Author Topic: So Let's Speculate about Realistic Bipartisan Legislation with a Split Congress  (Read 5408 times)

MasterStache

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Raising minimum wage is just anathema to the business-controlled Republicans. It's a hill to die on. It'll happen in cities and states not controlled by the Republicans but it'll never happen in, say, Alabama, even if it helps many workers there. The Repubs will spin it as regulating businesses and a job-loss scenario and the base will eat it up.

How long will minimum wage voters continue to support republican politicians who argue that the minimum wage should never go up?  I mean at some point, the desire to support your party's ideology has to run up against your own desire to not live in poverty anymore.

Don't count on it. It's been discussed before how Trump supporters, before the election, readily admitted their intention to vote for Trump despite possibly losing healthcare. I mean, increasing their odds of dying from a preventable disease is worth the risk of ensuring an "R" is in the White House. Nuckin Futs!
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 08:57:27 AM by MasterStache »

JGS1980

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Here’s a new idea:

Abolish the Nanny Tax. No convoluted social security, Medicare, state taxes withdrawals for domestic employees. Just pay the feds 500$ a year if you hire nannies and be done with it. Nannies could pay $250 a year. All up to a certain cutoff (I.e. 30K /year or so)

Being as 90% of nannies/nanny employers don’t pay a dime in taxes for that work, this could be a huge net gain for the coffers, while legitimizing respectable work without screwing over usually young workers or cash strapped parents.

Less regulations and real tax cut while broadening tax base = Republicans love it.
Legitimizing childcare workers (lots of which are female, young, low-income), getting quarters for social security, improving childcare access for working mothers = Democrats love it.

JGS

Kris

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Raising minimum wage is just anathema to the business-controlled Republicans. It's a hill to die on. It'll happen in cities and states not controlled by the Republicans but it'll never happen in, say, Alabama, even if it helps many workers there. The Repubs will spin it as regulating businesses and a job-loss scenario and the base will eat it up.

How long will minimum wage voters continue to support republican politicians who argue that the minimum wage should never go up?  I mean at some point, the desire to support your party's ideology has to run up against your own desire to not live in poverty anymore.

Don't count on it. It's been discussed before how Trump supporters, before the election, readily admitted their intention to vote for Trump despite possibly losing healthcare. I mean, increasing their odds of dying from a preventable disease is worth the risk of ensuring an "R" is in the White House. Nuckin Futs!

This. And in my neck of the woods, all the soybean farmers who are currently getting their asses handed to them, but still say they're going to continue supporting Trump.

DreamFIRE

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End Daylight Savings Time.

YES!!!!!  Sweet Jesus, this!

HELL YES.  One of my favorite things about living in Arizona was they didn't do that stupid crap.

Alternatively, we could just keep daylight savings all year round.  That would be fine too, esp for northern climates.  Whatever, just STOP CHANGING BACK AND FORTH.

Florida voters approved this a couple years ago (but their legislators have not yet implemented it), and California just voted to do the same. Please, please can we just switch to DST year-round??? I hate getting home at sunset for 5 months out of the year.

Yes, that's what I have always wanted.  I don't want to get rid of daylight saving time, but I would prefer it extended all year round.  However, I will FIRE soon enough, so it won't matter much to me anymore when I'm not tied to a job schedule.

radram

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5. Infrastructure beyond just roads and bridges.  Making the internet has made America pretty well off, perhaps develop worldwide internet systems (looking at you SpaceX) in collaboration with Fed grants.  Tax the usage for a set amount of time to pay for it.
This!  Internet infrastructure is huge for getting businesses (including home-based businesses, self-employed people, or remote workers) off the ground these days.  There's no reason that we shouldn't run fiber anywhere we run electricity, all across the country.  Cities are covered in fiber but plenty of rural or even suburban areas are laughably behind the curve thanks to regional monopolies and other bullshit.

Sounds too much like socialism to me. The hard working middle class should not have to pay for rural porn watchers to get their fix.

bacchi

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5. Infrastructure beyond just roads and bridges.  Making the internet has made America pretty well off, perhaps develop worldwide internet systems (looking at you SpaceX) in collaboration with Fed grants.  Tax the usage for a set amount of time to pay for it.
This!  Internet infrastructure is huge for getting businesses (including home-based businesses, self-employed people, or remote workers) off the ground these days.  There's no reason that we shouldn't run fiber anywhere we run electricity, all across the country.  Cities are covered in fiber but plenty of rural or even suburban areas are laughably behind the curve thanks to regional monopolies and other bullshit.

Sounds too much like socialism to me. The hard working middle class should not have to pay for rural porn watchers to get their fix.

Good point. We tried this before with rural electricity and look how well it worked.

ketchup

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5. Infrastructure beyond just roads and bridges.  Making the internet has made America pretty well off, perhaps develop worldwide internet systems (looking at you SpaceX) in collaboration with Fed grants.  Tax the usage for a set amount of time to pay for it.
This!  Internet infrastructure is huge for getting businesses (including home-based businesses, self-employed people, or remote workers) off the ground these days.  There's no reason that we shouldn't run fiber anywhere we run electricity, all across the country.  Cities are covered in fiber but plenty of rural or even suburban areas are laughably behind the curve thanks to regional monopolies and other bullshit.

Sounds too much like socialism to me. The hard working middle class should not have to pay for rural porn watchers to get their fix.

Good point. We tried this before with rural electricity and look how well it worked.
Well maybe we should get rid of that electricity too, since you need electricity to watch porn.

JGS1980

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 My guess is that the biggest thing urbanites subsidize for rural voters right now is healthcare and roads. I’m not sure how to confirm my guess though.

smalllife

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I'm going to hope for:

1. Fixes to Amtrak - a la enforcing rulebreakers who cause most of the delays, upgrading infrastructure, etc.

2. Decreases in military spending

3.  Infrastructure bill, but it probably won't be the infrastructure bill we need (probably will be current construction extended, rather than smart growth)

4.  A new farm bill to help small and new farmers without subsidizing big agriculture.  This should have bipartisan support and help rural voters.

GuitarStv

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5. Infrastructure beyond just roads and bridges.  Making the internet has made America pretty well off, perhaps develop worldwide internet systems (looking at you SpaceX) in collaboration with Fed grants.  Tax the usage for a set amount of time to pay for it.
This!  Internet infrastructure is huge for getting businesses (including home-based businesses, self-employed people, or remote workers) off the ground these days.  There's no reason that we shouldn't run fiber anywhere we run electricity, all across the country.  Cities are covered in fiber but plenty of rural or even suburban areas are laughably behind the curve thanks to regional monopolies and other bullshit.

Sounds too much like socialism to me. The hard working middle class should not have to pay for rural porn watchers to get their fix.

Good point. We tried this before with rural electricity and look how well it worked.
Well maybe we should get rid of that electricity too, since you need electricity to watch porn.

Agreed.  Rural people have access to cows, horses, and sheep . . . therefore they can get free porn (albeit only at certain times of the year) without electricity.

:P

One

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Allow individuals under the age of 45 to invest 25% of their social security into an index fund that tracks the s&p 500

Sugaree

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The other two major policy areas you mention are non-starters.

Why do you think that?

I'll answer re: minimum wage. Raising minimum wage is just anathema to the business-controlled Republicans. It's a hill to die on. It'll happen in cities and states not controlled by the Republicans but it'll never happen in, say, Alabama, even if it helps many workers there. The Repubs will spin it as regulating businesses and a job-loss scenario and the base will eat it up.

Hey now.  Don't give the current GOP too much credit here.  In Alabama we have a long, proud history of voting against our own best interests.

Sugaree

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Raising minimum wage is just anathema to the business-controlled Republicans. It's a hill to die on. It'll happen in cities and states not controlled by the Republicans but it'll never happen in, say, Alabama, even if it helps many workers there. The Repubs will spin it as regulating businesses and a job-loss scenario and the base will eat it up.

How long will minimum wage voters continue to support republican politicians who argue that the minimum wage should never go up?  I mean at some point, the desire to support your party's ideology has to run up against your own desire to not live in poverty anymore.
But don't forget that the other party wants to take your guns and kill all of the babies. /s

This.  Our surprise Dem senator made an appearance in my neighborhood after a natural disaster and was called a babykiller by the lineman restringing our power lines.

ketchup

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1. Fixes to Amtrak - a la enforcing rulebreakers who cause most of the delays, upgrading infrastructure, etc.
Doesn't Amtrak use the freight tracks with lowest priority, leading to most of their delays, etc.?

JGS1980

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Why not a MagLev from Miami to Boston, another from NYC to LA, and a final one from San Diego to Seattle?

What happened to our huge infrastructure projects in this country?

JGS

sol

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I actually like the idea of huge infrastructure projects, but I hope the benefits can be distributed to more than just urbanites.

It's urbanites who would pay for it, and urbanites who would benefit from it.  If rural people want more big infrastructure projects in rural areas, they either need to pay for it themselves or convince the rest of the country that they will somehow benefit from it.

This is how free markets are supposed to work.  Successful areas (industries/regions/cities/companies) are supposed to profit, and then use those profits to improve their own lot.  Conversely, the failing ones are destined to fall farther and farther behind until they disappear or become obsolete.  Why would facebook pay to save myspace, or android pay to subsidize palm?  These former giants of their industries are now irrelevant husks.  Facebook and android are winners, and they rake in cash they use to further cement their winner status.  Yay capitalism!

Only die-hard liberals would advocate for the kind of wholesale wealth-redistribution that would be required to fund major infrastructure in rural areas, and if the rural areas have been wholly dominated by republican politics that oppose these ideas, how hard are liberals really going to fight to help conservatives who don't want to be helped?

GuitarStv

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Why not a MagLev from Miami to Boston, another from NYC to LA, and a final one from San Diego to Seattle?

What happened to our huge infrastructure projects in this country?

JGS

If a huge factor in the last election was the growing cultural gulf between Urban and Rural communities, I highly doubt that an infrastructure project to whisk trendy urbanites from city to city faster is going to be much of a winner.  I mean it would be great for me personally, but not sure what's in it for someone in small town West Virginia. 

I actually like the idea of huge infrastructure projects, but I hope the benefits can be distributed to more than just urbanites.

US cities are home to 62.7% of the people in the country.  Providing better services to cities would therefore help the majority of Americans . . . who are urbanites.

smalllife

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I actually like the idea of huge infrastructure projects, but I hope the benefits can be distributed to more than just urbanites.

It's urbanites who would pay for it, and urbanites who would benefit from it.  If rural people want more big infrastructure projects in rural areas, they either need to pay for it themselves or convince the rest of the country that they will somehow benefit from it.

National bike routes that go through small towns - win win win, plus cheaper per mile than most other infrastructure projects.

JGS1980

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I actually like the idea of huge infrastructure projects, but I hope the benefits can be distributed to more than just urbanites.

It's urbanites who would pay for it, and urbanites who would benefit from it.  If rural people want more big infrastructure projects in rural areas, they either need to pay for it themselves or convince the rest of the country that they will somehow benefit from it.

National bike routes that go through small towns - win win win, plus cheaper per mile than most other infrastructure projects.

Great Idea, I'd jump on in this one.

Sugaree

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I actually like the idea of huge infrastructure projects, but I hope the benefits can be distributed to more than just urbanites.

It's urbanites who would pay for it, and urbanites who would benefit from it.  If rural people want more big infrastructure projects in rural areas, they either need to pay for it themselves or convince the rest of the country that they will somehow benefit from it.

National bike routes that go through small towns - win win win, plus cheaper per mile than most other infrastructure projects.

Great Idea, I'd jump on in this one.

We've got a bike trail that runs along the edge of town.  It seems to get a lot of use.  There are plans to link it with another fairly long trail to make a 90 mile corridor.  The next town over has really embraced it, opening a welcome center and several businesses that cater to people biking through on long rides. 

By the River

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How long will minimum wage workers keep working a minimum wage job and not develop into something bigger?  If you can't find a different job and negotiate a higher salary in this economy then no one has taught you how to make money.  Fast food in my town is offering 14$/hr just to get more people because there is a surplus of jobs.

I seriously don't get the minimum wage argument.

My state has the federal minimum wage only but the fast food restaurants around here post entry level jobs with $9 or $10 per hour starting wages posted in their windows.  The US minimum is not a mandated maximum, different locations can pay whatever they need to in the LOCAL environment to have employees staffing the front counter.  We should continue to have a relatively low national pay level but individual smaller governments can pass higher or let businesses pay based on demand.     

nereo

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How long will minimum wage workers keep working a minimum wage job and not develop into something bigger?  If you can't find a different job and negotiate a higher salary in this economy then no one has taught you how to make money.  Fast food in my town is offering 14$/hr just to get more people because there is a surplus of jobs.

I seriously don't get the minimum wage argument.

My state has the federal minimum wage only but the fast food restaurants around here post entry level jobs with $9 or $10 per hour starting wages posted in their windows.  The US minimum is not a mandated maximum, different locations can pay whatever they need to in the LOCAL environment to have employees staffing the front counter.  We should continue to have a relatively low national pay level but individual smaller governments can pass higher or let businesses pay based on demand.   

This is what we already have in place.  However, the argument is whether $7.25/hour (the current federally-mandated minimum wage) is too low, as well as whether we should allow the plethora of workers who are exempt from this minimum wage, which includes interns, seasonal employees, those (supposedly) compensated by tips and the self-employed.
FWIW, my opinion is that $7.25 is far too low for the minimum, as it equates to about $14k/year for full-time work. On a real-adjusted basis we've had much higher federal minimum wage levels in the past.  I have no problem when local and state governments wish to pay above this level.

JGS1980

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https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/gallagher-congress/575689/

Thoughts about the importance of committee structure to actually achieve congressional engagement and improve the chance of bipartisanship in the House?


By the River

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How long will minimum wage workers keep working a minimum wage job and not develop into something bigger?  If you can't find a different job and negotiate a higher salary in this economy then no one has taught you how to make money.  Fast food in my town is offering 14$/hr just to get more people because there is a surplus of jobs.

I seriously don't get the minimum wage argument.

My state has the federal minimum wage only but the fast food restaurants around here post entry level jobs with $9 or $10 per hour starting wages posted in their windows.  The US minimum is not a mandated maximum, different locations can pay whatever they need to in the LOCAL environment to have employees staffing the front counter.  We should continue to have a relatively low national pay level but individual smaller governments can pass higher or let businesses pay based on demand.   

This is what we already have in place.  However, the argument is whether $7.25/hour (the current federally-mandated minimum wage) is too low, as well as whether we should allow the plethora of workers who are exempt from this minimum wage, which includes interns, seasonal employees, those (supposedly) compensated by tips and the self-employed.
FWIW, my opinion is that $7.25 is far too low for the minimum, as it equates to about $14k/year for full-time work. On a real-adjusted basis we've had much higher federal minimum wage levels in the past.  I have no problem when local and state governments wish to pay above this level.

I know that this is what we have in place.  However, if I go true libertarian and say that the only true minimum wage is $0 and that if we raise the mandate to $15, then many workers will get $15 but others will get $0, then I will be accused by some on here of wanting slavery to be legalized.   

Secondly, did you mean that we should mandate a minimum for self-employed workers?  That would be interesting. 

nereo

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How long will minimum wage workers keep working a minimum wage job and not develop into something bigger?  If you can't find a different job and negotiate a higher salary in this economy then no one has taught you how to make money.  Fast food in my town is offering 14$/hr just to get more people because there is a surplus of jobs.

I seriously don't get the minimum wage argument.

My state has the federal minimum wage only but the fast food restaurants around here post entry level jobs with $9 or $10 per hour starting wages posted in their windows.  The US minimum is not a mandated maximum, different locations can pay whatever they need to in the LOCAL environment to have employees staffing the front counter.  We should continue to have a relatively low national pay level but individual smaller governments can pass higher or let businesses pay based on demand.   

This is what we already have in place.  However, the argument is whether $7.25/hour (the current federally-mandated minimum wage) is too low, as well as whether we should allow the plethora of workers who are exempt from this minimum wage, which includes interns, seasonal employees, those (supposedly) compensated by tips and the self-employed.
FWIW, my opinion is that $7.25 is far too low for the minimum, as it equates to about $14k/year for full-time work. On a real-adjusted basis we've had much higher federal minimum wage levels in the past.  I have no problem when local and state governments wish to pay above this level.

I know that this is what we have in place.  However, if I go true libertarian and say that the only true minimum wage is $0 and that if we raise the mandate to $15, then many workers will get $15 but others will get $0, then I will be accused by some on here of wanting slavery to be legalized.   


Is this what you are suggesting?  Right now you are masking everything in hypotheticals.  I've been pretty clear that I think $7.25 is too low (note that just over half of states and roughly 2/3rds of the country live in states with a higher minimum wage standard).
Quote
Secondly, did you mean that we should mandate a minimum for self-employed workers?  That would be interesting.
I was merely stating the exemptions in our current federal minimum wage laws, which apply to a considerable portion of our workforce.

Specific to the self-employed category, a fairly recent strategy is for many companies to outsource much of their daily operations to workers defined as 'self-employed', thereby making them exempt from both minimum wage standards as well as things like benefits and payroll taxes and benefits.
If the laws are vague enough it effectively undercuts any federal minimum wage standards. That isn't to say that we should require all self-employed to make minimum wage, but I don't believe we ought to allow individuals working full-time in conjunction with for-profit companies to be exempt.

shenlong55

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How long will minimum wage workers keep working a minimum wage job and not develop into something bigger?  If you can't find a different job and negotiate a higher salary in this economy then no one has taught you how to make money.  Fast food in my town is offering 14$/hr just to get more people because there is a surplus of jobs.

I seriously don't get the minimum wage argument.

My state has the federal minimum wage only but the fast food restaurants around here post entry level jobs with $9 or $10 per hour starting wages posted in their windows.  The US minimum is not a mandated maximum, different locations can pay whatever they need to in the LOCAL environment to have employees staffing the front counter.  We should continue to have a relatively low national pay level but individual smaller governments can pass higher or let businesses pay based on demand.   

This is what we already have in place.  However, the argument is whether $7.25/hour (the current federally-mandated minimum wage) is too low, as well as whether we should allow the plethora of workers who are exempt from this minimum wage, which includes interns, seasonal employees, those (supposedly) compensated by tips and the self-employed.
FWIW, my opinion is that $7.25 is far too low for the minimum, as it equates to about $14k/year for full-time work. On a real-adjusted basis we've had much higher federal minimum wage levels in the past.  I have no problem when local and state governments wish to pay above this level.

I know that this is what we have in place.  However, if I go true libertarian and say that the only true minimum wage is $0 and that if we raise the mandate to $15, then many workers will get $15 but others will get $0, then I will be accused by some on here of wanting slavery to be legalized.   

Secondly, did you mean that we should mandate a minimum for self-employed workers?  That would be interesting.

Actually, I'd be fully on board with your $0 minimum wage as long as it's paired with a UBI/negative income tax.

FIRE@50

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Why not a MagLev from Miami to Boston, another from NYC to LA, and a final one from San Diego to Seattle?

What happened to our huge infrastructure projects in this country?

JGS
This is a classic high barriers to entry scenario. Railroads are great investments because it is impossible to get the right of way to build a competing one.

robartsd

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https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/gallagher-congress/575689/

Thoughts about the importance of committee structure to actually achieve congressional engagement and improve the chance of bipartisanship in the House?
Interesting thoughts on the power structure of the House of Representatives and how it may contribute to deadlock. Thanks for the link.

JGS1980

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Ok, here's an idea I've been fooling with.

So I'm a fairly pro-immigration kind of person. My parents were immigrants to this country in the 70's. I believe one of the things that makes USA great is that we are capable of siphoning off the smartest, the most ambitious and the hardest working folks from around the world and then incorporating them successfully into our culture (eventually).

In any case, I don't believe you need to build walls or close borders to solve the immigration issue. All you have to do is create a $100,000 fine to every business for every employee or subcontractor (or subcontractor's subcontractor) found to be illegally working for that business. Take the profit out of "cheating". There's already a program for businesses to confirm that their particular employee is legally allowed to work. Put the onus on the employer's, not the employees.  Same rule applies to "under the table" jobs.

Cheap labor jobs like landscaping,farm work, back kitchen restaurant work, and child care will lose A LOT of workers. The free market will do the rest. The "minimum wage" folks will be willing to work at will have to increase (as will the conditions in which those workers work those jobs) due to supply and demand.

If you really want to get draconian, add a $10,000 award for every confirmed illegally employed employee. Watch what happens...


Of course, a lot of services will get a whole lot more expensive. A lot of legit businesses will fail. There'd probably be a recession. This would be followed by either amnesty for the folks who were able to survive staying illegally in the states, or a much more liberal immigration policy like the late 1800's or early 1900's.

nereo

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In any case, I don't believe you need to build walls or close borders to solve the immigration issue. All you have to do is create a $100,000 fine to every business for every employee or subcontractor (or subcontractor's subcontractor) found to be illegally working for that business. Take the profit out of "cheating". There's already a program for businesses to confirm that their particular employee is legally allowed to work. Put the onus on the employer's, not the employees.  Same rule applies to "under the table" jobs.

There already are penalties for businesses that willfully violate employment record requirements.  As someone who ran a small business for several years with several unskilled laborers the challenge I see with this kind of solution is that it places the burden and enforcement of employment verification onto the business, which is really not their forté. We used e-verify to check that the name and worker ID number matched, but there was no way of knowing whether the 'Alfonzo' applying for a position was actually the real 'Alfonzo'.  And I hated it - I didn't want to be ICE and my major concern was whether I could find someone reliable to do the job.  We did everything required of us but it was both a PITA and I knew that a lot of guys cheated.  And the kicker was I sympathized with the cheaters, because they were good people who worked hard and were pulling themselves up, so to speak.

accolay

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I was hoping this congress could get money out of our political process.


Spoiler: show
Bwahahahahah!

JGS1980

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In any case, I don't believe you need to build walls or close borders to solve the immigration issue. All you have to do is create a $100,000 fine to every business for every employee or subcontractor (or subcontractor's subcontractor) found to be illegally working for that business. Take the profit out of "cheating". There's already a program for businesses to confirm that their particular employee is legally allowed to work. Put the onus on the employer's, not the employees.  Same rule applies to "under the table" jobs.

There already are penalties for businesses that willfully violate employment record requirements.  As someone who ran a small business for several years with several unskilled laborers the challenge I see with this kind of solution is that it places the burden and enforcement of employment verification onto the business, which is really not their forté. We used e-verify to check that the name and worker ID number matched, but there was no way of knowing whether the 'Alfonzo' applying for a position was actually the real 'Alfonzo'.  And I hated it - I didn't want to be ICE and my major concern was whether I could find someone reliable to do the job.  We did everything required of us but it was both a PITA and I knew that a lot of guys cheated.  And the kicker was I sympathized with the cheaters, because they were good people who worked hard and were pulling themselves up, so to speak.

Thanks for the reply Nereo.

I understand that putting the responsibility on the employer can be more work, but isn't hiring anyone a great deal of work anyway? Isn't it important for a business to do it's "due diligence" to ensure someone is a good fit, a good long term employee, and a "team player".

I don't buy this argument. I think it's just another reason to blame someone else (i.e. the government) while also happening to benefit by filling a job that needed to be done.  It's the path of least resistance.

"We did everything required of us but it was both a PITA and I knew that a lot of guys cheated."  --> The solution is not to put your hands up and surrender, saying it was so very hard to hire someone legally.  That's not MMM philosophy at all.  For me, the solution is to make the system more foolproof, while also insisting that the parties that are currently cheating the system (employers AND undocumented employees) don't continue to do so.

And another thing, I always here this argument that we "don't want government to get even bigger and have more power over us" by business owners. But in your discussion above, here you are saying you'd rather it be someone else's responsibility to handle this since you don't want to be ICE. Please reconcile this for me.

JGS


nereo

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In any case, I don't believe you need to build walls or close borders to solve the immigration issue. All you have to do is create a $100,000 fine to every business for every employee or subcontractor (or subcontractor's subcontractor) found to be illegally working for that business. Take the profit out of "cheating". There's already a program for businesses to confirm that their particular employee is legally allowed to work. Put the onus on the employer's, not the employees.  Same rule applies to "under the table" jobs.

There already are penalties for businesses that willfully violate employment record requirements.  As someone who ran a small business for several years with several unskilled laborers the challenge I see with this kind of solution is that it places the burden and enforcement of employment verification onto the business, which is really not their forté. We used e-verify to check that the name and worker ID number matched, but there was no way of knowing whether the 'Alfonzo' applying for a position was actually the real 'Alfonzo'.  And I hated it - I didn't want to be ICE and my major concern was whether I could find someone reliable to do the job.  We did everything required of us but it was both a PITA and I knew that a lot of guys cheated.  And the kicker was I sympathized with the cheaters, because they were good people who worked hard and were pulling themselves up, so to speak.

Thanks for the reply Nereo.

I understand that putting the responsibility on the employer can be more work, but isn't hiring anyone a great deal of work anyway? Isn't it important for a business to do it's "due diligence" to ensure someone is a good fit, a good long term employee, and a "team player".

I don't buy this argument. I think it's just another reason to blame someone else (i.e. the government) while also happening to benefit by filling a job that needed to be done.  It's the path of least resistance.

"We did everything required of us but it was both a PITA and I knew that a lot of guys cheated."  --> The solution is not to put your hands up and surrender, saying it was so very hard to hire someone legally.  That's not MMM philosophy at all.  For me, the solution is to make the system more foolproof, while also insisting that the parties that are currently cheating the system (employers AND undocumented employees) don't continue to do so.

And another thing, I always here this argument that we "don't want government to get even bigger and have more power over us" by business owners. But in your discussion above, here you are saying you'd rather it be someone else's responsibility to handle this since you don't want to be ICE. Please reconcile this for me.

JGS

Ok, good to have a dialog.  I'm not sure we're entirely understanding each other here...  our goal as employers was always to hire the best candidate we could, and yes that meant people who could legally work. Given that these were low-skill, lower paying jobs we weren't getting a lot of Harvard grads.

In our hiring process we gave the same scrutiny to all applicants, which was that after passing an interview they had to supply us with the mandated documents before they could begin work.  As I said before we ran everyone through an employment verification system. We did this for the white, seemingly native-born applicants as well as the hispanic workers who came from away.

But I think your insinuation that we were 'putting our hands up and surrendering' is off-base.  To give added scrutiny over applications from one group (e.g. hispanics) over another would be racist. Ultimately though the point I want to make is that as an employer you cannot do any more. Not from a practical or legal standpoint. If an applicant met the requirements and hands me his/her paperwork and nothing seems amiss I can't take that any further, and I'm genuinely curious what more you think employers should do.  It would be morally unethical to deny them a job without cause, and I can't interrogate or investigate every applicant.

FWIW the 'cheating' i spoke of wasn't limited to non-citizens. We also had workers who lied about illegal drug use and criminal convictions and problems with previous employers.  We ran checks on everyone we hired, but issues weren't always apparent at the time of hire. 

I guess my broader point is that as an employer you don't want these issues, and you do what you can and what you are legally allowed to do and what you can afford to do to prevent issues down the road, because no one wants to lose a worker mid-week and be shorthanded.  But you very rapidly reach the limit on what you can do/say/ask/require.

radram

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In any case, I don't believe you need to build walls or close borders to solve the immigration issue. All you have to do is create a $100,000 fine to every business for every employee or subcontractor (or subcontractor's subcontractor) found to be illegally working for that business. Take the profit out of "cheating". There's already a program for businesses to confirm that their particular employee is legally allowed to work. Put the onus on the employer's, not the employees.  Same rule applies to "under the table" jobs.

There already are penalties for businesses that willfully violate employment record requirements.  As someone who ran a small business for several years with several unskilled laborers the challenge I see with this kind of solution is that it places the burden and enforcement of employment verification onto the business, which is really not their forté. We used e-verify to check that the name and worker ID number matched, but there was no way of knowing whether the 'Alfonzo' applying for a position was actually the real 'Alfonzo'.  And I hated it - I didn't want to be ICE and my major concern was whether I could find someone reliable to do the job.  We did everything required of us but it was both a PITA and I knew that a lot of guys cheated.  And the kicker was I sympathized with the cheaters, because they were good people who worked hard and were pulling themselves up, so to speak.

Thanks for the reply Nereo.

I understand that putting the responsibility on the employer can be more work, but isn't hiring anyone a great deal of work anyway? Isn't it important for a business to do it's "due diligence" to ensure someone is a good fit, a good long term employee, and a "team player".

I don't buy this argument. I think it's just another reason to blame someone else (i.e. the government) while also happening to benefit by filling a job that needed to be done.  It's the path of least resistance.

"We did everything required of us but it was both a PITA and I knew that a lot of guys cheated."  --> The solution is not to put your hands up and surrender, saying it was so very hard to hire someone legally.  That's not MMM philosophy at all.  For me, the solution is to make the system more foolproof, while also insisting that the parties that are currently cheating the system (employers AND undocumented employees) don't continue to do so.

And another thing, I always here this argument that we "don't want government to get even bigger and have more power over us" by business owners. But in your discussion above, here you are saying you'd rather it be someone else's responsibility to handle this since you don't want to be ICE. Please reconcile this for me.

JGS

Ok, good to have a dialog.  I'm not sure we're entirely understanding each other here...  our goal as employers was always to hire the best candidate we could, and yes that meant people who could legally work. Given that these were low-skill, lower paying jobs we weren't getting a lot of Harvard grads.

In our hiring process we gave the same scrutiny to all applicants, which was that after passing an interview they had to supply us with the mandated documents before they could begin work.  As I said before we ran everyone through an employment verification system. We did this for the white, seemingly native-born applicants as well as the hispanic workers who came from away.

But I think your insinuation that we were 'putting our hands up and surrendering' is off-base.  To give added scrutiny over applications from one group (e.g. hispanics) over another would be racist. Ultimately though the point I want to make is that as an employer you cannot do any more. Not from a practical or legal standpoint. If an applicant met the requirements and hands me his/her paperwork and nothing seems amiss I can't take that any further, and I'm genuinely curious what more you think employers should do.  It would be morally unethical to deny them a job without cause, and I can't interrogate or investigate every applicant.

FWIW the 'cheating' i spoke of wasn't limited to non-citizens. We also had workers who lied about illegal drug use and criminal convictions and problems with previous employers.  We ran checks on everyone we hired, but issues weren't always apparent at the time of hire. 

I guess my broader point is that as an employer you don't want these issues, and you do what you can and what you are legally allowed to do and what you can afford to do to prevent issues down the road, because no one wants to lose a worker mid-week and be shorthanded.  But you very rapidly reach the limit on what you can do/say/ask/require.

It has been my experience that you are the exception, not the rule nereo. Around here, people are very open, even boasting, about hiring illegals. They are cheap, they will not complain, they work harder. The reasons go on and on. There is no worry whatsoever about being caught. That tells me the penalty is too low, even reaching joke status. The ONLY reason illegal immigrants come here is for a better life. The ability to find work is THE major reason to stay.

Do you know of anyone who was punished? I agree if you do what is asked, you might still inadvertently hire someone you should not. That should not be punishable, but with technology that would also occur less and less. These are not the cases I am talking about when I discuss hiring illegal workers.

John Galt incarnate!

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What???

Huge daylight savings time fan here. It helps me maintain my circadian rhythm in the winter and allows me to enjoy more leisure time during summer evenings.

If they got rid of daylight savings, I'd be pissed. Royally pissed.

I've thought about getting rid of DST.

Do I like it  or not?

I'm not sure.

robartsd

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I bet Republicans would be willing to accept more pressure for business to verify ID and legal status if similar requirements were also put in place to verify voter ID and voter registration status. I don't see Democrats accepting either of those.

Kris

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I bet Republicans would be willing to accept more pressure for business to verify ID and legal status if similar requirements were also put in place to verify voter ID and voter registration status. I don't see Democrats accepting either of those.

Democrats would likely have no problem with those things IF it was free and automatic to get voter ID/registration.

radram

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I bet Republicans would be willing to accept more pressure for business to verify ID and legal status if similar requirements were also put in place to verify voter ID and voter registration status. I don't see Democrats accepting either of those.

Voting to fine their base for hiring illegal workers? I am in full favor for that, but good luck with that. ZERO chance heavier fines with increased enforcement ever happens. It is way too easy to blame the immigrant.

nereo

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It has been my experience that you are the exception, not the rule nereo. Around here, people are very open, even boasting, about hiring illegals. They are cheap, they will not complain, they work harder. The reasons go on and on. There is no worry whatsoever about being caught. That tells me the penalty is too low, even reaching joke status. The ONLY reason illegal immigrants come here is for a better life. The ability to find work is THE major reason to stay.

Do you know of anyone who was punished? I agree if you do what is asked, you might still inadvertently hire someone you should not. That should not be punishable, but with technology that would also occur less and less. These are not the cases I am talking about when I discuss hiring illegal workers.

It's been my experience that the overwhelming majority of businesses follow legal hiring practices, and the ones that don't (the ones you talk about boasting about it) are in sectors with acute labor shortages.  Even there most employers I know try to do the right and legal thing.  I suspect this the case of observational bias - you notice the businesses who cheat, or who have a predominatly immigrant workforce - which is the exception (compare the number of citizens & permanent residents in the workforce to the estimated number of undocumented, for example).

Regardless, the crux of JGS1980's argument is that stricter penalties would severely reduce the number of undocumented immigrants in our country. Personal beliefs about immigration aside, my core point is that significant penalties already exist, they are just haphazardly enforced.  Making them substantially harsher won't do much if the likelihood of punishment is still small, and from a moral standpoint there's an inherent problem with making a punishment so severe that it outstrips the crime. We saw this with crack-cocaine, where, in an effort to combat a problem first time offenders got mandatory jail time while people who did cocaine or were the cause of DUI injury-accidents got probation.

Oh, and yes, where I worked in California I saw several businesses get fined for hiring undocumented workers.  On more than one occasion a business closed after and because of these fines.

JGS1980

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So enforce the laws already on the books. And give folks a finders fee to find perpetrators with no additional effort needed by ICE. How hard could that be?  I personally think that the cost of cheating is much higher than budinesses who use undocumented workers like to admit. The bigggest toll is simple political opportunism that comes from the right in regards to immigration. So........ call their bluff.

SwordGuy

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Don't fine the company.

Fine and jail the workers who do the illegal hires.

Fine and jail the executives who sign off on the illegal hires or (double the fine) pressure workers  to illegally hire.

We need to stop fining corporations and start fining and jailing the people in them who are responsible for breaking the laws.
And if that means taking the food out of their babe's mouth and tossing their family into the street, so be it. 

To use the same logic that gun-toting Republicans use, "Corporations don't break the law, people break the law."

Let's get more executives in jail among the general prison population.   


accolay

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I'm really looking forward to Space Force legislation.

radram

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It's been my experience that the overwhelming majority of businesses follow legal hiring practices, and the ones that don't (the ones you talk about boasting about it) are in sectors with acute labor shortages.  Even there most employers I know try to do the right and legal thing.  I suspect this the case of observational bias - you notice the businesses who cheat, or who have a predominatly immigrant workforce - which is the exception (compare the number of citizens & permanent residents in the workforce to the estimated number of undocumented, for example).


With an estimated 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants, how in the WORLD can an "overwhelming majority" be playing by the rules. The numbers simply do not provide evidence of your experience. These people are obviously working. If 11,000,000 is just the roundoff error you suggest, then what the hell is everybody getting all worked up about?

Personally, I think proof of a job is proof you are a working member of society and you are needed. Why shouldn't all workers be given full citizenship?

sol

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Personally, I think proof of a job is proof you are a working member of society and you are needed. Why shouldn't all workers be given full citizenship?

Because then they would be entitled to the social security and medicaid benefits they are paying for, instead of just paying for but not using these services.

nereo

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It's been my experience that the overwhelming majority of businesses follow legal hiring practices, and the ones that don't (the ones you talk about boasting about it) are in sectors with acute labor shortages.  Even there most employers I know try to do the right and legal thing.  I suspect this the case of observational bias - you notice the businesses who cheat, or who have a predominatly immigrant workforce - which is the exception (compare the number of citizens & permanent residents in the workforce to the estimated number of undocumented, for example).


With an estimated 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants, how in the WORLD can an "overwhelming majority" be playing by the rules. The numbers simply do not provide evidence of your experience. These people are obviously working. If 11,000,000 is just the roundoff error you suggest, then what the hell is everybody getting all worked up about?

Personally, I think proof of a job is proof you are a working member of society and you are needed. Why shouldn't all workers be given full citizenship?

You misunderstood.  THe 'overwhelming majority' is in reference to businesses, not immigrants, which in reference to the earlier comment quoted upthread.  As you noted, there are roughly 11MM undocumented (according to PEW's estimates), but only ~6MM are in the labor force.  In the US we have a labor force of roughly 160MM.  So they compose less than 4% of the total labor force.  Ergo, most businesses aren't hiring illegals.

As for why everyone is getting all worked up about immigration, that's a good but seperate question.  In a country of 330MM the undocumented compose about 3% of the total.  We've also had far higher numbers of immigrants in previous decades.  That's not to say that we shouldn't have immigration standards, but that's yet a third issue.

sixwings

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It's been my experience that the overwhelming majority of businesses follow legal hiring practices, and the ones that don't (the ones you talk about boasting about it) are in sectors with acute labor shortages.  Even there most employers I know try to do the right and legal thing.  I suspect this the case of observational bias - you notice the businesses who cheat, or who have a predominatly immigrant workforce - which is the exception (compare the number of citizens & permanent residents in the workforce to the estimated number of undocumented, for example).


With an estimated 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants, how in the WORLD can an "overwhelming majority" be playing by the rules. The numbers simply do not provide evidence of your experience. These people are obviously working. If 11,000,000 is just the roundoff error you suggest, then what the hell is everybody getting all worked up about?

Personally, I think proof of a job is proof you are a working member of society and you are needed. Why shouldn't all workers be given full citizenship?

You misunderstood.  THe 'overwhelming majority' is in reference to businesses, not immigrants, which in reference to the earlier comment quoted upthread.  As you noted, there are roughly 11MM undocumented (according to PEW's estimates), but only ~6MM are in the labor force.  In the US we have a labor force of roughly 160MM.  So they compose less than 4% of the total labor force.  Ergo, most businesses aren't hiring illegals.

As for why everyone is getting all worked up about immigration, that's a good but seperate question.  In a country of 330MM the undocumented compose about 3% of the total.  We've also had far higher numbers of immigrants in previous decades.  That's not to say that we shouldn't have immigration standards, but that's yet a third issue.

People are getting worked up about illegal immigration because it's easy to blame brown people for their economic problems not because illegal immigration is an actual problem.

Want to stop illegal immigration? Continue building Mexico. As Mexico becomes a stronger economy people aren't going to come across the border illegally.

Also, people who think illegal immigration is a real problem should also be huge advocates of climate change. Like what do they think will happen if the earth warms and south america cant support the # of people there? But it's not really about logic, it's about blaming brown people.

sol

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there are roughly 11MM undocumented (according to PEW's estimates), but only ~6MM are in the labor force.  In the US we have a labor force of roughly 160MM.  So they compose less than 4% of the total labor force.  Ergo, most businesses aren't hiring illegals.

I suspect that in some sectors, like dairy farms and fruit orchards, the percentage of businesses that hire undocumented workers is approaching 100%.  They just aren't profitable without immigrants willing to bust ass for $5/hour while living in a shack next to a manure lagoon.  Conversely, my old white collar job was full of PhDs and federal contracts, and I'm pretty confident that 0% of office like mine are currently employing undocumented immigrants. 

Quote
As for why everyone is getting all worked up about immigration, that's a good but seperate question.

The history of immigration debates in America has ALWAYS been tied up with racism.  Going back to the early 1800s, Americans have used "immigration" as a code word for "protecting white christian privilege by keeping out the subhuman foreigners" and hilariously those subhuman foreigners were from countries that today pass as white (i.e. italians, irish, etc). 

Whenever I hear a politician use the word "immigration" to fire up a crowd, I mentally replace it with "brown people" just to remind myself of what he's really trying to say.  Similarly, whenever I hear one complain about "George Soros" I remind myself that what they really mean is "wealthy Jews".  It makes the entire Republican party platform feel much more familiar, in historical context, to just let them use the words they have always used before to mean the things they have always meant before.

radram

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I think we largely agree on the overall immigration issue. I am not sure we agree on the current benefit to businesses.

In the US we have a labor force of roughly 160MM.  So they compose less than 4% of the total labor force.  Ergo, most businesses aren't hiring illegals.

One does not necessary lead to the other, unless we change your comment to be "Ergo, most businesses aren't hiring a large portion of illegal workers." It would be possible, though extremely unlikely that EVERY business could hire 1 illegal worker, ALL are therefore hiring illegals, and they still compose only 4% of the labor force. A low percentage of workers has nothing to do with the percentage of companies that hire illegals.

I think the bigger issue is who BENEFITS from an illegal work force. The semantics of sub-contracting labor makes it very easy to benefit from this workforce without the pesky "hiring illegals" label. It is just one more added benefit to sub-contract labor, adding to not paying benefits, half of social security, workers comp, vacation, sick days, etc.

It is possible that a huge company like Dole has 0 employed illegal workers, but do you really think they are not benefiting from that workforce in the way of direct labor farming crops that contain their label?

nereo

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I think we largely agree on the overall immigration issue. I am not sure we agree on the current benefit to businesses.

In the US we have a labor force of roughly 160MM.  So they compose less than 4% of the total labor force.  Ergo, most businesses aren't hiring illegals.

One does not necessary lead to the other, unless we change your comment to be "Ergo, most businesses aren't hiring a large portion of illegal workers." It would be possible, though extremely unlikely that EVERY business could hire 1 illegal worker, ALL are therefore hiring illegals, and they still compose only 4% of the labor force. A low percentage of workers has nothing to do with the percentage of companies that hire illegals.

I think the bigger issue is who BENEFITS from an illegal work force. The semantics of sub-contracting labor makes it very easy to benefit from this workforce without the pesky "hiring illegals" label. It is just one more added benefit to sub-contract labor, adding to not paying benefits, half of social security, workers comp, vacation, sick days, etc.

It is possible that a huge company like Dole has 0 employed illegal workers, but do you really think they are not benefiting from that workforce in the way of direct labor farming crops that contain their label?

Well I think everyone benefits from illegal/undocumented workers, as they (from everything I have read) are over-represented in farm-picking and construction jobs.  As for the leap in logic above ("ergo, most businesses aren't hiring illegal workers...") there's just not enough undocumented (~6MM) for each business (~30MM) for each to hire one.

Anyhow, circling back to what you said about subcontractors and what I said about federal work standards (including federal minimum wage) not applying to a large chunk of the workforce, including subcontractors, seasonal workers, interns and the self employed.   It seems to me these two issues are interconnected.

SwordGuy

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Implement a "Bad Citizenship Tax"

The tax is levied on all US citizens 18 years of age or order.

It is assessed at $100 per month.

It is due one week after each election.

Payment can be in cash or by voting in the election.

Provide reasonable mitigating circumstances and rules to handle invalids, people whose car broke down, had medical issues, absentee ballot lost in the mail, etc.


This has several benefits.

1) It encourages people to vote.   The biggest tax collection is for primary elections because the gap between primary elections and the previous election will usually be much larger than the gap between the primary and the main election.

2) It only taxes people who don't vote.  Makes it very easy for a politician to vote for that tax.

3) It dilutes the extreme partisan folks in each party with lots of moderates.  (Most voters skip the primary and that means each party has to play to the extremes to get elected, because extremes in each party are most likely to vote.)


This would have the effect of moving both parties to a more moderate position and enable the elected politicians to negotiate better because the crazies in their party won't be able to vote them out in the primary so easily.