Raising Arizona

I am starting a new job tomorrow. As a last chance at an extended trip for a while, I traveled to Arizona, and took the opportunity to talk to people about the state’s political climate. Unsurprisingly, many of the viewpoints I got were from liberals, but even the conservatives were saying similar things, albeit from a different perspective.

Here’s what I learned.

Rep. J. D. Hayworth (R-AZ)

I asked about the Senate seat to be vacated by Senator Kyl. The most conservative are enthusiastic about J. D. Hayworth—whose House district is gerrymandered to negate the liberal votes of Tempe in favor of the conservative votes of Scottsdale and other extremely conservative Phoenix suburbs to the north—though they are far from confident that he would win a statewide general election. The rest don’t find his potential candidacy to be credible, but acknowledge that neither party has a particularly strong bench. The more liberal people I spoke to think that Representative Giffords would be a more likely winner, even in her current condition, than pretty much anyone else in the state who would run for the seat. I’m skeptical of her chances, but I don’t live there. Anyway, the outcome is far from certain at this time, regardless of who runs.

The recent noise about Baja Arizona is nothing new. Just as California and Washington have long had occasional flare-ups of state division saber-rattling, so, too, has Arizona. Reflecting the counterparts in California and Washington, few Arizonans take such a division seriously.

I was intrigued by the locals’ opinions on SB 1070. With the state’s high unemployment, illegal immigrants are considered by many to be taking more jobs than their spending would create. There’s validity to that position; illegal immigrants are far more likely, compared to those with deeper roots in the state, to send any surplus of earnings to family in Mexico and Central America, rather than spending it on the local economy. As a result, if you assume a particular job could be held by someone without strong ties to poorer nations, it is better for the local and national economy for that job to be held by such a person. Few people were able to articulate their position as clearly as that, but the issue is not as jingoistic as it appears to many liberals outside of Arizona.

On the other hand, if the issue is truly one of employment, then the position of those opposed to SB 1070 makes a lot of sense. They note that the employers aren’t being targeted by the legislation, even though those are the ones who most benefit from hiring illegals. They can (and many do) violate labor laws with impunity, recognizing that their employees will not report them. This puts pressure on employers who want to follow the law, since such employers are unable to compete on price.

Arizona passed legislation several years ago to address the employers. So why is there a perceived need for SB 1070? There are two answers to this.

Day laborers on Arizona Ave. in Chandler, AZ (Image via the Associated Press)

First, many illegal immigrants are working not as “employees,” in the classical sense, but rather as day laborers. This was especially prevalent during the housing boom, but it continues even today. One can get a concrete patio poured at minimal labor costs by hiring day laborers. Some unscrupulous “employers” will neglect to pay after the work has been done, or will pay less than the negotiated rate, knowing that they won’t be reported to the authorities. Many other illegals are working as live-in nannies or maids. This underground economy is much harder to enforce than the above-board economy addressed by the earlier legislation.

The second answer is fear. The drug wars in Mexico have caused increased worry north of the border. Many Arizonans are concerned that the latest wave of illegal immigrants are working in the drug trade. It’s extremely difficult to determine whether this is actually happening, or is merely a xenophobic meme. Nobody I talked to had heard of anything concrete.

In any case, the general opinion of Arizonans who support SB 1070 is that there’s nothing wrong with requiring everyone who looks Mexican to carry documentation with them at all times. The general opinion of those who oppose it is that there’s something very wrong with such a requirement. And that’s the ultimate crux of the divide.

I’ll leave you with a couple of questions:

  1. In times of high unemployment, when an illegal immigrant’s contribution to the local and national economy is smaller than that of a legal resident, what, if anything, is wrong with attempting to shift employment more toward legal residents?
  2. If illegal immigrants are being hired under the table, how do you stop this from happening? Can it be done in a manner that doesn’t result in de facto racial discrimination? How would you implement it?

About Michael Weiss

Michael is now located at http://www.logarchism.com, along with Monotreme, filistro, and dcpetterson. Please make note of the new location.
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49 Responses to Raising Arizona

  1. filistro says:

    @Michael… In times of high unemployment, when an illegal immigrant’s contribution to the local and national economy is smaller than that of a legal resident, what, if anything, is wrong with attempting to shift employment more toward legal residents?

    This is something the rest of us really don’t have a handle on. CAN the employment be shifted toward legal residents… or are these” jobs that locals don’t want to do?” I see the same thing in Vegas as you show in your picture… groups of Hispanic-looking guys standing outside building-supply places in the morning, waiting for day labor. Vegas has very high unemployment but I don’t see others openly willing to do those odd jobs.

  2. Mule Rider says:

    “or are these” jobs that locals don’t want to do?”

    There’s no such thing as a job that “locals don’t want to do.” The qualifier “at ______ price/wage” needs to be added. A little walk through Labor Econ 101 tells us there is a market wage rate where supply of legal residents willing to work a particular job would meet the demand for that job. Problem is that exploitive employers have been allowed (by lax rules on hiring illegals) to pay below-market wages, which only illegals will accept because of their unique position in the black market and being on the outside of society looking in while there is little to no incentive for legal residents to put up with the crap it takes to work some of those jobs and only be paid peanuts.

    It’s never a case of “legal residents just won’t do the work.” They’ll do it, if the price is right. And so would I….

  3. filistro says:

    But in a global economy, is it possible to protect your wages by force of law? Or is it inevitable that Americans (especially those without training and skills) are eventually going to have to settle for lower wages and a lower standard of living, just because there are so many people in the world who are willing to do so if Americans won’t?

    I think states like Arizona are the laboratories where these sociological questions are being examined, and they will eventually be supplying us with the answers.

  4. Brian says:

    I’ve never really heard anyone bring up the point of sending money to Mexico, and it’s a valid one. Thanks for bringing that up. I’d like to know how much American money is being sent there, not just through day laborers sending money home, but drugs as well. It’s got to be billions of dollars.

    I think we’re being overly hopeful in thinking a Democrat might take Kyl’s seat. There don’t appear to be any well known viable candidates in the party. Unless Napolitano leaves her cabinet post and make a run for it, I feel like Hayworth has it.

  5. Brian says:

    Don’t want to go off topic and hijack Michael’s thread (might belong worth a separate thread), but the increasing costs of education could be something of interest to a lot of people. I’m sure its happening in other states, but GA is just the one that happens to affect me.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/regents-hike-cost-of-915785.html

  6. filistro says:

    Brian… I think the high cost of education ties in at least peripherally to the problems in Arizona and other border states.

    First, as long as Americans consider education some kind of luxury only available to the wealthy, they will continue to turn out unskilled people who are competing with third-world workers for jobs… thus sliding America itself down toward second-rate status. This is what happens when you don’t take care of your own middle class, and allow wealth and power to accumulate disproportionately at the top stratum of society.

    Also, the failure of the Dream Act has resulted in a huge waste of well-educated, smart people in states like Arizona who have received a full 12-year+ education in the United Sates and now are being shipped back to Mexico because they were brought here illegally by their parents when they were infants.

    Giving tax breaks to the wealthy and subsidizing huge corporations while neglecting the education of ordinary citizens… total insanity. The short-sightedness of these policies is really scary.

  7. parksie555 says:

    1) Clearly nothing wrong with this policy. With less jobs to go around, it seems pretty obvious that efforts should be made to ensure that US citizens get as many of the available jobs. It may push the wage structure a little out of order for a while but is good policy.

    2) Just use common sense. Concentrate your efforts on industries/businesses known to hire illegal aliens – construction, restaurants, service industries, day labor agencies, etc. Follow the laws and enforce them fairly.

    In a broader sense I hate to discourage immigration however as it has been my experience that unfortunately most immigrants to the US, even the illegal ones, are much more highly motivated and willing to work than US citizens at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. The welfare state has taught them that it’s OK not to work and continue breeding – the government will take care of you.

    Unfortunately strict adherence to immigration laws or higher barriers to immigration probably cost us a lot of dynamic and motivated workers. It’s a real puzzle.

  8. shortchain says:

    The reason a lot of American youth don’t make the attempt to excel is that they perceive (correctly, IMO) that there isn’t a lot of point. They see their parent’s generation stagnate, financially, while working harder and harder — only to be shoved out the door as they reach their fifties.

    If you want to motivate people, it isn’t sufficient to eliminate welfare. Nor is it necessary, except in some Hobbesian nightmare world of conservative imagination. But you have to provide a path to some desired end for the people you want to motivate.

    This is why immigrants are often seen as highly motivated. They want to obtain what Americans have: stable government (well, until the tea party idiots got in), decent employment (they can’t even come here, typically, unless they have a job lined up), and so forth.

    Speaking as somebody who has know a lot of immigrants, they tend to get less motivated when they hit their late fifties — and suddenly discover the dark side of the American corporate society.

  9. Mule Rider says:

    “First, as long as Americans consider education some kind of luxury only available to the wealthy….”

    I don’t think this is the case at all. I think the problem with skyrocketing education costs is a very inefficient delivery mechanism, both in primary and secondary education. We waste way too much time and effort trying to coddle to the dregs of the classroom, trying to force far too many kids who are either unwilling or unable to be taught advanced skills to both come to school and stay in school from K through 12. All the while our best and brightest are neglected and their development is impeded because of all the effort, attention, and money thrown at students who refuse or are incapable of learning. We need a better system of separating the sheep from the goats at a younger age in this country and pushing kids with technical skills and aptitude in math, science, etc. into programs that will develop them and prepare them for collegiate-level material and direct the rest into various trades or semi-skilled professions or into some kind of military training. Yes, even if they’re just 11-12, if they’ve got nothing better going on in life, send their ass to some prepatory boot camp. If they won’t sit in a classroom and learn history, the arts, or biology, then at least they can learn to put on some camouflage, clean a gun, and defend this fine country.

    Anyway, ending that rant and moving on to higher education, that too has become an inefficient joke. Whatever happened to certification courses and associate’s degrees? Now we push people to spend as much time in a higher learning facility as possible when all they may need is a brief six-week course or at most two years of learning. I know of countless people who spent 4 (hell, make that 5 or 6) years getting a bachelor’s degree, racking up a very expensive education bill in the process, and then wound up doing something they could have been certified to do in half a semester. What a waste. All to put themselves in debt, pad the wallets of the bloated university faculties, and make education more expensive for the students who really need to be going on to 4-year programs or getting a graduate degree.

    We need to make sure we’re properly incentivizing education/skills and NOT degrees.

  10. Mule Rider says:

    “In a broader sense I hate to discourage immigration however as it has been my experience that unfortunately most immigrants to the US, even the illegal ones, are much more highly motivated and willing to work than US citizens at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. The welfare state has taught them that it’s OK not to work and continue breeding – the government will take care of you.”

    Great paragraph, parksie; that sums it up right there…

  11. dcpetterson says:

    @shortchain
    Speaking as somebody who has know a lot of immigrants, they tend to get less motivated when they hit their late fifties — and suddenly discover the dark side of the American corporate society.

    This is interesting. One of the ideas that some conservatives have floated is that, although immigrants tend to vote Democratic (particularly with the current conservative anti-immigrant scapegoating), as those immigrants age, they and their children will become more affluent, and will therefore tend to vote more Republican.

    But you make a good point. If corporate America continues to screw older workers — no pensions, push them out in favor of cheaper workers, no guaranteed insurance, etc. etc. — and if Republicans support these “screw you!” policies — then those older immigrants and their children are not likely to support Republican candidates.

  12. Mule Rider says:

    “If you want to motivate people, it isn’t sufficient to eliminate welfare.”

    Well, keeping ’em on it for as long as possible doesn’t seem to be working….

  13. parksie,

    In a broader sense I hate to discourage immigration however as it has been my experience that unfortunately most immigrants to the US, even the illegal ones, are much more highly motivated and willing to work than US citizens at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. The welfare state has taught them that it’s OK not to work and continue breeding – the government will take care of you.

    This is a case of natural selection at work. People who immigrate to the US are, by definition, motivated people. It takes motivation to pack everything up and move to a foreign country. Because of this natural selection, of course there will be a higher concentration of more motivated people in that demographic. But that doesn’t mean that creation of welfare programs has turned those outside of that demographic into a bunch of lazy bums.

  14. shortchain says:

    MR,

    Remember, as of 1996, welfare is managed by the states. So if it isn’t working the way you like in your state, look to your state legislature for relief.

    I wonder what state has a welfare system designed to keep recipients on welfare as long as possible. Seems kind of counterproductive to me, as in our state welfare is a temporary thing for the vast majority of recipients.

  15. drfunguy says:

    “I wonder what state has a welfare system designed to keep recipients on welfare as long as possible. ”
    The state of conservative delusion. The Reagan memes will never go away despite their purely mythical basis.

  16. filistro says:

    “I wonder what state has a welfare system designed to keep recipients on welfare as long as possible. ”

    Conservatives will never let go of their fantasy that Democratic administrations deliberately keep the poor hooked on welfare because this makes them a reliable voting bloc for the left. This is an article of faith for righties. It’s like Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge. If you don’t buy into it, you’re not a true Republican.

    (Mitch Daniels, call your office… )

    It never seems to occur to them that the poor and disadvantaged might have other reasons to support Democrats over Republicans besides the availability of generational welfare.

  17. WA7th says:

    How many living-wage full-time jobs have been created in Arizona because of NAFTA, and how many have moved south of the border because of NAFTA?

  18. WA7th,
    The number of jobs tells only part of the story. What happened from NAFTA is a decrease in the number of blue-collar jobs (representing the middle of the income spectrum), and an increase in jobs at the ends of the income spectrum. So if we take the pre-NAFTA job spectrum as a flat horizontal line, the post-NAFTA line is somewhat U-shaped, where the ends rose and the middle dropped.

    This, by the way, is a national view. I’m having trouble finding any data on Arizona itself. The two largest employers today in Arizona are the state government and Wal-Mart, which hints (but certainly doesn’t come close to proving) that the national view is reflected in Arizona.

    Of course, the lower-end bend means an increase in jobs that are below what is typically referred to as “living-wage.”

  19. rgbact says:

    GOP doesn’t have a strong bench in Arizona? I’d put it as one of the strongest in the country. Hayworth and Shadegg are both strong ex-House guys. Flake andFranks are both strong current ones. That on top of Kyl probably being the overall best GOP senator. AZ is a strong GOP state.

    Anyway, I’m eagerly waiting to see what lengths the Dems go to get their brain impaired sympathy candidate on the ballot. Why not– she can’t be more impaired than Robert Byrd was.

  20. Mule Rider says:

    “Conservatives will never let go of their fantasy that Democratic administrations deliberately keep the poor hooked on welfare because this makes them a reliable voting bloc for the left”

    It’s a little more nuanced than that, but to ignore the quid pro quo involved in promising a portion of the electorate monetary “goodies” for continued supporty is sheer idiocy.

  21. Mule Rider says:

    And if that wasn’t the case, I feel we’d be seeing far more Democratic politicians campaigning on a platform of “Republicans think the best way to shape those of you in need up is to strip you of any/all social support and monetary aid and let you fend for yourself, but let’s prove to them that you guys can have your situations rehabilitated and wind up very productive members of society with just a little help from the government….” to those poorer/needy constituents rather than “Those asshole Republicans are trying to take your (insert social program) away!”

  22. filistro says:

    It’s a little more nuanced than that,

    To believe that people vote for Dems in order to receive perpetual welfare is to imply… well, actually to outright STATE… that living on welfare is a lifestyle choice for many people.

    That is both inaccurate and deeply insulting. And yet you all are constantly baffled that people choose to vote for a party other than the one that believes and publishes such hateful nonsense.

  23. shortchain says:

    MR,

    Right, so the Democrats promise to keep people in welfare for the rest of their lives, and that makes the welfare recipients love the Democrats.

    Or were you referring to how both the Republicans, and, to a lesser extent, the Democrats, have jiggered the taxes so that the wealthy pay less, percentage-wise, of their income in taxes than the people who are just barely not on welfare and thereby gotten continued support from the wealthy?

    Are we all not supposed to vote our self-interest? And isn’t that supposed to be how this country works?

  24. dcpetterson says:

    @Mule
    It’s a little more nuanced than that, but to ignore the quid pro quo involved in promising a portion of the electorate monetary “goodies” for continued support is sheer idiocy.

    … which is why so many of the immensely wealthy elites and corporate masters contribute to Republicans.

  25. filistro says:

    Arizona welfare payments, 2010-11 figures:

    Amounts

    Monthly cash assistance benefits depend on household size and whether the recipients have an obligation to pay shelter costs such as mortgage and property taxes or rent. In 2011, monthly benefits ranged from $164 for a single recipient to $449 for a family of six in the category of those who have shelter cost obligations, with higher benefit amounts for larger families. Monthly amounts for those with no liabilities for shelter costs ranged from $103 for one person to $283 for a family of six. The state delivers benefits electronically through a card similar to a debit or ATM card. Recipients can use the card at many stores and cash machines.

    Princely sums, eh? Who in their right mind wouldn’t choose to live this way… and support with their votes a party that promises to help them live this way forever!

  26. parksie555 says:

    It’s not just cash assistance, Filly. It’s food stamps, it’s subsidized rent, it’s free or subsidized healthcare, it’s free or subsidized public transportation, free or subsidized telephone service, etc. Need I go on?

    I find your statement re: welfare as a lifstyle choice “That is both inaccurate ..” curious. Care to offer any evidence to back up this statement? Other than your bleeding heart liberal righteous rage?

  27. mostlyilurk says:

    “Anyway, I’m eagerly waiting to see what lengths the Dems go to get their brain impaired sympathy candidate on the ballot. Why not– she can’t be more impaired than Robert Byrd was.”

    Wow, just wow. You’re a real class act, rgbact.

  28. shortchain says:

    For my part, I would only accept a recommendation about how cushy welfare is as a permanent career from someone who had tried it. My family came pretty close when I was young, and I can tell you nobody found it attractive — quite the opposite.

    So, parksie or MR, are you speaking with authority here, as in you or someone you know has chosen this career?

    The only people I know who come close are those on disability. One person I know would starve to death without support from a spouse, as the disability checks don’t even cover the medical bills, and the other one is a tea party supporter who spends 3/4 the time complaining about government and the rest bemoaning their inability to make ends meet on disability.

    I don’t know about you, but I would hesitate to recommend welfare in this state, which pays less than disability, as a way to go. But I welcome any information from somebody who can given me a personal recommendation.

  29. Thomas says:

    Interesting post about the current state of affairs in Arizona. It is sad that the country is so split that some people are pushing the Balkanization of states into little duchies and emirates. The United States wouldn’t have become such a great country if it wasn’t so, you know, united.

    On your visit did you get an update on rumors that Arizona will be the first state to require that all presidential candidates prove they are circumcised? For more on this read: http://middleofthefreakinroad.com/2011/04/19/arizona-birther-bill-circumcision-obama/

  30. Mule Rider says:

    “To believe that people vote for Dems in order to receive perpetual welfare is to imply… well, actually to outright STATE… that living on welfare is a lifestyle choice for many people.

    That is both inaccurate and deeply insulting….”

    You forget the area I live and work in….Memphis, Tennessee. Come down and visit some of the poor areas of southwest TN, north Mississippi, and eastern Arkansas, and I’ll show you numerous people who’ve made it a “lifestyle choice.”

    You can’t bullshit me with that righteous indignation when it comes to analyzing poverty and the poor of this country. I’ve grown up right smack dab in the middle of it, know what it looks like, smells like, tastes like, etc, and I damn sure know how people have made these social programs their life and aren’t using them as merely support until they could do something better.

  31. Mule Rider says:

    “… which is why so many of the immensely wealthy elites and corporate masters contribute to Republicans.”

    Which is why I don’t generally support Republicans and offer a faint level of agreement with this statement.

  32. dcpetterson says:

    And that’s one of the reasons I like you, Mule.

  33. parksie555 says:

    Chain, I know a few. It’s pretty personal so I don’t really want to get into it but believe me I have seen this type of mentality up close.

  34. shortchain says:

    parksie,

    Ah, but, based on their experiences, would you or MR recommend this to us?

    Because, as I said, I’ve known a few as well — and I wouldn’t recommend it.

  35. parksie555 says:

    Of course I wouldn’t recommend it. For most people, it sucks. But for a certain type of person, it’s gravy.

    And BTW rgbact that was a pretty classless statement about Giffords. I agree with most stuff you say but not stuff like that.

  36. shortchain says:

    parksie,

    So, if a person is “a certain type of person”, it’s gravy.

    I wonder what kind of person you mean. My experience is that, with a little more ability and maybe some family connections (and possibly a different gender), the kind of person on welfare might have ended up as the CEO of a fortune-500 company. Same lack of ethics about how they acquire money, same lack of care about the public (as opposed to private) welfare. It’s never been clear to me that these people vote Democratic as a rule.

  37. rgbact says:

    Parksie-

    Sorry man. If the Dems are going to push her into the political scene…my compassion is done. Thats exactly why theyre doing it…..they figure her opponenets will lay down. The Senate is not a Long Term Disability priogram. Would you keep your job if you were brain damaged?

  38. filistro says:

    @parksie But for a certain type of person, it’s gravy.

    Yeah, sure it is.

    The average welfare recipient is a single mother raising kids. Why did she have those kids in the first place? Because she was young and stupid, and nobody gave a damn about her. But the kids are here now, and she can’t just drown them like unwanted puppies. She has to look after them. Besides, she loves them.

    Why doesn’t she just get a job? Well, for one thing jobs are really scarce. Plus she has no training, she has nobody to look after the kids while she takes classes, she has nothing decent to wear to a job interview, and if she gets a full-time minimum wage job, over half of her thousand bucks a month in wages goes to childcare while she works, leaving $500 a month for rent, food and clothing.

    So she takes $700 a month in welfare, finds a way to survive, keeps her head down and turns a deaf ear to jerks who say it’s “gravy.” And if she votes, she’s likely to vote Democrat because they may not do much for her either, but at least they’re not jerks.

  39. filistro says:

    I want to immediately apologize to parksie for using the term “jerks.”

    I’m just cranky today, and my tolerance for partisan crap is at a fairly low ebb.

  40. shortchain says:

    rgbact,

    It’s not whether Gifford may have permanent disabilities that matters. It’s whether she’s better qualified, even with them, than nitwits like Hayworth and crew.

  41. rgbact,
    Shadegg would certainly do well in the portions of Arizona that match his former district, which butts against Hayworth’s former district. But, like Hayworth, he doesn’t appeal to Goldwater Republicans or centrists, and is enough of a lightning rod to energize Democrat voters to the polls to oppose him.

    Flake is a hard-core social conservative, as an LDS member in a heavily LDS district. He’d be less divisive than Shadegg or Hayworth, but only barely.

    And, finally, Franks is the most conservative of all of Arizona’s US Representatives. Even the most conservative people I spoke to didn’t consider him a candidate for Senate, for a handful of reasons.

  42. WA7th says:

    What, if anything, is wrong with attempting to shift employment more toward legal residents?

    Nothing wrong, per se, but the devil is in the details.

    One obvious problem is that when a corporation decides to move a significant portion of their operations south of the border, the economic impact to the domestic ecomony becomes an unaccounted societal cost, as that corporation is only worried about their own bottom line. I would propose that a neccesary first step is finding a way to reasonably estimate that societal cost so that libs and conservatives can argue about it honestly instead of limiting the debate to blaming or defending the last person who jumped aboard the sinking ship.

    I could be wrong, but I assume that NAFTA requires nothing in that regard.

  43. filistro says:

    Traits of families on AFDC (1)

    Race
    ————–
    White 38.8%
    Black 37.2
    Hispanic 17.8
    Asian 2.8
    Other 3.4

    Time on AFDC
    —————————
    Less than 7 months 19.0%
    7 to 12 months 15.2
    One to two years 19.3
    Two to five years 26.9
    Over five years 19.6

    Number of children
    ——————-
    One 43.2%
    Two 30.7
    Three 15.8
    Four or more 10.3

    Age of Mother
    ——————
    Teenager 7.6%
    20 – 29 47.9
    30 – 39 32.7
    40 or older 11.8

    Status of Father 1973 1992
    ————————————-
    Divorced or separated 46.5% 28.6
    Deceased 5.0 1.6
    Unemployed or Disabled 14.3 9.0
    Not married to mother 31.5 55.3
    Other or Unknown 2.7 5.5

  44. WA7th,
    That’s an interesting data point that I hadn’t considered in this context. Which is better, having a facility in the US that hires illegals, who send their excess income to Mexico, or having tha facility in Mexico? Which approach leaves the US better off financially?

  45. parksie555 says:

    Interesting question, MWeiss. I think overall in the US is better. The whole place certainly won’t be run by illegals and various operating fees, property taxes, etc. at least go to the US or local treasuries, and some jobs will be held by US citizens.

    Although if the rates, environmental impact fees, etc. are too high than the consumer suffers overall, so who knows?

  46. See, this is where the numbers really matter. If the taxes generated by the business being in the US exceed the costs to the infrastructure, then it makes sense to keep it in the US. If not, then it makes more sense to send it to Mexico. I’d love to know what studies have been done on that.

  47. shortchain says:

    rgbact,

    You say “The Senate is not a Long Term Disability priogram.” (sic).

    Can you say “Karl Mundt”?

  48. JC2 says:

    Michael- Great article as always! Your choice of questions in place of a summary paragraph appears to be successful as well.

    The comments down to but not including Parksie555 at 09:27 are, I think perceptive and generally in line with my feelings on the subject.

    Parksie, you lost me with the “continue breeding” part. In Massachusetts, benefits are quite generous with training, job search assistance, etc. but limited to 24 months except for more extreme (read worthy) cases. Please see

    http://www.massresources.org/pages.cfm?contentID=17&pageID=4&subpages=yes&dynamicID=353

    Mule, I long ago ceased to expect finding anything agreeable in your posts,.However, at 7:14 you struck a chord with me. At 10:19 you made some additional salient points about the costs of secondary education. I might still be impressed if you had only stopped there. Sigh.

    Great point and counter-point through the comments. It is a broad subject with no pat answers.

  49. 10kzebra says:

    I’m with JC2. Mule actually had me nodding along there for a while, but lost me pretty quickly.

    Welfare reform got rid of generational welfare by capping your benefits at something like 2-5 years in total assistance per lifetime. The food stamps and reduced/free health care is a very real thing, but most of the people getting that aren’t the chronically unemployed.

    Many of them are actually employed, they just don’t earn enough to afford such luxuries, you know, like food.

    Remember that regional jet that crashed a couple years ago? The pilot was on food stamps. Free loader! How dare she eat my taxes when she should be all bootstrappy. Oh wait, she was exactly bootstrappy, it just isn’t that simple anymore.

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