Open Thread

All reasonable questions for you to discuss.

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92 replies
  1. 1
    geg6 says:

    Heh, indeed.

  2. 2
    Ross Hershberger says:

    They broke it and now they own it. Let’s make them pay.

  3. 3
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I’m not sure why the Republicans believe they can address this by becoming stupider and angrier, but you can bet that’s what they’re going to try.

  4. 4
    wrb says:

    Since this is an open thread I thought I’d add a couple of thoughts to what I said on the immigrant thread.

    I said this:

    I dunno Doug.
    You keep saying it is a winning issue but I think a lot of eastern and more urban liberal don’t realize how absolutely toxic it is among working class citizens, white, black and other- especially when they are hurting from the bad economy. It is absolutely decisive, a candidate’s position on other issues just won’t matter if attention is on immigration. This is because it has caused huge real suffering. A citizen simply can’t compete with an illegal immigrant. The employer would have to pay the citizen a great deal less to come out even.
    That is why I think the Arizona law was a brilliant move by Republicans- it put Obama in the position of looking like he supported illegal immigrants. ALL the working-class people I know turned against him, many of whom are liberal and voted for him. “Give the rich a tax break? Fine, that won’t hurt me nearly as badly as illegal immigration has.”

    The first is to note and irony. I don’t have much of and opinion on it, it is just ironic.

    The reason citizens can’t compete with illegal immigrants for jobs is the result of liberal legislation. This is probably maddening and turns people away from Democrats and government.

    If an employer can hire an illegal immigrant for $18/hr a citizen with identical abilities might not be competitive at minimum wage. If I can hire one for $10/hr the citizen would have no choice. Illegal immigrants don’t sue or report their employers. OSHA regulation, harassment and other things with which it is expensive to comply and for which an employer can get fined or sued.

    I found reading that thread depressing because of the amount of prejudice, inaccurate perception and smugness was revealed among smart liberal people. It is disabling.
    By not understanding the problem, effective response becomes impossible and political failure very likely

    Many of the posters believe that those for whom illegal immigration is a decisive are motivated by dislike of “brown people” and therefor are repellant cretins with whom one shouldn’t associate and who wouldn’t vote for democrats anyway.

    That is absolutely not true for many I know, whose votes will, in fact swing on this issue. Democrats have always benefited from working class votes. The fierce opposition to illegal immigration is from the clear as day to any moderate income working person that illegal immigration is making it impossible to find decent paying work or work at all. It is about being able to feed your family. That is why the anger is so intense. It isn’t a conservative/liberal thing. But if wealthy people who call themselves liberals are callous toward lower income liberal citizens on this issue, it will cause them to align with the other side. Some BJ posters seem to want Democrats to be the party that stands for taking away your ability to feed your family. Good luck with that.

  5. 5
    Shinobi says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: Stupid and Angry WORKS! Just like Tax Cuts!

  6. 6
    El Cid says:

    Why are there still terrorist attacks? When will we win in Afghanistan — don’t Republicans want victory? When are we going to stop owing money to China?

  7. 7
    Kristine says:

    No ponies in the driveways this morning. Not even in those belonging to the neighbors with Republican signs on their lawns.

    Horse shit, but no horses. I demand a recount!

  8. 8
    chopper says:

    oh, it’ll get ‘fixed’ all right. here’s how it goes down:

    establishment GOP and leadership play like they’re forcing a showdown over the debt with obama, in the manner of gingrich. they think this time they won’t look stupid. they pick the debt ceiling as an issue as nobody likes the idea of raising it and it would look good for them. they also know that they will have to let it slide eventually, so they take it right to the edge. then the teabaggers push it over the edge by holding out ‘no’ votes on the measure, and/or newly-minted senator rand paul figures out a way to block the vote in the senate. boner and his pals, as well as the rest of us, sit by horrified as the economy takes a messy shit that would make tubgirl giggle. the stock and bond markets blow apart and parts of the economy that have been slowly unraveling accelerate.

    despite being the sort of people that could fuck up a wet dream, democrats and liberals are still able to hang the issue around the necks of the teabaggers and the GOP enough to take the house back by a firm margin and reelect obama, though why anyone would want the job at that point is beyond me.

    2 years later, while we’re in the doldrums of a new depression, the GOP tries again, possibly repeating the gains of 2010 because nobody remembers shit in this country for more than 6 months.

  9. 9
    Poopyman says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    I’m not sure why the Republicans believe they can address this by becoming stupider and angrier, but you can bet that’s what they’re going to try.

    It’s all they know.

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: This was a very big bowl full of word salad.

  11. 11
    Felonious Wench says:

    They have a mandate, make the economy better. And they’re stupid enough to think that mandate is to dismantle programs that were enacted in the past 2 years because that will somehow lower the deficit and save our children…

    And we all get our magic ponies!

    I’ve been telling my right-wing friends “You just took responsibility for fixing the economy, and I suspect you’re writing checks your body can’t cash, Maverick.”

  12. 12
    Zifnab says:

    What? No. The Republicans got elected. Mission Accomplished. Now all we have to do is wage war against a seven year insurgency of the current President.

    They’re occupying the Capital Building. There’s no way they can lose.

  13. 13
    El Cid says:

    @chopper:

    nobody remembers shit in this country for more than 6 months

    These days I think 6 months is quite an optimistic assessment. It might be at most an hour or two.

  14. 14
    PurpleGirl says:

    @wrb: I had a hard time reading this comment. You apparently wrote it quickly and without much review or editing. There are sentences I just do not understand.

    And where do you get the idea that illegal aliens are paid $18 an hour? What jobs would they have that are that highly paid? Please give an example.

  15. 15
    El Cid says:

    @Felonious Wench:

    You just took responsibility for fixing the economy, and I suspect you’re writing checks your body can’t cash

    It will all still be Obama’s fault and the Republican House will not be held to task for it.

  16. 16
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @wrb: If an employer can hire an illegal immigrant for $18/hr

    …Megan? Is that you?

  17. 17
    wrb says:

    @chopper:

    And after the republicans take power in two years they drive the economy deeper in a hole because too many of their tame idiots have come to believe that what their party was doing when the brains of their party were trying to drive the into a hole in order to get elected was actually good policy sure to bring prosperity if implemented more aggressively.

  18. 18
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Today, I heard from President Mitch McConnell that the reason there is no progress in the next two years is the black fella in the White House. (A usurper, I assume.)

  19. 19
    Hal says:

    This is part of the reason why I’m so meh after this win. Republicans simply will not succeed. They have no ideas, and no plans. They went with the irrational Tea Party movement, and now that they are in control, what can you do?

    Work with the guy so many of your supporters are convinced is a secret Muslim communist? By their own words and actions, Republicans are hemmed in by their base, and that base will not let them do anything actually helpful to their economic life.

    We know tax cuts don’t work, but that’s one of the Republicans only ideas. They’ve sold the base on this. So they’ll try and enact more tax cuts, and if they succeed? Nothing. Economy doesn’t get better.

    No workable idea. No actual plans. I realize the fool me twice moment already happened with Bush, but I’m just not seeing this MASSIVE RED WAVE!!! lasting very long.

  20. 20
    wrb says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Ah yes, sorry. Had a pasting problem too.

  21. 21
    JGabriel says:

    @chopper:

    rand paul figures out a way to block the vote in the senate. boner and his pals, as well as the rest of us, sit by horrified as … the stock and bond markets blow apart and parts of the economy that have been slowly unraveling accelerate.

    And then the media blames it on hard left Democrats for refusing to compromise with the GOP on their brilliant bill to send checks of $100 million each to the top .1% in assets, to help create jobs and jumpstart the economy.

    .

  22. 22
    El Cid says:

    @wrb: And then if Republicans take back over and drive the USA to the status of 1970s junta-era South American nations with a tiny segment of the super-rich and a majority not just poorer but desperately poor, America is likely to turn even harder right, and if Democrats are elected then they’ll be given 2 years to fix everything and return us all to 1960s space program era paradise.

  23. 23
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil:

    I got one better. Michelle bachmann, in response to Anderson Cooper’s question about what they will cut, complained about Obama’s trip to India and said that it will cost 200 million dollars a day.

    I’m now waiting for a tweet from Palin on this issue.

  24. 24
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    They won’t get away with doing nothing or overreach. Eric Cantor is already squealing about how the Republicans need to remember the lessons of ’94 or the new Tea Party Forever! candidates will be gone in 2012.

  25. 25
    New Yorker says:

    There was a spike in jobless benefit claims today. Clearly this is the fault of the GOP congress.

  26. 26
    Steve says:

    @wrb: There has always been a tension within the Democratic Party between the ideals of equality and liberalism and the fact that working-class people don’t like competing with “outsiders” for their jobs. It’s similar to the tensions the unions experienced during the mid-20th century – are we in favor of access to work for everyone, or are we about protecting the prerogatives of existing, mostly-white workforces?

    The savvy liberal elites realize that you can’t just wish this issue away and that you have to find a way to keep both sides happy in order to preserve a successful coalition. The less savvy liberal elites just look down their noses at the working-class bigots. It is what it is, folks. You’ll do better in the long run to spread the messages that immigration boosts the economy and helps everyone, that we’re all in this together and can’t let ourselves be divided – even though those are tough sells – than by going around denouncing everyone with a less enlightened view.

  27. 27
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    I like this AP article: No clear path for GOP on healthcare repeal. Republican voters should keep asking why they haven’t repealed Obamacare yet.

  28. 28
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @wrb: OK then. Come up with the manpower and the money to round up all the illegal immigrants and have them deported. All of them. Have anyone who even looks Hispanic made to show (through documentation) that they are here legally, even if they were born here. All of them. Oh, and make all the illegal Irish immigrants show their papers. That means making anyone who looks Irish show their papers. And the illegal African immigrants. And the illegal Asian, Arab and Canadian immigrants. How about we just round everybody up and make them show their papers?

    And after that happens, what then?

  29. 29
    Mary G says:

    The market is up 170+ points and every analyst on CNBC and Bloomberg is giddy with happiness – all the money that’s been on the sidelines will come back in, hiring will go crazy now that there’s no “uncertainty.”

    They are setting up a new bubble so that when employment shoots up and the economy booms the Republicans can take all the credit, beat the president and “take back” the White House.

    It scares the hell out of me because I’m on Social Security disability and have not had an increase in two years, although my Medicare supplement and drug coverage have been raised substantially.

    The inflation will make all the seniors who voted for Republicans miserable, but they will all blame Obama for it.

  30. 30
    chopper says:

    @Felonious Wench:

    yeah, it’s up to us to keep asking them how cutting discretionary spending (but leaving SS, medicare and the pentagon alone) is going to balance the budget.

  31. 31
    wrb says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    That is sort of the point. Until the wages of illegal immigrants rise to the level at which the employer can pay all the extra costs that accompany employing a citizen without spending more than he would spend on the immigrant- and still offer the citizen a decent wage, the citizen is in trouble.

  32. 32
    JGabriel says:

    @Felonious Wench:

    I’ve been telling my right-wing friends …

    You have right-wing friends? Don’t let them trick you into telling them our liberal agenda. They’re evil, you know.

    .

  33. 33

    http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/201.....this-year/

    The jobs are on Wall St.

    I’m torn. I’d like to be able to recommend to my kids that they go into investment banking and partake of the great wealth transfer, but, on the other hand, I still believe in the mortal soul and would rather not see my kids consigned to the hell investment bankers deserve.

  34. 34
    chopper says:

    @wrb:

    am i the only one who imagined that sentence being said by ralph wiggum?

  35. 35
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Mary G:

    They are setting up a new bubble so that when employment shoots up and the economy booms the Republicans can take all the credit, beat the president and “take back” the White House.

    If employment does go up (which I highly doubt because there still isn’t enough demand to require new stuff to be made), it won’t lead to a bubble but to real economic growth. More likely we are just seeing a lot more paper money change hands but unemployment remains high and growth remains tepid at best. Good time to be a robber baron, I suppose.

  36. 36
    Suck It Up! says:

    by the way, I think this “where are the jobs” thing should be frequent for the next two years. I love it.

  37. 37
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    @Suck It Up!: Michelle Bachmann is criminally stupid. Mitch McConnell is criminally evil.

  38. 38
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Shorter @wrb:

    If American employees would just let employers treat them like dog shit, then illegal immigrants could never take any “jobs” away from them!

  39. 39

    @wrb: And, of course, this is the fault of ‘liberal legislation’ and has nothing to do with Republican business owners wanting cheap labor or wanting to break unions.

  40. 40
    wrb says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    Manpower and money aren’t the problem. If either party actually wanted to end illegal immigration they could, and make money doing it, by fining the employers.

    Thus working class citizens will continue to be enraged- not due to bigotry, but because their lives are made miserable- and will vote for the party that appears the least pro-immigrant, regardless of how many things the other party does that it thinks the working class should be thankful for.

  41. 41
    James Hare says:

    @wrb:
    You seem to ignore the fact that citizens can choose to take the same jobs that immigrants are taking now. If an employer is willing to hire folks under the table, I don’t think they’re going to be too choosy about their immigration status. Now if you’re saying American citizens won’t accept jobs from folks without labor protections, that’s something else entirely. Those Americans being unemployed is NOT a result of immigrant laborers or state action, but instead a result of those workers demanding protections and wages the employers are not willing to give.

  42. 42
    Poopyman says:

    @Mary G: Meh. The Dow goes up and down like that every once in a while. If the runup continues tomorrow you might have some cause for concern. If it goes well into Monday I’ll get worried.

    But not until then. Relax for today.

  43. 43
    Bulworth says:

    @Suck It Up!: I’m afraid not. For the new teabagging Congress, the unemployed are lazy. Whatever else the teabagging movement is, it’s a movement of the haves. Besides if people are unemployed it’s because Obama and the Democrats and spending and taxes too high and shut up that’s why.

  44. 44
    wrb says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    It is just a dilemma that has been created by two liberal impulses at war with each other.

    The admirable desire to offer citizens workplace protections ends up functioning to deny them jobs or reduce their wages when they are forced to compete with illegal immigrants.

    I wasn’t proposing removing workplace protections as a solution.

    The interaction is just a mechanism that functions with a kind of inevitability.

    I doubt it will be changed. And so it will continue to produce damaged and angry voters.

    I do find it curious how so many people can avoid looking the damage that occurs where these two policies, both arguably admirable in isolation, grind together.

  45. 45
    Catsy says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    If American employees would just let employers treat them like dog shit, then illegal immigrants could never take any “jobs” away from them!

    Thank you for summarizing wrb’s word salad better than I could’ve.

    His comment starts with the premise that illegal immigration has any relationship to the minimum wage for 99.99% of the jobs in this country, and rides that steaming pile of inane bullshit through a tl;dr anecdote about how everyone he knows blames illegal immigrants for the fact that they can’t find a job but are totally not racist.

    Let me know when Boeing starts hiring undocumented Mexican farmers to assemble airplanes.

  46. 46
    Shalimar says:

    @Corner Stone: Translation: Real Americans hate immigrants for stealing their jobs. For some reason, they don’t hate the business owners who give those jobs to immigrants. If you do anything for immigrants, Real Americans will hate you too.

  47. 47
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb:

    Until the wages of illegal immigrants rise to the level at which the employer can pay all the extra costs that accompany employing a citizen without spending more than he would spend on the immigrant- and still offer the citizen a decent wage, the citizen is in trouble.

    You are clearly off your rocker.

  48. 48
    wasabi gasp says:

    The dedication the GOP puts to solving these problems will be trumpeted daily by Obama sitting on a whoopee cushion.

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @Shalimar: I’ve read wrb’s further pronouncements and they make about as much sense as the first one.
    I’m not sure anyone could actually believe the things s/he is saying on this topic. (and not be a Republican I mean. I’m assuming wrb is not one)

  50. 50
    Lawnguylander says:

    I guess asking Boehner where the jobs are before he’s even sworn in as Speaker is funny in a stupid kind of way for now but what if jobs slowly but steadily do come back during 2011 and ’12 when they actually will control the House? It won’t be because of anything the GOP House does but for sure they will take credit. Hammering away at them about what their plans are to create jobs makes sense but asking them this kind of question doesn’t.

  51. 51
    cyntax says:

    @wrb:

    Thus working class citizens will continue to be enraged- not due to bigotry, but because their lives are made miserable

    Maybe, maybe not. The exact effect that immigrants have on the economy is complex. People may feel that immigrants adversely affect them, but there’s a lot of data to show that they have a positive effect on the economy, for everyone, not just themselves. But that’s a complicated and anti-intuitive argument and thus not one that gets into the national discourse.

  52. 52
    JenJen says:

    This isn’t getting a lot of traction, but another devastating effect of the election results is the sobering fact that half of the State Attorneys General heading a nationwide probe into US home foreclosures lost their reelection bids on Tuesday.

    This Reuters article contains a quote from an attorney who defends servicers in mortgage litigation that made my jaw drop involuntarily:

    “I think there’s a developing consensus among thought leaders that we can’t let these documentation concerns constipate the flow of housing from borrowers who have no resources, to those who do.”

    Oh dear. Horrible news for those of you entangled in foreclosure hell. Shorter mortgage industry: “Damn the paperwork, full speed ahead.”

    Is it too early for me to say “I want my country back”? You know, the country that was fair; the country that ensured you’d have your day in court? Of all the election news, I find this development to be the most troubling, and I don’t see how the economy recovers at all without first fixing the foreclosure mess and helping people stay in their homes.

  53. 53
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Catsy:

    His comment starts with the premise that illegal immigration has any relationship to the minimum wage for 99.99% of the jobs in this country, and rides that steaming pile of inane bullshit through a tl;dr anecdote about how everyone he knows blames illegal immigrants for the fact that they can’t find a job but are totally not racist.

    You know he’s lying when he can’t produce one single Facebook wall post in support of his position.

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hal:

    Republicans simply will not succeed. They have no ideas, and no plans.

    They may not have any ideas but they clearly have a plan.
    Do absolutely nothing for the next two years. Pass nothing but the most essential basic budget bills, and kick and scream the whole time they do it. And put some nasty riders attached so they can push the voter scores in certain directions.
    Otherwise, blame the black fella for the disastrous economy we will still have in 2012.
    Disastrous for the middle class I mean. The wealthy are going to exploit the hell out of whatever bubble they can gin up next.

  55. 55
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @wrb: Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @Hal:

    This is part of the reason why I’m so meh after this win. Republicans simply will not succeed. They have no ideas, and no plans. They went with the irrational Tea Party movement, and now that they are in control, what can you do?

    I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. The Republicans have an overall goal: destroy effective government. The best part is that it doesn’t require much intelligence, planning, or coordination. They just have to obstruct, defund, and/or eliminate as many productive government functions as possible. They’re basically a gang of vandals, while the Democrats are trying to play repairmen. The vandals have a huge tactical advantage.

  57. 57
    flukebucket says:

    @New Yorker:

    Yeah but the precious market is up 200 points so my boss man has been tap dancing around the office praising the election of those fiscally sane Republicans.

  58. 58
    Catsy says:

    @wrb:

    The admirable desire to offer citizens workplace protections ends up functioning to deny them jobs or reduce their wages when they are forced to compete with illegal immigrants.

    No. Just stop right there.

    This is the premise on which your entire anecdotal argument rests.

    It also happens to be constructed of purest gleaming bullshit.

    I am not competing with illegal immigrants for my IT job. My fiancee and roommate are not competing with illegal immigrant for their admin assistant jobs. And my friend’s brother’s kid who just got out of college is not competing with illegal immigrants for jobs flipping burgers, waiting tables, or working the register at a mall retail outlet. Boeing is not looking for undocumented workers to assemble airplanes, nor are Starbuck’s recruiters hanging out by Home Depot looking for baristas.

    Day laborers looking for contract work, kids doing babysitting, or folks desperate enough to scrub toilets for a living might be competing with the Home Depot groupies, but with the state of the housing industry there isn’t much building going on anyway. But the simple fact is that the kinds of jobs that can hire undocumented, unskilled workers under the table make up an infinitesimal portion of the jobs in this country.

    Your friends might well believe that illegal immigrants are responsible for their inability to find a job. But if they do, they’re not only wrong–they’re wrong in part because people like you keep repeating right-wing bullshit as if it were factual.

    Next time they say crap like this, try correcting them instead of validating their bullshit. But unless you’re willing to do that, don’t come here with your hand-wringing concern trolling about how Democrats just don’t understand why their job-killing insistence on worker’s rights isn’t resonating with your Real American acquaintances. Nobody’s buying.

  59. 59
    Johnny B says:

    Um, the answer the Republicans/Teahadist will give to these questions will be “Obama is still in office.” Given our divided government, their answer to everything that is bad in real terms or in Teahadist terms will be because “Obama is still in office.”

    See, Saint Sarah is going to make it all better again.

  60. 60
    wrb says:

    @James Hare:

    That is a thoughtful reply, but things don’t actually work that way (which if you haven’t been an employer you have no reason to know).

    When you hire a citizen under the table you are extremely vulnerable to that citizen. He can turn you in and you get clobbered with penalties and he’ll go scott free. You find yourself wit an employee who can control, even extort from, you.

    The illegal immigrant gets penalized with deportation so almost never turns anyone in.

    I see a lot of the reason for the lack of action on illegal immigration as due to Republican employers rightly seeing employing illegal workers as a way around workplace protection laws, so Republicans make a lot of noise about it but never do anything.

  61. 61
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @wrb:

    The interaction is just a mechanism that functions with a kind of inevitability.

    Except it’s not inevitable. Fine companies that get caught a million per illegal. Adjust upward as needed. Enforce seriously and check back with me in a few years.

  62. 62
    JenJen says:

    @Catsy: I agree with you on 99% of what you’re saying, and I can’t stand the GOP talking points bullshit on immigration either, but don’t forget the Food & Beverage segment.

    Illegal immigrants have absolutely taken kitchen jobs away from, for the most part, African Americans who used to be in those low-wage jobs. Dishwashers, bussers, prep cooks, cleaning staff. In every kitchen, in every restaurant, across the country. It might be a small segment, but everyone always seems to forget about it.

  63. 63
    wrb says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    That is exactly what I would do.

    That would also do a huge amount to satisfy the angry citizen workers.

    It would be a winning policy for Democrats, I think.

    Crack down on the employer, not the workers.

    Then let the Republicans howl about how their companies need cheap illegal labor because employing Americans is too expensive.

    A flip in the dynamic that might swing a lot of votes.

  64. 64
    ed drone says:

    @El Cid:

    These days I think 6 months is quite an optimistic assessment. It might be at most an hour or two.

    Actually, it is six months, but the forgetting starts in two to four hours, and the number of people so forgetting accelerates fairly quickly. The result is that after two weeks, about 75% of the populace can’t recall significant details about important events, and then it tails off, with the 99% level reached at around six months.

    For example, who was Sharron Angle’s opponent in the Republican primary? Right! And in two months, no one will remember who ran against Ron Paul (no one except political junkies, that is).

    That’s how it goes.

    Ed

  65. 65

    @wrb:

    If an employer can hire an illegal immigrant for $18/hr a citizen with identical abilities might not be competitive at minimum wage.

    Show me an illegal alien making $18/hr. I want names and dates and locations. Specifics. It is a safe bet that creature does not exist.

    Most illegal aliens don’t even make minimum wage. They have no benefits. They are afraid to walk off the job or give the boss a hard time.

    They are, in fact, cheap and easy to exploit.

  66. 66
    wrb says:

    @Catsy:

    This is the premise on which your entire anecdotal argument rests.
    It also happens to be constructed of purest gleaming bullshit.

    Couldn’t have described your argument better myself.

    It is just this that I found so depressing about the smug comments in the previous thread. If mistakenly believed, due to antidotal evidence, social isolation, and prejudice that the only cause is hatred of “brown people” rather a legitimate grievance and legitimate fear, then opportunities to both improve lives and take political advantage are lost.

  67. 67
    JenJen says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Exactly.

    And to illustrate further, check out what happened in Cincinnati last week. A vet’s office hired a few immigrants to clean cages and do menial labor at their personal homes. The immigrants were working around 60 hours a week, and this was the deal: The vets paid them overtime, but then the immigrants were required to return the overtime pay to their employers under threats of reporting them to INS.

    Did veterinarians extort pay from undocumented workers?

    This is the reality. And dollars to donuts shit like this is going down all over the country.

  68. 68
    alwhite says:

    You all do realize how well positioned the Republicans are now for ’12?

    The House will pass all kinds of bullshit and the Rs will run around saying how bill ‘X’ will fix everything if only Obama & the Ds allow it to become law. The fact that the bills are bullshit will not get noticed by the press. Meanwhile the Rs can block anything meaningful from happening. Deficits balloon, unemployment lingers and infrastructure continues to decline.

    The Rs will blame all of this on the bills they passed but Ds killed & the press will spread the word.

  69. 69
    danimal says:

    I’ve been telling everyone I know that the economy will turn in January 2011. The Big Money has been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the refudiation of the Islamo/homo/facist/soshalist/Hitlerian/Kenyan usurper-in-chief. Watch the hiring and investing numbers start to improve over the next month or two.

    Cynical? Yes. Unpatriotic? Definitely. Likely to work? Jury’s out on that one. I don’t see how the Tea Partiers can keep up their intensity once the realities of governing start to take the shine off of their candidates and the economy edges away from the brink. Peak Wingnut theory, however, indicates that they will indeed get more insane as the reach the Wingularity.

  70. 70
    wrb says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    That was the point.

    I explained this once before.

    If illegal immigrants are taking a job for a low wage the citizen has to accept an even lower wage to cost the same in the eyes of the employer. That is not politics, it is math.

    If illegal immigrants were demanding $18/hr citizens with the same skill sets could compete buy accepting a lower wage. The fact that they aren’t demanding that much means that there is precious little room for those citizens.

  71. 71
    geg6 says:

    @wrb:

    What a load of shit.

    Please, tell me. Exactly how many of those working class people here in Western PA, where there is absolutely no illegal immigration problem whatsoever and no evidence of illegal immigrants taking jobs that used to be held by working class people (though outsourcing is definitely a problem), are just worried about their families ability to survive and how many are just easily persuaded to get their hate on in regard to the brown hordes? You see and hear the same bullshit wingnut memes from the “working class” about Mexicans and whatnot right here just outside of Pittsburgh that you would in Arizona or Texas or wherever. It’s pure bigotry and that’s why you’re full of it here.

  72. 72
    Roger Moore says:

    @JenJen:

    don’t forget the Food & Beverage segment.

    Or the housekeeping and gardening segment. Growing up, I knew plenty of ordinary, middle class citizens who got jobs as hotel maids, gardeners, and the like. People who worked as janitors were mostly working class Americans. They may not have been great jobs, and most of the people I knew who took them weren’t in them for the long haul, but they provided a useful backup plan. Now those job sectors are dominated by illegal immigrants.

    And I simply can’t believe that anyone would claim that illegal immigrants form an infinitesimal part of the workforce. There are more than 10 million illegal immigrants in the country, disproportionately of working age. That is a substantial chunk of workers, and it’s ridiculous to pretend that they aren’t having a real effect on real people.

  73. 73
    elm says:

    @wrb:

    Crack down on the employer, not the workers.

    Welcome to Obama’s current fucking policy. On one hand, Obama has done little-enough to publicize this. On the other hand, you’re perfectly capable of looking into it yourself if you were paying a little attention.

  74. 74
    wrb says:

    @geg6:

    It doesn’t seem possible to you that some frightened people in Penn could hear that the US is letting people in who undercut American workers and think that through the mysterious workings of the economy the work that they are performingmight have otherwise come their way?

    Maybe it they would be wrong, but genuine fear seems possible.

    After all, people are convinced that people in other countries have taken their jobs through outsourcing. Why wouldn’t workers actually in this country but at a distance be an even bigger threat?

  75. 75
    wrb says:

    @elm:

    I’m aware of it Good policy and could be a winner politically.

    However I don’t think it has been vigorous or harsh enough to catch the public’s attention.

    Charge the employers $1000/day per worker. That would get attention

  76. 76
    MattR says:

    @wrb:

    It doesn’t seem possible to you that some frightened people in Penn could hear that the US is letting people in who undercut American workers and think that through the mysterious workings of the economy the work that they are performingmight have otherwise come their way?

    It is distinctly possible. But it is not rational. And often times using such a weak rationale hides the real reason (and yes sometimes this is done subconsciously). But the correct response is to fight those misconceptions, not pander to their irrational fears.

  77. 77
    Steve says:

    @Lawnguylander:

    I guess asking Boehner where the jobs are before he’s even sworn in as Speaker is funny in a stupid kind of way for now but what if jobs slowly but steadily do come back during 2011 and ‘12 when they actually will control the House?

    I’m not sure the facts on the ground make a difference. We’ve had nine straight months of private-sector job growth, if I can believe a Democratic talking point, and yet no one scoffed at the Republicans for asking “where are the jobs?”

    @Roger Moore:

    And I simply can’t believe that anyone would claim that illegal immigrants form an infinitesimal part of the workforce. There are more than 10 million illegal immigrants in the country, disproportionately of working age. That is a substantial chunk of workers, and it’s ridiculous to pretend that they aren’t having a real effect on real people.

    Illegal immigrants spend money too. Their dollars stimulate the economy and create jobs as much as the next guy. It’s not like we get rid of 10 million illegal immigrants and suddenly we have the exact same economy but with 10 million job openings. The consensus among both left-wing and right-wing economists is that illegal immigration has a minimal effect on employment, if it has any at all, and that the American economy more or less creates a new job for each one taken by an illegal immigrant.

  78. 78
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @elm:

    Welcome to Obama’s current fucking policy. On one hand, Obama has done little-enough to publicize this. On the other hand, you’re perfectly capable of looking into it yourself if you were paying a little attention.

    The fines aren’t big enough. You have to make these fuckers feel it before they’ll change how they do business.

    Also too, while anyone is indeed capable of looking it up for him or herself, the White House, which by the President’s own admission has done lots of stuff that nobody even knows about, would be well-advised not to continue to have “look it up for yourselves” as their primary PR strategy.

  79. 79
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Steve:

    no one scoffed at the Republicans for asking “where are the jobs?”

    No one ever scoffs at anything any Republican says, outside of the serious fringers (and even then it’s only liberal pundits who scoff, not the corporate media in general). Maybe they don’t want to pick on the teatarded kids.

    The consensus among both left-wing and right-wing economists is that illegal immigration has a minimal effect on employment, if it has any at all, and that the American economy more or less creates a new job for each one taken by an illegal immigrant.

    I’m shocked to learn that the facts on this issue don’t match up with the narrative, but whenever the two are in conflict the narrative ALWAYS wins.

  80. 80
    geg6 says:

    @wrb:

    So irrational fear and loathing with no basis in fact or reality is not any sort of evidence of bigotry.

    Ooooookay.

  81. 81
    JenJen says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, right. And this is reflected by the disproportionately high African American unemployment rate compared to other groups.

    I’ve been in the Food & Beverage business for the last 15 years, and I’ve seen it change right before my eyes. Some of my favorite old coworkers were run right out of their kitchen jobs, because they became too expensive. Anecdotal, I know, but if people were to peer behind the curtain in any hotel, restaurant or tavern, they’d see where the immigrants are working. It’s just that they’re not in the front of the house.

  82. 82
    bjacques says:

    Is it too early to start calling it the Boehner Recession?

  83. 83

    […] kidding as is, I think, mistermix who deems them “All reasonable questions for you to discuss.”  In fairness, one […]

  84. 84
    Triassic Sands says:

    All reasonable questions for you to discuss.

    On January 4, 2011.

    By then the DOW should be at 25,000, the terrorists should have surrendered, and American corporations will have almost two solid months of hiring behind them.

    Of course, there is little hope that anything meaningful can be accomplished until we get rid of health care reform, because the mere idea of a mandate in 2014 has so terrified Americans that our entire system is dysfunctional as a direct result.

    Neither is there any hope of progress unless the downtrodden wealthiest Americans are freed from the burden of paying more taxes. Unless Obama agrees to extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, the US is doomed. Further, keeping the tax cuts in place is the best way to cut the deficit in the future (see Professor Laffer’s napkin for details). Given these incontrovertible facts, the lame duck Congress must extend the Bush tax cuts…forever.

    Needless to say, in a show of bipartisan fervor, President Obama should resign, so that Representative Issa can devote his time to important witch hunts other than impeaching the president. (Hint for Rep. Issa: witch hunting in Delaware may be especially fruitful right now.) The November 2 elections have made it clear that the American people want John Boehner to be president. So, if Obama and Biden will just get out of town, the will of the people can be fully expressed.

    Holy shit, it’s Morning Again in America.

  85. 85
    wrb says:

    @geg6:

    No it is not evidence of bigotry. It can be a symptom but it can also be the result of fear entirely based on their fears for economic survival.

    And is it entirely irrational? We know that work moves. Do you think the fear that outsourcing has cost jobs is irrational?

    The theories that say that is has or hasn’t might be right or wrong but they aren’t irrational.

  86. 86
    geg6 says:

    @wrb:

    Dude, I know these people. It is not fear losing their jobs to the brown hordes 3000 miles away. They are fucking bigots, through and through. These are the same assholes that 40 years ago were screaming the same shit about busing and civil rights.

    Incidentally, the outsourcing around here happened during the Reagan years when the steel industry sent all their operations overseas and pretty much ended with NAFTA sending the rest of them south of the border. Most of these idiots don’t even remember their fapping away about the “Jap” hordes back then. And unemployment here is below the national level.

    So, if not bigotry or massive unemployment drumming up fear, please explain.

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:

    I deleted my comment.

  88. 88
    wrb says:

    @geg6:

    They are all bigots? And so motivated by bigotry that some increase in brownishness a thousand miles away will swing their votes?

    Here on the other side of the country we have some bigots who would never vote for Democrats but we have others who have and would but for whom immigration is a deal killer, at least in this economy.

    Hell, I know hippies who get wound up about it.

    The point I was trying to make was that, at least based on my experience here, is that there are a lot of would be Democratic voters who feel so threatened by illegal immigration that they will switch side based on that issue alone.

    I was making an argument about POLITICAL calculation. There seem to be a lot of people who have decided that the opposition is only due so dislike of brownishness and therefor there is no political downside to permissiveness toward immigration.

    I know that to be wrong but I don’t know if the political downside over-balances the political upside.

    I fear it does, I could be wrong.

    However, a smug certainty that it does not seems like the sort of substitution of fantasy and prejudice for an uncertain reality that leads to failures of political calculus.

  89. 89
    elm says:

    @wrb:

    Charge the employers $1000/day per worker. That would get attention

    @fasteddie9318:

    The fines aren’t big enough. You have to make these fuckers feel it before they’ll change how they do business.

    I’d love to see harsher penalties for employers, particularly for employers who hire undocumented immigrants to work in unsafe and toxic workplaces, but I also know that our courts would not uphold harsh penalties against our blessed big businesses.

    Barring new legislation that provides for harsher penalties (seizure of all assets & revocation of charter) the only approach possible focuses on broad coverage. Increase the probability of a business getting caught and don’t make it worth their while to fight enforcement in court.

    The expected cost of employing undocumented immigrants is ProbabilityOfBeingCaught * AveragePenalty. While high penalties have their appeal, they’re not necessary to deter business, they’ll only skirt the law if they can avoid getting caught.

  90. 90
    Stefan says:

    And I simply can’t believe that anyone would claim that illegal immigrants form an infinitesimal part of the workforce. There are more than 10 million illegal immigrants in the country, disproportionately of working age. That is a substantial chunk of workers, and it’s ridiculous to pretend that they aren’t having a real effect on real people.

    Total US population is around 300 million. When you subtract children, teenagers, college students, the disabled, the elderly and retired, prisoners, etc. the total population of the US labor force is approximately 150 million. If there are 10 million illlegal immigrants, and the vast bulk of those are of working age, then absolutely they have a real effect on the economy, especially at the lower end.

  91. 91
    Ruckus says:

    I was an employer when we had immigration amnesty and we had to start checking the paperwork of everyone we hired.
    The concept was great, execution not so much. If I was presented with paperwork which looked correct (and samples were provided) I was OK to hire the person. There was not way to check if the paperwork was right/legal so a booming business in fake ID happened. Now years later we could use computers to check databases for the correct info but would you want an employer (say me for example) rooting around in the SS database looking for info on a particular person? Or the county property records? Or any criminal past? Because this only works if we check everyone. EVERYONE. How much info do you want your employer or more likely the HR department knowing about you?
    And the kicker is that people will still employee people who are illegal. They will still pay under the table in cash, illegal immigrants or citizens. It may slow down but it will not stop. When jobs here pay better or are even available, people will come here for them, no matter how or why.
    Read the link to ICE about the record number of removals. This is a change from previous policies brought on by this administration.

  92. 92
    Rebecca says:

    @wrb:

    If an employer can hire an illegal immigrant for $18/hr a citizen with identical abilities might not be competitive at minimum wage.

    Considering that minimum wage in this country is much less than eighteen bucks an hour, your argument is doesn’t even make sense.

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