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Are we at war with Mexico?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/06...-near-el-paso/

Should we be, in some sense?

Quote:
Pointing their rifles, Mexican security forces chased away U.S. authorities investigating the shooting of a 15-year-old Mexican by a U.S. Border Patrol agent on the banks of the Rio Grande, the FBI and witnesses told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

....Shortly after the boy was shot, Mexican soldiers arrived at the scene and pointed their guns at the Border Patrol agents across the riverbank while bystanders screamed insults and hurled rocks and firecrackers, FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons said. She said the agents were forced to withdraw.


I'll tell you what really gets me: These are folks that are trying to enter the United States in a deliberately illegal fashion. There is no question of that. The Mexican government even provides tips to its citizens on how to survive if coming to US illegally. Then, when someone inevitably dies, it's murder?

We have a Mexican government that opposes all efforts to deal with immigration. It opposes all attempts we make to control our border. On top of this, our own government refuses to enforce its own laws. We are literally being invaded with the sanction of a foreign power. How is that not war? Millions of illegals are stressing our hospitals, schools and services. Many immigrants do not assimilate as immigrants did for generations.

Any group or person that wants to enforce current law and/or control the border is indicated s a racist. Arizona is the prime example. We have a state that literally declared it was going to start actually enforcing the law. They were slammed as racists--by the very Federal government that is supposed to enforce that law (and by many members here).

What do we do with our neighbor, Mexico? Should we continue to smile as American jobs pour over the border, while illegal immigrants pour into the US?
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post #2 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/06...-near-el-paso/

Should we be, in some sense?

I'll tell you what really gets me: These are folks that are trying to enter the United States in a deliberately illegal fashion. There is no question of that. The Mexican government even provides tips to its citizens on how to survive if coming to US illegally. Then, when someone inevitably dies, it's murder?

We have a Mexican government that opposes all efforts to deal with immigration. It opposes all attempts we make to control our border. On top of this, our own government refuses to enforce its own laws. We are literally being invaded with the sanction of a foreign power. How is that not war? Millions of illegals are stressing our hospitals, schools and services. Many immigrants do not assimilate as immigrants did for generations.

Any group or person that wants to enforce current law and/or control the border is indicated s a racist. Arizona is the prime example. We have a state that literally declared it was going to start actually enforcing the law. They were slammed as racists--by the very Federal government that is supposed to enforce that law (and by many members here).

What do we do with our neighbor, Mexico? Should we continue to smile as American jobs pour over the border, while illegal immigrants pour into the US?

Just like criticism of Israel, it is not politically correct to criticize Mexico. People who do are shouted down as racist, etc.

Why is so much illegal immigration from Mexico tolerated on both sides? The bottom line is literally the bottom line, especially for big agribusiness. Corporate profit always assumes a higher place on the totem than maintaining the integrity of the US border.

Btw... try going into Mexico illegally, and see what the Mexican authorities do if you get caught!
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post #3 of 41
"Are corporations at war with the people of the world?"

after all, as has been so saliently pointed out by so many, it is the corporate drive for profits which ultimately aids & abets illegal immigration. If corporations in the US (agribusiness, the meat industry, etc.) didn't hire illegal immigrants...what motive would there be for people to illegally enter the US?
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post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by user23 View Post

"Are corporations at war with the people of the world?"

after all, as has been so saliently pointed out by so many, it is the corporate drive for profits which ultimately aids & abets illegal immigration. If corporations in the US (agribusiness, the meat industry, etc.) didn't hire illegal immigrants...what motive would there be for people to illegally enter the US?

Quote:
"Are corporations at war with the people of the world?"


Not that I don't agree with you I do. It's pretty much corporate drive for profits that is at the heart of a lot of things now days.

But careful. They'll ask you to prove that statement you just made that's pretty common knowledge.
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post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

It's pretty much corporate drive for profits that is at the heart of a lot of things now days.

Agreed. At the heart of many of the good things we all enjoy and benefit from.

Did you mean something else?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

But careful. They'll ask you to prove that statement you just made that's pretty common knowledge.

Yes, jimmac's quest is a fight against the tyranny of being asked to back up your claims.

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post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by user23 View Post

after all, as has been so saliently pointed out by so many, it is the corporate drive for profits which ultimately aids & abets illegal immigration. If corporations in the US (agribusiness, the meat industry, etc.) didn't hire illegal immigrants...what motive would there be for people to illegally enter the US?

Indeed you are right. The drive for profit is aiding and abetting freedom to move from country to country in pursuit of better lives.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Just like criticism of Israel, it is not politically correct to criticize Mexico. People who do are shouted down as racist, etc.

Why is so much illegal immigration from Mexico tolerated on both sides? The bottom line is literally the bottom line, especially for big agribusiness. Corporate profit always assumes a higher place on the totem than maintaining the integrity of the US border.

Btw... try going into Mexico illegally, and see what the Mexican authorities do if you get caught!

I agree. If you think about it corporate profits are at the heart of a lot of the world's ills.
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post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

I agree. If you think about it corporate profits are at the heart of a lot of the world's ills.

If you actually think about you'll come to a more correct conclusion.

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post #9 of 41
Uh oh! Someone still doesn't get it when he talks to himself.
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post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

Uh oh! Someone still doesn't get it when he talks to himself.

Uh oh! Someone still doesn't get what ignore actually means.

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post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

If you actually think about you'll come to a more correct conclusion.


OK - I'll bite.

What's your counter to his statement?
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post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

I agree. If you think about it corporate profits are at the heart of a lot of the world's ills.

I see nothing wrong with businesses making a profit... if they didn't, they would go bust. HOWEVER... I do believe that there is a disease afflicting the business climate, as witnessed by the obsession with profit maximization as priority #1, before everything else. A modest, functional profit, or even a decent profit used to be fine.. but now, such a concept is taboo in an age of unbridled greed and gluttony.
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post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

A modest, functional profit, or even a decent profit used to be fine.. but now, such a concept is taboo in an age of unbridled greed and gluttony.

Great comment Sammi.

The greed and gluttony you mention currently pervades American society. It is not limited to the business sector. It infects the political realm (corruption, earmarks) and the personal realm (credit card debt, sexual practice, dietary intake). There is hardly a sphere of life unaffected.

Sorry to sound like an old-time revivalist, but America has lost its moorings (which were centred around family-building and Judeo-Christian ethics) and embraced a materialism that only seeks to enrich and entertain oneself.

Education can't turn that around, especially not the current educational system. Political change won't turn that around. Like Futurama's John Jackson and Jack Johnson, both parties are equally compromised. Religion can't fix it, and the lack of religion (aka Atheism) actually increases the embrace of materialism.

When people say that America is screwed, this is what they mean. The Debt-to-GDP ratio is simply a symptom.
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post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

I see nothing wrong with businesses making a profit... if they didn't, they would go bust. HOWEVER... I do believe that there is a disease afflicting the business climate, as witnessed by the obsession with profit maximization as priority #1, before everything else. A modest, functional profit, or even a decent profit used to be fine.. but now, such a concept is taboo in an age of unbridled greed and gluttony.

Exactly.
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post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

A modest, functional profit, or even a decent profit

Now I guess all we need to do is define these terms...objectively, absent anyone's personal feelings, and we're done.

When is everyone going to realize that profit (or loss) is a signal, a piece of information. It tells us something. The greater the profit (assuming the profit isn't garnered by forceful government protection...rent seeking) in some particular endeavor, the more efficiently resources are being used to provide some particular things that is needed or desired. When a loss is incurred it tells us that resources are not being efficiently used and that either new management is required to make changes for greater efficiency or the operation needs to be disbanded and the resources it is using redeployed to some better activity.

Profit or the pursuit of it is not evil or wicked. Even the pursuit of maximum profit. In fact the greater the profit garnered, the bigger the signal that there is something in demand that others can get into the game of providing. Their competition will help to provide that thing even more effectively and will, ultimately, reduce profit margins in that area, over time while providing all of us with better (quality, features, convenience, etc.)) products and services at lower prices.

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post #16 of 41
Thread Starter 
So many seem to agree that business is at fault? I can't agree with that. Slam them for it all you want, but business will do what is good for business. If there is cheap labor available, they will take advantage. Corporations exist to make a profit. The problem with saying they should make a "decent" or "reasonable" profit is that someone has to determine what those terms mean (i.e. the government). They are entitled to make as much profit as they want or can. Of course, we do need basic legal safeguards for workers (minimum wage, etc). I don't think that business can be completely unfettered in this regard. We just need to understand that big business is not good, nor bad. It just behaves as we know it will. Sometimes that means we need to limit its behavior.

In that spirit, jobs are clearly a huge draw for illegal immigrants. This causes many of the problems I outlined earlier. The solution is three-fold, I think. First, fine the crap out of businesses that hire illegals. Also, secure the border. After BOTH of those are done, then create a guest worker program. Make it easy to to a get guest worker status. Make it easy and painless for current immigrants to get guest worker status. No fines, no return to country of origin, etc.

The point is this though: The Mexican government and certain forces within this country want unfettered immigration. Period. I don't know how one deals with that extreme position.
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post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Of course, we do need basic legal safeguards for workers (minimum wage, etc). I don't think that business can be completely unfettered in this regard. We just need to understand that big business is not good, nor bad. It just behaves as we know it will. Sometimes that means we need to limit its behavior.

I don't agree on the minimum wage (which you specifically list) and I would be interested to hear more about your thoughts on "basic legal safeguards for workers", "completely unfettered" behavior and the limits you think should exist.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

In that spirit, jobs are clearly a huge draw for illegal immigrants.

And this is viewed as a bad thing, but I don't entirely understand why. Frankly I'm pleased to see people wanting to come to the US to actually work and be productive. We're going to need more people to be doing that in the coming years as Obamanomics/Pelosinomics truly takes root.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

This causes many of the problems I outlined earlier.

Yes there are many problems with the immigration situation. But, to some extent, aren't these problems comparable to the problems that existed during the prohibition years in this country? Seriously. Most of the problems had to do with the fact that the government made something illegal that many people wanted to do and that was generally fairly harmless, but became much worse simply due to its illegality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

The point is this though: The Mexican government and certain forces within this country want unfettered immigration. Period. I don't know how one deals with that extreme position.

It may be an extreme position from your point of view, but is is basically wrong? Perhaps "unfettered" is not quite the right way to put it, but is there anything really wrong with allowing a substantially more free immigration path to this country*?


*I should say that with the growing welfare state in the US there are risks of freeloaders coming to the US, but there has been some debate about a) whether the people coming are actually freeloading in higher percentages than those who already live here, and b) even if there are some freeloaders, whether the productive workers actually outweigh that. This is hard to know with certainty.

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post #18 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I don't agree on the minimum wage (which you specifically list) and I would be interested to hear more about your thoughts on "basic legal safeguards for workers", "completely unfettered" behavior and the limits you think should exist.

I think minimum wage should exist to set a baseline for compensation to maintain human dignity. In other words, it prevents near slave-labor status. I do not think it should guarantee any living standard, per se. Don't even get me started on people pushing for "livable wage," whatever that means.

Quote:

And this is viewed as a bad thing, but I don't entirely understand why. Frankly I'm pleased to see people wanting to come to the US to actually work and be productive. We're going to need more people to be doing that in the coming years as Obamanomics/Pelosinomics truly takes root.

Coming for the purpose of working and being productive is good. But that doesn't happen in a vacuum. Illegals need a place to live, hospitals, schools, etc. All those things cost money. Since illegals generally don't pay taxes, they are a major drain on the system. Guess who ends up paying for these things?

Quote:


Yes there are many problems with the immigration situation. But, to some extent, aren't these problems comparable to the problems that existed during the prohibition years in this country? Seriously. Most of the problems had to do with the fact that the government made something illegal that many people wanted to do and that was generally fairly harmless, but became much worse simply due to its illegality.

That comparison is wholly inappropriate. Illegal immigration is not harmless at all. See above.

Quote:


It may be an extreme position from your point of view, but is is basically wrong? Perhaps "unfettered" is not quite the right way to put it, but is there anything really wrong with allowing a substantially more free immigration path to this country?

It depends on what you mean by "free." If you mean "make it easier to come into the US legally." then I agree. Beyond that, it's wrong for the reasons I listed.
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post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I think minimum wage should exist to set a baseline for compensation to maintain human dignity. In other words, it prevents near slave-labor status. I do not think it should guarantee any living standard, per se. Don't even get me started on people pushing for "livable wage," whatever that means.

There are so many problems with this, it is worthy of its own thread, so I'll leave it for now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Coming for the purpose of working and being productive is good. But that doesn't happen in a vacuum. Illegals need a place to live, hospitals, schools, etc. All those things cost money. Since illegals generally don't pay taxes, they are a major drain on the system. Guess who ends up paying for these things?

First, you assume that they don't pay taxes*. Second, you assume that all the things you listed must and can only be provided through taxes. Both of these are untrue.

*One way to get around the whole tax issue would be to replace all income taxes with sales taxes. This would ensure that anyone who buys anything in the US (surely people here illegal are buying things) would be paying taxes. There are other benefits to this approach as well, but that's another thread too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

That comparison is wholly inappropriate. Illegal immigration is not harmless at all. See above.

I disagree. I think there are some actually very appropriate parallels. Further you have yet to prove the real harms of immigration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

It depends on what you mean by "free." If you mean "make it easier to come into the US legally." then I agree. Beyond that, it's wrong for the reasons I listed.

But now we're starting to play with words here. Let's set aside legal vs. illegal for a moment. What are the harms of immigration in general? What are the risks and problems with it? Who should not be allowed to immigrate to the US? Why? It is these problems that laws should be created to deal with.

As for what I mean by free...I mean to make it as easy as possible within reasonable limitations (those might be things like carrying infection diseases, prior criminal history, etc.), to immigrate to the US. Frankly, just being Mexican seems to be the main limitation now.

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post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

But now we're starting to play with words here. Let's set aside legal vs. illegal for a moment. What are the harms of immigration in general? What are the risks and problems with it? Who should not be allowed to immigrate to the US? Why? It is these problems that laws should be created to deal with.

Or simply have the existing ones enforced properly.

Quote:
As for what I mean by free...I mean to make it as easy as possible within reasonable limitations (those might be things like carrying infection diseases, prior criminal history, etc.), to immigrate to the US. Frankly, just being Mexican seems to be the main limitation now.

Well, the only reason I think this is the case is because with a person being Hispanic/Mexican is a visual as well as auditory queue that they may be an immigrant rather than a natural born American. However, any illegal immigrants, whatever their national heritage, should be returned to their country of origin thereby enforcing existing law.
NoahJ
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post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

Or simply have the existing ones enforced properly.



Well, the only reason I think this is the case is because with a person being Hispanic/Mexican is a visual as well as auditory queue that they may be an immigrant rather than a natural born American. However, any illegal immigrants, whatever their national heritage, should be returned to their country of origin thereby enforcing existing law.

I get the idea of enforcing the existing laws. But I think it is worthwhile to revisit and reconsider those laws (ala prohibition as I mentioned earlier). There are millions who wish to come to the US and work. Is this a bad thing? Why? If it it's not, then let's reduce the barriers to entry as much as is practical. People are breaking the law because, for some reason, the legal means of entry are too burdensome or strict and the benefits of coming the US outweigh the risks of breaking the law (again, like prohibition). In the case of prohibition, political leader wisely revisited their basic assumptions and eventually repealed those laws. Perhaps some similar wise reconsideration is warranted here.

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post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I get the idea of enforcing the existing laws. But I think it is worthwhile to revisit and reconsider those laws (ala prohibition as I mentioned earlier). There are millions who wish to come to the US and work. Is this a bad thing? Why? If it it's not, then let's reduce the barriers to entry as much as is practical. People are breaking the law because, for some reason, the legal means of entry are too burdensome or strict and the benefits of coming the US outweigh the risks of breaking the law (again, like prohibition). In the case of prohibition, political leader wisely revisited their basic assumptions and eventually repealed those laws. Perhaps some similar wise reconsideration is warranted here.

Until such time, the laws need to be enforced Otherwise they undermine the authority of those who do enforce law to enforce any law under their jurisdiction.
NoahJ
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post #23 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

There are so many problems with this, it is worthy of its own thread, so I'll leave it for now.

Then start it.

Quote:


First, you assume that they don't pay taxes*. Second, you assume that all the things you listed must and can only be provided through taxes. Both of these are untrue.

*One way to get around the whole tax issue would be to replace all income taxes with sales taxes. This would ensure that anyone who buys anything in the US (surely people here illegal are buying things) would be paying taxes. There are other benefits to this approach as well, but that's another thread too.

Yes, I assume they don't pay taxes. That's because on the whole, they don't. Many are paid under the table. Many don't own residences, so they pay no school taxes. Hospitals and schools ARE stressed as a result (do I really need to support that, or will you concede it?).

Replacing income taxes with sales taxes is an idea worthy of consideration. It won't happen, but it would alleviate some of the problems wrt immigration.

Quote:

I disagree. I think there are some actually very appropriate parallels. Further you have yet to prove the real harms of immigration.

Then list them. I happen to think it's a ridiculous analogy. One has to do with a product that people want to consume. The other has to do with economics.

As for immigration being harmful, let's be clear: Immigration is not harmful. Illegal immigration is. I have demonstrated clearly why it is harmful from an economic standpoint. I am not making this up. There are specific examples, even near where I live. One of these is Hazelton School District. The town of Hazelton passed legislation making it illegal to rent to illegal immigrants. Why would a coal-region town at the top of a mountain in PA have to do this? Money. In the late 1990s, the school district's ESL budget was $800. Less than 10 years later, it was $800,000. This is an impact that taxpayers feel directly. The same is true for other areas of the country.

And what about the other impacts? Illegal immigrants tend not to assimilate into the culture. They tend not to learn English (I can speak to this personally, being a teacher). They form a sub-culture with its own language, customs, places of residence, etc. It essentially balkanizes the country. This is never good. It is also much different than what happened with the immigrants of the past 100 years.

Quote:

But now we're starting to play with words here. Let's set aside legal vs. illegal for a moment. What are the harms of immigration in general? What are the risks and problems with it? Who should not be allowed to immigrate to the US? Why? It is these problems that laws should be created to deal with.

No. We cannot set aside legality. That is at the very heart of the matter. Legal immigration in reasonable amounts is good for society.

Quote:

As for what I mean by free...I mean to make it as easy as possible within reasonable limitations (those might be things like carrying infection diseases, prior criminal history, etc.), to immigrate to the US. Frankly, just being Mexican seems to be the main limitation now.

As for the main limitation, there is a reason you view it that way: The vast majority of illegal immigrants are from Mexico. We don't have a problem with Canadiens streaming over the boarder by the tens of thousands. We have a problem, primarily, with Mexicans. This is because the US offers the promise of a better life, and is directly to the North.

I agree with making it easier emigrate from Mexico legally. But first, we must contain illegal immigration.
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post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

Until such time, the laws need to be enforced Otherwise they undermine the authority of those who do enforce law to enforce any law under their jurisdiction.

Fair enough. But what I see happening is that as things get more strictly and rigidly enforced you will see more and more deleterious effects. In short...things will get uglier and uglier.

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post #25 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Fair enough. But what I see happening is that as things get more strictly and rigidly enforced you will see more and more deleterious effects. In short...things will get uglier and uglier.

So..to which areas of law does that apply? All? The problem here is that you're comparing illegal immigration to prohibition again...even if just in your head.
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post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Then start it.

Maybe later.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Yes, I assume they don't pay taxes. That's because on the whole, they don't. Many are paid under the table. Many don't own residences, so they pay no school taxes.

Do you assume that someone who does not own (but presumably rents) does not pay taxes to support school taxes?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Then list them. I happen to think it's a ridiculous analogy.

Good for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

One has to do with a product that people want to consume. The other has to do with economics.




Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

As for immigration being harmful, let's be clear: Immigration is not harmful. Illegal immigration is. I have demonstrated clearly why it is harmful from an economic standpoint.

I don't think you have.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

No. We cannot set aside legality. That is at the very heart of the matter. Legal immigration in reasonable amounts is good for society.

Well, I was trying to setup a relevant thought experiment for discussion. But I guess you're not interested. \


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I agree with making it easier emigrate from Mexico legally. But first, we must contain illegal immigration.

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post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Fair enough. But what I see happening is that as things get more strictly and rigidly enforced you will see more and more deleterious effects. In short...things will get uglier and uglier.

So because thing might get worse before they get better we should just throw our hands up and not enforce existing law? It is the lack of enforcement that has gotten us to where we are now. More of the same will not fix the problem, and making it easier to enter will not either. You have to enforce law, or it is impotent. And at this point, immigration law basically is.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

The problem here is that you're comparing illegal immigration to prohibition again...even if just in your head.

Maybe the problem is that you don't see the parallels. And I'm not just making the comparison in my head, I'm laying it out there for all to see (and critique and debate).

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

So because thing might get worse before they get better we should just throw our hands up and not enforce existing law?

I'm simply saying that I predict that additional, tighter stricter enforcement will get ugly. That being the case (if it is the case), perhaps we ought to reconsider the laws to begin with. Think about what the (long term) goals are. Like that. This doesn't seem like a terribly unreasonable position to take.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

It is the lack of enforcement that has gotten us to where we are now.

I think it's more complicated than that. It is a combination of having the law, not enforcing it and incentives for people to break it.

In general I am in favor of greater freedom not just for me and not just for people who are living in or citizens of the US. I'm trying to figure out why we wish to restrict Mexicans from coming into the country. When I ask that question I get the "We're not opposed to them coming in legally, just illegally." But this begs the question. I'm trying to stop the question begging here about the legality. I'm trying to understand why we don't simply make it much, much easier for them to come to the US legally. It's almost like we just want to be "right" (whatever that means and looks like) and punish the poor bastards. I'm trying to figure out exactly why this is. Fundamentally we need to ask ourselves whether the thing that is illegal is illegal because it is malum in se (wrong or evil in itself) or malum prohibitum (conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute).

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Now I guess all we need to do is define these terms...objectively, absent anyone's personal feelings, and we're done.

When is everyone going to realize that profit (or loss) is a signal, a piece of information. It tells us something. The greater the profit (assuming the profit isn't garnered by forceful government protection...rent seeking) in some particular endeavor, the more efficiently resources are being used to provide some particular things that is needed or desired. When a loss is incurred it tells us that resources are not being efficiently used and that either new management is required to make changes for greater efficiency or the operation needs to be disbanded and the resources it is using redeployed to some better activity.

Profit or the pursuit of it is not evil or wicked. Even the pursuit of maximum profit. In fact the greater the profit garnered, the bigger the signal that there is something in demand that others can get into the game of providing. Their competition will help to provide that thing even more effectively and will, ultimately, reduce profit margins in that area, over time while providing all of us with better (quality, features, convenience, etc.)) products and services at lower prices.

Despite Friedmanism having run amok in the last few decades, there does remain a place for ethics in business, believe it or not. There are many highly successful businesses, (almost all of the non-dinosaur variety) which run on an ethical MO. Even if the ethical aspect is considered unfashionably "wimpy" or whatever, then there are practical considerations... such as avoiding cutting corners, and falling for false economies. Look at BP, for example... by cutting corners in pursuit of slashing expenses (and thus maximizing profits), perhaps even to the extent of criminality, they have incurred a $multi-billion clean up bill for the Gulf. And then the lawsuits.... Those poor shareholders, my heart it bleedeth.

What type of capitalism serves America, or investors best? The robber-baron crony variety employed by Enron etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. or something different? Does the business community in general feel that honesty and integrity still have a place in business, or is global competition too intense to allow for such twee notions?
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I'm simply saying that I predict that additional, tighter stricter enforcement will get ugly. That being the case (if it is the case), perhaps we ought to reconsider the laws to begin with. Think about what the (long term) goals are. Like that. This doesn't seem like a terribly unreasonable position to take.

So is that a yes then?

Quote:
I think it's more complicated than that. It is a combination of having the law, not enforcing it and incentives for people to break it.

How is that more complicated? The incentive is the reason that people would break the law to begin with. Other than that it is exactly what I said.

We have laws about robbing banks too. If nobody enforced those laws banks would be robbed daily until they failed. The incentives are obvious, money is there to be had, people need money, and it is easy to get money by robbing a bank. People might get harmed in the robbery and since the law against robbing banks is not enforced many people are doing it. Now someone decides that the answer to the problem is to make it easier to get money out of the bank. After all, if you enforce the law things might get ugly for a while.

Use any analogy pertaining to illegal activity and law, for all of them your solution sounds equally preposterous...
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Does honesty and integrity still have a place in business...?

Of course they do and they pay and they are profitable in the long run. Those who are dishonest and lack integrity typically find themselves losing in the end.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

So is that a yes then?

I'm trying to have a reasonable discussion wherein nuanced answers to questions are appropriate. It's not helpful if you will choose to over-simplify either the questions or the answers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

How is that more complicated? The incentive is the reason that people would break the law to begin with. Other than that it is exactly what I said.

Because it is not just about the lack of enforcement, it is also about the existence of the law in the first place. You are begging the question here and you don't even realize it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

We have laws about robbing banks too. If nobody enforced those laws banks would be robbed daily until they failed. The incentives are obvious, money is there to be had, people need money, and it is easy to get money by robbing a bank. People might get harmed in the robbery and since the law against robbing banks is not enforced many people are doing it. Now someone decides that the answer to the problem is to make it easier to get money out of the bank. After all, if you enforce the law things might get ugly for a while.

Use any analogy pertaining to illegal activity and law, for all of them your solution sounds equally preposterous...

So you want to accuse me of holding a preposterous position by using a preposterous example of your own. Priceless. See my comments about malum in se (wrong or evil in itself) or malum prohibitum (conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute) for more clarity on this question.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Despite Friedmanism having run amok in the last few decades, there does remain a place for ethics in business, believe it or not. There are many highly successful businesses, (almost all of the non-dinosaur variety) which run on an ethical MO. Even if the ethical aspect is considered unfashionably "wimpy" or whatever, then there are practical considerations... such as avoiding cutting corners, and falling for false economies. Look at BP, for example... by cutting corners in pursuit of slashing expenses (and thus maximizing profits), perhaps even to the extent of criminality, they have incurred a $multi-billion clean up bill for the Gulf. And then the lawsuits.... Those poor shareholders, my heart it bleedeth.

What type of capitalism serves America, or investors best? The robber-baron crony variety employed by Enron etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. or something different? Does the business community in general feel that honesty and integrity still have a place in business, or is global competition too intense to allow for such twee notions?

This is the closest I have come to agree with you on any point Sammi. The exodus of ethics in business and the drive for profit at any expense is a huge issue. How many companies looked for profit at the expense of everything else only to find themselves failing and/or destroying the market they are in due to their drive? There are many examples. Profit is not bad, and can be seen as a measure of a business that found a market and was able to fill it better than their competition. It allows for job creation and for wealth creation. However profit at the expense of everything else is another story...
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I'm trying to have a reasonable discussion wherein nuanced answers to questions are appropriate. It's not helpful if you will choose to over-simplify either the questions or the answers.

But I am not seeing your nuances then. Where does the position deviate?

Quote:
Because it is not just about the lack of enforcement, it is also about the existence of the law in the first place. You are begging the question here and you don't even realize it.

Do you believe that a country should have immigration controls that are enforced? And do you believe that a country should have enforceable borders?

Quote:
So you want to accuse me of holding a preposterous position by using a preposterous example of your own. Priceless. See my comments about malum in se (wrong or evil in itself) or malum prohibitum (conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute) for more clarity on this question.

What is priceless is that you cannot see how your position comes across to those you are presenting it to. If you are going to convince me that your position makes sense you have to present it clearly. If I am misinterpreting your position, help me to understand it better. You obviously do not believe that immigration outside of accepted channel is wrong or evil in itself. Therefore, does it follow that it should not be punishable by having those that do it being returned to their country of origin?
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
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post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

Do you believe that a country should have immigration controls that are enforced? And do you believe that a country should have enforceable borders?

I believe it has a right to. I believe that, in the spirit of freedom, those controls and limits should be as little as is practically possible. These laws should be light-handed vs. heavy-handed. I'm not sure that the current immigrations laws in the US fit that criteria.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

What is priceless is that you cannot see how your position comes across to those you are presenting it to. If you are going to convince me that your position makes sense you have to present it clearly. If I am misinterpreting your position, help me to understand it better.

I have tried to do this. There are two parts of communication though: sender and receiver. If the receiver is unwilling to understand or unable, this may not be the fault of the sender.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

You obviously do not believe that immigration outside of accepted channel is wrong or evil in itself.

Correct. I'm not sure I see how it is evil in itself (as opposed to,say, robbing a bank). No one has explained how it is. No one has convinced me that it is. I'm willing to listen to arguments in support of the claim that it is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

Therefore, does it follow that it should not be punishable by having those that do it being returned to their country of origin?

Correct.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I believe it has a right to. I believe that, in the spirit of freedom, those controls and limits should be as little as is practically possible. These laws should be light-handed vs. heavy-handed. I'm not sure that the current immigrations laws in the US fit that criteria.

Ok

Quote:
I have tried to do this. There are two parts of communication though: sender and receiver. If the receiver is unwilling to understand or unable, this may not be the fault of the sender.

However, in an attempt to further understand your position I have made a few postulations wile letting you know they may not be correct and asking for further clarification. The response as I see it is, "sorry if you are either (a) not willing or (b) not smart enough to understand. Not my problem." Point A is obviously not the case as I am still asking questions, and point B is a specious argument.

Quote:
Correct. I'm not sure I see how it is evil in itself (as opposed to,say, robbing a bank). No one has explained how it is. No one has convinced me that it is. I'm willing to listen to arguments in support of the claim that it is.

Correct.

Thank you for the clarification. I am not sure how to argue this point with you as the issue seems self evident to me. I will have to think it through some more and see if there is a better way to present the position. We may just have to agree to disagree here.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

However, in an attempt to further understand your position I have made a few postulations wile letting you know they may not be correct and asking for further clarification.

The response as I see it is, "sorry if you are either (a) not willing or (b) not smart enough to understand. Not my problem." Point A is obviously not the case as I am still asking questions, and point B is a specious argument.

I'm looking for these and not finding them. The closest I find are:

Quote:
So because thing might get worse before they get better we should just throw our hands up and not enforce existing law? It is the lack of enforcement that has gotten us to where we are now. More of the same will not fix the problem, and making it easier to enter will not either. You have to enforce law, or it is impotent. And at this point, immigration law basically is.

Quote:
Do you believe that a country should have immigration controls that are enforced? And do you believe that a country should have enforceable borders?

Quote:
You obviously do not believe that immigration outside of accepted channel is wrong or evil in itself. Therefore, does it follow that it should not be punishable by having those that do it being returned to their country of origin?

Quote:
We have laws about robbing banks too. If nobody enforced those laws banks would be robbed daily until they failed. The incentives are obvious, money is there to be had, people need money, and it is easy to get money by robbing a bank. People might get harmed in the robbery and since the law against robbing banks is not enforced many people are doing it. Now someone decides that the answer to the problem is to make it easier to get money out of the bank. After all, if you enforce the law things might get ugly for a while.

Use any analogy pertaining to illegal activity and law, for all of them your solution sounds equally preposterous...

I believe I've tried to respond to just about all of those in one way or another. Is there anything outstanding that you've asked me for clarification on that I should respond to?


Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

I am not sure how to argue this point with you as the issue seems self evident to me. I will have to think it through some more and see if there is a better way to present the position. We may just have to agree to disagree here.

You could start by trying to show me how immigration is something that might be "evil in itself" vs. " wrong just because there's a law against it." Bank robbing is fairly easy. It is theft (and often the threat of violence). These things seem clear to be evil in themselves. Immigration is merely movement across a fairly arbitrary line on a map.

Think about this analogy:

Let's say that the US passes a law that requires you to drink a glass of orange juice every morning. If you decide not to do so one day, you have broken the law. What you are doing is illegal. Laws should be enforced. But wait, perhaps we should stop and think about whether such a law even makes sense. Maybe we should consider whether the action of not drinking orange juice is evil in itself or just wrong because someone said it was (through a law) and whether the law surrounding it should even exist.

Mind you, I'm not trying to upturn the concept of the "rule of law" but most people don't actually understand what that really means and, in fact, as more laws that are mere malum prohibitum (i.e., wrong just because we says so) come into being the rule of law actually gets weakened and undermined not strengthen as you might imagine.

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post #39 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Maybe the problem is that you don't see the parallels. And I'm not just making the comparison in my head, I'm laying it out there for all to see (and critique and debate).

OK, how about you explain the parallels, then?

As for the previous post: People that rent do not directly contribute to schools. Their landlords pay taxes, but this does not make up for lack of home ownership. Taxes are not based on occupancy, which is a major factor in the accommodations many illegals have.

Quote:
Well, I was trying to setup a relevant thought experiment for discussion. But I guess you're not interested.

No, you were trying to get me to help you minimize the differences between legal and illegal immigration and/or trying to get me come down against ALL immigration. The fact is that legal immigration and illegal immigrant are totally different things, with different effects.
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post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

OK, how about you explain the parallels, then?

The following is true for both:

- They are both something people wish to do (drink alcohol/move to a new are and work)
- The government has declared them to be illegal.
- The illegality doesn't appear to have anything to do with the activity being evil in and of itself, it is merely wrong because someone said it was.
- People continue to want to do this non evil activity despite what the law says.
- People's desire to do and value of doing it exceeds the risks of breaking the "law".
- People are therefore willing to go to great lengths to do the non-evil thing they want to do regardless of what the law says.
- Some people are screaming "It's illegal! Someone oughta DO something!"
- Law enforcement gets ratcheted up further and further, while people's attempts to evade the law to do this non-evil thing get more creative (and possibly dangerous.

Finally:

- No one is asking whether or not the law makes sense to keep on the books.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

As for the previous post: People that rent do not directly contribute to schools. Their landlords pay taxes, but this does not make up for lack of home ownership. Taxes are not based on occupancy, which is a major factor in the accommodations many illegals have.

No, but they are still paying the property taxes. Now you are assuming that all illegal immigrants are occupying their residences beyond the normal or expected occupancy limit of the dwelling.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

No, you were trying to get me to help you minimize the differences between legal and illegal immigration and/or trying to get me come down against ALL immigration.

I think I know what I was trying to do. TYVM.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

The fact is that legal immigration and illegal immigrant are totally different things, with different effects.

And the fact is you are begging the question about the legality/illegality of immigration.

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