Saturday, December 28, 2013

You'd Be Depressed, Too

Did you hear the press?  The President seemed depressed when he left for vacation.  No kidding!  Do you wonder why?  What's that expression?  "They were on that like white on rice".  Isn't that a good description of reaction to every move he makes?  If the Republicans don't think of something to gloat about, the media makes up the words and puts them in their heads.  Ladies and gentlemen, he can't run again.  Wage your presidential race against another guy or gal.

It took a lot of courage to become the first black President.  Whoever did it was going to take a lot of flak just because he was the first black president.  What he and those of us who voted for him didn't realize is that he was going to be expected to be the first perfect president as well.  I'd be depressed, too.  So would you.

And look what happens to him when he takes a moment out of the horror to joke around with officials from other countries.  The press turns it into marital discord.  Whew!  There is nothing sacred to these roving commentators and cameramen, is there?

I hope you will all let him have a decent vacation so he can get some rest and prepare himself for the next onslaught from all of us.  Why don't you all take a rest from criticizing and gloating, too?

All you presidential hopefuls, think about the future moves you make.  They say that what goes around comes around.  Is this the kind of treatment you want?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

To Fence Or Not To Fence?

In an earlier article in this blog, I committed a kind of heresy by asking if we really need fences to keep out illegal immigrants.  It was more of a rhetorical than a real question.  Obviously in this era of terrorism, "no fences" would not be possible.  But, the rhetorical discussion is still important.  You see, we have a good number of American people who want to use illegals to do labor that many Americans see as distasteful.  Even during President George W. Bush's administration, he and some of his advisers wanted to offer opportunities for Hispanics to cross into our country on temporary work status, with the expectation they would return home once the work was through.  The latter is somewhat laughable unless the workers were treated like a chain gang or something similar.  And this came from a Republican administration -- you know, the Republicans who want to build stronger fences and hire more guards.  Why would they break with the traditions of their own party?  Probably because people from Texas and other Southwestern states know the value of having such people available to get the work done.

Then, on the other hand, we have some of us bleeding heart liberals who want to offer amnesty to them every few years.  "Oh, the poor people.  They've been here so long, we shouldn't make them go back."  Then there are the people who see it as too expensive to arrest and send them all back.

Not only are the various parties of differing opinions concerning these matters.  I believe that individual Americans are indecisive within themselves.  It may be time for all Americans to have a showdown with themselves.  Do the majority of Americans want Mexican, other Hispanics, Asians, Canadians, etc. to continue flocking to our country?

If the answer is no, then perhaps we should spend several times the current expenditure on firmer fences and many more guards.  But if that is the majority opinion, then otherwise conservative voters are going to have to quit hiring illegals and some U. S. citizens are going to have to work the less desirable jobs.  If the answer is yes, then we may need to lessen the security -- perhaps just check to see if the people entering may be terrorists.

There once was a method or reason for the madness of immigration laws.  People came by the boatload to Ellis Island where their papers were inspected.  They were quarantined until it became evident if they had any diseases that might threaten citizens, natural born or legal immigrants.  Some sort of controls were exercised.  Potential terrorists couldn't race over and race back.  Numbers could be controlled of people headed for various parts of the country.  Backgrounds could be checked before someone became a problem, not just after.

The old expression -- there ought to be a law -- may not be pertinent.  However, we ought to enforce our laws is very apropos.  Coming to this country without permission and not following legal procedure is breaking United States law.  Breaking our law is, duh, a crime.  People who break laws are criminals.  So, you expect us to turn our heads and let you break our laws?  How many more do you plan to disregard?  Will the others include robbery, violent crime, murder?  How can we tell that?  How can we trust you?

Perhaps it is time to force our hands.  How many United States citizens want illegal immigrants here?  How many don't?  How many actually know what they want?

Maybe you have a favorite immigrant in your neighborhood like I have.  This is my very favorite neighbor.  But is he/she here legally?  I don't know.  Perhaps the best neighbors in your apartment building are immigrants or children of immigrants.  Mine are.  Would you want to lose them in an all out deportation process? 

There are a lot of serious decisions we need to make.  Until we have made them, this country is going to continue handling immigration in this wishy-washy way.  And we need to compare the good immigrants with the bad.  An old neighborhood of mine now houses an Hispanic gang complete with several murders in the last few years.  How can we control this if we don't even know who lives in the neighborhood?

Perhaps before Congress spends any megabucks on locking people out and patrolling all borders to keep them out, they might ask the American public what they want.  Don't use polls that can be manipulated by where you ask your questions or how you ask them.  Congress, why don't you consider the legality of putting it to the test by putting questions on the next Presidential ballot?  Would it be legal to take an actual popular vote to determine the hearts and minds of the American public?  Then go with whatever a true majority of Americans want and quit this bickering back and forth.  It needs to be a Done Deal.  It needs to be done soon.  It should not be a political game meant to win elections.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Minimum Wage Debate

Back when McDonald's employees began demonstrating -- not recently, but some time back -- a very articulate lady at one site said that in order to support her family she needs fifteen dollars per hour.  Some months later, Robert Reich answered a question posed by a reporter with the response that if minimum wage had kept up with inflation, the current minimum would be fifteen dollars per hour.  Whoa, hold it, I thought.  That's exactly the figure that woman said she needed to meet her family needs.

It is said that one of the reasons Republicans in Congress are reluctant to raise the minimum at all is because it will cost jobs just when we need to be adding jobs.  They follow up that the increase in prices caused by having to pay higher wages will cause people to eat out less or buy less items.

This attitude is somewhat sophomoric to say the least.  Why?  Because the more money families make, the more money they spend and the more employees companies have to hire.

Not only that, but the argument that only two percent of the population works this low level job, is faulty because all wages paid by any employer use the minimum wage as the base wage.  Thus, all higher level wages depend on how high the minimum is.  Once again, the more people earn, the more they have to spend and the more employees are needed.

The minimum wage which affects high level wages also affects Social Security.  The more wage earners earn, the more Social Security taxes are paid and the safer Social Security becomes. 

Then there is the fact that if wages are kept this low, more people have to work two to three jobs to make ends meet.  That simply increases the shortage of jobs. 

Thank you, Mr. President, for asking for $10.10 per hour, which I concede it will be hard to get out of this big business loving Congress.  But, as I have stated in an earlier article in my Trickle Down Politics blog, even when the tight fists are loosened, the increases are always several years late and several dollars per hour short.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Concerning Immigration

Recently a group of individuals, including Mark Zuckerberg, appealed to Congress over immigration reform.  Zuckerberg's issue?  He and other internet and computer oriented companies need an influx of foreign born, tech savvy individuals to work in the United States.  First, are home-grown techies pure chump change?  Second, does he not understand there is a legal immigration system in place already?

Let's say a real estate agency has ten one-million-dollar homes for sale.  Saying you want second story men forgiven for their crimes so they can steal enough to buy those homes is indefensible, is it not?  Well, saying forgive undocumented workers for illegally immigrating to the United States when we have a legal immigration system in place is much the same principle -- or lack of principle.

Zuckerberg has some other alternatives available to him.  For instance, he can put some (or possibly some more) of his big bucks into scholarships for training home-grown citizens who show a gift for computer science.  We have many Americans who cannot afford college these days.  Some of them have interests and skills that our technical/computer/internet companies could mine instead of lobbying for illegals to be allowed to become documented.

If America truly has no capable candidates for the jobs, Zuckerberg can do an international search for suitable individuals and encourage them to follow a legal immigration path to citizenship.

It is not necessary to continually forgive individuals for breaking our laws -- not even because a handful of them might have skills which the United States is not developing to the fullest.  We already have too many workers to fill most available jobs.

Perhaps Zuckerberg's worry is for those President Obama has already addressed in his concern for children brought here at a young age.  If so, rather than complaining that they are undocumented, they can follow the steps outlined by the President's executive order and become lawful citizens through that path. 

It is simply time to stop forgiving illegal entry into this country.  We can welcome those who enter legally instead.