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The pre-modern mind [conservative Southerner like Bush] can conceive of economic expansion only in terms of applying traditional techniques to more resources. The idea of using innovative machinery or more efficient organizational techniques to produce more with the same amount of land, labor, or raw materials—or even with smaller amounts—is alien to this archaic mentality.

Michael Lind, Made in Texas (2003)

Hence the reliance on more oil, not more fuel-efficient cars; more immigrant labor, not highly mechanized and automated industries.

With a Supreme Court that bestows "most of the legal rights the rest of us enjoy" on foreign, illegal enemy combatants bent on the overthrow of the US government and the murder of its citizens, I seriously doubt that legal guest workers have anything to fear.

And to NewMexiKen: on behalf of all of us 'pre-modern minded' conservative southerners, let me be the first to say: "fuck you and the horse you rode in on" . . . just as soon as I figure out how this here new-fangled electronic internet writin' contraption works.

Reliance on more oil over more fuel efficient cars is what we here in the gun-clinging south call "market forces". You know, people buy what they want, not what the government forces upon them.

Why don't you cite Singapore's guest worker program? It works quite well. Reason.com did an article on it a while ago.

This may not be an ideal solution -- I'm in favor of dramatic increases in the limits we have on immigration for people who intend to stay permanently. However, it's a good deal better and less open to abuse, both for the immigrants and for businesses, than what we currently have. It may also be possible to get past the slobbering nationalistic bipartisan (not, in this case, a good thing) majority. Therefore, we should do it.

Look, just quietly de-publish this post and we all agree not to speak of its stupidity again. Are you seriously arguing that a regulated guest worker program is open to worse worker abuse than undocumented workers being smuggled into this country now?

So who here wants to be like Saudi Arabia? Or Singapore? Hands please. Remember that the Saudis won't let women drive and Singapore values compliance so highly that they beat deviants with a cane.

Now who would rather be like Canada, Spain and Ireland?

Me too. You can tell a lot about a person by the company he keeps, and I'd rather my country were keeping company with the second list than the first.

Actually, given the huge problems we're having with immigrants--legal and illegal--these days, the most sensible solution I've seen in a long time is simply to stop it for a while. There should be a moratorium on all mass immigration. It would be OK to allow certain kinds of immigration in very limited numbers, like asylum, spouses of US citizens, Nobel Prize winners (sciences only, please), and millionaire entrepreneurs who promise to create new jobs (and kick them out if they don't follow through).

This would also give us a chance to get a handle on the millions upon millions of illegal aliens, who should be treated like the lawbreakers they are, and suffer the consequences: incarceration and deportation.

We're probably going to have to continue to depend on Third World labor to get our produce picked. However, people who can't make it in a Third World nation are hardly what most people would consider good potential citizens for a first-world information-based economy, so some sort of guest worker program, with no path to citizenship for the workers or their families, is probably the way to go.

By the way, just why would anyone want to grant foreign nationals any sort of political influence or power? Also, their physical presence in the US would guarantee them most or all of the benefits of our laws, especially since the nutcases on the Supreme Court decided that non-US-citizen prisoners of war held in a foreign country had access to our courts and our rights. (W should have done an Andy Jackson and told the Supremes to pound sand on that boneheaded decision.)

>Now who would rather be like Canada, Spain and Ireland?

Canada can shove it. They don't even have free speech there. They have "free as long as no one is offended" speech.

Spain I have no knowledge of, except that they sleep all afternoon instead of getting useful things done.

Ireland. Yes, let's be like them. Seriously. Reduce corporate taxes to almost nil, open up to free trade, kill farm subsidies, and reduce the welfare state and wealth transfers. All good things.

And Guinness. All the good things James A. said and also Guiness, whiskey, and red headed women. Who wouldn't want to live in Ireland?

So, Frank--when do you emigrate?


By which I mean, if Ireland's so great, why aren't you there?

I have the same question, modified for place, for people who have "Hawaiian Pride" bumper stickers, "American by birth, Texan by the grace of God" bumper stickers, or Puerto Rican/Philippino/whatever flags dangling from their rear-view mirrors.

Now I don't suspect you, Frank, of being that sort of person. But for the rest of them: why don't you get out of wherever it is you are and go back "home"? Could it be that "home" is some sort of hellhole, and that you have much greater opportunity where you are than at "home"? (I can't see how that works with Texas, but I can with socialist Hawaii, primitive Puerto Rico, and the backwater that is the Philippines.)

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