Tag Archives: immigration

It’s Exploitation, Stupid!

A consensus has now emerged as to why Donald Trump is president, why Britain voted to leave the EU, and why Marine Le Pen is ascendant in France.  Some thoughtful analyses have come from the left.  If you are a Democratic Party strategist and you attribute the “Trump disaster” to racism and xenophobia, you are hopelessly behind the curve.  This is not a strategy that will prevail in 2018.

Indeed, if you have been reading anything at all on the topic, you know that the relevant new divide in politics is between rural and urban voters.  In America this might have something to do with racial politics, but the phenomenon is global.  Points for originality go to David Wong, who spotted the shift a month before the election – writing in, yes, Cracked and strongly recommend for youth readers.

The rural folk with the Trump signs in their yards say their way of life is dying, and you smirk and say what they really mean is that blacks and gays are finally getting equal rights and they hate it. But I’m telling you, they say their way of life is dying because their way of life is dying. It’s not their imagination.

With the benefit of hindsight and some classical history, Wong might have written this analysis in City Journal or this one in The Guardian.  Read one or the other if you identify as right or left, respectively.  They say the same thing.

And what I am here to say is that the Midwest is not an exotic place. It isn’t a benighted region of unknowable people and mysterious urges. It isn’t backward or hopelessly superstitious or hostile to learning. It is solid, familiar, ordinary America, and Democrats can have no excuse for not seeing the wave of heartland rage that swamped them last November.

The really interesting part, though, is the intersection of liberal values with urban life and the global economy.  Humanity has now produced a strain of pure liberalism, combining classical liberal laissez faire economics with “social liberal” values in the American sense.  If Trump supporters are the losers from global trade, these urbanites are the winners.  You may have seen this map depicting the archipelago of Clinton voters.

You could draw the same map of Europe, and someone has – a geographer by the name of Christophe Guilluy.  The mayors of London and Paris have more in common with each other than with ordinary British or French workers.

Charles Murray would have you believe these people are the “cognitive elite,” blessed with superior intellectual gifts.  Jeremiah is not so sure.  Maybe some are internet entrepreneurs, but it seems more likely they are simply attached like leeches to lucrative sectors like banking and government – what you might call the “ruling class.”  Here is Victor Hansen again, from City Journal:

The elite in Washington and Menlo Park appreciate the fresh grapes and arugula that they purchase at Whole Foods. Someone mined the granite used in their expensive kitchen counters and cut the timber for their hardwood floors. The fuel in their hybrid cars continues to come from refined oil.

For people who think about public policy, this is a conundrum – how to enjoy the benefits of global trade without producing a society that looks like The Hunger Games.  On the other hand, the beneficiaries of this new economy are not losing sleep over it.

French elites have convinced themselves that their social supremacy rests not on their economic might but on their common decency. Doing so allows them to “present the losers of globalization as embittered people who have problems with diversity,” says Guilluy. It’s not our privilege that the French deplorables resent, the elites claim; it’s the color of some of our employees’ skin.

Thus it transpires that social liberalism is congruent with economic liberalism, i.e., exploitation.  Sure, we love to give immigrants a chance.  Whether they’re migrant farm workers or H-1B engineers, immigration drives down labor costs.  The same goes for offshore jobs.  Everyone must have a fair shot at driving down labor costs, while the urban elite reaps the profits.


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Filed under Economy, Trade

Alien Invasion

You fled the daily dangers of a threadbare dictatorship – the violence, the corrupt officials, and the armed factions. You came here in search of a better life, to find work, and safety, and a future for your children. No one can blame you for that. We welcome you, but with some trepidation.

Immigration without assimilation is just another name for “invasion.”

We fear that you will import the very attitudes and beliefs that made a wreck of your former home. Maybe not you, personally, but many of your kind seem to reject our culture and our way of life. Worse, they affect a moral superiority, as if they are the righteous ones and we are somehow evil because we have been successful.

We fear that, once you have the numbers, you will recreate your native laws and institutions. Stop and think about that, for a moment. It will not serve your interests to make in our home a replica of the very system which you have fled. You would only be carrying the seeds of your own (and our) destruction. If you can’t grasp that, maybe you don’t belong here. Maybe you should go back to California.

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Filed under Liberty

Arizona Has Rights, Too

Janet Murguia, President of La Raza, expressed concern over Arizona’s new immigration law.  She fears it will lead to racial profiling, wherein lawful Mexican immigrants will be harassed by the police.  Indeed, it would be wrong for the police to assume that all Mexicans in Arizona are there illegally.  Experts estimate 460,000 of them are illegal, roughly 23%.

On the other hand, if all such laws are deemed “racist,” then Arizona has no way to protect itself from illegal immigration – and Arizona has a serious crime problem.

The Arizona legislature acted for one reason and that is because the federal government did not act and carry out its responsibility to secure our borders.

Hispanic leaders like Ms. Murguia seem to welcome Mexican immigrants, legal or not.  This is unfair to those immigrants from all over the world, who respect our laws and go through proper channels.  There is no nation on Earth that accepts immigrants simply walking across its border.

Immigrations enforcement is about law, not race.  South Florida is filled with Cuban immigrants and no one complains, because they are here legally.  New York has plenty of successful Puerto Ricans, and would not welcome 460,000 illegal Canadians.

Arizona Senator John McCain says the administration has failed to enforce its own laws.  Ms. Murguia says it has “abdicated its responsibility.”  So, there is something both sides can agree on.

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Filed under Civil Rights