Saturday, January 10, 2004

Traveling and volunteering,

Over the past few days, I've been quite busy. First there was a day of traveling on Thursday after my post on the funny signals coming out from the IMF on the US Fiscal and Currency policies. Then there was Friday on which I met a Dean coordinator. Today I volunteered during a Dean canvassing drive for the upcoming Primaries. It was rather all exhausting.

How dare I try to get out the vote for Dean and call myself a conservative? Well, anyone who could support GWB's new Immigration Policy and still call themselves a conservative is just engaging in wishful thinking. This hasn't been the first time that GWB has gone against deeply held conservative tenets either. From spending discipline, military adventurism, interfering with local control of schools in his No Child Left Behind legislation, to failing to rigorously enforce laws against systematic corporate corruption then those who wish to cling to GWB as a standard bearer only have mostly pandering concessions to cling to rather than real issues.

He is strongly pro-Isreal, openly anti-gay, willing to implicitly appeal to racial prejudices, and publicly religious. His real policy contributions have mainly been in the areas of being pro-business and cutting taxes. The anti-environmental regulation initiatives are an extension of the pro-business orientation. Well as a conservative I am for business growth, less red tape, reasonable environmental regulation, and like anyone else also prefer lower taxes.

However none of these policy issues have addressed deeper base concerns like law&order, being for small businesses and farms as opposed to catering to corporate giants and subsidizing large agri-business, and the fact that environmental policy used to not only be bi-paritisan it was also Republican. Nixon afterall created the currently much loathed EPA. And while big business have special preferences given in consideration to them, the much touted small businesses languish because the government agency that underwrites loans for them is unfunded currently. Even if it get's a continuing resolution that allows it to continue operating, it will be under-funded by about 2 billion dollars in expected demand. Considering that it is a modern conservative tenet that small businesses need help because they create the majority of jobs in this country, this behavior is contradictory at best and hypocritical at worst. Big businesses have enough advantages, it's unfair to also hand them out large subsidies that they then use to put small farmers and businessmen out of operation. That is hardly what it means to be conservative or Republican!!!

UPDATE: David Martin has an op-ed on the subject in the WaPo that talks about the inherent problems of this approach to Immigration issues. The NYT agrees in a review review of Illegal Immigration in America by Dean Murphy. Cited in the article is a quote that summarizes it all:

"I think it is hard to imagine a worse immigration reform proposal right now," said George J. Borjas, a professor of economics and social policy at Harvard who has written extensively about the drawbacks of illegal immigration.


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