“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2010 - Typical US Household Income Scarcely Different from 1989

US household income

Cutting the cake

Sep 14th 2011, 15:32 by The Economist online

The real incomes of America's richest and poorest households
financial crisis and its aftermath have taken a significant toll on American households, but many of the country's economic problems predate the crisis. New data on income and poverty released by the Census Bureau reveal a picture of sustained stagnation in incomes for most American households. From the richest to the poorest, inflation-adjusted incomes were lower in 2010 than they were a decade ago. Stagnation is a relatively new phenomenon for the rich, but not for the rest. In 2010, the typical American household earned an inflation-adjusted income of $49,445, scarcely different from that in 1989 and a fall of 2.3% since 2009. Current incomes are at roughly the level of the late 1970s for those near the bottom of the income spectrum. Of course, many of today's consumer products are of higher quality today than they were in the 1970s, and the typical household has access now to things like iPods and flatscreen televisions that didn't exist then. On the other hand, the cost of everything from housing to education has risen steadily in recent decades. From a real income perspective, the American economy has already experienced a lost decade, but for the median household the picture is one of a generation of stagnation.


  1. How is that possible? I suggest 2 easy choices:

    1. Illegal Immigration.
    2. Absurd trade agreements with China.

  2. We wuz snookered.

    In fairness, "Disposable" (after tax) Income would look a little bit better than that.

    And, that number wouldn't take into consideration the increased value of "paid insurance," etc.

    Still, that year on year decline is Real, and Dispiriting.

  3. .

    I'd have to check (or be convinced) but I doubt illegal immigration had much to do with it.

    As far as China is concerned, if it wasn't them it would have been someone else. Probably not as fast; however, just because of China's size and form of government.

    My choices would be:

    1. Productivity increases, especially through the 90's.
    2. Globalization.
    3. US government policies that promoted services (primarily financial) over manufacturing.

    The stagnation that was occurring was masked by the influx of woman into the workforce starting in the 70's which resulted in the growth of two-income families. That second income helped finance the second car, wide screen tv's, computers, second homes, and other "improvements" everyone came to accept and worse expect.

    The latest recession pointed out the facts as jobs were lost and not replaced and two-incomes went to one or to partial or to none. However, anyone watching or affected has seen it coming for decades. Everyone asked to do more at work, raises barely keep up with inflation, worrying about holding on to your job. Of course that was in the real world not in the high flying world of finance where risk was rewarded extravagantly.


  4. Actually, it looks like "Real" Median Household Income has been Falling since 2006 (Or, about the same year Global Oil Production Peaked.

  5. At a Washington news conference alongside senior members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, NASA administrator Charles Bolden said, "This launch system will create good-paying American jobs, ensure continued US leadership in space, and inspire millions around the world."


    Obama administration officials said the development program would cost about $3 billion per year, which is similar to the amount NASA spent on the space shuttle program in 2009.

    A senior administration official called the new program "very ambitious," adding, "This will ensure that the United States remains the world leader in space."

  6. Then, there's this: I'm driving, by far, the cheapest (in real dollars) car I've ever owned in my life. It is, also, far, and away, the best car I've ever owned. It will probably have a reasonably useful life at least 3 times that of my first car, which probably cost twice as much in "Real" Dollars, and gets about twice the gas mileage.

    Remember all the maintenance you used to have to do on those old cars? Remember how much tvs used to cost?

  7. The percentage of California voters disinclined to re-elect Obama was 44 percent -- compared with 40 percent in June and March -- while 49 percent are inclined to vote for him next year, unchanged from June and March.

    "Most would consider this a reliably blue (Democratic) state and if he's having problems here it's fairly ominous for his standing in the rest of the nation," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll.

    The poll showed 54 percent of California voters disapprove of how Obama is handling the economy, compared with 40 percent who approve and 6 percent with no opinion.

  8. A Hell of a lot of people are alive that would be dead if we still had 1989 technology healthcare.
    I now see better than I could at age 12, thanks to a funny little Indonesian Doc that popped a new lens in my eye.
    I was patient number 13 that day, think he did 15 or 16.
    Dozens of less-invasive procedures, skills, software and hardware.
    All brought to us by Rip Off Big Pharma and Big Med.

    Luckily, Obamacare will save us from anymore of those horrors.

    When mortality skyrockets, Rufus will correlate it with the spike in sweet crude prices.


    Liberals are on their high horses about a single audience member at CNN's Republican debate whom they believe wanted a hypothetical man without health insurance in a hypothetical coma to die -- hypothetically.

    (Democrats want people in comas to die only when they are not hypothetical but real, like Terri Schiavo.)

    I concur with the audience member who shouted "Yes!" This has nothing to do with any actual people in comas -- the people Democrats want to kill -- it's just a big "screw you" to the moderator.

    Following up on Brian Williams' showboating questions at last week's Republican debate about the execution of the innocent and starving children with distended stomachs, this week, CNN's Wolf Blitzer launched his question about an imaginary comatose man without health insurance.

    As Rep. Ron Paul began to discuss the pitfalls of collectivism, Blitzer kept interrupting him, concluding with, "But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?"

    That's when an audience member yelled out "Yes!" -- allowing liberals to luxuriate in self-righteousness, the likes of which we have not seen since the Jersey Girls demanded a Homeland Security Department be created because their husbands died.

    Normal people are sick of liberals' emotional stories that play to soccer moms, but always seem to pave the way for disastrous social policies that benefit only left-wing special-interest groups.

    Whenever liberals start loftily insisting on our obligation to our fellow man with these tear-jerkers, you know some heinous public policy is coming. As soon as the dust settles, you won't see any innocent victims being helped, only trial lawyers, government employees and other Democratic constituencies.


    Regarding Brian Williams' baby seal question about starving children in Texas with distended stomachs: No one is starving in this country. The only bloated stomach problem affecting America's poor is a medical condition known as "obesity."

    According to the General Accounting Office, in 2008, the federal government had 18 separate food programs that spent $62.5 billion each year to feed the poor. And that was before the Food Stamp President assumed office.

    I would venture to guess that the only children in America who have ever suffered from kwashiorkor, the condition that causes distended bellies, were victims of child abuse -- at the hands of the sort of monsters Williams is so opposed to executing.

    People aren't buying the left's emotional appeals about imaginary victims anymore.

    The audience member's "Yes!" was a way of laughing in the moderators' faces for trying to pull that crap.


  10. Illegal immigration definitely is a factor, Quirk:

    A Hell of a lot of jobs once done by legal citizens are now done by illegals, and not just those that are too tough for us gringos to handle, either.

    ...Bringing down the salaries in those fields, and putting legal businesses OUT of business.

  11. That's NASA's best big rocket idea since Saturn, Sam.

    Cost is peanuts compared to the billions being wasted on free lunches and bogus Green Tech Scams.

    Reusing the shuttle hardware, which was 100% reliable for a hundred launches, not counting it's deathtrap payload...

    ...or the one time they launched in weather gauranteed to produce a blowup.

  12. The economics driving inequality are unlikely to change until the poor parts of the world get a lot richer. There are Predators on the Top.
    Parasites on the Bottom.

    Both have a life of non-working leisure. Rather than work, television fills the hours of a day.

    And a Shrinking, Tax-Paying, Working Middle Class. This is not sustainable.

    The US needs to WIDEN the tax base with a consumption tax such as a national sales tax or value-added tax. And to re-normalize the under-taxed rates of the wealthy to rates comparable to the 50's, 60's and 70's.

    The one exception to that is regulation of the finance industry, which will limit the gains of the top decile more than it will help the other 90%.

    To cope in the meantime, broad based taxes that are hard to evade (VAT, carbon tax) are a start, and benefits that are means tested help as well. Tax all income equally (capital gains, dividends, etc.) Finally, my favorite: Eliminate corporate tax as it now exists, and instead assign corporate net income to shareholders or owners for tax purposes irrespective of whether dividends were paid out. That would strongly discourage the corporate cash hording that is so common now.

  13. So what did it look like before 1967?

  14. Quirk said:
    ...As far as China is concerned, if it wasn't them it would have been someone else. Probably not as fast; however, just because of China's size and form of government…

    We need balanced trade. Free trade cost jobs, and trade deficits to the tune of 5% of GDP are financed by personal debt. In order to sustain these trade deficits not only must Americans forfeit more jobs, we must charge it to our credit cards.

    Your views on trade are outdated. Even Adam Smith had very clear scenarios that justified protections - so not all protections are uncalled for even for the father of free trade.

  15. Anonymous said...
    So what did it look like before 1967?

    Thu Sep 15, 02:01:00 AM EDT

    Someone making $150 a week could afford a house, a car, a family, a dog, daytrips to the shore, a wife at home, Saturday hunting trips, Sunday papers, Maxwell House Coffee, Aunt Jemima pancakes, ten cent beers and a carton of Pall Malls.

  16. Illegal immigration definitely is a factor. Illegal is illegal, period. We have enough problems in our country right now without a further burden on the middle class. The illegals are nothing more than opportunists breaking the law and taking advantage of people like you.

  17. I remember by dad telling me he made $90 a week when he started with the phone company in '66.

  18. Immigration I agree immigration is a serious matter. What we want to keep in mind, as we address this issue, the pros and cons. Our Nation has for the past couple of centuries has demonstrated how immigration is and has been a rejuvenating of our diversity of strengths. The problem is not immigration. Blaming public workers, undocumented immigrants, African Americans, women, older workers, it’s the old divide and conquer game. It is all about Capitalism.

    Capitalism is NOT socio-economic, capitalism is ALWAYS a representation of wealth having power over the economies and society!

    I wish I could find one honest hyper-capitalist that will tell it like it is.... That elite capital interests have manufactured this global financial crisis to shift the wealth into private hands and the risk onto the backs of the public because there is:

    1) Scarcity of Resources
    2) Overpopulation and Abundant Social Needs
    3) Waning of Importance of the Nation-State/Country Model (see EU, Asian Tigers etc)
    4) Climate Change
    5) Debt-Based Fiat-Money System

    People who have $50 million or more get briefed; they get access to information that we do not... This includes supply and demand of commodities, real statistical government information over the globe and have a fundamental understanding that is neither left or right (its about the money)...
    By getting labor to argue over things that are not even remotely important to capital, they are are able to distract very large groups into doing their bidding.

  19. So, oppositionresearch, what do you think we should do about it?

  20. For all the people that told us losing manufacturing jobs didn't matter, look again. China is the worlds biggest creditors and holds trillions of Yuan of US and European debt. China will only help others in order to keep the euro strong so that she can export more to the USA and Europe. They will continue to kill European and US jobs.

    The Chinese are now offering to bail out the Euros at a price, allowing them to buy up western companies and infrastructure. That will be suicidal in the long term.

    If the US and European strategy of off-shoring manufacturing was so successful and beneficial to our economy, why are we broke and the Chinese so rich?

  21. Rufus: Remember all the maintenance you used to have to do on those old cars? Remember how much tvs used to cost?

    I drive a fifteen year old Mustang GT, she drives a twelve year old Escort. TV's cost about the same, but they have bigger screens and they're so skinny you can hang them on a wall, like a Picasso.

    Deuce (on 1967): Someone making $150 a week could afford a house, a car, a family, a dog, daytrips to the shore, a wife at home, Saturday hunting trips, Sunday papers, Maxwell House Coffee, Aunt Jemima pancakes, ten cent beers and a carton of Pall Malls.

    There were exactly five television channels: ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and a local channel that showed Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and Jerry Lewis movies.

    You got all your news from papers or Uncle Walter. There were no blogs, YouTubes, or Drudge Reports. Telephones were identical black ugly things with dials on them and outrageous bills since Ma Bell as a monopoly. Computers were big honking things that occupied two entire floors of a building downtown, one for the mainframe and another for the air conditioner required to cool it. And they still had less power and storage than a iPad.

    If you were male, you had a good chance of being drafted to go to Vietnam, which was killing soldiers at the rate of 350 men per week within another year.
    Even in Vietnam there were, however, certain compensations.

  22. Obama spent nearly $19 Billion to create only 3,545 green jobs… or a staggering $5 million per job. Pure Obamateurism.

    When it looked like Solyndra was going Tango Uniform, Obama renegotiated the terms of their government loan so when they did go bankrupt, private investors, not taxpayers, got the first $75 million of what was left over. That means we were left with the post-it notes and office chairs. That was malice.

    His personal polling numbers, already in the tank, would be far lower if he was white. Poll respondents are afraid of being called a racist if they say they don't worship the very ground he walks on.

  23. Census Poverty Reports: Misleading and Inaccurate

    Each year, the Census Bureau issues a report claiming that more than 35 million Americans live in poverty. The annual report is flawed in two respects.

    First, it provides no information on the actual living conditions of the persons identified as poor. It simply states that a specified number of persons are poor without giving any information on what poverty means in the real world. A detailed description of the living conditions of the poor would greatly enhance public understanding. In fact, without a detailed description of living conditions, public discussions of poverty are meaningless.

    Second, the report massively undercounts the economic resources provided to poor people. The Census Bureau asserts that a household is poor if its “money income” falls below a specified threshold. In 2010, the poverty income threshold for a family of four was $22,314.

    However, in counting the money income of households, the Census Bureau excludes virtually all welfare assistance.

    For example, more than 70 means-tested welfare programs provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income persons,[46] including Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, the Women, Infants, and Children food program, public housing, and Medicaid.
    (Social Security and Medicare are not means-tested programs.)

    In 2008, federal and state governments spent $714 billion on means-tested welfare programs, but the Census Bureau counted only about 4 percent of this as money income in determining whether a household was poor. The bottom line is that the economic resources available to poor persons are vastly greater than the report claims.

    In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor finds that the one-fifth of households with the lowest incomes appear to spend $1.87 for every $1.00 of income that the Census Bureau says they receive. If the free medical care and public housing subsidies given to these households were counted, the gap between expenditure and income would be even greater.[47]

  24. "The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to the U.S. Taxpayer,"

    found that households headed by immigrants who lack a high-school diploma received nearly three times as much in government services annually as they give back in taxes.

    That fact directly applied to a Senate "immigration reform" bill – but none of the bill’s supporters mentioned it before submitting it for a vote.

    "The proposed immigration reform bill in the Senate would increase the burden on taxpayers," Rector said. The bill eventually died.

  25. Rector on Immigration

    Rector’s impact on national policy includes the immigration debate as well. In May 2006, Rector discovered that a "comprehensive" Senate immigration reform bill would open the border floodgates, potentially admitting an unprecedented 103 million immigrants over the next 20 years. Such an influx would impose huge budget costs on this nation and fundamentally transform the United States socially, economically and politically. "Within two decades," Rector concluded, "the character of the nation would differ dramatically from what exists today."

    Rector’s research hit Capitol Hill like a "perfectly timed statistical bomb," noted the San Francisco Chronicle. Bill sponsors immediately denied Rector’s claims. But Rector and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., countered the nay-sayers by quoting chapter and verse from the bill in two packed news conferences on Capitol Hill. Rector went on to debate the legislation before more than 30 senators at the weekly Senate Steering Committee luncheon. And he took his message to the airwaves, making 27 radio and TV appearances in two weeks. Lou Dobbs, host of CNN’s "Lou Dobbs Tonight," cited Rector’s research for eight broadcasts in a row.

    The intensity caught even the White House off-guard, forcing it and other supporters to reconsider their positions. "We are taking a look right now at the methodology of the Heritage study," White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters, "so I don’t want to get too deep into the details, but we’re taking a look at it."

    Eventually, Rector’s analysis prevailed. The bill’s sponsors changed the immigration cap to 60 million immigrants over 20 years. "For once," syndicated columnist Robert Novak wrote, "the Senate was moved by a think tank report."

    Rector’s immigration research had a similar impact in 2007. His report with Domestic Policy Analyst Christine Kim, "The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to the U.S. Taxpayer," found that households headed by immigrants who lack a high-school diploma received nearly three times as much in government services annually as they give back in taxes. That fact directly applied to a Senate "immigration reform" bill – but none of the bill’s supporters mentioned it before submitting it for a vote. "The proposed immigration reform bill in the Senate would increase the burden on taxpayers," Rector said. The bill eventually died.

  26. So doug, the cause of a problem that does not really exist, is illegal migrant workers?

    You seem to be covering each base, in contradiction.

    Federal Socialism has proven to be not all that productive, despite the party label of the socialist in the White House.

    We have twenty years of proven track record performace to confirm it.

    I can see the light, all thousand points of them.

  27. Marriage provides greater protection from poverty than a high school education.

  28. If the cause of the stagnation was illegal immigration, Mr Reagan would never had had an economic "boom".

    As there certainly were illegal workers in the country through both the recession and boom that occurred during his tenure in office.

  29. Take more LSD, and the lights will be colored.


    The facts about immigration impacts remain true, nonetheless.

  31. Your style of argumentation becomes less coherent over time.

  32. The real cause, the Federals drawing trillions of USD out of the economy and pouring it into the sands of the Middle East.

    Which, when coupled with the private sector sending trillions to that region at the same time, has drained the economic lake, leaving US in a bog.

  33. The Federals removing money from the private sector, to build a military that cannot win a war in a third whirled country, after a decade of effort.

    Talk about government dysfunction, the management of the US military exemplifies it.

  34. Illegal immigrants put a huge dampening affect on wages in the construction industry. The same in food processing and other semi-skilled manufacturing. This affect encouraged the lack of capital formation because labor was artificially cheaper than the normal domestic market price.

    The illegals, specifically Mexicans, increased social costs, crime and worsened our trade deficit, as much of the wages were not saved but sent to Mexico and much of it buying Chinese made products in Mexico.

    Lowered domestic wages in the US put more pressure on the deficit as individuals could make the economic trade of accepting government social benefits as preferable to a low paying job. Everyone that made that trade fell off the tax rolls.

    The beneficiaries of the illegal labor did rather well, in fact so much so that competitor companies, trying to play it straight, had to capitulate to using illegal labor or go out of business.

  35. Anonymous said...


    Thu Sep 15, 02:29:00 AM EDT

    and in Deuce's initial post.

    There have always been illegal immigrants in the United States, it is a given.

  36. Obama has added more to the debt in 3 years than the Wars did in 10.

    But your story plays better on the MSM.

  37. Illegal immigrants have not always been showered with free money and services.
    ...and preferential treatment under the law.

  38. The dollars sent to Mexico, spent on cheap Chinese imported consumer goods, fattened Chinese businesses and put out of business Mexican manufacturers that could not compete. The layed off Mexican workers chose the El Norte solution and so it went and so it goes.

  39. The Chinese pirated American and European technology, manufactured more value-added products and hurt workers higher on the manufacturing scale. Anyone that cannot see that simply is not paying attention.

    Replace energy imports.

    Put it to the Chinese in terms they will understand.

    Close the borders.

  40. All that is true, Deuce.

    But that was true when Chinese made up the bulk of our illegal immigrants, in the 19th century.

    It was true when Mr Reagan orchestrated his Keynesian economic boom.

    The illegal migrants are a symptom, not a cause, of our Federal dysfunction.

    But it is easier to blame the economic victims than the exploiters at Tyson Foods, et al.

    Or the Federals themselves, foaming at the mouth, to receive those tax revenues from the use of bogus tax id numbers, with no corresponding Federal expenditures required.

    The governmental costs of those migrants that you described, borne by States and localities.

  41. The most energetic, healthy, and productive Mexicans REMOVED from Mexico by the illegal trade in the USA.

    ...supposedly increased the stability and boosted the economy of Mexico.

  42. "But it is easier to blame the economic victims than the exploiters at Tyson Foods, et al.

    Thus, Perry must oppose E-Verify, good Christian that he is.

    ...just like George.

  43. Mr Clinton and Mr Bush doing what they could to ignore the law, as regards immigration.

    All sides of the debate preferring the status que to reform. Since there has been no reform and deportations are up, during the current Obamamania.

    The "Right" won the debate, but still refuses to take yes for an answer.

    Beating that dead dog, for the visual effect.

  44. Perry is toast. The more there is to see, the more there is to dislike.

  45. Convicted felons are not permitted to vote. Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, illegal entry into the US is a felony.

    Any amnesty should require the illegal declare that he recognizes the crime, be given parole, not amnesty and never vote in a US election.

  46. E-verify is a Federal sham, dougo

    PHOENIX -- Job hunters turned out in the hundreds to fill recently-vacant positions at Pro's Ranch Market stores, where a federal audit led to the firing of some 300 workers.
    About 300 of the 1,500 total employees at the six Phoenix supermarkets were let go this week after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement audit found them to be working illegally.

    Attorney Julie Pace said the company has I-9 forms on everyone and uses E-Verify to check employees' eligibility to work ...

    Three hundred applicants all passed E-verify, none were truly eligible to legally work in the US, regardless of being approved by the E-verify system.

    The Federals were profiting from the revenue received from those workers, without a corresponding expense, now or in the future.

    E-verify is pure propaganda.
    A show piece that exemplifies Federal dysfunction.

  47. When will democratic politicians find out they have a problem in the White House?

  48. The idea that migration MUST lead to citizenship, another piece of propaganda.

    Legalization does not mean citizenship, it means work permits, back ground checks and social stabilization.

  49. The Democrats will not have a problem, in the White House, until Mr Perry is living in it.

  50. The Fight Starts Now

    Did you see this?

    “Bowing to pressure from immigrant rights activists, the Obama administration said Thursday that it will halt deportation proceedings on a case-by-case basis against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria, such as attending school, having family in the military or having primary responsible for other family members’ care.”
    – Washington Post, August 19, 2011.

    ...Translated, this means the administration will grant backdoor amnesty to illegal immigrants by making changes to internal enforcement policies rather than an act of Congress.

    Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano even had the audacity to say, “This case-by-case approach will enhance public safety.”

    So while the Obama administration seeks to grant a back-door amnesty program to those who break the law – they come after me for enforcing existing immigration laws!

    How, you might ask? Barack Obama’s Justice Department has sued me for enforcing illegal immigration laws here in Arizona…They even opened a “civil rights” investigation into my policies…They even worked hand-in-hand with the ultra-liberal ACLU to bring a lawsuit against Arizona for passing a tough anti-illegal immigration law.

    You have been such a staunch supporter of my campaign for re-election as Sheriff, so I’m writing to you again today to ask for your help.

    I won’t be intimated by the Obama Justice Department…just as I won’t be intimated by the Mexican Drug Cartel’s placing a $1 MILLION bounty on my head…and just as I won’t be intimated by the daily death threats I receive…all for doing the job I was elected to do!

    Nothing – not even Barack Obama’s back-door amnesty scheme – will keep me from doing my job of enforcing the laws on the books. Our great nation was founded on the rule of law – not of men!

    Illegal immigration and the violence from Mexican drug lords in our country is simply out of control. While some politicians fear a backlash for enforcing our laws and the Obama administration weakening those laws, I pledge to you I will continue to enforce both state and federal laws against illegal immigration without apology.

    But I desperately need your help. It's going to take a lot of resources to combat the attacks and false allegations against me and my deputies. We anticipate a very expensive campaign to defend myself and my record.

    I cannot compete with the local and national media machines that distort my record and the job I’m doing to protect this country. And, I don’t have the personal resources to defend myself from these vicious attacks. I have to go directly to the people for their support. I need good people like you in this country to stand behind me and help me fight this fight.

    That’s why I’m writing to you. I need your financial support for Re-Elect Joe Arpaio 2012 today to help me fight these battles.

    Will you stand with liberals like Al Sharpton and the ACLU or will you stand with me and the rule of law? I stand on the frontline in the battle against illegal immigration and truly hope you will join me.

    I would be so honored and grateful if you would consider making a contribution today. Your most generous gift would be greatly appreciated.

    Again, I cannot express enough my gratitude for your support. Thank you so very much and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


    Sheriff Joe Arpaio

    Maricopa County, Arizona

  51. If Mr Romney were to move in, the Democrats would not have a problem.

    They'd just have more of the same.

  52. "Legalization does not mean citizenship, it means work permits, back ground checks and social stabilization."

    The bad old days of the 50's were more enlightened with the Bracero Program than California is now.

    They were provided places to live and food to eat., strawberry pickers live in plastic tents in the fields.

  53. Sheriff Joe cannot raise enough money at home, for his re-election campaign, so he's gone national?


    He has no local opposition, to speak of. Betcha he can privatize those campaign funds when he retires.

  54. Stoking the flames of fear, for private gain.

    Joe is known for that, amongst those in the know.

    He is famous for feeding his prisoners green baloney sandwiches.

    What is not so well known, his brother has the food vending machine concession, in the jail.

    The prisoners buying edible feed, from his machines.

  55. As to sending money to Mexico, good deal, that.

    Leads to more Mexicans staying in Mexico. The flow of economic refugees northward would be even greater if those cash flows to the south were not being made.

    If GM and Ford were manufacturing cars and trucks in Detroit instead of Mexico, well, we'd have more migrant gardeners in Detroit.

    Can't be having that now, can we?

  56. He does have the problem of defending himself against the DOJ and the Administration.

    ...Palin had hundreds of lawsuits.


  57. Mexicans working here means more Mexicans in Mexico.

    Makes sense to me.

  58. ...a fence would mean fewer Mexicans here.

    A Fence plus Shoot on sight would stop the flow, and stop the deaths on the border.

  59. As to sending money to Mexico, good deal, that.

    Leads to more Mexicans staying in Mexico. The flow of economic refugees northward would be even greater if those cash flows to the south were not being made.

    It would never occur to Mexicans living in Mexico that they could go to the US and be a sender instead of a receiver.

  60. It worked for China, it's working in Mexico, doug.

    The migrants are sending huge amounts of cash, back to Mexico, Deuce.

    Money sent home by Mexican migrants - also known as remittances - is the country's second-largest legal source of foreign income, after oil exports. And for years, it contributed to a growing Mexican economy: Annual remittances nearly tripled from about $9 billion in 2001 to almost $24 billion in 2007, amid improved reporting methods and an exodus of migrants from Mexico.

    Now, businesses in many Mexican towns that came to rely on the cash flow are now being forced to scale back - also because of the decline of the U.S. dollar, which has lost almost 8 percent of its value against the Mexican peso this year.

    Read more:

  61. Cut those remittances and Mexico spirals further down, towards failure.

    Failure in Mexico means more economic refugees in the US.

    We live on a connected continent.

    Well, except for doug.

  62. The Chinese exporting low cost merchandise, built by low cost labor.

    The Mexicans export low cost labor.

    Much the same, but that failure in Mexico is more hazardous to the US than failure in China.

  63. A more timely report:

    Mexico received a total of $21.27 billion in remittances in 2010, which signifies a small increase of 0.12 percent over the year before, the country's central bank said Tuesday.

    "This indicates that remittances barely managed to halt the decline that occurred in 2009 and their recovery has been slow. Remittances depend chiefly on employment in the United States, where the outlook continues to be complicated," a report by the Mexican bank Ixe said.

    Remittances constitute the second largest source of foreign currency for Mexico after oil sales.

    During December, the flow of remittances to Mexico was $1.7 billion, representing an increase of 9.1 percent over the same month in 2009.

    The average remittance stood at $302.51 during the last month of 2010.

    Read more:

  64. $1.7 billion USD, $300 USD at a time.

    How many "senders" were there?
    Somebody, do the math, please.

  65. " It worked for China, it's working in Mexico, doug."

    Yeah, obliterating Mexican families plus the Drug Trade has pretty well ruined Mexico in 50 years.

    And dangerous.

  66. You used to post updates on the latest drug fueled shootouts in AZ.

  67. If 1/3 of our imports from China were redirected to come from Mexico, that $1.7 billion would look like small potatoes.

  68. We don't seem to have as many, now, as before.

    Must be due to the improvements the Federals made, since Obama increased the Border Patrol's presence on the frontier.

    Or it may be because of all the weapons the ATF let go, into Mexico.

    They were really flowing, Fast and Furious..

  69. Any estimates on how many Mexicans have been killed by them guns walking across the border?

  70. The Chinese imports will be coming from Mexico, doug.

    Instead of using unionized US longshoremen, the Chinese merchandise will be off loading in Mexico and driving that merchandise into the US, up the I-35 corridor.

    Another of the building blocks to that project recently put in place, by the Federals.

    Jul 6, 2011 – Officials have signed an agreement allowing Mexican trucks to transport cargo throughout the United States.
    You'll get what you asked for, doug, but with unintended consequences.

    To longshoremen and truckers, in the US.

  71. Not that I have seen, doug, referencing Fast and Furious.

    Lots of silence, on that project.

  72. While the States legislators were deprived of their voice and votes in DC, by the 17th Amendment.

    Leaving the State and local governments without direct representation in DC.

    One of the Checks and Balances on Federal power that was done away with, by the Progressives in the Republican Party, back in the day.

  73. Your view of Mexico is distorted, doug.

    Wal-Mart Mexico registers record sales in 2010

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    In 2010 accounted for Walmart of Mexico (WALMEX) a record year of achievement in Mexico and Central America, where not only reported the highest level of sales of 334.511 million pesos and 24.2% growth, but accelerated its expansion and increased the number of jobs created.

    Walmart is US
    We are wining, in Mexico.

  74. Rat, can't you ever shut the fuck up, and fall in love, or something.

    the minter.

  75. This comment has been removed by the author.

  76. The issue of immigration does not hang on the talents or the integrity of the individuals pouring into the U.S. who are not Northern European. Northern Europeans pose no cultural problems for the US. If you do not like that, prove it.

    On the other hand, the real problem is cultural/linguistic/ethic difference. In order to have a free society, the culture must coordinate people rather than coercive statutory law or regulation. Common culture and values provides a non-coercive common denominator. Mass immigration disrupts the culturally balanced native way of life that is within equilibrium of an informal social framework that fosters social cooperation.

    Diversity undermines social capital that is necessary for a civil society to function. That is demonstrably proved by facts not sentimental emotions and political lies.

  77. German is not English, Swedish is not English.

    Spanish is not English, tambien.

    There are few cultural difference 'tween US and Mexico. Fewer every day.

    We are allied with Mexico, economically and militarily.

    California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Florida all examples of how Spanish speaking majority territories integrated into the United States, seamlessly.

  78. There are no uneducated peasants in Germany, England or Sweden. Point to one Mexican state that is not rife with them. Me thinks you like to argue because you like to argue.

  79. There are 31 States in Mexico, everyone of them is in America.

    Just like California and Texas.

  80. That is crock, that the Europeons were well educated. The Irish, the first mass wave of immigrants set the standard.

    Throughout the Famine years, nearly a million Irish arrived in the United States. Famine immigrants were the first big wave of poor refugees ever to arrive in the U.S. and Americans were simply overwhelmed. Upon arrival in America, the Irish found the going to be quite tough. With no one to help them, they immediately settled into the lowest rung of society and waged a daily battle for survival.

    The roughest welcome of all would be in Boston, Massachusetts, an Anglo-Saxon city with a population of about 115,000. It was a place run by descendants of English Puritans, men who could proudly recite their lineage back to 1620 and the Mayflower ship. Now, some two hundred thirty years later, their city was undergoing nothing short of an unwanted "social revolution" as described by Ephraim Peabody, member of an old Yankee family. In 1847, the first big year of Famine emigration, the city was swamped with 37,000 Irish Catholics arriving by sea and land.

    Proper Bostonians pointed and laughed at the first Irish immigrants stepping off ships wearing clothes twenty years out of fashion. They watched as the newly arrived Irishmen settled with their families into enclaves that became exclusively Irish near the Boston waterfront along Batterymarch and Broad Streets, then in the North End section and in East Boston. Irishmen took any unskilled jobs they could find such as cleaning yards and stables, unloading ships, and pushing carts.

  81. ... Rowdy behavior fueled by alcohol and boredom spilled out into the streets of Boston and the city witnessed a staggering increase in crime, up to 400 percent for such crimes as aggravated assault. Men and boys cooped up in tiny rooms and without employment or schooling got into serious trouble. An estimated 1500 children roamed the streets every day begging and making mischief.

    There were only a limited number of unskilled jobs available. Intense rivalry quickly developed between the Irish and working class Bostonians over these jobs. In Ireland, a working man might earn eight cents a day. In America, he could earn up to a dollar a day, a tremendous improvement. Bostonians feared being undercut by hungry Irish willing to work for less than the going rate. Their resentment, combined with growing anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiment among all classes in Boston led to 'No Irish Need Apply' signs being posted in shop windows, factory gates and workshop doors throughout the city.

  82. ... Irish who remained in Manhattan stayed crowded together close to the docks where they sought work as unskilled dock workers. They found cheap housing wherever they could, with many families living in musty cellars. Abandoned houses near the waterfront that once belonged to wealthy merchants were converted into crowded tenements. Shoddy wooded tenements also sprang up overnight in yards and back alleys to be rented out room by room at high prices. Similar to Boston, New York experienced a high rate of infant mortality and a dramatic rise in crime as men and boys cooped-up in squalid shanties let off steam by drinking and getting in fights.

  83. Unlike other nationalities that came to America seeking wide open spaces, the Irish chose to huddle in the cities partly because they were the poorest of all the immigrants arriving and partly out of a desire to recreate the close-knit communities they had cherished back in Ireland. Above all, the Irish loved each other's company, enjoying a daily dose of gossip, conversation, poetry and story telling, music and singing, and the ever-present jokes and puns.

  84. ... the Irish kept to themselves to the exclusion of everyone else, and thus were slow to assimilate. Americans were thus slow to accept the Irish as equals, preferring instead to judge them by the cartoon stereotypes of drunken, brawling Irishmen published in newspapers of the day. Irish immigrants were also derided in the press as 'aliens' who were mindlessly loyal to their Catholic leaders in place of any allegiance to America.

  85. And the Irish were Caucasians and even spoke English, as their native tongue.

    Yet the anti-immigrant prejudices prevailed, regardless.

  86. However, Italy was now one of the most overcrowded countries in Europe and many began to consider the possibility of leaving Italy to escape low wages and high taxes.
    Most of these immigrants were from rural communities with very little education.
    From 1890 to 1900, 655,888 arrived in the United States, of whom two-thirds were men. A survey carried out that most planned to return once they had built up some capital.

    Most Italians found unskilled work in America's cities. There were large colonies in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit. From 1900 to 1910 over 2,100,00 arrived.
    Of these, around 40 per cent eventually returned to Italy.

  87. So, two of the largest immigrant groups from Europe prove the idea that past immigrant groups to the United States were well educated, well, that's just a fundamental error in thinking.


  88. Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
    Send these, the homeless,
    Tempest-tossed to me
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

  89. You do have a problem with focus and relevancy. Look at your calendar, it is 2011. The discussion is today, not 100 hundred years ago. Your supporting facts are worthless. Have anything better?

  90. The long term value of the human capital we derive from immigration to the United States far exceeds the short term costs.

  91. Not at all, lib.

    Immigration is immigration
    Education standard of immigrants is what we were discussing.

    How in the past immigrants supposedly seamlessly integrated. When that is not true.

    How the meme that today's migrant is fundamentally different from those of the past, not true.

    History informs us of the present, and is always relevant.

    And, more importantly, how the States that were once integral to Mexico have been seamlessly incorporated into the US, seamlessly, the premier example of how diversity gained through migration works, for the United States.

  92. California and Texas, had been essential territories to Mexico.

    How the two States with the largest populations in the US, California and Texas were both parts of Mexico.

    And have not only integrated with the other States of the Union, they now drive the political agenda of the Nation.

    California 37,253,956 11.91%

    Texas 25,145,561 8.04%

    Those two States of Old Mexico now representing 20% of the US population.

    Seamlessly integrated.

  93. bangbangbang

    It's the Quirkster, I recognize him's ass as I roll outtatat phone booth in Boise.

    "UPS donna have list of old numbers. You one sweaty sweety lucky Swedish dude.

    "Let's roll"

    "Can I have dried biscket first?"

    "ON YOUR FEET!!"


  94. "Some damn adventure"


  95. One factor driving the recent downtrend in median incomes is the aging population - the proportion of retired folks is increasing and retired people have much lower incomes.

    But hey, y'all got your axes to grind so don't let the stats get in your way!

  96. .

    Mass immigration disrupts the culturally balanced native way of life that is within equilibrium of an informal social framework that fosters social cooperation.



  97. aye, Quirk, cultural purity is necessary for success of the fatherland -errrr, homeland.

  98. While we all know, Q, economic growth which exemplifies US exceptionalism is fueled by creative destruction.

    Which when applied to the concept that there is an:

    informal social framework that fosters social cooperation.

    Well, all I can say ...

    Let's Roll!

  99. Letting our NATO allies take the lead in the security tasks required in the Mediterranean Basin.

    A "New Way Forward" for the United States.

    TRIPOLI, Libya — The leaders of Britain and France visited Libya on Thursday in a triumphal but heavily guarded tour intended to boost the country’s revolutionary leaders, whose forces were propelled to power with NATO’s help last month by routing Col. Muammar Qaddafi and his military in the most violent conflict of the Arab Spring uprisings.

  100. The English construction would probably sound better in German.

  101. One leaked photo appears to show Johansson topless on a bed while another apparently shows her wearing a towel while revealing her bottom.

    According to US celebrity website, Johansson has contacted the FBI over the leak.

    TMZ also reports that her lawyer has sent letters to websites stating that Johansson owns the copyright to the pictures and threatening legal action if they are not removed.

    I have the photos, dare I?

  102. .

    Illegal immigrants put a huge dampening affect on wages in the construction industry. The same in food processing and other semi-skilled manufacturing.

    I'm against illegal immigration because,'s illegal. Offering it a wink and a not diminishes respect for the law. I'm also against it because it is unfair to those who try to immigrate legally. Supposedly, it also increases social costs although I’m not up on those numbers. That being said, I doubt crime among the illegals (other than being illegal that is)is any higher than among the native born.

    But the issue in the initial post was about wage stagnation. It was subsequently posited that illegal immigration was a major factor in keeping wages low. I am willing to be convinced but I haven’t seen evidence (other than anecdotal) to prove it. Does it have some effect? Probably, in some fields and in some locations. A major effect? I doubt it. I’m open to being convinced otherwise but I haven’t seen the data that supports it.

    No, I think, as Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

    Wage stagnation here in the US has resulted from productivity increases and globalization which have limited the amount of jobs available.

    Over the past 30 years the rules of the game have changed. Companies used to value experience and rewarded older workers for their seniority, Today, older workers are a toxic asset. They cost too much. In the past, workers were the last thing to go in downturns. Today, they are the first.

    Over the past few years productivity has increased as jobs were cut.

    As far as globalization is concerned, over the last decade US multinational firms cut 2.9 million jobs here in the US. During that same period, they created 2.4 million jobs overseas. Why? Because it was good for their bottom line, and because they could.

    US tax and trade policies provided an incentive for them to do so. But although tax and trade policies supported their actions it was the companies that did the deed.

    Deuce talks about China pirating patents and technology; however, that is peanuts to what US companies give them willingly. Recent headlines tell the story. 'US multinational' is an oxymoron these days. There are no US multinationals, only multinationals.

    And the American worker sees these trends, recognizes the weakness of his position, and takes what he can get. There is where you get wage stagnation.


  103. .

    I have the photos, dare I?

    Why not?

    TMZ says your only threatened with legal action if you don't take them down (which presumes that you put them up in the first place).

    And heck, if you can't trust TMZ, who can you trust?


  104. .

    And the Irish were Caucasians and even spoke English, as their native tongue.

    Yet the anti-immigrant prejudices prevailed, regardless.

    True enough.

    For those who doubt it, try looking up the history of the 'Know Nothing Party'.


  105. .

    Your views on trade are outdated. Even Adam Smith had very clear scenarios that justified protections - so not all protections are uncalled for even for the father of free trade.

    How can you tell my views on trade out outdated when my comment which you reposted and were responding to didn't refer to my views on trade?

    I, unlike you I suspect, have actually dealt with countries in Asia in setting up joint ventures. My comment merely implied that whether it is China, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. you will run into the same thing. Knowing they are in a strong bargaining position, they are tough negotiators. Their primary demands are for majority ownership, technology transfer, and as much local content as they can force. As I stated in a post above,their are no US multinationals only multinationals. It is these companies that are moving jobs and transferring technology.

    Are US trade policies screwed up? Yes. But it is US companies that are selling us down the river.


  106. The US can be duplicitous in trade as well. Look at the "Buy America" provisions in the stimulus packages and you can see how they violate the agreement. Last time around the US exempted Canada (after threats of retaliation) but given the current political environment in the US that is unlikely to happen in this go around.

  107. She seems to like taking pictures of herself.

  108. Chris Matthews: "Perry looks attractive on some levels." (but not tingle in his thigh attractive)

    Cecilia Munoz, the White House director of intergovernmental affairs, compared the federal crime of being in the country illegally to jaywalking.

    Over 30,000 British schoolchildren, some as young as three, have had their names registered on a government database and branded “racist” or “homophobic” for using playground insults, infractions that could impact their future careers.

    Poland's Finance Minister Jasek Rostowski has warned that the breakdown of the EU could lead to war in 10 years. Speaking to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Rostowski recounted meeting with a friend who was head of a major bank:

    "We were talking about the crisis in eurozone. He told me 'You know, after all these political shocks, economic shocks, it is very rare indeed that in the next 10 years we could avoid a war'. A war ladies and gentlemen. I am really thinking about obtaining a green card for my kids in the United States."

    Talk about a flight to quality.