Are we this America?
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Or are we the America described by the commenters to this article: “Mexico-US tariff deal: Questions, concerns for migration”?
Here are typical comments.
lacy: “concerns over what it could mean for people fleeing poverty and violence in Central America.” what about concerns for the American people?
Northfaced: It’s not that you want to work and have a future for your children. It’s that Americans want that same thing. And it’s an issue of numbers. 5 people can’t have the same job. Thus, we do not need any more people in this country at all. Our own birth rates cover what is needed.
Tim: “Bring us your tired masses” was before there was any public assistance. That term should no longer be valid. But some–millions a year–are taking advantage of that further loophole, to the tune of $77k or more per illegal landing here. Per year. Times millions. Just sat in line at the grocery store where the person in front of me paid for sushi and other non essential items with a combo of WIC card and Lone Star public assistance card. Then she got into her $40k jacked up F-150 truck. See the problem here????
Warren: Question. Why would we ever let in a million foreigners every year who most likely will never obtain legal status and probably don’t care one way or the other?
James: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and other Central American countries have a population that is improperly educated if at all, unwilling to work, untrained and unskilled, who are depending on their respective Governments for food, medical care and even the most basic of goods and services. THE MORE WHO LEAVE THEIR COUNTRIES IS THE PLAN. THIS IS THE BUSINESS MODEL FOR THEIR LEADERSHIP. It is working.
SR: i find it appalling that any American would welcome mass illegal immigration into the US. for any reason. it’s not the responsibility of the US to help every impoverished nation when most of the problem resides within those nations.
no libs: The root cause of the migration? Easy. Thoughts of sanctuary cities and FREE everything. In other words, the democrat paradise.
gene: The root cause is the media all day everyday stating “Claim asylum and you stay with free housing healthcare and food“. If your homeland is that bad stay and fix it.
Larry C: We have plenty of what they claim to be fleeing here and they would be faced with the same … if they were to get … here so they may as well stay … where they at least know and speak the language (spanish) …!
DanI; there is a bad housing shortage here. rents are commonly over 4 figures. and lesser places are horrible. new homes start at 200k for a cheap townhouse, and single fam homes are a third of a mil. we can’t manage influx of lots of new broke uneducated people. we have plenty of that already. add to that the over the top debt this country has, and we are not able in any way to handle it. THAT should be in the news for them to see.
lisa: It will only be a victory for the U.S. when we quit having hundreds piling up at our border demanding to be let in. Until then, keep those tariffs handy.
Shawn: Just get em out and keep em out.. Plain and simple come in the legal way.
The comments go on and on, all in the same vein.
On the surface, you might think the objections to immigration involve the need for the U.S. government, and taxpayers, to pay for immigrants’ benefits.
Or immigrants taking jobs away from Americans. Or immigrants supposedly not contributing to the economy, but only taking from the economy.
But those are mere excuses for a deeper concern: Gap Psychology.
Regular readers know that Gap Psychology describes the desire to distance oneself from those below in any income/wealth/power measure, and to come closer to those above.
It is Gap Psychology that gives us the seemingly ridiculous situation in which many of us resent the relatively few dollars received from the federal government by a poor person, yet have no concern about the astounding $150 billion that has been blessed upon Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon.
Some might defend the Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffetts of the world as deserving their wealth because they created it. But did they?
Did Bezos create the Amazon wealth, or did the 600 thousand Amazon employees have a hand in it? And what about the lenders who carried Amazon’s famous debt for all those unprofitable years? And then there are America’s generous (to the rich) tax laws.
Is Bezos more important to the future of America than are the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living here? If we spread Bezos’s $150 billion around to the 11 million undocumented immigrants, each would have almost $14,000.
Is Bezos really more important to the future of America than those 11 million people? Thousands of those people will become entrepreneurs, scientists, teachers, architects, doctors, judges, artists, in total contributing more to America than any Jeff Bezos.
Yet, because of Gap Psychology, the aforementioned “lisa,” “Northfaced,” “Tim,” “Warren,” et al are outraged about an “influx of new broke uneducated people” who, like America’s immigrants through the years, will build this nation far beyond what a dozen Warren Buffetts can accomplish.
The outrage stems not from the question of what is best for America, but rather from the fear that the lower levels might close in on the next levels.
In short, Gap Psychology creates the ironic situation in which we don’t resent the vast privileges of the rich as much as we resent the meager benefits to the poor.
We accept the rich and famous being given preference everywhere, but heaven forbid a poor person cutting ahead in line, and the fight will begin.
No facts can overcome Gap Psychology. You can offer proof that the undocumented immigrants are less criminal, more productive, less taking, more giving, and even more patriotic than native-born Americans, and it will make no difference to lisa, et al.
You can demonstrate why taxpayers do not pay even one penny toward federal aid to immigrants, and you can show that immigrants are no burden on the federal government. It will make no difference.
The issue is not in the facts. The issue is the fear that “they” will climb past us, and in doing so, push us further down some measurement ladder.
So if facts alone will not solve the immigration “problem,” what will?
I suggest that just as Gap Psychology is a reflection of “What am I?”, the solution must involve the same reflections.
Am I and my America brave or fearful? Heroic or cowardly? Generous or selfish? Cruel or compassionate? Wise or ignorant? Admired or disdained? Loved or loathed?
And this is where our leadership can take us. It sets the tone.
Sadly, today’s America has a “me-first,” “America-first,” selfish, “I’ve-got-mine, to-hell-with-you,” cowardly, lying, anti-science leadership.
Draft-dodging, cheating, bullying and destroying the underdog are seen as clever and strong.
Compassion is thought to be a sign of weakness.
That is today’s America, as given to you by our leaders.
It is not the America of the Declaration of Independence. It is not the America of the Bill of Rights. It is not the America described on the Statue of Liberty. It is not the America of the Gettysburg Address or of the “I have a dream” speech. America is not Reagan’s “shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.”
We have become the harsh, selfish, Fox News, Breitbart, Tea Party, Trump/McConnell, despised America, populated by claims of “fake news,” enemies, “stone-cold losers,” and grade-school insults on Twitter.
We have enabled this America, and only we can change it.
If we will.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone
3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
5. Salary for attending school
6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
9. Federal ownership of all banks
10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.
2 thoughts on “Which America are we, and how did we get here?”
Rashida Tlaib’s new proposal is the easiest smart idea in Washington, by
Can I get an AMEN? Very well-said as usual, Rodger!