jail terms for parasites who exploit undocumented workers. While we are at it, let’s make any CEO whose company hires undocumented workers forfeit any deferred compensation.

Who will do the jobs the undocumented workers had been doing? That would be Americans. But haven’t we heard that Americans are unwilling to do these jobs? I guess we will just have to pay them enough to make them willing to do the jobs. Sure, it will cut into profits, but consider this: you can throttle back on the executive compensation and make it more in line with a historical multiple of worker compensation, and still continue to pay dividends to the shareholders.

There is going to be a lot of jobs that need filling, and maybe this will drive up the wages of workers. That doesn’t sound like a problem, because with higher wages, Americans will buy more goods and services, and we’re onto a positive cycle of economic growth, and prosperity.

Notice that there is a substantial reduction in the incentive to cross the Rio Grande into Texas to take a job, and therefore, we expect that the number of people doing so will decrease accordingly. With fewer people entering our country illegally, it should be that much easier to find them, and especially to identify those who come to do us harm.

There is some number of undocumented workers in the United States, estimated to be around 11 or 12 million. What to do about them? We do want to discourage future illegal border crossers, and so, I am not sure that amnesty is the best way to go. On the other hand, we are talking about people who crossed into our country, to join us, be productive and provide for their families. Frankly, it is hard to get ginned up about this “offense.” Therefore, I propose that all 11 or 12 million of them be required to document that they have lived here for a period of time, had no infractions, pay a nominal fine, and be put on a path to citizenship.

Think about 11 or 12 million more citizens. Who knows whether they will become Republicans and identify with the parasite class, the party of racism, privilege, and corruption? If I had to bet, I would say they will remember that the Democrats are the party of the people, and vote their interests.

Hmmm. Eight or 10 million net Democratic voters. That’s a lot of votes not to count. No wonder the Republicans are so concerned about not doing anything about this issue.

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

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