Friday, July 12, 2019

Wealth Redistribution, an Interesting Column and Going After Illegal Immigrants

Trump's War on Illegal Immigrants

The government is going after undocumented immigrants, here illegally.  This is not a new problem.  Previous administrations dealt with it by not bothering to go after those “illegals” whose only crime was being here illegally while still hunting down and deporting those who had committed other more serious crimes.  

Many “illegals” have been here for many years, have jobs and are well integrated into the country’s socio-economic fabric.  But many of their families consist of immigrants and their children who are perfectly “legal” and perhaps some who are not.  Distinguishing which are which in a household would be difficult.  We are talking about over 10,000,000 undocumented individuals (of which 75% are part of the country's workforce) and going after all of them appears to be an enormous task.

But even seeming to go after them, however, fits in well with the President’s animus toward immigrants which appeals to the racist and nationalist feelings of some of his base of support.  That is why he is doing it.  His failed effort to include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census was part of this.  He wants to be re-elected!   

Latino Shopping Center
The net result of this is that immigrants, illegal and otherwise, particularly if they fit the ethnic profile Trump’s racist supporters have in their heads, are fearful.  Their thoughts extend to worrying if their family might be disturbed or even gone when they get back from work, school or shopping, or that they themselves might not make it back to their home.  This is particularly frightening for children in these households.

Should we answer the knock on the door?

I cannot help but compare the possible feelings of many in Latino neighborhoods in this country with that of Jews in Nazi Germany in the early days before they were violently exposed to the more dreadful aspects of persecution.  A knock at the door at night or someone asking a question equivalent to “Where are your papers?” is in their minds.   
It might be enough, though, the Trumpublicans think, to keep Latinos from registering to vote, participating in the Census, applying for a driver’s license or having fear of doing anything which might expose them to government involvement and possible scrutiny.

But that’s just fine with the President and his gang.  They are looking for an Election Day payoff.

Jack Lippman

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Democrats!  Liberals!  Progressives!  Ex-Republicans! ... Don't be smug or self-assured!  Your country's future is on the line.  Spend as much TV time watching FoxNews as you do watching MSNBC or CNN!  See first hand the poison which has infected the minds of those who support the P. O. S. in the White House ... and who actually put him there in 2016 and will try to do so again in 2020!   Then, personally, get off your butt and become politically active!  Now!

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Wealth Redistribution - Then and Now

We hear a lot about “wealth redistribution” these days.  It’s not as simple as it seems and not just a matter of progressives being in favor of it and conservatives opposed to it.

When operating properly, our capitalist, free-enterprise, economy provides for wealth redistribution!  Companies make money and distribute some of it to the shareholders who have taken the risk of establishing and owning the company.   Some of it is distributed to the company’s employees in the form of salaries, benefits and pensions, the assumption being that a full-time employee’s share of the money, thusly received, is enough to support their family in a decent manner.  This is the way it is supposed to work and has over the years, making the United States an economic and social powerhouse.

Over the past quarter of a century, however, there have been a few changes in this pattern of success.

(1.)       The risk-taking shareholders have been replaced in large part by disinterested investors including banks and funds who treat their shares of ownership (and ownership of a company’s debt as well) as tradable commodities usable to make a profit, not for the company’s benefit itself, but for their own benefit.  There is nothing wrong or evil about this.  It just is not the way things used to work.

(2.)       And following this pattern, income of the top executives of successful companies and of the companies which own their shares and debt, has risen to unconscionable levels, reducing the amount of a company’s money to distribute to for employees.  There is no justification for annual corporate salaries to be in the tens of millions of dollars and thousands of times the median salaries of a company’s employees.  Shocking as it might seem, paying someone an annual salary of merely two or three million dollars is not an obscene idea, although to many corporate executives, it would so seem.

(3.)       The availability of full time jobs, adequate to support a family in an decent manner, has shrunk due to less costly overseas labor, technology enabling jobs that once required many to do them now requiring only one or two employees and finally, the replacement of employees by “independent contractors” who act as employees but rarely share in a company’s money in terms of benefits and retirement plans.

If there is to be a redistribution of wealth in our country, the traditional way of accomplishing it as described in the second paragraph above will no longer work.  Wealth redistribution can no longer be accomplished by the mechanics which govern the private sector.  Money cannot be counted on to “trickle down” as economist Arthur Laffer believed a generation ago. 

We very well may end up with wealth redistribution being accomplished by increasing taxation of companies, and companies which trade in companies as well as the income of highly paid executives and those who profit excessively from investments.  The government would then “redistribute” this wealth by reducing or even eliminating taxes in the lower income brackets and greatly subsidize government plans such as Social Security, Medicare and any future health insurance programs as well as providing free education, including college tuition, for all.   Finally, income should be guaranteed at some level for retirees and those for whom the economy does not provide job opportunities due to technological advances and the outsourcing of jobs due to labor costs. 

The net result of all of this might be a redistribution of wealth with a net result similar to the old way as it is described in the second paragraph above.

Your thoughts are welcome.

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A George Will Column

Democrats who are trying to nail down the direction in which their party must go to defeat Donald Trump might find conservative (but anti-Trump) George Will's recent column in the Washington Post interesting.  CLICK HERE TO READ THE COLUMN    You'd be surprised as to whom he thinks should be the Democratic nominee!

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