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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Rubio Too Unreliable on Immigration

Senator Rubio now is being called the Republican "establishment" candidate.  This label seems based on his support for making citizens of illegal immigrants.  Rubio sees no problem with more immigrants lowering wages for Americans.  He wants more immigrants to support the cruise ship industry in his native Florida.  This is based on the fallacy that Americans can't be found who will do these jobs. 

His signature immigration legislation failed in the Senate two years ago, but Rubio apparently hasn't changed his views that legalization must precede stricter immigration controls.  See Rubio's Immigration Dilemma  This piece is a must-read if you are considering voting for Rubio this Tuesday.

Trump's rise has to do with his sense that Americans no longer see our immigration policies as making any sense for the realities of the nation's economy.  And it is frankly ridiculous to claim that Americans won't do these jobs, as many of the open borders advocates claim.  

The recent Disney case, in which the popular Florida resort decided to fire 250 IT workers in favor of cheaper immigrants on H-1B visas--and make them train those immigrants in order to receive  their severance packages--demonstrates how out-of-step many big businesses are with the American common good. See Disney Fires American Workers

No wonder so many average Americans are flocking to a huckster like Trump who at least says he has the interests of working Americans at heart.  

Monday, February 22, 2016

Boris Backs BREXIT

The UK bought into the Common Market but now many see the encroachment of sovereignty by Brussels as just too much.  Fundamentally, deeper EU integration means less democracy. Conservative MP and former London Mayor Boris Johnson strongly argues here for the British Exit, and it is worth reading in full. To Get the Change We Need, Vote to Leave EU

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mexican Immigration to US Declining

We have noted in this space before that Mexican immigration to the US is well past its peak.  When illegal immigration really was an issue 15-20 years ago, it wasn't a very hot political topic.  Now that Mexican illegal immigration has gone way down, it has been.

Pew Research notes that the flow has basically reversed.  More Mexicans have been returning home.
This has more to do with our lousy economy and their own realization that they are not actually living better here. Mexicans returning

Good to know that our poor economic policy has an unintended benefit!

My wife and I recently volunteered for a local charity that assists recent immigrants all the time.  It is quite clear that many of these folks can't possibly make ends meet, and they don't assimilate.  Remarkably, so many of them have been here for years without learning any English.

We are getting a lot of illegals from Central America, but Mexican authorities (with our help) are stopping more at the southern frontier. See the second chart below.

Net Migration From Mexico Below Zero After the Great Recession

Mexico increases deportations of Central Americans

Monday, February 15, 2016

Trump's America

Right now,  Donald Trump is ahead by 20 points in South Carolina, the next primary.  For the Republicans, the vote is February 20.  If he dominates this vote, and then wins Super Tuesday on March 1, this race is over.

Some conservative thinkers are getting around to the idea that Trump probably will be the next Republican presidential candidate.   It is astonishing how out of touch the elites of the party have been with its base.  As Charles Murray describes here, this is in part due to the growing acceptance of inequality and class division in what used to be egalitarian America.  See Trump's America

Here Bill Donohue likens Trump supporters to the Reagan Democrats of the 1970s and 80s:  Elites Don't Get Trump  Donohue is right that the GOP leadership will blow the party up if it tries to block Trump's nomination.

Ironic that a billionaire New Yorker can reach out to working America and the disenfranchised Republican base.  The big reason is that Trump actually focuses on issues that matter: the unfairness of current immigration and trade policies, the foreign policy debacles, etc.   But FDR, once upon a time, was able to build a broad coalition that dominated American politics for 20 years.

Maybe as Trump's nomination looks inevitable, he'll start to make some serious policy statements. Hard for me to believe that Trump will ever be presidential or will actually govern as a reasonable conservative.

We now have a very important vacancy on the Supreme Court:  whom would Trump chose to fill it? Filling positions on the federal bench have enormous long term impact.  Obama's lasting legacy will be putting two rock-solid liberals on the SC, who will be there for decades.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Distorted Black History

February is Black History Month.   I think black history would be a good idea!  Too bad it is being twisted beyond recognition.

First we have Beyonce's weird and wrongheaded Black Panther/Malcolm X tribute during the Super Bowl halftime show.  I give her credit:  she's probably the only entertainer in America who can dress as a fascist and get away with it.  Here's a link with some pictures:  Black Panther tribute

For the record, the Black Panthers during the 1960s were criminals and murderers masquerading as revolutionaries..  David Horowitz exposes his long encounters with them in his memoir Radical Son and details how they raped and murdered a friend of his.

As for Malcolm X,  he was a schismatic from the the Nation of Islam who preached black and white separatism.  He ran entirely counter to where the mainstream was heading.   Meanwhile, civil rights leaders were getting real work done.

(In fairness to Beyonce, she probably knows nothing about this history.  She's knows something about making money though.  This is a woman who auctioned off the rights to take the first pictures of her baby.)

The distortion of Black History appears even at the local level.  For a seventh grade history project, my son had to answer this question:  "How did President Eisenhower crush the spirit of freedom for African Americans?"  (Bonus question: And when did he stop beating his wife?" )

I made my son read the chapter on "Little Rock" in Jean Smith's outstanding biography of Ike.  In his answer, he noted the Eisenhower administration's strong support of overturning Plessy v. Ferguson and how federal troops enforced desegregation of the schools in Little Rock.

He earned a 100 on his paper.  Common sense still lives.

Image result for norman rockwell little rock

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Economic Hard Times Ahead

President Obama may end up like Bush 43 did: with an economic crisis to close out his term of office.  I recall Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan saying we just have to get used to an economic downturn every eight years or so.  So we are due.

Just have to get used to it.  There is something very wrong with that idea.

Central banks like Japan's are setting negative interest rates.  How is that not a desperate move?

Check out this blog post from Zero Hedge on 22 bad economic indicators.  22-signs-global-economic-turmoil-we-have-seen-so-far-2016-just-beginning  Zero Hedge has become weekly required reading for me.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Cruz Defeats the Ethanol Lobby

Ethanol, fuel made from corn in America, is highly subsidized with federal tax dollars and wasteful. It is federally mandated that it be mixed with gasoline!  It has led to higher food prices and poor fuel economy.  It offers no benefit whatsoever to the environment.  Other than that, it's terrific.

Ted Cruz has campaigned to fade out the subsidy.  Tim Carney, one of the best journalists in the country, explains how he took on ethanol and still won Iowa here:  Cruz Defeats Ethanol Lobby  (Read Carney's "The Big Fix" sometime.  It will educate you on how America is run.)

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad's son is actually the head of the ethanol lobby.  Nope,  I see no problem with that...