Thursday, January 24, 2008





Why is it that we have to pay Ben Bernanke millions of dollars to bring in a truckload of Ph.D.s just to tell us that we're hurtin'? And even then he won't give us a definitive answer - "Ah, Well, it's beginning to look like we just might be edging, or, tiptoeing, as it were, towards the outer fringes of an exceedingly mild recession - a teeny-weeny one I assure you - but we can't be absolutely certain of that at this time." Who is he trying to lie to - certainly not the American public - people are outside the hall throwing rocks at the police so they can go to jail in time for lunch.

All these so-called "experts" have to do is glance up from their spreadsheets at the people selling apples outside their window to know we're in a recession. And why are they looking so shocked - what did they expect when gas rivals the price of pumping Chavis Regal in our tanks? (Actually, I wish it was Chavis Regal - I have to get drunk just to get up the nerve to fill my tank). But they say a downturn in the economy is a fertile opportunity for innovation - and they're right. If I had two dollars to rub together I'd open up a gas station with slot machines as gas pumps and make a killing. My customers could drop five dollars in the pump and if they got three cherries they'd get a free tank of gas. Remember, you heard it here first.

But seriously, have you ever wondered why all of these so-called experts, with all their advanced degrees are always nine months to a year behind the people when it comes to seeing the obvious? We spent hundreds of billions of dollars and lost countless lives invading Iraq when even Willie the wino predicted Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction. And do you remember when I told you about a year ago that trying to sell Gucci bags in a homeless shelter was a ridiculous fiscal policy? Well, now the economy is saying I was right and the experts were wrong - again.

The only reason I'm not banging on Harvard's door to demand an honorary degree is because it didn't take a rocket scientist to predict this downturn. Bush's fiscal policy is not so much a policy as it is a scam - and they know it. Using my Gucci bag analogy, what sense does it make to continue to give Gucci a tax break to make handbags to sell in a homeless? The homeless can't afford to buy them. Even Gucci knows that it doesn't make sense, so why should he use that money to hire more people to make handbags that he can't sell? So he's not going to take that money to retool - he's going to either buy himself a Ferarri, or pocket that money as profit. The only way to get Gucci to hire more people to make more handbags is to give the tax breaks to the people in the homeless shelter so they'll have money to spend on Gucci's bags. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see that - but of course, I'd never accuse our president of being a lowly brain surgeon.

Granted, I'm not an economist, but it seems to me that what we're dealing with here, are two economies. We have one economy that applies to the investor class, and another economy that applies to the labor class (labor, meaning anyone who depends on a job for a living, regardless of whether they're blue collar , or in management).

When the United States had a thriving industrial economy, one class complimented the other. Labor was well paid, so they were able to purchased goods. That allowed the companies that sold the goods to prosper to the benefit of the investor class. But now in a global market, in order to both remain competitive with countries that pay their workers just above slave wages, and also sustain their greed, the investor class have to squeeze every penny and concession out of the labor class to achieve their profit margin. So in essence, whenever Bush announces that the economy is thriving, he's not talking about the American economy as a whole - he's actually telling the investor class that he's successfully squeezing the American workers to the limit. You see, since we have a global market now, they no longer have to worry about the American worker making enough money to purchase their goods, they can sell them overseas. So now the American worker is no longer a partner, he's simply a field hand.

That dichotomy in our economics explains why our politicians can't seem to get a handle on illegal immigration. As I pointed out, in order for American business to compete in a world with countries that produce goods with workers who work for just above slave labor, America must respond in kind. That is the purpose of illegal immigration - it's being used to undermine the middle class in this country. Having a viable middle class has become cost prohibitive in this country.

We're being told that illegal immigrants are only being used to do the jobs that American workers don't want, but that's not true. Illegal workers are being used as electrical workers, in construction, as truck drivers, upholsters, mechanics, etc. - and in the process they're placing an undue strain on our healthcare and educational and systems, driving up the cost of housing, and having a negative impact on our entire social infrastructure.

Thus, we need to have a national referendum on how to address the illegal worker issue in this country. We need to take it out of the hands of the politicians, and follow the will of the American people. We've got to make up our minds what we want to do. If we're going to grant illegal immigrants immunity, then, let's do it. But if it's the general consensus of the American people to send them home, then we've got to become serious about that as well, by passing laws with teeth - laws that make it unattractive for illegal workers to come here in the first place -then follow those laws to the letter.

We've got to stop fooling around with this issue. The longer we straddle the fence, the more people we're going to have to deal with, and the more convinced they're going to become that they have a right to stay. If we sit on our hands until they start to think of the United States as home, we're going to have a revolution on our hands if we try to change course - and if you think we have a lot of illegal immigrants now, just wait until their children start having babies.

So if we truly want to stop illegal immigration, we have to stop playing games and trying to be politically correct. We have to start passing tough laws, and strictly enforcing those laws: Fines of twenty thousand dollars per offense for anyone who hire or house illegal immigrants, and the seizure of assets for any offense thereafter; a year in jail on first offense for anyone caught in the U.S. illegally, and a felony on any offense thereafter; make it impossible to enroll a child in school without proof of citizenship; withhold all social services, with the exception of emergency medical services, and then pass a law saying that any child born of an illegal parent is also illegal, even if that child is born within the United States. Laws such as those would take away any incentive for anyone to cross the border illegally. That would also contribute to our security as well, because then we can assume that anyone trying to cross into the United States illegally is doing it with malevolent intent.

That may sound strange coming from me, because anyone who read my writings regularly know that I've agonized over this issue for sometime and I've flip-flopped on it at least once before. In fact, about six months ago I wrote an article in support of illegal immigrants, indicating that they are the indigenous people of this land. But I have a policy of going wherever the facts lead, and while I desperately wanted to arrive at a rosy scenario regarding illegal immigration, the facts refused to cooperate and only portrayed an image of social devastation.

The consequences of having millions of people flooding across our borders into the U.S. will have a devastating impact on our children and grandchildren. Therefore, in my opinion, we should assist illegal immigrants in addressing their grievances with their own governments in the same way that the Black community has done in the United States. While my heart sincerely bleeds for the plight of illegal immigrants, I simply cannot give them priority over my own grandchildren - that would go beyond being compassionate, it would be stupid. It would also play right into the hands of globalists who are trying to corral labor in such a way that it undermines the American middle class.

But we shouldn't take our anger out on the illegal immigrant - they're only pawns in this scenario. We should reserve our anger for the corporatists who are pushing those pawns. We should press our government to pressure Mexico and other countries of origin to address the plight of their poor. That should be one of our top national priorities, and we shouldn't elect any politician who isn't committed to that initiative, and vote out any politician who waffles on it. We must also direct our anger, our dollars, and our votes, against any corporation, and all politicians, who allow conditions to exist that force people to leave their home in order to feed their families. We must pin these politicians down, and let them know that we know what's going on, and if they don't fix it, we're going to see to it that they lose their jobs long before we lose ours.

We must also take immediate steps to see to it that American corporations don't think they can follow Dick Cheney's Halliburton to Dubai, and then think they're going to sell their goods or services in the United States. We need a worker's Bill of Rights that says if you want to ship your jobs overseas, you can sell your goods over there as well. If you're an American company, you must be headquartered in America, pay your fair share of taxes in America, and use American workers. If you're not willing to do that, we'll find someone who is.

Of course, many are going to call us protectionists--but as Miles Davis said, so what.

Eric L. Wattree

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