Eric Ruark's picture


  by  Eric Ruark

May I wish you a Happy Labor Day by pointing out that the leadership of the two political parties in control of our federal government are actively seeking to undermine the standing of American workers.

This may change after the mid-term elections. Most likely not.

The election of Donald J. Trump sent shockwaves through the political system, but in the end whether or not this results in a substantial shift in favor of working Americans remains to be seen.

One of the principles upon which NumbersUSA was founded is that every person should have the opportunity to seek dignity through work, no matter the job. NumbersUSA was also founded upon the understanding that any economic system must operate in a way that benefits both people and place. No economy is strong enough to survive the exhaustion of the resources upon which it depends.

What we have now is a portion of the Republican Party that supports mass immigration because it wants to reward its major donors; and a portion of the Democratic Party that supports mass immigration because it wants to reward its major donors and grow its roll of voters. (One of those political strategies makes sense, but we’ll save that discussion for another time.)

When it comes to the economic policy, there is substantively very little difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. It may be that one party tells us “the market” should always prevail, while the other argues government should exert greater control over “the market place,” but both agree “growing the economy” is the ultimate goal, no matter the cost.

Immigration is an efficient way to grow the economy, but no economic system dependent upon immigration is sustainable.

The Debate Congress Should Be Having

It’s difficult to discern any substantive policy debate above the incessant innuendo and gossip that characterizes the D.C. media, especially when it comes to immigration. Generally, the disagreements are about the near-term effects of immigration policy. Rarely mentioned is how current immigration policy will affect posterity.

We hear elected officials talk about doing what’s right for our children and grandchildren, while doing nothing in reality to provide a viable future for future generations.

We as Americans must force a course correction if we truly wish to pass down the benefits we so richly enjoy

One thing we must acknowledge is our current immigration policies are impracticable. The polices now in place tremendously benefit employers at the expense of employees, create fiscal burdens, particularly for state governments, undermine civil society, and put tremendous strain upon our natural resources. Anyone who will not acknowledge that, at the very least, it is legitimate to discus immigration reduction is either blind to the facts, or dishonest about their true motivations.

We have a bi-partisan addiction to growth fueled by immigration. It’s Ponzi demography.

We Live in a World with Limits

The argument here isn’t that Americans have to live in yurts and eat grasshoppers (or cicadas, if you prefer). The argument instead is that a commitment to perpetual economic and/or population growth is not rational. The natural world has limits. The type of economic growth the United States has become dependent upon is not sustainable and does not lead to prosperity, at least not wide-spread prosperity.

Critics cry that this is “Malthusian,” though the ones making such charges almost certainly have never read Malthus, who was an advocate of free trade, which he believed required government regulation in order to prevent the exploitation of labor and the land in an age of rapid industrialization and urbanization.

Conservatives need to understand that conservation must be a part of their political commitment, or there will nothing left to conserve. Liberals need to understand that human beings are not commodities to be used for economic and political gain. In political terms, Republicans cannot be allowed to pretend environmental protections are not necessary, and Democrats cannot be allowed to pretend that their commitment to mass immigration is not causing environmental degradation. Both parties must no longer pretend that mass immigration does not increase income inequality in the United Sates.

Environmentalists will always fail politically if they take the position that the only path to sustainability is wholly, or even mostly, a technical fix. Economists will always fail if they take the position that growth is the only measure of man.

Humans are economic beings, but that’s not all we are. Humans also pursue religion, and politics, and all sorts of human endeavors. And we disagree about the best way to live on this planet, including how we should best take care of the planet.

A democratic government can only function with well-a defined notion of citizenship, with corresponding sets of rights and responsibilities. A democratic government can never exist without being contained within well-defined and defensible borders. Citizens who live under a democracy determine the standard for admitting aliens, as well as the course for granting those aliens, in time, the full rights of fellow citizenship. And we must always take care to consider how any actions we take today will affect those who come after us.

It’s the economy and the environment, stupid.

Happy Labor Day!

ERIC RUARK is the Director of Research for NumbersUSA

Updated: Mon, Sep 17th 2018 @ 12:45pm EDT

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