The Alternative

Remove the Carrot to Stem Influx of Unwanted Newcomers

With all the hoopla over the children flooding into our country from Central America, we should be asking why. Why in the world would a parent send their young children off to another land with nowhere specific as a destination?

The answer used to be opportunity. But the most vocal of the immigrant bashers claim the illegals are taking benefits that should only be available to United States citizens; in other words, ancestors of immigrants. What was once a land of opportunity is now a land of entitlement. If your title is citizen, the other citizens will provide.

In the old days, people in foreign lands who were hamstrung by cronyism or tax structure looked to America as a place where the rewards for their efforts were theirs to keep. That produced incentive for them to excel at what they did. Many worked long hours and made great sacrifices with the assurance they could use the proceeds as they saw fit.

This was the recipe for the greatest nation on earth. From all over the world, people came to America because their dreams were limited in their home country. The ones with small dreams, little ambition, or lack of an ability to innovate were satisfied with a restrictive economy so they didn’t bother risking a move to The New World. America was a magnet for innovation and ambition.

The wealth created by that situation was so great that we continue to feed off of it today, creating an illusion of prosperity. As that wealth dwindles, The Fed creates new money to perpetuate that illusion by robbing the value of savings to make assets appear to appreciate in value. The rising stock market is not gaining value so much as the money that measures it, is losing value.

The immigrants coming today want a piece of that pie that was stockpiled during the age of opportunity. That piece of pie is many things. In the Hampton Chronicle recently, the editorial page featured issues that illustrate our decline as a land of opportunity and our assent as a land of corruption.

Last week’s Chronicle highlighted a pipeline and a powerline and the prospects of eminent domain being used to confiscate the property of landowners who value their property more than the developers. Many would cite the law as being superior to ethics. Where ethics fail to enable progress, they believe practicality demands justice be ignored. We don’t have to be learned scholars to know the difference between theft and mutual agreement. Eminent domain is theft and it is a good example of our decline as a country that no longer values individual initiative or property rights.

Two weeks ago in the Chronicle there were columns by our representatives in Des Moines. They illustrate that entitlement is not limited to immigrants and welfare cheats.

State Senator Amanda Ragan is extolling the virtues of tax credits for clean energy. We all like clean, right? But one man’s tax credit is another man’s tax increase. The taxes not paid because of these (manufactured) incentives are paid by people who didn’t use a (manufactured) crisis to dodge their obligation to fund Iowa’s infrastructure. Just because “clean energy” is repeated often enough doesn’t make it an industry worthy of the thievery of tax credits. The need for tax credits, in themselves, prove the market has not chosen these energy sources, yet.

Representative Linda Upmeyer’s column discusses the state’s attractiveness to business and job creation. But it isn’t enough to enable opportunity for businesses. Taxpayers will be saddled with nearly $6 million for educating private businesses’ workers. So to apprentice new workers, a business can fill out forms and get a handout or pay more taxes and pay the cost themselves. The politicians will get credit for good work and we will pay the bills. It is interesting to note, the two mechanics I know who have hired junior college graduates had to train them anyway and then ended up letting them go. If the employee and employer had borne the cost themselves, market forces would have directed a more efficient training process.

Those market forces were what made this an attractive country to immigrants. The distortions created by well-intentioned politicians are what has inspired record numbers of successful Americans to renounce their citizenship. The anti-immigration fervor is mostly based on a desire to preserve a welfare (corporate and private) state. Using national defense as a reason to secure the border has been shown as bogus when we are defending borders all over the world while ignoring our own.

A return to a land of earned wealth from a state of entitled wealth would bring useful immigrants. A border defended by our military and immigrants screened by them, would make more sense than a diluted military presence worldwide.

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