Sunday, February 03, 2008

Chains Of Misery

Take a look at your grocery bill: dozen eggs, 4qts milk, 3lbs chicken, 2lbs tomatoes, Muenster cheese, coffee, bar of chocolate. What goes into the price you paid? Many things: raw materials, labor, transportation, - often including import costs, i.e. additional labor of shipping companies and port workers- and then again the same for all the packaging materials in which these items come, and then again the same for the distributing/marketing companies and your retailer. And it carries one more heavy item: taxes. That’s right – even though most grocery items are sales tax free, all of the above mentioned must pay their taxes – businesses and employees alike. In other words, the more taxes each employer and employee has to pay, the higher the cost of each component of your groceries and their way of reaching your hands.

Employers, of course, prefer lower-wage employees. What their shortsightedness sorely misses, is the fact that they must compensate their imaginary gain with higher taxes – public education, social benefits and the additional burden of unemployment benefits for natives who lost their jobs to immigrants. In other words, when you buy chicken, you must pay for all public services consumed by all the employees in the process: farmers, transportation, slaughterhouse, etc. Not to mention all the money that leaves the country.

Would the societal norms not push for a degree at all costs – often sponsored by the State, read: the taxpayer- and sneer at blue-collar jobs, value work ethic, integrity and honesty over fame and fortune, and would the mega-corporations be less corrupt, blue-collar wages would be all taken by natives. But since in this day and age every ignoramus who can barely spell “New York Yankees” gets some BS degree from some community college, and goes into “journalism”, “acting” or “education” –read: welfare and unemployment sucking- until the most aggressive and knavish get lucrative do-nothing, all-important bureaucratic “jobs” (examples include “director of diversity training at University of Busytown, USA” or “administrator of job satisfaction quality of the Nevermore branch of the Stargazers’ union”) with skyrocketing salaries and even more heaven-rocketing retirement packages. (Makes you wonder why we get angry at all when we hear someone say it’s a mitzvah to steal from the government…)

In short, 12 to 20 million less illegal immigrants in the USA would put that much jobs for immediate availability, cut unemployment, crime, education costs, prison and police costs, and the out-of–control welfare abuse. (Although I have a feeling that the Agudah and similar organizations fear once our brothers of Mexican origin are gone home, their constituents (i.e. Orthodox Jews) would come under scrutiny. Why this is wrong will be clarified shortly.)

An interesting item - the recent ‘housing bubble’ and its subsequent burst is tied directly to illegal immigration (as well as corruption and the Federal Reserve’s stupidity or willful blindness): the immigrants created higher demand for housing. The contractors bought up lots of properties to build condos and other cheap constructions, squeezing as many housing units on as small a property as possible. Because of the Fed’s low rates, people –entrepreneurs as well as individuals- borrowed money –money they had no clue how to give back, but hey, “the rates were low!” to buy investment houses. Those who were quick made a killing - those who came later got killed. Too many units were built, and the Mexican’s minimum wages and food stamps were not enough to cover rent, and the big mansions built on dreams and illusions went on foreclosures. What happened to the Orthodox Jewish housing market is a microcosmic mirror reflection of this.

If the illegal immigrants are ח"ו amnestized, the Orthodox community can kiss their darling politicians goodbye. The immigrants understand less, vote more, demand less, and it will be a lot easier to pull the wool over their eyes. The very arms on which dignified Rebbes and important Roshey yeshiva used to hang will stab us all in the back. “הוו זהירין ברשות שאין מקרבין לו לאדם אלא לצורך עצמן, נראין כאוהבין בשעת הנאתן ואין עומדין לו בשעת דחקו” The boots which you diligently licked will kick you in the face faster than you can say “gevald!” Goobye cheap housing! Goodbye Yeshiva freebies! Goodbye seudos Achashverosh! Goodbye shopping with food stamps while being clad in thousands of dollars in clothing! Goodbye uncontrolled building permits, grants, “congregations” and parsonage deductions!

As far as media attention goes, I don’t think the focus on Jews will grow significantly. The Skverer Rebbe doesn’t hold an exclusive patent for milking the government – there are enough people of his ilk who do at least as good a job as he does (Al Sharpton comes to mind…) The education system is corrupt enough to outweigh any and all OJ corruption. So don’t worry gentle rabbis, you don’t have to rush to inculcate our yeshivaleit with unbending honesty and integrity. The government has known for a long time what the Gecko just discovered: “If you want a lot of friends – giving away money, fffhhhooo – no’ uh ba’d ideah!” Just keep on encouraging a life of luxury and no restraint for all. But please don’t foist on us the immigration disaster. I’m not sure Mexican gangs -hardened killers, rapists and drug dealers- can be kept at bay with kol korehs, takonos, issurim and gdorim.

The war on terror, Iraq, and even the appointment of Supreme court judges – are all important issues, but in the long run will be solved, regardless of who is president. But if immigration is not solved now – you can kiss your country goodbye.

The coming Tuesday is erev rosh chodesh Adar. The Agudah issued an anouncment to daven and do tshuva on this day, in face of the situation in Erets Yisroel. It is also Super Tuesday. Daven the best candidate wins. Go out and vote. And for heaven’s sake, do the right thing.

© Joseph Izrael 2008

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