Thursday, May 06, 2010

Public Enemy - By The Time I Get To Arizona

Rappers Public Enemy released this song nearly 20 years ago. Amazing how relevant it still is today.


  1. Ohh brother... please tell me how it is racist for a state to pass a law that basically is saying that it will enforce the federal law already on the books.

    As for the song, Glen Campbell's
    By The Time I Get to Phoenix is infinitely better... ;)

  2. That didn't take long. I have been hearing that "enforce[s] the federal law already on the books" line from most of the conservative talking heads over the last few days. The laws are not the same.

    This law gives waaaaayyyy too much latitude to local law enforcement (most of whom oppose the law according to polling in AZ), and it will be easily abused.

    Sorry, but I'm not comfortable with a lone police officer's "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal. Everyone knows the illegals that AZ is talking about are from south of the border. This law will effect the lives of all Latino persons in AZ in an extremely negative way. The large majority of Hispanics in AZ are citizens (and then legal immigrants), yet they will be placed with an extra burden of having to constantly fend off citizenship challenges. Any number of constitutional rights are being denied them, and only Latinos will be effected. It would codify racial profiling.

    Furthermore, the law allows for any citizen in AZ to sue their local police force if they feel the cops are insufficiently enforcing the law. So, now the police have to worry about being sued for detaining Hispanic citizens without cause and being sued by some schmuck in the neighborhood who thinks the police are not detaining enough Hispanics.

    So, I don't think it is possible to deny a racial element to this law.

    You stop illegal immigration when you stop the people who employ them. As long as there are jobs for them, they will find a way to get here. Instead of targeting an entire race of people, why not target the industries that hire the majority of the illegals?

    As for the Glen Campbell song vs Public Enemy. I like both.

  3. Dave, rather than focus on what I disagree with you on regarding this law, I will say that I am definitely in favor of your idea to stop the people that hire (and often times exploit) these people.

    That is indeed the key to the problem, sir!

  4. All we need to do is cut of the magnet and people will "self" deport.
    Unfortunately politicians and business have abused this issue and it's the taxpayers who end up footing the bill and who are demonized for railing against it.
    Time to clean house in DC .
    We need to get successful business people to run the show not special interest people and certainly not ideologues.
    I have had it with the whole lot of them. I say we should let the women take the helm.

  5. Right. Except that was the Bush model. Have agencies run by the former heads of companies. Hire regulators with pre-existing relationships with the industry they would be regulating. Miserable failure.

    Besides, it is the unquenchable desire of business for cheap labor that keeps the illegals coming in and driving wages down for American workers.

    We need to increase the fines for hiring an illegal to something like $100K per instance. Guess what? Construction companies will start hiring Americans again. Some costs for consumers will go up, but the net effect of more Americans being employed, and fewer illegals present will balance it out.

  6. Dave, you are correct in concept, sir.

  7. I agree that's a step in the right direction but if you don't think liberal policies draw them here as well then I have news for you.
    See what liberal/social policies did to Greece.

  8. Greece is much more complicated than "liberal." They have a rampant tax evasion problem where the wealthy in Greece just ignore their tax obligation and the average Greek still has to pay. It has been a problem for a decade. Also, whenever they have a new government come in, it hires an entire new bureaucracy and still employs the old one. That is not exactly how the US works.

    You can compare the US to Greece all you like, but Greece has its own set of problems, and they have nothing to do with us, and nothing to do with companies in the US intentionally hiring illegals so they can pay workers less.

  9. A large part of Greece's current problems are due to the government's insolvency and inability to pay the lavish pentions that were guaranteed.

    The Communists (and I mean exactly that and am not using the word as a perjorative) and the unions are the ones largely behind the riots and strikes there.

    When you promise huge pensions to people when they retire at 55 and then have to hire more people to work in their place, as you said, Dave, the problem snowballs.

    This is not unlike what happened to GM and Chrysler. The unions negotiated unsustainable benefits with the automakers. When the cost of their products rose so high as to no longer being truly competitive with foreign cars, they lost market share.

    The UAW etc still demanded their exorbitant benefits though, even if that meant they weren't going to have a company to work for anymore, that is until Obama came in and illegaly seized these companies, ignored the debt owed to the creditors and stock-holders, and gave a huge controlling interest to the greedy unions that percipitated the problem to begin with.

    Nothing was learned by this fiasco, and why people didn't rise up in sustained protest to the government takeover of two HUGE private companies is beyond me.

    This is something that happens in third world dictatorships. It is unfathomable that it has now happened in America!

  10. Funny how a contract with the UAW needs to be scrapped the moment the company is in financial difficulty, and the union is blamed for all the company's ills. But the UAW gets zero credit when the company is succeeding. However, the contracts with the CEOs, who make hundreds of millions of dollars every year in guaranteed income, and who make all the companies business decisions, are sacrosanct, and cannot be changed and they get no blame for driving the company into the ground.

    The right always blames the workers and never the executives. In every case it is so. The right went into a tizzy when it was suggested that AIG be forced to return their bonuses. The outrage stemmed around the bonuses being "contractually obligated" and therefore must be paid. But a UAW contract's obligations? Screw it. They're just blue collar workers. They don't count.

  11. Dave, I never said that executives are not at fault too. You are correct that it is ultimately the executives of the company that are at fault for their companies' demise.

    A huge part of that fault was that these foolish executives agreed to unsustainable contracts with their union workers.

    When a basically unskilled assembly line worker is making $70.00 an hour with a platinum benefit package, well that is just foolish. I guarantee that you could find equally qualified workers to do the same job at 1/2 to 1/3 of that wage.

    Doing so would make the company extremely competitive and increase market share, thereby allowing the company to hire even more employees at a good wage instead of a ridiculously over-priced wage.

    Unions were vital at one time in this nation as giant companies took egregious advantage of their workers. Now it seems that unions are the ones taking egregious advantage, and further are using their power as political action committees.

    How is that fair that unions get a say in government, but when the Supreme Court recently says corparations can now have free speech too, that is a huge problem for the progressives? That smacks of a double standard and hypocrisy to my mind.

  12. That $70 an hour figure is wildly exaggerated and proven to figure in an employee's retirement benefits over their projected lifetime into their hourly wage. I don't believe anyone else's wages are computed that way.


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