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Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Between my being a bit busy with helping with faith formation and my pain issues I haven’t posted for a while.  Monday and Tuesday faith formation sessions had their last classes for the year.  Plus, the church is getting ready for the white elephant sale and spring-a-rama so there was a lot going on those two days.

I celebrated my birthday on Thursday.  My sister flew in from Texas and we are at our parents place now, and our other sister is coming up later today so I am having a wonderful time.

Thursday May 1 was also the feast day of St. Joseph The Worker and International Workers Day.  Those two celebrations go hand-in-hand.  I wonder if it was more than a coincidence that International Workers Day was chosen to be on May 1.

Pope Francis tweeted a message for those in political positions who can enact legislation which would affect employment, bringing more jobs for the unemployed.

“I ask everyone with political responsibility to remember two things: human dignity and the common good”.

 During a meeting with Italian steelworkers the Pope again echoed the utmost importance of employment saying, “to reaffirm that employment is an essential reality for society, for families and for individuals. Work, in fact, directly regards the person, his/her life, freedom and happiness.”

Pope Francis continued:

“The primary value of employment is the good of the human person,” he said, because it “realizes a person,” intellectually by making demands on his or her attitudes and creative and manual abilities. Employment, then, should not be considered simply as a means for obtaining profit, but above all a purpose that affects man and his dignity. And if there is no work, this dignity is wounded!”

He said: “Anyone who is unemployed or underemployed risks, in fact, being placed on the margins of society, becoming a victim of social exclusion. Many times it happens that people out of work – I think especially of the many unemployed young people today- slip into chronic discouragement or worse, apathy.”

From Catholic Online:

Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus’ public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph probably had died before Jesus entered public ministry.

Joseph is the patron of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus’ public life, he died with Jesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth.

Joseph is also patron of the universal Church, fathers, carpenters, and social justice.

We celebrate two feast days for Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker.

Joseph was foster father to Jesus. There are many children separated from families and parents who need foster parents. Please consider contacting your local Catholic Charities or Division of Family Services about becoming a foster parent.

 

Here is historical background on what spurred the creation of International Workers Day — http://www.iww.org/history/library/misc/origins_of_mayday

There were protests around the globe in honor of International Workers Day.  You can look here to see which countries held protests.

 

 

 

 

 

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Our national debt has reached $16.4 Trillion. I came across this video while surfing the net. I’m pretty sure that this was shown on TV back in 2011. Since there will be another debt ceiling showdown between the Democrats and Republicans soon I figured that it would be an appropriate time to post this video, which has a great explanation on the federal debt crisis in the U.S.

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As American citizens we consider the United States to be our home.  Instead of the USCCB calling for the enforcement of our current immigration laws and being for the nation to have a right (moral duty?) to close its borders in order to protect its sovereignty the bishops are swerving to the Left and advocating that immigrants violate the laws of the land so these immigrants are able to better themselves economically.

Should we open the floodgates and allow Cubans, Christians being persecuted in Africa and the Middle East, and those being coerced to comply with China’s One-Child Policy to enter the United States without using the proper due process for immigrating to the U.S.?  What gives those persons crossing the border a right to break our laws while others in faraway lands don’t have that right?

The two reasons immigrants from Central America Mexico have been able to cross the border illegally is 1) because of their proximity in location to the United States and 2) our politicians/government refuses to do what is necessary to enforce current laws on the books and secure our borders. Those immigrants who have chosen to risk their lives in order to invade America so that they may be able to improve their life conditions are ignoring the laws of the United States and taking advantage of a huge gap in our enforcement of border laws.  The problem is that the USCCB ignores putting the onus of the responsibility on the individuals/families who have defied a sovereign nation’s laws as well as the burden of responsibility on their countries of origin.

The bishops seemed to have forgotten our economic woes – 8.3% unemployment – and many more who are either underemployed, have stopped looking, or those who are still looking for work but are considered out of the workforce because of the extended length of time that they have been searching for employment.

The problem with the USCCB advocating for lawlessness for immigrant law-breakers is that the bishops are disenfranchising law-abiding citizens in the U.S.

 

From Economic Instability and the Migrant Family: Given the economic inequalities that separate the developed from the developing worlds and the important role that these differences play in migration patterns, the Catholic bishops have repeatedly stressed that an open-door immigration policy is not a solution to the problem of illegal immigration. Repeatedly?!? When? Where? I have rarely, if ever, heard them denounce the open-door policy.  

International economic development is a crucial component in the management of migration patterns, illegal or otherwise. The bishops of the United States, in their pastoral letter Strangers No Longer, called on the United States to work in solidarity with the international community to help raise the standard of living, uphold human rights, and implement complementary political institutions in the underdeveloped world so that people can have the chance to prosper in their homelands, rather than having to migrate to find opportunities elsewhere.   When has the USCCB advocated for this, recently? All I ever hear is about is that it is the moral duty of the United States to accept these illegal immigrants with open-arms no questions asked.  I am all for helping those who are less fortunate but individuals need to take responsibility for their own actions.  Shouldn’t immigrants bear some responsibility for their actions?  Okay maybe once I’ve heard the USCCB talk about the responsibility of the immigrants homelands.  This is something that needs to be said more often, and yes, publicly.  

The lack of economic opportunities confronting large segments of Latin America and the Caribbean places significant strain on families, often presenting them with a troubling choice. Some choose to stay together and remain in their home country, even amidst difficult conditions in which economic stresses wear on familial attachments and communal stability. Others choose to leave their family and head northward, with the hope of making it to the United States, finding worthwhile employment, and sending money home. The lure of a better life in the United States and in other developed countries promises opportunities, but it also carries its own dangers.  The bishops complain about family members being separated from one another but then justify that separation when immigrants go to a different nation looking for economic opportunities.  Don’t they realize that choices have consequences?  That these immigrants make the choice to be separated from their families?  In addition, that there are consequences for entering a country illegally?  

If economic instability is a justification for breaking the law is it okay for Americans who are struggling with economic instability to break the law to better their life situations?  If not, why is it justified for the immigrant and not the citizen?

From USCCB Blog:

When a country is saddled with immigration policies {Lack of border security} that have resulted in 12 million people living under the radar {The USCCB fails to recognize the main reason for this is people chose to enter the country illegally}, it’s reasonable to say, “Everyone recognizes the system is broken; let’s move forward and replace this broken system with something that works so that everyone can benefit.” Hence the bishops’ calls for comprehensive immigration reform. {The problem with advocating for comprehensive immigration reform is the last time this happened and a deal was made under Reagan to secure the border while at the same time granting amnesty to immigrants the Democrats broke the agreement and this is the reason why we have more illegal immigrants in the country today} Conversely, the approach of digging in further with the same enforcement-only approach that has been used for the last two decades is an example of repeating the same practice and expecting different results. It’s also reasonable to recognize that one simply cannot deport 12 million people, with the costs, economic disruptions and logistical difficulties making it beyond impractical. {I agree with the bishops on this.  But I do believe some penalty should be applied to the immigrants who used the back door to enter America instead of the front door}

It’s reasonable to question practices like raiding workplaces, separating families and holding people in prolonged detention as a proportionate response to non-violent offenders whose only offenses were motivated by need and, to be blunt about it, family values. It’s reasonable to recognize that a tension can exist between two important values–in this case, the right of a country to secure and guard its borders and the right of people to emigrate to seek a livelihood for themselves and their families–and realize that a creative accommodation can alleviate that tension, whether that means increasing the number of visas given annually to meet demand or removing roadblocks to naturalization for young people who had no choice in coming. { I agree that the number of visas issued to immigrants needs to be increased.  I am not sure whether the children of those who immigrated here illegally should become naturalized citizens automatically but I do think that they should be granted some type of legal status as long as they don’t have a criminal record} 

Despite all of these enforcement‐driven efforts,{which are outlined here} the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States today hovers around 11.2 million. And, the number of unauthorized entering the country on an annual basis ranges between 300,000 and 500,000 men, women, and children.

Because of this, certain state and local governments, upset with the federal government’s perceived inability to meaningfully curtail the inflow of unauthorized immigrants to the United States despite exponentially increasing budgetary resources and policy mandates to do so, have decided to take matters into their own hands. Select states have passed restrictive immigration enforcement laws of their own in an effort to reign in unlawful immigration in the United States.  By using a phrase like “take matters into their own hands”,  the bishops give me the distinct impression that they disagree in principle with states supplementing the federal government in the enforcement of the nation’s laws regarding immigration.  I don’t understand the USCCB’s problem with states taking actions to supplement federal laws with their own (states do this already with drug enforcement).  In the matter of regulating border access and immigration, since the federal government has shown that they have no intention of enforcing its own laws, this seems entirely within the rights of the states wishing to do it.    Doesn’t this conform to the Catholic teaching of subsidiarity?  If a state government can enforce immigration laws better than the federal government what is so wrong with this?  Finally, is this situation of federal inaction really something that the bishops want to complain about under the label of an “Enforcement only” approach?  It looks, despite their rhetoric, like the problem they have with “enforcement only” is really their problem with the enforcement part of it, not with it being “only” enforcement.  They seem to have a problem with enforcement per se,  in spite of their nominal perfunctory statement of support for border enforcement (weak and unconvincing as it was).

While the majority of people crossing the border are doing so for economic means a former border agent named Zachary Taylor has stated that, “many of the people coming across the border are entering America illegally with the intention of doing real harm. They are coming with drugs, guns and inflicting violence, or are part of elaborate human smuggling networks with direct ties to the vast criminal cartels. The appeals to human compassion and “America is a nation of immigrants” meme ignores this very real and growing threat to the United States.”

Taylor made it clear that there is no level of violent depravity or government corruption outside the ability of the cartels. The Sinaloa, the Zetas, and others narco-insurgents are engaged in beheadings, mutilations, sexual assaults, as well as videotaped torture campaigns similar to what most people associate with Al Qaeda.

Then there is the issue of terrorism – terrorists coming across the border via Mexico.

Taylor said that Hezbollah is allying with the drug and alien smuggling operations at the border to help finance their operations in the Middle East.

Some may claim that the threat of terrorism is hyped or a remote possibility but for evidence to the contrary look to this video of “Muslim cleric Abdullah al-Nafisi talked about bringing 4 lbs of anthrax into the U.S., which he gleefully claimed would kill 330,000 people.”

 

The above information was posted in February of this year.  In May 2011 it was known that Hezballah was setting up operations in Mexico. Prior to this in 2010 it was known that members of the terrorist group Hezballah were crossing the border from Mexico into the United States.

Helping those who are less fortunate is a noble cause but we need to use prudence in how we aid those who need economic assistance.  Having a porous border and allowing immigrants to violate our laws and cross our borders without us having the opportunity to know who they really are is a dangerous and irresponsible prospect for this country.

The bishops have emphasized the teaching of the Church about the obligations of wealthy nations toward those seeking to immigrate to them, but they seem to pass over certain other related aspects of the doctrine of the Church without giving them the emphasis that they are due.  Here is the relevant passage of the Catechism:

2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

 

 

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