Assimilation: A Plea to All Immigrants and Americans!

America has recently opened its doors to large groups of people from countries around the globe, but especially from war-torn and ravaged lands.  Welcome, I am glad you are here!  The Mayor of London recently came to America and derided, denigrated, and demeaned America for asking immigrants to assimilate.  Yes, America will ask you to assimilate; yes, this request includes those legal and illegal immigrants and refugees; yes, assimilation is hard but worth it.

Assimilation is simply taking the best of your native culture, ideals, values, and beliefs, and adding them to the best America has to offer.  America is not a perfect country; we are asking for your help to improve our country by adding the best of your experiences to our best experiences and build America into a greater nation with greater opportunities for freedom.  Why does America ask you to assimilate, even though it is hard; the answer lies in the principles of unity, responsibility, and achieving the “American Dream.”

What is the “American Dream?”  Simply put, the “American Dream” is to realize freedom, all the benefits of freedom, shouldering all the responsibilities of freedom, and achieving these freedoms through work, education, and self-discovery.  A lesson many Americans need to be reminded of is that the “American Dream” has nothing to do with acquiring stuff.  The “American Dream” has nothing to do with spending money, although great freedoms are found in earning money and spending that money according to our own desires.  The “American Dream” has nothing to do with purchasing a home, even though owning property is a cherished freedom.  The “American Dream” is realizing freedom in all its glory and all of its reality.

The “American Dream” means failure, struggle, hard work, loss, gain, understanding value, and so much more.  The “American Dream” has tragedy and heartache, misery, and the ultimate joy of achievement.  Some of the hardest struggles in understanding the “American Dream” are found in sending loved ones marching to war and not seeing those same loved ones marching back home.  The “American Dream” is to understand and embrace freedom, to see the best and worst of humanity and realize that freedom is still the best form of government available, notwithstanding all the imperfections.  The “American Dream” means unifying around a single standard.

What is the single standard to rally around?  That single standard is the US Constitution and the American Flag.  Does rallying around this standard mean suddenly easy street, riches, and smooth sailing; absolutely not!  Rallying around this standard simply means unifying, dropping the labels, the hyphenations, the separations, and realizing that together we are better than we are separate.  Again, the “American Dream” is all about understanding freedom in all its glory, majesty, and terribleness.

The principles of unity are many, but also very few.  Unity is all about choice, choice is all about freedom, and freedom is all about shouldering the consequences of making choices to either become more unified or less unified.  Simple and complex, easy and difficult, unity is not a paradox; unity is a learned principle.  Consider the young child. Being a child is hard, learning the language, culture, basic standards of education, and growing.  The same is true for immigrants.  Many come here and are overwhelmed.  Like children, simply asking for help becomes a great challenge, and many times that challenge is because immigrants do not realize that help is available and simply requires asking.  Hence, the responsibility is on you, not everyone else; this means the consequences for asking or not asking are also on you; this is freedom.

The principles of unity are found in a common language.  America is the only country on earth where you can keep your language, and the national language, American English, can be a second or non-primary language.  Yet, the choice to learn American English has consequences, and those consequences come with a cost.  Learning American English is hard, requires work, and many times will not make sense until time and experience are added to learning.  Not learning American English is harder, restricts freedoms and the ability to enjoy all America has to offer, and forces you to forever remain outside America’s embrace.

The principles of unity include understanding, learning, and choosing to plot your own path.  No one is going to run your life for you.  Choosing to run your own life requires learning, understanding value, and shouldering the consequences of choices for good or ill.  In America, you can choose to be homeless, and this is perfectly acceptable.  You can choose to chase money; acquiring great riches is possible and completely acceptable in America.  Acquire those funds legally and America rewards greatly.  Acquire those funds illegally, and eventually, American justice will prevail, and those funds will be lost in a very public trial.  Again, we see unity combined with choices leading to coming together under the same standard and enjoying positive consequences or refusing to come together under the standard and enjoying negative consequences.

The principles of responsibility go hand in hand with the principles of unity.  In fact, many of the principles of unity overlap with the principles of responsibility.  For example, failure to rally under the standard of the US Constitution by breaking a law will reveal how quickly the consequence leads to being forced to shoulder the responsibility of failing to unify and how it affects you personally with the full weight and scorn of the American people.  Do illegal actions sometimes not get caught and punished; yes, but eventually society will know and act scornfully.  Justice gets served in myriad different ways.

Consider dishonest politicians.  Sometimes, dishonest politicians are not apprehended and exposed to the harsh reality of the American justice system, but they lose the respect of voters, lose their title, and remain outcasts and pariahs in American society through the media retelling their stories, through a loss of income, and through American society continually chastising them for their misdeeds.  American society can be very harsh for those choosing to not assimilate because the refusal to assimilate means a refusal to unify under a single standard, which requires everyone to do their part to make America better.

Making America better is not a job that can be shirked, forgotten, ignored, or refused.  America is all about working together.  Work requires sacrifice, learning, and properly using freedoms to achieve more freedoms.  Working together requires a common language; the common language signifies a common bond amongst those striving to achieve freedoms as a symbol of desiring more freedoms.  Please, take the best you have, add it to the best America offers, and assimilate into America.  Unify with us in a beautiful patchwork quilt of diversity and togetherness.

Diversity should never be sacrificed for unity, and unity must never be sacrificed for diversity and individuality.  It takes both diversity and unity to make America.  It requires sacrifice and responsibility to make America.  It requires a willing mind and open heart to achieve freedom and to understand more freedom is possible with assimilation than without assimilation.  The choice is yours; the consequences are yours; choose carefully.

© 2016 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

Employee Practices – Or ‘More Top Down Government Control’

Over the course of time, the Federal government has exerted control over employment.  Each time control has been exerted, freedoms, money, and precious resources have been squandered, wasted, and lost forever.  The following is a high level overview of the legislation and the costs involved.  There are no political leanings contained herein, simply facts about the costs and the freedoms lost.  Tied to each of these pieces of legislation is the utopian ‘Kool-Aid’ goal of full employment previously discussed.

In brief review, modern employment, as we know it, began with a small change.   Soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen coming home after being drafted to go to war, wanted and needed jobs.  Thus, the Federal Government changed some rules, wrote the legislation, and veteran preference in hiring began.  Sounds good, right?  Everyone loves veterans, so this is going to be a good thing all around; not quite.  By carving out exclusions for veterans, other people wanted to possess special treatment.  These people found lawyers to argue their cause, and special classes emerged for all types of people.  Entire industries have been built to identify, find, and pressure for special classes in the law.

This is not to say some of those people desiring special treatment did not need to have awareness of their particular plight become more known.  For example, people with physical disabilities needed awareness raised to advance hiring practices and level the playing field, but this should not have been a matter for federal legislation.  Each state in the Republic of America was considering laws for physically disabled people.  By forcing federal legislation, states lost the power to dictate, employers lost the freedom to act independently, and those with physical disabilities became second-class employees.  Instead of pride in accomplishment, which was desired while raising awareness, serf-like attitudes and complacency have become the order of the day.

Let us review three federal laws that emerged from these circumstances described above and which influenced employer/employee relations.

Americans with Disabilities Act  – 1990

  • Has its seminal beginning in 1973 Section 504 making it illegal to discriminate against those with disabilities if the organization receives Federal Government subsidies.
    • “No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance….”  (ED.gov, 1995)
    • Classifies disabilities by disease.  Includes “Hidden Disease[s],” is changed constantly to update diseases covered, and dictates the only requirement for the disease is that the disease have a material effect on one’s ability to perform a major life activity.”  (Ed.gov, 1995)
    • Costs to business mostly occur in ‘soft’ costs, i.e., changing procedures, reasonable accommodations, etc.  Something to keep in mind though, “… noncompliance can cost an employer. In fiscal year 2006, for example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) resolved 15,045 disability discrimination charges and recovered $48.8 million in monetary benefits for workers who did not receive accommodations to which they are entitled under the ADA…”  (Woog, 2008)  Thus, monetarily speaking, noncompliance costs more than compliance.

Monetary issues are not the only costs involved, and the ‘soft’ discrimination of people with disabilities is reported to remain an ongoing problem.  Regardless of size in the organization, employers report a general consensus:  if the costs of compliance are under $500, it “makes sense” to comply.  If more than $500, the employer and disabled person will be at loggerheads.  The reason so many people have problems with compliance is that disability compliance is difficult to prove in the current employee/employer environment.  Shifting the paradigm and hiring by skill set allows the individual to set the work site accommodations, own the solution, and drive relationship.  Pride in accomplishment is lost when government mandates compliance, forming yet another cost.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

  • Begun with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
    • Foundations are discovered in Executive Order 8802, signed by President F. D. Roosevelt, demanding no discrimination based upon Race, Color, or National Origin.  This is the same president with war camps rounding up Japanese descendants and forcing those of German and Italian descent underground, but I digress.
    • Civil Rights Movement forces onto the worldwide stage the disparity between those of color and national descent.
      • Funded by the USSR and other communist and Islamist nations
      • Feeds into the current mindset that those of color should be coddled
      • Strips pride of accomplishment, desire to improve, and need to become better from people of all color, race, and national origin
      • Age discrimination has been added to protected classes against discrimination and the following statistics are known:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Charge Statistics for 2008. Private sector discrimination filings with the EEOC for 2008 (95,402) surpassed 2007 (82,792) by a staggering 15% – the biggest jump in the federal agency’s entire 44-year history.

  • Legal fees for lawyers, litigation costs pre-trial, and costs for compliance monitoring and training are substantial outlays for all business organizations regardless of size.  Compliance costs do not include ‘soft’ expenses and, as shown above, compliance costs are never about money alone, but many companies place total costs for compliance in monetary figures between $100,000 to $500,000 depending upon business organization size per claim.

Societal costs are staggering and unsustainable.  The need to both protect against litigation and meet the hiring quotas has, instead of bringing together a unified melting pot, broken the nation along more racial and national lines, pitted the experienced against the inexperienced, slandered age, and destroyed knowledge attainment for political connections.  The death of merit, honor, and dignity has been pronounced if changes to employment cannot occur soon.

Affirmative Action

  • This disaster has lead to such ambiguous terms as “Reverse Discrimination,” “White Guilt,” etc.  Affirmative Action was expected to be a temporary measure, but like all governments everywhere nothing is more permanent than a temporary measure.
  • Empowering judges to litigate from the bench to “correct wrongs.”  While the courts straddle the line about applying affirmative action and EEO, specific mathematical formulas detailing compliance are frowned upon, making compliance costs soar.
  • Closely tied to the utopian use of money to sway society.  Local, state, and federal government call this “investing in minorities and women” by spending prescribed amounts of money solely on business organizations owned by minorities and located in minority areas, all based upon quotas and political leadership.

Affirmative action, more than any other piece of legislation, accrues higher compliance costs.  Most of the legal problems will end in the Supreme Court where the basic price tag is $1 million.  Again, the entire cost of this legislation is not found in dollars and cents, but in mindsets, attitudes, and societal shifting.  The government costs for abiding by their rules is staggering; yet, the costs for businesses, schools, non-profits, etc., is worse.  Disney produced the movie, “Remember the Titans;” in this movie, the head coach and his assistant coach are having a conversation with direct merit to Affirmative Action.  The head coach tells the assistant that he “… [I]s crippling the young black kids… by coddling them.”  Society, since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has crippled black society into being what they are currently, crippled white society, and forged iron chains of captivity around the hands and feet of all Americans in and out of the workforce.

These are but three of the many pieces of legislation stemming from the idealistic desire of the ‘Employment Act of 1946’ and the 1976 revision ‘Full Employment and Balanced Growth Bill.’  Top down government mandates only work in the US Military, and then only rarely work well.  America must re-embrace free enterprise, recognize that knowledge builds value, and exercise the freedom to choose including the inherent responsibility and accountability for consequences.  Until then, employers will continue to be forced into compliance, employees will lose, and politicians at the federal and state levels of government will award winners and losers unequally.

We, the citizens of America, must force the issue of change and reign in government spending, both of which can be accomplished through shifting the employment paradigm from employer/employee relations to an employer/independent contractor model.

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

References

Ed.gov. (1995, January 01). The civil rights of students with hidden disabilities under section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html

Woog, D. (2008, August 22). What is the real cost of ada compliance?. Retrieved from http://hrpeople.monster.com/news/articles/1073-what-is-the-real-cost-of-ada-compliance

Employee Benefits – A History of Corruption and Coercion

From humble beginnings atrocities begin.  Every action must follow immutable and unalterable laws, consequences follow choices; this article follows the influence of choice pieces of legislation from impetus to current event entanglements.  Only through learning history can proper change produce preferred results.

Modern employment, as we know it, began with a small change from the republic principles of free enterprise morphing into the democratic philosophies of top-down government control.  Soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen coming home from WWII had left jobs and wanted those jobs back; so, the Federal Government changed policies, wrote legislation, and veteran preference in hiring began.  Sounds good, right?  But by carving out exclusions for veterans, other people wanted to possess special treatment.

What occurred in Federal Legislation has caused some serious problems; the first of these problems began with the altruistic ideal of full employment.  Full employment refers to  “the continuing policy and responsibility of the Federal Government . . . to coordinate and utilize all its plans, functions, and resources for the purpose of creating and maintaining . . . conditions under which there will be afforded useful employment opportunities, including self-employment, for those able, willing, and seeking to work, and to promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power.”  (Scitovszky, 1946)

The Federal Government in 1945, with enough good intentions to pave a super-highway from New York to Beijing, sought to avoid the natural swings which occur in finance and wrote a bill, eventually entitled the ‘Employment Act of 1946’ to avoid future problems experienced between the prosperous 1920’s and the depression of the 1930’s.   To try to improve financial situations for the Federal Government, employment was considered and tied to economic indicators, suggesting low unemployment equates to higher tax revenues and dollar strength.  This reasoning is valid; however, the consequences spinning off these legislative nightmares are self-defeating.

The next time these economic indicators were reviewed was in 1976 with the ‘Full Employment and Balanced Growth Bill.’  Both of these bills, 1946 and 1976, show tremendous influence from Keynes and his theories of being able to spin into prosperity by incurring unsustainable debt.  Sections 2b and 2c of the original bill from 1945 are crucial to understanding the nightmare problem.  In 1945 the legislators declared full employment is possible for all those who desire it, and proposed full employment through federal government spending.  See the problem, especially in the current fiscal cliff negotiations; the Federal Government has become a consumer of goods and exercises a little known principle “Those who pay, control.”  By becoming a consumer of goods and spending money as a customer, the Federal Government can now demand private enterprise obeisance.

Section 3 of the 1945 version of this legislation requires that the president forecasts and writes a budget to increase or decrease spending based upon unemployment numbers and percentages.  The president must forecast spending on a yearly basis to which Congress must then write the underlying legislation as part of the budgeting process.  The president was made directly responsible for the employment of every person in the US who wanted to work, desired to work, was healthy enough to work, and the legislative bodies would produce the needed bills to make it happen.

Flash forward from 1945 to 2012 and the problem is glaringly obvious.  With a disinterested president failing in his legal duties to propose legislation and forecast employment and spending to the House of Representatives and the Senate, a contentious House and Senate that is more interested in internal politics, divisive sound-bites, class warfare and race games, and world economy fluctuating between dead and dying, the problem with this legislation becomes clear.  There is no control mechanism that compensates for the above.  Dictating through top-down government what businesses need to produce and still call it free enterprise is not possible.  The principle of full employment limits choices by forcing people to become employees through inflation, limiting markets, and the over regulation of enterprise.  These laws do not treat people equally because of the definition of employee, which feeds into the description of full employment.  Ranchers, farmers, and other independents suffer because of these laws and the definitions and classifications of the term ‘employee’ and ‘employment’ including ‘self-employment.’  Making the Federal Government a consumer has failed to provide true economic freedom and prosperity.

The nightmare of compensatory finance, as established by Keynes, is the main problem facing America today.  These two little known bills continue to rob America of greatness, steal future generations of prosperity through debt, and keep the Federal Government wasting tax dollars on frivolous projects.  Full employment is a worthy goal, but it is not obtainable due to the following reasons:  Federal Government spending into debt just to buy goods not used; Federal Government spending simply to keep unemployment numbers low; or Federal Government spending to soften financial cycles, all of which are unerringly wrong.

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

References

Barro, R. J. (2011, August 24). Keynesian economics vs. regular economics. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903596904576516412073445854.html

Sanotini, G. J. (1986). The employment act of 1946: Some history notes. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Scitovszky, A. (1946). The employment act of 1946. Social Security Bulletin,