Trump is Bad for Children

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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114 Responses

  1. North says:

    Wow, so great to see you here doc. Well said. You can take solace, at least, in the knowledge that Trump isn’t likely going to be the nominee.Report

    • Christopher Carr in reply to North says:

      Sadly, I’m more pessimistic than all of you, and believe that not only will Trump be the nominee, but he will be President. The silver lining is that he actually turns out to be not quite as bad as his rhetoric, which, it turns out, he was just using to pander for votes. The real bad guys, we realize, are the American people themselves, who allowed themselves to be manipulated by hate.Report

      • North in reply to Christopher Carr says:

        On what basis do you believe his odds are so good Chris?

        That said, if one of the GOP candidates had to become president then as a liberal, a feminist and a partisan I’d rather it be Trump than any of the rest of the clown car’s passengers. Trump, at least, might actually buck the party on various things, the sincerety of his conservative positions seems varnish thin and in the areas where he’s a hateful bore his powers would be generally constrained by congress. Whereas if a non-Trump GOP candidate became president that’d be it, there’d be nothing constraining the GOP for at least 2 years.Report

  2. Michelle says:

    Trump is frightening enough in and of himself, but the fact he has so many followers is even more frightening. The more extreme his comments, the higher his poll numbers. I don’t think the GOP nomination is out of reach for him. Moreover, his positions aren’t really all that different from many of his fellow GOP candidates, who’ve been playing off of their constituents’ fears for quite a while now, aided by Fox News and the rest of the rightwing media echo chamber.

    So yes, Trump is bad for children but how much better are his GOP counterparts?Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    There are bubbles of good indicators, I hope.

    After the Paris attacks, my first thoughts were some variant of “huh, looks like France is going to elect Trump first.” The first round of elections did not disabuse me of that notion. The second round, however, has the National Front failing to win a single region.

    So, if we’re a weird reflection of France, it looks like the Republicans are headed for a Goldwateresque beatdown of massive proportions despite going up against a fairly weak Democratic frontrunner.Report

  4. Doctor Jay says:

    Based on reading some of Trump’s remarks about illegals and Mexicans in general, I think it’s pretty clear he’s never spent more than a minute talking to one, if that much.Report

  5. Jaybird says:

    Insofar as the right/left dichotomy is based not on a set of principles but, instead, on a set of inclinations and gut instincts, Trump is all-too-familiar.

    We got into this with the whole overlap between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Parties. There were a lot of places where they wanted similar things (and even hated similar things). The bank bailouts, how Wall Street wrecked everything then got off scot free, and how the government does a better job of representing The Big Players than We The People.

    But this side over here wanted to have a drum circle and chant something about how the people united would never be defeated while that side wanted to sing Lee Greenwood and do the Pledge of Allegiance. The Trumpists are an indication that the inclinations and gut instincts are getting a bit more rumbly.

    The synthesis is coming.Report

    • Zac in reply to Jaybird says:

      Uh oh, I think somebody got to Jaybird mid-comment.Report

    • Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

      Trump and OWS have a lot more to do with each other than they do with the Tea Party, surprisingly enough.

      And you wouldn’t BELIEVE what you can do with a good drum circle.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

      I don’t think this is completely correct. OWS would probably have supporter a consumer/loan-holder bailout (they had a well-meaning attempt to buy up consumer debt and discharge it called Occupy Jubilee). They also would supporter a welfare-state more broadly probably and a regulated financial sector.

      Not so much for the Tea Party.

      They had some broad stroke similarities but nothing on further specifics or end goals.Report

      • j r in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        The Tea Party would absolutely support a more robust welfare state; just for a different set of recipients. And they would absolutely support more financial regulation; just a different set of regulations.Report

        • Kim in reply to j r says:

          What financial regulations does the Tea Party want?
          (how do you put “sink or swim” into actual regulations? remove the FDIC?)Report

          • Morat20 in reply to Kim says:

            Don’t be silly. That’s like asking for details on a Ryan budget. The whole point is never to be specific. Specifics get people upset. Specifics make it complicated.

            It’s just easier to snipe from the sidelines until it gets to the point where your politicians get confused when they can’t find the “Waste, fraud, abuse” line item in your budget.

            Actual governing is hard.Report

  6. Damon says:

    “Trump is Bad for Illegal Children”

    Fixed that for ya, @Russell Saunders.

    Frankly, I fail to see what the big deal is. Trump wants to remove all illegals in the country. That’s a perfectly reasonable position. There are lots of people who think we should do this. Are we talking mass round ups and camps? No, but they should be encouraged to leave. And the same for Muslim immigration. It’s the american public’s decision on who they want to be allowed into their country. If they want to allow 45 year old Chinese farm laborers or 22 year old Canadian comics, it’s our choice.

    Note, this has nothing to do with terrorism, taking jobs from Americans, or anything else that is used to demagogue this position.Report

    • Patrick in reply to Damon says:

      Trump wants to remove all illegals in the country. That’s a perfectly reasonable position. There are lots of people who think we should do this. Are we talking mass round ups and camps? No, but they should be encouraged to leave.

      You’re going to have to square that circle for me.

      In order for a position to be perfectly reasonable – to my way of thinking, anyway – it has to be grounded in some defensible root principle and have a practical framework for achieving it.

      (An example from the left: lots of people think that health care should be universal. That’s a defensible root principle but usually the practical framework for achieving it lacks some important details.)

      When you say “I’m not talking about mass deportations, but they should be encouraged to leave”, you’re gonna have to flesh that out some before I’m going to jump to a conclusion that you have any actual plan in mind.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Patrick says:

        Donald Trump argued that he would confiscate all remittances that were derived from illegal wages.

        While this particular policy is odious as heck, it’d be fairly easy to come up with one that could work (fsvo “work”). “I will tax all remittances and use this income to help pay for posters that would have details on how to immigrate legally and post these posters in every town within 100 miles of the border!”

        Something as simple as 10% off the top of remittances would pull in a couple billion/year if the last few years are anything to go by.

        (Now, of course, we know that the posters wouldn’t work and that the money would actually go towards shoring up the Police Pension Fund rather than pay for posters anyway but, as a policy goes, the whole “tax remittances” thing strikes me as one hell of a negative deterrent that has lots of opportunities for graft and grandstanding to both sides of the aisle.)Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

          How many undocumented immigrants get paid in cash and under the table?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            I imagine most.

            But this isn’t taxing wages. It’s taxing remittances (which have to flow through official-ish channels such as Western Union).Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

              Let me amend that. They don’t *HAVE* to. Until this point, however, they tended to because Western Union fees were reasonable (fsvo “reasonable“).

              Send $300 to your main squeeze for $5? Sure. Send $300 to your main squeeze for $35? Well…

              And, as such, this will create new avenues of moving money out of the country and we’ve already got one hell of a system to keep track of that sort of thing.

              (But I imagine that it will result in more illegal immigration, not less, given that a number of migrant workers who just want to make a better life for themselves and their families will learn that the new incentive structure rewards bringing the family over here rather than working seasonally and mailing money back.)Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Dude, you forgot about The Wall. Problem solved.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                That’s how he said he’d pay for The Wall. Confiscation of remittances.

                When he said that, “I’ll make Mexico pay for it!” went from “snortworthy” to “worrying”.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                I was referring to your comment that taxing remittances will result in more illegal immigration. It won’t, cuz the wall.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                Oh, yes. Of course. The Wall That Will Work.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

                That’s a good point about a possible unintended consequence; but it could also provide a disincentive to move at all — depending on the level of the tax, and the ultimate reasons for working abroad.

                I’m not specifically advocating for this, but as far as policies go, it’s probably rather “implementable.” If you have the “right papers” (e.g. an H-1B or the like – or even a citizen) your remittance might only be taxed at, say 5%. But, absent papers, 10%, 20%, ???, whatever they want to turn the nob to.

                There would certainly be costs and other things to account for, but it seems one could weigh them and decide if they might achieve policy objectives. I’m also sure that it would be fairly “gameable” in that cash transfers are one thing, but foreign investments another. My people, to whom our family has sent cash for nigh on 100 years, would just create a foreign business in which we could invest. So, again, not saying this is a foolproof idea; but one I wouldn’t dismiss out of ideological hand.

                I suppose too, what is the purpose of the tax? Reduce the incentive to immigrate? Harness the $300B that exits the U.S annually to
                a) make 529 plans a little more generous, or
                b) fund automation service repairman schools for underemployed workers, or
                c) finally trick-out that awesome wall we’ve been wanting for ages (and here, I’m talking about Canada), or
                d) Finally a proper FU to the country that is screwing us the most with remittances, India.

                Or will it just go into the general fund as the drop in the $4T bucket?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Personally, I absolutely *ADORE* remittances. People come here, they work and actually add value and even create wealth and, in return, we give them little pieces of paper that they then ship out to another country.

                The money doesn’t then go on to compete with my dollars for limited goods/services. They’re in another country entirely pricing up the goods/services over there.

                There is nothing but upside for me.

                But there’s too much money moving around for the government to not notice how much they could make if they skimmed a little off the top.

                And the best part? They’re not even skimming off of voters this time.

                Nothing but upside.Report

              • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

                But there’s too much money moving around for the government to not notice how much they could make if they skimmed a little off the top.

                Narcos was not very good and I gave up on it halfway, but there’s a little bit of VO in it that talks about how the US Government didn’t care THAT much about the 1980s cocaine explosion – not the Americans hoovering it up their noses and (in some cases) wrecking their lives, not the turf-war bodies dropping in Miami nor (especially) in South America, where the narcos were using their ill-gotten gains to turn their countries into lawless warzones and their own personal fiefdoms.

                The USG didn’t care that much, until they started to get a clear idea of exactly how much MONEY (=mountains and mountains of millions) was leaving the U.S. every day and heading to South America, with no cut for them.

                I’m sure that’s a fashionably-cynical view, but it didn’t strike me as entirely implausible.Report

              • Murali in reply to Jaybird says:


                The money has to come back. While not exactly true in every place that remittances go to, you can’t do anything with USD in countries where its not legal tender. The families will just exchange it for their own currency, but the money changer can’t sit on all of it. She will have to either a) sell USD to folks coming over to the US so that they can buy things being sold there, b) give it to people who are going to buy American imports, or c) sell it to her government so that the government can lend the US government money. The last one may or may not have an inflationary effect, but that depends on how your government spends its moneyReport

              • Glyph in reply to Murali says:

                that depends on how your government spends its money

                Like a sailor on shore leave.

                Like an agoraphobe hoarder on late-night “As Seen On TV” products.

                Like Nicolas Cage and MC Hammer on a shopping spree.Report

              • Will H. in reply to Murali says:

                The key here is that crude oil is traded in USD.
                The greenback is also a popular reserve currency globally; i.e., “eventually” can be a very long time.

                There is, to my knowledge, no direct comparison.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Trump’s plan wouldn’t tax H-1B folks, but his idea is to radically reduce the number of such visas approved.

                Also, it seems to me that if an effective regime of taxing remittances could be implemented – one that was consistent with the normal tax obligation those wages would incur – the economically motivated purpose for the wall would be largely eliminated, since taking that tax off the top would to some extent (maybe a great extent) compel illegals to demand a higher wage for the same work.

                The primary problem would be to eliminate alternate channels whereby payment of the tax could be avoided.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                taking that tax off the top would to some extent (maybe a great extent) compel illegals to demand a higher wage for the same work.

                Right… as I said, I’m not for or agin’ it at this point… just saying that as far as policies go, there are lots of things this might do.

                Regarding Trump’s specifics, I’m not shilling for him, so I don’t much care where he might draw his particular lines.

                Of course, the anti-establishment skeptic in me doubts both the ultimate goals, the efficacy of tuning the policy, and all the unintended consequences… but that doesn’t stop us from legislating as we do right now anyway… so have at it.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Well, as far as Trump’s policies go, the current plan is a total confiscation of remittances, which will produce – in my estimation – exactly zero dollars in revenue. It’s also to use those zero dollars to build a wall.

                But a policy to merely tax remittances – like Jaybird said – up to a point where sending the cash back home still makes sense has some merits which perhaps ought to be considered. And then, y’know, just scrap any more talk of The Wall.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                To be sure 100% tax on anything that requires me to voluntarily do something that results in a 100% tax will generate $0.

                Me: Hi, I’d like to send this $350 home to mother
                Agent: Certainly, that will incur a $350 tax and an additional $7 processing fee, so it will cost $357 to send the money, and your mother will be charged an additional $3.50 to pick-up the notice that the transaction was completed. Did you want to pay for the fees by cash or credit?
                Me: Hmmn… I’d rather give Francois a new toque to carry this across the border to Sault Ste. Marie, he’s going there next week anyway.

                But Trump’s legacy may not be any of his actual unbaked policies, but the ideas themselves.

                …and I will never give up hopes of my Canadian wall.Report

              • Kim in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Anything to keep the crazy Canadians out.
                [Yes, there’s a story behind this. I think the story lives on kiwifarms. No, I’m having the blessed sense to not repeat it, go there if you’re interested.]

                Most awkward Thanksgiving EVER.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Kim says:

                I refuse to believe that the most awkward Thanksgiving ever at the Kimmi homestead was ONLY about Kiwis.

                Unless you mean that it was awkward talking to your Canadian relatives about their new farm where they were attempting to domesticate New Zelanders for fun and profit. Then I believe it.Report

              • Kim in reply to Marchmaine says:

                No, the awkward thanksgiving was in Canada (and involved crazy canadians). It was the most awkward thanksgiving ever, in the history of thanksgivings.

                I wasn’t involved, actually. Was here in the states, and I don’t know the people.

                kiwifarms (the website) on the other hand, posted about it.

                And I’m really not talking about it because it’s fucking… colorful.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                Finally, a problem to which BitCoin is an answer.Report

              • Zac in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Even a broken clock something something.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                It’s also the solution to “I have a lot of money and a burning desire to have less, while feeling smug.” #FirstWorldProblems.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Morat20 says:

                Yachts are a lot more fun.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

                Only if you keep the boat in Scotland.Report

              • A True Scotsman in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Ach, I keep my yachts in a Scottish loch.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:


          How do we determine which remittances were derived from “illegal wages” and which were not?

          And would this only apply to Mexicans sending money they earned picking vegetables or mowing lawns? Or would it apply to other groups?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

            Assume that they all are and take 10% off the top. Hell, don’t mention about how they originate from “illegal wages”. Just talk about taxation of “foreign remittances”.

            Make people *PROVE* that their money is being sent for one of the officially approved reasons (sending money to my daughter on spring break) rather than for something like “sending money to my wife back home”.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

              So an export tariff of sorts?

              What if I mail my kid overseas an XBox that he can sell for full market value?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                OO! Does this include companies that move their HQs overseas and send all the money there???Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                I think that there is already existing tax law that covers that sort of thing. We’re discussing setting up a new program to cover Foreign Remittances.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m pretty sure there isn’t. That’s why companies move HQs overseas. And even if there is, it clearly isn’t enough. Think how easy it’d be to end the WoD if PDs didn’t need to be funded through asset forfeiture!Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                A quick google got me here.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                FATCA is a great name for a corporate tax program. Like a fatwa against fat cats.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                That’s not what I’m talking about. This is:

                I guess a one tome tax is better than a no time tax?

                Of course, I’m curious if you REALLY support this proposal? Yes or no: you’d like to see the federal government tax all monies sent overseas?Report

              • Zac in reply to Kazzy says:

                a one tome tax

                Isn’t that what we’ve already got? *rimshot*Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Zac says:

                Yeah, but $73 dollars on each copy of War and Peace?Report

              • Zac in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                If it keeps people from having to read Tolstoy, it will all have been worth it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                So, reading your article, it sounds like there is not, in fact, a law taxing those things at this point in time and they’re discussing passing a law that would do so.

                Of course, I’m curious if you REALLY support this proposal? Yes or no: you’d like to see the federal government tax all monies sent overseas?

                Why in the hell do you care if *I* support it?

                But, to answer your question, I think that remittances are good insofar as they benefit me, personally, greatly. I have access to cheap unskilled labor which depresses the prices of even legal unskilled labor. If I need my yard cleared, my deck stained, my concrete done, I can haggle with the contractor who knows that I have a lot more options than if there weren’t all of these undocumented dreamers out there.

                Insofar as this policy would limit undocumented dreaming (and result in a lot of undocumented dreamers going home in the short run), it would make my costs go up.

                How could I, in good conscience, support a policy that would make my own personal costs go up?

                We need more undocumented dreamers, Kazzy.

                I need my deck stained and you wouldn’t believe what these licensed and bonded contractors are trying to charge me.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Why do I care what you think? Because I prefer to argue with people taking and holding sincere positions. And if someone is playing the devil’s advocate or whathaveyou, I like to know that up front. When we get into the rhetorical games you like to play, I’d prefer to bow out.

                “How could I, in good conscience, support a policy that would make my own personal costs go up?”

                Of course, I have no idea if you actually believe this so unless you are prepare to state your actual perspective on the matter, I’m just going to backa way…Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                There are good reasons to support a policy.
                There are bad reasons to support a policy.

                For definitions of “good” that include both “will work” and “moral”. (Not necessarily at the same time.)
                For definitions of “bad” that include both “will not work” and “immoral”. (Not necessarily at the same time.)

                The problem with the whole “moral”/”immoral” part of the discussion is that there are both good and evil reasons to support any given policy at all.

                It’s easy to nod at the idea that it is good to support Policy P for good reasons but evil to support Policy P for evil reasons but neither one tells us, really, about Policy P. Maybe the whole idea of whether Policy P will work “as intended” can be explored if we find out what “as intended” means and then whether the people who support Policy P are the good people (who, presumably, will make Policy P “work”) or if they are the bad people (who, presumably, are intentionally going for what the good people would call “unintended consequences”).

                It seems easier to just hammer out “what do we want?”, “will this policy accomplish what we want?”, and “will this policy accomplish things that we don’t want that are worse than the things that it will accomplish that we do want?” (and maybe even crazy questions like “is what we want something that we can measure in able to tell if we’re accomplishing what we want?”) instead of “is the person who advocates for any given policy sincere?”

                Because that last one seems to be the least interesting question anyone could possibly ask with regards to any given policy.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy says:

                Pretty sure that they have to put a customs form on anything being mailed overseas (we always did for Christmas presents for Canada, anyway).

                Stuff being sent as a “gift” that is worth less than a certain, small, amount is okay. Above that amount (seems to be $20), you have to pay a duty and, looks like, a processing fee.

                Shouldn’t be too hard to put up something similar for exit.

                (Imagine how many children could get subsidized health care!)Report

              • Gabriel Conroy in reply to Kazzy says:


                I hadn’t thought about it that way, but if it is indeed an export tariffr:

                No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.[article I, section 9, clause 5]

                Or maybe not. I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not sure what that would mean for people in DC who’d like to make tax-free remittances.

                And then, maybe remittances don’t really meet the legal definition of “exports” for this purpose.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

                What’s being exported, here? As far as I can tell, it’s money.

                I have never seen money to have been considered an export.

                On the other hand, I have seen transfers of money between people taxed before.Report

              • My recollection is that Article 9 refers to interstate commerce, e.g. California cannot propose import taxes on goods from Texas, nor the reverse.

                Article 8 clearly gives Congress the right to tax and impose duties on foreign trade.

                So, if Mom lives in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, no problem with a tax… but get her to move to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigam and you can send all the money you want (up to $12k, then the IRS taxes it, because it can).Report

              • @marchmaine

                My recollection might be off. But I had thought it meant the Congress couldn’t tax exports from any state, which is probably an interstate commerce issue, but could conceivably be an international commerce issue, given that the interstate commerce clause (from section 8, cl. 3) includes commerce among other nations.

                You’re right that section 8 (cl. 1) gives Congress the power to tax, but keep in mind that the purpose of section 9 is to specifically set limits on what Congress can do, notwithstanding section 8. At least that’s my understanding.

                To @jaybird ‘s question, I’m not sure money is an export. But if it is, then I could see the tax falling under the restriction. In the main, though, I was riffing off @kazzy ‘s suggestion/question that it might be an export.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

                I just find it… Curious… That @jaybird is seemingly supporting taxing transfers of money between people under the preumption it was ill gotten. Hardly seems consisten with his principles… Unless they are other than I understand them to be.Report

              • North in reply to Kazzy says:

                You might want to reread the thread then. My own reading suggests that Jaybird:
                -Likes remittances.
                -Initially found Trumps utterances snort worthy.
                -Considered them some more and concluded that something like that could be done and it’d be quite damaging.
                -Which makes him worried about Trump because he likes remittances.
                -Argued with people about whether Trump actually could pull off confiscating remittances.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to North says:

                Maybe? Who knows? The riddles continue…Report

              • That clause is about foreign export. It was added at the insistence of the South, who were far larger exporters at the time than the North. (See here.) The next clause allows the federal government to tax imports, but not exports.Report

              • Thanks, Mike, that’s kind of how I saw/see it, but I’m hazy on the details. Still, I don’t see the next clause in the Constitution as authorizing taxing imports (although I do agree the Constitution authorizes taxing imports).

                For what it’s worth, I think your/my understanding of that clause in section 9 is not inconsistent with Marchmaine’s, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some people supported that clause because it would also forbid taxing exports from state to state.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

                I don’t see it either, but it’s a moot point, given that the first clause of Article I, Section 8 explicitly gives Congress the “Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises.”Report

              • Sorry, I meant “allows taxing imports, not exports”. And tariffs were one of the main sources of federal revenue in the early days.Report

              • I stand corrected. And worse, maybe Trump was right… only a 100% ban is constitutional, a total embargo on exported cash capital:

                Under the Commerce Clause, Congress retains the power to regulate exports, even to the extent of creating embargoes. It may not, however, utilize export taxes as a means of regulation.


      • Will H. in reply to Patrick says:

        they should be encouraged to leave.

        I favor a law mandating union representation for all illegal immigrants.

        I think that would dry up their welcome quite a bit.

        And really, I’m a lot more concerned with companies using unlawful labor practices to enable skirting of workplace and safety rules than I am with the presence of someone without papers living in my neighborhood.Report

    • KatherineMW in reply to Damon says:

      Children are not illegal.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to KatherineMW says:

        If you don’t like the law, you should try to change it through proper channels.Report

        • KatherineMW in reply to Jaybird says:

          I don’t live in your country and have no say in your government.

          People are not illegal. People cannot be illegal. Actions can be illegal, and it’s questionable whether immigrating without all the papers even falls into the category. Using “illegal” to describe people is deliberately dehumanizing. It’s only used by folks who mean “we shouldn’t give a damn about these people, and shouldn’t even regard them as people”.Report

          • Damon in reply to KatherineMW says:

            No, it’s short hand for “illegal immigrant” and indicates that they are in our country in violation of our immigration laws. It’s your opinion it’s dehumanizing to them, but I consider it to be an accurate description.

            No as to “giving a damn about those people”, you can rest assured that whatever term is used to describe them, those people who don’t give a damn about them, don’t give a damn about them by calling them a different name.Report

  7. Dand says:

    Immigration for doctors is highly restricted; if a doctor immigrated illegal and started practicing medicine would you support shutting his practice down?

    It seems to me that you are benefiting financially from the low-skilled immigration that’s driving down the wages of the working class while your own, high paying industry is protected from immigrants. Both you and the drywall installer who wants to restrict immigration are doing what benefits you financially, yet you think your moral superior to him.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Dand says:


      Your position would hold water if the good doctor here was supporting the parents of his patients independent of their status as parents of his patients.

      I would also venture to guess that Russ would not object to easing the paths for doctors (and all others) to immigrate here legally and continue their practice.Report

      • Dand in reply to Kazzy says:

        Your position would hold water if the good doctor here was supporting the parents of his patients independent of their status as parents of his patients.

        He’s the one who made it about his patients (or more accurately customers). High SES people also benefit from the cheep labor low-skilled immigrants provide.

        I would also venture to guess that Russ would not object to easing the paths for doctors (and all others) to immigrate here legally and continue their practice.

        But if one of them immigrated and started practicing medicine would he support ignoring the laws against in the same way he does for landscapers? How about we ease the restrictions on high skilled immigration first.

        I find it incredibly hypocritical for some who is personally highly paid and protected from the effects of immigrant labor to be calling working class people bigots for wanting the same protections.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Dand says:

          He called Trump a bigot. Where did he call anyone else one?Report

          • Dand in reply to Kazzy says:

            You’re right he didn’t say anything about blue collar workers, but I doubt he’d be any more forgiving of them than he is of Trump.Report

            • Murali in reply to Dand says:

              Ok, leaving Russell out of this, academic positions in Singapore are highly exposed to foreign competition. Since reducing foreign competition there would benefit me personally, but I still support open immigration policies, can I call Trump and all those blue collar workers bigots?

              Also, the right often tends to get pissy at feminists when they say that men have no standing to talk about abortion since men don’t give birth. It seems hypocritical for them to use the same sort of argument when its convenient for them.Report

              • Dand in reply to Murali says:

                My issue is that in the US most people’s views on immigration coincide with their economic interests, but the yuppies who benefit from cheep labor act all self righteous and morally superior about it.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Dand says:

                In all honesty, I have no idea how various immigration plan impact me.

                In fact, I don’t even know what my particular position is on immigration.

                What I do know is that when I hear the hate-filled rhetoric that so often surrounds the immigration debate, my skin crawls. I find it abhorrent. And I have no qualms saying as much or supporting those who do. Regardless of what you think we should do about immigration, everyone with half a brain and half a heart should realize how ugly Trump’s comments are.

                The sad thing is, there are plenty of legitimate arguments on all sides of the immigration debate. We’ve seen many of them expressed right here on this site. That a leading Presidential candidate can’t seem to present one and instead relies on lies and hate is disgusting.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Dand says:

      driving down the wages of the working class

      I picked up on this, in earlier discussions of the anxiety of the working class, white or not.

      On one level, the fear of depressed wages, seems like a reasonable motivation for support of Trump and the GOP populists.

      Yet if we look at the policy one would expect to follow suit, it gets preposterous.

      Do the GOP populists want American workers to make higher wages, is that their goal?

      Well, maybe- but hasn’t everyone here heard endless laments of lazy American workers, who aren’t willing to work hard like their parents did? Isn’t true that conservatives generally pride themselves on working hard, but scorn the idea of minimum wages, unions, and other wage-increasing tools? Don’t they generally cheer the flight of jobs from high wage places like Detroit to low wage places like South Carolina?

      How would the GOP populists help to increase wages? Other than beating down immigrants, I mean. And eliminating minimum wage laws. And eliminating child labor laws so children can compete with their parents. And accelerating the offshoring of jobs.

      Any other ideas? Anything?

      It just isn’t believable that conservatives want higher wages for American workers. So I have to wonder why they use that as a justification for being angry at immigration.Report

      • Dand in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        I didn’t say anything about republicans? I’m talking about yuppies vs. blue collar workers not Republicans vs. DemocratsReport

        • Aaron W in reply to Dand says:

          I think you’re also taking it as a given that immigration necessarily always leads to lower wages. There’s not a fixed number of jobs in the economy — additional people whether they’re doctors or unskilled labor will lead to additional demand for doctors, housing, food, and so on. The resulting increase in demand offsets the increase in supply, so that the effect on wages isn’t negative. For more information, look up the “Lump of Labor” fallacy.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Aaron W says:

            I’m not sure the lump of labor fallacy really applies to undocumented dreamers, though, given that their skillsets are overwhelmingly physical labor (skilled or unskilled). So their coming here meets a demand for physical labor (pushing the price for that down) while creating a demand for everything else. So the impacts are disproportionately distributed.Report

          • Dand in reply to Aaron W says:

            Our de facto immigration policy of the past 40 years has been to allow a large amount of unskilled labor to enter the country while maintain control over skilled labor, increasing the relative supply of unskilled labor.Report

            • Aaron W in reply to Dand says:

              I have a hard time believing that’s true from my own personal experience working as a Ph.D. scientist and the associated demographics. For example, I work in an office with about 15 other people who have Ph.Ds in physics and chemistry, and only 3 of those people were born in the US. Likewise, most of the people who do end up doing Ph.Ds in science and engineering are foreign born. Granted, there is a silly policy of not letting some of those people stay (which last I checked people from both parties supported getting rid of), but several of my coworkers are currently applying for green cards. The main reason for this is just simply there aren’t a lot of people out there who have the talent and motivation to do a PhD, so you’re just not going to get enough qualified people looking only at Americans. And given the low unemployment rate and high wages paid to PhD recipients, I doubt the high level of immigrants relative to other sectors has somehow held down wages, etc.

              In a similar sense, I’ve certainly noticed that quite a few doctors are either foreign born or the children of immigrants. In other words, aren’t the high wages that doctors are paid have a lot more to do with the long, expensive education and associated licensing requirements (for good or for bad) than restrictions on immigration?

              Based on that, I would say restricting immigration is a red herring if you’re interested in raising the wages of working class Americans. In some cases, it might even lower the real wage paid by making certain goods more expensive (how much do you think produce would cost with less immigration of low skill immigrants?) In other words, maybe people partially find anti-immigrant sentiment repulsive, not out of disdain for working class Americans, but because they think that restricting immigration won’t actually help solve the problem that its supporters think it will?Report

              • Kim in reply to Aaron W says:

                Phd is a different story. That’s “really highly skilled” talent, and talent that is easily transferable (particularly in the sciences).

                You can’t transfer law, you can’t transfer doctors (you need to redo half the stuff in America to be a doctor). I can cite half a dozen restauranteurs who came to this country to be “white collar” quasi-scientists (I am in Pittsburgh, we do a lot of health care here), but wound up doing the restaurant thing.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Kim says:

                “Yes, I know you have a Phd in engineering, but building multi-story scaffolding out of 1″ thin wall tubing without gussets or triangulation members is kinda frowned upon around here”

                “yes. I know it has the theoretical compression strength to support the load statically.”Report

              • Kim in reply to Joe Sal says:

                Those sound like comments from a person with a Phd in PHYSICS.
                We know how to build stuff… theoretically.Report

              • Joe Sal in reply to Kim says:

                Well yeah, you would think, but no, engineering. Out of general respect for life, I watched that crew pretty close.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Do the GOP populists want American workers to make higher wages, is that their goal?

        At least one, possibly two, of the current clown show of candidates are on record as speculating the problem is American workers make too much money.Report

    • Chris in reply to Dand says:

      Here you see the divorce between the American center-left and the working class, consistent with CK’s thesis. If we had a center-left genuinely interested in labor issues, they’d be pointing out as often as possible that the relationship between wages for unskilled and other working class employees and immigration is complex, and likely only negative short term, and that it is convenient for the forces that do actually suppress wages consistently for the working class to aim their ire at immigrants instead. But we don’t have such a center-left.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Chris says:

        While that may be true, as Morat mentioned above there are some problems with viewing Trump as filling that rhetorical void, or being anointed as the True Champion of the (white) working class:

        “Our taxes are too high. Our wages are too high. We have to compete with other countries.”

        Which sounds pretty “ruling class”-ish to me.Report

        • Dand in reply to Stillwater says:

          Maybe if the media drew as much attention to those comments as they did to Trumps comments about immigrants McCain or Muslims it would hurt him in the polls. But the yuppies in the media find insults against the working class much less offensive than insults directed at Senators or immigrants.Report

          • Morat20 in reply to Dand says:

            Darn that liberal media! Is there anything they don’t screw up?

            The utopia that would flourish if they just reported the news right! Candidates I don’t like would implode, candidates I like would rise in the poll! Ditto for policies!

            Why does the media persist and not reporting the news to everyone exactly the way I like it?Report

            • Dand in reply to Morat20 says:

              Darn that liberal media!

              It’s funny I haven’t said anything about liberals in this thread yet people want to kept turning my comments about yuppies in comments about liberals.Report

  8. Jaybird says:

    There’s another point about Trump I saw today that pretty much explains everything:

    Anyone struggling to understand Trump should read Charles Murray's Coming Apart, which of course would be a very Belmont thing to do.— Rebecca Cusey (@Rebecca_Cusey) December 15, 2015

    We discussed that book here and here, you may recall.

    Trigger Warning: Charles Murray also wrote The Bell Curve.Report

    • Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

      Okay, so crank alert.
      I love the idea of trigger warnings. Can we get one every single time they use a fake door noise in movies? Cause it sure as hell triggers all the playtesters…Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

      Thinking about this a bit, one of the things that we all are sorta beginning to laugh about is how all the “establishment” people thought that Trump would never gain any traction (heh) and that each time he put his foot in his mouth signalled the End of Trump (heh indeedy). In other words, the complaint from establishment folks was that Trump was too impulsive and unpolished to make a big run at the national level. And why did they think that? Well….

      Here’s the thing: representing the issues and interests of the folks who support Trump – or Palin, for that matter – requires an unpolished, impulsive, unguarded, anti-establishment, uncultured (if you know what I mean!) candidate. Now, Trump’s policies might look like a disaster right now, but his rhetoric and his message clearly have appeal. What Palin started (or started with Palin, however you wanna look at it) is being developed and refined by Trump (he speaks in actual sentences, if nothing else!) with even greater success, suggesting that this movement in the electorate will produce more effective candidates and gain even more traction in coming years. Right now the appeal appears to derive primarily from working whites and the olds, but I see no reason why the anti-establishmentarianism animating Trumpism couldn’t extent to lots of other groups and demographics. So, there’s lots of potential for growth there, so long as the establishment doesn’t get it’s filthy hands on it….Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

        I see no reason why the anti-establishmentarianism animating Trumpism couldn’t extent to lots of other groups and demographics.

        I think that Black Lives Matter is the beginning of this sort of thing in one of those other groups/demographics. If we spent a few minutes, we could probably come up with a handful of others.

        The establishment players (on both sides (both sides do it!)) have a number of groups to whom they’ve said something to the effect of “where in the hell are you going to go? The other party?”

        This dynamic strikes me as something a lot more likely to fail catastrophically than fail in a more manageable way.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

          Well, the Tea Party was an actual alternative party for a while, one which chose to fold into the GOP (for obvious reasons). Our two-party duopoly system is concealing lots of fractures within the parties. The GOP for sure.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

          If we spent a few minutes, we could probably come up with a handful of others.

          OWS was close. From what I could tell, the grievances were more focused on tweaking the establishment to suit their desires (maybe because those folks identified with it or felt like they were part of it?) rather than being anti-establishment. It’d been nice if they coulda pulled the trigger on that and gone all in.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

          Or, it might fail in a Eucatastrophic way.

          But yes, I do think there’s some potential for this – not with Trump mind you…but in the aftermath of a Trump splintered GOP, there will be some looking to put Humpty back together, and some looking at what omlette can be made by scrambling everything.Report