How Do You Feel About Immigration?

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A new Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that three-quarters of Americans think the government is not doing enough to prevent illegal immigration. But three in five said they favor providing illegal immigrants who have lived here for years a way to gain legal status and eventual citizenship. The idea received majority support from Democrats, independents and Republicans. One in five Americans embraced the House bill, which includes no guest-worker program and would make felons out of those in this country illegally.

More about yesterday's pro-immigration rallies in DC, New York, Phoenix, and elsewhere here.

The Washington Times puts the total number of marchers nationwide yesterday at "more than a million" and says "Protests provide boost to Democrats."

That last point strikes me as pretty debatable–and not simply because there's a vast majority of Americans against illegal immigration. More important, to the extent these immigration rallies will be effective at reshaping the public debate (especially on questions of guest worker programs and amnesty/citizenship for current illegals) it will be precisely because they are seen as non-partisan (this despite the lurking presence of the Service Employees International Union, a pro-Dem group).

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  1. This is an election year, folks, and the GOP has found this year’s hot button issue – illegal immigration. Two years ago it was gay marriage. Two years prior to that is was terrorism, etc. My guess is that in the year 2068 the GOP issue will be “secular judicial-activist gay illegal terrorist abortion-providers who want to adopt.” The irony here is that the GOP has no intentions of doing a damned thing about it. The GOP voters hate brown people, but GOP funders need brown people for cheap labor. Ideally, they would like to make life as miserable as possible for the illegals so that they can take that much more advantage of them. The fair and right answer would be to have a realistic INS (yes, Libers, the gov-ern-ment) with realistic immigrant processing numbers and realistic funding so that we can get the people we need and leave the smugglers and terrorists to the desert route. More irony – the very system we have now makes it all the easier for smugglers and fiends to sneak in under the cover of millions of honest workers. And finally all the most ironic, it is the very “free trade” (yes, Libers, Free Trade, like any Free Market system, has a serious down-side that must be acknowledged and dealt with) system we have now that floods these poor countries with our cheap and abundant agricultural products that forces the people off the land and sends them up here looking for work.

    We are the most stupid generation in the history of America. The level of this debate (especially on the Right) is so base, so in denial, so obviously racist – I’m just ashamed of us “native” Americans today.

    JMJ

  2. this year’s hot button issue

    That’s the bit’s that’s irritating. The cynicism of it all.

    A question for you all. I’m reading Paul Theroux’s book ‘Old Patigonian Express’ at the moment (very good – heartily recommended). Now, it was written in 1979 so it’s probably well off the pace but he makes the rather obvious point about the hypocrisy of yelping about mexican illegal immigrants but at the same time, the Farmers Union successfully blocking congress passing legislation that required all employers to check employees identification, papers etcetc – just so they could leech of the cheap labour.

    Is that still the case? Or are farm owners now personally liable for who they employ?

    Immigration is no big deal; although we don’t welcome sufficent numbers of Brazilian females for my liking.

  3. Wow! I didn’t know that massive government subsidies were considered “free trade!” Thanks for the education, Jersey!

  4. it is beyond my comprehension why people feel that illegal immigrants deserve amnesty when they have broken america’s laws from the moment they have set foot on our soil. why should we pay for their medical care and education. why should they get jobs when they do not pay taxes and send most of thei money back to mexico. it looks like we are the losers here. they are the ones with everything to gain.

  5. it is beyond my comprehension why people feel that illegal immigrants deserve amnesty when they have broken america’s laws from the moment they have set foot on our soil. why should we pay for their medical care and education. why should they get jobs when they do not pay taxes and send most of thei money back to mexico. it looks like we are the losers here. they are the ones with everything to gain.

  6. Yesterday, someone from California moved into my town! She’s got kids too! She’s going to consume valuable government services and who knows if she can support herself.

    I call on the Massachusetts government to enact a realistic immigration policy! Otherwise we will drown in a sea of foreigners.

  7. it is beyond my comprehension why people feel that illegal immigrants deserve amnesty when they have broken america’s laws from the moment they have set foot on our soil. Why should we pay for their medical care and education

    Holy crap!

    Anna, if you get a good head shot as they come over the border then you won’t need to pay any medical bills whatsoever.

  8. The Republicans obviously made a huge mistake with the felony language in the House bill. They tried to remove it on the floor but the Democrats helped vote to keep it in the bill.

    If you watched the rally on C-SPAN it’s clear the Kennedy’s, etc. are pandering like mad for what they see as 11,000,0000 + new Democrat party voters and union members.

    Kennedy must love this. About every 20 years he gets another chance to greatly expand the rolls of the constituencies that are the foundation of his party.

  9. The GOP voters hate brown people

    As soon as you see this, you know the rest is worthless.

  10. “Wow! I didn’t know that massive government subsidies were considered “free trade!” Thanks for the education, Jersey!”

    That’s a good point, Sandy. Not only do we flood poor agrarian nations with our agro – we subsidize it on top of that! Great point.

    Anna,

    “it is beyond my comprehension why people feel that illegal immigrants deserve amnesty when they have broken america’s laws from the moment they have set foot on our soil.”

    Thanks for proving my point. “Dey broke da law!,” “Der taking er jerbs!”. Jeez.

    “why should we pay for their medical care and education. why should they get jobs when they do not pay taxes and send most of thei money back to mexico. it looks like we are the losers here. they are the ones with everything to gain.”

    They pay taxes, the get shit from their taxes, and you are utterly clueless about the realities of your own nation.

    Realist,

    “The Republicans obviously made a huge mistake with the felony language in the House bill. They tried to remove it on the floor but the Democrats helped vote to keep it in the bill.”

    Yes, the Dems did. Let the GOPhers choke on their own stupidity.

    “Kennedy must love this. About every 20 years he gets another chance to greatly expand the rolls of the constituencies that are the foundation of his party.”

    Lord knows people of color aren’t welcome in the other party, huh?

    JMJ

  11. Johnnie Cochran, god rest his soul, would be proud of you Jersey for playing the race card so well.

  12. Unrealist – this whole friggin issue (that the GOP started) IS PLAYING THE FRIGGIN RACE CARD.

    Jeez man.

    JMJ

  13. JMJ — Could it be that we’re flooding the market with our agricultural products *because* of government subsidies, not merely in addition to?

  14. JMJ, you probably will have a Democratic majority in Congress by November and after they quickly give voting rights and other goodies (maybe even reparations to underpaid farm workers?) to 20,000,000+ new voters they will seal a dominating position for many decades.

    The net result is a move much further away from anything close to libertarian ideas. If that’s what you want then I see why you are so worked up about the supposed use of race by the GOP.

    Finally, if we’re really going to have open borders and unlimited migration to the US then let’s truly make it the most competitive process is coule be – we need to send barges around the world to round up those who will do the work no American will do for the least amount of money. Why should Mexicans get an advantage just because they’re neighbors?

  15. “send most of their money back to mexico”

    Boy, talk about economic ignorance.

    It’s the capital that matters, not the money !!!

    How did the Mexican get that money? By working, thus creating more wealth in the USA. The fact that he decides to spend his money in another country is completely irrelevant.

    By your logic, no American should be allowed to buy goods manufactured in another country. An American buying a foreign car is equivalent to a Mexican sending money to his family.

  16. The silly-assed argument that Democrats only support fixing the immigration system to gain voters has a pretty obvious problem: immigrants have very low voting levels. Ever look at any figures from California?

    Jersey, substantively, you make a lot of good points on this thread (I love how you turned Realist’s partisan argument back on him), but the self-serving language you use to rub the libertoids’ and conservatarians’ noses in it makes your posts less credible.

  17. How much of a basket case would Mexico be without the money emigrant workers send back?

    Perhaps anna would like to see those workers bring their families – no, their entire villages – here, too, so they wouldn’t have to send money across the border.

    Not.

  18. So you do support some limits to immigration then? You must hate the brown man.

  19. “JMJ — Could it be that we’re flooding the market with our agricultural products *because* of government subsidies, not merely in addition to?”

    No. It’s pretty basic productivity/technology/natural resources in action. With or without subsidies (which makes them all the more frivolous), our bread-belt super-farms just plain undercut poor agrarian competition.

    Realist, I’m not a Dem…

    “JMJ, you probably will have a Democratic majority in Congress by November and after they quickly give voting rights and other goodies (maybe even reparations to underpaid farm workers?) to 20,000,000+ new voters they will seal a dominating position for many decades.”

    They won’t do that. That’s just silly hyperbole.

    “Why should Mexicans get an advantage just because they’re neighbors?”

    That’s reason enough. Look hyper-realist, no one wants “open borders.” Only a moron would think the Dems wants that (though I believe some Libers do). We want an enlarged and fully funded INS to process REALISTIC numbers of workers and migrants.

    JMJ

  20. “We want an enlarged and fully funded INS to process REALISTIC numbers of workers and migrants.”

    You high on glue or something? The government has never demonstrated the ability to handle the current amount of immigration. There is massive document fraud.

    Now you’re going to dump millions more on the rolls that INS must somehow keep track of, audit their taxes, collect fines, and make sure they know English?

  21. Realist,

    It would be a lot cheaper and easier for a bureacracy to perform those tasks to seal the border.

    Look at it this way: what has the government been more effective at, stopping bootleggers coming over the border from Canada during Prohibition, or stamping and collecting revenues on the much larger quantity of imported liquor that’s been coming over the border since the end of prohibition?

  22. Okay Realist, so your answer is…. do nothing/status quo.

    Great. Good to hear from ya.’

    JMJ

  23. The answer is to first demonstrate that you can slow/stop the massive migration over the southern border. Obviosuly you cannot stop it all but if you raise the price high enough many/most won’t even attempt it.

    If you grant an amnesty and do nothing about the border in 10 years there will be 20 million more illegals not covered by this amnesty.

    If you use fencing in key areas and technology and manpower the task can be done. No system is perfect but first some attempt must be made to prevent another wave after this one is given amnesty.

    Ultimately those who are here will be legalized. What is important is to not invite another massive wave that results in a Kennedy doing this again in 2026.

  24. It?s beyond my comprehension why people feel that illegal immigrants deserve amnesty? Or for that fact why they have to right to even protest? Especially when the bottom line is they are here illegally. The moment they decided to set foot on our soil and circumvent the immigration system, – they became illegal. Why? Because they claim they want to better their lives?

    My wife was also someone who wanted to come to the United States. After being married for more then 15 years, we decided to move back to the US, (I’m in the military) she went through the necessary visas and permits to enter the US. She has since given up her German Passport and become an American Citizen! But if she had to go through that process, why should we allow amnesty to those who have openly circumvented the law?

    And if my wife had to go through that process why shouldn’t the Mexicans? Just because you have illegials that scurried across the border during the dark night hours and are now demanding a way to become Americans and have the same rights as Americans- well thats pure “Poppycock!!”

    What have they done for America? The excuse they use is that are they are there to work jobs that most American won’t work. But when they get paid for those low paying jobs, they take their money they’ve earned illegally, – don’t pay taxes, allow us to pay for their medical care and the cost to educate their children. Then they demand the entire time not to speak the national language of English, and wave their Mexican flag around, chanting they are Americans!

    And year after year most cities and state taxes are increased to burden property owners.

    Give me a break Anna, I say make it a felony to be here illegally, put those that are caught to work helping the elderly or to work on a national assistance plan and then issue a national ID card for those who live here legally.

    The final answer, – I say put a few claymore mines along the Mexican -American boarder and we can eliminate all of the problems with illegal aliens.

  25. stamping and collecting revenues on the much larger quantity of imported liquor that’s been coming over the border since the end of prohibition?

    Use branding irons to identify immigrants? Now that’s some creative thinking!

  26. The final answer, – I say put a few claymore mines along the Mexican -American boarder and we can eliminate all of the problems with illegal aliens.

    Perhaps a little drastic.

    Enforce a minimum wage on farmer employers and remove the incentive for cheap labour.

  27. JMJ,

    Obviously you believe in incentives. Imagine the incentive if this large group is given amnesty without a serous attempt to secure the southern border?

    If you come here illegally not only will you not get arrested/deported but you can demonstrate en masse. The result will be political pressure (millions of recently legalized citizens will support you) to legalize you. This simply becomes a numbers game. The more that come, the more will be legalized, and the quicker it will happen.

  28. Whomever plays the race card first loses, JMJ.
    IC

  29. Rub our noses in what?

    Frankly, I’ve seen very few libertarian comments on this thread. If you believe in respecting private property rights, the freedom of association, and the freedom to contract, all of which all serious (as opposed to fraudulent statists in sheep’s clothing) libertarians do, then immigration is a non issue.

    A border is a line drawn in the sand. Period. Let us imagine that the Castellano crime family was preventing shop-keepers from moving into or out of their territory from/to the territories controlled Gambino crime family. Now would we be having any debate on whether free movement of these shopkeepers should be permitted or not? Would we be debating how much protection money they must pay, or what earning power they should demonstrate before making the move?

    Jersey is right. Opponents of immigration are ethnicists. When you scratch them deep enough you find the old ethnicists fears, that they will breed with our children, that they don’t talk the same language as us and must be making fun of us, that they’ll outbreed us and make us poor, that they are going to ruin the stuff my parents made.

    As long as someone is not stealing or bilking innocent people, they are welcome in my neighborhood. That’s the proper libertarian postion.

    Lest the fan-boys of the Democratic wing of the Boot-On-Your-Neck party start feeling too good about themselves, your masters want to limit immigration too, can’t have those cheap laborers competing with your unions now can you? The whole legalization push is to force employers to pay the minimum wage, which throughout its history has been a move to reduce the comparative disadvantage union labor suffers under (namely that the price themselves out of the market). So in the end, you want to legalize them, but make it harder for them to find work. how very nice of you.

    If it weren’t for the millions of people who suffer because of the willingness of people to use the violence of the state to further their agenda, this debate would actually be comical.

  30. Tarran, that may be all well and good but that is nirvana. There are large social costs that extend well beyond the contract between employer and employee. There are public services that are consumed. There is something called population density and impacts on public utlities. It is not just a simple individual contract.

    At least here we do have a consistent position though. Wide open borders with unlimited flows of labor.

  31. Why are you guys still feeding the trolls?

  32. Realist,

    Tee idea of doing security first can’t work, because there will never be effective border security as long as legal immigration is restricted. Look at the example of bootlegging across the Canadian border.

    Immigration reform – the documentation of the undocumented, and the establishment of a system to document and legalize future immigrants – is a necessary step in achieving a secure border.

  33. So, realist,

    Could you explain why those arguments do not also apply to procreation. Should the government also be involved in limiting the number of children that are born?

    There is nothing nirvana about it. I have lived in 8 states in my lifetime. There are millions of people just like me. Was I somehow a drain on the “social services” of those states? After all, in 5 of those states I wasn’t productive at all (either because I was a child or because I was in the military). Should I have been prevented from moving around?

    Or is it possible that allowing people to freely move where they can find work is a wonderful thing and not a problem.

    Sorry to cut and run folks, wish me luck… I have a job interview in an hour and I have to change.

  34. Anyone for a law that makes it illegal to lock your house doors and windows? You may also never question anyone’s intention for being in your home, because that would infringe upon thier inalienable civil liberties. You must cater to anyone’s every need and want while they are in your home. You may not insist that they speak in a manner that you understand to convey what they want, but must make every attemt to understand and speak 295 different types of giberish. All above stated does not apply to anyone who actually knocks on your door and asks to be let in.

  35. Could you explain why those arguments do not also apply to procreation. Should the government also be involved in limiting the number of children that are born?

    What? That’s a bit of a leap in logic.

  36. Realist,

    The answer is to process the correct number of needed immigrants every year. Period.

    Billy the Kid Sgt, MP,

    “The final answer, – I say put a few claymore mines along the Mexican -American boarder and we can eliminate all of the problems with illegal aliens.”

    “Use branding irons to identify immigrants? Now that’s some creative thinking!”

    You’re a credit to the Khmer Rouge. It just goes to show – too many libers are just lucky kids who never saw a real hard day in their lives and assume that everyone else deserves what they get. This is how empires get fat, old, lazy, and die, folks.

    IronChef, you supreme genius,

    “Whomever plays the race card first loses, JMJ.”

    Good point – and the idiot GOP and their idiot base are who started it.

    JMJ

  37. The answer is to process the correct number of needed immigrants every year. Period

    JMJ,

    You mention the word ‘needed’. So, do you think America should accept people because they are needed and ONLY if they are needed i.e to plug a gap?

    Or, should immigration simply be offered to someone who is willing to work and compete with nationals?

  38. The answer is to process the correct number of needed immigrants every year. Period

    JMJ,

    You mention the word ‘needed’. So, do you think America should accept people because they are needed and ONLY if they are needed i.e to plug a gap?

    Or, should immigration simply be offered to someone who is willing to work and compete with nationals?

  39. The answer is to process the correct number of needed immigrants every year. Period

    JMJ,

    You mention the word ‘needed’. So, do you think America should accept people because they are needed and ONLY if they are needed i.e to plug a gap in the work force i.e fruit-picker?

    Would you ever offer a visa to a non-national to compete with Americans for certain professions with a finite number of places i.e lawyers, doctors. Or, should America protect it’s skilled workforce?

  40. Weird – I just posted three times.

    I got this message saying someone had been abusive (hopefully me) and that I needed to wait before posting again.

    I think it was just a set-up to make me look like a dipshit (not hard).

  41. You’re a credit to the Khmer Rouge. It just goes to show – too many libers are just lucky kids who never saw a real hard day in their lives and assume that everyone else deserves what they get. This is how empires get fat, old, lazy, and die, folks.

    You wouldn’t know tongue in cheek humor (of which the sarge is not participating in) if it kicked you in the balls. And boy, do I wish it would kick real hard.

  42. So “libers” are an anti-immigrant, racist part of the GOP base. I continue to expand my education. So much I don’t know.

  43. Jonesy:

    “It just goes to show – too many libers are just lucky kids who never saw a real hard day in their lives and assume that everyone else deserves what they get. This is how empires get fat, old, lazy, and die, folks.”

    Wait, wait, let me get this straight: some loony old army grunt who is anything but libertarian comes in here and (sarcastically or not) says that we should put some landmines along the border. MP makes an OBVIOUS joke, sarcastically supporting “branding” immigrants.

    This somehow “goes to show” how “too many liber[tarians] are just lucky kids who never saw a real hard day in their lives and assume that everyone else deserves what they get.” I’ve seen logical leaps before, but there’s no way you can leap across a crevasse that wide, Jonesy.

    Not only that, but you assert that “this is how empires get fat, old, lazy, and die, folks.” Aside from making very little sense, it’s also rediculous—given how few “libers” there are in this empire—and given how there is an even smaller percentage with enough power to actually influence said “empire”.

    You’re quickly descending into self-parody, yet again. Your self-parody half-life keeps getting smaller, Jonesy.

  44. Mark,

    “You mention the word ‘needed’. So, do you think America should accept people because they are needed and ONLY if they are needed i.e to plug a gap?

    Or, should immigration simply be offered to someone who is willing to work and compete with nationals?”

    Both.

    If we need skilled people it’s because we have issues that we need address amongst ourselves – like rabid individualism which has led to the decline of the family, and local school systems with their cookie-cutter liberal arts curricula that ironically is born of the insipid notion that somehow education should be a democratic affair – as if facts could be voted on!

    MP, since you were joking – I apologize.

    JMJ

  45. coyote1284 (If that IS your real name),

    I’m quite sure that the citizens of Cambridge, MA have quite a different opinion about the proper responsibilties of “guests” than the citizens of your fine burgh. In your metaphor, who is the “owner” – all Americans? Citizens of Massachusetts? Middlesex County? Cambridge? Please square your answer with your general opinion about federalism and distant government.

    Also, do you really think the government should have the same degree of control of people within the territory of the United States that a homeowner has over the people in his house? Please square your answer with your general opinion about the proper role of government in general, and restrictions on smoking in particular.

  46. “although we don’t welcome sufficent numbers of Brazilian females for my liking.”

    I’m willing to make my apartment available as a way-station on the Underground Railroad for Brazilian fashion models.

  47. If we need skilled people it’s because we have issues that we need address amongst ourselves

    JMJ,

    You dodged the question. I’m asking if you agree with immigration even when there is no skill shortage. Pure competition.

    E.G Would you hand a visa to an Australian lawyer when there was an American with his hands held out alongside.

    (As if America would ever run out of Lawyers)

  48. “If we need skilled people it’s because we have issues that we need address amongst ourselves – like rabid individualism which has led to the decline of the family, and local school systems with their cookie-cutter liberal arts curricula that ironically is born of the insipid notion that somehow education should be a democratic affair – as if facts could be voted on!”

    This is a new low in the logic dept. What illicit substances did you take this morning, Jonesy? I’ve seen rambling, nonsensical rants before, but this one sounds like the grumblings of a half-sane street bum. In one sentence you link the need for skilled people with both individualism and “the liberal arts curricula”. My, oh, my, your mind is a veritable cornicopia of crazy.

    One would think that these things speak instead to rising wealth of a culture. God forbid we work in air conditioned offices instead of toiling in the soy fields all day…oh, the HORROR!

  49. I’ve seen rambling, nonsensical rants before, but this one sounds like the grumblings of a half-sane street bum. In one sentence you link the need for skilled people with both individualism and “the liberal arts curricula”. My, oh, my, your mind is a veritable cornicopia of crazy.

    You know JMJ, Evan’s not wrong.

    I just re-read your post:

    like rabid individualism which has led to the decline of the family

    Are you injecting crack into your eyeballs again JMJ?

  50. Mark,

    If we need skilled people it’s because we have issues that we need address amongst ourselves

    “You dodged the question. I’m asking if you agree with immigration even when there is no skill shortage. Pure competition.”

    No, I said “both.” However, skilled labor should only be imported as a last resort.

    Evan,

    If we need skilled people it’s because we have issues that we need address amongst ourselves – like rabid individualism which has led to the decline of the family, and local school systems with their cookie-cutter liberal arts curricula that ironically is born of the insipid notion that somehow education should be a democratic affair – as if facts could be voted on!

    “This is a new low in the logic dept. What illicit substances did you take this morning, Jonesy? I’ve seen rambling, nonsensical rants before, but this one sounds like the grumblings of a half-sane street bum. In one sentence you link the need for skilled people with both individualism and “the liberal arts curricula”. My, oh, my, your mind is a veritable cornicopia of crazy.

    One would think that these things speak instead to rising wealth of a culture. God forbid we work in air conditioned offices instead of toiling in the soy fields all day…oh, the HORROR!”

    You missed the point. The point I was making is that if we need skilled labor then we therefore have a lack of skilled people and therefore we have social and academic problems that we need to address. This has nothing whatsoever to do with rising wealth (in the case of importing skilled labor) and everything to do with a society in decline. Get it?

    JMJ

  51. Three cheers for Tarran- good luck on the interview.

    As for the “cost to society” argument, which is in my opinion largely bogus, I say this: CONSUMPTION TAX.

    Schools have been mentioned- most school funding is provided by property taxes. If we accept the argument that “illegals” do not own their homes, but rent, it doesn’t matter; they still pay the tax. It is included in the rent- passed along, as we like to say.

    As for the Federal Department of Job Placement (would that be a Cabinet level function, d’ye reckon)- I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

  52. It’s interesting that we always hear the complaint that free trade will send American jobs to foreign soil, and now JMJ is claiming the pretty much the opposite, that because of free trade foreigners all have to come here for work.

  53. i like jersey cause he’s dr. x with more commas.

  54. I’ve seen rambling, nonsensical rants before, but this one sounds like the grumblings of a half-sane street bum. In one sentence you link the need for skilled people with both individualism and “the liberal arts curricula”. My, oh, my, your mind is a veritable cornicopia of crazy.

    You know JMJ, Evan’s not wrong.

    I just re-read your post:

    like rabid individualism which has led to the decline of the family

    Are you injecting crack into your eyeballs again JMJ?

    Comment by: Mark at April 11, 2006 10:40 AM

    Mark, the scumbag, selfish, spoiled “me” generation that manifested it’s scumbaggery in Reagan, will destroy the American family. I firmly believe this. These scum have even managed to get their Me-ism into relgiion with their creepy “personal relationship with God” bullcrap idiocy. We are self-absoebed assholes of the lowest order and it’s why the world looks at us as barbarians. We will eventually become a pathetic third world state with our self-centered, incurious, egotistic, narcissistic, arrognat, uneducated stupidity. We have failed the family unit and, as Marx warned us, allowing the state to be coopted by big money, we have disintegrated into little “ones,” powerless in our one-ness because we have no true groups for advocacy of our needs.

    Get it yet? (If you think that sounds like I’;m on drugs then you just proved everything I wrote above).

    JMJ

  55. “You missed the point. The point I was making is that if we need skilled labor then we therefore have a lack of skilled people and therefore we have social and academic problems that we need to address.”

    No, Jersey, I got your point. It’s simply that I disagree with the assertion that gave rise to this statement in the first place: namely, that we “need” to import skilled labor. It has nothing to do with “need”, it has to do with basic economics. If we are too “good” or “spoiled” to do this labor here, then yes, it does have to do with our wealth. Honestly, Jersey, this is a mighty big red herring you’ve unveiled. Even if I were to accept your assertion that we “can’t” do skilled labor here and thus need to import skilled labor from other countries, it is quite unrelated to the topic at hand, which is: importing unskilled labor from Mexico. And, again, this is not so much out of “need”, but for economic gain. We don’t hire the Oaxacan daylaborer for $5/hour to do shitty, hot work because nobody here is able to do it—we hire him because he’ll actually do that work for $5/hr, while us Americans are, on the whole, too “spoiled” by our wealth to do so.

    “This has nothing whatsoever to do with rising wealth (in the case of importing skilled labor) and everything to do with a society in decline. Get it?”

    Get what? How does importing skilled labor speak anything to “societal decline”? You’ve attempted to make several weak links, but they make absolutely no sense—especially since the entire situation is hypothetical—we’re importing unskilled labor, not skilled labor.

    In serious intellectual debate, you’ve simply got to do better than “the liberal arts school curricula has resulted in a lack of skilled labor, thus illustrating the demise of our society”.

  56. A consumption tax would be great but that is NEVER going to happen. We can debate theoretical ideas all day and that is certainly interesting. The reality is very different however. There is a local externality from massive illegal immigration that those who aren’t affected don’t feel. I live next door to an overloaded house of illegals and that has a large negative effect on my property value. The house is a dump with an extremely low assessed value and believe the me the property taxes aren’t nearly enough to cover all the cost of schooling, much less other goverment services.

    When the Democrats solidify their majority for the next several decades there is distinctly NO possibility of a consumption tax.

  57. Tarran:
    “After all, in 5 of those states I wasn’t productive at all (either because I was a child or because I was in the military).”

    A Military member is not productive to the state that they currently reside, either though serving the country (that the state is part of) or community service opertunities (that one is often volun-told for)?

    Who expects a child to be productive?

    How do you determine who is “moving freely” for a job or to screw with us with out stoping them for a moment and asking them? The borders are not there to keep anyone and everyone from crossing, but to attempt (agreed, not necessarity always successfully) to keep out those that would be a threat to our way of life. The only way for “people to move about freely” is in a utopian society (no one wants to destroy us because, well, no one has any reason to; but unfeasable), a world government (no borders, everyone lives under the same laws; not bad if done right; also unfeasable), or Anarchy (hell, only gotta worry about yourself and your own; hope you own a gun or two; would only work until people started gathering together for mutual protection, at which point a community and government is formed.)

  58. Evan,

    “No, Jersey, I got your point. It’s simply that I disagree with the assertion that gave rise to this statement in the first place: namely, that we “need” to import skilled labor. It has nothing to do with “need”, it has to do with basic economics. If we are too “good” or “spoiled” to do this labor here, then yes, it does have to do with our wealth. Honestly, Jersey, this is a mighty big red herring you’ve unveiled. Even if I were to accept your assertion that we “can’t” do skilled labor here and thus need to import skilled labor from other countries, it is quite unrelated to the topic at hand, which is: importing unskilled labor from Mexico. And, again, this is not so much out of “need”, but for economic gain. We don’t hire the Oaxacan daylaborer for $5/hour to do shitty, hot work because nobody here is able to do it—we hire him because he’ll actually do that work for $5/hr, while us Americans are, on the whole, too “spoiled” by our wealth to do so.”

    This is semantics, Evan. Whatever. “Need” is very subjective, and I, like you, may not see a need where others do.

    “This has nothing whatsoever to do with rising wealth (in the case of importing skilled labor) and everything to do with a society in decline. Get it?”

    “Get what? How does importing skilled labor speak anything to “societal decline”? You’ve attempted to make several weak links, but they make absolutely no sense—especially since the entire situation is hypothetical—we’re importing unskilled labor, not skilled labor.”

    Anyone who doesn’t get why needing to import skilled labor is sign of social decline are themselves a sign of social decline. Look at engineering and medical grads from the universities. Go. Look at the numbers. Americans ARE NOT LEARNING. Look at our education achievements vs other countries. We have become fat, stupid, and lazy – looking for easy answers, like Libertarianism, instead of finding real solutions.

    JMJ

  59. Mark, the scumbag, selfish, spoiled “me” generation that manifested it’s scumbaggery in Reagan, will destroy the American family. I firmly believe this. These scum have even managed to get their Me-ism into relgiion with their creepy “personal relationship with God” bullcrap idiocy. We are self-absoebed assholes of the lowest order and it’s why the world looks at us as barbarians. We will eventually become a pathetic third world state with our self-centered, incurious, egotistic, narcissistic, arrognat, uneducated stupidity. We have failed the family unit and, as Marx warned us, allowing the state to be coopted by big money, we have disintegrated into little “ones,” powerless in our one-ness because we have no true groups for advocacy of our needs.

    JMJ,

    That is one of the best rants I’ve heard in a long time! Good work!!

    You should work for the Dail Mail in the UK. They would LOVE you.

  60. “the scumbag, selfish, spoiled “me” generation that manifested it’s scumbaggery in Reagan, will destroy the American family. I firmly believe this.”

    Go ahead. Believe. But belief without proof is simply faith. And I, for one, refuse to take Jersey’s assertions on faith. All you’ve done is list the various things that you feel are wrong with society, and assert that you believe that they have come about because of individualism. You throw around truckloads of hyperbolic, unquantifiable descriptions, like “selfish, spoiled scumbag” and “self-absorbed assholes of the highest order”. But, aside from this angry attack on what you perceive to be “rabid individualism”, do you have anything of substance to add to this debate?

    Damn, I gotta stop feeding the trolls.

  61. ME, ME, ME!

  62. Look at the numbers, Evan. Use your head. Look at our education rankings. Look at our crime. Look at our elected officials. Look at the level of discourse – Fox, Hannity. Look at our entertainment. Talk to an f’n kid, Evan. Ask them how many presidents they can name. Ask them how many amendments there are in the constitution. Look at our “productivity,” measuring now service sector bullshit jobs. Look at our industrial base. Look at the trade deficit and thdebt.

    Faith??? You wan’t take it on “faith?”

    Keep drinking the kool aid, happy-boy.

    JMJ

  63. “This is semantics, Evan. Whatever. “Need” is very subjective, and I, like you, may not see a need where others do.”

    Bullshit, Jersey. Bull. Shit. There is a substantial, and not just semantic, difference between importing labor for economic gain, and importing labor because of an actual shortage of skill.

    “Anyone who doesn’t get why needing to import skilled labor is sign of social decline are themselves a sign of social decline.”

    You keep asserting this crazy circular logic, wherein the proof of your argument is evident in the fact that we don’t understand your argument. Fuck that horseshit.

    “Look at engineering and medical grads from the universities. Go. Look at the numbers. Americans ARE NOT LEARNING. Look at our education achievements vs other countries. We have become fat, stupid, and lazy – looking for easy answers, like Libertarianism, instead of finding real solutions.”

    Libertarianism is only a political philosophy, it’s not an answer to all the world’s ills. You erroneously assert that those who embrace libertarianism use it to solve all their problems—and that’s simply untrue.

    Now, before this silly debate on immigration slides even further down the slippery slope of “societal demise”, let’s just stop, take a deep breath, and back away from the hyperventilated attacks on modern american culture, as if it is one monolithic thing.

  64. Keep drinking the kool aid, happy-boy.

    I doubt that you are old enough to really have a relevant subjective interpretation of history. The past is always more appealing for those who didn’t have to live through it.

  65. if i ever had a copy of the poster art from trainspotting in my clipboard, now would be the time to paste it.

    now would be the time…

  66. “Anyone who doesn’t get why needing to import skilled labor is sign of social decline are themselves a sign of social decline.”

    Apparently, then, we’ve been in social decline since the 1620s. Except for a brief period in the 1930s.

  67. JMJ,

    Reeelllaaxxx. America is just fine. Just turn off the TV.

    Back onto immigration – I mentioned the Brazilian ladies before. I am also incubating a magnificent lust for Eastern European chicks at present. I want more of them to come and live in London.

  68. “Look at our education rankings.

    I’m looking. What about them? We’re still smarter on the whole than we were a century ago. No, we don’t test as well as other countries, but I’m just not convinced that there is a link between this and “rampant individualism”.

    Look at our crime.

    Violent crime rates have been falling for years. Most of the prisons are chock full of inmates who were convicted of a drug-war-related crime. But, yeah, it’s “rampant individualism”.

    “Look at our elected officials.”

    This is more a problem with the rise of the “political class”, not with society as a whole.

    Look at the level of discourse – Fox, Hannity.

    Right, because the MSM talking head retards are indicative of our overall societal level of discourse. Hehe.

    “Look at our entertainment.”

    Yep, look at it. Lots of brilliant stuff out there. What are you referring to, anyway?

    “Talk to an f’n kid, Evan. Ask them how many presidents they can name. Ask them how many amendments there are in the constitution.”

    First off, who cares how many presidents one can name? How is that some kind of indicator of societal health, that we can memorize the names of these asshats that everyone worships like gods? Please. As for naming the amendments, yes, that is a problem—but, yet again, I don’t see a connection between this and the demise of society.

    “Look at our “productivity,” measuring now service sector bullshit jobs. Look at our industrial base. Look at the trade deficit and thdebt.”

    Look at my goddamned nuts, Jersey. You still think that you can simply post a list of bad things, with no explanation of each bad thing’s direct link to said decline or explanation of what it says and why…and that that is going to be enough?

    I’m tired of getting the broken record routine from you. It’s time for lunch now. Feel free to actually post some kind of intellectually rich description of the relation between these things and “societal demise” that you speak of, rather than simply listing a bunch of bad stuff.

  69. whew doggie, the loonies are out in force this morning!

  70. Evan

    “Bullshit, Jersey. Bull. Shit. There is a substantial, and not just semantic, difference between importing labor for economic gain, and importing labor because of an actual shortage of skill.”

    Yes, I know. That’s where the “need” thing gets subjective. The point I was making was that we do import some skilled labor (probably about half, but I don’t have the numbers in front of me) because we lack those skills.

    MP,

    “I doubt that you are old enough to really have a relevant subjective interpretation of history. The past is always more appealing for those who didn’t have to live through it.”

    I’m almost 40, was a history major, am married to a history teacher and work in international trade. Any more you want to know, MP?

    Mark,

    “Reeelllaaxxx. America is just fine.”

    That’s what Patrick Henry’s cabin boy said about the leak in the hull.

    “First off, who cares how many presidents one can name? How is that some kind of indicator of societal health, that we can memorize the names of these asshats that everyone worships like gods? Please. As for naming the amendments, yes, that is a problem—but, yet again, I don’t see a connection between this and the demise of society.”

    You don’t see why a civilly illiterate culture is bad, huh?

    JMJ

  71. Yesterday, someone from California moved into my town! She’s got kids too! She’s going to consume valuable government services and who knows if she can support herself.

    Is this supposed to be sarcasm? I hear the exact same argument coming out of the tonier suburbs all the time.

  72. “I’m quite sure that the citizens of Cambridge, MA have quite a different opinion about the proper responsibilties of “guests” than the citizens of your fine burgh. In your metaphor, who is the “owner” – all Americans? Citizens of Massachusetts? Middlesex County? Cambridge? Please square your answer with your general opinion about federalism and distant government.

    Also, do you really think the government should have the same degree of control of people within the territory of the United States that a homeowner has over the people in his house? Please square your answer with your general opinion about the proper role of government in general, and restrictions on smoking in particular.”

    Working backward. I don’t recall mentioning smoking in my earlier post, but I’ll entertain the thought anyways. Are you suggesting that it’s not in the US government’s perview to completely outlaw smoking just as it is a homeowner’s/renter’s/landlord’s (henceforth merely “homeowner”) perrogative to allow or deny smoking in their home? It’s a homeowner’s choice to allow or deny drinking of alcoholic beverages by anyone in their own home, even though it is legal for persons over 21, however it is (almost) always illegal to provide alcohol for persons younger than 21 (some exceptions in some states).
    It is also illegal for a homeowner to provide or allow use of controled substances. However, a homeowner has the right to allow whom they choose into their home, and I believe has the right to arbitrarily deny entry and use any means (ANY for actual homeowner, to include booby trapping; lethal force/firearms for landlord; physical force or weapons (if allowed by landlord) for renters) to prevent entry. Do I believe the government should be allowed to arbitrarily ban things because they are “bad for us”? No, but realistically they are allowed that power. Do I believe the government should use any means possible to defend its borders and arbitrarily deny entry to anyone? Yes, but realistically we don’t have the resources.

    The previous post was a metaphore for the United States in general. The “home” is the United States. Those for open borders or against being tougher on illegal immigrants should put themselves in the position of the “owner”. The “doors and windows” are the borders. “Unlocked” and “not questioning the intentions of guests” suggests open borders. The “uninvited guests” are illegal immigrants. The “knockers” are legal immigrants. “295 kinds of giberish” reprents anyone that would take advantage of the open borders, not just Mexicans.

    Sure, people in small towns may actually leave their doors and windows unlocked, because have feel there is no reason to suspect that someone may take advantage of that, yet daily there are those that take advantage of US’s insecure borders and there IS reason to suspect the intentions of some of the “uninvited guests”.

  73. JMJ,

    You just sound like a grump. If you watch, Fox and read cranky papers and shake your head everytime you hear about juvinile crime then you get down and start thinking that everything has gone to pot.

    It’s the same in London. If I believed the BBC then I’d think that on every street corner there was a rapist, paedophile, terrorist etcetc.

    American has the best Univerities. Period. It has the hardest work ethic of any country (possibly now being challenged by China). It produces the best entertainment. It has the best sportsmen.The pinnacle of most professions that I can think are often achieved in America.

    The reason the world spends most of the time grumbling about the states is because it is JEALOUS. You are the world’s older, successful brother.

    And the reason that there’s this post about immigration is because everyone wants to live in the states.

    So, yes, reeelllaaaxx. Your world is not about to end.

  74. “civilly illiterate” you say?

    I’d settle for a somewhat more literate incivility.

  75. Mark,

    I have it pretty good, married well, and, if anything, have a reputation as a happy-go-lucky silly-ass. My worries for my country are based 1, on my understanding of historical redundancies and some striking similarities between American and other late and dying empires, and 2, I don’t like to keep a bag over my head – you have to pay attention to the bad as well as the good.

    PB,

    “”civilly illiterate” you say?”

    I guess all those Dr Suess books just seemed like pointless jibberish to you, huh? 😉

    JMJ

  76. so is that illiterate people who are nice to each other or are illiterate about matters of civil life?

    or is this a sly stealth marketing campaign for a ken burns boxset?

  77. Coyote, joe has your number:

    There is no person named United States. Nor is there a partnership or business named the united States that is owned by anybody.

    Now, if all of the property owners in the United States were to band together and decide to limit the number of people they would allow on their property, you might have a point, but that is not what is happenning is it? Otherwise you wouldn’t need laws to stop immigrants from coming in.

    The fact is, while some property owners do want to stop others from immigrating, others do not. And these others are happy to sell stuff to these immigrants, rent stuff to these immigrants, and buy stuff from these immigrants. Basic human rights, & manners means that they should be allowed to.

    immigrants are not injuring anyone by their mere status. Of course, you could have the immigrant who commits crimes, just as you can have a native person commit a crime. So you deal with the crimes that get committed and build fences/lock doors/learn to wield a shotgun as needed to minimize such crimes from occurring.

    An immigrant who underbids a native has not harmed the native, because there is no “right” to employment. Per freedom of association, the employer has the right to hire anyone he damn well pleases, or even to not hire anyone.

    An immigrant who buys a piece of property has hurt no one; obviously the seller is happy with the sale, or he wouldn’t have made it.

    The same is true for an immigrant who rents a piece of property.

    By equating laws locking people out of a piece of territory with the right of a property owner to bar trespassers you are making a serious error. In effect, it is the guys who want laws that are trespassing. By putting up fences and keep out signs where property owners do not want them, they are in effect interfering with the use of their property or trespassing themselves

  78. Anyone who doesn’t get why needing to import skilled labor is sign of social decline are themselves a sign of social decline.

    JMJ, of all the wacky things you have said on this thread, this is the one I’ll highlight.

    Rather than a thing to fear, importing skilled labor is a sign of social improvement! A society that imports skilled labor has the wealth and the productivity to use more skills than it can produce internally. That is a good thing!

    You also whine about the trade deficit. Importing skilled labor and the trade deficit are both signs of the productive prowess of the US into which people want to invest their human and material capital. These trends should be lauded.

  79. we have disintegrated into little “ones,” powerless in our one-ness because we have no true groups for advocacy of our needs.

    Jersey, if you believe this, you have obviously never stood between AARP and a pile of taxpayer money.

    This country is positively covered up with groups advocating for the “needs” of their members.

  80. This country is positively covered up with groups advocating for the “needs” of their members.

    I suspect our pal meant “our needs” as in the needs of the collective.

  81. Ah, yes, MP. The unitary, undifferentiated “needs” of everyone.

    JMJ, care to clarify?

  82. “Should the government also be involved in limiting the number of children that are born?”

    What an increase in the size and scope of government THAT would require! I would hope that it would never be necessary or thought to be necessary. Even just limiting procreation to those who can support their offspring would be full of problems, though the sentiment behind that is a step in the right direction.
    On the other hand I don’t think government should be subsidizing reproduction either. I, that am childless, and others should pay higher taxes because some want to have children? Why?

  83. You are right, tarran, you got me, I am completely wrong, allegory has no place to make a point. Let’s ignore “Animal Farm” as anything other than a silly story about talking animals.

    There is a process that people can follow to become legal residents of the United States, I know this because I am 3rd generation progeny of immigration. Did my great-grandparents insist those already here learn their language or be considered racist? No, they wanted to be Americans, they learned the language, laws, and society. My great-grandparents worked for pennies to other citizens’ dollars, so don’t tell me border crossers are doing work Americans won’t or don’t want to do, we just won’t do it for that cheap.

    If there was a choice between putting our unemployed in those jobs at honest pay or nearly slave labor from across the border, I’m all for taking care of our own first and paying extra at the grocery store.

    If there was a better system to document workers from Mexico here temporarily, I’d be all for that, too.

    I have no problem with immigrants, but I have no respect for people who simply step across the immaginary line we call a border and demand the same rights as citizens.

  84. coyote1234:

    Basically, what you’re saying is : “You gotta obey the laws, no matter how stupid they are”.

    So, how do you feel about the Drug War? Be aware that if you say you are against it, you’re being logically inconsistent.

  85. These immigration threads just get more and more ridiculous. The idiocy on both sides of this issue is staggering.

  86. coyote,

    Allegory can be quite useful in understanding reality. The problem is, your allegory is harmful to a good understanding, because the relationship between the government (or society) and the territory of the United States is quite different from that between a property owner and his real estate.

    BTW, you might not know this, but immigrants coming to the United States today learn English faster, and in greater numbers, than at any other time in our nation’s history. The reason for this is exactly the same reason that you find this statement surprising: because they are not living in segregated ethnic communities, getting by conversing in their native tongues. Instead, they are out in mainstream society, stumbling along with poor English skills while they interact with native-born Americans, picking up the language through immersion.

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