Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Why all the fuss about Immigration?
The United States has never had anything close to an Immigration Policy, so why worry about it now.

Prior to the mid-19th Century, the United States had an agrarian economy, as it expanded geographically, and there was no real need for an immigration policy. Since then, the common thread in any discussion on this Country’s “immigration policy” has been the industrial revolution. Closely following the Civil War the Industrial Revolution kicked into high gear. There became an urgent need to staff the growing number of factories. Many workers came from the farmlands and overseas to realize the promise of higher incomes. In a nutshell, as the western Nations industrialized, they needed a workforce to staff and operate their modern-day manufacturing facilities (the factories). The United States seemingly dropped all attempts at immigration policy for the same reason Europe did: industrialization.
“Most Counties, however, have not reconciled the old need for a work force and the need to regulate modern day immigration trends. With the recent failures in many economies, the lack of immigration regulation has bloated the ranks of the poorer classes and is increasing the tension and squeeze on what is left of the middle class. This is a lose-lose proposition in that the poor require certain attention that the middle class tax base can support. Without the middle class tax base, the poor are being hung out to dry (kicked to the curb). The "upper class" has never shown much of a penchant for supporting the lower classes. If you follow a logical train of thought on this, you come to the conclusion that at some point the upper class has no one left to do, their bidding.



Post World War I, the U.S. began struggling with immigration policy. President after President, Congress alter Congress in the 20th century have tried to figure this out, and have failed time and time again. So, for the last 146 years or so, the U.S. has virtually had no immigration policy, and that is large part of our current situation. I have quoted a few sources to detail the chain of events that got us here.


The Rise Of Industrial America, 1876 - 1900: [1]
“In the decades following the Civil War, the United States emerged as an industrial giant. Old industries expanded and many new ones, including petroleum refining, steel manufacturing, and electrical power, emerged. Railroads expanded significantly, bringing even remote parts of the country into a national market economy.”
“Industrial growth transformed American society. It produced a new class of wealthy industrialists and a prosperous middle class. It also produced a vastly expanded blue-collar working class. The labor force that made industrialization possible was made up of millions of newly arrived immigrants and even larger numbers of migrants from rural areas. American society became more diverse than ever before.”
Allison Morey on the Center for History and New Media: [2]

“During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, millions of immigrants were coming to the United States. The majority of these immigrants came from eastern and western Europe. Immigration increased during this time-period for several reasons. One reason was the hope for a better life, which included economic opportunities and an escape from oppressive governments. Another reason was for the adventure. A final reason includes religious freedom, especially for the Jewish people who were facing religious persecution in Russia.”

Nancy Birdsall, in Foreign Affairs Magazine: [3]
“It is interesting to note that, almost to a Nation, the Industrial Revolution had a direct and lasting effect on Immigration Policies. There are a handful of European Countries who chose to readjust their Immigration Policy once they had established a firm manufacturing base. The folks that filled the factories were to become the much needed Middle Class.”

                                    “Say hello to the new Dark Ages!”

“Why is this Middle Class the topic of so many economic and governmental discussions? The answer lies in the realization of just who pays the taxes that allow the wheels of industry and government to turn. The height of the Middle Class in the United States was achieved in the 1960's. The apex was reached as a direct result of our Military Industrial Complex. As much as people like to bash this sector for economic prowess, the Military-Industrial Complex gave this Country its incredible ability to out produce any other Nation on the Globe. It was the sole reason that our Standard of Living was, and still is, head and shoulders above anyone.”

“Unfortunately, in the 1990's there was a Trade Agreement reached, initially involving Canada, The U.S., and Mexico, that started the downhill spiral of our middle class by allowing our manufacturing jobs to be shipped outside our borders. The politicians at the time reassure the American public that this mass migration would never occur. We the people chose to listen without questioning a thing. It seems ironic that the exact opposite of what they promised us happened.”

“Here we are in 2016 wondering if we will ever again see the likes of our old middle class. Another Industrial Revolution does not appear to be in our future; hence, a resurgence of our middle class seems unlikely, at best. The big question facing our young adult population is that of actually paying for things we so easily take for granted; Social Welfare, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, affordable housing, and, yes, government itself. The Baby Boom generation could probably come up with the solution, but we're just to tired and burnt-out. Our children and grandchildren will have to figure this out on their own, and all we can tell them is, “Good luck"”.

I spent much of my adult life in our manufacturing sector. When I learned the details of this NAFTA deal, it was painfully obvious the Middle Class was going the way of the dinosaur. I witnessed, first hand, the steady decline in my regional manufacturing base, and it was clear that our Nation's tax base was going to suffer from this ill-conceived trade agreement. The politicians, and Lords of Industry, fiddled while “Rome” was burning!

Well, just maybe, Ms. Birdsall’s admonition of “good luck" is not enough. What is left of the middle class could easily team up with the lower classes and forcibly make a change in the status quo. The upper class isnt going to like it much, they will try everything in their power to fight back. I have a fairly good grasp on how the rank and file of the Military think, and, if the Military comes around, as I suspect it will, the upper class will have no option but to capitulate. Everything I see happening around me keeps pointing me in this direction of analysis. Yes, we could have a “bloodless” coup d’├ętat, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Our economic and financial structures have become so polarized I don’t see a peaceful solution to the combination of no immigration policy and a disappearing tax base.

Taking a little bit from a number of points of view could possibly solve the problem of this Country ceasing to be a democracy. Take a little bit of isolationism. Take a little bit of libertarianism. Take a good bit of fiscal conservatism. Make our borders a little more secure. Take a little bite out of our financial sector. Make an investment in our infrastructure. Make a few less abominable trade pacts. And, come up with a logical immigration policy that stems the depletion of governmental resources to anyone who can enter this Country: legally, or not. Now, if we don’t get the ball rolling on this, our States will start declaring bankruptcy at an alarming rate (14 of them are on the brink right now). You think you know what true anarchy might look like. Believe me you have no idea what this Nation in total chaos would look like.

Watch this space.......................

References:
[1] Library of Congress, web site-
[2] Center for History and New Media-
Author: Allison Morey
[3] Foreign Affairs Magazine, March/April 2016 - Nancy Birdsall, President of the Center for Global Development