The genius of America is that it was set up as a representative government, but increasingly, Americans are ruled over by leaders who are unelected, and very powerful. Columbia Law Professor Philip Hamburger unmasks the people who are really ruling our lives.
Is it time to privatize the US Postal Service?
For the US government’s 2018 fiscal year, the US Postal Service reports that it successfully boosted its annual revenue by $1 billion over the previous year to $70.7 billion, marking a boom year for its mail and package delivery services. Unfortunately, it also spent about $3.9 billion more to provide those services than it took in during the year, a $1.2 billion increase over the loss it recorded in its 2017 fiscal year.
If that doesn’t sound like a success, that’s because it isn’t, which is why the editors of Investor’s Business Daily are calling for the nation’s postal service to be privatized:
By its own admission, the post office is doomed. Buried deep in its 10-k government filing is this bleak statement: “Existing laws and regulations limit our ability to introduce new products or services, enter new markets, generate new revenue streams or manage our cost structure,” it said. Imagine a private company telling its investors that.
This can’t go on. Privatization is the only viable option. The White House last summer proposed to do just that, by either selling off the post office or bringing in private managers to run it. At least a profitable postal company that can sell its shares to investors, manage costs, hire and fire workers, and expand and close lines of business would have a chance. Today’s US Postal Service doesn’t.
How bad is it? The IBD‘s editors cited reporting by Reason‘s Eric Boehm to justify its call:
Far from being an aberration, fiscal year 2018, which ended on September 30, is a sign of things to come. Without changes to how it operates, the USPS will continue to post losses at “an accelerating rate,” Postmaster General Megan Brennan tells Government Executive.
“Simply put, we cannot generate revenue or cut enough costs to pay our bills,” she says.
What’s really stunning is that the USPS managed to lose so much money in a year when income from shipping packages jumped by 10 percent and overall revenue increased by 1.5 percent. That wasn’t enough to make up for an increase of $896 million in personnel costs.
What’s driving that increase in personnel costs at the post office? The same factor that’s driven dozens of cities and counties into bankruptcy proceedings when they can no longer count on being able to tax their way into the black: the pension and health benefits it provides to each of its retired government employees.
Could US taxpayers be protected from having to pay the full cost of the financial failure of the US Postal Service? Reason‘s Eric Bloem considers an interesting possibility:
There’s a chance that might actually finally happen. A White House report released in June that highlighted the possible privatization of government services included two options for reforming the USPS. One idea would have private managers take over running the USPS with the government maintaining oversight responsibility. The second proposal would have the post office sold in its entirety.
A sale would likely require changes and restructuring to first net a profit, and would probably require the federal government to absorb the current debts. Still, it could net a windfall to help pay off the service’s massive liabilities—the Cornell economist Richard Geddes has found that a USPS IPO could raise $40 billion.
Just imagine how much the US government’s financial situation might improve if it returned its $1.2 trillion student loan portfolio back to the private sector.
“America’s not an economy, it’s a nation of peoples and families and communities, and our economy works for the people, not the people for the economy,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said as keynote speaker of the Antipoverty Forum hosted by The Heritage Foundation on Thursday.
The foundation’s annual forum invites policy experts and practitioners to collaborate on how to best advance conservative antipoverty solutions in welfare, health care, education, and civil society.
“The best antipoverty program is a job,” Rubio said, beginning his speech with a quote from former President Ronald Reagan. “Good jobs are jobs that connect the work [Americans] do, not just to a paycheck, but to the dignity that comes with a productive life.”
Instead of focusing on economics when discussing poverty, we should focus on those instances where “dignified work no longer allows working families the ability to provide that kind of stability in their homes or their communities,” Rubio said.
Rubio spoke of his own family’s rise from poverty to prosperity when they left communist Cuba, “trapped by the circumstances of their birth,” for capitalist America, where “through hard work and perseverance anyone … could get ahead.”
Rubio said this version of the American dream wasn’t about his family’s work ethic or the economy, but a defining feature of American life, “dignified work,” which he called a source of stability in a society.
Rubio suggested a number of possible policy proposals to reinvigorate the dignity of the millions of “missing men”—described by The Atlantic as prime-age men who are able-bodied but unemployed and not currently seeking employment—back into the labor force.
He suggested reforming the earned income tax credit to more clearly reward each hour of work, and antipoverty programs like the federal disability insurance entitlement and food stamps to mandate, rather than just encourage, work.
Rubio also said we need to also expand opportunities for working-class students, which means accrediting vocational degree programs rather than reforming student loans to support traditional four-year degree programs.
The Florida Republican pushed back against two proposals the left promotes as solutions to solve poverty, but undermine the dignity of work: a universal basic income and a federal jobs guarantee.
If the federal government were to institute a universal basic income, Rubio explained, all American citizens would receive a check regardless if they worked or not. A federal jobs guarantee would mean that the federal government would ensure all American citizens seeking employment get a government job for which they would be compensated with a $15 minimum wage, with full benefits.
These approaches, in the senator’s view, only double down on the flaw of paying low-income workers to be “unproductive.”
>>> Watch the full Antipoverty Forum event:
Troy Worden is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.
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EDITORS NOTE: This column with video and images is republished with permission. Photo: Erin Granzow for The Heritage Foundation.
Ah, to have an all-female workplace, full of sugar and spice and everything nice and absent #MeToo turpitude and transgressions. Are you in, ladies? Well, before signing on that dotted line, you may want to consider the experiences of the sugar-and-spice girls at Sweden’s new Gender Equality Authority.
Yes, that sounds like what’s birthed when Orwell’s 1984 meets The Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (Bill Maher’s most memorable movie), but it wasn’t mainly men being consumed in this bureaucracy. As Sweden’s FriaTider reports (auto-translated and corrected for grammar):
The New Gender Equality Authority has a leadership consisting of 100 percent women. Ten months after its inception, an internal report now reveals a work environment so bad that 70 percent of its employees are distressed enough to be at risk of ill health, reports Ekot.
The internal survey, Ekot also noted, shows in addition that a majority of the employees of the Gender Equality Authority suffer from sleep problems and “risk fatigue”.
Among other things, the women-dominated workplace is characterized by bullying and harassment, according to the survey.
If this surprises you, perhaps you derived your conception of the sexes from a women’s-studies class (maybe the one known as modern American culture). Whether it was Aristotle’s observation that women are more likely “to scold and to strike,” Rudyard Kipling’s verse about how “the female of the species is more deadly than the male” or statistics on bullying, it has long been known that the sugar-and-spice bit reflects marketing and male flattery, not reality.
As Forbes wrote in 2012 on inter-employee harassment, “Women make much nastier office bullies than men, says psychologist Dr. Gary Namie, co-founder of the [Workplace Bullying] Institute.” This behavior is “particularly vicious among working women,” informs Forbes, and ranges “from playing favourites to badmouthing colleagues” to undermining other women’s careers (and men’s, too).
Unsurprisingly, Forbes attributed this to conditioning (read: it’s our Patriarchal™ society’s fault), writing that girls “are taught to be critical about each other from adolescence.” How this is taught or where it’s taught I have no idea, but that’s their story and they’re stickin’ to it. It’s just good the Female Criticism 101 classes don’t also instruct on how to criticize men, otherwise there could actually be nagging wives in the world. (Unless they’d just skip right to the physical, as some studies show that women are more likely to initiate both domestic and teen-dating violence.)
Those adolescent girls must be quick learners, though, because experts and studies (two troubling phenomena, no doubt, but, hey, even a blind squirrel and a broken clock, ya’ know?) inform that bullying among girls is notably worse than among boys. Just consider the left-wing Guardian, which outlines the problems and practices of these teen Gorgons and then closes with the question: Do these realities “make the ‘normal’ bullying of, generally, low-level violence as used by boys seem strangely comforting?”
Part of the explanation for this is that as poet William Congreve noted in 1697 (pre-“gender”-sensitivity training), Hell hath no “fury like a woman scorned.” His context was affairs of the heart, of course, but it extends further. While men have their characteristic sins (lust, for example), a female one is vindictiveness. I suspect this is partially, though not completely, because women are very emotion-oriented, are easily hurt and, most significantly, are emotion-retentive. Thus, a real or imagined slight cuts deeply and doesn’t just remain in a woman’s mind, but in her heart. It’s harder to forgive when negative feelings linger — demanding retribution.
The bottom line is that, as often portrayed art-imitating-life-style in film, two men can engage in fisticuffs and be buddies an hour later. Women? Not so much.
The psychological experts will tell us this is taught, too, but it’s even (and especially) apparent in children. When a little boy gets upset, he may have a tantrum and explode like a volcano yet 15 minutes later behave as if nothing happened. A girl is less likely to do this but more apt to simmer for long periods, not boiling over noticeably but not cooling to a calm, either. Consequently, rifts with friends are too often permanent.
Then there’s that, speaking generally, men are creatures of principle, women of preference. As I put it, treating this recently, “Years ago a female writer (whose name…escapes me) discussed the different ways boys and girls settle problems. She wrote that boys are natural-born deal makers; they’ll try to ensure fairness for everyone and then shake hands, saying ‘Deal? Deal.’ In contrast, girls will try to ensure an outcome everyone feels good about.”
“Witnessed here, even from young ages,” I continued, “is that boys instinctively reference principles, the objective; fairness is a principle. The girls, of course, are referencing feelings, the subjective.”
The point? “Fair fighting” or conflict resolution in the workplace or anywhere else requires adherence to principles; emotion won’t secure it (which is why catfights are, well, catfights). Philosopher C.S. Lewis touched on this in his book Mere Christianity when he asked: With whom would you rather deal if your dog bit the child next door, the man or woman of the house?
Lewis explained that when the man handles what could be called the family’s “foreign policy,” outsiders are more likely to get a fair shake; the woman’s extreme “family patriotism” often precludes this.
The latter is, of course, what can cause a woman to be wholly devoted to her children, even to the point of backing them when they do evil (serial killers’ mothers come to mind). For only principle instructs, “Your family is wrong, and you must say so”; emotion exclaims “My family right or wrong!”
Kipling touched on this as well, writing of man, “Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands [t]o some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.”
The strong, unyielding feminine emotion can provide the no-holds-barred love and devotion a child needs. But when this intense passion is turned to competition in the workplace or elsewhere, it’s just no-holds-barred. So I don’t know about spice, but maybe, as so many today claim, sugar really is a killer.
Historically, Democrats supported strong borders because they knew American workers could never compete with illegal immigrants. Now, they regularly support “open borders.” So why the drastic change? Tucker Carlson, host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, explains.
EDITORS NOTE: This column with video and images is republished with permission.
Indiana: Project Veritas Action Fund has released new undercover video from the campaign of current U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly.
This new investigation features Senator Joe Donnelly’s wife, Jill Donnelly, and campaign workers trying to hide his support of organized labor. A campaign worker states, “he’s got like a 98% AFL-CIO voting record.”
- Hiding his true stance on labor: “I wouldn’t say anything about unions . . . just say he’s for working families.”
- Concealing his support for big unions: “He does” support unions, just “don’t say that to people”.
- Donnelly has to play down his true liberal views: “especially in Indiana, just because like, it’s so conservative.”
- Donnelly hurting from “No” vote on Kavanaugh: “I know for a fact he’s losing voters [be]cause of Kavanaugh… [be]cause he voted no.”
View the full video HERE.
President Trump’s first and most enduring promise has been kept, and the American worker can rejoice.
A deal experts said was dead in the water materialized last weekend when Canada announced it had reached an agreement with the United States to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The deal came about as a frustrated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a late night meeting with his cabinet. Indeed, the materialization of an agreement serving to improve America’s trade position in North America would not have occurred were it not for the negotiating prowess and vision of President Donald Trump.
The workings of the trade deal date back to before President Trump’s election; actually from before he even started his campaign. For years, Trump voiced his frustration at the United States’ involvement in deals that were hurting the American worker. Calling them “bad deals,” Trump expressed his befuddlement at how politicians could agree to such catastrophic trade deals. NAFTA quickly became a centerpiece of Trump’s campaign for president and the object of his ridicule. But it should be remembered it was also a centerpiece of his speeches long before he came down the elevator.
Upon assuming power, President Trump wasted no time threatening the stability of NAFTA by announcing his intention to pull the United States out of it. Predictably, the naysayers took to the airwaves, arguing that NAFTA was a creator of jobs. Investor Dennis Gartman called such a move, “egregiously stupid,” and CNBC proudly published his opinion. Meanwhile at Forbes Magazine, Professor J. Bradford DeLong called the prospect of leaving NAFTA, “a disaster” while Stuart Anderson, the author of the article, mocked Trump by stating that visual aids were needed to teach the President why leaving NAFTA was a bad idea. Anderson held nothing back when he concluded, “Donald Trump does not know much about the trade agreement he has so frequently criticized.”
Undeterred, President Trump continued to place his disapproval of NAFTA at the center of public discourse. Recognizing his greater advantage over Mexico, he then pealed America’s southern neighbor into a separate agreement that did not include Canada calling it a “terrific agreement for everybody.”
With the Mexican trade deal solidified, Trump turned his attention to Canada, this time suggesting that he might leave Canada out of the deal if it did not negotiate.
Canada remained defiant. “We will only sign a new NAFTA that is good for Canada and good for the middle class,” said a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. For Canada, there were a number of sticking points to a new deal. First the NAFTA dispute resolution process that protected the cultural exemptions was “fundamental.” This “exemption” protected Canadian artistic products, including media outlets. Understandably, Canadians feel threatened that American networks might buy Canadian media affiliates and essentially control their media coverage. Further, the abandonment of Canada’s tariffs on American dairy products was considered too great a threat to be acceptable.
But President Trump remained undeterred. He imposed an Oct. 1 deadline upon Canada, insisting that if it did not provide the text for a new trade deal to the United States Congress by that time he would move ahead with the deal with Mexico and exclude Canada.
Trudeau did the only thing he could and called for “common sense to prevail.” He appealed to Canada’s partners, including the European Union, to ramp up their pressure on the United States. But the reality was that Canada could ill afford to be kept out of a new North American trade agreement. The Canadian dollar was weakening, and the prospect of Canada continuing without a treaty seemed like a doomsday scenario for its economy; and for Trudeau’s impending reelection.
With negotiations seemingly hopelessly stalled as recently as late September, Canadian negotiators went to work. And by Sunday, Sept. 30, the two countries agreed to terms.
The new agreement, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is nothing short of revolutionary. Among other provisions, the USMCA curbs Canada’s high tariffs and low quotas on American dairy product; drops the percentage of a car needing to be manufactured in China that would still allow it to be considered “North American;” includes provisions that help NFL advertising; and forces Canada and Mexico to respect American drug patents for 10 years. And Canada gets to keep its cultural resolution process exemption.
In a very real sense, the trade deal vindicates President Trump — and the wisdom of the American worker supporting him. He identified a palpable problem in North American trade and placed his political capital on the line to see it terminated. As a result, Trump emerged much stronger, an important perception at a time when he is knee deep in trade negotiations with China. But more importantly, President Trump’s priority of protecting the American worker and improving the environment for American businesses prevailed.
There is also the glaring realization that these new agreements would have never come to fruition without President Trump. The events leading to Sunday’s breakthrough would never have been possible without Trump’s aggressive, even bombastic style. Most importantly, when President Trump said he would walk away from the deal, he was believable, forcing all players to look hard at the possibility of having no deal at all.
Say what you want about President Trump, but he has become America’s greatest weapon in international negotiations, much to the joy of the American worker.
While in New York for the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump took some time to focus on a message central to her work in the White House: economic empowerment for women across the globe.
“We know that investing in women is a priority in terms of our global security, in terms global prosperity, in terms of global peace. We also know that women around the world are one of the greatest under-tapped resources. When you invest in women, they invest back into their communities, they can invest back into their families, they invest in things that have a generational impact on their societies,” Ms. Trump said.
“At #UNGA 2018, I had the honor of joining @WorldBank @JimYongKim, @ConcordiaSummit + global leaders for impactful discussions on #WomensEconomicEmpowerment in furtherance of @POTUS’s National Security Strategy, as we strive for peace, prosperity & stability at home & abroad,” she tweeted.
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of First Lady Melania Trump is courtesy of the White House.
The Leftwing media and talking heads have been using a number of 11 million illegals in the U.S. for at least a decade, but commonsense told you it was higher.
In June thousands turned out in Washington D.C. [photo right] in support of those crossing our borders illegally thus encouraging even more illegal crossings.
Now some ‘smart people’ at Yale and MIT actually crunched a few numbers and much to their chagrin (because they went in to the study assuming the number was lower than 11 million) are reporting it is a whopping 22 million!
(By the way, refugees that we bring to the US are legal aliens, but the hundreds of thousands coming across borders as asylum seekers—wannabe refugees—were, we presume, included in the 22 million because they are not legally here until they have been granted asylum!)
Here is Neil Munro writing at Breitbart:
The population of illegal migrants is roughly 22 million, or twice the establishment estimate of 11 million, say three professors from Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The shocking estimate will force establishment politicians and pro-migration advocates to recalculate the estimated impact of the huge illegal population on wages and salaries, on crime rates, welfare consumption, rental and real-estate prices, productivity rates, and the distribution of job-creating investment funds to coastal vs. heartland states.
Build the Wall!
The higher illegal population estimate helps explain why Americans’ wages and salaries have risen so little amid apparently record-low unemployment rates, and it also undercuts companies’ loud demands for yet more immigration of foreign workers, consumers, and renters.
The population estimate also raises the political and economic stakes of any amnesty legislation. In 2014, public opposition blocked the bipartisan, establishment, media-boosted Gang of Eight bill, which claimed to offer an amnesty to just 11 million migrants. Currently, advocates for a ‘Dream Act’ amnesty claim it will provide green cards to roughly 3 million sons and daughters of illegal immigrants.
The new estimate also bolsters President Donald Trump’s demand that reluctant GOP and hostile Democratic legislators fund a border wall.
The academics expected their techniques to show the population is smaller than the consensus estimate of 11.3 million. “Our original idea was just to do a sanity check on the existing number,” said Edward Kaplan, operations research professor at Yale. “Instead of a number which was smaller, we got a number that was 50 percent higher. That caused us to scratch our heads.”
These are the math geniuses, but isn’t it 100% more if 11 million is now 22 million? (I’m math impaired, so let me know!).
Next we need to figure out how many are in each state!
According to the State Policy Network:
June 27 —Today the US Supreme Court released a landmark decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, Country, and Municipal Employees, Council 31. The Court ruled in favor of plaintiff Mark Janus, a child support specialist who works for Health Care & Family Services, returning First Amendment rights to public sector workers. This means that five million public servants in 22 states no longer have to pay a government union as a condition of employment.
Specifically, the Court ruled that the “State’s extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public sector employees violates the First Amendment,” overturning the Court’s earlier decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.
The Court agreed with Mark Janus that public sector union speech is inherently political since “it covers critically important and public matters such as the State’s budget crisis, taxes, and collective bargaining issues related to education, child welfare, healthcare, and minority rights.”
The Court’s decision will impact how government unions extract fees from members—moving the system from opt-out to opt-in. The onus is now on the unions since public sector employees must now “affirmatively consent” to pay dues. Now, no government worker can be forced to check their First Amendments rights at the door in order to serve their communities.
On Constitution Day the Center of the American Experiment, a Minnesota think tank held, an event celebrating the Janus v. AFSCME decision.
I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Labor Day this year than telling every public employee you know about the Janus case. After decades of forcing employees to subsidize the political speech and agenda of government unions as a condition of employment, the Supreme Court restored their First Amendment rights. The Court said that our government has to get the “affirmative consent” of public employees before union dues can be deducted from their paychecks.
[ … ]
We won at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2018 but our hard work has just begun.
Public employees do not know their rights, and they are being pressured by unions that do not want to lose their revenue and power. Unions have enjoyed, and still enjoy, a position of political privilege that was never envisioned by our constitutional system or representational democracy. Lawsuits have been filed and legislation is being drafted to enforce the Court’s ruling. We are up against Goliath but remember what happened to him.
The unions are angry and on going on the offensive against the Center and anyone else who dares to defy their monopolistic position. They are not accustomed to having to sell themselves to employees, to be customer friendly and frankly they are not very good at it!
PR Newswire reports:
More than 100 union members and their supporters converged on the Minneapolis Hilton to protest the [Center of the American Experiment] event and picket outside the hotel.
“Minneapolis is a union town and Minnesota is a union state,” said Teamsters Local 320 Secretary-Treasurer Brian Aldes while addressing the crowd. “We’re here to keep it that way!”
The pickets were the length of a city block stretching from one end of the hotel to the other. Pickets were chanting: “Who are we? Union!” and “What’s disgusting? Union busting!”
Do unions support giving their members the right to chose how their union dues are spent? Apparently not.
About Center of the American Experiment
Center of the American Experiment is Minnesota’s leading public policy organization. The Center is more than a think tank. It not only researches and produces papers on Minnesota’s economy, education, health care, the family, employee freedom and state and local governance. It also crafts and proposes creative solutions that emphasize free enterprise, limited government, personal responsibility and government accountability.
American Experiment’s staff advances those solutions by drafting legislation, testifying before legislative committees, placing op-eds in newspapers and magazines across the State of Minnesota and nationally, appearing on radio and television news programs, holding town meetings, and lobbying. Further, American Experiment conducts grass roots advertising campaigns on radio and on the internet, which bring the key findings of the Center’s research papers to millions of Minnesotans. And the Center carries out investigative reporting, uncovering waste, abuse of power and ineptitude in Minnesota’s state and local governments, schools and unions.
For more than 25 years, Center of the American Experiment has been the most impactful and effective public policy organization in Minnesota. It leads the way in creating and advocating policies that make Minnesota a freer, more prosperous and better-governed state.
The Center is a civic and educational 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible.
CANTON, Ohio—Attendees of the 169-year-old Stark County Fair in Ohio don’t come out to see politicians, and politics aren’t on the forefront of their minds, but a large portion of the folks here had strong opinions on both when asked.
The political climate of Stark County, known for its rural, farming areas and also home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame housed in Canton, has flipped in recent years.
In the 2008 presidential race, then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois won 51.59 percent of the vote in Stark County and his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, won 46.14 percent. Obama won the county again in 2012 with 49.21 percent of the vote, inching past Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who had 48.74 percent.
Some cities in Stark County such as Alliance, Massillon, Canton Township, East Canton, Navarre, and Perry Township all went for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
These cities flipped to Trump in 2016 and support for the president was strong among the attendees roaming around the fairgrounds.
While harness racing, baking contests, and pavilion concerts were vastly more popular than any politician who stepped on the premises in Canton, the young and old who shared in their thoughts on the 45th president and their own political journeys had a lot to say.
- ‘I’m a Conservative Democrat and a Liberal Republican’
Fred O. Davis, a Stark County resident who has been attending the fair for 70 years, considers himself to be out of the box politically.
“I’m a conservative Democrat and a liberal Republican,” Davis told The Daily Signal in an interview Tuesday at the Stark County Fair, saying that he gets his fair share of of pushback from folks who don’t understand his conservative-leaning views.
“The backlash I get from is liberal Democrats,” Davis said. “They think I’m crazy.”
His family, however, is starting to see his fascination with conservatism, Davis said.
My brother, he’s liberal … But he’s changing. He’s understanding. I said, ‘Well, Trump’s doing what he got elected for.’ And he is. He’s one of the very few presidents went in there and did what he said he was going to do.
Obama didn’t even like this country. And maybe he still doesn’t. I don’t know.
He said that he is frustrated by policies of Obama that have been continued in Trump’s administration.
“We got too many people on welfare,” Davis said. “If you want to go on welfare, and you’re willing to do some work, fine … but we don’t need it at the limits it’s at now, and that’s what Obamacare is.”
“And if Obama … had gotten all of these people on welfare he wanted, then they’d be dependent on, it’d be a communist country,” he added.
The 77-year-old said he thinks the county needs to return to more traditional and socially conservative values, including re-defining marriage as being between a man and a woman as well. He’s also concerned that rights for people who identify as LGBT are superseding other’s rights.
“Don’t get me wrong, they should be treated equally, but equally,” Davis said. “Not overly-equally.”
Davis said he is also frustrated with the media’s coverage of Trump, which almost prompted him to cancel his subscription to the local newspaper.
The “Canton Repository, I almost canceled it for some of the things in it,” he said. “It’s terrible the way they’re covering. They don’t even say the good things he does, they only say all the bad things he does. I mean, the bad things in their opinion.”
- ‘My Parents Were Strict Democrats. But Now I’m Republican.’
Ruth French, who attends the fair every year with daughter Susan Kaw, said she switched her party from Democrat to Republican in 2008 because she couldn’t stand by how Obama was running the country.
“I positively did not approve of Obama, Mr. Obama,” French said, adding, “My parents were strict Democrats. But now I’m Republican.”
The 86-year-old Stark County resident said she is disheartened by the media’s treatment of Trump.
“I thoroughly support President Trump,” she said. “I believe that the news media needs to give us a break … I thank God that he is in control. That is the big thing in my life. God runs me.”
She also said she is frustrated by the coverage the media has given to recent school shootings.
“They build it up and build it [up]… all these shootings,” French said. “If they would not publicize it [and] show the people’s pictures that did it. Sympathize, grieve for those people that are shot or killed or however. But drop it. Don’t keep it in the public and get these young kids especially, ‘Oh, look, that looks cool. I’ll go do that, too.’”
Sometimes, French said, she will align with and support Democrats, but said she 100 percent stands behind Trump.
“My mother, like I said, was a strict Democrat, but she voted who she thought was a good party person … and I do the same, ’cause there’s Democrats I will vote for,” French said. “I definitely, I’m a Trump person.”
- ‘I Just Wish People Would Be a Little Bit Kinder to the President’
French’s daughter, Susan Kaw, said she thinks the media’s coverage of Trump has been unfair.
“I just wish people would be a little bit kinder to the president, and support him a little bit, and give him a chance,” Kaw said. “He’s done a lot already, but help him out a little instead of fighting everything he does, and give him a little help and support.”
Kaw, who has been coming with her mom each year since grade school to walk the grounds while children are in school, said she wants to see Trump’s wall on the U.S.-Mexico border built.
“Sounds cliché, but I’d like to see the wall built,” Kaw said, adding:
I have no problem with immigrants if they come here legally, and do what they need to do, but all these ones … are coming in, and we’re supporting them. It has nothing to do with coming here to get better jobs. It has to do with coming here to get our welfare, and food, and medical, and ship a lot of the money back to Mexico. So, I’d like to see that done, and better immigration laws.
Kaw, who said she had a “a family full of Democrats and now we’re all Republicans,” is pleased with the Republicans’ tax reform plan, which went into effect Jan. 1.
“I think the tax reform has been good … it’s helped a lot of businesses and a lot of people have got more money in their paychecks, even if Nancy Pelosi says it’s crumbs,” Kaw said.
“It’s not,” she added. “It’s helping a lot of people out, from the bottom all the way to the top.”
- ‘Obama Created a Lot of Divisiveness in Our Country’
Brooke Karmie, a 22-year-old recent college graduate, says she’s seen an economic boom in her town due to Trump’s trade deals.
“I think everything he’s done economically has very noticeably changed our country for the better,” said Karmie, who spent some of her time working the Stark County Republicans’ booth.
“I’ve seen the benefits in my town. So, that’s the president changing local businesses. Especially here in Ohio, steel is coming back. We have a lot of people in the steel industry who are coming back to our state, which is benefiting our economy.”
Karmie, whose grandfather, Frederick Karmie, came to the United States from Syria and went through the immigration process legally, says she is passionate about immigration issues given her grandfather’s experience.
“I know we hear a lot about how it’s wrong of us not to welcome these immigrants,” Karmie said, adding:
But that’s not we’re doing. We are welcoming the immigrants. And Donald Trump is making sure that people have a way to come into our country legally. And making sure that the people who are coming here to be up to no good are not coming, so that the rest of us have opportunities where they’ve been taken from us in the past.
Karmie, who majored in government and foreign affairs at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, said she is passionate about legal immigration because she wants America to stay a secure place for citizens as well as immigrants.
“If we allow crime to come into our country, then there’s no safe haven for the immigrants who come the right way,” Karmie said. “So I really respect that he’s taking action on that. And then, just overall how he’s upholding all of his promises that he talked about in the campaign.”
Karmie said she hopes Trump will help mend the divide she says that Obama instigated.
“I think President Obama created a lot of divisiveness in our country with every single policy he enacted,” Karmie said. “So it’s something that’s very hard to undo, because of the way our media is. But I think that Donald Trump is fighting in the right direction against all that divisiveness.”
- Trump ‘Just Doesn’t Seem to Have the Working Family in His Thoughts’
Stevan Pickard, a union member, said he is skeptical of how Trump’s policies like tax reform will play out in the long run.
“We don’t know what is going to happen because of that—because the tax break, of course, that means less money from the government,” Pickard said. “So if that’s less money for the government, which funds do they cut? Do they cut children’s funds, … cut teacher’s funds, that’s what we are worried about is the effects later on.”
The Stark County resident also said he wishes the president wouldn’t use Twitter.
“He needs to stop his tweeting,” he said. “No two ways about it, I have talked to staunch Republicans and they say the same thing. To us, he just doesn’t seem to have the working family in his thoughts. That’s really [the] bottom line.”
- ‘No Matter What [Trump] Does or How Good Stuff Is, They Just Downplay It’
Scott Rinkes, who took his 7-month-old grandson to the fair with his wife Donna, said he is encouraged by Trump’s trade and foreign policy.
“[We support] the fact that he’s keeping everybody in control and getting us better trade deals. The fact that he’s picking up the economy and the stock market,” Scott Rinkes said. “My 401k plan has increased by one-third.”
Rinkes said he is concerned, however, that the country’s lack of support for Trump will end up sparking widespread disagreement.
“It just makes you sick when the opposite side is pushing prejudice and fights and division,” Rinkes said. “This country is headed for a revolt. No matter what he does or how good stuff is, they just downplay it and try to divide us and turn us against him.”
The Stark County resident also said he is worried about how the media coverage of Trump could damage the president’s potential success.
“It’s just worse since Trump came out and called them out and got in a fight with them,” he said. “Now it’s who’s going to die first? Is he going to kill the news or is the news going to kill his political chances?”
- ‘Never Seen a President Cut Down So Badly by the Press in All My Life’
Becky Sheen of Stark County told The Daily Signal that the media’s coverage of presidents has been the most hostile with Trump.
“The news people used to be so respectful. I don’t care who you’re with or who it was, or whether you voted or not. People would be respectful,” Sheen said. “Everybody in America would sit around their TV when the president’s on TV. Nowadays people don’t even know what he does. It’s sad. A sad state.”
While Sheen said she isn’t completely sold on the idea of a border wall with Mexico, she said “it’s a start.”
Sheen also said that she would like to see Obamacare ended.
“Get rid of Obamacare,” Sheen said. “I was never for that in the beginning and I’ve seen so much bad come of that.”
I work and have my insurance, but I’ve seen a lot of family members who can’t afford insurance, and they got that and it was crazy. They had to pay twice as much for everything to have anything. And then having to have insurance—yeah, you should. But there’s some people that, let’s face it, just can’t afford it. When insurance companies know you have to have it, they jack all the prices for it. Crazy.
She also said the the media’s coverage of Trump has not been fair.
“Oh my gosh, I’ve never seen a president cut down so badly by the press in all my life,” Sheen said, adding:
Every president has good and every president has bad, but it’s like I haven’t yet seen them tell the good. It’s like they’re just constantly looking for him to do bad, instead of trying to give some credit where credit is due. If he’s wrong and does wrong, I can understand that. But on the same sense, show the good, too, because there’s some out there.
- ‘My Dad, My Brother Are Both Republicans Now’
Nathan Moore, a recent graduate of Perry High School in Massillon, Ohio, who was helping work Stark County Republicans’ booth at the fair, said ending Obamacare is a major issue for him.
“I know my grandpa, he’s always been a Democrat, but a whole lot of people lost their insurance and had to do that wait period until they get into Obamacare,” Moore said. “It just took entirely too long, and they’re a lot of money in debt.”
Moore also says he sees a distinct difference between how the media covered Obama and how they cover Trump.
“I think it’s been biased. I mean, you look at some of the coverage for Obama in his first term, and it was extremely like, ‘Hey, good for you, great,’” Moore said of the media coverage of Obama. “Nothing bad. Then Trump comes in, and it’s been kind of, ‘Hey, …he’s horrible, don’t listen to him.’”
The 18-year-old said he tried to communicate his conservative convictions by making light of politics and having serious discussions when appropriate.
It appears to be having some influence, as he said his dad and brother have switched their party from Democrat to Republican.
“If you’re like me and my family, we’re very sarcastic and we joke a lot,” Moore said. “So I would just say make a game out of it. Make jokes about it, if you can, just try to have a serious discussion about it every once in a while to make something happen. Ever since we started joking and talking about it and stuff, my dad, my brother are both Republicans now.”
Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.
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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Ruth French, 86. (Photo: Rachel del Guidice/The Daily Signal)
Every Labor Day, unions claim credit for every laborer’s gain, equating union members’ gains with benefits to all workers. However, that is impossible to square with what happens when some special union privilege is threatened, as with “right-to-work” legislation–unions quickly turn to threats, intimidation and violence against other workers. In fact, unions rely on coercion, actual or threatened, at all times to extract gains at the expense of other workers, by lowering the wages they can earn and raising the prices they pay as consumers.
If we agree with Emerson’s assertion that immoral means cannot achieve moral ends, such behavior should lead us to re-evaluate unions’ claims of benefitting labor. One excellent guide is philosopher Auberon Herbert, who saw unions’ effects clearly in “The True Line of Deliverance,” over a century ago:
“Unionism…is founded on distinctly wrong principles…the sacrifice of one section of the laborers to another.”
“[A nonmember]…is a real danger to the unionist, as when any quarrel occurs, he may take his place…Here begins the temptation to coerce.”
“Just as the union means a kind of war upon those in the same trade…[who] do not wish to be admitted, so it also means war on outside labor.”
“[As] unionists restrict production…the labor of other trades will exchange for less…Taking advantage of their position, these monopolists take advantage of their fellow-workmen at a lower price, whilst they charge a higher price for their own.”
“There are many other forms of restriction which…spring up whenever men begin regulating for each other the conditions of their labor…because the first restriction is found to be incomplete without the second, and the second without the third; and because men who once lend themselves to restriction acquire the temper of betaking themselves to restriction in the face of every difficulty.”
“[Some] wages may be pushed up for a time…yet is this a sufficient compensation for the state of war that is established between men of the same trade, between different trades, and between employer and employed; for all the individual inconvenience and restriction, and the loss of individual free action; for all the arbitrary things done by those in power, and the temptations towards coercing others?”
“It is the interest of all…to make the free‑trade footing universal for all. I do not mean that A and B should accept work on any terms other than those that they themselves approve; but that they should throw no dam round their labor by preventing C from…accepting terms which they decline. That is the true labor principle, universal individual choice.”
“The labor of the country never can obtain for itself, except at the expense of other labor, more than the free and open market will yield…in extracting more, he is behaving with something that is very near to dishonesty, since he is forcing this higher price at the expense of others.”
“Leave every man free to settle his own price of labor…In the case of a serious disagreement between an employer and his men, the union would remove all such men as wished to leave…But there would be no effort to prevent the employer obtaining new hands…There would be no strike, no picketing, no coercion of other men, no stigmatizing another fellow‑workman…because he was ready to take a lower wage…all this would be left perfectly free for each man to do according to what was right in his own judgment. If the employer had behaved badly, the true penalty would fall upon him; those who wished to leave his service would do so…Further than that in labor disputes has no man a right to go. He can throw up his own work, but he has no right to prevent others accepting that work.”
Auberon Herbert made the compelling case for liberty, enabling greater production and increased incomes, rather than coercive monopoly unionism, whose restrictions harm other workers. If we understood that, we would recognize union coercion as inherent rather than exceptional, and their consequences as harmful rather than beneficial. And we would not endorse such immoral means to immoral ends.
Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. His recent books include Faulty Premises, Faulty Policies (2014) and Apostle of Peace (2013). He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.
Auberon Herbert (1838-1906) was an English radical individualist who was influenced by the work of Herbert Spencer. With a group of other late Victorian classical liberals he was active in such organizations as the Personal Rights and Self-Help Association and the Liberty and Property Defense League. He formulated a system of “thorough” individualism that he described as “voluntaryism.”
Perhaps, people unfamiliar to demolition would think that it’s merely tearing down property on the ground. However, demolition requires thorough research and planning. Professionals working in construction or demolition industry, for instance, must prioritize human safety as well as environmental safety to do their job properly.
Safety is paramount in demolition. In the U.S., there’s the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) agency which is responsible for ensuring worker safety and a conducive work environment. If you’re a demolition contractor, it’s mandatory that you follow OSHA standards to avoid losing your business license.
For you to maintain safety at work, here are some tips on safety demolition methods that you should follow.
Limit Exposure to Toxic Chemicals
Exposure to toxic chemicals can lead to injuries and death. Thus, it’s a must that you know what the common hazardous materials are when you’re in a demolition site. Here are some of those house materials that contain toxic chemicals.
Formaldehyde in Wooden Materials. Wooden house materials typically have formaldehyde which can be injurious to human health. It can cause respiratory problems and cancer when inhaled by the people around the demolition site. Thus, it’s a must that workers wear protective respiratory gear to limit such health risk when doing demolition work.
Synthetic Mineral Fibers. Synthetic Mineral Fibers or SMF are the fibrous products contained in ceramic, fiberglass, and house insulation materials. Even though they are not as harsh as asbestos, SMFs can irritate the eyes, throat, and nose. To keep workers safe, it’s advisable that they wear respirator masks and protective gear.
Lead Content in Paint. Jobs of demolition workers often involve dealing with house materials that have been painted with lead paint. Fumes and dust that contained lead can harm the organs in the body. It can cause anemia, respiratory diseases, kidney failures, neurological ailments, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Therefore, it’s essential that there’s a washing station at the demolition site, and workers should wear protective gear.
Prevention from Falling Accidents
Since demolition work includes climbing over scaffoldings, creating holes, and tearing things up, contractors should know the importance of such hazards. Wearing full-body restraints is advisable, especially when working around a roof or open hole more than 6 feet in depth or height.
Recycle Materials for Environmental Safety
There are demolition companies that put much importance on environmental protection. For instance, they recycle materials they pick up from the demolition site. Instead of disposing of these materials, contractors find ways to reuse them. Here are some materials that can be recycled from a demolished building.
Steel. By having the proper expertise and equipment, demolition contractors can turn scrap metals into low-grade or high-grade steel.
Sinks and Toilets. Yes, you can recycle sinks and toilets if they’re picked up in excellent condition from a demolition site. You can recycle stainless steel models with other scrap metals, and porcelain models with the concrete.
Concrete. Since tons of concrete are typically pick up in a demolition project, it can surely boost your profits if you recycle them. You can recycle concrete into gravel which is an in-demand material for construction. You can look for a demolition contractor that recycle concrete in sites like winnipegdemolition.ca for that purpose.
Wooden Materials. You can sell or reuse beams, posts, and doors made of wood if they’re still in excellent condition. If the wood is too poor for such purposes, there are recycling companies that you can hire to recycle these wooden materials.
It’s a must for demolition contractors to prioritize human and environmental safety in their business. You should follow the safety standards provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration agency so that you’ll minimize the hazards that typically come in your kind of work. If not, it’s either you’ll garner financial losses or lose your business license.
By Edward J. Erler, Co-Author, The Founders on Citizenship and Immigration.
The following is adapted from a speech delivered on April 11, 2018, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Colorado Springs.
President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy for illegal border crossers has provoked a hysterical reaction from Democrats, establishment Republicans, the progressive-liberal media, Hollywood radicals, and the deep state. What particularly motivated the ire of these Trump-haters was the fact that the zero-tolerance policy would require the separation of parents and children at the border. The hysteria was, of course, completely insincere and fabricated, given that the policy of separating children and parents was nothing new—it had been a policy of the Obama and Bush administrations as well.
Furthermore, where is the compassion for the thousands of American children who are separated from their parents every year as a result of arrests and convictions for non-violent crimes? Many of those arrested are single mothers whose infants become wards of the government until their mothers complete their sentences. No hysteria or effusive compassion is elicited by these separations, confirming that the object of the hysteria surrounding illegal border crossers is to force open borders on the nation under the guise of compassion for children.
President Trump’s preferred solution for ending the influx of illegal immigrants and providing border security is a wall; it is also the preferred solution of the American people. Zero tolerance is an interim policy that—if enforced—will help deter illegal crossers. The hysteria provoked by zero tolerance could have been predicted, but its magnitude and sheer insanity are almost breathtaking. Some prominent constitutional scholars have gone so far as to argue that the government has no constitutional authority to control the border. And this, which seems almost beyond hysteria, from the elite intellectual class that should be most immune to hysteria!
In the meantime, a Federal District Court judge in Southern California has discovered a substantive due process right guaranteeing the right to “family integrity” lurking in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and has ordered all children reunited with their illegal immigrant parents. Obviously the judge expects the parents to be released from incarceration to join their children, but the Trump administration seems determined to keep parents and children together in detention centers until legal proceedings determine their fate.
More than a century ago, the Supreme Court announced what was considered the settled sense of the matter when it remarked: “It is an accepted maxim of international law . . . and essential to self-preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within [a sovereign nation’s] dominions, or to admit them only in such cases and upon such conditions as it may see fit to prescribe.” This view was reaffirmed in the recent Supreme Court decision, handed down on June 26, that upheld Trump’s travel ban on foreign nationals from eight countries, six of which have majority Muslim populations.
Part of the complaint against the ban was that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because Trump had displayed “animus” against Muslims in speeches before and after the 2016 election. The plaintiffs argued that the national security reasons for the ban were merely pretexts for Trump’s thinly disguised contempt for the Muslim religion. Although the Court agreed that individual injury could be alleged under the Establishment Clause, the travel ban on its face was neutral with respect to religion, and it was therefore possible to decide the issue on statutory rather than constitutional grounds.
The dissenting opinion in this case would have invalidated the ban on constitutional grounds, based on the idea that the President’s campaign statements and those of his advisers proved that animus against Islam was the real and pervasive motivation for the travel ban. Had this dissenting opinion prevailed, it would have created an anomaly in constitutional jurisprudence. Conceding that the plain language of the travel ban was neutral and therefore constitutional, what rendered the travel ban unconstitutional was Trump’s purported display of animus in his public speeches. If signed by any president other than Trump, there would therefore be no constitutional objections. In other words, in the minds of the dissenters, psychoanalysis of Trump’s motives held greater constitutional significance than the intent of the law expressed in its plain language.
In any case, the majority opinion held that “by its plain language” the Immigration and Naturalization Act “grants the President broad discretion to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States. The President lawfully exercised that discretion based on his findings . . . that entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the national interest.” Few limits have ever been placed on the President’s broad authority to act under the Immigration and Naturalization Act, especially when national security and foreign relations are involved.
In the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump appealed to the importance of citizens and borders. In other words, Trump took his stand on behalf of the nation-state and citizenship against the idea of a homogeneous world-state populated by “universal persons.” In appealing directly to the people, Trump succeeded in defeating both political parties, the media, political professionals, pollsters, academics, and the bureaucratic class. All these groups formed part of the bi-partisan cartel that had represented the entrenched interests of the Washington establishment for many years. Although defeated in the election, the cartel has not given up. It is fighting a desperate battle to maintain its power.
Historically, constitutional government has been found only in the nation-state, where the people share a common good and are dedicated to the same principles and purposes. The homogeneous world-state—the European Union on a global scale—will not be a constitutional democracy; it will be the administration of “universal personhood” without the inconvenience of having to rely on the consent of the governed. It will be government by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats, much like the burgeoning administrative state that is today expanding its reach and magnifying its power in the United States. “Universal persons” will not be citizens; they will be clients or subjects. Rights will be superfluous because the collective welfare of the community—determined by the bureaucrats—will have superseded the rights of individuals.
Progressive liberalism no longer views self-preservation as a rational goal of the nation-state. Rather, it insists that self-preservation and national security must be subordinate to openness and diversity. America’s immigration policies, we are told, should demonstrate our commitment to diversity because an important part of the American character is openness, and our commitment to diversity is an affirmation of “who we are as Americans.” If this carries a risk to our security, it is a small price to pay. Indeed, the willing assumption of risk adds authenticity to our commitment.
In support of all this, we are asked to believe something incredible: that the American character is defined only by its unlimited acceptance of diversity. A defined American character—devotion to republican principles, republican virtue, the habits and manners of free citizens, self-reliance—would in that case be impermissibly exclusive, and thus impermissibly American. The homogeneous world-state recognizes only openness, devotion to diversity, and acceptance as virtues. It must therefore condemn exclusivity as its greatest vice. It is the nation-state that insists on exclusive citizenship and immigration policies that impose various kinds of restrictions.
Our progressive politicians and opinion leaders proclaim their commitment to diversity almost daily, chanting the same refrain: “Diversity is our strength.” This is the gospel according to political correctness. But how does diversity strengthen us? Is it a force for unity and cohesiveness? Or is it a source of division and contention? Does it promote the common good and the friendship that rests at the heart of citizenship? Or does it promote racial and ethnic division and something resembling the tribalism that prevents most of the world from making constitutional government a success? When is the last time we heard anyone in Washington talk about the common good? We are used to hearing talk about the various stakeholders and group interests, but not much about what the nation has in common.
This should not be surprising. Greater diversity means inevitably that we have less in common, and the more we encourage diversity the less we honor the common good. Any honest and clear-sighted observer should be able to see that diversity is a solvent that dissolves the unity and cohesiveness of a nation—and we should not be deceived into believing that its proponents do not understand the full impact of their advocacy!
Diversity, of course, marches under the banner of tolerance, but is a bastion of intolerance. It enforces its ideological liberalism with an iron fist that is driven by political correctness, the most ingenious (and insidious) device for suppressing freedom of speech and political dissent ever invented.
Political correctness could have been stopped dead in its tracks over three decades ago, but Republicans refused to kill it when they had the opportunity. In the presidential election campaign of 1980, Ronald Reagan promised to end affirmative action with the stroke of a pen by rescinding the executive order, issued by Lyndon Johnson, that created it. This promise was warmly received by the electorate in that election. But President Reagan failed to deliver his promised repeal. Too many Republicans had become convinced that they could use affirmative action to their advantage—that the largesse associated with racial class entitlements would attract minorities to the Republican Party. By signing on to this regime of political correctness, Republicans were never able to mount an effective opposition to its seemingly irresistible advance.
Today, any Republican charged or implicated with racism—however tendentious, outrageous, implausible, exaggerated, or false the charge or implication may be—will quickly surrender, often preemptively. This applies equally to other violations of political correctness: homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and a host of other so-called irrational prejudices. After all, there is no rational defense against an “irrational fear,” which presumably is what the “phobias” are. Republicans have rendered themselves defenseless against political correctness, and the establishment wing of the party doesn’t seem overly concerned, as they frequently join the chorus of Democrats in denouncing Trump’s violations of political correctness. Only President Trump seems undeterred by the tyrannous threat that rests at the core of political correctness.
In addition to the Affirmative Action Executive Order in 1965, there were other actions taken during the Great Society that were meant to transform America. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was sound legislation, authorized by the Fourteenth Amendment and designed to abolish racial discrimination in employment. But the administrative agencies, with the full cooperation of the courts, quickly transformed its laudable goals into mandates that required racial discrimination to achieve racial proportionality in hiring and promotion.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 similarly sought to ban racial discrimination in voting. It too was transmogrified into an act that required racial discrimination in order to achieve proportional results in elections. Proportional results were touted by a palpable fiction as the only reliable evidence of free and fair elections.
The Immigration Act of 1965 was a kind of affirmative action plan to provide remedies for those races or ethnic groups that had been discriminated against in the past. Caucasian immigrants from European nations had been given preference in past years; now it was time to diversify the immigrant population by changing the focus to Third World nations, primarily nations in Latin America and Asia. The goal, as some scholars have slowly come to realize, was to diversify the demographic composition of the American population from majority white to a majority of people of color. There was also some anticipation that those coming from these Third World countries were more likely to need the ministrations of the welfare state and therefore more likely to be captured by the Democratic Party, the party promoting the welfare state.
White middle-class Americans in the 1960s and 70s were often referred to as selfish because their principal interests were improving their own lives, educating their own children, and contributing to their own communities. They showed no inclination to support diversity and the kind of authentic commitment to the new openness that was being advocated by progressive-liberalism. They stood as a constant roadblock to the administrative state, stubbornly resisting higher taxes, increased immigration, and expansion of the welfare state. Once they were no longer a majority, they would be powerless to resist. Demographers say that sometime around 2040 is the day of reckoning when whites will no longer be a majority and will sometime thereafter have to endure the fate they have inflicted on others for so many years. This radical demographic change will be due almost entirely to the immigration reform that was put into motion by the Immigration Act of 1965.
Of course, it is entirely a fiction that the American political system has produced monolithic white majorities that rule at the expense of so-called “discrete and insular minorities.” Whites as a class have never constituted a majority faction in the nation, and the Constitution was explicitly written to prevent such majorities from forming. The fact that, among a host of other considerations, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by a supposed “monolithic white majority” to promote the equal protection rights of minorities belies the idea that it was a majority faction ruling in its own racial class interest.
President George W. Bush, no less than President Obama, was an advocate of a “borderless world.” A supporter of amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, he frequently stated that “family values don’t stop at the border” and embraced the idea that “universal values” transcend a nation’s sovereignty. He called himself a “compassionate conservative,” and said on several occasions that we should be more compassionate to our less fortunate neighbors to the south.
President Reagan used this same kind of rhetoric when he signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which provided amnesty for three million illegal aliens. This was touted by Reagan as a way of “humanely” dealing with the issue of illegal immigration. In his signing statement, he said the Act “is both generous to the alien and fair to the countless thousands of people throughout the world who seek legally to come to America.” The Act was supposed to be a one-time-only amnesty in exchange for stronger border control, but only the most naive in Washington believed that the promise of border control would be honored. In fact, illegal immigration continued unabated. The Act also fueled expectations—even demands—for additional amnesties, and delays in implementing new amnesties have been proffered as evidence by immigration activists (including Jeb Bush) that the American people lack compassion.
Any clear-thinking observer, however, can see that compassion is not a sound basis either for foreign policy or immigration policy. Compassion is more likely to lead to contempt than gratitude in both policy areas. The failure of the 1986 amnesty should be a clear reminder of the useful Machiavellian adage that in the world of realpolitik it is better to be feared than loved. Fear is more likely to engender respect, whereas love or compassion is more likely to be regarded as a contemptible sign of weakness. In 1984 Reagan received 37 percent of the Hispanic vote, but after the 1986 amnesty George H.W. Bush received a significantly lower 30 percent. Granted, Bush was no Reagan, but such ingratitude seemed to puzzle Republicans.
Republicans and Democrats alike are reluctant to consider serious measures to control illegal immigration. Republicans want to continue the steady supply of cheap and exploitable labor, and Democrats want future voters. Republicans are thinking only in the short term—they are not thinking politically. Democrats always think politically. President Trump wants to stop chain migration and the diversity lottery. Those who win in the diversity lottery also begin chain migration, as do all legal immigrants. Since 2005, more than nine million foreign nationals have arrived in the U.S. by chain migration, and when they become voting citizens, in all likelihood, two-thirds of them will vote Democrat. Trump knows how to think politically!
Birthright citizenship contributes to a borderless world. Any woman who comes to the United States as a legal or illegal alien and gives birth confers the boon of American citizenship on her child. In these instances, America has no control over who becomes a citizen. Constitutional law experts say it is a settled issue that the Constitution adopted the English common law of birthright citizenship. William Blackstone is cited as the authority for this proposition, having written the authoritative Commentaries on the Laws of England—a work that was well known to our nation’s Founders. What the proponents of birthright citizenship seem to ignore is that Blackstone always refers to “birthright subjects” and “birthright subjectship,” never mentioning citizens or citizenship in his four volume work. Under the common law, anyone born under the protection of the king owed “perpetual allegiance” to the king in return. Blackstone freely admitted that birthright subjectship was an inheritance from the feudal system, which defined the relations of master and servant. Under the English common law there were no citizens—only subjects.
The Declaration of Independence, however, proclaims that the American people “are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown.” Thus, it is clear that the American people rejected the common law as a basis for citizenship. What is substituted in place of “perpetual allegiance” to a king is “the consent of the governed,” with the clear implication that no individual can be ruled without his consent. Consent—not the accident of birth—is the basis for American citizenship.
James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration and the Constitution and later a member of the Supreme Court, perfectly expressed the matter when he wrote: “In America there are citizens, but no subjects.” Is it plausible—is it even remotely credible—that the Founders, after fighting a revolutionary war to reject the feudal relic of “perpetual allegiance,” would have adopted that same feudal relic as the ground of citizenship for the new American regime?
The American people can, of course, consent to allow others to join the compact that created the American nation, but they have the sovereign right to specify the terms and conditions for granting entry and the qualifications for citizenship. Presumably the qualifications for entry and naturalization will be whether those who wish to enter demonstrate a capacity to adopt the habits, manners, independence, and self-reliance of republican citizens and devotion to the principles that unite the American people. Furthermore, it would be unreasonable not to expect that potential immigrants should possess useful skills that will ensure that they will not become victims of the welfare state.
Immigration policies should serve the interests of the American people and of the nation—they should not be viewed as acts of charity to the world. Putting America first is a rational goal. It is the essence of sovereignty. And the sovereign nation-state is the only home of citizenship—as it is the only home of constitutional government.
Edward J. Erler is professor emeritus of political science at California State University, San Bernardino. He earned his B.A. from San Jose State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. He has published numerous articles on constitutional topics in journals such as Interpretation, the Notre Dame Journal of Law, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. He was a member of the California Advisory Commission on Civil Rights from 1988-2006 and served on the California Constitutional Revision Commission in 1996. He is the author of The American Polity and co-author of The Founders on Citizenship and Immigration.
HPR: …The State of Hawaii has announced a new policy regarding the collection of so-called agency fees from non-members of public employee unions.
The policy, outlined in a memo from the State Comptroller, was spurred by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Janus v AFSCME. That case, brought by Illinois state employee Mark Janus, overturned a precedent established in 1977 that allowed public unions to collect dues from all public employees, regardless of their membership status in the union.
Non-members were charged a reduced rate compared to full members. These agency fees could not be used for lobbying or political purposes. That precedent was established in the 1977 Supreme Court case Adood v Detroit Board of Education, which found that non-members still benefit from collective bargaining carried out by unions and should contribute to funding those non-political actions.
Here in Hawaii, the State Department of Accounting and General Services automatically withholds dues and agency fees from all state employees on behalf of the union. However, in the memo published yesterday State Comptroller Roderick Becker said it is the State’s intent to “suspend non-member deductions as soon as possible.”
But that appears to be easier said than done.
The state’s payroll system does not contain state workers’ union membership status. The state has evidently been relying on each of the various public employee unions to identify members and non-members. This makes it difficult to go about stopping payroll deductions for non-members.
The memo from the Comptroller’s office indicates that the Department of Accounting and General Services is asking unions to confirm whether or not they have a non-member population and to provide the names of those members to the state. Once the names of non-members have been provided, agency fee withholdings will be suspended.
One state worker who is a member of the Hawaii Government Employees Association told HPR that following the Janus decision he attempted to change his status with HGEA to non-member. The employee was told that change could not be made until it was time to renew his annual membership in Hawaii’s largest public union….
PDF: DAGS MEMO