A scary thought

In the 1860's America, in the midst of an expensive, protracted and quite bloody Civil War, began building a railroad across the continent.  The Western part of this railroad was the more difficult, as it had to transverse mountain passes.  Labor was at a premium.   Eventually a bunch of scrawny guys with no concept of human rights, labor organizing or the simple concept of bitching were brought in, and in short time, the labor "problem" was solved.

The Irish, long the predominant group used, were supplanted.  The reasons were simple:  The Chinese were quiet, had no concept of their rights, didn't always threaten to strike, and worked well as a team.  Not being able to speak English, nor having read Thomas Paine (The Rights of Man) was probably their biggest asset.   They were quick, efficient, and perhaps in their world, well paid.

And just like that, the seeds of discontent towards the Chinese were planted, and continuously nurtured.  So well preserved were these feelings that Congress eventually passed an Anti-Asian immigration law.  Or actually an Anti-Chinese Exclusion Law, passed in 1882 banning all Chinese labor.

This was later spread to include all Asians. In 1917, it was expanded upon to include all of Asia. 
It wasn't repealed until 1965, during the heyday of the America's Great Society Programs.  

So you see,  things we feel today.  Fear, discontent, anger and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, are feelings America felt 130 years ago.   It is nothing new.  Except America back then was far more openly racist.   And then racism was acceptable.   Jews couldn't go to Harvard.  Catholics couldn't serve on the American Supreme Court.  

America was a nasty place.

Unless you were white and protestant.  

The only difference today is America is more socially accepting of other races.   But the fear is still there.   Chinese and Indian's dominant American math and engineering.   Remember all those  posts I wrote about China and America's educational system?

As may be happening in Australia, and Europe, though not as dramatically as in America, we here are being overwhelmed by "foreigners".  Outcompeted is a better word.

America has a unique system of Federalism.  That is, a fear of National Power, thus many functions that may exist on other countries do not exist here.  Primarily that all schools in America are locally, not nationally controlled.   My city has four or five dominant counties.  They all have different textbooks.  Different school calendars.  They are all governed by a board of four or five people. 

What is my point?  There is no cohesiveness towards teaching or studying.  A State and National exam is supposed to bring everyone to a national standard.  Fair enough.

But if America had a National High School Exam that all 17 year old kids need to take in order to PASS, my guess is maybe 50% would fail.  So sorry is our system of education.  My daughters are taught in school by well-meaning female teachers, all graduates of a local university.  Presumably not good enough to get into the State Universities.   That may very well be an unfair statement, but none of them can afford a house.  Some have two jobs.   

Once that Exclusion Act was rescinded, and Asians figured out they can "back door" America by simply going to school here.  Our poor kids that grew up under idyllic auspices of playing sports in school, chasing girls, and maybe watching a few hours of TV in the evening afterwards got crushed by the overachieving  parents that "back doored" it here.

Now our fear of China, Vietnam etc. isn't so much of Asian kids coming here and taking away "our" jobs(jobs 90% of us aren't qualified for), but of American corporations simply continuing to go overseas.

It is a perfect storm.

It is easy to close a factory and take it to Mexico, or Asia.  American companies don't give a damn about America.  They think Americans are lazy.  It is the job of American companies to make a profit.  They have no belief in a social contract with America.   And if they don't know how to do a job, fuck em'.  Why should I train a "lazy" American worker (if he doesn't know how to do a certain American job he must be lazy right?) when I can just go to China or Mexico and hire one that has no concept of American working conditions. 

So you see the fear of Chinese workers hasn't gone away.   It still persists over a  hundred years later, albeit in a different form. 

The problem I hope you are beginning to see isn't those Chinese workers.  It might be the people that hire them.   Is China or Mexico to be blamed when a guy shows up at the door and asks, 

"Can I build a factory here and hire your people?"

Do we expect these places to say no?

And Trump gave these same companies a tax break.

Amazon pays no tax.
GE historically, same. 

They needed a tax break like a hole in the head.

Those companies that get tax breaks hire American workers right?  Nope.  Of course not.  

America (and Australia, and France, and England, etc.) cannot compete with China's workforce.  Not as long as American companies keep going there.

American companies have carried China's water for a generation now.  Chinese profits from American companies (and from your country too) have subsidized the rise of China's Navy, and industrial might.

You may call this a screed.  I call it an economic fact.  And China thanks you all by not changing how it, itself, conducts business.  

So I for one am happy, (and everyone else from other countries should be happy too), when Chinese come to my country and spend money.  Buy a house.  Buy a car.  Because all that is happening is one wallet being substituted for another.  

America's saving grace is people still want to come here.  To live here.  To move here.  And spend money.  An Iranian family just moved in a short while ago.   An IT professor.   Our middle class is being wiped out.  Pushed downward.  It's forcing us to compete at a level higher than before.  I'm seriously worried for my kids.  Life should be fun and enjoyable.  Because after we die, that's it Man.  

They say American employment is at record highs.  Slow down.  All that job creation is so much being an Uber driver ok?  An Amazon grocery delivery man.  As I've said before we are a nation of Amazon warehouse workers.  Can you send your kids to college on that?  Can you buy a house?  

You don't think this trend won't happen in your country?  Slow down on the bourbon. 

They say America's life expectancy is dropping.  No duh.  No surprise there.  Our birth rates are shrinking.  See above.  Who wants to have kids in this country when life is so hard now?   I'm an upper middle class dude driving a car older than my daughter.  Waiting for the pool guy to come over as I write this, so I can "gift" him a thousand bucks.  

In 1882 we didn't give a damn what others thought of us.  Political correctness was wanting all blacks to be free and vote.  Today it's looking the other way when you see your neighbor's dog fucking yours.   Our tolerance as a nation has opened the door for all sorts of change.   A scary thought.   


  1. America has been propped up by immigration for awhile now. A good deal of the tech boom in 90s and 00s was created by immigrants to Silicon Valley. As long as America can keep that it still has a chance. Trump can only last until 2024 at the most, and pendulum will swing back again to pro-immigration and the Chinese should benefit.

  2. You are correct. Our core competency is our ability to create an excellent working environment for smart, talented, ambitious people. It is here they invent things. If only they also built things here though.


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