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UnConventional Opinions for Labor Day
Lucky thing for George W. Bush and his Republican National Convention lemmings that they got out of Dodge before the Labor Day weekend started.
For the unemployed and underemployed, listening to Republicans preen about job creation (low wage, but that's never mentioned) and the non-existent economic recovery is tough at any time. But on a national holiday that honors workers, those spiels might have triggered even louder outbursts from the disaffected.
For those of us grounded in reality, the RNC made the week long and arduous.
What a cast of characters! Bush, his insipid wife Laura, their depressingly dull twin daughters, the ominously secretive Cheneys, the bad- rugwearing Zell Miller, John McCain, Rod Paige, Rudy Giuliani and Arnold Schwarzenegger all were vying for most inane. If any of them uttered a word of truth, I missed it.
Last year Paige, the Secretary of Education, called the National Education Association a "terrorist organization." And, as reported by VDARE.COM, Paige was the Houston Independent School District superintendent when those schools scandalously spiked their academic achievement scores by ushering the under-performing students out the back door when test time rolled around.
Giuliani, once a Democrat, is an open-borders champion. What did Giuliani do to earn his status as a national hero? His actions on 9/11, while respectable, were no different than what any other decent man would have done.
Consider this—in 2000 Mayor Giuliani was shacked up with Judith Nathan, his press secretary, while still married to Donna Hanover, his wife of sixteen years. Hanover later charged Giuliani with "open and notorious adultery."
And I'll bet you thought the GOP frowned on extra-marital sex.
I tried to skip the entire unbelievable convention scene. Every night I promised myself I would relax and tune in the US Open Tennis Tournament. Who wouldn't rather watch Serena Williams or Andy Roddick?
But drawn like a moth to a flame, I ended up glued to the convention, steam jetting out of my ears.
While Bush cannot tangibly defend any aspect of his first term, except his so-called progress on the "War on Terror," real people—working Americans—would like answers on jobs and the economy.
During the early days of the convention, a symbolic unemployment line marched from Wall Street to Madison Square Garden, the site of the convention. Waving pink slips, the demonstrators, in the words organizer Christ Wangro, intended to raise "the level of public discourse above the sound bites of the politicians.''[Forget the GOP: Biggest N.Y. parties in the streets August 27, 2004, By Verena Dobnik, Associated Press]
American workers are not buying what Bush is selling.
Here, from a flyer designed by Rescue American Jobs, is their assessment of the job market.
Americans have been:
- Spurned—we created the environment and paid the taxes to make America great. Now our jobs are outsourced
- Forsaken—4 million guest worker visas have issued since the recession began in 2000
- Robbed—technology and science developed at our universities has gone overseas.
- Targeted—92 white-collar professions are now approved for cheap foreign guest-worker visas.
- Violated—when jobs go off-shore, so does our confidential data like tax returns, medical records, credit cards and social security.
- Sold Out—federal agencies plan to outsource more than 850,000 jobs
- Cheated—L1 visa holders pay no taxes regardless of how high their income is. And H1-B visa holders receive the bulk of their income in non-taxable "living expenses."
- Subverted—foreign nationals have unfettered access both domestically and abroad to America's technology, communication and electric infrastructure.
- Duped—when manufacturing jobs moved offshore in the 1970s, Americans were told get training in technology. Now what do we do?
If you believe—as I do—that the flyer represents the feelings of most working Americans, then what do you make of a Republican platform that includes an amnesty for workers illegally in the US, a guest worker program for aliens who would take American jobs (See University of California at Davis Professor Norm Matloff's evaluation here.), and increases in H-1B and H-2B visas that would displace American workers currently employed?)
I spoke with Ian Fletcher, Vice-President of Government Relations for the American Engineering Association for his views on the impact of non-immigrant visas and outsourcing policies on the long-term job market.
Speaking to me from Manhattan, which he described as an "armed camp," Fletcher said:
"The Republicans proactively endorse failed policies. They are as naïve as Kool-Aid drinkers. They really believe that everything will work out in the end. The Democrats, on the other hand, have looked at the problem and decided not to do anything about it. Kerry has asked himself, 'What is the least I can do to win voters concerned about outsourcing?' And the least is naturally meaningless."
Fletcher concluded by observing that,
"The Republicans and the Democrats are leaning on each others idiocy. It will take two more years for the impact of visas and outsourcing to fully set in. By then, there will be no more meaningful debate on how those policies have hurt the American economy. I pity the winner of the 2004 election. He'll be left to sort out the mess."