Trump: health care is complicated. Trump: health care is complicated.

Complicated world for Tangerine Tornado

Trump's admission that health care is complicated indicates there is hope

Do Donald Trump supporters remember – in the not-too-distant past when Trump was a registered Democrat – that he was all-in for open borders and more immigration?

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The fact is it’s difficult to discern with any confidence what, if anything, Donald Trump actually believes. He contradicts himself so frequently that one of his chief consiglieres, Kellyanne Conway, famously said that we should look into her boss’s “heart” and pay no attention to “what’s come out of his mouth.” No ma’am, thank you very much.

I’ll stick with what he says (where it’s intelligible), or better yet, given his well-documented history of wild vacillations, what he does. He is, after all, somewhat known for unfiltered blurting, a troubling habit for any national leader, and even more so for the leader of the most powerful national on the planet.

His immigration policies provide us with a good example. A major leg of his campaign platform focused on his Mexican border wall and deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants within two years of taking office with a special “deportation force,” among a whole host of other idiotic, impractical, unconstitutional or impossible ideas.

At various moments he or his lieutenants advocated for deporting all illegal immigrants to Mexico regardless of their country of origin, or levying a border tax which would require Americans to pay higher prices for goods manufactured by American companies in Mexico, effectively passing the price of the wall onto American consumers.

These ideas were then walked back, or explained through circular and curious casuistry via Sean Spicer (who’s college nickname was Sean Sphincter, apparently because he made a lot of noise but never said anything).

Not surprisingly, a pattern has developed within this skeleton crew-of-an-administration’s short, rocky tenure: float an idea and when someone points out how asinine, counterproductive or illegal it is, scrap it. Float, scrap, float, scrap. Not exactly brilliant policy minds at work here.

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But on Tuesday, February 28, amidst his administration’s massive ramping up of deportations, Trump told reporters he supported immigration reform and a path to permanent residency. Apparently (it takes some deciphering) he wants to bifurcate the problem of what do with the undocumented already here from the problem of fixing a broken immigration system.

Later, in his surprisingly conciliatory address to a joint session of Congress, he claimed – among other things he got horribly wrong – that illegals take American jobs, and should get in line like legal immigrants do. He called on Congress to jettison the “system of lower-skilled immigration” and adopt a “merit based system.”

Oddly, in his congressional address he forgot to mention his earlier compromise idea for a path to legal residency.

He’s apparently deeply confused on this policy issue (as with most others). As I pointed out in a February 18 op-ed, illegal immigrants taking Americans’ jobs is a false, yet stubbornly persistent myth. What’s more, Trump apparently wasn’t informed that we already have a merit based system for many foreign aspirants. It’s called the H-1B visa.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) published a working paper last month about the 85,000 H-1B immigrants we accept every year. The authors concluded that this class of immigrants who apply legally and wait their turn are taking jobs that Americans could perform, while deflating salaries in the process. (Which is perhaps why Trump’s white nationalist chief strategist Steve Bannon supports eliminating the H-1B.)

In sum, Trump got it exactly backwards, and members of his own administration can’t seem to get on the same page.

H-1B immigrants mostly work in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and while wages in this sector are depressed by 2.6% to 5.1% because of them (depending on the specific field), there also some measurable benefits. Tech company productivity and profitability, for example, have risen dramatically as a result.

The authors of the paper conclude that if the H-1B program were to be seriously curtailed, companies would move many of these jobs overseas. This is one reason why other developed countries accept far more immigrants than the U.S. in proportion to their populations, and why Bannon’s dream of a white America won’t be fulfilled (the tech lobby is pretty powerful).

The NBER paper demonstrates a kind of nuanced thinking that national public policy leaders need to cultivate, instead of relying on popular platitudes and tropes that sell well politically, but are divorced from the facts of a complicated economic system inextricably intertwined with the rest of the world.

Thus I think Trump’s recursive triangulations around every policy problem has less to do with him “speaking his mind” (his most likeable quality among his supporters) and more to do with the fact that he is simply not very smart.

He is not, as it were, a disciplined thinker, and apparently surrounds himself with others cut from the same cloth – people not especially adept at abstract thought or very interested in the minutia of complex problem solving. Having a plutocracy was bad enough, but when you fold in a bevy of kakistocrats who can’t even be bothered to spell check official documents, it doesn’t bode well for freedom and equality.

Some pundits on the political Left have recently characterized Trump as some kind of evil genius. That’s frankly laughable. His schizophrenic policy positions that sometimes change hourly are quite obviously, in my view, the result of the immovable objects of ignorance and populism meeting the unstoppable force of reality.

His election, for example, wasn’t the result of a brilliantly executed plan. It was a fluke, a perfect storm of serious socioeconomic frustrations, a bizarre electoral college system and a profoundly ignorant electorate.

But there is hope. When it finally became apparent to him that there will be no “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act largely due to his very supporters’ white-hot ire at the possibility of losing health insurance coverage, he was forced to admit that health care was “complicated.”

Good for him. It shows that his mind hasn’t been completely decoupled from the real world. And it’s a start, a baby step for a man baby. But I remain skeptical.

Glen Olives Thompson is a professor of North American Law at La Salle University in Chihuahua, a specialist in law and public policy and a frequent contributor to Mexico News Daily. Some of his other non-academic work can be viewed at glenolives.com

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  • Lorenzo Epps

    let me tell you why the american people have TURNED against mexicans. the mexican people who have come to america over the past three decades have been NASTY…OPENLY HOSTILE….RUDE…OFFENSIVE…BOASTFUL…COVETOUS…MURDEROUS…LYING….and have broken every commandment given by the father and his son the messiah. Now…you can turn around and say the same about americans in your own defense….BUT….americans have a legal right to be here….mexicans have no rights. let’s talk about how mexicans treat central and south americans passing through mexico to get to the usa: MEXICANS BUTCHER AND MURDER CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICANS PASSING THROUGH MEXICO TO GET TO THE UNITED STATES. I use to read those little tiny magazine books that showed decaptitated and mutilated body parts in pictures. SOOO…dear mexico and mexicans. it is best to shut your mouth…and clean your house. mexicans are killing mexicans over DRUG wars. a mexican medical doctor is in PRISON because he stood up to the mexican government regarding drug cartels in his region. MEXICO needs to fix mexico and the mexican people. AMERICA will fix it’s own…but right now…mexicans and other illegals HAVE TO GO HOME…and don’t act like you were invited. you came to steal the harvest THAT WAS NOT YOUR OWN. DON’T GET IT TWISTED.

    • miabeach

      Not one Mexican ever said thanks. They seem not to know how.

      • Julian Epps

        we the people don’t want a thanks for stealing someone’s harvest! WE WANT “THEM” GONE!

    • Julian Epps

      ……….and let’s not forget! MEXICANS have pissed off every ethnic group in the usa…INCLUDING OTHER LATINOS….it’s safe to say…mexico is fuk’d!

      • Hailey Mannering

        And USA has pissed off much of the world, which is partly why US tourism is down this year, but tourism to Mexico is not.

    • Lorenzo Epps

      Lorenzo Epps • a few seconds ago
      Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by Mexico News Daily.
      of course you are complaining about walls. you know TRUMP has trumped you and MEXICO WILL PAY FOR THE WALL. who knows…we the people may even insist that the ILLEGALS be made to make bricks in mud pits for the wall! we the people might insist that ILLEGALS be made to physically build the wall! but what it all comes down to is this:
      https://youtu.be/i9QEAtcz3o8

    • Cam Nante

      If you’re not indigenous you weren’t invited either….a check on your American history will also show that Mexicans were in the southwestern states long before the land grabbing gringoes

      • Julian Epps

        I AM ONE OF THE ORIGINALS IN THIS LAND…A NATIVE DESCENDED FROM NATIVES…soooooo….bye!

        • Julian Epps

          ……and Mexicans have invaded my land breaking all 10+ commandments….GO MEDITATE ON THAT!

      • cooncats

        They were but not in sufficient numbers to develop or hold it. As is always the case in history, the land belongs to the people who can take it and hold it.

  • cooncats

    Well Glen, Trump has wised up on immigration. You on the other hand don’t seem to understand the concept of how so much can become too much. Nor do you seem to consider the idea that maybe someone should be asking Mexico why its government is such a gross failure that it can’t provide basic security or jobs for its population and thus tens of millions have felt it necessary to leave their country and journey north to survive.

    Not only that, they took a bunch of energy and talent with them and left this country worse off for it. Of course, this country’s self serving rich pigs and corrupt government know they also took a very real possibility that had they stayed they might have come looking to deal with said pigs and politicians.

    Your data on the cost of illegal immigrants is either false or cherry picked–there are plenty of data that show the illegal population not only requires a lot of social support, is the source of a lot of crime and is responsible for depressing the wages of the legal population and native citizens. Perhaps that is why when polled a very strong majority of legal immigrants want illegal immigration stopped. Of course you don’t want to cite that.

    H1B has been used far too often as a means of replacing middle class Americans with far lower paid H1B visa holders. Indeed all those stories of just that happening all over the country are what awakened Americans to the abuse of this program. It is just another example of how the greedy use well intended programs to screw the working people.

    Yes, Mr. Trump has wised up. Unlike you and your fellow liberals, he has listened to the heartland of America and those folks have told him in no uncertain terms they have had enough with global capitalism that exports their jobs to Mexican and Chinese sweatshops and then ships the goods back to America. They’ve had enough of the Democrat plan to hold power by importing pliable immigrants to overwhelm the rest of America at the polls.

    And they’ve had quite enough of dishonest academics like yourself who fabricate dishonest arguments using false or distorted data which are so clearly out of step with the reality that everyone can see.

    It is time for Mexico to take responsibility for its incredibly bad government and its own people and stop using the U.S. as an employer or welfare agency of last resort. Instead of stealing 100 billion U.S. from the people, let’s see the Mexican government take care of its own.

    • GOPerson

      When the Mexican government is able to provide one of the basic human needs, clean water, to its citizens then I will have an iota of faith in them.

      • cooncats

        Actually there has been steady progress here on that front but the faith isn’t warranted until the endemic corruption is tamed.

      • Hailey Mannering

        I haven´t personally heard of a Mexican who doesn´t have access to clean water. They can´t necessarily drink it out of a faucet. Many Mexicans can buy drinking water for very low prices
        and some can get it straight out of their well.

        • GOPerson

          Yes, I guess you would be willing to pay your water bill then go out and purchase drinking water? I doubt that seriously.

          • Hailey Mannering

            In Merida, the water bill for a home owner is almost always about US$3.50 for 2 months, total. I have never had a higher bill in my years here, even when there´s been a lot of people staying at my house, working with cement. Some people buy devices so the tap water can made drinkable. Some people in villages get free water from the municipality. You can confirm this on sites such as Facebook page “Mexico Amigos”. A 20 litre container of drinking water varies in price from about 25 cents $US to US$1.30. Home delivery is available. You clearly don´t know Mexico.

    • Glen Olives

      We agree that the greedy use programs to screw working people. Trump has assembled the richest cabinet in the history of our rebublic. Do you seriously thank that these Wall Street corportists have the best interests of American working class in mind? That would require quite a lot of credulity. A new study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy concluded that undocumented immigrants contribute US $12 billion to local and state tax coffers, and pay a higher percentage of their incomes in taxes than the wealthiest 1% of Americans. Hard to see how that is taking advantage. I won´t quibble too much with the Heritage Foundation study, but as a right wing think tank, they not-so-curiously are interested in telling half the story. H-1b workers contribute billions to the American economy because they live here. If we eliminate those visas, many of those jobs will be shipped overseas, and those salaries will be spent in India, China and Mexico. Also consider that on average 300,000 H-1b applications are processed per year and only 85,000 are granted. Hardly an immigration flood. Console yourself with easy answers if you like, but the world is slightly more complicated. Immigrants are the friends, not the enemies, of the American middle class. Hell, an student of history will tell you the built it. The enemy is sitting before our very noses, convincing us to vote against our own interests. And they’re brilliantly accomplishing this because people like you are inapable of seeing the world in any other way than black and white.

      • cooncats

        You see the problem here is that you broadcast your bias right from the very beginning with that offensive title. And then you compounded the error by assuming that because the cabinet are very successful private sector people that they are bad.

        You really have no room to complain about anyone seeing the world in black and white. Your world is nothing but trying the same old shit over and over, big government liberalism, expecting a different result. Your title and your langaging are unprofessional and scream bias from the roof tops. So knock off the academic arrogance, you sure haven’t earned it with anything you’ve posted on this site.

        Working people have been screwed to the wall by professional politicians. Take a look at the wealth the Clintons and the Obamas have accumulated by peddling influence and pay for play. I’d rather have people who actually earned in the private sector than these PRI style professional politicians that have run things for decades. These politician idiots have gotten us into one foreign military misadventure after another, piled on regulations to the point the cost exceeds $30K per family and created this bloated, grossly overpaid monster in D.C.

        And all in my lifetime.

        H1B is being abused to death. When companies lay off Americans and replace them with cheap immigrants that is just wrong. You are a hypocrite for advocating this while complaining about the greedy rich. Even your fellow lefties at the NYT know the reality of this program:

        https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/opinion/visa-abuses-harm-american-workers.html

        More of your hypocrisy to bitch about Heritage and then post bunk from a leftist think tank. Here’s your study dismantled soundly:

        http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/sorry-but-illegal-aliens-cost-the-u-s-plenty/

        You can’t quibble with the Heritage study because it is far more rigorous than what you are citing and based on serious hard number.

        It is time to rethink “free trade” in toto. It is not free when you force your middle class to compete with sweatshops or be put out of work. Your free trade may have resulted in a lot of cheap stuff being available but at what cost? Why would you want your fellow Americans to have to compete with maquiladora slaves making $2.20 per hour?

        This is what you are advocating:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/18/maquiladora-mexico-labor-factory-poverty_n_1606879.html

        I’m sorry but you are a graphic example of why “higher education” these days is a biased sham. It is better described as group think and indoctrination. Ironically you progressives are the most regressive people around these days because none of you have anything to offer other than the same old collectivism and globalism.

        Your time in history is passing. Better get used to it.

        • Glen Olives

          I find myself agreeing with you, to a point. The title of this essay surely offended my brethren on the Right. But aren’t your compatriots constantly complaining about how easily liberals are offended? I’m just being politically incorrect. It work both ways? That aside, your animosity is misdirected. Yes, I am biased. We’re all biased. I’m biased to think that the Earth is round and not flat. Your use of the terms “collectavism” and “globalism” give me the distinct impression that you get your news from a single source. Fox? Breitbart? Infowars? Am I right? Knowledge is not a sham.

          • cooncats

            No you are not right. Obviously you missed the fact that in debunking your shallow arguments I cited your liberal brethren for the most part. Your title simply displayed your lack of intellectual rigor as do all the rest of your anti-Trump rants. You blew up your own credibility with your title and the tone of your rant. You should have offended yourself but I don’t think you are bright enough to grasp that level of subtly.

            Your knowledge largely is a sham as I showed in just a few lines. And semantics matter. Serious intellects chose serious language. You do not.

            Trump the man is not the issue here. Once again you make assumptions about me that are not incorrect. I am not particularly fond of Donald Trump. To me his election is a continuation of the basic failure of the two party system in the U.S. to propose competent leadership for a long, long time.

            Mexico has the same problem. The PRI and the PAN are just two sides of the same bankrupt and corrupt governing/owning elite of this country that has failed so miserably that millions had to pack up and leave. They are so bad they make their northern counterparts look good.

            The Republicrats and Demicans are their mirror image north of the border. They’ve managed to stall the greatest economic machine in the history of man and pile up trillions in unpayable debt in the process. They’ve taken the freest and most prosperous nation on earth on a collision course with poverty in just a few short decades.

            Shallow ideologues like yourself can’t grasp that the Trump election was a rebellion of the heartland against both parties and the coastal global elites that control them. It was not about the man at all.

            It is a rebellion emerging all over the western world and with many manifestations. If not Trump, it was going to be someone else sooner or later. The governing elite living behind their walls in their gated communities may have not figured it out but the folks in the street understand where all this is headed and they want no part of it.

            Globalism simply isn’t worth it. Destroying the successful in a futile effort to lift up the unsuccessful doesn’t work on either a micro or macro level. Progressives are the most regressive of all simply because they continue to try and make the same failure, socialism, succeed despite centuries of evidence that it will never work because it is alien to human nature.

            You guys are the new flat earth society, not us.

  • miabeach

    Trump was never for opened boarders. Most Trump supporters were also Democrats in the not too distant past. NAFTA was supposed to end illegal immigrantion. Bill Clinton campaigned on sealing the border and failed to do so. Obama ran for the senate as anti immigrantion because illegal immigrants negatively impacts the black community. In his first term obama did a great job of deporting illegals. Republicans supported open borders including Reagan and Bush, the Tea Party formed to end illegal immigrants. I joined the Tea Party when Obama decided he wanted open borders. Obama reshape the Democrat Party and it is now government workers, homosexuals and forigeners. That’s who belong to the democrat party now. The total of democrats voted n office today is less than one third of what they were in 2008. Obama killed the Democrat Party and it’s fitting, after all it was the Democrats who fought for slavery. And you sir is nothing more then a jerk off, but I’m sure you know that.

  • miabeach

    The electoral college is what keeps the United States from becoming like Mexico. Or Venezuela. Or Guatemala. Or any Latin American shithole. The electoral college is genius. What’s bizarre is how a rich country like the United States can have such a failure on its southern border. Mexico should be doing very well for all her people, like Canada or Bermuda. But the Latino way of doing things only allows for failure. Every chance I every Mexican I meet, why does Canada do my well and Mexico is such a loser? They always get mad.

    • Hailey Mannering

      The former British dominions overall did much better than former Spanish colonies. Perhaps the legal system is part of the problem ?

      • miabeach

        Spain built beautiful enduring cities all over the New World. When Spain pulled out Latin America was as great as anywhere on earth. 100 years ago Argentina had one of the top 7 economies in the world. Latin America is richer in mineral wealth than the United States. Great diverse geography, fresh water, they had all the advantages yet they did nothing but create poverty and slums. Now they have nothing but a booming serf class and the ladder to success is to flee to a Gringo country, where they have nothing in common and don’t even speak the language. Truely shameful.

        • Hailey Mannering

          I spent a few years in Argentina and don´t feel they have nothing but a booming serf class and that their only hope for success is to flee to a Gringo country. 46% of city of Buenos Aires households have live in help (mostly immigrants from Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay). Argentina has problems, but there is a substantial middle and upper class.

          • miabeach

            That’s classic Latino, the capital city has and controls the wealth of the entire nation. There’s also a lot of German/Nazi decedants whose families did very well after the war. They own all the German and American franchises. My wife was Peruvian and middle class and also had live in help. She had a domestic since childhood. It’s a nice life but there’s a cost, you need a large serf population. I live in Florida and am middle class, I could have a domestic who would work for substandard wages. I would still be middle class but my housekeeper would never be. She would be nothing more than a n illegal immigrant.

    • SickofLiberalbs9999

      Exactly!

      Imagine an American presidential election – won by ONE vote.
      Or ten votes. Or a hundred. Or a thousand votes. Out of 120,000,000+ total votes cast.
      Who would accept the result?
      How many recounts would be required?
      How many lawsuits would follow?
      How long would it take to name a victor?
      How many legal challenges would the victor face?

      Without the electoral college, America would have anarchy.

      • miabeach

        Without the electoral college we would have only one party, the corrupt Democrat Party. As it is the democrats never accept the results of any election that a republican won. They reject Trump, they rejectedBush vs Gore and forced recounts and offered denials for four years. They carried on how Bush Sr. Was a wimp, they claimed Reagan was senile and practiced voodoo. Big liberal Jodie Foster sent her hit man to kill Reagan and now here we all these years later Obama has released John Hinkley from prison and Jodie Foster is publicly declaring that Trump must go. Impress me John Hinkley she bellows to the masses. In fact if the untied States didn’t have the electoral college we would still have slavery. Lincoln never would have been our president. Lincoln lost the popular vote but won the electoral college. If anyone thinks Democrats hate Trump I say they hated Lincoln even more.

        • Mike S

          mia, Lincoln did win the “popular” vote. He got 40% but there were 4 candidates running and his closest rival (Douglas) only got 29%. In my opinion, if no candidate gets 50% in the US, then there should be a “run off” election between the top 2 vote getters. Lessor candidates could throw their support behind whoever they wish and get some concessions.

      • Mike S

        sicko, calm down…the sky is not falling. Each state is required to submit their final vote tallies. If it very close, then recounts are ordered. The system will work. If politicians are corrupt about vote tallies- the electoral college would be of little help.

  • cooncats

    Well Glen, Trump has wised up on immigration. You on the other hand don’t seem to understand the concept of how so much can become too much. Nor do you seem to consider the idea that maybe someone should be asking Mexico why its government is such a gross failure that it can’t provide basic security or jobs for its population and thus tens of millions have felt it necessary to leave their country and journey north to survive.

    Not only that, they took a bunch of energy and talent with them and left this country worse off for it. Of course, this country’s self serving rich pigs and corrupt government know they also took a very real possibility that had they stayed they might have come looking to deal with said pigs and politicians.

    Your data on the cost of illegal immigrants is either false or cherry picked–there are plenty of data that show the illegal population not only requires a lot of social support, is the source of a lot of crime and is responsible for depressing the wages of the legal population and native citizens. Perhaps that is why when polled a very strong majority of legal immigrants want illegal immigration stopped. Of course you don’t want to cite that.

    Just one credible source completely exposes just how misleading this piece is:

    http://www(dof)heritage(dot)org/imm

    (sorry about the “(dot)” but for some reason this site continues to delete my posts with links, even those to credible mainstream sources.)

    H1B has been used far too often as a means of replacing middle class Americans with far lower paid H1B visa holders. Indeed all those stories of just that happening all over the country are what awakened Americans to the abuse of this program. It is just another example of how the greedy use well intended programs to screw the working people.

    Yes, Mr. Trump has wised up. Unlike you and your fellow liberals, he has listened to the heartland of America and those folks have told him in no uncertain terms they have had enough with global capitalism that exports their jobs to Mexican and Chinese sweatshops and then ships the goods back to America. They’ve had enough of the Democrat plan to hold power by importing pliable immigrants to overwhelm the rest of America at the polls.

    And they’ve had quite enough of dishonest academics like yourself who fabricate dishonest arguments using false or distorted data which are so clearly out of step with the reality that everyone can see. The very title of your hit piece should make it abundantly plain that everything that follows is a bunch of biased BS and you are not a credible source for anything.

    It is time for Mexico to take responsibility for its incredibly bad government and its own people and stop using the U.S. as an employer or welfare agency of last resort. Instead of stealing 100 billion U.S. from the people, let’s see the Mexican government take care of its own.

  • Pesobill

    The worst drivel on pro illegal BS I have read .. “Glen the Turd from the septic Tank of Mexico ” has said that illegal Mexicans don’t take Americans jobs is pure fiction from a brainless head . My brother was an electrician and he was told to learn Spanish to train the illegals to work ,this was in Phoenix. The USA has had enough of these invasive cockroaches and their Mexican flag waving protesters ..I say F Mexico and I boycott all their crap as I can . Trump has more brains that Glen who wrote this garbage and looks at his job as President very pragmatically and knows the illegal immigration problem needs to be dealt with .. Libertards can only give sob stories about breaking up families and other nonsense but the truth is there for anyone with a brain . The Mexicans left their families ,country and responsibilities all for a quick buck . Now they whine it “doesn’t feel like their country” ,pure BS . Look babosos , Mexihole is ‘your country’ so suck it up and man up and make your ghetto craphole better ….

  • Güerito

    Glen, it’s called Mexico News Daily. Mexico accounts for only about 1 or 2% of H-1B visas issued.

    Without the eye-glazing part about H-1B’s, the rest just “recalentados” – leftovers from other posts and more insults directed at Trump and his supporters.

    • Glen Olives

      You’re a worthy opponent, Guerito, so I expect more from you. Many of my students go on to take graduate degrees and become part of the 1% or 2% of H-1B visa holders. Do you have an argument against the issuance of H-1B visas for Mexicans? Or Others? Are you with Bannon on this issue?

      • Donald Blair Godier

        Well luckily for us the H1b is on hold for 6 months because frankly anyone you teach should 2nd permanently barred from entry to the U.S.

      • Güerito

        I meant with the current merit-based system in place (as you say), with India and China getting about 80% of H-1B visas, Mexico’s 1 or 2% make the H-1B visa program, essentially, a non-issue for Mexico.

        • Glen Olives

          I don’t disagree, but surely you see the inconsistency here: Trump wants to save American jobs by deporting people who don’t take American jobs and keeping or expanding programs that do cost American jobs. To say he’s a fuzzy thinker would be a compliment. As far as your postnote, I enjoy an artful insult, as do my adversaries on the alt-right, even when they are directed at me. I think I could improve on “Little Midget Indian” though. How about “The Mindless Mestizo Muñeco”? Buen fin de semana.

          • Güerito

            The recent NAS report on immigration in the US concluded that illegal immigration lowers the wages for low-skilled jobs in the US, hurting low-skilled native-born workers especially minorities.

            “The laws of supply and demand do not evaporate when we talk about the price of labor.”

          • Glen Olives

            Seems to be little doubt about that. Which brings up a couple of troubling issues. We’re at full employment now, and if all illegals were suddenly raptured, who would pick our fruit and milk our cows? Surely there would be some fast food workers who would trade their air conditioned service jobs to work 12 hours a day under the sun in the fields, but I’m guessing not for minimum wage. I suspect that American consumers wouldn’t like paying $10 for a gallon of milk or $5 for an apple. It would hit the working poor the hardest, ironically a major block of Trump’s base.

          • Güerito

            That’s right, wages need to go up. I posted a LA Times article in your last post about a CA farm that had trouble finding labor until it raised the starting wage about 15% (from 11 to 13 dollars an hour). It was flooded with legal US applicants.

            Your $5 apples are nonsense.

            Labor costs represent less than 10% of the cost of produce in the US. Farmers only get about 30% of the cost, and they give about 30% of that to their laborers.

            That means increasing agricultural wages by 25% or so would only raise the cost of produce by about 2 or 3%.

            http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/31/can-we-afford-to-pay-u-s-farmworkers-more/

            (If farm worker wages go up by 47 percent, grocery bills would go up just $21.15 a year, or $1.76 a month.)

            And Americans pay less for food than any other developed country:

            http://wsm.wsu.edu/researcher/wsmaug11_billions.pdf

          • Glen Olives

            Not quite so fast. A review of the literature by agricultural economists shows Phillip Martins’ study to be an outlier. The overwhelming majority of them conclude that booting all undocumented immigrants out of the company would cost the country trillions. The center-right Political Action Forum agrees. Economists for the National Milk Produces Association say the price of milk would increase by 90%.

            I don’t like to cite anecdotal evidence because a counter example can be found for every example, but the following is telling:

            “A stark example of the need for immigrant labor was apparent in 2011, when the North Carolina Growers Association had 6,500 farm jobs available, all of them in or next to counties with unemployment rates greater than 10 percent. Only 268 of the approximately 500,000 unemployed North Carolinians applied for a position. Ninety percent of them were hired, but only 163 showed up to work on the first day, and only 7 workers – of the 6,500 required – completed the growing season.” https://theconversation.com/how-trumps-deportation-plan-threatens-americas-food-and-wine-supply-69318

            I’m all for increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but thinking that Americans will take these jobs in a full employment economy seems more than a bit naive.

            Further, the debate is academic. It assumes that 11 million people can be deported, and that it is politically feasible. In sum, your position on this issue is both fatal in theory and fatal in fact.

          • Güerito

            Glen, you can’t possibly believe the price for any food item would rise 90% without illegal labor. You understand that labor costs are only a small portion of supermarket costs, right?

            Pick a %. Even if that cost is 25% (way too high), that 90% is increase is truly absurd.

            For the price of any food item to go up 90%, the price of labor associated with that item would have to rise several hundred %! Like $10.00 an hour rising to $40, $50 or even $100 an hour (based on the % I cite).

            I understand how Big Ag has a lot economists that “do research” showing they need illegal labor or prices will go sky high. I think it’s clear their aim is to increase corporate profits. That’s their job.

            I’m just surprised you believe them.

          • Glen Olives

            I understand your argument. I don’t understand why the ag industry would want to skew the numbers to support undocumented labor when, as you and at least one economist claim, it would have only a marginal effect on consumer prices, and therefore no effect on corporate profits. Any increase food prices would apparently be almost unnoticeably passed on to consumers. This seems curious, to say the least. Having said that, I’m glad we can have a discussion of facts. I’ll be putting the crunching of these numbers on my list of things to do. As an aside, The Conversation publishes articles by researchers who are required to disclose real or perceived conflicts of interest and funding sources. Who funds Phillip Martin’s research? The Giannini Foundation (Bank of America). I’m not saying he’s dishonest. I am saying, though, he’s most probably human. In fact, most of his work tends to lean toward pro-immigrant labor. So let’s be careful about imputing motives when it is mostly a distraction from doing the hard work of digging deep into the weeds of policy.

  • Walter Smith

    Is this guy trying to impress us with big words?

    • Donald Blair Godier

      He writes these trashy America hating essays 2 or three times a week here, those of us with brain know he’s just a pathetic anti-American socialist blowhard who likely tried to teach in America but was too radically challenged to be accepted there so he comes here to teach the Mexican students how to hate America!

  • gypsyken

    Great essay, Mr. Thompson. Trump’s tweets early this morning alleging that his phones were tapped by Obama, which even his closest advisers and supporters haven’t supported, following continuing revelations about contacts between his campaign and Russian officials who were seeking to aid it, may suggest that, thankfully, his days in office may be numbered. There may come a time not too distant when Republican legislators, who supported him because of their belief that he would sign whatever legislation they put before him, will be forced to say “enough.” The numbers of people who demonstrated in support of Trump today were tiny in comparison with the numbers of those who have been continually demonstrating against him. Kenneth Crosby

    • Donald Blair Godier

      You know Kenneth you are completely ignorant and spout your bullshit everytime you post hear. It was widely reported that Trump tower was the subject of FISA warrant in October last year by the communist in chief at the time. Those of us who don’t drink the liberal koolaid are absolutely ecstatic to see a President in the White House who actually cares about America and not constantly tearing it down as you do in every post, unfortunately there is nothing I can do about your stupidity, but ignoring you seems the best course of action for tonight, and please I beg you, get back on those meds, at least that way you can happy in your delusional state.

      • gypsyken

        “Trump’s Claims That Feds Wiretapped Trump Tower Could Backfire”

        https://www.wired.com/2017/03/feds-wiretap-trump-tower-not-obama-worry/

        “What makes Trump’s Twitter tirade so striking is what prompted it, and what it might imply if it’s true. . . .

        “it appears Trump’s accusation stems from a recent article published on Breitbart, the conservative news outlet formerly run by White House senior adviser Stephen Bannon.

        “This is a somewhat stunning, in so far as the president of the United States doesn’t need to get his information about classified activity from Breitbart. . . .

        “The most detailed account thus far, from the BBC in January, provided a timeline: The Justice Department sought a FISA warrant in June to intercept communications from two Russian banks suspected of facilitating donations to the Trump campaign. The judge reportedly rejected the warrant, as well as a narrower version sought in July. A new judge granted the order in mid-October, according to the BBC.

        “None of this necessarily makes Trump’s allegations true. Even if a FISA warrant exists, it does not mean Trump Tower is tapped or that Trump specifically is the target. . . .

        “Trump’s wiretap claims, then, carry presumably inadvertent implications. First, based on previous reporting and the nature of FISA courts, any wiretaps within Trump Tower would be legal. And they would stem from overwhelming evidence that the Trump campaign, or someone within it, has unsavory ties to Russia or another foreign power. Otherwise, it’s unlikely those wiretaps would exist at all.

        “If federal authorities did have cause to listen in on Trump Tower, though, and they provided enough evidence for a FISA court to approve the snooping, Obama is not the one who ought to worry.”

        Unfortunately, there is no medication to help people like you, Donald Blair Godier.

    • SickofLiberalbs9999

      How about the number of people who “demonstrated in support of Trump” last November?
      That number was 63 MILLION.

      Trump supporters DON’T need to “demonstrate” anymore – THEY ALREADY WON.

  • Donald Blair Godier

    Sorry to say it Glenn but your thesis is pretty much not worth the cyberspace it takes up, basically hating a man who is nationalistic because it would ruin your idea of a socialist paradise ruled by out of control bureaucrats who care nothing about the citizens of the U.S., is what have endured for far too long, it was inevitable that the American people would look around after 8 years of socialist Alinskiite who sympathises with radical Islam terrorists and finally elect a nationalist to help America recover from the damage the last President wrought on the people. And I’ll all you something the nationalists in Europe are about to dominate and destroy Europa(The Europen Union) which is destroying everything in Europe, so with any luck socialist blowhards like you will shortly be extinct!

  • miabeach

    Mexico and most of Latin America will soon be in complete turmoil and near civil war, led by the newly embittered Mexicans. Mexico is about to be body slammed like they never had before and there’s no way the spiteful Mexicans will suffer alone or quietly. Any progress Mexico and Latin America made in the past 30 years developing their economies will soon be lost to automation. The robotic economy will engulf the world in the next 5 years including autopilot taxis and trucks. All aspects of commerce will be affected and Latin American leaders have been so busy stealing so much money that they are totally unprepared to care for their people. Landscapers are now showing up with lawn mowers that work like Rumba vacuum cleaners. While the cutter automatically mows the lawn the operator trims the hedges and edges. One man landscaping crews are here, and the landscaper is now a computer geek who operates robots. The landscaper of the near future will be a white woman. The change will be stunning but not for Latin Americans. Latin America will look like 1960 again. Good luck.

    • miabeach

      And they can thank Obama for all the guns he sent. Obama, the Mexicans friend. Jajajajajaja

  • gypsyken

    In view of the support for Trump expressed by U.S. expats who comment on articles such as this one, I’m wondering how many of them, or how many other people, participated in the March4Trump rallies on Saturday in Ajijic, San Miguel, or anywhere else in Mexico. How did participation at those rallies compare with the well-attended anti-Trump rallies on January 21? As I’ve posted elsewhere, attendance at the March4Trump rallies in the U.S. was low. I understand that in some places the pro-Trump demonstrators were outnumbered by demonstrators opposing him. It seems that fewer people who voted for Trump now support him.

    • GOPerson

      What rally? There was a rally here? I knew of one in the states but did not hear of one here. As I only know of less than 10 that would participate, I didn’t think it would be held here. It is overwhelmingly Democrats here.

      • gypsyken

        That’s what I would expect: the enthusiastic supporters of Trump who post on this site represent only a small number of expats and should be viewed accordingly. But I would have expected them to know about the March4Trump rallies that were scheduled to be held in many cities in the U.S. (I happened to notice that there was even one scheduled in Silver City, New Mexico!) My point is that the Trump supporters could have demonstrated their support by, for example, holding a rally at the Ajijic Plaza, as a large number of those opposing him did on January 21. I don’t know what they are accomplishing by posting their repetitive pro-Trump comments on this site, as they surely are not persuading anyone to change their opinion regarding him. (I intend to post only to express appreciation of an article or to correct misleading or false comments.) Kenneth Crosby

        • GOPerson

          Had I known of a rally, I would not have participated due to fear for my safety. The violence has gotten out of hand and seems to be getting worse. The few of us are not safe to express our political leanings.

          • gypsyken

            Your significant words are “the few of us.” You do not represent the vast majority of expats, any more than Trump’s supporters in the U.S. represent the vast majority of Americans.

  • Oh, Glen, take a powder and lie down. You’ll feel better in the morning.

  • James Evans

    Glen, there are very few if any Trump supporters expressing ” white hot ire” at PRESIDENT DONALD J TRUMP for his promise to ” repeal and replace” Obamanationcare… if you are referring to the recent town halls, there is no evidence that any of the “protesters” were Supporters of THE President…you need to get out and attend some of these events rater than parrot the opinions of our decidedly left leaning media… you are treating the false narrative which only address’ “repeal” as fact… as indicated in the most recent Real Clear Politics “average of polls” a majority of Americans support ” Repeal and Replace”…http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/repeal_of_health_care_law_favoroppose-1947.html

  • SickofLiberalbs9999

    “His election, for example, wasn’t the result of a brilliantly executed plan. It was a fluke, a perfect storm of serious socioeconomic frustrations, a bizarre electoral college system and a profoundly ignorant electorate.”

    Of course, Glen.
    63 million American voters disagreed with you, so they all must be ignorant.

    And, as you describe, Trump’s cabinet is a collection of idiots, too.
    Like, for instance, Rex Tillerson, THE FORMER CEO of a FORTUNE 50 COMPANY.

    I’m sure Tillerson couldn’t dream of being a professor at an unknown college in Chihuahua like you.
    He’s just too stupid.

    • Glen Olives

      Of course you’re aware that he lost the popular vote, although conspiracy theorists claim that he won the popular vote, without evidence, per usual. As to Tillerson, you’re conflating wealth with intelligence. There’s simply no correlation, as study after study has shown. Donald Trump, according to Donald Trump, is fabulously wealthy. Do you seriously, in your most private moments of quiet reflection, think he is smart? Or is his wealth more the product of the happenstance of his birth? Like I said, the world is a complicated place. Easy answers are psychologically soothing, but almost gauranteed to be wrong. As for your “unknown college” quip, I don’t see how that is relevant. I’ll simply let the careers of my students who have gone on to graduate study at ivy league universities or work at international law firms, speak for itself.

      • SickofLiberalbs9999

        Popular vote? The American election system for President does not recognize popular vote, Glen.
        If popular vote was the system, the candidates would radically change their campaigns and appearances to attract the most votes rather than pursuing electoral votes in the states.

        You know this, but are forced to use a flawed argument in the absence of a winning alternative.
        Nice try. I’m confident that America’s founding fathers were much smarter than you.
        I’ll take their system any day.

        Imagine an American Presidential election won by either party – BY ONE VOTE.
        Never thought of that? I didn’t think so.
        How about 10 votes? Or even 100 votes?
        Who could be sure? How many recounts would we need?
        Would you accept a Republican Presidential victory by one vote?
        Tell the truth. of course you wouldn’t.

        As for Tillerson, – please make the case that a stupid person can be a successful Fortune 50 CEO.
        My point is that you’re hardly qualified to call successful business executives stupid.
        How many jobs have you created? How many international negotiations have you successfully led?

        You don’t see the relevance of an unknown professor from an unknown college calling accomplished, successful international business people stupid? I do – in my opinion, you have no credibility.

        As for your legions of “Ivy League” students. Ha ha, what a joke.
        I went to Princeton, I know what a load of leftist crap they’ve been spinning out in the last 20 years.
        And the new Ivy grads with their “safe spaces” and snowflake politically-correct mentality are hardly something to brag about. Half of them are affirmative action or foreign quota admits whose test scores couldn’t have gotten them into the local Community College in my day.

        By the way, didn’t Michelle and Barack Obama go to Ivy league schools?
        I rest my case.

        • Glen Olives

          You have a certain talent for stating the obvious. Of course Trump won. And he’s our legitimate President. That doesn’t mean he’s smart. Tillerson’s career dosn’t mean he’s smart either. There’s plenty of MENSA members who are living on the very edges of society, some homeless. And plenty of CEOs who can’t even spell or do basic math, who like yourself, attended Princeton. I deeply suspect that had Clinton won the electoral college but lost the popular vote you’d be singing a very different tune. You make a very odd claim. You seem to think that one cannot have a legitimate opinion unless one has created jobs or conducted international business deals. Are you serious? The works of Einstein and Kant and Shopenhauer are worthless, to be discarded? You sound like a Fox/Brietbart shill, not a Princeton scholar.

          • SickofLiberalbs9999

            I’m not the one calling obviously smart, intelligent people stupid, Glen.
            Once you go with the “stupid” angle, there’s nowhere positive for a discussion to go.

            I’m not stupid, but I disagree with you.
            I don’t think you’re stupid for disagreeing with me.

            How about debating issues on the merits?
            Or do you really think everyone who disagrees with you must be stupid?

          • Glen Olives

            We can disagree about whether Tillerson is smart. Fine. And we can agree that not everyone who disagrees with me is stupid. I never claimed that was the case. So I accept your challenge. Let’s debate issues on their merits. Let’s dispensse with ad hominem attacks. Let’s talk about facts, and how to interpretet them. I’m game. If you agree to these basic ground rules, I suspect that we might have a productive conversation.

          • SickofLiberalbs9999

            Thanks, agreed, I look forward to it.

  • K. Chris C.

    So many lies and broken promises, and still grown adults are putting their aspirations for their and the American country’s rescue from the US tyranny in another suited puppet; Buying into another lie while being led in further division against their fellow countrymen and themselves. ““Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

    …Reagan? Nope. Bush Sr.? Nope. Clinton? Nope. Bush Jr.? Nope. Obama? Nope. Trump? Got to be real this time. Right?!

    Just sad.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  • Hailey Mannering

    The slave labour of “illegals” that has already taken place is illegal.

    • Julian Epps

      the ILLEGALS made themselves slaves when they coveted america…then stole america…and murdered in america…ETC.

      • Hailey Mannering

        Ironically, when US people coveted what used to be northern Mexico, they weren´t made into slaves. They were welcomed in. In fact, the bringing of slaves into Texas was one reason why war broke out.

        • Julian Epps

          hailey you have totally MISSED the point! BYE!

  • Commander Barkfeather

    Mr. Olives–I recently moved to Ensenada. I read this publication because, as yet, I do not speak Spanish very well (but I’m learning) and would like to learn more about my adopted country. I would imagine most people who visit this website are like me. However, after reading the comment section, I am curious as to why so many people who obviously hate all things Mexican would visit a website about Mexico and Mexicans? BTW, I for one look forward to your essays, however I am also a card carrying, American hating libtard.

    • daniel pugh

      Most of the Mexican haters on this site are US citizens. It seems they are not able to try and put themselves in the average Mexicans shoes. Most Mexicans don’t want to move to the US. They are proud of their country if not there elitist leaders or priests. They work hard under sometimes extreme conditions. I lived in Mexico for 4 yrs and the kindness and helpfulness rivalled that of Canada. It was also obvious the racism displayed by US people. We where often asked if we where Canadian or “American”. When we told them Canadian they opened up and tried to engage us. The hateful comments I have read on this post are disgusting. Not a nice reflection on the “great” USA. Their elitist leaders(Spanish) have raped this country and continue to do so. If you have to hate, direct it towards their leaders and not the Mexican people.

  • SickofLiberalbs9999

    I really have to laugh at liberals who are now comparing crowd sizes at anti-Trump rallies with crowd sizes at pro-Trump rallies, and claiming “victory”.
    (“See, our demonstration crowds are MUCH bigger than his.”)

    Didn’t the pro-Trump people already “demonstrate” pretty successfully last November – all 63 MILLION of them?

    Trump supporters don’t have any reason to demonstrate or march.
    THEY ALREADY WON.

    • gypsyken

      But almost 74 million voters did NOT vote for Trump, almost 11 million more than voted for him. And almost 66 million voters voted for Trump’s principal opponent, Furthermore, polls and turnouts at rallies and demonstrations indicate that fewer people than voted for Trump now support him. Trump’s supporters were urged to turn out at the March4Trump rallies held throughout the U.S. on Saturday, and only a few did so. It’s only a matter of time when he will be removed from office, one way or another. His current claim that Obama tapped his phones are making more people realize that he’s unhinged.

  • SickofLiberalbs9999

    “Trump claimed – among other things he got horribly wrong – that illegals take American jobs”

    So illegals DON’T take American jobs?
    How are you defining an “American” job?

    When an illegal works in construction, or at a restaurant, an auto repair shop, a hospital, or a factory, that’s not an “American” job? Explain, please.

    • Mike S

      Sicko,

      Undocumented Mexicans mostly do minimum wage jobs most US citizens don’t want to do. If you really want to stop illegal immigration, simply enforce labor hiring laws with some teeth. Trump’s wall is a boondoggle that appeals to his bigoted following. We had a total economic meltdown between 2007 and 2009; it was called the GREAT BUSH RECESSION. Unemployment skyrocketed, housing foreclosures skyrocketed, pensions and stock market plummeted, and factory closings accelerated. There were many cause for this meltdown, but contrary to what the Orange Warthog says, undocumented Mexicans was not one of them. GOP is the party of amnesia.

  • steve

    Had to look up kakistocracy. Brilliant word choice. Your argument would be stronger if you resisted the temptation to insult the subject of your analysis.

  • Mike S

    Well written and insightful column. The Electoral College was put in place to protect slavery and needs to be tossed. The presidency represents ALL Americans and there is no reason a city dweller should be less represented than a rural person (we already have that in the senate where a South Dakota resident gets 50 times more representation than a Californian). The narcissistic, vindictive, pathologically lying, con man who knows little about history or economics and too much about beauty pageants and reality TV should be impeached under the Emolument Clause of the Constitution before he the men in the white coats are forced to hail him away. What has America done to itself??

  • Hailey Mannering

    I wonder why people like GOPerson post on sites like this? They don´t know Mexico, yet don´t believe what we who live in Mexico say. Are they just here to try to make foreigners believe that Mexico is a shi#hole? GOPerson, what do you think about Infonavit or Seguro Popular?

  • Henry Wilson

    “But I remain skeptical” As do we, you goof, that you will ever regain (if you ever had any) a semblance of sanity and normality. But hey if you retain some hope then so should we.

  • cooncats

    BTW, I didn’t do a very good job of showing just how the professor didn’t do his homework on H1B. Once again, from a very liberal source, his talking points defense of the program is dismantled:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/opinion/visa-abuses-harm-american-workers.html

  • 46patrick46

    Geez , the author of this story is not only a name caller but incapable of understanding Trump speak. He must be left of center in his political orientation.

    He rambles on and on incoherently. Mumbles something about Trump being a Democrat at one time and being an advocate for open borders. News Flash ! We were all Democrats once. We all welcomed the aliens at one time. But then things began to change. The few became thousands. The thousands became millions. Their music became noise.
    The humble became arrogant. The arrogant became insolent. The submissive became recalcitrant.
    The obedient became disobedient. The honest became dishonest. The exploited became the exploiter.
    The welcomed have made themselves unwelcome by their Violent Crime rate of 33%.
    The Godly became Godless …

    There is a time for Peace , there is a time for War.
    There is a time to enter , there is a time to leave.

    Time for them to leave. Time to build the Wall… Make it tall… Deport them all… That’s all you all. Adios !

  • Güerito

    H-1B Visas Keep Down U.S. Tech Wages, Study Shows:

    “A new research paper on the effects of the H-1B visa program on workers suggests the influx of skilled foreign workers has historically led to lower wages and employment for American tech workers. Such findings could further inflame debate around immigration of high-skilled workers, but some economists caution against making too much of the result.

    Economists from the University of Michigan and the University of California, San Diego, analyzed employment, wages and other factors over an eight-year period ending in 2001. They found that, while the visa program bolstered the U.S. economy and corporate profits, tech-industry wages would have been as much as 5.1% higher in the absence of the H-1B visa program and employment of U.S. workers in the field would have been as much as 10.8% higher in 2001….

    Jennifer Hunt, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor under President Obama, said she’s noticed an increasingly politicized response to research on immigration and wage inequality. She said she would have preferred that Mr. Bound and his co-authors focus on more recent time periods, but added that the paper is “the best work we have by a long way” in quantifying the “negative” effects of high-skilled immigration.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-new-look-at-the-h-1b-visa-programs-impact-on-american-workers-1489483811

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