Wedge's ways to move ahead-Foreign Policy, Trade, Immigration, and Employment Conditions/Business

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The Wedge
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A bipartisan way to move ahead. Here is the start, 4 topics: Foreign Policy, Trade, Immigration, and Employment Conditions/Business. I will lay out my thought in a way to make all sides of the spectrum angry. Oh well they are my thoughts:
Foreign Policy: Use a non-interventionist “Speak softly, but carry a big stick”. Assess our military engagements and move ahead with disengagement. This means closing bases in Korea, Germany, Italy, England, Cuba, and wherever else we have frozen our troop locations since WWII. Ensure that we have a military that can defend the US, and project force anywhere in the world. Develop armed forces for the future - ones that are easily deployable, easily maintainable, and extremely lethal. Quit fighting and nation building, but be ready to strike when attacked. Strike with brutal force. Be okay as a nation to use brutal force when attacked. Redeploy units to man regional bases. Do not engage in adventurism for business or economic sake.
Trade/Energy: Engage in free trade only with 100% reciprocal agreements in all aspects. If there are barriers to entry in foreign markets for US firms, thus may it be here as well. Recognize that we cannot remain self-determining without a strong economy that is productive, and includes manufacturing, minerals, commerce, and service. Look at incentivizing business that is in this country and remains here. Recognize also that the economic development of industrialization and the productivity enhancements found in the use of high energy to weight materials like coal and oil has lifted all economies that fully engaged in it. Energy development and self sufficiency should be a desired national outcome. The nation is blessed with coal and oil resources and should utilize them. At the same time-other forms of electricity generation should be developed more fully. This would include the development of a nuclear, solar, geothermal, and wind energy capacity. The best solar panels still only convert a small portion of the sun’s energy into electrical current—more development and materials sciences is need here.
Immigration: First determine what a legal citizen is. A person’s citizenship would be determined by having at least one parent as a legal citizen. Citizenship devolves from parents, not location of birth. Determine which skills as a nation we value (such as an engineer, doctor, etc) and allow unlimited immigration of that skill set. Give a green card with a 5-7 year road to citizenship plan. Determine a number of immigration of others that we will allow for general immigration (100,000 per year or whatever number) and allow that immigration to occur in 5 or 6 national locations for processing. Give a green card with a 5-7 year road to citizenship plan. Establish a guest worker program. The guest worker numbers will be determined by the sponsoring employers. They must provide the request and are responsible for the guest workers from employment to termination. If a guest worker is terminated-they must report back to the Guest Worker program for reassignment or deportation. The employers must pay for the cost of administering this program. A guest worker who has three years of successful employment will be issued a green card and put into the immigration track. Any issues with a guest worker or green card holder engaged in criminality will result in deportation or incarceration/deportation. Consider running immigration through the regionalized military bases.
Employment Conditions: As the US is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, there should be no unionization of any job whose paycheck is issued by a municipality, state, or federal department. There should be no collective bargaining of governmental positions. Confucianistic-style civil service exams and levels would be permitted. In the rest of the economy, a union can exist in any business, provided the employees vote for it by secret ballot. A simple majority would be all that would be required and annually a unionized work force can vote to decertify the union by the same majority secret ballot. Any employee has the right to not join the union if their conscience dictates otherwise- but must follow all rules of their place or employment and collective bargaining agreement. For publically traded companies- executive compensation would be tied to company performance but will be capped as a multiple of the lowest paid full time employee. Perhaps as a multiple of 20 to 30 times depending upon what is agreed upon nationally? Private companies, limited partnerships, and sole proprietorships will have no such restrictions.

S. Lindsey
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WEDGE for PRESIDENT

Dang.. Some serious common sense happening here. Need a good campaign manager.. After all I helped get Don Siegelman elected not once but twice.

I know I can get you in..

btw.. For those of you googling him yes he is a Democrat and yes he is now in prison.. Go figure..

The Wedge
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Lindsey

My kids think that I would be a good politician. Thanks for the offer. But not now...

carbonunit52
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Good stuff there Wedge.

You are quite sensible and considerate, and we need much more of that to move ahead. Your goal of laying out your thoughts to make all sides of the spectrum angry is interesting, because when you accomplish that you know you have hit it just right.
I simply cannot agree on expanding the use of coal in any way. I would rather see nuclear plants instead. A big push for conservation and efficient use of energy would go a long way. We have 6% of the world's population and use 25% of the world's energy, so there is definitely room for improvement.
A child born in the United States is a US citizen. What if we declared that a child born here to non-citizens is not a citizen of the US, just where would that child be a citizen? I am pro-child, and I am not comfortable making children pawns in this debate. A guest worker program, along with paths to citizenship is the sensible way to go, especially since both political parties welcomed millions of illegal immigrants here under the table. The problems at the border are now mainly the result of drugs, and that is a problem fueled by American's demand for them. A good quid pro quo to get cooperation from Mexico on immigration would be to decriminalize drugs to take the profit away and stop the considerable violence that drug cartels cause. I do not think that targeting the professionals for entry as you mentioned would win any friends in the countries that they are coming from.
No unions for municipality, state, or federal workers? Do you think that their employers are so benevolent that collective bargaining has no advantage? I disagree. I wholeheartedly agree on secret ballots for union voting, and respecting the decision to decline to join a union. Hey, we are only humans.
Capping executive compensation in publicly traded companies as a multiple of the lowest paid full time employee is a great concept. Eminently logical, and bound to cause considerable angst and consternation, which is right up my alley.
As a parting thought, I believe that we can more efficiently debate issues by realizing one thing: when we disagree, there is a distinct possibility that we are both wrong.

The Wedge
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Hey Carbonunit, some responses...thanks
carbonunit52 wrote:

We have 6% of the world's population and use 25% of the world's energy, so there is definitely room for improvement.

Ah Carbonunit, but we do not represent only 6% of the world’s economic output. Let’s look at our percentage of economic output verses energy expended. I bet we do better and our energy consumption makes more sense.

carbonunit52 wrote:

What if we declared that a child born here to non-citizens is not a citizen of the US, just where would that child be a citizen? I am pro-child, and I am not comfortable making children pawns in this debate.

Carbonunit, a child born here of foreign parents would have the nationality of their parents regardless of what that is. Our children born overseas by our citizens on bases, in embassies, and by expatriates are given US citizenship. It is a also recognized by other nations for their foreign living expatriates as well.
And with every pregnant mother in Mexico knowing that if they can just get their pregnant selves across our border and they can have their very own US citizen, then children are already pawns in the immigration debate.

carbonunit52 wrote:

I do not think that targeting the professionals for entry as you mentioned would win any friends in the countries that they are coming from.

I chose not to be concerned with the reactions of other nations vis-à-vis our immigration policy. If they do not want their citizens to emigrate, then they can refuse to issue travel papers. I think our immigration policy should be geared toward helping our own country.

carbonunit52 wrote:

No unions for municipality, state, or federal workers? Do you think that their employers are so benevolent that collective bargaining has no advantage? I disagree. I wholeheartedly agree on secret ballots for union voting, and respecting the decision to decline to join a union. Hey, we are only humans.
Capping executive compensation in publicly traded companies as a multiple of the lowest paid full time employee is a great concept. Eminently logical, and bound to cause considerable angst and consternation, which is right up my alley.

Carbon, I discussed the union issue on another posting. On executive compensation, the board of directors is supposed to be a check on company executives. But our corporate governance has devolved into an incestuous situation of corporate executives being board members of other companies and vice versa. It is a system that is out of control.

Regardless of our thoughts, I do enjoy our sharing of ideas. thank you

carbonunit52
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Wedge; energy consumption
The Wedge wrote:

but we do not represent only 6% of the world’s economic output. Let’s look at our percentage of economic output verses energy expended. I bet we do better and our energy consumption makes more sense.

It makes a lot of sense to us, but conservation is still a resource that needs to be tapped much more in the future. I believe the cost of energy will be the driving force for most Americans, since everything else is debatable.

The Wedge
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Conservation is a good thing

But let's look at history and economic development. It took the large energy to size ratio to liberate us and usher in the industrial revolution. There is a reason that we still use a lot of coal and oil. we have not figured out how to get the energy to weight ratio any better than those materials. Of course we need to work on alternate energy. Conserve what we can.

NUK_1
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Like that, Wedge

Good thoughts. Here's mine :)

MILITARY: totally agree with everything you said.

IMMIGRATION: I have to stick with the "if you are born in America, you're an American." I can agree about deciding what skills we want in immigrants and determining from there who gets in, works, and can become a USA citizen. After all, almost every country on the planet does immigration this way to begin with. Certain skills are prized and citizenship is a straight-forward path. Others are not. When almost every other country does this, it's considered good policy. When it's proposed the US do it, it's some how "mean" or "bigoted" or "elitist." BS.

I don't even have much disagreement with Obama's thoughts on immigration, but he's not going to get out and "lead" on the issue and the Dems/Repubs don't have the stomach to address it. When W came up with a plan, his own party revolted. Politically, everyone wants to do "something" about immigration but no one will step up and push it.

ENERGY: I'm all for nuke plants, wind and wave power. Anything that gets away from heavy reliance on coil and oil I believe makes this country stronger. Why solar technology has not advanced to the point that it is in any way remotely close to cost-effective yet when we have had this incredible mass of energy right above our heads forever is a mystery to me, but one can hope that heavy investments in R&D will one day in the not distant future enable us to make use of the sun.

I agreed with noted columnist Thomas Freidman who called for a $1 a gallon tax on gasoline immediately after 9/11. That was the perfect opportunity to really kick-start lessening the energy addiction and funding a vision going forward. Wasted chance.

TRADE: I am for free trade and demanding it truly be free trade. That includes the USA honoring their own agreements and not violating them too! No tariffs, no bans on gambling(which violated several), etc. Free trade should not be a political football. It also means having some tough discussions with our trading partners to get them to also stop "cheating."

UNIONS and GOVT. I'm not a fan of most labor unions, but the idea that you give up bargaining rights because it's the government is a little much to me. I'm concerned any time the fed govt gives itself "rights" that it will not give to private business.

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION: Blah. :) Some other time....not sexy.

S. Lindsey
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Oil, Coal, Nuke,Wind, Solar Energy

We need to explore all.. We need to tap what is available now until new technology comes on-line to replace what some don't like..

Taxing gas is ridiculous to fund energy solutions.. Just like Social Security, funds in the hands of Government will not be used as intended. Instead use the Free Market to incentify entrepreneurs to come up with the right technologies for the market.. Establish a Million dollar bonus for anyone that creates a usable mass produced product that reduces Oil/Coal consumption say by 5%.. Then step back and watch what Americans can do.

You want regulations.. here's one.. Mandatory oil recycling.. I don't mean the pseudo oil recycling that most use that collect used oil to sell to industry for fuels.. I mean real oil recycling that re-refines the oil and puts it back on the market.. The technology is already in place and in use.. 1 gallon of used oil is re-refined into almost 1 gallon of new oil..

You do that and again watch the free market work. Re-refineries will go up everywhere.. This ALONE will reduce our need for crude oil by tens of thousands of barrels.

Immigration.. Linchpin babies MUST stop.. It is a outdated practice that only America practices. A Constitutional amendment or a Supreme court ruling on the 14th amendment that clarifies what is a Natural born citizens must be done.

Military.. No issues with Wedge's statement. Bring them home and put them on the border.. Calderon can suck sand.

The Wedge
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NUK, thanks and some thoughts
NUK_1 wrote:

UNIONS and GOVT. I'm not a fan of most labor unions, but the idea that you give up bargaining rights because it's the government is a little much to me. I'm concerned any time the fed govt gives itself "rights" that it will not give to private business.

I didn't think of the government given "rights", but I see your point. Interesting take, I will ponder it.
Then maybe we consider the non-unionization of professional and clerical work. I do not see why a professional organization, such as air traffic controllers, are allowed to unionize. OSHA and other government rules and regulators has taken away 95% of the reasons that unions historically existed. If we cannot countenance a strike of certain professions-such as fire fighters, air traffic controllers, police officers, then there really shouldn't be collective bargaining with those positions.
My fear with the state of national labor unions is that they have become a labor union of the government. If the majority of the union members pull a paycheck from public monies, then the unions have a vested interest to maintain and expand the size and scope of the government.

Cyclist
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Collective bargaining and government....

workers.

I remember PATCO. Those nice folks did their little walkout exercise and disrupted the whole airline industry. What's interesting is that not even the airline unions are allowed to strike unless the federal mediator declares an impasse and releases both management and labor to seek "self help" after a 30 day cooling-off period. The idea behind this is not to disrupt transportation.

If you want to know why this is so important look a the French.

NUK_1
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I remember PATCO

And commie sissy Ed Asner giving interview after interview in support of extortion :)

That's a great example of why you don't allow governmental unions the right to strike. They can collectively bargain but you cannot give them the "right" to strike. If PATCO had succeeded, the USPO union was ready to do the same thing and wisely Reagan did not cave in.

I am not against unionized governmental workers but I draw the line on walkouts/strikes. You want the ability to do that, go to the private sector.

Davids mom
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WEDGE

OUTSTANDING! I don't agree with all of your ideas - but highly respect the civility and thought that you have incorporated in expressing your opinion. These are such important issues that will affect the future of our country. One would hope that our elected officials are having a similar discussion as they represent us in Congress. Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts on paper and sharing them with all in this discussion. (Airport down time can be productive!) The responses have also been thought provoking. I'm blessed with grands this weekend - but will sit down later and share my thoughts.

The Wedge
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Unions for Federal Employees

I dislike the thought of collective bargaining against the government. If you support collective bargaining for the government employees, would you also support a civil service union for our military personnel. If not, why not? If a union is defined as "an organization of wage earners formed for the purpose of serving the members' interests with respect to wages and working conditions", then why wouldn't that apply to the members of the military? I have yet to see a union reward or encourage productivity. Therefore, government agencies really are not structured to be productive. The civil service unions expend considerable energies and monies to ensure that we do not have a leaner government, that they have as many members as possible. I do not see merit rewarded in these types of governmental positions. And I have dealt with many of them.

AtHomeGym
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Unions & Federal Employees

I was a Federal Employee for 21 yrs and my job series (0132)was not allowed to be a union member--never bothered me.

carbonunit52
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Unions for Federal employees

I find it difficult to put the blame on the size of the federal government on unions. I am of the opinion that presently there are way too many people drawing paychecks from the US Treasury, but unions are not the only source of bloated bureaucracy . Personally, I do not believe that unions should be allowed to strike over wages, only over working conditions that are unhealthy, unsafe, or blatantly unfair. To me the statement that management created the need for unions, unions did not create the need for management is true even for federal workers.

The Wedge
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US Citizenship Criteria

I understand those that want to keep the policy of born in America, then a citizen, but I think it a foolish policy if we are going to have sensible immigration. I truly do not know of another country that does not have citizenship based upon heritage and parentage. We do the same thing for the babies of our service members and expatriots worldwide. The US terriotrial boundaries extend about 12 nautical from our coast and above our airspace. I think it is ludicris to think that a ship that slips into an inlet a remains off shore can have a child born on it and be magically bestowed as American. We are a product of our parents, their DNA, not where our afterbirth falls. We are citizens of their citizenship. It is a common known fact that if a Central American citizen can somehow get their pregnant bellies acorss the US national border then they can give birth to a US citizen, and thus their immigration ticket too. This undermines any sensible immigration policy or guest worker program that we would set up. We can do so much better and treat our fellow western hemisphere denizens with dignity.

carbonunit52
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Dealing with "anchor babies"

A child is born to a mother that has been deemed "illegal" and under current law this child is automatically a US citizen. I do not see the need to give the store away because of this situation. The mother, and perhaps the father, are still on the other side of the law, and are still responsible for the results of their actions. I have no problem with making parents responsible for the costs of their children, and responsible for breaking the laws of the land, but make the punishment fit the crime, and realize that the child did not commit a crime by being born.

The Wedge
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If a baby born here

is of illegal immigrant parents, let's say from Mexico, then I do not think it is a crime or a punishment to consider that child to be a Mexican citizen. They are merely a product of their own nationality and heritage. They are a fine people who could use their talents helping their own country. Viva Mexico!

carbonunit52
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but Wedge

would Mexico consider that child a citizen? I can see possibly some children without a country.

The Wedge
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I do believe so ,

as their embassy employees that have their children overseas are still considered citizens. If that is the case for all of their expatrates, would you reconsider your position?

carbonunit52
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Wedge
The Wedge wrote:

If that is the case for all of their expatrates, would you reconsider your position?

I am always ready to reconsider, just at this time consider me a doubter about the need to, given that countries are not exactly clamoring to get their people back.

The Wedge
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Carbon,

I wish that I could have come up with the proper and consistent spelling of the name to call "persons temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence."
It is in fact and form "expatriates".

Davids mom
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Baby/Mexican citizen?

When is he/she sent home? Is there to be an age limit? What if the 'baby' reaches the age of 15 - and has been raised as an American? Do we still send all of the family home? Just his/her parents? How is this to be handled?

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Rawhide!

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them doggies movin' Rawhide!

Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope and throw and grab 'em,
Soon we'll be living high and wide.

Move 'em on, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em out,
Move 'em on, head 'em out Rawhide!

Chris P. Bacon
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"Anchor babies" revisited

If you read the commentary of such folks as Michelle Malkin, Brave Terry Garlock, Hero of Vietnam™ and our own Bible Wikischolar, Brother Wedge, you'd think that "anchor babies" were a veritable plague upon America.

Just last evening, Whoremonger Congressman David Vitter told a gullible Fox News audience that almost a quarter million Mexican chicas cross the Rio Grande to soil America with their Hispanic whelps.

ABC News did a little fact checking. The results (for the year 2006, most recent available statistics):
4,200,000 live births in America in the year 2006
0,007,670 births were to "non-resident mothers"

Interestingly, this 7,670 number includes A) vacationers, B) employees of foreign embassies and C) female students here on education visas.

I'm sure the usual Swatstika Boyz here will check my math, but it seems to me that we're talking about 0.0018% of all births in America, in other words, 99.982% of all births were to American citizens.

Given such miniscule numbers, how many millions/billions of tax dollars per year should we be spending to "eradicate" this "menace"?

Davids mom
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Oh Bacon

Please don't confuse us with facts! What about these numbers being branded around regarding the budget? I guess no one will seriously deal with our big problems until after 2012. Sad. Non- essential workers? How about our Congress? An essential worker is one who does a job well. Hmmmmmmm.

Mike King
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Hey Chris

Were those numbers derived in some way from 'Planned Parenthood'? Just asking.

Observerofu
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CBS disagrees with ABC and Bacon

I will provide the link to an actual story. Yes DMom let's don't confuse people with facts.

CBS actually does some reporting 300,000 babies born to illegals in America

The Report You decide

roundabout
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You really do use bad numbers!

About 8% of babies of illegals (Of 4 million born) here have at least one parent who is illegal.
Or something like 300,000 + per year. That is out of several million legals born!

These 300,000 are legal citizens. Heck we have millions of Italians and Irish! More than that of Asians. We have a number of Eskimoes, and Jews. The Polish all changed their name in the 1800s!

Don't get excited!

Davids mom
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Wedge

Foreign Policy: I’ve always admired the “Speak softly, but carry a big stick” approach. I doubt that we’ll see the closing of bases in Korea anytime soon. I do agree with withdrawing many of our troops in Germany, Italy, England and Cuba – but total removal leaves us open to security problems, IMO. We’ll be involved in ‘nation building’ in the Middle East for some time, unfortunately because of our past ‘adventurism for business or economic sake. . .IMO
Trade/Energy: Nothing much to disagree with here! After listening to the recent Summit results – getting 100% agreement/ reciprocal agreements in ALL aspects may not be possible anytime soon – but certainly a goal.
Immigration:
This is not an easy one. Citizenship devolves from parents, not location of birth. Here we get into the discussion and implementation of the 14th Amendment.
A guest worker program – administrated legally by employers – with a 5-7 year citizenship pathway sounds reasonable. Interested in your opinions about ‘no unionization’. The majority of my career has been management – but I’ve seen some abuses from management – and abuses by ‘unions’. Government ‘human resources’ divisions have proven that they are needed IMO. Interested in reading your reaction to this. I realize that there is a strong anti-union feeling in Georgia.

It has been interesting following the confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court nominee and General Patreas. Oh how I wish that our leaders were having reasonable discussions around these issues - rather than always trying to be politically correct. . .right or left.

Davids mom
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A little history on the 14th Amendment
The Wedge
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David's Mom

My only small quibble would be that I do not want employers administering a guest worker employee program. They will not be honest borkers. Instead I would have a government agency maybe even ICE administer the program. Companies that would use the employees would pay the overhead of the department adminsitering the program.

Davids mom
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Guest worker program

Good point about the ethics of employers. . .and you budgeted it! Great! I'm still giving thought to a reasonable immigration program. I'm not for wholesale amnesty - but there has to be some way to deal with the families where children did not break the law, their parents did! Anchor babies have been around for generations. How far back do you go for 'legalization'? Someone in the discussion mentioned that there is discomfort with using immigrants to fill needed job/professional positions. . .with an appearance of elitism. I'd be interested to hear how others feel about this aspect of legal immigration. The Supreme Court and Congress have over our history had different interpretations for the 14th amendment and identifying a 'legal' citizen. Birthright was not always an assurance of citizenship.

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