November 24, 2008

The Politics of Public Works

A major goal of the Obama Administration will be to keep millions of illegal immigrants from going home, which would deprive the Democratic Party of large numbers of votes in coming decades from them (after they are put on "the path to citizenship") and, more importantly, their American-born (and thus birthright citizen) children. Spending hundreds of billions of the taxpayers' dollars to keep illegal immigrant construction workers previously employed putting up unneeded McMansions in exurban Las Vegas from leaving the U.S. is a small price to pay for future Democratic dominance.

A reader writes:
As you and I know, fully half of the illegal aliens work in construction and most of the rest work in the hospitality industry. When the housing (and commercial) construction collapsed last summer, we all knew it would not be long before the unemployed illegal aliens packed up and self-deport. (It actually costs a lot to live in the USA if you do not have a job.) Now Obama comes to the rescue! Before they can run out of money, they can go to work on the biggest public works project in American history. Will Americans be allowed to work too......sure!.....if they can speak Spanish, if they have several years of recent experience doing the same work. (This will guarantee that much of the stimulus will end up being paid to illegal aliens.) Naturally, the powers that be do not want their vast army of cheap construction workers to pack up and go home....besides ....there is a political payoff here for the support provided by Hispanics in the last election.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

It's true that is the policy. However, it raises the question of how Republicans will exploit that: Obama spending billions for Illegal Aliens, because he's on their side. In a recession.

The more hard times come, the more a populist approach based on tribal politics WORKS. No one worries about yuppie status when they are concerned about keeping their home or apartment or job.

The specter of not just continued illegal alien labor sucking up public works, but MORE labor from collapsing Mexico means that the way to attack Obama is not through classical Conservatism but through Palin-Huckabee populism. "Ours" vs. "Theirs."

With heaping doses of American nationalism, variations of the Helms "hands" ad but with American flags and Black/White/Hispanic citizens griping they've been wiped out by the flood of Mexican labor.

That's a huge vulnerability and likely Obama cannot see it. Or Dems. They've built their party on good times and the good times are over.

Yes they want to prop up voters, but the short term cost for them may be if a savvy figure like Steele wins RNC ... huge losses. After all, voters want Obama to "fix" things and get the economy back on track. Barring personal patronage networks like FDRs (you were correct, it's not 1941 any more) which cannot happen in the lawyered environment, Obama has nothing.

Luke Lea said...

My guess is that Obama will surprise you on this one, Steve. Not that he will send all illegals home to Mexico, but that he will get serious about immigration enforcement and will compromise on the amnesty issue -- more or less in line with what Senator Webb is proposing.

We'll have to wait and see, but so far I have been a lot righter than you about how moderate Obama will turn out to be.

Anonymous said...

I used to get scared of this type of ethnic manipulation by socialist parties. But over the years it seems the ones being manipulated for votes eventually take over the party that tried to control them. And that most indigenous voters catch on.

Socialists and Greens here in Germany have been trying the same ploy with the Turkish immigrants. Now Turks are starting to take over the Greens, and the Socialists have so far only been going down in ratings. Even starry-eyed German Obama fans see through this obvious local ethnic voter replacement. I agree with testing99 that in good times most ignore it but in bad times the xenophobic reflex is there immediately, irrespective of all the PC indoctrination. Generally most voters are not so much stupid as just self-centered and intellectually lazy.

Anonymous said...

"We'll have to wait and see, but so far I have been a lot righter than you about how moderate Obama will turn out to be."

Yeah, well that's why you are a "Democrat".

Anonymous said...

With any luck, people will figure out that the US will not pay back its creditors and will stop buying bonds, constraining Obama's options. I'm pretty sure this will happen, but I couldn't say when - maybe Obama's successor will have to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Whatever Obama thinks, it's in the interests of the Democratic Party to retain as many illegal and legal immigrants as possible.

Now about the difficulty of accelerated public works in this overregulated overlawyered environmentalist environment ... don't count on it. This where the Democrat media advantage comes into play. While it would have been an outrage for the hated Bush to have fast-tracked anything, the enviro lobby and the media won't utter a peep about Obama and the Democrats. Mind you, Obama and the 'Crats may not bother with public works projects, preferring to just pay out straight welfare checks instead.

Anonymous said...

If Obama thinks that illegal aliens will cost him votes, under the bus they will go, along with his maternal grandmother, Rev. Wright, the gays, Tony Rezko, and any other political liability that comes his way. The idea that Obama is any sort of idealist is laughable.

Anonymous said...

Obama is under very high pressure to deal with the economic crisis honestly and without resorting to identity politics. I'm sure that he knows if he screws up, he'll be the last black Democrat president born after 1960 for a long time. Look at what happened to Carter - he failed and made the Republicans smell like a rose for 12 years.

Anonymous said...

Steve, this makes little sense. It takes a long time to become a citizen, and Hispanic turnout is extremely low. Most illegal immigrants who stay in the US never become citizens. There kids do, but now we are talking about 18 years into the future.

Obama must also be aware that illegal immigrants hurt black wages and displace them entirely from urban neighborhoods. And finally most illegals are in non-swing states (CA, TX, IL, NJ, MA, and NY)

If a Republican has any shot in 4 years, it will be based on the economy and law and order issues. Amnesty policies will not help him on this front.

You seem to think the old Obama from the 90's is the real Obama.

I think he's just another excellent politician. He moved to the left when he was in leftist Chicago, and starting moving right as soon as he entered the Senate.

Pre-Iowa, he positiioned himself to the right of Edwards and Clinton. His health care plan, for instance, was the cheapest and the only one that would not lead to universal coverage.

Then Hillary tacked right and Obama went left looking for the activist and black vote.

Anonymous said...

Government contruction is the least likely of any blue collar work to be filled by illegals. The only time I see black construction workers in California are those working on public projects.

Private construction seems to be about 90% hispanic/10% white here. Public construction crews I see seems to be more like 20% hispanic, and they usually look to be native borns.

I doubt things will change unless the work gets farmed out to shady private contractors. But that's what Republicans tend to do.

Obama is first and foremost a politician. Hispanics, again, rarely vote even when they are eligible, and are not located in areas he has to worry about.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans actually had the better Public Works idea: defense spending. Defense contractors have more value-added jobs than construction. Many blacks for instance work as welders and fitters in carrier-, U-boat-, tank- and APC- production. Construction is just low tech and requires lots of truck drivers, crane operator, plumbers and spade-operators. Obviously Obama is not going to be building more houses. So how many more roads does the US really need? More likely just to get the existing ones fixed. That does not require an army of jobless ex-Wall street MBA execs turned construction worker.

Defense spending requires welders, electricians, specialists and engineers. Getting engineers employed has a greater impact on the economy than getting pot-hole-fillers employed because usually for every engineer there are so-and-so many technicians with so-and-so many mouths to feed in the US. For every pot-hole-filler there zero further technicians but so-and-so many mouths to feed in Mexico. Obviously when you increase defense spending you need a valid reason for it: under Reagan it was the Evil Empire, under Bush the GWOT and Iraq. So in that sense the Bush years do make some sense.

Obama is going to spend money on filling potholes but lose lots of defense employees because of cutting down on defense spending and getting out of Iraq. Those guys are going to vote GOP so how does that help him when he employs more illegals who cannot vote (sorta).

Anonymous said...

"testing99 said...

The specter of not just continued illegal alien labor sucking up public works, but MORE labor from collapsing Mexico means that the way to attack Obama is not through classical Conservatism but through Palin-Huckabee populism. "Ours" vs. "Theirs.""

You really do live a in a world of your own imagining, don't you? When did Huckabee or Palin ever express anything remotely like "Us" vs. "Them"? They are the bland, sacharine face of mainstream conservative niceness. The evangelical right is not what it used to be, or what liberals think it is. It has become de-fired-and-brimsstoned, and the only sin it recognizes is not being nice.

Who I would like to see as the voice of conservatism is someone who is not nice, someone who is willing to say unpleasant things, who doesn't care what his enemies think of him, and who will take his own side in an argument.

Sebastian said...

Reading these comments, if this is a cross section of current GOP attitude towards ideas to move the nation forward and out of recession, then we can count on them to sit on the sidelines and root (rather loudly from the "straight talk express") for total economic failure.

Country First!

It makes perfect sense to constrain illegals. We may have an economy where American just might be willing to start doing the jobs that illegals currently do.

Illegals will work on construction sites for for low wages and no health benefits. Americans might be more willing to do so, provided there's insurance or something there to take care of them WHEN they get injured at a worksite.

If Obama does what you guys and the rest of the Bushies didn't do, and put pressure on business to prove and confirm that workers are legal on the front end, then he's done the right thing as well as the smart thing.

But based on what I read here, this little sample would rather root for political comeuppance via The Great Depression II than keep the nation fiscally safe. In a very loud and "straight talk" manner.

Go for it. Meanwhile the rest of us at the Adult Table will be over here, trying to fix the republic.

Anonymous said...

go Sebastian!

I live in Germany so I am not particularly bothered about what happens to the US. However I must say I admire Reagan and Bush Snr. for winning the Cold War and allowing German reunification resp.. Apart from that I don't think you can build a country with members of a foreign race and culture that are on a totally different trajectory. The Afrikaners tried doing that in South Africa only to find out the ANC does not give rats about the country. Mugabe is another case. Many Rhodesians stayed and tried cooperating. To no avail. Obama is about Black empowerment, not even Latino empowerment and nothing else. When you cooperate you just accelerate your own downfall. Take a cue from Rhodesians and Afrikaners, though you may be too proud to do so. They have insulated themselves from black rule and basically consider it as an illegal government, awaiting its downfall. Afrikaners are going to come out on top eventually when the ANC gravy train derails.

Anonymous said...

"If Obama does what you guys and the rest of the Bushies didn't do, and put pressure on business to prove and confirm that workers are legal on the front end, then he's done the right thing as well as the smart thing."

Hysterical. This is a joke, right? Si, Si puede!