The following was a part of a discussion on the net about immigration. I had pointed out that many immigrants somehow end up on welfare. Read Jeff's response and then I'll follow up with my comments.
Guest post by Jeff Colonnesi
Many are criticized for “taking advantage” of a perfectly legal option in the system. They come here, are told that they can legally get this or that benefit. Or they are told that they get this or that tax break if they structure their income or business a certain way. Then we blame them when they follow those rules to the letter, and don’t play by the unwritten ones that we handicap ourselves with.
That’s why free handouts, of any sort, do not work with immigration.
Most Americans will not dream of applying for handouts. American teenagers have to be browbeat by parents and school administrators to even apply for many scholarships. Young mothers look at WIC as something they won’t apply for unless desperate. Most Americans will take a job making pennies more than unemployment, just to have a job. Americans point fingers and accuse each other of “cheating” if they claim a business loss on their taxes.
Immigrants think about it differently. Without the cultural reference that condemns them for taking a handout, they look at those programs when they find out about them as “free money”. They structure their business to minimize the tax outlay, and think they have done a great job if they can (legally) claim a thriving business owes nothing in taxes. Our current political leaders are doing a damn good job of teaching Americans to look at it the same way (hence the staggering rise in the number of people on public assistance).
Any immigration faces that problem. If you or I immigrated to some other country we would have the written laws to base our decisions on. If someone tried to explain to us that it was the “cultural norm” to give away half our profits to our neighbors we would laugh at them and think they were trying to swindle us or playing a joke.
The only way to solve that issue is to remove the “free stuff” and make the legal laws represent what the culture actually expects.
Ex- Army here: Jeff is right. Immigrants always bring their culture with them, and crossing a border isn't magic. They continue, unless and until they learn otherwise, to follow all the customs and folkways they grew up with. And it goes deeper than that. Different countries have different levels of corruption and other criminal behavior. They have different marriage customs, different ideas of honor and personal responsibility, and totally different ideas of appropriate behavior. As he says, Americans, especially the basic old-time White European stock, have a gut aversion towards taking handouts burned into them by centuries of moral conditioning. Most nonEuropean immigrants have no such aversion, and look on welfare and other giveaways as a great opportunity.
Jeff's solution is correct, of course, but it's only a partial solution. Even if the gvt stopped with the handouts — and good luck with that, considering all the liberal and neocons in positions to stop any such reforms — private charities and churches would take the job on, and do just as poorly at it.
So we need Jeff's reform, of course. And we also need to vet immigrants morally and culturally, and only let those in who are already in conformity with those "unwritten rules" that make up the bedrock of our culture. And that will automatically reduce the number of immigrants to a trickle, which just the size it ought to be.
Quibcag: Illustrated with Sensei of Denkigai no Hon'ya-san (デンキ街の本屋さん?, lit. "The Electric Town's Bookstore"). who is quite good at looking like she's having difficulty grasping a concept. Second quibcag is an oldie, and I don't remember where I got the illustration. Wait! Correspondent YIH recognizes it. It's from Mitsudomoe.