Anti-American Open Thread: The GOP Wants to Make America Smaller

Per Vox:

This is not the first time the Trump administration’s effort to curtail legal immigration has brought it into public conflict with the Statue of Liberty. Back in August 2017, when the administration was pushing an ill-fated bill that would’ve restricted legal immigration while giving priority to fluent English speakers, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta grilled White House policy adviser Stephen Miller during a news conference about how “what the president is proposing here does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration. … The Statue of Liberty says, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’”

Miller replied by trying to make a distinction between the statute and Lazarus’s poem, which wasn’t placed on it until years after the statue was installed in New York Harbor.
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Open Thread: Moscow Mitch Goes There

Maybe he fractured that shoulder patting himself on the back. At the same event:

Newsweek, “#MassacreMitch Trends As People Blame Mitch McConnell Blocking Gun Control Legislation for Mass Shootings”:

More than 120,000 tweets have been sent using the #MassacreMitch hashtag after at least 20 people were killed at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and a further nine people killed in a shooting around 13 hours later in Dayton, Ohio.

Many Twitter users expressed their anger towards McConnell for blocking a Senate vote on a bill passed by the House of Representatives in February which would require full background checks to be run against every person who wishes to purchase a gun.

Others also accused McConnell of costing people’s lives by pandering to the NRA due to the donations he and the Republican party receive from the lobbying group.

It is the second time in a matter of days that a McConnell-related hashtag has trended on Twitter. Tens of thousands of people used the “Moscow Mitch” hashtag after the Kentucky senator blocked a set of election security bills…

Several Democratic lawmakers and politicians are urging McConnell to call the Senate back for an emergency session so that the background check bill can be passed in a vote and move closer to becoming law.

Senator and 2020 presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren, tweeted: “The House passed a bill more than 5 months ago to require basic background checks on gun sales—the very least we can do to keep our loved ones safe. How many more people need to die before @SenateMajLdr McConnell puts aside @NRA interests and gives that bill a vote?”…








Alright. That’s Enough Respite

Here’s a slightly wonky way into a pragmatic reason why the moral catastrophe that is Republican immigration crimes is bad for America’s bottom line, and not just its moral standing.

Changing U.S. demographics can decrease the productive capacity of the economy through slowing labor force participation and population growth. Holding labor productivity constant, slowing participation and population growth lower potential gross domestic product (GDP) and the natural rate of interest. The natural rate could also be lower because of increased saving; however, Americans are saving less than they did 30 years ago. Most likely, changing U.S. demographics are reducing the U.S. natural rate of interest by decreasing potential output.

That’s from a research note out of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.  As glossed in the press release from the bank, the authors have found that,

Potential output is the amount of goods and services that an economy can produce when it fully employs its available resources.

If potential output declines, Hong and Shell said, the natural rate of interest declines with it.

“An aging population and slowing population growth limit the supply of available workers in an economy,” Hong and Shell wrote. “Therefore, holding labor productivity constant, a decrease in workers—a higher old-age dependency ratio—reduces the output generated by an economy.”

They continued: “A smaller working-age population means fewer people with a lot of disposable income to consume. These factors decrease an economy’s productive capacity and thereby lower the natural rate.”

So, the thinking goes, Americans are living longer and having fewer children … which means more retirees and fewer workers … which means lower potential output … which means a lower natural rate of interest.

That is: fewer folks being born into the existing US population means lower growth going forward.  That means that a growing gap between what the American economy could produce and what it actually can generate.  Given that the growing fraction of Americans who are older and all or mostly out of the workforce is supported by the economic activity of those younger working cohorts, that means harder times to come for those least able to make bank on their own behalf, people who in a civilized society would be able to enjoy a respite after their prime working days are done.

So what’s the connection to immigration?

Simple:  if domestic babies aren’t going to conceive and birth themselves, then the only way to push America’s labor force that can drive the US output towards its full potential is to welcome younger, ambitious and hard working folks who might want to live and work here.

You know:  immigrants.  The people on whom the Trump-led Republican adminstration is committing crimes against humanity.*

So, yeah, ICE and CBP and the concentration camps of the American Gulag are a moral catastrophe, a lasting shame for every American.

They’re also dumb, dumb, dumb just on the level of dollars and sense.

Top 0′ the Sunday to y’all.  This thread is open for bidness.

*An aside: for various reasons I’ve had to look up population figures for London in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century.  Through just about all of that period, deaths exceeded births in that hugely unhealthy city, and yet the the metropolis grew substantially.  Without digging deep into my files, here’s a quick example.  In the 1670s, about half a million lived in London. Forty years late, that number was up to 630,000.  Where did that additional 25% come from? Mostly from internal migration, the countryside pouring into the big city.  (And by big, I mean unique.  The next largest English city — Norwich! — had a population of about 25,000, if my memory is serving me) and the numbers went down fast from there.   Not sure why I bring all that up, but heck, fun facts are fun.

Image: Philip Zec, Women of Britain Come into the Factories, 1941








The 24th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre

On July 11, 1995 Srebrenica fell to the Bosnian Serbs led by Ratko Mladic. In the days and weeks prior to the Serbs taking the city, approximately 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were systematically killed, including those trying to flee the city and into and through the woods and forests to reach safety from the Srebrenican Massacre. Muslims fleeing the city sought refuge with the UN Peacekeeping contingent from Holland. Rather than protect them, the Dutch turned them over to Mladic’s forces. The men and boys were separated and massacred, while the women and girls were distributed by Mladic’s forces throughout the region.

The Srebrinican Massacre was the worst mass killing in Europe since the end of World War II and the Holocaust. The remains of many, if not most of the victims of the massacre were never found, identified, and or returned. Over a thousand Bosnian Muslims are still considered missing. Today, on the 24th anniversary, they were able to return the remains of 33 newly identified sets of remains.

More remains are found every year.

Unfortunately, in 2019, many of the Bosnian Serb officials, especially those aligned with Russia, continue to deny the massacre and the larger genocide it was a part of. Instead they continue to push the same dangerous, racist, exclusionary, and eliminationist rhetoric that their predecessors used in the 1990s.

Although the mass killings were branded genocide by international courts, Serbian and Bosnia Serb officials refuse to use the term. They did not send official delegations to the commemoration on Thursday.

Nenad Popovic, an openly pro-Russian minister in Serbia’s government, said in a statement that “there was no genocide in Srebrenica and Serbs will never accept to be stamped as genocidal people.”

He said Serbia should rethink its goal of becoming a European Union member because of such claims.

Open thread.








Lights For Liberty: July 12 “A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps”

Yesterday I made a comment about wanting to participate in some type of physical action in regards to the detention camps. A friend directed me to this:

There is a group meeting at the Aurora, CO ICE facility. I’ve signed up.

Here’s the website for the national organization.  Lights for Liberty. org

Let me know if there are any other events/protests/interventions you know of.

Open thread