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November 29, 2007

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I applaud the Republican party's embrace of the xenophobic and racist attitudes of Tom Tancredo. It will guarantee Democratic party majorities for the next twenty years.

I work from time to time in the richest country in Central America. People seek work for $1/hr, most are rejected. Families live in concrete cubes without plumbing. Four white men run the country. They’ve got lots of stuff and complete control. The working man provides his family with rice and beans. Fancy people eat chicken. Globalization.

Guess who gives?

Wonderful information.
Why I`m not happy?

Hey Dude,
Where exactly is that Central American country, cos I'm white, a man and I eat chicken real fancy....maybe they need a fifth to help rule the joint?

I think we should just start calling it Tancredopathy.

Why should we actively want to encourage a permanent underclass to move to the US? To do jobs that Americans will not do? That simply does not make any sense to me. So Central America has a bad class system. I don't want that replicated here. I want pimply-faced teenagers working in my fast-food joints.

. I want pimply-faced teenagers working in my fast-food joints.

Then you have to pay the price that clears the market in pimply-faced teenagers.

They're not a permanent underclass if there's a legal path for them to get here, attain residency, send their kids to school, etc.

DaveC, the "underclass" Hispanics I meet all seem by their accents to be immigrants, who have always been an underclass. Later generations seem to be doing ok, e.g. Bill Richardson. I've seen studies to the effect that the children and grandchildren of Hispanic immigrants are learning English and generally assimilating just fine. We're not creating a permanent underclass, we're just seeing an endlessly-refilled underclass of recent immigrants from the same countries. That's a very different problem, if it's a problem at all.

Look at that -- for the last week ObWi has been Legal Fiction, but without the cool font.

In all seriousness, I hope that all of the authors and theirs are well, and just too busy to post.

DaveC, the "underclass" Hispanics I meet all seem by their accents to be immigrants, who have always been an underclass. Later generations seem to be doing ok, e.g. Bill Richardson. I've seen studies to the effect that the children and grandchildren of Hispanic immigrants are learning English and generally assimilating just fine.

Gee, that seems to happen with ALL immigrant groups (German, Irish, Asian, etc.). Why would anyone think this would happen differently?

Now, whether you want this country to tolerate even a temporary group of "unassimilated" people is another question, but I think it's a more honest one and strikes closer to what bothers people.

Kevin Drum has a 1:53 am post up entitled "An Extra Penny .... Tom Tancredo last night."

Underclasses are permanent by design. Anything more would be unAmerican.

Here and in Central America and Mexico.

We say tomatoes. The migrant workforce in Florida should say guns and violence.

By the way, after listening to a little bit of the crazy f-----s last night in the Republican debates, I've come to agree with the Second Amendment in its Biblical literalness.

Every one of those creatures deserves a well-armed militia and a whole lot of individuals keeping an eye on them through high-powered sights.

McCain is the exception. He at least had the look of a man who would rather spend four years with the Vietcong kicking the crap out of him than an evening with the assorted slime the Republican Party has dry-heaved up this time around.

Maybe DaveC was referring to Bush's plan for guest workers. That seems like it could be a permanent underclass. Isn't that how it works in other countries, like Saudi Arabia?

I know it's already been addressed, but I have to kick this lameness every time I see it:

To do jobs that Americans will not do?

"...Jobs that Americans will not do" AT THAT WAGE. Let the market function: every job, no matter how nasty, has a wage rate at which even God-fearing white Presbyterians will take it.

But if that wage is too high to make the job economically feasible, then maybe the job only exists because of cheap labor or exploitative conditions. Maybe it should be automated or eliminated entirely.

"Jobs Americans won't do" just, simply, DO NOT EXIST. What exists are "Jobs Americans won't do, under those conditions and for that miserable wage."

We set up a system that demands illegal labor. There are a number of jobs where minimum wage is too much and automation isn't an option. Workers not operating within the system are the only option under these conditions. Now all we need to do is eliminate the minimum wage and open the borders...

The bottom line: Our economy requires large numbers of poor people.

It's the root of so many other problems....

The bottom line: Our economy requires large numbers of poor people.

What economy doesn't?

The bottom line: Our economy requires large numbers of poor people.

Our economy requires large numbers of relatively poor people. Inequality is a part of the process of a market and long term growth. The poor around the world dream of being at the level of American "poor".

That said, the massive expansion of the gap between rich and poor over recent years is something to be concerned about. Corporate/government connections threaten both political and economic freedoms. The underlying equality of opportunity in the system is being eroded by our new reality of crony capitalism.

But more government isn't the answer to this. We've seen again and again how government is expanded to "do good" and it does, for a time. But those powers are valuable and, over time, the most powerful forces in a given area (usually those the expansion was designed to check) gain control over those powers and simply end up even more powerful and dangerous than before.

Thanks - I'll tell that to the guy who goes through my trash for plastic bottles.

Maybe he'll find some equanimity in there too.

If it were true that education will help Americans keep something resembling their current middle class I think I'd rather have the pimply faced teenagers at school or home studying instead of flipping burgers.

But more government isn't the answer to this.

Compared to what?

Bad government is certainly not an answer, but untrammeled market economics is the result we're seeing. As we're seeing, it tends to reduce class mobility, which results in crony capitalism.

The bottom line: Our economy requires large numbers of poor people.

What economy doesn't?

Second Life. Whose economy is larger than that of several countries.

Also, any other MMORG.

However, any plans to permanently emigrate need to remain long-term, for now.

"But more government isn't the answer to this."

Or, possibly, simple-minded, reductionist, Procrustean bumper stickers aren't the answer.

"More government isn't the answer" is an answer that is nonetheless universally applied by those with whom it is popular to almost every issue that arises. It was heard even more often, far more loudly and proscriptively, during the Great Depression, and doubtless this means we can reargue the ever-exciting "did the New Deal really do a lot of good, or not?" argument, but since I think it did (which is a separate question from straw ones such as "did it completely cure the Depression?" or "did every idea tossed up in the New Deal work?"), I tend to disagree that "more government isn't the answer" is a universally applicable answer, any more than "more government is always the answer" is.

Btw Tancredo
http://alternet.org/rights/69391/>Tancredo had his mansion renovated by "Illegal Aliens"

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