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Protecting the welfare state

Discussion in 'Political Debates' started by jonny, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know the history behind the crackdown on immigration? It seems to me that it happened in the 1940s or so - about the same time the U.S. started creating its welfare state. Are we excluding people from the American dream because our government has created a system where we can't afford to pay for people? Does anyone know why there was a push to limit immigration?

    This entire immigration debate pisses me off (to put it lightly). When my ancestors came here 100 years ago, they didn't have to worry about green cards. America was founded as a refuge for people who wanted a better life. I think that we are screwing up exactly what has made America successful in the past by drastically limiting the new blood that we let into this country.

    Yesterday we met two Mexican families while fishing. They were here illegally. They were working to support their families and paying U.S. taxes. The mother started crying when my roommate asked her what she thought about the entire immigration debate. The thought of returning to Mexico devestated her.

    I'm embarassed that America's superiority complex has created the problems that we are experiencing today. I don't think we're too good for anyone who is willing to come here and work hard to make a better life for themselves.

    I guess my point is that any changes in immigration policy need to be accompanied by changes in the welfare policy so that America attracts people who want to WORK and CONTRIBUTE to the economy - regardless of their current conditions.

    "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door"
     
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  2. Darkdale

    Darkdale World Leader Pretend

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    The problem with illegal immigrants is that they are illegal. Most of these people aren't coming here to be American. They hate America (which means they'll vote democrat I guess). They are here for work. They won't learn English. They won't assimilate, and we'll have the same problem that the French are having. Sadly, it is a losing battle. We've done this to ourselves. We've let these people in with no consequences.

    The Welfare State is going to cripple us, but that is WHY it exists.
     
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  3. Ori

    Ori Angel slayer

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    Is this why the Mexicans are treated as sub-human then?
     
  4. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    My ancestors didn't come here to be an American either. They came here to be close to their religion. At least the people who you generalized above want to be here to work. That's more than I can say for a lot of American citizens.

    They might not learn English, but their children will and the families will be better off for the decisions that the parents made - illegal or not. Obviously, the benefits associated with breaking the law are greater than any consequences that they could recieve. I have no problem with people breaking stupid laws that the gov't doesn't enforce anyway.

    Also, I don't blame them for hating America. How much do you like the kid in class who thinks he's better than everyone else?
     
  5. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Jonny, attempts to limit or prevent the immigration of particular ethnic groups didn't start along with the welfare state. There were some pretty restrictive laws imposed on Chinese immigration, for instance, long before we had anything like a welfare state. Example: The US allowed Chinese men to immigrate, but prevented their families from joining them, in what seems to have been an attempt to encourage the men to eventually go back to China.
     
  6. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Like it or not, freedom has limitations. There is only so much room and so many resources (and wealth) to go around. The more people there are living in a given area, the less space, resources and opportunities there will be for each. Open immigration can't go on indefinitely or we will simply over-whelm our advantages and spoil our own way of life.

    The real mistake we've been making is that the wealthy and powerful of this country have wanted (and still want) access to cheap, exploitable labor, so they've let poor people from other countries in to do their work. But they don't want these workers to become citizens because when they do, they aren't so easily exploited (they will have access to education, civil rights, unions, and lawyers, and they will be able to vote). So we have created the phenomena of the "illegal immigrant".

    The wealthy and powerful of this country still want their cheap and easily exploitable labor. They can't just move their businesses to poorer countries and exploit the people there, freely, like their fellow wealthy businessmen are doing, because their businesses are mainly agriculture and domestic/commercial service. So they want some way of bringing those poor and exploitable workers to them.

    The American government is controlled by these wealthy people, and they want to continue with the way things are. But since 9/11 and the political pandering to conservative extremism as a swing voting block, the popular conservative and protectionist outcry for closing the borders has become much harder for the government to ignore. What they want to do, and what they will almost certainly do, is write some laws and spend a bunch of money making a big show of closing and guarding the borders, without actually doing anything to really stop the flow of exploitable labor into this country. Some of the longer term immigrants will be accepted as citizens, but for the most part the government will burry this process in so much bureaucratic red tape that most illegal immigrants living here will remain non-citizens, and will remain easily exploitable.

    In the end, wealth and greed has and will always rule America (as I suppose it rules people everywhere). And the wealthy want their easily exploitable labor force, so they will have their easily exploitable labor force, and no politician or citizen in this country is going to deny them.
     
  7. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, when I was doing research I noticed that the pathetic history of discrimination and racism in the U.S. extended fairly extensively to immigration.

    Does anyone know the motivation behind the laws that we have now? They are much more limiting than the laws we had in the past.
     
  8. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    We have plenty of space and resources to go around. Also, opportunities are limitless. I don't think our economy would have a hard time handling more people and eventually immigration would slow down, just like it did with Europe.

    I think you're right to a certain extent here.

    I'm as conservative and extreme as they come. I don't want the borders closed.

    Isn't this the American dream (put in not so nice terms)? :D
     
  9. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Nothing is "limitless", and what constitutes "plenty" of space for further immigration is not for you to decide. That's an issue for all citizens to decide, as it effects all of us.
    Yes, it will slow down when we ruin our desirable life-style and people no longer want to be a part of it. But not all of your fellow citizens want to let it go that far, and they have a good point.
    Well, that's what's sort of interesting about this particular issue, is that it's dividing the conservatives against each other. It's a division between wealthy conservatives (and their "wannabe's") who want continued access to exploitable labor for profit, and the poor conservatives who are naturally inclined by their conservatism toward isolationism, protectionism, and black/white, us/them solutions to all problems. The wealthy and powerful are really only conservative in that they wish to conserve their own position of wealth and power, but they are in the social minority. So they have been pandering for years, now, to the ideologically conservative among us, so as to gain even more political power and advantage. And it has been working very well for them. But in this instance their having done so has come around to bite them in the a**, because the people they have been pandering to do not agree with their agenda.
    I don't know. I know a lot of people who don't wish to be wealthy, but only want to be free, safe, and able to live their lives and love their families and work together with their fellow humans to make this possible. It seems to me to always be a small minority among us who for whatever reason just can never get enough, no matter how much they have. And it's these people who rise to great wealth and power because it's these people who really, really, want great wealth and power. And it's these people who are continually looking for and actively implementing ways of abusing and exploiting everyone else.

    Although, I suppose there must be a strain of this kind of greed and selfishness in all of us, or those few truly greedy people among us wouldn't be able to divide us against each other as they so easily seem to be able to do.

    I am ashamed of what America has become. But I don't think any other people anywhere else in the world are any better. I think they're just at different places in the cycle of societal rise and decline.
     
  10. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Which is exactly why my opinion on the matter should be taken into account. I don't want fluid borders, but I think that the current restrictions are too drastic.

    Which category do you think that I'm in?

    My comment on that being the American Dream was a little tounge and cheek. The wealth that is the American Dream isn't just money.

    There are certain aspects of what America has become that I am proud of. Our foreign relations is not one of them.
     
  11. Darkdale

    Darkdale World Leader Pretend

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    Once we make these people citizens, they will be out of work. No one is going to pay them $5.25 for what they do. That's why the system works, for business. Their labor is worth less. In reality, the best thing to do is to increase legal immigration and get rid of the minimum wage, which is a racist policy as is.
     
  12. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    YEAH!!!! Add this to my list of reforms.
     
  13. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Rescind the law! that solves THAT problem
    That's obnoxious - those thoughts go beyond consideration
    As all immigrants did unless the spoke English previously. No debate contibution here
    We should exile some that aren't welcoming. That would solve THAT problem.
     
  14. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    The topic is "Protecting the welfare state" in regard to immigration. Please return to it
     
  15. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    :eek: I hate being called out for getting off topic in my own thread. Sorry.
     
  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Eventually, they will no longer be willing to work so hard for so little money, true.
    Oh, sure they will. The businesses will simply pass the cost on to us, as they will not sacrifice their profits. We in turn will buy less of their goods and services because of the added cost, and that will cause the industries in question to scale back, some. But in the end it will find it's equilibrium, and we will have stopped the most serious and wholesale exploitation.

    The threat that the agriculture industry would collapse if they had to pay a reasonable wage is just propaganda from the industry and it's supporters.
    If they stopped harvesting our food, we would soon discover that their labor was essential. We are exploiting these people because they have had the misfortune of being born into a country that is currently very poor. It's one of many things we do here in the U.S. that makes me ashamed to be an American citizen.
     
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  17. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps we could get our teenagers doing something besides playing video games so they'll learn how to work if they stop harvesting our food. Someone will do the jobs or the employers will make the jobs attractive so that someone will do them. If people were actually learning how to work, the country's need for welfare might go down on its own.
     
  18. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    In my part of the country (Pennsylvania), not that long ago, this is how it worked. There was little access to illegal immigrants and it was mostly young people who did the harvesting. And you are right, they learned what it means to work hard, and they learned first hand why it's important NOT to exploit other people's labor for profit just because you can. But that was back in the days when farms were owned by families, instead of corporations, and these kinds of experiences and ideals have now fallen by the wayside. Today's business creed is to squeeze every cent out of the enterprize that you can, and too bad for those who get hurt or exploited. Profits are far more important than people, or community, or justice, or anything else.
     
  19. kevmicsmi

    kevmicsmi Well-Known Member

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    Thats a pretty broad generalization is it not?
     
  20. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    That's what I was thinking. Sounds like the typical liberal. ;)
     
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