Articles

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Road to Nowhere

The Heritage Institute report estimates that under amnesty the average legalized illegal household will take in $43,900 in benefits while paying a little over a third of that in taxes. Those numbers are grim from the standpoint of a tottering economy being asked to take on an even bigger pile of debt and they reveal an even grimmer view of the future.

Set aside the political debates, the tensions over multiculturalism, entitlements and the great political divide, and those numbers reek of a country whose only future is poverty.

Subsidized poverty, even if we had the ability to continue subsidizing it forever, is still poverty. A Food Stamp Nation made up of slums full of bodegas and check cashing places does not offer any kind of future. Its only growth industries are in expensive government jobs or cheap service jobs leading to an economy of two tiers; one for workers and another for political workers.

"A report came out recently which showed what most Mexicans had long suspected - there is almost no social mobility in the country whatsoever. If you are born into poverty the chances are very high that you will die poor too," a BBC report from Mexico concludes.

Now substitute America for Mexico. Imagine a society sharply divided between the working class and the government class where political connections mean more than any single other factor.

The report begins with the daughter of the Federal Attorney General for Consumer Protection shutting down a restaurant because they wouldn't give her a seat and ends with two wealthy women abusing a police officer by calling him "asalariado" or "wage earner".

Asalariado is becoming an insult in the United States. And the irony is that amnesty for illegal aliens may complete the process through which the people who came here looking to find opportunities that didn't exist in Mexico will turn America into Mexico.

America hardly had any class issues because both the rich and the poor worked. A Carnegie or a Rockefeller might be able to buy and sell a thousand ordinary men, but still started out at the bottom of the ladder and never stopped working. To have proper class issues, you need a permanent leisure class to create that gap between those who work and those who do nothing.

In a dynamic economy, a leisure class is largely unsustainable. Inheriting a pile of money and then doing nothing is not likely to end well. But a dynamic economy depends on social mobility. An oligarchy regulates the economy into an impoverished predictability in which there is hardly any social mobility and a permanent leisure class. Its permanence depends not on the economy, but on its control.

Or to put it another way, suppose you have X millions of dollars to invest. Do you look for undervalued companies with a future or companies with political connections? In a dynamic economy, you invest based on merit. In an oligarchy, you invest based on political connections because the idea or the model are mostly worthless. The economy is divided up into spheres of influence carved out by interests and guilds.

In the age of Obama, a smart strategy is to invest in politically connected companies with bad business models and then get out before they go down. Nothing of worth or value will be created. Instead the wealth will circulate within the oligarchy and pay out profits with money harvested from the Asalariados, the suckers still trying to claw their way up instead of phlegmatically accepting their plight and cashing their government checks.

Eventually either the checks will get smaller or the price of milk will get higher. The Asalariados may look like suckers in the short term, but they're still getting ahead in the long term. The grasshopper may shop for groceries without checking prices while the ant grits his teeth at the cash register, but when the economic freeze comes, it's the ant who has the skills to survive.

But the oligarchy is designed to keep the ant from climbing too high. The last time the ants climbed too high, feudalism collapsed and gave way to the free enterprise economy, and most of the thinkers of Europe spent centuries trying to figure out how to put everything back into a neatly controllable natural order with lots of farms and lots of cheerful people working on them without complaint.

Communism was just feudalism in the name of the people. And once the revolution happened, the farmers got the worst of it. The Soviet Union confined them to collective farms after starving them. Communist China is throwing them off the land by the millions. American liberalism has become an urban feudalism without the labor. Its vision is millions of people sneering at the Asalariados from the bottom of the ladder while celebrating their freedom from labor and dependence on government.

Its romance of righteous wealth redistribution can only endure until the final triumph of liberalism occurs and then all the debts have to be paid and the oligarchy can begin to consolidate its gains. And then the only people who can safely sneer at working men will be the ones on top of the ladder.

The end of social mobility has been made to seem appealing. It's been dressed up in subsidies and entitlements, into gateways out of the barrio or the ghetto by becoming a sports star or a pop star, but those are all ways of disguising poverty.

The unemployment numbers can be massaged, welfare can be disguised as disability, the erosion of real jobs can be hidden in government jobs and debt can be turned into investments, but no matter how you dress up poverty, the rags still peek out from underneath.

While liberal politicians give speeches about the possibilities of the future, they know that the future is out of reach for everyone but their own circle. The future seems bright to them, but dim to everyone else. The big corporations are becoming oversized and interdependent, merging and coalescing into each other and into the government. Every industry is coming to resemble the old defense contractor model with government officials and CEOs trading jobs and making lucrative arrangements. Yesterday it was cars, energy and finance. Now it's medicine. And tomorrow some other sector of the economy will be consolidated and rebuilt into an arm of the government.

The mass migration of people, the influx of low skilled workers, exist to make money for some and votes for others, but there is no longer any place for them to go except to the welfare office and the quota machine that funnels a percentage of them into colleges and then government jobs and then back to their old neighborhoods to spread the word on behalf of whatever cause the people who set the quotas want them to.

Whether or not amnesty comes, the United States of America is becoming too much like Mexico; a society of limited possibilities and diminished social mobility. A road to nowhere.

Joseph Chamie, the former director of the United Nations Population Division, recently wrote an article proposing that the United States open its borders to become the world's largest country. All it would have to do is step up immigration from 1.2 million a year to 10 million a year. And then by the end of the century, the country would have 1.6 billion people.

As insane as the Chamie proposal might be, its insanity is just that of extrapolating the existing madness on a grander scale. It's the sort of madness that asks, why settle for drilling a hole in the boat when you can smash the entire hull? Increasing immigration tenfold is crazy, but so is our current policy. Aiming for 1.6 billion is nuts, but so is aiming for 1 billion. It's a difference in scale, not in content. The problem is the content and the context.

America's industrial infrastructure has been dismantled and a welfare state has taken its place. The country is not importing workers, it's importing voters. And the dismantlers are doing the importing. Territorially the United States may be able to absorb 1.6 billion people, though it will cease to be anything resembling its old self long before 2100, even without the insane UN plan, but it can't do so because the economic ability to absorb immigrants is being destroyed by the politics of immigration.

The 1.6 billion strong America of 2100 will look a lot like the places those immigrants came from. It will have the same oligarchies, the same uncontrollably corrupt politics and religious wars, and the same pervasive sense of hopelessness for the vast majority of the population. It will be a failed state.

Imagine an America in which the middle class has receded to a thumbnail but those at the top behave the same way that they do now. Imagine the massive economic burden on a country of wage slaves, the asalariados who are squeezed to pay for all the latest whims and gimmicks, for the thefts and spendthrift academics.

Imagine an Obama with no restraint on his power and no middle class to drain or credit rating to borrow against and you have a true nation of wage slaves in which democracy is largely useless because the political and economic institutions have been consolidated and the population is too powerless to do more than fight with each other for a piece of the government's subsidies.

Immigration is not the trigger for this; it is the accelerant. Even if the Rubio-Schumer strategy for destroying the country fails, the road still leads nowhere. Combining open borders and a closed economy is a disaster. But a closed economy and porous borders are still a disaster. The end of a closed economy is indistinguishable from feudalism and a preview of coming attractions is available in states with high immigrant populations.

Government control of the economy has made votes more powerful than labor. And when voting is more powerful than working, then a new leisure class that looks down on wage slaves is born.

10 comments:

Edward Cline said...

One of the causes of the American Revolution was Britain's mercantilist economic structure, which held the colonies prisoner in a system of coerced trade. Open trade with other countries, such as France, Spain, and Italy, was prohibited. All goods destined for the Continent had to first be shipped on British registered vessels, pass through Britain, be warehoused, and loaded onto other British vessels before being transported to the Continent. Colonial exporters who sold tobacco, lumber, and agricultural products had to pay extra for each step of the trade, aside from insurance and the length of time their goods sat in ships waiting in British ports to be unloaded and reloaded. Britain prohibited the colonies from engaging in any trade or industry that would threaten its home trades and industries, such as ironworking and clothing manufacture. So, one of the causes of the Revolution was to get the government out of colonial economies. So, one lesson to be learned from this fine column is to get the government out of the American economy. Then we may have a chance to recover from the government's statist agenda and the disastrous consequences. We may be able to survive Obama.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant article. Really lays this mess out clearly.

I assume "but those are all ways of disgusting poverty," while apt, is a typo meant to read "but those are all ways of disguising poverty."

Dennis said...

Pyramid schemes, the theme of our era: "In the age of Obama, a smart strategy is to invest in politically connected companies with bad business models and then get out before they go down"

AG said...

Sultan - How does the Progressive plan of class warfare play into this? You get people like Elizabeth Warren whose entire campaign is a bunch of claims about her desire to help the "Asalariados". Of course those of us tuned in realize she really means the politically connected and lay-a-bouts, but you would think that at some point the more the Asalariado would get hip to what is going on and start voting for others instead of the same Progs making more promises and exposing more GOP War on (insert oppressed here)...

IgorR said...

It really is the irony of immigration that for the most part immigrants want to recreate what they left, at least to some degree, in the United States. Sometimes they think that a small and limited government or unlimited free speech, or gun ownership are bad things, and sometimes they simply don't know how to live and behave as to not encourage corruption in their own lives and in the lives of various officials they come in contact with. They are often particularly adept at taking advantage of the freebies and they gravitate to the areas where their native language is spoken and their native customs are practiced seeing nothing wrong with isolated ghetto-like communities.

Mexico isn't a poor and corrupt land because of it's geography. but because of it's history and the culture it developed. When the Conquistadors came, what is today Latin America had rich and powerful empires, and what is today the mostly English speaking north was the land of the savages, relatively speaking. Mexicans developed the kind of social organization that keeps those on the bottom of the pyramid small and powerless. If you want corruption and Presidents for life, import Latin Americans.

So now we have the America-hating native-born Communists, soulless businessmen who will sell out their own country so that they can get chickens processed and lettuce picked for a few cents less while the taxpayers pay for the immigrant' welfare "needs" (and who are confused because once they legalize the illegals their costs will rise even with the 'legal' temporary slave labor), and an assorted coalition of La Raza-type activists, bleeding-heart idiots, and Catholic Bishops who need their pews filled, all of them wanting to import Latin Americans for their own evil ends. Do any of them respect the Constitution and uniqueness of the United States? Do these "immigrants" whose first act is usually violating the territorial integrity of the US followed by identity theft and tax fraud?

Look at anyone who is advocating for more immigration of the illiterates. They are all either idiots or scum. Even the highly educated immigrants from the Third World have a chip on their shoulder and they vote for a bigger government and a less "white" society so that they don't feel like outcasts. The real goal is to destroy what makes America special. Soros, who is a very smart man who hates everything good in this world is fully on board. The Democrat Party who will lie about anything that benefits it is fully on board. And the worst traitors of all Rubio, McCain, and Graham are on board. Look at them. Look at the shameless promotion of the end of America. Shame them whenever you get a chance not because they will feel any guilt but because thy care about public opinion. These are subhumans who should get nothing but shame for the rest of their time on this earth.

Meira Lettieri Kingberg said...

The |Middle Class in America is a myth. Anyone who works for someone else is a "wage slave." the Middle Class in Europe was that group of merchants and manufacturers who owned their own businesses even if modest but who were not landowners nor nobility. So, My parents who were old time Family Doctors and never got rich on insurance fraud, were more middle class than my Brother in Law who is a big deal at IBM but dependent on them giving him a pay check even tho he makes way more than my parents ever did. He's still a wage slave, who despite good investments at a time when the economy seemed to be booming, now is dependent on that check for another 10 years. He can't afford to retire.

Dennis Latham said...

I know my children and grandchildren are totally screwed. I see it more each day and so do they. Most people don't realize their world is coming to an end. They are too frantic to get things done that never get done. The media where I live has become nothing but Jerry Springer stories to distract us from the fact that the government really sucks and is taking us down the tubes. Not one local news station has anything about the Benghazi hearings. The government has effectively stripped all the ammo from all the shelves except for those who saw it coming. The end of our world is already here.

Anonymous said...

Really !
I believe you are correct on many points, but consider the futility of your argument. I asked of some people close to my circle a question that goes like this, do you believe immigrants are a problem, they said yes. I asked how, they said they should not be allowed here. I asked why, they said they steal our jobs, screw our women and turn everything into crap. I asked how they do this, and they say because the government allows them to do this. So who is the problem if that is in essence an issue.

I asked a further question, what about the economy and taxes, they all unanimously replied we will pay whatever taxes or whatever the government requires of us, if they get rid of all the illegal aliens. The point is as a secular culture, it is so sad to watch the worlds greatest nation descend into national socialism. Ring any bells. Ding, Ding, ding.

Oh, these are different times and we have all the resources, taxpayer dollars and weapons to make it right and different this time. Oh, yes ? How.

All I can tell you is from the days of Woody Wilson and his Jeckyl Island Buddies following through to post WWII, the labor classes may have had aspirations for MacMansions and 16 airbag SUV's, but the federal reserve has had different long term plans for all American schmucks for more than five decades. They do not need to know whether the target is green, purple, brown or pink, they only need to know whether you are an oxygen thief.

Remember the statement Attributed to Brock Chisolm, 'That it is necessary to remove from the minds of men, their sense of family, religious dogmas....'.

It is working !!, we have only a few men left before the conversion to wearing Red Girlie panties with pride.

Anonymous said...

I live in Palm Springs - primarily a resort town - but the area is filled with retirees, where they spend the winter months. Nonetheless, they pay full pop for property taxes, of which a fair chunk is for public schooling. The problem is those public schools are 80 % Mexican, who don't pay anything for the education of their children. How do I know? Mexicans work almost exclusively for cash - paid daily, and pay no taxes whatsoever (other than sales tax now and then).

I say to my neighbors that the 10 bucks an hour you pay your Mexican gardener is subsidized another 10 bucks by the taxes you pay for all the freebies they get. It's crazy!

You walk around places like the Living Desert - a zoo basically - where plenty of schools take kids for day trips, and all you hear is Mexican from teachers and kids. It's a disgrace. The reconquista is well underway and we're too lazy and stupid to stop it.

Anonymous said...

Memphis Tn. is full of illegal immigrants. They even fly Mexican flags from their houses and places of business. So, if you love your country, why don't you stay there and fight to improve it. If patriotism is dead, then nations will die.

Post a Comment