July 10, 2013
The Marching Morons
...In which the Lizard continues to blow discordant notes into the cacophanous conclave of conservative correctness and communalism.
The principle argument against the Senate immigration bill wrought by the Gang of Ate -- a bill I utterly reject -- is apparently that allowing so many low-wage Mexicans and other Latin Americans into the United States would depress wages among unskilled, uneducated, native-born Americans. Can't have that.
In other words, a great chunk of the Right argues that the proper purpose of immigration reformation is protectionism for dropouts, teenagers, and pensionless retirees, so long as they are native-born Americans: Let's boost those minimum wages high enough to "incentivize" slackerdom and stasis! ("Jefty is five; he's always five.")
But since when did the conservative movement (or moment) stand for artificially inflating wages to encourage more ignorance and incompetence? Remember: What you subsidize (uneducated American workers with no useful job skills), you get more of.
Conservative "pundants" to the contrary notwithstanding, it would be an egregious contradiction of conservative principles to interdict immigration only to shield American losers and boozers from market forces; just as it would be to lay hefty tariffs on imported cars to shield American auto manufacturers from having to improve their product and reduce the price.
Conservatism should include reducing the size, reach, scope, and intrusiveness of government; not clinging to Leviathan so as to reorient it to privilege "our guys," instead of "their guys." So I am not on board with those conservatives who want to use our vast and barely controllable federal government to "help" unskilled Americans to remain unskilled in perpetuity. I don't buy that argument, not in the least.
But on the other hand, America is no longer an "industrial" nation -- and it never will be again. Current and future jobs will depend upon trained personnel with college degrees or even postgraduate studies. The U.S. has been evolving from the "factory worker" model to the "technology, health-care, and service" model; just as some time ago it evolved from "rural agriculture" to "factory worker."
Of course we still have some industry; but even in the contemporary factory, computer-assisted design and manufacture has become the norm; and such workers need education and training. Most of our jobs (whether filled by natives or immigrants) are service related, from doctors and health professionals to financial services to legal services to real-estate agents to help desks to sales clerks to food servers.
We don't need more migrants hand-picking grapes; we need more people to design better automatic grape harvesters.
With this perspective, it's irrelevant whether a low-skilled, uneducated worker comes from Oxnard, California or Baja California: Either way, by using government power to push higher the wages of work that is of less value every year, we create a bonanza of sub-minimal wage slaves. This may be great for those corporations that thrive on keeping workers ignorant, incompetent, and hungry; but it's terrible for a superpower that needs to move beyond nineteenth-century models of employment; and it's dreadful for those lured into becoming the modern equivalent of nomadic dust-bowl refugees.
The Schumer-Rubio-Schumer immigration immolation is vile, but not because it subsidizes the wrong set of throwbacks to the "dark, satanic mills." Its villainy consists rather in susidizing reactionary forces that would drive us back to FDR's New Deal. "If they only could, they surely would; um-hm."
What we really need is to let the free market work to shift us away from being a nation of "laborers," with all the baggage that term totes, and towards old and new Americans becoming educated and trained individuals. These individuals, cardinals instead of ordinals, will see themselves not as drones in a hive collective (ready to be infected with unionism), but as partners who have a real stake in the success or failure of the company that employs them. Or better yet, they will increasingly see themselves as independent contractors, or as entrepreneurs who own their own businesses and make their own contracts.
If there is inherent "dignity" in work, it resides not in brute force -- setting a man to do a mule's job -- but in the educated, trained mind that solves problems... for a price. Which kind of job should America encourage: standing in the Home Depot parking lot, hoping to be picked for day labor; or becoming a dental technician, a hydraulic fracking engineer, a teacher, a physicist, or an interior designer?
Any immigration reform should preferentially admit the intelligent, the educated, the trained, the successful, and above all those best able to assimilate into our Capitalist system, with its secular government and Judeo-Christian religious culture. But instead, this stupid and insulting Senate bill intentionally discriminates against such winners and in favor of life's foreign losers.
This is insane; why subsidize failure, whether foreign or domestic? We should make it harder, not easier, for the lowest and least workers to remain that way.
We must get our incentives in line with our ideology and with the capitalist ideal; that is the direction we must take to stay competitive and to fulfill the American Dream.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 10, 2013, at the time of 12:29 AM
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