Tag Archives: Myths

Second-Generation Americans Against Refugees

31 Jul

Once again, Tony Fracasso from the long-running broad-comedy show “SpeakupWNY” weighed in, this time on immigration, in my most recent Kathy from Williamsville thread

So Alan,

Do you support mass migration of people from other countries to the USA? Yes or No.

Do realize this cost the net tax payers tens of millions of dollars?

80 years ago when people immigrated to the USA they still followed the rules on the books plus we didn’t have the costly social programs we have today.

Like Derek Noakes loves animal videos on YouTube, Fracasso loves to demand “yes or no” answers and to use the phrase “net tax payers”. My response

Do I support “mass migration of people from other countries to the USA”? Absolutely. Immigrants like the Fracasso family helped make this country what it is today. Never mind that Italian immigrants found it hard to assimilate, were discriminated against, subjected to hatred and bigotry, and tended to live amongst each other in homogeneous neighborhoods, now Italians are considered to be just like our WASP founders.

Of course, it’s also a complete lie that immigrants are a net drain on the economy. For instance,

Via Buffalo Niagara Partnership

Immigration grows the economy and helps enhance local cultural vitality. Immigrants also create jobs for native Americans here in WNY:

Via Buffalo Niagara Partnership

So, if you’ll notice above, I pointed out to Fracasso that, 100 years ago, Italians were treated rather horribly by native-born Americans, and like new immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries, they found it tough to assimilate and kept to themselves in insular communities. Fracasso responds

That was then and this is now. To different scenarios. When are families came over a 100 years ago the country was in a different economic state. We also didn’t have the social programs we have now compared to 100 years ago. This has nothing to do with bigotry or hatred. Is that a tactic in the Democratic Playbook? When someone doesn’t agree with you call them a hater or a bigot?

I’m also rather sure the mass of immigrants that came over 100 years ago came into the states by following the laws.

Why do we have borders and laws Alan?

So, here’s my response: 

Right. YOUR playbook is to shout about how YOUR ancestors came here “legally” at a time when immigration from Europe was essentially unrestricted, save for the “not an anarchist” box that needed to be ticked before you could get tested for syphilis on your way through Ellis Island.

But when it comes to brown, Spanish-speaking tweens from Central America who are escaping social, economic, and political problems that are not dissimilar from, say, turn-of-the-century Italy, all of a sudden it’s an “invasion”. Yet you want to sit there and tell me that’s not bigotry or hatred – or that the bigotry and hatred that was hurled at Italian and Irish immigrants 110 years ago was not just as disgusting and sordid.

We do have borders, Tony. When was the last time you actually crossed the southern border? Have you ever crossed the Rio Grande or taken a day trip to TJ? Ever? Have you ever witnessed the interminable lines, super-tight security, and state-of-the-art anti-drug and human trafficking measures put in place at even remote crossings in the desert Southwest? Have you seen the miles and miles of barren wasteland out that way?

Yes, we have borders and they are reasonably protected, and here’s the reason why this is all about bigoted hysteria and not at all about facts:

While illegal immigration of kids 12 and under has shot up by 117%, theoverall number of people of any age crossing illegally is at a 40 year low, and even the number of kids crossing has dropped.

Most of the anti-immigrant hysteria stems from a conscious or unconscious belief that Obama is a foreign Manchurian candidate who is here to destroy America as we know it. If you don’t believe me, just look at Weppner’s own birtherite hysterics.

Furthermore, the kids are mostly from Honduras: “The fact that Hondurans represent the highest percentage [27%], followed by Salvadorans, makes clear that the major push factors are violence,” said Susan Terrio, an anthropology professor at Georgetown University who has interviewed dozens of unaccompanied immigrant children.”

“Invaders” my ass.

Yes, we do have borders and they’re being reasonably defended, and we also have laws. I don’t know why you’d so quickly invalidate your own argument, but the law states that undocumented unaccompanied minors cannot be deported before they have a court hearing – due process.

What you’re really saying is, “why won’t Obama disobey the law?

Here is a Forbes list of 7 myths about immigration

Myth 1: There are more immigrants than ever and these immigrants break the mold of previous waves.

Between 1860 and 1920, fourteen percent of the population was foreign-born. The average for the 20th century is 10-plus percent. The proportion is not different today—about 13 percent. Until the 1880s immigration originated in northern and western Europe but in subsequent decades they came from southern, central and eastern Europe, which was culturally, politically and economically different. Not to mention Asians, who arrived in significant numbers.

The difference seems to be national origin, not numbers. 

Myth 4: Present-day immigrants do not assimilate, unlike previous waves.

About forty percent of newcomers speak reasonable English anyway, but the three-generation pattern echoes that of previous immigrants: the second generation is bilingual but speaks English better and the third generation speaks only English. By the third generation, out-marriage is strong among immigrants. A century ago, seventeen percent of second-generation Italian immigrants married non-Italians while 20 percent of second-generation Mexicans marry non-Hispanics today (even though, given the numbers, it is easier for them to marry another Mexican.) Second-generation immigrants do better than their parents, as in the past.

That proves my point about Italians, supra

Myth 5: Low-skilled workers take away jobs, lower salaries and hurt the economy.

As producers and consumers, illegal immigrants enlarge the economic pie by at least $36 billion a year. That number would triple if they were legal—various studies point to a $1 trillion impact on GDP in ten years. Low-skilled workers fulfill a need by taking jobs others do not want, letting natives move up the scale. Without them employers would need to pay higher salaries, making those products and services more expensive. They have a tiny negative effect on wages at the lowest end that is offset by a rise in the wages of those who move up—the net effect is a 1.8% rise.

That’s right – even undocumented immigrants help to grow the economy

Myth 7: Immigrants don´t pay taxes and cost more than they contribute. 

Immigrants pay many local and state levies, including real estate and sales taxes, and about $7 billion in Social Security taxes. Between the 1970s and the 1990s they represented $25 billion more in government revenue than what they cost. They would contribute much more if they were documented. Most immigrant children have at least one parent who is a citizen, so counting all of them as part of the cost of immigration is deceptive. The welfare state was never a “pull” factor: until after World War II immigrants were not entitled to relief programs. Immigrants did not cause government spending to grow by a factor of 50 in one century.

These myths are further confirmed and expanded upon in this Washington Post article, and this article from the Southern Poverty Law Center

If people like Fracasso are so concerned about facts and the law, then it would likely behoove them to educate themselves not only about the facts about immigration – legal and not – and what laws apply. 

Immigrants do not harm or destroy America – they make America stronger. 

Debunking The Myths

29 Apr

This isn’t turning into a sports blog, but I want to leave you with a couple ideas as we wrap up the Sabres season. You will hear a lot of opinions in the next several months about what the Sabres need to do for next year. Those opinions tend to perpetuate a number of myths that need to be exposed, so we can finally move on:

1) The Sabres aren’t big enough and tough enough. This was probably true three years ago. Its not anymore, and if you still think so, then you are paying more attention to hits and penalty minutes than goals. Goals are what actually win the games, remember. Hits are just a means to an end. The Sabres led the 16 teams in the first round of this year’s playoffs in hits. And it went 0fer on the power play. Which do you think was a bigger factor? During the President’s Trophy winning year, we had no fourth line. We bulked up so much we have about two and a half fourth lines now (Gaustad, Grier, Mair, Kaleta, McCormick, Ellis, Mancari, Kennedy sometimes?, Stafford sometimes?). You can wish our Top 6 forwards were bigger, but that’s a different problem, and we’ll get to that in a second.

2) Lindy doesn’t get enough from his players. The supposed proof of this is that players that leave Buffalo have great success elsewhere. Or, the players that come in flame out. Looking at the numbers proves otherwise. Briere and Drury have been famous over priced busts in Philly and NY. Briere can’t stay healthy, and when he is (75 games this year), his 26 goals/27 assists don’t compare to his 95 points in his last year with the Sabres. Drury is worse – he had fewer points this year with the Rangers (32) than he had goals (37) his last year in Buffalo.

But what of the other names? Campbell’s production has slipped, though less than Briere and Drury. But it should be telling that despite his Olympic sized salary, he couldn’t make the Canadian team this year. Satan may be a Sabre killer this past playoff round, but he was never as productive again as he was with the Sabres, and his 9 goals in 38 games this year is hardly noteworthy. Zubrus was a half a point a game player with the Sabres and has stayed that way with the Devils. MacArthur managed 35 points with his minus 16 this year, and while he scored for Atlanta more than Torres scored for us, that’s not saying much. Paille had 19 points with the Bruins this year, and 27 and 35 points the last two years with Buffalo. Hardly tearing things up in his new digs, though in the playoff series, he stayed true to form – moments of brilliance and long stretches of silence. I could relate all the numbers, but believe me the same holds true for Kotalik, Bernier, Moore and Paetsch. And Thibault and Tellqvist aren’t in the league anymore. Afinogenov is the exception that proves the rule (though he was still a minus 17).

 I know as Sabres fans we think that The New Guy will be better than our Old Guys we’re sick of. But not necessarily. Most guys are what they are, and if anything, Lindy gets more out of them.

3. The Sabres need to prove they are serious about winning the Stanley Cup. You hear this one on the radio all the time: “If my team cared, they’d make a big trade!” The Devils traded away the future for Kovalchuk, and the Caps picked up four depth players at the trade deadline. How well did it work for them? I don’t need Darcy to make a trade to prove he cares. I just need him to make the team better. My fault of Dracy is he learns lessons too late, and learns them too well. We were too small in 2006-2007, so we got bigger (Montador, Grier, etc). Now we’re big, but can’t score. This off season he’ll fix the scoring, but ignore the fact our defensive corps (taken for granted this season) is getting blown up, and we’ll need major help on the back end. I need Darcy to think ahead, not prove anything to me.

On a side note, that President’s Trophy team looks pretty good now that the Sharks and Caps got booted in the first round when they won it, huh? Conference finals suddenly seems respectable when you are cursed with that shiny albatross.

4. The problem with this team is our Top 6 Forwards. This is the most important one, and the most constant. But it misses the point. Want me to prove it? Name our Top 6 Forwards: Roy, Connolly, Pominville, Vanek. That’s only 4. Do you count Hecht and Stafford? You shouldn’t. Hecht is a 3rd line guy, and Stafford would rather be playing Guitar Hero. My problem with my Top 6 is not that they are too small, or too finesse, or too scared of the playoffs. My problem is we only have 4 of them.

Name our lines for next year. Here is what I come up with:

Top Line:                               Vanek          (blank)              (blank)

Second Line:                      Pominville       Roy                Ennis

Third (Checking ) Line:      Grier            Gaustad            Hecht

Fourth (Fighting) Line:    Kaleta             Mair                McCormick

Waiting for someone to get hurt: Kennedy, Gerbe

Let’s do the Kotalik/Afinogenov thing: addition by subtraction. Connolly and Stafford need to be off this team, and I have two empty roster spots. I need a top center and a top right winger. Maybe if we had six Top 6 guys we’d have a shot at scoring some timely goals.

Last note: this is not a myth to be debunked, just a statement of fact. Marty Biron needs to be on this team next year. Making a Cup run will feel a whole lot more right with ole Pale Eyes onboard. Srsly.