The Trade and Immigration Views of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are Basically Trump’s

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Vikram Bath

Vikram Bath is the pseudonym of a former business school professor living in the United States with his wife, daughter, and dog. (Dog pictured.) His current interests include amateur philosophy of science, business, and economics. Tweet at him at @vikrambath1.

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247 Responses

  1. Avatar InMD says:

    What utter nonsense. Bernie and Warren are right on immigration, and the de facto policy of open borders is a sop to big business that doesn’t give two craps about anyone’s well being, citizen or otherwise. What we don’t need is an idiotic wall or humanitarian nightmare of the variety Trump is perpetuating. Dems are right to reject that but would be wrong to abandon sane immigration policy.

    If Democrats turn into the party of ‘any enforcement is racism/morally wrong, a priori’ then they deserve to lose. Obama was right, Bush Jr, much as it pains me to say it, was also basically right on this issue. I am pro immigration but it must be managed and regulated in a manner that broadly benefits the citizenry, not as a give away to big agri-business or that dumps the costs of assimilation on random state and local jurisdictions left to manage it on their own.Report

    • Avatar Murali in reply to InMD says:

      Actually, no, they’re wrong on immigration.

      For one, there has been no de-facto policy of open borders.
      Secondly, what is the moral justification of severe restrictions to immigration? On what basis does the US government get to tell people who are just coming to find work with whoever is willing to employ them that they are not allowed to come in and do so? It cannot be on the basis of some kind of property rights absolutism because a) I don’t think you are a property rights absolutist
      b) The US government doesn’t own the roads and even if it did does not have the moral right to arbitrarily exclude people from using it.
      c) Even if the government had the (moral) right to exclude persons the same way private individuals, we do not think private individuals have the right to block two other parties from trading or contracting with each other just because said individual happens to own the means by which they may do so. That’s why we think any plausible account of private property cannot allow one person to enclose another individual and trap him within his own property.

      The egalitarian/prioritarian/humanitarian considerations here are also decisive. An open borders policy improves the prospects of the worst off far more than any other single policy proposal.

      And furthermore, the costs to current residents is negligible. Migrant workers do not steal jobs from locals. Instead they tend to do the jobs that locals are not willing to do. In fact, their additional consumption creates jobs. As with the Carrier plant, when employers are forced to either hire locals at higher wages instead of shipping the job out or hiring cheaper migrants, they will automate the job.

      Increased and less regulated immigration does broadly benefit the citizenry. The mere fact that agri-businesses happen to benefit as well does not mean that the citizenry don’t too.Report

      • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Murali says:

        The open border/propertarianism concepts works better when there is not a social construct that has previously developed baskets of goods by decades of forced taxation(and debt creation). Also when decades of minimum wage escalation has created non-equilibrium in wage rates of domestic versus foreign. The minimum wage and social availability to wealth (not really wealth, as it manifests in debt) drives outside pressure for immigration.

        Socialism creates the contradictions of feasibility of open borders. Open borders will become achievable again when the social constructs creating the non-equilibrium fail.

        22 trillion will become 44 trillion, 44 trillion will become 88 trillion, 88 trillion will become 176 trillion, then game over.

        The good news is these problems won’t be an issue in the US in 30 years.Report

        • Avatar Murali in reply to JoeSal says:

          As it turns out, existing migrants legal or otherwise are net tax-payers. Even if this would change under an open borders system, all that is needed to fix this is ensure that migrants are eligible for fewer welfare benefits until naturalised. I’m talking about residency and employment, not citizenship. I’m not too fussed about taxation without representation. More basic rights of movement, association and contract as well as immense welfare gains are at stake. Also, please abolish the minimum wage already.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Murali says:

            Also with more freedom of movement, the “voting with your feet” thing is somewhat more plausible. Maybe it’s not enough, but when you get right down to it, I also favor an easy route to citizenship for residents. What we have now is, by many accounts just horrible, and I know a lot of legal residents who aren’t citizens simply because it’s so much time and effort.Report

          • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Murali says:

            Good points, but the rate of taxation doesn’t cover the costs of the socialism, so it continues to crash and burn in the end. There hasn’t been a broad based taxation scheme yet that hasn’t generated the ‘Super-Moocher’ effect over a 100 year timeline.

            Maybe we get rid of taxes? Make it a pay as you go system.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Murali says:

        Catch and release is de facto open borders as is the failure to meaningfully enforce visa over-stays as is failure to consistently and robustly enforce existing employment law across entire industries.

        The federal government is a creature of the US constitution and among its enumerated powers is the right to control and regulate immigration. It is a plenary power of Congress and can be regulated however citizens want it to be through their duly elected representatives. Your personal morality on the subject isn’t relevant and the state’s duty is to its own citizens first and foremost not the citizens of other countries.

        I also never said I believe in ‘severe’ restrictions on immigration. I’m the son of an immigrant. I believe in controlled immigration where the interests of citizens are taken into consideration.

        And it’s way more complicated than the ‘they took our jobs’ stuff. For example I live in a county where some schools have over 70% EASL student populations due to a huge unplanned for influx of central American immigrants. Those schools are effectively off limits for native born citizens because the presence of such a student body has fundamentally changed their mission and capabilities. No one voted on this (including those of us shredded by the property taxes), it happened because the federal government was asleep at the wheel. The only consolation for me is that I live in an overall wealthy county. This plays out even worse in poor, already over stretched jurisdictions, and it’s absolutely unfair to the Americans who live there, and don’t have the means to find alternatives.

        All this libertarian mumbo jumbo about contracting and ownership has nothing to do with facts on the ground. Whatever white paper you can point to about the benefits of immigration doesn’t address the real life complexities, and the fact that there are winners and losers in this. The government needs to set reasonable and humane rules around it and failure to do so is a failure to those to whom it owes its highest duty.Report

        • Avatar JoeSal in reply to InMD says:

          If the Constitution is such a strong construct, why didn’t it limit the issue from 1970 forward?

          I think this is part of the problem in that the Constitution is somewhat a warning, not a barrier. (and considering the status of the legal system, it isn’t even really a warning anymore)Report

        • Avatar Murali in reply to InMD says:

          Catch and release is de facto open borders as is the failure to meaningfully enforce visa over-stays as is failure to consistently and robustly enforce existing employment law across entire industries.

          You’re talking as if Obama never deported anyone.

          The federal government is a creature of the US constitution and among its enumerated powers is the right to control and regulate immigration. It is a plenary power of Congress and can be regulated however citizens want it to be through their duly elected representatives.

          The mere fact that they are legally permitted to do so doesn’t mean that they ought to. The constitution of Singapore allows the Singaporean government to infringe on people’s right to free speech whenever it deems that speech to be a threat to public security. This doesn’t mean that it ought to do so or that the most recent fake news law does not violate people’s moral rights to free speech.

          Your personal morality on the subject isn’t relevant and the state’s duty is to its own citizens first and foremost not the citizens of other countries.

          I’m not the one coercively preventing people from crossing a border or forcibly kicking them out when their papers expire. The people who are doing this stuff owe those who are being coerced a justification. All I’m claiming is that no plausible justification is available. My personal morality has nothing to do with it.

          Let me try to put it this way: Any putative principle of justice you could invoke that would permit anything that is at least as restrictive as the current American (or for that matter Singaporean) immigration system (or for that matter that of every other country I’m aware of) would be unacceptable because it permits the government to do other horrific things or it is so gerrymandered as to be obviously ad-hoc and implausible.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to InMD says:

      If Democrats turn into the party of ‘any enforcement is racism/morally wrong, a priori’ then they deserve to lose.

      I don’t really see how much room they have to maneuver on this, given that the GOP has tremendous support in, and influence over, border enforcement agencies, and has turned them into a racist, authoritarian horror show in under 3 years. Not that they were exactly super-great before that.

      And you can say, “Well, that’s bad and it needs to be reformed in a way that makes it not-racist and not-authoritarian,” but that means building a coalition that articulates a not-racist and not-authoritarian program of border control, and convincing a large number of pro-immigration people on the Left (and for that matter the Right and the center) that the program is indeed as described.

      There are some basic steps to do this, and I will say that Warren and Sanders take some of them. But they won’t be able to build that coalition within the Democratic Party on the Left, and the (totally justified) suspicions of Vikram and others (including myself) will be why.

      If, broadly speaking, people with serious concerns about, and proposals for, immigration and border control want to advance a policy conversation in a direction that is helpful and acknowledges their interests, they need to aggressively and relentlessly shove the anti-immigration Right under the bus at every opportunity.

      And so far not nearly enough of them have been willing (or able) to do that.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to pillsy says:

        The majority of ICE agents are ethnic, not white, and the ones on the Southern border are overwhelmingly Latino, many immigrants themselves. If Trump turned them into white anti-Hispanic racists, well, then nothing can save any of us from his mind control powers.

        What’s more worrying is that as you watch long interviews and ride along videos of the Hispanic ICE agents, where they freely talk about the border issues and immigration problems as they stick a lollipop into some lost little girl’s mouth, you don’t really get the feeling that they’re being operated remotely from an underground bunker in Montana.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to George Turner says:

          I don’t particularly care why they have decided to vigorously (and in some cases enthusiastically) help Trump turn US immigration enforcement into (even more of) a horrorshow, but they have, it was something that Trump clearly supported, and it’s something that his anti-immigration supporters routinely jerk themselves raw over.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to pillsy says:

        They do have room. Obama was able to win on a perfectly reasonable stance, and it sucks that GOP insanity prevented progress.
        Bernie and Liz are setting a fine course on the subject too.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD says:

          ” …and it sucks that GOP insanity prevented progress.”

          I think this sentiment is going to be the death of the left in America. Those Republicans were hired to hold the line against Obama, and as his term went on, their numbers increased. This is politics. Just because one person loves his politics, doesn’t mean everyone else does.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to Aaron David says:

            You’d have a point if the same people hadn’t done the same damn thing to George W. Bush who also had a reasonable approach on the table. If they really cared about the issue as they say they do they’d have found a way to do something about it in the legislative process, and yet they never actually do. Why is that exactly?

            I suspect that the truth is they want the issue to remain unresolved because it benefits their big business constituents and they know how to channel the populist anger. Fixing it would be getting rid of a favorable wedge issue.Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD says:

              I disagree. They did the same with W as his direction Wasn’t What They Wanted.

              Big Business is no longer a Right benefactor, they are at best neutral politically, swinging Left. And has been noted many times, the dysfunction was one of the bases being disconnected from the political leadership. Hence, Trump. Below, you give a great rundown of the problems with C&R immigration, but that message never reached the leadership of either party, either through ignorance or willful disregard. And, to quote Strother Martin, you get what you have here today.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Aaron David says:

                Ok but if that’s the case why haven’t they actually done anything when they’ve had an opportunity? Trump is there and they had 2 years of GOP control of Congress. Yet at the end of the day everything Trump has done can be undone by executive fiat. Hell if I had to put money on it I’d even bet that the more abusive stuff at the border isn’t nearly the escalation from the last 2 administrations it’s been portrayed as by the media.

                It’s a bunch of stunts. At what point is it fair to criticize people for failing to get on board with something that’s realistic and provides most of what they say they want?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD says:

                One thing that gets forgotten is the sheer amount of political capital that Obama burned up. Much like McCain having campaigned on the repeal of Ocare and then let his dislike of Trump lead him to vote for it. Everyone else was on board with its end who said they would be.

                And yes, they could be letting perfect be the enemy of the good on immigration, but the same can be said for Pelosi threw the Dreamers under the bus when that was on the table.

                ” Hell if I had to put money on it I’d even bet that the more abusive stuff at the border isn’t nearly the escalation from the last 2 administrations it’s been portrayed as by the media.” I think this is absolutely the case, as seen in pictures from the Obama era of children separated from the groups they arrive with, locked in cages even.

                One of the reasons, for good or ill depending on politics, is that Trump has been under investigation for what is now seen as a hoax and a witch hunt. More and more R’s are now behind him as that has been exposed and put behind. Does this explain everything? No. But from reading on the right, it covers a lot of ground.

                In the end, I can’t really say, as I am not a Trumpeteer. But I am seeing the left make a huge number of unforced errors, and then try to shoot the messengers.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

            See, @InMD? Any attempt to build a coalition to the Right on immigration is met with pointless scolding for daring to disagree with the Republican Party.

            It’s open borders or an ever-increasing abusive dysfunction, because one major party is completely committed to ever-increasing abusive dysfunction, will always control enough veto points to allow a Republican POTUS to run rampant, and have proven that they won’t accept anything but a racist thug for that role.

            Given that these are the only two options, I’m gonna pick “open borders”.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

              “…and have proven that they won’t accept anything but a racist thug for that role.”

              The role of president? Anything but? Like…ever?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                This is another pathology that arises from a complete and total inability to wrestle with how bad of a candidate Clinton was.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

                @Jaybird,

                This is another pathology that arises from a complete and total inability to wrestle with what Trump’s nomination revealed about the GOP’s preferences.

                Clinton wasn’t running in the Republican primaries.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                Not just the GOP’s.

                It revealed that about Reagan Democrats, Clinton Republicans, Bush (2004) voters, and Obama Republicans.

                But it looks like we’re wandering down that garden path again.

                (I admit: I assumed that Bernie did well in the Primaries because he represented a new way of thinking. Watching the current Dem primary, it’s sinking in that he was merely a protest vote against Clinton. Go Joe!)Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                @pillsy

                I tend to agree with JB. Clinton should have pulled much more of the women’s vote, but she alienated many of them. She should have pulled more of the Millennial vote, but she alienated them. I will forver look at 2016 as not a victory for Trump but a defeat of Clinton. Why you all handed her the nomination I will never understand.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @Mike,

                Clinton is a complete deflection here, because she never would have been defeated by Trump if Trump hadn’t been nominated by the GOP, a process neither she nor the Democratic Party as a whole has any control over.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                So it’s the GOP’s fault that Clinton lost because they produced a nominee she couldn’t beat? Look, you can’t blame it on racism, the last gasps of white majority, whatever…but until you all have a reckoning with how bad of a candidate she was, you are doomed to repeat that failure. Trump didn’t make my daughter vote for Jill Stein. He didn’t make me vote for Gary Johnson. He didn’t make the older women in my family vote for him. They were voting against Hillary.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @Mike,

                No, it’s the GOP’s fault that the nominee that Hillary couldn’t beat was Trump.

                But more to the point, the fact that the nominee the GOP produced is Trump proves that the institutional Republican Party is rotten and malignant, and so beholden to its worst members’ worst impulses on immigration that it cannot be involved in any kind of positive immigration reform.

                So any gestures toward compromise will prove fruitless, and any attempt to reach across the aisle on immigration is doomed.

                I have no idea what the fact that Clinton was unable to beat Trump does to change that.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                But you haven’t actually explained why we need immigration reform in the first place?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                And once the Democrats fielded 21 Non-Clintons, the reluctant Trump voters all stampeded en masse to vote for the alternative to Trump.

                Or are we going to be entertained by another round of “Biden/Warren/Harris/Buttigieg/Klobuchar/ et al” was the worst candidate ever and that’s why I must reluctantly vote for Trump!”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Personally, I support Andrew Yang.

                He wants to get rid of the Daylight Savings change.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                They had 15 other nominees, Mike.

                The chose fucking Trump.

                And unlike the other disaffected protest voters who did what they did for whatever reason, the anti-immigration wing enthusiastically embraced him.Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to pillsy says:

              “…that they won’t accept anything but a racist thug for that role.”

              Racist like Obama, or like Warren?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

                Racist like Trump.

                Do you expect me to pretend that there’s any equivalency here?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to pillsy says:

                You’re right, there is no equivalency here.

                They are both more racist than Trump.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

                Are you fucking kidding me with this bullshit?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                @pillsy

                Before you have an aneurism, I’m going to ask one question: Can someone still be racist if they don’t intend to be?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Absolutely.

                Look, I will acknowledge that Warren and Obama are doubtless racist in some ways. I bet some and perhaps all the things that Mr David lists as racist I will agree with, or at least think have colorable arguments to support them.

                But the thing is, Trump supports a ton of the ordinary implicitly racist stuff that other Presidents do, and he’s explicitly racist in his rhetoric, and he’s pushed a number of bigoted policies that are like nothing we’ve seen in ages.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                Thanks. I just wanted to be clear that you and Aaron are getting ready to duke it out over degrees of racism, not racist vs. not racist.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to pillsy says:

                The problem here Pillsy is that you do not get to tell me who is or is not racist. (Nor I you.) Only I get to do that. And, at this point, I completely discount any opinions on race that are coming from the hard left. I have no use for that sort of prescriptivism.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

                “I’m going to challenge your claim, and then refuse to discuss it further because I discount the opinions of the ‘hard left’,” is some penny-ante trolling bullshit dude.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to pillsy says:

                I was discussing it, and challenging your position as to who is a greater racist. In my eyes, you weren’t clear on this and simply assumed everyone agrees with you. But you simply could not handle that, saying, and I quote “Are you fucking kidding me with this bullshit?”

                So who was it again refusing to discuss it? Oh, yeah…

                And calling anything that goes counter to your thoughts trolling is just weak, bro.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Aaron David says:

                This is why I find tools like zipwho interesting.

                What’s a number that you’d consider “racially isolated”? San Francisco defines a school with 60% of a particular demographic as being “racially isolated“.

                I’ve heard the arguments that zip codes aren’t a good proxy for diversity. I suppose we could argue whether school districts would be a good proxy for it, if we wanted…Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

                You weren’t “challenging” me or indicating any willingness to discuss anything. You made an absurd statement without any sort of supporting argument and just expected me to roll with it.

                That may not be trolling. But it is very annoying.

                What is trolling is then being like, “Nyah, actually I don’t care about your opinion after my annoying antics annoyed you.”

                Come on.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to pillsy says:

                I was questioning your statement, which shows an absolute willingness to discuss this. No, I don’t agree with you, but I was curious about where you put him on that spectrum. You stated that there is no equivalency, and I agree with you, and then I stated my thoughts. This would be a discussion, no?

                That you react this way to someone disagreeing with you tells me I am right in my beliefs.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

                No, making absurd claims (and claims you know I will regard as absurd) without any supporting argument does not indicate a willingness to discuss the issue.

                It indicates a desire to waste my time with nonsense.

                What on Earth would make you think otherwise?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to pillsy says:

                So, it’s wrong for me to make absurd claims, but OK for you to make what I think are absurd claims? You seem perfectly fine with wasting others time with nonsense, so, again, what makes it OK when you do it, but not others?

                “What on Earth would make you think otherwise?”

                Ya keep coming back to the well…Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

                So, it’s wrong for me to make absurd claims, but OK for you to make what I think are absurd claims?

                Too be blunt, yes.

                Intelligent, informed people of good will can absolutely believe that Barack Obama is racist.

                They can, with a lot more stretching or a higher standard of evidence, believe that Donald Trump isn’t racist.

                I do not believe that intelligent, informed people of good will can believe that Barack Obama is more racist than Donald Trump, and am not going to play some bullshit game where I pretend otherwise.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to pillsy says:

                So, basically, “Racism for me, but not for thee.”

                Got it.

                Congratulations, you have confirmed every Trump voters opinion of the left.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

                Of course you actually don’t even try to defend your argument because it was a windup to score some inscrutable rhetorical point about how the Left is bad because we aren’t dumb enough to believe that Trump is anything but a racist piece of shit.

                I never thought you were an idiot, so I’m reassured that you aren’t trying to support the laughable proposition that Obama is more racist than Trump.

                Awesome work confirming that you were just doing some trolling to waste my time.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to pillsy says:

                Obama was an anti-semite with how he handled Isreal and Netanyahu. I think if he had really cared about those issues in a framework outside of anti-Isreali behavior he would have acted differently with Uighers, Iran, etc. He also hired racists like Holder.

                The issue with Trump comes down to him not toeing the line of neo-liberal globalism. And when someone doesn’t agree with the parameters of that, many of their actions will look like racism to the believers of said paradigm. And in fact, some of the instances used to call him out on those things look like racism. Such as when people say he is racist against Muslims. What race is Muslim? Or, what race is Mexican? In the latter case, is he racist against Chinos? Huetos? Mestizos? Because Mexican isn’t a race. In the former, not all Muslims are banned, only the citizens of countries that Obama had issues with, plus Syria. It didn’t differentiate by religion. In general, I think he is a standard issue racist for someone of that age. No more, no less. Uses words in a way that is not au courant. That sort of thing.

                One of the issues at contention is what is racist, exactly. And the real answer is That Depends. I don’t subscribe to the theory that you can’t be racist against white people, as I don’t agree with the underlying philosophy. I do feel that anti-semitism is starting to be a real issue on the left, much more than the right. I am guessing you disagree with this.

                Compound that with the tendency of the left to call anything they don’t like racist, and you have a recipe for chicken little soup. In other words, your argument convinces yourself, but not those outside your particular politics.

                At no time did you ask me this though, you simply made a proclamation, and then acted surprised when someone made a counterclaim. Well, here we are.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Aaron David says:

                Obama was an anti-semite with how he handled Isreal and Netanyahu.

                This is pretty strange. Look, I’m Jewish, and want to see Israel in a position of security, safety, and prosperity.

                But this conflation of Israel and Netanyahu is toxic as hell. It’s exactly the same, transposed to a different country, as what the Republicans used to say when they called me “objectively pro-Saddam” for opposing the Iraq War, or “blame America First” when they were casting around for an excuse for torturing people.

                And if you’re going to simply roll with some sort of extreme realist vision which says, “Well, you gotta take Netanyahu’s judgement about Israeli security interests at 100% face value,” then you’ve lost all standing to criticize Obama.

                It also obviates one of the very strongest objections against Obama, which is that he continued, and in some cases escalated, an immoral “War on Terror” that killed hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians across the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, without any clear benefit to our national security.

                It’s a bad argument.

                He also hired racists like Holder.

                How on Earth is Eric Holder racist?

                Such as when people say he is racist against Muslims. What race is Muslim?

                What race is “Jewish”?

                And that aside, the policy is only part of the story. Trump also just straight-up said he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the country, as well as advocating war crimes against them. Trump actually says things.

                Those things are revoltingly racist and bigoted and idiotic, but he does say things.

                Or, what race is Mexican?

                In the US? Mexican. Hell, Hispanic.

                “Race” isn’t some eternal truth, it’s some mix of dodgy folk taxonomy, quasi- or even fully-legal definitional scheme, and historical accident. It’s always gonna be relative to the local culture.

                And when Trump says that you can’t trust a judge to rule fairly if he’s a (US-born!) American citizen just because of his Mexican heritage, that’s racist as hell.

                I don’t subscribe to the theory that you can’t be racist against white people, as I don’t agree with the underlying philosophy.

                Is it possible? Sure.

                I think Louis Farrakhan, in addition to being virulently anti-semitic (and homophobic, and transphobic, and a bunch of other awful things), is undeniably racist against white people.

                But it’s rare. Much, much rarer than right-wing grievance mongers calling any and all objections to racism “anti-white racism”, and a lot of that came from OT trolls like notme who you all tolerated for ages.

                I do feel that anti-semitism is starting to be a real issue on the left, much more than the right. I am guessing you disagree with this.

                It’s Trump’s very fine people who are murdering us in synagogues, dude.

                And I’ve had a lot of lovely interactions with all varieties of Leftists. A remarkable number of Trump supporters have been extremely eager to let me know that one of the reasons they support him is sticking it to the Jews.

                And it’s not like you asked me to defend my argument either, so I’m not exactly crying into my metaphorical beer out of guilt.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                As I noted early, you and Aaron were gearing up to debate degrees of racism, which you have done here. Going back to my original question, can’t someone be racist without meaning to be?

                Look at the example of school desegregation. Well-intentioned white people thought they were helping blacks by creating a busing plan, which was based on the idea that poor blacks would benefit from rubbing shoulders with middle class whites. It’s considered a failure by most now, but it continues and 40 years later nearly three generations have been harmed by those good intentions, which I would suggest were based in a sense of white superiority. If there was ever systemic racism, this is a good example.

                Meanwhile, there was surely some level of overt racism during the same time period, but I would argue ultimately that affected far less people. And that is where I often land. Because so many liberal policies rely on the government as the mechanism to enforce them, the effects are greatly amplified. Ultimately, if there is unintentional racism at work, it could end up being a larger force than the overt stuff you guys are so troubled by.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I wouldn’t say it was only racism though, Pillsy appears to be of the opinion that Trump is bad. Like Big Flaw type of bad.

                In a sense this looks very contradictory to what the Good Society folks supposedly believe.

                There is the general belief:
                1. No ones is better than anyone else.

                There is the contradictory beliefs:
                2. Trump is bad.
                2a. Everyone is better than Trump.
                2b. Candidate X was better than Trump and these bad people chose Trump over that better person.
                2c. Better people would not have chosen Trump.

                I don’t see how leftwards can claim social objectivity even within their own framework while holding these apparent contradictory beliefs.

                Since you have moved leftward, I was curious what your opinion is on that.

                I will also add that I have, in the past, attempted to hold a mirror to a leftward dude, who was chanting racism, hoping that they would see how they appeared. It didn’t work at all.

                I peeked around the corner of the mirror, and found there was no reflection of the dude, just a faction sized box with the words, Good Society jotted on it. And yet when I put the mirror aside there was the dude again chanting racism.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to JoeSal says:

                @JoeSal:

                There is the general belief:
                1. No ones is better than anyone else.

                :record scratch noise:

                What? I don’t believe this at all, and am actually a bit mystified that anybody would possibly think I do believe it.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to pillsy says:

                So you do believe some people are better than others?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to JoeSal says:

                …yes?

                Why wouldn’t I?Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to JoeSal says:

                @JoeSal

                you are conflating two senses of the term “better than”.

                In one sense of the term, “better” means “more virtuous” or “more disposed to being good at some specified task like being president”. In this sense of the term liberals and lefties do not believe that no one is better than anyone else. Lefties are not moral nihilists.

                There is another sense of “better” which refers to people’s basic human dignity/ capacity for reason/ inherent moral status. In this sense liberals and lefties might think that everybody has the same capacity for reason (or at least we possess it to the requisite minimum degree) or that everyone has the same inherent moral status that in turn entitles us to an equal social status. This idea goes back to the enlightenment or even further back. it lies in the thought that everyone is equal in the eyes of God as is stated in your Declaration of Independence. Even classical liberals affirmed this version of equality. On their account, having equal social status was about having an equal right to various basic liberties. Modern day lefties might think that having equal social status also involves having equal wealth, or at least not having too much disparity in wealth between persons.

                These two senses of “better” are distinct. It can obviously be the case that one person is more virtuous than another yet both have the same basic human dignity or the same inherent moral status.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Murali says:

                If 1) was true then there wouldn’t be a Miss Universe competition for Trump to own.

                Just sayin’.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Murali says:

                But it does look like the Big Flaw is diminishing the virtue assigned to Trump, and it appears there is a subtraction of his inherent moral status.

                Maybe that is the way I should have framed it instead of a more subtle mix?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to JoeSal says:

                I agree that Left-leaning folks tend to see everything as Good vs. Bad, which is why I keep beating that drum of it being a secular religion. I also think it tends to be really hard for lifelong liberals to understand the conservative viewpoint so they assume nefarious motives. It’s why you will also see them claim ‘trolling’ so often. When you can’t imagine that someone arrived at a certain viewpoint honestly, it’s easier to believe they are just trying to crank your gears.

                I would also say, just for a point of clarity, that I don’t feel like I have moved leftward. I feel like I have been pretty consistently moderate/centrist. But the GOP is running away from me so fast I barely recognize them anymore, so strange times make for strange bedfellows.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                It’s why you will also see them claim ‘trolling’ so often.

                Maybe, but a lot of the reason I think conservatives engage in trolling so often is that the whole movement seems to (increasingly) be interested in elevating people as advocates, media personalities, and even elected officials partly or entirely because they piss people on the Left off so badly.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                Is that a stated motive by them, or an assumption in your part?

                And if it’s the first one, I think you have been honest that the Left has a bit of an anger management problem. Name-calling, for example, seems to be a LOT more popular on your side of the aisle. Perhaps some conservatives just decided to gaslight the Left and watch the fireworks?Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Perhaps some conservatives just decided to gaslight the Left and watch the fireworks?

                Cause that makes them so much better? SMDHReport

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                I don’t think it makes them better, but I do think it demonstrates the importance of the Left getting their temper in check. People can only get under your skin if you let them. It also comes back to what we have talked about before which is that the Right sort of views the Left as silly and immature. So they just become the older brother that gives them wet willies.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Both you and pillsy are saying the same thing, that the conservative faction has no other goals than to provoke and infuriate the correct people.

                And that’s if we are being charitable!

                A more grim assessment sees conservatism as entirely wrapped up in white male identity politics.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I don’t think the Right is wrapped-up in white identity politics…yet. But just like Trump’s outrageous approach to immigration is driving the Left to stake out their own positions, the Left’s obsession with identity is pushing a lot of conservatives to start thinking of themselves as White Males.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Name-calling, for example, seems to be a LOT more popular on your side of the aisle.

                Mike, this is another thing that makes me think you just haven’t reckoned with Trump at all. You can say, “Name-calling is more popular on my side of the aisle,” but Trump was notorious for name-calling all through his campaign (Little Marco, “nasty woman”, et c., et c.) and the GOP ate it up, or at least nominated him and made him President.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                Pillsy,

                Let me just draw a comparison here…

                “Name-calling is more popular on my side of the aisle…”

                “Trump was notorious for name-calling…”

                Yeah, there is a certain unfortunate subgroup of assholes on the Right that enjoyed that, but talking to my right-leaning friends I think most of us were appalled. It’s just not something we subscribe to. On the other hand, I think it’s much, much more common on the Left with the average person.

                Serious question, during the Obama years did you find a lot of conservatives using the president as a proxy for you? Were there times when you found yourself constantly trying to explain that you had your own opinions that sometimes differed from the President?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                But it’s not just Trump. This has been extremely common among Rightward commentators for really about as long as I’ve been paying attention to them. Not all, but a lot of very popular ones, all the way back to Rush Limbaugh (remember “Feminazis”?) at least.

                There’s a huge market for it, and has been for years and years.

                If the Right doesn’t like name-calling, they sure have a funny way of showing it, what with making name-callers nationally famous and extremely wealthy over and over again.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                You still haven’t talked about average people. I’m saying that I see non-public figure liberals much more willing to name-call on a daily basis than the average non-public figure conservative. It’s just what you guys do. So maybe Rush and Trump are surrogates for all of the things conservatives want to say but have the self-restraint not to?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @Mike:

                I really can’t speak to the non-public figures that you know, and really have no idea whether they’re representative of either liberals or conservatives.

                EDIT to add: One thing to consider, though, is that for a lot of liberals, Trump, Limbaugh, Fox News, et al. are much more representative of conservatives than “average non-public figures”, due to geographic sorting and the fact that it’s pretty uncommon in a lot of places to discuss politics with casual acquaintances.

                I will say that the more conservative types I know offline seem to love trying to troll me (the ones who know my politics anyway) and I don’t really rise to the bait. But it’s clearly intended as more friendly banter, even when they actually say stuff I think is pretty gross.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                C’mon man…that’s a bit of a dodge…you participate in an internet chatboard daily. What do you see?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I see one guy here who happens to be a liberal and also happens to be me who often flouts local norms against name-calling, and I see the rest of you all not really doing that.

                But average liberals don’t participate in this kind of board!Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                Calling someone a racist is still name-calling. Calling someone a misogynist is still name-calling. Calling someone a troll is still name-calling. Etc, etc. I don’t think people realize it happens quite as much as it does.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Sure and for the most part when I see Leftwards who aren’t me indulge in that sort of name-calling, it’s directed at prominent political figures and elected officials, which seems to be a thing that both sides indulge in with gusto.

                I wasn’t around here for most of the Obama years, but I don’t remember conservatives elsewhere being particularly shy about calling him names, and certainly Bill Clinton got a ton of it.

                And my feeling is if we’re talking about the President on whoever, well, good. Honestly I always kind of hated that “respect for the office” stuff even when it was Obama in the office.

                (I detested W as a President, and Bill Clinton as a human being, so I definitely wasn’t going to object to anybody talking shit about them.)Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Two push backs Mike:

                1) In my part of the south I see non-public conservatives calling liberals names all the time. They do it with bumper stickers that call liberalism a mental disease with a good shooting as the treatment. They do it wearing MAGA hats on Cub Scout camping trips where – to my face – they express gratitude that there aren’t any libtards running the boy scouts because boy wouldn’t that just F things up. They do it with tee shirts in Walmart that say Go Ahead Libtard Make My Day with a big gun picture underneath. They do it on the Facebook pages of the local TV station by informing me I hate Whites and America because I choose to criticize the Republican politicians who represent our part of Mississippi. So Its great that you don’t see that and aren’t part of it. But it happens.

                2) If we can’t say a person is a racist or a misogynist when that’s an accurate description of how they are acting, then what do we say? Things have names. Ideas have names. People’s actions have names. Sure they are uncomfortable to the recipient. Sure, some of them are very negative. But that’s the point. There’s nothing positive about misogyny. There’s nothing positive about racism. But sure. The left can stop name calling. When the Right agrees to.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Philip H says:

                Yeah there are some pretty largish swaths of the nation that aren’t particularly friendly to liberals/liberal ideas. In a way I’m kind of glad your here to report on it.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Social, requires conformity, and forced conformity requires punishment. To punish someone you have to build mechanisms of guilt, which leads to the guilt religions of many varieties.

                There may be something along those lines, but maybe not. Maybe it could just be the thought of slapping on a label of Good Society and going and beating people with a Justice stick until you feel comfortable. That would be a religion of comfort.

                It’s highly corruptible stuff.

                I didn’t know for 18 years that there were any liberals other than mostly classical liberals. We would hear time to time of people that had odd ideas about not liking guns or groups pushing SSM, but I still don’t quite know what to make of modern liberals. With that I know I have a fishton of bias which may often look like ‘trolling’.

                Also if there is a religion of ‘comfort’, as described up above, it’s probably healthy to keep injecting uncomfortable reality in there. That may look a lot like trolling.

                The GOP definitely hasn’t moved far enough rightward to be in my camp. I think the escalation of Obama pushed the GOP and much of the right upwards in the y-axis. There isn’t much living tissue of the leviathan that remains healthy.

                I couldn’t find many folks in the center that were rigid about individual constructs, and the more social of the bunch didn’t have much concern in trading individual sovereignty for the will of factions. I kind of respect that you are doing the best you can there.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to JoeSal says:

                Yeah, I’m not interested in some kind of squishy compromise fetish for the Center. I am interested in seeing it develop as a distinct ideology with defined positions.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to InMD says:

          They had room.

          I contend that Republican rejections followed by making Trump the de facto leader of the anti-immigration movement (along with everything else) eliminated a lot of it IMO. In particular, the Obama-esque proposed bargain for stronger border enforcement and more vigorous deportations, which was hard to swallow at the time, will just come across as a cruel, pointless attempt to appease people who will never give an inch no matter what.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy says:

        I think there are a lot of issues where the left is probably right but doesn’t have the votes/support to achieve what they want. ICE is corrupted to the core and “Abolish ICE” was a cri de ceour for a while but it disappeared because most Americans (including Americans who hate Trump) don’t want to abolish ICE.

        Twitter Dems are dumbstruck that Biden is the front runner right now. I am not sure he will be the nominee (because I remember when HRC was all but certain to be the 2008 nominee in May 2007). But I also think they exist in an echo chamber and convinced themselves that they are the majority base of the Democratic Party. They are not.*

        There are good and just moral arguments for open borders/immigration but the proponents of these beliefs are very, very bad at selling them. They just end up talking to themselves on the Internet about how everyone else is wrong. This is not a good way to win an argument. Nor are technocratic wonky talking points.

        *The real base of the Democratic Party is older African American women and/or suburban moms who dislike Trump viscerally. Neither group wants a revolution. They want a more equitable society. From what I’ve read, a lot of older African-Americans love Biden because he was a good aide-de-camp to Obama and never tried to upstage him. Kamala Harris had to backtrack several things because she discovered what is popular on Twitter is not necessarily popular with the Democratic base.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I’m not remotely dumbstruck that Biden is the front runner. He seems like a perfectly natural choice.

          I’ll be somewhat surprised if he can hold it together well enough to be the nominee, but that’s because of his long history of Bidenosity, not his long history of moderation.

          That being said, I simply see no path to a coalition that can actually pass immigration reform that meets minimal standards of justice, decency, and not-complete-racist-idiocy. However, a Dem President, with the help of a Dem Congress, easily be able to undercut ICE and CBP to the point where their ability to terrorize people is degraded over the long term, and even if this is unpopular, it’s a low salience issue for most people so I bet the political costs are low.

          Seriously, the Republicans have repeatedly shown it’s not that hard to cripple enforcement and regulatory agencies. So let’s do that.

          Is this good? No.

          But nobody really seems to be really to commit to a less bad alternative, so here we are.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy says:

            I know you aren’t but the TwitterDems are raging hard about it. I also agree with your second paragraph.

            Immigration is a depressing issue. Very few (if any) places seem to get it right.Report

  2. Great piece. Some of Trump’s policies, for all screaming, are more from the progressive wing than any brand of conservatism: immigration restrictions, “fair” trade, investment in “infrastructure”. I think people are so used to partisanship that they miss this.Report

  3. Avatar Pinky says:

    I don’t think you can put the set of nationalist-type issues on a left-right spectrum, at least not as defined in the US. By those I mean immigration, protectionism, English-only, isolationism, and anything pertaining to race. The more we try to, the less able we become to predict things like Trump winning Michigan in 2016.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

      I’ve come to see this as well.

      I’ve been taken by surprise how popular the concept of “socialism, but just for white men” is.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        I’ve been taken by surprise how popular the concept of “socialism, but just for white men” is.

        You haven’t been looking for evidence.
        For example, we’ve known about the demographics of the school systems in the most progressive cities in the USA for a long, long time.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

          That many progressives can behave in ways that reinforce white supremacy isn’t nearly as interesting as what conclusion we draw from it.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            It’s not that it’s interesting, it’s that it’s completely forgotten the moment it stops being looked at. Like The Silence from Doctor Who.

            It results in progressives saying stuff like “I’ve been taken by surprise how popular the concept of ‘socialism, but just for white men’ is.”Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

              And so…what conclusions do we draw from this?

              Or should we just continue to stare in silence?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well, I’d say that if you want to address a problem, you have to know what the problem actually is.

                If you misidentify the problem, you’re likely to come up with a solution that won’t work.

                And if you find yourself saying stuff like “I’ve been taken by surprise by” whatever you see as a real problem, it’s a good indicator that you don’t understand what the problem is.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Indeed.
                Have you identified the problem? I would seriously like to hear it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “Tribalism”.

                Now we can argue whether tribalism actually is bad or whether it’s merely fashionable to condemn it among groups with different status (lower status than we have, but not so low that they’re not a threat to our status).Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                OK, so the problem is a sense of tribal identity among everyone, not just conservatives?
                And this blinds us to our own failures and culpability?

                This seems trivially true, the sort of thing that no person can argue with because almost no one really is.

                It also seems familiar as a close cousin to Whattaboutism, where Americans were blinded to their own failings wrt Jim Crow, and therefore their criticisms of Stalin were hypocritical.

                Completely truthful statement, but deployed not as an effort to find ways to do better, but merely to stymie them.

                Are you making a serious assertion about school desegregation and what could be done about it?

                I would really, really like to hear one.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I swear, someday I am going to stop writing the paragraph underneath the line in which I answer a question.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Sorry, I just don’t see any sort of clear statement here, other than “progressive cities have segregated schools as a result of tribalism.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Sorry, I just don’t see any sort of clear statement here, other than “progressive cities have segregated schools as a result of tribalism.”

                Please don’t forget that they’re also calling for other people to do what they, themselves, are not doing as a form of tribalism.

                I’d say that if someone is calling for other people to do something that they, themselves, are incapable of doing, that’s an interesting dynamic.

                Don’t you?

                At the very least, it’ll help you stop being surprised when you encounter how popular the concept of “socialism, but just for white men” is.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                No disagreement, but it seems like the entirety of your comment is just tu quoque.

                This would be fine if it were to be the entry into a discussion of what should be done about racism and school segregation, but it seems more like a conclusion, an ending of discussion rather than a beginning.

                For example when I note that conservatives love socialism, my conclusion is “Yeah, moar socialism!”

                When a conservative points out that some liberal owns a gun, their point is “Yeah, guns are great, even you think so!”

                That’s why I asked about your conclusion to liberals preferring segregated neighborhoods- is it “Yeah, segregation!” or is it “Look how stubborn racism is!”?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                See it as more of a “Chip, please stop being surprised by things that are obvious and we’ve known about for decades”.

                As for “what should be done”, I’d say that these progressive cities should set an example and then demonstrate the benefits.

                I imagine that the benefits will be so enviable that people will fall over themselves to follow suit. I’ve been told that they’re that good, anyway.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’d love to hear about school desegregation, because I have some opinions about it.

                https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/03/the-city-that-believed-in-desegregation/388532/Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                That’s a great article. I knew that Louisville had success at de-segregating its schools and keeping them de-segregated, but I appreciated all the detail.

                I think the basic problem is that it’s costly, the costs aren’t necessarily equally distributed because of what is in effect a lottery system, and some of the people involved do have the means to avoid the costs.

                Which in a way isn’t surprising, of course. If anything, I’m surprised they were able to build and maintain that level of support for it.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                I have gone back-and-forth. I used to hate it, then I was in favor and now I am back to thinking it is a failed policy. My wife is a social worker with the school system and there is a lot of collateral damage from busing. She sees minority families suffering as a result of the desegregation policies which is why I also soured on it. It also has a very patriarchal attitude behind it, which although it is well-intentioned, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Yeah I can’t say I know enough about the situation to have an opinion about whether the benefits are worth those problems, but that all sounds both kinda predictable and definitely problematic.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                It boils down to two things:

                1) The idea is based in the notion that minority children will benefit from being placed in white schools because the parents of the white kids will become advocates for both their own children and the lucky minority kids. The minority kids will become better citizens and smarter through osmosis and it’s okay that their parents can’t attend any school events because the school is across town because, hey, Tristan and Madison’s parents will be there.

                2) Busing an elementary school child across town takes time. Like, a couple of hours per day. It’s hard for those kids to stay out of mischief on the bus because well, they are kids. The bus monitors and bus drivers are often from the socio group that is perhaps more inclined to believe the little black kids are innately naughty, and so they report the kids and the kids get suspended from the bus and the parents have to drive the kids to school. So then the kids start having attendance problems.

                It’s also just kind of gross to have a system that basically says, “Your kids will do better if they are not in a school with other poor minorities.” What does that mean for the kids that are not bused?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                It’s also just kind of gross to have a system that basically says, “Your kids will do better if they are not in a school with other poor minorities.” What does that mean for the kids that are not bused?

                I can see that perspective. Is it popular among the Louisville African American community?

                Just, at a certain point, if they think this is the best thing for their kids and community how much weight should that feeling of grossness have?

                Paternalism can be hard to avoid.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to pillsy says:

                It is funny how both liberals and conservatives just accept this framing, that integration is somehow like charity, a one way benefit that accrues solely to minorities.

                It should be more and more obvious of the benefits of learning to live and work in a multicultural world, where European Christianity is merely one of many different heritages.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It’s a pitfall I was trying to avoid, but I may not have.

                But yeah, racism is costly bullshit, and the costs don’t fall entirely on the people who are being discriminated against.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                This isn’t Little Rock. The desegregation efforts in Louisville didn’t start until the 1970s. The theory was that blacks would benefit from being placed in mostly-white, more affluent schools and that would somehow help black communities in the long run. Unfortunately the good outweighs the bad, but regardless, the original concept smacks of white saviorism.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                The sense I have of it, from talking to members of that community myself and from what my wife and her coworkers tell me, yes, that is a common perspective in that community. I don’t think I have ever actually met a black person in Louisville that is in favor of busing.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @Mike,

                If that’s how it shakes out, that’s how it shakes out.

                This is the other side of the coin that makes me so skeptical of “cultural pathology” arguments. If members of the community a program is intended to help don’t think its helping, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Baton Rouge was different. Bussing there started in 1980 under federal court order, and both white and black kids were bussed. My brother and i among them (my highschool was 64% black when I graduated, and it was originally named Baton Rouge Colored Highschool). The immediate result was significant white flight from the public school system to a myriad of private schools (which dealt an early blow to the everyone benefits from being along side each other idea) and then a series of taxation decisions over the intervening 30ish years that began to starve the system of revenue. Today the schools are a weird combination of neighborhood schools with just enough bussing to meet federal guidelines, but weighted more heavily to the African American population. It has also led to two attempts at secession by a part of the parish from the school system – a part that is predominately white, middle and upper class, and wants to create its own school district so that the residents are not paying taxes to support schools elsewhere. I am sure the outcomes have hurt black children and families. I am sure its not what Judge Parker intended when he handed down his initial orders. I am sure its another in the log history of racist responses to trying to make things better for minorities.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                Ours started with basic integration goals, but later after it was completed, the district kept the plan. They were actually sued by black families in the 1990s because those families wanted their children to attend their local high school and not be bused. The current plan has been challenged repeatedly with varying degrees of success. A good timeline here:

                https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/education/2015/09/03/jcps-desegregation-timeline/71637432/Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

          We’ve talked about this many times.
          Everyone loves socialism so long as it goes by another name.

          Where it ties into race, is that when the benefits are seen as accruing to the disfavored ethnic group, then it becomes “welfare”.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David says:

          NO, we mean rich white men who control nearly all of the economic power in the US and seek to use it to shape political power.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H says:

            Looking around, a lot of those are D’s at this point.

            But looking at the poll, the numbers of believers kinda matches the number of D’s. Now, that is a post hoc line of reasoning, but the info bear investigating at that point. Especially given who Bernie as caucusing with.Report

    • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Pinky says:

      Nationalism is a social construct, so by default a concept of the left. Forced taxation required individual participation of the Right in the social construct, so now there is a mix of both left and right with a (forced) interest, even though the political perspectives are at complete odds.Report

  4. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    I’ve noticed/mentioned here before that Sanders has drafted H1B visa reform legislation intended to (a) guarantee that visa holders are paid a prevailing wage, and (b) such visa holders have the right to change their employer. I think there is an interesting question as to whether this would be considered pro- or anti- H1B visas. I think employers would find such a system unworkable, so anti. But rhetorically, it’s pro-worker.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to PD Shaw says:

      Is there any reliable stats regarding H1B wages? We have a lot of H1B employees and it’s pretty clear when talking with them that their wages are on par with citizens.

      Unlinking the H1B from the employer should be done. About the only legitimate complaint a business would have is that they spent a lot of money getting the Visa, and should have a mechanism for compensation (either the employee pays it off, or the new employer does; perhaps the cost is pro-rated somehow, etc.).Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        I don’t know what the stats are… but if you listen to what employers say, it’s clear that employers think that H1Bs depress wages.

        If you look at the games that H1B employers play, the revealed preferences are even more illuminating.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        By prevailing wage, he means (or maybe meant) a wage that doesn’t drive down American wages. A prevailing wage requires the job description to be coded, so it can be crossed with underemployment figures. But mainly I think the second point is the most important, employers won’t want to incur the cost in time and money, if the employee can walk.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to PD Shaw says:

          But if there’s truly a labor shortage, and not an issue wage increases… then simple prevailing wages plus vested compensation – would be a rational business justification. Plus, can always poach some other schlub’s H1B employee.

          So, we’ll see the lie for what it is… not a labor shortage, but a wage issue. Which I’m fine exposing.

          Now, when it comes to “prevailing wages” my family has some experience in how this is gamed (when it comes to Union Painters vs. Prevailing wage painters)… and it’s not pretty. But that’s a different issue.Report

  5. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    The difficulty here is that there doesn’t really exist any coherent “Trump policy” on trade or even immigration for that matter.

    He has strong feelings of rage and resentment related to both, but nothing so structured that it can be called “policy”.

    For any given statement or tweet, there are any number of possible interpretations of its meaning. And further, there exist multiple other tweets which either flatly contradict it, or give it still different meaning.

    Again, the only clear straight line which connects all his statements is male> female, white>nonwhite, Christian>nonChristian, and mostly, ThatWhichBenefitsTrump> ThatWhichDoesNot.

    This is one reason for his seemingly remarkable ability to befuddle Beltway types, is that they refuse to acknowledge that he isn’t part of their club, and doesn’t play by their rules, and can’t be countered or bargained with like a normal politician.
    It explains why his supporters are entirely indifferent to his betrayals and reverses of policy promises, because they never cared about policy in the first place.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      @ Chip Daniels

      This is one reason for his seemingly remarkable ability to befuddle Beltway types, is that they refuse to acknowledge that he isn’t part of their club, and doesn’t play by their rules, and can’t be countered or bargained with like a normal politician.
      It explains why his supporters are entirely indifferent to his betrayals and reverses of policy promises, because they never cared about policy in the first place.

      BINGO! This is the WHOLE REASON Democrats lost to him initially, and its the reason they are setting up to loose to him now. He is all about his own power, and so the Republican Party is using him to generate results they know bloody well they can’t sell otherwise under the “normal” rules of politics. Its a driver of why so many otherwise progressive Democrats are taking positions they are.

      Which is also why filtering Warren’s or Sanders’ or anyone else’s responses through said “normal lens, as @Vikram Bath seems to be trying to do – won’t work.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H says:

        Christ! Why is it that liberals are genetically prone to Eeyorism? Democrats swept the House in 2018. A record number of people polled say they are not voting for Trump in 2020. He hasn’t been able to get above 42-43 percent approval rating.

        Trump is not popular and he is not liked. Yet everyone seems to think he is going to get a crushing victory in 2020 like Nixon in 1972 or Reagan in 1984. This completely assumes things without a sliver of evidence or factual reality.

        Republicans already wear the Q sign too much. Liberals don’t need to follow.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Your analysis fails to take so many things into account I can’t begin to name them all. But in no particular order:

          1) The current Democratic front runner is a not really rebranded Neoloberal with a highly mixed track record on labor and economic issues who is unlikely to pull the Obama Republican vote.

          2) Sweeping the House does us no good without the WH and the Senate. enough of the Republican Senators up in 2020 are not likely to be seriously opposed in their own party (much less Democrats) to create a threat.

          3) 45% of voters didn’t cast a vote last time, and there’s no empirical evidence that will change. Which means a well motivated fringe may well drive the process on either side. Trump got the nomination with Pluralities and then everyone got behind him because they believed (rightly as it turned out) they could use him to achieve some long held victories with taxes and the Judiciary.

          4) with over 20 candidates on the Democratic side, the winner will also have a plurality nomination, which is not how you draw stark lines between them and Trump.

          5) To the Below, I haven’t seen a “Trump will Pivot” article or story since the furlough. The MSM finally gets it.

          I could go on but I need to actually eat lunch.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H says:

            I alternate daily between pessimistic Eeyorism and “arc of the universe” optimism.

            On one hand Trump is not well liked, and seems to have hit a hard ceiling of support.

            The bad news is, that ceiling is really, really high, like around 40% of the electorate, and 90% of the GOP.

            The sobering truth is that he isn’t any kind of outlier, but represents the true beliefs and sensibilities of a plurality of Americans.

            All the explanations that try to absolve America of Trump- that HRC was uniquely bad, that we sneer at rednecks, that the people in Wisconsin just need some economic security- all fail to explain the facts on the ground.Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              Trump can win reelection in 2020. Probably by repeating 2016 again. I don’t know the percentage but I think lots of online people like to really overestimate how popular and liked he is because doing anything else means conceding that Democrats are right and that is ewww icky.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                He may be able to win again, but he can’t repeat 2016.

                He can’t repeat 2016 because he’s the incumbent.

                Normally, since he’s the incumbent, and the economy ain’t bad, he’d be set.

                But he’s had that going for two years and he basically hasn’t expanded his appeal at all from where it was on election night.

                Which would be fine if he hadn’t one that by an incredibly narrow, flukey margin.

                I put 2020 at a coinflip.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to pillsy says:

                “I put 2020 at a coinflip.”

                I don’t think there could be a more damning indictment of America than this.

                After all that we have seen and heard, that a near majority of Americans would vote for him again is just…

                I don’t know.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What I didn’t understand during 2016 was that people don’t necessarily vote for. They also vote against.

                I made the mistake of thinking that that wasn’t true during the primary. I thought that people were voting *FOR* Sanders. (slaps forehead)

                There’s another election soon. It’s not necessarily going to be won by the most inspirational. It might be lost by the most depressing.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’m still not seeing the significant difference.

                Seeing HRC/Warren/Gillibrand/etc as worse than Trump only means the voter sees any harm from Trump as minor compared to the others.

                And for anyone who actually feels that way I just…I don’t know what to say.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                And for anyone who actually feels that way I just…I don’t know what to say.

                Neither did Hillary.

                Better figure it out.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I wonder if Republicans are having this sort of discussion over at Gateway Pundit.

                “Dude, I can’t understand how these liberals could vote for a Democrat.”

                “Well, nobody else could either, and now we have Speaker Pelosi. You best figure it out right quick.”

                “Yeah, maybe we should compromise and move to the center and abandon our white identity politics.”

                “Oh, its not so much that. Its just that the Republicans fielded 435 awful horrible uniquely terrible candidates, and forced reasonable centrists to vote for people like AOC.”

                “Yeah, you’re right. We need to find better candidates, who are Republicans, but hold every policy preference favored by Democrats.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’m pretty sure that the Republicans already spent months saying “HOW IN THE HELL IS TRUMP BEATING US???”

                And they couldn’t understand it.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                @Jaybird,

                I’m pretty sure that the Republicans already spent months saying “HOW IN THE HELL IS TRUMP BEATING US???”

                And they couldn’t understand it.

                And then they co-opted it to drive more tax cuts and increasing the conservativism of the federal bench so that “activist judges” would be activist in their direction. The current Republican Party did nothing to stop him and has now embraced him because he allows them to complete many hard right policy aims that prior republican presidents blanched at (and for good reason).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                And then they co-opted it to drive more tax cuts and increasing the conservativism of the federal bench so that “activist judges” would be activist in their direction.

                I don’t know if Biden is the best bet to beat Trump (Northeastern Liberal… and that’s without getting into the stuff that you’d feel like you had to defend) but, if he is the nominee, I hope the Progressive Wing decides to try to co-opt him instead of cutting him off at the knees for having the wrong opinions on plastic bags at grocery stores or whatever.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                The question really should be who can rebuild the blue wall in the upper mid-west. Even with some progressive wing defections there’s no plausible outcome where the NE, the left coast, or other urban strongholds go red because the candidate is a less than woke white dude.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

                Okay, limiting it to Blue Wall Only… That’s Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and (sometimes) Ohio.

                Biden gets three of those. Maybe the fourth.

                Buttigieg gets three. Yang gets two, maybe three, on the strength of UBI promises that will never, ever, be fulfilled. Klobuchar gets two, maybe three. Gillibrand gets two, maybe three. Harris gets two, maybe three.

                Bernie gets Michigan… I don’t know if he gets the other three.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                All the democrats have to do is nominate somebody who can energize their own base, make the opponent’s base not feel bad for missing an election (“was that yesterday? Darn it!”), and appeal to fence sitters.

                Andrew Yang is the only guy who can do all three.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

                What are you smoking and can Maribou bury it in the backyard?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Fine, attack democratic hopefuls.

                Vote for Trump, for all I care.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

                Do you realize that you are being a troll?

                You pick one of the more eccentric and far-fetched candidates trying for the nomination. One with among the skimpiest records of public service who might be doing it for free publicity and because anyone running for President can seemingly get fans. The only thing you discuss in his benefit is that he wants to eliminate Daylight Savings Time.

                I’m going to vote for anyone with a D next to their name because they are all better than Donald Trump but touting Yang as the only one who can defeat Trump is pure trolling. Bad trolling at that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                He’s not eccentric, he’s looking to the future rather than to the past. A future with more and more automated jobs will be a future with more and more need for a UBI.

                Even though I’m skeptical that he’d be able to figure out a way to thread the needle of a UBI that is not only useful but one that doesn’t loot the public coffers, the fact that he’s looking at the present and looking at the future is an important thing to look for in the president.

                As for what he’d be able to accomplish, I think that he might get the Daylight Saving thing through.

                And I think that he might be able to beat Trump because he’s got a positive message that isn’t TRUMP TRUMP.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Bernie has a decent shot at Wisconsin and Pennsylvania I think.

                Sad to say there is no way Yang is the nominee in 2020. Honestly I like the guy, but in a, “Hey he’s a crank who has all of these weird, dorky ideas about policy, just like me!” and not a, “He is actually someone the Democratic Party could realistically nominate.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

                not a, “He is actually someone the Democratic Party could realistically nominate.”

                Not with *THAT* attitude.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      There is a strong pull of denial among the higher-up media elites who desperately need to believe that things can go back to when there was the broad “neoliberal” consensus and everyone loved Aspen and Davos. They need to believe that the GOP is not rotted to the core and can be saved post-Trump. Hence the constant articles wishthinking that Trump will become Presidential anyday now.Report

  6. Avatar Tom Strong says:

    “I think there is evidence that increasingly employers use independent contractors not in ways that were originally intended, but in ways that let them treat employment laws differently than they otherwise would be responsible for.. I think that’s a real problem and I think the Department of Labor is looking into this and I think they’re right to do that.”

    This Elizabeth Warren quote is from an article about how gig economy jobs should be regulated. It has nothing to do with immigration. Her actual views on immigration are not hard to google.Report

  7. Avatar pillsy says:

    Sanders’s views on immigration are roughly identical to Trump save language differences. Sanders likes the words “comprehensive immigration reform.” He does not share Trump’s preference for a religious test.

    Yeah, but those language differences are a huge part of the problem. Seriously, do you see any reason to believe (for all that Sanders’ policy proposals really aren’t very good) that he would use the federal agencies he has executive control over to abuse and terrorize immigrants and asylum seekers the way Trump has?

    Because while those agencies were distinctly not good under Obama, they weren’t nearly this bad.Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to pillsy says:

      If Bernie Sanders is the nominee, I would vote for him. I am doing what I can to help it not come down to thatReport

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        um that’s a two sided same mouth quote if ever I read one. Sounds not unlike a lot of Republicans who used to be Never Trumpers . . . . . .Report

        • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Philip H says:

          Sorry, I don’t follow. My view seems to be the exact opposite of the Never Trump position.

          Specifically, Never Trump meant not voting for Trump even if he were the nominee. I am saying I would vote for Sanders if he were the nominee.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        That’s not the problem I have with your position.

        The problem I have with your position is using immigration enforcement in an abusive and racist way is a part of Trump’s immigration plan and is entirely absent from Bernie’s. That’s not a small thing. Indeed, given the degree of absolute Congressional paralysis we’ve seen over immigration, with no real movement for decades, I’d say that this is actually the most important aspect of the immigration debate as it applies to the Presidency, and every Democrat is simply night and day better than Trump.

        This includes ones whose approaches to immigration I think are pretty wrong-headed, like Bernie.Report

        • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to pillsy says:

          I acknowledge that they are not identical. And there are some important differences in how they are talked about and the degree to which Trump embraces using race as a factor. Those are important differences.

          However, I argue (and continue to argue) that there are important ways in which the three have consistent preferences. I haven’t seen one person point that out, thus this post.

          In other words, you’re welcome to keep pointing out differences, and I will probably acknowledge each of them, but I’m still waiting to hear how the similarities I’ve noted are mistakenReport

        • Avatar Murali in reply to pillsy says:

          This claim that we could have immigration enforcement without the brutality seems implausible. As it stands, brutality seems baked into American law enforcement institutions. The seems especially true of ICE.

          But note that as above, InMD regards “catch and release” as de-facto open borders. That is to say, releasing illegal immigrants into the general population pending their trial does not count as adequate enforcement. Any enforcement that will meet InMD’s standards (i.e. not releasing caught immigrants) is going to involve keeping illegal immigrants in detention camps. And this is going to be ugly and brutal whoever does it. There is no “better enforcement of immigration laws” without “intolerably severe levels of brutality”Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Murali says:

            The question, as ever, is who gets the brutal fist of enforcement, and who does not. Who is protected but not bound, and who is bound but not protected.

            Lets imagine if we enforced immigration law the way we enforce other laws, like drug laws.

            For example: Lets apply the asset forfeiture laws to employers.

            If you are accused or even suspected of employing an undocumented worker, your business is summarily confiscated- the doors padlocked, bank accounts seized, and you have to go through a lengthy court procedure to get it back.
            This can be justified on the grounds that so long as there is effectively no cost or penalty to hiring undocumented workers, employers will continue to offer incentives to come here.

            The reason we don’t do this is for the same reason that historically prostitutes but not johns were arrested.
            There really is no desire on anyone’s part to truly “get rid” of undocumented workers.

            Everyone likes to have them available and easily accessible, but stripped of any power, rights, or agency.
            There is a tremendous and barely concealed desire for a virtual slave labor force underneath all this.Report

  8. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    We need more political parties.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Been saying that for a long time.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Only works if we go from the current Madisonian system to a parliamentary system with a different voting mechanism besides FPTP. There will be no incentive for the parties to work together in the legislature if they can not share in a coalition government. FPTP doesn’t really lead to multiparty systems either.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to LeeEsq says:

        We’d need to make a ton of changes to our system to get to a multiparty one. It’s not just FPTP.

        It might be nice to have more parties, but it’s not immediately obvious having them makes for less fraught or more productive policy debates over immigration.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to pillsy says:

          I know that. That is why I said we would need to also become a parliamentary system where we have a ceremonial President and a Prime Minister who is a member of and elected by the House of Representatives. There would be no incentive for the parties to work together without the promise of executive power in a coalition government. Belgium, Israel, and Italy show that multiparty countries can be dysfunctional to if there are design flaws in the system.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to LeeEsq says:

        No, does not require Parliamentary system axiomatically.

        Changing the voting structures is probably a prudential requirement to change the election incentives and reduce the barriers to entry.

        Putting regime change in front of “simple” election process changes is completely unnecessary and entirely counter-productive… if the goal is multi-party politics.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to LeeEsq says:

        The Parliamentary system is an awful kludge to the problem of having a executive powers vested in an unelected monarch, which was the norm in Europe. The only way to make the system more democratic and responsive to the will of the people was to shift many executive powers power over to a branch with popularly elected members, which was the legislature. This also prevented a national election for a single leader, which could create the problem of creating a rival to the monarch. Note that prime ministers are selected by their party leaders and the other ministers, and sometimes stamped with approval from the executive branch, and are not elected by a nationwide ballot.

        Since we didn’t have a king, the Founders solution was to simply elect the head of the executive branch.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to George Turner says:

          Regardless of its origins, parliamentary systems are less prone to become authoritarian than Presidential systemsReport

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister of Japan from 1941 to 1944, disagrees, as does the Prime Minister of Italy, Benito Mussolini, and their allied German Chancellor, der Fuhrer.

            The general pattern seems to be that states which slowly shifted power from a monarch, before perhaps dispensing with one entirely, use parliamentary systems, and states that never had a monarch or overthrew the entire royal system use presidents for the head of state.

            France, for example, has a separate executive and used to have a powerful monarch, but they violently rebelled against the old ways and went with electing their executives. Unlike most of Europe, Monaco still retains the monarch’s powers, so the Prince is also President.

            For another example, Spain is run by a prime minister and still has a royal family, whereas almost all former Spanish colonies, having rebelled against the Kingdom of Spain, had no need to shift power to a legislature in order to dis-empower a monarchical executive branch, so they just elect presidents.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Why not ask for a unicorn while you’re at it.Report

  9. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Saying that Sanders and Warren have the same views of Trump on immigration is concern trolling. I doubt that either would appoint Attorney Generals that would implement cruel and vicious policies like saying domestic violence is no longer a grounds for asylum, separating children from parents when families come to seek asylum, or turning the immigration system into a deportation machine. Nor would they demagogue the issue to death.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to LeeEsq says:

      In what universe was domestic violence ever grounds for asylum? Even being ethnically cleansed by ISIS wasn’t grounds for asylum under the Obama Administration. Divorce your spouse. Getting a restraining order. Do what normal people do.

      If an American tried to seek asylum in Canada because their spouse was a nutcase, the Canadian authorities would just laugh at them and give them a backseat ride to the nearest entry point.Report

  10. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    My understanding of Sanders is that he doesn’t take policy positions at all. He campaigns on slogans which are meant to convey his attitudes. He probably doesn’t have enough votes to enact any of those slogans as such, so he would have to negotiate his way back to the middle. That’s a better strategy than the one Obama used, which was “start at the middle and act surprised when people don’t go along”.Report

  11. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “tariffs BAD” is the NPC meme, only for economics instead of social issues.Report

  12. Avatar Aaron David says:

    This is what a realignment looks like.

    The core issue here is basically that globalism didn’t work for enough people. How that manifests itself is open for interpretation, as that changes from local to local. The tendency is to blame this on things that are simple to slogan against and fit ones priors. But until that core issue is resolved, this will go on.Report

  13. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Re: Immigration policy

    Serious question, do we actually have an immigration problem? Are immigrants (legal and illegal) actually causing wages to fall? Are American citizens actually unable to find work because of immigration (legal and illegal)? I guess I am just not seeing that. I work for a company that employs a lot of legal immigrants but it’s not our preference or our policy. We just can’t get Americans to apply for jobs, despite the fact that we keep raising our starting wages.

    Everytime I hear a politician talking about immigration, whether they are on Team Red or Team Blue, I just assume they are appealing to populism and put them in the No Vote camp.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      I’m not seeing a problem from immigration either.
      At least, there isn’t a problem SOLELY tied to immigration.

      I do see an economy that isn’t able to translate increased productivity into higher wages, or a cheaper goods into prosperity and security.

      Immigration and outsourcing are just two of the symptoms of the problem.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        The problem with the economy seems to be a simple case of Americans not building skills fast enough to make them more valuable than a worker overseas. It’s not about outsourcing anymore. It’s about the option to outsource.

        With that said, my company does work that can’t be outsourced. We pay pretty well for a starting warehouse worker, have awesome health benefits, promote from within, etc. We’re struggling to find internal candidates for warehouse leads, supervisors, etc. We hear that either the employee doesn’t want the hassle of increased responsibility for a slight pay increase, in the case of a warehouse lead, or if it’s a supervisor position, the Millennials think they should be hired straight to mid-level manager because they have a business degree and $50,000 in student loans. None of those dynamics are impacted by immigration.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Exactly. Which is why the focus on immigration isn’t a thing – though in fact the immigration system is still based on 19th century thinking.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

            Every system can be improved, but every time I hear someone crying about immigration I ask them how it is affecting them directly and just get some vague nonsense that means it’s an avatar for whatever really keeps them up at night.Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              How about a bunch of school districts flooded with non-English speaking students and correspondending re-allocation of resources? It’s what I deal with, no one had a vote on it, and no assistance is forthcoming from outside the state.

              I’ll readily concede that immigration as a whole is a net good on the national scale but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t present challenges in different localities.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

                And it slowly dawns on me why Westchester Public Schools had an ESL track in a completely separate part of the building.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                It’s a bad way to do things but this is why you need to have the federal government play a role in settling people and provide some aid to the jurisdictions that take them.

                Right now it falls on local tax payers wherever immigrant communities spring up and that isn’t fair. It needs to be managed for minimal impact which is better for everyone involved.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to InMD says:

                Our district is getting ready to spend over $4 million to put ‘mental health counselors’ in every school. Priorities…Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to InMD says:

                Yep. Weird choices.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Hardly. Given all the really grown up things we keep expecting kids to deal with, some mental health professionals available to them daily is probably a good idea. Your kids are not currently enduring ultra realistic lockdown drills (Since as I recall you are an empty nester these days or nearly so). Having to have conversations about those over the dinner table is the toughest thing I do currently as a parent.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                Yeah, but if what you saw what they cut from the budget to make those positions happen, I don’t know if you would see it as a good trade-off.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          I don’t propose any magic solution.
          But the idea that “if only Americans had better skills” seems pretty thin.
          What skills to Chinese have, other than a willingness to work for a low wage?

          And we’ve seen even those low wage workers get displaced by robots or automation or machine learning.

          Who would be foolish enough to declare that their job skills can’t be automated or deskilled?

          I don’t think the economy needs very many skilled workers anymore.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            “What skills to Chinese have, other than a willingness to work for a low wage?”

            What skills to American workers have other than a willingness to only do the same job for a higher wage? If they added skills, they would create new demands for that labor. The warehouse worker becomes the person that programs the CNC machine.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Corporations, unlike governments, see no reason to have citizens prioritized over non-citizens.

              Now we are being vaguely unsettled when we see governments getting into this business?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Like…what skills?
              Serious question.

              What skills are in demand now, that could absorb enough workers to build a prosperous middle class?

              The person operating the CNC machine will in a very short time, become the low wage worker who operates the grocery store scanner.

              I’m seeing it now in my own field of design/ engineering, where the software handles the “high value” skills of calculation and logic analysis, requiring only easily-learned and low value skills of manipulating the toggles and switches.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The trades would be a good place to start. I’d also kill for a good administrative assistant. I’ve had to teach my last two leads how to use Excel. According to LinkedIn, these are the most in-demand ‘hard skills’.

                Cloud Computing
                Artificial Intelligence
                Analytical Reasoning
                People Management
                UX Design
                Mobile Application Development
                Video Production
                Sales Leadership
                Translation
                Audio Production
                Natural Language Processing
                Scientific Computing
                Game Development
                Social Media Marketing
                Animation
                Business Analysis
                Journalism
                Digital Marketing
                Industrial Design
                Competitive Strategies
                Customer Service Systems
                Software Testing
                Data Science
                Computer Graphics
                Corporate Communications

                I have a Specialist that is finishing up his degree in Data Science. He is already being fast-tracked into one of our other groups that have that need.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                And out of that list my experience is the following are all being done remotely – meaning they will be offshored if they aren’t already:

                Cloud Computing
                Artificial Intelligence
                Analytical Reasoning
                UX Design
                Mobile Application Development
                Video Production
                Translation
                Audio Production
                Natural Language Processing
                Scientific Computing
                Game Development
                Social Media Marketing
                Animation
                Business Analysis
                Digital Marketing
                Industrial Design
                Customer Service Systems
                Software Testing
                Data Science
                Computer Graphics
                Corporate Communications

                You can’t rebuild the middle class on these anymore then you can on plumbers or manufacturing.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                Offshoring jobs like that is extremely difficult. Believe me, I am trying to remotely manage a quality project in Dubai right now and it’s a nightmare.

                But also, we should probably circle back to immigration. If immigrants are taking the warehouse jobs, and assuming a lot of the jobs above could stay here for reasons, then why are we worried about immigration?Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                because its a great wedge issue – like abortion. Its easy to get fearful people fired up about it.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                So we agree that the Democrats having any conversation other than, “Immigration is awesome and Trump is a fear-mongering populist,” is a bad idea?Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                um no, we don’t. Most democrats, including the inanely huge number running for president, are trying to have the conversation about what immigration system we as a nation need. Most right side commentators and politicians shorten that to your statement.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                But if immigration isn’t a problem, why expend the political capital talking about it?Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Ask the President. As long as he keeps demagoguing about it, Democrats have to do something, even if only trying to point out (and so far unsuccessfully) why he’s wrong. If they ignore it it becomes another in the panoply of issues hurled at them to point out they are not protecting Americans or some such nonsense.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                But Warren and Sanders aren’t just saying he is wrong. They are investing time into counter-proposals (hence the OP).Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Three reasons in decreasing order of importance.

                1. Immigration doesn’t need to be a problem for immigration enforcement to be a problem. Indeed, if it’s not a problem, it’s unlikely that a costly program is worthwhile.

                2. Lots of people think it’s a problem and want to do things to stop it and most of those things are bad on their own merits in addition to being wasteful.

                3. Just because immigration is good doesn’t mean it can’t be made better.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          “The problem with the economy seems to be a simple case of Americans not building skills fast enough to make them more valuable than a worker overseas.”

          i guess if you consider “work for less than minimum wage and pay your own healthcare” to be a skill then sure, Americans aren’t building that skill particularly fastReport

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to DensityDuck says:

            Or just doing jobs that aren’t vulnerable to outsourcing. How much do plumbers and electricians make these days?Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              There will never be enough plumbers or electricians to overcome the move of major manufacturing overseas. Take the 1000 or so folks laid off by GM in Lordestowne. You can’t convert those folks to plumbers local to Lordestowne and you are already seieng stories about how hard it is to get them to move.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                It’s a start though. There are lots of other ways to make a decent wage. I just don’t understand how anyone could go into manufacturing and not hedge their bets. I grew up very close to a GE plant. When it went away it really hurt my little community. Those people simply had no other options, not because there weren’t other employers, but because they had no other skills than building washer & dryers.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                If you witnessed that personally and don’t understand it I don’t know that any of us can help you.

                But I’ll try – those folks (Like so many others) came into the workforce at the tail end of the era when you could actually go to work at a place, work your way up, and retire comfortably middle class with a good pension from a single employer. The shifts began while they were working, and they were not emotionally equipped to let go of the story they had internalized as they started working. Government then failed them, both by not really offering retraining or driving economic reinvestment, and by allowing the companies to pull out of their pension obligations. Once they realized they didn’t have anything, they were too politically and economically powerless to create change locally, and too dispersed geographically to create change nationally. You can’t make them plumbers because 1) they don’t know how to be plumbers; 2) they don’t believe emotionally they should be plumbers; 3) politicians have promised them for years they don’t need to be plumbers and 4) even if they want to be plumbers they don’t want to move. I’ve seen the exact thing my whole life in the oil industry, only unlike coal, petroleum is somewhat adaptable and so its death is slower and less noticeable.

                You and i came into the workforce after a series of economic collapses and in the middle of that change, so we saw it through a different emotional lens and acted accordingly. Sure, I’m an oceanographer, but I can hang trim and frame houses and fix cars (all useful skills if not as well compensated). But you and I are NOT THE NORM no matter what we tell ourselves.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                “You can’t make them plumbers because 1) they don’t know how to be plumbers; 2) they don’t believe emotionally they should be plumbers; 3) politicians have promised them for years they don’t need to be plumbers and 4) even if they want to be plumbers they don’t want to move. “

                This is probably the difference between a liberal and a conservative, but I see 2 & 4 as bad personal choices. Even 3 seems like willful ignorance.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                So you do understand it you just don’t agree with the choices? Well I don’t understand or agree with alleged Christians saying the President (a thrice married, serial philanderer) is “sent from God” but I both have to live with such people and try to keep America intact with and for them.

                Your “bad choices” and “willful ignorance” are labels that get applied all the time to all sorts of folks who are, in fact, disadvantaged by a system that seeks to limit their choices and keep them from having economic and political power. Those people believe to their core they have no other choices, and nothing in current economic or immigration policy (for either side) is helping them frame, much less embrace, a different option. While you may not LIKE it or AGREE with it, not everyone had or has the choices your or I do; not everyone had or has the encouragement you or I do; not everyone had or has the outcomes you or I do. As a historian you ought to have learned the lesson of how that plays out long term in human societies.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Gotta agree with Philip here. It might be bad choices, but people get stuck in mental & emotional ruts, and can’t get out of them to save their lives (literally and figuratively). College can sometimes help overcome that, but even college graduates have a hard time getting themselves out of the pigeonhole they have put themselves in.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Even the trades themselves are subject to deskilling.
                Advances in plumbing technology for example, have rendered sweatsoldering almost obsolete, along with threading and pipefitting.

                Increasingly the technology is some variation of click to connect, or plug and play, meaning the skill required to do the task is reduced.

                By design!

                The entire purpose of automation is to transfer the skill from human hands to machine, so that the hands operating the machine have less and less skill and therefore lower and lower wage.

                And right about here is where someone usually jumps in with a Lump Of Labor argument, which is premised ont he idea that increased demand for the cheaper product will require an overall higher demand for the labor.

                Except, that doesn’t seem to be happening. Clothing and electronics have become absurdly cheap, and yet the wages of garment workers and electronics workers haven’t risen at all.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “The entire purpose of automation is to transfer the skill from human hands to machine, so that the hands operating the machine have less and less skill and therefore lower and lower wage.”

                That’s not how my company looks at it. We use automation to A) improve quality and B) eliminate labor. We don’t want to have a bunch of employees that work for peanuts because machines do everything for them. We want to have a few employees that make a good wage because they manage the machines that do the job better.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Yes, exactly.
                You get a higher quantity of output from less labor.

                You also get a much higher level of quality from an only slightly higher level of labor.

                In other words, the increase in productivity and quality is performed by the machine, not the worker.

                The increased amount of wealth output flows to the owner of the machine, not the operator.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I think we talked about this here a while back. Yes, automation is great. It’s also really, really expensive. I think the fear of automation is vastly overblown. My company rarely makes the choice to add automation. Better technology usually translates to a mobile automated shrink-wrapper our an RF gun that can scan 3D barcodes.

                When we add technology to reduce labor, that savings is usually passed on to eliminating temps and allowing the full-time employees to work more slowly, which gives us better quality.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                And the thing is, houses pretty much require the same amount of pipe, and we build pretty much the same number of houses every year (given decadal variation). It’s not like switching from sweat-soldered cast-iron to click-lock plastic is going to mean that we build 10000 houses a month instead of 1000.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          “Millennials think they should be hired straight to mid-level manager”

          also they lack GRIT, right?Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to DensityDuck says:

            That too… Look, my company promotes from within and I make a nice salary because I paid my dues and worked my way up the ladder. That used to be a common thing. Then someone decided that college was a cheat code and the story changed. My company is over 100 years old, so they still play by the old rules. That doesn’t seem to compute with the younger crowd.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              this sounds less like a meaningful point and more like you being upset that people are cheating.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to DensityDuck says:

                Paying dues for us equals a better, more well-rounded member of our team. We have a very deliberate methodology for creating valuable employees, but the process takes time. I will choose the guy that started as a package handler, worked up through the ranks and then became a supervisor over the rookie straight out of business school all-day-every-day.

                When I got my last promotion a few years ago, the other finalist was a guy with a business degree and three years with the company. I had my two liberal arts degrees and 16 years of various positions of increasing responsibility. He told me point blank that he thought he was more qualified because of his degree. Needless to say, my manager disagreed with him.

                I know Millennials were taught that you can be anything you choose to be, but sometimes you actually have to put in the work to get there.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I think the problem here has less to do with Millennial attitudes towards work, and more to do with changes in expectations around how long you can expect to be employed in a given position. It’s a lot less appealing to pay dues in a job where you’re going to be laid of in 18 months. Obviously not every employer is like that, but it’s common enough that I can’t believe it hasn’t shifted the culture.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to pillsy says:

                If it has shifted the culture, then I suspect Millennials will stay disgruntled for the duration of their working lives.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Possibly.

                It may also be adaptive in many working situations, even if it causes problems for people who want to work in places which can offer long term stability and expect “dues paying” in return.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                It’s just the reality of an at-will job market. If employers are interested in long-term, dues paying staff they can always create employee contracts conducive to that.

                The fact that by and large they don’t says everything anyone needs to know, loyalty being a two way street and all that.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to InMD says:

                Is that true though? I have a bunch of friends that have been with their companies for 15 years or more. I get that certain fields work off of contracts (I’m sure Jaybird could explain this pretty thoroughly) but it seems like most companies are still doing things the old fashioned way.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Doing it the old fashioned way means at-will which means anyone can be terminated for any or no reason at any time.

                Not an excuse for entitled behavior but no one owes any loyalty to their employer beyond that which is required for successful performance, and even that must be approached with the utmost cynicism.

                The Great Recession was formative for a lot of people and one thing every smart person noticed is the lack of tears management shed as people got sent out the door.Report

              • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Has it occurred to you that your experience and that of your friends is the exception rather than the rule?

                My Dad worked for one company his whole life. He paid his dues and never looked around at other opportunities, even when he got letters from recruiters.

                Do you know what his loyalty bought him? Being forced into early retirement at 55 (choice was that or be laid off) because the company decided it was cheaper to hire that fresh out of college business major.

                I take some satisfaction in the fact that his former employer is currently on the edge of failure, at least in part due to those policies, but watching all that when I was finishing college was a lesson I haven’t forgotten. I doubt I’m alone in that, ,and I’m much closer to Boomer than Millenial.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                “I had my two liberal arts degrees and 16 years of various positions of increasing responsibility. He told me point blank that he thought he was more qualified because of his degree.”

                He wasn’t wrong. Your manager was your friend; that’s why you got the spot. If both of you had been strangers the other guy would’ve got the job.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to DensityDuck says:

                *sigh*

                I love it when strangers tell me they have my life figured out. You and Jesse should compare notes… I could go into a lengthy explanation here about why you are wrong, but I promised myself I would stop trying to explain things to people on the site that believe they have things all figured based on a few internet comments.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck says:

                @DensityDuck:

                Huh? I can certainly think of circumstances where the newer guy would turn out to be the better choice, but it’s sure as heck not “hire him on the spot” obvious.Report

  14. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    This is some grade-A contrarian Slatepitching!

    Elizabeth Warren describes herself as a capitalist. I believe her. She is not against Free Trade. She is against “free trade” policies which seem to benefit the already very rich at the expense of everyone else. What good is free trade if it results in huge gains for the few and uncertainty and fear for the many?

    As LeeEsq said, there is no way that Warren or Sanders appoints people like Sessions to Attorney General or Neilsen to DHS or has Stephen Miller as an advisor. There are lots of different options between Trumpian Xenophobia and Open Borders.

    I said this above but there are good arguments for open borders. The problem is that advocates for it seem to have a hard time convincing anyone else of their favored arguments and they refuse to change tactics. Instead they would rather sulk on the Internet with compatriots about how everyone else is wrong.Report

  15. Avatar Kolohe says:

    I’m with you Vikram, on both the underlying policy and J’accuse grounds, but man, I am more than somewhat ambivalent about the H-1B, H-2, etc regimes, which are very close to becoming pure regulatory capture and the creation of a quasi feudal class system.

    (Seeing ‘guest worker’ systems in Southwest Asia has radicalized me a bit on this sort of thing. No offense intended to Jaybird, who makes use of the system for his personal employment, from what I have read)Report

  16. Avatar George Turner says:

    Well, I don’t think anyone has mentioned that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Trump’s favor yesterday.

    Politico story

    Asylum seekers can be sent to Mexico to await their immigration hearings, instead of being released into the US.Report

  17. Warren and Bernie are for kidnapping children and encouraging people to shoot immigrants? No? Then it’s not the same policy.Report

  18. Hey, great piece as always Vikram. Thanks for writing it.Report

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