We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
This is not the old, conservative and long-lampooned "I don't trust gummint" attitude of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. It's something new, or rather something so much more broadly and fully evolved that it constitutes something new. The right never trusted the government, but now the middle doesn't.
As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee. In other words, the average federal bureaucrat makes twice as much as the average working taxpayer. Add the value of benefits like health care and pensions, and the gap grows even bigger. The average federal employee’s benefits add $40,785 to his annual total compensation, whereas the average working taxpayer’s benefits increase his total compensation by only $9,881. In other words, federal workers are paid on average salaries that are twice as generous as those in the private sector, and they receive benefits that are four times greater.
Linda (Chavez) criticizes the “slow, steady harassment” of illegal aliens. “Slow, steady harassment” is a pretty good working definition of about 80 percent of American law enforcement. It mostly works. You want to change the law, then change the law. But people who believe the way Linda believes about immigration have had ample opportunity to change the law through the democratic process. They have lost. They will continue to lose.
We have generous legal immigration laws now. They can always be changed. A nation without borders, though, is not a nation. A nation is a community of law. As we often say, the whole world wants to come here for freedom and opportunity, and would if they would only have to ignore our laws and wade through the Rio Grande. One thing that ticks me off is that the illegals have taken the jobs high school kids like I used to get: laborers on construction, landscaping work, electrician helpers, etc. They pay the illegals cash and the high school kids get fat and lazy playing video games. I began working summers and part-time during the school year when I was 13. Can kids do that now? I enjoyed working, learned a lot about life, got in good physical shape, and made money too.
Re federal salaries: those numbers look awfully high to me. They may well be correct. One element may be that the federal government has very few entry-level workers like janitors and food service. Most of these jobs are contracted out.
Bu the private-sector average of roughly $60k seems high to me too. Very little of that here in Montana.
High school kids are not hired anymore for a lot of reasons, including minimum wage rates so high the business can't afford "on the job training", and OSHA regulations requiring ridiculously extensive formal training prior to doing anything productive. I also believe my insurance company allows no one under 18.
From what I see, for the most part the illegal folks are working for small companies owned by a legal friend or relative. I don’t think their taking job’s from the high school kids.
I still see some kids working at the fast food joints in our area. I think dealing with the lunch crowd at a busy burger joint is harder mentally, and possibly physically than the work most of the illegal laborers are doing!
On immigration, I was fascinated to learn that the Tuscon Hospital advertises for well-to-do Mexican women to come to Tucson to have their babies---The arrange a deal with some of the resorts for a shopping, resort, American citizen baby vacation. Apparently this is common all along the border, but only the Tuscon Hospital actually advertises. Birth tourism is also common among several of the Asian countries. Wealthy families see American citizenship as something extra they can do for their kids.
Not quite what I understood the Founding Fathers to have in mind.