Monday, May 21, 2007

Everything…Pt. I

I’m not sure where to begin, but why not start with the latest immigration bill. Although we’ll never be sure of the specifics (as Congress likes to add/subtract/legalize the verbiage at will), the premise of it seems correct.

Let’s break it down like this: People come to the US for various reasons, be it for freedoms of religion, speech, or escape from physical and/or psychological abuse for said reasons. More than likely, however, people – especially from Latin America and Asia – flock to the US for economic reasons.

Under it's current form, Globalization has varying affects over the world's landscape (none of which I’ll delve into here for sake of time), and the gap between the winners and losers has grown even wider. The losers live in corrupt and/or poor countries where getting ahead is only reserved for those in power.

Skipping the lecture on abstinence versus birth control – especially in places where basic education for the masses is not a priority – one’s instinct is to feed his or her kids, which probably can’t be done selling Chiclets on the street. These Losers of Globalization (from now on referred to as “LOGs”) go in search of where jobs are so they can provide for those left back in the homeland. They’re willing to risk death to get here, even trying via legal means to gain entrance before resorting to securing the favor of a Coyote along the US-Mexico border or a fisherman floating around the Pacific.

They’re willing to work via the black market in order to paint your house, hang dry wall, cook your food, wash your dishes, mow your lawn, grind your hamburger, all without insurance in case they get injured, without benefits such as retirement, living a covert existence so that they can send most of what they earn back home via Western Union because they can’t open a bank account.

The Winners of Globalization (from now on referred to as “WOGs”) enjoy the current situation because they pay less overhead, no health insurance costs or retirement plans to contribute to, or anything forcing them to actually pay fair wages for labor done, or pay at all.

Because the US healthcare system is profit-driven, most states have passed legislation providing for mandatory coverage in case of emergencies for the destitute and/or those who cannot pay. So, taxpayers get saddled for "reactionary" or "non-preventative healthcare" for the poor as well as, on occasion, immigrants.

Winners of the Gene Pool Lottery (aka US citizens not naturalized) get incensed when the issue is brought home via their big screens by TV personalities and politicians who prefer to inflate the problem of immigrants to gain ratings and, in a sense, piss off the angry white male who is afraid of the world outside his Suburban and/or suburban living room (I should know since I’m one of these guys).

So, let’s get back to the basics. What’s wrong with an expanded temporary worker visa program that encourages people to follow the law? What’s wrong with allowing these temporary works to pay taxes, open US bank accounts so they have more options to send money home rather than paying on average 20% for every dollar sent through the one big money sender today? What’s wrong with allowing these people to secure a real wage, pay for and receive healthcare, a retirement plan, and contribute to social security (in their real name and not the dead person’s card they bought at a pawn shop in Eastern Kentucky).

After all, why should the WOGs continue to gain more from the current system when we might all be able to win – especially the LOGs – with some real reform?

Now, that’s not to say I condone the Administration’s/Congress’s proposal (like I said, I don’t know the details yet, and the Administration’s policies tend to be suspect, with hidden provisions that favor their wealthy contributor friends), but at least we can find some place to begin a real discussion on the issue instead of the current fear-mongering in the media, White House and Hill.


At 8:28 PM, Blogger Paddy said...



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