Huckabee reconsidered

In her thought-provoking discussion of the caucus results, Peggy Noonan recounts a line Mike Huckabee delivered when Jay Leno asked him why he was doing so well against Mitt Romney:

“People are looking for a presidential candidate who reminds them more of the guy they work with rather than the guy that laid them off.”

Whatever you think of the guy, that is a very funny and dead-on satirical quip. If Leno is looking for some scab writers, Huckabee just might fit the bill.

Some people don’t like Huckabee because of their aversion to and fear of “the Christian right.” Others don’t like him because he is not a “true conservative,” being too populist. If taken together, those seem to be contradictory concerns. If Huckabee is the new standard bearer for that movement, has the Christian right morphed into a Christian middle?

Perhaps the biggest problem with Huckabee for conservatives is that he would be the Republican version of George McGovern, pleasing an important element of the party’s base but destined to lose in such a spectacular way in the general election that he would knock that base out of influence for years.

What do you think?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Joe

    I haven’t seen the polls lately but before Iowa Huckabee was polling ahead of Clinton in head to head match ups. I have not seen numbers in a head to head with Obama.

    For me their is no McGovern problem with Huckabee. Indeed, the section of the Republican “base” the Huckabee energizes is the section of the base that votes least. So, I think he will bring in folks who don’t regularly vote.

  • Joe

    I haven’t seen the polls lately but before Iowa Huckabee was polling ahead of Clinton in head to head match ups. I have not seen numbers in a head to head with Obama.

    For me their is no McGovern problem with Huckabee. Indeed, the section of the Republican “base” the Huckabee energizes is the section of the base that votes least. So, I think he will bring in folks who don’t regularly vote.

  • Bror Erickson

    I don’t know, but I think Huckabee has the ability to take it all. I predict he will be running against Obama.
    He may not be the most republican of the candidates running, but I find that to be a strength, not a weakness. I think the Republican party might do well to listen to him, and get behind him. I for one am sick of the Republican party’s unthoutful approach to illegal immigration. Not that I don’t see it as a problem, but it just smacks of racism through and through when they start talking about it. It’s one reason I can hardly listen to Sean Hannidy anymore. And that man has a sick love affair going on with Romney, and I don’t understand that at all. Romney wants to present himself as the new Reagan. He is not, won’t be, and cannot be, he just doesn’t have the same spirit. Building a fence on the border is at best a symbolical jesture. Especially given the in hospitable terrain that already serves as a better fence then one we could build. They try to present it as a national security issue. Have they looked North? Now that is an open border! I know, my cousins and I used to cross it to go get beer at the bar across the lake.

  • Bror Erickson

    I don’t know, but I think Huckabee has the ability to take it all. I predict he will be running against Obama.
    He may not be the most republican of the candidates running, but I find that to be a strength, not a weakness. I think the Republican party might do well to listen to him, and get behind him. I for one am sick of the Republican party’s unthoutful approach to illegal immigration. Not that I don’t see it as a problem, but it just smacks of racism through and through when they start talking about it. It’s one reason I can hardly listen to Sean Hannidy anymore. And that man has a sick love affair going on with Romney, and I don’t understand that at all. Romney wants to present himself as the new Reagan. He is not, won’t be, and cannot be, he just doesn’t have the same spirit. Building a fence on the border is at best a symbolical jesture. Especially given the in hospitable terrain that already serves as a better fence then one we could build. They try to present it as a national security issue. Have they looked North? Now that is an open border! I know, my cousins and I used to cross it to go get beer at the bar across the lake.

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ samuel

    I like and dislike Huckabee for conflicting reasons. I like that he is socially conservative (abortion, marriage) but I dislike extremely his disregard for freedom in a national smoking ban (egregious!!). But I like his embracing the Fair Tax. So in a way, he confounds me as a libertarian-leaning, conservative, but he also sometimes delights me.

    My view is that Mr. None O. D. Above is the best candidate (how cynical). But until we have someone who is as winsome as Huckabee, as good looking as Romney, has the love for liberty and the Constitution that Paul has (without his naivety on the war), and heck, we may as well throw in the throwing arm of Tom Brady, then we will be choosing the lesser of two-hundred evils.

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ samuel

    I like and dislike Huckabee for conflicting reasons. I like that he is socially conservative (abortion, marriage) but I dislike extremely his disregard for freedom in a national smoking ban (egregious!!). But I like his embracing the Fair Tax. So in a way, he confounds me as a libertarian-leaning, conservative, but he also sometimes delights me.

    My view is that Mr. None O. D. Above is the best candidate (how cynical). But until we have someone who is as winsome as Huckabee, as good looking as Romney, has the love for liberty and the Constitution that Paul has (without his naivety on the war), and heck, we may as well throw in the throwing arm of Tom Brady, then we will be choosing the lesser of two-hundred evils.

  • Bror Erickson

    The smoking ban gets me too.
    I guess I just hope he flip flops on that one.

  • Bror Erickson

    The smoking ban gets me too.
    I guess I just hope he flip flops on that one.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    I have a lot of problems with Huckabee, but they all stem from one fact. I’m a conservative and he is not. He is also a nightmare with regard to foreign policy. The current crop of candidates shows just how far left the GOP has moved. Whether there will be enough pushback from the conservatives who remain in the party remains to be seen. But if Huckabee is the candidate I’m crossing party lines and voting Democratic, on the theory that if we’re going to have a liberal in the White House (higher taxes, corporations are eeeevil, soft on illegal immigration, Jimmy Carter foreign policy), I want the Democrats to be blamed for it.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    I have a lot of problems with Huckabee, but they all stem from one fact. I’m a conservative and he is not. He is also a nightmare with regard to foreign policy. The current crop of candidates shows just how far left the GOP has moved. Whether there will be enough pushback from the conservatives who remain in the party remains to be seen. But if Huckabee is the candidate I’m crossing party lines and voting Democratic, on the theory that if we’re going to have a liberal in the White House (higher taxes, corporations are eeeevil, soft on illegal immigration, Jimmy Carter foreign policy), I want the Democrats to be blamed for it.

  • fw

    Two points of view possible:

    Huckabee represents an evolution of republicanism away from Goldwater libertarian republicanism towards Christian Democrat politics popular in europe which is social conservatism combined with compassionate statism/socialism.

    I have always seen the republican/evangelical marriage as a strange mix.

    libertarianism informed Goldwater that there was no problem with gay marriage, abortion was wrong logically, and that you couldn´t just starve the government to shrink it by cutting taxes, because then we would just go into debt. Which is what is happening. “No new taxes then = devastation for the next generation.” Conservative christians appear to me to have been manipulated into drinking the kool-aid.

    another view could be that Huckabee represents a third term for GW Bush with the sole difference being an orientation towards the poor and middle class and away from the business ruling class. after all Bush is no fiscal or constitutional conservative in any way. but he is against abortion and gay marriage, which are the ONLY two points that could possibly identify him as “conservative.” ditto Huckabee.

  • fw

    Two points of view possible:

    Huckabee represents an evolution of republicanism away from Goldwater libertarian republicanism towards Christian Democrat politics popular in europe which is social conservatism combined with compassionate statism/socialism.

    I have always seen the republican/evangelical marriage as a strange mix.

    libertarianism informed Goldwater that there was no problem with gay marriage, abortion was wrong logically, and that you couldn´t just starve the government to shrink it by cutting taxes, because then we would just go into debt. Which is what is happening. “No new taxes then = devastation for the next generation.” Conservative christians appear to me to have been manipulated into drinking the kool-aid.

    another view could be that Huckabee represents a third term for GW Bush with the sole difference being an orientation towards the poor and middle class and away from the business ruling class. after all Bush is no fiscal or constitutional conservative in any way. but he is against abortion and gay marriage, which are the ONLY two points that could possibly identify him as “conservative.” ditto Huckabee.

  • Bror Erickson

    Here is how I see it.
    At the beginning of the race lots of people were complaining that there was no one with a pro-life track record they could trust. At least no one they saw as a real contender. Now we have Huckabee. He is what we wanted. At least those who see the abortion issue as being more than just an issue. Now we are complaining that he might raise taxes. That he is soft on Foreign Policy, that he is anti-smoking, that he likes mexicans.
    The truth is we haven’t had a president since Theodore Roosevelt who knew what he was doing with foreign policy, before they got into office and were privy to all the information. Huckabee sounds an awful lot like Bush jr. did when he first ran when it comes to that. He in the main agrees with Bush, as do I, when it comes to the problem of illegal immigration. Smokers have been under attack for a long time. And taxes? I would rather have them raised and spent wisely, as Huckabee did in Arkansas, than have them cut, and spent foolishly as has been the case in the past. And I long for a President that can communicate. Bush has gotten better, but he is no Churchill, or even a Huckabee for that matter.
    I do wonder how an Obama, Huckabee race will shape up though. To rhetorical giants, with not too much of a difference in positions. But then Nuances can mean everything. And Huckabee is pro-life, even for illegals.

  • Bror Erickson

    Here is how I see it.
    At the beginning of the race lots of people were complaining that there was no one with a pro-life track record they could trust. At least no one they saw as a real contender. Now we have Huckabee. He is what we wanted. At least those who see the abortion issue as being more than just an issue. Now we are complaining that he might raise taxes. That he is soft on Foreign Policy, that he is anti-smoking, that he likes mexicans.
    The truth is we haven’t had a president since Theodore Roosevelt who knew what he was doing with foreign policy, before they got into office and were privy to all the information. Huckabee sounds an awful lot like Bush jr. did when he first ran when it comes to that. He in the main agrees with Bush, as do I, when it comes to the problem of illegal immigration. Smokers have been under attack for a long time. And taxes? I would rather have them raised and spent wisely, as Huckabee did in Arkansas, than have them cut, and spent foolishly as has been the case in the past. And I long for a President that can communicate. Bush has gotten better, but he is no Churchill, or even a Huckabee for that matter.
    I do wonder how an Obama, Huckabee race will shape up though. To rhetorical giants, with not too much of a difference in positions. But then Nuances can mean everything. And Huckabee is pro-life, even for illegals.

  • Don S

    To Bror @ #2: Bror, to the best of my knowledge, Sean Hannity has not explicitly endorsed any candidate, but he is a known Giuliani supporter (see http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2007/08/19/2007-08-19_giulianis_foxy_pal_cash_flap.html for August 2007 NY Daily News article confirming this and reporting on his attendance and participation in Giuliani fundraiser). You may be thinking of Hugh Hewitt, who is completely in the tank for Romney, to the point of having written a book a year ago about him. Also, although Rush Limbaugh does not endorse, it appears that he favors Romney, judging from his commentary, though in his heart of hearts, if he though there was a chance, he would support Thompson.

    As for me, I continue to be blase about this field, and can’t pick a candidate to support. The fear I have is that Huckabee will succeed in knocking out Romney fairly early, then McCain will end up winning by default, as the only remaining viable candidate. I don’t see Huckabee as viable long-term, because I don’t think he can win Republican primaries in states where the evangelical vote is smaller than the 50% in the Iowa caucuses, because of his otherwise liberal politics. I can’t stand the thought of McCain being the Republican candidate. As I review the field, I do wish that Fred Thompson had started earlier and campaigned more vigorously, because I think that I could support him.

  • Don S

    To Bror @ #2: Bror, to the best of my knowledge, Sean Hannity has not explicitly endorsed any candidate, but he is a known Giuliani supporter (see http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2007/08/19/2007-08-19_giulianis_foxy_pal_cash_flap.html for August 2007 NY Daily News article confirming this and reporting on his attendance and participation in Giuliani fundraiser). You may be thinking of Hugh Hewitt, who is completely in the tank for Romney, to the point of having written a book a year ago about him. Also, although Rush Limbaugh does not endorse, it appears that he favors Romney, judging from his commentary, though in his heart of hearts, if he though there was a chance, he would support Thompson.

    As for me, I continue to be blase about this field, and can’t pick a candidate to support. The fear I have is that Huckabee will succeed in knocking out Romney fairly early, then McCain will end up winning by default, as the only remaining viable candidate. I don’t see Huckabee as viable long-term, because I don’t think he can win Republican primaries in states where the evangelical vote is smaller than the 50% in the Iowa caucuses, because of his otherwise liberal politics. I can’t stand the thought of McCain being the Republican candidate. As I review the field, I do wish that Fred Thompson had started earlier and campaigned more vigorously, because I think that I could support him.

  • organshoes

    The problem with Huckabee being pro-life: so what? What’s he done or promised to do that supports that position?
    To me, he, as well as most of the Republican field, has thrown out being pro-life as simply a qualification, not as any part of any agenda. He doesn’t speak to pro-life issues (nor do the others with any passion or vigor or anything like an agenda–only Giuliani has made the ‘promise’ of strict constitutionalist justices).
    Huck ‘s pretty much just promoted himself as a Christian, not as a leader or a decision-maker or a stalwart at anything but self-promotion.
    I find him disturbing, more like a cult leader relying on his personality (charisma–yuck!), rather than a political leader with an agenda or a position.
    What good is a pro-life belief, if a candidate is not in love enough with the American culture of individual liberty to extol that, and to promise to defend and preserve it?

  • organshoes

    The problem with Huckabee being pro-life: so what? What’s he done or promised to do that supports that position?
    To me, he, as well as most of the Republican field, has thrown out being pro-life as simply a qualification, not as any part of any agenda. He doesn’t speak to pro-life issues (nor do the others with any passion or vigor or anything like an agenda–only Giuliani has made the ‘promise’ of strict constitutionalist justices).
    Huck ‘s pretty much just promoted himself as a Christian, not as a leader or a decision-maker or a stalwart at anything but self-promotion.
    I find him disturbing, more like a cult leader relying on his personality (charisma–yuck!), rather than a political leader with an agenda or a position.
    What good is a pro-life belief, if a candidate is not in love enough with the American culture of individual liberty to extol that, and to promise to defend and preserve it?

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    I don’t think being a populist makes a candidate conservative or moderate or liberal. I think being a populist means you make your appeal to the little guy. You may promise him social programs. Then you’re a populist liberal. You may promise him freedom. Then you’re a populist conservative.

    I really did like the Huckabee quip. But I don’t like his policies. I would take him over Romney or Giuliani, but that isn’t saying a lot.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    I don’t think being a populist makes a candidate conservative or moderate or liberal. I think being a populist means you make your appeal to the little guy. You may promise him social programs. Then you’re a populist liberal. You may promise him freedom. Then you’re a populist conservative.

    I really did like the Huckabee quip. But I don’t like his policies. I would take him over Romney or Giuliani, but that isn’t saying a lot.

  • Bror Erickson

    Don S.
    Given the tone with which hannidy interviews both condidates, it is quite easy to tell who he favors.

  • Bror Erickson

    Don S.
    Given the tone with which hannidy interviews both condidates, it is quite easy to tell who he favors.

  • Joe

    organshoes, I think you have not done much research about what Huckabee has done on the pro-life issue and what he intends to do. It is really not at all possible to say he has done nothing and has not promised anything. Go here and read this: http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Issues.View&Issue_id=11

    Laura – define conservative and here is a hint it is different than libertarianism. Also, he is supporting a new tax structure that eliminates all income taxes including corporate income taxes – please explain to me how that = corporations are bad. He also signed the no income tax increase pledge that Gov. Norquest sent to all the candidates.

    Also, have you read his immigration plan – it isn’t soft at all. But I know he wanted to let the children of illegal immigrants who lived in his state get the same tuition rates as everyone else who lived in his state. Beyond that fact that this is not special treatment, are we really not able to make a distinction between what a candidate for federal office proposes to do to fix national immigration policy and what that person while a governor had to do to deal with the fact that his state was full of illegal immigrants that the feds refused to do anything about?

    I want a tough immigration policy, but I also can understand that the governors and mayors of this country were in a bad position on this issue. They had to figure out what to do with all the illegals that are already here. They knew the feds would not deport them and that they could not arrest them, so some many chose to educate them. Is that really so terrible?

    fw – Goldwater represents only one wing of the modern conservative movement – the libertarian wing. He is not the face of the movement that actual came together in the late 70′s and let to RWR’s election.

    Also, this is just wrong: “that you couldn’t just starve the government to shrink it by cutting taxes, because then we would just go into debt. Which is what is happening.” The Bush tax cuts, which were marginal income rate cuts, have done what every marginal income tax rate cut has always done – yield an increase in federal revenues. The federal government is receiving more revenue than it was before the Bush tax cuts went into effect. The problem is that new spending has outpaced the additional revenues. (the same thing happened with the RWR marginal tax rate cuts in 1981 (called the Kemp-Roth tax cuts by historians), the JFK marginal rate cuts in the 1960’s and the Mellon rate cuts in the 1920’s).

  • Joe

    organshoes, I think you have not done much research about what Huckabee has done on the pro-life issue and what he intends to do. It is really not at all possible to say he has done nothing and has not promised anything. Go here and read this: http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Issues.View&Issue_id=11

    Laura – define conservative and here is a hint it is different than libertarianism. Also, he is supporting a new tax structure that eliminates all income taxes including corporate income taxes – please explain to me how that = corporations are bad. He also signed the no income tax increase pledge that Gov. Norquest sent to all the candidates.

    Also, have you read his immigration plan – it isn’t soft at all. But I know he wanted to let the children of illegal immigrants who lived in his state get the same tuition rates as everyone else who lived in his state. Beyond that fact that this is not special treatment, are we really not able to make a distinction between what a candidate for federal office proposes to do to fix national immigration policy and what that person while a governor had to do to deal with the fact that his state was full of illegal immigrants that the feds refused to do anything about?

    I want a tough immigration policy, but I also can understand that the governors and mayors of this country were in a bad position on this issue. They had to figure out what to do with all the illegals that are already here. They knew the feds would not deport them and that they could not arrest them, so some many chose to educate them. Is that really so terrible?

    fw – Goldwater represents only one wing of the modern conservative movement – the libertarian wing. He is not the face of the movement that actual came together in the late 70′s and let to RWR’s election.

    Also, this is just wrong: “that you couldn’t just starve the government to shrink it by cutting taxes, because then we would just go into debt. Which is what is happening.” The Bush tax cuts, which were marginal income rate cuts, have done what every marginal income tax rate cut has always done – yield an increase in federal revenues. The federal government is receiving more revenue than it was before the Bush tax cuts went into effect. The problem is that new spending has outpaced the additional revenues. (the same thing happened with the RWR marginal tax rate cuts in 1981 (called the Kemp-Roth tax cuts by historians), the JFK marginal rate cuts in the 1960’s and the Mellon rate cuts in the 1920’s).

  • Joel

    There are two problems with the Huckster. One is that the Republican coalition is a combination of social, economic and security conservatives, and Huckabee really only is one of these.

    The other thing is that glib politicians that seem too good to be true usually are. I think the country has wasted enough time with slick Arkansas governors who just want to be liked.

  • Joel

    There are two problems with the Huckster. One is that the Republican coalition is a combination of social, economic and security conservatives, and Huckabee really only is one of these.

    The other thing is that glib politicians that seem too good to be true usually are. I think the country has wasted enough time with slick Arkansas governors who just want to be liked.

  • organshoes

    How about Mexican consulates in Arkansas?
    How about dialogues with Iran, Syria, North Korea?
    How about that ‘arrogant bunker mentality’ comment?
    I can’t escape my gut telling me Huckabee is an un-thinking ambitious man who has people lots more thoughtful than he carrying his water.
    As for his pro-life stances articulated on his website: I still contend the Republican candidates are more or less keeping their abortion positions secret. They do not put them front and center; they exist only as code-words for fellow-travelers. They never proclaim them.
    A conservative is not a populist, and vice versa.
    Tell me you’ll get the federal government out of the practice of medicine, education, scientific research, social engineering, and put its resources towards defense, infra-structure and international relations, and you’ll have a conservative. Suggest to me you’re winning through divine intervention, and you have worse than a populist. You have a cult-leader.
    And he’d have to work harder to convince me his only motivation in showing that ad to the press was to prove he’d made it, as opposed to showing what he just couldn’t in good conscience show. that makes him, well, sneaky.
    At best, he’s just another politician, just playing more (but same-old) political games. But the second coming of anything conservative he is not.
    He’s more in line with Rick Warren, than with Ronald Reagan.

  • organshoes

    How about Mexican consulates in Arkansas?
    How about dialogues with Iran, Syria, North Korea?
    How about that ‘arrogant bunker mentality’ comment?
    I can’t escape my gut telling me Huckabee is an un-thinking ambitious man who has people lots more thoughtful than he carrying his water.
    As for his pro-life stances articulated on his website: I still contend the Republican candidates are more or less keeping their abortion positions secret. They do not put them front and center; they exist only as code-words for fellow-travelers. They never proclaim them.
    A conservative is not a populist, and vice versa.
    Tell me you’ll get the federal government out of the practice of medicine, education, scientific research, social engineering, and put its resources towards defense, infra-structure and international relations, and you’ll have a conservative. Suggest to me you’re winning through divine intervention, and you have worse than a populist. You have a cult-leader.
    And he’d have to work harder to convince me his only motivation in showing that ad to the press was to prove he’d made it, as opposed to showing what he just couldn’t in good conscience show. that makes him, well, sneaky.
    At best, he’s just another politician, just playing more (but same-old) political games. But the second coming of anything conservative he is not.
    He’s more in line with Rick Warren, than with Ronald Reagan.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Also, have you read his immigration plan – it isn’t soft at all.

    Yes, his own was so bad he cribbed someone else’s which was somewhat better.
    /snark

    Saying that his soul won’t let him keep his paws off my tax dollars – that he must redistribute them to nationals of other countries who refuse to follow our immigration laws – is unacceptable on a number of levels. And he essentially repeated that stance on Fox News last night.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Also, have you read his immigration plan – it isn’t soft at all.

    Yes, his own was so bad he cribbed someone else’s which was somewhat better.
    /snark

    Saying that his soul won’t let him keep his paws off my tax dollars – that he must redistribute them to nationals of other countries who refuse to follow our immigration laws – is unacceptable on a number of levels. And he essentially repeated that stance on Fox News last night.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    And Joe, as to what can be done at the state level in spite of lax federal enforcement, see Arizona. Illegals are voluntarily leaving in droves; the MSM has been weeping over it for weeks.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    And Joe, as to what can be done at the state level in spite of lax federal enforcement, see Arizona. Illegals are voluntarily leaving in droves; the MSM has been weeping over it for weeks.

  • kerner

    Laura:

    There is nothing “conservative” about your position on immigration. Only a liberal would want to punish a business for hiring workers. And only a liberal would want to punish people for working in American businesses. Teddy Kennedy is the guy who wrote our EXISTING immigration laws back in the 60′s, so be careful before you call them “our” immigration laws. And Kennedy wrote these laws with the specific intent of restricting “eeeevil corporations” from hiring who they want. “Our” immigration laws are just another example of great society socialism. So why would a “conservitive” be so enthusiastic about preserving our existing socialistic, protectionist, pro labor union, anti-business, anti-free market system?

    The best way to end illegal immigration is to increase legal immigration based on the strength of our economy. And if that includes helping the immigrants who have been here for a long time pay some kind of penalty, learn English, and assimilate, I see no reason not to.

    Look, if people want to perpetuate the existing liberal system they have every right to try, but it is NOT a conservative thing to do.

  • kerner

    Laura:

    There is nothing “conservative” about your position on immigration. Only a liberal would want to punish a business for hiring workers. And only a liberal would want to punish people for working in American businesses. Teddy Kennedy is the guy who wrote our EXISTING immigration laws back in the 60′s, so be careful before you call them “our” immigration laws. And Kennedy wrote these laws with the specific intent of restricting “eeeevil corporations” from hiring who they want. “Our” immigration laws are just another example of great society socialism. So why would a “conservitive” be so enthusiastic about preserving our existing socialistic, protectionist, pro labor union, anti-business, anti-free market system?

    The best way to end illegal immigration is to increase legal immigration based on the strength of our economy. And if that includes helping the immigrants who have been here for a long time pay some kind of penalty, learn English, and assimilate, I see no reason not to.

    Look, if people want to perpetuate the existing liberal system they have every right to try, but it is NOT a conservative thing to do.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I like Huckabee, and I think he’s actually a lot more conservative than we think. Like Bror, I see a guy who is being blamed for a court order to raise taxes for education (exactly how does this work?), as well as for finally taking some action to remedy deficiencies that date back really to Reconstruction.

    Regarding “more like the guy you work with,” there is the traditional populist (pro-union) view, and there is the reality that our government DOES subsidize many corporations through “redevelopment,” eminent domain actions, and tax and regulatory code. Is it somehow “liberal” to oppose government largesse for the rich & powerful?

    On the other hand, there’s his CFR article….sigh….I got about two or three paragraphs into it and just couldn’t take it anymore.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I like Huckabee, and I think he’s actually a lot more conservative than we think. Like Bror, I see a guy who is being blamed for a court order to raise taxes for education (exactly how does this work?), as well as for finally taking some action to remedy deficiencies that date back really to Reconstruction.

    Regarding “more like the guy you work with,” there is the traditional populist (pro-union) view, and there is the reality that our government DOES subsidize many corporations through “redevelopment,” eminent domain actions, and tax and regulatory code. Is it somehow “liberal” to oppose government largesse for the rich & powerful?

    On the other hand, there’s his CFR article….sigh….I got about two or three paragraphs into it and just couldn’t take it anymore.

  • fw

    #17 Kerner

    “our law… vs … their law”

    the law is the law. our government is sworn to enforce them. laws are not liberal or conservative. they are the law.

    imigration laws are rightfully enforced when they punish employers for hiring undocumented immigrants. this one thing would turn off the flow of illegal immigrants quickly. they come for jobs. if there are none for them, they will go home. it is that simple.

    if we need those immigrants to pick our grapes and do our grunt work, then we should be honest about it and pass the appropriate laws.

    I am by the way about as liberal as you could be on immigration, but I also do believe in the rule of law. aren´t you as an attorney sworn to defend the rule of law?

  • fw

    #17 Kerner

    “our law… vs … their law”

    the law is the law. our government is sworn to enforce them. laws are not liberal or conservative. they are the law.

    imigration laws are rightfully enforced when they punish employers for hiring undocumented immigrants. this one thing would turn off the flow of illegal immigrants quickly. they come for jobs. if there are none for them, they will go home. it is that simple.

    if we need those immigrants to pick our grapes and do our grunt work, then we should be honest about it and pass the appropriate laws.

    I am by the way about as liberal as you could be on immigration, but I also do believe in the rule of law. aren´t you as an attorney sworn to defend the rule of law?

  • Joe

    Let’s see changing the tax code to let all people, including a corporation, keep more of their money, yeah that’s clearly populist. The only thing populist about Huckabee’s tax plan is that it will make the entire population wealthier.

    Does he advocate a higher level of gov’t involvement than I would think ideal? yes, but so is every other person in the race except Ron Paul and he’s a libertarian not a conservative (and maybe Fred Thompson if he can ever manage to stay awake long enough I’ll ask him). Also, I have not seen anything that has convinced me that Huckabee wants to increase the size of the federal gov’t. (I am willing to admit that he has not convinced me that he will shrink it either.)

    “How about dialogues with Iran, Syria, North Korea?
    How about that ‘arrogant bunker mentality’ comment?”

    President Bush’s foreign policy has at times been the result of arrogant group think. It took him over a year to admit that we needed a troop surge in Iraq. Once he finally admitted it and did it, things got less violent and seem to be much improved. Think how much better it would have been if he had accepted that he was wrong about the number of troops necessary to do the job sooner.

    But since you have invoked the great Reagan (and I mean that, he was great), remember that Reagan dialoged with the USSR openly and through back channels throughout his entire presidency. Read his diary and you will be shocked at how much contact Reagan had with the Evil Empire. Dialoging with your enemies is not necessarily a bad thing. It is how you do it that matters.

    Lets also not forget that in 1986 Reagan raised taxes. Lets also not forget that he granted amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

    But most importantly, lets stop living in the past. Reagan is not running. He is dead. There will never be another Reagan and today’s issues are not the same issues that Reagan faced. On the one issue that is the same – illegal immigration – Reagan’s solution in your opinion makes him a liberal. You should be happy he’s not running. He even once said it was his obligation as a Christian to have compassion on the illegal immigrants.

    Laura – have you even read the tuition bill that Huckabee supported. Are you aware that it was limited to people who were brought here by their parents as minors, that you could not qualify for the program unless you had taken the steps to become a legal resident under the then existing laws and that if you met these requirements all that happened was that you would have become eligible to be treated like every other student who lived in Arkansas. Is that really that horrific? Maybe we should punish American children when their parents break the law too? How about it? Parents cheat on their taxes and we could increase their kid’s tuition.

  • Joe

    Let’s see changing the tax code to let all people, including a corporation, keep more of their money, yeah that’s clearly populist. The only thing populist about Huckabee’s tax plan is that it will make the entire population wealthier.

    Does he advocate a higher level of gov’t involvement than I would think ideal? yes, but so is every other person in the race except Ron Paul and he’s a libertarian not a conservative (and maybe Fred Thompson if he can ever manage to stay awake long enough I’ll ask him). Also, I have not seen anything that has convinced me that Huckabee wants to increase the size of the federal gov’t. (I am willing to admit that he has not convinced me that he will shrink it either.)

    “How about dialogues with Iran, Syria, North Korea?
    How about that ‘arrogant bunker mentality’ comment?”

    President Bush’s foreign policy has at times been the result of arrogant group think. It took him over a year to admit that we needed a troop surge in Iraq. Once he finally admitted it and did it, things got less violent and seem to be much improved. Think how much better it would have been if he had accepted that he was wrong about the number of troops necessary to do the job sooner.

    But since you have invoked the great Reagan (and I mean that, he was great), remember that Reagan dialoged with the USSR openly and through back channels throughout his entire presidency. Read his diary and you will be shocked at how much contact Reagan had with the Evil Empire. Dialoging with your enemies is not necessarily a bad thing. It is how you do it that matters.

    Lets also not forget that in 1986 Reagan raised taxes. Lets also not forget that he granted amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

    But most importantly, lets stop living in the past. Reagan is not running. He is dead. There will never be another Reagan and today’s issues are not the same issues that Reagan faced. On the one issue that is the same – illegal immigration – Reagan’s solution in your opinion makes him a liberal. You should be happy he’s not running. He even once said it was his obligation as a Christian to have compassion on the illegal immigrants.

    Laura – have you even read the tuition bill that Huckabee supported. Are you aware that it was limited to people who were brought here by their parents as minors, that you could not qualify for the program unless you had taken the steps to become a legal resident under the then existing laws and that if you met these requirements all that happened was that you would have become eligible to be treated like every other student who lived in Arkansas. Is that really that horrific? Maybe we should punish American children when their parents break the law too? How about it? Parents cheat on their taxes and we could increase their kid’s tuition.

  • kerner

    Frank:

    I am and I do. What bothers me is that, if the USA is supposed to be a government of laws (not of men) it is imperative that those laws be constantly re-examined to make sure that they are just and sensible. In a sense, you are correct if you say that the law of the land is everybody’s law. On the other hand, blind support of any particular law, simply because it IS law and without any consideration of whether it SHOULD BE law is a huge mistake.

    At one time slavery was the “law of the land”, and it was a crime to help a slave escape. Was “amnesty” for the underground railroad a bad idea? More recently prohibition was the law of the land, yet we gave “amnesty” to everyone who took a drink between 1919 and 1932. Did the republic crumble? Jim crow was the law in many parts of this country (even up here in the north, incidently), and some of the people who broke those laws were never prosecuted.

    I also want everyone to remember that our system of law enforcement is absolutely full of areas in which discretionary decisions are made every day. Some zoning laws provide that a new violation occurs every day that property is out of compliance. But zoning authorities almost never insist on strictly enforcing that. Often the property owner is given a chance to bring his property up to code with no other penalty. Sometimes he is fined for one day, or two, even if he has been out of compliance for years. There are tax “amnesties” throughout the federal, state and local systems that allow taxpayers to compromise their taxes due. In virtually every area of the law there are consent decrees or deferred prosecution agreements that allow people who have violated some provision of the law to make amends without being prosecuted or getting a record of conviction. Law enforcement in this country has always understood that people make mistakes and that not everybody deserves to have to suffer severe punishments if they can be given another way to straighten their situation out.

    The reason there has been wide spread non-compliance with the current immigration laws is because they are out of touch with reality. The unions were wrong. When taxes are lowered, economic activity increases and jobs are created. The economy in the USA has literally been creating jobs faster than we can reproduce ourselves. That is why we have 12+ million illegals in this country and we still have really low unemployment. The unskilled immigrant workers help support an economy that in turn creates more jobs for Americans. It’s not a zero sum game. So we need to get rid of protectionism as a foundation of immigration law, at least as long as unemployment is low. We should have done this at least 20 years ago. Since we didn’t, we now have the problem of what to do with the people already here. Illegals who have committed crimes in the USA should be sent back right away, but why shouldn’t we give those who have done nothing but work for their living a penalty that won’t disrupt their entire lives (or disrupt our economy either)?

  • kerner

    Frank:

    I am and I do. What bothers me is that, if the USA is supposed to be a government of laws (not of men) it is imperative that those laws be constantly re-examined to make sure that they are just and sensible. In a sense, you are correct if you say that the law of the land is everybody’s law. On the other hand, blind support of any particular law, simply because it IS law and without any consideration of whether it SHOULD BE law is a huge mistake.

    At one time slavery was the “law of the land”, and it was a crime to help a slave escape. Was “amnesty” for the underground railroad a bad idea? More recently prohibition was the law of the land, yet we gave “amnesty” to everyone who took a drink between 1919 and 1932. Did the republic crumble? Jim crow was the law in many parts of this country (even up here in the north, incidently), and some of the people who broke those laws were never prosecuted.

    I also want everyone to remember that our system of law enforcement is absolutely full of areas in which discretionary decisions are made every day. Some zoning laws provide that a new violation occurs every day that property is out of compliance. But zoning authorities almost never insist on strictly enforcing that. Often the property owner is given a chance to bring his property up to code with no other penalty. Sometimes he is fined for one day, or two, even if he has been out of compliance for years. There are tax “amnesties” throughout the federal, state and local systems that allow taxpayers to compromise their taxes due. In virtually every area of the law there are consent decrees or deferred prosecution agreements that allow people who have violated some provision of the law to make amends without being prosecuted or getting a record of conviction. Law enforcement in this country has always understood that people make mistakes and that not everybody deserves to have to suffer severe punishments if they can be given another way to straighten their situation out.

    The reason there has been wide spread non-compliance with the current immigration laws is because they are out of touch with reality. The unions were wrong. When taxes are lowered, economic activity increases and jobs are created. The economy in the USA has literally been creating jobs faster than we can reproduce ourselves. That is why we have 12+ million illegals in this country and we still have really low unemployment. The unskilled immigrant workers help support an economy that in turn creates more jobs for Americans. It’s not a zero sum game. So we need to get rid of protectionism as a foundation of immigration law, at least as long as unemployment is low. We should have done this at least 20 years ago. Since we didn’t, we now have the problem of what to do with the people already here. Illegals who have committed crimes in the USA should be sent back right away, but why shouldn’t we give those who have done nothing but work for their living a penalty that won’t disrupt their entire lives (or disrupt our economy either)?

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    kerner, are you aware of how much illegal immigration costs? There are all kinds of repercussions for that “cheap” produce. Businesses get the benefit of a serf class and consumers pay one way or the other. I know too many business owners post-Katrina who are faced with the choice of hiring illegals just to keep up with their competitors. While the rule of law is extremely important to me, it is also a matter of common sense, and it’s been proved to my satisfaction that “cheap” illegal alien labor is no bargain. I’ve seen firsthand since 8/29/2005 just what it costs a community.

    Joe – Yes, I’ve read the bill. I’m aware that it was limited to minor nationals of other countries whose education we are not normally responsible for, and whose parents we rewarded for being scofflaws. Sorry, but you and I are just not going to agree on this. I believe attrition by enforcement is the way to go. It works.

    And the drama’s a bit over the top, isn’t it? “Is that really that horrific?” No, it’s not “horrific” but it’s a bad idea to reward behavior that we don’t want to see increase.

    “Maybe we should punish American children when their parents break the law too? How about it? Parents cheat on their taxes and we could increase their kid’s tuition.”
    American children have rights within the United States that children who are citizens of other nations do not have – nor should they have.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    kerner, are you aware of how much illegal immigration costs? There are all kinds of repercussions for that “cheap” produce. Businesses get the benefit of a serf class and consumers pay one way or the other. I know too many business owners post-Katrina who are faced with the choice of hiring illegals just to keep up with their competitors. While the rule of law is extremely important to me, it is also a matter of common sense, and it’s been proved to my satisfaction that “cheap” illegal alien labor is no bargain. I’ve seen firsthand since 8/29/2005 just what it costs a community.

    Joe – Yes, I’ve read the bill. I’m aware that it was limited to minor nationals of other countries whose education we are not normally responsible for, and whose parents we rewarded for being scofflaws. Sorry, but you and I are just not going to agree on this. I believe attrition by enforcement is the way to go. It works.

    And the drama’s a bit over the top, isn’t it? “Is that really that horrific?” No, it’s not “horrific” but it’s a bad idea to reward behavior that we don’t want to see increase.

    “Maybe we should punish American children when their parents break the law too? How about it? Parents cheat on their taxes and we could increase their kid’s tuition.”
    American children have rights within the United States that children who are citizens of other nations do not have – nor should they have.

  • kerner

    Laura,

    In my opinion, immigrant labor saves us all a bundle. They aren’t a serf class, they provide productive work at a reasonable cost, and (assuming they are legalized) as they or their children obtain a better education and more job skills, they can move up the economic ladder.

    Businesses have to hire them to stay competitive? Well, competitive is what I want businesses to be. If businesses can turn out quality work at a low price, that keeps inflation down and benefits us all. My dollar goes further, as does yours, and even theirs. The businesses don’t become eeevil by doing this, and the workers don’t become serfs.

    But you mention Hurricane Katrina. What have you seen that convinces you otherwise?

  • kerner

    Laura,

    In my opinion, immigrant labor saves us all a bundle. They aren’t a serf class, they provide productive work at a reasonable cost, and (assuming they are legalized) as they or their children obtain a better education and more job skills, they can move up the economic ladder.

    Businesses have to hire them to stay competitive? Well, competitive is what I want businesses to be. If businesses can turn out quality work at a low price, that keeps inflation down and benefits us all. My dollar goes further, as does yours, and even theirs. The businesses don’t become eeevil by doing this, and the workers don’t become serfs.

    But you mention Hurricane Katrina. What have you seen that convinces you otherwise?

  • fw

    #21 Kerner

    I agree with your post kerner!

    but there is this hypocracy that undocumented immigrants are the problem. the solution is to put up the border wall, when the reality is that our economy now heavily depends on these workers, and if we put the onus on employers, undocumented immigrants would go home and the wall would be unnecessary as to the issue of immigration.

    politicians play on this dishonestly and so often dehumanize undocumented immigrants or skew the issue from what it is in reality.

    I would like to see the usa do what the EU has done with it´s poor neighbors. “yes you can join our club but first you have to bring your human rights, working standards, judicial system, economic practices etc up to our standards”. This is a way to promote change that would not be patronizing or imperial for our neighbors to our south. and it would be a powerful strategy in terms of what is now being called “soft power.” those who believe in free trade also believe that includes workers…

    If we did that then I would like to see a true NA free trade zone. it will be necessary to be globally competative.

    but before all that. we do need to enforce existing laws or change them. it is only fair for those americans who have been persuaded that undocumented immigrants represent real social, economic and security threats.

    It is quite obvious to me that enforcing existing laws on employment of undocummented immigrants would COMPLETELY OBVIATE, the need for debate or discussion as to what to do about undocumented immigrants.

    Undocumented immigrants would leave and large parts of our economy would completely colapse as a result.

  • fw

    #21 Kerner

    I agree with your post kerner!

    but there is this hypocracy that undocumented immigrants are the problem. the solution is to put up the border wall, when the reality is that our economy now heavily depends on these workers, and if we put the onus on employers, undocumented immigrants would go home and the wall would be unnecessary as to the issue of immigration.

    politicians play on this dishonestly and so often dehumanize undocumented immigrants or skew the issue from what it is in reality.

    I would like to see the usa do what the EU has done with it´s poor neighbors. “yes you can join our club but first you have to bring your human rights, working standards, judicial system, economic practices etc up to our standards”. This is a way to promote change that would not be patronizing or imperial for our neighbors to our south. and it would be a powerful strategy in terms of what is now being called “soft power.” those who believe in free trade also believe that includes workers…

    If we did that then I would like to see a true NA free trade zone. it will be necessary to be globally competative.

    but before all that. we do need to enforce existing laws or change them. it is only fair for those americans who have been persuaded that undocumented immigrants represent real social, economic and security threats.

    It is quite obvious to me that enforcing existing laws on employment of undocummented immigrants would COMPLETELY OBVIATE, the need for debate or discussion as to what to do about undocumented immigrants.

    Undocumented immigrants would leave and large parts of our economy would completely colapse as a result.

  • fw

    #22 laura

    the cost/benefit of undocumented immigrants has not been clearly established in fairness. there are studies that skew both ways.

    most undocumented immigrants pay taxes, social security and otherwise that they will never benefit from. and they use services more heavily than others such as emergency rooms. The remove billions of dollars from our economy by sending those dollars to their home countries to support their families. and.. it is quite clear that our economy is addicted to using them to the extent that major parts of our economy WOULD colapse without them.

    Arizona will be an excellent test case of who is right if everyone will allow it to happen. States are constitutionally set up to be laboratories in just this way. I suspect that Arizona will have to quickly back off if everyone allows them to crack down on employers.

    There is nothing at all wrong for citizens to expect laws to be enforced, and nothing at all wrong for people like me to disagree with those laws and want them to be changed.

    resolution of this tension as kerner suggests I feel is not a great solution. Similarly in Massachusetts, we will see who is right on the practical consequences of allowing a couple of homos to marry. i suspect that eventually people will see it for what it is. essentially a non-issue for all practical considerations. states rights and using the states as experimental laboratories is highly useful.

  • fw

    #22 laura

    the cost/benefit of undocumented immigrants has not been clearly established in fairness. there are studies that skew both ways.

    most undocumented immigrants pay taxes, social security and otherwise that they will never benefit from. and they use services more heavily than others such as emergency rooms. The remove billions of dollars from our economy by sending those dollars to their home countries to support their families. and.. it is quite clear that our economy is addicted to using them to the extent that major parts of our economy WOULD colapse without them.

    Arizona will be an excellent test case of who is right if everyone will allow it to happen. States are constitutionally set up to be laboratories in just this way. I suspect that Arizona will have to quickly back off if everyone allows them to crack down on employers.

    There is nothing at all wrong for citizens to expect laws to be enforced, and nothing at all wrong for people like me to disagree with those laws and want them to be changed.

    resolution of this tension as kerner suggests I feel is not a great solution. Similarly in Massachusetts, we will see who is right on the practical consequences of allowing a couple of homos to marry. i suspect that eventually people will see it for what it is. essentially a non-issue for all practical considerations. states rights and using the states as experimental laboratories is highly useful.

  • fw

    #12 joe:

    “The federal government is receiving more revenue than it was before the Bush tax cuts went into effect.”

    so revenue FROM INCOME TAXES actually increased after the bush tax cuts? can you point me to where I can see that this is true adjusted for inflation?

    revenue increased relative to what? you are telling me that tax revenues increased MORE than what they would have increased by had taxes not be cut by bush?

    this is very hard to believe.

    secondly yes spending grew at a higher rate. that is my point. the strategy seems to be to starve government by cutting taxes to reduce the size of government. I am hearing you agree that THIS is not a viable strategy given lack of fiscal restraint by BOTH parties?

  • fw

    #12 joe:

    “The federal government is receiving more revenue than it was before the Bush tax cuts went into effect.”

    so revenue FROM INCOME TAXES actually increased after the bush tax cuts? can you point me to where I can see that this is true adjusted for inflation?

    revenue increased relative to what? you are telling me that tax revenues increased MORE than what they would have increased by had taxes not be cut by bush?

    this is very hard to believe.

    secondly yes spending grew at a higher rate. that is my point. the strategy seems to be to starve government by cutting taxes to reduce the size of government. I am hearing you agree that THIS is not a viable strategy given lack of fiscal restraint by BOTH parties?

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    This is not comprehensive, but here are a few things off the top of my head: I’ve seen 30,000+ illegals invade my community. ER waiting rooms with 24+ hour wait times. And those visits do not get paid for. Hospitals that formerly were in good shape are reduced to begging the federal government for money to get reimbursed for illegal alien unpaid bills, and some are considering closing their ERs. Obviously that’s detrimental to the health of the entire community. (It’s been happening regularly in CA – over 100 hospitals closed entirely last year.) Drunk driving is on the rise – and a drunk illegal rammed my mother and daughter (who needed surgery), btw. There was a murder a couple of blocks away from my house by an illegal alien. There’s an additional burden on our local police forces which are already strained to the breaking point. Ultimately taxpayers pay for this as well.

    Wages dropped dramatically as soon as the illegals hit the streets, so residents who were going to come home to jobs paying high enough to fix their homes were stuck in other cities – illegals took jobs at lower wages and stacked up in tiny apartments while my friends houses continued to mold and they were stuck in Houston and Atlanta paying their home mortgage and rent in a strange city. A friend of mine owns apartments which are regularly trashed by the new Latino residents – she can’t keep them out because to do so would be discriminatory, as the large spanish language billboards remind us often. Unlicensed/ unregulated/ unsafe taquerias. New Orleans schools were already in bad shape, and a massive influx of spanish speakers isn’t helping matters. It’s expensive to deal with, and that falls on the taxpayer.

    From a business standpoint, the work is often NOT quality, it is often unskilled and unlicensed. There’s no accountability for it. Furthermore, illegals are frequently taken unfair advantage of, and as much as I don’t want them here, I obviously can’t support that either – to read the reports of people working a day or a week and then not getting paid for it. OSHA violations abound because employers breaking the law with regard to their I-9 obligations break it in other areas as well. My husband sees it on job sites all the time. And the attitude of casual law-breaking is something we’ve been trying hard to stamp out, not cultivate, since Katrina.

    I could go on (and on, and on) but that should give you enough of an idea. No, I can’t support this AT ALL. I’m living it, and it’s not pretty. And do you really think it’s a good idea to allow 10% of the population of a neighboring country to live here?
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/05/21/MNGFQIVNAF1.DTL

    Now, if you tell me you want to streamline the process of legal immigration; increase it and spread it out among a variety of nations; have strict health exams so we stop bringing in leprosy, drug resistant TB and other ailments; criminal checks; language requirements and civics class, I’m all for that.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    This is not comprehensive, but here are a few things off the top of my head: I’ve seen 30,000+ illegals invade my community. ER waiting rooms with 24+ hour wait times. And those visits do not get paid for. Hospitals that formerly were in good shape are reduced to begging the federal government for money to get reimbursed for illegal alien unpaid bills, and some are considering closing their ERs. Obviously that’s detrimental to the health of the entire community. (It’s been happening regularly in CA – over 100 hospitals closed entirely last year.) Drunk driving is on the rise – and a drunk illegal rammed my mother and daughter (who needed surgery), btw. There was a murder a couple of blocks away from my house by an illegal alien. There’s an additional burden on our local police forces which are already strained to the breaking point. Ultimately taxpayers pay for this as well.

    Wages dropped dramatically as soon as the illegals hit the streets, so residents who were going to come home to jobs paying high enough to fix their homes were stuck in other cities – illegals took jobs at lower wages and stacked up in tiny apartments while my friends houses continued to mold and they were stuck in Houston and Atlanta paying their home mortgage and rent in a strange city. A friend of mine owns apartments which are regularly trashed by the new Latino residents – she can’t keep them out because to do so would be discriminatory, as the large spanish language billboards remind us often. Unlicensed/ unregulated/ unsafe taquerias. New Orleans schools were already in bad shape, and a massive influx of spanish speakers isn’t helping matters. It’s expensive to deal with, and that falls on the taxpayer.

    From a business standpoint, the work is often NOT quality, it is often unskilled and unlicensed. There’s no accountability for it. Furthermore, illegals are frequently taken unfair advantage of, and as much as I don’t want them here, I obviously can’t support that either – to read the reports of people working a day or a week and then not getting paid for it. OSHA violations abound because employers breaking the law with regard to their I-9 obligations break it in other areas as well. My husband sees it on job sites all the time. And the attitude of casual law-breaking is something we’ve been trying hard to stamp out, not cultivate, since Katrina.

    I could go on (and on, and on) but that should give you enough of an idea. No, I can’t support this AT ALL. I’m living it, and it’s not pretty. And do you really think it’s a good idea to allow 10% of the population of a neighboring country to live here?
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/05/21/MNGFQIVNAF1.DTL

    Now, if you tell me you want to streamline the process of legal immigration; increase it and spread it out among a variety of nations; have strict health exams so we stop bringing in leprosy, drug resistant TB and other ailments; criminal checks; language requirements and civics class, I’m all for that.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Now, having said all that – and not expecting to convince anybody, and you’re wasting your time trying to convince me differently than what I’m seeing with my own eyes – Huckabees’ stance on illegal immigration is NOT my only or even my biggest problem with him.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Now, having said all that – and not expecting to convince anybody, and you’re wasting your time trying to convince me differently than what I’m seeing with my own eyes – Huckabees’ stance on illegal immigration is NOT my only or even my biggest problem with him.

  • kerner

    Laura:

    The thing is, I am so close to agreeing with you. I completely agree with you on much of what you said.

    The current immigtation laws are a lot like prohibition was. The government couldn’t stop the market for alcohol, so people sold it illegally. But, lawlessness begat lawlessness and the result was organized crime, an unregulated product, wasted tax dollars on ineffective enforcement, and the list goes on.

    But, if someone had said, in 1931, “We can look at repealing prohibition if, and only if, everyone stops drinking”, he rightly would have been laughed out of the room.

    Yet, that is the so-called “tough on illegals” position a lot of republicans are taking: “Get rid of ‘em all! We’ll think about changing the law later.”

    Almost everything you have mentioned (health exams, criminal background checks, and-for citizenship-english requirements) is already part of trhe law for LEGAL immigrants, and rightly so. But, the legal quotas for unskilled immigrants are so low that it is impossible for almost all of these people to get here legally. The waiting period is literally about 20 years.

    So what happens? They come anyway, and we have lawlessness. What we need in this country is to make it easier, much easier, for people who really want to be here and be Americans to come here legally. We shouldn’t necessarilly promote hispanics as the preferred immigrant group, but all nationalities that have come to this country in great numbers have always done so because there was some kind of trouble or instability in their own countries. And hispanics are the closest to us right now.

    If people in Mexico, or anywhere else, could know that they could pay an application fee of, say, $2000.00, take a thorough medical exam, submit to as thorough background check as we can give them, and if they could be confident that they could then be free to work in the USA legally within a year or two, they would stop paying thousands of dollars to criminal smugglers to risk their lives sneaking across the desert.

    And if they knew that the law enforcement computers were cross referenced with the homeland security computers so that any alien who got incarcerated was deported instead of paroled or released, they might behave themselves a little more. And if the ones who really wanted to be Americans knew that behaving themselves was a precondition to becoming a citizen, then they might behave themselves A LOT more.

    Meanwhile, if employers knew that they could legally hire willing workers from abroad as long as they treated them like anybody else (which would include paying the payroll taxes and insurance and so forth) a lot of their incentive to operate under the table would go away as well.

    If we really changed the stupid laws, just as we did with prohibition, it wouldn’t really matter very much if we don’t prosecute everybody who violated the old laws, because the old laws would become irrelavent.

  • kerner

    Laura:

    The thing is, I am so close to agreeing with you. I completely agree with you on much of what you said.

    The current immigtation laws are a lot like prohibition was. The government couldn’t stop the market for alcohol, so people sold it illegally. But, lawlessness begat lawlessness and the result was organized crime, an unregulated product, wasted tax dollars on ineffective enforcement, and the list goes on.

    But, if someone had said, in 1931, “We can look at repealing prohibition if, and only if, everyone stops drinking”, he rightly would have been laughed out of the room.

    Yet, that is the so-called “tough on illegals” position a lot of republicans are taking: “Get rid of ‘em all! We’ll think about changing the law later.”

    Almost everything you have mentioned (health exams, criminal background checks, and-for citizenship-english requirements) is already part of trhe law for LEGAL immigrants, and rightly so. But, the legal quotas for unskilled immigrants are so low that it is impossible for almost all of these people to get here legally. The waiting period is literally about 20 years.

    So what happens? They come anyway, and we have lawlessness. What we need in this country is to make it easier, much easier, for people who really want to be here and be Americans to come here legally. We shouldn’t necessarilly promote hispanics as the preferred immigrant group, but all nationalities that have come to this country in great numbers have always done so because there was some kind of trouble or instability in their own countries. And hispanics are the closest to us right now.

    If people in Mexico, or anywhere else, could know that they could pay an application fee of, say, $2000.00, take a thorough medical exam, submit to as thorough background check as we can give them, and if they could be confident that they could then be free to work in the USA legally within a year or two, they would stop paying thousands of dollars to criminal smugglers to risk their lives sneaking across the desert.

    And if they knew that the law enforcement computers were cross referenced with the homeland security computers so that any alien who got incarcerated was deported instead of paroled or released, they might behave themselves a little more. And if the ones who really wanted to be Americans knew that behaving themselves was a precondition to becoming a citizen, then they might behave themselves A LOT more.

    Meanwhile, if employers knew that they could legally hire willing workers from abroad as long as they treated them like anybody else (which would include paying the payroll taxes and insurance and so forth) a lot of their incentive to operate under the table would go away as well.

    If we really changed the stupid laws, just as we did with prohibition, it wouldn’t really matter very much if we don’t prosecute everybody who violated the old laws, because the old laws would become irrelavent.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Ask the French and the Germans how well those guest worker programs are working out for them.

    The fact is that when employers pay a fair wage, workers show up. When ICE raided that plant in GA, they had to raise wages $1 an hour and Americans were lined up around the block. That was a good thing for everyone, especially given the studies that show illegal immigrants are a net loss to the tune of about $30k a year. Illegal immigrants also suppress innovation like pineapple picking machines in Hawaii which have made pineapple much more affordable than it used to be.

    What we are really doing is enabling Mexico’s export of their poor, and preventing political reform in Mexico and Central America. Mexico is a rich country, rich in resources including arable land and oil, but with quasi-monopolies and corruption which keep millions poor. We enable that, and we do so to our own detriment and theirs.

    Look, I don’t want to go round for round with you on immigration; I certainly didn’t intend to hijack the thread. I doubt I can change your mind and I’m positive you won’t change mine. This has been a topic of concern to me for many years; Katrina just brought it close to home.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Ask the French and the Germans how well those guest worker programs are working out for them.

    The fact is that when employers pay a fair wage, workers show up. When ICE raided that plant in GA, they had to raise wages $1 an hour and Americans were lined up around the block. That was a good thing for everyone, especially given the studies that show illegal immigrants are a net loss to the tune of about $30k a year. Illegal immigrants also suppress innovation like pineapple picking machines in Hawaii which have made pineapple much more affordable than it used to be.

    What we are really doing is enabling Mexico’s export of their poor, and preventing political reform in Mexico and Central America. Mexico is a rich country, rich in resources including arable land and oil, but with quasi-monopolies and corruption which keep millions poor. We enable that, and we do so to our own detriment and theirs.

    Look, I don’t want to go round for round with you on immigration; I certainly didn’t intend to hijack the thread. I doubt I can change your mind and I’m positive you won’t change mine. This has been a topic of concern to me for many years; Katrina just brought it close to home.

  • Joe

    fw – “secondly yes spending grew at a higher rate. that is my point. the strategy seems to be to starve government by cutting taxes to reduce the size of government. I am hearing you agree that THIS is not a viable strategy given lack of fiscal restraint by BOTH parties?”

    I agree that the complete lack of fiscal restraint of both parties is a huge problem. Bush’s failure to use the veto to eliminate spending and/or tell his party not to include so much spending is a huge disappointment.

    As for the marginal tax rate cuts. Here is a pretty good paper that discusses the Mellon, Kennedy, Reagan cuts and the increased revenues they generated.
    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/BG1443.cfm

    With regard to the Bush tax cuts we have to remember that their were 2, the 2001 cuts and the 2003 cuts. The 2001 cuts were not marginal tax rate cuts – they were rebates, and increases in tax credits for people who don’t pay taxes. (I actually made money off the federal gov’t in 2001 and 2002 – I paid not taxes and got money back because of the ridiculous 2001 cuts). These did not generate any economic growth or corresponding revenue increases. The 2003 cuts were traditional marginal rate cuts on income and cap. gains and dividends. These increased revenues, with regard to cap gains the revenues doubled and out performed pre-cut projections.

    Here is a quasi-comprehensive look at both the 2001 and 2003 cuts. http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/bg2001.cfm

  • Joe

    fw – “secondly yes spending grew at a higher rate. that is my point. the strategy seems to be to starve government by cutting taxes to reduce the size of government. I am hearing you agree that THIS is not a viable strategy given lack of fiscal restraint by BOTH parties?”

    I agree that the complete lack of fiscal restraint of both parties is a huge problem. Bush’s failure to use the veto to eliminate spending and/or tell his party not to include so much spending is a huge disappointment.

    As for the marginal tax rate cuts. Here is a pretty good paper that discusses the Mellon, Kennedy, Reagan cuts and the increased revenues they generated.
    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/BG1443.cfm

    With regard to the Bush tax cuts we have to remember that their were 2, the 2001 cuts and the 2003 cuts. The 2001 cuts were not marginal tax rate cuts – they were rebates, and increases in tax credits for people who don’t pay taxes. (I actually made money off the federal gov’t in 2001 and 2002 – I paid not taxes and got money back because of the ridiculous 2001 cuts). These did not generate any economic growth or corresponding revenue increases. The 2003 cuts were traditional marginal rate cuts on income and cap. gains and dividends. These increased revenues, with regard to cap gains the revenues doubled and out performed pre-cut projections.

    Here is a quasi-comprehensive look at both the 2001 and 2003 cuts. http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/bg2001.cfm

  • Bror Erickson

    Some how I just can’t get past the fact that all these illegal immigrants are people. I wonder what I would do if I were in their position. It makes me wonder when there are laws on the books that allow me to treat a person as if he/she were less than some other person, by calling them an illegal, pay them less, and force them into ghettos.
    the fact of the matter is the current immigration laws do not serve our best interest as Americans. Germany and France are dealing with a different dynamic than we are, a completely different one. Yet a portion of their problem is the same, they want cheap labor, but refuse to give citizenship, or treat the people that work for them as if they were people. I suppose, though, it is as hard for me to see a Turk as being a German, as it is for the Germans, regardless of what the Turk’s passport says. That is not true of the denomer American.

  • Bror Erickson

    Some how I just can’t get past the fact that all these illegal immigrants are people. I wonder what I would do if I were in their position. It makes me wonder when there are laws on the books that allow me to treat a person as if he/she were less than some other person, by calling them an illegal, pay them less, and force them into ghettos.
    the fact of the matter is the current immigration laws do not serve our best interest as Americans. Germany and France are dealing with a different dynamic than we are, a completely different one. Yet a portion of their problem is the same, they want cheap labor, but refuse to give citizenship, or treat the people that work for them as if they were people. I suppose, though, it is as hard for me to see a Turk as being a German, as it is for the Germans, regardless of what the Turk’s passport says. That is not true of the denomer American.

  • kerner

    Well, I probably won’t change your mind, but:

    In Georgia, wages did go up, but also productivity went down. When American business has to pay out more money to produce less, that is a bad thing, not a good thing, because the economy suffers and our dollars don’t but as much, or the plant moves to somewhere in Asia. If the plant had 100 foreigners working on the production floor and 100 workers in sales, managerial, technical, and personel jobs ( and some in production), and now it disappears because it got raided, how does that help America?

    You don’t become French or German by moving to France or Germany. Those cultures are based on nationality and that’s why they’re dying. But you become an American by ebracing the ideals that made this country great: political (and religious) freedom and a free market economy. That is why we have always attracted big waves of immigrants. They all were fleeing the kinds of problems that exist in Mexico today. And they all, at least crudely, wanted to become part of what America stands for.

    The United States needs to grow. Have you you ever stopped to think what this country would be like without immigration? We’d be like Europe. A collection of countries with white socialists living there, who, like France and Germany, have shrinking populations and who are preoccupied with the government protecting them from competition.

    There are over 1 billion Chinese, over 1 billion Indians, and close to a billion people living between Pakistan and Morocco. Do you really think that a we can economically compete with or militarily stand up to societies like those if we become weak shrinking societies like the Europeans? If people in other countries want to become part of Anerica, we should let them, but we should work hard to assimilate them as much as we can. When we do that, immigration keeps us strong and competitive and enables us to keep the initiative.

  • kerner

    Well, I probably won’t change your mind, but:

    In Georgia, wages did go up, but also productivity went down. When American business has to pay out more money to produce less, that is a bad thing, not a good thing, because the economy suffers and our dollars don’t but as much, or the plant moves to somewhere in Asia. If the plant had 100 foreigners working on the production floor and 100 workers in sales, managerial, technical, and personel jobs ( and some in production), and now it disappears because it got raided, how does that help America?

    You don’t become French or German by moving to France or Germany. Those cultures are based on nationality and that’s why they’re dying. But you become an American by ebracing the ideals that made this country great: political (and religious) freedom and a free market economy. That is why we have always attracted big waves of immigrants. They all were fleeing the kinds of problems that exist in Mexico today. And they all, at least crudely, wanted to become part of what America stands for.

    The United States needs to grow. Have you you ever stopped to think what this country would be like without immigration? We’d be like Europe. A collection of countries with white socialists living there, who, like France and Germany, have shrinking populations and who are preoccupied with the government protecting them from competition.

    There are over 1 billion Chinese, over 1 billion Indians, and close to a billion people living between Pakistan and Morocco. Do you really think that a we can economically compete with or militarily stand up to societies like those if we become weak shrinking societies like the Europeans? If people in other countries want to become part of Anerica, we should let them, but we should work hard to assimilate them as much as we can. When we do that, immigration keeps us strong and competitive and enables us to keep the initiative.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Oh, glory… now I’m a nativist, right? I AM NOT against legal immigration, and sane, reasonable immigration policies. It’s just that we don’t have those things now, nor are they being proposed by anyone except Fred Thompson who can’t possibly win unless we have a brokered convention. And kerner, I’m be very interested in seeing some documentation for your assertion that productivity went down in GA.

    Bror, there are *not* laws on the books permitting illegal aliens to be paid less. The reason they are being paid less and taken advantage of is precisely *because* they have flouted the law and made themselves vulnerable to unscrupulous people.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Oh, glory… now I’m a nativist, right? I AM NOT against legal immigration, and sane, reasonable immigration policies. It’s just that we don’t have those things now, nor are they being proposed by anyone except Fred Thompson who can’t possibly win unless we have a brokered convention. And kerner, I’m be very interested in seeing some documentation for your assertion that productivity went down in GA.

    Bror, there are *not* laws on the books permitting illegal aliens to be paid less. The reason they are being paid less and taken advantage of is precisely *because* they have flouted the law and made themselves vulnerable to unscrupulous people.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    For what it’s worth, YES, it is likely that hiring Americans will make productivity go down in certain low skill jobs, at least for a time.

    First of all, you’ve got the issue of training and simply getting used to the job. It’s absolutely true that the new workers were less experienced than the old ones.

    Second of all, you’ve got the reality that illegals know that if they complain too much, they don’t have the same legal standing as citizens or legal immigrants. Hence, they tend to work harder–it’s “work or be deported” in many cases. Again, “duh.”

    Step back a second and consider this; more or less, what the “lower productivity with Americans” means is that the employer isn’t able to abuse his employees anymore. It also means that he’s comparing apples and oranges a bit; to compare a new worker with one who’s been there for years isn’t exactly fair, is it?

    Personally, I’d favor a program that said that we’ll offer so many visas for guest worker status, and you apply for those visas in your native country, with background check & so on in force. If, however, you’re found here illegally, you are deported and excluded from that visa program for no less than a decade.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    For what it’s worth, YES, it is likely that hiring Americans will make productivity go down in certain low skill jobs, at least for a time.

    First of all, you’ve got the issue of training and simply getting used to the job. It’s absolutely true that the new workers were less experienced than the old ones.

    Second of all, you’ve got the reality that illegals know that if they complain too much, they don’t have the same legal standing as citizens or legal immigrants. Hence, they tend to work harder–it’s “work or be deported” in many cases. Again, “duh.”

    Step back a second and consider this; more or less, what the “lower productivity with Americans” means is that the employer isn’t able to abuse his employees anymore. It also means that he’s comparing apples and oranges a bit; to compare a new worker with one who’s been there for years isn’t exactly fair, is it?

    Personally, I’d favor a program that said that we’ll offer so many visas for guest worker status, and you apply for those visas in your native country, with background check & so on in force. If, however, you’re found here illegally, you are deported and excluded from that visa program for no less than a decade.

  • Bror Erickson

    Laura,
    It is precisely those laws that declare them to be illegal, that permit them by default to be paid less and treated as somehow less than human.
    And what have the people done wrong? Dared to cross our borders, risking their lives to do so, so that they could work for us, in menial jobs.

  • Bror Erickson

    Laura,
    It is precisely those laws that declare them to be illegal, that permit them by default to be paid less and treated as somehow less than human.
    And what have the people done wrong? Dared to cross our borders, risking their lives to do so, so that they could work for us, in menial jobs.

  • kerner

    Laura:
    Mydocumentation can be found here:

    http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=8641

    Bubba:

    the problem is not job experience, the problem is a work ethic. The negative incentive (work hard or be deported) may be part of their work ethic, but I think a bigger part of it is the positive incentive (work hard and earn enough to save some money and get ahead). Yes, even this so-called serf class is able to save some money in America. In Mexico, all the wealth is controlled by an oligarchy, like Laura says. Many Mexicans can work in grinding poverty their whole lives and never advance, because the Mexican economy is controlled for the benefit of the few. This is the story of immigrants to America for generations. If you work hard you can get ahead, and especially your children can have a better life than you did.

  • kerner

    Laura:
    Mydocumentation can be found here:

    http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=8641

    Bubba:

    the problem is not job experience, the problem is a work ethic. The negative incentive (work hard or be deported) may be part of their work ethic, but I think a bigger part of it is the positive incentive (work hard and earn enough to save some money and get ahead). Yes, even this so-called serf class is able to save some money in America. In Mexico, all the wealth is controlled by an oligarchy, like Laura says. Many Mexicans can work in grinding poverty their whole lives and never advance, because the Mexican economy is controlled for the benefit of the few. This is the story of immigrants to America for generations. If you work hard you can get ahead, and especially your children can have a better life than you did.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    you write: Yes, even this so-called serf class is able to save some money in America. In Mexico, all the wealth is controlled by an oligarchy, like Laura says. Many Mexicans can work in grinding poverty their whole lives and never advance, because the Mexican economy is controlled for the benefit of the few. This is the story of immigrants to America for generations. If you work hard you can get ahead, and especially your children can have a better life than you did.”
    What amazes me is that immigrants are able to do this sometims on less than minimum wage, And we Americans can’t seem to do the same thing with out bloated salaries. Then we get jealous, they are sending money back to their parents etc.

  • Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    you write: Yes, even this so-called serf class is able to save some money in America. In Mexico, all the wealth is controlled by an oligarchy, like Laura says. Many Mexicans can work in grinding poverty their whole lives and never advance, because the Mexican economy is controlled for the benefit of the few. This is the story of immigrants to America for generations. If you work hard you can get ahead, and especially your children can have a better life than you did.”
    What amazes me is that immigrants are able to do this sometims on less than minimum wage, And we Americans can’t seem to do the same thing with out bloated salaries. Then we get jealous, they are sending money back to their parents etc.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Bror, I repeat, there are no laws that permit an illegal alien to be paid less than a citizen. That is done by unscrupulous employers, who are breaking labor laws by hiring the illegal alien at all. This is wrong, and Christians have no business condoning it. I refer you to Romans 13.

    As to what they have done wrong: specifically, they have violated our immigration laws. Being mistreated is an unfortunate consequence to that, just as pregnancy is often a consequence to unprotected sex. Mind you, I’m NOT CONDONING the fact that these people are being abused. Just noting the cause and effect nature of it.

    Bror, if you want to advocate to open borders, and essentially the only criteria to let people in that they are poor and we need them, then I suggest we start airlifting people in from Darfur, who are certainly worse off than Mexicans. Temporarily stopping or slowing Latino immigration will allow the people already here to assimilate rather than continue to group in enclaves, and surely we can all feel good about helping people from Darfur. IF the goal is to help these unfortunates just a little and ensure a cheap labor class for business, that is, providing corrupt countries with a societal safety valve that prevents real, long term reform.

    Bubba absolutely nailed it: “Step back a second and consider this; more or less, what the “lower productivity with Americans” means is that the employer isn’t able to abuse his employees anymore.”

    And interestingly enough, the article kerner linked includes this vignette:

    ” On Oct. 10, Barbara Smiley, a gregarious and tall 42-year-old from Mount Vernon, about two hours away, was reaching for a chicken that had fallen off a conveyor belt when she smacked her head into a solid steel pole. She went to the nurse’s station for an ice pack and then the bathroom to wash down a pain reliever. She says her supervisor reprimanded her for leaving her post, igniting an argument. Ms. Smiley was fired.

    “They cussed at me,” Mrs. Smiley said after the incident, a lump visible in center of her forehead in the shape of a half-dollar coin. “I’m 42 years old. If you cuss at me, I’m going to cuss you back.”

    The company spokeswoman said Ms. Smiley suffered a mild injury and quit but couldn’t confirm other details of the incident.”

    And this: “Mr. Royals and many others are classified as independent contractors, working under an agreement between Crider and Allen Peacock, an African-American owner of a recruiting business. Crider paid Mr. Peacock a set rate for the hours his employees work, and he paid the workers. Using Mr. Peacock allowed Crider to quickly hire workers, since the contractor has provided laborers to the poultry industry for years.

    Every Friday, Mr. Peacock pulled into the parking lot of the dormitory complex and handed out checks, most of which he cashed on the spot – leaving his employees with no documentation of how much they received in wages or paid in taxes, according to several workers.

    After a few weeks on the job, Mr. Royals and other black workers claimed Mr. Peacock was short changing them on hours worked. They said taxes were being deducted even though workers never filled out federal and state tax forms.”

    Finally, Bror and kerner, have you ever read the pre-civil war justifications for slavery? They are uncomfortably close to the justifications for an illegal immigration labor class. Continuing to import a labor class is a bad idea for many reasons, and that similarity isn’t the least of them. We weaken ourselves just as the south weakened itself compared to the north. Little or no innovation, moral decay, an an unsustainable economy.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Bror, I repeat, there are no laws that permit an illegal alien to be paid less than a citizen. That is done by unscrupulous employers, who are breaking labor laws by hiring the illegal alien at all. This is wrong, and Christians have no business condoning it. I refer you to Romans 13.

    As to what they have done wrong: specifically, they have violated our immigration laws. Being mistreated is an unfortunate consequence to that, just as pregnancy is often a consequence to unprotected sex. Mind you, I’m NOT CONDONING the fact that these people are being abused. Just noting the cause and effect nature of it.

    Bror, if you want to advocate to open borders, and essentially the only criteria to let people in that they are poor and we need them, then I suggest we start airlifting people in from Darfur, who are certainly worse off than Mexicans. Temporarily stopping or slowing Latino immigration will allow the people already here to assimilate rather than continue to group in enclaves, and surely we can all feel good about helping people from Darfur. IF the goal is to help these unfortunates just a little and ensure a cheap labor class for business, that is, providing corrupt countries with a societal safety valve that prevents real, long term reform.

    Bubba absolutely nailed it: “Step back a second and consider this; more or less, what the “lower productivity with Americans” means is that the employer isn’t able to abuse his employees anymore.”

    And interestingly enough, the article kerner linked includes this vignette:

    ” On Oct. 10, Barbara Smiley, a gregarious and tall 42-year-old from Mount Vernon, about two hours away, was reaching for a chicken that had fallen off a conveyor belt when she smacked her head into a solid steel pole. She went to the nurse’s station for an ice pack and then the bathroom to wash down a pain reliever. She says her supervisor reprimanded her for leaving her post, igniting an argument. Ms. Smiley was fired.

    “They cussed at me,” Mrs. Smiley said after the incident, a lump visible in center of her forehead in the shape of a half-dollar coin. “I’m 42 years old. If you cuss at me, I’m going to cuss you back.”

    The company spokeswoman said Ms. Smiley suffered a mild injury and quit but couldn’t confirm other details of the incident.”

    And this: “Mr. Royals and many others are classified as independent contractors, working under an agreement between Crider and Allen Peacock, an African-American owner of a recruiting business. Crider paid Mr. Peacock a set rate for the hours his employees work, and he paid the workers. Using Mr. Peacock allowed Crider to quickly hire workers, since the contractor has provided laborers to the poultry industry for years.

    Every Friday, Mr. Peacock pulled into the parking lot of the dormitory complex and handed out checks, most of which he cashed on the spot – leaving his employees with no documentation of how much they received in wages or paid in taxes, according to several workers.

    After a few weeks on the job, Mr. Royals and other black workers claimed Mr. Peacock was short changing them on hours worked. They said taxes were being deducted even though workers never filled out federal and state tax forms.”

    Finally, Bror and kerner, have you ever read the pre-civil war justifications for slavery? They are uncomfortably close to the justifications for an illegal immigration labor class. Continuing to import a labor class is a bad idea for many reasons, and that similarity isn’t the least of them. We weaken ourselves just as the south weakened itself compared to the north. Little or no innovation, moral decay, an an unsustainable economy.

  • fw

    the WORST thing we could do, regardless of your views on immigration would be to create a permanent second class population with a guest worker program.

    The romans had this. we had it with slavery. It looks to be ugly, immoral and a national security risk.

  • fw

    the WORST thing we could do, regardless of your views on immigration would be to create a permanent second class population with a guest worker program.

    The romans had this. we had it with slavery. It looks to be ugly, immoral and a national security risk.

  • Bror Erickson

    Im all for airlifting people out of the Darfur.
    Listen I used to be agains immigration illegal or otherwise. However, I simply can’t maintain that position anymore. I am insensed at the idea that this contributes to our moral decay. How?
    It’s like the skin heads at my old highschool who used to point their fingers at everyone else for being drug addicts etc. Meanwhile they were doing and selling drugs.
    Here is the thing, the immigration laws as they now are are serving the very thing you lash out at. I’m not saying we should just keep importing a labor class, By the way that is what the north did (Irish, Itallians, Slovaks, etc.). What I am saying is that there seems to be a need for labor in this country, and these people come to meet that need. If there wasn’t a need they wouldn’t come. But our laws do not let them come to meet those needs legally. We can’t afford to pay more than minimum wage for most of this labor, so Americans who have been here for a couple generations usually won’t bother to do it. Sure thats a problem in itself, but don’t go there until you have gone to pick onions at minimum wage, yourself. We need them, plain and simple. So we should be kind enough to change the laws to reflect that need, so that the people filling that need aren’t exploited and treated as less than human.
    Now maybe you would like to tell me how illegal immigration is contributing to the moral decay of this country. Last I checked we were doing quite well in the moral decay department on our own.

  • Bror Erickson

    Im all for airlifting people out of the Darfur.
    Listen I used to be agains immigration illegal or otherwise. However, I simply can’t maintain that position anymore. I am insensed at the idea that this contributes to our moral decay. How?
    It’s like the skin heads at my old highschool who used to point their fingers at everyone else for being drug addicts etc. Meanwhile they were doing and selling drugs.
    Here is the thing, the immigration laws as they now are are serving the very thing you lash out at. I’m not saying we should just keep importing a labor class, By the way that is what the north did (Irish, Itallians, Slovaks, etc.). What I am saying is that there seems to be a need for labor in this country, and these people come to meet that need. If there wasn’t a need they wouldn’t come. But our laws do not let them come to meet those needs legally. We can’t afford to pay more than minimum wage for most of this labor, so Americans who have been here for a couple generations usually won’t bother to do it. Sure thats a problem in itself, but don’t go there until you have gone to pick onions at minimum wage, yourself. We need them, plain and simple. So we should be kind enough to change the laws to reflect that need, so that the people filling that need aren’t exploited and treated as less than human.
    Now maybe you would like to tell me how illegal immigration is contributing to the moral decay of this country. Last I checked we were doing quite well in the moral decay department on our own.

  • Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    I agree with you. Don’t want a permanent second class tier of citizens, who can’t move up in our great society based on their own merits.

  • Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    I agree with you. Don’t want a permanent second class tier of citizens, who can’t move up in our great society based on their own merits.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    “Here is the thing, the immigration laws as they now are are serving the very thing you lash out at.”

    Bror, it is the _failure to enforce the law_, not the law, that serves the very thing I lash out at.

    You don’t think cynically allowing a permanent underclass to exist here and be exploited – even if they do see some gain – while the exploiters violate our laws unchecked and citizens are victimized every day by identity theft, contributes to moral decay? Are you familiar with the moral decay in east Los Angeles, and how MS-13 has spread?

    We can certainly afford more than minimum wage for these jobs. We can afford whatever the market chooses to set those wages at. Illegal immigration causes those wages to be set artificially low, as kerner’s article illustrates, and taxpayers make up for it in higher social services expenses. Americans used to hold their jobs, illegals came in to do them, wages dropped, Americans left the industry. Employers got used to a serf class they could easily dominate and abuse. When the laws began to be enforced, they had to bring wages up -although as the article noted, they were trying to bring in more serfs, Asian this time – and were called out for dicey employment practices. And for that matter, sweatshops also contribute to moral decay.

    We can’t have a society with people doing the labor; obviously, and that’s not what I’m contending. But importing those laborers to the point that we are is a very bad idea. We didn’t always do it, and when we have done it in the past, it obviously didn’t turn out well.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    “Here is the thing, the immigration laws as they now are are serving the very thing you lash out at.”

    Bror, it is the _failure to enforce the law_, not the law, that serves the very thing I lash out at.

    You don’t think cynically allowing a permanent underclass to exist here and be exploited – even if they do see some gain – while the exploiters violate our laws unchecked and citizens are victimized every day by identity theft, contributes to moral decay? Are you familiar with the moral decay in east Los Angeles, and how MS-13 has spread?

    We can certainly afford more than minimum wage for these jobs. We can afford whatever the market chooses to set those wages at. Illegal immigration causes those wages to be set artificially low, as kerner’s article illustrates, and taxpayers make up for it in higher social services expenses. Americans used to hold their jobs, illegals came in to do them, wages dropped, Americans left the industry. Employers got used to a serf class they could easily dominate and abuse. When the laws began to be enforced, they had to bring wages up -although as the article noted, they were trying to bring in more serfs, Asian this time – and were called out for dicey employment practices. And for that matter, sweatshops also contribute to moral decay.

    We can’t have a society with people doing the labor; obviously, and that’s not what I’m contending. But importing those laborers to the point that we are is a very bad idea. We didn’t always do it, and when we have done it in the past, it obviously didn’t turn out well.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Err… I meant, we can’t have a society withOUT people doing the labor. Sorry ’bout that.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    Err… I meant, we can’t have a society withOUT people doing the labor. Sorry ’bout that.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Kerner, certainly work ethic is an issue; now do you think that might have something to do with companies being allowed to import cheap/serf labor to the point where hard work isn’t rewarded?

    That said, experience is also an issue. For example, my cousin is the son of a butcher, and when he worked a couple of summers at a bigger meatpacking plant during college, his boss quickly picked up that he was far more skilled with a cleaver than his colleagues. It matters whether you’ve done it before.

    So more or less, it really does come down to experience, and how people are treated. When a company tries to squeeze every last drop of blood out of the turnip, they’ll quickly find that only the most desperate turnips keep coming back.

    Which is the point, sad to say, of fairly open borders. Make sure that your low wage workforce is as desperate and vulnerable as possible.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Kerner, certainly work ethic is an issue; now do you think that might have something to do with companies being allowed to import cheap/serf labor to the point where hard work isn’t rewarded?

    That said, experience is also an issue. For example, my cousin is the son of a butcher, and when he worked a couple of summers at a bigger meatpacking plant during college, his boss quickly picked up that he was far more skilled with a cleaver than his colleagues. It matters whether you’ve done it before.

    So more or less, it really does come down to experience, and how people are treated. When a company tries to squeeze every last drop of blood out of the turnip, they’ll quickly find that only the most desperate turnips keep coming back.

    Which is the point, sad to say, of fairly open borders. Make sure that your low wage workforce is as desperate and vulnerable as possible.

  • fw

    Laura and bror

    I am seeing you two in essential agreement on what is the goal.

    laura you should consider why neither dem nor republican enforce the laws. What are those pratical reasons do you suppose?

    if they went after employers according to law there all immigrants would immediately go home. there would be no work for them. why don’t they?

    Laura. I hear you overstating. Like the news is all bad and there is no up side to these immigrants being here.

  • fw

    Laura and bror

    I am seeing you two in essential agreement on what is the goal.

    laura you should consider why neither dem nor republican enforce the laws. What are those pratical reasons do you suppose?

    if they went after employers according to law there all immigrants would immediately go home. there would be no work for them. why don’t they?

    Laura. I hear you overstating. Like the news is all bad and there is no up side to these immigrants being here.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    fw, the practical reason is that the Republicans like cheap labor, and the Democrats fully expect that at some point these folks will be given amnesty and start voting Democratic, thereby giving the Democrats political power for decades to come.

    Self-deportation is happing in Arizona and Massachusetts, and so far, so good.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    fw, the practical reason is that the Republicans like cheap labor, and the Democrats fully expect that at some point these folks will be given amnesty and start voting Democratic, thereby giving the Democrats political power for decades to come.

    Self-deportation is happing in Arizona and Massachusetts, and so far, so good.

  • kerner

    Laura:

    I know what the article said, and I’m not surprised that yale spun it that way, but facts are facts and I’m not afraid to face them. You left out the parts fo the article that quoted the management and the hispanic workers. You remember, the part about what management wanted being a workforce that showed up every day. The part about the remaining hispanics complaining about the Americans taking extra breaks and not cleaning up the work stations. And especially the part about the hispanics turning out 80 pallets of chicken a day while the prescious native born Americans only turning out 45 pallets a day. Or, how the company was having to bus in workers from miles away and hire felons on parole. And how the company was starting to solve the problems they were having with the native born Americans by getting Asians from the North.

    Also, where do you get this “permanent” serf class stuff? As Bror points out the North has ALWAYS imported laborers from overseas. But there is not now and never has been anything permanent about that situation. My own great grandfather came to this country from Bohemia. He had 8 kids and worked in a steel mill his whole life. It was hard, dirty, disagreeable work and the wages were low. He was a “serf”, according to you. But one of those 8 children became the Attorney General of the state of Illinois. I’m living a reasonable middle class life myself here in Wisconsin, and I have raised 5 kids of my own, 2 of whom have fought in Iraq. And all because the anti-immigrants of that past day couldn’t stop my great grand-father from being a “serf” in America.

    I’ll tell you something else. Here in Milwaukee, there are a lot of Polish Americans. When their ancestors left Poland (which was for most of that time part of Russia) a lot of them really had been serfs. They came to Milwaukee and worked in factories and mills, and a lot of them worked in meat processing plants and slaughterhouses stuffing cow and pig parts into Patrick Cudahy hot dogs, or processing the hides in the tanneries. It was, and still is, hard, smelly, disagreeable work. And the wages weren’t great. You might think they were serfs, but they knew better because they knew what real serfdom was. They bought the little frame houses on Milwaukee’s south side and literally raised the houses and built up the basements so the houses would have another living unit below the original one. Thus enabling some other “serf” family to move in. To this day we call those houses “Polish flats”. Nowadays a lot of the Polish families have moved to fancier neighborhoods. They have trades or professions or college degrees now. You know who lives in a lot of those “Polish flats” now? MEXICANS! They’re working in the tanneries and meat packing plants and a what’s left of the manufacturing, and they’re cleaning the hotels and doing the landscaping and a lot of other low skilled jobs. But if people like you don’t think of some way to drive them off for no reason, they’ll work their way up just like the Poles before them, and the Irish and the Italians and everybody else. Some of them already have.

  • kerner

    Laura:

    I know what the article said, and I’m not surprised that yale spun it that way, but facts are facts and I’m not afraid to face them. You left out the parts fo the article that quoted the management and the hispanic workers. You remember, the part about what management wanted being a workforce that showed up every day. The part about the remaining hispanics complaining about the Americans taking extra breaks and not cleaning up the work stations. And especially the part about the hispanics turning out 80 pallets of chicken a day while the prescious native born Americans only turning out 45 pallets a day. Or, how the company was having to bus in workers from miles away and hire felons on parole. And how the company was starting to solve the problems they were having with the native born Americans by getting Asians from the North.

    Also, where do you get this “permanent” serf class stuff? As Bror points out the North has ALWAYS imported laborers from overseas. But there is not now and never has been anything permanent about that situation. My own great grandfather came to this country from Bohemia. He had 8 kids and worked in a steel mill his whole life. It was hard, dirty, disagreeable work and the wages were low. He was a “serf”, according to you. But one of those 8 children became the Attorney General of the state of Illinois. I’m living a reasonable middle class life myself here in Wisconsin, and I have raised 5 kids of my own, 2 of whom have fought in Iraq. And all because the anti-immigrants of that past day couldn’t stop my great grand-father from being a “serf” in America.

    I’ll tell you something else. Here in Milwaukee, there are a lot of Polish Americans. When their ancestors left Poland (which was for most of that time part of Russia) a lot of them really had been serfs. They came to Milwaukee and worked in factories and mills, and a lot of them worked in meat processing plants and slaughterhouses stuffing cow and pig parts into Patrick Cudahy hot dogs, or processing the hides in the tanneries. It was, and still is, hard, smelly, disagreeable work. And the wages weren’t great. You might think they were serfs, but they knew better because they knew what real serfdom was. They bought the little frame houses on Milwaukee’s south side and literally raised the houses and built up the basements so the houses would have another living unit below the original one. Thus enabling some other “serf” family to move in. To this day we call those houses “Polish flats”. Nowadays a lot of the Polish families have moved to fancier neighborhoods. They have trades or professions or college degrees now. You know who lives in a lot of those “Polish flats” now? MEXICANS! They’re working in the tanneries and meat packing plants and a what’s left of the manufacturing, and they’re cleaning the hotels and doing the landscaping and a lot of other low skilled jobs. But if people like you don’t think of some way to drive them off for no reason, they’ll work their way up just like the Poles before them, and the Irish and the Italians and everybody else. Some of them already have.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    You’re conflating legal with illegal immigration, kerner. This illegal serf class is uniquely vulnerable in a way that legal immigrants are not. And while their children are Americans and have the opportunity to move up, they do not. Hence the word “permanent,” between that and the fact that we keep importing more illegals to take advantage of. I left those parts out because the post was long enough, but as far as I’m concerned they buttress the examples I listed.

    I’m all for legal immigration, and even for streamlining the system to make it easier. But the illegal immigration must stop, and we need to start controlling who comes here. Mexico’s criminals and least educated are a burden to us, not a benefit. They use more in social services than they pay taxes.

    Do you understand that 10% of Mexico’s population lives here now? That’s huge. And it’s a neighboring country, whose geography textbooks state that we stole their land, and are very open about their goal to get as many of their citizens over here as possible. They provide maps and all kinds of assistance.
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/borderpatrol.asp
    I haven’t seen stats on Guatemala – it’s likely to be pretty high, but it’s less relevant because we do not share a border with Guatemala.

    And we haven’t always imported labor to this extent – the Bracero program was pretty small, not to mention the fact that it was legal, and the Reagan amnesty was for, what, 3 million? It was after that, that things really exploded. This situation is NOT the status quo. Try to understand that.

    Look, you’re obviously determined that the cheap labor is essential and you don’t seem to care how we get it. So be it. I enjoyed the debate, but it seems clear we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

  • http://pursuingholiness.com Laura

    You’re conflating legal with illegal immigration, kerner. This illegal serf class is uniquely vulnerable in a way that legal immigrants are not. And while their children are Americans and have the opportunity to move up, they do not. Hence the word “permanent,” between that and the fact that we keep importing more illegals to take advantage of. I left those parts out because the post was long enough, but as far as I’m concerned they buttress the examples I listed.

    I’m all for legal immigration, and even for streamlining the system to make it easier. But the illegal immigration must stop, and we need to start controlling who comes here. Mexico’s criminals and least educated are a burden to us, not a benefit. They use more in social services than they pay taxes.

    Do you understand that 10% of Mexico’s population lives here now? That’s huge. And it’s a neighboring country, whose geography textbooks state that we stole their land, and are very open about their goal to get as many of their citizens over here as possible. They provide maps and all kinds of assistance.
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/borderpatrol.asp
    I haven’t seen stats on Guatemala – it’s likely to be pretty high, but it’s less relevant because we do not share a border with Guatemala.

    And we haven’t always imported labor to this extent – the Bracero program was pretty small, not to mention the fact that it was legal, and the Reagan amnesty was for, what, 3 million? It was after that, that things really exploded. This situation is NOT the status quo. Try to understand that.

    Look, you’re obviously determined that the cheap labor is essential and you don’t seem to care how we get it. So be it. I enjoyed the debate, but it seems clear we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

  • Bror Erickson

    Laura,
    I think as long as you are for revising the current immigration laws you will not find disagreement with Kerner and I. We are all agreed that the illegal aspect of immigration must stop. We may disagree as to how and why that is done.

  • Bror Erickson

    Laura,
    I think as long as you are for revising the current immigration laws you will not find disagreement with Kerner and I. We are all agreed that the illegal aspect of immigration must stop. We may disagree as to how and why that is done.


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