Saturday, May 09, 2009

Just Mean

It took the center-left editorial board of the Los Angeles Times nearly a month to notice the drive for another hateful initiative to be placed on a future California ballot. On April 11, 2009, I posted on the signature drive being sponsored by Taxpayer Revolution to deny citizenship and health treatment to children born in the US of parents here illegally.

Then, when the LAT finally does notice,the editorial (published in today's edition) is a curious mix of fact and fiction on the issue.

Yes, it is frustrating to have 11 million or 12 million people living in the shadows of our society.

Oh, really? Not everyone is frustrated. Lots of employers are only too happy to hire the undocumented workers: they don't cost much and are easily intimidated into accepting substandard working conditions.

"In the shadows"? Oh, please. I've noticed that a lot of those workers show up at stores to buy food and clothing. They pay sales taxes and income taxes and payroll taxes (including Social Security and Medicare, two programs they won't have access to). Many go to church. Some attend parent-teacher meetings. Others coach soccer teams.

Driven by necessity, American citizens are haunting day-labor sites and taking jobs in orchards and fields alongside the illegal immigrants who once did most of such work.

That means what? That the illegals are stealing our jobs? Even if it is true that citizens are taking jobs previous filled by undocumented workers, and I doubt that huge numbers of Anglos are doing just that, it took an economic crisis for those same Anglos to even consider doing that kind of labor for sub-minimum wages.

Eventually, the editorial comes to the right conclusion, but it was an unnecessarily rough road getting there:

But that's no excuse for legalizing discrimination, which is precisely what would happen under a state ballot initiative now in the signature-gathering stage and targeted for next year's June election. If passed, it would require all parents of newborns in California to prove U.S. citizenship or legal residency in order to receive their baby's birth certificate. Those who could not would have to pay a $75 fee for a certificate noting the child's "Birth to a Foreign Parent." The U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be alerted to the discrepancy. And finally, in willful ignorance of previous California Supreme Court rulings, the measure would attempt to deny health benefits to illegal immigrants. Those are federally mandated benefits, beyond the reach of state law. ...

This measure doesn't consider the weight of law, custom and the complex social ramifications involved in bestowing and withdrawing citizenship. It's just simplistic and mean.

While I suppose I should be grateful that the editorial board finally came down on the side of justice on the issue, I still get the feeling that the board really didn't want to. Otherwise, why would it dignify the rantings of a bunch of xenophobic racists with the respectful summary of their arguments?

But I'll be generous: I give the editorial a C-, although I was tempted to assign it a D+ because it was such a waste of ink and electrons. Lukewarm support is as satisfying as kissing a freshly painted wall.

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Blogger OMYWORD! said...

I'm so glad I found your blog via I RSS'd you so I can keep on reading. You go girls!

6:25 AM  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

Yeah. It cracks me up when I hear people say, "Well, no Americans want to do these jobs." And these are the free-marketeers. But by the principles of the free market, all they need to do is raise their wages to a level where Americans will do those jobs. Simple & basic, that good old Econ 101.

Cuz, otherwise, the bastards have to break the law and go completely outside the country to find people to work for their sh*t wages.

Then they'll say that nobody wants to pay the price of goods produced by well-paid labor. There's a simple capitalist answer to that, too: Go out of business. Either you're in the wrong business, cuz nobody really wants to buy your product even at cost, or you're just not a very good business-person. The market has spoken!

Personally, I can live without artichokes if they can only be grown by slaves or peons. Obviously, the problem is not with our low-wage workers; it's with their piggish employers. I just can't afford to support their lifestyle.

Let's try an experiment: Turn the farms over to the workers, give them professional help with management & marketing, etc, and let's see if they can make a decent living producing good food at prices we can still afford. You know, capitalism? But without the capitalists. There's your problem.

Obama says he's going after the employers of undocumented aliens. Let's see how long the employers last in a really free and law-abiding marketplace. You know, like the one they expect the rest of us to live in?

More Stupid Republican Tricks, for Moms Day.

6:54 AM  

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