Liberals and immigration:
There is a very interesting article at Salon by Michael Lind, Jesse Helms is not dead
, which basically says the former Confederacy was essentially a third-world entity - politically and economically - in the early 20th century (if not also before), run by a small white elite, and deeply anti-progressive.
Of interest is this comment
, made in reaction to a passing mention by Lind about about cheap immigrant labor:
As a libertarian with progressive tendencies who hangs out mostly with people who would classify themselves as "liberals", I see a paradoxical attitude toward immigration in their beliefs. On the one hand they give a great deal of vocal support to unions and on the other hand label as a "racist" anyone who points out that the tide of illegal immigrants undercuts the value of labor for native-born American citizens.
Lind is not as smart as he thinks he is, and this is an example. I would include myself among the type of folks he is talking about. I support unions and yet oppose racist talk about illegal immigrants. I don't blame illegal immigrants for the problem. I blame employers who break the law to hire people without legal documentation, i.e. who are not US citizens.
Lind is doing the type of "political math" one sees on corporate media pundit shows: the media folks see opposition to NAFTA only in terms that are about xenophobia, not political economy and without any understanding of nation building and nation sustaining.
If you belong to a union, you have already seen the cheap labor undercut what you can earn. In the construction trades, one used to be able to make about $40k/year. Yeah, you earned it. Until recently, most contractors went to the local home store and got daylabor Mex or SouthAms. At less than $5/hr.
Maybe we should try that with other occupations.