Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Growing Gulf

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.


Anonymous said...

800 words? Really?
Never SEEMS that much.
Must be those (actually) "engaging", "provocative", and "captivating", bits of writing they never talk about in Strunk and White!
Sheesh, what? Were you a TEACHER or something?

Brian said...

Tom, I am glad to see that you too are concerned about the "cocktail elite" and the widening gulf between the fat cats and the diminishing middle class.

I disagree with the part where you say that the “experts” are baffled, though. No, they are not baffled. It is perfectly clear that our system is set up in such away that makes it much easier to take a bunch of money and snowball into even huger amounts via stocks, Wall Street, etc, mere monetary games that involve no real work and do nothing to help the US economy, while at the same time making it harder and harder to become a success when starting from scratch.

There is only one candidate on either side who has any real concerns about changing this moronic system. Yup, the socialist Sanders.

I too am out in the countryside, pissed off. Pissed at the immoral elite and pissed at poor ignorant suckers (sometime racist) that get taken for a ride through the elites lies.

B.I.C. said...

If a were a poor parent living in a drug lord run Mexico, I would certainly try and take my family to a better land. When I found out that coming to the USA legally may take years and years and cost money that I do not have, then I would still do what was best for my family and sneak into the country. What would you do, Tom?

You can argue that Native Americans did not technically have "immigration laws", and that they did not live in a formal "country", but that is just technical BS. They were here, they didn't want us to come (once we started mistreating them), but that didn't stop us.

And here is a Fact Check for you:

The belief that immigrants take jobs that can otherwise be filled by hard-working Americans has been disputed by an overwhelming number of economic research studies and data.

Removing the approximately 8 million unauthorized workers in the United States would not automatically create 8 million job openings for unemployed Americans, said Daniel Griswold, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies, in his 2011 testimony before the House Judiciary Sub-committee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.

The reason, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is two-fold. For one, removing millions of undocumented workers from the economy would also remove millions of entrepreneurs, consumers and taxpayers. The economy would actually lose jobs. Second, native-born workers and immigrant workers tend to possess different skills that often complement one another.

Anonymous said...

We used to have Presidents demanding that walls be taken down. Now we have presidential front runners demanding that walls be built. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm....big difference between walls to keep ideology trapped IN, and walls to keep undesirable elements OUT out.
Oh, they may LOOK the same...
Sadly , "facts", and "theory" are mistaken for each other as well.
But I'll give it a shot.
If I were a poor farmer with rodents ruining my crops, I'd probably stop feeding the "house" cat.

Tom McLaughlin said...

I wonder what people in France think about all those poor souls seeking asylum after last night. Want to guess?

Tom McLaughlin said...

Well well. At least one, maybe two of the terrorists last night just arrived last month as "refugees."

Ted Cruz and Ben Carson have called for suspension of Obama's plans to bring 100,000 "Syrian" "refugees" into the United States. What a great idea.

B.I.C. said...

Hmmm, no answer to the "What would YOU do, Tom?" question.

Anonymous said...

Of course no answer from Tom. Do you think for a second that he has ever stopped and thought about what it would like to be somebody else's shoes. No, much easier to sit back and judge.

Anonymous said...

Huffington Post:

The Pilgrims were illegal immigrants. They landed in America without the permission of the American Indians, who owned the land by virtue of residence for thousands of years. No one except the Indians had the legal right to give them permission. And the Spaniards and the Dutch and the French and the British before the Pilgrims were all also illegal immigrants. And after the Louisiana Purchase and the 1862 Homestead Act, all the whites who went West were illegal immigrants again on Indian land -- in some cases after treaties were signed with the Indians setting aside the land for them. And of the hacks and foul-mouthed Conservatives now wagging their tongues about undocumented immigrants, how many of them are recent descendants of immigrants themselves? -- and illegal themselves, because ALL the Europeans in this country are here without the approval of the American Indians whose land they usurped and continue usurping? There is so much hypocrisy in this country now, too many of us choke on it

Anonymous said...


Interesting you bring up the Natives. First off, don't you think the Natives now wished they had tougher immigration laws? You can see what it did to them and their culture...

Second, if you feel so guilty, why don't you give everything you own back to Native Americans? Your land, your house, and in fact all of your wealth was more than likely gained on stolen ground. Before you go and start preaching about hypocrisy, can you address your own?