Friday, February 1, 2008
The Phoenix area at least gets a lot of its powerhouse economy from ruthlessly exploiting probably innocent prisoners in chain gangs and illegal immigrants. So the natural response to the housing crisis, which is probably going to bankrupt the state government by itself, is to toss one of these groups under a bus with an employee sanctioning law. I suppose if you were attempting to change one group into the other, this would be your plan. At the moment you can frequently find a free six month apartment lease as a prize in your cereal box...which you would get for free as part of the current sweetheart lease you signed rewarding you free food for a year and full use of the renter's daughter for your meth-fueled pornography business. Okay, admittedly such places are utter ratholes. But they drive the prices down for all other apartments nicely. They will all probably go away and the sudden absence of their residents will drive any number of other businesses to ruin. And all that is ignoring the substantial amount of taxes that immigrants paid (sales and even parole taxes with faked Social Security numbers). Now they will move home/to other states - with the businesses likely following them - and the ones that can't move will be forced to crime for survival. Addendum: This law wouldn't be nearly so stupid and shortsighted if there was an extremely easy mechanism to turn currently "illegal" workers into a guest worker/working-on-citizenship status and letting them stick around but with all of the advantages of them being on the books while still maintaining the necessary labor force. Of course the whole immigration system with its astoundingly racist quota system should be overhauled, but if you are going to pass a law to ruin a bunch of people's lives, you should attempt to provide a way in people guilty of what amounts to a rather minor crime (if 50+ million of the people in your country are guilty of something - alcohol consumption during prohibition, nonviolent drug use, minor [even accidental] personal copyright infringement - you really can't consider it a major crime).