Saturday, September 9, 2017

DACA: Another Pox On Both Houses

     Because people tend not to comprehend, let and often not even read once they get to the point in a piece that they don't agree with, I want to start out by saying explicitly that arresting and deporting hundreds of thousands of people who have been in this country from before they could walk for say, 5 years, is wrong. Also, “There is a time and a place.” Often “Right now” and “Right here” is that time and place. But “often” doesn't equate to every time. When a hurricane is bearing down on a major city is NOT the time to pardon a racist sheriff . Likewise in the aftermath of said hurricane is not the time to issue policy clamp down on illegal immigration. When NK is doing in months what should be taking them years to advance their capabilities, it is not the time. There are more pressing matters at hand. If you do any of these things, you are a heartless, ignorant, malice idiot. So until there is a viable replacement for DACA it should be accepted as “the best solution at the moment”.

        However, “Policy is meant to be absent of compassion, emotions, and “feelings”. Politicians are not. A wrong was done when their parents crossed the border illegally. They need to be discomforted with a reasonable negative effects. Blame their parents, not the government. I am a bit crueler than I would expect most. I would have no problem having them receive a year to tidy up things before they get deported. Most importantly, over and above punishing the offenders, is understanding why that option provided the most pleasure or reduced the most pain. When a few people do something illegal, then there is something wrong with them, but when millions of people do something illegal, the law isn't addressing the issue. 

  A Pox on Both Houses:

     That said, I have mixed emotions about the DACA program and illegal immigration in general. Surprise, surprise I believe both sides are on the delusional side of the issued. Since it is the conservative side of the issue currently being the aggressive idiots, I will start with their role in this mess. 

  The Conservative Sin:
      One must question “why do some many people leave the beautiful resources rich paradises along the equator and come to America to be indentured servants and sub-citizens. The answer, the reason according to the evidence, “the US policies on trade combined with their policy on guns combined with their willingness to consume drugs” is why illegal immigration from South America is more appealing than staying in their native lands. So long as I make the case for this as a valid truth, then we have a responsibility to correct the problem. Until we , as a nation, do something to atone, we have to suffer the negative consequences of illegal immigration.

      US agricultural industrial farmers such as the likes of Monsanto, lobbied the US and implemented trade policy on the countries south of the border. Countries with less established governments, less stringent regulations, and no understanding of what was about to happen to their economies, a chain of events were set in motion. In Central and South America, cultures that had existed for 10's of thousands of years as self sustaining communities had unmodern life, but that doesn't mean unhappy were faced with a forced choice. Then, just as the Japanese did to the US steel industry in the 1980's, the US agricultural industry dumped cheap corn and soybean on the economies of South and Central America. Seemingly over night, the ability to make a living off these mainstays of the South American diet, dried up. Farmers were left with hard choices as they lost their farms. The environment was in need of a new cash crop. The crops that grew well there and nowhere else as well, plus had legality issues in other countries was marijuana and coca. These crops became appealing or the lands were selling to the cartels at prices that could not be refused. It might easy to discount this as just the ebb and flow of business.  However, as the documentary "Apologies of an Economic Hitman" was something I recently viewed (and after much digging can find nobody who can invalidate his claims) it shows our government elected by "We the People" have hardly been just passive participants in this devastation. If we are going to accept the right to vote, then we have to accept the responsibility of the people we elected, EVEN if we did not vote for them. We can't just dip in and out at our leisure. So  it is that we caused a very dangerous environment to  crop up in  these regions.

Few would dispute the notion that society has become more fragmented since the end of World War II. Family structures in place for decades—the nuclear family, extended family, one-wage-earner households, geographical stability—have been replaced by a wide assortment of patterns, movements, and trends. Divorce rates have soared. Drug and alcohol abuse and child neglect and abuse have skyrocketed. Crime, terrorism, and political assassination have become widespread, at times almost commonplace. Periods of economic uncertainty, exemplified in roller-coaster boom-and bust scenarios, have become the rule, not the exception.

      The drug farmers turned cartels had adversarial obstacles in the US war on drugs. But it was a war of hypocrisy. They wanted to sell to the US population and the US population wanted to buy, the DEA was just a facade. They needed a consumers and a sources of guns to protect themselves government enforcers and form rival cartels. The US laws and population provided both. The success and emotionallydysfunctional emerging shifting family conditions provided them with a customer base all too willing to get high, check out, and buy their products. At the same time, fueled by US government perpetuated fear from the cold war and the belief that guns are somehow “god given”, the country was awash in them. The formula was simple. Get drugs grown in the lush climates of Southern hemisphere to the willing consumers in North America, and have the money and guns returned to the point cartels.

        When all the sudden, after many generations of a lifestyle, the ruthless drug cartels started killing families, raping women, and force boys to be child soldiers, people start wanting to flee to someplace that won't get them raped, killed, or forced into servitude. That bar being pretty low, and the fact that they are a culture who know farming, makes illegal migration into the US seems a better gamble than staying. It bothers me to immensely to hear people ignorantly say “They must really like our country if they keep trying to get in.” Theirs was just fine before we f'ked it up. We set their house on fire, and they came running into ours to get away from the flames. That doesn't signfy they like being outside in the elements better than they like being in their functional home.

      To sum this up, we owe the South Americans and their generations “reparations”. Illegal immigration is the consequences of our global decimation through agro dumping, drug consumption and economic bullying. Trump has a point (and I don't admit to that often or lightly.) This should have been a legislative solved issue. There is no way I would have reported (any more than I would have “told” if I was in the military under false pretenses) under DACA if I were an illegal immigrant until they had a law on the books. But just up and ending the program without a humane plan to deal with the vacuum and dislocation it would create is self serving and cruel. It reminds me of when my father taught me to swim. By tying led weights to my waist and throwing me in the water Saying that “it would make me a strong swimmer.” My brother had to come save me. There is a lack of realism in the expectation under both accounts.

      A solution that charges the producers like Monsonto and places a tariff on them for exporting their product is a first phase would be favorable source of funding. Using that money to set up an agreeable resolution that address the immediate concerns and stops the practice in the future. Paying the drug farmers to stop growing illicit crops and using the military to protect them is another viable step. I could conceive decent resolutions all day for this issue, but I am not in a position for that to matter.

The Liberal Delusion: 

   The equally complex and propagandized view of the cost of illegal immigration from the liberal perspective is invalid. It literally takes ignorance of the most basic laws of economics. It is complex because one has to understand how these basic principles act upon in a capitalist system AND understand that the founding documents obligate the US government to grant life, liberty, environment of happiness, quality to services, protection, justice, and domestic tranquility. This is a catch 22, a Paradox.  Most disturbingly is that to swallow the blue pill, you must ignore the element of “opportunity cost” in order to accept their argument. It literally means that American citizens are one "opportunity" and illegal immigrants are a different option, and supporting the illegal  immigrants means that the government is choosing them over that of the welfare of their citizens. 
“Opportunity cost refers to a benefit that a person could have received, but gave up, to take another course of action. Stated differently, an opportunity cost represents an alternative given up when a decision is made. This cost is, therefore, most relevant for two mutually exclusive events.”

Capitalism Unguarded Secret:

    Here is the dirty truth about capitalism. It is an aggressive emotionally violent system of wealth distributions. It is the exact opposite philosophy of Ubuntu. When one person or entity “wins” in a capitalist society, one or many others loose. To understand how American Citizens are “losing when illegal immigrants “win” a job, these basic truths must be grasped.

Labor economics looks at the suppliers of labor services (workers) and the demanders of labor services (employers), and attempts to understand the resulting pattern of wages, employment, and income.

Raw labor vs. Specialization:

       Be it picking fruit, mowing lawn, catching a ball, running a billion dollar business, waiting to fight a fire, or removing viruses from a person or a computer, killing some people half way around the world because some old guys said you have to, the act of using ones time for somebody elese's needs is a product. It is not something you want to do, it certainly isn't something you would do for free. (Patriotism doesn't run that deep.) Time and psychical activity is a commodity that can be specialized with great flexibility. The difference between an Iphone and an a flip phone is specialization. Both are phones, but one has more functions. Specialization takes more up front effort, has more costs associated with it's creation, and because of that, are lower in supply and most often higher in demand. It is also variable. Meaning that two people might have the same specialization but one can do it cheaper, faster, or more dependable than the other.

        Raw labor with no specialization fetches minimum wage if monitored, less if the government is not aware of it. You can't have just raw unskilled, uneducated, common to anybody from 8 to 80 labor and expect command specialization premiums. The only thing that will raise your value if all you have is raw labor, is a decrease in the supply. Raw labor is needed, though machines are replacing more of it, but the more supply the less you can command for it. The ability to withstand pain is  a specialization, but getting paid for it, and then complaining about having to do it,  is being "jammy". 

Putting it all together.

       So whas dah heel dis alls gots tah do wit imma gration? So if you accept the laws of economics philosophy that a person willing to take a job at a lower price and live in the shadows, where they are held in check from reporting crime, live in unhealthy and cramped conditions, and causing a tax on the public systems without paying income taxes into it, robs the “opportunity” of somebody who would demand hire wages and better working conditions. If you accept that working in unbelievable discomfort unable and unwilling to say anything about it, is inhumane, but a specialization all the same. f yo believe that willingness will drive the value down of labor, then you are opposed to illegal immigration.

       Because it drives down wages to a point where Americans can't do it and live like an American". In the end, it drives down everyone's wage. The moment raw labor makes a higher wages, all specialization is relative to that price point. The best way to idealize this is to consider what would happen tomorrow if the government passed a law that “men could no longer work”. What would that do to the wages of women who could work legally? Immediately employers would have an utter disadvantage and be offering whatever it takes to get the women to come work for them. Likewise, if illegal immigrants were not an option for employers, they would have to pay more and have better working conditions. nobody is going to work and  still go bankrupt, hungry, and homeless.  Sure we would pay more at the stores for oranges, but we would all be making more. We would all still pay a certain percentage of our earnings for that orange, laws of economics are relative, not fixed on numbers.

      Unions were once strong, when there were more jobs than there were people. The factories in the rust belt were piping people in from all over the world. Raw labor with the willingness and ability to put in long hours was the only specialization at first. Then slowly the balance of power shifted in favor of the employer as technology, offshoring and immigration created a situation where there were more access to employees than there was potential employees. Anybody who has ever worked for a union that has been on strike, and had scabs cross the line, knows what it is like to think “I would mow lawns for $15 an hour..” but nope.. some hard working Mexican is doing it for $5 an hour. Guess what the value of mowing a lawn is? Guess what kind of leverage those who need 15 / hr to feed their family have when the illegal immigrant is there?None!

     Starting after “the great recession” where we had effects such as  “jobless recovery” to the condition that is impossible to really assess, known as “under employment”.  We have seen the effects of a glut in the supply of labor in the US economy. You would think that the party demanding $15 / hr would understand that. Because,  that is how people who have been off work for a long time become what is known as “under employed”. So don't tell me that “illegal immigration” Doesn't have an effect on the economy.
“The broader concept of underemployment includes all situations in which workers are not employed full-time – at the number of hours they wish to work – in jobs that pay above-poverty-level wages “

 More from the “Opportunity Cost” Desk.:

        It is commonly said that “Illegal immigrants have many small businesses”. But, as I previously mentioned, in a capitalist economy, for there to be a winner, there has to be a looser. For ever dollar an illegal immigrant earns, it is one that could have (other options would have) been earned legally. To start a business takes resources, skills, money, and a customer base. If an illegal immigrant has these things, it means somebody who is not in our society, in defiance to our laws, not illegal ,was not given the opportunity to earn these under the guise of a reasonable wage. This self delusion only works if you believe the lie about “Jobs Americans won't do” and don't add the part “for the wages that illegal immigrants will do it.”

      I have a good friend, who is an amazing carpenter with a specialty in remodeling. When he lived in Ohio, he never advertised and worked completely by word of mouth advertising. We lived in an area where million dollar homes were common customers. The point being that he is that good. He moved to California at the height of the housing boom. There was a “home flipping show” on every major network station. He had set up a business. He was making a good profit and paying his 5 or 6 employees well. Back then people (flippers) were paying quality contractors to come out and do quality work. This resulted in a premium being paid on the houses. Then the housing bubble burst. He said he saw his business dry up over night. As people shifted to cheap materials and labor, he could no longer compete with those willing to employ illegal immigrants. He lost in the capitalist economy to people who were not forced to compete under the same rules and same social restraints.

       The other lie I don't get is that illegal immigrants contribute to the economy more than they take. It takes an average of $15,000 a year to educate a normal child. One with no English language skills require even more intensive education at first. They are not citizens, that means they are getting $180,000 benefit per child, that doesn't belong to them, wasn't paid for by their parents putting in tax money over the years, at least up front. Because in the end, the money you are putting into your schools today, still builds the district for decades to come. What kind of business could legal citizens start if they were given $180,000 with no strings attached. The school thing goes deeper than that. Schools are a service completely funded by the public.

      Ask any teacher or administrator. It takes a lot of resources to educate a child in this day and age. From the building and locker space, to text books, but right down to the things that you can not quantify such as teachers attention and effects on class progress. Child to teacher ratio is one of the most important key metric for increasing academic success. The more students in a class the less each of them are receiving of the valuable benefit. Then there is college. Again, college tuition is a “product”. The price or value of that product is set by the amount consumers are willing and able to pay for it. The more customers, the more demand, the higher the price.  As a person who routinely was scraping cash together to pay for college and thus not registering until the last minute, I can tell you that I was forever discomforted by having to chose classes at in opportune times. Having to compete with an illegal immigrant for class slots is a failure of the governments obligations.So giving a DACA participant access is a theft of my opportunity.

          Last point of the many I could make is that the use of undocumented workers stifle innovation. It is a little admitted to truth that the reason we fought the civil war, was capital driven after we developed a cotton picker.  Only then did we fight the slave trade and ended slavery.  The role of the cotton Gin and Picker was to make slave labor unnecessary.  The industrial age would not have emerged so preeminently if it were not for the loss of slavery as an option. (Not like we deemed them "huan beings with equal rights" with the emancipation Proclamation.) Economic theory would have us understand that the loss of illegal immigrants will drive better methods of agricultural harvesting. The argument that “People won't pay $5 for an orange” will drive the technology and methods for growing and harvesting oranges. Just as the Cotton Gin actully lead to the increased appreciation for human rights.
How much of an impact the gin (which is short for “engine”) had on the retention of slavery in the South is still being debated. To be sure, the value of cotton as a cash crop grew astronomically in the decades following Whitney’s patent went into effect. By some estimates, the United States supplied three-quarters of the global cotton supply by the start of the Civil War.
      So to say that because they pay taxes and start businesses makes up for the negatives on our economy and society, is ridiculous. To do so you have to ignore a whole bunch of realities of economic law. Not the least of which is “opportunity costs”. We need to admit that they do cost us in these and a few other less direct ways. Because, so long as people believe they are a "benefit" they will fight the painful soultions to the problem.

In conclusion:

      The conservatives have to do something about the conditions that leads to the need for families to flee to the US. Too long they have enabled and encouraged the business that have devastated regions of the world causing displacement or the economic need to flee. The relaxed gun laws and immoral dumping of cheap corn and soy that has gone on for years along with the “war on drugs” making the reward even greater while doing very little to increase the risk have created this situation. In the same conditions, not one of them would do anything differently than the illegal immigrants are doing. Not if you love your family. However, the liberals need to stop lying about what they contribute and the actually social, economic, ad educational costs to the economy. Overall we need to get off this model that says “we have to grow”. Infinite growth is not only destroying our culture, and our economy, but the Earth as well. Likewise, we do not  have an infinite budget for public services.

      Before you think of me as removed from this situation, a little personal facts. My ex mother inlaw, whom I love dearly and is a huge part of my daughter's life, could easily get caught up in such a sweep. I would be angry and fight it with her family.  She has been here for nearly 50 years. But it wasn't too long ago, that it was discovered that my ex father inlaw had divorced her during some time of turmoil some 40 years prior.(She spent the better part of 20 years thiinking she was married and had legal  status.)  He had gotten some other woman to pose as my daughters nana. She was technically “illegal” for many years. I couldn't imagine her all the sudden getting sent back to Chili. She would lose a life's worth of work and the family would be devastated. Even if she was actually a border jumper, that would make no sense on a personal level. Likewise I have a number of friends with questionable residency status. They are important to my life. But right is always right, no matter what your personal situation is. IF we see a problem that is just a “crack” now, it is “right” to address it before ti becomes millions of people.I would never request something done onto others that I would not have done onto me.  I would go if the laws required it. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Russian Hacking and Frustrated Parenting

To understand "how the Russians 'hacked' the US elections" requires an analogy that is far too familiar to parents these days.

Imagine you are a parent that preaches to your child the moral and ethical failings of taking drugs, as well as legal and health consequences. That is the voice, your reality based voice, that you want to influence your decision. But drugs and alcohol have their allure. It feels "good" to be "high", and there is reason for your child to not want to believe you. More than there is TO believe you.
But you are NOT the only voice. Media, peers, and even watching you get wasted during the football games, and telling stories about "sipping daddy's beer" presented a contradictory message. Hearing "the government just doesn't want us to have it", "If an adult want to do it..", and so on. The voice of their friends, media, and things said by your actions become more "believable", that it is fine and even a "right" to do drugs of any sort. So as a parent, you become frustrated when their irrational belief that the "dangers are over stated" and the voice of their friends, telling them what they want to hear, becomes the thing they believe over "reality". As a parent, you are disadvantage by telling them what they don't want to hear.
Now imagine you had a society that is full of racist, bigots, dim witted, short sighted, non-scientific, and easily manipulated (very immature in the "enlightenment" terms") that are all given an "equal vote". Enough of the electorate that wanted to hate the black president, wanted to diminish the woman candidate, and felt good to have their irrational and illogical and unrealistic suspicions confirmed by hearing it from some popular angry white men. (The same can be said of pandering to the poor, minority, and addicted by the other party.) The news stories about birth certificates, hacked emails, failed security, voter fraud, endless racist and bigoted emails and memes, false spin on unemployment numbers, contradictory to the research bodies on healthcare programs, death panels, flag pins, and on and on all saying things that a large portion of voters want to believe.

What Russia did was flood those who wanted to believe with false information inspiring baseless and false fear. With the advent of the wide open internet, a Russian state sponsored and financed operation to send false information to inspire and share among those who want to believe it.  Especially older and/ or uneducated people, who don't understand technology, but want to believe the material. They have no way or desire to "fact check" the information. And it is disseminated among their peers who also want to believe it. Inside this country we have "equal time laws" that force media outlets to give equal time to the candidates. Because our psychological research has shown "time of exposure" can shape perception and belief without regard to truth and accuracy of the information. (Or as some of you know it, if you keep repeating a lie, it eventually gets believed.)

THAT is how the Russians "hacked" our elections. The same way that some boy "hacked" the morals and ethics you had instilled in your daughter about sex and the dangers of getting pregnant. And now here she is, Knocked up, and there are very few options available for it, and she wants to "keep it". So it is with America. We got an "unwanted presidency" and very few option to deal with it, and the dammed bigots and racists want to "keep it".

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