The charming Appalachian Blog The Epic of Gilgamesh as again diverted from considering the local wildlife, weather and firearms to discuss immigration, a subject he understands as well as anyone in the blogosphere.
Last night I went into town…There was a beat up old van pulled over by the Sheriff's Department just as I got to town, and the city police showed up as well. There must have been thirty Mexicans crammed into that van, no exaggeration…They're everywhere in the mountains now. I went out to the owners place to work on a computer in his home office, and there was a crew out there cutting beetle infested pine trees down. Six Mayans and one local guy. I asked the fellow in charge , flat out, why he was using Mexicans and not local men when we have such a bad unemployment program. The answer was simple, and one I've heard before. They work cheaper. They'll do dangerous jobs it's hard to get white or black locals to take on. He didn't say so, but the rest of the story is that he is almost certainly paying them under the table, which saves him a huge amount on workers compensation and in his share of payroll taxes.
Gilgamesh correctly concludes:
In ten years the U.S. is going to have a lot in common with the third world, including even more rampant crime, crumbling infrastructure, vast unemployment, a huge welfare class, ethnic violence, and no vestige of a system that gives each citizen fair and equal justice…There are plenty of historical precedents for today's developments in America, including the collapse of the Roman and Austro-Hungarian empires. They went the same way, for essentially the same reasons.”
[Getting the kids out of this. Thursday, June 9 2005]
Later in the day, Gilgamesh grimly notes the health insurance for his children has just gone up 22%. As my brother has noted before, his grasp of the link between this phenomenon and immigration is amongst the firmest in the blogging community.