Monday, April 26, 2010
3. Free Trade
7. All of The Above
We who hail from the right of center can claim with simple indignation all day long that illegal immigration is the fault of the lawbreakers who cross our borders and scoff at our laws. If only it were that simple. We have to face the fact that the act of crossing the border is actually just one part of the problem. For an answer to other parts of this problem we may have to look in the mirror too.
If we remember back when NAFTA was signed into law and the term "that giant sucking sound" was coined we were told that it was the sound of American jobs going south. Well, sure, there was some of that, but it was also the sound of American agricultural products going south too. Since NAFTA was signed millions of Mexican farmers have been driven out of business. Cheap American corn in particular has devastated Mexican farming. A million and a half corn farmers and their families had to do something and that something was to come to America.
NAFTA was the free trade part of the story. The corruption and greed part go hand in hand. When large meat packing operations all over America broke their unions they replaced their workers with cheap Mexican labor. They openly recruited workers though newspaper and television ads in Mexico with the full knowledge federal agencies. These same agencies are finally forced to act when there is enough pressure put on Washington to do something about the "illegal immigration" issue. Whom do you suppose the enforcement agencies target? Well, it's not the corporate titans who have made billions of dollars recruiting and exploiting illegal Mexican nationals, it's the workers of course. I'm not here to defend the proletariat class against the bourgeoisie, I am going to indict the government for it's selective and uneven enforcement. Shouldn't these CEO's from meat packing or manufacturing industries also be brought up on charges? When they are it is usually a small time player who didn't write a big enough check to the campaign committee. This is what gives capitalism a bad name!
The uneven application of justice based on the power of political contributions is the destroyer of capitalism's reputation. Capitalists are no different than children playing games on the playground. Fun and games are good and business and profit are good too, but there has to be some rules for both or the bullies will rule. Capitalists are motivated by profit and the path of least resistance is always taken - like running water it needs to channeled or it will do as much harm as good. But like water it is also essential for life as we know it.
Socialism on the other hand is the uneven application of nonsensical rules applied arbitrarily on a whim based on whatever the administrator feels that day...
Seriously, socialism plays a huge part in the illegal immigration problem too. The dysfunctional socialist government in Mexico, sitting on a nation of vast resources and human potential, is failing it's citizens who largely want what we all want - a good life for our families. There would be no need for Mexicans to flood our cities if their own country would provide a decent economy and safe streets. An entrenched oligarchy bedevils a vibrant economy and a drug war in the northern states threatens to destabilize the Mexican national government and spill over into American cities near the border.
Under the ruse of social justice American socialism also plays a part in the problem as more and more government dollars are spent on educating, feeding and delivering health care for illegal immigrants. While breathlessly placing the blame on American policies and American business (both deserved) the socialists refuse to implicate their own culpability by way of making it attractive to come here with easy handouts, solidarity and pretend compassion.
There is of course the fact that we Americans like cheap meat, cheap vegetables and fruit, cheap roofers, cheap landscapers, cheap hotel rooms and cheap nannies. We don't realize that things are cheap because of cheap Mexican labor - if we do realize it we pretend not to. We are all part of the problem in a very real way. To be sure, in many cases there's nothing the consumer can actually do. We are largely ignorant of the true costs of this problem and how we actually play into it. I won't go so far as to say the average American is demanding "cheap" but we aren't doing much to turn things around as it relates to attracting cheap Mexican labor to our cities and towns. It's kind of like eating our cake and hating it too.
Lastly, the same thing that has attracted millions to our shores for the last 4 centuries is also true for Latin Americans. Hope for a better future. Or, escaping poverty and tyranny... Who can really blame them. But in the past immigrants went through proper channels - and that's all most of us are asking. Mexicans and Latin Americans can be some of the finest, hardest working people you would ever want to meet. We just want them and American based corporations and especially the federal government to obey the laws.