Letters to a Young Conservative: Chapters 26-27

November 21, 2012 | Marian

Here, we temporarily turn from domestic policies, to consider Anti-Globalization and Immigration.

In Chapter 26, the author outlines the concerns that Anti-Globalists have regarding the lower wages paid to Third World Workers being employed by multinational corporations. He notes the liberals’ seemingly righteous anger towards free trade and capitalism, while bluntly claiming:

… this moral indignation is a bit of a pose. (194)

He proceeds to give several reasons why Third World Workers are not necessarily being harmed by companies hiring them for lower wages than American employees are paid.

… multinational companies offer the best-paying jobs around… Why would third-world workers work for multinationalists unless they were being offered a better deal than they could get elsewhere? (194)

Not only do free trade policies help foreign workers at Coca Cola and General Electric, they also help other families in Third World countries because the increased demand for labor pushes up the wages even for workers who are not employed by multinational corporations. (194)

The author concludes that Anti-Globalists are not truly pursuing the best interests of Third World Citizens, because if higher wages were in fact mandated, many of the multinational companies (and their jobs) would leave these regions altogether.

Ultimately, this letter is less about proposing a solution, and more about simply identifying hypocrisy in the discussion. With a hat-tip to an older political player, the author commends Pat Buchanan (remember him?) for his honesty opinion on globalization, which the author summarizes as:

“He doesn’t give a damn about the 3rd World and is willing to say so.” (196)

Making a similar argument, the author next addresses immigration. He contends that while many Americans complain about immigration, our immigrant workers fill an important role in our economy.

The critics of immigration are wrong. Immigrants provide economic benefits to America by taking jobs that most Americans refuse to take. (199)

While acknowledging that yes, immigrants do also take some jobs from Americans (insofar as immigrants are willing to work for lower wages), the author counters that the decreased cost of products and services created by these lower-wage-workers is a greater good for our nation.

In economic terms, immigration hurts some Americans but it also benefits a larger group of American consumers. (200)

However, he does not believe America should continue their existing, broad immigration policy.

Greater selectivity is also needed for American immigration policy today because there is a new magnet for immigrants that didn’t exist in the past: the welfare state. A century ago, immigrants came to America for opportunity; now, some come for a free ride. (201)

He recommends that America specifically request certain professions, much like Australia and Canada solicit nannies, doctors, and investors for their economy.

Also, he stresses that immigrants must integrate into their new society, for everyone’s benefit; Multiculturalism, he claims, is actually a hindrance to immigrants achieving the American Dream.

Liberals and multiculturalists tell immigrants that they should not try to “become American.” (202)

Furthermore, liberals do not encourage immigrants to speak English, to rise above dependence on the Welfare system, or to make the ‘difficult but necessary transitions’ that the author asserts would enable them to advance personally and professionally.

This is destructive for America and bad for immigrants… But, the answer is to keep multiculturalism away from immigrants, not to keep immigrants away from America. (203)

Although neat and quotable, this conclusion glosses over the question of how to handle existing illegal immigrants.

Still, one has to appreciate any practical suggestions at all, in a long-winded debate like this one; inevitably, within the room of proposals, our generation will be called to answer next.

Next week, Elizabeth will discuss Chapters 28-29, Why Liberals Hate America and A Republican Realignment.

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