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.