Is Congress Paying Attention?

Remember school report cards under a grading system?  Teachers would give scores for tests and tally up your total and then declare your grade.  Careful students would already know their grade because they would have paid attention to what they were doing.  What is Congress doing?  Is Congress paying attention?

How do you think that they are performing as legislators?  What are the consequences of their policies?  Did Congress try to get outcomes that would create prosperity for most Americans?  Aren’t there more people on the margins of society now–people, for example, who can’t find a job?  Do you think that Congress is maybe just trying to save people at the margins from some of the economic disasters that Congress has been causing with deregulation, globalization, financialization, and greater economic centralization?  Does Congress even have a plan in mind for overall prosperity?  Some members of Congress sound like they’re telling themselves that the ACA is for saving people at the margins, but just look at the people who are not saved, and look at high inflation in healthcare.  And look at cyber-insecurity that extends to those new digitized healthcare accounts.

Congress doesn’t seem to look out for the long-term consequences of their decisions, from globalization, to financialization to war.  Lately, since so much of our economy is going digital, I’ve wondered what would happen if our satellites were destroyed or taken over by a foreign power.  Should we rely so much economically upon digital technologies?  If you were Congress’s teacher, wouldn’t you remind them that long-term outcomes matter to our society and to individuals?  Would you instruct Congress to look not just at tomorrow but at many years worth of tomorrows?

I wish that members of Congress would give their own policies a grade.  I would like them to remember what they were trying to accomplish with globalization or financialization or adopting digital technologies or many of their other big change policies that have established the “new normal”.  Then I would like Congress to evaluate their policies based on their original goals.  Did they achieve their goals?  Then they could also evaluate the unintended consequences of their policies.  Give the policy a grade.  Should Congress keep that policy or change it based on the outcomes that it has caused?

As Congress has continued practicing economic interventionism, their effectiveness as legislators has declined.  But Congress continues on a path of economic interventions.  How can we stop Congress from making even more economic mistakes?  How can we restore Congress to a more effective legislative body?  What changes are necessary?  How can we become a strong nation again based on improved economic performance and improving prosperity?  Read Political Catsup with Economy Fries to discover answers to these questions and others, available on Amazon.com.

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Immigration matters to neoliberals because they use borders differently.

I grew up on the border between the United States and Mexico.  I was a minority in El Paso where Spanish speakers were the majority.  I enjoy Spanish as my second language and I like Mexican culture, including architecture, cuisine, and art.  I’m used to periodic controversies erupting from illegal immigration and I’m used to the perennial presence of migrants.  I recognise that immigrants bring labor and talent to the U.S..  But the current controversy over immigration has roots in globalism instead of erupting out of concern for immigrants as individuals.

Neoliberals use borders differently.  To a neoliberal who owns a multinational business under the juristiction of many different courts in several different nations, a border is how corporatists can escape reprisals for causing harm.  When a corporation has operations in several nations, prosecution for crimes against persons and property is hard for litigants to accomplish.  There are interstitial judicial spaces between nations that allows corporations to escape judicial prosecution.

Also, globalists strive to acquire access to a variety of international resources through the use of capital.  They can use factories in foreign nations to assemble products and they can get cheaper labor there.  Likewise, bringing immigrants to the United States allows transnational corporatists to reduce wages that they pay to those immigrants and also reduces the value of American work and workers.  In particular, American scientists and engineers have lost value for their services when foreign scientists and engineers have been brought here from abroad.  Although we periodically hear that there is a STEM shortage in the U.S., there are plenty of unemployed American scientists and engineers who continue to be replaced by foreigners who do the same job for less money.  The IT industry has abused H1-B visas in order to import cheaper computer and science workers from abroad.

Making borders less effective allows global corporatists to utilize cheaper labor and sometimes allows them to escape labor regulations because foreigners avoid bringing attention to labor issues, even when illegal practices should change.  The idea of a world without borders benefits neoliberals because it gives them greater access to the world’s resources– even to the world’s workers.  While nation states often recognize natural rights, and while nation states often have coherent laws to regulate workplace fairness and safety, neoliberals can escape the cost of safety, fairness and better pay by utilizing open borders (obtaining cheaper labor abroad in foreign nations) and evading nation-state jurisdiction (by utilizing nervous foreign workers at home, and middlemen managers abroad).  Some foreign workers that come to the U.S. are impoverished and require welfare which allows corporatists to pay them even less.  Neoliberals are happy to externalize the costs of foreign workers.

If you would like to learn more about neoliberalism, buy a copy of Political Catsup with Economy Fries, available at Amazon.com.