But then again, I really shouldn't have been so surprised, as nearly everyone at the party was part of what the writer Michael Lind calls the overclass, educated at the best universities and earning hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Their children attended private schools. Everyone had a fine retirement package and subsidized health care, and each was immune to the vicissitudes of middle-class economic life. From their cloistered positions, the solution to nearly all perceived problems - from globalization to crime -- is education, which was their own personal visa into the merit-obsessed overclass. For this group of people, immigration is not about inequality in America, but instead all about a cheap nanny, inexpensive lawn care, or proof of multicultural bona fides. Even to bring up the subject of immigration is to seem impolite, if not crass.It could have been written yesterday. Again the Democrats are pushing an increased minimum wage and more funding for education and all the establishment Republicans can do is oppose the same. Is it any wonder Trump is winning and Bush is in the midst of a political near death experience? Rather than more spending on education he advocates for more central control via Common Core while his establishment cohort, John Kasich (whose father was a mailman ) is open to a modest increase in the minimum wage. While Donald Trump may seem impolite, if not crass.his message is timely and then some.
To be fair, there are some Democrats who acknowledge the harmful effects of illegal immigration on the incomes of native workers - workers who are already stressed by structural changes in the economy. But few Democrats clamor to limit the supply of low-skilled foreign workers. Instead, many Democrats are pushing an increased minimum wage or card-check unionization or - again - more funding for education. They argue that these policies would have a more direct effect on the incomes of lower-skilled workers. And these policies might, in fact, be sufficient to resist the effect of illegal immigration, and, in any event, all are desirable policy and should be enacted at once. But there is no political consensus for such policies, and it is difficult to imagine that the Republican-dominated Congress would even consider them. It is irresponsible to hold on to the illusion of their possibility. Immigration reform may be a second-best solution, but the first-best is out of reach, and worse outcomes are likely if we hold on to misplaced fantasies of egalitarian social policies. Besides, the growing number of low-skilled workers, swelled by illegal immigration, makes these progressive interventions that much more expensive and, hence, unlikely.
Monday, September 7, 2015
Have we seen this play before?
This is excerpted from a Real Clear Politics post written in 2006 by former Democratic Congressman Brad Carson of Oklahoma.