Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Paris riots continue

Muslim youth were at it for the fifth night in a row; it has also "spread to neighborhood towns" (whatever that means). Also note this remark by Sarkozy, which I do not claim to understand (from the International Herald Tribune): "Sarkozy says that violence in French suburbs is a daily fact of life. Since the start of the year, 9,000 police cars have been stoned and, each night, 20 to 40 cars are torched, Sarkozy said in an interview last week with the newspaper Le Monde." Why is there no TV coverage of this?

Discussions - 18 Comments

This is what happens when you do not want to have kids and do not particularly want to work for a living, so you buttress your workforce and your social programs by bringing in a lot of desperately poor people from an alien culture and exploiting them. We should take warning from this; it is a moral duty to assimilate immigrants into the language and culture of the host country. Multiculturalism is the myth the class that does not want to do this heavy work of assimilating immigrants uses to comfort itself. In fact, some of these Mulsim slums in France are now raising up their third generation of kids who barely speak French and do not have a prayer of integrating into the middle class. They know they were allowed into the country as cheap labor, they know they are not expected, indeed not even wanted in middle class work, and many are turning to militant Islam because of this disgusting treatment.

We do the same thing here when we do not take mass immigration seriously, when our miserable public schools fail to even teach latino/a kids passable English, and when large economic interests in our country decide they have a right to perpetual cheap (and illegal) labor no matter what the social cost. Immigration and assimilation problems like this exhibit the worst tendencies of the left (ethnic balkanization) and the right (big business exploitation) in a political perfect storm. Obviously militant Islam will not take hold among our migrant workers and illegal aliens, but resentment and a culture of perpetual poverty and failure might. I hope we take France’s unhappy sitation as a warning. I bet we don’t.

This sounds something like and Intifada, implying the rioters have the moral high ground here, and deserve their own state. Next thing you know the French Police will be killing these teens with assault rifles for merely throwing stones. How dangerous can a stone be? It’s not like it could kill someone.

That kind of minimizing of a horrible situation is just shameless. It reminds me of when Rumsfeld attempted a similar cop-out last year, trying to brush off the significance of the violence there:

"We had something like 200 or 300 or 400 people killed in many of the major cities of America last year. Is it perfectly peaceful? No. What’s the difference? We just didn’t see each homicide in every major city in the United States on television every night. It happens here in this city, in every major city in the world. Across Europe, across the Middle East, people are being killed. People do bad things to each other."

There’s your explanation, Prof. Schramm. People do bad things to each other!

correction, last line of my first paragraph should have read "...trying to brush off the significance of the violence IN IRAQ."

Rioters do not have the moral high ground, rioting is not a moral activity. However, the short sightedness of the French government brought this about. They brought in tons of immigrants to prop up their dying population and tottering welfare state. They exploited those immigrants ruthlessly. They are reaping the whirlwind. I am not sure how this is comaprable to Israel and the Intifada, outside of the fact that both have Muslims throwing rocks. They are not even the same Muslims, as the French slum dwellers are mostly Algerians.

When the males encountered cotton swabs dunked in female mouse urine, they broke into song.

I agree with all of Wm’s comments in his first post.

I have often wondered about why illegal immigrants can work so cheaply in America. Part of the reason is that they will take less pay, but I also have a suspicion that they do not pay taxes.

Does anyone know whether illegal immigrants pay taxes? Obviously they pay sales taxes, but do they pay income taxes and SS-Medicaid taxes? It seems highly doubtful that they do. If they do not, then they are not working for that much less than Americans. If this is the case then this should shame Bush (but it won’t). It is not a question of greedy Americans holding out for more pay (how pro-illegal people like to portray it), but rather an unfair market because one group of workers have much lower living costs (do not pay taxes).

I would really like to know if illegal aliens or the companies that employ them pay income taxes, any information would be greatly appreciated.

If this is the case then this should shame Bush (but it won’t)

Isn’t this precisely the argument in favor of the sort of guest worker status that Bush has advocated? By forcing illegals into the underground economy, the country is being denied their tax revenues.


I had not thought of that. That makes sense. I think it is silly to think that people willing to sneak into a country (no respect of the sovereignty of another country) are willing to abide by its tax laws. If they did wish to abide by the tax laws, then they would probably have to be paid almost as much as legal American workers, so employers would merely find immigrants who were not "guest workers" and could work for the old rate because they were not paying taxes.

The only way the guest worker program could produce significant tax revenues is if the risk of not being a guest worker (illegal) were so high that paying taxes would be a lower cost than the cost of the risk. Then people might be willing to make less (old pay but paying taxes would be less money) because their risk of deportation would be nonexistent. As it is, the risk is very low (I think) so it does not have much of a cost. Since the change of risk, the benefit (from very low to no risk) would not be much, while the cost of taxes would be a lot, I imagine most people would stay with the low risk strategy-this would have a lower cost than paying taxes. If Bush would increase the risk then his program might work.

I live in a part of Columbus that has A LOT of Hispanic immigrants. For the past couple of years I was amazed that there were stores that would cash checks. People pay a percentage of the check to have it cashed. I thought it was crazy, I could not figure out why people would pay to have a check cashed when a bank would do it for free (or much less) provided you have an account with them. These check-cashing stores always have a Western Union in them. I finally figured it out: illegals do not have bank accounts; they keep a low legal profile. I do find the creation of an informal (nonlegal) society interesting, but I think it does show that capitalism does need some legal control or markets can hurt the greater public good (the market in this case supplies a need--the need to continue breaking the law). I find it distressing that people are willing to openly profit off illegal activities, and no one really seems to care.


People often times use check cashing places when they are running behind on cash and are thinking only short term. Check cashing places are probably most likely to be found in poor areas/low middle class areas where people are living mostly foolishly from pay check to pay check.

"I find it distressing that people are willing to openly profit off illegal activities, and no one really seems to care." Personally I think check cashing places are exploitive. But obviously you mean the problem of illegal immigrants working in the U.S and those willing to hire them...

Does anyone know when the U.S. started restricting immigration?

Look Steve, there is a product that has a demand, people rush to fill that demand, eveyone seeks to fill this demand using the cheapest resources that do not affect the quality of the good. Some people chose to fill this demand using cheap labor. Often times the labor pool can’t read, write, or speak English, sometimes they work 14 hour work days 7 days a week, arguing that they don’t pay taxes is somewhat silly... cheap labor is cheap labor the way our wealfare system works any money that we took from them in taxes would come back to them 10 fold, and make them lazy to boot. It isn’t the fault of the Mexican immigrant, and to suggest that these people have an unfair advantage because they have lower living costs is absurd. Give me ten mexicans picking tommatoes or six fillipinos working at a textile mill, and I will gladly give up three or four lazy american citizens who sit back and work the system...welfare, Social Security ext. The only jobs lost due to illegal immigrant workers are ones that american citizens on welfare wouldn’t even take.

Steve, why do you think the idea of a "liveable wage" is a bad idea? I will tell you why: at a liveable wage fewer jobs would be available, look at studies dealing with the effects of a minimum wage. This is basic Micro.

Yes, I’ve been to Columbus too! I’ve seen some of the many beaners they have there and they offended me greatly!

But John, there are some problems with approaching people and their behaviour strictly with economics. Microeconomics may be rational, but this system involves laws which are winnked at and openly broken, non-competitive practices tolerated in one place and not the next, and widespread corruption. I would recommend VDH’s "Mexifornia,a State in Becoming." Teh problems he addresses are not intrinisic to Mexicans - or any other immigrant group. The problem is that teh arrangement we have now is creating a permanant underclass of cheap labor living under a seperate set of laws from the rest of us. That is what the current sitation has wrought, and it is unfair both to the native (non desperate of all races accustomed to a living wage) labor which has to compete with illegals, and to the permanant underclass being created in illegal, non English speaking barrios in California. Sure, you’ll get cheap textiles in the short term. In the long term you will have the violence and strife we see in France.

John Lewis:

You seem to be pretty excited. I will try to respond to some of your points.

You are incorrect about the check cashing places. You are right about some check cashing stores. Some operate as loan stores. There are several big chains of them. I believe they use your future check as collateral for the present loan (so they will get their money) and charge some interest.

The check cashing stores I was speaking of are not of the same chains as the other stores. All of the writing in their windows is in Spanish, they have a wire service, mostly Western Union (to send money to Mexico), they do not give loans. They charge something like $5 (a small fee) and pay the full amount of the check to person, the check is signed over to check cashing place, and then they use their bank account and cash it. The fee can be small because they have many repeat customers. $5 for 5000 people a week would be great because the costs are so small (other than initial start up capital).

I think the US started seriously restricting immigration in the early 1900s. The federal constitution gives congress the right to pass laws relating to naturalization, and I suppose this would include the right to make immigration laws. Immigration from Mexico has always been a hot issue, ever since Texas joined the Union. I think Mexican incursions into Texas (whether real or imaginary) led to a war.

Tax burden does make labor more expensive. It puts people who pay taxes at a disadvantage. Furthermore, they have to pay money to pay taxes (in the form of preparation fees) and they also lose interest they could have earned in the withheld money.

The rest of your post is typical pro-illegal immigration talking points. 1. No one denies that illegal immigrants often work very hard, but many Americans work just as hard. Furthermore, I would say on the whole that Americans tend to work harder: that is why the US is an economic powerhouse while Mexico is somewhat less well off. 2. Illegal immigrants often do not work at jobs that citizens would not do. Rough framing in residential construction is almost entirely illegal now, but it used to be an ordinary job. Part of the reason why citizens cannot work in fields where illegals predominate is that citizens do not speak Spanish. No rough framer could work with a crew of illegals because they could not communicate. The same is true for busboys, lawnmowers, gardners, and the like. Once a certain number of employees can only speak Spanish, it is almost impossible for English speakers to work in that field. It is simply not true that citizens would not take these jobs. 3. Finally, you do not account for the fact the illegals often use social services, but pay little into it because they do not pay much taxes. Employers do not have to pay as much because they know health care, etc. will be provided at a minimal level by the State, and illegals do not have to pay for this shifting of the burden by employers because they do not pay taxes. This results in the general public paying for a system that allows for cheaper wages for some employees while increasing the profit margins of businesses willing to break the law. I do not think this is defensible.

You are exactly right about construction jobs. My best friend’s dad is out of business as a small builder and remodeller because he cannot compete with illegal immigrants. He shows up and gives an estimate on a job with a crew of three. He pays these three over the minimum wage, pays into workers comp, and is covered by insurance. A group of illegals with an Anglo foreman bidding the work can, for less money, work with double the crew and be done twice as fast. This is not fair competition - my buddy’s dad is following the law. The illegals are breaking the law. Since no one enforces the law, the socially responsible party - who is paying workers comp, is covered by insurance, etc - cannot compete. Now he drives a cab, which is a waste of his talents and abilities. He loved his construction work - these were NOT jobs Americans would not do.


My dad is also into residental construction. I worked summers with him for years. It is not surprising we share similar conclusions.

Sorry if my remark was interpreted as uncritical support for the guest worker suggestion. I’m not necessarily opposed to it, but the administration is dreaming if they think it’s a substitute for adequate enforcement of the immigration laws. As Steve suggests, if the status "guest worker" implies paying income taxes (and it would indeed be a slap in the face to American workers if it did not), many illegal immigrants will do all they can to avoid that status as well.

I think immigration is a great idea, if you don’t like where you’re from, move somewhere else and start a new life etc.
HOW-ever....if the only reason for the move is to go lead a parasitic existence off some other country’s social services, maybe the whole immigration concept needs a re-think.

Muslims have been europe’s analogue to our hispanic population for decades. Some are legit, many more are not. They moved to their new country to seek a better life, sometimes in hostile social climates that made no bones about the newcomers being unwelcome, legitimate or otherwise. This has a lot to do with cultural barriers, and ethnicity. No matter how apologist some people try to be about the issue, racism is alive and well in the world today, and trying to decipher issues like paris burning bring it right out in the open.

Europe, like america, is still predominantly white. That sentence by itself bears some further contemplation,
and for those steeped in the liberal
color-blind paradigm it’s a decidedly unwelcome topic, but the bitter truth nonetheless. Cultural and ethnic integration have never been easy,
and while we have it easier in america
with the hispanic culture having long been a part of the american tapestry, europe’s previous encounters with
large numbers of muslims from turkey in centuries past led to the Crusades.
So, now add the religion component.

Europe is also predominantly christian.
The immigrants now represent a cultural threat on two fronts, ethnic and theological. Small wonder then, that they get short shrift at the employment office.

Now, legislation mandating the integration and widespread acceptance of immigration is one thing, but, can oil and water mix? When the artificial
glue of government mandate gives way, what then remains to bind the two, or have the sociologists simply co-located people that can’t help but oppose each other by their very nature and upbringing?

Africa/asia and europe have dramatically different cultures, and income levels. Europe, while stodgy and unmotivated, nonetheless still enjoys some vague semblance of overall well-being, if not prosperity. It’s generous
social systems provide for the needs of even the poor in most european countries. Now, though, that so many (millions) have emigrated from indigent nations such as algeria etc., a social services system that might have kept up with the population of 10 years ago now faces an unrelenting onslaught of penniless newcomers seeking nothing more than a roof overhead, and sometimes not even finding that.

Africa’s chronic history of largely self-inflicted economic duress has condemned a good portion of its’ people to a fate worse than death, a life without the means to make a decent future for themselves. So, they run away to europe in hopes of finding that better life, only to find that millions before them have already saturated the supposed available opportunities.

There’s 2 answers on immigration: Either the nation in question starts expanding social services for all perpetuity, and most likely bankrupting itself in the process, or closes its’ borders to teeming hordes of indigent newcomers. The third option is of course to send aid to the home country of origin of the immigrants and seek to return them home to help build and develop it to the point where it will sustain its’ own population. As this could be done fairly cheaply, and certainly at far less expense than playing host to every refugee etc., it’s puzzling why it hasn’t happened yet.

People need the things that ’society’ provides, schools, infrastructure, public safety etc. ’Developing’ countries however, have the chronic habit of failing to provide these essentials, with the net result being that their people, not being stupid, seek out new ways to try and get ahead in life besides sticking with a bad situation in a no-future country, and for that shouldn’t be blamed. IF blame on the immigration issue should be placed somewhere, it should land soundly in the lap of the dear old UN, whose multitudinous august bodies and commmissions should be doing FAR more to establish and improve conditions specifically in african nations that most need the assistance. Rather than simply sitting around idly and raking in profits from sidebar oil deals etc., it’s time for the UN to really start living up to its’ charter and start helping people in africa and elsewhere to help themselves, which is TRUE help.
A handout today will have to be given tomorrow, a hand up need only be given once. Let’s all give the UN a hand in reinventing itself.

One lesson of this should be clear: Don’t let large numbers of Muslims into your country, and certainly don’t let them become highly concentrated geographically. If you do that, you’re begging for trouble, as you’ve then got an "umma" (integralist Muslim community) on your hands, and the old, hard-wired Muslim dream of the caliphate (or some ersatz version of it) will begin to stir. Nor does it matter if this Muslim population is particularly "religious" or not--in the Muslim world, religion is an strong identity marker whether an individual is pious about it or not.

The French are already facing a version of this, with local "sheikhs" (elders) setting themselves up to play both ends against the middle by offering to "intervene" to stop the rioting (of course it’s not clear that anyone will listen to them). This is fourth-generation warfare. The French seem committed at this point to fighting it with rubber bullets. Evidently it doesn’t seem to be working. Go figure.

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