It's time for me to throw in my two cents about immigration.
In all of the millions of words that have been spilled on this subject, not once have I seen what I believe to be the obvious, central truth about this subject. That truth is that there is no answer to this problem to be found on our borders, nor inside the United States.
Immigration from poor areas to rich ones is like a force of nature, a tsunami whose force is in exact proportion to the disparity of income between the poor and the rich. Border enforcement, arrests, deportations- these have demonstrated themselves to be as much help in stemming illegal immigration as a sheet of cardboard would be in holding back the force of the ocean.
There is only one real, permanent answer to this problem: raising the standard of living in third world countries. Every nickel an hour we can add to the incomes of third world workers means not only that many more people that can live decently in their homelands, but it also means that many fewer jobs that will be exported from here to there. In fact, it is my opinion that there is no single thing that can do more to guarantee the long time security of our country and our way of life, than seeing to it that others around the world can live decent lives too.
This is the central reality of this problem that no one seems to want to recognize.
American workers need to face an unpalatable truth: As long as international corporations hold sway over our economy, there is going to be one of two outcomes. Look at the person living in a tin shack next to an open sewer in Jakarta or Nairobi: Either their income is going to come up to yours, or yours is going to go down to theirs. Take your pick.
That is why I advocate a true, meaningful program to reduce illegal immigration, based on enabling the poor in third world nations to live decent lives at home. Here it is:
1. I advocate devoting a third of our current largely wasted military budget to promoting unions in third world countries. This is a vital security interest of the United States, and the objections of those countries' universally corrupt governments should not deter us in any way. The higher wages are in those countries, the better for us as well as them.
2. I advocate a compensatory tariff on all imported goods, to be equal to the difference between the labor costs (and costs of environmental regulation) in these countries, and labor costs here. I would then tell their employers that the United States will refund the tariffs plus a 5 or 10% incentive payment, for raising their employees' wages. Much of this would be paid for out of the military savings I advocated above.
These measures would improve not only our own lives, but those of people all over the world; furthermore, they would be a repudiation of the conservative, dog-eat-dog notion that we can prosper only to the degree that others suffer. The only people who will lose under this system would be those who profit from the income disparity between the first and third world. These are powerful people who will fight like pit bulls to keep their filthy earnings, but what a joy it would be to see them lose out in the end.
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