After more than a year of campaigning, President Obama (left) finally won much-needed and long-overdue changes to our health care system. Achieving what four other presidents could not, Obama broke through the political impasse to obtain health care coverage for the vast majority of uninsured Americans. The president now needs to take this mandate and act quickly on what should be the next major item on his domestic agenda: modernizing our immigration system. Comprehensive immigration reform requires a balanced and measured approach that includes a broad legalization component, a foreign policy that promotes meaningful and equitable economic development in the region, and humane enforcement measures that strengthen, rather than divide, local communities. Any comprehensive immigration reform bill thus must hold as its centerpiece a fair and practicable legalization plan that recognizes and respects the diversity of our communities. The clearest option would be granting undocumented immigrants, including LGBT domestic partners, broad access to permanent resident status so they could work and travel freely. It is only when we remove the fear of deportation that we truly remove the burden of second-class citizenship. While the word "amnesty" is politically unpopular in some circles, its true meaning is reprieve or absolution. Amnesty does not mean a free ride, as people must still pay fines, wait their turn in line and comply with whatever new rules are developed. – SFGate.com
Dominant Social Theme: Painting the canvas of future greatness. The great uniters will unite all.
Free-Market Analysis: This article is the story of a canvas now being painted. It may even end up with a portrait of an international couple being married. But it is not a pretty picture by any means. Investors with holdings in the United States – dollars, bonds and stocks – will have to beware of what is coming. Some of the largest markets in the world could be further destabilized in the near or fairly-near future.
The problems have to do with the Obama administration's focus on upcoming legislation. While financial reform is an interesting topic, US President Barack Obama and those behind his administration are aiming, in our estimation, at a bigger prize – immigration reform. They seem to want to introduce such legislation soon, and while it may not go anywhere after a divisive health care debate, we think that it will come back again and again, as it is important to a larger agenda. This article will concentrate on immigration reform and its eventual ramifications, financial and otherwise.
To start, one has to grant continuity between this administration and the last (a Republican one) and grant also that each party is a continuation of the other. The players behind the scenes are a power elite that continually seeks further consolidation and concentration of wealth (in its hands) at the expense of the middle class and other influential factions of a participatory democracy.
If one does grant this, the picture steadily reveals itself, even if it is not finished. What one sees, however, if one looks hard, is a potential finished work that will be one of amazing trickery and false perceptions. Yet, it is not a new effort. In fact, it's been going on for decades, but the health care bill was doubtless a major advance. Here's a Fox News story that reveals more of the big picture:
Immigration Reform Could KO Health Care … While Congress voted to overhaul U.S. health care and provide universal coverage, 15 percent of America's uninsured population remains uncovered and unaddressed: illegal immigrants. Democrats are expected to introduce comprehensive immigration reform legislation this spring, and when they do, health care costs will once again be front and center. Under the new law just passed, illegal immigrants are not entitled to health care. That means undocumented workers will continue to get care the way they always have, showing up at county clinics and hospitals for emergency treatment. According to cost estimates submitted by various states, that costs taxpayers and ratepayers about $4.3 billion a year.
However, according to the conservative-leaning Center for Immigration Studies, that number would spike from $10 billion to $30 billion annually under immigration reform. … But cost isn't the only issue. Enrolling illegal immigrants into the new system will improve health outcomes. Dr. Steven Wallace of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research says including undocumented workers in the health care overhaul makes sense. "In the long term, the point is to make sure all Americans who are living here and working here have access to health care," he says. "It is simpler and therefore more efficient if you simply say, everybody who works gets health insurance. Everybody who has a low income, we will help you and we move forward. People don't come to the U.S. for health care, they come to work."
Now, please follow us. It's not really hard to see completion. The general thrust of the new legislation is that all Americans must be insured under the new health care plan or pay a fine. There are various ways that Americans can gain health care, and various subsidies as well. Bottom line, with Americans paying more and more for health care, there will be increased pressure to rein in illegal aliens and to make sure that immigrants not in the US legally are not taking advantage of US health care.
And this is impossible.
And because enforcement is – and will be – impossible, the alternative will eventually make its way to the fore. Yes, you've figured it out. There will be pressure to make illegal immigrants "legal" via some sort of guest worker or citizenship program. Of course, one might think that such predictions are a leap of faith – and that perhaps the illegal immigration from Mexico may become less of an issue over time. But … really? It's been going on for decades. And finally, it's destabilizing a whole country, and sending even more Mexicans across the border. Here's a letter that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on the subject recently:
Mary O'Grady's March 22 Americas column "The War on Drugs Is Doomed" is one of the best pieces ever written on the connection between U.S. drug policy and drug violence in Mexico. I just hope it can inform public policy discussions. I am on the City Council of El Paso, Texas, across the border from Ciudad Juarez, where more than 5,000 people have been killed since President Calderón was elected. We are living the drug war, and it has been disastrous for our community. In addition to bearing witness to the horrific killings of men, women and children in our sister city, it has become very clear to us that the failure of Juarez portends the failure of El Paso.
Juarenses spend more than $1.4 billion in our economy every year; more than $51 billion in U.S./Mexico trade passes through El Paso/Juarez ports of entry annually (almost 20% of trade between the two countries); Juarez economic activity is responsible for 60,000 jobs in El Paso; and, as you might imagine, family, business and other relationships extend over the border and are the basis of much of the economic and cultural success that we enjoy.
It is clearly in our interest to find a solution to this drug violence, and it is clear that central to that solution is acknowledging the role of drug consumption and drug prohibition in the U.S. Ms. O'Grady has done an outstanding job through her columns in educating the public on the connection between drug consumption, drug prohibition and drug violence. Communities like ours are dependent on a better understanding and eventual action by our national elected leaders.
The article by Mary O'Grady merely pointed out that the huge demand for drugs in the United States, combined with the perpetual war on supply was providing a logical outcome – higher prices and involvement by the most violent types in society since criminal activity of this sort attracts and begets violence.
In fact, we can see how the composition unfolds – Mexicans are being harried out of their country by American drug policies. And now a health care plan has been put into effect that will inevitably add to the attractiveness of America for Mexicans who want to work in a more prosperous and less violent environment.
The pressure to extend health care privileges to Mexicans and others in America illegally will grow inexorably. And it will be used as a lever to pry apart the opposition to a de-facto merger between the two countries. Again, this is no surprise. The Bush administration gave this sort of effort a push toward the end of the George Bush's last term. The administration wanted a kind of amnesty and other legal affirmations that would essentially have provided guest worker status to Mexicans – and begun the process as well (in earnest) of harmonizing American and Mexican laws.
One may choose to disbelieve all this of course. Perhaps it is impossible that Mexicans would EVER consent to such a union – so deep does the antipathy run. (Nonetheless, Bush worked on some secret and surprising treaties in his day – reported after the fact – that included both Canada and Mexico.) But, heck, it is a far-out idea, and perhaps there is no elite plan to merge Mexico, Canada and the United States, only paranoia and delusions.
And yet … in addition to extant treaties drawing the three countries ever close, such a plan has been documented on the Internet in the 2000s by numerous alternative blog sites and news organizations. The idea, according to these reports, is to divide the world into currency blocs to make currencies more easily manipulated and central banks even more powerful. The EU is already one such bloc and Canada, Mexico and the United States are supposedly to be the foundation of another.
When one looks at the legislation that the Obama administration has in mind, it is obvious that a tighter bond is being created between Mexicans and Americans. The wedding has not been formally announced (and perhaps won't be for decades) but the union is becoming more realistic.
The health care bill itself, if read closely, seems to give the federal government fairly substantial additional powers, including massive IRS oversight. But more than that, the bill will probably drive many more Americans, and American businesses, into bankruptcy, further exacerbating America's financial dilemmas. Over time, then, the "immigration reform" would be proposed as a panacea and a closer union with Mexico (and then eventually Canada might also be proposed) as a means for America to detach itself from looming financial calamity and endless and increased misery.
The Daily Bell is devoted to the analysis of dominant social themes from a free-market thinking perspective. Health care itself will only be one lever. Economic dislocation, bankruptcy – personal and corporate – and other unpleasantness emerging from the health care reform package should prove useful as well. Eventually, health care would be part of an argument for further official interactions with Mexico, and perhaps Canada. This seems to be a potential scenario based on power elite ambitions as we understand them. If this scenario, presented above by the San Francisco Gate, is seen to have merit, then the ramifications from a sociopolitical and economic/investment perspective are dramatic and significant.