Trump and the Undocumented

Posted: January 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

Trump can’t do more to eliminate undocumented workers than Obama has without deeply hurting families and the economy…
Like going out to lunch or dinner? Get ready to pay a lot more for that…as cheap kitchen help disappears…

Like having a job? Get ready to be unemployed as businesses hurt by worker deportations close and bring down other businesses…

Like to fix your home? Get ready to pay up your nose as cheap construction labor disappears

Hate how your life style has suffered with stagnant wages and increasing prices? Get ready to suffer more as Trump’s new regime transfers more wealth to the rich, does nothing to bring back jobs, and eliminates programs that help you when you’re down…

You think the current immigration debate is really about stopping people from flouting the law? Wait till your life turns downwards even more and see if you remain a ‘law abiding’ citizen…


Deep State Studies

Posted: January 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

In Our last post Alt Media Rising — And Its Discontents, We said: These “left” and “right” alternative media need to be married: the political and economic analysis of the &…

Source: Deep State Studies

There is a lot of misinformation out there. I actually teach this stuff and know what the facts are. You can google my points below:
1. The flow of undocumented workers has been from and not to the U.S. since 2005. Thus, building or making the border more ‘secure,’ something that is impossible anyway, would actually keep the undocumented from leaving the U.S.
2. Obama has deported more undocumented than any other president. That is why Latinos call him the “Deporter in Chief”
3. Yes undocumented get some health benefits. But this happens because of actions at the local level rather than by federal policy. See the article below.
4. Why do cities and counties provide such services? First, because it is cheaper to do preventive care than pay for undocumented using hospital emergency rooms. Second, because the undocumented provide essential cheap labor for many local industries, from restaurants to crop harvesting to house cleaning to construction. Local economies need their labor. Trump has used undocumented Polish labor at some of his construction projects. And documented labor will not do those jobs at those wages. Third, undocumented labor contribute enormous amounts of tax revenue, often using other people’s Social Security numbers, but do not collect any unemployment, housing, disability, public housing, or retirement benefits. In fact, the revenue they contribute to social security has kept that program afloat financially and makes possible the retirement of documented Americans. This is a fact. Finally, the U.S. Offers very few immigration opportunities to Latin American countries as opposed to European countries. Thus, the economic demand for cheap labor, the destruction of economies in Latin America by American companies investing there, produce pressures which result in people having to come here without papers. It is a complex process where the U.S. is just as responsible for what is happening as the people sneaking in.

How to Fight Trump

Posted: November 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

I know these are troubling times. We are justified to fear what can happen in a Trump presidency. We know history and know how calamitous history can be with even small choices that snowball into something bigger. We do have to be vigilant, organize, and mobilize. That being said, I think we can also take a more positive path.

Trump did not get anywhere near a majority of the electorate. He got about 1/4. The vast majority of people voted for Hillary or did not or could not vote. The majority were not motivated to support Trump or his policies.

You will also notice that Hillary got a great deal of support from urban areas. This is not simply because these areas have more educated people as well as more people working in the new economy of technology and media. It is also true that the urban areas are also the place that have the most innovation and progressive experiments. We have to capitalize and mobilize around those.

Much of Trump’s support came from people feeling the severe dislocation caused by an economy driven by automation and globalization. He won’t be able to reverse those, even if the Congress goes along with his ideas. What we need is a path that can take advantage of those processes in order to shift the economy towards satisfying human needs. The best place to engage in these experiments is in urban areas.

One example. We can’t stop capitalist firms from shifting their manufacturing to foreign countries. Import duties won’t do anything more than limit consumption here and send our economy into recession. But we can develop different kinds of capitalist ownership models that can keep jobs here while also producing profit, though probably lower than what firms are now used to.

This means developing community and worker owned firms. Such firms will permit workers and urban residents to gain from the automation of manufacturing. This could take the form of higher income and/or reduced work weeks. Such firms are also unlikely to ship jobs overseas by their owners. The best example of this is the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. They are the only community owned team whose success has never caused them to abandon their small market community.


There are plenty of more of these kinds of social and economic experiments that we should promote and implement in urban areas. Cities can become islands of ‘hope and change’ during the troubled times that Trump will create. It will also create the foundations that will make the progressive movement succeed by the end of Trump’s four years.

Trump’s victory is the end of liberalism and the rise of progressivism. Neo-liberalism, in particular, is dead. Trump has not and will not kill it. But he will help mobilize an opposition that will. He will prove to his supporters that he is not the answer.

Destroying Obamacare without a single payer system to replace it, is not the answer. Bombing ISIS families will just create more terrorism. Killing NAFTA will not bring jobs back. Lowering taxes on the rich will not reverse growing inequality. He will not build a wall across the southern border and not just because Mexico won’t pay for it. He may yet surprise us all and not even try to do any of those things. He could have been just blowing hot smoke after all. But his Republicans in Congress will push him towards those goals. And the country will suffer.


Trump’s victory is a sign that half-measures, like Obamacare don’t work. It is a sign that we want radical solutions to our growing problems, like inequality. It is a sign that people don’t trust our political leaders. And Trump will show that his measures go in the entirely wrong direction. And that is how the country will turn back towards a truly progressive agenda. Many of his supporters will turn against him and his Republican policies. Frustration will increase. People will wonder what went wrong. It will be the responsibility of progressives to deliver the ideas and the organization to point till a true solution.

Get ready Bernie…your time will come…maybe before 4 years are up!

It was during my first year in college and I was a teenager. I showed up at a meeting of a squatters organization on the Upper West Side. None of them spoke Spanish. They found out that the authorities had been tipped off to what we were up to. They had to take the buildings much earlier than they had planned. So, they asked me to lead the families into some buildings one night in August. I said sure. I led about 50-60 mothers and children up Amsterdam Avenue from the 80s up to 111. As we got closer, I saw that there were a lot of cop cars with lights in front of the buildings we were going to take. About two blocks from our destination, I could also see that there were about 30 cops in riot gear waiting for us. I asked the mothers if they still wanted to go ahead and they said yes. We walked up to the cops and I saw that an officer in white shirt was telling the cops to let us pass. They were probably afraid of the bad publicity if they beat us up. So, we went past them and into the first building. We were screaming and running up the stairs and opening up the apartments. It was pure joy. When I got to the top, I heard someone calling my name from the first floor. It was one of the gringo organizers. He told me that I had gone into the wrong building. It was the building around the corner that had been secretly prepped for occupation. Hahaha… So, I led the families out of the building, past the surprised cops, and into the correct building. We squatted, de-squatted, and squatted again…

This was part of a larger squatters movement on the Upper West Side that included Latino militant groups like El Comite. A documentary about this period was done in 1971. It was called Break and Enter/Rompiendo Puertas.

Here is the trailer… 

2nd Amendment

Posted: July 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

I agree that the issue with the 2nd Amendment is not about gun technology. It is not about machine guns or assault rifles. It is about the rights established in the Constitution and for whom those rights were established. On that basis, the 2nd Amendment does not give all individuals the right to own guns… Preventing slave rebellions was one of the primary reasons for the 2nd Amendment. The larger reason was that the Founders never intended for everyone to be armed.  Conservatives insist on an “original” reading of what the founders wrote. But their reading of the Constitution is not original and just plain wrong.  If we want to know what the founding fathers thought, we cannot limit ourselves only to the vaguely written second amendment. We have to read and understand the entire Constitution.image

When we read the full Constitution, we see clearly what they thought and agreed to. Yes, they were afraid of tyrannical leaders. But they were also afraid of the people. That is why they did not give the right to vote to the vast majority of people living in the 13 colonies. That is why they made the Senate a body whose members were selected by the legislatures of the 13 new states and not by voters. That is why they created the Electoral College to establish a buffer between the voters choice, as limited as it was, and the ultimate decision about who becomes president. That is why states are equally represented in the Senate, no matter how large or small their population. All of these features of the proposed new state appeared or were not changed in the body of the Constitution. The Amendments were meant only to amend, not eliminate, the powers enumerated to the federated state created by the new Constitution. They did not change the kind of government they wanted or who was allowed to have input. They merely softened it’s impact and offered citizens, who were a small minority, the right to challenge the state through speech, assembly, etc. But these enumerated rights were not given to the entire population. Those rights were given to only the small number of people who had the right to vote.

So, when the 2nd amendment specifies a “well-regulated militia”, they were not talking about all the people. They were referring to a small volunteer militia regulated by the state governments (to prevent slave rebellion, as some historians have shown). They did not want to arm all the people. Certainly not slaves. Just as they did not want to fully enfranchise all of the population. The passage of the XV Amendment in 1869 established a right to vote. But it does not explain how the majority of the people can get that right. Women still could not vote till 1920. And Native Americans could not vote till 1921. The Founders were, in fact, deeply afraid of, what they perceived as, the people’s irrationality and passion. Giving the people, the vast majority of which were not given the right to vote, a right to bear arms is the last thing they wanted to do. The writers of the constitution were ambivalent about democracy and vague in the writing of this document. But they were not illogical. They categorically did not give all of the people “the right to bear arms.”

A lot of our knowledge of early America comes from westerns on TV and movies. Those were 19th century experiences with people moving out to territories out west. In the original 13 colonies, people lived mostly in towns and cities. And guns were restricted. Or, at least, Natives, slaves, and propertyless white men were not given the legal right to own guns in colonial and post-Constitution 18th century America. There is plenty of historical research that confirms that. Here is one… “Laws largely proscribed Indian militia service, thus limiting Indians’ lawful access to guns, and numerous colonial statutes forbade the sale of guns or ammunition to Indians altogether.”