Saturday, August 05, 2017

You Can't Say Trump Brought Back A Know Nothing Ethos-- Since It's Never Really Gone Away


Jews voted overwhelmingly for Hillary against Trump last year, but immigrant Jews, especially from Russia, voted for Trump. Emma Lazarus was born in 1849 to a family of Jewish immigrants from Germany, although she is known for her writings about Russian Jewish immigrants who fled the pogroms that followed the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. And, of course, she's even better known for her 1883 sonnet, "The New Colossus," which was placed on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty 1903.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Today, most Americans who are aware of it's existence at all, know the lines
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

I wonder what people-- both Trump voters and normal Americans-- would think/say/do if he decided to physically remove the plaque. Trump's war with Emma Lazarus' poem isn't about "illegals." It's about his own ugly xenophobia and the Know Nothing stand of American politics that energizes his base of supporters. As Heather Long wrote in yesterday's Washington Post Trump's steep cut in legal immigration-- from a million annually to half that-- is seen as a "grave mistake" by most-- like nearly 90%-- economists.
Experts overwhelmingly predict it would slow growth-- the exact opposite of what Trump wants to do with “MAGAnomics.”

“Restricting immigration will only condemn us to chronically low rates of economic growth,” said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group. “It also increases the risk of a recession.”

During the campaign, Trump repeatedly told illegal immigrants to “get out.” Now he wants to cut back on legal immigration as well. On Wednesday, Trump stood side-by-side with Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) to endorse their bill, the RAISE Act. The bill does two things: It moves the United States toward a "skills-based immigration system" where people with special skills get top priority and it cuts legal immigration by 50 percent.

"This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families," Trump said Wednesday. He believes immigrants-- both legal and illegal-- take jobs from Americans, even though the jobless rate in the country is incredibly low.

...“We need to modernize the immigration system, but cutting immigration in half is bad for the economy and bad policy,” says Jeremy Robbins, executive director of New American Economy, a coalition founded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to improve U.S. immigration policy.

Robbins points out that Canada and Australia-- the supposed models for the Trump administration's reforms-- both let in more than double the number of immigrants per capita than the United States does. There are also concerns that such a dramatic cut to legal immigration would cause illegal immigration to rise.

Cotton introduced the RAISE Act in February. It wasn't expected to go far given the crowded to-do list for Congress this year, but Trump's news conference Wednesday is giving it new life.

In April, over 1,400 economists from across the political spectrum sent a letter to Trump urging him not to cut immigration. The letter said there was “near universal agreement” on the “the broad economic benefit that immigrants to this country bring.” Thomas Simons, senior economist at Jefferies investment firm, said a 50 percent reduction would be “absolutely harmful to an economy with a population undergoing the demographic transformation.”

The bottom line is that the United States needs more workers. Growth happens when one of two things occurs: The economy gets more workers or the existing workers become more productive. At the moment, both of those factors are red flags. Productivity growth is sluggish, and, as Trump has pointed out many times, the percentage of American adults who actually work-- the labor-force participation rate-- is hovering at the lowest levels since the 1970s.

A big part of the problem is the baby boomers are starting to retire. The United States needs more people to replace them, but the U.S. birthrate just hit a historic low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's why many economists, demographers and business owners keep calling for more immigration, not less.

“Limiting immigration to the U.S. is a grave mistake,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “The only way to meaningfully increase U.S. economic growth on a sustained basis anytime soon is to increase immigration.” During the campaign, Zandi predicted that Trump's protectionist stances on trade and immigration would lead to a “lengthy recession.”

Trump portrays immigrants as scooping up American jobs. But the data appears to tell a different story.

U.S. unemployment is at 4.4 percent. In May, unemployment hit the lowest level since 2001, a milestone Trump celebrated. That implies there aren't many people struggling to find work. At the same time, the United States has 5.7 million job openings, which is near a record high. It's been that way for a year now. Business leaders with big and small firms say they can't find enough workers. They are especially vocal about not being able to find enough people for really low-skilled, low-pay work and for really high-skilled jobs.

Trump is already heeding the calls for more lower-skilled workers. His administration recently bumped up visas for seasonal foreign workers by 15,000, a 45 percent increase from last year.

There is growing support for moving the United States to a more merit-based immigration system. The idea is to attract more of the immigrant workers that the country desperately needs. At the moment, only 15 percent of green cards are issued for employment reasons, according to Department of Homeland Security data.

...From an economic standpoint, the key is to get more workers with the desired skills into the country. It's why the tech community is lobbying so hard for more H-1B visas. Immigrants also tend to start more businesses. While start-up founders in Silicon Valley are glorified, the reality is business formation in the United States is near a 40-year low. That worries Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust.

“Countries that get collectively older are granted fewer patents, start fewer small businesses and take fewer risks with capital,” Tannenbaum said. All of that hurts economic growth.
Doug Applegate, a former Marine colonel and the progressive opponent for GOP bigot Darrell Issa was crystal clear about where he stands on the immigration debate. This is a statement he sent out to voters in San Diego and Orange counties yesterday"
We are a nation of immigrants. One of the values our country was founded on is the acceptance of individuals from all over the world, with notions of lifting every person up and presenting opportunities they could not get elsewhere.

The most recent actions of Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have attempted to demolish the values our nation was founded on. Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue have outlined new legislation that will cut legal immigration in half and cap refugees at 50,000 a year.

Let’s be clear: This legislation is created under the false notion, which the Trump administration has continually pushed forward, that immigrants are taking away jobs from Americans and negatively impacting our communities.

I wholeheartedly know that to be false. I know that right here in California, and all over the country, we celebrate and embrace all cultures. We grow as we learn from one another, and we lift one another up to make this country better. Immigrants are our friends, our family, our colleagues, our neighbors, and their contributions are woven into the fabric of our lives.

The United States needs appropriate and comprehensive immigration reform-- but it should not deny children and family members of citizens or those with green cards just because our government is being led by a few closed-minded xenophobes. When I am in Congress, I will fight for sensible, compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform, with pathways to citizenship for our millions of hard-working undocumented residents.
Another military veteran and progressive candidate for Congress Blue America has endorsed is Jim Thompson (KS-04). The kind of insight he shows as he analyzed what Trump and Cotton are up to helps get a grasp on the kind of congressman he will be. He wrote that Trump's "new immigration policy is nothing more than a reflection of the homogenized world he wants to build, giving preference to those who speak English and already possess money and power. The practical effect of this policy will be to give admission to those individuals from western countries while denying entry to poor, non-Christian, and non-English speaking people. No longer will we allow entry to the poor, the hungry, or the huddled masses yearning to be free. From the Burroughs of New York, to the beaches of Florida and California, to the hills of Wisconsin and Minnesota, what would our country look like today if this policy had been in effect throughout our history. Our diversity is our strength. It has been woven into the fabric of our society because we once believed that all men and women are created equal and entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  "When a person joins the military, he or she agrees to give their life if needed to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic. President Trump cannot understand such selflessness because he dodged service in the armed forces during Vietnam. He does not know what it means to place his life in the hands of another and have them place their lives in his. Shamefully, Trump would deport soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and any member of their family that are not citizens. Deportations such as this will seriously jeopardize military readiness and enlistment. We owe these men and women a debt of gratitude for protecting us and our loved ones. Military service should guarantee citizenship and stop any deportation of a family member. Upon completion of the initial enlistment, the immediate family of any service member should be given citizenship as well. To do otherwise dishonors not just these brave men and women, but all who swore an oath to defend this country and sacrificed their lives. The graves in Arlington do not distinguish between citizen and non-citizen, and neither should our President."

  Goal ThermometerSam Jammal is the Blue America-endorsed candidate running for the Democratic nomination to take on notorious bigot Ed Royce, long famous for disparaging immigrants. Sam told us that his parents-- "like so many others before them-- came to America to build a better life. My mother came to the United States from South America to finish high school and my father came from the Middle East. Neither started with much, but they worked hard and sacrificed so my siblings and I could achieve the American Dream. This is the story for so many Americans. America is a welcoming country-- the land of hope and opportunity. We are a country where someone like me-- the son of an immigrant fast food restaurant worker-- can run for Congress. This is why I started my career working in civil rights at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)-- because we need an immigration system that works and is in line with our values. When it comes to immigration, it's about solutions, not divisive rhetoric. I strongly support Senator Duckworth's legislation to protect our military veterans from deportation. Someone willing to put their life on the line for our country should have their sacrifice honored regardless of their immigration status. This is the type of solutions oriented policy we need-- not what the Trump Administration and Ed Royce are proposing. Given the diversity of the 39th district, its shameful that Ed Royce refuses to speak out against the Trump immigration plan. But its not a surprise given Ed's 97% voting record with Trump and silence on every other bad policy being put out by this Administration."

Sam is referring to a very different kind of bill from Cotton's ugly xenophobic legislation, one that was introduced in the Senate by Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) on Thursday. Their bill attempts to protect U.S. military veterans convicted of nonviolent offenses from arbitraty deportation. Duckworth's and Cortez Masto's bill would also allow deported veterans convicted of nonviolent offenses to reenter the country to access Veterans Administration health care facilities, and allow deported veterans to apply for visas to permanently return to the U.S. Duckworth: "Men and women willing to wear our uniform shouldn’t be deported by the same nation they risked their lives to defend."

I get the impression that this scapegoating of immigrants is pissing off Randy Bryce, the progressive running against Paul Ryan in southeast Wisconsin, just over the Illinois border. "I turned on my tv," he told us, "to see Stephen Miller distancing the White House from the Statue of Liberty. It wasn’t any surprise. I guess the big problem is that I still haven’t gotten used to Trump’s America (not mine) looking down it’s nose at those who have made the US what it is. How soon until 'melting pot' is removed from our vocabulary? Staying on the subject, I recently read some legislation being proposed by my (s)hero Sen. Tammy Duckworth. Do we really need a law to tell us that anyone willing to Serve in the US military might be someone we want to thank instead of deport? Apparently so-- seeing as the current resident of our White House who called it 'a dump' and took multiple deferments in order to avoid defending us chose Stephen Miller to do his talking."

Jenny Marshall is the courageous progressive running for the North Carolina seat occupied by one of Congress' worst bigots, Virginia Foxx. Jenny told us that her great grandparents "came to America from Poland and settled in Chicago. My grandfather didn't speak a word of English until he went to Kindergarten. This is a familiar story for millions of American's who can trace their roots to immigrants who flocked to this country for a better life and a place they could call home. Under Trump's RAISE plan my great grandparents and others like them would not have been allowed to come here. These immigrant newcomers become part of their communities. They join PTAs at their children's school, buy houses, learn a trade, start businesses and even serve our country in the military. They weave their story into the fabric that becomes America. But, frankly, our immigration system needs an overhaul. It is difficult to maneuver, subjective and is often out of reach for those who truly need to flee their home country for a better life. We could do much better. Take for instance Senator Tammy Duckworth's newly introduced legislation which could remedy a current injustice where non citizen men and women who serve in our military are subject to deportation. Do we really want to be a nation who deports our veterans? I say no and I support her efforts to right the wrong here. We must prioritize these servicemembers' path to citizenship and allow them to remain in the country they fought so bravely to protect."

David Gill is the progressive physician running for Congress against rubber stamp Republican hack Rodney Davis in Illinois' 13th district. This morning he told us that Trump and the Republicans "unveiled an immigration bill that is nothing more than an ethnic purity test. No matter what Trump tells you, his immigration policies will not improve our economy or make us safer. This is just more of the same unadulterated bigotry that we've seen time and time again from this man, and I look forward to getting to Congress in January 2019 to stand in his way when he seeks to discriminate against people based on their religion, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation. I'm proud to see my senator, Tammy Duckworth, propose bills to protect veterans from deportation. It's obvious that deportation of such veterans smacks of the same bigotry we see demonstrated repeatedly by the commander-in-chief. I'm a 24-year member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and I can't wait to get to work eliminating such naked racism from our federal government."

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At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stupidity among voters has always been a problem, at least as far back as '68. It's been a large majority since the '80s. And hate/fear have become the pervasive main factors since 2000.

With this pos, America has truly elected a mirror image for president. We're fat, stupid, arrogant lying piles of shit who hate "others" and fear them above all else, including interests which will keep us alive.

The confederacy finally won the civil war.

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love DWT, but have stopped reading the comments due to the same moron who thinks his negative and disgusting comments are something we all really care to read. Please keep sharing the very interesting information that I cannot get anywhere else. I hope everyone who reads this blog ignores the moron who always seems to try to ruin it with his idiotic rants.

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm relieved that 10:23 won't be troubled any longer by comments. I hope he/she is content in his/her relentless ignorance about ... everything.

I would pose this question: What if FDR had been obamanation... or Clinton? He would have sold his administration to GE and Ford and GM and Standard oil. And he would NEVER have raised tax rates nor passed the WPA act. The bankers would have been bailed out and everyday americans would have been ratfucked.

And there would be no usa today since Japan would have won the war.

And FDR would have been beaten in 1936 by whatever R ran because he'd have betrayed everyone who voted for him hoping that he could/would make a difference. See, voters in the '30s were much smarter and cared more about the general health of the US commons.

I don't continue to point out how stupid and indifferent and evil voters are because I enjoy doing so. I point it out because it's true. And it didn't have to be true, but we MADE IT TRUE.
I point it out because maybe, just maybe, it'll piss off some folks into becoming better, smarter, less ambivalent, less ignorant and BETTER VOTERS.

Hopefully better voters means better parties and better candidates if it isn't already too late to change things.

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 1930 census had the population at 123 million.

If FDR had been obamanation or either Clinton (or Reagan, bush, bush, cheney or trump), the population by 1936 would have been only 100 million. A few million would have fled to Canada and 20 million might have starved to death. None of them would have been bankers.

Voters would have been wise to the con even if millions had not died. FDR won 4 elections because he was the opposite of obamanation, Clinton et al.

Now we elect someone because he's NOT the other one instead of him being someone worthwhile.


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