Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Wage War on Poverty, Not Immigrants -- Rev. Jesse Jackson

In an illuminating op ed piece in today's Chicago Sun-Times, Rev. Jesse Jackson articulates an option to deal with the immigration issue that has eluded most politicians, because few politicians have their ear to the ground and few listen to the concerns of the poor and the marginalized. Their concern for big businesses, says Jackson, caused them to pass

"a treaty called NAFTA with Mexico and Canada that guaranteed rights to employers and investors but not to workers. The results have been catastrophic. Wages in Mexico, the United States and Canada have fallen. Mexico now exports more cars to the United States than the United States exports to the world -- all made by U.S. companies benefitting from cheap labor in Mexico. And U.S. food exports have displaced millions of poor Mexican peasants and driven them from their communities. They don't come to the United States because they want to leave their homes. They come desperate for work.

The only way to stop the flood of immigrants is to help lift their standards up, rather than drive ours down. When Europe created one trading union including impoverished Spain and Portugal, the high wage countries of the north spent billions on development in the poorer countries, while demanding that they adhere to labor rights, environmental protections and basic social protections. While those countries still are not as wealthy as those in the north, their people were given hope and opportunity -- and would much prefer to stay home."

Read the entire article here: http://www.suntimes.com/output/jesse/cst-edt-jesse281.html


At 2:28 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

I agree with much of what is said here.

Jackson says The only way to stop the flood of immigrants is to help lift their standards up, rather than drive ours down. True. He says NAFTA has failed. True.

I would add that importing millions of illegals (or allowing them to emigrate to the US) is creating a vast underclass of exploitable, expendable people, and that is tantamount to slavery.

My question is why isn't Mexico pressured to do more to create jobs for its own people in Mexico, rather than simply sending them here?

Why are religious people engaging in a perverse "Reverse Underground Railroad" and smuggling people into the nation so they can be exploited? Why are those who want clearly defined borders called "racists" by folks like Jackson, when a strong border will protect poor Hispanics and blacks by ending wage deflation, which hurts THEM more than the middle class?

Jackson makes a good start at dealing with the issues, but if he steps back and sees the larger picture, he may be able to address this problem even more clearly.


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