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In the real world, job creators include immigrants, gays and people who don’t oppose taxes

MARSHALL, Minn. – Garrison Keillor concludes his fictional “News From Lake Wobegon” by reminding us that in Minnesota all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average. We know that this is not an accurate reflection of either Lake Wobegon or Minnesota, but it makes us feel good even as it causes us to reflect on our fantasies.

In the fictional world of the conservative politics, all the job creators are white, all the employers are straight, and their only concern is taxes. This make-believe scenario drives conservative policy. But we know the facts are to the contrary.

Since the cone of silence was broken regarding the negotiations over the budget we now know that the conservative majority opposed any tax increases in order to relieve the burdens of the almighty job creators.

Instead of agreeing to tax the wealthy, they proposed borrowing from future payments to the state from the tobacco settlement and adding another substantial shift in payments to our K-12 schools. In other words, they would borrow from the future to pay current obligations. But to accomplish even this, they demanded a package of social reforms including voter ID, restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, and cutting off funds for stem-cell research. We already knew their position on marriage equality.

Immigrants lead the way
Well, in the real world of job creation, informed people know that immigrants lead the way in small-business creation and that feminists, proponents of stem-cell research, GLBT folk, and even progressive Democrats are among the “job creators.”

Anti-immigrant measures like Voter ID, opposition to the Dream Act, and e-verify measures have a real chance of killing jobs by creating a climate that is hostile to job-creating immigrants. According to a 2010 study by Kathryn Fennelly and Anne Huart, “immigrants are almost twice as likely as native-born Americans to start a business.” In terms of the economic benefits of immigration, consider the following [PDF]:

• The U.S. Council of Economic Advisers estimates that the country’s net gain from immigration is $37 billion per year.
• Immigrant-owned businesses generated $331 million dollars in net income to Minnesota in 2000.
• Hispanic-owned firms in the state have grown 350 percent since 1990.
• In 2008 there were 253,608 immigrants employed in Minnesota, representing 8.5 percent of the state work force.
• Foreign-born workers account for the majority of growth in the labor force in Minnesota.
• Nationally immigrants represent 25 percent of physicians and 40 percent of engineers holding doctoral degrees.

The conservative majority tells us that if one job creator leaves the state because of a tax increase, it is reason enough to hold the line on taxes. Well, what if one immigrant job creator decides to pull up stakes and move to a state that welcomes him? Has the conservative majority considered that potential impact from their nativest agenda?

And what about GLBT job creators?
Conservatives wasted our time this session by passing a law that could change the state’s constitution to prohibit gay marriage. Well, what about GLBT job creators? Are they motivated solely by taxes – or might they move to a state that is friendlier to marriage equality and less hostile to the GLBT community? “There are some 1.2 million gay-owned businesses in the United States and about 29,000 of them belong to local gay chambers of commerce, according to Justin G. Nelson, president and a founder of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, which was organized in 2002 in Washington.”

Where will gay entrepreneurs move should the conservative majority have their way? To marriage-friendly Iowa?

What about feminist job creators who value a woman’s right to choose? Will they take jobs out of the state because of proposed changes relating to abortion laws?

And what about progressive or liberal job creators? What about the thousands of job creators who vote for Democrats or for progressive causes? What about job creators who value stem-cell research and science? What if one of these individuals were to leave the state because of the Republican agenda and move to Vermont? Would the conservative majority change course to save those private sector jobs? Of course not, because this is not about jobs; it is about ideology.

Clarity on Dayton’s proposal
The conservative majority opposes any increase in taxes, even if restricted to about 7,700 people lucky enough to earn more than $1 million a year. It is important to note that Gov. Mark Dayton did not propose a millionaire’s tax. A millionaire is a person with liquid or financial assets totaling $1 million. Dayton proposed taxing only people who earn $1 million a year and then increasing the tax on only those dollars they earn above $1 million.

The conservative majority’s myopic focus on taxes and its dogmatic focus on social issues have blinded them to the rainbow of job creators that live in this state. While some greedy job creators may be moved to leave the state solely on the basis of an increase in the top marginal rate for those earning more than $1 million a year, others in that same category might leave because of a social agenda that is hurtful, anti-science and misogynist.

Let’s face it, in the real Minnesota all the job creators are not white, male, straight, Christian, greedy, or born in America. It is time for everyone to feel the pain of the fiscal mess, including those who earn more than $1 million a year; I think they can afford it.

Well, that’s the news from Lake Shutbedown, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and the legislative leadership protects the rich.

Jeff Kolnick is an associate professor of history at Southwest Minnesota State University.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/07/2011 - 11:10 am.

    Thank you Jeff, well stated.
    The entrepreneurs who created businesses in computers, communications, internet, pharmaceuticals, aircraft, nuclear power, etc could have cared less about tax rates.
    One thing that did characterize them. They were the beneficiaries of substantial government sponsored research funds. And much of the new business job creating research today in universities, etc is benefitting from govt funding.
    Government is NOT the problem as one technically ignorant President believed. It’s a partner as we proceed in a very competitive world.

  2. Submitted by Dave Francis on 07/07/2011 - 06:26 pm.

    AFTER THE DREAM ACT IMPLICATIONS?

    Every American should read the full consequences of the New Dream Act. The Dream Act in itself is not the problem; the chain migration that spins out-of-control afterwards is the serious monetary issue. It’s another wrench in the works, which is heading this country to overpopulation and overspending.

    Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has issued a statement highlighting 10 things Americans need to know about the newly introduced DREAM Act. On Tuesday, the Senate Immigration Subcommittee held its first ever hearing on the DREAM Act, but few Senators were in attendance because of conflicts with other committee meetings and votes on the Senate floor. Learn about the lies being published in the Liberal oriented press and that DREAM ACT is just part of a stealth Amnesty, which the open border heretics are trying to pass on the unaware public.

    Bombard Senate phone switchboard—202-224–3121 and House—202-225–3121, and inform them you will not be manipulated into another clandestine Amnesty, disguised as the DREAM ACT.

    In the release, Sen. Sessions said that the bill “would offer amnesty to over 2 million illegal aliens” and according to the Congressional Budget Office would add “more than $5 billion to the federal deficit”. 1. The DREAM Act Is NOT Limited to Children. 2. The DREAM Act Will Be Funded On the Backs Of Hard-Working, Law-Abiding Americans. 3. The DREAM Act Provides a Safe Harbor for Any Alien, Including Criminals, From Being Removed or Deported If They Simply Submit An Application. 4. Certain Inadmissible Aliens and ALL Deportable Aliens, Including Those From High-Risk Regions, Will Be Eligible For Amnesty Under The DREAM Act. 5. Certain Criminal Aliens—Including Drunk Drivers—Will Be Eligible For Amnesty Under The DREAM Act. 6. Conservative Estimates Suggest That At Least 2.1 Million Illegal Aliens Will Be Eligible For the DREAM Act Amnesty; In Reality, We Have No Idea How Many Illegal Aliens Will Apply.

    7. The DREAM Act Does Not Require That an Illegal Alien Finish Any Type of Degree (Vocational, Two-Year, or Bachelor’s Degree) As a Condition of Amnesty. 8. The DREAM Act Does Not Require That an Illegal Alien Complete Military Service As a Condition For Amnesty, and There Is Already a Legal Process in Place For Illegal Aliens to Obtain U.S. Citizenship Through Military Service. 9. Despite Their Current Illegal Status, DREAM Act Aliens Will Be Given All the Rights That Legal Immigrants Receive—Including the Legal Right To Sponsor Their Parents and Extended Family Members For Immigration. 10. Current Illegal Aliens Will Get Federal Student Loans, Federal Work Study Programs, and Other Forms of Federal Financial Aid. This urgent information should be read by every American, who realize that illegal immigration is become out-of-control. For serious statistics, the true costs and the lies and propaganda from the Obama Administration go to http://www.NumbersUSA.com website.

    If you haven’t already done so, join your local TEA PARTY, as thousand of disfranchised Americans. This is possible the last chance to halt another mass amnesty or as the Liberal Democrats illicitly call it Immigration Reform. According to the Commerce Dept there are eight million foreign nationals with jobs, which should be in the hands of 13 million US workers.

    In a report recently by CBS News there are some disturbing statistics that millions of Black Americans are living with depression-era unemployment rates. Blacks are not the only ones hurting, while 8 million illegal aliens have jobs. Unemployment rates are high among almost every class of worker, especially among Citizens, permanent residence, of Blacks, Hispanics, and teenagers. So why is Left side in Congress, using their power to give passage to the Dream Act, that will snowball into family members gaining residence through CHAIN MIGRATION and even more financial problems? The truth is irrefutable, that our schools are overcrowded with illegal alien children, including a law that says anybody who crosses the border, flies in by plane or enters by ship must be given health care, no matter if uninsured. These are mandated laws that have been approved by Liberal Judges.

  3. Submitted by Dave Francis on 07/07/2011 - 06:27 pm.

    In a report recently by CBS News there are some disturbing statistics that millions of Black Americans are living with depression-era unemployment rates. Blacks are not the only ones hurting, while 8 million illegal aliens have jobs. Unemployment rates are high among almost every class of worker, especially among Citizens, permanent residence, of Blacks, Hispanics, and teenagers. So why is Left side in Congress, using their power to give passage to the Dream Act, that will snowball into family members gaining residence through CHAIN MIGRATION and even more financial problems? The truth is irrefutable, that our schools are overcrowded with illegal alien children, including a law that says anybody who crosses the border, flies in by plane or enters by ship must be given health care, no matter if uninsured. These are mandated laws that have been approved by Liberal Judges.

    Chain Migration is the outrageous phenomena that build on it and over years a 100 thousand immediate family members could expedited into millions of people. To sponsor you must prove that you have enough money to support the father and mother, sister and brother, but this develops into a crisis and lose of the sponsor originator losing his job or other issues, the older folk could easily be forgotten and then must depend on US taxpayers to subsidize their lives. Eventually they will all need Medicare, even though they never paid into the pool. Medicaid is also issued out to those below the poverty line and once again never paid into? Birthright citizens, the naturalized and permanent residence pay into the system through their paychecks and complement the people who came here through sponsorship to be supplemented with some sustenance.

    These are laws literary forced on taxpayers and individual States such as Arizona, Alabama, Georgia that are fighting back as every American State is suffocating under the relentless streams of illegal—ECONOMIC—aliens, coming here to pilfer the Federal and state treasuries. They are stealing jobs of Americans, lowering wages that “Old boy Club Republicans.” has a reputation for? We need to dismantle the IRS and begin a new taxing system, which is fair to all US taxpayers and not just especially favorable to the wealthy; that everybody pays their fair share. Americans must choose between the same old system of government, or vote in more TEA PARTY candidates. The Congress is really a partisan that considers US citizens and legal aliens as the underdog, squandering billions on senseless wars and forever building continuously more government agencies, subsidized on more and more taxes.

    Only Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) born in Iowa has a grading of B+ on enforcement of illegal immigrants. All the remaining Presidential hopes have lower grading, that includes Obama’s Liberal rating of (F minus).Bachmann will not allow Congress to pass any mass Amnesty, or Immigration reform; as President Obama, has such a plan to legitimize an estimated 20 million plus people that will cost 2.5 Trillion dollars for processing. ( A Calculated statistic of the Heritage Foundation.) The passage of the 1986 Simpson/Mazzoli bill was a waste of time and money, full of fraud and governmental corruption, at a cost of 76 Billion dollars to taxpayers. Bachmann as president and chairman of all-American TEA PARTY, will secure our borders, track over-staying pseudo tourists and students who remain is 40 percent of the illegal immigrant occupation. Michele Bachman states: As a constitutional conservative, I believe in the Founders’ vision of a limited government that trusts in and preserves the unlimited potential of the American people.

    All new arrivals are tracked in Mexico and our politicians should replicate all immigration laws in our adjoining nations. TEA PARTY leaders will introduce an amendment to the 14th Amendment, to deny instant-baby-citizenship if neither parent is a US citizen. This will close massive dollar welfare and public that is subsidizing millions of these children; food stamps, Medical Care, Wicca, Section 8 low income housing and free schooling to K-12, just to name a few benefits. Whereas the majority of Americans have no idea of all these freebies, illegal aliens receive and are well versed by relatives and friends to collect with false identification. This hundred billion dollar payout would lessen the fiscal burden on the American people over the years to come.

  4. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/07/2011 - 08:04 pm.

    Dave: “Brevity is the soul of wit”

  5. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 07/09/2011 - 03:09 pm.

    Sigh, another poster with illegal immigrants on the brain. I wonder how he knows that all the Latinos one sees around town these days are illegal. (I know several who are legal.)

    In any case, the two most effective ways to reduce illegal immigration would be 1) Confiscatory fines on businesses that hire illegal immigrants, and 2) Improved living conditions in the immigrants’ home countries.

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