Identity Theft Issues Impact On My Own Life

ΩΩSectarian, race and religious hatreds are rising on both the right and the left in many ‘liberal’ countries of the West.  This always happens during economic downturns.  Smart governments move rapidly to protect themselves while dumb ones leave various doors hanging wide open.  There are many contrary forces at work within both the right and the left which leaves a true mess for the masses who get increasingly confused and finally, just downright angry.  I will examine mostly the English today since they had a change in government.  It is most interesting what is going on there!  And holds some lessons for us, here in the US where I am a citizen and also live.

ΩΩThere is a very, very strong strain of ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ attitudes on the right.  The ideal situation is for the state to not interfere with one’s affairs.  Many businesses like this attitude because they prefer to be free to do as they please.  And in general, people hate busy bodies…except, of course, when they, themselves, are the busy bodies for various reasons!

ΩΩThere is a move afoot to have national ID to prevent floods of aliens taking over communities.  Both the far right and far left oppose these identity cards for ideological or even criminal reasons.  So the very first thing Cameron did in England was scrap the national ID card program:  ID cards scheme to be scrapped within 100 days | Politics | guardian.co.uk

The 15,000 identity cards issued under an “early adopters” pilot scheme are to be cancelled without any refund of the £30 fee to holders within a month of the legislation reaching the statute book….

The government claimed the move will save £86m over four years and avoid £800m in costs that would have been covered by fees….

…A separate scheme under which identity cards are issued to all foreign nationals resident in Britain by 2015 run by the United Kingdom Border Agency is still to go ahead. May said: “This bill is the first step of many that this government is taking to reduce the control of the state over decent, law-abiding people and hand power back to them….

…Separate legislation is to be introduced to cancel the next generation of “biometric” passports, which were due to include electronic fingerprints alongside the existing digitised photograph already included in chips in the latest passports.

ΩΩFirst: look at how the conservatives who supposedly want to spare taxpayers spending money on ID, cheerfully RIPS OFF people who bought this ID already!!!  No refunds for them, mate!  Isn’t this charming?  Secondly, this ID was supposed to prove one is a citizen of a country.  Now, anyone who is a resident of England is free to do as they please while the citizens can’t prove they are citizens!  This seems like a good things to people who hate and fear their own States but then, we have a problem with the State ceasing to care who is a citizen and thus, has significant civil rights advantages.

ΩΩThis sense of dissolution of the status of the citizen is a very powerful force which undermines real democracies.  On top of all of this, we have the problems about ‘Who are you?’ to contend with.  That is, what is ID?  I remember when NY state didn’t have photos on its driver’s licenses.  The identity theft this caused was tremendous yet the state of NY was hamstrung about fixing this problem.  I had Arizona photo ID since I first got my driver’s license years earlier and only in the 1990’s did NY follow suit!

ΩΩIDs are a huge problem in general.  I changed my name three times, for example!  The various common threads got pretty dim over time.  Social Security cards are huge theft items because they have no serious ID metrics on them.  Indeed, we are warned to never carry or reveal our SS information or cards because these are top theft items!  So, do we fix this with rock-solid ID information?

ΩΩNope.  The hysteria about ‘the government is tracking you!’ defeats this!  Oddly enough, any social system that has the government involved in providing services require this sort of tracking system to prevent outsiders, illegal aliens and criminals from invading the system and eating it up.  The far right has a very interesting solution to all of this: destroy all services provided by the State!  Whoopee.  Isn’t that great?

ΩΩRealistically speaking, the best places to live happen to be states which protects their citizens and provides services.  Recently, that funny anti-government right wing rich man’s magazine, Forbes, published a list of the World’s 10 Best Places to Live – Forbes.com. Not one city in the US was in this list!  Most of them were in places like Switzerland, a land that is very draconian about ‘Who is a real citizen?’  Germany, the land of ‘Let’s see your ID, foreigner!’ is another big winner!

ΩΩAustralia, a country that has a very firm grip on getting rid of illegal aliens and which discourages anyone from immigrating unless they bring in lots of money, is also on this list of best places to live!  No city in a country that allows a flood of immigrants was on this list.  Not one English city was on this list!  Plenty of German, Austrian and Swiss cities were the winners!

ΩΩOnce upon a time, I came to Germany and didn’t register as an alien.  I lived there for six months and even went to school.  I was only 17 years old.  I didn’t have any adult listed as my guardian, either!  When I was finally arrested by the state police, they were angry that I got in without being examined for diseases, for example.  I had to have x-rays taken and blood tests!  When they figured out that my dad was high in the CIA and State Department, they let me go again.  But this was for political reasons, not due to Germans suddenly deciding to not enforce internal population identification controls.

ΩΩNow, the EU has no national passports and this is causing a lot of friction in Germany and Austria but not Switzerland which is not part of the EU and thus, can control its own borders.  The point here should be obvious: poor IDs lead to ID thefts and the only way to fix this is to have IDs that really do identify people exactly instead of vaguely.  I have had my ID stolen and I was furious about this, my daughter had her ID stolen in NYC and she had to go through hell to insure no one used it (probably, someone is using it!—namely, an illegal alien or a criminal!).

ΩΩPoor ID systems don’t free us.  When we have great ID status, we are truly an individual.  The less secure our ID, the more likely frauds, cheats and criminals will pretend to be us.  Look at the furor over Mossad stealing foreigners IDs and using these as cover for murders!  Terrible, truly terrible.

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Coalition government sets out radical welfare reforms | Politics | The Guardian

Duncan Smith says he is to propose to the Treasury a radical scheme that includes simplification of the complex benefits system designed to make it financially worthwhile for unemployed people to work, including in part-time jobs.

Nearly half of all jobs in Japan are now part time. The sentence, ‘Make if financially worthwhile to work…’ doesn’t mean ‘Raise wages so workers can really make money,’ but rather, cutting benefits to force them to work.  In the US, we cut welfare benefits under Clinton and this didn’t produce many great jobs for the lower classes, it probably simply increased illegal drug dealing.

Illegal drug dealing is a much nicer job than the Japanese-style of super poverty and part time work.  Japan has very draconian drug laws, a very protectionistic border guard system and is very harsh towards any aliens, legal or illegal.

He claims that at present it is not worth going from the dole into work if the job pays £15,000 or less. He also suggests that it is an imperative that the state retirement age rises because of growing life expectancy. The coalition agreement published last week said the state retirement age should rise to 66, although it added that this would not happen before 2016 for men and 2020 for women.

Across the board, the solution for fixing the socialist state is to mandate people work longer and harder.  This solution is being applied to all socialistic states that also happen to find it useful (the EMPLOYERS, that is) to also let in a flood of foreign labor.  In Britain, a flood of Eastern Europeans came in and took many jobs which could easily have been done by citizens of Britain (actually, they are all subjects of the Queen, not true citizens).

He also hints at a curtailment of welfare for the middle class, saying the government is already paring back tax credits for those earning over £50,000. “My general view is that the benefit system is a deeply ineffective and costly way of subsidising people’s lives. If you want to help people above a certain income the route to do that is through tax – it is simple, straightforward and easy. The benefit system is about helping people in difficulty.”

HAHAHA…the same old tax cut routine! Well, people who need these ‘middle class welfare’ things happen to be people who are in trouble and guess what? When you need help, usually, you aren’t making money that can be taxed in the first place. This is the old ‘tax cut’ game that benefits nearly only the very top classes.

Duncan Smith says, in advance of a speech tomorrow: “What we want to do is reform the welfare system – in the way Tony Blair talked about 13 years ago, but never achieved – a system that was created for the days after the second world war.” He will also publish a report tomorrowclaiming that income inequality in the UK is now at its highest level since comparable statistics began in 1961. He says 1.4 million people in the UK have been on unemployment benefit for nine or more of the last 10 years.

ΩΩIn the US, it is also at the highest level since WWII, too!  And both the US and British right wing conservatives fix this over and over again via tax cuts which makes it worse and worse.  Oddly enough, going back to Forbes’ favorite Germanic cities list, the countries with the smaller income disparities are the best places to live.

ΩΩThe permanent underclass in Britain mirrors the one in the US: it stays alive via illegal drug dealing and other activities or people who are part of this class spend much of their time, drunk or having unprotected sex and since the reward for all of this is more welfare, it has become a self-perpetuating culture which has no exit.  Attempts at fixing this intergenerational welfare mess is very difficult since the political philosophical constraints on the right means you can’t do what the Chinese or Soviets did to the lower classes.

ΩΩThat is a whole different story which I will tackle later even if it infuriates everyone who reads my ravings here.  The main point right now is, the new government of England wants to look like they are pushing off the dole all those welfare queens except for one, the most expensive welfare queen on earth, Elizabeth II, and her smarmy brood.

ΩΩFrom March this year, a Labour attempt at dealing with multigenerational welfare families:  Long-term unemployed to receive home visits | Business | The Guardian

Goodman said: “We know that most people want to work but for a small minority of people not working has become an accepted way of life. We will be taking our services out of the Jobcentre and into the community in a number of deprived estates.”

Although unemployment has risen over the past two years, ministers believe that the improved support from the Jobcentre Plus scheme has prevented the jobless total from reaching the levels seen in the early-80s and early-90s recessions. The claimant count measure of unemployment currently stands at just over 1.6m but peaked at almost 2.9m in 1993.

Under tomorrow’s plan, each team of Jobcentre Plus advisers will be told to target 1,000 people.

They will address families where claimants have lost touch with the labour market and where successive generations have been workless.

ΩΩSee?  Labour had to make a stab at forcing people off the dole…right smack dab in the middle of a global depression!  At the same time, Labour wanted to have a means of telling the State that is paying for these services, exactly who qualified. This has now been terminated and the more chaotic and easily exploited by criminals system is going to roll merrily on…while the government hammers the poor and shoves them into the streets, basically.

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Number of foreigners granted a UK passport reaches record high – Times Online

The number of foreigners given a UK passport last year jumped by more than half to reach a record 203,000. Long term immigration into the country in the year to September 2009 was just over half a million at 503,000 compared with 555,000 in the previous year. In the same period there was a drop of almost a quarter in the number of British citizens emigrating — a fall from 173,000 in the year to September 2008 compared with 134,000 in the previous 12 months.

Today’s figures also show a continuing fall in the number of citizens from the eight former Soviet states which joined the EU in 2004 registering to work in the country. The numbers fell by 55 per cent from 100,000 in the year to September 2008 to 45,000 in the year to September 2009 — probably a result of the economic downturn…. …However, the Border and Immigration Agency is still struggling to increase the number of people removed from the country. The number of people removed or departing voluntarily in the first quarter of this year was 15,000 — 5 per cent fewer than the figure for the same period last year.

ΩΩSome readers triumphantly told me that US police chiefs don’t want immigration laws enforced because this will make it harder to patrol the massive illegal alien populations in our cities!  I was aghast, to put it mildly, to hear that the cops want to control criminals within this massive population of illegals by leaving everyone here instead of enforcing US immigration and travel restrictions!  This is totally backwards.

ΩΩOne of the big criminal operations and probably one of the reasons women have their purses snatched is for two purposes: to steal money from bank accounts and to steal identities so illegals can become legal via pretending to be someone they are not.  The police, by allowing this, don’t protect us from crimes, this increases the likelihood we will be assaulted so our purses can be snatched!

ΩΩEngland has immigration at the same time, jobs are being exported.  Like the US, the jobs remaining are being handed off to aliens because they don’t get welfare unless they steal someone’s ID, of course (temptations are great!) and so the government is now wishing to force people to compete more for these jobs…while bringing in more competition!

ΩΩThis foreign competition drives down wages and of course, the working poor who are now on welfare, don’t want these jobs because they pay poorly.  In Japan, the country is very protected and won’t let in foreigners hardly at all but the job pay is very poor due to the government conspiring with the export mega-corporations who use other tricks to keep capital from flowing towards the masses.  Namely, there are no real unions in Japan.

ΩΩNow on to some interesting news from the Washington Post: Interracial marriage still rising, but not as fast

The number of interracial marriages in the U.S. has risen 20 percent since 2000 to about 4.5 million, according to the latest census figures. While still growing, that number is a marked drop-off from the 65 percent increase between 1990 and 2000.

About 8 percent of U.S. marriages are mixed-race, up from 7 percent in 2000. Broken down by race, about 40 percent of U.S.-born Asians now marry whites – a figure unchanged since 1980. Their likelihood of marrying foreign-born Asians, meanwhile, multiplied 3 times for men and 5 times for women, to roughly 20 percent. Among U.S.-born Hispanics, marriages with whites increased modestly from roughly 30 percent to 38 percent over the past three decades. But when it came to marriages with foreign-born Hispanics, the share doubled – to 12.5 percent for men, and 17.1 percent for women….

…The numbers reflect in part an internal struggle that Asians and Hispanics say they feel navigating two cultural worlds – the U.S. and their parents’ homeland.

Hai Nguyen, 37, of Houston recalls the instant connection she felt after meeting her first Vietnamese boyfriend, Greg, in college. Nguyen says while she had to explain herself to white boyfriends, with Greg it was a feeling that “he so gets me, because we eat the same food, we like the same things, our families know each other and there is so little that needs to be said.”

ΩΩI love racial integration and am happy about people marrying all sorts of other people. This is true of my own mongrel family, we have all sorts of marriages across race and religious lines and this is most wonderful! My family is 100% mixed marriages (Jewish and Catholic husbands for me and Chinese for other family members, for example) which puts us in the rarified 8% of the population that is truly liberal.

ΩΩIt bemuses me to be accused of not being liberal when I and all my children belong to this 8% of the population that is most intimately pro-other cultures, other religions. We are exceptionally free of religious and ethnic dogmas! Of course, most people lecturing me about this matter could be also part of this tiny 8% population but I kind of doubt this.

ΩΩThe Washington Post article doesn’t dare mention the Jewish rates of outsider marriages. LIke the Asian numbers, it is also very high, nearly half of the population of Jews in the US. This is a great thing and I am very much for intermarriages, I practice literally what I preach here.

ΩΩNote how the WP interviews people who praise NOT marrying liberally. Oh, they feel so much better, being cocooned within their own religious/ethnic identities and not being troubled by pesky things like getting to know a different culture or living with people who think differently!

ΩΩDo understand, this urge to NOT mingle but rather, to belong to a closed group is very powerful in humans! Only 8% of our nation which has many ethnic and religious and racial groups, is daring to do this! And with scant rewards, too. Often, the extended families of these daring marriages hate the spouses of their children and there is little love or support of the ‘alien’ spouse…I know this first hand! It is very harsh indeed! You are a perpetual second-class citizen within these mixed extended families. The ‘pure’ members band together to insure the interlopers are unwelcome.

ΩΩI had to deal with this by basically building this new family structure from scratch! It was not easy at all. And is a main reason why only about 8% of us dare to try this. But this is true freedom! Not the faux freedom of people who lecture me about my insistence of talking about the difference between sovereign citizenship and ethnic identities! After all, I fear the ethnic identity movement very, very much. My own family is in a very distinct and small minority, the cross-cultural marriage minority.

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Euro Getting Cheaper Buoys Export-Driven Rebound (Update1) – Bloomberg.com

“The crisis is over.” So says Emeric Challier, a money manager at Avenir Finance Investment Managers in Paris.

Rather than being alarmed by the plunging euro — down 4.1 percent against the dollar in the week before the European Union’s nearly trillion-dollar bailout for debt-saddled members and 3.1 percent the week after — he cites the economic boost a weaker currency provides.

“The advantage of the euro drop is it will continue to support the recovery,” says Challier, who is betting that Spanish, Portuguese and Italian government bonds will rise. German exports and Spanish and Greek vacations become cheaper for Americans and Asians, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its July issue. The benefit is especially significant if the euro is depressed a year or more, he says.

ΩΩThe floating fiat currency games continues.  With everyone pushing up the dollar again so that the US can resume buying foreign goods again.  We never got even close to closing our trade gap this depression unlike in previous bad recessions.  Now, it will widen tremendously and has been widening for the last year!  And of course, this means our nation will continue to see its own sovereign industries and businesses go under and we will be even worse off than we are now but boy, buying Toyotas and Mercedes Benzes will be super cheap! If you have a job.  Of course, this will be increasingly unlikely.

ΩΩGermany and Japan and increasingly, Korea, China and India as well as Mexico and Canada, build cars which are exported to the US.  We could very easily build our own damn cars but we don’t, killing the unions worked like a charm but didn’t increase US auto jobs, these are vanishing except for a very few that are kept here as pets so we don’t get really mad and impose tariffs and put up barriers to all these many, many millions of cars imported into our country.

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Posen Says U.K. at ‘Low Risk’ of ‘Turning Japanese’ (Update1) – Bloomberg.com

“The U.K. and U.S. economies are at low risk of turning Japanese in the sense of having recurrent recessions through macroeconomic policy mistakes,” Posen said in a speech at the London School of Economics yesterday. Still, “we all share some risks and problems in common with Japan circa 1995” and deflation “cannot be ruled out…. …”The U.K. “worryingly combines a couple of financial parallels to Japan,” which include dependence on a few large banks for sources of credit and a high level of savings amongst companies that may indicate they may be slow to increase investment, Posen said. Also, the U.K. has “far less room for fiscal action to compensate for them than Japan had.”

The policy maker said that while the U.K. export outlook may benefit from the pound’s weakness, foreign sales may be restrained by “poor external demand.” The pound has fallen about 25 percent against a basket of currencies since the start of 2007.

“One major problem which Japan did not face during its Great Recession was poor prospects for external demand and the need to reallocate productive resources across export sectors,” Posen said. “The U.K., U.S., and many euro-area economies do now face this challenge simultaneously, which may limit the pace of, and our share in, the global recovery.”

With Europe accounting for about half of the British exports, weak economic growth on the continent may hurt the U.K. economy in particular, Posen said.

ΩΩSee how insane the free trade system is?  And it hurts the people who are the citizens of countries that end up with currencies that are kept higher than trade rivals.  For a while, when the euro and pound were high against the dollar, even welfare families in these countries could vacation in Asian countries.  But this wrecked the job situation and made national trade balances deteriorate and now they are fixing all of this by…exporting to someone!   And we all know who that ‘someone’ is at this point.

ΩΩEngland won’t be exporting all that much to Europe.  Europe is tightening its belt and destroying credit rapidly.  So this means everyone will focus on flooding the US with excess goods and services which is exactly what happened in the Great Depression!  This time around, the US government won’t protect us.

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China Says Reports on Euro Holdings Review Groundless (Update3) – Bloomberg.com

China denied as “groundless” a report that it’s reviewing foreign-exchange holdings of euro assets, and the nation’s sovereign wealth fund said it’s maintaining its European investments.

“Europe has been, and will be one of the major markets for investing China’s exchange reserves,” the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement on its website today. China Investment Corp. President Gao Xiqing said yesterday that his fund doesn’t plan to reduce investments in Europe as a result of its recent sovereign debt crisis.

“We will keep our allocation in Europe,” Gao said at an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development conference in Paris. “For a while our people were debating whether we should underweight Europe because of what was happening in the past few months. Our conclusion is that we are not going to underweight it, but we’re not going to overweight it, either.”


ΩΩHAHAHA….and who is the creditor nation that really matters?  China!  And whose industrial base is growing?  China.  And yes, workers there are oppressed terribly.  But they are getting better and better off which is moving in the opposite direction of the US and UK or even Japan where it is deteriorating rapidly.  And yes, workers at the Apple plants as well as many other plants are going insane or committing suicide but then, this is happening in the US, UK and Japan, too.  Only we don’t see this in the news due to the media struggling to make China look bad.

ΩΩWell, the unhappy Chinese workers are working in factories which used to be in Japan, the US and UK!  So they have some sort of future unlike similar workers in the G7b nations that have no futures at all, not even one on welfare while supplementing this meagre handout with illegal drug dealing.

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17 Comments

Filed under .diplomacy, Free Trade, Politics, religion

17 responses to “Identity Theft Issues Impact On My Own Life

  1. nah

    ‘Top kill’ plugs gulf oil leak, official says
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-oil-spill-top-kill-20100528,0,5782115.story
    Allen said one ship that was pumping fluid into the well had run out of the fluid, or “mud,” and that a second ship was on the way. He said he was encouraged by the progress.

    “We’ll get this under control,” he said.
    .
    Thank God… guess the lesson is no matter how good the technology… powerful people have a long history of negligence that carry’s monumental cost… still cant believe it happened
    .
    there can be no arguments for oil getting easier after this one…

  2. melponeme_k

    I tried to debate the illegal immigration issue. Anyone attempting the argument of border protection is labeled racist. As a minority, I’m still racist. Because brown people can be racist towards other brown people. As someone told me on Pandagon.

    True.

    But when it all hits the fan, I’ll be the first one to be disappeared because of my brown skin. Not all those weeping “liberal” white people crying over illegal alien rights.

    This is personal to me and we are close to witching hour.

    ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ

    ELAINE: And the cure for racism is what? Letting in a million criminals (at least 10% of the illegal aliens are criminals beyond being illegal aliens) will increase racism and to prevent this, we need to have decent border controls and to be able to locate and remove anyone who comes here illegally. Otherwise, you get the racist solution which is to shove out everyone, citizen or illegal, of a particular racial or ethnic group. I don’t want this at all. But a good way to have it happen is to let things get entirely out of control.

    Most Hispanics are good, law abiding people, and for them to sit idle while Mexican drug gangs run riot would be most foolish. This is why the Hispanic community must support strong border protections.

  3. Dibbles

    melponeme_k

    “Brown” peoples’ concerns over the illegal immigrant invasion is every bit as real and legitimate as those “old, white, neanderthal” Arizonans. I’d heard my own Mexican-American in-laws voice concern nearly two decades ago when the invasions began taking tolls on their communities in southern California, before becoming mainstream.

    It is a shared concern and we must not allow a wedge to be driven between American citizens by either right or left political agendas.

  4. Maelstrom

    Wondering what you’re going to say about the whole Korean Peninsula situation. New comic featuring the dragons again I hope? I always love those, very entertaining. Baby dragon gone mental? *chuckles*

  5. Dibbles

    And now for a lighter touch:

    Wray: The Great Depression and the Revolution of 2017

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/05/wray-the-great-depression-and-the-revolution-of-2017.html

    (Apologies if you’ve seen this already Elaine.)

  6. emsnews

    I have been very, very short on time this last half a year due to family health problems. Yes, the Korean mess is most interesting and is a ridiculous flash point and no one seems able to stop this mess. Right now, South Korea and Japan want the US to fix it and we can only make it worse.

    They don’t want China to do everything. This would put them in diplomatic debt to China. And China will call on its debts.

  7. Matheus

    Hum, why don´t the chinese just demand a new currency to buy oil getting together euro,pound,yen and the dollar , and FMI SDR based on that ? They would wreck their industrial base in a blink of an eye !

  8. nah

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/20/live-gulf-oil-spill-video-feed_n_583682.html
    1 million gallons of solvents – 10 million barrels of crude
    .
    this is going to destroy the fishing industry in the gulf for years… whos going to want to eat that crap
    .
    i can honestly say i had no realistic idea about the risk deep sea oil rigs posed to the USA… that is sad

  9. nah

    as for mexicans in the US… its totally cool… just some folks are looking for some law and order to replace a broken border
    .
    I cant imagine what happens on our southern border is normal except in like zimbabwe… and to be honest our jails are full of illegals already

  10. Raybo

    Here is a Libertarian take on the immigration debate that offers a different and perhaps unique perspective:

    Doug Casey on Immigration

    (Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)

    L: So, Doug, a while back there was a big furor among many people, including some of your libertarian friends, about the new immigration law – or anti-illegal-immigration law – passed by the state of Arizona. We had other fish to fry at the time, and then the markets got all jittery, but I know you have thoughts on the subject of immigration, so let ‘er rip – what do you make of all this?

    Doug: I think it’s incumbent upon a free person to go anywhere he or she wants.

    L: And that they have every right to do so, without restriction?

    Doug: Absolutely. Everyone should be able to travel, whether they’re coming or going, without the approval of a state. As I’m sure you’re aware, it was only a hundred years ago that almost anybody, from almost anywhere, could go almost anywhere else, without a passport.

    L: The good old days.

    Doug: At least from that point of view. In a free society, all property is privately owned. Immigrants, like other travelers, would only have to make sure they have a place to lay their heads down at night.

    L: Some people might argue that it was different back then because travel was long, arduous, and expensive, so you wouldn’t get masses of poor and poorly educated people flooding into rich countries the way you would today. The world is a different and far more dangerous place today, and such idealistic policies from the past are no longer workable.

    Doug: Well, they would be wrong. Anyone who thinks the world was a safer place back in the U.S. Civil War era, or when the Indians were watching the Europeans arrive, or during the crusades, or during the Black Death, or during the rise of Rome, or during the last ice age… Well, ignorant is about the best that can be said for them. And as for the poor masses, that’s exactly what America came to be filled with, in wave after wave.

    For example, in the 1840s and ‘50s, there were the starving and penniless from Ireland fleeing the potato famine. Over the centuries, most of the immigrants to the new world were not rich adventurers on holiday, coming over to see the exotic flora and fauna. They were typically the most persecuted and impoverished people from all over Europe. These were desperate and sometimes dangerous people, fighting for survival. The ones who did so successfully were among the most resourceful, driven, and creative – in other words, just the sort of people who can add value to an economy.

    So no, that thinking is just plain wrong and wrong-headed. It’s always been the poor, the hungry, huddled masses.

    L: As Emma Lazarus’ famous poem about the Statue of Liberty goes: “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!”

    You know, I shouldn’t be surprised – because, as you like to point out, after hydrogen, stupidity is the most common thing in the universe – but it somehow always does manage to surprise me when I run into obstinate anti-immigrant bigotry. This entire country was built by immigrants. We’re all immigrants. Even the “native” Americans are just older immigrants. How can any American possibly be so blind as to fail to see the hypocrisy of being against immigration?

    Doug: Just so. You know, that poem also says: “Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” I’ve always rather liked that line, because it’s quite anti-elitist. It’s truly a sad thing that the Statue of Liberty has become an empty symbol, as meaningless as the Declaration of Independence. It’s another sign of the death of America, which has gone from being the land of the free and the home of the brave to the land of tax slaves and the home of welfare recipients. And it’s precisely because it was the land of the free and brave that America was so fearless of immigrants; Americans were not afraid to work hard and compete with anyone from anywhere.

    The statistics tell us that now, however, about 47% of Americans don’t pay income tax; they look forward to April 15 as a day the government sends them money. Of course I don‘t believe in the income tax – or any other taxes, for that matter. But the U.S., like Europe, has turned into a place where most people feel entitled to have the state – or rich people – take care of them. They certainly don’t want to compete. They want free handouts and will keep voting for them, come hell or high water. Forty million Americans are on food stamps, and I promise you that number is going much higher.

    L: I think they’ll get both hell and high water as a result. But didn’t immigrants cause some problems back then? I know there were anti-Irish sentiments, to continue with your example. “No Irish need apply,” etc.

    Doug: There were certainly problems. Look, life isn’t just full of problems; life is problems. Though I’d guess that even back then, more problems were caused by the people already in America than by those arriving. But that doesn’t mean the new arrivals were bad for America. Just the opposite. The kind of people who would leave wherever they were born and make their way – as long and arduous as you say – to America would have been the best class of people. They clearly had the most “get up and go…”

    L: Literally.

    Doug: [Chuckle] Yes. They were the most opportunity-seeking and generally the most freedom-loving. Those poor wretches were not a net drain, as their modern counterparts are seen today, but a huge boon to the country – and the same could be true today, if we had the right policies.

    L: Well, look what Australia has built on foundations of being a prison colony. It seems pretty clear that whom you let in doesn’t matter, it’s what the systems in place encourage people to do once they get there that matters.

    But one more challenge; some people would say that back then America had wild frontiers, beyond which anyone could go and hack a living out of the wilderness. Now the U.S. has no open frontier; it’s a closed system with limited resources, resources newcomers may take from those already on board.

    Doug: They’re wrong too, and self-serving in their myopia. The U.S. still has vast, vast stretches of empty land, owned by the federal government, which could be re-opened to homesteading. And Space Ship One has shown that there is an infinite frontier opening up for those daring enough to go colonize it.

    But this is the 21st century. Homesteading shouldn’t mean hacking a farm out of the wilderness anymore, it should mean launching a technology company, or engineering some new solution to an expensive problem, or offering a valuable service to people who need it, and so forth. Space isn’t the final frontier, opportunity is, and it’s infinite. It serves no useful purpose whatsoever to try to limit people’s access to opportunity – and if the U.S. stops the best and the brightest among us from following new opportunities here, they will do it elsewhere, and the U.S. will get left behind.

    L: So, you don’t see any problems with throwing the borders wide open today? Let anyone into the U.S. who wants to live the American Dream – maybe they’ll bring it back to life?

    Doug: Well, to start with, it’s not America anymore, it’s the United States, a welfare-warfare state that offers perverse incentives to be non-productive and goes around the world creating enemies with an extremely aggressive foreign policy. So I expect there would indeed be problems if opening the borders were the only change made.

    As long as the U.S. is mass-producing enemies in the Middle East and elsewhere, it does make some sense for it to try to erect walls to protect itself. Welfare is a disaster, but while the U.S. is handing out expensive goodies and subsidies, it makes sense for the U.S. to try to limit how many people it has to support. In both cases, however, the answer is to get rid of these destructive and counterproductive policies, not to close the border. If you get rid of the welfare-warfare state, you solve the perceived immigration problem. The U.S. needs to return to being America.

    L: “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.” But America is not the only thing that has changed over the last 100 years…

    Doug: That’s right. There are two main differences between the people who want to immigrate today and those who did so in the past. First, in those days, it was mostly Europeans, so there was less racism in the reaction to them. Today, it’s … not mostly Europeans, and I’m sorry to say that, regardless of what people say, I think the cold reception is very much race-driven. But racism is a fact everywhere – the Orient, Africa, Europe – everywhere. It’s a holdover from primitive times. But I believe it will diminish over time, by which I mean the centuries to come.

    Second, in those days, immigrants had to work and produce in order to survive. There were none of the counterproductive policies I mentioned above; no welfare, no unemployment benefits, no health care subsidies, no government housing projects, no subsidized transportation, none of these things. So immigrants had to start producing immediately and become self sustaining right away, or they’d starve. That sounds harsh to modern ears, but if they were starving where they came from and had limited opportunities, just the chance to not starve in America, with its unlimited opportunities, was an attractive prospect.

    Today, immigrants are actually encouraged to explore all the wonderful benefits and services the U.S. government has to offer – and this attracts the wrong kind of person. And corrupts everyone else. It’s not that poor people want to come here that’s the problem today; we always had poor people wanting to come here. It’s that our government handouts are attracting parasites as well as creative opportunity seekers.

    L: Are you saying that some anti-immigrant feelings may have some justification?

    Doug: Only because of the corrupting influence of the system. There’s a certain atavism in the hostility towards immigrants. We believe, correctly, that America used to be in many ways better than any other country in the world. And these new people are not integrating the way past immigrants have. They come from different cultures, with different values, and they often seem to be bringing those cultures here, rather than becoming Americans – they are changing America, and that scares people. This creates resentment among people who like things the way they were, and that, while not necessarily laudable, is understandable.

    But even the fear of American culture being changed wouldn’t be such an issue if America hadn’t ceased to be America. In the past era of “rugged individualism,” immigrants had to integrate. They wanted to be Americans as soon as possible – that’s why they came. Now the state, with services in several languages and all its “safety nets” makes that optional – even subtly encourages them not to, for the sake of “diversity.”

    L: And of course no one wants to give up their old ways if they don’t have to.

    Doug: Exactly. Even though perhaps well intended, the hate crime laws that punish boorish behavior towards people who are different have the unintended consequence of further reducing the incentive to integrate.

    L: Hm. But if the America we knew and loved no longer exists, there’s the question of what immigrants would be integrating into today…

    Doug: At this point, they’d be trying to integrate into a militarized welfare system, in which everyone is trying to live at the expense of everyone else. And that’s exactly the problem.

    As I’ve said before, America was a beautiful idea, but pandering politicians and social engineers have killed it. Instead, we have the United States, which is just a country, like any other in the club of 200 or so states that are nothing more than protection rackets in terminal decline. The racket is done – the system doesn’t work anymore, and I believe that the nation-state as we know it will cease to exist as a meaningful player within the next generation or two.

    And that’s a good thing. Because of technology, almost everyone can go almost anywhere they like, and the result will be new groupings of people based on common values, not the random and meaningless groupings we have today, based on where people are born. I believe these new forms of social organization that will replace today’s governments will be more stable, productive, and valuable to their members (who will be able to shop for the ones they deem most advantageous), so I’m in favor of making that transition happen as fast and easily as possible. Open borders would help with that.

    L: So, the basic answer to those who fear open borders is that free immigration is not the problem, the problem is the welfare-warfare system.

    Doug: Right. It’s the government of the United States that is creating the problems that a lot of individual citizens resent. It’s rather inchoate anger, in most cases, but they do sense that something is wrong. Unfortunately, they don’t understand the causes, so they blame the immigrants, while they should be blaming their rulers and tossing them out of office.

    L: Okay, but that’s the ideal answer. Realistically, it’s hard to imagine a sudden burst of reason in Washington causing the federal government to roll back its counterproductive welfare and warfare policies and to open the borders to the most creative, driven, and entrepreneurial people around the world.

    Doug: Yes, that’s completely out of the question. They may make noises about national security in a world awash in terrorism, etc., but the truth is that every politician knows that opening the borders would allow a huge influx of relatively cheap and competent labor into the U.S. market. That would break the rice bowls of too many fat, overpaid U.S. laborers who think they have a birthright to $30, $50, or $70 per hour jobs. It’s not going to happen, not by vote of the parasitical/political class that rules the world today.

    However, an equalization of wage levels around the world will happen, in time, as a result of economic trends that can’t be stopped. The Chinese fellow who works for $2 a day, doing the same thing a U.S. worker does for $20 per hour now, may soon be making $2 per hour – and so will the American. But the Chinese fellow might actually be better off than the U.S. worker at that time, because he won’t be burdened with the monstrous tax and regulatory burden of his U.S. counterpart.

    L: And he won’t see anything wrong with working more than 40 hours a week.

    Doug: Nor would he dream of taking sick days and three weeks of paid vacation. The Chinese guy will simply work harder than his U.S. counterpart.

    L. That might change as the playing field levels. But the bottom line here is that you’re saying that people can be as closed-minded as they want, close the borders entirely, keep those different-looking people out – but you can’t keep the jobs in. Even if the U.S. adopts a law preventing companies from employing the cheapest labor available on the global market, that will just ensure that U.S. companies will be replaced by more nimble international competitors. It’s going to happen, regardless of what anyone wants, says, or votes for.

    Doug: And, perversely, the more political action the U.S. takes to stop it from happening, the more certain the outcome is. It will happen.

    L: I love the irony; the market will level the playing field, elevating the world’s poorest, most needy people – and it will do so where decades of wrong-headed and destructive foreign aid have failed.

    Doug: Yes, and at that point, when opportunity abounds around the world, the nation-state as we know it will have no credible value to offer people, and it too will go into the dustbin of history.

    And it’s already started. I happen to be speaking to you from Washington DC, and last night I went to the Tyson’s Corner shopping center…

    L: I remember when that was a gas station out in the middle of nowhere…

    Doug: I do too. It’s gigantic now. So, my wife and I were people watching. We didn’t do anything resembling scientific research, but we did consciously try to quantify what we were seeing. Looking at the people working in the shops, I would say that about 80% of them were discernibly foreigners. And then we counted people riding the escalator from the first to the second floor, and we could immediately see that about 50% of the shoppers were discernibly foreigners.

    L: What do you conclude from that?

    Doug: That all these immigration laws do is raise the cost of entry. And what that does is discourage the sort of entrepreneurial middle-class people who’d have the easiest time contributing positively to the U.S. economy the moment they got here. Those people will go elsewhere, where there’s less state interference with opportunity, leaving more of the welfare-seekers who sneak in illegally. It’s completely perverse.

    L: Any other comments on the Arizona law specifically?

    Doug: Well, you know governments are always passing reams and reams of stupid laws. It’s what they do. I don’t believe stopping immigration is a legitimate function of government. If I did believe government was necessary, I’d restrict it to protecting Life, Liberty, and Property via police, courts, and military. But most people see the state as a magical cornucopia that will give them anything they want as long as they vote for it, and, more frighteningly, as a Big Brother that will make everyone play nice with them.

    L: Heh. Yes, people forget that a government powerful enough to compel others to do what they want is powerful enough to compel them to do what others want. Big Brother… doesn’t anyone read anymore?

    Doug: I don’t know; perhaps they just talk on their cell phones and watch reality TV. But it’s pretty alarming. These attitudes are sending what’s left of America down the wrong path fast. And as the economic situation winds down, Boobus Americanus is going to blame the immigrants. That’s bad enough, but for readers of this column, the more serious consequence will be that they will blame the emigrants as well. It’s a double-edged sword that cuts the wrong way, both ways.

    L: Emigrants – those bastards. Why won’t they stay here and let us tax them more so they can pay for us to live beyond our means? Where’s their patriotism? Traitors. I bet they don’t even like baseball and apple pie!

    Doug: [Chuckles] The only good news about that is that wealthier people are generally welcome in other countries. So, for many reasons we’ve talked about before, it’s important to diversify your assets out of the U.S., or wherever your home country is, and start looking for places where you’ll be more welcome.

    L: Makes me wonder why any smart person would want to immigrate to the U.S. I guess they still see it as America.

    Doug: Well, most of those who do come here to study go back where they came from. It’s mostly Asians, who go to U.S. universities for higher degrees in advanced sciences and the like (while their U.S. counterparts are taking courses like gender studies and sociology), and then take that knowledge home. They can see that the U.S. still has more capital, but it’s on a curve going down, while other places are on a curve going up – which is a much smarter place to build an enterprise. And they can feel that immigrants are not welcome in this country anymore.

    L: That would seem to have investment implications. Would you rather place bets in Shanghai than Wall Street?

    Doug: I’m not inclined towards stocks anywhere right now. I hate to employ an overused phrase, but it’s perfectly apt to say that we’re facing a perfect storm. This and many other trends we’ve discussed – just about every trend I can see – they all point to very dire consequences for the U.S., making conventional U.S.-centered investment strategies very risky. It’s not just stormy weather but a Class 5 hurricane on the horizon, and this attitude towards immigrants is one strong sign of our times. Not good.

    L: It’s gone way beyond straws in the wind; we’ve got whole hay bales blowing by. And they say: “Short Wall Street!”

    Doug: [Laughs] That’s right. Short Wall Street. Short the dollar and the euro – paper currencies in general. Short bonds. Get more of your cash out of the U.S. before they ratchet up the currency controls. Go long on the precious metals, quality energy plays, and certain agricultural commodities, especially productive land. It’s the same thing we’ve been saying all along in these conversations, only it’s getting more urgent.

    It’s just amazing. You’d think that people could see this train wreck coming and try to prevent it, or at least get out of the way. Instead, they’re asking the government to throw more coal into the boiler, as the locomotive heads towards the tracks dangling over the edge of the cliff.

    L: Right then. Off I go – got some hatches to batten down.

    Doug: You do that, and we’ll talk again soon.

  11. eso

    An interesting analysis of the ID system. I agree for the most part. My hangup is the question of what sort of society is it that we want? I think that a good ID system could help us create a different society and keep it going.

    When I was a teenager, there were only 2 billion people on our planet. Today it is 6.8 billion and rising, with 50% living in cities and more joining it every day. I have lived in cities most of my life, but I basically think of city life as unhealthy, an alienating environment, virtual rather than real life. I do not mean to say that the city has no place, but I would like to circumscribe it.

    I live in a country (Latvia) that has no resources, but the forest. The forests are disappearing fast, leaving the ground for raising grains, potatoes, etc. But in some parts of the country the ground is full of stones and often with only a foot of dark earth before the soil turns to clay. To my mind this means that the forests should be let grow a few more hundred thousand years before the soil is exploited as it is at the present.

    I still heat my home in winter with wood, because I have enough land with enough trees not to have to worry about freezing in winter. However, in the city, they are dependent on gas from Russia. Such dependency is what makes for globalization, but also is an excuse why cutting down the forests is okay–the Russians will not let you freeze come winter. Oh, yeah!

    In any event, my ideal of life is to return the land to the forests. We can cut lines of communication–roads, railroad tracks, radio signals–through the forest and quit the concrete jungle for a virtual city in the forest. If we did not have to build electric grids, but could get the necessary electricity by way of solar power or ground heat, this would make country life even more independent.

    A strict ID system might help realize a return to country life if the ID system is also individualized. By this I mean that when in need, all the people who support the virtual city in the forest can be notified and come help stop nature from being raped by the city folks.

    Just a free flowing thought in support of the hundred thousand tadpoles in my pond.

  12. emsnews

    How idealistic, the idea we can all go wherever we please! Um, this was due entirely to IMPERIALISM. For the people who were traipsing all over the planet, DISPLACING THE NATIVES were nearly all members of European empires!

    They flowed out of the English, French, German, Italian, Austrian or Russian Empires! These were not the helpless masses but rather the lower classes of the world’s greatest empires.

    And they were deliberately moved or unleashed or pushed outwards very cynically by the imperial crowns of Europe!!!! This wasn’t a pleasant process. All of these people sent forth to take over vast parts of the earth were expected to support the home empire and most of them did! In spades!

    Some chose to come here and thanks to the American Revolution, we made a deal, they had to become citizens of the US, not their home imperial bases.

  13. Dibbles

    Raybo @ 2:12 pm

    Libertarians are anti-social. They love using our public commons. They rely on evil government to protect their civil and property rights – as long as others pay the taxes. Yet they hate laws that restrict their right to do whatever the hell they want regardless of how it impacts others. And it doesn’t surprise me one bit that they prefer the type of lawlessness that harms so many of our citizens as long as they can profit from it. Besides Queen Elizabeth and Wall Street banksters, who are the real welfare queens? Read the preamble to our U.S. Constitution. It’s pretty explicit about the intent and purpose of our federal government.

    There is a distinction between legal and illegal immigration that Libertarians seem incapable of grasping. One is manageable and benefits new and existing citizens socially (yes that matters too) and economically. The other is harming our ability to manage our lives and well-being, both publicly and privately. Our economy should serve us. Not the other way around.

    One hundred years ago, life spans were much shorter, travel more naturally restrictive, technology was still relatively crude, more people were needed to develop our great nation, and overpopulation with diminishing resources was not an issue (except to native Americans perhaps). So it’s silly to use that to excuse illegal immigration and the social and criminal problems it causes for our citizens.

    As a contractual employee of a college, I can verify that Asians do indeed attend our PUBLIC colleges and universities. They are excellent, respectful, studious students. And yes, they take advanced science courses, but also sociology and other “people” sciences that Libertarians seem to hate. It’s good to learn about people. They are important to a healthy functioning society and economy.

    So why do Libertarians hate American working people? Why aren’t Americans entitled to livable wages? Why should working, tax-paying Americans have to compete with desperate third-worlders? Why are Libertarians so lazy as to demand everyone else give more for less, while they themselves use our tax-payer funded public infrastructure with such a sense of entitlement?

    Finally, why do Libertarians seem unwilling or unable to comprehend that our representative government is the only thing between sovereign control of our lives and oligarchic feudalism, or worse – chaos. Government is not monolithic and immovable. It requires steadfast participation – that dreaded social engagement. Social contract. Without it there is no civil society. The world is full of such places. They are not superior, natural, or desirable, except in fantasy perhaps.

  14. Dibbles

    eso @ 3:32 pm

    I live in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. On my property I don’t have rocks, but have a thick layer of clay too, about a foot down. I’m having excellent luck with blueberries. They love dark, rich acidic soil. Also strawberries do well here.

    We are at the northernmost longitude in lower continental U.S. so long summer nights, short winter days.

    I don’t know what kind of climate you live in. My climate is fairly mild. It rains lightly often, and occasionally heavy. Some freezing and light snow in winter, but not much. Summers are 70-80F degrees, except for a week or so when it gets into the 90s. We have lots of trees and forests – particularly fir and pine which is good for acidity in soil.

    I hope this helps you and gives some idea of how to use your land. The rocks may be a problem, but they also work well as fencing if you put them in wire cylinder cages and use lumber in between cages.

    Enjoy your little tadpoles. Pretty soon they’ll be making lots of noise.

  15. Dibbles

    Oops…”so long summer nights, short winter days”

    Meant long summer DAYs, short winter days.

  16. emsnews

    I just broke my backhoe while trying to dig up some boulders buried hard on the mountainside.

    This is former glacier land, once there was a mile of ice here! When these melted, we got tons of loose rocks. I have built over a mile of stone walls, all gotten from road digging.

  17. Dibbles

    Elaine,
    Eastern Washington where I have a trailer house and little bit of land (yep, I’ll be trailer trash when I retire) has a lot of rocks. It’s semi-desert, but was once glacial land too, long ago. Today we call it The Scrublands – carved out from the Missoula Floods. Coulees were carved out which is where Grand Coulee Dam gets its’ name.

    There are still some (though not many) old pioneer houses that used these rocks to build their houses. People are remarkable and resilient, just like nature.

    Anyway, just thought I’d share. If you’re ever out my way, I’d love to give you a tour. (Take I-90 all the way to the very western end. I live about three miles from there.)

    🙂

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