Immigration is a wedge issue that could break up the Republican Party between the plutocrats who reap staggeringly huge profits by replacing American workers with those making much less, and the American workers (many of whom happen to have voted the Republicans into office only to find themselves betrayed and see their jobs disappear). It could have much the same effect on the Democrats, who already lost many of their numbers when they started favoring the bosses over the union rank and file, at which point we began to see the Reagan Democrats defect.
This country has two political parties, and they are NOT the Republicans and Democrats. They are the Plutocrats, the top one tenth of one percent, those whose annual income is over three million dollars a year (supported by their toadies, sycophants, and suckups), and on the other side Those of Us Who Have to Work for a Living, the 90% of us who make eighty thousand dollars a year or less. The top 0.1% just make it look like there are other parties by getting us to fight over issues like whether two gay guys ought to be able to get married and have abortions.
Immigration and jobs are just two sides of the same issue. The more immigration, the more people there will be fighting over available jobs (ever fewer as companies keep on downsizing) and the lower wages will be (and the lower benefits will be, the lower safety standards will be, the quicker unions will die, and the easier it is to discriminate against Blacks by firing them and replacing them with folks who are, um, less Black). And, on the other hand, the less immigration we have, the better the wages the employers will have to pay, the better benefits they will have to offer, the more they will have to give in to unions, and the harder it will be to discriminate racially. That’s called capitalism. The more competition, the better capitalism works, including for workers.
So the Republican Party has had outright warfare between the fatcats at the top, represented by BushCo who wanted to open the borders, and their working class rightwingers who see themselves laid off and replaced, losing their homes, their medical care, their kids’ educations… And the Democrats are not far behind, with the DLC Dems trying to open follow the Republican lead in opening the borders, while their union members see all the factory jobs gone and their hopes for computer jobs destroyed by the flood of guestworkers.
In all this, there is the sickening realization that illegal immigration, guestworkers, and offshoring are all the same thing, just slightly different ways for the rich to make themselves obscenely rich by destroying the lives of those in the middle and working classes.
And even more sickening is the spectacle of watching the Plutocrats find ways to con the gullible into going along with it. To con the Right, they use distraction: “Don’t look at what we are doing to your jobs, watch us send your kids off to die”. And to con the stupid and gullible of the Left they play the race card: “You must be a racist if you don’t support turning factories into sweatshops and construction jobs into deathtraps!”.
Into this mess and imminent tragedy, it is enlightening to see how any politician will try to skirt the issues and avoid the obvious pitfalls…
On immigration, Claire says,
… people who break the law should be held accountable. … Claire does not believe we need any new guest worker programs undermining American workers. While building a fence along the border in some of our most porous areas is an appropriate first step, rampant illegal immigration will not be resolved until this Administration stops taking care of special interests who care more about access to cheap-labor than they do about securing our borders.
Personally, I am encouraged she is coming down on the side of the 90% rather than being one of the sycophants and suckups who support the 0.1% at the top and then try to find feeble excuses for being suckups.
On jobs, Claire isn’t bad, but could do much better:
Reduce Government Waste and Spending
Uh, this doesn’t create jobs, it gets rid of some, even if it is a good thing…
Block the Outsourcing of Missouri Jobs. … by cracking down on corporate loopholes, which reward companies that ship American jobs overseas
Good. Most folks don’t realize that our laws encourage and reward offshoring with massive tax breaks. But will she really resist the temptations to be bought off?
Promote Educational and Job Training Opportunities for All Missourians.
Uh, sorry, but kids are abandoning math, science, computers, and engineering because they see their parents getting laid off for years at a time from great jobs with no future job in sight except “Welcome to WalMart”. There is no reason to train anyone here for jobs that are no longer being offered to Americans. This is just a pork-barrel handout to universities. Bring back the jobs and then we will fill the colleges to train for them. Or better yet, tell the damn corporations to go back to training like they used to instead of demanding workers train themselves at their own expense. (I used to be a corporate trainer.)
Support Fair Trade Policies
Everybody says that. I’m waiting to see results.
Raise the Minimum Wage
Yea, yeah, but $6.50 is still a pittance when the CEOs are getting $40,000,000 a year and $400,000,000 golden parachutes. Just a tiny bandaid on a gaping wound.
Support Renewable Energy and Alternative Fuels
OK, this could be a WPA program that really accomplishes something.
Support Small Businesses
OK, but just supporting the SBA is a token, not an answer. We need a whole lot more.
So, all in all, her heart’s in the right place, but she needs to go a lot further. We need to cut down on illegal immigration by going after those who hire them. Just one day in jail for each illegal worker (and it would be the CEO, not the flunky hiring manager) and the problem would disappear.
And we need to get rid of guestworkers. The companies claim they are hiring them because they are the “best and the brightest” who supposedly have skills that are beyond us. If that is true them pay them at the 95% level instead of the 17% pay level.
And other countries have tariffs to discourage offshoring, and so should we.
These are not rocket science. The issue is whose side are you on, that of the top 0.1% or the 90%.