Saturday Mailbox


May 26, 2007

Border bill boosts business interests

It boggles the mind that an issue as simple as illegal immigration could spawn so much debate ("Immigration bill debate begins," May 22).

But if you cut through the rhetoric used to justify granting amnesty to illegal immigrants (which is what the current proposed legislation would do), you are left with one fundamental issue that is often lost in this debate: Business is beholden only to its shareholders. Business lobbyists pressure (i.e., pay) Congress to enact legislation that would help provide business with low-wage workers.

There is no need for American business to innovate and increase sales if it can accomplish the same thing by replacing a higher-wage American worker with a lower-wage foreign worker - decreasing expenses is a far better way to increase profits because it costs little to do.

Given that, let's look at the salient consequences of illegal immigration:

The displaced American worker goes on unemployment for a while and then takes a job that pays less than before. The American worker has less money to put into the economy.

The lower-paid immigrant relies more heavily on U.S. social programs, which of course are funded by taxpayer dollars, which takes money out of our economy.

The immigrant often sends money to his homeland, removing that money from our economy.

Forget for a second about the ethics of rewarding illegal immigrants for breaking our laws. Forget the claims of humanitarian groups that the rights of illegal immigrants will be violated if we force them to immigrate legally.

Forget for a second all of the other ancillary issues.

The question is really this: Will our nation remain a representative democracy that represents the people, or will it move further toward being a representative democracy that represents only business?

Frederick Doyle


`Buy American' to keep jobs here

I remember a slogan from a few years back that urged us to "Buy American."

Unfortunately, I and many others didn't pay much attention or have an understanding of the serious consequences of not following that advice. Now we wake up and find our country flooded with all sorts of goods from China and from countries many of us never heard of ("Immigration bill debate begins," May 22).

Yes, these goods are cheap and that is tempting.

But what we haven't paid much attention to is what these cheaper imported products are doing to our American businesses and to the lives of our workers.

Naturally, big corporations and their stockholders are enjoying the financial benefits of cheap foreign labor. At the same time, our country is being flooded with unskilled illegal workers willing to work for wages American workers can't live on.

What is the American worker to do? What is the answer?

For me, I'll continue to look for and buy products "Made in the U.S.A."

E. Kaufman


Culture of cheating undermines values

Ever wonder how it is that we live in a country where it appears that so many people who reach the top get there by lying, cheating and stealing their way up? One only has to look at the situation at Severna Park High School to understand how this happens ("Top Severna Park students say cheating is pervasive," May 22).

To see students such as Peter Thompson and a handful of others come forward and complain about the rampant cheating going on in their school is refreshing. Their actions should be commended.

The school, however, doesn't seem to think so. But, fortunately, after questions were raised about cheating on the Advanced Placement history exam, students were required to retake it.

I do not, however, agree with the parent who suggested that school officials, parents and students simply need to "reassess the value they're all placing on taking as many AP courses as possible and scoring high."

Rather, it is a matter of making certain that every student gets a good education and earns his or her grades on his or her own merit.

Barbara McNamara


Mayor is investing in aiding our kids

The Sun concluded its editorial about Mayor Sheila Dixon's proposal to borrow $5 million from a new school construction account to pay for after-school programs this way: "Ideally, there would be enough money to modernize schools and provide after-school programs for all the children who want to participate" ("A promise is a promise," editorial, May 16).

I could not agree more; however, when faced with difficult budgeting decisions, the ideal is not an option - we must accept reality.

Last year, Ms. Dixon supported then-Mayor Martin O'Malley's decision to invest $25 million from the city's $60 million fiscal year 2006 budget surplus in school construction.

Our teachers and students deserve well-designed and highly functional school buildings. But, regrettably, today there are no new schools ready to break ground.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.