This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Democrats, the Unions and Illegal Immigration

Tuesday's AFL-CIO debate was interesting (of course I watched it live). In yesterday's Washington Post, we learn that it was so even that the AFL-CIO is not endorsing any one candidate right now.

That's gotta cheese of some folks. While there were winners and losers, with John Edwards constantly upstaged by likely also ran, Dennis Kucinich, a Clinton endorsement could have been expected. It was interesting the Biden got booed a few times, which does not bode well for his chances - although I was sure the booing of Senator Clinton at the 9/11 telethon would mark her as a one term Senator, so booing may mean nothing.

I would like to suggest one thing that some enterprising candidate could do to take a strong union position while bringing clarity to the immigration issue: explain the relationship between right-to-work laws and illegal immigration and promise to pass a law banning such laws as an interference with both interstate and international commerce. This is legitmate because right-to-work laws provide a strong incentive to employers to hire illegal workers, whom they can then exploit because of their status. If these laws were eliminated, you would see the rise of the closed shop in the south, especially in the food processing industries which cannot be sent overseas and an end to the attractiveness of imported labor, who would make the same union wage as domestic workers. Ending any immigration restrictions at all would further take the incentive out of hiring the undocumented because employers could no longer hold their status against them when they wished to complain about working conditions or organize.

Of course, this would make all workers and immigrants legal, by definition and if there were a true need for workers from the South, they would still come, although they would not be exploited if they were truly needed. In such a case, when they went home - and many do - they would take their union membership with them and would be the seed for the unionization of Latin America, especially if NAFTA were amended to require union protection.

Let's see who's reading the blogs.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some very good points, hope someone is listening, issues need addressed, not just politics as usual. This is important here in Arizona, as this is a right to work state, and unions are frowned upon. Illegal farm workers are often paid by actual work performed,not hourly wages, and so are called "self employed". But a legal resident had better not try to work in many fields, as they could end up as fertilizer. Some may be the fear by employers of getting busted by immigration enforcement, but some is protection of their turf by the illegal immigrants themselves. There actually is an entity here in Arizona called the Mexican Mafia, they are involved in illegal employment, Drugs, False IDs, Sex Slaves, and various other underground activities.There is a very high unemployment rate here, so this issue is close to exploding.

11:36 PM

 

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