Friday, October 10, 2008

My Crystal Ball

This morning you have a choice of purchasing a tall iced-coffee from Starbucks…or a share of Ford Motor Company stock... for $2.08—they’re priced the same, as we begin to end the first full week of October with the Dow Jones Industrials trading in the mid-8’s—where I told you earlier this week the market would likely be.
Not proud of it, but that’s where we are.
Another forecast that has come to pass: Regular Unleaded gasoline under $3/gal by election day. That one came in a three weeks early, at least in my neighborhood, where the non-discounted price yesterday afternoon was posted at $2.97.
Okay, I told you so.

If you’re in this country illegally, you can no longer obtain a Texas Driver’s License. Legally.
The DPS is now requiring proof of legal residence before issuing licenses…which has caused an uproar from immigrant groups and lawmakers. The fear is that without licenses—which are required to obtain automobile insurance—the state is actually creating an environment in which more drivers will be on the road, illegally, and without insurance.
The last three times I was hit by another driver—all were driving without insurance. I have no idea if they were here legally or not. Under the law, they were certainly driving illegally.

The point is, the Texas Department of Public Safety should be living up to its name—providing safety for the public--which by definition would involve encouraging everyone to be licensed to drive, and fully insured. Whether or not a person is in this country illegally is beside the point.

I heard some local clown campaigning for office, promising to do something about illegal immigrants in this region, if elected to office. Silly man…immigration is a Federal issue…albeit not being handled very effectively by the Federales. But to imply a locally elected official can enact rules or laws to affect national policy is ridiculous.

One more thing about Immigrants—we are forgetting our history, people. We are all the children, grandchildren, or maybe great- or great-great grandchildren of immigrants. We all came here from someplace else…which is what made this country great; its is this rich fabric of mingled societies and backgrounds that has resulted in the strength of American culture.

Two practical considerations: We’re not replicating Americans like we once were. And as more of you Baby Boomers cash-out of the workplace and start drawing on Social Security, there are fewer workers left in your places, contributing to the fund, keeping the cashflow going—which is another, controversial issue we could debate for hours.

An instant source of replacements in the workplace are immigrants, willing to work, willing to become citizens.
If we’ll let them.
Secondly…the economy, crappy as it is, would seize up and grind to a screeching halt tomorrow if immigrant workers were not contributing to the whole. To restrict or eliminate their motive force really only harms the whole. Building fences is a deterrent only to our forward progress.

Here is a class of wanna-be citizens, willing to leave their native homes and move here. They’re the cream of the crop—and we should embrace them, encourage them—enlist them, certainly—and make their path to citizenship as expedient as is prudent to do so. The math of population growth is working against us; they can balance the equation.

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