Sunday, December 2, 2007

Synthesis of Success

Resolution of Problems with

China Trade Imbalance, The Costs of Illegal immigration

How do we create a future in our favor that we choose?

Position: The trade deficit with China and Illegal immigration are the same problem.

Market force: Illegal immigrants and Chinese workers are both filling an American need for an illiterate labor force to produce goods.

Weakness: The trade deficit with China allows China to build a massive military and become a threat to our national security. China is buying our companies and becoming the owner of the means of production and threatening our sovereignty. The status quo of illegal immigrant workers and the costs on our society. Labor moving far overseas beyond the reach of our regulators.

Comparative Advantage Analysis for International Trade: America has the comparative advantage in research and development, highly educated labor, and skilled labor, but we lack an illiterate labor force for basic material production on shore.

Strengths: Illiterate labor produces a lot of products cheaply that our consumers enjoy. They produce buildings, fruits and vegetables, and many other things that help America build a prosperous society.

Goals: to gain the benefits of this labor under our own terms in the fashion that strengthens America most in the long run.

To internalize the costs of illegal immigration within those entities that benefit most.

To change the direction of the trade deficit with China.

To spread our values and boost the economy of new local democracies as a choice - rather than use the labor of communist China.

To produce the products we use nearby so that we can regulate and inspect what is being made here - rather than trying to reach our regulative arm around the world to China.

To allow businesses in America to get the labor they need to remain globally competitive.

Please note that this document is an examination of this position from multiple sides. It is not an adopting of this position, rather an exploration that will go very far in many directions around this issue.

Elaboration: The full explanation and details to make this work. What are the right questions to ask - to find the right solutions?

How do we untie this mess and climb out on top?

The problem with illegal immigrants being in our country is how they effect our society outside of the workforce. Illegals, move into large houses in wealthy neighborhoods and reduce property value. They use our health care services and the costs are borne by the hospitals. Some are educated through are system and pay no taxes. Others take a few jobs from Americans.

The benefits focus around illegal immigrants ability to develop an American comparative advantage in the unskilled labor market. Consider that the main comparative advantage that China has is their illiterate labor. America already has the R+D and skilled labor, and literate labor that our economy is founded on. Illegal immigration is occurring for a reason.

Market forces.

We either achieve full benefit of these forces on terms that we set, or we have other countries and the immigrants setting the terms for us.

Illegal immigrants are here because our market demands that labor. America has literate labor and skilled labor, and geniuses, but not illiterate labor. Illiterate labor teams are best for building our new buildings, picking our tomatoes, and allowing all of that to happen here very cheaply.

Lets do this, but lets do it on our terms.

First, the 12 million that are here. We need them. We need the illiterate labor that they provide. Currently, we are hiring labor offshore – in China – creating a huge trade deficit. That is because China has the massive quantities of cheap illiterate labor to produce goods with little cost. Rather than hire labor over there, why not create a method of production here, through immigrant labor of some sort – that we can regulate on our shores. Why not strengthen Mexico in the process, which would stop the huge flow of immigrants? Why not work to the maximum advantage with our neighbors and form a symbiotic relationship rather than a perceived cancer on society.

Proposal: How do we fix the picture?

If the problem is the costs of illegal immigration, why not shift all the costs to be borne in the appropriate place, on the appropriate people or business entities, and shift more benefits to American soil at the same time.

The main winners are the owners of the means of production – capitalists – in this country who require the illiterate labor force provided by illegal immigration. Why not deliver the costs to them? Why not setup a situation where they them pass those costs through the price of their products rather than laying all costs on our border nations. Let not immigrants put a huge burden on our hospitals because they cannot pay. Let not immigrants put huge burdens on our schools because they don’ t pay taxes. Let not immigrants move into our neighborhoods and shift the culture in areas where Americans have made massive achievement. Lets internalize these costs within the capitalists who hire the labor.

Businessmen who hire illegal immigrants should by law provide housing on site. Businessmen who hire illegal immigrants should provide basic English training so that our culture and our values spread rather than Spanish. Businessmen who hire illegal immigrants should pay a registration fee that covers the costs of our enforcement of the plans that we devise. If a business sells 200 million tomatoes all picked by immigrants – let them raise the price of the tomatoes by 3 cents a piece, so that they can bear all the costs of having the foreign workers within the US.

What do we have now? Internalized costs of a migrant illiterate workforce that builds a new level on the pyramid of America’s structuring of international trade comparative advantage. With registered workers we then have made Illegal people – legal. With high costs to those who do not follow the program we can assure that our program is followed.

Consider that to come as a worker – one must register family in Mexico. If the worker comes to America and disappears –Mexico – if they want this trade relationship must arrest the family of these workers in their home country. The only way the family members can be released is if the documented worker comes home and signs the paperwork.

Businesses, if they are spreading these costs to America must be taxed in direct proportion to the costs borne by a state. So, if they will not provide health care, education, and housing internally – they will be taxed to provide the revenue for the effected states to handle it.

What do we have here? A way to strengthen relations with our nearest neighbor, a way that business owners can get the labor they desire, a way to reduce the advantage of China and generate products on our soil rather than expanding a massive trade deficit, limit these products to products that we require at home, a way to infuse American values within people who are here by having them take an oath upon arrival, a way to financially build up our neighbor – through money sent home (which is a very small amount compared with what we gain from immigrants presence). If our neighbor is stronger due to money sent home that was earned from honest labor then will the flow of immigration eventually slow at the right time? If our neighbor has returned from America and learned English will we have created a better trading partner for the future? Will we have sparked the wheels of their economy so they can afford to buy our products – thus increasing our exports? Will we have reduced our massive trade deficit with China because we produce more goods here by reducing China’s advantage? Can we teach humanity – humane labor treatment – and our values to workers while they are here – so that they will take it home?

Lastly, can we use some of the money that stays ashore to educate all Americans so that we have a fully literate workforce made up of Americans. Thus, we can have more labor in more skilled markets and these workers will not be competing for the same jobs as the illiterate immigrants.

If you look at this situation, China- who is using our money to buy our companies- erode our security- steal our copywritten and patented material – who uses money to support the forces propagating genocide in Darfur – communist China loses.

Government and the general public wins because the costs are borne by the capitalists and those who purchase the specific product.

Our workers gain education.

Our work force becomes more dynamic and we have the full range of labor on our soil.

Mexico and our neighbors become stronger which may slow the flow of immigrants.

We benefit from the labor, on our own terms – because we need it – and we can regulate it in our favor.

Consumers get cheaper products than if we had to produce them in our country otherwise.

We can teach humanity and spread American values to our neighbors making for more stability in our region.

Do you see here? The shift is actually quite slight. Synthesize what is going on into a symbiotic relationship with the migrant workers. If the work is happening here, or in Mexico rather than China – we can regulate the products far more easily and assure that lead is not in our toys, our products are safer, and we can afford to buy them – from our own country.

Connection: To the labor force big picture

Our most experienced and skilled labor force is retiring. This is putting huge strain on social security and medicare. It means that the future labor force needs to support whoever has retired. With the baby boomers retiring in mass quantity, we need to do something. Remember, France and Europe has problems because their population is now composed of older retired people, with very few new workers entering the labor force.

If we, change the retirement age to a few years later, we can generate expanded tax revenue. This can fund the baby boomers retirement as well as provide funds to generate the next skilled work force.

The goal should be to fully implement and fund the expanded SChip - children's health care program - with this new revenue. The second goal should be to improve education dramatically at all levels. The third goal should be to make one year of community college education mandatory for all legal Americans - and subsidize it with these funds.

The results - we shore up social security and medicare - we produce the next labor force - the next labor force is far more skilled and can work in fields such as Biotech - Alternative energy research and production - and all other emmerging markets within jobs that have not been created.

Expanded SCHip will allow families to feel comfortable giving birth to more children. This creates a large flow of new labor into the workforce to balance out in proportion to the labor lost from retirement. This can provide all the skilled labor needed to build new labor forces to make products based on the results of our research and development dollars. These new products that require skilled labor will then be America's most valuable exports and further shift the balance of trade in our favor. We can also supply the skilled labor needed to bring the dramatic shifts required to produce the green energy revolution that will save our planet. America can benefit most from that revolution if we invent and produce the products that the world buys.

All of these problems are labor problems. Part of this is supplying the right labor force to the business owners that expand our economy, exports, and fund the entire government of the United States through the tax revenue that businesses generate. This plan is about the workers, fair trade, shoring up our entire way of life, the businesses that operate here, and about making America as strong as possible.

And now, the opposite opinion

Perhaps the costs of illegal immigration are too high. The costs/rewards may be way out of balance. Consider the possibility that not only is this an unskilled, illiterate work force coming into this country, but perhaps they are not really joining our country. Entire areas are being populated with people in America who will never interact with Americans and who will never learn the American language - English. Tom Tancredo in Congress has been trying to bring attention to the problems associated with this.

One more crucial element. These people are coming into this country in a specific fashion. From moment one entering our society, they are lawbreakers. They are criminals. They are violating the statutes of our society. I have watched congressmen describe the increases in violence, graffiti, crime, putting the responsibility of costs of medical visits on the hospitals who help them - many immigrants never repay. A Colorado congressman mentioned that this was $640 million dollars in medical costs in his state alone that in the end are paid - but are paid by higher insurance premiums and hospital visit costs.

I am reminded of a concept that you can go to Paris and see a dirty city, industrial area, traffic jam - or you can bring Paris with you in your heart. When you come to Paris if you have a romantic view of the place, an admiration of the great works of art, and history - then Paris looks and feels like a very different city to you.

My statement here is that maybe many illegal immigrants have a view for what America is that draws them here like a moth to light. (I must state that Americans who stay here likely do so because all are attracted to the light.) But, the distinction is that illegal immigrants are bringing their own countries here. They are not coming for America. They are not coming to participate in society. They want money. If they come from Mexico perhaps they are bringing Mexico with them. Perhaps they are bringing all those problems and not learning a thing here and not learning to integrate into society. They are bringing those flawed societies here.

A consideration of reality
Reality may be seen more clearly if one examines the level of wealth present in the economy of Mexico. I have heard mention that Mexico may be the third wealthiest nation in this hemisphere. If Mexico has all of these problems, which lead so many workers to leave and come here, because that wealth is not distributed to workers or those who produce, then the problem is clearly Mexico's problem and it is becoming ours. The question is, is one of are largest imports from Mexico - their problems? Are we importing Mexico's flawed ways of thinking? Are we importing values that are not our own? Are we truly seeing our society degraded because Mexico and other nations will not solve their internal problems?

Those questions may lead to generalizations, but to what degree are the generalizations true?

Is the solution to these problems more the responsibility of those nations with the largest quantities of immigrants landing on our soil illegally? If so, how do we reconcile the situation. What influence, what persuasive ability, what coercive potential do we have to solve this problem? What can diplomats do? What can our leaders do? What have our leaders chosen to do?

When too many moths fly towards the flame, can we shield the flame from their view, can we make the flame unreachable, can we light a flame in their country, can we select which moths get to stay near the flame and which go away?

We should. This determines the character of our nation. Who is here and what they do determines the character of our nation.

An actor on stage may bring some of their personal traits into the scene. A director would ask - is that one of your traits that you brought on stage with you, or is that a character choice? If not a character choice, then the director would ask that the trait be removed from the scene. If it was an artistic choice, maybe it could be deepened, or other options might be necessary.

The critical thing to this entire debate is that illegal immigrants are here and it is not by our choice. It is outside the legal bounds established by the rule of law that our civilization is founded upon.

So the question really becomes - what is our choice? What do we choose to allow to be the character expressed in this scene? The United States of America. What is the character we allow in the United States of America? Do we follow the writing of our great play? Or, do we allow Mexico and other nations to determine that our rules, our laws don't apply to them because they can make money here. To be fair many South American nations have problems with how our multinational corporations impact their environment. Again, isn't that for the rule of law in those nations to establish for themselves?

Who are we as America? Are we North Mexico, as I call Southern California? Is there a feeling among illegal immigrants that they originally owned this land and that it is rightfully theirs? What right do they have to be here?

The critical thing, it is not a right that has been granted by us. It is something that has been taken. When they arrive here, are they continuing to take what is not their right? Are we complicit in what is not our choice? It was a choice that our directors didn't approve of in their written laws. It is a choice we did not vote on. Where do we stand? Do we stand at all? Or, do we sit and watch the script of our play be rewritten while the story of our nation, a story written as an experiment, our nation is one great experiment, do we let that play be written by those who do not know how to read?

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