Aren’t we losing our good paying jobs to immigrants? Therefore, won’t we protect our good paying jobs by cutting off immigration?
The problem is serious. American citizens who have had great paying jobs for decades, whose house and car payments and pensions depend on keeping them, are finding themselves replaced by immigrants willing to do the same work for much less. This displacement is the cause of tragic turbulence in our economy and in the personal lives of many citizens.
But do we correctly understand the problem and its solution, when we think we would benefit from less immigration? Are experienced citizens unable to compete with inexperienced, barely literate immigrants?
That varies with the job, of course. Complex engineering jobs requiring years of experience and English fluency are safe. At least from the average Hispanic swimming across the Rio Grande. They are not safe from an Indian engineer with years of experience in the company’s Hong Kong plant.
Our big question: if we prevent the Indian from coming here, will that protect our job? Won’t that, rather, pressure the entire factory to head out for India?
I was told by Ohio talk show host Dan Rivers that many well paying jobs are simple enough that an immigrant who barely speaks English can learn to do it “in a couple of months” as well as an American who has been doing it for years. “Hanging a fender on a car” in an auto plant in his town is the example he gave.
Our big question: how long can any amount of protectionist legislation, union activism, or immigration restrictions, protect a job like that? How long can a union insist on increasing wages for the same work that a growing labor pool is willing to do for much less, without breaking the union?
But even if the union could succeed forever, no union can control the pay rate of forced laborers in Communist China’s prisons! If China can turn out the same work for pennies, U.S. companies will crumble who continue to pay dollars.
In between our “safe” complex jobs, and our vulnerable simple well paying jobs, are the complex jobs which immigrants can kind of do, but not as well. Because they seem to work longer and harder for less, employers will continually try them out, but will continually be reminded of their inferior work.
It is easy for workers facing job layoffs or wage cuts to blame their corporate employers. But it isn’t just employers who are always shopping around for a bargain. Americans can’t resist buying Chinese, when that costs a quarter of “Made In America”. Not even the high paid workers in danger of losing their jobs to immigrants willing to work for 2/3 of what they are, can resist buying Chinese, or maybe Japanese. How can any U.S. company stay afloat that continues to produce products too pricey for anyone in the world to buy – even its own employees?
“But”, employees complain, “my corporate employer made huge profits last year. They aren’t just slashing my wages enough to lower prices on our products enough to meet global competition. They are slashing my wages enough to give themselves huge profits.”
Companies need to make healthy profits just as much as they need to make competitive products, or investors will withdraw their investments and the company will collapse. I receive emails from investment consultants – a sorry waste of their resources since I have nothing to invest – and they are universally urging U.S. citizens to invest in China where the return is way more, right now, than in the U.S. or anywhere else. The sad truth is that if you are an American worker facing wage cuts or job loss because of immigrant or foreign competition, and you are not shifting your own investment dollars to China, the guy standing next to you in the assembly line probably is.
Our increasingly “global economy” is not easy to understand. We even sell real estate to foreigners. Even some of our tollways and even bridges! This Christmas of 2007, the American dollar is plunging compared with other currencies, the proportion of U.S. Treasury Bonds held by the Chinese government is huge, and our housing market is slumping, any of which one might think would justify panic. And yet by some measures our economy is still very strong. For example China could cause a collapse in our dollars by selling off its U.S. Treasury Bonds, but if it does, the value of the bonds it holds would collapse before it could get many of them sold, making China much poorer. Complicated.
Complicated enough, that it is not enough to imagine we could keep our highly paid, relatively unskilled jobs “if only we could stop immigration”. Our economy is global. You can’t expect your employers to hire American, when you won’t buy and invest American. To keep your job, it is not enough that you were once competitive – the best bargain your employer could find – the most skill and the hardest work for his money. You have to remain competitive. Not just with your U.S. citizen neighbors, not just with your immigrant neighbors, but with every human being across the face of the Earth. It is not just technology that changes, making obsolete the manufacture of what now are antiques. Deport every immigrant today, and you will still have to compete with those very same immigrants tomorrow, except that now you will have even greater competition, because instead of competing against immigrants making $6 an hour, you will have to compete against Mexicans making $6 a day in American factories which once employed your neighbors.
How is it possible, in this global economy, for any of us to still be working? We are the highest paid workers in the world – why haven’t we all lost our jobs to foreign competition? What is it about “Made in the U.S.A.” that keeps us competitive?
And once we figure that out, how does immigration figure into it?
Mark Daggy owns Nite Owl Printing in Des Moines. He was once involved with a company that manufactured battery charger cases for a nationwide parcel delivery business. But the price of a raw material went up a little, forcing the manufacturer to raise the price per unit by 4 cents. The delivery company decided to try Mexico. But the inconsistency was so great there that there was a 20% failure rate. Remember that the cost of a product failure is not just the cost of replacement, but the cost of the work not done while waiting for the replacement, and the cost of the labor of installing the replacement. Not much of a bargain, to offset that 4 cent savings.
The company still wasn’t ready to return to America. It tried Indonesia. The Indonesians thought they could save by outsourcing to China. Well, the springs at the ends of the charger were supposed to be heat treated to remain springy. They weren’t. The Chinese weren’t motivated to take the extra trouble. So after the batteries were removed and reinserted a few times, the springs no longer made contact. That’s in 100% of the units. So the company had to figure out how to retrofit a new spring contact, which required slicing open the side of the charger, leaving it looking mutilated. Maybe next time the company will spend the 4 cents.
I own a music store. Violins partially made in Romania and finished here start at $400 retail. Violins wholly made in China start at $125. Teachers hate to see a Chinese instrument coming their way, but they can’t stop parents from trying them. Much of the time I do not see serious failures in Chinese violins; they are not quite the same quality but they are good enough that most of them can still be used for years. But they are inconsistent. One never knows where they will cut corners. For example, once a violin bow came into my shop. The bow is about two feet long and the thickness of a pen, and this particular bow had broken in the middle, and at the break you could see that the grain of the wood was at a 45 degree angle to the length of the stick! It was an accident waiting to happen! The Chinese did not, in that case, feel like going to the extra trouble of cutting the bow out of wood so that the grain was in the direction of the stick! “Heimer” is the brand name of a Chinese clarinet. I have repaired several where not only were single skin pads used instead of double skin pads, but the tone holes were not ground down, leaving sharp edges which quickly cut the pads! The cost of an overhaul was about the price of the clarinet.
What is it about America that keeps its products and services competitive? What keeps “Made in America” a synonym of “quality” and “trusted”?
Simple, really. We honor quality and service. It is embedded in our culture. We are proud of doing a good job for someone else, whether we are a worker or a retailer. We honor businessmen, not for how wealthy they are, as it is in other parts of the world, but for the service they give us above and beyond what mere profit motivation would account for.
We have character, here in America. Character is where you still do the right thing, even when you think no one is watching. That is what enables us to have assembly lines with people working hard, with minimal supervision; and indeed what enables management to trust supervisors without worrying about shoddiness covered up with a system of bribes.
In Mexico, for example, a great number of jobs are not gotten by qualifying for them, but by paying thousands of American dollars for them! When you are ready to retire, you can sell your job and leave a nice inheritance for your children! Not exactly the kind of system that favors quality!
In China, Christian workers are wantonly tortured, and imprisoned where they manufacture products for Wal Mart through forced labor in between beatings and starvation. Not exactly the most friendly environment to quality or consistency. (Forget human rights! We’ve got to have lead free paint on our Barbie dolls!)
In Moslem countries, the Koran encourages obsessive, violent dehumanization of everyone in the world who is not a Moslem, although especially Christians and Jews, without any honor for freedom or free enterprise. Not exactly supportive of a robust technology.
In Hindu countries, the doctrine of Karma and Reincarnation makes the Caste System seem logical. Although India has outlawed its Caste System in its cities, under the inspiration of the Christian-influenced Gandhi, it still rules in rural areas, and even in cities it is far from an object of shame. The Caste System is the belief that whatever your great great great grandpa did for a living, you have to do. Not exactly a doctrine that makes room for a growing technology. Hinduism also differs from American culture by saying although it is wrong to “harm”, there is no particular value on helping. Certainly there is no definition of “love” as self sacrificial service, even to enemies, as we find in John 15:13 and Matthew 5:43-48. It falls short of the American commitment to serve others as much as possible through the work we do.
Where did America acquire these values?
From the Bible.
Matthew 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
We are free and prosperous because our culture and laws were founded on the Word of God.
We are competitive because the Biblical principles of selfless service, and love even of enemies, are embedded in our work ethic.
Our per capita quality is superior to the output of every other nation, not because other people aren’t as smart as we are, but because other cultures aren’t as focused as ours on quality, even in the service that we provide to our enemies.
We are honest, even those of us who are not Christian any longer. Honesty is receding from our culture as atheists dominate it, but it is still so embedded that it makes our culture a beacon of light compared with the rest of the world. Even immigrants from other lands who do not become Christian outwardly, quickly understand that our culture punishes shoddiness and dishonesty; bribes here will not get you a promotion, but rather jail. We therefore attract the most freedom loving, hard work loving, honesty loving immigrants from all over the world. The best of the world come here, and fit right in with these values which they may not even recognize as Biblical, but they are anyway.
Immigrants of other religions come here and shed the worst elements of their religions. Hindus come here and forget about the Caste System. Moslems come here and soften (though, sadly, do not all eliminate) their obsession with Jihad. Aztecs come here and do not even speak again of human sacrifice. Voodoo witch doctors come here and switch from how most effectively destroy their neighbor to how to most effectively serve their neighbor.
Our Freedom and Prosperity owe themselves not only to our national respect for God’s laws concerning service and love for all (from family to neighbors to enemies) in our relationships with others, but also for God’s laws which are the model for our criminal laws. Thou shalt not steal, murder, commit adultery. Murder is nothing in many other societies. Police yawn at robbery. Preaching the gospel – now there’s a crime that gets police pouring out of their headquarters, in many places. But we, following the Bible, honor the rights of individuals to their property, and consider it not only a great crime, but shame, to steal from another. Nor do we do swordpoint conversions, here in America. The Bible teaches us that God looks on the heart, 1 Cor 4:5, not “after the outward appearance”, 1 Cor 10:7.
Unfortunately, as we have fallen away from our Christian roots, crime has increased. Where houses were seldom locked 50 years ago, and shoplifting was unimaginable, now we must spend a significant percentage of our economy on burglar alarm systems, surveillance cameras, product scanners, court costs, and prisons. But compared with the rest of the world, this is still a place where an insignificant percentage of our output is wasted by crime. Our technology is made possible by having millions of workers divided up among thousands of specialized jobs, a thing impossible in many countries where it is uncertain whether a student can even graduate from a school before he is shot on his way home. Until a couple of years ago, Sudanese jets made sure no hospital or church in the South survived being constructed without being bombed; now they are leaving the South alone to concentrate on Darfur. In Columbia communists control the countryside and kill Christians who resist joining them.
The Bible has given us (1) peace, (2) freedom, (3) honesty, (4) a work ethic based on quality and service, and (5) low crime. These are the necessary ingredients of prosperity.
So, these being the facts, what immigration policy will best preserve our good jobs?
And if a stranger [immigrant] sojourn [come to live] with thee in your land, ye shall not vex [deport] him. Lev 19:33 (Also Ex 22:21. For a word study on the Hebrew word here translated vex, see www.Saltshaker.US/HispanicHope/Ye-shall-not-vex-a-stranger.htm)
...Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: ...for...I was a stranger [immigrant], and ye took me not in: ... Mat 25:41, 43; (Other warnings of God's judgment for having no mercy for immigrants: De 10:17-19, 27:19, 28:15, 43-44, Jer 7:3-7, 22:3-9, Eze 22:29-31, Zec 7:9-14)
One law [equal liberty] shall be to him that is homeborn, [natural born citizen] and unto the stranger [immigrant] that sojourneth [comes to live] among you. Ex 12:49
Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. Luke 11:46 (Also Act 15:10, Mat 23:2-4, Gal 6:13) 2, Is 10:1-2
Jesus’ illustration of “Love Thy Neighbor”, the 2nd Commandment, is the foreigner who, despite our dehumanization of him, still serves us patiently. Luk 10:25-37 and Mat 22:35-40).
Maybe we should take God seriously. Maybe if we do, we will learn how God's laws will bless us as much as God wants us to bless our Disenfranchised, Unloved Neighbors (DUN’s).
It is God’s Laws that have made us free, prosperous, and competitive. Therefore, there can be no greater threat to our freedom and prosperity than to deny freedom and prosperity to others, in violation of those same laws. This is true for the reasons explained above, but it should be no surprise to those who are acquainted enough with God to know that’s how He works.
Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Now with this Biblical and factual perspective, let’s return again to some specific job scenarios, and see if there can be any hope for ourselves if we follow God.
You have a job which you got 20 years ago. You’ve gotten really good at it. You can hang fenders on a car in your sleep. You got so good that your bosses gladly gave you pay raises in gratitude. But now things have become so automated, so many robots doing part of what you once did, that your job has simplified. Just like the cash registers at McDonalds that have pictures on the buttons so that it no longer requires an operator who can actually add 3 and 4, now people are in line for your job who can do less than you, but they can do it as well as you because the job requires less skill now. So is that the end of the line for you?
No! It’s the beginning! As long as technology increases, the need will increase for people who can handle more complex demands. Let the low skilled workers take your increasingly low skilled job, for low pay, so you can move up and do more, and earn more. Not just get paid more, but earn more. The more immigrants who leave behind $6 per day jobs in their homeland to take $6 per hour jobs here, the more consumers there are for the advanced technology just now being developed, which takes your skills to manufacture and distribute.
Granted, changing jobs can be turbulent. But don’t blame the turbulence on immigrants. Blame it on progress in technology. Don’t even blame it on the Christian prisoners in Chinese gulags, flooding Wal Mart stores courtesy of their forced labor. Don’t blame it on telephone operators in India struggling to answer your software questions on $30 a month salary.
Don’t accuse workers, wherever they are, who serve you for little pay, of driving down your wages! They are making you wealthy! Their services are transferred to you for little cost to you! It is you, who are “stealing” from them, if there is any “stealing” going on. Do you thank doctors and lawyers for driving up you wages by charging you so much? No: they are transferring wealth from you to them.
The low paid workers who replace you will have to purchase your services, which you provide through your new job. They will pay more for your services than you will have to pay for their services. Just like a McDonald’s cashier pays more for a doctor’s services than the doctor pays for the cashier’s services.
Did you lose your telephone operating job to a Philippino office? Well, if the decision to save money results in poorer service, those jobs will be back. Maybe through the new company that replaces the stupid one. But if the Philippinos can really do it as well for less, more power to them! That frees you up to do a job they can’t do, and get paid more! Like be their boss!
My wife’s dream job, as a child, was to be a telephone operator who plugs 1/4” telephone jacks into a switchboard to connect one caller with another. Now that job is done by transistors, who charge much less. We don’t blame immigration.
You say, “Well, that’s fine to say, that when an immigrant takes your old low skilled job new technology will come along and give you a higher paying job requiring your higher skills. But while you are waiting for new technology to be invented, what will you eat?”
That’s what radio talk show host Dan Rivers, WKBN radio in Ohio, asked me. Here is part of that interview:
Dan: Okay. But if we did that, my question goes back to you, the people here, are you saying we would evolve into some other, what would that job be that we would do that would make us, you know able to keep up our mortgage payments, etcetera? What would we do?
Dave: Well it’s hard to say, but if you look at...
Dan: Well doesn’t that worry you? When you say it’s hard to say?
Dave: Well, it’s hard to say, it’s hard to give an exact example because we’re talking about future technology. And I don’t know what future technology is going to be. But you know that looking at how many people ...
Dan: How old are you?
Dan: 62. Future technology – the future technology is here for you now, isn’t it? I mean, you don’t have time to wait. I mean, you need a job that is going to keep you going for the next 20 years.
Dave: You look at...
Dan: You can’t wait for future technology. And unfortunately we have a lot of people in this valley here who are in the same boat.
Life fortunately does not impose upon us the duty to wait for “someone else” to think of new technology requiring higher skill sets, who will then hire us. Technology progresses as ordinary people like you and me think of an innovation and work on it, networking with others to make it happen. The larger the brain pool available, the farther and faster technology will grow. Therefore the more we allow to come, the more this will happen. Meanwhile, look around, see needs, figure out how you can serve them, and make your fortune. This is America: there is no law against it.
Besides the turbulence of finding another good job after the old one is simplified into a job that cannot pay you as much as you want, there is the turbulence of losing a pension into which you have contributed for 19 years, just because you were not able to work another 13 months. Don’t blame that on immigrants! Blame that on apathetic, preoccupied Americans too lazy to perfect their laws and company policies into more fair procedures. And then get busy, get involved, and improve our laws.
Another cause of turbulence is being near retirement when you have to find another job, and having young people consider you “too old to learn” another skill, even if it builds on skills you already have. “Old people” can be dehumanized a bit in the view of young people. Don’t blame that on immigrants! It is one natural consequence, in fact, of dehumanizing immigrants!
Every bit of dehumanizing we do of one another, whether it is immigrants whom we feel justified villifying, shunning, and deporting; or unborn babies, whom we feel justified tearing limb from limb; or our grandparents, whom we feel justified cutting off basic medical care; or corporations, whom we feel justified blaming our debts on, will make it easier for young hot shots to dehumanize us as we switch jobs a few years before retirement. It will make it easier for shoplifters, thieves, and embezzlers to dehumanize their victims as they waste away our prosperity like termites eating away a foundation. Love your Neighbors (whom Jesus illustrates with the foreigner who, though we dehumanize him, still serves us patiently): it will preserve your Freedom and make you prosperous.
Your job is more secure with each new immigrant! You are already competing with everyone in the world, so the more of the world who is getting paid $6 a day, a good wage in Mexico, that you can persuade to move here and get $6 an hour, the less wage competition you will face. But when they come here, they also find themselves in a new work environment with a new work ethic that makes them better workers. It makes their work better quality. More honest. More consistent. Plus of course they become accustomed to better technology enabling them to do more. That’s good for you. It makes their service to you even better quality.
Remember also that wealth is not just how many dollars we get paid per hour, but also what those dollars will buy. The greater our technological progress, the wealthier we become, even if our dollars remain the same, or even if they come down.
I have struggled to understand the economics of obeying God, in order to reassure those of you who find insufficient comfort for your financial well being in the Bible. My training is not in economics, but I have a little bit of knowledge about economics which most economists lack.
I know from the Word of God that the economic opportunity we allow our DUN’s (Disenfranchised, Unloved Neighbors) is precisely the degree of economic opportunity which God will allow us. Luke 6:38. God makes things work like that, in order to give us every reason to love.
I know that trying to cut off immigrants from the opportunities which they risk their lives to reach, in order to protect our precious jobs, is precisely like kicking thorns barefoot, Acts 9:6.
I know that undercutting the freedom and prosperity of our DUN’s, in the name of protecting our own freedom and prosperity, blackens our cold hearts to the extent it may require something warmer than Heaven to make them useful again.
I plead with my fellow citizens: stop doing this to your DUN’s, and to yourselves. You can’t hurt them except to the precise extent that you hurt yourself. America as you know it hangs in the balance. This is a make or break issue, like abortion still is, and slavery used to be. God is bringing these people here, Amos 9:7, to replace your own children whom you have either slaughtered yourself, or stood by and watched others slaughter them. Will you drive these out, too?
Dan: ...We just got back from our trip to Iowa. Had things worked out I would have talked to Dave Leach while I was there. We hooked up by phone and said let’s talk about this. Dave Leach has a completely different view of immigration than I. And it’s good to hear the other side of it. Dave has a church and they are very pro immigration. [Actually we have a “home church” discussion Saturday evenings which we call the “BibleWizard Think Tank”. Half a dozen people, and often we film it for my TV show, “The Uncle Ed. Show. I said nothing to Rivers about this, but mentioned only the mailing which I sent to every Iowa church, which I did on my own. Our discussion group tolerates my immigration talk but is not completely on board with it. But these details didn’t seem worth the precious broadcast time to clarify.] Let’s say Hi to Dave now. Good morning Dave.
Me: Good morning.
Dan: How are you sir?
Me: Thanks for the chance.
Dan: Well, nice to have you along. Dave, if we had been [met] in Iowa we would have talked about immigration, and I was reading your church’s newsletter, and you folks think that, hey, these are disenfranchised people? You call them “DUN’s”?
Me: “Disenfranchised, Unloved Neighbors”.
Dan: “Unloved Neighbors”.
Me: I think that’s a great blessing to the English Language. You see we start off with the courts calling them “undocumented immigrants”. Well that’s 8 syllables. You can’t squeeze that in on talk radio.
Me: You couldn’t say that twice between commercial breaks.
Dan: Well you know what let me talk a little about myself. I’ve been talking about immigration for awhile. And, couple of years, I’ve been to Washington a couple of times because I think it’s an issue, etcetera. But I’ve got other people who are very much in your camp, and there’s a staunch Catholic who writes to me a lot, and says I’m only telling one side of the story. So I’m going to give you a shot. Go ahead and tell me your side of the story about immigration and how you feel that these people should be embraced.
Me: I think my question for the world is “Should we reject an immigration plan that solves every immigration problem without Big Brother, effectively and inexpensively, just because it is from the Pages of God?”
Dan: I didn’t even understand a thing you said. Say that again now?
Me: (More slowly) Should we reject an immigration plan that solves every immigration problem without Big Brother, effectively and inexpensively, just because we find clues for it in the Bible?
Dan: But when you say “reject the immigration plan” here. Let me just bring you down to practical terms here. Are you saying that the people who come across the border and come into the United States should be welcomed, as many as choose to come? [Notice that even before I gave any hint of what plan I find in the Bible, he asked if repeal of Numerical Limitations was what I had in mind! As if he already knows that is what God requires, without me saying it! To me this is hugely significant. Just suggest to people that God ought to be consulted, and a rough idea of what God wants is already common knowledge, and yet America rebels against it, with a rebellion so thorough as to set the Word of God beyond the reach of even investigation. Another possible explanation of what put that impression in Dan’s head is that he read it in my church mailing. But by not saying so he gave the impression, to his hearers as well as to me, that he drew the impression from common knowledge; and indeed that reaction is almost universal with all the discussions I have had with people about immigration.] With the conditions which, a,
Dan: Well, go ahead. What are the conditions?
Me: Pardon me for quoting the Bible as where I come up with this, but the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Bible are about building a wall around Jerusalem. So I find in that Biblical precedent for having a fence, a good secure fence, and criminal and terrorist watch lists so that the violent criminals don’t get through. And also I see, a,
Dan: So you have a precedent for building a fence. From the Bible.
Me: Right, except that
Dan: You know you need to protect yourself, you need to protect your home, you need a lock on your door in this day and age. You understand that.
Dan: OK gotcha. With you so far, but why not a lock on the United States door?
Me: Oh, no, that’s what I’m talking about. A fence at the border.
Dan: Um hm. So you are for building a fence.
Me: Yes, except that with the rest of God’s plan, you don’t need such an expensive fence. You can have a much smaller one that can be built a whole lot more quickly.
Dan: Gotcha. Well, please, details. We don’t have all day.
Me: All right. Well I see a repeal of Numerical Limitations as necessary. The precedent for that I see in Matthew 25, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, for I was a stranger, [immigrant] and ye took me not in. Inasmuch as ye did it not to the least of these, ye did it not unto me.” And if we repealed Numerical Limitations, we would have no more security problem. We wouldn’t have an 11 million haystack for the bad guys to hide in here, and people wouldn’t be crossing the border between checkpoints.
Dan: If you repeal Numerical Limits, on the amount of people that are allowed to legally immigrate here?
Me: That’s right.
Dan: Okay. So if I’m to understand you, and I’m sure you’re a taxpayer as I am. We live out of step with the rest of the world: we are a very rich country. Now you have probably seen your fellow Iowan’s lifestyle change a little bit because you’ve lost some factories out in Iowa too. Due to the export of jobs. The thing that I don’t follow with this: if we allow everyone to come here, don’t we dilute what we have here? [Although Dan appears to be a Republican, the concept of a finite “pie” that must be divided up between all, so that the poor can only have their poverty ended by taking from the rich, is a staple of Democrats. Republicans take the position that all ought to be free to create new wealth. The rich ought to be restrained by law from taking unfairly from the poor, but modern technology has disproved any notion of a finite supply of wealth.]
Me: I don’t know, I think you just asked two separate questions. [(1) Doesn’t immigration cause jobs to be exported? (2) Doesn’t immigration cause our wealth to be shared? To #1, I answer later that the more low cost immigration we allow, the LESS we need to export factories in order to find low cost labor. I answer #2 later by pointing out that the larger the brain pool, the more advanced the technology.] What about the factories...
Dan: No, if you allow anybody to come into the United States that we [who] want, don’t we take the wealth that we have and dilute it?
Me: I don’t see how. We’re competing with the Chinese for example, and Mexicans, without them being here. If they come here, and your concern is competition, we’re paying them even more when they come here, and to the extent that they actually work for less, we’re able to keep our factories here. When we export a factory in order to get cheaper labor elsewhere...
Dan: OK, got, I’m kind of getting what you’re saying. You’re saying go ahead and allow the people to come and work for, if they’re willing to come into the United States, and let’s just say it’s $6 to $10 an hour: if they’re willing to come here we should accept as much of that as possible.
Me: Yeah. It’s not that I’m out for taking advantage of them but if they...
Dan: No, no. But you’re saying bring the cheap labor into the United States.
Me: Yes. If they’re willing to do it, if they’re willing to risk their lives to come here and do that for us, we can’t in the name of selfishness turn them away. That’s shooting ourselves in the foot.
Dan: All right, then what do you and I do if we’re not willing to work for that $6 an hour, and they take the job that we currently, for example, in the nearby car factory here, there are 1,500 people working, 1,500 to 2,000, it varies. I meant the Delphi Plant. 1,500 to 2,000 people. And these folks are making a lot more than $6 an hour. So if you have all of these folks that are willing to do it for $6 an hour, what do you do with those people now that are in Delphi?
Me: Well the people that, the people that...
Dan: That’s a tough one, isn’t it?
Me: I lost my train of thought. Let’s say orange pickers. That’s a common example. If people come here and work for $2 an hour picking oranges, well citizens might not be able to compete for, they might have to drop their wages down to $2, however the DUN’s coming here have to buy services from citizens that charge higher. And everyone that comes here, takes a job, also creates a job. And so the jobs that [I would have finished: the jobs that they create pay higher than the ones they take.]
Dan: You didn’t answer the one question that I’ve asked you: the people that have these well paying jobs now, at almost $20 an hour, or more, if people are willing to come and do those jobs for $6 an hour, and [if we allow to come] as much labor as possible, what do the people do that were making $20?
Me: I guess I question whether someone making $20 an hour is going to lose his job to someone who comes here and can barely speak English and is just trying to break in [into an entry level job] and do it for $6 an hour.
Dan: Well, there are some jobs. I’m not saying all of them. But in the car factory we have here at Wards Town, you’re simply hanging a fender on an assembly line. You know, in a couple of months people pretty much have that down, and they can do that on a regular, they can do that very well. So if you take your theory, and say bring as many in as possible, in that General Motors can hire these people, maybe not for 20 but that they can hire them for 10, what do the people do that were making 10 ? And what does the community do that was formerly getting wages that were $20 an hour and are now 6 to 10? I mean how does that uplift our country?
Me: See, we don’t thank our doctors and lawyers for driving up our wages by charging so high, and I think it’s wrong to accuse these people of driving down our wages by charging lower. The answer is, if a job can be done that simply, get a job that pays more and is more complicated, that they can’t do.
Gotcha. So I think where you’re going, Dave, with this, is that we are one world. And if there are people that are in Haiti, or in South America, or in China, that want to come to our country, and bring their labor here, we should allow as much of it as possible.
Me: We’d stop exporting our factories if we did that.
Dan: Okay. But if we did that, my question goes back to you, the people here, are you saying we would evolve into some other, what would that job be that we would do that would keep us, you know being able to keep up our mortgage payments, etcetera? What would we do?
Me: Well it’s hard to say, but if you look at...
Dan: Well doesn’t that worry you? When you say it’s hard to say?
Me: Well, it’s hard to say, it’s hard to give an exact example because we’re talking about future technology. And I don’t know what future technology is going to be. But you know that looking at how many people ...
Dan: How old are you?
Dan: 62. Future technology – the future technology is here for you now, isn’t it? I mean, you don’t have time to wait. I mean, you need a job that is going to keep you going for the next 20 years.
Me: You look at...
Dan: You can’t wait for future technology. And unfortunately we have a lot of people in this valley here who are in the same boat. [An interesting point which I didn’t address, amidst my struggle to just get out the point I had been working on. Life fortunately does not impose upon us the duty to wait for “someone else” to think of new technology requiring higher skill sets, who will then hire us. Technology progresses as ordinary people like you and me think of an innovation and work on it, networking with others to make it happen. The larger the brain pool available, the farther and faster technology will grow. Therefore the more we allow to come, the more this will happen. Remember also that wealth is not just how many dollars we get paid per hour, but also what those dollars will buy. The greater our technological progress, the wealthier we become, even if our dollars remain the same, or even if they come down.]
Me: You look at how many people it takes to, for example, plan a computer upgrade, or a new video game, and you see that it takes a large pool of people who are free, who are relatively non-violent, who obey laws, and the bigger the brain pool you have, the more technology you have. If we, for example were to drop down to a tenth of our population today, and have only a tenth of that brain pool, our technology would have to greatly simplify. And as it grows, we’re going to see – the more people we let in to expand this brain pool...
Dan: But do you think people in the United States are willing to simplify their lifestyle and go back to a simpler lifestyle where they were conservative and didn’t spend much money? I mean I don’t see that.
Me: No, I don’t. That’s why I think we need to increase our brain pool.
Dan: You’re suggesting that. [He talked over me, and apparently didn’t hear my answer.] Now let me throw a couple of numbers by you. You know, it costs us around, and these numbers are all documented, $2-1/2 billion a year for Medicaid for illegal aliens. And we figure that there is 15-30 million illegal who are here now. [11 million is the official “finding” of HR 4088, the latest greatest hope of the Deportation Crowd.] If you would increase that number, where would that money come from? It costs us $12 billion a year, spent on primary and secondary education for children who are here illegally, who cannot speak a word of English. Why is it good for us to bring more of these people in here?
Me: Well there are two answers to that. One is to challenge the figures themselves. You must know there are other studies which reach opposite results. One of the early studies I really scrutinized was the – now I can’t say the name of it. It was a 2004 study. [Center for Immigration Studies, August 2004, “The High Cost of Cheap Labor”. See my analysis at www.Saltshaker.US/HispanicHope/High-Cost-of-Cheap-Labor-Review.htm] that made a conclusion like that, but when I looked at it more closely it was counting, as “illegals”, children of undocumenteds that were born here.
Dan: Um hm.
Me: It was counting them [citizens] as “illegals”. And if you didn’t count that – and also, for welfare, they were counting things like jail, schools, things that we don’t normally call “welfare”. But if you don’t count that, I reworked the numbers and it came out quite the opposite. Um hm. But the other answer is, if we do God’s plan and have criteria, which there is Biblical precedent for, simple criteria, like learning English, learning how our freedom and prosperity work, among those criteria we can also have paying back services. And they would pay them back, if in exchange for that they had a line to get into.
Dan: Gotcha. All right, bottom line, gotta wrap this up. The point that you’re making is, do I read you correctly? That we should allow more people that choose to immigrate to the United States legally, we should allow them to do that.
Me: Yes. Numerical Limitations is causing all of our problems.
Dan: Okay. And what would be, how is that causing the problems? I guess that’s the point I want to get to.
Me: Well, it’s causing a security problem by having 11 million people who have no line to get into. Plus all who are continuing to come across the border.
Dan: All right I’m going to give you a real world example. So you basically allow all these people to come into the United States, and all of the [undocumented] people here to have citizenship. I’m certain they would have to have citizenship if they want to come here. So you allow them to come in here, and now these people, that are now equal as you are, and they really don’t make enough money to have health insurance, they go down and they have their ills too. Well, you still have yours. They are going down, and they are using the Medicaid system, the medical system here, but they don’t have any money to pay. How do you solve that?
Me: I’m one of these conservatives who thinks that we shouldn’t even have a Medicaid program, so I’m probably not the one to ask about that. So I think that you let people come and freely, and take that burden of having to hide from police all the time, they’ll be in a much better position to help each other.
Dan: But you haven’t told me how you would take care of people’s medical needs. [Didn’t I? I thought I just did. Are we so locked into a government medicaid mentality now, that the thought of private group health insurance no longer even registers as a possible solution? I am unsure who Dan is sympathetic with at this point. Before he mentioned $2.5 billion a year in taxpayer costs, to which I replied that if you don’t count citizens, DUN’s pay far more in taxes than they receive in services. But here he mentions “medical needs”, as if his concern is medical care for DUN’s. If that is his concern, does he prefer the alternative of shipping them all South where medical care as we know it doesn’t even exist? Is that greater compassion?]
Me: You’ve found an area that, I haven’t seen Medicaid alleged as one of the areas of huge expense. I’ve heard about the emergency hospital rooms.
Dan: Well you know we’ve had hundreds of hospitals that have closed in the Southwest...
Dan: ...because we have people that are not willing to pay the money.
Me: Well, like I say, give them credit for paying back those bills, and they will.
Me: Give them a place in line in exchange for it.
Dan: Give me your information so we can read more, we can talk about it when you’re gone here, Dave. What’s your information?
Me: You mean my...
Dan: Do you have a website or anything like that?
Me: Saltshaker.US. Click on “immigration”
Dan: . Okay. It’s called what, now?
Me: Saltshaker.US. Saltshaker.US.
Dan: All right we will review it, and we will probably talk a little bit more about some of the points you made. Sorry we didn’t hook up with you in Iowa. But, Dave Leach. And you can find him at Saltshaker.US. And your email address is Bible Wizard, right?
Me: Yeah. BibleWizard@Saltshaker.US.
Dan: Okay. Thanks for calling.
Me: Thank you!
Dan: Thank you 570 WKBN Back in a second....
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