Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Western immigration policies strip-mine poor countries of their productivity

Janet Daley has written a must-read article on the absolute need to have an honest discussion about immigration in the wake of Brexit.  As she points out so masterfully in her piece, the actual effects of mass immigration -- on both the countries supplying immigrants and those taking them in -- are so completely contrary to the stated aims of the elites who've set EU policy on immigration (and, to a lesser extent, US policy as well).

About the latter point -- the impact of millions of immigrants from poor countries coming into the West -- much has been written at length.  About the former point, however -- that Liberal immigration policies made in the name of empowering the global poor have, in effect, been strip-mining poor countries for their most productive citizens -- comparatively little has been written.  It seems to be the more nefarious impact, though.

Here is an excerpt from Daley's article:
Let’s look properly at what the EU commissioners call the sacred “four freedoms”: the free movement of goods, capital, services and people. Do you notice something slightly jarring about that list? Goods are things, capital is money, services are transactions, but people are of a different category, are they not? Sentient beings with cultural ties, feelings, attitudes, patterns of behaviour, social assumptions and… add all the other obvious words you can think of.

Not only does their free movement in unlimited numbers present a much more complex and potentially delicate prospect, but surely it seems quite wrong to lump people in with manufactured goods and commercial services. Is this the liberal dream of Europe: to build an economic and political system that shunts people around a continent to fill whatever quotas big business requires at any given moment?

In fact ... this is what Marx called the “commodification of labour” – treating workers as if they were just one more resource for international capital to import and export, or to use as leverage in keeping wage levels down.

But even if you are not a Marxist, you should appreciate that what the free movement of people amounts to is the stripping of poorer countries’ greatest asset – their most able and ambitious people. If the rich states of western and northern Europe can plunder the populations of the poor southern and eastern states indefinitely, then those less fortunate countries will never emerge into secure, functioning prosperity. They will, in effect, become like colonial protectorates, providing an endless breeding ground of cheap labour to serve their wealthy dominant EU “partners”.

What is idealistic about that? It is a pretty neat example of exploitation in the true sense of the word – which is what the Left-wing leadership of the Labour Party might have been saying in support of its own grass roots if it hadn’t had its head up its own fundament.

If pro-EU protagonists wanted to be truly benevolent, they would be urging (rather than lamenting) the relocation of businesses to the struggling eastern countries where they could provide people with employment and opportunity at home instead of forcing them to become wandering tribes travelling thousands of miles in search of decent life chances. The consequences of the dislocation in these itinerant lives are at least as great as the disruption to the communities which they come to inhabit here. Young eastern Europeans who migrate west in search of work leave families and communities – and countries – behind who might have benefited from their determination and their skills.

Ah yes, there’s another crucial term in this dialogue of the deaf: skills. It is often said with glib insouciance, that migrants are particularly useful for the economy – and no real problem for the indigenous population – because they are prepared to take the unskilled and low-skilled jobs that British people are no longer willing to do.

So what precisely is it that is being proposed with such complacency: that this country should accept a permanent underclass of benefit-dependent work-refuseniks who will lead pointless under-achieving lives supported by the productivity of imported cheap labour? Not my idea of an edifying future. The poor countries are denuded of their brightest and best while the richer countries harbour a resentful, defeatist subculture of hopelessness which no one pretends will ever disappear. Wonderful. What a recipe for civil unrest and persistent disillusion that will be.
You should really read the whole thing.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Flexibility of the Dead Constitution

The late Justice Antonin Scalia, in his 1997 lecture on interpreting the Constitution:
“I ask you to consider, do the people who want to bring us a Living Constitution want to bring us flexibility? My Constitution is flexible. My Constitution, which is; I will accept the condemnation, which is a minimalist Constitution. It means what it meant when it was written. But it is a flexible Constitution. In my Constitution you want the death penalty, pass a law. You don’t want the death penalty, pass a law the other way. How more flexible could you be? …

“And those people who would insert one after another new right into the document are not eager to bring us flexibility. They are eager to have us do it their way from Coast to Coast without the possibility of democratic change….

“That an intelligent society should debate these issues, even these important issues. Persuade one another and govern themselves. That was what 1789 was about. The Bill of Rights was a very small exception. Just a few things we will take out of this democratic process and guarantee absolutely, unless you can amend The Constitution. A very few things.

“Every time you add something to that list you diminish democracy. Whether it’s something added on behalf of liberals or on behalf of conservatives….

“Come along with me and admire the Dead Constitution. I have to get a new term for it. That one; maybe the Enduring Constitution. That’s a little better. Packaging is everything.

“It is less cosmic. It does not do all those wonderful things that maybe you think a Constitution should do. But it happens to be the way that a democracy ought to govern itself.”
Great stuff.  Classic Scalia.  Just classic.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Looks like Trump was right

Or at least not wrong.

He stirred up a hornets' nest by saying that people in New Jersey celebrated right after 9/11. People in the media -- including conservative media outlets -- have roundly criticized him and flatly contradicted him, claiming that no one in New Jersey celebrated 9/11. WaPo's fact checker claimed that The Donald just made this up.

It turns out that Glen Kessler doesn't read the newspaper he works for. According to a Washington Post story on September 18, 2001, In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.

Trump said he saw "thousands" of people in Jersey celebrating 9/11 on the news. I doubt that. But the hysterical reaction from the media that no one -- NO ONE!! -- was celebrating is likewise false. And self-defeating. It does no good to answer an intense exaggeration based on facts with an equally intense exaggeration that contradicts the facts. All that does is make the original exaggerator look legitimate; after all, he used facts.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

This is What Happens When You Address the Symptoms Instead of the Cause

Since Obamacare first passed in 2010, I have said that its focus on expanding coverage rather than reducing costs is akin to treating pneumonia with cough medicine instead of antibiotics. While it's true that pneumonia causes people to cough a lot, the coughing itself is caused by the pneumococcus bacteria. If a doctor identified the real problem as the patient's cough, rather than the bacteria causing the cough, her prescribed treatments would be ineffective, and potentially fatal.

Similarly, Obamacare's architects' identification of the health insurance "coverage gap" as the problem has proven similarly ineffective. (The cost of insurance in general continues to explode, but in the exchanges set up by Obamacare, millions of now-nominally insured people can't afford to use the insurance they're officially "covered" by because it's so expensive.) It may also prove fatal.

UnitedHealthcare, America's largest insurer, has officially given notice that it's seriously considering pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges altogether, because the poorly conceived system is just too damn expensive.
UnitedHealth Group’s chief executive, Stephen J. Hemsley, said ... it is pulling back on marketing its exchange products, as open enrollment is currently under way for plans that will take effect in 2016. And the insurer said it is “evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product segment and will determine during the first half of 2016 to what extent it can continue to serve the public exchange markets in 2017.” UnitedHealth had previously expanded its exchange offerings to 11 new states for 2016, and said in October it had around 550,000 people enrolled.
Tens of millions of people didn't have insurance largely because it was too expensive for them. Focusing on reforms that bring the cost of health care down (including treating health insurance like actual insurance, meaning pooled risk funds used only to cover catastrophic costs, rather than a general third-party payment system) would make insurance less expensive, which would entice people to buy it. Thus, the coverage problem would be solved naturally, using the same market forces that closed the "automobile coverage gap", the "cell phone coverage gap", or the "TV coverage gap" (cars, cell phones, and TVs being, of course, items that were once luxuries but which are now ubiquitous, even among the poor -- all without coverage mandates or government assistance).

Instead, we have a system that not only doesn't address the actual cause of the problems it was ostensibly designed to fix, but actually makes those problems worse.

Because this is government and not the market, though, true reformers now have to face both the inertia inherent to any existing policy and the entrenched special interests who have a stake (financial, ideological, or both) in Obamacare remaining the way it is.

Ain't politics grand?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This is an Idea I Can Get Behind

Milo Yiannopoulos has a fabulous idea that allows the people calling for the US to take in thousands of Syrian refugees to give their compassion a tangible outlet: crowdfunding homes for refugees in the Liberal enclaves where they live.
Bleeding-heart liberals in the media keep telling us we should open our hearts to these poor souls. So let’s do it. These facilities will collectively be called Milo’s Home for Wayward Jihadis. We will include all the creature comforts of home, such as a halal kitchen, a basement shooting range and living quarters equipped with a variety of whips, bats and ropes with which our young bucks can subdue local white girls.

The great thing is we won’t need to struggle to find the appropriate locations to house our Yiannopoulos urban warfare achievers: just listen for where liberals are crying loudest for them to be let into America. I say charity starts at home–their homes, specifically.

Surely Rachel Maddow, Sally Kohn and other Mother Gaia figures from the American political Left will jump at the chance to inject some vibrant multiculturalism into their local communities? Just don’t let the kids out after dark unsupervised, obviously. Those western school uniforms can be unacceptably suggestive.
He then goes on to list several places where Milo's Home would be a perfect fit:
We might need several Milo’s Homes in Manhattan, of course, so our naughty boys can visit the UN whenever necessary, and maybe Brooklyn, where the hipsters live. ...

California has several likely spots, including Bel Air and Beverly Hills, from which celebrities love to call for an influx of refugees but never seem to have space in their own mansions. Meanwhile, San Francisco can surely take a few hundred thousand new residents, though they may need to rename Haight-Ashbury to Hate-Ashbury. ...

I’d suggest placing a Milo’s Home in Hillary Clinton’s town, but she seems to move “home” every time she runs for office and we can’t afford to move facilities that often.
Sounds like a great idea, to me.

Common Sense Advice from ... Mother Jones?

Mother Jones has a great article by Kevin Drum about why it's suicidally stupid for Dems to mock the GOP for wanting to stop letting Syrian refugees into America after the Paris attacks.
Here's the thing: to the average person, it seems perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of admitting Syrian refugees to the country. ... So to them it doesn't seem xenophobic or crazy to call for an end to accepting Syrian refugees. It seems like simple common sense. After all, things changed after Paris. Mocking Republicans over this—as liberals spent much of yesterday doing on my Twitter stream—seems absurdly out of touch to a lot of people. ... It validates all the worst stereotypes about liberals that we put political correctness ahead of national security. It doesn't matter if that's right or wrong. Ordinary people see the refugees as a common sense thing to be concerned about. We shouldn't respond by essentially calling them idiots. That way lies electoral disaster.
Clear thinking and common sense from one of the Leftiest of all Lefty magazines? I suppose miracles will never cease. I looked out my window, just to make sure the Four Horsemen weren't riding through the sky; it was all clear.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Liberals LOVE to Patronize Muslims

I often see accounts of Liberals indignant about one person explaining things to another person in a way that's patronizing. (Take what they call "Mansplaining", for example.) The irony, of course, is that Liberals are some of the worst offenders of this. Their interactions with violent Muslim extremists are a case in point.

After horrific acts like the ISIS massacre in Paris, Liberals rush in to proclaim that the one thing radical Islamic terrorism is not about is Islam. "Islam is a religion of peace," we hear these folks say. "This isn't real Islam!"

Except that the members of ISIS -- and the tens of millions of Muslims around the world who support them -- are very clear that Islam is precisely what they are about.

If this were, say, white conservatives using the words of black leaders like Fredrick Douglass or Martin Luther King, Jr. to explain to Black Lives Matter why their actions aren't really in solidarity with the aims of black Americans, Liberals would lose their collective shit over how wildly patronizing (and, they would likely add, bigoted) this was.

For some reason, though, Liberals seem 100% unaware that they do the same thing. A lot.

The result, as one person has hilariously observed, absurdly resembles a Monty Python skit.

UPDATE: Here's another similarly hilarious summary of Lefties' patronizing attitudes towards ISIS: