The Case for Reparations (to Undocumented Workers)

Greg Grandin, The Nation, December 1, 2014

Where, outside of a marginalized left, are today’s equivalent of the antebellum radical Republicans, “ready and willing to destroy” the coercive deportation regime? Where are the absolutists, who would brook no compromise, who would rather see the republic ripped apart than tolerate an immigration system that denies equal rights to millions upon millions of people; that brutalizes families, generates thousands upon thousands of desert deaths, and breeds sexual terror, be it on the journey here, in the factory and field, or in the closed quarters of the home, where women workers have limited protections and where fear trumps whatever slim recourse to the law they might have (that is, when the law itself isn’t the rapist)?

Where is the equal of William Lloyd Garrison, capable of both analytically dissecting and morally condemning public policy that compels migration (through trade policies like NAFTA and CAFTA) and then denies the humanity of the migrants once they get here; a regime that relies on a carceral, militarized state for its perpetuation? In the 1840s, radical constitutionalists like Alvan Stewart cut through procedural objections against executive action by arguing that the principle of universal equality is found in the common law of the United States and in the due-process clause of the Constitution. Where are those legal insurgents today insisting that forcing millions of people to live like serfs enthralled to their lord-employers is illegal? That the constitution doesn’t just authorize Barack Obama to limit some deportations–it authorizes him to strike the whole damn regime down. Who are today’s dissenting intellectuals with the comparable influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who after the passing of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act urged collective resistance against the law?

{snip}

Back in the nineteenth century, defenders of slavery drove wedges between white and black. Let the reformers, they said, use their “great interest to procure an Abolition of the horrid white slavery trade which is carried on under their own noses…thousands of white people, those white people Christians, and those Christians, are, English people, Scotch People, Welch People, and Irish People, who are every year exported to the United States of America, where they are made miserable slaves.” Today, defenders of immigration “enforcement” use those same wedges to separate Latino migrants and “native-born minorities.” The House’s Immigration Subcommittee, now led by a group of anti-Latino irreconcilables–among them, Steve King and Lamar Smith–holds “Blacks versus Latinos” hearings, where “experts” testify to the special “advantages” and “preferences” undocumented immigrants enjoy over “African minority workers” in the job market and the “benefit” Latinos receive from making a “false immigrant/US civil rights struggle analogy.”

{snip}

In 2006, when it seemed as if the Bush administration might get immigration reform passed, opponents were quick to make the debate about economic cost; the Heritage Foundation, for instance, effectively advanced a narrative that low-skilled and poorly educated migrations would be a financial burden, straining schools and emergency rooms and forcing an expansion of the welfare state. Heritage has kept up that drumbeat to this day. The math usually used to make the case that undocumented migrants are a net loss to the United States is fairly simple: subtract the cost of the public services they use from the taxes they pay.

What’s missing from the calculations is the value that their labor contributes to the US economy, a good part of which is uncompensated. I asked Suresh Naidu, an economist at Columbia University, how one might tally the difference between what undocumented Central American and Mexican workers get paid and what they would get paid if they enjoyed full equality of rights. Using the wage penalty undocumented migrants face as a benchmark (which is a lower end, given that extensive undocumented participation might lower sectoral wages for everyone), here are the steps he laid out:

1. Find the aggregate undocumented wages paid in the major sectors where undocumented workers are employed, in agriculture, construction, domestic.

2. Figure out how much their wages were depressed as a result of being undocumented. One way of doing this is to look at Reagan’s 1986 reform. Rough estimates suggest that undocumented worker wages are between 6 and 24 percent lower than they would be otherwise. In other words, if we take these figures as a baseline, that means undocumented workers would be getting paid 6 and 24 percent more than they are if they were documented–that differential is either captured as profit by their employers or passed on to consumers as savings.

3. Cumulate that percentage (that is, how much wages are depressed as a result of being undocumented) of aggregate wages over the number of years that undocumented workers are in the United States.

4. Voilà, that would be your reparations bill.

A Pew survey from 2009 gives that median income for migrant workers as $36,000 dollars. With 11 million undocumented migrants, 8.3 million of them in the work force for an average duration of fourteen years, and adjusting for inflation, Naidu came up with between $22,000 (based on the lower percentage of depressed wages and inflation) and $101,000 (the higher percentage) owed to each undocumented resident.

Keep in mind that these numbers don’t include out-and-out wage theft, which is high among undocumented workers. {snip}

{snip}

Were African-Americans and undocumented Latinos to join together and collectively demand compensation for unremunerated work, the force would be exponentially more powerful, revealing the way black and brown, each in their own way, continue to represent an existential threat to the ongoing slaver-settler-colonial fantasy life that passes, for many, as patriotism in this country.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Atheist Realist

    this is so self-parodying that it sounds like ramzpaul

    • Bossman

      In what way is this article “self-parodying?” I fail to understand what you are trying to say.

      • LHathaway

        Since this article is a rare one that Doesn’t sound like parody, one could conclude it is His statement that is intended to be irony, or an expression of stupidity? Who knows.

      • stedman holder

        Nothing new there, your past post s proves you understand little or nothing.

    • LHathaway

      I disagree. While much of this stuff from the left does sound like parody or irony, this guy plays it straight and serious.

    • Non-Hispanic White Privelege

      Indeed, the article reads like satire.

    • Reynardine

      I had to do an “Onion” check myself. Then again, the Onion wouldn’t create such controversial parodies.

      • LHathaway

        I missed this one. I bat about 50-50.

  • “Coercive deportation regime”

    What’s where I stopped, realizing that the author is a crackpot living in his own ideological bubble.

    Here in the real world, there are hardly any deportations.

    • Max

      Deluded nuts like this guy think that if some would-be immigrant fails to enter the country because of fear or lack of funds, that is a de facto deportation. He could not be repaired with shock therapy.

  • David Ashton

    “Crossing Continents. The guardians of Fortress Europe [sic] are fighting a lost battle: poor migrants will always try to find a better life for themselves…. 16.7 million Number of refugees worldwide in 2013” – New Statesman, December 5-11, 2014.

    • IstvanIN

      Bullets, if used properly, would stop them.

  • rebelcelt

    Where are the absolutists, who would brook no compromise, who would rather see the republic ripped apart than tolerate an immigration system that seeks to undermine the indigenous white people that made this country the nation that the other tribes want to immigrate to.

    • LHathaway

      They’re scared. Voting immigration and nothing but immigration, no matter what, is the only thing that will save whites. In this country, immigration control is too late to do anything but lock us in with them.

  • dd121

    Go ahead and pay them. They can use the money to pay the fine for being here illegally.

    • SentryattheGate

      I don’t believe the lying feds, who pander for illegals! They will not extract fines from illegals, yet tell us the fines have been paid up. The last 2 Department of Labor secretaries were Hispanics with a background of activism for illegals (Thomas Perez and Hilda Solis), LaRaza bigwig Cecilia Munoz is Obama’s Senior Policy advisor, and the federal gov’t. gives LaRaza hundreds of millions $$$$ in grants yearly.

      • dd121

        I forgot to turn /sarc/ on.

    • Anna Tree

      Also, using the same logic of the article, Americans could demand reparations because of their wages going down (decreased salaries or lay-off welfare) and their taxes going up because of illegal and legal immigration taking their jobs or taking advantage of the healthcare, welfare, education they never participated in.

  • JohnEngelman

    This reparations plan will be paid for with taxes drawn from American citizens who did not get jobs and pay raises because of the presence of the illegal immigrants who will get the reparations.

  • JohnEngelman

    Although this article in Nation has garnered no comments, the article is already followed with, “Comments for this thread are now closed.”

  • AmericanCitizen

    This line of thinking infuriates me.

    • Whitetrashgang

      I wonder if Darth is a illegal alien? In which case Stars Wars isn’t in the past its the future. OY Vey.

      • me

        Have you seen the previews for the new Star Wars?! “May the schvartze be with you!”

        • Reynardine

          I want Luke to take on a black apprentice so I can hear him say:

          “Massa Skywalka, Massa Skywalka! I bees mighty scared of de dark side of de force!”

    • Bossman

      It infuriates you because you’re unable to dismiss it.

  • guest

    “Author says we owe between $22,000 and $101,000 to each illegal.”

    And here we’ve been told that these illegals would actually help improve our messed up economy and make it better. There goes another myth.

    • Illegals owe us.

      • me

        We, the White citizens of the USA, Western Europe, and the rest of the world, do not ‘OWE’ any other race anything. If anything, the other races of the world should be a lot more grateful for–
        electricity vaccines medical advances
        indoor plumbing transportation the automobile
        central heat beautiful art movies
        the printing press bountiful food clean water
        computers free education the Magna Carta
        television freedom human rights
        telephones the end of slavery peace
        Just about everything that surrounds these people was invented by the White races. The kings of old didn’t even live in the opulence that even the poorest person lives in. Comfortable shelter, running water and indoor plumbing, refrigeration, bountiful food that’s fresh and healthy, clothes that even a king didn’t possess, entertainment and knowledge unheard of in the courts of kings….the list goes on forever–all invented by White people. They swim in the miracles of the modern world, like goldfish in a bowl. And, just like a stupid goldfish, these swarthy hordes don’t stop to give the people responsible for such miracles–the White races. Now, they have the unmitigated gall and evil ungratefulness to demand ‘reparations’?! For WHAT?! 99% of Whites have NEVER owned slaves, never tried to ‘oppress’ anyone, and certainly haven’t harmed a one of these moronic, maleficent anti-Whites and the White, mentally ill troglodytes that support their own genocide . We need to say NO MORE!

        • Anna Tree

          “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before
          swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

          We built them the trains, boats and planes that brought HIV and immigrants to our lands. We gave them the medicine that multiplied 5 fold their populations. We sold them the arms they use to kill us etc The way to hell is paved with good intentions indeed…but sure now asking reparations is adding offense to the wounds!

  • LHathaway

    Where are those legal insurgents today insisting that forcing millions of people to live like serfs enthralled to their lord-employers is illegal?

    • bilderbuster

      Living in the shadows?
      Even the cough syrup drinking liberals don’t believe that one.

    • Ron Cheaters

      I don’t know what its like in the States, but in Canada, if you’re here illegally, you are forced to work for cash because all the income tax deducted is supposedly accounted for.
      Illegals don’t want to draw attention to themselves so they’d be too happy to work for 25% less than the pay rate, because the amount would be the same amout recieved after taxes were deducted. Farmers, Moving companies, construction companies etc.
      The companies don’t like the illegals, because they’re only so capable. usually delegated to carry supplies, or whatever they can understand to do. On the other hand, they get labor which they don’t have to declare for tax purposes, and they get to keep that tax. But in most cases its charity work, and not worth the expense of getting an audit. Depends on the risk of the business.
      Illegals get more than they deserve, especially when there is a legal way to get into the country in the first place, if you qualify.. that’s the point of having borders???

    • kikz2

      exactly.. no property taxes because they don’t own homes, they are paid under the table AND collect welfare/utilize community services such as hospital to birth more of themselves like tribbles.

  • Publius Pompilius Quietus

    Starting when the author claims that the Left is “marginalized,” I knew this would be a nonsensical article, and indeed it is thus. The author goes on to draw a comparison betwixt illegal immigration and slavery (i.e., to this author, illegal aliens are the new slaves). If so, deportation seems the only humanitarian thing to do. It is, accordingly, the only way to abolish this wretched form of slavery. Furthermore, illegal aliens must be the first people in history to put themselves in bondage, because their illegality here is completely voluntary. Illegals came here and may leave at any time.

  • Publius Pompilius Quietus

    Starting when the author claims that the Left is “marginalized,” I knew this would be a nonsensical article, and indeed it is thus. The author goes on to draw a comparison betwixt illegal immigration and slavery (i.e., according to this author, illegal aliens are the new slaves). If so, deportation seems the only humanitarian thing to do. It is, accordingly, the only way to abolish this wretched form of slavery. Furthermore, illegal aliens must be the first people in history to put themselves in bondage, because their illegality here is completely voluntary. Illegals came here and may leave at any time. However, the author is right in a way. Illegal immigration and immigration in general is slavery not for immigrants; but, instead, immigration is slavery for the native-born populations of the Western World, whose wages and living standards are hurt by en mass black and brown immigration.

    • Bossman

      The undocumented migrants are indeed slaves. If you knew how the real world works, you would have no problem understanding that. I can give you many reasons why this is so,

      • John Jackson

        Please do, I’d love to hear, I’ve only been on this site a few days but I notice you like to come in with these snide comments yet never say anything to back them up.

        May I ask, how many illegals live with you? What town do you live in? I’m not asking because I want your personal info, I’d just like to see where you live, I’m betting it’s not in MS-13 territory is it?

        • LHathaway

          Normally Bossman tries to sound humorous. At least he sounds that way to me. I can only assume he doesn’t believe at all a lot of what he says. It’s worth it for the humor. Sometimes his comments do make a fair amount of sense. Sometimes He is the realist among us.

          • John Jackson

            Could be.

          • Bossman

            I do believe in what I say and I can back it up with good logic and can provide many credible links. The moderator at this website appears not to like people posting links to other website. Many times when I’ve provided links to back up my statements, the post will say awaiting moderation and then strangely disappear.

          • LHathaway

            Yer the funniest thing to appear on this website since the ‘Africa for Norway’ video. That’s saying something. And we can read you here everyday. . . You do make a lot of sense, on occasion.

          • Bossman

            Thanks for the compliment. I do make sense all the time and I can back it up.

        • Bossman

          I can back up every statement that I make with tons of facts and good sound logic and can also provide many credible links. The moderator at this website appears not to like people posting links to other websites. So-called “illegals” are of two types: undocumented migrants and temporary visa over-stayers. I don’t know any of them but I suspect most of them already have strong connection to the USA by way of family and relatives. Your idea of an “illegal” is someone who crossed the border without inspection, sell drugs and sleeps underneath a bridge. Such people may just be a handful of the unauthorized immigrant population.

          • John Jackson

            Wow, so now you’re a mind reader on top of everything else? My idea of an Illegal is just that, someone who is here illegally, how is there some confusion on this?

            “Undocumented Migrant”, lol, I love that word. Tell ya what, how about you go try being an “undocumented migrant” in pretty much any country in the world and let me know how that goes. Or better yet, can I come sneak in your house when you’re not looking, help myself to your fridge, couch, TV anything I please, I’ll be an “undocumented tenant”.

            I’ll ask again, where do you live? Is it with a bunch of your undocumented buddies? If you can’t post links you could tell me a phrase to google, but as I say, proof is in will you walk your talk, how many of these wonderful people live your neighborhood, can they have your job, can they live with you?

          • Bossman

            The USA is not the same as your private property so your analogy is false. It is the government who calls them “undocumented migrants.”

          • John Jackson

            Sovereignty is quite similar to private property. People have a right to form groups and draw boundaries and defend those boundaries. The govt does not call them undocumented, only PC boot-lickers call them that, the official term is “illegal alien”, look it up.

            “an illegal alien is a non-citizen who is present in a country unlawfully”

            Someone here on a Visa or vacationing would be a Legal Alien, someone who immigrates here legally is a citizen, get it?

          • Bossman

            Public trespass is very different from private trespass. If someone enters your home without permission then you can defend yourself. Public trespass is a misdemeanor. Being in the USA without proper documents is a misdemeanor and has been that way for a long time.

          • John Jackson

            It’s public trespass? Where do you get this stuff? I’d like to know then, how exactly do you define private property? What gives it it’s authority? If borders don’t matter, what governing body enforces private property and by what right do you own your property if I dispute it and say it’s mine?

            Being here illegally, hiring or harboring and illegal is a felony punishable by fines up to $250,000 and 5yrs in jail, or both. in the case of the illegal deportation, and fines up $250 per attempt, of course, we have a joke of a govt who never enforces these things.

            But you know all this I’m sure, I’m really starting to think you’re just messing with me here, and I think I’ve played along long enough.

          • Bossman

            You will need to educate yourself more about these things and then you can argue with me. I’m closing this session for now.

          • ShermanTMcCoy

            Don’t feed the troll.

          • Who Me?

            Public trespass is a misdemeanor? Oh, Okay, I see. In that case, I’ll take my sleeping bag and go stay overnight in the local Public Library. We’ll see how well that goes. I’m quite sure it would be a heck of a lot more than a misdemeanor!

          • Bossman

            I don’t know what happens at the public library overnight. But when I visit my local public library once in a while, I usually see a few vagrants napping there.

          • stedman holder

            Your only understanding is “gibs me dat”, you and your illegal aliens buddies are nothing but parasites that serve no useful function.

          • silviosilver

            This is not a “conservative” site. It is a racialist site and is interested in racialist arguments, not lself-serving egalistic bilge from white-hating latinos. On a racial basis America has suffered tremendous harm from the importation of millions of drastically non-white mestizo hispanics. As bad as the decision to allow them was, the decision to keep allowing them is even worse.

          • stedman holder

            You are a professional idiot.

          • Max

            “A handful” is too many.

            NONE belong here, they each cost us $30,000/yr to maintain and the whites that designed and built this nation do not want them.

            You may go back to your burrito now.

          • ghettovalley

            Do you find it hypocritical and wrong that Mexico sends its trash over our border knowingly and willingly, while at the same time having extremely harsh punishments and mandatory prison sentences for illegal immigrants within their own country?

        • silviosilver

          Bossman claims to be hispanic (also claims to be “part Jewish)”). Make of that what you will.

          • ghettovalley

            George Zimmerman

      • Publius Pompilius Quietus

        If you think that “slavery” is illegally immigrating to voluntarily work, you are severely mistaken. The illegals may always leave if condition are as you say, but American workers have no place to go. American works are the ones who are enslaved by the conditions created by immigration if anyone is so.

      • kikz2

        yeah, that’s why i see so many of them, shopping/paying with those lovely crisp 100$.

      • anony

        When you use the term “undocumented migrants”, do you mean illegal immigrants?

        I use the term illegal immigrant to identify people who come into my country illegally.

        A country which does not control its borders is not a country.

        • Bossman

          The main stream media calls them undocumented migrant workers. And that is what they are for the most part. “Illegal alien” is a pejorative term that is in some ways meaningless.

          • anony

            I use the term “illegal alien” in a pejorative manner. These people are criminals.

            How is the term “meaningless”?

            I have zero respect for the so-called “main stream media”.

          • Alexandra1973

            “Trespassers” or “criminal invaders” does it for me!

          • stedman holder

            Meaningless, much like your childish posts.

          • Reynardine

            The completely legally correct term is “illegal alien.”

      • Reynardine

        Oh I see. Is there a market where undocumented migrants are bought and sold?

      • Anna Tree

        Bossman, the use of proper words is very important in a discussion.

        Here is the definition of slave: “someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay”

        Exploited perhaps but 1) they are paid, 2) they are free to leave and 3) free to not work (and many do that as soon as they understand they get more in welfare or applying at the church than in minimum pay)

        • Bossman

          Slavery is now illegal everywhere but there are what could be called wage slaves. Migrant workers fall into that category. A complex set of rules and regulations keep them as an underclass. For example, the USA established NAFTA so that it could take advantage of cheap Mexican labor but those same Mexican workers cannot easily come to the USA to get higher paying jobs. This is what also could be called a captive labor market. Get the picture?

          • Mexican workers cannot easily come to the USA

            Ladies and gentlemen, call the Nobel Physics Prize committee. For we have our first contact with a parallel universe.

          • Bossman

            It is not easy for them to come in legally although it once was. In the year 1963 the majority of legal immigrants were from Canada and Mexico.

          • Anna Tree

            “Wage slaves” are not slaves, a slave is never paid. You put two contradictory words, it can be poetic but it doesn’t change the meaning of both words. “Wage slavery” is better defined as exploitation.

            Oxymoron: a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.” Rhetorical oxymora (e.g., “bipartisan cooperation” or “business ethics“), on the other hand, are expressions composed of words that are not inherently mutually exclusive but express an opinion that the two cannot
            occur together, usually for satirical intent.

            What do you mean by higher paying jobs? Like to be a pilot or a programmer? Are you saying that the migrant workers who work in the fields are in fact mathematicians and scientists? I am sorry I don’t get the picture lol

          • Bossman

            Most slaves were paid small amount of money for good behavior and good work. Many of them could even save enough to buy their freedom. So you mean to say that a factory worker needs to be a mathematician to get a higher paying job? Mexico will be a superpower in the next 100 years. It is already becoming the hub of auto production for all of North America.

          • Anna Tree

            You confuse between wage and gift.

            I don’t get you “So you mean to say that a factory worker needs to be a mathematician to get a higher paying job?”
            I never said that.
            You wrote “Mexican workers cannot easily come to the USA to get higher paying jobs”
            And beside the fact that the US has no obligation to give work to any Mexicans but to US citizens only, I just think that you need to speak English and have a minimum of education to get higher paying jobs, even in a factory.

            Why in the next 100 years? Why does it take you so much time? Or you just mean that when white America won’t exist then the Mexicans may have a chance?
            Who will buy those cars? With what economy will people still need those cars? Will they be safe? etc

          • stedman holder

            They aren’t intelligent enough for higher paying jobs, your prove this with every one of your confused comments.

      • stedman holder

        We don’t care about your criminal invader family. Go home and be free if you are that worried about it.

      • Guest

        If they’re magical “slaves” then why do they stay?

        Answer: Because you’re stupid.

    • Reynardine

      He would have a point if the slaves in pre-bellum America were trying to cross the oceans in order to work on a plantation.

  • libertarian1234

    “Author says we owe between $22,000 and $101,000 to each illegal.”

    Good idea, but it has to come out of his pay and assets for as long as he lives.

  • Luca

    Pay them to leave forever. It would be worth it on all levels.

    • Bossman

      That doesn’t make any sense at any level.

      • bilderbuster

        Make it a capitol crime for any illegal alien to be on US soil after January 1, 2015. Can you understand that amigo?

      • Luca

        Your inability to process logic is not my concern.

      • stedman holder

        Nor do you.

  • Kenner

    $200,000. in reparations for any American family that’s lost a loved one to a Mexican drunk driver.

    • Reynardine

      Did you hear about the illegal alien in Boulder country who sued the firefighters that rescued him from a flooding car after the alien crossed a “do not cross:flooding” sign and started to drive into a deluged area? Poor baby was “injured” because they had to pull him out in an awkward way. Honestly, they should have just left him in there.

  • IstvanIN

    Race traitor.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    Only in America can someone come into this country illegally, find work, then have people advocate “reparations” for them. Is there any wonder why people are trying, by any means, to come to this country?

    • ghettovalley

      Strangely they forgot to factor in the hundreds of millions of our tax dollars that they have managed to leech out of our country in the past several decades. I wonder if that would change the numbers a little bit.

    • Reynardine

      It’s not just people doing this, it’s entire nations. The Hondurans and El Salvadorians are demanding money to “stem the flow” of people trying to flee those countries. It’s a mad house.

  • John Jackson

    Who is this jerk? Is he volunteering to be the first to open up his wallet? Can an illegal have his job? Is he inviting 30-40 of them into his community to “enrich” it with their awesomeness? Is he going to let them lay their heads on his pillows and couches (because none of them have lice, scabies or chagas disease of course, to even suggest so is racist).

    • Rurik

      Who is the jerk? The fact the article appeared in The Nation should answer that question for us. Some variety of Marxist Leninist, he is. Out to loot the bourgeoisie.

      • John Jackson

        I really never heard of it, but there opinions seem pretty clear.

    • JohnEngelman

      Nation magazine frequently closes comments because its articles frequently attract negative comments. Their website banned me after I said it was hypocritical for liberals to advocate integrated schools while sending their children to all white public schools.

      • John Jackson

        Haha, yeah, I always love to get them with that one. They always speak how wonderful diversity is, and “we” need to help this person or that, yet they all live in nice white gated communities far away from all those people they tell us are so magical and beneficial to society.

        • JohnEngelman

          American liberalism is not monolithic. I am liberal on economic and environmental issues. I trust the government more than the business community.

          Nevertheless, most liberals have been terribly wrong, and terribly hypocritical on racial issues.

          It is obvious by now to every perceptive observer that optimistic assumptions of the civil rights movement were scientifically invalid: racial differences are significant; they are primarily innate. Liberals clandestinely acknowledge the significance of racial differences when they avoid sending their children to public schools with largely black student bodies. Then they complain about the persistence of de facto school segregation.

          • John Jackson

            Liberals are not liberals in America, they are Marxists, the notions you have on economics are not liberal they come from the writings of Karl Marx, liberals were believers in the non-aggression principle, more like libertarians of today.

            Frankly I can’t understand how anyone can trust a govt any more than a businessman, what is it that makes people believe govt workers are somehow some kind of breed of angelic human? Any govt worker is just as likely to be greedy and corrupt as any businessman, to me the big difference is I can say no to a business, I can’t say no to a govt.

          • JohnEngelman

            I read any political thinker for insight, rather than doctrine. Karl Marx had valid insights. He made mistakes. He never claimed to be infallible. When he learned that others were claiming infallibility on his behalf he said, “If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist”

            Contemporary American liberals have been influenced by Karl Marx on economic issues. We – and I am liberal on economic issues – have been more influenced by John Maynard Keynes on economic issues.

            Among other things, Keynes argued that the government should intervene in the economy on behalf of employees against their employers. I believe that the adoption of his economic policies by the U.S. government ended the Great Depression, and led to a broadly based economic expansion in which most Americans benefited, and recessions were mild.

            Since the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan there has been a partial reversal reversal of Keynesian economic policies. As a result economic inequality has grown, and recessions have become longer and deeper.

          • Weisheit77

            Can you point to anywhere where the mainstream left is advocating Marxist economic policy? They’re all Keynesians.

            I respectfully disagree. A classical liberal economic system would not have a central bank. That’s where I am.

            So unless you have a mouse in your pocket, I would change the pronoun to “I”.

            And before you post Krugman, let me say this about his Nobel Prize. Obama got one in 9 days for peace and Dr. Watson is having to sell his. The NYTimes and Nobel Prizes are just symbols for me that someone drank the proverbial kool-aid.

          • JohnEngelman

            Have you ever known people who claimed to be Marxists? I have. They were no quieter about their beliefs than born again Christians.

            There are hardly any more Marxists in the United States. “Marxist” is little more than a word Republican mothers use to frighten their children when they are naughty.

          • John Jackson

            Since 1980? Oh man, where do I start. You seem open minded, so I would suggest you watch some Youtube videos by a guy named Tom Woods, I can’t list it all here but it was govt intervention that caused the Depression and the recession, and I have news for you, another is coming, much bigger.

            I keep hearing about this wealth transfer, well yes, people are correct a wealth transfer is happening, but a company cannot transfer wealth, all a company can do is put a product on the shelf, put a price on it and you either buy or you don’t. Tell me tho, who CAN transfer wealth? Who can make you buy something you don’t want to? Who can print money? Who can borrow money in your name? Who can dish the money out to favored friends? Answer that question and you’ll see where the wealth transfer is coming from.

            I’d recommend you look into the things like the Federal Reserve, FIAT currency, Fractional Reserve Banking, how the income tax got implemented, the Community Reinvestment Act, Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, and FDIC for starters.

          • JohnEngelman

            There is nothing new about the argument that the government caused the Great Depression. Republicans presented that argument during the New Deal when President Roosevelt was working to end the Great Depression.

            The argument failed to resonate. Most of the voters remembered that the Great Depression began with the Stock Market Crash of 1929, and that the United States had been dominated by the Republican Party since 1921.

            The voters also noticed that life for them and the people they knew began to improve almost as soon as Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated in 1933.

          • John Jackson

            Well, first mistake you’re making is you’re confusing Republicans with Free Markets and Capitalism, which is a mistake most people make and if you’re judging Free Markets and Capitalism based off of the Rep party I can see why you’d be against it. Rep haven’t balanced a budget or reduced govt in….heck, I don’t even know if they have in the past 150yrs.

            Did you look into the Fed Res? Look into what else happened when the Fed Res was created, ie the income tax, and just a few short years later there was a Great Depression?

            Again, I don’t have time or desire to write it all here but you are doing the old “correlation implies causality” thing, I’d like to see your sources on how much happier people were with Roosevelt and what exactly you feel he personally did to make this happen.

          • JohnEngelman

            Evidence of how happy people were with Roosevelt can be seen in the fact that he was reelected three times. He must have been doing something right.

          • John Jackson

            Obama was re-elected twice, Bush II was re-elected twice, Reagan was re-elected twice – many urged him to run for a 3rd, not to mention war time Pres are always popular, just look at Bush after 9/11. That’s a weak response, come on now, you have to do better than that.

            Any politician can bribe people with welfare for votes, in fact that’s pretty much all any politician does anymore because that is every voter’s attitude – “What are you gonna give me”, look how Ron Paul was attacked when he dared suggest SS and Medicare were unsustainable and need to be reformed to allow people to opt out of it.

          • JohnEngelman

            Republicans bribe the voters with tax cuts. Then the blame the resulting deficits on the Democrats.

          • John Jackson

            Bribe the voters with tax cuts? When was the last time you got a tax cut? Also, revenue is not the govts problem, spending is and both parties spend like drunken sailors.

            It’s become obvious now, you are just a partisan hack. You don’t want to actually study any of this stuff or answer any real questions, you just want to spout a bunch simplistic soundbites and talking points.

          • Who Me?

            Sorry, but Obama was Elected once, and RE-Elected once. Same for Bush, Reagan and Clinton. Elected once, and RE-Elected once more for a total of 8 years in office each. Words matter (so do facts.)

          • John Jackson

            You know what I meant, nice red herring.

            There it’s, been edited, happy now?

          • Who Me?

            *Smiles* Sorry, wasn’t trying to derail your thoughts, just that your post kinda made me blink–re-elected twice??? So I pounced, and I apologize.

          • John Jackson

            I hear ya, I guess I overreacted too, just thought you were being snarky, I appreciate the correction.

          • Weisheit77

            Progressive is the best term. I don’t think they’re Marxist as Marxism was basically an economic viewpoint. I don’t see anyone advocating state ownership of all business.

            They are progressives. Unless you’re for a National Socialistic state and extreme authoritarianism you’re probably a liberal. If you’re one of the people who says, “I want my constitution back” then you’re a liberal. Just google classical liberalism.

            But yeah, there are very few true Marxists running around these days. There are cultural Marxists but remember that is a term the right came up with to disparage the progressive left and it is not a term that they give themselves.

            One of the worst things about political discourse in America is that all the political terms can change meanings faster than a chameleon can change his skin color.

          • John Jackson

            Well of course these names can have all kinds of meanings, how would I describe myself? i hate to even try since as you say any name I may use automatically lumps me in with all kinds of things and people.

            I am actually fine with Classical Liberals, I’m generally cool with anyone who believes in the non-aggression principle, because it really doesn’t matter if we disagree on every other thing, so long as we respect the NAP they can do their thing and I can do mine, too bad more people don’t embrace the idea.

          • JohnEngelman

            I call those who say, “I want my constitution back” as reactionaries. What they really mean is that they desire a restoration of the laissez fair capitalism of the nineteenth century.

          • Max

            No kidding! You can’t trust a bunch of people who decide to make money OFFERING a product or sevice to the public but somehow, people are transformed into sterling benefactors when employed as government agents who make their own laws to decide how to take by FORCE from the public what they require to multiply their own power and forward their agenda. Here is a clue for Engelman: Look how many government entitities are “corporations” and how many essential daily activities are concluded within “administrative law”. We are considered “assets” of this corporation called government which he believes is here to “serve” us impartially.

          • John Jackson

            The whole irony is, a corporation is a government creation, you can’t become incorporated without govt approval, and it is govt that creates all the shielding from the law that corporations enjoy.

            It cracks me up how so many actually believe govt is the nemesis of the corporation when nothing could be further from the the truth.

          • JohnEngelman

            The definitions of words shift over time. During the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century a “liberal” was someone who wanted less government. Now a liberal is someone who wants more government. Both times a liberal has been someone whose sympathies have been with those who are not rich.

          • John Jackson

            Oh, how noble, define rich, cuz if you live in America or most any European country you have it better than 95% of the people in the rest of the world, so you’re not quite a 1%, but you are a 5% which is pretty well off.

            There will always be rich and poor, some people are better at business than others, yes, I know, there are the trust fund babies, but that is a very small percentage.

            You still fail to address my point about the wealth transfer.

          • JohnEngelman

            I am in favor of a well financed public sector of the economy paid for by steeply progressive taxation. I hope that addresses your point about the wealth transfer.

          • Weisheit77

            I hate that word liberal. I think George Washington and Thomas Jefferson when I hear liberal. Progressive is the better term. You are a progressive on economic and environmental issues. You are a progressive because you trust the government more than the business community.
            Keynesian economics is not liberal economics.

          • JohnEngelman

            If you have read the King James Bible you may have noticed that the definitions of words shift over time. A striking example is Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

            Here “suffer” means “to allow.”

            We can trace the definition of suffer in The Declaration of Independence, where Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they
            are accustomed.”

            Here “suffer” retains the meaning it had in the King James Bible, while seguing to a new meaning: “to experience pain.”

            One of the first people to use the word “liberal” in a political way was Adam Smith. However, Smith was less of a partisan of business interests and the rich than his contemporary devotees imagine. In his Wealth of Nations, Chapter IX, “On the Profits of Stock” he wrote, “Our merchants and master-manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.”

            Thomas Jefferson is also quoted by reactionaries who imagine in him a kindred spirit. When Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson wrote, suffrage (allowing people to vote) was restricted to the well to do. Government policy therefore favored the rich against the majority.

            Liberals at the time imagined that by restricting the government, they were advancing the interests of the laboring classes. For example, when Adam Smith lived minimum wage laws did not exist. Instead, there were maximum wage laws. Adam Smith opposed maximum wage laws.

            As corporations became larger and more powerful it became clear to liberals that employees needed a government that intervened in the economy on their behalf. At this point, the definition of “liberal” changed, while the original intentions of liberals persisted.

  • A Freespeechzone

    I don’t owe them a DAMNED thing!

  • tjh

    Nothing is owed to these people- our laws and protections exist for Americans, and if these illegal aliens want to benefit from those laws, they can go to the back of the line and come here the right way. They broke the law by coming here, and continue to break the law by holding any job at any pay rate. And if the median income for migrant workers is 36K, I know a LOT of Americans who would be happy to do the job!

    • Who Me?

      The author seems to miss the point that illegal aliens are NOT citizens, and therefore are not entitled to civil rights–which are reserved specifically to the citizens of that nation. They ARE entitled to human rights, all humans are, but NOT civil rights.

  • WR_the_realist

    The Nation is so far left it makes the New York Times look hard right by comparison.

  • Evette Coutier

    How about reparations for whites? We’ve been carrying your lazy behinds for hundreds of years. I want my money back.

    • anony

      Were we not supporting all of the illegals and welfare kings and queens, we could be supporting mining camps on the moon and colonies on Mars now.

  • archer

    Blaming us for desert deaths, free trade causes us to lose jobs, not the other way around, that’s why our last reported trade deficits were over 500 billion a year, this guy is a real clown. What he’d like to see is the locusts come an gut us and then move onto Canada.

  • Weisheit77

    I love how they didn’t figure in how 20 million new legal workers would affect the labor market. It seems that their simple formula assumes that the labor market would be the same if a large influx of new legal labor suddenly appeared. It seems to totally miss the fact that the reason they had jobs was because they work in black market. It’s cheaper to employ them.

    • Melvin Bonzarelli

      Twenty million? Nineteen and a half million of them don’t speak English. Heck, most of them don’t even speak Spanish, they speak various and sundry Mayan dialects. The schools systems can’t even find teachers for them.

  • MekongDelta69

    Article from the radical far-left Nation written by the usual guilt-ridden, self-loathing, hypocritical, spineless White leftist…

    Ignore meaningless, repetitive, anti-White article…

    Next

    • Melvin Bonzarelli

      The liberal rag, The New Republic, is in the process of self-destructing. Hopefully The Nation will follow soon.

  • serious123

    Like to know how much of his share he has paid. Bet it is not a dime.

  • Alex Dihes

    My Talmud
    Any nation has right to choose a nice looking President to be disappointed with the fool or to choose a smart one who will be disappointed with the nation of fools.

  • Melvin Bonzarelli

    You do realize that these people are clinically insane, don’t you? Explains a lot.

  • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

    I think Americans deserve reparations
    .
    If we repatriated their citizens and anchors, I’d be willing to call it even. We would save trillions in a very short time.

  • See The Future

    We need to employ bounty hunters. Wanted dead or alive. I suspect there are many well qualified veterans that would delight in providing further paid service for their country.

  • willbest

    I must have missed the part whereby employing an undocumented worker deprived an American of a wage, while simultaneously suppressing all labor wages. I would imagine the true cost to America for each undocumented worker is somewhere around 1.8 times whatever he was paid, plus all the public services he consumed.

    Still the article does have a point, thousands of desert deaths is truly a tragedy. If we would just publicly shoot a couple hundred trying to cross the border then millions would cease making the journey and they would still be alive today.

  • Augustus3709

    My cheek hurts from getting caught on this bait, but still, if this ever happened maybe the pitchforks and torches would finally get going.

  • Jeff Traube

    How about reparations for descendants of Southern slaveholders whose property was confiscated without compensation.

  • Lkoehn

    What we owe to illegal aliens is a hob nailed boot in the butt back across the border.

  • Reynauld

    I bet this guy is a Jew

  • ThomasER916

    “Back in the nineteenth century, defenders of slavery drove wedges between white and black.”

    Tawana Brawley
    Duke Lacrosse
    LA Riots
    Trayvon Martin
    Michael Brown
    Ferguson

    Though the wedge was driven by nature, the Culture of Critique has been around for a long time. Wipe out the Culture of Critique and the ethno-masochists will disappear.

  • Earl P. Holt III

    HERE’S A BETTER IDEA:

    A Constitutional Amendment that would grant every state the Co-Extensive Power and Authority to police its own borders and jurisdictions against incursions by undocumented Foreign Nationals, independent of any cooperation or approval on the part of federal authorities or the federal courts;

    Moreover, each state shall have the power to engage in Asset Forfeiture against Foreign Nationals residing illegally therein, and shall use the proceeds of such Asset Forfeitures to Process, Incarcerate or Repatriate Foreign Nationals illegally residing therein;

    Moreover, it shall prohibit any Undocumented Foreign National — who has ever entered the United States Illegally and without proper authorization — from ever becoming a U.S. Citizen under any circumstances other than by the Constitutional Amendment Process.

  • Joe blow

    Hilarious!

  • Marty Johnson

    I didn’t ask for them to come here. I didn’t ask for them to work for peanuts and undercut American workers. I did not benefit in any way, shape for form from them working here. If my grapes would have been more expensive if the owners had to pay extra to entice Americans to work the harvest I would have gladly paid it. Send them home with nothing, just like they came here. Those who are immigrating LEGALLY will thank you.