As a Catholic and a Christian, we are taught to be our brother’s keepers. We should help the poor and the down trodden. We are asked by Jesus to feed the hungry, offer drinks to the thirsty, care for the sick...
We are also asked to tithe. The recommendation is 10% of your income donated to the church or other charities...
This is actually not a bad way to live your lives. Whether you are a believer or not, it is good to help others in need. It is the Golden Rule. Treat others like you would want to be treated.
When I pass someone broken down on the road, I would stop and offer my help.
I would think, if it was me stuck on the side of a highway, I would want the next person driving by to stop and help me. With cellphone, it is easy to call for assistance. It is still nice to have some stranger stop and make an offer. It shows the compassion that exists in people.
I just saw an article in the latest issue of Time magazine. It featured a few stories on global migration. It places some real human faces and their stories on the front pages.
It tugs at our hearts and make us stop and think and mostly wanting to help.
Yet, what is the form of that help?
As Americans, we are the wealthiest nation on the earth. We also are the most generous. We donate food, and money and medicine to people all over rhe world.
Where does our generosity ends?
My struggle is this.
Where do we draw the line?
It relates to the latest debate in our country with regard to undocumented immigration.
I hope it is obvious to all that our resorces are not unlimited.
Our country has many bills to pay. We also have many programs to help our citizens. This was developed over time with each crisis. We have now a safety net to protect our people who are in need...whether they are disabled or mentally challenged or temporarily lost their job...we have programs in place to take care of them. We also have many private and religious organizations with soup kitchens and shelters and other good deeds.
With this migration of people across our borders, in large numbers, our system is taxed to the limits.
What can we do?
If we take this to the extreme, and just open our borders to all that wishes to come here, what would happen?
I will leave you to figure that out. Let your immagination take over.
That is my dilemma.
What is the proper role of our government? who are elected by us to represent us and to institute policies for us.
As a Christian, I feel compassion for all my fellow human beings.
Where does my role start and end?
Jack, would you say there is a difference between offering people help and having people demand you help them? What do you do when people want you to pay for their mistakes? When you help such people are you taking away their motivation to solve their problems on their own? Does it do damage to provide care or does it help to turn away and force them to grow by solving their own problems? Could there be many benefits from people learning to depend on themselves rather than look to others for their care? It's like letting a children learn by their mistakes to let them gain confidence in their abilities. When a parent removes the experience of struggle, they may help a child in the short-term, but they do serious damage in the long-run. Are we as a nation doing more harm by letting these people in illegally and supporting them when they should be in their home country working to fix it? They can NOT solve their country's problems by being here.
This is, I think, a valid concern. But in the matter of people coming to the states for a better life, I also think they are far more willing to do what is necessary and what they can to provide that life. So the concern is more about our own citizens than immigrants.
But it does nothing to address the question of just what we as a nation owe the rest of the world when it comes to supporting them and providing a better lifestyle. That is the primary concern here, I think.
You are also correct. We are not obligated to take care of the world. We are a super power and we do have interests abroard. We have economic and political ties and alliances. We are better off helping people to help themselves. Our foray into Iraq started with good intentions but ended as a failed disaster.
With regard to Mexico and our southern borders, we can do very little to affect their government. If they are corrupt, and the the people are helpless to change rhose government, who are we to come and tell them any different?
The only answer I think is to build a good wall and keep our distances.
Once the flow stops, we can then addess the other related issues. As long as this illegal back door is open, there can be no other solution.
Now this seems like a discussion we can have, Jack. Your post is personal and interesting. I am not a Christian, but struggle with the same sympathetic response.
I agree that we cannot simply allow people to flow into our country unabated. They do flow in, but it is not unabated.
It is interesting to me that we are concerned basically about how much we are giving away in free services. That would be us, the taxpayers, right? We agree that our government cannot afford to be paying for services for illegal immigrants, correct?
But if we think about this differently, perhaps we get a different answer.
Why are there so many illegal immigrants in our country? Jobs, right? They are exploited by the businesses that hire them and by us for not insisting they are paid fair wages. However, the fact that they work here for lower wages means one of two things: either we're getting lower prices on the services they provide or the businesses that hire them are making more profit.
One perspective on this is that these businesses love illegal immigrants because they can pay them less money while making more profit and pushing the services they need onto the taxpayer. So is this a case of the business class exploiting the taxpayer?
Another perspective is that we, the taxpayer, reap benefits in the form of cheaper strawberries and cheaper lettuce and cheaper hotel rooms and cheaper restaurant bills. So are we all responsible for the problem? And ultimately, do we reap more in lower costs than we pay out in benefits?
"So are we all responsible for the problem?"
As a nation, we are not, IMO. As individuals, we will all make our own choice as to just how much responsibility we care to take on - there are hundreds (thousands) of ways we can help, and it does not require govt. to do it.
"And ultimately, do we reap more in lower costs than we pay out in benefits?"
Not a chance. But it goes deeper than that, for there are non-financial costs that are seldom considered, and those must be included in the final analysis. TANSTAAFL, and we will pay whether we have thought of it or not.
A friend of mine made a film called "A Day Without a Mexican". You might check it out.
I don't want to get into too much of an argument because I agree that we should stop illegal immigration.
I'm really just waxing philosophical about this. I think you are being too quick to dismiss the benefits. We collectively get a lot from the labor of illegal immigrants. A LOT.
I think that compared to the cost of what we are spending on the limited services they get, the costs to the consumer would go up more. You might now spend $100/year in taxes on what the government uses to pay for services for illegals. Remove those illegals and your costs in food alone might go up by $200/year. Let's just say that's the calculus. Do you mind the increase in personal costs?
What if your personal costs go up to $1000/year?
I don’t think this is my calculation. I don’t mind to spend more for my vegetables. It it cost a certain amount to grown a vegetable, that is how much we should pay and with some profits built in. That is the free market system. We should not be selfish and want to spend less for fruits so migrant farmers could be exploited and paid less than the going rate.
By the same token, I don’t want our social services going to illegals.
They were put in place to help my neighbors, not undocumented people from else where. Not that they can’t use it or need it, it is just not right and where do we stop. There are 7 billion people on our planet and 6 billion are living below poverty.
You are absolutely right. The question is how do we fix this?
We have tried almost everything. The eVerify is a good example. It was intended to stop illegal immigration by stopping employers from hiring illegals... It sounded good in theory, but in practice, it does not work very well. The illegals can easily buy fake documents and the businesses that hire them have an excuse and cover.
Therefore, we need a different solution. And over the years, politicians have tried them...comprehensive reform...was proposed, fences were built, war on drugs, increased border agents...non has worked.
That is the fact. You may argue the degree but they have not put a stop to this inflow.
With each year, it gets a little worse, and due to chain migration, and our laws, any babies born here are automatically citizens...which entitles them to all benefits...
I am open to any other ideas, but to me the only thing that we haven’t tried is a physical wall, not just a fence, but a wall. One that cannot be breeched easily. This will over the long haul, stop the illegals from trying to come here via this means. They will more likely go the legal route.
At which point, we can modify our immigration policy and offer guest workers...like so many orher nations do...
Your idol Donnie cannot even make his mind up what sort of wall would be unbreachable , so why not give your impression of what the wall should consist of and where it is needed, Jack?
This ought to be good!
Furthermore, Trump hired illegal immigrants and some of his businesses actually helped them obtain fake documents so they could work for him.
Yes, there were around a dozen illegals fired from one of his resorts and are saying the establishment furnished them with green cards even though they knew the people were illegal.
I don't think this is the first time Trump's businesses have done this. A bit hypocritical, eh?
So what is your point? He was a businessman. If the condition are such, what did you expect?
I don’t fault him for exploiting people for his business so as to be competititive with other businesses in the same boat.
I give him credit now, for wanting to fix this going forward.
Sounds like they were instructed to break the law. Many business people with ethics hire documented people and pay them a fair wage.
Sure, he becomes ethical when he's elected to office.
That is not my job or my expertise. All I know is we tried everything else and for what ever reason, we can put a man on the moon, but we can’t stop uneducated immigrants from crossing our borders, and we can’t stop drug smuggling into our country...
Supply and demand, Jack. Supply and demand.
Most conservatives I know want to let the free market be free.
How is this supply and demand?
It is a false scenario when we allow the illegals to come here and create an artificial supply of cheap labor...
What Conservatives want is a level palying field where all our people, are given the same opportunity to compete.
It is disengenuous to use the supply demand argument.
It is just as if we arbitrarily create a scarsity of some things and then the prices jump higher. This practice is illegal and it is called monopoly.
We have laws against it, just like we have laws against illegal immigration.
I don't think you know what a monopoly is - or you're not explaining it very well.
The supply and demand argument is completely rational and logical and... it's usually the conservative go to.
There's a demand for cheap labor. There is also a demand for drugs.
The supply for both is across our borders. Businesses want cheap labor. People want lower prices.
It is a perfect economic situation.
Conservatives want a level playing field? Bull. Conservatives have been arguing against a level playing field since the dawn of time. Conservatives want the status quo. As more people have entered the job market, conservatives have argued to keep the advantages for the white males predominantly in the system and AGAINST leveling the playing field for the new entrants.
People want lower prices, yes. And for the most part they won't look beyond the price tag on a bunch of tomatoes in the grocery store.
But. When the total price of that bunch of tomatoes is added up, including the cost of educating illegal kids, hiring more cops, building more hospitals and staffing them, fixing cars wrecked by uninsured drivers and all the rest of the actual costs we bear for illegals in the country it's a different story. Now those tomatoes cost double what they would with Americans picking them. We just don't see it and don't think about it as a result.
You are miss understanding conservatives.
The fact that you say we want the status quo is false.
That is the stereotype given for conservatives...old, white, greedy, hates women, and racist, and homophobe...anything else I missed.
Let me explain how we are not for the status quo.
We believe in the Constitution and a process of amendaments.
This was the way our founders setup to make changes over time.
They realized that whims come and go and they want to make sure what is changed is better and debated and agreed upon by a large majority.
Take abortion for example. Conservatives are against the supreme court ruling in 1973. Because it took this issue away from a robust debate. That is why, 46 years later, it is still a divided nation when it comes to the right of abortion.
liberals and Progressives have the idea that we are right, and we know better and if the people are too stupid to know this, we will just have to use the courts to get what we want...they are bypassimg
I am simplifying it but that is essentially what happens.
Once again, conservatives wants change to come slowly, not keeping the status quo.
No, I'm not misunderstanding conservatives. They support the status quo. It's the very definition of a political conservative. They might support "slow change" in some cases, but usually that effect is no change. And usually it is the people in power controlling the rate of change.
How is that status quo?
Do you know the meaning of status quo?
Just to proof you wrong, I support school choice, charter schools and vouchers...
Does any of that sounds like status quo to you?
In fact, it is the progressives that are under the conteol of the teachers union that want to keep the status quo in our public schools.
Go read a decent book on the history of the U.S. Just because you support one particular change does not mean conservatives, as a whole, support change. They generally support the status quo. Their history is supporting the status quo. Just because you can provide an example where they do not support the status quo, like with public education, does not mean that the very definition of being a conservative isn't the maintenance of the status quo.
Just like a cold snap does not mean global warming does not exist (as in, finding one example of something that runs contrary to a generic statement does not automatically disprove the accuracy of the statement as a general rule, which is all the status quo statement is)
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Polit … nservative
You're correct Jack, this isn't your job or your expertise. So why are you defending something you now nothing about...like Donnie? And why are you so sure "we tried everything else"?
I just wanted to know what kind of impenetrable wall you envisioned which would stop all of the problems you and Donnie claim are happening where the fence ends.
I said your answer would be good. It wasn't.
I agree. Why a wall? Why can't we set up a system of electronic surveillance where we know precisely where an illegal crosses the border and then we hit them with yellow paint balls and then anyone who is yellow we know is an illegal.
Not trying to be glib, but a wall is a simple, understandable solution that appeals to people precisely because they understand it. Whether it would work or not is another story. It would certainly slow things down, but I also suspect people would tunnel under it.
"It would certainly slow things down, but I also suspect people would tunnel under it."
I suspect a tunnel would be much more difficult than you insinuate, but you're right - there will be tunnels going under it. Tunnels starting on the US side of the river, making it rather easy to spot.
But a wall will, just as you say, slow things down and give time to respond to illegal crossings. When all there is is open ground, and you're a hundred miles away, that gets rather tough.
Don't you think there is a more technological solution?
I think why people have glommed onto the wall idea is that it's easy to understand which, I frankly give Trump credit for (proposing an idea his base just gets). It just doesn't mean it's the right solution. And I don't think the Dems solution of more border patrolling is correct either, which is why they need to negotiate, come together, and come up with something that makes sense and keeps illegals from crossing.
Just to be contrary, what about an electric fence? You can climb a wall, but not an electric fence.
A good pair of rubber gloves and shoes makes an electric fence null, Crank. And the wire can be easily cut...
Electric fence is viable for a small wall like around prisons...but impractical for thousand of miles. They also can be defeated with insulated wire cutters...
Tunneling is possible but technology csn help there. They can have buried sensors to detect digging noise long before a tunnel is complete.
The wall is the only viable solution right now.
So you feel you do have expertise now? Your final sentence/opinion seems to indicate so.
And any wall can be defeated with a ladder or a shovel. Please stop providing ridiculous examples. Apparently your wall can't be defeated with simple tools but my electric fence can be snapped with insulated wire cutters? How about an electric fence made with titanium bars? Metal conducts electricity and there is lots of fencing material that's not thin wire.
Apparently, I am an idiot for building an electric fence made out of thin wire and you're a genius for your impenetrable wall.
Is it any wonder why you're constantly mocked?
It doesn't seem to me that we as a nation owe the residents of the world anything at all. If we choose, as individuals, to help others and provide for their needs that is our choice, but when we demand that our neighbors do so as well, as we direct them to and at their expense, we have left that Golden Rule far behind.
When we decide that "He has lots of money; I'll take what he has and do the moral thing by giving it to the poor" we have left morals behind and are simply pleasing ourselves by satisfying our own desire for altruism, but at the expense of someone else. From a moral standpoint it is good (IMO - others may disagree) to help others, but only from our own pocketbook - never by forcible taking from a third party to cover the costs of charity that we don't want to cover ourselves. Playing Robin Hood - robbing the rich to give to the poor - is not an ethical or moral action.
And that leaves the nation without any need, moral, ethical or legal, to provide for all the peoples of the world. We may well feed a moral imperative to do so as individuals, but the nation has none.
Wildnerness, you always make it sound like the taking from the rich to give to the poor scenario of the left is always a one-way street.
Let me offer up just one counter-example (there are many more, but I'm using this as an example): football stadiums
Mega-rich team owners get cities to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to build football stadiums using taxpayer money. They get richer. The taxpayer gets very little materially from the deal. Given that, why shouldn't we tax those people at a much higher rate given how they benefit from the taxpayer's money.
And in some situations, they can move the team if they want and get another city to pay for another stadium.
There are societal benefits to having money. Let me provide another example. My current mortgage rate on my home is 1.5%. The average person cannot get that rate and could not get that rate at the time I got it. You could only get that rate if you were capable of borrowing a large sum from the bank. At the time, the average person was paying more than double that.
"Mega-rich team owners get cities to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to build football stadiums using taxpayer money. They get richer. The taxpayer gets very little materially from the deal. Given that, why shouldn't we tax those people at a much higher rate given how they benefit from the taxpayer's money."
Tax who? The people paying the tax are the very ones you say (correctly) are getting very little benefit from it. But I highly disagree with a city/county/state paying a company to come build a store/plant/stadium in their city. All it does is add to the bottom line of the company, paid for by the people of the city. If a stadium/manufacturing plant or other things is worth building, then build it and make a profit - don't expect the people of the city to add to that profit. I understand it is common to the point of being expected and demanded, but IMO it should never be done.
Not following your mortgage example at all - I don't understand what it has to do with anything.
Well, glad we agree on the stadium thing. It is just one of many examples of the rich getting a benefit from being rich, which justifies them paying higher taxes. That was my point, when you complain about people who want to take from the rich to benefit the poor, I'm justifying that by saying that the rich benefit disproportionately because they are rich and should be taxed accordingly. Now, somebody just saying that because they want the money is another matter, but in general, it's justified to tax the rich at a higher rate. The debate is about how high that rate should be.
The mortgage example is the same. Those with money benefit more than those without and should be taxed more. Now, do I want to be taxed more? Absolutely not.
Still foggy. Are you complaining that buying in bulk results in lower prices? Seems to me it should - either prices drop or the profit margin goes way up.
I think we can find a multitude of "justifications" for soaking the rich. All it takes is a willingness to take what others have built and we can rationalize whatever we wish. IMO, saying the rich benefit more from a new water plant, or a new library, is just that - rationalization that allows us to set aside our own moral structure in favor of taking from someone else.
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