Comments on: I think we’re turning Japanese, I really hope so A clear-eyed view from Zachary Karabell Thu, 06 Feb 2014 10:10:54 +0000 hourly 1 By: tmc Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:42:34 +0000 “may I use you first name” now that’s funny. I was rolling on that one. LMFAO!
btw- I do see all your point too @OOTS, but in my world, those were battles of a war in my childhood. I remember it well on my one black & white tv channel that we only received when the weather was good. Now I work in high tech as they say, and feel like I live in asia. Been to Princeton lately? But I believe Blah is quite correct that social engineering does not work, and it is humanities way to immigrate where and when they need to. if you look at any immigration as as a war, then you are fighting a war that cannot be won and will never end. I think the WOPR said it best “The only winning move is not to play”.

By: OneOfTheSheep Wed, 27 Feb 2013 05:19:12 +0000 @blah (may I use your first name?),

If you don’t believe those first waves were mostly “legal”, please give links to supporting data. Otherwise, yeah, Americans were VERY prolific in developing territories…not much else to do back then, and children were an economic benefit to “subsistance farmers and ranchers”.

I said nothing about “get here assimilate tomorrow”. What I said was that all these other peoples accepted the challenge to learn and become proficient in English IN ENGLISH. I don’t see why “we, the people” have to pay for bilingual (Spanish) schools, government forms, booklets, etc. when all these other immigrants simply accepted the difficulty and overcame it.

The problem at present is perhaps that so many of these fence-jumpers aren’t even literate in their own language, and so they are disproportionately dependent on Spanish-speakers to attain preliminary literacy in ANY language. Not exactly the demographic any country would choose to admit, yet today our politicians want to open the floodgates to anyone warm and breathing.

Contrary to your ranting, I have not tried “to define for hispanics what ‘being Americans’ mean for them and what ‘fundamental values’ they should hold”. I have said, essentially, that it “is what it is” and thus need not be further defined. I am also suggesting,, in essence, that “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. That was as good an idea thousands of years ago as it remains today. But they clearly have not chosen to do that. Not my problem. Not my choice. Theirs.

I think the overall “thrust” of your “points” is very much in support of “open our borders, discard our immigration policies and just let everyone and their mother in without question”, particularly those already here.

What do I propose? I propose deporting each and every one no matter how long it takes or how long it takes. It’s like the picture of a drop-dead gorgeous woman next to a blood red Ferrari with the caption: “The car is cheaper by far”.

If a cow comes into the U.S. with a disease that is not yet here (mad cow), the feds have been able to not only determine the country of origin, the date it came in, and where it came in. I guess if we gave each illegal alien a cow as they come across the border we might be able to round them up later to deport.

I further propose mining our border from the Rio Grand inland a mile or so, taking title to that land at “fair value” by eminent domain. Mines don’t care what color a person is that is crossing illegally into the U.S. They’re cheap and after the first few, few would have to be replaced. Illegal immigration will stop instantly once it is obvious to all parties that America is serious about doing it. Bonus: less illegal drugs too, and U.S. citizens living along the border would sleep a lot better once their government does THEIR JOB!

The money legal citizen “Americans have offshored in tax haven nations” is THEIR money until proven otherwise to do with as they wish. It is for elected officials and their bureaucratic minions to halt this flow if it is to halt.

On the other hand, the money illegals send out of the country is not legally earned if they have no legitimately issued “green card”. It has not, in many cases, been subject to tax of any kind. It is “off the top” financial bleeding America need not accept or allow to continue. As usual, you compare apples and oranges.

“We, the people” have constitutionally guaranteed rights. Illegal aliens don’t.

By: blah77 Tue, 26 Feb 2013 21:40:53 +0000 Oh, forgot to address one point you made.

“But “blah” wants millions of unqualified invaders with forever open palms to be “embraced” without question as Americans that don’t even know what it IS to be American.”

Right. What was that you accused me? Oh right, my *straw man arguments*. Help me with something. Just when did I say that I want to open our borders, discard our immigration policies and just let everyone and their mother in without question? Do quote me if you can.

No, what I am espousing is that we should let them come up with their own definition of ‘becoming American’. Immigration and American values isn’t a zero-sum game. Pragmatically speaking, they are *already here* so what unrealistic solution are you proposing anyway? Do you actually believe that your incendiary commentary is going to help them assimilate into our society? If anything it is entirely counterproductive and will only serve to push them further into the fringes.

Finally, whatever little money those illegals are sending home or in your own words, “our economy’s loss”, pales in comparison to the $21 trillion wealthy Americans have offshored in tax haven nations. That in turn is costing the U.S. roughly $280 billion in tax revenue *annually*. That is the elephant in the room, not a million illegals sending $100 USD a month to Mexico.

By: blah77 Tue, 26 Feb 2013 21:18:00 +0000 @OOTS

My, what a tirade regarding those ‘south of border parasites’. Your naivity, hypocrisy and rather overt brown xenophobia is showing. Do you actually believe that the earlier waves of immigation I mentioned were all *legal*? Here are some facts for you to digest.

From 1892-1954, Ellis Island, our primary immigrant processing portal, received approximately 12-13 million new arrivals. Angel island, our other processing center for East Asian immigrants, recieved another 200k new arrivals from 1910-1940. On the other hand, the population of the U.S. grew from 63 million to more than 152 million during the same span (1890-1950). Either we Americans became ridiculously prolific at procreation or quite a few undocumented illegal immigrants were falling through the cracks. Use your common sense to figure out which explanation is more plausible. Now if common sense is not your forte, fear not as the history of illegal immigration prior to the Great Depression is widely documented and researched. All it takes is some effort to look it up.

With that said, I will reiterate again that your complaint regarding how latinos being unwilling to assimilate is short-sighted and without merit for the most part. True, some of them are not exactly the most productive members of society but most of them as you suggested? Just who is painting with a broad brushstroke now? Are you a first generation immigrant? Do you realize that it often takes generations for immigrants to become fully assimilated into their adopted environment. Your expectation of ‘get here today, assimilate tomorrow’ is unrealistic and sounds more like a contrived platform for you to launch your diatribes from. Fill in the blank; walk a mile ___________.

As for the rest of your post regarding my responses to other posters, I will attempt to keep it succinct.

1. Regarding your response to my comment about why I wouldn’t want America to become Japan culturally, uh, yes it is my opinion. I prefaced it as much by using the word ‘personally’. Reading comprehension is at the minimum *mildly* important in an argument, don’t you think? Secondly, my point IS supported by a lot of credible facts. There are plenty of evidentiary reports available whether it is regarding misogynic views (rampent human trafficking), obsession with homogenity (many well-publicized comments by top officials) or xenophobia (highly arbitrary/opaque immigration and naturalization policies). Would you care for some links?

2. Regarding your response my quip about Japanese being unsatisfied with their own government, again, reading comprehension. I would have thought that my ‘grass is always greener on the other side’ reference would have spelled out the context behind my argument rather clearly but I guess not. Now I am *not* saying that Japan is the worst country in the world or anything like that. However, the whole perspective of ‘becoming Japan is not bad’ by focusing on the positives (as illustrated by this blog) is little more than looking through rosed colored glasses.

3. Regarding your response to the American culture issue, thank you for proving my point. My entire argument was that there is no universally accepted definition for ‘American culture’ or ‘what it is to be an American’. You can ask 100 random people of all ethnicities/backgrounds on the streets only to come up with 100 different answers. Yet there you are, trying to define for hispanics what ‘being Americans’ mean for them and what ‘fundamental values’ they should hold. Arrogance and presumption.

Next time, do make the attempt to refrain from responding with such an emotionally-charged tirade regarding those ‘south of the border parasites’. Separating verbal diarrhea from actually relevant debate points is not something that I want to spend a lot of time on.

By: rikfre Tue, 26 Feb 2013 18:28:49 +0000 unemployment hides inflation…..
low interest rates destroy the middle class…
special interests supersede the common good…

Amerika..or Japan..?

By: paintcan Mon, 25 Feb 2013 14:39:33 +0000 @tmc thanks. I’m just having a hard time squaring this article with all those condemning the laziness, political corruption, and the frequent assertions that the European debtor nations are too socialized.

Why is too much government debt good for Japan but bad for Greece, Italy, France, Spain or even the US?

Somehow the books of all these nations have to make some kind of sense or why keep the books? Individuals and businesses can be ruined by bad bookkeeping but somehow very heavily populated and industrialized states can get away with the same over spending? The industrial nature of Japan – is that the difference? Or is it their enormous holdings of American debt?

Then why shouldn’t the troubled European economies continue with their policies tailored to their own social needs? Why shouldn’t the US continue to do the same as it’s doing?

I think that OOTS underestimates the fact that the “work ethic” may be becoming a luxury ethic and employment is increasingly becoming the privilege of the employed. That’s exactly what it looked like every time I got out of school and was looking for employment in an architectural office. They always wanted at least three years experience in an architectural office. In other words: the three years were always the unreachable three years unless you could get the three years.

BTW – Did you notice the video on the Japanese deconstruction of an office building here a few days ago? The building was being systematically disassembled under cover of a false facade that was lowered as the high rise was shrinking. I can’t imagine how that method is ever going to be popular because it raises the cost of demolition enormously and that cost will have to be absorbed into the costs of the new structure.

It is a splendid piece of make-work though.

By: CanyonLiveOak Mon, 25 Feb 2013 14:01:19 +0000 It amazes me how literal everyone is. The broad scope of the article was to encourage the reader to look beyond statistical economic data to the quality of life of the people that live in a nation. Clearly Japan has as many issues to work out as we do in the U.S., only they are in many cases different issues. Let us learn from their successes with safety nets and the overall health of their citizens. Clearly we could use some help in the health department!

As for all of you “brown invasion” types, regardless of your personal opinions about immigrants legal or otherwise, human ideas and laws cannot turn the tides. Humans are a force of nature. When people decide to migrate en mass, it just happens. Starting in 1492 Europeans began flowing to North America. Once that process began, there was no stopping it.

By: Dafydd Mon, 25 Feb 2013 12:31:08 +0000 Are you wilfully missing the point? If the US (& west in general) goes down Japan’s pretty dire economic path, that does not mean the social stability and societal strength of Japan will miraculously appear in the West.

Economic weakness puts an extra strain on society (one reason some Japanese live so long is their relatives don’t report their death in order to keep on claiming their pension).

Our societies, faced with Japan’s economic problems, would just weaken further. We would not cope nearly so well as Japan has done.

By: americanguy Mon, 25 Feb 2013 12:22:12 +0000 What the US is turning is North Korean, where the working people have nothing, the politicians rule as dictators, and few top people own everything.

By: tmc Mon, 25 Feb 2013 00:18:08 +0000 Basically OOTS, AdamSmith, we’re getting our butts kicked in the global economy and it’s darn sure not because we have to many brown gardener’s now is it?