Friday, June 02, 2006

To Fed or not to Fed

This sort of statement in a linked article:
Conservatives claim to believe in federalism, until the states do things they don’t like. Then they turn into New Deal liberals, believing that the federal government should correct the errors of the 50 states.
almost forced me to
comment on this post on Pejman's Chequer Board.
I've always thought it ironic that it was the liberals who federalized abortion law in Roe v. Wade. Before Roe, there was no feeling that the Federal Government should be involved in telling states whether or not they could criminalize abortion. Now that topic is firmly federalized, the door has been opened for the nationwide criminalization of abortion, a prospect never imagined by the progressives, and one that wouldn't have appeared but for Roe.

Similarly, federalizing marriage restrictions - or liberalization - on civil liberties grounds may endanger the ability of any state to define marriage in a way that conservatives would prefer, if the tide turns. I guess I would only be happy with a Supreme Court decision that said that neither states nor the Feds should be defining marriage. But I know that's not going to happen.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More path-ology

Now Samizdata, in the person of Dale Amon pontificating about the minimum wage, is stimulating comments about the "path to citizenship":
The interesting thing will be what would happen should amnesty come to pass in the US. Once all the aliens become citizens they too can demand the minimum wage. If employers have to choose between a worker that speaks perfect English and costs $6.50/hr and one that doesn't speak English (or speaks it poorly) at the same wage, then guess who will win out. It is in some of these "migrant worker's" best interest to stay off the system. For the ones that do get "in the system" and don't have the skills to compete for higher paying jobs they will simply join the ranks of the perpetually unemployed welfare mooches.

So I thought I'd chime in:
By making it harder to get a job as a citizen than as an illegal, minimum wages make nonsense of the "path to citizenship" argument. And increasingly, it seems, illegals don't want to become US citizens, certainly not if it means paying a fine, learning English, paying taxes and abiding by a host of regulations. Why should they, since they know the laws aren't going to be enforced? And we'll all be Mexicans before long.
Path, schmath!
I hate articles like this one that say voters want to provide illegal aliens a "path to citizenship" (via Kaus). Not only do most illegals not even want to become citizens, as shown by their behavior, but they already have a "path to citizenship". Namely, they can go back home - shouldn't be too hard, with everyone coming the other way - and apply for legal admission to the US, wait in line like everyone else and become legal citizens like my father's family and millions of others have done.

Wait a minute. If you actually read the article, it says there's a ton of opposition to the "path to citizenship":
Shays, one of the few vulnerable House Republicans open to a broad compromise with the Senate, said strong protests from his constituents this month prompted him to speak out for the first time against citizenship for undocumented workers. "It would be a huge mistake to give people a path to citizenship that came here illegally," he said.

Well, no wonder. Because "path to citizenship" in this context really means, "path to citizenship that doesn't require as much time or effort as is required of everyone else who didn't violate the laws of the country everyone assumes without much evidence that they want to become citizens of". Because, after all, they've already benefited from years in this country illegally. We can't make them go back and suffer from the years of oppression and poverty that their compatriots who actually, you know, RESPECT American laws have to go through to get US citizenship. I mean, we don't really want all those foreigners who actually think our laws mean what they say to come here, do we? What a bunch of party-pooping spoilsports they would be! Nah, let's go with the nihilist punks. That's the modern way.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Finally! Puerto Rico information
Maybe my meme is getting around. Amity Shlaes over at Bloomberg has picked up on the idea that Puerto Rico is a model for what happens with Hispanics in a US cultural and legal environment:
What the Puerto Rican example suggests is that in the short run open borders can provide nations with an excuse not to change. Mexicans hate the notion of being compared to Puerto Rico, but by not reforming Mexico runs the risk of Puerto Rico- izing itself.

Maybe not so short a run as she thinks. Puerto Rico has been a US territory, if memory serves, since 1898. Ah, the Spanish-American War. The gift that keeps on giving! The Shlaes article also shows that if you wait long enough you won't have to do any actual research, you can just pontificate at will. Some reporter will do the research for you. And if you're lucky, it will support your bloviations.

The migration information Shlaes provides doesn't agree, however, with what I read elsewhere. She says 485,000 out of 3.5 million Puerto Riquenos moved to the US in the Nineties. Another article said migration had effectively stopped, because it was now just as easy to live in Puerto Rico. I'll have to look up that other article. If I had the utility working, I'd have it neatly stashed away under the "immigration" category. I'll have to get that going.