We Shan't Overcome

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This week's massive rallies by illegal immigrants and their sympathizers might not hinder the passage of a friendly reform bill. (More important: Whether Rove thinks Jenna can win in 2020 without the Hispanic vote.) But there's sound speculation that the size and shape of the rallies moved public sympathy away from the protestors and into the jaws of Lou Dobbs. Fox News regulary broke into programming with "Alerts!" about Hispanic students taking over streets and shutting down schools. Anti-immigration hawks like Michelle Malkin chased down stories of protestors hoisting Mexican flags over upside-down Old Glories. Mickey Kaus summed it up:

Skipping school to block freeways and flying the U.S. flag upside down under the Mexican flag … Those anti-anti-immigrant student protesters in L.A. know how to win over a majority of ordinary voters!

What good can protests really do in a sophisticated media age? Decades ago, a protest would inspire photos in newspapers and some clips in network broadcasts. Unless some Yippie-style violence broke out, the protestors had a fair shot at getting their message through the media filters. That might not be possible anymore. Bloggers and filmmakers (ie, anyone with video equipment) can pick apart the rallies and assail individual messages or speakers. A particularly outrageous sign can get picked up by a few big-time websites or a bored news network, and the jig is up.

If the "bring your own signs" ethos of protestors could be stamped out, these things might have a chance. As The Believer's Marc Herman noted in a critique of anti-Iraq war protests, 1960s civil rights protests succeeded because "Southern church and civil rights groups planning the event told their people where to go, how to look and what to say." But what's more likely: Activists sticking to a script, or bloggers and TV cameras shredding their message like a stack of bills?

NEXT: Terri Schiavo R.I.P.

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  1. I have news for Kaus, et al. — if a viewer is one of those twits who gets his panties in a knot over an upside-down flag, he wasn’t going to be supporting the protesters anyway. (I should add that I never use the “panties in a knot” line, but it just so perfectly encapsulates this kind of reaction.)

  2. Yeah … an upside-down flag is a distress signal. There’s a long history of using it in protests. What’s offensive about that?

    I think what’s really set them off is the Mexican flag.

  3. The little coverage I saw by the Tribune re: the Chicago protests was quite sympathetic to the protesters.

  4. I agree that you shouldn’t be deciding policy on the basis of signs held by a few thousand Mexican jackasses and juvinile deliquents. I can’t help but feel though that it is carmic payback. We shouldn’t be making policy based on demonstrations period. If 10% of a country of 300 million believe passionately about something, that 10% is 30 million people and could easily 100s of thousands of people in the streets. So what? Just because a minority is really angry about something doesn’t make it good policy. Perhaps this whole thing will backfare badly and we can see the end to demonstration politics.

  5. If they hold a demonstration and the media don’t cover it, did it really happen?

    The media is inherently an active particpant in all demonstrations. If they want to call it like it is instead of letting the occasional blogger point out the occasional bad egg(s) who will be at any and all protests (see the link for “particularly outrageous sign” in David’s original post), then they need to cover the bad eggs too and try to put it in perspective by interviewing a whole bunch of the protesters and seeing if they agree with the sign or not.

  6. Linguist:

    agreed. the bummer was that Mr. Steven Crane and I were stuck at Univ of Illinois Circle campus for several hours beyond schedule due to the traffic – we couldn’t get onto Harrison from the parking lot!

    did anybody see the bit with Lou Dobbs last night on the Daily Show?

    happy friday!

  7. Well, we know what it means, but some of the less fact-friendly culture warriors pretend the upside-down flag means “hatred of America and its terror-smashing President.” Recall the crusade of Sean Hannity, Swift Vets et al to expose the terrifying cover of John Kerry’s book “The New Soldier.”

  8. Perhaps this whole thing will backfare badly and we can see the end to demonstration politics

    LMAO. Yeah, like that’ll ever happen.

  9. Mickey Kaus wrote the same analysis back when Pete Wilson was cracking down on Hispanics — demonstrators waving Mexican flags are political poison. But it didn’t turn out that way, did it?

  10. One should never underestimate the xenophobia of the American people.

    Public protests are a show of force and only one aspect of a political movement. I believe he writer overestimates the power of bloggers and Fox News to shred this display of political power. If the Republicans lose seats in Congress in November, in part I think it will be because of the work of “anti-war” protesters and organizers. I put anti-war in quotes b/c they are acutally not anti-war at all, they were for leaving a dictator like Saddam Hussein in power.

    Paul Krugman had a good point in his NYTimes column today about the guestworker program” “Creating a permanent nonvoting working class would be bad for America’s democracy.”

    But it would be good for the country’s elites. If people work here, they should be allowed to join unions and vote in elections here.

  11. Jessee,

    I am not sure what the hell the upside down flag means, but the signs that say “this is our continent” are pretty offensive.

  12. I should add that I never use the “panties in a knot” line

    Why?

  13. John, you forget that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Politicians can win elections by appeasing the most extreme elements if those extreme elements are the subset of the population most likely to vote and/or contribute to campaigns.

    You can win elections not only by convincing undecideds, but also by “firing up the base.” The lefties I know get excited by these rallies, cut the pictures out of the paper and tape them to their doors, argue about how many people showed up, etc. These sorts of events can win the Democrats elections, provided they energize fewer righties (in the opposite direction, obviously) than lefties. We’ll see.

  14. The MSM and the blogosphear aren’t the problem. There’s plenty of sympathetic coverage available to anyone who cares to read it. The problem isn’t Dobbs, it’s his viewers. It saddens me greatly to learn the extent to which xenophobia still defines the American psyche.

  15. Peter K,

    When Paul Krugman and Thomas Sowell agree on something (that illegal immigrants are bad for American workers especially black ones), it gives me serious pause. Industrialists said that ending child labor would be a disaster because they couldn’t function without it. The elites are always going to want to have cheap exploitable labor regardless of whether it is good for anyone else.

  16. In fact, I’d say the Trib had a stroke of genius. Not only did they cover the protest (which, of course, had quite a few Hispanics!) but they went out of their way to profile a pretty blonde Polish girl, as if to say, “See, our policy hurts nice white folks too!”

    They also followed up when some of the Hispanics said they were fired for attending the rally.

  17. I don’t think much of Weigel’s commentary here. It’s not evidentiary; it’s tendentious.

  18. I saw the Capitol Hill protests a few weeks back; large numbers — thousands — of Latino protestors probably unlike ever before.

    One thing I did notice was that, unlike the aftermath of almost all other protests in DC, the Capitol grounds and the Botanical Gardens were positively *immaculate* afterwards, looking better than ever.

    Yes, I’m going to hell. With Lou Dobbs.

  19. I can’t help but feel though that it is carmic payback

    Or, possibly even ‘Karmic’ payback.

    But then again no, since Karma doesn’t work like that.

  20. MCH,

    I am almost choked to death on my coffee that is so funny. Reminds me about the old joke about the Million Jew March. They were going to have a Million Jew March in response to the Million Man March, but everyone had to work.

    I am going to hell with you and Lou, I am sure.

  21. Jesse:

    1) What does the upside-down American flag mean when it’s flown under the right-side-up Mexican flag?

    2) What did the protestors flying the flag upside down think they meant by it?

    I’m kind of sickened by this whole thing. I want to see open borders, completely open borders, and I think this was a wasted opportunity by people who are too arrogant and who demand too much of their host country.

    It was probably too late to derail the pending legislation, but maybe not too late to help shape it, to make things better than they are now instead of worse.

    But it wasn’t hard to see a backlash coming, and it shouldn’t have been hard to prevent one.

    OTOH, it WAS a pretty cool civil demonstration.

  22. The little coverage I saw by the Tribune re: the Chicago protests was quite sympathetic to the protesters.

    I saw several local Chicago media reports from Hispanic reporters, all of them sympathetic and none of them real news reports. That’s what those of us who notice such things call propaganda.

    The Mexican government may have been involved in these marches. To some people that matters, but I guess to others a foreign country meddling in our internal politics is A-OK.

    The Georgia march was organized by a former MX consul.

    At least one group involved in the L.A. march has allegedly collaborated with the MX government before.

    Several other “immigrants rights” groups have publicly collaborated with the MX government on other projects.

    Hint: the use of “collaborate” is intentional and will hopefully become a trend.

  23. Paul Krugman had a good point in his NYTimes column today about the guestworker program” “Creating a permanent nonvoting working class would be bad for America’s democracy.”

    But it would be good for the country’s elites. If people work here, they should be allowed to join unions and vote in elections here.

    Yes, and this isn’t a demographic exactly known for voting for a libertarian agenda, which is why I’ve always wondered why libertarians have always considered immigration a Good Thing by definition.

    In the short term you might realize an economic benefit. But what happens to your Libertopia when your “cheap labor” starts voting themselves government services, a minimum wage and protectionist trade barriers? When that happens, Nick’s Christmas tree isn’t going to be so cheap anymore.

    This is one point conservatives get that seems to go right over the heads of libertarians: political institutions are build on top of cultural ones. If you’re going to invite in a large population that doesn’t share your political values, don’t be surprised when those values start losing at the polls. As if libertarians didn’t have enough help losing at the polls already.

  24. The right blogosphere’s response to these assemblies has been disgusting. It’s tought to tell what terrifies them more, Latinos (or “Mexican jackasses and juvinile deliquents” to some) or democracy (“Perhaps this whole thing will backfare badly and we can see the end to demonstration politics.”)

    I look at people peacefully assembling to express themselves on a political issue, and I see free people behaving as free people, using their free speech and free assembly rights to petition the government for a redress of grievances. This has been a respected part of the democratic process since the founding of our country, and before.

    Other people look at the same thing, and see something sinister and threatening.

  25. What does the upside-down American flag mean when it’s flown under the right-side-up Mexican flag?

    I don’t think there’s anything about that in the U.S. Flag Code…

    Like I said, I think what’s really got the Dobbs crowd stewing is the Mexican flag.

  26. Pig,

    The hard left has talked for years about importing a prolitariat. Angry that the American worker was too fat, dumb, and happy to rise up in revolution, Plan B is to import as many low-skilled ignorant masses as possible and create a revolutionary class in the United States. Basically, make the United States into a Latin American country ripe for a revolution. This is why communists and Marxists go to great lengths to support and encourage illegal immigration, even though the people coming here are horribly exploited by the capitalist class something Marxists should object to. Of course that is exactly the plan; create a huge class of unassimilated, unskilled, angry workers ripe for conversion to the Marxist cause. Something tells me Libetarians who are so for open borders would be too happy if that ever happened.

  27. Joe,

    If you illegally come to a country and run around with a sign that says “This is our continent”, you are jackass. Sorry to break it to you, but Mexicans can be jerks to.

  28. The hard left has talked for years about importing a prolitariat. Angry that the American worker was too fat, dumb, and happy to rise up in revolution, Plan B is to import as many low-skilled ignorant masses as possible and create a revolutionary class in the United States.

    Well, I doubt that’s the goal of libertarians. All the same, you don’t have to be Einstein to look at the voting trends of various immigrant groups, and realize that by supporting massive immigration, libertarians are politically cutting their own throats.

  29. “I look at people” peacefully criticizing other people “peacefully assembling to express themselves on a political issue, and I see free people behaving as free people, using their free speech and free assembly rights to petition the government for a redress of grievances. This has been a respected part of the democratic process since the founding of our country, and before.”

    “Other people look at the same” criticism “, and see something sinister and threatening.”

  30. joe,

    Do you feel the same way about peaceful KKK marches, peaceful Right-to-Life marches, Promise Keepers marches, etc.?

    Anyway, joe, aren’t political demonstrations just donations-in-kind that should be regulated under some kind of campaign finace laws?

  31. joe,
    I’m sure you feel the same way about KKK rallies too. Right? Right? … That’s what I thought.

    Pig Mannix,
    That’s the problem with having principles. Libertarians believe that all the people should enjoy the blessings of liberty, even people who are not as enlightened as we. I don’t dispute that there are consequences, but like I said, principles are a bitch.

  32. Industrialists said that ending child labor would be a disaster because they couldn’t function without it.

    And unionists said they couldn’t function WITH child labor. Consumers don’t seem to have a problem buying child-labor produced goods, as long as they have a clear conscience that the children aren’t Americans.

    Seriously, I think the jury is still out on which side was right on this one.

  33. Libertarians believe that all the people should enjoy the blessings of liberty, even people who are not as enlightened as we.

    You can’t make a people cherish their liberty. Allowing a mass migration of people who are determined to vote themselves social programs into an area you are trying to make libertarian just means no liberty for anybody.

  34. Pig Mannix,
    That’s the problem with having principles. Libertarians believe that all the people should enjoy the blessings of liberty, even people who are not as enlightened as we. I don’t dispute that there are consequences, but like I said, principles are a bitch.

    When your principles are designed to self-destruct, I think that’s a good sign you need to re-evaluate them. Unless your goal is to win a political Darwin Award.

  35. I should add that I never use the “panties in a knot” line

    Why?”

    Because it’s gratuitously sexist.

  36. I’ve always wondered why libertarians have always considered immigration a Good Thing by definition.

    It’s a Good Thing in exactly the same way any free association of free people is a Good Thing. Voluntary cooperation implies increase in happiness and creation of wealth almost by definition.

    In the short term you might realize an economic benefit.

    The economic benefit is not the reason to support immigration. The economic benefit is an argument against those who mistakenly believe that there is an economic penalty.

    But what happens to your Libertopia when your “cheap labor” starts voting themselves government services, a minimum wage and protectionist trade barriers?

    Protectionist trade barriers like a 700-mile long wall and making labor competition a felony?

    Those who immigrate to the US want fewer government services than the lower economic classes here today. Those who stick it out for 5, 10, or however many years to become voting citizens are more likely to vote for free economies than for protectionism.

    And, under an open borders system, those who wave Mexican flags are free to go back and forth as desired. Given that freedom, they are not likely to take the citizenship track.

  37. Well, this is how it is:

    I support free and open borders as part of my general libertarian beliefs. But I realize that I may need to compromise my beliefs sometimes in order to promote a Libertarian agenda.

    The whole thuggery of the protests about this, means that immigration is now one of the issues I will compromise on. If I make a case for Libertarianism on the whole immigration issue, someone is going to call my card and mention the whole hatred of America by the immigrant protestors (which is true, and a legit point). It means I will not make my case on Drug Legalization, or the War in Iraq, and immigration won’t be high on my list of goals and concerns.

  38. So, John, your contention is that immigrants are a fifth column?

    Almost a hundred years ago, my great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather came here. Dark complexions, non-Protestant (Catholic!), spoke a language of Latin origin, illiterate even in their native tongue, barely fluent in spoken English, prepared only for manual labor, and ready to accept low wages. They talked a lot about the politics of their native country, maintained close ties to people in the native country, and by some accounts a few in the extended family even expressed a certain amount of admiration for a leader that you and I would find repulsive. (The trains ran on time! Can you believe it?) Oh, and they lived in neighborhoods plagued by criminal gangs. (“You have a beautiful wife and children. Do you want them to stay that way? Then you won’t ask any questions about the casks that we store in your basement. Got it?”)

    But I doubt many people would say that letting Italians into our country was a bad idea.

    I have yet to hear a good argument for why it was perfectly fine to let my ancestors in, yet we need to keep a tight lid on who comes in from the south.

  39. “All the same, you don’t have to be Einstein to look at the voting trends of various immigrant groups, and realize that by supporting massive immigration, libertarians are politically cutting their own throats.”

    Uh, since libertarian values in this country have generally been on a downhil run since the late 19th Century, I think it’s a bit difficult to blame the problem on the increased levels of Latino immigration in the last 30 years.

  40. John,

    Do you prefer the food at the KKK or Aryan Brotherhood meetings?

  41. John,

    Which Native American tribe are you a member of?

  42. thoreau

    to (mis)quote Stephan Colbert: “Yes this Nation was built by immigrants. But we are done building it now. It was completed in the mid 70’s.”

  43. “In the short term you might realize an economic benefit. But what happens to your Libertopia when your “cheap labor” starts voting themselves government services, a minimum wage and protectionist trade barriers? When that happens, Nick’s Christmas tree isn’t going to be so cheap anymore.”

    Yeah democracy’s a bitch, aint it? When Alan Keyes ran for the Senate here against Barak Obama he actually campaigned on the issue of no longer electing Senators directly. It was hilarious. Too bad we can’t go back to the day when there were property qualifications for the franchise. Or a Poll tax. Stupid as it is, good ol’ red, white and blue Anglo American “cheap labor” probably wouldn’t go for those.

  44. Peter K:

    what part of illinois? greetings from chicago. Pig Mannix is also from chicago…

    cheers and happy friday,
    VM

  45. I have yet to hear a good argument for why it was perfectly fine to let my ancestors in, yet we need to keep a tight lid on who comes in from the south.

    Because immigration policy is not a matter of right, but a matter of economic policy. Economic conditions change, and this can change which immigration policy is best. Of course, it also becomes a contentious issue when a given immigration policy will be helpful to some citizens and unhelpful to other citizens. Your ancestors may have been less of a hindrance than a modern immigrant, or a hindrance to fewer people.

    I think one standard HnR response to this is that new immigrants are not bad for any pre-existing citizens. I don’t think that message sells too well for most people.

    I think another possible response is that there were anti-immigration people back when T.’s parents came over, too. But maybe there are more people who are perceived they are hurt now, or maybe people perceive that the injuries are deeper.

    My theory is that the immigration thing is so well-loved by HnR’ers because it is a gambit around US labor regulations and lever to get rid of some of these regulations. maybe we should get rid of labor regulations, but I think that allowing the country to get saturated with illegal immigrants so that the existing labor regulations become effectively unenforceable is a dishonest way of accomplishing these deregulatory objectives in a democratic society.

  46. Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly blog has a post discussing Rep. Dana Rohrbacher’s proposal to end the immigration debate. Apparently, Rep. R wants to replace Mexican and Guatemalan migrants with prisoners as fruit pickers. No details on who is going to replace the maids, garderners, and janitors.

  47. I am in principle against cheap labor, because I believe it puts a brake in technological progress

    As that nice Indian lady said to the salesman “why should I buy your washing machine when I can get a maid to do my washing for next to nothing?”

    Cheap labor, be it child labor, or inmigrant labor is the enemy of the technological innovator. You can build the most efficient crop picking machine, and it will go nowhere for as long as growers can get stoop labor next to nothing.

    It is curious how those advocates against raising the minimum wage do not realize that they are really Luddites…

  48. Thoreau, I doubt you’ll hear a good arguement, but if you look up the arguements that anti-immigrant bigots were using back then for why allowing Italians into the country was so awful, you’ll find that they were almost exactly the same as the crap we’re hearing today about how terrible it is for Mexicans to come into the country.

    And if you go back a bit further, you’ll find more of the same arguements being used against Chinese and Irish immigrants.

  49. you don’t have to be Einstein to look at the voting trends of various immigrant groups, and realize that by supporting massive immigration, libertarians are politically cutting their own throats

    Can you identify any groups in this country that do tend to vote for libertarians? Libs might carry the science-fiction conventions and gun shows, but that’s about it.

  50. If only enough scared white guys were willing to make the personal sacrifice and give up their careers to pick fruit, wash dishes, join landscaping crews, etc. for low wages then all of the dirty Mexicans would have no choice but to go back to the villages of Bolivia and Honduras where they belong. It is time to do the right thing for your country, a few years of poverty is the least you can do to help rid the US of the scourge of brown-skinned poor people.

  51. Adriana,

    What would an automatic strawberry picking machine look like?
    Not that it is completely impossible (the unexplainable not necessarily being inexplicable and all), but it is a puzzler.

  52. I have yet to hear a good argument for why it was perfectly fine to let my ancestors in, yet we need to keep a tight lid on who comes in from the south.

    And I’m not making one now, either. I’m simply pointing out something that ought to be crashingly obvious to anyone who follows the voting habits of various demographics – support of large-scale immigration is not going to be helpful getting libertarian-leaning candidates elected. Support whatever you like, just don’t ask why when your candidates get bitch-slapped at the polls. If you prefer massive immigration to electing libertarians, fine. I’m simply pointing out there’s going to be a trade-off involved. Are you telling me you really didn’t know that?

  53. I look at people peacefully assembling to express themselves on a political issue, and I see free people behaving as free people, using their free speech and free assembly rights to petition the government for a redress of grievances. This has been a respected part of the democratic process since the founding of our country, and before.

    And, I see hundreds of thousands of citizens of other countries who have come here or remained here illegally and who are now demanding rights to which they aren’t entitled. I see a show of physical force by foreign citizens, which may have even been orchestrated with the assistance of their countries.

    I don’t really agree with most of this, but click that link for a bit of a clue.

    I have yet to hear a good argument for why it was perfectly fine to let my ancestors in, yet we need to keep a tight lid on who comes in from the south.

    Because 58% of Mexicans think the southwest rightfully belongs to their country? Because the “this is our homeland” signs at the protests reflect a common popular belief?

    Thoreau: in past posts you’re mocked my now-vindicated warnings with cute little posts mentioning “MEChA sleeper cells”. Would you consider some of those marching to fit that description? Mexico may have been involved in at least one protest, and was probably involved in several more.

    Should the reader trust me, or thoreau to understand this issue?

  54. Can you identify any groups in this country that do tend to vote for libertarians? Libs might carry the science-fiction conventions and gun shows, but that’s about it.

    Don’t forget the ’70s prog rockers crowd.

  55. TLB

    You do understand that not all “Mexicans” are Mexican, right? I know they all look alike so it can be hard to tell.

    BTW, where did you get the 58% number. My guess is it came from your suppository storage chamber.

  56. You know, all of you so paranoid about Latin American culture overpowering our American values might want to think about why such a large % of immigrants come from Latin America. If more legal immigration was allowed then their proximity to the U.S. wouldn’t be as much of an advantage, and much larger groups would likely come from the much worse off nations of Asia and Africa, along with eastern Europe. Just a thought.

  57. Why is this the one issue where so many libertarians are blind to the negative consequences of prohibition?

  58. “Should the reader trust me, or thoreau to understand this issue?”

    that’s a fucking no-brainer. perchance you and mr. corn syrup can go and jack off his imaginary friend?

  59. My theory is that the immigration thing is so well-loved by HnR’ers because it is a gambit around US labor regulations and lever to get rid of some of these regulations.

    The immigration thing is one of my favorite topics because it is a perfect combination of nonobvious natural rights with nonobvious economic theory. As such, it separates out the unconservative conservatives, the illiberal liberals, and the libertarians who haven’t yet fully grasped that all people are created equal and that any voluntary association contributes positively to society.

  60. Can you identify any groups in this country that do tend to vote for libertarians? Libs might carry the science-fiction conventions and gun shows, but that’s about it.

    Notice I’ve been spelling “libertarian” with a small “l”.

    No, there isn’t much of a constituancy for full-blooded Rothbardian libertarianism. There is, however, a rather large constituancy that tends to favor free markets over a centralized economy, which I’ve been led to believe is a rather large component of libertarianism. They’re called “Republicans”. You may have heard of them.

    They have competetors known as “Democrats”, who tend to favor a centralized economy.

    Now, which of these parties do immigrant populations tend to vote for? And what does that tell you about their preferences in economic policy?

  61. Pig

    Whats it like to be stuck in 1964?

  62. There is, however, a rather large constituancy that tends to favor free markets over a centralized economy, which I’ve been led to believe is a rather large component of libertarianism. They’re called “Republicans”.

    Geez, Pig, you wrote that with a straight face? During THIS administration?

  63. mitch, Warren,

    Yes, I feel that way about marches by groups I disagree with, too. It gets a little stickier when you come to the Klan, because they are a group founded and dedicated to the practice of terrorism. But replace them with a peaceful white supremacist, Christian identity group, and my answer is the same. If you’d care to scan past Fred Phelps-related posts for comments by joe in which I call for an end to protests, go ahead. You won’t find any.

  64. As for why libertarians support immigration, despite the (alleged) tendency of immigrants to vote against libertarian principles, here’s a radical idea:

    Maybe libertarians don’t support the free movement of people unimpeded by the government as a means to a political end. Maybe thet consider it a good in and of itself, on principle.

  65. They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their number, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass. If they come of themselves, they are entitled to all the rights of citizenship: but I doubt the expediency of inviting them by extraordinary encouragements.

  66. Geez, Pig, you wrote that with a straight face? During THIS administration?

    That’s what he ran on, and that’s what he won on, his failure to deliver not withstanding. I assume that would indicate the constituancy he was attempting to appeal to has an interest in such policies.

    Now, does anyone have an interest in addressing the actual point that I originally brought up? Namely, the impact of immigration on the electoral prospects of libertarian interests?

  67. I can’t help but wonder if all of you who support unrestricted immigration would be quite so enthusiastic were it a bunch of fascists or white supremicists forcing their way into the country?

  68. suprem”A”cists

  69. Now, does anyone have an interest in addressing the actual point that I originally brought up? Namely, the impact of immigration on the electoral prospects of libertarian interests?

    I thought joe answered this very well, as did several others. Why should libertarian principles be beholden to future libertarian electoral success? That is quite a non sequitur, especially for a political stance that prides itself on purity of principle.

    But in any event I question your premise. I think that open borders, limited publicly provided services, and a long but definite track to citizenship will invite pretty much the cream of the crop of whatever classes choose to immigrate. I would expect these people to be more likely to vote for freedom, not less.

  70. It is pretty rich for people to complain about bloggers pointing out the more odieous signs at these demonstrations. If 500,000 anti-immigration people marched in the Capital mall and 499,999 of them were peaceful doing nothing more threatening or offensive than waiving an American flag and one guy showed up in a clansman suit waiving a sign that said “Wetbacks go home”, who do you think would be on the cover of the New York Times and the Washington Post the next day? Give me a break.

    Since when did a countries sovereign right to have borders become racist? If I moved to Germany illegally with a few million of my buddies, set up shop, refused to learn German or in any way assimilate and then marched on Berlin waiving American flags and carrying signs that said “we won the war, this is our country now, get over it” and demanded full citizenship and full welfare benefits that the Germans can’t afford to provide to their own people, it would be racist of the Germans to ship mine an my buddies asses back to the United States and any German who was offended by my borish behavior is a racist and a klansman?

    As far as the economic issues, since when did the laws of supply and demand suspend themselves when it comes to illegal labor? The more unskilled labor we have, the lower the wages for that labor and lower the incentives businesses have for investing in capital. Moreover, many of the argiculture industries that depend on immigrant labor only exist because of our absurd agriculture subsidies. In other industries such as clothing, our industries rather than getting modern and keeping up with the rest of the world are falling behind because the are so addicted to cheap immigrant labor at the expense of capital investment. http://www.ucop.edu/cprc/scott.html

    It is not clear at all that this is the best thing economiclly. Further, what is so special about Mexicans? If you truely believe in open borders, you should be argueing that everyone from everywere should be allowed to come to this country no questions asked. How is a poor person from Pakistan any worse or less entitled to the U.S. opportunity than a Mexican?

  71. “If they come of themselves, they are entitled to all the rights of citizenship: but I doubt the expediency of inviting them by extraordinary encouragements.”

    Isn’t this last sentence the most important one?

  72. http://www.mexica-movement.org/granmarcha.htm

    I have been always been pro-immigration, but I see sites like this and I cannot help but think that something is wrong here.

  73. Now, which of these parties do immigrant populations tend to vote for?

    I would think immigrant populations, like all other groups, change their political affiliations over time.

    Also, to think Bush ran on free marketism is a bit naiive. Sure he tossed out some lip service to gullible libertarians, but most Republicans heard his protectionist messages and he won on that. Same as Reagan. The ol’ standby: “Get the government off our backs… and put it on the backs of these groups instead: (insert group names here).”

  74. You do understand that not all “Mexicans” are Mexican, right? I know they all look alike so it can be hard to tell.

    I know a whole bunch of Mexicans, and a lot of ’em don’t look “Mexican” at all. One has red hair.

    Whilst staying at the empty “house”* one of them owns in Pitillal, a bunch of local kids kept friendily pestering me (Anglos are a novelty there), and it turned out *all* their dads were in the US.

    Here’s some stuff from a semi-libertarian who moved from the US to Mexico:
    http://fredoneverything.net/House.shtml
    “Actually, there aren’t many regulations of any kind. Everything is disordered, and people take care of themselves. If you want a beer, you go to the beer store, where the owner’s kids will be playing inside, and no one will arrest the owner. Not nearly enough things are illegal here to suit the emerging North American taste. Try Canada.”

    *Two rooms with half a wall between them, and a tin roof with gaps to let the giant spiders come and go.

    Mexico’s a strange place, and I dunno what to think about the immigration stuff.

  75. I’m all for open immigration with a health examination rider.

  76. Lonewacko,

    “Thoreau: in past posts you’re mocked my now-vindicated warnings with cute little posts mentioning “MEChA sleeper cells”.

    That was me, posting either as SM or AC (for anonym coward) – please don’t blame thoreau for my sins. BTW – I still don’t see any evidence that the pesky Meskins have activated any Mecha Sleeper Cells.

  77. I have been always been pro-immigration, but I see sites like this and I cannot help but think that something is wrong here.

    What? That they are out of their mind?

  78. SM,

    What happens when a leftist government takes over Mexico and alligns itself with Chavez and Castro? Considering the latino marxist moonbat they are about to elect President, that is not too far fetched. Further, northern Mexico is starting to resemble Columbia with the drug gangs owning most of the local governments. What happens if Mexico really does become hostile rather than just corrupt, incompetant and obnoxious? Do we really want an uncontrolled border with such a country? Is it a good idea to do nothing about the border now and hope for the best?

  79. SM-

    I made similar posts.

    Sleeper cells engage in terrorism, they don’t wave signs.

  80. Thoreau: When your ancestors came, there were no expensive social services to provide them.

    If the Mexicans want to surrender the protections of all the government agencies created in the 20th century, live without right of recourse to protection against landlords, live without a social safety net, etc, then the analogy begins to make sense.

  81. BTW – I still don’t see any evidence that the pesky Meskins have activated any Mecha Sleeper Cells.

    Eh – so we rile the Irish and tell them to fight the Mexicans. Unemployment drops by half.

  82. Since when did a countries sovereign right to have borders become racist?

    I grow tired of the racism straw man. The restriction of the free migration of people does not have to be racist to be wrong. It is protectionist — it denies the right of individuals who have done nothing worthy of sanction to migrate freely and the right of contract in hiring whomever one wants — and that is wrong.

    Throughout history, protectionism — not racism — has been the actual motivation to many of what appear to be racist laws. Yet the ability to write protectionist legislation without using the language of race does not make such legislation morally legitimate. All protectionist laws have an “us” and a “them,” and all protectionist laws violate the natural rights of the “them.”

  83. thoreau,

    I think Lonewacko is referring to this thread – it’s like deja vu.

    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2004/01/two_cheers_for.shtml

  84. Mike,

    First, there are a lot of people on this board who accuse me and anyone else who wants to control immigration of being racists. If it is such a strawman, why can’t someone object to immigration without being called a racist?

    I assume you would support totally open borders for anyone from anywhere to come to the United States at any time? Do you deny that this would lower wages in the U.S.? If not, why does the law of supply and demand not apply to labor markets? How do you plan to deal with the welfare issue. Mexico has no welfare or social security. Would immigrants be eligible? If not, why not and how is allowing them into the country but not giving them the benifits of being here fair? If immigrants are eligible, how do we possibly support the millions of them that will make the entirely rational decision to leave Mexico and come here to live off of the benefits of our welfare system? Further, would you make any requirments of immigrants? That they learn English, that they become citizens, that renounce loyalties to other countries and make a good faith attempt at assimilating into the general society? It is not immigration per sa that I object to. It is illegal immigration and the presence of millions of low skilled workers who seem to have no intention of ever assimilating into society that I object to.

  85. Call me a racist, but I am 100% dead-set against allowing millions of sharks with laser beams on their heads from entering the country and taking jobs as database administrators.

    Well, unless they agree to learn english and never to go to the hospital.

  86. John,

    I’ve said this before – as someone who’s been thru’ the whole immigration wringer legally, i have mixed feelings on the whole illegal immigration issue, especially the queue jumping.
    What I take issue with is Lonewacko’s strategy of looking at random sign’s and bumper stickers & websites and then weaving it into an absurd theory of how all hispanics are secretly pining for the reconquista of Texas. Pretty idiotic.

  87. SM,

    Good point and I don’t the majority are, but some clearly are and they are being enabled by PC morons. One good sign is that a majority of hispanics in California voted for ending bi-lingual education even though their appointed liberal masters told them vote otherwise. Apparently, they were more interested in their kids learning English and having a future than being in touch with their latino heritage and sacrificing their kids’ future on the alter of the teachers’ unions.

  88. Do you deny that this would lower wages in the U.S.? If not, why does the law of supply and demand not apply to labor markets?

    I agree that open borders would lower the lowest wage, as people who are used to lower standards of living accept less pay for the lowest paying jobs.

    However, general wages can only go up. There is increased production in the economy because of the added labor. The new worker clearly values the wage more than the labor, or he would go back to his home country. The employer clearly values the labor more than the wage, or she wouldn’t be hiring at that wage. These are all positive contributions to the wealth of the society. How can it be that the total wealth per person will go down?

    In other words, it’s not a zero-sum game. The fact that there was productive work to do and that someone was freely found to do it means there is more wealth in the society as a result. You can imagine pathological cases where all this benefit goes to some Monopoly-Man caricature, but it has to go somewhere, and it almost always goes into the standard of living of the working classes.

    Will some native-born person who majored in strawberry picking in high school before dropping out have trouble finding a job? Maybe. But no more than if he was “displaced” by Adriana’s strawberry picking machine. It is more likely that that person finds another niche job which might not have been possible without the increased wealth in the society.

  89. It is not immigration per sa that I object to. It is illegal immigration and the presence of millions of low skilled workers who seem to have no intention of ever assimilating into society that I object to.

    I too object to illegal immigration. I think it should all be legal. As for those who have no intention of assimilating into society, with completely open borders they are more likely to become seasonal workers and only be in the US when it is advantageous to them and to an employer.

    As for your questions on services and requirements for those on the citizen track, that is a question that should be answered after recognizing the need to lift the immoral immigration laws. I personally would not have a problem with the government laying out requirements for immigrants and having the deal include no government services.

  90. Thanks for that link John, it gives an explanation for the “This is our Continent” sign that initially seemed so inflammatory.

    But when I consider the fact that the Spanish weren’t quite as efficient as killing off and/or putting the native population into little zoos, I realize that many many Latin Americans truly are the descendants of Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, etc.

    So yeah, they kind of have a point: from their perspective, we’re the illegal immigrants.

  91. I realize that many many Latin Americans truly are the descendants of Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, etc.

    Yes and they are third class citizens beneath a corrupt elite that avoids dealing with them by sending them to the United States. I really think that our open borders help to perpetuate the corrupt governments down there.

  92. I’m in favor of immigration. But, this assumes that the immigrants seek to become Americans. My mother is an immigrant. She rambles about the home country, but she’s American first. Well, actually Texan. 🙂

    If Latinos or “Mexican-Americans” are protesting the civil-rights impact of these regulations, and want to debate them, fine. I’m rather sympathetic.

    When someone starts waiving the Mexican flag and leaving off “American” in his description, well, round him up and send him home.

    La Raza is going apoplectic over efforts to get Immigrants to assimilate. Um, yeah. That’s exactly what I want. Assimilation, not ghettos. If you want to preserve your culture in separate neighborhoods, do it South of the Rio Grande.

    Count me among those whose position shifted significantly as a result of the protests. I really didn’t care, and now I’m quite willing to vote for a nice tall fence. Surely there’s an Israeli consultant who can help us.

    For the record, flying the Mexican flag above the US flag is a clear violation of the flag code, whether or not the US flag is upside down.

  93. But John, our borders aren’t really open. Do you think that the people who come here are really doing so with the help of their governments?

  94. I am not sure what such a machine would look like, but if you were to plant strawberries in terraces, thus obviating the need to stoop over them, you’d shave quite abit of time in the harvesting. Put them in stacked trays, and have a machine extrude the tray. always at the same level. This saves the time to go to the end of the row, and allows to examine the plants fully for all its fruit.

    There are ways to mechanize the system, but people have to be willing to invest in them, and they will not for as long as labor is cheap.

  95. “I realize that many many Latin Americans truly are the descendants of Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, etc.”

    That may be, but the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans did not inhabit what is now the United States.

    As far as Texas goes: In 1836 when Texas declared and won its independence from Mexico, it comprised an area that included all of modern-day Texas, all of New Mexico, all of Oklahoma, part of Kansas, part of Colorado, and by some maps – part of Wyoming. At the time, the Hispanic population in that vast area numbered only about 3000; the Anglos numbered about 100,000.
    The Mexican government had long before realized that it could not hope to hold on to so vast a territory without occupying it. Unfortunately it could not get many of its citizens to colonize the place. Part of the reason for that was the existence of savage indian tribes. The Comanches, in particular seemed to have the attitude that the only good Mexican was either a dead Mexican or one that was raising horses for them to steal.
    This was the reason that Anglos from the US, as well as Europe were invited and encouraged to colonize and settle. Also, the fact that the new immigrants made a nice protective buffer between the indians and their own people was not lost on the Mexican government, either.
    In 1845-1846 Texas joined the US and became a state. Mexico didn’t like it anymore than Britain had liked losing her colonies, and so we had the Mexican-American war. Mexico lost. The US acquired California, Arizona, etc. as a result of the treaty of Guadalupe Hildago (as I believe it was named) and paid Mexico some millions of dollars for what at the time was not very productive land (except for California, of course.)

  96. “For the record, flying the Mexican flag above the US flag is a clear violation of the flag code”

    And so is printing American flag napkins. Your point is?

  97. I agree with bubba 100%, and all those that in the same opinion.

    Ship these Mexican flag wavers (both illegals and U.S citizens [Mexican loyalists]) back to Mexico. They have no place in the USA !

    And they can shove their so called “Atzlan” and “La Raza” agendas, and their demands that all of the Southwest be returned to Mexico.

    They shove that on me, and my guns are locked and loaded ready for action.

    This is the UNITED STATES !

    NOT MEXICO !

    OUTRAGED !

  98. “Just because a minority is really angry about something doesn’t make it good policy.”

    By the same token just because a majority is really angry about a minority doesn’t make it good policy either. That’s why we have a bill of rights.

  99. Humm…

    -=- wrote:

    “Just because a minority is really angry about something doesn’t make it good policy.”

    By the same token just because a majority is really angry about a minority doesn’t make it good policy either. That’s why we have a bill of rights.”

    And that is why US CITIZENS have the Bill of Rights!

    Minority illegals have no rights in our country until they embrace the ideals of our Founding Fathers. Waving their Mexican flags in our faces, and demanding the Atzlan Agenda eliminates them from all such consideration– other than singling them out and deporting them back to Mexico.

    OUTRAGED !

  100. So a guest on the daily show (can never remember his name, expert on the arab world Z….something) mentioned that the current Bush policy proposal looks a lot like the French system…he pointed out that if we are going to be taking our cues from the French on anything, it should not be immigration policy. Seemed a smart take on the issue.

    If you could strengthen the Mexican economy, or effectively get the same worker protections and wage scale and whatnot in Mexico, there would be no illegal immigration problem in the US (from Mexico). You can’t enforce your way out from the supply side.

    On the other hand, if businesses hiring illegals were paying minimum wage (aka, lawfully employing) then Americans would be taking the jobs and you would have less illegal immigration. Enforcement does more good on the demand side, even if it means that goods end up costing more.

    Get rid of the demand if you don’t want the immigration. Those that are upset about the protests are just xenophobic. Protesting is something we don’t see enough of these days, no matter who is doing it. Nyah.

  101. Sure, I believe that protectionism is wrong, but I believe that the welfare state is MORE wrong. When the welfare state ends, I’ll jump on the open-borders bandwagon.

  102. What would an automatic strawberry picking machine look like?

    1) four spiked wheels, with the pairs on each side spaced to fit in the trench between the strawberry rows.
    2) at least two, probably more, cameras.
    3) an electro-mechanical arm with at least 3 axes of motion
    4) an electro-mechanical hand to grap the fruit
    5) a computer with vision processing sw to identify the strawberry and a machine control algorithm
    6) a wireless position tracking system
    7) an electic motor
    8) a battery pack
    9) a combat weapons system to ward off mobs of disgruntled farm workers

  103. Yes JK, but what color should it be?

  104. So yeah, they kind of have a point: from their perspective, we’re the illegal immigrants.

    No, they have no point. The “Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, etc” did not ever inhabit Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or California.

  105. “But I doubt many people would say that letting Italians into our country was a bad idea.”

    It was a bad idea. Who are you kidding?

    When we pass this amnesty bill, and millions more Mexicans (and Equadoreans, and Guatamalens, and Chinese, and Pakistanis, and God knows who else) race for the border, they’ll all need places to live. And since we won’t be able to build houses fast enough to accomodate them all, they’ll have no choice but to break into our houses. But that’s okay. We’ll just call them undocumented house guests. And then we’ll have to legalize breaking and entering, since it will become too commonplace to stop.

    Can somebody on this thread please show me the passage in the Constitution that says that the United States is a nation of immigrants and shall accept foreigners from all over the world without restriction? Too many people + limited resources = civil war. I guess they don’t teach this formula in free-marketism classes.

    “It is protectionist — it denies the right of individuals who have done nothing worthy of sanction to migrate freely and the right of contract in hiring whomever one wants — and that is wrong.”

    Breaking and entering is not worthy of sanction? Importing foreigners who may reduce the “profits” of American laborers (American consumers, by the way) without the permission of other Americans is not worthy of sanction? Who the hell made the business proprietor or corporation sovereign king of the United States?

    Based on this logic, we should also let foreign businesses and corporations set up shop in the United States without our permission. If an Iranian company snuck onto U.S. soil to build a nuclear facility that’s cheaper and more efficient than an American one, so be it. If an Indian company publishes Reason magazine more cheaply by plagarizing it, more power to ’em.

    Hate protectionism? Let’s get rid of all its forms, including: copyrights, patents, property-ownership rights, identity-theft laws, and of course, the BILL OF RIGHTS. Theft laws hurt the robbery industry. Kidnapping laws hurt the kidnapping industry. Homocide laws hurt the bounty-hunting industry. They gotta make a living too, don’t they?

    Oh…but if we get rid of all these laws, that would put lawyers out of business. Hmm…

    “But when I consider the fact that the Spanish weren’t quite as efficient as killing off and/or putting the native population into little zoos, I realize that many Latin Americans truly are the descendants of Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, etc. So yeah, they kind of have a point: from their perspective, we’re the illegal immigrants.”

    So…did the Comanches, the Apaches, the Sioux, the Cherokees, and other North American Indians steal North America from the Aztecs, the Incas, and the Mayans?

    If you believe you have the right to hire anyone you want, and you want to hire Mexicans, MOVE TO MEXICO! There is no protectionist law stopping you.

  106. JK, for your comment about weapons to fend off disgruntled farm workers, do you suggest that we should not build machines so that low skilled people should have jobs?

    Maybe we should smash the ones we already have. That will provide even more employment…

    I did not know you were a follower of Ned Ludd…

  107. I wrote:
    But I doubt many people would say that letting Italians into our country was a bad idea

    passingthru wrote:
    It was a bad idea. Who are you kidding?

    Do you have any idea how awful American food would be without the many contributions of my people?

    If you don’t give up on your bigotry, I’ll have no choice but to pray for you. (See the thread above on the effects of prayer.)

  108. thoreau:

    without your people you’d only get fish soup with a cream base.

    I remember the trip to Newfoundland. Everywhere we asked for fish chowder, it was heavy with cream. Until we got to teh capital and we saw an Italian restaurant. We got a delicious cioppino… heavenly.

    If Mussolini instead of beefing up his troups, would have started exporting italian chefs, he might have conquered the world.

    (On the other hand. the English went all conquering all over, because they had run away from their home cooking)

  109. On the other hand, if businesses hiring illegals were paying minimum wage (aka, lawfully employing) then Americans would be taking the jobs and you would have less illegal immigration.

    I call BS. I know two small business owners — one owns a landscaping / lawncare business, the other a nursery. The landscaper pays $10 an hour and can’t find a fourth crew. He refuses to hire illegals on principal, so his first three crews get what amounts to be unlimited overtime. This is the second straight year that he can’t find anyone at $10 an hour + partial benefits. Apparently, cutting grass and spreading mulch is beneath all of those unemployed people that have had their lives ruined by this awful economy.

    The nursery owner pays roughly the same, though he pays more for people that can operate light equipment. He can’t find ANYONE willing to spread fertilizer, dig holes, transplants bushes and trees or make deliveries, so he, for the first time ever has hired four illegals. He’s paying them minimum wage because they don’t have driver’s licenses so they can’t do all of the work necessary. Apparently, spreading fertilizer, digging holes, transplanting bushes and trees or making deliveries is beneath all of those unemployed people that have had their lives ruined by this awful economy.

  110. (and Equadoreans, and Guatamalens, and Chinese, and Pakistanis, and God knows who else)

    Come on now – the Guatamalens are too busy trying to illegally sneak into Mexico to sneak into the US. The hypocrisy of the Mexicans in this whole thing is most amusing.

  111. TPG-

    How many Guatemalans are sneaking into Mexico for the purpose of staying in Mexico, and how many see Mexico as merely the way to get to the US?

    If the later predominates, then Mexico’s stance makes perfect sense: Make it as tough as possible to get into Mexico, but once they’re in Mexico make it as easy as possible for them to exit to the north.

  112. How many Guatemalans are sneaking into Mexico for the purpose of staying in Mexico, and how many see Mexico as merely the way to get to the US?

    Does it matter? Can you argue for open borders for your people to the north and at the same time argue against open borders for the Guatamalens to the south and NOT be a hypocrite?

  113. Goiter boy,

    “I call BS. I know two…”

    I call BS.
    2 business owners?
    In one city?
    Gimme a break.

  114. Well, TPG, you have just pointed out that the cost of labor is going up. If labor is a commodity like any other, there is no point in being steamed up about it – anymore than there is in getting steamed up about the price of gasoline going up.

    There are two answers to the high cost of labor, one, streamline and automate and two, get cheap labor somewhere…

    Historically, the North chose the first method, and the South the second. Guess which side grew in population and wealth, and which side remained still. Guess which side won the Civil war due to having a lot more resources to throw into battle…

  115. TPG-

    People passing through may be less desirable than people settling down. People tend to take better care of their homes than their hotel rooms.

  116. …libertarian values in this country have generally been on a downhil run since the late 19th Century…

    Goddamned Irish…

  117. Jim Walsh,
    If you ain’t Irish, smile.

  118. Adriana,

    Your idea that raising the cost of labor will provide incentives to mechanize tasks that are currently done by cheap labor is a variant of the broken window fallacy.

    You’re overlooking the fact that there’s already huge incentives to reduce all sorts of labor costs. If you artificially boost the cost of labor for doing task X, then you do indeed increase the incentive to produce a machine to automate task X, but that then lessens the incentive to produce machines that automate all sorts of other tasks and simultaneously you raise the cost to everyone who wants the product of task X. The net result is an economy running less efficiently, thus creating less wealth.

  119. Here is a way for these illegals to get on the fast track for U.S citizenship.

    Join the U.S. Armed forces.

    That is what the Irish did during the Civil War and our wars following.

    You fight for our country you become a U.S. citizen at discharge with all the honors after. Then they will have demonstrated thier commitment to the “American Dream.”

    As for the “La Raza” and “Atzlan Agenda” Mexican flag wavers– single them out and send them back to Mexico.

  120. I’m so tired of hearing about illegal immigrants providing jobs that US workers won’t do…blah..blah

    Plenty of companies are hiring undocumented workers..especially for construction, landscaping..etc..However, those same employers do not provide benefits, they do have to match Social Security payments – there is no worker’s comp payment..they pay them much less in wages.

    So, when those illegal workers need medical care they saddle the taxpayers with the bill..not to mention all the other societal issues Americans are left with.

    But do you think those savings are being passed on to the customer…has the cost of construction, produce..etc. gone down? NO.

    Essentially that employer is pocketing the savings himself and passing the social costs on to the American people.

    I say hold employers 100% responsible for those costs or else throw high penalties at them for every undocumented worker (maybe $ 5,000 each..) and let 3rd party contractors earn a percentage of that fee for each illegal they help identify. I bet that would help the problem.

  121. anon2

    If you incentive to create a machine to automate certain tasks, why should that disincentive the creation of other machines?

    What disentives the creation of machines if the lack of buyers, no more no less. Say you remove the incentives for me to automate A. I might put then my energies into automaitng B. Will there be a market for B? Or will there be the same lack of incentives? After all, the same cheap labor that does A probably does B. And C, and D.

  122. Here is a way for these illegals to get on the fast track for U.S citizenship.

    Join the U.S. Armed forces.

    To be eligible for enlistment in the U.S. Armed forces you have to be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident alien (Green Card holder). The only fast track is that aliens in the military qualify for citizenship after three years residency rather than five. I think they also might get their citizenship classes on govt time. I understand that foreign service members killed in combat are posthumously granted citizenship regardless of length of residency.

    Now if you want to say let’s speed up the process for proccessing Green Card applications and increasing (or even eliminating) the quota you won’t get much of an argument here.

  123. Adriana,

    The short answer is that by artificially raising the cost of labor, you’re making the parameters of comparable advantage less optimal. The person who decides to work on a mechanized strawberry picker might have been working on something even more valuable (e.g. cure for diabetes) until you artificially raised the value of replacing human strawberry pickers.

    Think about cats killing mice. For this thought experiment pretend that cats serve absolutely no other purpose and that there’s also free technology that can tell the government with 100% accuracy how many mice a cat has killed.

    Cats will kill mice very cheaply, but the government could spur innovation by taxing each kill. If they make the tax high enough, someone will spend time inventing ways of killing mice that costs less than killing them with a cat and paying the tax.

    After that’s been done, all the cats can be replaced by these new methods. These new methods cost more than a non-taxed cat does, but less than a taxed cat. The net result is that it still costs more money to kill mice than before the tax was added, and all the time and money spent on creating the new mice killing technology could have been spent elsewhere (hence the broken window fallacy).

    You may say “but wait, what if the new technology is even less costly than a non-taxed cat?” and the answer is that if such technology is possible, there’s already incentive for it to be developed. If it hasn’t been developed yet, it’s probably because overall there are better returns on investment to be made inventing other things, or if we return the the real world where cats have utility beyond killing mice, it’s that the worth of cats includes not only their low-cost as mice killers but all sorts of other properties too.

    Although there are some economists who advocate raising the minimum wage, that appears to be the minority position in the United States. Furthermore, there are relatively few-I haven’t heard of any-who advocate raising the minimum wage to spur innovation. However, the broken window fallacy is popular not only with people unfamiliar with basic economics, but with some schools of economic thought, so you probably have some support somewhere for your idea.

    However, It’s a nice change of scenery to be called a Luddite rather than be told that raisers of the minimum wage don’t like the poor.

  124. Todos los gringos pueden besar mi culo. Viva la reconquista!

  125. anon2:

    My cat Bombon says that, apart from killing mice, she provides us with entertainment, warming of beds, affection, someone to talk to, something to talk about…

    She says that when you invent a mousetrap who can purr and play with your toes, she might worry…

    As for automation, and mechanization, the fact is that, apart from the initial investment, it tends to deliver product faster and of consisten quality than the man-made, taxed or untaxed. Thus it is of two competitors, one who deals with expensive labor by hitting on a pool of cheap labor, and one who automates, the automated one will be putting up the superior product, and will tend to be on time.

  126. NPR this morning had a piece that echoed my comment of March 31, 2006 03:50 PM.

    The correspondent mentioned that the consensus of economists is that, even including government services consumed, the average American is a little less than 1% better off because of illegal immigrants than he would be without them. The conclusion was that economics was not enough of a factor to be an argument for either side.

    Interestingly, the main difference between his explanation and mine is that he didn’t use the marginal value argument I made above. Instead, his was a more macroeconomic argument about how so many things are cheaper to so many people because the labor was cheaper. Then he added the tired Keynesianism (aren’t we all not Keynesians yet?) that the illegal immigrant will use his wage to buy food and haircuts and the like increasing economic demand.

    That argument is not only silly — rather than paying an illegal immigrant, is the employer just going to burn the dollars that would have gone to the wage? — it opens one up to the response that many immigrants don’t consume many American goods. They send the money back to their families in their home countries.

    The product of the laborer, plus the producer surplus, is the value add to the economy. The wage is simply a transfer of dollars from one hand to another.

  127. Thus it is of two competitors, one who deals with expensive labor by hitting on a pool of cheap labor, and one who automates, the automated one will be putting up the superior product, and will tend to be on time.

    As anon2 said, if that is really the case, then it is all the incentive the producer needs to invest in automation. Involuntary inducements merely detract from the economically efficient solution.

  128. Todos los gringos pueden besar mi culo. Viva la reconquista!

    Comment by: Julio at April 2, 2006 02:16 PM

    I’ll tell you what Jewleoooo… Why don’t you “reconquista” your own government in your own country– MEXICO. You go wave your buzzard flag there, and protest your corrupt and rotten government that has dragged your country to less than third world basics.

    We American citizens don’t need your kind here.

    GO HOME (take your buzzard flags with you)!

    OUTRAGED !

  129. “Here is a way for these illegals to get on the fast track for U.S citizenship.

    Join the U.S. Armed forces.

    To be eligible for enlistment in the U.S. Armed forces you have to be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident alien (Green Card holder). The only fast track is that aliens in the military qualify for citizenship after three years residency rather than five. I think they also might get their citizenship classes on govt time. I understand that foreign service members killed in combat are posthumously granted citizenship regardless of length of residency.

    Now if you want to say let’s speed up the process for proccessing Green Card applications and increasing (or even eliminating) the quota you won’t get much of an argument here.”

    Comment by: Isaac Bartram at April 2, 2006 12:24 PM

    Thans Isaac for the informing me of the proceedure.

    I think that Congress could or should change the rules a bit. Give green cards to all Hispanics that join our armed forces. Give them classes for U.S citizenship. And if they serve with honor, I will be one to salute them as American citizens that have served their new country with honor.

    Our nation is on the ropes right now. We need troops and we need immigrants that are willing to become American citizens, not only to work our jobs (that our out-of-touch President says “Americans will not do”), but to defend our country that provides those jobs.

    The “American Dream” does not come free. “Freedom” often demands a price.

    OUTRAGED !

  130. Outraged:

    Chinga tu madre!Al menos nuestro Presidente Fox no es un cretino como el memo Bush. De hecho, Fox habla mejor ingles, el idioma de los fascistas!

  131. Hey, Jewleooo… President Bush is heads above your idiot Fox. And yes, your Fox does indeed speak well the language of Fascists!

    Maybe that is why your ilk is coming here.

    If you left your “Atzlan” agenda behind along with your “Reconquista” ideas then maybe you would be okay to become a U.S. citizen.

    I’ll tell you what Jewleooo… You just take your unkissed “bum” back to Mexico, along with all your “Viva la Reconquista” and Mexican flag waving BS.

    OUTRAGED !

    (P. S. Learn to write in English.)

  132. Todos los gringos pueden besar mi culo.

    I love the phonetic spelling and consistent grammer of Spanish, but the assignment of a gender to just about every noun is annoying, especially when comes to body parts. Well, all but a few.

    Viva la reconquista!

    Will we be forced into swearing allegance to the Pope as part of this conquest ?

  133. Yep,

    Guess if “Viva la reconquista” becomes reality, they will impose Catholocism on us “white anglo protestants.”

    OUTRAGED !

  134. De hecho, Fox habla mejor ingles

    I believe el Presidente Bush hables some Spanish. Poorly perhaps, but it can’t be much worse than his English. Does Fox speak better English than Bush. I don’t know, but what’s your point? Bush has, thusfar, been pro-immigration.

  135. just wanted to point out that the protesters in El Paso were comprised of mostly American citizens (high school students)- of Hispanic descent- and not “illegal aliens” as many in the national media/blogsphere have refered to them. I tend to think that the protesters nation wide were also American citizens and not illegal aliens.

    on assimilation- i would guess that the vast majority of the students protesting here don’t know enough Spanish to get by in Mexico, which is a few feet away. these students were for the most part, middle class. where the hell did this whole, “Mexicans don’t assimalate” thing get started?

    by the way, Mexicans WERE here before Americans- you know, the whole “we didn’t come to America, America came to us” thing.

    i think a sign carried during one of the protests down here put it best “here first. here to stay.”

  136. AJ wrote:

    “by the way, Mexicans WERE here before Americans- you know, the whole “we didn’t come to America, America came to us” thing.

    i think a sign carried during one of the protests down here put it best “here first. here to stay.”

    Great!

    Not any more than native Americans, and in fact they were here FIRST– so they have more claim to being MORE “American” than any of us.

    So.. what’s the point?

    They (Hispanics) are here to stay… Who said they are not?

    But they beg the question by waving Mexican flags in our faces!

    Why not wave an American flag instead, and leave the “Atzlan Agenda” and “La Raza” and “re-conquesta” ideology out of it?

    Only then will the demonstrate that they are true Americans worthy of the “American Dream” and the right to be here.

    OUTRAGED !

  137. 1. Mexicans ARE part Native American (the other half is Spanish).

    2. American flags were flown, although granted, not as many as Mexican ones but they were there.

    3. The Flag Thing- I think Americans in general tend to grasp the Mexican Flag Thing- US born Hispanics are quite assimilated and I think they realize that they aren’t “Mexican” enough to be Mexican and that Americans don’t quite see them as Americans and thus, often times use the Mexican flag as a symbol- of thier heritage, their culture and not so much as “the flag of Mexico”. I think most Hispanics realize that Mexico is screwed up and in need of major fixing up.

    3. The Reconquista Thing- seriously folks, that is a right-wing, blogosphere thing. I challenge you to find 5 Hispanics who would know what the hell the reconquista thing is about. A couple of college groups refer to it and then it got picked up by the right wingers who use it to inflame passions. I went to a university with over 20,000 Hispanics and never heard about the re-conquista once!

    4. We are worthy of being here- we’ve been here all along.

  138. Pues, me parece que casi todos aqui’comprenden todo lo que escribo en mi idioma. Los Estados Unidos siempre mas latinos, no?

  139. So, AJ and Jewleeooo… You have roots that go here a long time– Spaniards that oppressed the native Americans (that were here 10,000 years before)– SO WHAT !

    You claim to be “Americans” so stop waving that damned “buzzard” Mexican flag in our faces!

    That “buzzard flag” is not “Old Glory” of the United States, but the flag of another nation.

    I have Italian-German roots, SO WHAT ! — My grandparents did not wave the Italian or German flags at any time since they left those nations to become American citizens. And when WW II broke out they stood as Americans fully behind “Old Glory” against their former homelands.

    Just have your folks stop waving that damned “buzzard” Mexican flag in our faces!

    You are either Americans, or wanabe citizens, or not.

    You will not win public favor by waving the “buzzard” flag of Mexico in our faces.

    As for “Re-conquista”, and “La raza” you are out of touch. There are radical Mexicans that propose and foster these ideas in the Hispanic community. They are un-American rabble rousers, that need to be ejected from our country, being that they have no intention of becoming American citizens.

    And you Jewleeeooo… Write your BS in ENGLISH !

    OUTRAGED !

  140. I have Italian-German roots, SO WHAT ! — My grandparents did not wave the Italian or German flags at any time since they left those nations to become American citizens. And when WW II broke out they stood as Americans fully behind “Old Glory” against their former homelands.

    You might want to learn something about the German-American Bund before making blanket statements like that.

  141. Outrage

    Porque'”Jewleeeooo”? Eres antisemita, si’? Que sorpresa. Cretino.

  142. Isaac Bartram,

    Blanket statements ? What the heck are you writing about? Did you read and understand what I wrote ?

    Where do you think I or my grandparents ever supported the German-American-Bund? My grandfathers did not, and they stood behind America 100% WAVING AMERICAN FLAGS when war broke out.

    The German-American-Bund was a rabid bunch of NAZIs that went nowhere. And few German immigrants went with them. They got no respect before WWII and certainly not after.

    And war broke out their NAZI flag waving stopped for fear of arrest and or being killed on the streets.

    Now we have a bunch of jerks that wave the NAZI flag for “white supremacy”

    Here is an idea. Round them up, and put them in pens with the “re-conquesta, la raza” folks and let them have at each other.

    And when they are finished we will have less to jail or throw out of our country.

    OUTRAGED !

  143. Jewleeooo.

    Write in ENGLISH !

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