Positive Presence

  • 2008-10-16
  • By Harry Gaffney
Re: Goodbye Latvians (issue no. 625)

Jimmy Dome's recent contribution decrying visa free travel by Latvians to the U.S. is worthy of comment. He seems to think a few more immigrants from this country - legal or otherwise will result in unfortunate Americans losing their jobs. He is obviously unaware of the financial crisis affecting the world at the moment so I'll explain.  Known as the credit crunch and originating in his home country, it was caused by the U.S. government's failure to regulate its financial industry.

Finance houses are going to the wall with monotonous regularity, and those still in the survival race have either no money to lend or are reluctant to part with cash without cast iron security resulting in countless small companies laying off staff. So you see, Jimmy, a few more Latvian immigrants will have to go home to match the hardship placed upon it's citizens by your own government's inadequacy. Thanks to poor decision making by its bosses who continued to produce models that people didn't want - your car industry is a mess. Detroit has been described as a graveyard, propped up by Toyota. Are immigrants to blame for that?

Over the years immigrants to any country have had a positive effect - regardless of the odd lapse in discipline. Far from stealing jobs they fill the void created by a shortage of skills or an unwillingness to do perceived unattractive jobs for lower wages. The thriving Latvian community in New York is a good example.

In the early part of the last century the deprived citizens of one small country crossed the Atlantic in droves as they fled a bullying neighbor. They had a huge impact over the years even though they also provided some of American history's most famous gangsters. But they also gave the U.S. sixteen of it's presidents including the last five. That country is Ireland which itself has a large Latvian community with its own TV channel.

No one wants a weak U.S., and where the huge sums required to steady the ship will come from is anybody's guess. The printing presses will no doubt be busy.


 

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