One of my friends, a famed biographer and long-time newspaper reporter who was born in Bath, England named Meryl Secrest has been concerned for many years about the unimpeded invasion of the US by vast numbers of immigrants. Particularly annoying to her was the invasion of the UK by any resident of the European Union which she saw as a Key factor in its Brexit decision now so rancorously being debated. For her email to Wall Street Journal columnist Bill McGrun read on!
As Wikipedia tells us, “Secrest emigrated to Canada, where she began her career as a journalist. She worked as women’s editor for the Hamilton News in Ontario, Canada; shortly thereafter she was named ‘Most Promising Young Writer’ by the Canadian Women’s Press Club. After marrying an American, in 1964 she began writing for The Washington Post, doing profile interviews of notable personalities from Leonard Bernstein to Anaïs Nin.
“In 1975 she left the Post to write books full-time. Since then she has written a number of biographies; her subjects have included Frank Lloyd Wright, Lord Duveen, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Salvador Dalí, Kenneth Clark, Bernard Berenson, Romaine Brooks, Richard Rodgers, and Amedeo Modigliani. She has also published an autobiography entitled Shoot the Widow. She now lives in Washington, DC.”
In a 12/11/18 column by Bill McGurn of the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Crisis of Good Intentions: From Paris to Palo Alto, ‘clean and green’ policies punish the poor”, he noted that capitalism has caused some people to get hurt. For example, “Let us stipulate it’s foolish to pretend the market is without its costs. A 57-year-old General Motors worker in Ohio who will be laid off as his company expands production in Mexico may understandably balk at the argument that, in the larger scheme of things, it’s all for the best.”
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) December 11, 2018
Then McGurn turns to the turmoil in France with this comment. “Yet the recent protests across France ought to remind us that market decisions aren’t the only ones that can make life difficult for those trying to get by on their paychecks. For in these protests are we not seeing French citizens who have lost faith in the ability of their government to fulfill its most basic tasks, along with a growing resentment of the high price inflicted on ordinary French men and women by the good intentions of their elites?”
What are those basic tasks? Rather than take a knock on “capitalism” why not focus on government mismanagement of immigration?? One has to wonder as Meryle Secrest, long an American citizen (and over 60% of all American citizens have), why did McGurn not mention the open border aspect of being in the European Union which allows any immigrant from any member free access to any nation in the Union?
Next, turning to Brexit, McGurn says, “Nor are the French the only ones with doubts about the judgment of their elites. Whatever the merits of Brexit, at its core it reflects the British people’s distrust of the proposition that a supranational government in Brussels knows best. Given how their own government has botched things, it’s hard to conceive of any ending for Brexit that doesn’t promise even less British confidence in their leaders.”
Secrest and I share her views, which she so eloquently stated in a 12/11/18 email to McGurn. She wrote, citing “Baffling Brexit”
As a former Brit & one who likes to go back “home” every year, I am following events with intense interest & reading everything I can find.
Even so it seems to me that there are more questions than answers.
When it was clear that people voted to leave for three reasons:
(A) When an unelected and officious band of bureaucrats burrows into the minutest of area in one’s life as, for instance, the size of jamjars in a church bazaar,
(B) Puts its own legal superstructure on one’s own, 1,000 plus year history of hard-won, much admired British justice, and then
C) Tells a tiny country in which 65 million people live on 65 million acres (one acre per person) that it WILL accept as many newcomers as it, the unelected band of bureaucrats, decrees.
Why is it then that—-
All the discussion hinges on trade & the Irish border and none on (A) (B) or (C)?
Last time I managed to squirrel out the truth I was not sure that (B) or (C) was even in the agreement…?
And why is the sky falling if the British pound is devalued? As far as I can see the British pound has been overvalued for years and a lower pound can only improve its trading prospects.
You are so sane – I am sure you can explain it all to your readers.
I have given up trying.
The vast majority of American citizens have been asking the same immigration reform questions for years only to have both major US parties succumbing to their alleged bases for more cheap labor over the interests of American workers. Instead of crying over building an expensive wall, the passage of a permanent and mandatory use by US employers of the present US government program E verify would require immigrant workers to prove they are here legally. How simple is that?
Mr. McGurn reports the downsides for us citizens when he talks about our past glitches. “The U.S. has its own versions. Until recently Exhibit A was the war America lost—the ‘war on poverty.’ More than 50 years and trillions of dollars after Lyndon B. Johnson launched it with the best of intentions, all we have to show for it is the devastation of the black family and the dysfunctions of our inner cities.
“Today, however, the crisis of good intentions is manifested most dramatically in the green movement, particularly in California. In a recent article for the Orange County Register, Chapman University’s Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky write that ‘California is creating a feudalized society characterized by the ultra-rich, a diminishing middle class and a large, rising segment of the population that is in or near poverty.’ California now has the highest overall poverty rate in the nation, they write, and suffers from a level of inequality ‘closer to that of Central American banana republics.’”
The babble of our present leaders does not give me much hope that they can learn from the past or even from the disasters that they see in Europe.
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
France’s ‘Yellow Vests’ Protests: Understanding the Collective Rage | Dispatches
As Europe battles over border policy, migrants flood to Spain
Robert Engelman – Catholic Church Impedes Sound Population Policy
Bill Clinton talking like Trump on immigration
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