Friday, March 31, 2006

Statist weasel of the week.

Republicans in the US House of Representatives are pushing for more state control on migrant workers. Republicans love state control these days. They are enamoured with it. And one of the worst Republicans these days is Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher claims to be a libertarian. And by most indications he once was one, many years ago. But these days he is a big government Republican. The lure of power and the baubles of office bought him off.

The US has more work than it can fill (of course this is true of almost all nations but most use legislation to ban people from working). In addition there are lots of jobs that spoiled, pampered Americans don't want to do. And there are plenty of people who would love those jobs with millions of them just over the border in Mexico. Most of these people are anxious to work, willing to work and able to work. But protectionist in Congress want to keep wages artificially high in the US. Except the jobs that this migrants are willing to do are not jobs that have lines of workers waiting to take them. So the protectiionist measures of the Republicans do not actual protect anything. They just make everyone worse off --- but that seems to be government's job.

Rohrabacher whined in Congress: "I say let the prisoners pick the fruits." Now whether involuntary labour from prisoners is good (ie, slave labour) is a different question. But this shows how far the Republicans have strayed from any respect for free markets. Rohrabacher would rather have forced government labour than allow willing employers to hire willing workers at wages acceptable to both. And this is what the Republicans pass off as libertarian these days! Compared to the Patriot Act, illegal spying on citizens, incarceration without legal representation, exploding budget deficits, massive socialised medicine plans, ad nauseum, I guess it is. But under Reagan this would have been considered the loony fringes of the Left.

One the dumbest comments came from another Republican. Dumb because it literally makes no sense. Virgil Goode from Virginia said: "I say if you are here illegally and want to fly the Mexican flag, go to Mexico and wave the American flag." What?? There is something pompous about anyone starting a sentence with "I say" simply because the act of saying it makes it obvious who is saying it. But to address people who are supposedly in the US illegally (without government permission) and suggest they go to Mexico to wave the American flag is just ridiculous. It makes no sense at all. It is incoherent. Rep. Goode put his mouth in drive while his brain was still in park. Any less coherent and he could write speeches for Bush.

The days when Republicans advocates small government and free markets are long gone. These people are actually making the Democrats look good.

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