Saturday, April 22, 2006

I haven't had much to say of late (given the traffic level here, who'd notice? - ed.), but there's one question bugging me at the moment. The president and his administration gets a lot of scrutiny and critcism (some valid, a lot of it not) as they should, being the folks in power. The question is, why doesn't the press give more of the same scrutiny to the Democrats doing the critcising? The stock answer is they are not in power, but that doesn't wash. After all the Democrats wish to take over the levers of government for themselves, so shouldn't their policy ideas (or lack thereof) and partisanship receive a similar level of examination? If not, why not?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Few More Words about Immigration

I just have a few more words about our immigration policy, directed to some of the parties involved:

To the editors of the Wall Street Journal -
  1. Cheap labor is not the only consideration in forming immigration policy.
  2. The "Jobs Americans Won't Do" line is translated by a lot of folks as "Jobs done for below market pay by folks who can't complain".
  3. People who don't favor open borders (most of us) aren't going to buy the idea of amnesty, then enforcement. Tried it in 1986 and got no enforcement and 11 million more illegal immigrants. Try enforcement first, then make the case for more immigration (of the legal variety).
  4. No guest workers. Look where the guest worker policies in Europe (especially France) got them.
To President Bush -
  1. Vincente Fox does not make US immigration policy.
  2. There are not enough votes on Wall Street to justify the open borders policy you (and they) want. Listen to your party.
To the rest of the US Government -
  1. Our current immigration system is broken. It's confusing, contradictory, and capricious.
  2. Fix it. It's your job. Try to create a new set of rules that are consistent, understandable, and enforceable. You can't please everyone, so don't try. Just remember that citizens should have some claim to your attention over illegal immigrants.
  3. Build the damn wall, if that's what it takes.
To the illegal immigrant demonstrators -
  1. You are not citizens, you do not have a right to be here.
  2. If you insist on demonstrating in order to gain rights that you don't have, the cause is not helped by waving Mexican flags. If you don't want to be citizens, why the hell are you here? You just convinced a lot of people that you're only here for money, and that pisses them off.
  3. If you love Mexico (or wherever) so much, why are you demonstrating here instead of working to make things better back home?
To the enforcement-only folks -
  1. There are 11 million people within our borders who are here illegally.
  2. It is not likely to be practical (or desireable) to deport them all.
  3. Consider settling for proper border enforcement, along with deporting the criminal element among the illegals. The rest probably will need to be given a choice about whether to become citizens or go home.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Open Borders, Closed Minds

The immigration debate is not advanced by arguments like those in this WSJ editorial. First, they misrepresent the positon of those who do not favor open borders and unlimited immigration, by claiming they want to "seal the borders". No, they don't. What's desired is control of the borders, which is very different. The issue isn't whether to allow immigration or not, it is what to do about illegal immigration. The majority of those who want stricter border enforcement don't want to end immigration, they want it controlled. No one of any importance has called for an end to legal immigration, just the illegal variety. A distinction ignored by the Journal, either out of sloppiness or disingenuosness.

The Journal also ignores another reason for stricter border controls, like security. It apparently hasn't occurred to them that the same routes used by "coyotes" to smuggle Mexicans into the US can be used by terrorists and criminals. How can we call our borders secure, when law enforcement officials discover stuff like this running under our border?

The Journal also shows little or no concern for the problems faced by the border states popular with illegals, including added burdens on social services (taxpayer supported, of course) and the heightened competition for low-skilled jobs that hurts our poorer citizens. I guess WSJ editorial writers don't think that being a citizen merits anything over being in this country illegally.

I guess they've forgotten that economics is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The extent to which our economy fails to meet the needs of our citizens is also a kind of measure of its failure, not whether every last theoretical measure of profit is wrung out of it. Insteat, the Journal prefers subsidising employers via depressing wages via illegal immigration rather than allowing the market to work fairly, i.e. by hiring people who are legally permitted to be here.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Via Best of the Web - I'll bet the folks cheering this guy have all reserved their places in the other ten percent. My suggestion: with courage like theirs, they can be the pathfinders! (on some other planet, that is...)

One hopes this is a lame April Fool's joke, but somehow I doubt it.