Politics: May 2010 Archives

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:

Dale Peterson, candidate for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner

(Via Drew M. at Ace of Spades HQ.)

Tom Blumer, writing for Pajamas Media, points to statistics connecting Oklahoma's relatively good unemployment situation to implementation of HB 1804, the strict immigration enforcement bill approved in May 2007

Given the economic damage inflicted on us by the current administration and many state governments, most readers of this column would probably be quite happy to live in a state where:
  • The official unemployment rate in March was 6.6%.
  • The average unemployment rate in 2009 using the most comprehensive definition was 10.5%, the fourth-lowest in the nation (behind three much smaller states), and far lower than the national average of 16.2%.
  • The number of people either working or looking for work has actually grown during the past twelve months (in most states, the labor force has contracted significantly).
  • The economy grew in 2008, and probably did so again in 2009.
Unless you live in Oklahoma, you're not in that state.

Blumer goes on to cite statistics showing that, from 2008 to 2009, unemployment among black Oklahomans grew much more slowly (8.7% to 11.1%) than it did for white Oklahomans (almost doubled, 2.9% to 5%). Among Hispanic OKlahomans, unemployment dropped over that same period, from 9% to 7.4%.

In 2008, Oklahoma's economic growth outpaced the national economy, and its welfare and food stamp caseload fell as it was growing in the rest of the country.

Since 1804 passed, Oklahoma has not suffered nearly as much economically as most of the rest of the U.S. In fact, the state can fairly be described, especially on a relative basis, as prosperous. Even before considering the reductions in crime the citizens of Arizona are so desperately seeking in their state's new immigration enforcement measure, what the Sooner State has done seems well worth imitating elsewhere for pocketbook-related reasons alone.

RELATED: Mark Krikorian, posting on National Review's The Corner, links to a study showing the effects of immigration on summer jobs for teenagers:

Long before the current recession, the share of U.S.-born teenagers in the summer labor market had been declining, from 64 percent in 1994 to 48 percent in 2007 (and 45 percent last summer). Immigration is only one cause, but a significant one; in the top ten immigration states, only 45 percent of teens were in the summer labor force in 2007, as opposed to 58 percent in the bottom ten immigration states. What's more, a 10 percentage-point increase in the immigrant share of a state's work force from 1994 to 2007 reduced the labor force participation rate of U.S.-born teenagers by 7.9 percentage points.

The reasons are obvious -- immigrants do the jobs teenagers used to do, like cutting grass, flipping burgers, etc., and since they're almost all adults, employers prefer them to inexperienced teenagers.

Krikorian goes on quote a section pointing out that the teens who aren't working aren't learning the kind of work ethic that they'll need to succeed later in life:

Holding a job as a teenager seems to instill the habits and values that are helpful in finding or retaining gainful employment later in life. This may include showing up on time, following a supervisor's directions, completing tasks, dealing politely with customers, and working hard. Learning good work habits and values seems to become much less likely without holding a job at a young age. Once a person who has little or no work experience reaches full adulthood, learning these skills seems to become more difficult.

But not to worry, says Nancy Pelosi -- thanks to Obamacare, a good work ethic is optional. You can be an artiste and sponge off the rest of us. (Follow the link for video.) Ed Morrissey comments:

Pelosi tells an audience in DC that ObamaCare is an "entrepreneurial bill," because it will let people quit being productive and allow them to leech off of ... entrepreneurs:
We see it as an entrepreneurial bill, a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.

In other words, we should all just join the circus and let Mom and Dad pick up the bill. That's not entrepreneurial; it's a welfare state. If anyone wants to see just what kind of innovation that produces, we only need to see the economies of the Western European nanny states.

While it's a good thing to move away from health insurance locking people to their jobs (which is why employer-funded health insurance was created in the first place -- to attract and retain employees while a government imposed wage freeze was in effect), there was a much simpler way, promoted by Republicans like Tom Coburn, that would have made delinked one's health coverage from one's job, preserved individual liberty and responsibility in health care choices, and helped to control costs.

A team of 11 officials from Third World countries observing last Thursday's British election called the UK's approach to voting "corruptible," too dependent on trust. The observers came from countries where election fraud has often been a problem, with methods that include ballot box stuffing, voter intimidation, voter impersonation, and ballot theft.

Ababu Namwamba, an MP from Kenya, said he found the system "almost casual" in the way the whole process was so calm and so civil. He said: "While it may not be corrupt, it has elements that could be regarded as corruptible."

The Kenyan said he was surprised that more checks were not carried out to check the identities of voters. Instead clerks in the polling booths trusted the person who is voting to tell the truth.

He said: "That little detail is susceptible to abuse. It [the system] is admirable but it is open to abuse. This country has opened up to many people coming in.

"While the culture of trust may have worked in the past, your culture is changing. These details need to be tightened up."

Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, an MP from Bangladesh, suggested that staff in polling stations should demand to see photographic identification from voters.

This would ensure that people do not impersonate someone else when they voted. "It should move to a more foolproof system," he said.

Note the obvious but politically incorrect point made by the Kenyan MP: Immigration brings in many people who don't share a nation's culture. If they come in large enough numbers and are not inculcated with the values of their new home, institutions that depend on those values will founder.

This even applies to different political cultures within the United States: There are big cities where election cheating is proverbial and there are rural areas where such a thing is unthinkable. Imagine a small North Dakota town invaded by a critical mass of folks accustomed to Chicago-style machine politics.

(It should be said that many immigrants come to a country like Britain or the United States precisely because they prefer their new country's cultural assumptions to those of their homelands.)

RightWingNews has published a poll of 50 conservative bloggers on Arizona's new immigration law, illegal immigration, legal immigration, and assimilation. The answers to two questions make for an interesting contrast, although I'm not surprised:

7) On the whole, which of these sentiments best describes your thoughts about illegal aliens?

They make America a better place to live: 4.1% (2 votes)
They make America a worse place to live: 95.9% (47 votes)

8) On the whole, which of these sentiments best describes your thoughts about legal immigrants?

They America a better place to live: 98% (49 votes)
They make America a worse place to live: 2% (1 votes)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from May 2010.

Politics: April 2010 is the previous archive.

Politics: June 2010 is the next archive.

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