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« Joe Biden's national polling means nothing | Main | Team Bush is sinking into delusions »

August 21, 2015



And another one... :)

Anne J

That's like when my boyfriend would beat me and then say that it was my fault for making him angry. Whether Trump is responsible for their emotions or not, they are the ones responsible for their actions. The republican party has been running on emotion for quite some time, and when that happens, eventually the situation becomes unbearable and emotions get out of control. Like now, with the denial of birthright citizenship. These people are getting meaner and uglier the more they see their influence slipping away. Just like the boyfriend who turns into a stalker when his girlfriend breaks up with him.

I have also noticed that for several weeks now, while Donald Trump has been at the top of the polls, he doesn't manage to get any better than 25%. I don't know what that means or if it means anything at all, but as your retro 1/4/08 column especially the comments section proved, that this far out, none of us has a clue what's going to happen yet. We can speculate all we want, but at the end of the day, none of us really knows.

Peter G

Generally speaking I don't think enough political analysis is devoted to the internal tensions and factions within both the Democratic and Republican parties. Our host is one of the few exceptions I have found. Too much space and words are devoted to the ideological gulf between left and right. This is understandable. It is, after all, the center ring of a three ring circus. I do believe, however, that what goes on in those sideshows decides dictate what takes the main ring.

Immigration reform should have been dealt with years ago. There was a perfectly sound political dynamic that would have allowed it to happen. Mr Trump has exposed a fairly virulent strain of nativism in the Republican party. It was always there. But you are seriously kidding yourself if you think the same strain is not found on the left. It is merely couched in slightly different terms. All you have to do is read any supposedly progressive blog post on subjects like H1B visas and you will find broad popular support for the idea that not securing the borders and inviting STEM immigrants is a corporate Koch to displace American workers and drive down wages. Even Bernie decided to go with this crap. He knows his audience.

But because these perceptions are held on both sides of the ideological divide AND they created great potential for schisms within each party self interest should have led to defusing the situation though a compromise immigration reform bill. They'd be much better off today if the Republicans had done that. But they painted themselves into a corner where compromise itself was evil, where Obama could not be allowed any hint of a legislative victory and electoral strategy demanded that anger be fueled for only anger could drive the turnouts needed for victory at the polls. People lament the shortsightedness of corporate CEOs but it pales in comparison to the myopia of politicians. And their trained pundits.

Peter G

correction: decides, indeed dictates....


Describing the sorrows of young Charlie with inspired word play cheers me up, but he has every right to be grumpy. "Republicans have an unusually talented field with a good chance of winning back the presidency." Really? If "unusually" means "freakishly" and "good" means "barely possible" he might have a point. And as much as he'd like to believe the server flap has Hillary "flailing badly," it's only true for people who hated her before it ever came up.

What indicates the apparent grumpiness might really be stupidity, though, is his brag about advocating for a border wall since 2006. Would he extend it into the Gulf and Pacific? If not it would be boated around. Then there are the already abundant tunnels with plenty of space for more. Besides, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates between 33–50% of illegal immigrants enter the country on a legal visa and simply don't leave on the expiration date. In addition, making immigration into a war between the US and Mexico is bait for idiots. Almost half of illegal immigrants are not Mexican, with around one-quarter from Central and South America and the other quarter mostly from Asia, Europe and Canada. But gosh, all that stuff is too long to read.

Peter G

Soooo... if the Republicans have the most talented field in a long, long time and Donald Trump is handing them their own heads then that would seem to imply that Donald is vastly more talented then the rest of the field would it not? And it tells us quite neatly what talents are valued most of all.


I've counted to ten and still feel an urge to reply. Seven years ago I was personally retired two years earlier than I would have liked because my job went to China. I was first expected to train my replacements who were in the US on H-1B visas, and during that time no one in my department got a raise. I stay in touch with a person I used to work with and no one has gotten one since, though hiring has begun. Trying to equate the anti-immigrant sentiments on the left and right is nonsense. Your personal experience does not define the situation. Bernie might not be the internationalist type of socialist you'd consider pure, but he is correct. Trade and corporate globalization need to be compensated for on behalf of disadvantaged Americans. To not do so is irresponsible at best.


They might be boiled down to one: The ability to connect with the common lunatics.

Peter G

Almost everything I have read regarding H1B visas I have found to be invalid. No one, for example imports code slaves to work for less money because the process doesn't allow for that and furthermore there is no economic sense in it. Why would anyone import such labor from say India when the work could done just as efficiently there at much lower cost. It's not like you have to snail mail it back and forth.

Furthermore, anyone with technical training in any field knows how particular expertise can be. And the higher one goes educationally in the sciences and engineering the more specific and particular one's expertise becomes. It does not matter how many unemployed PH.D or engineers one has if they do not have the expertise required. And that is really the only way to get such a visa. The requirement is that such expertise not be available domestically.

There is, finally, not a shred of evidence that H1B visa holders earn less than domestic professionals with similar expertise and experience. If you don't want such people in the US paying taxes and creating demand for goods and services from other workers that is fine. But it isn't going to stop them doing whatever they do that is in demand elsewhere. When it comes to smart people my policy is to thank the country that so expensively educated them and grab as many as you can. And if you are doing the educating it is foolish to let their talents be exported.

I fear we may never agree on this issue but that's okay by me Bob. You have as much license to disagree with me as anyone and you never lack reason.


You missed my point completely. I don't care how many PhD's come here to stay, but corporations send them back home to work for a third of what they would make here and American PhD's lose their jobs after training them. I trained a Chinese PhD that moved back to China and probably replaced me. When I started my department had around 25 people. There are now 6.

Some of the people who lost their jobs to an overseas worker were younger than me but still too old to get a similar job and had already lost their life savings in the 2007 economic meltdown. Some are in bad shape. Why can you only see one side of the coin?

Peter G

If that is your point you certainly have one. Sending those post doc researchers back when their visas have expired is daylight madness. Ditto for student visas. Keep those people if you can. The chief problem I have with work based visas (and we have a similar form) is that they tie employment to employer. The best way to beat that and relieve any hypothetical downward pressure on wages would be to let them switch jobs if someone wants to pay them more. Rare talents and special educational attainments command high salaries and those people pay higher taxes.

I see little point in blaming STEM migrants for a self induced melt down that you would certainly need when the economy recovered. The fact is that no country has a surplus of brains and whoever has the most brains has the best chance of being the winners in our new global economy.


The problem is you're not thinking like a corporate executive who wants to make the most money in the least amount of time to up his bonus and stock options. He can raise profitability numbers by building a facility in China and having Americans train the employees then closing down American operations. He does not give a rat's ass about the good of the employees or the country, only his own bank account.

And it gets worse. The company I worked for did an Enron-style "pump and dump" with their stock, which I was alert enough to avoid by paying brokerage fees. I tried to tell other people what was happening, but most just didn't want to believe the company would screw loyal employees like themselves.

Similarly, as a Canadian I don't think you have any way of knowing what miserable pieces of psychopathic shit a lot of American CEO's are unless you read the financial sections regularly, and even then you have to know how to read between the lines except for the most spectacular cases. Do you wonder why none of the bankers who played the system and nearly brought down the entire world economy have gone to jail? Even Reagan and Bush I jailed some of the thieves that brought down the savings and loans.


Where have I seen mid-twenty something figure before? :)

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