Sunday, May 20, 2007

Who are the protesters?

Where are they coming from?
I like to try and understand those I disagree with. I just might learn something from them.

It has been a puzzle to me to see illegal aliens protesting in the streets, demanding to be legalized. They chant and carry signs. Have you pondered what some of those signs mean?

Like, “We are Americans.” Well, if they mean they were born in the Western Hemisphere, they are right. In fact, there is some validity to their claim. We tend to claim the name “Americans”, when what we really mean is “Citizens of the United States of America.” The term “United States-ans” just doesn’t work.

Mexicans, Canadians, Brazilians, Peruvians….. are all Americans if they were born in North or South America.

If “We are Americans” means they are entitled to live in the United States simply because they are here, or because they have worked here x number of years, then they are mistaken. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way, no matter what the politicians and activists say.

Then there is the sign, “No human being is illegal.” Nice sentiment, but not true. Being human is not, and never was, part of the immigration equation. Taken to extreme, that thought would mean that five billion people should be allowed to live here if they want. I like what a Utah State Rep by the name of Christopher N. Herrod said about it: “Unless you start with the premise that we accept everybody here all at once, everybody who is here illegally is taking someone else’s place.”

One sign really gets me: “Yes, we can!” Can what? Live here illegally and get paid under the table? Steal someone’s identity so you can get a real job? Get free medical care? Jump ahead of your countrymen who have waited years to come here?

In trying to understand the mindset of people who would parade around with signs like that, I’ve decided that many of them really do believe their cause.

I know a delightful young woman from Mexico. Her mother was recruited to come to the United States as a school teacher. She came here with her parents and her sister. They were here for about five years when she wrote a college essay about coming to the United States.

Her story tells me a lot about how we are perceived. Many of her friends in Mexico were not envious of her journey here. They had the Ugly American Syndrome. In fact, some pitied her for being forced to come here. The white man exploits and spreads disease and is uneducated in the classics and is greedy with the resources of the world.

But she came here and has learned to appreciate our way of life. She understands us better. It is a good read. See “Living with Uncle Sam’s Kids” from the Illinois Community College Journalism Association.

Deep in her writings is a sense of Socialism leaning toward Communism. Growing up in a third world country, the children recite poems and learn songs about Robin Hood-like leaders who take care of the poor. Streets are named after them. They have great respect for the leaders who were generous with the masses. And third world countries are known for the poor masses with a very small middle class.

I remember when I lived in Peru in the 1970s bus drivers would have large decals of Ernesto “Che” Guevara plastered all over the inside of their busses. Tupac Amaru was another idolized leader.

The president at the time was Juan Velasco, an army general who came to power when he invaded the palace and sent Belaunde into exile. Velasco was going to nationalize industry. (If this sounds like Venzuela right now, you are right!) He had a strong protectionist import policy. He even worked on the successful native Peruvian enterprises. The government took over the large ranching operations and gave them to the workers.

It was great! For about six months meat was cheap and everyone was pleased. That’s the time to hold your “free” elections, before things turn ugly. And turn ugly they did. They discovered too late that these workers didn’t know how to manage the ranches. They had slaughtered all the breeding cattle!

So, I lived two years in Peru where it was against the law to sell domestic beef 15 days out of every month! That’s right, the whole country ate fish and chicken the last half of every month.

Similar results came from mining, oil, and automotive production. Velasco was popular because he was robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. They loved him for it…until the plan went sour.

The universities of Peru were loaded with unabashed Communists. And Velasco got a sweet deal on MIGs from the Russians. And the Peace Corps was expelled.

So, exactly who is coming to America these days? George Borjas, a Cuban refugee himself, wrote a book called Heaven’s Door. He talks about immigration from the point of view of a sociologist. His book is a study in demographics.

For example, he points out that the average immigrant in 1960 was earning 4% MORE than the average citizen! By 1998, the average immigrant was earning 23% LESS. And if you look at the Mexican immigrants, they were earning nearly 40% less than a U. S. citizen working here.

The difference of course is that immigrants from 1925 to 1965 were allowed to come here based on their ability to contribute to our society and based on preserving the ethnic ratios already present. Those who came here were looking for opportunities to start a business, work hard, and succeed – without the pressures of taxation in their home countries. They wanted to be entrepreneurs.

Contrast those immigrants with the current situation. Huge numbers of immigrants are coming here legally and illegally from the third world. Now, as mentioned, the third world characteristically has no middle class. There are the rulers, and there are the peons. Guess which group wants to come here? Well, the ruling class has a great deal going; they would like to keep it that way.

No, the people coming here from Mexico, the rest of Latin America, the Philippines, China, Africa…are from the poor classes. They are less skilled, less educated, and less likely to start businesses than the ruling class (or the immigrants pre-1960). In other words, they need services and are likely to continue to need services for generations to come!

So when they take to the streets in protest, they really aren’t bold and greedy; they simply come from socialist backgrounds and want what they consider to be their share of our wealth.

They don’t understand the free enterprise system. They don’t understand Capitalism. And frankly, far too many people in Washington have the same problem. This idea that we need these illegals to work for us is plain wrong! What they are doing is distorting and polluting the market pressures that establish the value of work.

And if Washington would think past the next election they would see that 400,000 guest workers constitutes 17% of the net job creation for an entire year! And that statistic doesn’t even begin to address the QUALITY of the new jobs available.

We are told that most of the new jobs in America are from the “service economy”. Where are the illegals working? In hospitality, in cleaning, in landscaping… Washington ought to be addressing the man who worked in manufacturing as a plant manager before production was moved to China. He’ll never see $60K a year again because we aren’t manufacturing things here any more. So, if he’s lucky, he’s making half his skilled salary working in the “service industry”. Instead of pumping 400,000 people into the job market, they ought to work on bringing professional/technical/manufacturing jobs back to America!

And they ought to make America attractive to those who want to create new jobs. Our social programs have created tax rates that rival Europe. The entrepreneurs don’t want to come here now; it’s as bad as their homeland. If they can stomach the taxes, the regulation scares them away.

I read the other day that Germany’s middle class is fleeing to places like India because they can work and earn and thrive there. There was a time when they would have brought their skills and ideas here. Sadly, that mindset is no more. As one entrepreneur living in Bangalore India put it, “I’m fascinated by the pulse of Asia, the upbeat prevailing mood and the wealth of opportunities.” He left Germany due to poor job prospects, high taxes, and the intrusive bureaucracy.

So, when I look at the protesters now, I see socialists. I see people with a strong sense of entitlement. I see desperate, poor people who feel deep in their hearts that we are arrogant and ought to give up some of the earth’s wealth…to them, of course. And I see our elected “leaders” more than willing to redistribute our wealth for the sake of a few votes.


  1. Nice - Very informative. I had NO Idea about Peru! I'm still in part torn as to what to do about the situation but I thought your insite into the socialist mind set was very educational!
    Keep 'em comin!

  2. Hi There! I just thought you're email was good and should be put up here to maybe generate more ideas - I'll post my response at the end :) Love ya!
    by One Vote:
    About the innocent kids, I've got an idea rattling around in my head. I
    want to put together a program with brochures, etc. called "Go in peace."

    The idea is to teach the illegals how to return back home. It is bad when
    they are caught and deported, leaving behind their kids. But if they were
    proactive and planned to go home, I think it would be much better.

    It is just in the first stages. I'm trying to figure out who I can ask in
    government that would give me a straight answer. I think there is more to
    it than just dragging your family to the border and crossing into Mexico.

    And we'd need to work the Mexican side as well. The truth is, they won't
    make it easy for people to return to their homeland. But I think there are
    things we can do.

    I can't do much about their lifestyle change when they go back home; that is
    a problem of their own making.
    You know, I've heard the idea presented of donating people's frequent flyer miles to help families go back home.. .what do you think?
    Take care!

  3. Good idea. I think people would be willing to donate in many ways if they knew it would help keep families together and legal. The problems are:
    1) The mechanics of going back home.
    2) Getting the word out.
    3) Getting the activists to accept the idea.
    Any ideas are welcome.