How Immigration Reform Will Explode the Welfare Rolls

How Immigration Reform Will Explode the Welfare Rolls

And cause millions more to enter the U.S. illegally


When considering “comprehensive immigration reform” I want to encourage you to do something that makes the Washington D.C. political class very nervous.  Yes – I want you to think rationally.

The question that must be answered is – since the United States has sustained high unemployment for the last several years (about 8% and when you factor in those who have stopped looking it’s in double digits) – why is there a demand for illegal alien labor?  What is it that illegal immigrants bring to the labor market that employers cannot find elsewhere, especially among the nation’s unemployed?

To answer this question we have to look at competitive advantage.  What trait do illegal aliens have that make them so attractive to employers?  It doesn’t take an economist to surmise what that trait is.

The Competitive Advantage of Illegals in a Labor Market

The reason employers like to hire illegals is very easy to understand.  Illegals are willing to work for lower hourly wages.  There is no minimum wage for illegals.  Illegals are willing to work without a health insurance plan.  Employers do not have to pay taxes on illegals; no social security or Medicare taxes to worry about.  Illegals are not covered by OSHA requirements.  Illegals do not get paid overtime.

In fact, when you look at the issue with any degree of common sense – you don’t have to be a business genius to realize that hiring illegals saves big money.  The rich figured this out long ago, hiring illegals to do lawn work, clean swimming pools, or perform nanny duties.

Illegals have a huge advantage when competing with U.S. citizens in the labor market.  They can simply underbid Americans.  Even if a U.S. citizen would agree to work for a lower wage, the government would never allow the minimum wage laws, insurance requirements, and taxes to be ignored.

In fact, there is really no other advantage to hiring illegals.  If illegals were not incredibly cheap, they would not be hired.  Why would an employer hire an illegal, a drifter who speaks and writes English marginally, if he had to pay that illegal the same wages and benefits as a U.S. born worker?  Anyone looking at the issue honestly would agree – the only reason illegals get work is because illegals are incredibly cheap.

How the “Pathway to Citizenship” Is Actually a Plan That Will Put Millions on Welfare.

Proponents of comprehensive immigration reform do not understand competitive advantage.  They do not understand basic economics.  How else can you explain a plan that will drive an estimated 11 million illegals toward the welfare rolls?

Let me explain.

When the 11 million illegals “come out of the shadows” and are granted resident alien status they will be for the first time living legally in the United States.  Sponsors of the immigration bill proudly point out that the resident aliens will have to “pay taxes and fines” just like everyone else.

In other words, the comprehensive immigration reform plan will take illegal aliens who find work because they work for low wages and turn those same people into resident aliens who NO ONE WILL HIRE.  Once an illegal has to be paid minimum wage, insurance, payroll taxes, etc. – they are no longer worth hiring.  When employers are faced with low-skilled, non-English speaking resident aliens that cost just as much as a U.S. born worker – employers will look elsewhere for employees; the market for resident aliens will collapse.

Proponents of the bill are literally taking away the one thing that makes illegals competitive:  Cheap Labor!

Another Wave of Illegal Aliens Comes Next

So where will employers find cheap labor that they still demand?

The same place they get it now – illegal aliens.

Once you have 11 million “documented workers” who cost just as much as anyone else to employ – there will be a new demand for new illegal aliens.  We will see a new wave of illegals flood into the United States for the same reasons they have come in the past – they are willing to work below minimum wage, without insurance, taxes, etc.

The new wave of illegals will have a competitive advantage against the old wave of illegals (the newly documented aliens).

There will be absolutely no improvement in the job market, no reduction of illegals flowing into the United States, and no reduction in the number of illegal aliens that no one can account for.  Even worse, the illegals (now living in the shadows) will be in the open and unemployed.  They will be wards of the state – collecting welfare, food stamps, and other hand-outs; because welfare is still better than returning to Mexico.

The False Promise of “No Welfare for Documented Aliens”

One of the most often repeated claims from proponents of the comprehensive immigration reform bill states “no resident alien will be eligible for welfare, food stamps, health care, etc.”   Unfortunately, this is simply not realistic and it is highly deceptive.

Consider this – an illegal alien becomes a “documented guest worker” and is forced to pay fines and taxes.  Are you seriously asking me to believe that someone who is required to pay taxes is not going to be eligible for the government programs his taxes are funding?

How long will it be before a lawyer is arguing in federal court that his client, a resident alien, pays taxes and is denied “equal protection under the law?”  In fact, it is entirely plausible, and should be expected, that aliens paying taxes will not only get access to welfare, but also the right to vote.  A lawyer will make that argument based on “no taxation without representation.”  Heard that one before?

Economic Laws Will Not Be Denied

Economics is common sense.  The law of competitive advantage is a law.  It will not be denied by political word-twisting, spin machines, and lawyer-games.  Economics cannot be willed away by politicians looking for votes in 2016.  This bill will explode welfare rolls and encourage more illegal immigration to the United States.

-cj cheetham

Copyright © 2013 cjcheetham

The Worst Diner in America

Right up front I need to say it:  I am no food snob.

I much prefer diners to so-called “fancy” or “upscale” restaurants.  My experience with diners across the United States has been remarkably consistent.  You can get eggs and hash browns; or get burgers and fries – and the typical diner will come through and satisfy you.

No, I have never eaten at a diner and then said “wow! That was the best meal I have ever had.”  Likewise, until recently I would have never said, “the food in that diner is so bad that people should be arrested.”   But a couple of days ago I ate at a diner so grotesque that I am petitioning the U.S. Department of State to classify the entire restaurant as a terrorist organization.

The Set-up:

Let’s set the mood.  I had spent a day in Sedona AZ.  A quaint town of cowboys and hippies nestled in the Northern Arizona wilderness.   It was a remarkably hot day, but that hadn’t prevented our family from executing a morning hike to Devil’s Bridge, an afternoon of shopping, and wrapping up with a late afternoon jeep excursion into Sedona back-country.  The jeep excursion wrapped up at about 8pm.

We were all a little hot and tired – so the family agreed:  “let’s go quick, cheap, and easy” for dinner before returning to our hotel.

Burger King, the ever steady quick, cheap, and easy solution raised his big paw and said, “Hey Cheethams – I’ve got you covered.”  But I drove right on by.  There had to be a better option.  And of course, there was – because on route 89A South in West Sedona, we all saw the same thing:   The Red Planet Diner.  Glistening in the street lights in front of the diner was a hovering flying saucer.  The lights inside the diner were on and the parking lot was full – everything seemed perfect.  I was ready to explore the Red Planet.  Little did I know that I would end up like Kane (played by John Hurt) in the original Alien film.

Diners, generally speaking.

Diners are a great and safe pick 99.9% of the time.  It is really hard to screw up scrambled eggs; or fries; or a BLT.  In fact, if I was forced to name THE safest thing to order at any restaurant in the entire nation – I would go with a BLT. Not only that – but a crowded diner is the closest you will ever get to a sure thing.  Big crowds at a diner equal safe choice.  Or so I thought.

Therefore, I was confident that I was about to get some decent diner-fare; some comfort food at the Red Planet Diner; it would certainly never be something bad.  But, then again – Kane never expected an alien to impregnate his stomach with a lizard, did he?

Red Planet or Death Star?

As I walked into the Red Planet Diner, I was surprised to find myself in a bar room.  Not just any bar room – but a full-fledged dive bar.  Here are some key indicators of a dive bar: if it is dark, creepy and more than 50% of the patrons have facial tattoos?  You are in a dive bar.  I don’t particularly hate dive bars – but I certainly don’t take my kids and wife to a dive bar to grab an omelet and a smiley-faced pancake.

I immediately began to check myself.  Had I walked in the wrong door?  Maybe.  As I considered turning back I was greeted by an overwhelmed “host” who asked “would you like to sit at the bar?”  I immediately pictured my 8-year old sitting next to the bald guy with the eagle-claw tat guzzling tequila.  Just as I was about to say “you must be nuts” – the host gestured to the other side of the diner where there were five empty seats at “the bar” also known in diners as a “counter.”

As we walked to our seats I checked the customers’ faces in the packed diner.  What I saw screamed “turn back now!”  But I denied my instinct.  The diner customers were a combination of sour faces, anxiety, nausea, and despair.

We took our seats at the horseshoe shaped counter.  The surface of the counter was filthy – covered with some kind of sticky slime.  At my place there was a carton of yellow mustard bottles.  Next to the box was a dirty dish rag emanating a sour-milk fragrance that tends to kill your appetite and break your heart.

Then I got a good look around the Red Planet.  It was filthy from top to bottom.  Discarded fries on the floor, brown liquid stains splattered the floors, walls, and amazingly, the ceiling.  I had a very bad feeling about the entire operation.  Should I have left?  Absolutely.  But I was just too tired – or perhaps too confident in the American diner, to believe that this wouldn’t turn out just fine.

We placed our order with the host who was now acting as the waiter (he also appeared to be the dish-washer and cashier).  The kids ordered burgers and my wife playing it extra safe went for a BLT.  I was even more cautious.  I ordered the “Space Dog” figuring that even an orangutan could cook a dog and not screw it up.  You can’t go to a diner without getting milkshakes, so four of those were ordered as well.

I watched as the sweaty staff moved about in a confused manner – like zombies or perhaps stroke-victims, the staff was constantly mumbling and bumping into one another.  I had to avert my eyes.  I had a great view behind the counters, and I could see inside the cabinets below the counter-level.  The cabinets were all empty, save one.  There was one cabinet full with about forty bottles of hot sauce.  My son saw the same thing.  Something was desperately wrong at the Red Planet Diner.

The walls were adorned with grubby rubber aliens.  At the counter, beneath the filthy, sticky plexi-glass, there were photos of UFO sightings.  Interesting fact:  Sedona Arizona has the second most UFO sightings of any city in the USA.  Not so interesting fact:  I couldn’t read any of the captions of the UFO photos on display because someone had typed the captions in Brush Script MT Number-Four-Font; I couldn’t have read those captions with the Hubble telescope.

Our waiter returned with our milkshakes and announced “I don’t have any clean glasses guys” as he plopped down four metal mixing cups and four straws.  I know what you are saying right now.  You are saying “Leave.  For God’s sake, why won’t he leave?!”  Because this is a horror story, that’s why.

We dutifully picked up our shakes that were in the mixing cups and began to drink.  (Aside:  if the glasses were all dirty in this joint, tell me – do you think the mixing cups were clean?)  I began to feel queasy and had to put my shake down.  To my left was a green rubber alien head that had the top of its skull cut off (YOU CUT OUT HIS BRAIN YOU LOUSY APES!).

I thought, “That might be a tip jar.  But it is so filthy with blackened goop; it could also be what they use to change the oil on their cars.”

Behind me two men were standing demanding, no pleading, for a check as zombie waiters passed them by.  Desperate, they ultimately threw cash on their table and sprinted to the door.  Sadly they went out the wrong door which leads to an outdoor seating area – completely fenced in.  (Aside:  what kind of diner has fenced-in outdoor seating?  Answer:  the worst diner in America.).  The two men had no way out.  They glanced back at the door and saw mumbling, zombie waiters approaching.  They had no choice.  They had to climb.  I watched as two men in their early fifties summoned long-forgotten strength and scaled the fence.  Freedom.  I had tears in my eyes.

Our food arrived and the waiter announced:  “I don’t have any clean silverware guys.”  My “Space Dog” was a vivisected mess on a stale bun.  It was charred and disgusting.  Amazingly, the waiter couldn’t find any mustard, after having finally moved the box that had been in front of me most of the evening.  (Aside:  Why couldn’t they let the orangutan cook just this once?!)  I gagged down about four bites.  My kids were struggling with their burgers that looked like Wookie-Scat on wonder-bread.  My wife, was having the easiest go of it (God bless the BLT) but her coleslaw resembled a wet disintegrating softball and it had become a solid mass.

I lost control.  I found myself shaking and uncontrollably shouting “Check!  Check!  For the love of God! Someone bring me a CHECK!!”

It cost a small fortune.  I began to hate the Red Planet – to hate all Martians for that matter.  We escaped through the bar.  I smiled at the cross-eyes guy with the python tattooed on his forehead; he raised his glass to me as we slipped out the door.

We all immediately began to feel sick.  The hot dog, churned in my belly for hours.  As of this posting, it has yet to develop into an Alien Lizard and rip my living guts out – so there is a chance I may yet avoid Kane’s fate.

Worst.  Diner.  Ever.

-cj cheetham

Watch Kane get the alien treatment here:


In all seriousness – never eat at the Red Planet Diner in Sedona AZ.  It was the worst experience of my life.

We Thought You Were Dead

So I am on the road, which means hotels and “continental” breakfasts.  (Aside:  exactly which continent serves this stuff?)

I was sitting at my table eating lukewarm oatmeal and reading the USA Today when I observed this exchange between Woman #1, probably in her late 70’s and woman #2 probably in her mid to late 50’s.  Woman #1 has the kind grandmotherly look down cold.  Woman #2 has the angry look – you know, angry clothes, angry face, angry hair…

Woman #1 is seated alone drinking a cup of coffee.  Woman #2 briskly approaches.

Woman #2:  “Where have you been?!”

Woman #1:  “I woke up early, so I came down stairs,  I got a little hungry.”

Woman #2:  “Well… Bo and I had no idea where you were.”

Woman #1:  (A nervous smile) “I’m sorry”

Woman #2:  Bo and I were knocking on you door for like 15 minutes.  I thought I’d have to plan a funeral today!”

Woman #1:  (No longer smiling) “Sorry.”

In strolls Bo – from the looks of him he is Woman #1’s son.  He is a troll like character – short, with arms too long and a gut that is accentuated my his decision to tuck his t-shirt snuggly into his shorts.  Bo has a pile of gooey pastries and a cup of coffee.

Woman #1 smiles brightly at Bo.  Bo doesn’t recognize her – acting as though he’s never seen this woman before in his life and proceeds to greedily wolf-down cinnamon buns.

Woman #2:  “Well in the future – I’d like to know where you are.  The last thing I need is an incident.”  And she is off for an angry cup of coffee.

Woman #1 stares quietly into space; looking beyond Bo; and perhaps reminiscing about happier times.

-cj cheetham