Employment Immigration Needs

The bulk of unauthorized immigration is for work. The immigration laws allow for lots of family to come in, either family of permanent residents or of citizens. There are allowances for diversity and asylum and refugees. There are slots for employer preference, but only on some categories.

Unauthorized immigrant employment:

  • 1/3 Service
  • 1/6 Construction
  • 1/6 Production
  • 1/8 Sales, Support
  • 1/8 Professional, Management
  • 1/12 Transportation
  • 1/24 Farming, fishing

The fact of their employment shows the need for these workers. Employers don’t hire people unless they need them. Thus, the immigration law needs to be changed to recognize these workers.

One of the principles of immigration and border security is that an orderly system is preferable to one that criminalizes labor. We are more secure when we recognize the economic fact of workers and don’t lie to ourselves about how they broke the law to:

  • Cook food
  • Build a house
  • Make a table

Those are the sorts of service, construction, and production jobs that about two-thirds of unauthorized immigrants do.

Are unauthorized workers more attractive to employers because they are unauthorized? In some cases. But to be clear, these employers must break the law and undertake other steps to employ these workers, so there is a logical middle-ground to making them authorized workers.

The question of amnesty comes up. But the law failing to contemplate workers it knew would exist is unpunished negligence. The law that was broken was a broken law. But from an economic standpoint, the immutable laws of demand held firm and overcame the obvious fault of the law.

So, sure. Give amnesty. But fix the law. Recognize that the table, the house, and the meal were all made of valuable labor. That the law should have recognized that labor all along.

Do the Republicans Need a Message?

Oft-repeated wisdom going into the 2018 midterms: “Democrats need to run on something other than opposition to Trump.” Unstated assumption of the 2018 midterms: “Republicans must run on Trump and only Trump.”

The message that the Republicans are sending by not having a message is: “We don’t really believe in our cause. We fear losing our seats if we speak out against a rotten president that we privately decry. We repeatedly cave to policies that are in diametric opposition to our preferences. We reject the idea that our political philosophy has any ounce of merit that will inevitably be evolutionarily selected for its merits and virtues. Also, please send clean pants.”

Speaking as a fairly moderate leaning-liberal type, I lament many of the horrible policies of Muralism, as I have the bad policies of Republicans, of George W. Bush’s administration, and so on. But I still believe, deep down, that the sun will come out tomorrow, that sanity and reason do triumph over tyranny, corruption, racism, sexism, and stupidity in general.

The Republicans don’t seem to believe that about their policies. Well, to be fair, they have hard evidence in the form of their cuckoo standard bearer. But surely, they must believe in the long term, that their small-government plans would be useful? That they could achieve a safety net without taxes, instead based on responsibility and all that? Apparently not, because they are not standing up to someone that represents none of those interests as he takes a giant dump on their whole tradition.

The RNC still employs Michael Cohen. The head of the RNC still holds tight to the president. In the Senate, nobody wants to “poke the bear” to use Corker’s language. In the House, the Republicans want to feed the bear.

Republicans have long been split on immigration, but until Trump, nobody knew they could support taking children away without cause. Even those opposing the separation have taken no real legislative or political action.

The same goes for trade. There has long been a wing of the Republican party skeptical of trade, but even as a trade war heats up, the believers (excepting a few like Corker) have not sought to protect trade.

On any issue that Republicans largely believe, you can guess what they will do when Trump acts against it.

Republicans don’t need a message. They need an exorcist.

To paraphrase Robert De Niro, fuck family separation. The fact that the Republicans are not speaking out about this practice is asinine. All of their family values go right out the window when they don’t care about actually reuniting children with their parents, when they’re down with usurping the parental rights under color of law.

MSWL as WP 1: “Professor Profligate Grades Papers”

Having sent my queries on a novel, I’m currently working on some other writing projects. But I added the agents I queried to a Twitter list to try to better understand both Twitter and literary agents. One of the things you’ll see if you read any agent’s feed is “#MSWL” which stands for “manuscript wishlist.” There’s even a site dedicated to letting agents maintain their MSWL: the expectedly-named manuscriptwishlist.com.

WP is “writing prompt,” a seed, however developed, to write something, however developed.

So I figured I might cross the two, taking a #MSWL idea and writing a short piece based on the idea. For fun and science and all that jazz.

Saw this one from a reply to a reply:

Twitter: Nivia Evans: 6 June 2018 says:

An inventive, female-led magic school story, but from the teacher’s POV.

Manifestation, not infestation!” Pamela Profligate shouted at the essay. She sat on her grading stool trying to manifest a paper-eating inkbug to save her from toiling through eight more flubworks on Basic Magic Theory.

Year by year, the predictable mistakes of spelling, of syntax, of confusing concentration for willpower. Enough to drive a witch to flight. She drew a red C on Vincent’s paper and added: “It’s not enough to make magic. You must understand it.”

Eyeing a copy of Leslie von Sport’s 101 New Ways to Play Kickball, Pamela knew if she made haste, a chapter could be had before bed. She grabbed the next essay from the stack and started reading.

Enchantment is the fundamental problem of magic. Though identified as the elementary basis of all things magical by Sally M. Witchford in her treatise “How Does a Spell?” we still have not advanced the science of magic to understand what makes an enchanted thing. There are theories about. . .

An interesting start, thought Pamela, peeking at the name: Jaunkrast Gravelley. No doubt named after that atrocious writer from one of the mountain worlds.

. . . energy beings, your dryads and such, inhabiting magic objects and living symbiotically inside the souls of magical beings. There are the beliefs in a supreme will that channels itself based on lay lines and bloodlines and star charts. But for every theory there are examples that contradict. Ordinary objects that, by processes unknown, came into possession of magical properties.

Take the very pages you now hold, dear teacher. . . .

Pamela tried to let go of the pages, but her fingers held firm. Binding—what a rascal to even try it! She spun on her grading stool to the waiting flame of cleansing and set the essay afire. As the flame bit at her fingertips, she was already composing in her mind: “You should know better, Ms. Gravelley, than to bother with trickery. I am failing you, but I would still like to read your essay. Please provide me with a clean—” The spell had broken, and she reached for a page to write on.

As she finished, she turned back to the cleaning candle to dust up the ashes. In the unwavering flamelight the curls and flakes of ash fluttered and hopped about. The flecks puffed and breathed and spread into one another, forming strands that grew into a pool. The pool formed ridges along its edge and lightened and darkened until the essay had mended itself.

Out came Pamela’s testing blade. She removed the cork tip, and pressed the blade against the seal on the back of the cork. It glowed light red: the blade was working. She placed the sharp at the center of the topsheet, depressing slightly. The blade did not glow.

She used it to turn the page and continued reading:

. . . dear teacher, they are no longer magical. Where did the enchantment go? Some, like Witchford, would claim that the flame took it away. But the ashes still held the enchantment of assembly, so that cannot be right. And enchantment cannot be exhausted by mere repetition, as Ruther Arglave showed by spending 30 years trying to use the magic up from a single box of toastmaking, from which he turned over ten million single slices of bread into as many slices of toast. The process of remaking the pages could not devour the magic. And yet your blade proves it is gone!

Pamela Profligate went to her shelf and pulled Spellbreaks. She flipped through to “Flames” and read the passage on flames of cleansing. The power rule required multiple passes through flame for multiple spells. The timing rule required the flames to engulf an active object for at least a tenth as long as its activity. But there was nothing about the ashes.

She set the gradesheet aside, along with Ms. Gravelley’s missive, and moved on to the next essay.

Magic works because you have to want it. If you do, magic works. You want the water to stay in the cup when you turn the cup over and the water says in the cup. That is the basics of magic. . . .

Maybe a start. I’m sure the intention behind the #MSWL was more about the class interactions with a magic teacher, from her perspective (“Timothy, we do not stick orbs of remembering in our noses!” and “Who knows the first witch to circumnavigate the globe?” “Was it the Harlem Broomtrotters?”).

But I like the idea of a magic teacher grading papers and having to deal with that side of things. Because, fun fact, teaching is about a lot of stuff beyond just standing in front of magical children and teaching them not to open portals to dimensions full of cottage cheese. There’s a lot of bureaucracy and paperwork (not to mention class sizes, budgets, and all that).

The other concept here, of a teacher not knowing everything and being confused by her own student’s magic, reminds that even experts are not omniscient. It also would make me figure out how Jaunkrast managed it. Leaving hurdles to either knock down (Jaunkrast merely included a blank page that would recreate the essay from its ashes and was protected from the flame of cleansing by the other pages) or leap over (Jaunkrast discovering a new property of enchantment, possibly setting up a trip to a magic fair (comp: science fair) where students present their magical inventions).

Sooner or Later, Unqualified Support Crumbles

The Millerites had their Great Disappointment (a Wikipedia article (Wikipedia: “William Miller (preacher)”: The Great Disappointment) quotes Hiram Edson: “Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before… We wept and wept, till the day dawn.”)—they were disappointed that the world did not end at the prophesied time.

The Dutch saw the end of tulip mania (Wikipedia: “Tulip mania”).

The concept is straightforward: unfounded and unhedged beliefs typically lead to ruin. While faith may occasionally be virtuous, science usually is. And bad policy is nothing but faith. Whether it’s trade wars or immigration demagoguery, environmental negligence or the sort of banal tyranny of receiving trademarks and loans for policy treats, bad policy has consequences that tend to awaken even the most willing of fools.

Foremost, in economy predicated on debt, the failure to repay due to sudden and unexpected difficulties—labor shortages, or supply changes due to trade wars—can easily cascade.

But there is social stress, too. The fraying of social relations due to the toady buttressing the bum in charge can lead to the fraying of business relations and contacts. Shifts in communication foreshadow shifts in commerce.

The current regime of Republican control has been setting off fires all about the world, and they have not done so with patience and care. They do not know where the powder kegs are, they did not plan for the retorts and counterplays. And there are always the other wildcards dealt to hands unseen and waiting to come forth.

While blind support seems unshakable, that’s a ceteris paribus reality, where real things tend to shift about in shipping. Those who repeat that Trump gets away with things seem to buy into him with a faith dissimilar to his supporters only in their disliking of his behavior.

To put it another way, until the hand is played out, nobody collects any winnings.

The fact that the support is blind is all the more reason to suspect it will fade in a flash. The supporters are not attached to any specific policy. They don’t have objects or outcomes in mind. They are simply along for the ride, up to the point where they see the wagon heading toward a ravine. Then they will eject.

Toward the end of George W. Bush’s time in office, even among Republicans his approval fell as low as the upper 50s. The lowest Trump’s seen from them is the upper 70s.

That’s why the midterms matter so much. They set a milestone down in the wake of time, and when the supporters evaluate the two years from the election, they will start to realize we’ve little to show for it.

Republicans are Empowering the (Democratic) States

This time it’s the SCOTUS conservatives’ ruling against workers’ common law right to litigate as a class. But it keeps happening that the Republicans are empowering states to take up the slack on issues big and small.

One of the unmentioned features of the revocation of the right to sue employers for wage theft is that states are victims too. They lose taxes when wages aren’t paid. They may even have a right of eminent domain on the causes of action in arbitration on behalf of employees, which would be a novel turn of law.

When President Trump fled from the Paris agreement, the liberal states stood up. When he uses ICE to attack undocumented workers, the states stood up. On the travel ban and on the right to pee. Up and down the line, they keep pushing the Democrats to take up the slack.

You must understand that power is a fluid. Where it is blocked by a dam, be it gridlock in the Congress or indifference to sanity in the White House, it will flow elsewhere.

With legislative stagnation for so long, we have long recognized the concentration of power in the executive and the dangers that poses. But it is entirely expected. If Congress will not legislate, then the limited powers of executive actions will be stretched to their limits.

And same with judicial powers. The worse that inaction bitrots the law, the more that judges have to intervene to account for equity.

But it’s different with the states. They have their own trilateral governments with their own laws and politics. And to some extent they are in competition against other states. So by pushing a wholly partisan agenda, President Trump is handing wads of capital to places like New York and California, to spend at their leisure.

A less direct example is the inaction in West Virginia, which led to a teacher’s strike for better treatment. That has now spread to other states. What does it have to do with Trump? It’s at least part of the climate of demonstration that his presidency has fomented, the spirit of Parkland and the Women’s March, that lends the nerve to teachers to finally say enough.

It’s the nomination of someone like Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. But it’s also the hopelessness of the current administration. Things aren’t getting better for teachers, and the current administration probably wants them to teach in coal mines, which is all the more reason to take action now, before they hand out the hardhats.