Economy

Alabama learning painful lesson: be careful what you wish for

Ala. GOP leaders have 2nd thoughts on immigration
By PHILLIP RAWLS

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Republicans who pushed through the nation’s toughest law against illegal immigrants are having second thoughts amid a backlash from big business, fueled by the embarrassing traffic stops of two foreign employees tied to the state’s prized Honda and Mercedes plants.

The Republican attorney general is calling for some of the strictest parts of it to be repealed.

Some Republican lawmakers say they now want to make changes in the law that was pushed quickly through the legislature.

Sometimes I think the problem is Democrats see the likely results of Republican policies ahead of time and argue against them  rather than just letting these fools go ahead and do dumb stuff and see what happens.

This also happened in the state next door. In Georgia, they lost some of the crop last year because of lack of labor. Any competent economist could have told them that not allowing immigrants in would either reduce agricultural output or raise wages in agriculture to a level where unemployed Americans would take those jobs, which would reduce farm profitability, neither one of which is good for the Republicans who wrote the law.

I realize letting Republicans do what they please is dangerous, because the negative effects of some of what they want to do will only become obvious in the mid to longer terms, and they can do a lot of damage in the interval, e.g., the end of Glass-Steagall and the resulting financial crisis. Also, we will never get the satisfaction of having them admit they were wrong since they rewrite history, like they have explained away the Great Depression.

My high school had a chemistry teacher nicknamed Chrome Dome, who was legendarilyy tight lipped. School lore had it that student once asked him if he drank a beaker of a magnesium solution, if it would kill him. CD thought for a moment before saying no, the kid drank it and ended up in the hospital. Probably apocryphal.

Still, some times you have to let people make their own mistakes.  Can you say “Newt?”

1 reply »

  1. There was a time 13 years ago when Georgia, or at least one of its senators, was a little more perceptive about the problem this kind of action would cause for farmers.

    AS they fanned into the Vidalia onion fields of Georgia, the 45 federal agents were doing exactly what they thought they were supposed to do. It was 1998, and they had just arrested 21 illegal immigrant farm workers and were about to round up hundreds more.

    But the raid met with a stinging rebuke from what might have seemed a surprising source: two powerful Republicans from Georgia’s Congressional delegation.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/16/weekinreview/16greenhouse.html?scp=2&sq=saxby%20immigrants%20raid&st=cse