I disagree with Hightower.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012


A friend sent me an exchange between two people from the right and left. I include a bit from each side to give you the flavor of it, and then include my thoughts.

The righty wrote: "It's easy to dismiss individual programs that benefit non-citizens until they're put together and this picture emerges. Someone did a lot of research to put together all of this data. Often these programs are buried within other programs making them difficult to find." .... there then followed a lot of data about how immigrants were destroying the country under the title: WHY is the USA BANKRUPT? It looked like one of those rabid things that you sometimes get in an email and drop in the trash.

The lefty responded with an erudite quote from Dietrich Bornhoeffer (sic) and then went on her own rant about globalization. It included:

"One major flaw in the message is the statement that illegal people 'suppress' wages for Americans. Very typical, hot-rhetoric distortion. The true 'suppression' of American living-wage comes from globalizaton; from corporate greed; from 'hoarding' profits for the few, instead of turning portion of profit back into the community. Outsourcing is the cause of failing wages, that is fact. The reality of immigrant labor is a minor piece of a very large and toxic puzzle. And, let us not forget that we are all 'immigrants.' Our people came from somewhere else, not all that long ago. And my people faced amazing animosity. It took generations of hard work and determination to come out of that, somewhat. The difference? There was work to be had. It had not been hauled off to Indonesia or China or India or wherever the few could grab the benefit provided by the many."

A little side point: If you are going to answer an irrational rant it does not help your argument (except with those who already agree with you) to make blatantly false statements. In point of fact, we are not all immigrants. To put single quotes around it may make it satisfy some esoteric sense of validity, but it is still silliness. I was born in this country and that makes me a native. I'm no more of an immigrant here than are the descendants of those Mexican families who stayed on this side of the border and became Americans when the land changed hands almost two hundred years ago. End of the side point.

Her message is that she cares for the many not the few. Yet globalization does not just help the few who are managing it. It helps - literally - billions of people around the world. Does anyone doubt that the Asians are living better today than they did 30 years ago. Why are liberals only concerned about the foreigners who are in our country? If the left is true to itself shouldn't they care about all of those other people who are being helped by globalization?

I don't think that globalization is a "choice". I think it is a fact of history. Since we can't build a fence around the country to keep people out, does anyone really think that we can build one that will keep all of that capital in? We cannot be separate from the world. I understand how frustrating it is to feel that the results of all of those battles that were fought in this country (and elsewhere) to get the worker a living share of the products of industry seem to be slipping away. But, as Margaret Thatcher said, "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” I think that we have to recognize that labor's gains are going to have to be fought for again and this time on a world scale.

In my mind the big question for the left is which way will you choose: Are you going to seek your goals by empowering labor to force employers to pay a living wage or are you going to try to get the government to just take the money from the rich and redistribute it among the people?

Success by the former method will create a proud self reliant population.
Success by the latter method will produce a culture of dependency.
I'll bet you can guess which one I prefer.

BTW What did all of those folks (on both sides) think was going to happen when the rest of the world figured out how the West got that rich?

1 comment:

  1. From reading “the lefty’s” comments I would conclude that “the lefty” feels the corporations are part of “the rich” so, assuming “the lefty’s” status quo, and absent a definition of “living wage”, and defined tactics for “force employers” the 2 options could very well be the same.