Liberals vs Neo-Liberals

2007-May-21

It’s the economy, stupid!

Some folks who used to be Liberals want us to believe they still are. Well, sorry, Bub. It’s not enough to say that gay black guys should be able to get abortions. If you want to be a Liberal then you have to support their having jobs, and those jobs paying a living wage with decent safety standards…and with affordable medical care and a safe and secure retirement.

If you support gay guys having abortions but then support giving away our jobs, forcing us to take our kids out of college because we can no longer afford their tuition, even making some of us die early because corporate execs want to replace us with those who will not ask for healthcare, then you are not a Liberal–you are a corporate whore, no matter who you may have been thirty years ago.

You can support the people or the cheap labor plutocrats, but not both.


Immigration by the numbers

2007-May-20

Roy Beck‘s video should be seen by anyone wanting to understand the consequences of the recent bills recently pushed in Congress, supposedly to “fix the immigration problem”, but really to fatten the wallets of the “cheap labor” upper caste. It’s worth your 13 minutes:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4094926727128068265


The Friedman Unit (the F.U.)

2007-May-10

The Friedman Unit is always the latest in the endless endless series of six month periods after which we supposedly will finally see visible progress in Iraq. It got its name after Thomas Friedman who has continually been asking us to wait yet another six months ever since we got there.

Now that the Democrats are giving Da Prez all the money he wants but for shorter and shorter intervals, the Republicans will have to invoke the endless Friedman Unit even more frequently.

Unfortunately, the Dems will NOT cut off funds, and will NOT put an end to the death of our kids. Because it is not in their best political interest to end the war. The more of our kids who die, the more Democrats will get elected, as noted by William S. Lind:

All the Democratic majorities in Congress have to do is condition the funding for the Iraq war with the words, “No funds may be obligated or expended except for the withdrawal of all American forces from Iraq, and for such force protection actions as may be necessary during that withdrawal.” If Bush vetoes the bill, he vetoes continued funding for the war. If he signs the bill, ignores the legislative language and keeps fighting the war in the same old way, he sets himself up for impeachment.
What’s not to like?

For the Democrats, what’s not to like is anything that might actually end the war before the 2008 elections. The Republicans have 21 Senate seats up in 2008, and if the Iraq war is still going on, they can count on losing most of them, along with the Presidency and maybe 100 more seats in the House. 2008 could be the new 1932, leaving the Republican Party a permanent minority for twenty years. From the standpoint of the Democratic Party’s leadership, a few thousand more dead American troops is a small price to pay for so glowing a political victory.

I’ve said before that the cynical greed of both political parties could lead to a political realignment where The Rich may find themselves confronted by The Rest of Us, and Lind seems to agree:

The likely result of all this Washington dodging is that events on the ground in Iraq and elsewhere will outrun the political process. That in turn means a systemic crisis, the abandonment of both parties by their bases and a possible left-right grass roots alliance against the corrupt and incompetent center. In that possibility may lie the nation’s best hope.


Barack and MySpace – not ready for prime time?

2007-May-02

As Kos says, “Shitting on your biggest supporters is generally not a wise thing to do.”

When Obama became a senator, one of his fans put up a fan site on MySpace, and after a couple years, got 160,000 supporters for Obama. The senator’s campaign was in daily contact with him, helping and giving advice. When it got too much, and he asked to be paid for the time it was starting to take, they asked him how much to take over his site. When they didn’t like the price he quoted, they decided to take it away from him for free.

After it hit the internet, and they started taking flack, his supporters started trashing the guy, calling him a cybersquatter and extortionist and whatever for the crime of having supported their guy as a volunteer and then wanting to get paid.

Well, here’s a clue. I volunteered for a political campaign too. And then I started getting paid. It happens. Often. Do they think we’re stupid enough not to know?

And he is not a cybersquatter. He never had any intent to deceive anyone, and the daily contacts and assistance from his campaign staff hardly support their idea he was trying to harm Obama with his site. If was a fan site. Every celebrity in the world has tons of fan sites, and the celebrities don’t try to take over the sites and accuse the site owners of cybersquatting. The celebrities know they wouldn’t exist without their fans and their fans’ support through such means as fan sites. Except for Obama’s campaign.

So they look really, really dumb and incompetent. If Barack can’t even negotiate a mutually satisfactory deal with one of his biggest supporters, how the hell is he ever going to survive in the biggest shark tank of them all, in the arena of international politics with folks who have been there for decades?


Amnesty? Or Open Season on Blacks?

2007-May-01

The big push is on. In both the House and Senate the Cheap Labor Lobby is pushing to open the floodgates on bringing in folks to take jobs from American workers. The SKIL Bill (the SHILL Bill) in the Senate and the Strive Act Ithe Starve Act) in the house will allow huge numbers of guestworkers in to take any job that requires a college degree, and allow amnesty (without ever using the name) for unlimited numbers of illegals to take any job that does not.

If people want to give up their own middle class jobs (or the future jobs of their children or grandchildren) to guestworkers, that is their choice.

But right now I’d like to know where are the jobs coming from that are taken by the one to three million illegal immigrants coming in every year, many of them without technical job skills or good communications skills. Are there that many new jobs being created in this country for them?

Well, no. They are most certainly NOT taking jobs that Americans won’t do. They are taking jobs that Americans were doing, Americans who were already poor or barely making it, until they got replaced.

And it turns out that many of them were Black.

Finally, studies are starting to appear to show the effects of government policies to stop enforcing laws against illegal immigration:

The employment rate of black men, and particularly of low-skill black men, fell precipitously from 1960 to 2000. At the same time, the incarceration rate of black men rose markedly. This paper examines the relation between immigration and these trends in black employment and incarceration. Using data drawn from the 1960-2000 U.S. Censuses, we find a strong correlation between immigration, black wages, black employment rates, and black incarceration rates. As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, the wage of black workers in that group fell, the employment rate declined, and the incarceration rate rose. Our analysis suggests that a 10-percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a particular skill group reduced the black wage by 3.6 percent, lowered the employment rate of black men by 2.4 percentage points, and increased the incarceration rate of blacks by almost a full percentage point.

Unfortunately, the study is behind a for pay firewall, and only excerpts can be found. More data from it:

Between 1960 and 2000, the employment rate for black men plunged from 90 percent to 76 percent; for “low-skilled” black men (defined as high-school dropouts), in particular, it fell from 89 percent to just 56 percent. Between 1980 and 2000, meanwhile, the incarceration rate for black men rose from just 1 percent to nearly 10 percent. A new study considers this shift in light of large-scale immigration, which may have crowded black men out of the labor market and made a shift to crime more appealing. The researchers found that as immigration increased the supply of workers at a particular education level, the employment rate for black men in that category declined, and the incarceration rate rose. From 1980 to 2000, the authors conclude, immigration accounted for roughly a third of the decline in the black employment rate, and about 10 percent of the increase in the incarceration rate for low-skilled African Americans.

George J. Borjas, one of the authors of the above study, also authored the book Heaven’s Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy, with similar findings:

…the benefits of immigration have been greatly exaggerated and that if the American people allow immigration to continue unabated and unmodified, they are supporting an astonishing transfer of wealth from the poorest people in the country, who are disproportionately minorities, to the richest.

Despite estimates that range into hundreds of billions of dollars, net annual gains from immigration are only about $8 billion.

In dragging down wages, immigration currently shifts tens of billions of dollars per year from workers to employers and users of immigrants’ services.

And:

The new immigrants, Borjas finds, have also increased inequality in this country by depressing the economic opportunities of native-born unskilled workers. They have placed substantial fiscal burdens on the welfare systems of the states in which they congregate, and they have benefited employers of unskilled workers. In sum, today’s immigration “can be viewed as an income-redistribution program, a large wealth transfer” favoring high- over low-income Americans.

Many of these findings are now uncontested. The National Academy of Sciences Research Council (NRC) estimates that immigration was responsible for 44 percent of the decline in real wages experienced by high-school dropouts between 1980 and 1994. Writing in the Public Interest (Fall 1998), Steven Camarota, a scholar at the Center for Immigration Studies, maintained that the wage effects are even “larger than those reported in the NRC study.”

…multiculturalist banalities, it should be noted, happen to coincide neatly with the interests of the principal beneficiaries of today’s immigration–the people who hire the pool cleaners and gardeners in Beverly Hills and East Hampton and who insist on having freshly hand-picked vegetables and salads on their dinner table.

Illegal immigration has been used as a policy by cheap labor advocates to transfer hard-gotten gains over many decades from the poor, many of them Black, to the richest. And the gullible among us have gone along with it, with former Liberal (now Neo-Liberal corporatist) Senator Kennedy leading the charge to help George Bush and the wealthy racists take money from Blacks and give it to themselves (with tiny tidbits to the illegals themselves) by trying (successfully or not) to force Blacks and Hispanics to compete against each other for the limited pool of jobs. And there will be gullible Liberals and Progressives there to help. And perhaps save a few bucks by exchanging their own Black nanny or gardener for a Brown one.