Many people write or speak to tell us what we should think. Some want to be believed because they are experts, or think they are. Some want to be believed because they claim to speak for us. Some have had revelations. Others want us to trust them because they communicate through prominent media outlets. Many tell us what we should think. I write to encourage my readers to think for themselves. I write to ask you to inquire. Question me. Have fun.

  
Comment of the Day
How to pay for the wall?

Apr 04, 2017

If you want to build the wall, pay for it with your own money. How much of your own money are you willing to donate? Trump received 62,979,879 votes. If each of Trump’s supporters voluntarily donates at least $1,000, which corresponds to about $42 per month for the next two years, and if we encourage those who are more affluent to double their donations, then Trump can have on hand about $100 billion, which may suffice for a substantial piece of the wall. Hence, all of you who are talking loudly about spending my money on building this wall, stay away from my wallet, but open your own wallet and send money to the “Build the Wall Fund.” Put your money where your mouth is.

PREVIOUS COMMENTS
What is wrong with Russia?
Dec 22, 2015

It appears that Russian leaders cannot free themselves from the medieval concept of regional influence, where weaker neighbors were subdued into becoming serf states. Is anyone capable of explaining to them that in these times of a global economy, any influence comes from economic strength? Russia, thanks to its size, natural resources and well-educated labor force, has everything that it takes to maintain a dominant position in the region, just by maintaining free trade with all its neighbors. It can do so without military interventions in Georgia and in Ukraine. Russia has everything that it takes to be a respected wealthier neighbor, to whom everyone in the region would turn for help when needed. Instead, it is a bully and a hooligan. It would take so little to change that. But it is so hard for Russia to do it. 

More
Closed mind for closed borders
Nov 19, 2015

Known to some as a libertarian, Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. speaks against open borders. His argument is that it is an infraction against private property. He misses the point that most people migrate just because Mr. Rockwell’s neighbors want them on their private property – for picking apples, washing the dishes or writing a computer code. Then, Mr. Rockwell wrongly laments that those foreigners invited by his neighbors violate his private property rights by loitering in the public spaces that he frequents. He wants the government to deny the rights of his neighbors to do on their private property whatever they wish, so he will not need to face immigrants in the public spaces. Mr. Rockwell left the train called “liberty” at the station called “xenophobia.”    

More
They do not know…
Sep 14, 2015

Mr. Trump says: “A lot of what I’m doing is by instinct.” I prefer that our President would make decisions based on systematic due diligence. The instinct that guides Mr. Trump in his professional life arrives from his vast experience, starting when he was growing up under the mentoring of his successful father, followed by a solid education and years of practice. Mr. Trump's confidence is misguiding, as it gives his supporters the illusion that someone who mastered real estate dealing can be equally skillful as President. It is similar to the illusion surrounding Dr. Carson, that he can be as good a President as he is a brain surgeon. If both gentlemen were humbler, they would realize that they qualify to be President equally as much as Mr. Trump qualifies to conduct brain surgeries and Dr. Carson to run Mr. Trump’s real estate empire. The problem is not that they do not know many things they should; the problem is that they do not realize that.

More
Freedom cannot be legislated, its restriction can
Mar 31, 2015

Indiana voted in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In his WSJ piece, Gov. Mike Pence claims it was needed to protect the religious freedoms of Hoosiers. Every legislative act by its nature limits someone’s freedom. The only way of increasing freedom is by identifying existing laws that curb personal liberties and then eliminating them.  Hence, if Gov. Pence sees that under some circumstances, the religious freedoms of Hoosiers are not respected, he could correct the situation by eliminating laws causing this problem. We have the Bill of Rights, and it suffices. No “enhancements” are needed.

More
Greed-driven health care
Feb 27, 2015

The solution to our health care crisis is in the implementation of more market-driven mechanisms into our health care policy. This is the only way to give patients the freedom to make decisions regarding their care between them and their doctors; not having these decisions made by faceless bureaucrats. The biggest obstacle in implementing a change of this kind is in a deep public conviction that the introduction of the free market into health care will result in doctors, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry and everybody else involved being guided by their greed, not the best interests of sick people. The biggest challenge in overturning Obamacare is not in Washington. It is in winning the argument with Americans that free-market-driven health care can serve their needs much better than the government-distributed one.

More
Immigration inaction
Feb 17, 2015

Congress could not agree on the immigration reform. President Obama resorted to executive orders. Now he is stopped by a court order. It is sad to see that this legal wrangling substitutes for real discussion on why we have this immigration crisis and what we should do to get it resolved. Most Americans have strong, ideologically motivated views about immigration. If they were right, the policies implemented would work, and we would not have a problem anymore. We have an ongoing problem because most Americans are wrong in their understanding of what caused massive illegal immigration and what we should do to get it corrected. There will be no progress until someone  addresses this problem. For more about why we have this immigration mess go here.  

More
More Comments

Immigration impasse explained

Why is it so hard to reach any reasonable compromise on the immigration issue? It is because faults of our immigration policy are about hundred years old and most of us are accustomed to accept them as unquestioned wisdom. The first comprehensive immigration law in the U.S., the Immigration Act of 1924 bears the sins of the times, which had barely been openly explained and duly criticized.

Before 1924 we had mostly unfettered immigration; only Europeans were allowed to immigrate. That immigration was completely different from what we experience now. It was a free movement of people back and forth in search of jobs and new opportunities; for every three immigrants arriving, one left. Every time immigrants started coming from a new region, the most adventurous individuals arrived first to scout the opportunities. Families arrived later. Despite what they declared at the entry point, if they were not fortunate here they returned to their homeland, knowing that they could come back later.

Before 1890 most immigrants were coming from England, Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia and Netherlands. Gradually, these countries could not provide as many immigrants as the U.S. needed. As a result, after 1890 most new immigrants were Jews, Poles and others from Eastern Europe; as well as Italians from Southern Europe. Culturally they were far apart from Western Europeans, not only ethnically but also because that they were coming from backward regions; they were poor and mostly illiterate. They settled largely in American cities, forming ethnic enclaves where English was barely spoken, where life was completely different than on the main street. Many Americans were seriously concerned that these new immigrants would never assimilate and that they would destroy American society.

These fears need to be seen in the context of times when many scientists believed that racially some people might be superior to others. That doubtful science fueled anti-immigration sentiment at the beginning of the 20th century; as for many Americans it appeared obvious that those new waves of immigrants were inferior, not worthy to be accepted into American society. This intention of stopping the influx of immigrants considered racially undesirable was reflected in the Immigration Act of 1924. The government bureaucrats were put in charge of shaping the ethnic composition of the nation.

Parallel, similar to today, immigrants before 1924, mostly low skill laborers, were willing to work for less than Americans. Likewise today, Americans did not understand that the low skill labor expands economy, and as such creates more of better paid jobs, that mostly only Americans can take. By cutting off inflow of cheap immigrant labor The Immigration Act of 1924 assigned to the government bureaucrats the task of protecting the lazy Americans from the competition of industrious immigrants.

Again, we have to see this approach in the context of the beginning of the 20th century. Those were times when socialistic ideas were gaining recognition. The Soviet Union had a promising start, and even many of its critics, disapproving drastic methods, saw some value in socialism as a concept.

In capitalism, as it was understood by the Founding Fathers, the society functions the best when all people are given equal opportunities to pursue their individual interests, when government has no agenda in implementing any political programs, and when it is limited to protecting individuals’ freedom of enterprise. In opposition, socialists see a lot of chaos, inefficiency and injustice in those unregulated actions of individuals, and they believe that we need a government to form lofty political goals and that it is justifiable to limit freedoms of some individuals in order to implement those policies.

Those socialistic concepts gained popularity in the beginning of the 20th century. Prohibition, voted in in 1920, is the best example of Americans misguided by illusions that the government by its central planning and forceful implementation of lofty sounding ideas can shape the nation. The Immigration Act of 1924 was another example of Americans lured into a trap of delusions that socialism might work.

Before 1924, immigration was a part of economy; when it was up more immigrants arrived and stayed, when it was down fewer arrived and fewer stayed. Since 1924, immigration has become a political issue separated from the economy. That separation from the economy was even straightened by later immigration laws. Particularly, in 1965 the concept of a family sponsored immigration was introduced, turning the right to immigrate to the U.S. into a gift that a wealthy nation has been giving to a very lucky few among the poor of the world.

Every time the government applies abstract policies to economy it distorts the market, and the black market appears. In this case it is illegal immigration. The nation faced it big time in 1986, but no one asked how it occurred in the first place. Illusions that socialism might work could be understood in 1924, but in 1986 the Soviet Union was on the brink of bankruptcy; President Reagan called it “the evil empire.” Somehow no one in the entire U.S. could see that our immigration policy was not working because it was built on the same socialistic concepts that led to the evils and failing of the Soviet system. So, instead of reversing the policy, in 1986 Americans decided to continue with even greater determination what did not work so far. More money was thrown into border protection. American employers were required to verify the immigration status of new hires.

For the first 210 years of the Republic, Americans had the freedom to hire whomever they pleased regardless if this person came from across the street, across the ocean or across the Rio Grande. This freedom was taken away in 1986, and this law could and should be challenged as unconstitutional. With the 1986 immigration law, every employer in America was turned into an unpaid government official obligated to execute the law, which government could not enforce itself.

The immigration law of 1986 meant even more decisive departure from the fundamental Americans values of freedom of individual and small government, and expansion of government intrusion into economy and individual lives of Americans. It is as pure socialism as it could be. Socialism did not work anywhere else before and it has not been working when applied here. In result, our immigration crisis is even deeper now that it was ever before.

Still, in immigration debates as we have presently, the voices explaining the very reasons for our immigration mess are barely heard. According to the recent opinion poll, about 55% of Americans want even fewer immigrants than we have now. Similarly, as one hundred years ago, blindfolded by xenophobia, they fall again into a trap of socialism.

Looking at one hundred years of Americans’ confusion on immigration only one conclusion comes to mind, that nonsense, even if supported by majority of Americans, even if voted in by the both chambers of Congress, even if signed into law by President – it is still just nonsense only.

This essay is an abbreviated version of a lecture: “Why do we have such a big immigration mess?” delivered on October 2, 2013 at the Heartland Institute, in Chicago.

One thought on “Immigration impasse explained

  1. Victor Frazee

    Dear Mr. Kowalczyk,
    In regards to the immigration issue videos produced by Roy Beck, how can any average minded adult with an average education not see that the points that Mr. Beck discusses are anything but true? Let’s put it this way, if the Pilgrims had not landed on this continent, had others from Europe not followed them, would the North American Continent still be populated by various Native American Indian Tribes? It is an obvious conclusion that once word of mouth made its way back to Europe and other places that life is so much better here, others followed. That is what is happening now with people from places where legal or illegal immigrants come from. They are telling their friends and families to ‘come one over’.
    His point is that for every 1 million people who come to this country (legally or otherwise) it will not make a difference the world over. The overwhelming majority are extremely impoverished people and thus become totally and instantly dependant upon our support infrastructure the minute they enter our Country. Because they are overwhelmingly low wage earners, they do nothing more than exacerbate the decline of an already severely diminished capacity to sustain that kind of growth by not paying adequate income tax. Regardless of what anyone says, regardless of social, political, economic or religious perspective, we simply cannot afford the population growth. That is the only point Mr. Beck tried to convey. Furthermore, Mr. Beck exhibited no bias of any kind. He merely provided the information, based on past circumstances and future projections for the viewers to reach their own conclusion. I’ve lived abroad for 17 years throughout Asia.

About me

I was born in 1951 in Gdansk, Poland.
Since my high school years, I have interest in politics and love for writing. During my college years, I started writing to student papers and soon became freelance author to major Polish political magazines.

In 1980 I wrote a book “Czy w Polsce może być lepiej?” (“Could it be better in Poland?” – this book is available only in Polish) analyzing major problems in Poland at the time and outlining possible solutions.

I was among those Polish political writers who by their writings contributed to the peaceful system transformation that finally took place in 1989. Since 1985, I live in the Chicago area. I went through the hard times typical of many immigrants. Working in service business, I have seen the best and the worst places, I met the poorest and the richest. I have seen and experienced America not known to most of politicians, business people, and other political writers. For eleven years, I ran my own company. Presently, I am an independent consultant.

My political writing comes out of necessity. I write when I see that the prevailing voices on the political arena are misleading or erroneous. Abstract mathematics and control theory (of complex technological processes) strongly influenced my understanding of social phenomena. In the past, my opponents rebuked my mathematical mind as cold, soulless, and inhuman. On a few occasions I was prized for my engineer’s precision and logic.

I have a master’s degree in electronic engineering with a specialization in mathematical machines from Politechnika Gdańska (Technical University of Gdansk).

... more