It has been said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. That is an understatement when describing Obamacare. One hopes that someday they will identify (for a wanted poster) the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley behind the legislation. I recently read that one of the alchemists involved came up with an idea for selling the monstrosity to the public. The theory was that if the government reduced healthcare growth 5% over the next 10 years there would be a savings of $2500 for every family. Now we must understand that the concept of the government reducing any program 5% is the equivalent of repealing the law of gravity. To accept the concept requires the intellectual sophistication of a Forrest Gump. Enter stage right our President who, with a straight face, told his faithful followers that passing wedon’treallycare would mean a savings of $2500 for every family…no discussion of the precondition or the 10 year period before the savings might materialize. This passes for transparency in our world but it seems to be fairly easy to completely befuddle those who voted for our President.
There is a very interesting book that I recommend entitled The European Dream by Jeremy Rifkin, published in 2004. The author addresses the issue of immigration into Europe over the past few decades. This influx of immigrants was desired for two reasons: (1) the nations of Europe were seeing a dramatic increase in the average age of their populations and the entitlement programs in place were dangerously under-funded so new young workers were required to infuse cash into the system; and, (2) cheap labor was required to keep European industry competitive. In fact, Rifkin states that the immigrants would do work that the natives of the host countries would not do. In addition, a number of European countries were not reproducing at a rate that replaced the native population. Unfortunately assimilation was not encouraged so the new immigrants were not embracing the local culture and mores. It has resulted in isolation and poverty for many of the newcomers.
Rifkin also points out that the unassimilated and socially excluded immigrants commit crimes at levels disproportionately higher than their population. They also rely very heavily on welfare placing a further burden on national economies.
Apparently that is a precursor of what we will be seeing in the US. In 1935 FPR (Franklin Ponzi Roosevelt) secured passage of the Social Security Act. It seems clear, in hindsight, that no one in FPR’s administration was capable of doing higher level mathematics. We are now reaping the harvest of that incapability and we need new young workers to contribute to the system in order to support the ever growing army of social security recipients. Please note that the defenders of open borders never make this argument because it would require them to understand the reality of unfunded entitlement programs.
We do hear, with the regularity of an unwanted season, the argument that we need these ill-educated, illegal immigrants to do work that no Americans will do. And, of course, we need this low wage group to maintain our competitiveness in world markets. There is an implicit argument that by securing this cheap labor we can keep our manufacturing jobs at home. Well we have seen a veritable tsunami of such immigrants but, as the left points out with ever increasing shrillness, the nasty, greedy capitalists still export our manufacturing jobs. Shouldn’t there be a point where a light bulb pops on and the allegedly enlightened progressives see that the argument is, well, idiotic. However, being a deluded liberal means you never have to say you’re sorry. The good news is that the left will still get low cost watercress and arugula thanks to the low wages paid to those who pick such products.
The “unintended” but obvious consequence of this policy is that the US poor will not be able to find work and, lo and behold, we find that unemployment among, for example, teen-age Blacks approaches 40%. The employment of illegal immigrants allows for low cost labor at the expense of Americans. Depressingly the left is never, ever concerned about the disastrous effects of their policies.
So here is a proposal for dealing with the immigration issue:
- Those who entered the country illegally can return to their native countries to begin the process of legal immigration.
- Those who entered illegally can remain “in the shadows” with the following consequences:
- If they are discovered they will be immediately deported.
- If they return and are caught they will be incarcerated for a period of one year.
- If they are hired the employer will be subject to a penalty which will be the difference between the wages paid and $50 per hour.
- Those who entered illegally can apply for a work permit and may remain in the US as long as they are employed. The following conditions will apply:
- They will never be allowed to become citizens unless they serve four years in the US military and receive an honorable discharge.
- They will never be eligible to vote in any Federal or state election.
- They will be ineligible for any transfer payments from the government including Medicaid, Section 8 housing, food stamps and other welfare payments.
- They will be eligible for unemployment insurance for a maximum term of 90 days.
- They will be eligible, upon retirement at age 67, to get social security payments (but not disability) as long as they have contributed to the system.
- Children born in the US will not automatically become US citizens.
There will also be a potentially controversial provision: i.e. that the work permit will require that employers pay a minimum wage of $11 per hour. This will provide an incentive to employ American workers especially young people who need to enter the labor market to acquire work skills and experience. The risk is that this might result in a minimum wage for all workers but it may be worth that risk.
This issue requires more than an ostrich-like response…in other words the progressives need not apply.