Donald Trump, the orange-faced menace who continues to rampage like a bull through the Grand Old Party’s party, has successfully managed to cause the eyes of untold millions of otherwise rational Americans to glaze over, the masses falling for his vulgar, populist and emotional rhetoric, while not bothering to do a modicum of fact-checking with regard to his proposals. Where it concerns Trump and his myriad of position contradictions, they have cleared the history.
Trump has capitalized on the simmering undercurrent of a fear of immigrants, widespread among Americans looking for a national savior who will not only build a big wall, but shoo all the undesirables back across the Rio Grande.
(Nevermind the fact that walls which keep people who want in out, can also keep people who want out in. The German version of the Great Wall Of China comes to mind. But I digress.)
The fervency such folks feel on the issue has utterly blinded them to anything else Trump may say which would disqualify any other candidate who wasn’t preaching Trump’s version of immigration reform. That he claims to be pro-life, but would still write government checks to Monsters, Inc. (Planned Parenthood), doesn’t register with them. That he wantonly uses eminent domain to build casinos, and thinks ED is just a pretty cool thing all around, property owners be damned, doesn’t rattle them at all.
And the list goes on, and on, and on.
The irrational fear of immigrants has been with us for a long time. It became prominent with the Irish Potato Famine of 1848, and has never gone away.
In the 1880’s, Chinese were feared on the west coast. They were the “yellow peril,” and had immigration quotas placed on them. Americans who didn’t like competition did whatever they could legislatively to reduce it.
California is still here. The Chinese did not steal it.
While it is true that Indian immigrants have moved here and displaced American computer programmers, it is also true that they could probably stay in India and offer the same services. Protectionists are left to scratch their heads at this fact.
As I write this, I have a team of men atop my house, installing a new roof. I do not know where they are from, but aside from the owner, they do not speak English. I assume they are Mexicans. I do not know whether they are illegal immigrants, nor do I care. I do not know whether they are paid under the table. I don’t care about that, either. I am a consumer, and all I care about is my new roof. I found a company, we agreed on a price, and the job is being done. I did not check visas when they arrived.
Nervous-nellie protectionists are worried that such folks are pouring over the border and stealing jobs away from Americans. But there is simply no rational basis for this at all. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, immigrants are competitive for jobs only in three areas of the economy: trade, transportation and utilities. This industry’s share of employment is about 19%, with 16% of the employees being immigrants.
What does this mean? It means that immigrants are changing bedpans and installing roofs. They are displacing noone. Whitey McWhitey is not banging on the door of the roofing company to get a job as an installer. Immigrants are simply not displacing millions of American workers. Trump is capitalizing on a phantom, and cashing in on unfounded and recycled fears.
The biggest threat to American workers is robots and computer programmers, the latter being able to live anywhere. They have the ultimate amnesty. There are no Mexicans stocking cartons in Amazon’s warehouse. Big business responds to the demands of consumers by cutting costs anyway they can. This is free market economics. Consumers want their goods at the lowest price possible. This is why they do not go into Wal-Mart and check employee name tags to see if Pedro is working there.
People are schizophrenic. They want the government to place restrictions on certain groups, yet they also want low prices.
American workers should be aware of the real threat of robotics, and develop job skills accordingly. Robotics aren’t going anywhere. Robots are immune to anybody’s fears.
That people would worry about their job is understandable. But the vast number of Americans in the workforce are facing no threat from immigrants. The threat comes from creative entrepreneurs who are always looking for ways to cut costs, so as to maximize profits. This is not going to change. Workers must stay ahead of the learning curve, or get run over by a team of heartless robots.
Trumpsters have not bothered to count the cost of his proposals. It would cost over $25,000 to send one immigrant back. And to where? The total cost would be well over $100 billion, and that assumes a conviction. In short: it ain’t going to happen. It is all just empty political rhetoric, puked out by Trump, and latched onto by his worshipers who have given into irrational fears and have not considered the ramifications of what he is saying.
Were Trump actually serious about immigration reform, he would be targeting the real culprit: the welfare state. If the American government would end the welfare state, the problem of illegal immigration would end, as would the talk of walls. Additionally, he would announce he is closing down all American foreign military bases, bring the troops home, and have them police the Mexican border. But of course, this will not happen, as the neocons rule the very profitable day of the Military Industrial Complex.
Trump voters are dwelling in a fantasy land. They have given into the politics of fear. What they say they want, they don’t want to pay for. What they say they don’t want, they get taxed to support. They never learn.
Trump, the bull, is waving his red flag. His voters are paying attention only to the red flag.
© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe