The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Archive for the ‘immigrants’ Category

ON HILLARY CLINTON AND IMMIGRATION

It is an unstated but obvious goal of the left in the United States that under the guise of “humanitarianism” we should open our borders to any and all of the world’s “oppressed” so that they may come and enjoy the government benefits so richly awarded thanks to the efforts of the ever-diminishing working class who earn the money and pay the taxes to provide them.  This is all done in the name of equity, social justice and (less obviously) the ultimate goal of getting a sufficient number of voters to the polls so that the policy can be even further expanded and America may join the ranks of third world socialist countries in which everyone can enjoy an incredibly low level of income equality.

There seems to be some confusion among certain Democrat politicians regarding their family origins and backgrounds.  We all remember Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D – MA) decision to claim a Cherokee background because of her remembrance of her Aunt Bea’s looking at a family portrait, telling the young Elizabeth that their venerated ancestor, captured forever in oil on canvass, “had high cheekbones – just like yours.”  Well, that seems good enough for government work.

Now cometh Hillary Clinton on her van tour to Iowa claiming that all her grandparents had immigrated to the United States, when in fact three of them were born here.  Not that it should matter – other than Hillary’s version makes for a more compelling story.  And heaven only knows, Ms. Clinton needs something to talk about to help the average undecided independent voter see beyond the makeup base and blush to want to cast their ballot for her.  There is certainly little that is positive in her background to cause that to happen – and a lot of baggage that, at the very least, has a certain air of privilege and impropriety.

But returning to the subject of immigration and why our porous borders should be converted into open floodgates, the left makes the argument that the Europeans who came to this country were usurpers, stealing the land from the aboriginal residents who were already here.  Coterminous with this argument is the beginning of their objection to guns since the displacement of Native Americans was accomplished through the use of the blunderbuss which proved to be a far more efficient killing device than either the arrow or the tomahawk.

The most current theory on the inception of the human race is that from an original “earth mother” somewhere in Africa, all humanity sprung.  It’s the sort of scientific community’s version of the Adam and Eve story – but with God eliminated as an unnecessary addition to the cast of characters.  Well, let’s run with that theory.

So our original progenitor had a child or children and presumably they had children and before long there were a whole lot of children and adults running around this one spot on the African continent.  We can certainly imagine that after a not so long time on the evolutionary scale of things, it got a little crowded in this African oasis.  And as new generations and more children came along, some of them decided to move to newer, less populated areas.  They might only have relocated a few miles away – or perhaps they went further.  Much further.  In fact, some of them moved to Asia and Europe and the Americas and Australia.

If the the scientific theory is right, there is no other explanation for how so much of the earth’s land masses got populated.  So while the various Native American tribes were here before the European settlers, they were in every respect immigrants and usurpers just as much as those who followed and largely displaced them.  It might be argued that anyone other than the descendants of the original “earth mother” who still live in the same spot whence all of humanity originated are in fact immigrants and usurpers – all of us.

While I hear the left spout off all the time about how unfair minorities are treated in the United States I have yet to hear any talk of any movement for all of us to hop on a plane and go back to Africa so that we cleanse ourselves of the sins of our fathers and forefathers who had the nerve to come here looking for a better life.  Of course, were we to do that, we would obviously put some stress on the local economy and populace – but we can deal with that issue when the planes start to unload their passengers.

Until that happens, which may be awhile, we can not only admit but agree that we are all immigrants – and be proud of it.  It is not so much what we did to get here but what we do while we are here that is important.  Personally, I would prefer the company of a law abiding immigrant to that of a fourth generation American who is a serial murderer.  And just as we weed out people who have a legal right to live here through our judicial system, it is incumbent on those in government to weed out those who wish to come here before they are permitted entry.

Any of us who is charitable might invite a hungry stranger into our homes to share a meal.  But most of us would recoil if that stranger showed up unexpectedly at our doorstep and demanded that we share our bounty with him or her.  And it is for that reason that in the interest of the common good, we ought to have a strong and strongly enforced policy on immigration, welcoming those who have the desire and the potential to add quality to the fabric of American society and rejecting those who will detract from it.

While I have no interest in providing constructive advice to Hillary Clinton on how she should conduct her campaign, it should seem obvious to a woman of her extensive background that most of us who will make a decision on the person who will receive our vote in the next presidential election would like to feel that we are treated as smart enough to know when someone running for office is telling a whopper.  So if Ms. Clinton wants to do the best thing she can to promote herself, it might be to try a little honesty.  Not only would it be refreshing – it would certainly be unexpected.

Advertisements

INVITATION TO THE DANCE

 

There was a time when people dressed for dinner, dressed for church and most certainly dressed for balls and for proms.  We still consider a prom something special and so we attire ourselves specially.  Sadly, Maren Sanchez will not be dressing for anything anymore as she will be dead three months on July 16th, murdered by one of her “friends,” Chris Pakson who hacked her to death in their school’s stairwell with a kitchen knife.  The two were sixteen years old.

Pakson apparently had a history of mental illness being described as a “hacker” – a person who inflicted knife wounds on himself.  He also had been diagnosed with ADHD.  The prosecution in Connecticut is planning on charging him as an adult after he undergoes a thorough mental evaluation.  The reason for Maren’s death was that she rejected his invitation to attend their school’s prom.

It seems that even with apparent medical diagnosis and attention, Pakson was given free reign to walk, attend school and murder his long time friend.  Here was a young man whom the medical community recognized as having “issues” yet certainly no one thought that those “issues” would result in such a tragic ending.

On our open southern border we have been seeing a growing influx of “children” who are escaping the horrible conditions in Central America.  Honduras is the murder capital of the world.  Under the guise of humanitarian concerns, the Obama administration effectively is inviting these youngsters.

Now we have a proposal to spend $3.7 Billion, ninety-seven percent of which is designated to the care, housing, feeding and schooling of these children – and three percent to adding more border patrol agents to try to stem the flood of these immigrants.  Estimates are that comes to an approximate expenditure of about $75,000 per new immigrant – a number that dwarfs the amount that we spend on our own children who are recipients of various social benefit programs.

Despite the picture which is generally conveyed that these kids are “toddlers” who have on their own made a fifteen hundred mile trek to emancipation, it appears that many of these children are in fact young juveniles in their mid to late teens.  Perhaps that is the reason that the administration is essentially barring not only the press but members of Congress from taking a first eye view of the holding centers where they are temporarily being housed – before being shipped off throughout the country to places unknown.

Recent estimates are that the “coyotes” who specialize in assisting those who are seeking a new home in the United States are collecting $5,000 per person for those in this latest wave crossing the Rio Grande.  That is a phenomenal amount when you consider that the average person in Honduras earns less than $2,000 per year.  Where are these indigent people obtaining such a relatively large amount of money to make the journey?  Could it be that some of our foreign aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador is being used by those countries’ governments to encourage the export of their own citizens?

In one respect, until the Congress changes a 2008 law which granted special protection to illegal immigrants who come from anywhere but Mexico and Canada, our border crisis will continue.  It is surprising that the president has not taken out his pen and written an executive order to alter that law.  He has shown no hesitancy doing so with respect to other laws.  Nor has he picked up the phone and called the presidents of the three Central American countries who are losing their citizens and threatened them with a reduction in the aid that we supply unless they co-operate in helping to stem the flow.  For that matter, a call to President Nieto of Mexico would be in order as well – encouraging him to apprehend these migrants before they reach our border.

There is no one who does not have empathy for these kids and their plight.  But at the same time, we ought to have empathy for our own children and our adult population as well.  Allowing youngsters whose backgrounds are uncertain, who may or may not be gang members and who almost certainly have the potential to bring infectious diseases into the country where they can spread these among the general population does not seem like a well-reasoned policy, humanitarianism or not.

At the least, we should treat those who are in their mid-teens as adults, as the Connecticut prosecutors are treating Chris Pakson for murdering his schoolmate.  That would at least moderately ease the backlog of illegal Central American youngsters who are awaiting deportation hearings – a process that will take many years to accomplish.  The ultimate answer is to have an administration in power that recognizes the absolute sovereignty of our nation’s borders and comes to the table with a sincere proposal both to secure those borders and negotiate a workable, reasonable and compassionate path to citizenship for those who want to resettle in America.

We may have to wait several years if not longer before that happens.  In the meanwhile, there will be no Central American wallflowers at our “Open Border Dance.”  You can’t blame them for wanting to escape the deplorable conditions in their native countries.  Nor can you blame them for wanting to come here.  After all, Obama and his administration have sent them an engraved invitation for them to attend.

BLISSFUL IGNORANCE

Although the truck trip hadn’t been that long, Eloise was glad it was over.  The back of the truck was crowded, and she had to stand next to Bessie who was one of her least favorite companions.   Bessie always bragged about how she was so much better than the rest.

It was hot as they started to move in to the building.  They came to the fence and Bessie naturally pushed to the head of the line since she was more important than the rest.  She sneeringly turned to look at her companions as she walked ahead of them, a slight  swagger in her step.  She was the first to feel the weight of the sledge hammer which ended her consciousness before the knife took her life.

When the wind came from the west as it usually did, the smell of fear and blood and death filled the air in my neighborhood, then travelled to the waters of Lake Michigan where they were dissipated before reaching the borders of Michigan or Indiana.  The Chicago Stockyards were open for business and would remain so for seven years after I moved to the city, finally closing in 1971.

There had been a movement toward relocating slaughterhouses in urban areas and putting them closer to the source of the livestock which were their clientele.  Chicago relinquished it’s title, “The Hog slaughter capital of the world,” with some equanimity.  Improved and reliable transportation made it less important to have the finished product close to the source of consumption.  But this change had its impact on the neighborhood where the slaughterhouses had operated.

 

Drovers Bank which had been chartered in 1883 to serve the cowboys who moved the cattle to their final destination closed seven years after the stockyards in 1978.  The saloons and houses where women of questionable virtue held court near the yards were long gone.  While we still wanted to consume that steak or slab of ribs, we no longer wanted to be close to the process that produced them for us.  We wanted to pretend blissful ignorance – and we still do.

“Out of sight – out of mind.”  I don’t know if this was originally a German proverb but as with the Union Stockyards in Chicago, Hitler employed the same strategy in his location of the death camps.  If photos of the inner workings or the slaughterhouses or the showers in Auschwitz were released to the public, more of us might be vegans and the Second World War might have ended sooner.

 

Today we have what is described by some as “a humanitarian challenge and responsibility” to take care of the children from Central America who are crossing our southern border.  Others describe this as a well-orchestrated, planned invasion.  Perhaps it is some mixture of both.  But if it is the former, then wouldn’t it make sense to sell the idea by photographing the waifs who have made the hazardous journey thus dispelling the arguments of the doubters?  After all, unlike “global warming/climate change” it is not difficult to take a snapshot of the subject matter.

Surprisingly, not only are reporters and even Congressmen not being allowed into the facilities where these newcomers to America are being housed, those who are expected to tend to them are not receiving advanced notice that they are on their way.  Why?  If we are trying to fulfill a presumed responsibility to take care of them, wouldn’t it make sense to allow those who will receive them to make appropriate preparations?

While this administration might not be the most transparent in history, it may prove to be the most prescient.  Perhaps it has looked across the country and found that apathy is one of our citizenry’s greatest attainments.  And within that context it realizes that most of us would prefer to remain in a constant stupor of blissful ignorance.

WHAT’S THE QUESTION?

When I was in college, one of my classmates had a suggestion for a pleasant way to spend a Saturday evening.  The first part was going to Pizzeria Due for one of their pies (I was up for that).  The second part was going to see a native Chicago comedian, Shelley Berman at his one man stand up comedy show (I was not up for that).

Several years earlier I was unfamiliar with Mr. Berman, but in a foray in New York into Sam Goody’s I had browsed through the closeout section and encountered the album, “The Best of Shelley Berman” and had purchased it after reading the record jacket.  Even though I realized that the jacket contained material that was intended to promote the vinyl it contained, I was curious to hear what it described as Mr. Berman’s “unique” comedy – so I bought it.

If as a child you enjoyed pulling the wings off flies, you probably would find Mr. Berman’s humor enjoyable.  The hour that I spent listening to this record was nothing short of torture as I heard this self-deprecating man describe what a loser he was.  Rodney Dangerfield, famous for his line that, “He didn’t get no respect” would, by comparison, get a 98% approval rating in contrast.

Well, the economics of the proposed evening, my friend had a free extra ticket to see Mr. Berman, and my desire to enjoy a Due’s pizza overcame my better judgment and so I agreed to go.  The hour at the show exactly mirrored my earlier experience with Mr. Berman’s record and I recall fidgeting almost constantly in the seat, hoping that the comic was not feeling well and would cut his routine short.  At the least, I hoped there would be some new material that I had not heard on “The Best of …” that would be amusing.  Sadly my hopes were dashed.

One of the skits that Mr. Berman shared with us that evening was on the album.  It was a purported death bed conversation between Gertrude Stein and her long-term lover Alice B. Toklas as Ms. Stein lay dying.

In the skit, Ms. Toklas is sitting by Stein’s bed.  In a voice that is reminiscent of what we have come to expect of a medium at a séance, she says, “Gertrude.  Gertrude. What is the answer?  What is the answer?”  To this, Ms. Stein responds, “What’s the question?”

Whether that story is true or apocryphal, the question of what’s the question transcends Ms. Stein’s life and writings.  And it lacks only one addition to make it profound.  That addition is, “Who’s asking the questions?”

Eleanor Roosevelt made a profound comment when she said, “Small minds talk about people.  Average minds talk about events.  Great minds talk about ideas.”  If we watch any news show it is apparent that their coverage is intended to appeal to people who, by Mrs. Roosevelt’s definition are either small minded, or at best, average.  No example serves to illuminate this point better than the current discussion over both the partial government shut down and the likelihood of butting up against the legally set debt limit.

We’ve all heard the coverage of finger pointing by all parties involved; the use of provocative labels that are being tossed around; the effects of the shutdown in closing national parks and memorials; how certain benefits owing to veterans and their families are being denied.  This is far from an inclusive and complete list.

And the question these news gurus are invariably focused on is, “Who’s fault is all of this?”  The answer to that question varies, depending on the political leaning of the particular station.  Unfortunately, all the answers that they give are both short-sighted and wrong.

The answer to that question of who is at fault is, “Those who voted to cede their personal responsibility in favor of having government run their lives; those who voted people into office who believe in the philosophy that government can always do a better job than the average citizen; those who believe that they have an unalienable right to entitlement and a minimal level of subsistence; those are the people who are at fault for our present debacle.

The “Federalist Papers” are filled with serious debate over what would be the legitimate authority and role of a new Federal government.  The authors had different ideas.  But that they were great men is implicit in the fact that they had ideas and were not afraid to debate those, sometimes heatedly.  And their conclusion, as clearly expressed in our Constitution, was that the powers that they were willing to convey to a new Federal authority were severely limited, no way reflecting the state of affairs under which we live today.

Were they correct in their conclusions?

Well, the America that they constructed became the greatest country in the world, based on the personal effort of millions of citizens who worked for a better life for themselves and their families.  We became the most industrialized and productive country ever seen on the planet.  We took individual liberty seriously but were not afraid to help out those who were in need or unable to help themselves through individual and collective charity.  We became a land to which all who were oppressed throughout the world journeyed because they knew that in America, opportunity was only limited by a person’s initiative.  Their vision of America lasted for about one hundred sixty years.

Then came Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal.  And in the last eighty years, government has grown and entrenched itself further in our lives, reducing the individual’s ability to make it on his own and, more importantly, characterizing individual success, the driving force behind America’s former greatness, as an example of cupidity and greed.

It would be fair to say that if government can demonstrate that it, rather than the individual, is better able to bring about a more efficient and fairer society, then any rational person would certainly support government growth.  But it doesn’t take a great deal of insight to see that what the growing Federal government has provided is fraud, waste, lack of direction and the largest national debt in world history.

The real questions that we need to ask are, “If this is what we get from an expansion in our Federal government, what do we need to do to get rid of it and go back to letting the individual be the ‘Captain of his fate and the Master of his soul’?  And if you and I are not willing to make the effort to reclaim the America that was given to us by the Founding Fathers, then whom do we think should be responsible for taking up the gauntlet?”

MURDER, MURDER EVERYWHERE AND NOT A POL WHO THINKS

The “leaders” of the governments of the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, other European countries and the United States have one agenda in common.  They seek greater inclusivity in their countries.  That sounds good and true inclusion for all is indeed an admirable goal.  It should be the philosophy of all open-minded and fair people, whatever their ethnic backgrounds, race, sexual orientation or religion.  But when you attempt to include people who have an agenda of self-perceived superiority, that effort is doomed to abysmal failure.  Such is the agenda of Islam.

In the U. S. we should have learned a lesson about forcing “equality” on our citizens back when Brown v. The Board of Education desegregated our public schools.  There is no question that, by and large, black school children received an inferior education than their white counterparts.  So we invented busing to integrate our public schools.  The result was not the elevation of the education that the newly integrated black students received, but the lowering of achievements that white students attained.

It seems that our focus in bringing “equality” almost always means that those who have or do more always get shoved down the path of mediocrity to become nearer to the levels of those who have less and do less.  While it is our stated goal to elevate the underdog, that seldom happens.  And the more we realize that our good intentions are falling short of our goals, the more radical the new programs that we invent in order to try to achieve them.

These radical programs evolve into an absolute hatred of anyone who doesn’t fit the standardized “norm” that is promulgated as the ideal for all of us.  And the rabid left will leave no stone unturned to undermine the success of those who have taken personal responsibility and succeeded.  Of course, their underlying theme is that these people have no right to that which they have earned.  As I recall, that was one of the themes that was preached as the Bolsheviks implemented their doctrine in Russia.

Unfortunately, we live in a land that was probably the greatest success for individual freedom and achievement.  That makes America the ideal target for those to whom success is anathema.  And we can see that in the continuing way that this administration actively degrades the Judaeo-Christian principles and practitioners who still exist in this country and favor those who are Muslim.

While the One Million Muslim march on 9/11/13 fizzled, radical Muslims are making regular inroads thanks to our politicians – not only here but in much of Europe.  From our perspective, Europe got a head start on us because of their proximity to many Muslim countries.  But we’re doing our best in America to catch up.

Islam is billed as a “religion of peace.”  Perhaps it is and perhaps there are many Muslims who hold to that ideal.  But when we hear of Islam it is not they who are on display doing acts of charity to those of other religions.  Rather, as we saw over the last several days, it is what we choose to call the “radical” Muslims in Pakistan, suicide bombing Christian churches and killing 85; or in Kenya where Somali Muslim terrorists slaughtered 62 and wounded another 175 in a shopping mall after identifying who were non-Muslims and executing them.  If this is peace, what must war look like?

What is particularly disturbing about the Kenyan incident is that some of the terrorist combatants apparently came from Canada, the UK and the U. S.  We can be sure that not all of those within those countries have emigrated to Somalia, the source of the Kenyan attack, and are here and living among us.

Both Europe and the U. S. have bent over backwards to “accommodate” Muslims and the end result is that the more they are placated the greater their demands.  It’s like trying to buy off the tantrums thrown by a spoiled child by acceding to his hissy-fits.  And ultimately, we produce a child who believes that bad behavior is the route to getting his way.  At some point, that behavior crosses the boundary either of civility or the law and we need to apply force to ensure the safety of those with whom he comes in contact.

That time is now here for western governments – the time to stop accommodating our Muslim residents and offer them exit visas to their destination of choice.  No one asked them to come and they are free to go to places which are more to their liking and which better suit their mores.  Or, if they choose to remain, then they need to accommodate themselves to the existing culture to which they have relocated.

Are there any politicians out there, anywhere in the western world who do not see the problem?  Or are they all too committed to their liberal vision of “inclusion” to admit to all the murders which are being perpetrated?

The thought of the rampancy of terrorism sometimes gives me nightmares.  But I suspect our pols, failing to face the all too obvious facts, sleep quite soundly.

 

AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM

The recent Putin put down in his N. Y. Times “op-ed” descrying the phrase “American exceptionalism” certainly has some basis if you read or watch what the media regularly report.  It is hard to refute that argument if your focus is on mass shootings, Hollywood celeb shenanigans or the person whom we have elected as the CEO of the country, President Obama.

If you look at our stagnant economy, those who are willing to sit on their duffs and collect a government stipend, the shootings that go on regularly in our inner cities and the government’s inability to deal with realistic spending or to develop programs that actually have a positive effect, there is nothing in any of these to contradict the Commissar in Charge’s allegations.

So what happened to American exceptionalism – or did it ever actually exist?  Well, it did exist and still does – though the examples are far fewer than could be found if we go back a generation or more.  In some respect, the achievements of previous generations have contributed to our current effete society.  They did great things and handed them down to us and we have taken their sacrifices and their hard work for granted and now have a mindset that we are “entitled” to what we have and yet we want even more.

There are, however, still examples of the honesty, generosity and selflessness that were once a part of America.  They are too few and they are too under-reported but they exist nevertheless.  In this week’s news, absorbed as we are with Syria and the budget, two stories emerged – and at their center are two professional athletes who have shone the bright light of gratitude and responsibility on us and provided examples that we should all heed.

You might have heard about former New England Patriot’s player, Brian Holloway whose vacant farm house was the scene for a party held by 300 teens who, over several days, trashed the place while taking drugs, drinking and urinating in the building.  Holloway now lives in Florida and is a motivational speaker.  Before discussing his response to this episode I would like to share a personal experience with respect to home invasion.

Many years ago I decided to refurbish the wooden window frames in my condo.  One of my neighbors was a designer and gave me the name of a crew that had done similar work in her apartment.  So I hired the group and they began the project.

It happened that during the course of this project the anniversary of my grandmother’s death occurred.  One of the things that she had passed along was a small collection of silver dollars and four old quarters.  They had no great numismatic value but were invaluable as memorabilia.  The four quarters were the last paycheck my grandfather had brought home before his death – a day’s wages; and the fourteen Morgan dollars  were the totality of their savings.  Grandma vowed never to spend these.

So here was a young woman who in 1921 found a second job to support her two daughters and to further supplement her meager income took in other peoples’ laundry.  There were no social safety nets other than what might be gleaned from friends and family.  Somehow she made it, never amassing a fortune but despite her lowly jobs and lack of a formal education was able to pay the bills and make sure that her daughters went to college.

When I went to look at these coins I found they were missing.  I cannot describe the sense of emptiness that came over me when I made this discovery.  One of the workmen had also stolen some small pieces of jewelry, but the police found those in a pawn shop.  The coins were never recovered.

I can only imagine how Mr. Holloway felt when he went to his empty farmhouse and saw the destruction that these 300 teenagers had caused.  If it were me, as calm as my demeanor normally is, I think I would have been overcome with a great sense of outrage and would have been looking for justice and even revenge.

But Mr. Holloway rose above that venality.  He started a website and posted the pictures that these cretin teens had themselves posted on Facebook, extolling their own malfeasance.  His goal was to bring them to accountability through public shaming.  As of this writing, only one of those has come to him and admitted his participation in the orgy.  But he has heard from several parents who are threatening law suits for exposing their miscreant children for what they are.  With that sort of parental response, it is not hard to understand why these kids behaved as they did.

I sympathize with Mr. Holloway for his loss.  As he pointed out, everything can be repaired or replaced.  And I laud him for his efforts to hold the kids who were involved accountable – despite the obvious lack of positive parental supervision or direction.  To my mind, Mr. Holloway is a true example of an American who is exceptional.

The second gentleman who deserves recognition is Boston Red Sox pitcher, Jon Lester.  He is a survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer.  He struggled against this disease and overcame it.  And he is concerned that not enough attention is being paid to pediatric cancer research.  So in conjunction with Pediatric Research Foundation Board member Rob Quish, he has established the “NVRQT” charity, which stands for “Never Quit” to raise money for research.

Mr. Lester has also taken time to meet with children who are either undergoing cancer therapy or who have finished their program, to encourage them to fight against their disease.  He talks to them about his own experience in battling the disease and offers them the hope that can only come from a fellow survivor.

In an interview he spoke about his role as a professional athlete.  He recognizes that there are, “Some who simply pay baseball because that’s what they want to do.  But others realize that we are role models for youngsters and we have to accept and embrace that responsibility.”

Kudos to Mr. Lester for providing all of us with a positive example and best wishes to him that he remains cancer free.

Most of us will never be recognized for doing the right thing.  But it is, to my thinking, that doing the right thing needs no recognition because it is its own reward.  That is, of course, an old-fashioned idea.  But it is that philosophy which was fundamental to those who came before us and because of whom the term “American exceptionalism” came into being.  For providing us with their example, we should all be grateful and take their sacrifices to heart and say, “Thank you.”

HOW TO SETTLE THE MINIMUM WAGE DEBATE – ONCE AND FOR ALL

In today’s press conference, President Obama said Republican opposition to Obamacare is mean-spirited and stems from the core of the Republican philosophy which willfully tries to deprive thirty million Americans of health insurance.  In other words, they are nasty people who are selfish and have only their own interests at heart.

In contrast, that would lead one to believe that liberals who hold a diametrically opposed opinion are just the opposite – warm, caring, loving people who want the best for all of us.  Well, let’s run with that theory and see how it impacts one discussion that is currently on our radar screen – the Federal minimum wage.

The recent strikes by McDonald’s workers over their wages and the statements that the company itself has made “that they don’t know how people can support a family at the minimum wage rate of pay” have fueled this discussion.  Certain of our concerned liberal friends have suggested raising the Federal minimum wage from the present $7.25 per hour to as much as $12.50.  I believe these people are missing the point entirely.

The Federal guidelines prepared by HHS show that a household of four, (in the old days they described these as a family of four), would need an income of greater than $23,550 per year in order to avoid being classified at poverty level standing.  An increase in the minimum wage to $12.50 would put the bread winner at an income of only $26,000 per year – assuming a forty hour work week.  That is just 11% over the poverty level.

Is this the American dream that our liberal friends have in mind for our minimum wage workers?

If we really want to inspire people to get to work and feel fulfilled in their chosen vocation, I believe we need a greater incentive than barely exceeding the poverty level to get people on board.  Therefore, I suggest that we raise the Federal minimum wage to no less than $50.00 per hour.  And if we really want to make an impact then we should make it retroactive say back to 2009 when the Chump in Charge first took office.

Consider the benefits we would gain by doing this.

First, we would give incentives to people who currently can enjoy unemployment benefits for 99 weeks to get off their duffs and go out and look for work.  The savings in reducing the number of unemployed people might just pay for this program in and of itself.

Second, those pesky foreigners who are willing to work at low pay, taking the jobs that Americans spurn as being beneath them, would be put out of the market and would probably go home.  This will save us countless hours of loud and cacophonous debate over immigration reform which will probably be too confusing to listen to anyway and just might interfere with our schedule of viewing reality television.

Third, (and I admit this is my favorite), there wouldn’t be a single fast food restaurant left open in America which just might cause us all to learn how to cook more nutritious food and, in the end, would save us from the self-inflicted diseases which our poor food choices bring upon us – thus bailing out our healthcare system.

Who says that conservatives don’t have a full supply of largesse running through our veins?

Tag Cloud