LABOR FLOOD FALLOUT
Re: Paul Chesser’s Costly Refilling of the Labor Pool:
Here are a few thoughts on the consequences of illegal immigration that proponents seem to ignore.
1. Crime. Federal pens currently house one-third illegal immigrants. That’s not a trifling number. That means we have to pay for the incarceration, apprehension, legal expense et al of someone that should not be here in the first place! Same holds true for California. Here’s another scary thought; late last year, Federal law enforcement with state and locals arrested 10,000 gang members, all here illegally. And that was only 10 percent of them! That means that 90,000 of them roaming our streets. These individuals kill at the drop of a hat. And why not; penalty for them doesn’t fit the crime!
2. Economics. Throughout the ’40s and ’50s there were jobs in America where an immigrant could move up without formal education. Auto and chemical plants, come to mind. These jobs provided good wages, insurance and an avenue for upward mobility. They’re gone now, due to export overseas and improved productivity. They will never return. New economy requires education; make that advanced education. It’s simply not available to the fruit picker and day laborer. Illegal immigration creates a permanent underclass that is a breeding ground for hatred and envy. Result; one day we’ll have massive riots.
3. Individuals you speak of have no connection to this country other than economic. They want into the States because there’s an avenue to make some money and send it “home.” As I recall, transfer payments to Mexico are their biggest source of foreign currency. Note; by the way, how many waived the Mexican flag at their rallies. I also recall that several years ago in a California stadium, the American soccer team had garbage thrown at them. The opponent: Mexico! A recent interview with a “leader” in the demonstrations; we want “universal health care,” “living wage” and “open borders,” all right now. The United States owes us that!
4. Illegal immigrants come with a cost factor that their taxes simply don’t cover. Who picks up the tab for health care, education and everything else? The United States taxpayer, that’s who.
Here’s a question for you. How did the United States get along before the flood of illegal aliens?
— name withheld
Mama always said, “Just do the right thing and it will work out.” She never meant that the situation would work the way I wanted it to always but that I would be left with a clean conscience, a strong moral compass, and certitude to continue doing what was right. Mama needs to talk to Congress. She admits to being too mad to do so right at the moment. And I agree with her. I must, as a military mom (and mom-in-law) of two ask myself just what are we fighting for. It isn’t that I don’t believe in the war on terror, in fact, my family understands it too well, having once been a target of a terrorist group in Germany in the 198’s. However, protection begins at home, first.
Perhaps we are different, as we live on the land and off the land. And we do most work ourselves, as my Dad always taught us to be self-sufficient. And, unlike Mr. Chesser’s article states, we live in a part of the country where others do the same. We know a few dairy men who have to hire labor to help with 24/7 demands of milking cows, but for the most part, in our neck of the woods most folks do their own work.
I just want people in Congress to forget serving the fringe, and like my mama states, do the right thing. Republicans, are you hearing me? Forget who are going to be the fringe voters and do the right thing because it is the right thing. Or you might find yourselves elected out of office by the base, those of us who are here legally and can vote legally.
I heard Sen. Lindsey Graham say that he didn’t want to hurt the feelings of a Hispanic soldier fighting for freedom. Senator, I don’t want the rest of the soldiers’ faces slapped by that statement, as if their service and voting power was negated because they WERE here legally. Do you realize how that statement sounded to those of us who don’t show up to protest but show up to defend? I wonder.
Mama has the right idea…and she had it before Nike did…to her it was and still is…Just do it (RIGHT) and you won’t have to be ashamed later. And for those of us who wonder about who we are letting in…you won’t have to be afraid of just who is coming here illegally and what they might do. And you also won’t have to wonder why anyone would want to follow the laws of this land when you selectively let some take a pass. Citizenship should mean something. So, too, should the laws of the land.
— Beverly Gunn
East Texas Rancher
If the Constitution were amended so that children of illegal aliens born in the U.S. would not automatically be citizens, it would stop a large percent of illegal border crossings.
Non-citizens would not qualify for municipal, state, or federal jobs, nor would they be able to bring non-legal family members into this country. Birth certificates issued to illegal aliens would state the illegal status, and both mother and child would be returned across the border. In many, if not most cases, the fathers would follow the family.
It would not solve the entire border issue but it could be part of the solution.
— David Smith
P.S. Both my parents were legal immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island in 1915, sponsored by family members who arrived years earlier, and learned English by attending night school; they became citizens. I never can I recall them flying the flag of their birth country.
The unstated assumption of Mr. Chesser that the continued low cost of agricultural products should be some sort of national priority needs a closer look. Chronic agricultural surpluses result in greater farm subsidies (and higher taxes on the rest of us) to prop up prices. In some cases that is after taxes also went towards pumping water from hither and yon to grow the crops in question. As well, one can not seriously argue that the current expense of agricultural products is even noticeable to most consumers, considering our vastly obese society. It seems as though rampant obesity and more crops that only result in even more income transfers to prop up the prices are things to be prevented.
There are hardly any jobs that one will not do, if paid enough. The fields of embalming, septic tank pumping, prison guarding, pest control, and oil rig construction are not staffed by illegal aliens. Only if one insisted that those jobs, perfectly honorable jobs that need to be done, be performed for a few dollars an hour would there suddenly be a need for the border control to look the other way. If hard labor meant good pay, teens would at least try it, and their character would be much improved for having tried it.
The increasing expense of labor, and the increasing insistence on reasonable working conditions, is precisely what built American industry, and to unnaturally suppress the expense of labor is to remove the incentive for greater efficiency and to step backwards. If slavery had continued to exist in the South, there would have been little incentive to invent machinery to pick cotton. If skilled labor costs had not increased in the twentieth century there would have been no incentive to invent the industrial robot. If dirt cheap labor had been plentiful after World War I, maybe most people would have traveled about in hand made rickshaws instead of in Model T’s. The use of technology to save labor, and to create better jobs in designing, building, and running that technology, drove the industrial revolution. If some agriculture simply has to be labor intensive, maybe it should be labor intensive somewhere else; at least then there would be no viscous cycle of income transfer subsidies and the locals would be kept busy.
The idea that we need a new underclass willing to work hard for hardly any pay is to turn away from the American spirit of invention and progress. One suspects that the Democratic Party is realizing that it is falling victim to a self-imposed declining birth rate, and needs a vast new underclass to hustle. Twenty years from now maybe they’ll even be clamoring for reparations for the shamefully low wages of today.
— D. Lewis
Nice try, Paul, but no cigar. (Not even a Dominican!) The simple answer to the problem of “jobs Americans won’t take” is “END WELFARE,” When the alternative is starving, Americans will find themselves suitably motivated to take whatever job is available and offered to them. As long as we continue to fund sloth, Americans will consider themselves “too good” for certain jobs. This is only one of the many reasons why SOCIALISM ALWAYS FAILS. Need evidence? See: France.
— David Cowling
Everyone ignores the fact that machines would be developed to do work Americans refuse to do. By importing labor, we prevent Americans from developing companies and hiring people to develop those machines. A dumber policy is hard to imagine.
— David Govett
Re: The Prowler’s Howard the Magician:
Bill Clinton likes Howard Dean’s “commitment to build up state operations”?
What Bill Clinton likes is a steady flow of money coming in from wherever — Johnny Chung, Charlie Tree, Hollywood. Having that maniac munchkin, Howard Dean, pimping for Hillary is right up his alley. Howie holds the purse strings formerly in the death grip of Terry McAuliffe. So If Dean has obliquely suggested that Bill’s backing him will bring a lot of money to state operations — that can only mean to the New York State Senator Clinton’s coffers. The Clintons are adept at laundering money on the quick-wash cycle, so it should be no trouble converting DNC state ops $$ to Hil’s presidential hope chest.
But they both reckon without the fund-raising capabilities of Republicans when faced with the prospect of Hillary as Queen of all she surveys and just plain Bill as “First Bubba.”
— Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
ALL JUICED OUT
Re: Paul Beston’s Shadows Past and Present:
Baseball as a national pastime is gone. The Decade of the Juiced Bat only sealed the deal. I do know about Paul Beston, but I cannot read another book about Major League Baseball’s Glory Days. Yes, there have been some outstanding books that have chronicled the Golden Years. However, I’m getting the feeling that those people who hang on to the game waiting for its comeback, are much like those Frenchmen of the 19th century who waited in vain for the glory of Napoleon to return. Those dreams were dashed in 1870 at Sedan. Likewise, baseball’s Sedan occurred not in a place or battle, but in hidden locker rooms in cities like Saint Louis, San Diego, Chicago, and San Francisco.
A short word of thanks for this excellent essay, which almost brought a tear to my eye as I considered the state of the game today. I knew of the Ritter book but hadn’t read it. Thanks to you I’ll correct that omission now.
— Russ Surber
Paso Robles, California (Not far from Baywood Park, whence came Sam Crawford)
POISON THE APPLE
Re: Jed Babbin’s A Tale of Two Summits:
As usual, I agree with most of Jed’s submission. Where I might diverge is that I believe that this illegal immigration mess is the single most important issue in our country today. If we can not get our borders under control, it will not matter the outcome of Iraq and Afghanistan, or anywhere else. I believe that it is counter-productive to even admit that we may not, or can not deport all illegals currently here. It may be true, but I would not say or write it. Besides, our current POTUS refuses to admit that there are any illegal aliens in the country, there are only “undocumented workers” doing jobs that Americans refuse to do.
It would be wonderful if we could pass a law that, if you can not speak, read, and write American English, then you can not vote. No English — no driver’s license. No government documents printed in anything other than English. All school classes conducted in English, except for classes to teach a foreign language.
Diversity is NOT our strength. Diversity is our weakness. Diversity will lead to our Balkanization, and our fall from the pinnacle of world power politics.
A lot of years ago, some very brave Americans drew a line in the sand at the Alamo. They took a stand and fought to the death. They have been revered by Americans, and especially Texans, for a very long time now. I wonder how our Texan readers/contributors like their fellow Texan that lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. now that he has gone openly public with his disrespect for those patriots at the Alamo. Methinks I would prefer the decisions made by such as Elaine and Beverly and Diane. Methinks a lot of Texans would prefer these ladies making the decisions instead of the Texan currently sitting in the Oval Office.
— Ken Shreve
If we truly want to have secure borders then a two-prong approach needs to be developed.
1) Enforcement. At the current time, there are 11,955 field agents in the Border Patrol. The average agent captures 142 illegals per annum. About 12 a month. The pols want to add 2621 more agents by 2007. If at the previous yield per FTE, that is only an additional 400,000 apprehensions. One could achieve the same result by taking the current headcount and upping the apprehension rate by some means by an additional 3 border crossers per FTE and save a cool $364 million a year.
The $364 million could be used to instead build the fence along the southern border. As the fence extends yearly the Border Patrol apprehension rate should inch upward as the density of personnel increases as the corridors for the border crossers shrink. It would take some five to seven years at this rate but it solves the problem of turning off the tap at its source.
2) Poison the Apple. Most of the crossers come here looking for work. If they cannot find work then most will self deport. Forget cattle cars — that’s fear mongering. Most, not being able to work, will simply go home the same way they came in. But it does require changes. First, make hiring an illegal a felony. First offense, probation. Second offense is jail time. No fines.
Second, modify the I-9 so that the only acceptable documentation is the SS card and your American passport. The U.S. passport does have a modicum of antiforgery measures built in unlike the SS card which has none. There is a process already in place to acquire one so no additional bureaus need be created. And the cost is no more than automobile registration. It may sound like an intrusion but no more so than what the illegals are costing us individually today.
Third. The tricky part. The 14th Amendment will need to be modified to state that a citizen born in this country must have at least one parent also born of this country or a naturalized citizen of this country at the time of their birth. This is the only way to cut off the anchor baby game. The 14th has served its purpose in its current form which was to assure that the former slaves were not stripped of their citizenship. That clearly is no longer a concern. It needs the proper modifications.
— John McGinnis
Jed Babbin replies:
I agree in part, and dissent in part. There’s no use talking about making any part of this a felony. The courts can’t handle the burden, and it’s no use making something a crime when you have no intention of enforcing the law. I agree that the anchor baby problem can best be solved by a Constitutional amendment, but that won’t happen for years, if at all. We need to do something now. Right now. Enforcement is part of it, and I’m all for increasing the border patrol’s numbers. But that’s not enough. Our border with Mexico is more than 1,000 miles long, the Canadian border even longer, and to protect them we need to build barriers to crossing. That, too, will take years. We need to be doing a lot, right now, including putting more people on the border as you suggest. Add to that the best technology and the assets necessary to shipping people back without hearings, without trials, and without resort to courts and administrative hearings. People caught in this country illegally should be shipped back across the border forthwith.
JOY, FEAR, AND TREMBLING
Re: Patrick Hynes’s Burning the Republican Church:
Mr. Hynes’s article is excellent and a needed rebuttal of the anti-Christian fear mongers. However, in one important segment of his article, he falls prey to the same criticism he levels against Kevin Phillips’ statement: “Unfortunately, more danger lurks in the responsiveness of the new GOP coalition to Christian evangelicals, fundamentalists and Pentecostals, who muster some 40 percent of the party electorate. Many millions believe that the Armageddon described in the Bible is coming soon. Chaos in the explosive Middle East, far from being a threat, actually heralds the second coming of Jesus Christ. Oil price spikes, murderous hurricanes, deadly tsunamis and melting polar ice caps lend further credence.”
Hynes’s response essentially is that premillennialism is not universally accepted among Christians, even evangelicals. That is weak and reflects an unexamined assumption. Underlying Hynes’s observations is the unstated inference that premillennialists, of whom I am one, welcome Armageddon, etc. as the herald of the returning Christ. Without exception, the many premillennialists whom I know, while reveling in the thought of the return of the Savior, still fear and dread the events that will unfold before that day and do not celebrate them. Hynes implicitly confuses the joy of anticipation of the event itself with pleasure in the events that precede it. Unfortunately, that confusion is also at the heart of Phillips’s article.
— Stephen P. Leiby
Wonderful article, “Burning the Republican Church.” I’m so thankful that there are clear thinkers and cogent writers like Patrick to refute such ignorance and bias. However, the rapture refers to the supernatural phenomena of believers being caught up in the air to be with the Lord. The seven-year period following that is known as the Great Tribulation. I think Patrick was calling the tribulation period the rapture.
By the way, I’m evangelical with a preterist-leaning eschatology.
— Robert Carriere
WHERE’S THE WMD EVIDENCE REPORTING?
Re: Laurie Mylroie’s State-Sponsored Terrorism, Anyone?:
Laurie Mylroie’s piece on Iraq’s newly-released documents is hopefully the first of many to come on this subject. The documents coming out of Iraq will slowly — over a lengthy time — give us a better understanding of the relationship between Iraq and terrorism. The ebbs and flows of Saddam’s WMD programs will be fleshed out.
There will, however, be a sustained whoosh! as the New York Times rushes away from the dribs and drabs of evidence that they don’t want to hear. Ditto the entire left-wing media.
The whooshing sound will change in pitch and volume as assorted ill winds of denial emanate. Denial will include several tactics, especially ignoring the evidence whenever possible. (If the story doesn’t fit the party line, don’t even report it.) The Times-honored ploy of cherry-picking and spin will be used. Expect to hear a lot of “Just because Iraqi intelligence officers held meetings with al-Qaeda doesn’t prove there was a connection.”
The Times and their fellows in the left-wing propagandosphere have written history’s first draft on the War on Terror, and it is largely a work of fiction designed to discredit George W. Bush. Dribs and drabs will make them very unhappy. That’s too bad.
ANOTHER ROUND OF TAS
Re: C.K. Justus’s letter (“Soak the Rich”) in Reader Mail’s Not in a Good Mood:
I have been agonizing over whether I should renew my subscription to The American Spectator.
I love the magazine and, like many readers, experience a frisson of anticipatory glee when I see a newly-arrived issue in my mailbox. It is only because TAS often arrives at my home here in the Far East months after its U.S. publication that I have flirted with abandoning the print version.
However, having just read C. K. Justus’s remarkable letter concerning “The Rise of Boltenism” in the 3 April edition of the website, I now readily appreciate that this is no time to go wobbly.
Sign me up again, please!
— Paul Curley
Being appreciative of irony, I greatly enjoyed reading that C. K. Justus believes “we have an intellectual [sic] challenged president.” I had even more fun with his splendid laundry-list of complaints — which he, very thoughtfully, had sprinkled with delightful grammatical
gaucheries for our amusement. To show my gratitude, I’d like to offer a reason why he had so much trouble collecting from his more-affluent newspaper customers: they’re difficult to catch at home, because they arrive at their businesses early and stay late — which, of course,
is how they became wealthy in the first place!
— David Gonzalez
On behalf of normal thinking people everywhere, I want to thank Mr. or Ms. Justus for one of the most humorous political satires of the 21st century. This letter is a stroke of genius. I have printed it out so that I can share it with those folks who need a good laugh, and who have the time to get through it. My only concern is that those people don’t injure themselves laughing too hard. I’ve heard that it is possible to rupture several of our internal organs with the kind of uproarious guffawing that a screed such as this one causes.
For all of you liberals and left-leaning moderates out there, if this is what you truly believe, then I don’t believe that even prayer can save us. The mind-boggling absence of coherence and logic in this letter reached a peak that exceeds virtually all other liberal presentations that I have ever seen. I congratulate Mr. or Ms. Justus, Howard Dean, Al Gore (whom I previously believed was the most disturbed leftist in the country), and all the rest of the Democratic Party. I support your run for the presidency on this platform, and will talk you up to all of my liberal friends.
— Joseph Baum
Thank you very much for posting that letter from C.K. Justus in Reader Mail. I laughed so hard it hurt. I can’t figure out if it was real or a parody of left-wing idiots. I mean, come on… C.K. Justus? Wasn’t that the sheriff in Smokey and the Bandit? Ha, ha.
Of course the sentence structure, grammar and thoughts were so disorganized I had to read it twice to realize how hilarious it really was.
Every time I get discouraged with the lack of ability of Republicans to act like the majority party they are and disappointed when conservatives within the party tuck their tales and run home, the C.K. Justuses of the world are there to remind me of how incoherent and ignorant the Democratic left has become.
Oh wait…ignorance assumes lack of the basic facts and sheriff Justus and the left refuse to use them so that truly makes them morons.
When what is presented today as comedy by the likes of Leno, Letterman, or SNL is nothing but left wing drivel barely hidden behind lame jokes, the Spectator comes through with flying colors.
— Greg Barnard
Isn’t Mr. Justus is filled with hate and discontent. Liberals (socialists) make such terrible, pitiful losers. We can only feel sorry for such a miserable person.
— Russell Brown
Re: Lawrence Henry’s Employee Theft:
You are correct: employers, cops, hospitals, welfare, schools, etc. should always ask for legal status and if they are not then the service should not be given and they could be sent home as they get caught. Whoever came up with the idea of a mass round up (head ’em up and move ’em out) is just wishful thinking. I am all for a NATIONAL ID card.
— Elaine Kyle
IN FULL GALLUP
Re: John Trudo’s letter (under “Four Lanes, Good Life”) in Reader Mail’s Road Scholars:
A late reading of John Trudo of Harker Heights, Texas, travels on Hwy. 66. He mentions Gallup’s (New Mexico) El Rancho Motel.
As a government investigator in 1953, I had a lengthy stay at the El Rancho Motel. Also, the guests included most of the cast of the movie Escape from Fort Bravo. I was rubbing elbows with William Holden, Eleanor Parker (gosh she was pretty), and Ben Johnson, along with the many other members of the cast. We all together had breakfast, dinner, and the bar late into the evening with all of the actors wearing their Calvary, Western, and Indian Scout costumes the full day. The movie included truckloads of beautiful horses, and untold numbers of Indians as extras. That was back in 1953, when it was a federal offense to sell whiskey to the Indians.
It was an enjoyable stay at the El Rancho Motel for me. It was actually the only lodging available, as I recall.
— Raymond Barton
Fort Worth, Texas
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