Monday, July 21, 2008

Thoughts on Obamas Speech to Hispanics

This post inspired by this video of Barack Obama giving a speech to Hispanics. I took the quotes from this transcript, though. Not an exact match, but close.

It's about making sure that we have a government that knows that a problem facing any American is a problem facing all Americans.

As all Americans are free to choose how they live there lives, they are also accountable for the consequences of those choices. That is freedom. No American should be obligated, save by their Creator, to try to fix the problems of those who consistently choose wrong. Set the example, show them the right path, but if they continue to choose wrong, that is their choice. Government co-dependency and enabler programs do not help except to prolong or worsen the problem. It is not the governments right to take our money and give it to people who refuse to help themselves.

It's about making sure our government knows that when there's a Hispanic girl stuck in a crumbling school who graduates without learning to read or doesn't graduate at all, that isn't just a Hispanic-American problem, that's an American problem.

That is an American problem, and it's not a problem only for Hispanics. Our government screwels schools are not doing the job. Somewhere along the way - about the time they started embracing socialist ideas - reading, writing and arithmetic became passe and government schools became socialist indoctrination centers. Now we're more concerned with how our students feel. We don't want anyone to feel inadequate so the teaching is dumbed-down so everyone passes - there are no failures. Everyone feels good about themselves. Well, until they graduate, anyway. Solution? Well, let's start with vouchers, but we need a complete overhaul or government out of the teaching business.

When Hispanics lose their jobs faster than almost anybody else, or work jobs that pay less, and come with fewer benefits than almost anybody else, that isn't a Hispanic-American problem, that's an American problem.

Hmm. Are we talking about Hispanics or about illegal immigrants? Hispanics in general seem to be doing pretty good in my neighborhood, even if they don't speak much English. If they speak English fluently, the skies the limit. You start running into problems at the good choices/bad choices line, but that is the same for everyone.

It sounds to me like he is talking about illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants work jobs for less pay and have fewer benefits, yes, of course. That's the life you choose when you enter a country illegally. Even so, they are doing much better than they would be if they stayed in their country of origin. That's why they are here, it wouldn't be worth it otherwise.

Is that an American problem? Well, by not enforcing our laws we have let it become one. The problem needs to be solved in the countries from which they come, the failure is there. It is not an easy problem to solve as the culture of corruption is deeply embedded in, for instance, Mexico. Letting the people continually spill over into America illegally is enabling the problem. Bringing that culture to America and allowing it to overcome our own is not going to help them or us.

When 12 million people live in hiding in this country and hundreds of thousands of people cross our borders illegally each year; when companies hire undocumented workers instead of legal citizens to avoid paying overtime or to avoid a union; and a nursing mother is torn away from her baby by an immigration raid, that is a problem that all of us - black, white, and brown - must solve as one nation.

That is a failure of the country of origin first, and a failure of our country to enforce it's laws. You can't stop it all but it has been allowed to get way out of hand. Companies hiring illegal immigrants? Only if it doesn't cost them more than they get out of it. Fine them or jail them if necessary, and enforce it. That will stop it. If there are no jobs the hundreds of thousands crossing becomes a trickle.

There are those who say we need illegals to do the jobs Americans won't do. Well, those jobs don't pay much of anything and if you want to make the illegals legal and give them benefits, decent pay and overtime, they will be pricing themselves right out of a job. Or the companies will have to raise the price of what they are selling. Or perhaps both.

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