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More plans for Democrats in distress

Ever since the election I’ve been hearing a lot about the South.  In fact, even before the election, liberals were knocking themselves out about the South.  It’s occurred to us, of course, that the last non-Southern Democratic nominee to be elected President was Kennedy, and we know that even Kennedy wouldn’t have squeaked in if not for the overwhelming last-minute turnout of dead people in Chicago.  The problem is that whenever one of us talks about appeasing the South politically—when a liberal says he follows NASCAR, for example, or says he wants the support of guys with Confederate flags in their pickups, or suggests that Democrats should interpret the Bible more literally and treat evolutionary “theory” more skeptically—we all go batshit insane in response.  Some of us have even suggested that the Civil War was a bad idea—that we should’ve let the South secede back in 1861, and waited around a hundred and thirty-something years for a NATO “humanitarian intervention” to end slavery.  In response, Southern liberals have raised hell, accusing their blue-state colleagues of every kind of regionalist elitism and moral hauteur; one of them (I forget who, or I’d provide the link) reminded us that even in a blood-red state like South Carolina, over 40 percent of the voters went for Kerry.

I haven’t weighed in on this debate until now.  And I have only two words for y’all: stop it.  That’s right, stop it.  And I get to say “y’all” because I lived in the South for six years—not deep in the South, but indelibly in the South nonetheless (you know, where people use “right” as an intensifier, as in “I’ll bring that over right quick”), and I can tell you that although the region is profoundly conservative in every sense of the word, it’s also responsible for some of the best music and literature produced in this nation.  We need the South culturally, even though it’s way beyond problematic politically.  And there’s no use going into all the reasons why it’s so problematic politically, because (a) we already know perfectly well what those are and (b) we are forbidden from speaking about them, lest the media portray us as mandarin, green-tea-sipping elitists.

Besides, we need to focus our attention on jettisoning an even more problematic region—a belt of Even Redder States that have none of the cultural advantages or storied charm of the South.  That’s right, I’m talking about nullifying the Louisiana Purchase.

That’s really where things went wrong, folks.  Jefferson’s Folly (as it should hereafter be known) gave us what is now Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, half of Minnesota (we’ll keep some of Minnesota, thanks), North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, most of Montana and Wyoming, small chunks of New Mexico and Texas, and the conservative eastern half of Colorado to boot.  Check the map if you don’t believe me.  And while everyone’s been obsessing about the land of Dixie and its peculiar institutions, the good people living on this windswept, culturally barren swath of land have been dragging the country to the right, to the right, to the right, and right off the cliff.  It’s time to cut them loose.

“Holy Heartland, Michael,” you say.  “Have you lost your mind?  You can’t undo a real estate deal from two centuries ago—there’s no precedent for it, no protocols!  What are you saying, we give all those half-billion acres of land back to the Sioux and the Pawnee?  And on what legal reasoning, may I ask?”

What legal reasoning are you talking about here?  What kind of ignorant imaginary interlocutor are you?  Haven’t you ever read the text of the Louisiana Purchase?  The final sentence of the document reads, “Done at Paris the tenth day of Floreal in the eleventh year of the French Republic; and the 30th of April 1803.” Don’t you see? There is no month of Floreal.  That was a reference to some weird-ass, short-lived “French Revolution” calendar that doesn’t exist anymore, full of dates like “le dix-huitième Brumaire” and “le vingtième Fromage.” That contract isn’t binding, any more than your lease would be if it said you had to pay the rent on the thirty-ninth day of each month.  “Eleventh year of the French Republic,” indeed.  It might as well say “Year Zed in Organic Time.”

And no, I’m not talking about giving the land back to the Native American tribes who lived on it.  It’s not theirs, after all—it belongs to the French.  Thus, when we void the Purchase and return the territory to France, all those red-state voters will become French citizens, and the fair cities of Baton Rouge, Pierre, Des Moines and Cape Girardeau will—at long last—be repatriated.  Of course, we’ll have to ask for our $15,000,000 back, prorated for inflation since 1803 (or “year eleven,” ha ha ha).  I suggest we set a reasonable price of $10,000 per acre, which brings the total cost to $5,299,116,800,000, or enough to reduce the federal deficit debt by almost 75 percent, knocking it down under the $2 trillion mark.

So the United States will be close to solvent again, and the upstanding, God-fearing people of Nebraska and Wyoming and Oklahoma will join together in singing “Le Marseillaise.”

I can’t think of a more satisfying outcome.

Posted by on 12/05 at 04:57 PM
  1. I would be willing to give away Oklahoma, had I the power.  I’d even throw in some of my vintage ‘Spy Magazine’ collection.  But I can’t part with Minnesota, really, I just can’t.

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  09:36 PM
  2. Do you think Mexico might want Texas back too?

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  11:07 PM
  3. Sounds OK to me, from the People’s Republic of Boulder, as the east plains Coloradoans like to call this august university town.  I mean, who needs towns called Eaton, Limon, Aguilar, Greeley (go west, young man! also know as the town of wide streets and narrow minds) and other such perfidious enclaves of red neckery!  Be gone.

    Posted by Carol  on  12/06  at  02:20 AM
  4. Mike, you almost guessed my next move.  Everyone knows that the 1845 Annexation (hereafter to be known as “Polk’s Folly") was illegal-- and moreover, it was all about these trumped-up fears (trumped up chiefly by John C. Calhoun, but oops, I must not say anything about the South) that the Republic of Texas would be annexed by Great Britain and turned into a harbor for runaway slaves.  But I’m not thinking of returning Texas to Mexico-- after all, Sam Houston’s boys won the Battle of San Jacinto fair and square.  I’m thinking of the returning to the status quo ante 1845 but post 1836.

    Long live the independent Republic of Texas!

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  03:13 AM
  5. How about this for a slogan:

    Remember the Alamo!

    Forget the Annexation!

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  03:25 AM
  6. As unlikely plans go, this is not a bad unlikely plan at all, Professor.

    I ‘d agree to a bright future for the P(reviously) C(ontinguous) States of America, and for all the discarded states as well, wedged in their new-found French ubiety between the previously joined lobes of what we would like to think of as America Classic here on the Pacific edge of the thing, however it is arguably defined elsewhere.

    I haven’t checked, but I believe all those discarded states are currently net importers of federal tax revenues. We in the PCSA agree to leave it to the French to decide how to impose a perfidious national health scheme and six weeks paid vacation, which is their way, on citizens now lacking the sustaining transfer of federal tax money from the previously deeper but now withdrawn pockets of the PCSA. The French will make it up, we propose.

    Sending the discarded lot of them back them to France might be thought the unusually cruelest form of nation-building on the part of the founders of the PCSA. However that may be, however much the founding myth of any such PCSA must be shaded by the dour dark lines of cold calculation, the brisk expedient of relinquishing control of its most bothersome part, the previously purchased Louisiana, to form a more perfect union, is as commendable as it is rash.

    The emboldening optimism that a more perfect union might be defined by subtraction from the whole is worth exploring. Years ago the Brotherhoods of the railroads provided fraternal benefits to their members. Always they had the social services and the insurance plans to organize around, providing certainly a more perfect union than the one found in situ in those times. For all the reasons over the years many of these services and plans have become an agreed responsibility of the federal government (although the successors of the Brotherhoods dutifully continue to peddle insurance of their own). The Railroad Retirement pension runs parallel to the Social Security system in the federal budget to this day, measuring partially the settled thing: the success of the rash plan of the original Brotherhoods to form a more perfect union for its members.

    It may be necessary to begin again where the Brotherhoods started, organizing a subset of the whole with social services and insurance plans into some more perfect union. That would be the long way, but at least we know it’s been done before.  I much prefer the adroit flensing of the body politic you’ve suggested, Professor.

    The Louisiana Discard! Avant!

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  03:49 AM
  7. Speaking as one who grew up in the capitol of the Great State of Louisiana but has long since sought asylum in the various lands of blue, I’m of two minds here.  On the one hand, folks in Louisiana would by and large take quickly to the French life-style, and them that don’t are probably yuppie types that could use a little re-educating anyhow.

    On the other hand, there’s a reason why a bunch of the state all got kicked out of Canada 400 years ago.

    And, in Louisiana’s defense, let me add that at the very same moment that my adopted state was desperately seeking ways to hand over control of all its political processes to the Governator, my former home state was in the process of electing a Democrat as governor.  And she’s also a woman.

    Plus there’s that whole strategic mouth-of-the-Mississippi thing.

    Perhaps we just want to clarify the old Purchase a bit, to say, whoops, we really only meant Louisiana, and not all that add-on to the north.  Because I’d hate to let New Orleans go.

    Posted by KF  on  12/06  at  04:39 AM
  8. OK, KF, Nawlins can stay.  But only Nawlins.  And Peter, my previous post on “Democrats United” was very much in the spirit of the Brotherhoods.  I’m thinking short-range and long, folks-- that’s why I’m posting less frequently.  This nation-rebuilding thing is hard work!  It’s hard, hard work!

    Posted by Michael  on  12/06  at  04:49 AM
  9. Just as Jewish people anywhere can claim Israeli citizenship or ethnic Germans could similarly claim citizenship in West Germany, would those of us who live in that part of Missouri known as Little Dixie, be exempt from the Berube Plan and able to claim Southernhood? 

    The furthest extent of Little Dixie is somewhat in dispute but beyond contention is that Boone County, (yes, named for that famous Southerner, Daniel Boone) is in the heart of Little Dixie.  I happen to live in Boone county and my house sits on a subdivision of a former plantation whose “big house” was still standing until recently.  The slave cabin, however, has now been moved to the heritage park in the city.  Why, we can even claim our own archetypal lynching of an black man accused of raping a white girl.

    I never thought I would go to this (or any) extent to claim Southern Heritage but I cannot deny the reasonableness of the Plan.  Should my amending through gerrymandering be rejected, would emigration on humanitarian grounds be allowed?

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  04:54 AM
  10. Like maryh, I’d have difficulty parting with some bits of Minnesota.  Most of it could go, though I grew up in the state and Spouse’s extended family lives in the southwest part of the state.  But as I follow the map, it traces the Mississipi, which means that much of Minneapolis would have to be sacrificed to French America.  Maybe the PCSA could keep Minneapolis and surrounding area in exchange for the $5 trillion.  It’s going to take a lot to convince the French to take these net importers of taxes.  And teaching them to speak French—it will probably cost more than $5 trillion.  After all, if English is good enough for Jesus…

    Texas—Texas is easy.  It still believes it is a republic anyway.

    jwb

    Posted by Jimbo  on  12/06  at  05:59 AM
  11. This could rebound quite nastily on WLOTUSA, once the French instigate rigorous secular education throughout their territory.

    Posted by dave heasman  on  12/06  at  06:38 AM
  12. Well, Dave, I snorted my coffee out through my nose on that one!  Thanks!  So true!

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  06:55 AM
  13. Strict constructionists should welcome the chance to discard that illegally acquired land. Call Scalia.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  07:50 AM
  14. Or…

    The democrats could just win an election by not nominating elitist douchebags who feel that the only way to lead a country is to concoct even more bureaucratic social programs. 

    Keep in mind that NASCAR started from moonshine runners, running from whom?  “Revenuers,” or bureaucrats wanting to make sure that their corn liquor was legitimate for taxation purposes.  The south rejects such bureaucrats because it is in their nature, not because such bureaucrats can’t sell themselves correctly to them.

    God bless ‘em.

    But then again, the thought of democrats winning an election is just as satirical as Michael’s return of the Louisiana Purchase.  Maybe even funnier.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  08:14 AM
  15. Aaaaaaah! But I’m in the wrong half of Minnesota!

    I think we should follow Tom Delay’s plans and instead create a massive gerrymander. Instead of those big rough splits, have all the urban areas and college towns secede, with neutral corridors along all the interstates.

    Posted by PZ Myers  on  12/06  at  08:48 AM
  16. I grew up in Oklahoma and was in my 30s before I lived anywhere except the Great Plains.  Currently I reside in one of the bluest precincts in very blue Seattle and I’m very happy about that.  So I have to say I hope we’d have a liberal (arr arr arr) immigration policy for genuine liberals stuck in those areas.  And while the idea of French inspired secular educations appeals, what I REALLY want to see is French cooking imposed on Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.

    MKK

    Posted by Mary Kay  on  12/06  at  09:20 AM
  17. Perfect solution, Michael!
    Oh, and TX would happily become a republic again (I’d be first in line on the way out).

    (Same PZ Myers who used to hang on Alt.astrology?)

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  09:23 AM
  18. Ummm…

    Does this mean I’d have to move to the OK Panhandle?  It’s flat and cold in the winter.  But I still have a couple of phrases from high school French, so I guess I’ll stay.

    Posted by Ms. Not Together  on  12/06  at  09:57 AM
  19. Jorge Donaldson,

    <i>The democrats could just win an election by not nominating elitist douchebags who feel that the only way to lead a country is to concoct even more bureaucratic social programs.</i>

    Right. Better we should have a C-student doofus in the White House, who is more interested in making his rich friends richer than doing what’s best for the majority of us.

    I guess you didn’t see Michael’s post from the Republican Convention about those bureaucratic social programs (many of which benefit you, by the way, and most of which are being paid for out of the pockets of people in the blue states). Did you know, for example, that Wyoming gets more per capita counter-terrorism spending than New York does? NY ranks 49th ... that’s right, 49th.

    Right now, I’m tempted to support having my federal taxes go down and my state taxes go up. That way, the money stays in New York, where we need it. You can pay for your own damned highways. And schools. And hospitals. And disaster relief.

    Don’t forget to have a little corn liquor before y’all hit the road.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  10:13 AM
  20. O.K., I know it was tongue in cheek, but please stop the foolishness about Chicago in 1960. Illinois alone wouldn’t have the 1960 election. Do the electoral math.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  10:25 AM
  21. Hey, David, we just like to tweak our Republican friends on this here blog-- including the ones who surfaced in 2000 with their little obsessions about Chicago ‘60.  I’ve done the electoral math, and the popular-vote math too.  Kennedy won with 49.7 percent of the vote, 34,226,731 to 34,108,157.

    And OK, Jimbo, Minneapolis can stay too, on the “New Orleans Principle” (i.e., interesting cities on the fringe).  We’ll even hold onto St. Louis.  But we’re only offering the French a discount of $100,000,000,000 per city-- and they have to take the New Orleans Saints off our hands.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/06  at  11:39 AM
  22. Wait, isn’t this the same group of states that <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:ElectoralCollege1992-Large.png>went for Clinton in 1992</a>?

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  11:56 AM
  23. Posted by  on  12/06  at  12:51 PM
  24. I think you mean debt, not deficit.

    Posted by pudge  on  12/06  at  01:54 PM
  25. Wait a minute. We “punish” the parts of the country we don’t like by subjecting them to 6 (or maybe it’s back down to 5 now, but still) weeks’ paid vacation a year? Later for that.

    I say let the states of Jefferson’s Folly form their own new nation. They’re going to need to wean themselves off the blue-state largesse they’ve been bogarting all this time, of course, and for that purpose I propose an expert nation-building team: send Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bremer and all those flacks from the AEI to Kansas City. Added bonus: they’ll be so busy maybe they’ll finally leave the poor Iraqis the hell alone.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  02:00 PM
  26. Wendy: who cares if NY gets more or less per capita than some other state?  Per capita is an exceptionally weak way to measure spending of this nature, because you are not protecting people specifically, but resources, and the higher your population density, the fewer resources per capita you have to protect.

    And I am not sure if you have noticed, but New York has extremely high population density in certain areas.

    Posted by pudge  on  12/06  at  02:01 PM
  27. I love the new interest liberals have in federalism.  If we can get the left to be as interested in state power and federalism as many of us on the right are, then we are on the right track, indeed!

    Posted by pudge  on  12/06  at  02:03 PM
  28. Now, *there* is a new way to understand the concept of ´per capita´! Maybe people become like that after ´taking interest´ in federalism for too long.

    Greetings from Brazil, folks - and I mean the friends. Things here suck so bad that I´ve renewed my optimism for the task at hand in the US.

    Great plan, Michael, though I´m offended that you didn´t think of your friends in Nawlins in the original plan. KF beat me to the protest: remember, the Union is the only reason we in New Orleans haven´t seceded from Louisiana to begin with!!!

    And all that great Southern literature and music, hey, it´s 80% New Orleans-produced or inspired anyway. Remember, Faulkner´s most interesting novel was written in New Orleans. In case anyone doesn´t know, Kerry beat Bush 2 to 1 in the metropolitan Big Easy.

    Now, we´ll need help from you yankees militarily, at least until the French can secularize that huge piece of land. Because they will harass us, and defending a city that´s below sea level is hard work! Plus, firing guns after a bowl of gumbo can give you headaches, you see. We´re not good at that.

    So, the French can take the Saints (throw in the Hornets too), you send us some soldiers, and we´ll keep giving you some of the best music and food in the world. Sounds good?

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  02:34 PM
  29. Hey, we can cut the South loose and still listen to their music and read their books.  We can also give green cards to the writers and musicians we like, or marry them for citizenship purposes. I’d be more than willing to marry some cute singer-songwriter or artiste in order to help her escape from her fucked roots.

    Posted by Zizka  on  12/06  at  03:33 PM
  30. Right you are, Pudge-- debt, not deficit.  My bad.  It’s hard work, I tell you, really hard work keeping track of all the fiscal damage those Republicans have done since 1980, and sometimes I’m just not up to the task.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/06  at  04:31 PM
  31. An elegant solution to a most perplexing problem, but how is it that the part of Louisiana most worth keeping (ie. that part that lies south of I-10) is largely French anyway? Liberte, egalite, fraternite!

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  04:39 PM
  32. Michael, Michael, Michael. This plan is almost as bizarre as your prediction that Colorado would beat the Red Wings in the ‘96 Conference Finals. Almost.

    I know you’re kidding. Still, it smacks of the same rhetoric of despair emanating from the post-election left. You know, the conversations we’ve all heard or engaged in ourselves: “I just don’t understand how ANYONE could vote for Dubya” or, “God I hate the South” or my favorite, “I’m seriously considering moving to Canada.”

    As a Wyomingite, the daily struggle against policy hawks and oil/cattle interests does get a little old - but the struggle itself isn’t reason enough for me (or liberals anywhere) to quit. Sure, Wyoming’s a red state, but we in the vocal liberal minority are making a difference.

    All three of us.

    Posted by Paul from Laramie  on  12/06  at  05:30 PM
  33. Well, well, well, the Repub goons are out in full force tonight.

    Daniel, go thrill yourself drinking with the “toiling accountants” at Halliburton. I’m sure you will find it a scintillating evening. In the meantime, I will ride the subway tomorrow with citizens of the world, people of every race, creed, and color, who live here in NYC. You can take your stereotypes and stick ‘em.

    And Pudge, per capita spending is certainly important when you live in the the city that got attacked. Did you lose 3,000 of your citizens on 9/11? Did you know that we have 4,000 fewer police in NYC than we did on 9/11? And that we have had to close firehouses because we can’t afford to keep them open? And that our seaport and airports are no safer than they were before? Wyoming and Utah aren’t targets, you jerk. We are.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  07:05 PM
  34. Ahem, not so fast—Iowa was blue in 2000 and has a Democratic governor.  Culturally barren?  Not any more culturally barren and windswept than C-U, Illinois.  Windswept is the flatlands of Illinois, by the way, and not the topography of most of the Louisiana Purchase.

    Posted by kai  on  12/06  at  07:51 PM
  35. A lot of us think that a good deal of the income produced by, and therefore tax revenue generated by, the blue states is parasitical and badly-gotten in the best case. For example, what does New York (New York City, that is) really contribute to our nation? Wall Street, Big Law, Big Media, Big Advertising, big bullshit if you ask me. I would rather break bread and share a beer with hard-working welders and toiling accountants at Halliburton than with a bunch of effete and elitst investment bankers, traders and New York lawyers anyday. The rest of the nation can get by without these crowded urban centers, whilst, if cut off from the rest of American these blue centers would have to find another host to suck the blood off of. So lets keep the income local. Fine, Wyoming, Utah will make do with what they generate. Well you blue socialists will quickly turn on the very parasites that provide your tax base. They will move on, and so will you eventually. You can see your plan already laid out in the likes of Detroit and Newark.

    Guess what, Daniel?  The blue centers WILL find another host to suck the blood off of.  They’ll suck it off of India, China, South America, and guess what’ll happen to you, bub?  You’ll starve, that’s what. And you voted for it, Einstein, thinking you were outsmarting the people who hold all the cards.  Well done, genius.  Wyoming and Utah aren’t going to do well with what they generate.  The jokes on you, it’s just a matter of how quickly you figure it out.

    Posted by thehim  on  12/06  at  09:59 PM
  36. Hoo-Dawg, Jorge, you got ‘em on that.  There’s no finer way to spend an afternoon stickin’ it to the gubment than watching a bunch of $2-million-a-year moonshiners swapin’ paint and Viagra decals for their $20 million teams with those good American made stock trunk lids and grills, and them stick-on headlights (take that, National Highway Safety Administration!).  No, sir, we’re not buyin’ any elitist crap in the Land of the Late Rebellion.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  10:26 PM
  37. Um, Wendy, disaster relief and homeland security are not social programs.  And neither are highway funds.  Sorry, but don’t throw apples in an orange fight.

    And, Mr. Riley, you seem to have illustrated plainly the hypocrisy and uninformed elitism that plagues democrats and their ilk.  I simply pointed out that the south will not trust a stronger, more centralized government.  Their history shows that.  You, as well as others, responded by lowering yourself to aping stereotypes, perhaps just to make yourself feel better.

    Sad, in a way.  But far from a surprise.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  07:41 AM
  38. Most of our income-inequality problems could be solved if we just ended immigration to this country. A steady flow of hands into the labor market has the inevitable effect of bidding down the cost of labor. The best thing we can all do for the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters is allow their labor to be proffered in a more equitable labor market. Continued immigration, partcularly the large volume from Latin America, has the effect of transferring status orienting wealth from the lower class to the high middle class. More than anything this enhances the quality of life of the high-middle class (80,000 + salary) at the expense of the workers and poor. Let’s not leave aside the damage that an ever expanding population is doing to our environment. Do we really want an America with 500 million to 1 Billion inhabitants within 100 years? Why won’t progressives discuss this issue seriously?

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  07:50 AM
  39. That’s pretty funny, though if you’d also used Jeffrey Davis’s strict constructionist argument it would have been even funnier.

    Question for my fellow commenters: Why do you argue with the wingnuts?  These people would clearly vote to see one American soldier set fire on TV every day for the rest of time, as long as it let them stick it to us for our hypocrisy and uninformed elitism.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  08:06 AM
  40. Actually, it’s pronounced, “All y’all”.

    Posted by Daniel R Somerfield  on  12/07  at  08:10 AM
  41. Walt, congratulations.  It took thirty nine posts before someone here mentioned the war in Iraq, and you just couldn’t wait.  Surely it’s now the best rhetorical tool for leftist tools like yourself.  Here we are talking about domestic issues, and you sling in a blood-red herring, on fire, no-less.  Nice.

    I should have mentioned, however, that it only went thirty three postings before Wendy, surely the paradigm of restraint, blurted out “Halliburton.”

    During the election, it was only half a dozen or so.  Coming along nicely, kids.  Now, someone out there mention global warming for me, and round this puppy out.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  09:29 AM
  42. Jorge:  Just for the record, it was Daniel who mentioned Halliburton first (comment 23).  And he appears to be playing for the red team.  Wendy was responding to his comment.

    Sorry for the interruption, y’all.  Let the games continue.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  09:49 AM
  43. Oh, I love it.  Immigration is the reason our labor is being bid down in this great republic.  We won’t mention offshoring, no, no that would be too fact based.  We won’t mention the fact that it isn’t immigrants who are filling those once-high paying jobs with the steady downward pressure in wages (anyone see what they are now paying IT people? It is substantially less than 4 years ago. You think a bunch of folks who sneaked across the border are responsible for that?).  Anyone remember H Ross Perot and his giant sucking sound?  What ever happened to our automobile jobs? They’re in Mexico, dudes, not here in the US being filled by immigrants.  What about our steel industry?  Our steel is being bought from Japan, dudes.  Etc, etc.  Meanwhile, dudes, the rich are getting richer, because they can pay those poor Mexicans a lot less than the unemployed stiffs in Detroit.  Even the increases in productivity here in the US aer not being reflected in increased wages, dudes.  They are being reflected in increased bonuses for the CEOs who strut around talking about how they are the risk takers in this world.  A common worker in this country is the true risk taker.

    Sigh.

    Reality bites.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  10:09 AM
  44. Dymphna:

    Damn, you’re right.  As the kiddies say, “my bad.” Apologies to Wendy, and humble thanks to you. 

    Tell you what, I’ll spot one free mention of Abu Ghraib to make up for it.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  10:23 AM
  45. Carol,

    >>Immigration is the reason our labor is being bid down in this great republic.

    Well, withIN the republic it is, it is mainly a matter of supply and demand. Excess labor supply means that owners can invest more in this supply and pay it less, per-capita, and not pay the laborer more and enhance his productivity with new processes or technology.

    Regarding your other claims. I support free trade in principal. Our workers are not being threatened by workers in Japan, France, Germany, Korea, .... (high wage nations, yes Korea too) whose employers happen to grab some market share. With a level playing field better run companies will take market share, now and then, from less efficient ones. And at other times, American employers will take market share from foreign competitors. For the worker, over all, this process is a wash. This does not threaten the worker. What does threaten the worker is inviting in (either explicity by legislation, or implicitly by refusing to enforce immigration laws) millions of outsiders to compete in the domestic labor market, undercutting the workers’ only strength - the right to withold his labor if the price is not just. Democrats have supported this, as have Republicnas, with hardly a word of protest. Why? That would mean touching on sensitive “ethnic” privledges.

    Regarding IT, no, they didn’t cross the border but they were brought over on H1Bs under the bogus claim (proferred by Democrats as well as Republicans) that Americans were either - take your pick - too greedy, lazy or stupid to do the work. Nothing like firing the American staff, claim that you are sourcing it out to a specialist (Indian owned firms that import H1Bs) who will only hire H1Bs from India. The H1Bs go along with it because they are promised a green card at the end or their tenure (Since when is it the right for Corporations and ethnic advocate groups to decide our immigration policy.) This abusive policy (abusive to the American worker) has been grandly endorsed by Democrats as well as Republicans.

    I would not expect one to necessarily agree with my opinion here, but I am certain that their is enought common sense in what I have said that it should definitely be a continued focus of debate. Yet progressives will not come within a mile of the issue, it is verboten. Progressives dare not touch a hair on the head of that immigration baby, even though it has grown into a monster, devouring the hopes for millions in the lower economic strata, and is the single largest contributor to runaway population growth and destruction of natural and pastoral habitat.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  10:44 AM
  46. Oops, apparently being an annoying liberal by mentioning Iraq.  So sorry.  The fact that on foreign policy I’m closer to a national greatness conservative, and that George Bush has pulled out a pistol and shot our national greatness in the head, makes me a leftist tool.  ‘Cause you know everyone who’s against George Bush is part of one big conspiracy of mean annoying liberals.  Poor George.  Poor Jorge.  So put upon.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  10:59 AM
  47. Poor Walt.  Poor mixed metaphor (shot our national greatness in the head, eh?).  Poor me, I can’t recognize the “national greatness conservative” Walt has nuzzled up to.

    Ahem. [clearing throat to do a very bad Andy Rooney impression].

    “Dya’ ever notice that lefties always seem to claim some sort of validity for their views and conclusions by comparing themselves to conservatives?  Whenever they feel a wall creeping up on their back, they seem to blurt out how they are channeling Barry Goldwater, or Ronald Reagan, and goshdarnit, ain’t you a stinking commie for disagreeing with them and their forethinkers on the right?  Dya’ ever notice that conservatives hardly ever contact the dead left?  You never hear a conservative say ‘actually I am in line with George McGovern’ or ‘my views on foreign policy actually concur with Barbra Streisand.’ Or when they do, it’s an old line democrat, like FDR or such.”

    “Dya’ ever notice how pissy and personal the comments get in reaction to a conservative when he zings a good one?”

    “Dya’ ever notice how much lefties rely on hasty generalizations and hasty conclusions?  Do you think they were too stoned to attend class the day their professors went over logical fallacies and proper debate decorum?”

    Urr, ahem.  Rooney impression over.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  11:23 AM
  48. Jorge,

    First, I’m a bit embarrassed to have adopted the familiar form of address only to have you call me “Mr. Riley”.  Seriously, I appreciate the gesture, and thanks again for letting us all come here and argue on your board.

    I’ll beg everyone’s indulgence to clear up a misunderstanding caused by my feeble attempt at humor.  Y’see, Jorge, I am a NASCAR fan, though admittedly a casual one; I prefer a good dirt track sprint car race any day.  I knew Bill France from the time I was a tadpole, so I have a sense of the sophisticated marketing program which has made stock car racing more than a regional phenomenon.  And I’ll criticize it whenever I want.

    The real elitism comes from those who just have to conflate its popularity today with the Moonshiner aura of fifty years ago, and do so by suggesting that today’s fan must be reliving the glory days of Nathan Bedford Forrest, since watching cars go around in circles is so gosh-darned dull.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  11:36 AM
  49. Daniel, while I agree with some of what you’ve said about H-1Bs, some of it is simply not accurate.  For one thing, companies are required to pay H-1Bs at least the prevailing wage for their work – so why, exactly, would it be in their best interests to hire such folks?  Yes, some U.S.-based firms with parent companies overseas hire a lot of H-1Bs or L-1s (intracompany transferees), but that is, in many cases, because they require not only someone with the IT skills (or whatever specialized skills they are looking for), but also someone who speaks the language and understands the culture of the parent company.  This combination of skills is not always that easy to find in U.S. citizens. (How American engineering students also study Korean or Japanese?  I’m betting not that many.)

    Furthermore, it is not as easy to go from an H-1B to a green card as you seem to think.  The company either has to prove that there is a shortage of people with the specific skill set in the U.S., and that the company has made concerted efforts to hire a qualified American worker (and here, I agree with you, guidelines can be a little more lax than they should be; there’s definitely room for reform in this area) or the applicant must prove that he/she is contributing original and highly important research or other work in his/her field.  These types of visas not only require extensive documentation of the applicant’s background, they are closely scrutinized by CIS. 

    Lastly, the cap on H-1Bs has recently been lowered to 65,000.  (Or, more accurately, it has gone back down to 65,000 after being set at 195,000 for 2 or 3 years).  An extra 20,000 H-1Bs will probably be allowed into the country shortly, if Bush signs a bill recently passed by the House and Senate.  But still, we are not talking about millions of workers here.  It’s hard to believe that these H-1Bs are responsible for the all the ills that you claim.

    And Jorge:  If it pleases you:  “Abu Ghraib.”

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  12:30 PM
  50. Dya’ ever notice that lefties always seem to claim some sort of validity for their views and conclusions by comparing themselves to conservatives?

    Occasionally, yes, but definitely not always.

    I have noticed, on the other hand, that throwing around absolutes like “always” is a very popular tactic among right-wing trolls on left-leaning websites.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  02:00 PM
  51. Jorge: Just wondering.  You do understand that everyone who disagrees with you is not exactly the same, right?

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  04:36 PM
  52. michael,

    i have to say i’m very disappointed. don’t you think you owe it to your audience to maintain fairness on this blog by populating it with conservatives who don’t just stoop to the same old liberal-bashing one-liners? shame on you. i demand a conservative who can post an original thought or i’m never coming back.

    wah.

    Posted by random  on  12/07  at  06:17 PM
  53. Random, you’re entirely right.  And that’s why I support David Horowitz’s “Blogging Bill of Rights” for conservative blog commenters.  What we need around here is real diversity among the people who show up to bait the elitist libruls.  That makes the pie higher for everyone!

    Posted by Michael  on  12/07  at  07:16 PM
  54. Wendy, “you jerk” (I can play that game too!):

    No matter how much you assert it, no, it is not true that per capita spending is important or interesting.  Oddly, you don’t even attempt to make the case that it is, despite your assertion; instead, you make the case that New York deserves more money than Montana and Utah, because it was a target.

    But New York gets more money than Montana and Utah.  A hell of a lot more.  Maybe it should get even more, because of certain deficiencies that remain, but not because it gets less than Montana and Utah per capita, but because it has unfulfilled needs.

    It’s not about per capita.  That is not interesting at all.  The very fact that you point to the unfulfilled needs is a tacit admission that the real point is the real needs, not the number of dollars per head.

    Posted by pudge  on  12/07  at  09:14 PM
  55. Michael, count your blessings: imagine the extra work Kerry would have thrust upon you with his drastically increased spending!

    Posted by pudge  on  12/07  at  09:15 PM
  56. By the way, another Republican pedo:

    http://atrios.blogspot.com/2004_12_05_atrios_archive.html#110242990842348719

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  02:37 AM
  57. It should be noted that the median income in WY is $43,332 and the median income in MA is $53,610.

    Housing is a little more expensive in MA, but the computer you’re typing on certainly costs the same across the nation.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  02:41 AM
  58. As for those saying they don’t need urban centers: good luck keeping your word when you need to be treated in superior Boston, New York City, and Chicago hospitals.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  02:44 AM
  59. As for those whining about immigration: guess where Sergey Brin was born.  Whoops, no more Google for you.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  02:49 AM
  60. Actually, Pudge, right now I’m more concerned about that trillion (or two trillion) dollars Bush is going to spend to destroy Social Security, and the fact that my younger child--the one with Down Syndrome-- will almost certainly have no access to health care when he turns 21.  A Kerry Presidency wouldn’t have involved any more work from me-- just a little more economic security for my family and my neighbors.

    Two posts maximum today from any one person, folks.  Exceed the two-post limit and see what happens.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/08  at  02:58 AM
  61. Just funning, Kvetch.  Lighten up--the “always” is Andy Rooney’s, so I had to use it.  (Not sure how that is a tactic, but, eh . . .)

    Walt, thanks for letting me know of the utter diversity of people who are wrong,er, disagree with me. 

    Random, I’m shocked.  I may be a right wing, meat-eating, gun nut, but I am never unoriginal.  I left that behind when I stopped voting for democrats.

    And Michael, here’s your “conservative cliche” for the day:  ‘Just like a liberal to impose quotas’ (re: two post limit).

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  03:46 AM
  62. What are you all bitching about?  I think this is a great idea!  As a Utah resident, there will be a distinct advantage to making Wyoming into France. 

    Utah Redneck 1:  Me and LaDawn took our Dodge Ram extended cab pickup with the deer-hunting spotlights and went to France for our honeymoon!

    Utah Redneck 2:  Yeah, but did you bring back any fireworks?

    (See?  Interstate stereotyping can be fun and educational!  For those not in on the joke (i.e., everyone), there are two things that Utahns go to Wyoming for:  camping and fireworks.)

    p.s.  Apologies to the poster from Wyoming above.  wink

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  04:53 AM
  63. No worries, z.h. Besides, we don’t get too bent out of shape when the Snowy Range lots are filled with Utah plates. SUVs originating from our neighbors to the south, on the other hand, are a different story.

    Q: How can you tell it’s springtime in Wyoming?
    A: All the license plates turn green.

    As for Michael’s plan, well, I’m afraid yours truly would have some adjusting to do. The only high school French I remember is, “Voulez vous couche avec moi,” which might (or might not) help the social life but certainly won’t get me through a trip to the grocery store.

    Michael, can we exclude Wyoming from this-here plan? Huh? Can we? Pleeeeease?

    Posted by Paul  on  12/08  at  06:15 AM
  64. daniel,

    >>As for those whining about immigration: guess where Sergey Brin was born.  Whoops, no more Google for you.

    Your point makes no sense. For arguments sake let’s say that Sergey Brin was not allowed into the U.S. and that his career developed as it did - inventing, developing Google. So what. Then the world would still have Google, the only difference is that the corporation would be domiciled in some other state: Russia, France, etc. The fact that Google corporate profits, and that Google would staff up in some other country other than the U.S. would have an infinitetesamally negligble impact on our country’s economy and well being. Same idea holds for all the others so-called immigrant wunderkinds and their “inventions” of the internet revolution.

    But I hold that this cruel H1B and L1 immigration/migration policy where hundreds of thousands of Americans cannot find work due to discrimination against their national origin (American) has seriously damaged America.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  06:47 AM
  65. Wow, I’ve never experienced such total victory over a troll before.  No argument, just gnomic utterances his therapist would have trouble decoding.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  06:52 AM
  66. Daniel,

    You’re assuming he would still have co-founded Google had he a: never met Larry Page and b: never studied Computer Science at Stanford.

    > Same idea holds for all the others so-called immigrant wunderkinds and their “inventions” of the internet revolution

    I love the disconnect between ridiculing people’s work and using it all daily at the same time.

    But I hold that this cruel H1B and L1 immigration/migration policy where hundreds of thousands of Americans cannot find work due to discrimination against their national origin (American) has seriously damaged America.

    Walk into any research lab operated by IBM, Google, Sun, Microsoft, AT&T, and the like.  The H1Bs there aren’t getting paid any less than the Americans.  And of course the resources and environment these big laboratories and universities provide in the US are helpful to everyone in the long run.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  07:26 AM
  67. Walt, I’ve been reading along and I’m not sure whose neck you suppopsedly got a foot on, nor do I see an argument any “troll” could respond to.  No wonder michael is frustrated at the postings, since they just provoke insults.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  07:47 AM
  68. daniel,

    >>You’re assuming he would still have co-founded Google had he a: never met Larry Page and b: never studied Computer Science at Stanford.

    Bit deal if he never met Larry Page, big deal if he never co-founded Goole. Google is no big deal. There were excellent search engines before Google (Alta Vista) , there will be others after. It has not appreciabley altered the internet experience. Regarding computer technology, if we are going to tip are hats to anybody for prescience and contribution to the well being of all mankind it would have to be to the U.S. Defense Department for thinking up and implementing the internet in the first place.

    >>I love the disconnect between ridiculing people’s work and using it all daily at the same time.

    What a stretch. I am not talking about useful innovations. I am talking about all the ridiculous so-called innovations and enterprises that were spawned in that internet hysteria of the late 90’s. For example, Pets.Com. Furniture.Com, etc…

    >>Walk into any research lab operated by IBM, Google, Sun, Microsoft, AT&T, and the like.  The H1Bs there aren’t getting paid any less than the Americans.  And of course the resources and environment these big laboratories and universities provide in the US are helpful to everyone in the long run.

    Only a tiny amount of H1B’s, L1’s are involved in fundamental or applied research work. The overwhelming majority were brought over hear to to the day-to-day computer work that prior to, around 1995, was done perfectly well by our own labor force. I will say it again, because I have the facts on my side, H1bs and LIs (Wipro, Infosys, Tata. These companies, for all practical purposes, refuse to hire American programmers for programming jobs in America. They win a contract, from say, Citigroup and transfer all the workers over from India. This is a fact. They will have a token American here or there in accounting or administration.) are over hear to take American jobs. They are brought here to provide cheaper, more pliable labor for employers. Democrats as well as Republicans have supported this. Just another instance where the worker is as screwed over by Democrats as he is by Republicans.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  07:53 AM
  69. Daniel (the one against immigration – guys, can you go back to one lowercase and one uppercase?  Because you are confusing me here.)

    Perhaps you didn’t read my comment above.  I have worked with immigration law firms and I assure you, you are incorrect about “cheaper labor.” Again:  Firms are not permitted to pay H-1Bs less money than they would pay an American worker.  They must pay at least the prevailing wage, set by the Dept. of Labor, for that particular profession in the geographic area where the H-1B will be working, and the H-1B cannot be paid less than the employer pays to other workers with similar jobs and qualifications.  That firms are bringing people over for the reason you suggest is a myth. 

    Also:  People are not being hired, by and large, for routine computer jobs that could just as easily be performed by American workers.  CIS (Citizenship & Immigration Services) looks very carefully at applications for computer jobs to ensure that this doesn’t happen.  Are there people who slip through the cracks and end up taking jobs that could be given to U.S. citizens?  Sure, occasionally.  But the idea that an overwhelming number of immigrants are marching over here to take IT jobs away is false.  And, in any event, it would perhaps be more productive to push for greater vigilance on the part of CIS, and perhaps greater penalties for companies who violate these regulations, than to talk about preventing foreign workers from entering the country.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  08:21 AM
  70. Daniel,

    > Bit deal if he never met Larry Page, big deal if he never co-founded Goole. Google is no big deal. There were excellent search engines before Google (Alta Vista) , there will be others after. It has not appreciabley altered the internet experience.

    People used Google because its algorithms produced more relevant results and its interface was cleaner.  But if you don’t like those dirty immigrants destroying your country, by all means, don’t use Google or its services: Google News, Google Groups, GMail, Google Ads, and Blogger.com.

    > Regarding computer technology, if we are going to tip are hats to anybody for prescience and contribution to the well being of all mankind it would have to be to the U.S. Defense Department for thinking up and implementing the internet in the first place.

    Yep, the DoD did play an important role, but that doesn’t translate to American-born players only or even DoD only:

    http://www.zakon.org/robert/internet/timeline/

    > I am talking about all the ridiculous so-called innovations and enterprises that were spawned in that internet hysteria of the late 90’s. For example, Pets.Com. Furniture.Com, etc...

    Pets.com founder: American businessman
    Furniture.com founder: American businessman

    You’re also confusing technology and invention with business ventures.

    > The overwhelming majority were brought over hear to to the day-to-day computer work that prior to, around 1995, was done perfectly well by our own labor force. I will say it again, because I have the facts on my side, H1bs and LIs (Wipro, Infosys, Tata. These companies, for all practical purposes, refuse to hire American programmers for programming jobs in America. They win a contract, from say, Citigroup and transfer all the workers over from India. This is a fact. They will have a token American here or there in accounting or administration.) are over hear to take American jobs. They are brought here to provide cheaper, more pliable labor for employers

    Computer Science post-graduation placement in Boston is still pretty healthy and even foreign companies still come in droves every January to recruit people (Annual CS European Career Fair).
    Where are these American programmers being denied jobs?

    These companies, for all practical purposes, refuse to hire American programmers for programming jobs in America

    You mean they pay less than most American programmers expect.

    Instead of closing off immigration, why not impose a minimum yearly salary for that field above what Wipro/Infosys/Tata destructively want to pay?

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  08:59 AM
  71. Dymphna,

    As for the notion that companies are not hiring H1Bs for routine programming, administration work, you are wrong. Should I just name a few names: The New York Stock Exchange, Goldman Sachs, Metropolitan Life, Sun Microsystesm, EDS, IBM and many, many more, big companies and small. I am not talking about research and development, I am talking about business application programming jobs. Somehow we managed to get to about 1995 relying on our own domestic labor force.

    Regarding paying immigrants less. The matter is more than just paying an H1B holder the prevailing wage. An H1B holder is tethered to the job, he is, in effect, an indentured servant. The H1B sponsor “owns” him in a sense. While that job is occupied the sponsor does not have to bid the market rate to fill the slot. In a free, open market, one is worth what the employer must pay to secrure your services. When an employer fills his positions with H1B’s he doesn’t have to bid for the free worker, and the free worker’s access to that job is cut off. The free worker is closed off from access to this job. And even thought only a fraction (what fraction?) of H1B’s eventually get green cards, it is this lure that keeps them tethered to the job for up to 7 years. Once again, why do Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Sun have the right to set their own immigration policy to this coungry? Do you wonder why in the 19th century the free worker was an aboltionist? Indentured or slave work demans labor in general.

    And I don’t even buy the line that they are getting the “prevailing wage”, whatever that is. Who is auditing this? And, no, the solution is not to lard up the govt. with another bureacracy to monitor wheter H1B’s sponsors are obeying the rules. Furthermore, L1 transfers are not paid the prevailing wages. L1’s are transferred from India to do contract work for the parent company, be it Wipro, Infosys, Tata and others. By the way, how many American programmers do these Indian companies hire for their projects in the U.S.? Do they deny Americans the right to work in American offices of their company? Just wondering.

    Another reason progressives should be opposed to H1B’s and L1 transfers is that companies use the claim that they cannot find qualified workers (once again, prior to 1995, how did we build a computer industry that is the envy of the world with such - take your pick - 1) lazy, 2)stupdid, 3) greedy workers?) to mask their discriminatory action. Companies create ridiculously detailed job requirement lists (and we don’t even know if the H1B meets these so-called requirements because there is no independent audity) as a means to discriminate against older workers (a man or woman has been programming for 20 years, coming from assembler language and he can’t learn Visual Basic, SQL, Perl, etc? Give me a break)and disadvantaged Americans. H1B’s and L1 transfers are anathema to the rights and well-being of American workers. I don’t understand how progressives, with all their self-regard for the interests of the worker, can ignore this issue. And let’s not forget the flooding of the labor market with immigrants that depresses the wages of the most vulnerable and disorients any plan or purpose they have to improve their lot in life.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  09:00 AM
  72. daniel,

    >>But if you don’t like those dirty immigrants destroying your country, by all means, don’t use Google or its services: Google News, Google Groups, GMail, Google Ads, and Blogger.com.

    Where did I ever say, or imply, that immigrants are dirty?

    And once again, your points make no sense. Your point about Google is about as logical as, say, Fidel Castro decreeing that Linux cannot be used because it is the product of free world collaboration. The point I am making has nothing to do with what some entrepreneur may or may not create somewhere in the world. It has less to do whether I use the product of that entrepreneur. My point has to do with the fact that since around 1995 close to 1 million H1b’s and L1 transfers have been brought into this country to take jobs that Americans are clearly qualifed for and clearly want.

    Regarding Wipro, Infoys, Tata. In today’s depressed IT job market those out of work will glady take the jobs that those Indian contract firms have IN THIS COUNTRY, BUT WHICH THEY REFUSE TO CONSIDER Americans for. I have met many of these workers; people just out of college, people who were laid off from other companies. The Indian firms refuse to hire American workers. Isn’t this illegal. Shouldn’t that upset progressives?

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  09:28 AM
  73. Daniel: As for the notion that companies are not hiring H1Bs for routine programming, administration work, you are wrong. Should I just name a few names: The New York Stock Exchange, Goldman Sachs, Metropolitan Life, Sun Microsystesm, EDS, IBM and many, many more, big companies and small.

    Where did you get your information on the number of routine programmers at these companies?  I’m curious.

    Regarding paying immigrants less. The matter is more than just paying an H1B holder the prevailing wage. An H1B holder is tethered to the job, he is, in effect, an indentured servant. The H1B sponsor “owns” him in a sense. While that job is occupied the sponsor does not have to bid the market rate to fill the slot.

    Again, I’m sorry, you are completely wrong.  An H-1B holder is in no way, shape or form an indentured servant.  For one, an H-1B visa is “portable” – the worker can go to another company if he/she chooses.  Another application must be filed, of course, but it happens all the time.  And of course the H-1B worker can return home whenever they want.  The green card may be a “lure,” but the promise of one is hardly the same as preventing someone from leaving a job.  To compare these workers to indentured servants or slaves is just way off the mark.  Not to mention odd.

    And I don’t even buy the line that they are getting the “prevailing wage”, whatever that is. Who is auditing this?

    The “prevailing wage” is the wage set by the DOL for each geographic area/profession.  You can find more information about it at the DOL website, if you are so inclined.

    And, no, the solution is not to lard up the govt. with another bureaucracy to monitor whether H1B’s sponsors are obeying the rules.

    I never suggested another bureaucracy, merely a closer monitoring of the companies. 

    Furthermore, L1 transfers are not paid the prevailing wages. L1’s are transferred from India to do contract work for the parent company, be it Wipro, Infosys, Tata and others. By the way, how many American programmers do these Indian companies hire for their projects in the U.S.? Do they deny Americans the right to work in American offices of their company? Just wondering.

    *sigh* No one is denied the right to work in an American office.  As I stated above, many companies, especially ones that hire L-1s, require employees who are familiar with the parent company’s procedures, language, etc.  Another suggestion for Americans college students would be to study another language, by the way.  I suspect that you would consider this a hardship, but most people outside of this country are at least bilingual.  That skill, as much as their professional qualifications, is why foreign-based firms in the U.S. often hire workers from the home country.

    It’s obvious that you feel very strongly about this issue, and that there is no way to convince you otherwise, so I will stop trying.  I will only end by making this observation: this country was built by immigrants.  If you talk about how we are the envy of the world, that is because of the work and the dedication of the millions upon millions of people who came to this country from all over the world.  I don’t know about you, but my family hasn’t been in the U.S. for more than three or four generations.  When my ancestors came here, there were complaints about too many foreigners taking away “American” jobs.  When your ancestors came here, they probably didn’t get a particularly warm welcome either.  Yet somehow this country has survived and flourished despite (in many ways because of) our liberal immigration policies, and we will continue to do so. 

    And that concludes my two posts for the day.  Sorry to tie up your thread with this issue, Michael.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  09:34 AM
  74. Daniel,

    > My point has to do with the fact that since around 1995 close to 1 million H1b’s and L1 transfers have been brought into this country to take jobs that Americans are clearly qualifed for and clearly want.

    The point I was making is that shutting off immigration is not a solution, given the benefits of creative foreigners (plus Americans) working and experimenting in fertile American environments.

    > The Indian firms refuse to hire American workers. Isn’t this illegal.

    Discrimination based on race is certainly illegal.  If you believe that’s what they’re doing, I suggest you call a lawyer.

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  09:40 AM
  75. Dympnha/Daniel.

    My last post on the matter.

    >>*sigh*
    >> Sorry to tie up your thread with this issue, Michael.

    Dymphna, you are so sexy when you condescend to me. But, to the point.

    > No one is denied the right to work in an American office….As I stated above, many companies, especially ones that hire L-1s, require employees who are familiar with the parent company’s procedures, language, etc.

    They speak ENGLISH in Wipro, Infosys and Tata. These companies bring over L1s to program, at AMERICAN desks, in AMERICAN, ENGLISH SPEAKING offices. They hire contract programmers, there is not, and they should not be able to claim a justification for, a need to be intimate with Indian culture and business norms. That is simply justification for discrimination (unlawful. Odd that you are championing this.)

    And the scale of it Dymphna, these companies and their ilk bring over 10s of thousands to do the jobs that Americans were doing quite recently until their job was insourced. There is NO justification for so many L1s. Simple as that. And Americans are, effectively, denied the right to work in their own company by these foreign corporations who favor their own compatriots.

    >> I will only end by making this observation: this country was built by immigrants…..  When my ancestors came here, there were complaints about too many foreigners taking away “American” jobs… When your ancestors came here, they probably didn’t get a particularly warm welcome…

    I knew you would pull this card out of the deck. I admit, I don’t know how to debate against sentimentality. I’m at a loss here. Can I get some help.

    And for Daniel,

    >>The point I was making is that shutting off immigration is not a solution, given the benefits of creative foreigners (plus Americans) working and experimenting in fertile American environments.

    OK, let me clarify. Let’s shut off immigration abuse. And what is clearly abusive is bringing in, beyond the ordinary immigrant quotas (quite generous, over 1 million per year) another several hundred thousand immigrants to take specifically target jobs from Americans. And the H1B, L1 policy does that, targets American jobs and American workers.

    >>Discrimination based on race is certainly illegal.  If you believe that’s what they’re doing, I suggest you call a lawyer.

    Well, I am not looking for a job. But that is a real flip comment, anyway. It is something like saying that black Americans had nothing really to complain about from around 1865 to 1950 because they should have hired a lawyer to address their grievances, but most of them didn’t. The entire framework of the society conspired against them, much as the framework of our immigration/ migration policy conspires against the American worker today.

    Where are the progressives. Do any agree with me?

    Posted by  on  12/08  at  10:09 AM
  76. Good news about this thread:  it’s broken the blog’s record for Most Comments, previously held by the post titled “For all US progressives thinking of voting for someone other than Kerry,” which drew 72 comments.  Obviously, my Louisiana Purchase Plan has hit a nerve.  (And no, Paul, I’m not exempting Wyoming.  Y’all gave us the Cheneys and the beating of Matthew Shepard, and you have to go.  Besides, it’s voulez-vous coucher avec moi, not “couche,” because the question demands the infinitive form of “coucher”:  do you want to sleep with me.  I say this not to proposition you but to remind you that the French are very exacting about such things.)

    Bad news about this thread:  it has been dragged (note the passive voice here) far off topic by a couple of people who are Trying to Dominate the Discussion.  So I’m closing this one.  As for the folks who decided to blow off the two-times-a-day rule:  Expression Engine gives me a whole host of options for dealing with such things.  Next time around, I’ll use one of ‘em.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/08  at  11:16 AM
  77. Besides, we need to focus our attention on jettisoning an even more problematic region– a belt of Even Redder States that have none of the cultural advantages or storied charm of the South.  That’s right, I’m talking about nullifying the Louisiana Purchase.

    Posted by accent chairs  on  06/08  at  07:40 AM
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