People ask how I come up with something to write about every week. “Do you ever run out of ideas?” No. The problem is actually the opposite: There are too many things to write about in only one 800-word column.
I start on one topic and it always leads into another, then another. For example, as I was leaving the Lovell Town Hall after casting my vote last week, a leftist Democrat (is there any other kind?) I’d known for years asked me to sign a petition to raise Maine’s minimum wage to $12 by 2020. She went into her pitch about how it was immoral to pay someone a wage too low to support a household. I said I would not sign, claiming that government is driving wages down by allowing tens of millions of illegal aliens into the US. Then government sets out to “fix” the problem by raising the minimum wage, creating still more problems.
She disputed my illegal immigration numbers and I said the US Census has been reporting only 11 million illegals for more than ten years, even though at least a half million more sneak in every year. How can government get an accurate count? Then immigration lawyers tell illegals to claim they’re seeking “asylum” so they can become “refugees” and then not technically illegal. That way they can go right on welfare for their food, clothing, housing, medical care, and cash assistance. Illegals had done that for years in sanctuary cities and states like Maine under Governor John Baldacci’s Administration, when he ordered state employees not to ask about the immigration status of anyone applying for benefits. Republican Governor LePage stopped that, but there are still sanctuary cities in Maine including our biggest city, Portland. Many work under the table, driving down wages, then collect welfare which drives up the tax burden on citizens.
Word gets around among those looking for an easier life, whether they’re home-grown Americans or they’re from other countries in the Americas, Africa, or the Middle East. Maine became a magnet because of lax welfare regulations. The Portland area gets migrants from about everywhere in the world. Even under LePage they can get General Assistance, since the state reimburses Portland for 90% of its General Assistance outlays whether recipients are from Massachusetts or Mogadishu. All their basic needs are provided free of charge. What’s not to like? Others hear this and join them here.
Immigration is the biggest topic on the minds of Americans and Europeans too. Minimum wage is ancillary. About one in four Americans today was born somewhere else — as there are more foreigners coming here than at any other time in our history. When Donald Trump announced his candidacy saying he would deport all illegals, he rocketed to the top of opinion polls where he has remained ever since. Pundits still can’t figure that out. It’s even worse across the pond. European countries are getting 8,000 Muslim “refugees” per day from the Middle East and Africa! Those are numbers not seen since World War II and it’s roiling the political pot everywhere.
What’s causing all this migration? Several things. Yes, there’s civil strife in Syria that people are fleeing, and our mainstream media pretend that’s the only factor driving it. If it were only civil strife they were escaping they would stop in Turkey, or in Greece, or in Bulgaria, or in Macedonia, or in Serbia, or in Croatia but they don’t — because there’s a pull factor too. They want to get to Germany, Denmark, the UK, and Sweden because welfare benefits are much more generous in northern Europe. Mainstream media in Europe and the US avoid that topic because it doesn’t fit their narrative. Three out of four “refugees” are young men in their 20s and 30s, not women and children. They’re well-dressed and they have cell phones. They want to get to northern Europe for an easier life than they would get in Turkey, Greece, Croatia, etc. Many believe there are ISIS terrorists among them too but that’s a whole other topic.
More and more ordinary Germans, Brits, and Danes — and Americans — are wise to this, but their leaders don’t seem to be. That’s causing the political sea change that so puzzles the pundits. Political leaders and media leaders are increasingly isolated from ordinary citizens both here and in Europe. They go to the same universities, live in the same neighborhoods, and go to the same restaurants and cocktail parties where they reinforce each other’s world views. They like their cheap nannies and gardeners and don’t have to compete for their livelihood every day with illegals. Ordinary citizens at lunch counters and in employee break rooms have a different view altogether.
The gulf is widening between the elite and working people and “experts” are baffled. Their templates don’t fit anymore and they don’t know where to begin constructing new ones. We peons out here in the countryside understand very well why wages are depressed and we’re pissed, but the cocktail party elite don’t ask us about it because they see us as racist morons. To this writer, it’s fascinating to watch it all play out.