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bobweaver Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:52 PM
Original message
So what is wrong in Mexico that causes so many people to come to the US to
look for work?
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RBHam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Extreme poverty, slave wages...
Funny, eh? NAFTA comes in and we lose our well paid industrial jobs, the Mexicans still can't make enough to feed themselves with these new jobs and still sneak into America to make big bucks under the table doing shit work Americans won't do...
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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Americans would be eager to do shit work.
Just not for the 2 or 3 dollars an hour the scummy companies offer.
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RBHam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Illegal aliens undercut them, that's for sure...
And they don't have to declare the income to the IRS...

Carefully set up for years, this system...

It saves the Super Rich a few bucks, y'see...
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #6
23. We all benefit from it
nobody is innocent.
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Pam-Moby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. They are very poor
and do not have many good job Opportunities.
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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. the fact that their economy is a conservative's utopia.
Crushing poverty for the majority, a small middle class and a fabulously wealthy plutocracy. it is the template they are modeling the new America on.
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I'm curious aabout
the significance of your signature? have I missed something?
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. That would be the US Federal budget deficit, I assume...
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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. indeed it is.
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 11:07 PM by UdoKier
or more accurately, the national debt.
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Thanks n/t
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. the question is, why do US employers recruit Mexican workers
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 10:57 PM by imenja
Obviously Mexico is a significantly poorer nation than the US, but surely you knew that. Do some reading on the bracero programs of the twentieth century. Borders have been opened to satisfy the demands of large landowners and agribusinesses for very cheap labor. It is not accidental. It was a policy deliberately employed by US agricultural interests with the full cooperation of the American government. In times of economic downturn, cries about illegal immigrants increased, and the INS sends many of them home.

http://www.duke.edu/~mahealey/aztlan_2.htm
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
20. FYI many if not most of the ag workers are legal now
the "new" immigration is NAFTA driven and they are working construction back east, meat industry in midwest and service (hotel, restaurant household help/garden/landscaping) all over the place.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. historical actions set a precedent
My point was that the bracero program established a tradition of Mexican workers entering the US for agricultural labor. There are still a great deal of undocumented workers in this country now. In my area of the country, Guatemalans make up the landscaping crews--very arduous labor in hot Florida summers. Most are undocumented.
My understanding is that they are also prevalent as cane cutters in the glades.
I don't like the tendency of many Americans to place all blame on Mexico or immigrants themselves. If businesses like Walmart didn't employ undocumented workers, they wouldn't come to the country.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #4
43. Hard working reliable labor at a low wage
Perhaps, this is a generalization, but it tends to be true around here (Wisconsin). If you are a manufacturing facility that pays a relatively low wage, say $8/hour for unskilled labor, you are playing the lottery with the quality of workers you will get. You may get some good workers, but generally the better workers will work somewhere else for a higher wage or not stay very long for the same reason. Many of your workers will probably be below average in a variety of ways, which is why they aren't employed somewhere else with better pay. Like I said, this is a generalization and there are a few outstanding workers that these companies get lucky with.
Mexican immigrants may have a tough time getting good paying jobs because they often are not high school graduates, may have poor English skills, and may face discrimination. They are often more family oriented and are more used to working hard. Some of the above mentioned employers have observed that by hiring them that they are more likely to get good workers at their low wage than when they hire the typical American white who applied for the low wage job.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. Bracero program: additioinal sources
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. A class system.
I haven't dealt with Mexican nationals in over fifteen years, but back then, what I learned was that most had to quit school to go to work to help the family. They could make more money here on minimum wage than in Mexico. They lived on very little and sent most of the money home.

A sixteen-year-old once told me that he had to quit school when he was eight years old and went to work in a tile factory in Oaxca where his father worked. He made 75 cents a day as compared to the minimum wage he made here. He was one of eight children.

An American woman I worked with thought he was so cute. I mentioned that I thought at his age he should be in school and she said but those people don't know anything about education.

So you figure it out. Desparation and racism going hand in hand.
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leftyandproud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #9
38. Isn't Mexico socialist?
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. If it were truly socialist, we wouldn't have an immigrant problem
of poor Mexicans risking an illegal status to get a better job. If it were truly socialist, there would be a living minimum wage law and national health care. If it were truly socialists all children would get a quality education and their mothers would get childcare. If it were truly socialist, women would be equal to men and able to make decisions about their own fertility. No, real socialism isn't just a word right wingers like to accuse liberals of being.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #9
42. There is less class mobility in the U.S.
As I understand it, the poor have been getting poorer and the rich have been getting richer significantly over the past couple generations.
Education is a big thing. My friend, who was born in a lower middle class area, said that few people who were not rich went to high school. Her oldest sister entered a convent primarily as the only way to further her education when she was 15. Her father, who had been coming to the U.S. during the summer for agricultural labor, decided that it would be best for his children if they settled permanently in the U.S. All the younger children are high school graduates now and the father is now a U.S. citizen.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. Class distinction is actually part of the old feudal system
brought from Spain by the conquistadors. The fact that it still exists today keeps Latin America from realizing it's potential as a formidable super power, especially if they unite together as a union, much like the EU.
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guajira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #42
49. Last Time i was In Mexico, I was told High School is Not Free
Parents cannot afford to send their kids to school. If school is not free, then for sure it's not mandatory!

Many illegals here cannot read or write. Very sad, and so unnecessary. If Cuba can afford to send everyone to school and even provide free college, surely a wealthy country like Mexico could do the same.
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candy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. Vicente Fox and a shitty,corrupt government overall.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Fox's election was an important step forward in Mexican politics
It was the first time since the consolidation of the PRI in the 1920s and 1930s that a candidate from a party other than the Partido Revolucionario Institucional won. Mexico faces tremendous political and economic difficulties, but it is mistaken to place blame on Fox individually. Fox, at least, was willing to negotiate an agreement with the Zapatistas. EZLN still has disagreements over the treatment of indigenous and mestizo peoples in Chiapas, but tensions are considerably less than in the 1990s. Evidently Subcomandante Marcos is now working on a biography of Pancho Villa.

A recent article on the Zapatistas.
http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20050112-065955...
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Assessment of Fox
This is a reasonable biography and assessment of Fox in context of Mexican politics.

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Vincente-Fox

Wikipedia has an entry that appears identical: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincente_Fox

Fox and the Zapatistas: http://hir.harvard.edu/articles/index.html?id=1232

The 2002 election: http://hir.harvard.edu/articles/index.html?id=995
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
13. The exchange rate
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 11:13 PM by Warpy
Poor folks in Mexico with no prospects can come here, live in horrible conditions for a few months to a few years, and save the dollars they get their hands on. When they return to Mexico (and a study not too long ago showed that most do), they can exchange a paltry sum of dollars for enough pesos to allow them to start a small business in Mexico.

A few come here to stay, and hope they can get their children educated and on the road to the US version of success.

Conversely, retirees who could afford only a trailer in Florida or Arizona for their golden years find their money goes a lot farther in Mexico, again because of the exchange rate. They find they can rent luxury housing and afford a much more lavish lifestyle than they could here, paying US prices in US currency.

That is pretty much it.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #13
22. Actually the cost of living has risen sharply since NAFTA
houses and property are still "reasonable" but food, utilities, gas etc are pretty equitable with the US now.
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Be Brave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
15. You have lived a sheltered life?
:)
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bobweaver Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
18. But why don't they fix it in Mexico? Why can't they get them good jobs?
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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. the miracle of globalization! the Iron Lady and the Gipper idolize
Chile 1973-83: world plantation to drain the poorer nations' money into the coffers of the richer-than-the-richer-than-rich-could ever dream
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #21
25. idolize Chile?
Americans idolize no nation other than their own, including those they put in power, like Pinochet.
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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. "the miracle of Chile" is an actual Milt Friedman title for this!
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. of course
I'm well aware of that. They proclaimed Pinochet's neo-liberal policies a success, a "miracle." That is not to say they idolized Chile. Idolize means, according to Websters, "to worship as a god." It involves seeing someone or something as superior to oneself. American presidents, and most citizens, imagine no nation to be superior to the US.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. At least they idolize the Chilean privatized pension system that
was imposed by Pinochet and suggested by Milton Friedman.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #18
30. globalization and American dominance
You really need to do some reading on international politics. Economies are interconnected, and our prosperity in the US depends on impoverishment around the world, including Mexico. Mexicans carried out a Revolution from 1910-1930, and in the 1930s Lazaro Cardenas carried out extensive land reform. In recent decades, the promises of the Revolution have been forsaken for economic trade with the US. US businesses dominate in Mexico, and they refuse to respect Mexican labor and environmental laws. When forced to comply, they sue for lost profits under Chapter 11 of NAFTA. International capitalism produces widespread poverty around the globe. So-called free trade agreements privilege large industry at the expensive of workers at home and abroad. The world economy works this way because that is how it is planned. Our government, along with the IMF and other multi-lateral agencies, works with economic elites around the world to create policies and economic systems that pursue the interests of corporations above those of the general population.
You might start by reading Eduardo Galeano's _The Open Veins of Latin America_. It provides an introduction to dependency theory. I bet you can find a cheap copy on half.com.
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RockStar Donating Member (184 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
19. Mexico will one day be our salvation from Freedom and Liberation.
U.S. Soldiers are not allowed on mexican soil. Did you know U.S. Soldiers are stationed in Canada...
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mmendoza01 Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
26. explanation
Just recently stumbled onto DU & found this thread too good to pass up. I am a first generation Mexican living in NM and I can honestly see why people are willing to risk their lives to come here.

First, the job situation there is crap. The jobs are basically inherited from generation to generation and it is really tough to move from one class to another.

Educational opportunities are not there. We take for granted how we can go to a good school and have our education paid for. In Mexico if you can't afford a private school you are really S.O.L because the public schools might not have textbooks, utilities, and overflowed classes. That is why the rich always remain the rich; they can afford the education.

There are no unions or anything like that. The is a shortage of jobs and a huge demand for that job so they can treat people like crap.

Not all of Mexico is like that obviously but there are millions living south of the border who live on about $10 a day doing HARD work like construction, cooking, and hotel maids.

They come here to the US and they can make in one hour or two hours what would normally be a full days work and you wonder why?

I appreciate what the poster said above about the agriculture programs, my grandpa came here under that in the 70s. He didn't really earn much money but because of what he earned and saved he was able to bring the whole family and they got an education, all 5 of them.

Probably why I favor punishing these corporations that are whoring these people w/out paying SS, Medicare Taxes, benefits and everything else. Who can blame the people for wanting an education for their kids?

Thanks and I'll try and post more frequently!
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #26
32. Cool! Welcome to DU!
Thanks for the insight. Good to have you here.

:toast:
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jarab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #26
33. Welcome to DemocraticUnderground !!
...O...
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #26
34. Welcome and thanks for your viewpoint.
I also agree with what imenja said in 30.


Not to mention the influence of consumerism on culture, beyond the rise above poverty. Do you see the increased class mobility for Mexicans in the US as a potential increase of Hispanics in the Republican party?
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mmendoza01 Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #34
45. Mexicans becoming pukes....
From what I have seen my generation (I'm 22) is a LOT more likely if they were born in the USA to become pukes unfortunately. The majority I'd say (70/30) are democrats and would vote democratic in any election, however our parents generation is like (85/15) because of the Democratic party's commitment to education, tolerance, and helping the poor. Unfortunately, a huge amount of people have fallen for the religious BS anti-homosexual stuff that the GOP has put out.

A poster earlier asked about the roads. Overall they are safe and there is no problem unless you are driving at night in a really rural area. You might have a problem with someone wanting money but after you give them a little bit they'll leave you alone. Violent crime is mainly w/ the narcos.

Whoever the new DNC head is I'm going to write and encourage him to do something to try and get more Mexican-Americans that are here legally into citizenship classes. Overall they would vote Democrat like African-Americans! Nevada & NM would turn blue.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. The reason I ask
I see a lot of Mexican families following the "traditional" American dream of coming here, working hard and moving "up", ie having a lot of consumer goods/wealth which makes folks ripe for the "I got mine, why should I help anybody else?" anti tax, anti social-welfare sort of typical republican thinking. And like a lot of traditional REAL conservatives, they are being taken for a BIG ride by the neocons.
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sherilocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #26
35. Welcome to DU and a question
When I was in Costa Rica, a Mexican company was rebuilding the northern part of the pan-American highway. When I asked about driving the highway to get to Central America from the US, I was told that it is too dangerous to travel through Mexico. Considering the number of American tourists who love to travel by car and motorhome and who could contribute to the economy of Mexico, why does the Mexican government allow these banditos to terrorize tourists on the pan-American highway?
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #26
36. Hi mmendoza01!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #26
37. I was impressed with the Mexican people
When I visited Mexico last year. Lord, they work hard!

I am friends with an entire family of first-generation Mexican-Americans here in Chicago. Parents came here when the eldest were babies to give them a better life. Very warm, very fun people, love to party. Once they like you, you become part of the family.

However, they are becoming steadily disillusioned with the political system in America. One of them is even thinking of emigrating!
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BuyingThyme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
27. Republicans and Democrats RECRUIT Them
Evil Republicans allow immigration to bring down labor costs in the U.S.

Stupid Democrats argue that if the Mexicans are not allowed to immigrate freely, nobody will pick the grapes and clean the restrooms, etc.

Of course, Americans would be perfectly willing to do this work if the employers would pay market rates and if the stupid Democrats wouldn't continue to denigrate the would-be American workers.

Solution: Find more smart Democrats who support Americans and our labor unions.




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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
40. My son is currently working in Mexico and loves it there
He likes the city and the countryside; the people he meets are cool; and there's plenty for him to see and do. It's been nothing but a positive experience for him so far.
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orpupilofnature57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
41. Poverty,corruption,oppression.Must be the weather here.
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dogman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
47. No right to organize labor.
Don't worry with the help of the GOP we'll catch up to them.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
48. Don't ask questions like that
Asking questions like that can only lead to one thing:

A deeper understanding of the problem and what causes it.

And, of course, that only leads to finding a more focused, humane way of solving the problem.

Don't ask questions like that.

It's easier just to shout hateful rhetoric.


;)
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