Hard Choices - The United States Of Immigration Pretense

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by James H. Kunstler of Kunstler.com,

The New York Times editors seem to think that if they tell enough sob stories about illegal immigrants in their ongoing sentimental series “The Way North,” that the national debate will turn into a giant pity party and the nirvana of a human peaceable kingdom will come true, with no consequences — except for more interesting cuisine in states that formerly subsisted on Salisbury steak and pie.

The New York Times, like just about every other institution in the progressive orbit, has surrendered its collective brain to a morass of feelings, longings, and promptings that leads ever deeper into a wasteland of dishonesty. As a long-time registered Democrat who started voting in the year of Watergate, I resent being taken for a ride to the place where anything goes and nothing matters. And especially where nothing matters less than clear thinking and straight talk.

We could start with the practice — especially popular on National Public Radio — by which illegal immigrants are called “undocumented,” as if some unjust bureaucratic mistake was made in their journey across the border and to blame them for it amounts to persecution. It is really too obvious to belabor, except to say that the cumulative effect of such programmatic lying, day after day, will eventually discredit the basic principles of social justice, if it hasn’t already.

The popular story is that America was built by immigrants and that therefore everything about immigration is good and leads to a more successful society. This narrative is so devoid of historical context that it should embarrass anyone beyond a second-grade education. In fact, the surplus populations of industrializing European countries were off-loaded onto a more sparsely-populated New World that also happened to be in the throes of rapid industrialization (including industrial farming), offered a lot of cheap land under plain terms, and held a bonanza of untapped resource wealth in everything from timber to iron ore.

A few things that progressives leave out of the story these days: immigration was rigorously controlled at its ports of entry, and particularly at the height of immigration between the 1880s and the 1920s. A lot of people may have been pouring in from foreign lands, but they were carefully scrutinized on the way in, and not a few were sent back. Secondarily, these immigrants were required to assimilate into a recognizable common culture. There was no handwringing over the question of whether children from Italy or Lithuania should have to learn how to read, write, and speak in the English language. A strong consensus required it of them, and it must be fair to say that most of them were eager to enter that new common culture. We also conveniently forget that immigration quotas were severely restricted in 1924, not out of meanness, as the sentimentalists would suppose, but because the public and its representatives correctly apprehended that the situation had changed in some of its obvious particulars, requiring a consensus about limits.

In the 21st century, The USA is no longer sparsely populated, except in the regions that are typically hostile to settlement anywhere else in the world — places where there is no water, or too hot, or too cold, or too swampy. North America is a settled continent at a moment in history when virtually every nation including the USA can be fairly considered over-populated. It is also too obvious to belabor the point that fossil fuels have produced an algae bloom of human reproduction and that, whether we like it or not, the decline of fossil fuel is certain to lead to a decrease in human population. The question is how disorderly and cruel that journey might be if we don’t make the management of contraction a supreme political priority. And managing the movement of people into this country is a necessary part of that.

Currently, progressive America is pretending that the conditions of the 19th century still prevail here - boundless material resources and land for the taking - and that we can happily accommodate the overflow from our equally overpopulated neighbors, Mexico and the countries of Central America, any way they can manage to get here. The sentimental approach as represented by The New York Times, is exactly what will prevent the kind of hard choices that national leadership is faced with. Both established political parties could founder on this issue.

It’s rather funny that the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in 2016 titled her current book Hard Choices, because that is the chief pretense of the party she represents. The last thing Hillary wants to do is take a stand on anything, other than her entitlement to live in the White House.

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pods's picture

So Hillary, what are your feelings about the Mexicans?


Pool Shark's picture



Immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island at the end of the 19th century couldn't simply walk to the nearest Dept. of Human Services and get Food Stamps, Cash Aid, TANF, WIC, Section-8 Housing, Medicaid, and Earned Income Credits...

You either made it on your own, relied on your family, or you starved.

Today, the incentives for immigrants to integrate and become productive, tax-paying citizens are virtually non-existent...


NOTaREALmerican's picture

But, in reality, immigrants do get jobs.  California agriculture (including the wine industry) wouldn't exist without Mexicans.   I was talking to a farmer at a local farmers market on Saturday about the drought and his crops (berries) and he said he's had problems finding pickers this season.   It seems there just aren't enough Mexicans to go around anymore.   

Dr. Engali's picture

I had another guy from Commiefornia tell me earlier that there was no plantation work for immigrants because of the drought. Which is it?

Pool Shark's picture



Actually, we would have a cheap and abundant supply of young, able-bodied laborors; if we didn't pay them to sit at home, watch TV, eat Twinkies, and breed instead...



NOTaREALmerican's picture

Well, the same applies to all of the Trash Class, including the honey boo-boo white trash.  

Pool Shark's picture



I thought that's who I was talking about...



Dr. Engali's picture

To some people everything is about race.

ThroxxOfVron's picture

Indeed.  It appears that NOTaREALamerican inadvertently displayed some sort of BIASorBIGOTRY.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

It seems there was a pause in the Mexican immigration over the last few years .   Plus there's lots of a different ag areas.    Not sure they're all the same.   The wine industry is expanding every year and also pays relatively well.    The Mexicans are also the primary employees in restuarant kitchens and nothing is growing faster than restaurants in Cali.    As an aside,  I believe Mexico is now the worlds largest auto producter, so that might have something to do with things.   It might just be simple supply and demand, with spot shortages of Mexicans observed in different areas.

Grande Tetons's picture

Mexicans are like honey bees. Once they are gone we are truely fucked - Albert Einstein. 



 Nobody around to pollinate...and nobody around to pick...means an empty lunchbox for little Johnny. 

Stoploss's picture

You mean little juanny?


Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Last year we harvested 13 tons of grapes by hand at our friends boutique vineyard/winery. Took 4 weekends 5-10 people a day. This meant carrying 50# buckets per person to the crusher. All of us are in good shape and the average age was 45. This is back breaking work in the sun and we look forward to doing this every year to help our friends.

I can appreciate the contributions Mexicans do for our agriculture but Americans could do the same if they had to. Unfortunately, they are so out of shape at this point one 1/2 hour of work such as this may kill them.


verum quod lies's picture

Who do you think are the fattest/"most out of shape" 'Americans' these days (also most illiterate and lacking of basic skills)? That was rhetorical, it is the Mexicans and other Central Americans. Why do you think obesity and diabetes have surged? Agian, that was rhetorical, as we all know it is the Mexicans and other Central American 'squats' (a Spanish term BTW). If there was a people singularly unfit for the 'American' lifestyle it is the 'squats'. The constant MSM propanganda against Americans has clearly overwhelmed your ability to even notice basic facts; and good luck with those human bowling balls that, according to you, have contriobuted so much (sarc. off).

j0nx's picture

Um no. There just aren't enough who want to do that kind of shit work when they can take construction jobs and steal the living off of Americans. I sure as shit didn't see any price decreases from illegal labor floating my way when I bought my house during the boom. Pure profit to CEOs and executives off the backs of slave labor and the middle class.

ThroxxOfVron's picture

Hey, j0nx.  

I am pleased to see You posting here.

I hope You are well.

How are things in the Forum Of The Photocropped these days?

madcows's picture

Could it be that all the Hard Working Unemployed Americans are home collecting benefits and watching Oprah, while eating and drinking to their heart's content using SNAP cards?

Hell, that's a two-for-one deal.  Keep americans unemployed and dependent, and import more dependents.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Sorry dude but you are sooo wrong.  Only 1% of immigrants work in any aspect of agriculture.  Machinery now outpaces immigrants in almost every way ... from lettuce picking to grape picking.  Immigrants concentrate in cities that pay the most benefits.

PiratePiggy's picture

"the more people we send back at the border, the smaller our carbon footprind, and the fewer greenhouse gassed we emit"   ... except Hillary knows no science.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Smothering-mommy welcomes all the children of the world.    How could she not, when there are so many needy children?  Smothering mommy can't say no to any of her children.   Smothering-mommy has a warm loving heart. 

Pool Shark's picture



Smothering-mommy doesn't have room for all the 'gumballs.'



hegemony's picture

Just wanted to note that it's now less than a half hour till the market has it's scheduled move higher. Get in now or be priced out forever!

The man with pointy horns's picture

There's always tomorrow, because BTFATH.

NoDebt's picture


Government dependents is what they want.  Both sides, but Dems benefit more in the political world (Republicans probably more in the business world).  Vote for me (forever)!

Top Gear's picture

Did the owners of the company store not want people dependent?


You load sixteen tons, what do you get.
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go.
I owe my soul to the company store.

potato's picture

assuming government services are not given away freely amd strong property rights are protected, what is wrong about immigration? setting limits smacks of central planning. allow the natural equilibrium to prevail. 

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  setting limits smacks of central planning

OOOOO,  good one.  I'm going to start using this.

gcjohns1971's picture


Except both assumptions are false.

Services are given away.

And the money to pay for them is taken from those who followed the rules.

Monty Burns's picture

So anyone who wants can come into America and stay there?  Are you serious?  Go back on your meds.

Dr. Engali's picture

Votes for the demicans, cheap labor for the republicrats, and misery for everybody else. It doesn't get any more bipartisan than that.

buzzsaw99's picture

to hell with white-thing hitlary. we need a wise latina president next [/sarc]

NidStyles's picture

I read it as "wide assed latina"...



Dr. Engali's picture

Funny, I read it as "fat assed bitch".....


Edit.... uh oh, I upset the kanklasaurus.

NidStyles's picture

I think I need to give you lessons on letting go of the hate and learning to love them for the their incompetence, as it makes it so easy to simply make them meaningless. Even with their cankles. 


If I am going to imagine a woman, it's not going to be Hillary in other words. 


"...wide assed latinas" seems like a good place to start IMO. Come on, just say it with me, "wide assed latinas."


Perhaps you haven't met any of those in your life.


Just think of the people in charge of Death Star I, pure incompetence... 

ajax's picture



@firstdivision  Thanks for the link

goldhedge's picture

Strictly speaking since America has fucked a lot of the world then they should accept more of those ppls they have displaced e.g the muzzies. ;)


If you wanna play World Policeman then expect the consequences.

samsara's picture

Tylers,  You missed a perfect opportunity for some accompanying humor...

Sam Elliot's  Humor/Perspective on Slow Government Responses...

(A Must Read)

Sam Eliot's Humor


AdmTirpitz's picture

LOL,  I wish I could give you more up votes!

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Why are there so many MORONS thinking that this is a Red vS Blue team issue?

Even before Ronnies timeframe both sides were fracking this up so bad.....


Do you drink some drink that only kills the Red side or Blue side brain cells?

Babaloo's picture

Because ZH is in reality a right-wing site.  It's like reading the online version of Fox News.  "Tyler" pretends to be libertarian, " a pox on both houses" bs, but in reality ZH has turned into an organ of the Tea Party.

If you (and I don't mean RaceToTheBottom) specifically, but rather all readers, don't realize it, you're not paying attention.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

You are confusing "conservative" with conservative.    Overall, you are right, but this site is not that much like Fox News.   It's much more anti-authoritarian which means - over all - the Red Team isn't liked very much.    The only topic it agrees with Fox News on is "those people".   As "those people" are a major reason that people vote,  the Red Team is more supported than the Blue Team.   

Babaloo's picture

I'm not confusing anything.  If this site is, as you say, "anti-suthoritarian" answer me why the guy posting up top who quoted what a farmer told him about not having enough workers got 20 (as of now) down votes?

I live in California, I've talked to plenty of farmers and they almost uniformly say the same thing at various times of year.  I tell them I have no sympathy, as they're just looking for cheap labor and just interested in their own profits, but really why would a guy get 20 down votes if it weren't for the far right wingers who inhabit this site, and to whom "Tyler" is pandering? 

That's not "anti-authoritarian."  That's just right wing bs.


ThroxxOfVron's picture

It is much easier to misconstrue anarchist, true libertarianism and/or anti-statist values as being 'conservative' values; thus the evidence of misinformed tourists and malignant denizens and opposition mercenaries within the forum.

'Conservatives', 'Tea Partiers' and 'right wingers' make claims to seeking a reformation of the system, although it is often a false defense for defending the status quo or seizing power and wealth via securing or increasing socio-economic and political hedgemonies and fiefdoms.

I, and those akin to me; seek to dismantle the present socio-economic and political constructs entirely and create new unencumbered institutions and freely associative and/or disassociative relationships devoid of coercive and/or exploitative predicates.  We are the erasers of odious debts. 




malek's picture

Maybe you should turn on your brain.

 It seems there just aren't enough Mexicans to go around anymore.  

from that guy with now 28 down votes (including mine) is just a bullshit statement.

Yes, I know Mexicans do most of the fruit/nut/whatever picking jobs at the left coast, but anecdotal evidence can be cherrypicked just as well, plus where did he believe the Mexicans, who did those jobs the previous years, all went?
Living on the dole now?
Back to Mexico?
All moved up the ladder into better jobs?
So together with the rest of his post the implied statement that "we need a steady inflow of new Mexicans to keep the picking jobs filled" is just framing things into another false choice, i.e. propaganda in its dumbest form.

And if you read here for some longer time, you would know that poster NARA is (in)famous for half-assed conclusions.

nmewn's picture

lol...Rupert Murcock wants as many illegals in here as he can get, same with Sheldon Adelbrain.

Is that Tea Party enough for you? ;-)

RaceToTheBottom's picture

No party would have me, and that is the way I like it!!!!