Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Deport a migrant, raise...
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Deport a migrant, raise your grocery bill

Robert Downes - August 2nd, 2010
Deport a migrant, raise your grocery bill
Will deporting illegal immigrants send your food bill through the
roof? It depends on who you ask.
First, a little background:
It seems hard to believe now, but 10 years ago, then-new President
George W. Bush proposed granting amnesty for 8-10 million illegal
immigrants living in the
United States. Bush, who spoke Spanish and was familiar with the
illegal immigration problem in his role as the former governor of
Texas, had a plan to create an improved guest worker program for
migrants in the U.S., and to allow illegal immigrants to begin the
process of becoming citizens.
Seen through the volcano-tinted glasses of the current anti-immigrant
frenzy, Bush’s ideas on immigration would probably be greeted today as
the ravings of a far-left liberal. But back in 2000 there seemed to
be little national comment on the president’s plan; it seemed a minor
Then came the Twin Towers disaster of 9/11 and President Bush’s goal
of resolving America’s illegal immigrant problem went up in smoke
under the mushroom cloud of Homeland Security concerns. Bush (and
later Sen. John McCain) tried to get immigration reform back on track,
but amnesty got put on hold for the 2004 election as the
anti-immigrant movement grew stronger and eventually, the president
went in the exact opposite direction, going along with a plan to build
a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
So here we are today with Arizona’s new law, which aims to require
police officers to check the I.D. of every person they stop for
speeding, a broken tail light or whatever, to determine if they’re an
illegal alien in need of deportation.
While Arizona and other states do battle in the federal courts over
the constitutionality of their new laws, we should pause to consider
what’s going to happen to food prices if and when we kick the last
illegal Mexican worker out of America.
Brace yourself.
In 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which
makes it a crime for any employer to knowingly hire an illegal alien.
Apparently, the Act hasn’t worked all that well, since we routinely
hear of INS raids on businesses such as Tyson Foods or Walmart where
pockets of illegal immigrants are busted for slaving at low-wage jobs.
And of course, Arizonans are in an uproar over the estimated 460,000
illegals in their state, who are presumably working for someone.
It’s common knowledge that illegal migrant workers are employed in
American agriculture: picking our strawberries, tomatoes, watermelons,
apples, oranges and vegetables. They also work on our ranches and in
our stockyards and meat processing plants. In Florida’s cattle
country, you can find entire towns where almost everyone seems to be a
Guatemalan refugee.
During the 1990s, according to the American Prospect magazine,
Hispanic workers made up nearly 75% of the employees at one of Tyson’s
chicken processing plant. That company employed 67,000 workers at 55
poultry plants during the late ’90s, so do that math on what that
might mean on who’s preparing your Sunday dinner.
It’s difficult to pin down exactly how much illegal immigrants
contribute to keeping food costs down in America because competing
advocacy groups offer wildly differing statistics. At the top end,
there are claims that a gallon of orange juice will run you $20 if we
do away with illegal labor, and that prices for chicken, pork, fruits
and veggies will rise proportionally.
At the bottom end, it’s estimated that food prices will likely rise by
only 3-4% if America deports all of its illegals. Presumably, their
jobs will be taken over by “hard-working Americans,” who are desperate
for jobs in this recession, but will demand higher wages than an
illegal migrant worker can receive.
Gustavo Areliano who writes a column called “Ask a Mexican” that is
popular throughout the West, supports the idea that food prices won’t
rise as much as alarmists claim:
“The hard, boring stats: Out of the 2.2 million U.S. farms counted in
the 2007 Census of Agriculture, only a quarter reported hiring
workers,” writes Areliano. “And out of the 1.42 million farm workers
reported in the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey,
foreign-born Mexicans make up only 35 percent of the population, and
just 10 percent of the food preparation and service industry.”
He adds that nearly 39% of every dollar spent on food in the U.S. goes
to pay labor costs. Areliano concludes that if illegal migrant workers
got a raise for their work (or are replaced by Americans working at
higher wages), we’d see an increase in food prices, but not as much as
the alarmists claim.
But for all we know, farmers, meat packers and restaurateurs are
fudging the numbers of migrant workers they report to the Census
Bureau to stay clear of the law.
Consider the claim in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper that “between 70%
and 80% of the field hands (in Florida) are illegal,” and you can see
that no one really has a handle on how many illegal migrant workers
are contributing to America’s food supply, and how much prices will
rise if they are deported.
But even if your food bill only rises by 3%, will you be happy? How
about 20%? Would that be worth it to ship all of those illegal
migrants back to Mexico or Guatemala?
Interesting to note, gubernatorial candidate Mike Bouchard campaigned
this season on the need to deport illegal workers back to Mexico, even
though that doesn’t seem to be a burning issue here in Michigan, where
some of us actually -- you know -- might even like some of our
Hispanic helpers and neighbors.
Why didn’t Bouchard and his immigrant-hating politicos down in
Arizona, Florida, Utah and Texas campaign with a promise to raise your
grocery bill? Because bottom line, that’s what’s going to happen when
America slams the door on its migrant workers.

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