Socializing Costs, Privatizing Profits—Why America`s Rulers Don`t Want Hearings On The Senate Sellout

Speaker of the House Denny Hastert

last Wednesday that, rather than send
House negotiators into the proverbial
smoke-filled room
with Senators to come up with a
immigration bill, the House would hold
hearings around the country to find out what the public
actually thinks about the legislation that will decide

future of America.

Hastert`s declaration is perhaps the closest the
American political system can come to the most stirring
sentence in the lexicon of parliamentary politics:
“We will go to the country”
—which is what a party
says when it calls a general election to decide a great
issue of state.

But the immediate howls of pain showed once again
that the last thing America`s

elites want on immigration

citizen input
and reasoned deliberation.

Instead, the national newspapers demanded a rush to
judgment—because haste and heedlessness are the most
likely ways they can get what they want.

A New York Times editorial

scornfully denounced
the House because “they want
to take a closer look at the Senate bill”
—which is

words long! The Newspaper of Record raged,
“Like the

baffled hominids
of `2001: A Space Odyssey,`
they are poking at the Senate`s big-picture approach
with a leg bone.”

The Los Angeles Times editorial board

, “These meetings are nonsense.”


Wall Street Journal

, “This is the equivalent of
(By the way, the most honest
staffer at the WSJ editorial page is the
anonymous person who selects the online reader responses
to their editorials. All

eleven comments
he picked excoriate the WSJ`s

open borders dogma.
I hope my mentioning his
fairness doesn`t
cost him his job!

In the Washington Post,

Ruben Navarrette Jr
. was in a snit that we weren`t
going to see business as usual.

“Congress … is more
broken than the

U.S.-Mexican border
… It`s unusual, to say the least,
for one chamber to hold public hearings on the work of
another. Besides, if you want to hold town hall-style
meetings, why not hold them before bills are passed in
the first place? Maybe because August is close enough to
November so that hearings could affect the midterm
Immigration Stunts
, June 25, 2006]

Imagine that—Members of the House trying to win
votes by doing what the voters want

The horror, the horror…

Why has it become so rare for the majority party in
the House to “go to the country” like this?

Over the decades, the

partisan gerrymandering
has improved so much that
election to the House has become close to a lifetime
sinecure—if the Congressman doesn`t blow it by
taking the wrong stand on one of the rare issues that
voters notice.

For example, that`s why Congress hasn`t carried out
its Constitutional duty to declare war since

. It prefers to let the President take
responsibility for deciding war or peace—because,
otherwise, citizens might remember how their
Representatives voted and throw them out.

Thus this year`s unusual show of backbone by House
Republicans demonstrates just how exceptionally strong
is public sentiment against the Senate immigration
bill—despite those

rigged polls
constantly cited in the
Establishment media.

The New York Times, in fact, just reported in

Bush`s Immigration Plan Stalled as House G.O.P. Grew
More Anxious

“Representative Thomas M.
Reynolds of New York, the head of the Republican
Congressional Campaign Committee, went to Mr. Boehner
and Mr. Hastert and, using polling data and pointing to
what he described as
politically implausible
sections of the bill, warned
of the consequences of enactment of the Senate
legislation… Mr. Reynolds had told House leaders that
supporting the [Senate] bill would be

for some of our members.`”
[By Adam
Nagourney, Carl Hulse and Jim Rutenberg, June 25, 2006]

Meanwhile, the Senate will try to strike back against
the House. It plans to hold pro-illegal immigration
hearings in some of the few states left, such as
Pennsylvania, where there aren`t yet enough illegal
immigrants to annoy the citizenry.

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

“Senate Judiciary
Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he came up
with the idea for Senate hearings in the shower Thursday
morning. `They have hearings on border security and
employment verification,` Specter said. `OK, that`s fine
… I`m going to have a hearing in Pennsylvania on July
5 … bring in


and people in the

Northeast region
as to the

of a guest worker program.`
immigration hearings split GOP
, Carolyn Lochhead,
June 23, 2006]


may be
another misjudgment—the town Hazleton, PA is
one of the national leaders in the use of local
ordinances to repel illegals and Senator Rick Santorum
has begun to campaign on the issue.)

The reality is that, as the distinguished economics

Robert Samuelson
has pointed out, the prestige press
was criminally negligent in failing to report that the
Senate bill would vastly increase legal immigration.

Samuelson wrote in

What You Don`t Know About the Immigration Bill

back on May 31:

“One job of journalism is

inform the public
about what our political leaders
are doing. In this case, we failed. The Senate bill`s
sponsors didn`t publicize its full impact on legal
immigration, and we didn`t fill the void. It`s safe to
say that few Americans know what the bill would do
because no one has told them. Indeed, I suspect that
many senators who voted for the legislation don`t have a
clue as to the

potential overall increase
in immigration.”

As last week`s editorial reactions indicate, that
irresponsibility wasn`t an accident. It was a key
component of the Main Stream Media`s

strategy for covering immigration

Yet, what you aren`t supposed to know can hurt you …

Let`s step back to put the immigration controversy in
a new and broader historical perspective.

At the end of the

Cold War,
Francis Fukuyama

that we had reached The
End of History
Obviously, somebody forgot
to send History the memo.

Yet, in the narrow Hegelian/Marxist sense in which
Fukuyama used the term “History,” he was correct.
The big controversy of the 20th Century—socialism vs.
capitalism—was effectively over. Pure socialism was
dead. Capitalism had survived, but not

. From now on there would be
markets, but with

government interference.

Unfortunately, many commentators are still living in
the past. They think basic ideology is still the big

free market

. Well, history hasn`t ended, but it has
moved into a new stage. Regulated capitalism has won, so
most of the political struggles in the future are not
going to be about the old boldface big ideas like
nationalizing the means of production, but about the
fine print.

The politics of the present and future will revolve
around various

organized interests
trying to put one over on the

disorganized rest of us
in the particulars of

Contra Fukuyama, there will never be a
ceasefire in this struggle between the clever and the
clueless. The Age of Ideology is over but the Age of the
Fine Print is upon us.

For instance, back in 1996 when the California
legislature unanimously


state`s electricity market,
few in public life
bothered to read the fine print because the ideological
principle of deregulation seemed so historically
inevitable at the time. Well, it turned out the devil
was definitely in the details. The only people who
mastered the minutiae were the traders at

and other such firms, who

California out of billions.

A basic strategy for the crafty to make money is
privatizing profits and socializing costs. To do this,
they use tame politicians and journalists to help them
hand their costs of doing business off to the public.
(Economists, when they aren`t

blinded by ideology
, call these costsexternalities.”)

By importing
“cheap labor,”
employers shift major
costs—such as

medical care

—to you and me.

The Senate Sellout would further increase the burdens
imposed on us.

And that`s why its supporters in the press don`t want
us to worry our pretty little heads about what`s in
those 118,227 words.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
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