Friday, March 12, 2010


The topic of Illegal Immigration is surfacing again, as it should since it is an on going issue. Again the issues of amnesty and biometric Id's are popping up. I am against wholesale amnesty plans as they do nothing to solve the issues and open the door for a flood of legal immigration that throws things out of balance. If they do issue some sort of amnesty program I think the family links for legal immigration should be curbed with restrictions. If someone slipped into this country illegally I don't think they should be handed all the benefits of someone who did it legally. The country simply can't afford the flood of immigrants that could come in without some restrictions put on the number of those being considered for amnesty. Frost Wooldridge has written several very good articles on the subject of immigration and brings up a lot of very sound issues that unbridled immigration will have on our nation if we allow it.

I use to resent illegal immigrants a lot. I'm a construction worker and have seen first hand the impact they have had on the industry. I watched as the Texas builders brought the illegal work force to Georgia around 1985 after the Texas building bust happened. When I got to Georgia in 1982 , blacks (or insert what ever PC name you want to call them / I consider them Americans with African heritage instead of African Americans) were doing most of the drywall hanging and masonry / concrete work. Whites were doing much of the framing / trim / drywall finishing / trades. Very quickly though both groups were pushed out of drywall / framing / concrete/ masonry / trim and the trades were being impacted heavily. These were not jobs that Americans didn't want to do. They were jobs Americans could not afford to do for 1/3 or 1/2 the wages they had been getting paid to do. Contractors , primarily the big ones loved getting twice the man power for less money then they had paid previously. Framing and other labor prices basically froze at the rates paid in 1987 as the cost of living crept ever upward. The work was now being done by largely unskilled or poorly skilled people who knew nothing about what Slump Factors or PSI ratios meant in concrete work. (They are the factors that give concrete it's strength and structural integrity) Much of them didn't even speak the language and couldn't comprehend when you tried to explain why you can't just massively water down a load of cement to make it easier to work with! The people brokering these workers didn't spend the time to properly train the workers. Instead they just hired people and threw them at the work. I competed against the flood of cheep labor and eventually took a job supervising them in mass to try and get some semblance of quality out of the work force. I remember one day walking in on a Mexican painter who was rolling paint on walls over fresh carpet with no drop cloth. I told him three times to go get a drop cloth to protect the carpet. He just acted like he didn't understand English and kept rolling. Finally, pissed off I told him "If you don't go get a drop cloth right now I will hit you with the biggest back charge you have ever seen! I will replace the whole houses carpet and your going to pay for it!" Praise Jesus! A miracle happened and he suddenly understood English! He went to his truck and got a drop cloth. I'm sure the next house he did he just went back to doing it wrong though. A lot of the work force just didn't care and when your making pennies for doing what the work is worth why should they?

I remember sitting in a bar with one of my co-workers and I was bitching about all the illegals flooding the market. He looked at me an said "I know what your talking about, but consider this. If we were in their shoes, as hard we work and as motivated as we are, we would be the first ones across the border!" It stunned me a little as he was absolutely right. Here I was sitting in a state 2400 miles from home where I had moved to get a better life and a decent job. Montana at the time was stagnating and job opportunities were few and far between. My friend was there from Chicago for the same reason. I had seen the waves of immigration into the area from all parts of the USA. There was the Ohio wave , the Chicago wave , the New York wave , the Texas wave and many more mini waves into the area from all over the country. I understood the need and desire to pick up stakes and go where the work and the money was to make a better life. After that I didn't blame the workers, I blamed the greedy people who owned the companies that hired the illegals.

I remember the day I heard on the news that the number of people who immigrated into the Atlanta area now out numbered the natural population that was from Atlanta. It was a sad day, even though I was part of the invading number. Part of Atlanta southern culture died that day and it was sad to see it go that way. If we aren't careful , our country could see the same fate and that would be a tragedy. I got to know many of the Mexicans and OTM's that I worked with. I was talking with my laborer once and he told me he didn't immigrate here just for the money. (He was one of the few legal ones by the way) He had come here for a better life. He told me in Mexico you couldn't trust the government , the police , or the banks. Corruption was rampant down there and there was little hope in changing it. Honest people were mowed over and it was a struggle to survive. A few years later when my aunt asked me the question - did I think it would be a bad thing if we did do away with the border I related to her what had been told to me from my laborer and told her Yes, it would be a very bad thing! I can sympathise with the immigrants but the melting pot needs time to work to unified the cultures. It can't do that when it is being overwhelmed by a dominant influence from a single region. There needs to be a controlled balance to promote good immigration into the country. I'm not opposed to immigration, we are a nation of immigrants and our diversity is part of our strength. Immigration just needs to be balanced. The first step would be to enforce the laws on the books rather then write a whole new set of laws. Any good plumber will tell you , stop the water from pouring in before you try and fix the problem. If need be pump some of the water out but you need to stop the water before you can truly fix the leak and repair the water damage. Any time they talk amnesty we seem to get an influx of people coming in to capitalize on it. That's not a good thing.

We have a lot of problems in the USA, immigration is just one of them. The slow down in the economy has been our best deterant to illegal imigration. I guess thats the thin silver lining to our economic troubles. Let's just hope the Democrates don't try and ram threw amnisty like they are trying to do with health care. (Someone tell me how to pay for health insurance when I don't have a damn job and lost my health insurance because of being laid off?!) Anyway...... The debate is about to rage on as imigration rears it's head again. Let's just hope wisdom gets the upper hand as the subject is delt with.

Until next time
Lasco X

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I was reading articles on the Drudge report about the economy. Things are looking worse as the recovery we are hoping for seems to be stalled. It is not terribly surprising that the recovery is stalled. Construction and real estate pulled us out of the last recession. With falling house prices don't expect construction to save us from the slide this time. We have off shored so much manufacturing that we have limited goods to export. The export of goods is the only real way we can lower the trade deficits that routinely plague our nation. One of our biggest exports is weapons of war that can destabilise the world even farther. That doesn't do us much good in the long run. We are heading toward another wave of record foreclosure rates in the coming months as adjustable rate mortgages move upward again. All in all , very little has been done to prevent a repeat of the events of two years ago when the "Troubled asset relief program Or T.A.R.P." was enacted. As one of the commentators noted back then... "Isn't a tarp you use to cover something up?" Things didn't go away, they were just shoved out of site for a little while.

The economic troubles are not confined to the USA. Europe is having their own issues as the Euro faces it's first real challenge. Greece is the immediate cause of the issues in Europe but it is more of a symptom then the heart of the issue. The next few months in Europe should be interesting as they realign the power bases in the old world. Something I found interesting in the stories from Europe is the names Goldman-Sachs and George Soros came up. These are major players in the economic landscape and the fact that they are being linked to the issues going on in Europe doesn't bode well for the world. Personally, I think it should be illegal to bet on an economic downturn when you stand to profit from it and are in a position to make it happen.

We are seeing renewed calls for a new world currency to take the place of the dollar. The latest are coming from the IMF(International Monetary Fund). This doesnt bode well for the US economy if the world does unhinge from the greenback. On top of that we have major players in the PLA (Peoples liberation army)over in China saying that they need to use their economic might to deal with the USA. It is increasingly obvious that our debt that China holds is going to be used against us in the near future. The world is difinatly still in troubled waters economically right now.

I have faith in the American people and thier ability to innovate and create. We are definatly going to need to dig deep this next year. We collectively need to sacrafice and stop digging ourselves into a deeper hole. The people at the top of the economic food chain also need to stop being so damn greedy. The American people do not need to be bailing out millionairs when people are losing thier houses in record numbers. If the people who control the real wealth keep having the "Let them eat cake" attitude they will not be happy with the out come. People can only take so much and after a while you have nothing left to lose. In the mean time we push on and try to stay ahead, surviving the best we can.

I hope everyone is keeping thier heads above the water line.
Until Next time
Lasco X