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View Diary: The contours of the immigration debate (50 comments)

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  •  Slaves *did* lower wages. (2+ / 0-)
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    CwV, juancito

    One reason so many White Guys were willing fight against the Confederacy was that they knew they could never compete against slave labor.

    That is why any solution to our immigration problem must not allow people to stay with sub-citizen status. Either they go home (unlikely) or we grant them full, voting Citizenship.

    No underclass! They must be here as equals or not at all.

    •  Exactly right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, juancito

      cheap labor does suppress wages and lack of documents make it easy to keep that cheap labor cheap.
      Make them legal, whether citizens or on work visas or whatever, and it becomes much more difficult to screw them out of decent wages.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:21:26 AM PST

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    •  Both Lincoln & Marx (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bmcphail, a2nite

      did make comparisons to conditions of slaves and those working in the northern factories.

      Also, in the antebellum slave states, it was common to use migrants, such as the Irish, for the really dangerous, life and limb threatening, kind of jobs, rather than slaves. Why risk your private property?

      These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

      by HugoDog on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 11:33:26 AM PST

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      •  New Basin Canal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HugoDog

        Wikipedia:

        The New Basin Canal was constructed by the New Orleans Canal and Banking Company, incorporated in 1831 with a capital of 4 million United States dollars. The intent was to build a shipping canal from Lake Pontchartrain through the swamp land to the booming Uptown or "American" section of the city, to compete with the existing Carondelet Canal in the Downtown Creole part of the city. Work commenced the following year. Yellow fever ravaged workers in the swamp in back of the town, and the loss of slaves was judged too expensive, so most of the work was done by Irish immigrant laborers. The Irish workers died in great numbers, but the Company had no trouble finding more workers to take their place, as shiploads of poor Irishmen arrived in New Orleans, and many were willing to risk their lives in hazardous backbreaking work for a chance to earn $1 a day. By 1838, after an expense of $1million, the 60-foot (18 m) wide 3.17-mile (5.10 km) long canal was complete enough to be opened to small vessels drawing 6 feet (1.8 m), with $0.375 per ton charged for passage. Over the next decade the canal was enlarged to 12 feet (3.7 m) deep, 100 feet (30 m) wide, and with shell roads alongside. No official count was kept of the deaths of the immigrant workers; estimates ranging from 4,000 to 30,000 have been published, with most historical best guesses falling in the 8,000 to 20,000 dead range. Many were buried with no marking in the levee and roadway fill beside the canal.

        We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

        by bmcphail on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:00:04 PM PST

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