Granted, I’ve read Mr. Sirota’s work before, but this week he’s on fire.
First, we have this item from Truthdig called “Was Ross Perot Right?” That was actually a question Wolf Blitzer asked of Hillary Clinton last week. Her response was to make fun of Mr. Perot and make some lame comments about only remembering a bunch of charts.
Can you just imagine the uproar if, say, Dan Quayle had answered that way? Every comedian in the country would have had fresh material. Mr. Sirota reminds us: “A Democrat laughing at Perot on national television is a big mistake. Simply put, it risks alienating the roughly 20 million people who cast their votes for the Texas businessman.”
The fact of the matter is that when Mr. Perot’s biggest points are examined — that there will be an almost audible “sucking sound” as jobs flow out of America, and that depressed Mexican wages could make illegal immigration to the United States worse — he was right and Sirota has the data to prove it. Yet “[Clinton] she and other congressional Democrats are currently pushing a Peru Free Trade Agreement at the behest of their corporate campaign contributors—an agreement expanding the unpopular NAFTA model.”
The fact is that Mrs. Clinton is less “progressive” than a slot machine.
Oh, but Mr. Sirota did not stop there. He went on — albeit in another article at another website — to tell us “the dishonest argument over illegal immigration trying to divert our ire away from the corporate profiteers, outsourcers, wage cutters and foreclosers that buy influence — and protection — in Washington.”
Now make no mistake, we need some kind of immigration reform in this country simply because there needs to be a clear, simple, attainable path to legal residency and/or citizenship in this country (and no excuse for breaking the law). However, all the immigration proposals recently offered center on things like expensive eco-disaster community-rending useless fences and permanent underclass guest–worker programs and beefing up unenforced regulations on worker documentation. Why is that? Mr. Sirota tells us (emphasis mine):
The answer is exploitation. Employers looking to maximize profits want an economically desperate, politically disenfranchised population that will accept ever worse pay and working conditions. Illegal immigrants perfectly fit the bill.
Politicians know exploitation fuels illegal immigration. But they refuse to confront it because doing so would mean challenging their financiers.
Instead we get lawmakers chest-thumping about immigration enforcement while avoiding a discussion about strengthening wage and workplace safety enforcement — proposals that address the real problem.
Equally deplorable, these same lawmakers keep supporting trade policies that make things worse.
There is no such thing as “jobs Americans won’t do.” But there is such a thing as employers who won’t follow the law. Employers who without penalty don’t follow the law put companies that do follow the law at a competitive disadvantage. There’s your real sucking sound.
In closing: a Black Friday comic; someone else scratching her head about how “inappropriate” old episodes of Sesame Street are; clean, clear water and how it shapes politics and diplomacy (a trend which is likely to only get worse); beating the dead horse called FISA and the Myth of the Ticking Time Bomb (short version? What part of the DoJ can get a warrant up to 3 days after starting a wiretap don’t they get?); ’tis the charitable season, don’t forget one of my favorite charities, Child’s Play; CNN on losing holiday pounds (I take issue with their saying “It would take 27 minutes of walking to burn the 97 calories in an 8-ounce serving of cola,” because most people are in fact drinking it 12, 24, or 32 ounces at a time, but “Take small bites and eat slowly. And, don’t get stuck in guilt if you’ve eaten too much,” is good advice); and as for this study from the Heritage Foundation covered by the “right-wing” Reverend Moon owned Washington Times suggesting “Democrats like to define themselves as the party of poor and middle-income Americans, but a new study says they now represent the majority of the nation’s wealthiest congressional districts.” I’d just like to point out that the study findings that “of the 167 House districts where the median annual income was higher than the national median of $48,201, a slight majority, 84 districts, were represented by Democrats” and “the likelihood of electing a Democrat to the House is very closely correlated with how many wealthy households are in that district” are likely to be caused by Democratic policies that favor higher wages — remember, “rich” people can live wherever they like. It’s just too easy to turn this study around and make the Republicans the party of depressed wages.