Thursday, July 06, 2006

City Slickers v. Country Rubes

Mayor's stand on immigration
Economy of NYC, U.S. would fall without illegal immigrants, Bloomberg tells congressional panel

Newsday Washington Bureau

July 6, 2006

PHILADELPHIA -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday took aim at hard-line GOP members of the U.S. House, saying their belief that border patrols alone can stop undocumented immigrants "is either naive and shortsighted, or cynical and duplicitous."

Bloomberg also attacked the House hardliners for insisting on the expulsion of undocumented immigrants for breaking the immigration law, and for failing to understand just how important the estimated 11 million undocumented workers are to the well-being of this country.

"Although they broke the law by illegally crossing our borders," Bloomberg said, "our city's economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported. The same holds true for the nation."
On so many issues that confront our nation, there is a deep divide between the coastals communities where 53% of the population of this nation is concentrated, and the heartland.

Gun control, immigration reform, homeland security, taxes--particularly the estate tax, religion and religious tolerance...and many other issues all mark the divide in this nation between those who live on the coasts and Canadian border and practice a more "New Testament" philosophy, and those who live in the "fly-over" states who temper their Protestant work ethic with a more "Old Testament" eye-for-an-eye framework.

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, has been on the more tolerant end of the Republican spectrum ever since he switched parties in 2001. You'd think a businessman who practically invented electronic investing (through his Bloomberg box, as well as the Bloomberg information network) would have been a diehard fiscally-conservative Republican, but no. He's fiscally conservative as liberals go, true, but his conservatism is tempered by his social liberalism. He understands the dynamics of how an economy works and how the least among us must be protected.

The juggernaut of capitalism grinds people under its wheels if we aren't careful. What I find disturbing is, the people who SHOULD care about this, the folks most in danger from unfettered capitalism, are the one who fight liberalism tooth and nail.

We're barely a generation removed from the Great Depression, and the Great Dust Bowl. These folks in the heartland seem to have forgotten how horrendously they were hit by both of those. Perhaps a viewing of "Grapes Of Wrath" is in order, I'm not sure.

Churches didn't solve the problems then, and they won't solve them on the next go-round, as Katrina showed. Some problems are just too damned big. The United States is in the throes of a twenty-year long drought from the Southest into the Middle Atlantic states, and the South.

Florida, for example, would need 18 inches of rainfall over the nest three months in order to bring the state back level with where it should be.

Should it occur, the first place they'll come running for help, after they realize they haven't been able to pray the problem away, will be us on the coasts. You know, the folks with the money. And the politicians.

And we'll give. We'll gladly give, despite the contumely and disrespect these folks have shown for us, thumbing their noses at our concerns like gun control and homeland security and the need for immigrants in our cities, and tolerance, and some form of safety net, because you know what?

We step over our homeless. We don't have the luxury of "hoboes" who can traipse along the backroads and camp in people's backyard woods. So we have to deal with our problems, head on, and face them.