Okay – the election is over and the Dems get the House back so they are ready to rumble. What’s on their top 10 list? – Why, illegal immigration of course. I’m sure Nancy is dying to cry foul. She’d like to put all these caravan people up at the Trump hotel. Does Nancy have a fully developed policy in hand?
- We don’t know how to process all these Hondurans.
- We don’t know how to separate immigrants from asylum seekers.
- We have never shown the capacity to deport them back to their country of origin. Once done – how do we keep them there?
- Are we to blame for their economic morass?
- What do we do with children?
The problem goes much deeper than the logistics of handling new immigrants. As general Mattis sends in some troops we need to think how badly Bill Clinton screwed this up. Back in the 90’s Central (and South) Americans were set up by US trade agreements to produce and sell us textiles. Then Clinton decided to give away special trade status to every Asian country. Most developing world trade aid is just a form of welfare since we know they’ll never buy anything we make – they’re too poor) so this was his idea of being charitable.
- In 1997 Central American production (Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador) produced 19%% of our needs. Asia (China, Vietnam and Bangladesh) also produced 19%.
- In 2001 it was 22 to 17 (so far so good).
- In 2006 it was 14 to 29
- In 2107 it is 12 to 54%!
Quite simply we have allowed Asia to destroy countries that have far more political significance to us. Without work, their economies and societies melt down and their desperate people come here. Who we trade with should be a strategic political decision. We must be particular about who we buy our stuff from so we get the most bang for our buck.
All this reminds me of the Arab Spring where an ocean of overeducated Egyptians and Algerians wondered about with nothing to do but apply to graduate school and for government jobs. Choice #2 for these young people was ISIS. What are all those 20 somethings doing in Italy, Spain, and Greece – same problem. China has all the capacity in the world to replace every laborer on the planet – at a lower cost. Even subSaharn Africans didn’t expect this.
“Free” traders have set policy that essentially forces us to take in Mexican and Central Americans as immigrants whose jobs “we” shipped to China/Asia. Mexico would be doing the same thing if it weren’t for cars and the corruption of NAFTA.
This is just another example of what happens when people use trade policy like they’re Santa with no consideration of immigration and factor price equalization.
Robert Reich should be the man that Trump sends to confront these desperate people.