May 14, 2018

To clear out illegals, make ICE the enforcers of $25 minimum wage, targeting employers

Anti-immigration populists should be able to endorse the litmus test issue of "abolishing ICE," as demanded by the gang at Chapo Trap House, provided that the organization that replaces it becomes an armed enforcer of a $25 minimum wage, primarily targeting employers rather than workers. How could the Bernie crowd be against that?

We saw in an earlier post that ICE raids are ineffective at substantially shrinking the size of the illegal immigrant population because they create an untenable tension between major blocs of the GOP -- law enforcement and the labor-intensive sectors of the economy, whose greedy employers seek to cut costs and maximize profits by hiring cheap labor, meaning immigrants.

ICE will never be able to do their job to such an extent that it severely cuts into the profit margins of these labor-intensive sectors like agriculture and most small businesses (like a restaurant). They will be limited to occasional high-profile cosmetic raids to placate conservative voters, while leaving the illegal population basically unchanged.

And their raids only target the supply of cheap labor -- the immigrants -- rather than the demand for it -- the employers. That's backwards, since the endless demand for cheap labor is what continues to attract hordes of immigrants who supply that demand. Cut off the demand, and the suppliers of cheap labor -- immigrants -- will find no one to hire them. Unemployed, they will return home, or at worst go to some other country that does not police greedy employers like we are bound to do in a populist climate.

The surest and fastest way to clear out the illegal population, and to restrict legal immigration going forward, is to jack up the minimum wage, in effect outlawing cheap labor -- and thereby ending large-scale immigration de facto. If employers have to pay $25 an hour, they'll hire Americans rather than immigrants, to get more bang for the buck.

Likewise if we give any illegals amnesty, like the DACA people, all of the costs ought to be paid by the 1% -- cheap housing in elite zip codes, a jacked-up minimum wage paid for by employers in those zip codes, and so on.

Whoever brought the illegals here in the first place ought to be the only ones paying for their continued presence -- not the working class whose wages are being undercut, and whose housing prices are being bid through the roof, due to massive immigration.

Now of course the GOP won't go anywhere near those solutions, not only because they want mass immigration to continue supplying cheap labor, but because it would shift the paradigm away from "what's best for employers" to "what's best for workers".

Luckily, we're entering a period of gear-shifting out of the Reaganite paradigm, and into a Bernie paradigm. So the re-aligned Democrats can push these pro-working-class policies and not only attract populist voters per se, but also anti-immigration voters who understand the indirect yet no less massive effect they would have on immigration levels.

This has the benefit of making immigration, in the sphere of public debate, into an economic issue rather than a racial, ethnic, or national-origin issue -- much more palatable and politically unassailable. Whoever opposes it can easily be pilloried as just a shill for greedy employers who demand endless cheap labor, largely in the form of poor hordes of immigrants who they ruthlessly exploit by paying sub-minimum wages.

To further the re-alignment on immigration, ICE ought to be disbanded or re-branded, and given a whole new mission -- to threaten or actually use collective force in order to uphold the new jacked-up minimum wage laws. No good legislating them if employers are free to flout them. Arrest any employer who breaks the law, and seize their assets. If those assets suck, liquidate them for whatever you can, otherwise continue running the business but keep the profits for the government, with the proceeds going to pay down the debt, pay for the funerals of Americans killed by illegals, or whatever other pro-social purpose.

The new ICE could spend some small level of resources going after the immigrants themselves, since we also can't allow scabs to cross the minimum wage picket line. But that should be a far lesser role of theirs. Targeting the demand for cheap labor ought to always come before targeting the supply.

And unlike in a paradigm where the GOP is the dominant agenda-framing party, the new ICE could actually carry out these tasks in a paradigm where the populist Bernie Democrats are the agenda-framers. Their party is not controlled by the labor-intensive material sectors like agriculture, retail, and assorted crappy small businesses that fill up today's strip malls.

The new ICE would never have a reason to target employers in the sectors that control the Democrats -- Wall Street banks don't hire illegals, Silicon Valley doesn't depend on hordes of $5-an-hour immigrants, and neither does the corporate media cartel or Hollywood. These are all informational sectors, which are not labor-intensive and therefore not sensitive to the price of labor. They don't hire many people at all, since they scale up their operations without similarly scaling up their workforce or man-hours, and they pay handsome salaries to the lucky few.

The situation has gotten so out of control for so long, that somebody in the elite stratum is going to have to pay massive costs when we finally straighten things out. That will necessarily be those whose profits depend on cheap labor, meaning the material sectors who control the GOP. Fortunately, the coming turning of the multi-decade regime cycle is going to put into power the Democrats, whose elite sectors will not suffer massive losses when the minimum wage is jacked up by law, and enforced by teams of men with guns.

Democrat elites can breath a sigh of relief knowing that it will be their political and economic rivals who will go under when populism and de facto anti-immigration becomes the new normal, as Reaganism gives way to Bernie-ism.

And old school Trump supporters can rest easily, knowing that the immigrant population is going to come way down, however odd they may feel about the mechanism of change. Sorry, no epic raids with brown people dragged away in handcuffs, which may make for good right-wing theatrics, but which doesn't put a dent in the problem.

Instead it'll be live-streams of fat-faced cuckservative employers thrown into vans, while screaming that they didn't know -- I swear! -- that those Tagalog-only speakers were working at his place for less than $25 an hour. But right-wingers can always embellish on those images for their own meme warfare purposes. "Guess you should've hired Americans, then, bitch!"


  1. I like it. I would go further. Labor regulations need to be strengthened with an eye towards improving earning potential. Two areas stand out. Feminism not only has to be dismantled it has to be reversed. Employers should be forced to favor male over female hiring. The college racket should also be terminated and reversed. Where possible the government should force employers to favor non-college hires over college ones.

  2. Those problems will be solved with re-industrialization -- tariffs to force factories back here, plus high minimum wage / unions / etc. to make sure they hire Americans rather than immigrants once they're back here.

    Those factories will need lots of workers, managers, professionals, etc., and they will come from the group that might have gone to college in a phony economy like ours of today, but who will just get real jobs out of high school.

    With men making so much more, and with the qualitative shift away from a service economy toward an industrial / manufacturing economy, women won't have to work since their husbands will be able to support the whole household, and women's work won't be that represented in the wage economy to begin with.

  3. $25 is too high for a minimum wage I think but reindustrilization is an excellent short/medium term plan to help the economy .

    Long term its going to be a basic income guarantee as well since automation will eventually replace too many workers for a stable economy.

    You'll need to do more than just get rid of illegals though, we've imported millions of workers already. They have to go back and we need to send anyone we can find a legal pretext to return, stat.

    That said you should watch shows like How its Made if you can find some episodes. This show is near two decades old but it will show you just how empty modern factories are .Automation means we simply don't need nearly as many workers as we did and shovel ready instead if being 30 guys with shovels is one guy with a back hoe

    Another facet, a fair many goods are becoming virtual or downloads . The arch examples being movies and music, we don't for example need people to press boxes, make cover art, warehouse or distribute them, move them by truck and so on

    We are going to have to deal with those facts with policy , things like a 30 hour work week or lower.

    Also there isn't much suggestion that huge numbers of women want to be stay at homes moms these days or want large families.

    Its getting so that men do not want the old gender role back either and a growing number are becoming risk aware.

    The first thing you'll have to do to make the renewed system is end easy divorce and child support for single moms , no marriage no child support. Marriage, you had better have a good reason or no divorce

    Otherwise the deal is too raw for men and the situation is going to be a repeat of the latchkey era only with todays brutal and efficient child support system

    If a women can divorce whenever she feels like for any reason take the kids and make a man pay for them, a smart guy won't risk it. Throw in the pure boredom stay at homes felt (it was after all them who embraced feminism decades ag0) and the risk become existential

    That said there is a saying on the hard right, TINVOWOOT -- there is no voting our way out of this

    Those policy suggestions are excellent but there are far too many vested interests who can insulate themselves from the pain their policy preferences cause to fix the political system

    I'm not sanguine that its possible to put in enough Bernie Bros or Populist Paleocons and to clear out the deep state enough to fix the system or that anyone running as such can be trusted to not just be bought out (c.f Tea Party, c.f Bernie himself)

    As Kennedy famously said "those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    we might still get out without too many shots being fired, the Left having already killed people in Vegas and attacked Republicans in Congress but this suggests that while action right now is the proverbial soap box and to a degree the ballot box once a core idea is figured out (no ideology and no plan means no victory) that a lot more consideration should be given to the cartridge box since its near certain and may have already started


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