Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Immigrant protests give a sweet taste of what might be

Trying to put a happy face on the immigration rally flop, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams introduced the network's report:
We're told 27% of students in grades six through twelve were absent from class...
Hispanic eighth graders in California averaged 254 and 239 on the 2005 NAEP in math and reading, respectively. On the whole, the state scored 269 and 250. Assuming the absent students were run-of-the-mill Hispanics, if we extend that absentee rate across all of California, the state's average scores rise over four points in both categories, topping 273 in math and 254 on reading. For one glorious day, Cali's kids (those in class) were better in math than the scamps in Arkansas, Georgia, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia, and on the same short-lived day her striplings became more literate than children in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Nevada. At around $35 per student per day lost due to ADA rules, residents saved over $7 million from being poured down the sinkhole in Los Angeles alone.

But surely the rallies had some sort of negative effect too, right? NBC couldn't come up with much. They produced no macro numbers, offering only generic muddle:

Tuesday, it's clear much of the U.S. economy did not grind to a halt, as some organizers had warned, but they still were able to send a very loud economic
To back that assertion up, reporter Ron Allen takes a soft platitude from Randy Johnson of the US Chamber of Commerce and the complaints of a restaurant owner who depends on serf labor.

Whatever the (lack of) economic impact the protests had, watch out:

Hispanic leaders say they were encouraged that a normally passive community turned out in the hundreds of thousands in some 70 U.S. cities, including people in the country illegally. They now hope to turn that confidence into political power.
Normally passive? They've shut down ERs all across the Southwest. They comprise 17% of the federal prison population. Mobs of them have been gathering in the streets for weeks. Oh, thus far they've been politically passive. To self-immolating Republican pols, such words of change are euphonic:

The nation-wide "Day Without Immigrants" demonstrations were a stunning success by at least one measure --- creating a stronger awareness of the enormous potential of Latino political empowerment. This is undoubtedly good news for Dems, who have received healthy majorities of votes cast by Latinos in recent elections, and stand to benefit even more in November...

Let’s start with the generic Congressional contest. This poll finds Democrats with a stunning 61-21 lead over the GOP among Hispanic registered voters, which translates into a 50 point lead (75-25) among those who express a preference.

The tendentious NBC report also tries to scare viewers into believing that if the protests continued over an extended period of time, several industries that help the US remain a step ahead of China and India would collapse:

-Agriculture: Fields were unpicked in California and Arizona.

-Trucking: Some West Coast shipping ports shut down when drivers did not show up.

-Meat production: In the Midwest, Tyson — the industry's largest — closed about a
dozen plants.
The skills required of replacement workers for these jobs can be learned in a couple of days. Anybody can do this stuff. I do not want to subsidize ConAgra and Tyson. I'd rather these companies disappear. Of course, with net incomes last year of $641 million and $353 million and employees numbering 39,000 ($8 more an hour for every employee will still keep them in the black) and 114,000 (even this disaster can afford $1.50 more an hour an remain profitable), respectively, both would survive. They might even find more innovative ways of doing things--an appropriate course of action given that this is the 21st Century, not 1927.

If they had left the country instead of just skipping work and school to form rabble packs in streets, May Day would have been worth celebrating.


1 comment:

savage said...

It did nothing. The economy didn't even hiccup. Support for lawbreaking aliens didn't budge. They've overplayed their hand--revealed to be nothing more than a squawking house of cards.