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September 26, 2011

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Big difference back then, that big difference being the concurrent collapse of several of the established reigning monarchies in Europe and the rise of communism.

In 1920, communism was considered to be an ascendant force. I would not be surprised at all if fear of unwittingly importing communism was a driving force behind the elites' acquiesence to drastic reductions in immigration during the 20s.

90 years ago communism was associated in peoples' minds with violent repression, and the ruling class had reason to fear it. Nowadays, I doubt very much that our ruling elites would have much of a problem with it as it was practiced, let's say, in Gorbachev's USSR, as long as they could be assured they would remain part of the ruling elite.

The newspaper article which Parapundit cited made some good points, but some other complaints were just whining. Production quotas? Welcome to the working world.

The article doesn't make any sense. "Federal regulators recommended changes"??? OSHA regulators have tremendous power, not only to levy fines but also to secure an injunction, for which the company would end up paying attorney fees. If all officials did was "recommend," then they probably weren't actually doing anything wrong.

It's funny how every schoolchild now knows about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory which claimed 146 lives and very little about the conditions that led to the incredible productivity explosion (and living standards) that occurred between 1870 and 1920).

It's as if this one tragic, but relatively insignificant fire should be the symbol of a period when millions of people escaped lives that we would now consider crushing poverty and brutal farm work.

They also know nothing almost nothing about the 70 million people killed by Chinese socialism or the 20 million people killed by Soviet socialism, but that's another matter.

The effect of the internet revolution on our lives is nothing compared to the changes and improvements seen between 1870 and 1920 (telephone, electricity, transportation, mechanization, etc.), but imagine if a fire at an Amazon warehouse claiming 150 lives became the symbol of the internet revolution that school kids a hundred years from now learn about.

-Mercy

[HS: The fire was a really big deal to the people living in 1911. It was the beginning of the movement for improved working conditions in the United States.]

All the employees mentioned by name in the story sounded like they were white native-born Americans, not foreign immigrants. Amazon is exploiting white proles, not cheap immigrant labor.

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-allentown-amazon-complaints-20110917,0,7937001,full.story

"Cheap immigrant labor lowers the value or workers and how companies treat them."

Maybe their value should be lowered. Why should companies be forced to pay high wages to American workers when there are people in other countries who are willing and able to come to the U.S. and do their jobs for less money?

I'm with you Mercy.

"OSHA regulators have tremendous power, not only to levy fines but also to secure an injunction, for which the company would end up paying attorney fees. If all officials did was "recommend," then they probably weren't actually doing anything wrong." - swingslow


Much like the alphabet soup of agencies set up to regulate finance looking the other way at wrongdoing. They too have immense power.....

The Justice Department doesn't even bother to maintain the pretense of being cops anymore. They actually sit back and let major financial firms self report criminal activity......

If we base policy on anecdotes then we are fucked because one of everything is going to happen once in a while.

Comparing it to people who actually died??? Really???

Have you actually studied whether there are more of these experiences per capita in the U.S. over time or is this just a convenient anecdote?

"Federal regulators recommended changes"???"

I have to agree - this is where they lost me. OSHA is famous for being insanely intrusive; if this place was a tenth as bad as this article is trying to say, OSHA would have fined them out of existence. That's not to say working in a warehouse like this wouldn't suck, but it appears from the information given that this is pretty representative of this type of work.

"Maybe their value should be lowered. Why should companies be forced to pay high wages to American workers when there are people in other countries who are willing and able to come to the U.S. and do their jobs for less money?" - Linda


Let's apply your logic to female employees. Why should American companies be forced to deal with maternity leave? How about sexual harassment regulatory compliance? What about the threat of litigation posed by female workers? An all male workforce is less costly, causes fewer disruptions, requires less babysitting, and is more efficient. Are you so eager to protect corporate America's bottom line in these circumstances?

They also know nothing almost nothing about the 70 million people killed by Chinese socialism or the 20 million people killed by Soviet socialism, but that's another matter."

Mistakes are made, Comrade. But let's focus on the Nazis...

Linda,

That's certainly the moral rationale behind immigration. There are three things to consider:

1) As a first world citizen in the bottom 99%, why would you vote for your own demise?

2) If you believe in the concept of nationhood, what effect will the importation of low IQ immigrants have on a nation. Consider the differences between the nature of immigration today versus 100 years ago.

3) If your answer to #2 is worrisome, does this not effect elites as well? Being the only rich people in a third world type setting where you are an ethnic minority isn't exactly fun. I'd rather be inside the gated compound then outside, but either way it tends to be a drag to live in that kind of a society.

Some elites benefit directly from immigration, but most aren't direct beneficiaries. If you don't benefit that much perhaps the negative side effects over the long term are worse.

Immigrants back then were all white but they still undercut wages for Americans. 1924 IA was one of the best pieces of legislation of all time. Should still be in effect.

NYC was 94-95% white in 1940 and was about 30% foreign born. And that was considered a melting pot. Now suburbs of some cities are over 30% foreign and they aren't European for the most part.

And yet the voters will instinctively vote for more Third World immigration without end. The only question is whether Amnesty Dude's name will begin with an O or a P.

Ron Unz has a very good (but long) article on more or less this topic in American Conservative this month. Lays out a good case why a significant increase in minimum wage would work to curtail immigration and boost GOP prospects in the future. Unfortunately too many Republicans, like Linda above, are still stuck in the Libertarian straitjacket that cheaper is always better, even if it means 100 million new foreign workers in our country.

"OSHA is famous for being insanely intrusive; if this place was a tenth as bad as this article is trying to say, OSHA would have fined them out of existence"

OSHA can be vicious to companies without political cover, yes. But Amazon has plenty of political cover. So your argument is not convincing.

"An all male workforce is less costly, causes fewer disruptions, requires less babysitting, and is more efficient."

BRAVO!

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