Christmas Eve, a story and column in the Washington
Post caught the eye. For they tell much about
the two Americas we are becoming under George
Bush and a Democratic Party that has cut its roots
to working America.
front-page story by Mike Allen describes a Bush
initiative on "immigration reform." Seems that
U.S. employers would post jobs and the wages that
go with them on a Department of Labor website.
If no Americans came forward to take the jobs,
the employer would be allowed to bring Mexican
temporary workers in legally, give them the jobs,
and put them on a fast track to permanent residency
would this mean? U.S. companies would offer pay
at or near the minimum wage for jobs they had
open in, say, construction.
few Americans can support a family and kids in
school on $5 an hour, many of these jobs would
go begging. The employer would then be allowed
to go to Mexico, where the minimum wage is about
60 cents an hour, or countries where it is even
less, and hire all the hard-working labor he needed
at the U.S. minimum wage.
there are billions of people on earth who do not
earn anything near $5 an hour, what the Bush plan
means is throwing open America's borders to millions
of workers who will come in and suppress the wages
of America's workers.
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce might love this is
easy to understand. But what is Bush doing to
the working Americans who put him in office? Yet,
as one reads further in the story, it appears
it is not Bush who is doing this, it is boy-wonder
Karl Rove. Bush's guru seized on the idea as part
of the campaign's "compassion agenda."
addition to bringing in millions of workers who
would take jobs at a fraction of a living wage
for American families, Bush will propose that
10 million aliens, who are in this country illegally,
be made legal.
to the Post, Rove & Co. "concluded that they needed
a response to the large population of undocumented
workers for the plan to be credible and for Bush
to get credit from Hispanic voters.
that last clause lies the motive behind the sellout.
is pandering to Hispanics, giving militants in
the Latino lobbies what they demand - some form
of stealth amnesty, where those who broke into
this country are made legal residents of the United
States and put on the path to citizenship. He
is buying votes by selling out the white working
class, which, presumably, has nowhere else to
a sop to those who believe aliens who break our
laws should be sent back home, the Bushites promise
better border controls. In brief, if you want
Bush to enforce America's immigration laws, you
must permit him to pardon those who broke these
laws. And if you agree, Bush will promise to be
more conscientious in doing his presidential duty
to defend the borders of the United States.
are the Bushites shafting American workers? Let
me count the ways. Under Bush's free-trade zealotry,
the United States has lost manufacturing jobs
for 40 straight months, the longest stretch since
the Great Depression. Under Bush, hundreds of
thousands of high-tech workers have been brought
into the United States to take jobs at wages one-half
or a third of those commanded by the U.S. workers
Bush, the "outsourcing" and "off-shoring" of U.S.
jobs has accelerated, with tens of thousands of
jobs once held by high-paid white collar and information-technology
workers going to Asia.
Bush, millions of legal and illegal immigrants
have poured into the country, putting downward
pressure on wages.
Bush, the merchandise trade deficit has risen
to $550 billion, which represents a massive annual
transfer of factories, jobs and technology. China,
Japan and East Asia are the lead looters of America's
once-awesome manufacturing base. Americans today
buy nearly 15 percent of the entire GDP of China.
The Chinese buy two-tenths of 1 percent of ours.
It's what the Bushites call "free and fair trade."
are the consequences for American workers? In
a Post column, "Un-American Recovery," Harold
Meyerson says it all.
corporate profits have been rising for 7 months.
In the third quarter of 2003, the economy grew
at 8.2 percent, productivity at over 9 percent.
Have our workers shared equally in the good times?
Meyerson: "Since July, the average hourly wage
increase for the 85 million Americans who work
in non-supervisory jobs in offices and factories
is a flat 3 cents. Wages are up just 2.1 percent
since November 2002, the slowest wage growth we've
experienced in 40 years."
right. According to Meyerson, the wages of Americans
have gone up three cents since the economy took
off on a tear in July.
it be said: Working America has no powerful voice
in politics. Both Democrats and Republicans are
open-borders, free-trade zealots, who troll for
cash from corporate America and burn their incense
at the altars of the global economy.
needs a new party.
J. Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican
presidential nomination and the Reform Party's
candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor
of the new magazine, The American Conservative.
Now a political analyst for MSNBC and a syndicated
columnist, he served three presidents in the White
House, was a founding panelist of three national
television shows, and is the author of seven books.
Posted: December 30, 2003