Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.”     James Madison

August 14, 2007

Lou Dobbs Is A Fool

by Doug Mataconis

He’s also a xenophobe and a idiot, but his understanding of economics is so atrocious he makes Karl Marx seem intelligent.


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46 Comments

  1. Didn’t Marx write Das Kapital?

    Comment by js290 — August 14, 2007 @ 10:06 pm
  2. Dobbs wasn’t always this way. He used to be a free-market economist until the airwaves got saturated with those in his time slots and he started losing viewers. Then suddenly he became a xenophobic anti-free trade populist. He’s an entertainer first and foremost and his goal is to make sure people are still watching his program so advertisers will still buy time. Likely, the best way he saw to do that was to spout ridiculous incendiary opinions. And all it cost him was the respect of people who actually know about economics…which probably isn’t as big a group as we’d wish.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 14, 2007 @ 10:11 pm
  3. UCrawford,

    In other words, Lou Dobbs is a phony.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — August 14, 2007 @ 11:21 pm
  4. Pretty much, yeah. Although you could probably say the same about many entertainers :) The dude’s job is to sell advertising, not discern truth…I suppose he does it well, even though he is a hack.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 14, 2007 @ 11:31 pm
  5. Does anyone remember the old moneyline back in the 80s with Myron Kandell when they both used to slober over takeover rumors? It seems after he originally left CNN at the tail end of the Clinton years and then came back, his views changed. I don’t know if it’s heartfelt or not, but his beef, to the extent it’s legitimate, is really against the “coporatism” of government managed trade deals than about pure free trade. Apparently he seems incapable of discerning the difference between the two.

    Comment by Kaligula — August 15, 2007 @ 2:33 am
  6. I’m an “idiot” when it comes to being a economist. All I know is you people must have “good” white collar jobs. The same type of people I hear on the news every friggin day saying we have a good economy. They talk about 4% unemployment, that’s just the number of people on unemployment, if I’m not mistaken. Unemployment only lasts so long, and self employed people like me don’t even qualify for unemployment. And what about all the THOUSANDS of people who lost higher paying jobs and now work for a lot less money. What about all my friends who work their asses off every day for not much more than they did 10 years ago, meanwhile, I don’t have to tell you how much more it costs to live now, than it did 10 years ago. And then there are people like me who are tied to the housing industry…. I was making good money a few years ago, now I can’t find work. Maybe I should go get a job at Wal-Mart or Taco Bell or McDonald’s or maybe if I don’t sleep and work full time at all three I could actually afford to live. Or maybe we should let more illegal aliens in and outsource more of our jobs to third world countries, so the rich can get richer and we can become another third world country. Because in case you haven’t figured it out, That’s Where We Are Headed! I guess as long as you are rich, you don’t give a shit about anyone else. That’s what’s wrong with this country and that’s what Lou Dobbs is standing up against. Maybe when your job gets outsourced or an anchor baby grows up and takes your job, then you will understand what all us “COMMON FOLK” are pissed off about. I saw an interview with Lou Dobbs on 60 minutes and he admits he changed his mind. He was tired of watching what corporations and the government are doing to the middle class. And by the way he is married to a foreigner so the xenophobia thing just doesn’t stand. He’s just like me, not against foreigners, just smart enough to realize WE CAN’T AFFORD TO LET MILLIONS OF PEOPLE INVADE OUR COUNTRY! There’s only so much to go around! Mexico needs to fix their own economy. They have lots of resources. Their only problem is their government is more corrupt than ours.

    Comment by Dennis — August 15, 2007 @ 12:11 pm
  7. Dennis,

    What’s wrong with Wal-Mart? They pay on average well above minimum wage, they offer job training, health care, and a chance for advancement for ambitious and hard-working individuals, plus they don’t discriminate based on age, gender or ethnic background. Unless, of course, that you’re saying that working at Wal-Mart is somehow beneath you, in which case you’re apparently not as desperate for work as you’re letting on. Hell, if you really are that desperate for work, why not enlist in the military? They’re hiring now at a decent wage, and they offer full benefits and on-the-job training.

    Nobody owes you a living based on where you were born, Dennis, despite what Lou Dobbs says. And if anyone offers the same services you offer at lower prices, frankly you deserve to lose the business, regardless of where your competitor was born. As far as I’m concerned, the “common people” who think that they should be immune from competition or from having to work jobs they find unpleasant are nothing more than a bunch of whinging leeches and they can all go hang.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 15, 2007 @ 12:27 pm
  8. Kaligula,

    Dobbs has openly labelled himself as a populist, so he’s not advocating anything relating to free trade anymore. I remember the Lou Dobbs from the old days. Frankly I miss that Lou Dobbs. It’s a shame that he’s more of a ratings whore than a capitalist…at least on television anyway.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 15, 2007 @ 12:29 pm
  9. UCrawford, no one said anyone owes me anything. Last time I checked we live in a country with borders(not for long)and laws. My whole long drawn out comment basically boils down to this. I agree with Lou Dobbs. Our so called leaders have been selling us out for years and it’s really starting to show. You obviously feel for the poor of the world. So do I, but I’m poor myself and in no position to help them. You should do everything you can to try to improve the economic situation in their country, because we do not have enough room for all the world’s poor in this country. You could start by trying to get the rich to stop exploiting them. As I said before, I have nothing against foreigners. Some of my heritage is Native American, but most of it is foreign. They came here legally! We can only afford so many at a time, not 4 million a year. I just don’t understand where you think all the jobs and resourses are going to come from.
    By the way YES! Wal-mart is beneath me, THEY ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH! They and all the other corporations that exploit the poor, drive the little guy out of business and never look back, can all go to hell. And as far as joining the military, I don’t think they want a 46 year old cabinet maker with ever mounting health problems because he can’t afford health insurance, and definitely can’t afford to pay for medical treatment out of pocket. Besides, I have a 20 year old son who would be ripe for the military, but NO THANK YOU on that too. You can send your children off to die so that corporate assholes can control more of the world if you want to. But I’d rather keep my son here to help fight fascism.

    Comment by Dennis — August 15, 2007 @ 2:11 pm
  10. Dennis,

    Unless your ancestors came here in the 20th century, it’s likely that the only reason they were legal was because there were few if any laws keeping them out. That changed at the turn of the century. Before the 20th century borders were much more open and it benefited our country greatly. Your argument is that current generations of immigrants should be held to a different standard of behavior than previous immigrants were because they are confronted by overly restrictive immigration laws and quotas whereas pre-20th century immigrants were not. There’s no difference between immigrants today and immigrants 200 years ago except for the crap laws in place today that make them criminals.

    I grew up in a small town that benefited from a growth in retail services thanks to Wal-Mart, that experienced a growth in local jobs thanks to Wal-Mart, and that experienced a drop in retail prices thanks to Wal-Mart. If that makes them the scum of the earth, then I’ll throw my lot in with the scum any day. As for the military, I sent myself off to serve as an enlisted man and found it to be a good experience overall with the opportunity for a solid education, world travel, and a lot of personal growth. If you and your son don’t want to serve in the military or work at Wal-Mart, that is of course your choice in a free society. But keep in mind that your choosing to forego employment opportunities is what’s taking food off your table and money out of your bank account…not a lack of available employment opportunities or an influx of immigrants.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 15, 2007 @ 2:28 pm
  11. Dennis,

    Not to turn this into a Walmart discussion, but Walmart does a measure of good for the poor in the country by offering such low prices. Its logistics system is probably the best in the world and that’s why it can slash prices so effectively.

    The reason most competitor stores close down is because those stores could not compete on price alone. But a Walmart provides opportunity for the stores that compete based on service, attention, and demeanor. In my opinion, Walmart has done more for the poor than anything else in the country. Basically, Walmart revolutionized superstore retailing by selling goods to consumers at near wholesale prices. Stores that did not respond to the revolutionary development close and rightfully so.

    Its importation of goods from China has been hurting those in the manufacturing sector instead.

    Comment by TanGeng — August 15, 2007 @ 2:28 pm
  12. TanGeng,

    Hurting those in the manufacturing sector, or hurting those who are inefficient and non-competitive in the manufacturing sector? Big difference.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 15, 2007 @ 2:34 pm
  13. I despise people who live in statistic land and never see what is actually going on in front of them. Are you people really going to be OK with America being a Third World Country. Are you really OK with the manufacturing sector being hurt. Oh I’m sorry, the inefficient manufacturing sector. (I guess it’s cheaper, I mean better, to buy from china than to improve our efficiency)Are you OK with all goods bought and sold being manufactured by slave labor. I thought you wanted to help the poor, not exploit them. I came here to check out a Libertarian blog site. I didn’t know it would be full of fascists. UCrawford, good for you and your military service, I can see that they brainwashed, I mean “trained” you well. I’m all for having the biggest, baddest military in the world…To Protect Our Citizens! Not to rule the world, not to cause instability in an already volatile part of the world, so that we can add to our empire. All empires fall and rightly so. No one political system has cornered the market, neither has any one religion, so to go around the world trying to shove your beliefs down someone else’s throat, is just WRONG! As if that’s even what it’s about. The war is about oh so many things, but it sure has nothing to do with democracy!
    I’m sure all the small businesses that were put under because wal-mart came to your town would agree with you! It wouldn’t have been a better idea to pay people more so they could afford BETTER, HIGHER QUALITY, AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS!
    As for the immigration laws being changed, did it ever occur to you that when this country started there was plenty of open land and resources? As land and resources got used up, they tightened the reigns. Now with less land and resources we’re going to open the flood gates? I ask again, where are all the jobs and resources going to come from? There’s 20 million of them already!
    I do not think I should be immune from competition, I am for “FAIR” free trade. I’m sick and tired of economists TALKING about me like I’m a piece of paper. I am a highly skilled craftsman, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but the problem is not what I’m capable or willing to do, It’s that my competition, is a person in a third world country who is being exploited by the same assholes in my own country who don’t give a shit whether I eat or not. All he cares about is that he gets rich.
    Here’s another observation for you, who seem to know it all. I have been to Mexico, I love it there, I think I would like to move to Puerto Vallarta and open a little shop on the beach and live out my life in peace and tranquility away from all the fascist assholes. Oh, but wait, I can’t just do that because I want too. THEY HAVE LAWS! THEY WON”T LET ME MOVE DOWN THERE AND OPEN A BUSINESS! THEY WOULDN”T HIRE ME TO WORK FOR THEM EITHER! THEY ARE PREDGIDOUS AS HELL AGAINST THE “RICH” AMERICANS coming down there and “STEALING” JOBS away from the poor Mexicans. And if I try to stay there illegally and get caught, I GO TO JAIL, or if I’m lucky get deported back to the good ol USA. Which is the way it should be. NO NORTH AMERICAN UNION, NO NAFTA, NO CAFTA, NO UN, NO COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, NO TRILATERAL COMMISION, NO NEW WORLD ORDER, DOWN WITH FASCISIM, DOWN WITH CORPORATISM, DO NOT ACCEPT THE NATIONAL ID CARD. WHEN THEY TAKE AWAY OUR SOVEREINTY, WE WILL HAVE VERY LITTLE LEFT OF THE COUNTRY WE ONCE KNEW AND LOVED.
    I may not be as educated as some people and may not express myself as well, but I speak for the masses in America. And I speak the truth. I’m not a whining leech. I’ve been a hard working craftsman for 26 years, lots of sweat sawdust and splinters to prove it. Until you’ve lived it you’ll never understand.
    I’m for freedom, liberty and justice for all! Not just the rich!

    Comment by Dennis — August 15, 2007 @ 3:54 pm
  14. Dennis,

    You’re never going to hear me say that it’s a bad thing to get government off your back so you can open a shop where you want and do what you want. I’m all for letting people go where they choose and work where they choose. Ever consider the idea that allowing Mexican carpenters to freely immigrate here to work means that their government would have to open their borders to allow carpenters to immigrate there to replace the lost expertise? When skilled workers leave a community, it doesn’t mean that the demand for skilled workers leaves with them. If you want to find a way through the legal red tape to move down to Mexico, allowing their workers to come here (thus creating a bigger demand for carpenters down there) is a big first step.

    As for the fascism, I hated the Iraq war from the outset. It was never about democracy, it was about a personal quest by (in my opinion) the worst president in U.S. history. And yes, it was fascist. Doesn’t make everything we do fascist, though, nor does it automatically make everyone who serves in the military fascist. I think you’d be surprised by the number of troops who oppose our government’s actions (here’s a site for you to check out: http://www.ivaw.org/ ). Of course a lot of them made the personal choice to take a stable job to support their family over a political position that makes their life worse. Frankly, I don’t fault them for that…there’s nothing bullshit about having a job. I fault their President for abusing his position of power and misusing them.

    You seem to think that capitalism is about only serving the rich. I can understand that, it’s a common perception. Here’s a book that’s a useful guide to start understanding economics, and frankly I think you might find it useful: http://www.amazon.com/Free-Choose-Statement-Milton-Friedman/dp/0156334607/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-5358717-8323852?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1187212670&sr=8-1

    I’m not trying to be condescending with this recommendation, it’s a book written to be accessible for people with not a lot of background in economics, it’s an interesting read, and I honestly think you’ll find some things in it you’ll agree with…mainly about how capitalism actually helps everyone and not just the rich.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 15, 2007 @ 4:21 pm
  15. The problem with Wal-Mart is that it can only thrive in an economy which heavily subsidizes “bigness” in corporations. Wal-Mart receives a ton of direct corporate welfare, to the tune of more than a billion dollars. It also receives sweetheart land, tax, and development deals.

    Moreover, the whole mass-market system relies on the subsidies poured into long-distance transportation and communication. Wal-Mart simply cannot exist in its current business model without mostly free interstates and subsidized shipping and rail.

    You can’t talk about Wal-Mart as though it exists in the free market. It doesn’t. That doesn’t mean, of course, that its wages and benefits ought to be regulated by law. But it does mean we should analyze its place in a system which is, on the whole, fundamentally unfree.

    Comment by Joshua Holmes — August 15, 2007 @ 5:15 pm
  16. Joshua,

    The only gripe I’ve really had with Wal-Mart is their enthusiasm for raising the minimum wage. That definitely crossed the line to coercion by targeting Wal-Mart’s small-market competitors.

    Question on your argument, are the advantages you cited advantages that are given specifically to Wal-Mart over other direct competitors or are they advantages generally available to all, it’s just that Wal-Mart has more stores and therefore uses them more often? I’m against government subsidization of any industry or business, but I don’t think you can hold it against Wal-Mart if they’re merely receiving the same subsidies everybody else gets.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 15, 2007 @ 5:43 pm
  17. Meant to say “Wal-Mart’s enthusiasm for getting government to raise the minimum wage”.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 15, 2007 @ 5:44 pm
  18. They are available to anyone in Wal-Mart’s position, but it’s still a subsidy to Wal-Mart’s size and business model. In the free market, Wal-Mart doesn’t exist.

    Comment by Joshua Holmes — August 16, 2007 @ 9:47 am
  19. I don’t agree with that. Wal-Mart started off small after all and their internal organization structure (logistics, labor, management) is about as close to perfect as you’re going to get in retail. We can quibble about how big they’d be, but I find it unlikely that they wouldn’t be around. They’re an incredibly well-run outfit and I think that laying all of their success on government handouts is ignoring that basic fact.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 16, 2007 @ 10:02 am
  20. UCrawford,

    I second that opinion. Walmart is a great business. They wouldn’t be able to completely squash some kinds of local business without the government subsidies in communication and transportation. However, those changing conditions could provided Walmart with other opportunities. Walmart would still be a hugely successful organization with or without government.

    Comment by TanGeng — August 16, 2007 @ 10:46 am
  21. TanGeng,

    Heck, I love Wal-Mart (partly because it’s a great organization, partly because it’s cheaper than anyone else, partly because it’s close to my house and stays open 24 hours). Their grocery section is excellent, everything I need is usually in stock, and it doesn’t take me forever to find anything. Only gripe I have is that often they don’t have enough checkout counters open. But frankly, I find it almost astounding that we ever tolerated life without Wal-Mart…it really is an amazing organization. When they merged with ASDA in the U.K. it completely changed the landscape of retail sales in that country as well. When I first moved there people sneered at the idea that consumers would prefer discounted quality products to name brand prestige. By the time I moved back here, most of the major chains (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, even Marks & Spencers) were trying to imitate at least some aspects of the ASDA/Wal-Mart business model. I see that lately they’ve been moving into India, which I think will be interesting.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 16, 2007 @ 11:02 am
  22. TanGeng,

    Heck, I love Wal-Mart (partly because it’s a great organization, partly because it’s cheaper than anyone else, partly because it’s close to my house and stays open 24 hours). Their grocery section is excellent, everything I need is usually in stock, and it doesn’t take me forever to find anything. Only gripe I have is that often they don’t have enough checkout counters open. But frankly, I find it almost astounding that we ever tolerated life without Wal-Mart…it really is an amazing organization. When they merged with ASDA in the U.K. it completely changed the landscape of retail sales in that country as well. When I first moved there people sneered at the idea that consumers would prefer discounted quality products to name brand prestige. By the time I moved back here, most of the major chains (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, even Marks & Spencers) were trying to imitate some, and often all, aspects of the ASDA/Wal-Mart business model. I see that lately they’ve been moving into India, which I think will be interesting.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 16, 2007 @ 11:03 am
  23. The site’s being a little glitchy, by the way.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 16, 2007 @ 11:05 am
  24. Lying to get ratings or to be popular, either way, I agree with what Lou Dobbs is saying. The middle class is systematically being eliminated. The North American Union would be a horrible thing. Just the Trans America highway for example. Right now, all the goods that come from China and other third world countries (that we should already be ashamed of) now come through U.S. ports and shipped out and around the country via the trucking industry and the railroad. Between the longshoremen, the truck drivers, and the railroad workers, that’s a lot of jobs. Building ports in Mexico and building the NAFTA super highway to ship the goods up into The United States with cheap Mexican labor is good for the corporate CEOS and the Mexicans. But how is that good for the American workers who are already here? I’m sorry but I do feel like where I am should have “something” to do with job security. Why should my government be OK with taking a job away from a US citizen and handing it to someone else. If someone moves here legally and can legitimately compete for my job, let the competition begin. But for my government to just decide that we are going to do away with thousands, maybe millions of jobs, and let people from another country have them, you are never going to convince me that that is OK! If you think it sound like something that will never happen, tell that to all the people who lost their manufacturing jobs. Haven’t you heard of the New World Order, if you have, I must assume you are for it, which makes you a fascist! Read all the books you want, but I prefer to look at reality. And the reality is that our government does whatever it can to help the globalist bankers and corporations and doesn’t give a damn about you and me. And the more you sit around and try to defend the ways of the world, instead of taking a stand against it, the closer you get to losing your job, whatever that may be. I’m pretty sure it’s not something an illegal alien can just show up and do tomorrow, or you would have a different opinion. Maybe someday soon your job will be outsourced to an educated Indian, then, if you are lucky, maybe you can get one of those wonderful “part time” wal-mart jobs, where they refuse to give you all those benefits that you talked about, because they only give those to full time employees, and they aren’t hiring full time employees anymore. You know what you and I are never going to agree. So let’s just agree I’m just a stupid cabinet maker that isn’t worthy of my government caring about me, an illegal alien is more important than I am, his government can’t fix things in his county, so let him come here and take work away from someone who could have potentially been able to afford to hire me to do a cabinet job for them, and you are for fascism!

    I ask you again, where are all the jobs and resources going to come from?

    Comment by Dennis — August 16, 2007 @ 11:25 am
  25. Dennis,

    I don’t consider cabinet makers stupid by any stretch. I like cabinets and I appreciate the craftsmanship and skill that goes into competently making them. As to my problems with your position…

    Fascism (which you accuse me of following) is a system of government by which the state exercises more control over the individual in an attempt to subjugate their interests to state interests, among other things ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism ). Fascists exercise their power by the creation of laws to restrict individual choice. I’m actually against that. I’m fall into the category known as libertarian, specifically a minarchist (one who advocates minimal government intervention). I want government to involve themselves less, not more…meaning less taxes, less regulation, less laws that restrict non-violent voluntary interaction between individuals. That’s the opposite of fascism.

    As to your comment about the immigrants, it’s not “the government” that gives jobs to illegal aliens, it is employers. The employers usually do this not because they hate Americans but because the illegal workers are willing to work for less money, allowing the employer to reduce his overhead and charge a more competitive cost for his services. Part of the reason that the illegal immigrants have a competitive advantage over American workers is the amount of government regulation involved in hiring local workers (minimum wage laws, disability, workman’s comp, safety regulations, pension, unemployment etc.). These laws don’t apply to illegals, nor do the costs, thus the attractiveness of the illegal immigrant workforce.

    Leaving aside the question of why an American is somehow more deserving of increased status in the working world than anyone else, as a hypothetical, put yourself in the employer’s shoes…say you own a small cabinet-making business with yourself as the sole employee. You work long hours, you have all the jobs one person can handle and you’re still barely breaking even because you have to charge less to compete against the bigger guys who can do more jobs in half the time (because they’ve got more workers). The answer, you decide, is to hire more staff. You have two cabinet makers to choose from, both of roughly equal qualifications. One is a U.S. worker who will work for the minimum wage, but you’ll have to also pay all the additional costs previously mentioned that go with hiring legal help (not to mention costs of getting him licensed if your state requires that of cabinet makers). This will increase your overhead, lower or possibly erase your profits and raise the risk that your business will take on debt and go under if he doesn’t work out for you as an employee or he gets injured on the job. The second is an illegal immigrant willing to work below the minimum wage, plus you won’t have to pay the additional expenses that government regulation created. If he doesn’t work out as an employee you can let him go and you won’t have to pay him unemployment and if he gets injured you won’t be on the hook for workman’s comp (unless you want to help him out) and he’s much less likely to sue you for wrongful termination if you fire him. So your overhead drops, your risk drops, your profit increases, and your business stays competitive with the hiring of the illegal over the American. The only risk you run is if the government finds out about it and prosecutes you, which isn’t as much of a risk as that of your business running out of money and going under thanks to the regulation costs already imposed by government, for hiring local help.

    Some say that the answer to this problem is to keep the illegals out and to regulate business more. Well great, now as an employer that means you’ve got less cabinet makers to choose from, which means you’ve got a scarcity, which means that the cabinet makers you hired are in a better position to negotiate an even higher salary. That’s great for the guys you hired (at least for a little while), but not so great for you the business owner because now the overhead is higher and so is the risk that your business will lose money and fail. And when it fails, that turns bad for the cabinet makers because it means they’re out of a job. All thanks to government trying to stop businesses from hiring the best possible workers at the lowest possible price.

    Sound like a good deal to you?

    Comment by UCrawford — August 16, 2007 @ 12:49 pm
  26. UCrawford – Great point on government regulations for hiring employees. I experience this first hand at my dry cleaning shop. The extra costs and work involved with hiring just ONE employee makes it close to impossible for me. I’d rather pay someone 10$ an hour off the books than 8$ on, because of the additional overhead and bookkeeping and fees and taxes that come with hiring employees. It’s simply asinine.

    I really like how we have a real live “People vs. the Economists” scenario developing here. Unfortunately a lot of this stuff is sort of counterintuitive and the problem exacerbated when people only see the result without understanding the cause.

    Things like:

    “The poor people can’t afford to live, let’s raise the minimum wage!”

    “We’re losing jobs to india because they do it better and cheaper than us. Let’s make it illegal!”

    Makes perfect sense to everyone but “idiot” economists. That’s a problem.

    To sort of tie all this together – I think we have an epidemic of people who think they know better than the experts. I know nothing about carpentry – and would not argue with a carpenter about it unless I had significant knowledge of it. Why do people with limited knowledge of a subject insist on behaving like experts?

    (Disclaimer: I have no knowledge of anything and don’t consider myself to be an expert of, or competent at any field.)

    Comment by Joon — August 16, 2007 @ 1:35 pm
  27. Dennis,

    Where to start? I don’t think illegal aliens are any more important than you or any other citizen. But I happen to think of them as people as well.

    I don’t think the middle class is being systematically eliminated by illegal immigration. Immigration isn’t the problem. Instead it’s rules, regulations, taxation, safety issues, health care costs, etc. that disadvantages the American worker and that’s entirely outside their control. Those additional costs makes the illegal immigration very appealing to business owners.

    I also don’t think illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from American. The number of jobs is not static when illegal immigrants arrive to work. There is a fixed amount of jobs that everybody fights for. Instead the number of jobs grow and shrink according to the size of the economy.

    Knowing the work ethic of a few illegals, I happen to think that they create jobs for Americans and allow more businesses to survive. Also more workers in the economy means more work done, and that means more wealth for all people in the United States to consume or to invest.

    If we expose Americans to foreign competition, I think that Americans will step up to the plate and work hard and be paid what they are due. But rules and regulations and the immigration policy coddles Americans and protect them from competition until we’re blindsided by foreign companies importing goods from across the Pacific Ocean.

    The cabinet makers might have it good for a short little time, until pre-fabricated cabinets are shipped here from China, ready to assemble, and the cabinet makers lose their jobs that way. Either that or we become completely protectionist and we can watch prices for cabinets and every other type of goods rise, and we can lose our standard of living through inflation.

    Comment by TanGeng — August 16, 2007 @ 1:49 pm
  28. correction: 2nd paragraph.

    “There isn’t a fixed amount of jobs that everybody fights for.”

    Comment by TanGeng — August 16, 2007 @ 1:50 pm
  29. I don’t think that you have to be an expert on economics to talk about it. I studied political science in college, not economics (although I was thinking about pursuing another degree just because it’s an interesting subject). The neat thing about economics is that at it’s base it’s just about how and why people interact the way they do. You don’t have to understand the higher math of it all to recognize why government regulation makes prices higher (because it raises overhead), or why minimum wage laws hurt entry-level workers (because it means less of them get hired), or why a lot of everyday things occur for economic reasons. You just have to not always accept things at face value, be willing to ask questions about cause and effect and be willing to listen to answers that might at first seem really off-base. Like you said, a lot of it is counterintuitive. And books like Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” or Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose” are easily accessible starting points for learning about economics, written with the average person in mind.

    Even so, I probably wouldn’t try to build my own cabinets or dry clean my own clothes. Some things do take a level of skill to do competently :)

    Comment by UCrawford — August 16, 2007 @ 1:51 pm
  30. You don’t have to be an expert to talk about something that effects every single one of us. As a matter of fact on this issue, the experts don’t know what the hell they are talking about. I hate to sound like I’m mad at you guys, I’m not. I do wish you would would admit that everything that sounds good in theory doesn’t always work. You are believing in something that some “expert” wrote about in a book and I’m living in the real world.

    Times are hard, maybe not for corporate America and Wall Street, but they are for the middle class working man. And if you don’t agree with that, I must point out that you are in deep denial! For whatever reason, I along with millions of other people are having a hard time finding work or work that pays very much (under employed) For now, let’s leave the reasons out of it. (I know you like to talk about the reasons more than the cure, but I’m not the one trying to fix the world here, I just need money to pay my bills) It’s just a fact. So you think, knowing this fact, that it’s a good thing to have 20 million illegal aliens in this country competing for the few jobs available, and not only that, let’s erase the borders and open the flood gates which will bring way more than 20 million more. You guys are like trying to talk to politicians, you want to tell me if I’m having difficulties it must be my fault, and you don’t ever have to answer a simple direct question. Where are all the jobs and resources going to come from? You said something about them creating jobs, that’s about as ridiculous as saying, “if we open the borders I can migrate down there and get a job” no, I can’t now and I wouldn’t be able to if the laws were changed. It doesn’t take a person with an economics degree or a political science degree, it takes someone with a little common sense to know that if that country is poor enough and short enough on jobs now, that MILLIONS of them are trying to get over here. When you open the flood gates, the migration is still going to be way lopsided. Them leaving there is not going to create a vacuum of skilled craftsman. There will still be millions of people who want to stay in Latin America to fill the void. And THEY WILL get the jobs, not some GRINGO from The US. And if they create jobs here, it will be for their friends and family.

    You’re living in a dream world!
    I am too, I guess our dreams are all we’ve got!

    Oh by the way, I don’t have to imagine the hypothetical, I am the employer. I have been in business for myself for 12 years. I have stayed small, I started with no capitol and never really got ahead enough to grow. I would have had to close up shop by now if I did. Believe me, I’m not just looking at my situation. It’s everyone I talk to. Another cabinet maker I know first hand, (second biggest shop in town) a couple years ago they were doing $35,000 worth of cabinets a day. They had a night shift and working every Saturday. They are now down to 4 days a week, with Lot’s of people laid off, including the whole night shift. I am not blaming the illegals for the problems at all! I am merely stating that the example I just gave you is a small example of working class America, it’s like that all over the whole country. Maybe it hasn’t hit your industry yet. But once again… How is letting a bunch of people from other countries flooding this country going to help?

    I saw a documentary, that you guys should watch. (Now I’m doing the recommending). It talked about how back in the 70′s they figured out how many “LEGAL” immigrants we could receive and not overload our resources. I don’t remember facts and figures that well, but I get the gist of things pretty easily. The number was less than a million a year, which is I think what they said we are up to now. (That’s Legal Immigrants) add to that about 4 million illegals a year (lately) and don’t forget all the babies they have when they get here.

    DO THE MATH!

    The best argument for letting people come here is to better their lives, to let them escape poverty and oppression. But remember… we aren’t just talking about millions of Latin Americans here. There are billions of poor and oppressed people all over the world. Are people in Africa or Asia less deserving of a place in the land of opportunity. The answer is no, of course. So should we let all of the poor from all over the world come here. Or should the globalist point of view change. Shouldn’t we, if we care about these poor people, try to make things better for them were they are, rather that let them struggle to get to a place that is slowly turning into the same type of place they struggled so hard to get away from.

    I may have already said this. When I was young, I was very liberal minded. Too young to be a hippie, but close. I remember thinking that song Imagine, by John Lennon was so awesome. I even wrote a similar song when I was in college, not trying to plagiarize, I just hadn’t really listened to the lyrics of Imagine yet, (I was more of a hard rock/prog rock guy)But anyway… no borders, no religion, peace, love, why can’t we all just get along. Like I keep saying, things in theory sound great. But there’s this pesky thing called greed. And it’s eating away at the world, not just America.

    I hate government regulations, I am for free trade, I am for treating every humane being as an equal. But as long as we have greedy bastards in the world, things will never be right. Don’t get me wrong, I believe someone has the right to be rich too. I just hate that for some people, enough is never enough.

    Leaving me out of it for a minute. I have never worked in corporate America, but I have lots of friends who do. Do you know how angry it makes a person to know that the very people who break their backs every day, to actually do the work, their pay has been stagnant for years, while CEOS pay is at an all time high. I want you to address some of my questions. Like, why should I be OK with the gap between the CEOS pay and the workers pay be growing by leaps and bounds? And at the same time, why should we (you or I) be OK with knowing they want to ruin the sovereignty of our nation so that they can pay even less for their labor and improve their profit margin? And once again, where are all the jobs and resources going to come from? Also I’d like to hear your take on, the new world order, for I feel there in lies the problem.

    Spread the wealth, and teach birth control. That’s my answer.

    As much as I hate government regulations, I wonder if we don’t need them to protect the little guy. I’m sorry, but I feel like everything is in favor of the big guy. And people can’t help it if they weren’t born into an elitist family. I feel there’s enough resources for every one in this world to have a comfortable life. But not as long as the greedy bastards hoard it all to themselves. I agree with your theories. I just don’t think they will ever work.

    Even with all the regulations we have now, the super wealthy exploit the system, and everyone under them including our friends from across the world. If we move to a one world system, I know in my mind and in my gut, that the WHOLE WORLD will be one big third world country, with the Wealthy and the Worker Bees. And it is fascism, I don’t care what you call it. I didn’t say your personal ideals were fascist, but… if you subscribe to this one world B.S. that’s being shoved down our throats, you are supporting the fascists.

    That war isn’t King George’s personal anything. He’s a puppet (or a member), of the same group of people who have been controlling the world for decades if not centuries. And they just need to conquer that region.

    Thanks for listening!

    Oh, and by the way (sorry I keep looking up and trying to address everything) Someone said people shouldn’t argue with the experts. They wouldn’t argue with me about cabinets. I would hope that if I built a cabinet for you and it was all jacked up, and I tried to tell you it wasn’t, you would argue with me. Even though I am the supposed expert.
    OK I’m done for now.

    Comment by Dennis — August 17, 2007 @ 3:26 pm
  31. Watch this!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7WJeqxuOfQ

    Comment by Dennis — August 18, 2007 @ 10:08 am
  32. Dennis you said

    “As much as I hate government regulations, I wonder if we don’t need them to protect the little guy. I’m sorry, but I feel like everything is in favor of the big guy. And people can’t help it if they weren’t born into an elitist family. I feel there’s enough resources for every one in this world to have a comfortable life. But not as long as the greedy bastards hoard it all to themselves. I agree with your theories. I just don’t think they will ever work.”

    Adn then you said,

    “Even with all the regulations we have now, the super wealthy exploit the system, and everyone under them including our friends from across the world. If we move to a one world system, I know in my mind and in my gut, that the WHOLE WORLD will be one big third world country, with the Wealthy and the Worker Bees. And it is fascism, I don’t care what you call it. I didn’t say your personal ideals were fascist, but… if you subscribe to this one world B.S. that’s being shoved down our throats, you are supporting the fascists.”

    Doesn’t this kind of contradict yourself. I very much agree with your second paragraph. The super wealthy love regulations. It is likely one of the reasons why they got rich or at least are staying rich. In your first pragraph, however, you are asking for more regulations. Do you think you or the rich will do better in a more regulated environment? You already acknowledged that the rich are doing better in our current regulated environment. Who do you think will be writing the regulations or at least paying the politicians to write the regulations? The poor and middle class will only get screwed by more regulations. What we need is far less. This will put you on more equal footing with the rich. They will have to compete with you on more of the same footing with less regulations. We need to make it harder for the “well-connected” to exploit the system, by giving them less to exploit. The more rules and regulations, the more they have to exploit.

    Comment by TerryP — August 18, 2007 @ 7:16 pm
  33. Maybe I was talking about unions. I’m sure you guys are against unions too. I know my dad was a union man and all he saw was his standard of living improve in his life time. Now they busted up most of the unions and there’s not any jobs to be found like my dad had. It’s funny(well not really funny, more like sad) my parents tried to talk me into going to work at the plant were my dad worked, when I was young. If I would have, I would have gotten screwed out of everything that would have been promised to me when I started, and I’d be in the same shape I am now. Not being able to find a job for 2/3 of what my dad was making when he retired. Not to mention the benefits. The plant went non union, then closed completely, due to outsourcing. I just hope GM can stay in business until my parents don’t need his pension anymore. He worked his ass off for 35 years. He deserves every penny of it.

    I don’t know, in my first post I said I was an idiot.

    But back to the original topic. Everyone was bashing Lou Dobbs and I said I agree with him.
    I still stand by that. I think we have huge unemployment problems, and they are just starting, and I don’t see how letting a bunch more people in the country, or erasing the border completly will help. I think it will bring wages down even farther… for those that can find work!

    Comment by Dennis — August 20, 2007 @ 7:30 pm
  34. Dennis, the unions are a major contributor to the problems that GM (and other large manufacturing companies) faces. By refusing to compromise over the years, by demanding more benefits and higher wages, by using their union dues to twist politicians to their will, the unions are as responsible for what is happening with GM as the CEO, Board and senior executives are.

    Consider that the next time you talk about the unions. You can only rob peter to pay paul for so long and the time to repay is here.

    Comment by Eric — August 20, 2007 @ 8:54 pm
  35. So let Detroit close. Break the power of the UAW. The big three in Detroit and their heavy reliance on union workers are dinosaurs.

    Comment by TanGeng — August 20, 2007 @ 9:29 pm
  36. TanGeng,

    I agree.

    Quite honestly, I don’t care where the next car I buy is built or designed, as long as it’s what I want.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — August 20, 2007 @ 9:34 pm
  37. Dennis,

    We’re not against unions. We’re against the government giving them extra legal protection. If the government artificially increases the bargaining power of the unions, then it’s bad. There is nothing wrong with collective bargaining.

    But part of the reason why Detroit became uncompetitive was because of the unions. Even the non-union plant could not compete against foreign workers. Just think of what happens when you have even higher wages and more benefits.

    I just don’t want to come across as anti-union. It’s just that if we give undue economic power to unions, the market will exact brutal consequences in shutting manufacturing plants.

    Dennis,

    I’ll just say that it’s easy to see how more competition will hurt average workers. But I will also say that if those low cost workers made it possible to open a few car manufacturing plants and created a few high paying supervisor’s jobs, isn’t that a positive outcome? If the lower cost of producing cars drives the prices of cars down, isn’t that a positive? If the immigrants making money creates a new demand for new businesses like grocery stores, isn’t that a positive? If the immigrants creates a new demand for services like English teachers or Barbers, isn’t that a positive as well?

    I agree that illegals do depress the wages that they compete for. But what about all the new opportunities created? We can either allow them to come here where we can reap the rewards of increased economic activity or we can watch our uncompetitive business close shop and setup overseas.

    Comment by TanGeng — August 20, 2007 @ 9:48 pm
  38. TangGeng,

    That pretty much nailed it for me. Well put.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 20, 2007 @ 9:54 pm
  39. First of all unions, (just like all your theories)started off as a good thing to help the workers fight against the greedy bastards. If it weren’t for the UAW and of course pesky little laws like the minimum wage, my dad would have probably gone all the way from the $1.50 an hour he started at in the early 60′s to $1.53 and he would have never had insurance and he would have no pension. What the hell do you mean undo economic power? There are more average working people in the world than there are management and CEOS, I think they should have at least equal economic power. The only thing I ever heard that I didn’t like about unions was lazy F***s who should have been fired, getting chance after chance, that should have definitely been changed. But other than that I don’t have a problem with them. I think they would help get some people the pay they deserve.

    I really don’t think unions is what broke the American car industry. You all may not remember but they used to make some pretty crappy cars. Now was that the workers fault or was that the design and engineering guys along with the upper management that made the decisions to cut corners and make crappy cars? And it doesn’t help when you have your own neighbors saying things like “So let Detroit close. Break the power of the UAW. The big three in Detroit and their heavy reliance on union workers are dinosaurs”. And, “Quite honestly, I don’t care where the next car I buy is built or designed, as long as it’s what I want”. Don’t people realize if their neighbors loose their jobs they might not be able to buy whatever it is that “they” sell.

    To me all of the feed back I get from this little discussion, just proves to me, that whats wrong with this world, is that basically no one cares about anyone else and they don’t think about what the long term affects are going to be.

    No ones ever answered my questions about where all the jobs and resources are going to come from if they open the flood gates, like they are wanting to do. (which is all that Lou Dobbs is talking about) Just How do we find that balance where if a person is willing to work they can afford to live, without having 10 family members pitch in on the rent?

    I live very modestly by today’s standards, I live in a 45 year old 3 bedroom house, I drive a newer pick up truck but it’s a plain jane, not some 50,000 overkill like I see a lot of people drive. Who really needs a hummer or an escalade, what is wrong with people? Anyway… All I need is something dependable and something I can haul stuff in, I run my business out of a 2 car detached garage, (we’re talking small business) But with this housing bubble bursting thing going on, I can’t afford my meager lifestyle. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve gotten back into playing music, I wouldn’t be able to eat.

    The housing bubble bursting is a whole other subject, We need to abolish the fed.

    Like I said before, forget about the reason for now, millions of people who are already in this country are either out of work or under employed. How is letting more people in going to help that. Are they going to come here and start buying a bunch of houses or hiring people to remodel old ones? NO, Don’t forget they are coming here because they are poor and when they make money they send it home. They have wired over 36 billion dollars to Latin America in the last year and a half, that’s gotta be good for our economy.

    Yes illegals depress the wages they compete for. I see where they create no new opportunities for anyone except each other, since they all keep to themselves. And they take advantage of any social services when needed, to the tune of 400 billion dollars since 1996.
    And I can’t get the health care I need…….
    I think you’re all on crack!

    No illegal alien took my job, I haven’t met any that do what I do. But they are all over the lower level construction jobs which forces a lot of other people out of work or to get into what I do.

    It doesn’t matter, people who are already here need work and you want to let MILLIONS MORE in! To compete for the same shitty jobs.
    Crack is bad!

    Comment by Dennis — August 21, 2007 @ 1:47 am
  40. Dennis,

    Your question about where the jobs come from was answered…there aren’t a set number of jobs that you’re competing for against immigrants, because our economy isn’t centrally planned. There aren’t “X” number of jobs to choose from…if you don’t get one of them it doesn’t mean that another one won’t be created by an expanding economy. Restricting immigration, ironically, has the effect of creating less jobs because it restricts the pool of cheap labor available, which drives prices and costs up and limits the ability of businesses to expand, which causes the economy to shrink thereby creating less jobs.

    What you’re not asking is where the money goes for companies that save money by hiring illegal immigrants. This is money that gets reinvested in the company to upgrade facilities, that can be spent on acquiring better supplies, that can be given out to stockholders as dividends to reward them for investing money in the company (which gives them more money to spend or invest on other businesses or on other goods), or even to reduce price on the product the company sells. The money that doesn’t get spent on labor gets spent in a hundred other ways that benefit the company and the economy at large…this money doesn’t just do nothing and disappear simply because it’s not being given to the workers.

    I think a hang-up here is that you’re also placing too much emphasis on the value of labor in the whole scheme of production as well. Labor doesn’t determine value in a product. A product’s value is determined by scarcity (how much of it there is) and what is known as “marginal utility”, meaning that any given product is only worth what you’re willing to pay for its least valuable function. Why do you think water (which we need to survive) costs infinitely less than diamonds (which we don’t)? Because the least valuable function for water is dumping it on your car or lawn and the least valuable function for a diamond is to put it in a drill so you can mine coal. Thus the diamond is more expensive because its least useful function is far more important to us than water’s least useful function. Utility determines worth, not labor. And in order for companies to turn a profit while producing a good that people want to buy at a price they’re willing to pay, the costs of labor have to be kept as low as possible. And the reason that wages can be kept low is simply because unskilled labor offers very low utility. That’s why the best defense against losing your job to downsizing or another worker or whatever is to continue to develop job skills that make you indispensable to an employer that can’t easily be replaced by some other guy willing to work for less money.

    This isn’t a “nice theory”, Dennis, it’s the way the world works…economics is based on how humans interact, not just a bunch of numbers that some nerd in a lab coat made up out of thin air. You can wish for a world in which you don’t constantly work harder than the next guy to stay ahead or take a lower wage than you’d like to keep your job, but the fact remains that in a competitive world that’s just how life is going to shake out. As long as there are workers who are being paid more than what they produce is worth to their employers and consumers, there’s going to be jobs available. And as long as there are jobs available illegal workers are going to come here to find them…all the immigration restrictions in the world aren’t going to change that. You’re never going to be able to keep immigrants away unless you’re willing to do away with the availability of jobs overall (both for them and for us) and run our economy into the tank by letting the government intervene and try to run everything. That’s what a lot of the anti-immigration activists seem to think is the best idea, and that’s not an acceptable option, either for the immigrants or for us.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 21, 2007 @ 8:07 am
  41. And like TanGeng said, there’s nothing wrong with allowing people to collectively bargain and unionize. The problem comes when government intervenes and gives unions a leg up in the negotiations by threatening punitive or regulatory action against businesses that don’t agree to the unions’ demands. This increased bargaining position then allows the unions to extort more money for their labor than the labor is actually worth to the employer. Unions are okay when they restrict themselves to requiring employers to follow the law, or when they organize collectively to negotiate better benefits from employers, or when they highlight actual problems in the workplace (like the WV mine workers strikes did). They’re not okay when they try to use the government to write coercive new laws that stifle economic growth, deny non-union workers jobs, and force employers to keep non-productive workers on payroll or pay the workforce more money than the services they produce are worth.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 21, 2007 @ 11:00 am
  42. UCrawford,

    My reaction to this part,
    “This is money that gets reinvested in the company to upgrade facilities, that can be spent on acquiring better supplies, that can be given out to stockholders as dividends to reward them for investing money in the company (which gives them more money to spend or invest on other businesses or on other goods), or even to reduce price on the product the company sells. The money that doesn’t get spent on labor gets spent in a hundred other ways that benefit the company and the economy at large…this money doesn’t just do nothing and disappear simply because it’s not being given to the workers”.

    This is part of the problem. Maybe in the old days, the stockholders invested that money they made off of the backs of cheap labor into something that might benefit someone else, but now days, if people start a business endeavor they think the same way you do and hire illegals or outsource the jobs to a third world country where people are basically slaves, which is what it’s going to be here soon if people don’t wake up.

    I’m all for keeping wages low to keep prices low. It’s just low to me, is not the same as what’s low to an illegal. I’ve never made what I consider to be a good living in my life. And I am totally OK with THAT. What I’m not OK with is someone telling me that at 47 years old I need to have these ever evolving skills to compete. I am highly skilled, I just want to have work to do every day. And I don’t because of our horrible economy.(I don’t care if King George says we have a robust economy, the TRUTH is it sucks) And I believe what you want (letting millions more people in the country)is going to make the economy worse.

    My real beef in life is with peoples morals. This discussion was about Lou Dobbs and how I think he’s right, and you think he’s an idiot. No one these days is OK with working and just making a decent living and a comfortable life.
    EVERYONE WANTS TO BE THE KING!

    You believe people who make money off of the backs of cheap labor help out society. Is that why salaries for CEOS and upper management are at an all time high, while pay for the average worker has been stagnant for years if not going down?(to try to match what “ILLEGALS” will work for) The more profit they make the more stuff they buy for themselves, and the stuff they buy is made by more cheap labor so their rich friends make more profit and so on.
    THAT’S the way the world works!

    And my reaction to this part.
    “I think a hang-up here is that you’re also placing too much emphasis on the value of labor in the whole scheme of production as well. Labor doesn’t determine value in a product”.
    You place to little emphasis on human beings. We are all human. We all deserve our fellow man to care about us and give us respect. I’ll say again I do care about ALL of the poor people around the WHOLE WORLD, not just in my back yard or the country to the south of me. THERE ARE BILLIONS OF POOR PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD. Should we bring them all here? Or should we try to help them where they are?

    BUILD A FENCE!

    Put the national guard there, that’s where they’re supposed to be, not in the middle east!

    We don’t need any new immigration legislation.

    Enforce the laws we already have!

    JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!

    If greedy bastards want their cheap labor to be THAT cheap let them be the ones to migrate to where the cheap labor is and set up shop. It’s probably cheaper to live there, so they would be able to buy more stuff. And they would look more like the king.

    Comment by Dennis — August 21, 2007 @ 11:01 am
  43. Dennis,

    Actually, I believe that people invest money to help themselves first, not to improve society. It’s just that society benefits from individuals acting in their own interests. Same reason that most people have jobs…to help themselves primarily by pulling in a wage so they can buy things, not because they think the world would be collectively better of with a few more tables, or another hundred cars, or a really good accountant. Humans act out of self-interest, and self-interest is what motivates people to improve themselves and by extension improve things for others…not doing things only for the “collective good”. That’s the fatal flaw that the socialists always miss.

    Stockholders invest their profits now the same as they always do, with an eye towards getting more money or more products in return. If they reinvest money in more stocks, that helps companies create more jobs. If they take the money they earn and piss it away on yachts, or corporate jets, or fancy dinner parties that creates new jobs (for yacht makers, the aircraft industry, and caterers respectively). Whatever they do with their money benefits the economy and the average worker, so they’re not actually making their living off the backs of workers. If anything, the workers of the world are making their living off the backs of ownership because the investment of capital is what makes jobs possible.

    As for the need for ever-evolving skills, you may not want to hear it but that’s just life. There’s never a point at which you won’t need to compete against someone or something else to survive…immigrant, American, technology, or otherwise…and there’s never a point at which you’ve attained all the knowledge and skills in life you’re ever going to need. That’s part of why I’ve worked consistently since I was 10, even at jobs I wasn’t particularly fond of, and why I continue to study and read and try to develop as a person, because I recognize that the more skills I develop that are of use to my employer the less chance I have of getting cut out of my job by someone else. All the rules and regulations in the world aren’t going to change that basic fact of nature…actually, they’ll tend to make it worse by slowing economic growth, which increases my chances of getting canned by my employer via downsizing so his company can remain solvent. Do I feel bad for people who lose their jobs? Sure. Do I feel bad enough for people who lose their jobs that I want to pass a bunch of laws that won’t actually help them and will eventually make my life worse and increase the chances of losing my own job? Nope. There’s nothing moral about screwing yourself over out of guilt to make somebody else feel better about their life…especially if what you do won’t improve things for either of you. Actually, that’s the opposite of moral.

    As for strictly enforcing the immigration laws and having the government intervene in the operations of private business, that’ll definitely start moving the “greedy bastards” out of the country, because denying them access to labor at the best possible price and forcing them to pay for the costs of regulatory compliance will eventually make the cost of doing business here more expensive than relocation. And the “greedy bastards” will take their money with them. And they’ll take their companies with them. And they’ll take the jobs those companies had with them, as well as the wages those jobs produced. And once that happens, somehow I think you’re going to find that the there are a lot fewer people interested in spending the money on cabinets…which I think is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. On the other hand, that will likely have the effect of decreasing illegal immigration…immigrants rarely choose to come to poor countries.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 21, 2007 @ 12:14 pm
  44. UCrawford,

    In the free market, everybody relies on everybody else for production. The virtue of the free market is the competition for cooperation.

    There are three components for a successful business: creativity and vision, tools and equipment, and management and labor. Entrepreneurs supply the creativity and vision. The capitalists supply the tools and equipment. While the workers produce the management and labor. All three parties cooperate for an outcome that is beneficial to all. Rigorous competition ensures that only the optimal cooperative arrangements are adopted and the benefits of cooperation are divided in an optimal fashion.

    A thriving economy needs all three groups. Inhibiting the activities of any one of the three groups (barring externalities), negatively impacts the two other groups since it rules out certain cooperative arrangements that may be optimal.

    If you want to promote the collective good, stop outlawing certain cooperative arrangements.

    Comment by TanGeng — August 21, 2007 @ 1:44 pm
  45. TanGeng,

    Agreed that voluntary cooperation is key to success, and that all facets of production you mentioned are needed, but my point is that of all these facets labor (especially unskilled labor) is the most easily replaceable because it offers the lowest utility to producers while being the most easily replaceable…which is why laborers generally aren’t paid as well as the capitalists and the entrepeneurs. This is a common hang-up among people who oppose open immigration, they overrate the value of labor in the creation of consumer goods and argue that it should be given special protections by laws that insulate them from the effects of the free market, while denigrating capitalists and entrepenuers as “leeches”, when in fact the “leeches’” individual contributions are often just as or more valuable than what the individual laborers put in. I’m just pointing out that usually it’s the laborers who are the most dispensable part of the equation and the smart ones recognize this and take steps to insure that they’re less dispensable by increasing their utility to their employer. And I get very impatient with people who think they shouldn’t have to adapt like everyone else because the world somehow owes them a living.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 21, 2007 @ 2:21 pm
  46. UCrawford,

    You really pissed me off with your last comment. “And I get very impatient with people who think they shouldn’t have to adapt like everyone else because the world somehow owes them a living”. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken it personally. Maybe it wasn’t directed at me. I felt like it was. If it wasn’t, I’m sorry for any thoughts I had about you, or anything I’m about to say.

    First of all, if it was directed at me, I have no idea where you get the idea that I think anyone owes me anything? I don’t think anyone owes me anything, except the people I do work for.

    I get the feeling you are one of those high and mighty, holier than thou types, that thinks he’s all that, and everyone should be as cool as he is. And if not, they are a fool,(as the subject of this blog started)

    Based on that assumption I wasn’t even going to respond anymore. I admitted in my first post I was an idiot when it came to economics. But, in my humble opinion, I feel that the experts can sometimes get lost in the facts and figures and forget about some things that are more important. I think they call it common sense because the common man has it and the experts loose it, the more they bury themselves in books and facts about “how the world works”. It makes it hard for someone who thinks that everyone is an individual and free to do things the way they feel is best for them, and god forbid have an original idea… You are going to win the argument every time if you and I are talking about economics. And that’s why I wasn’t going to respond anymore, you will never see it my way and I’ll never see it your way. Maybe Lou Dobbs “IS” a fool when it comes to economics. I stood up for him because I like the fact that he is taking a stand “FOR” the middle class. I would like to know what you stand for. You claim to be a libertarian, but I don’t feel you are any different than the Rush Limbaugh’s or the Bill Oreilly’s of the world. Someone has a different opinion than you and all you can do is slander them, with no facts to back it up. I have neither the time or the patience to argue with someone like that. So I was going to leave this conversation.

    Until today. Today I found out that a great man died. Arron Russo. Maybe you’ve heard of him. Maybe you don’t respect him because he had a different opinion than you. I could go on and on about all the evils of the world we live in. But I’ll just leave you with this. I don’t know where you stand on what I believe are way bigger issues than our views on economics. In our discussions you have said you don’t like government, but you are definitely on the side of corporations. In my mind it’s very hard to separate the two.

    In the last year and a half or so, since my business has been slowing to a grinding halt. I’ve been learning a lot about “how the world works” I have a feeling that my view is different from the one you were talking about when you made that comment. I’ve told you all along, I don’t have a problem with any of your “theories”. It’s just that we live in an evil society and if people don’t wake up, it’s going to get real ugly!

    I’ve mentioned the new world order before and no one ever commented on that. When it comes to that subject, you either believe it and want to do something about it, which is me and Lou Dobbs and a growing number of other people who like truth, (as opposed to what gets shoved down our throats by our government and a completly controlled media), or you don’t know enough about it(which is where I was until recently) Or you know about it and you’re OK with it. If you fall into that last category, you deserve the worst.

    And that’s what this is about for me!
    Not about what you read in some economics book!

    The immigration thing is at the very center of what concerns me, and it’s not because I don’t like foreigners or that I don’t understand your logic on economics.

    We have been brainwashed for decades to believe that we live in a democracy, worse that that, that we are trying to spread democracy. Nowhere in The Declaration Of Independence, The Constitution or The Bill Of Rights does it say we have a democratic government. We live in a Constitutional Republic, where we believe we have god given rights to be free to live our lives how we want, and express our selves how we want, as long as it doesn’t interfere with someone else’s rights. It’s not majority rules it’s the opposite, the majority is not supposed to be able to take away the rights of any one of us.

    And that’s just the beginning of the brainwashing.

    “The way the world works”

    A very small group of international bankers and multinational corporations control EVERYTHING!
    It’s a very sinister plan, and as I said before, you must either not know about it, or you support it, and in that case, I feel sorry for you, because you have no soul!

    I wrote this to honor a great man. A man who was intelligent and successful. Because of his success, he was invited to join the ranks of the real evil in this world. Because of his intelligence and because he had more heart, soul and courage than most of us could ever dream of. He turned it down and did the right thing. He used his power to expose the evil. He encouraged us to do the same, and I’m trying to do that right now.

    All I ask, is you have an open mind and listen to what he had to say.

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=RNWE,RNWE:2005-36,RNWE:en&q=aaron+russo&um=1&sa=N&tab=wv

    Go ahead and call me a conspiracy theorist, I’m getting used to it. I believe all of them.
    The war on terror is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated against humanity, and it could very well lead us to the end.

    It would be great if an ex-military, well informed and educated person like you, would join the fight for truth and freedom.

    It’s easy to be a follower, it takes courage to stand up against what you know is wrong.

    Comment by Dennis — August 25, 2007 @ 12:59 pm

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