Fungible

ARE INDIVIDUALS FUNGIBLE?

Are individuals fungible?

Absolutely, absolutely not.

We  are all aware of the distinctive physical differences of
individuals– unique  fingerprints,  unique  footprints.  We  are
beginning to accept DNA uniqueness.

We  are  all aware of the differences in  physical,  mental,
artistic  abilities and gifts.   A Mozart is born once every  500
years.  Operatic tenors and sopranos are scarce.

In the learning arts,  some are whizzes at math,  others  at
languages,  others  at  memorization.   Others will never  master
math,  or languages,  or memorization no matter how hard or  long
they try.

The differences between individuals are also obvious in  the
field of athletics.  In American professional sports, players are
paid  millions of dollars a year for their services,  while their
couch potato fans swill beer and eat junk food.

And  the Olympics every four years display the extreme  dif-
ferences in ability of athletes in numerous sports,  providing  a
spectacle of the best of the best.

Benjamin  Franklin  made the observation that inasmuch as  a
person’s  physical characteristics are so uniquely different from
everybody else’s, is it possible that a person’s brain also could
be uniquely different?

Even  Karl Marx did not believe individuals were  interchan-
geable.  He coined the communist mantra,  “from each according to
their ability, to each according to their need.”

Why should we be concerned about all this?  Because today we
are  being  pulled  in  many ways  to  conform  to  pre-conceived
standards of uniformity and equalness.

America’s  effort  to  define  goals  is  enshrined  in  its
Declaration  of Independence,  i.e.  “man has been  endowed  with
certain unalienable rights.   That among these are Life, Liberty,
and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

The   French  came along a few years later  with  “Liberte’,
Fraternite’, Egalite'”

But  today,  many American leaders,  from many  fields,  are
trying  to substitute French egalitarianism for American  pursuit
of happiness.

For example, unions, although vitally important in a capita-
list  society,  often consider people fungible.   A teacher is  a
teacher is a teacher.  A principal is a principal is a principal.

The  United  States education system also  considers  people
fungible.   Education has evolved from local school board control
to state and even federal control.  Throwing gobs of money at the
schools, and mandating national norms, has not been successful in
teaching  everyone  the mental skills  of  reading,  writing  and
arithmatic.

Nobody  is  addressing the question that  not  everybody  is
academic, college, office worker material.  The educational esta-
blishment  and  the politicians assume that everyone will  go  to
college,  earn a degree, and find a job somewhere, somehow.  This
is not going to happen.

So where does this leave the non-academic type students?

Unemployed and underpaid!  With the deliberate policy of pro-
moting “free” trade rather than “fair” trade,  manufacturing jobs
gravitated overseas to cheaper labor countries, leaving “hand do”
workers unemployed, many of them stranded in our cities, a goodly
number on the dole.

In response,  the nation’s leaders call for a re-training of
the unemployed,  and for jobs for those on welfare.  Nobody has a
clue as to where the jobs are to be found.

In America,  we are not even close to the ideal of all indi-
viduals developing and maximizing their individual talents, gifts
and abilities in their pursuit of happiness.

We are a nation of basically disheartened people eking out a
meagre livelihood; and trying to survive.

The job market,  has undergone enormous change.  The hey-day
of the blue collar working classes was short lived,  from 1941 to
1965,  when  one  income earner was able to provide well for  all
family needs.

Prior  to World War II–1939–the factory job was  six  days
long.   After World War II,  until the late 50’s,  the office job
was for five and a half days.

The  40  hour week is a relatively recent  development,  and
many workers are involuntarily putting in longer, unpaid hours.

Now  it takes the combined income of two full-time workers–
80  hours plus– to provide the same standard of living that  one
worker supported in the late 40’s to the mid 60’s.

Making the problem even worse, a “look-the-other-way” policy
on immigration,  legal and illegal.  Why the United States should
continue  to  welcome immigrants,  when we don’t  have  jobs  for
people already here, is not confronted. We don’t expect India, or
China,  or Japan,  or Africa to have open borders.   What is this
fetish  about  the obligation of western Europe and  the  western
hemisphere to welcome any and all comers?

The publisher of the Wall Street Journal is for open borders
and the free movement of people everywhere.

If  some  Chinese are willing to pay $30000 to  be  smuggled
into  America,  if  Indians are willing to buy fake passports  to
come  to America,  imagine what would happen if our borders  were
open: one billion Chinese, one billion Indians, plus whomever.  I
don’t think we would survive.

The  last legislation on legal immigration called for admit-
tance  of  professional people in short supply  in  these  United
States.  It also called for family reunification.

Family  reunification  sounds noble,  but  in  practice  the
admission  of  illiterate,  uneducated,  unskilled  relatives  of
professionals  is  adding to our problems,  not helping to  solve
them.

Worse, the porous border we have with Mexico allows millions
of  poverty stricken  persons from Latin America and elsewhere to
enter our country with impunity.   Once inside,  the  immigration
authorities are overwhelmed with caseloads,  and many local lead-
ers  are  supportive of these illegal  individuals.   That  these
illegal  immigrants provide cheap,  exploitable labor for  homes,
restaurants,  etc.  adds  to  the  inertia  on the  part  of  the
establishment  to do anything substantive to correct  the  situa-
tion.

It is quite flattering that millions of persons from all the
countries  of  the world want to immigrate to the United  States.
It is quite flattering that all these countries target the United
States as the premier exporting destination.

But  this is killing the golden goose that lays  the  golden
eggs.

The solution to our underemployed and underpaid workers, and
our legal and illegal immigration problem,  is for the nations of
the world, beginning with us, to manufacture for their own needs.

The  first lesson of Economics 101 is that “human wants  can
never be satisfied.”  The wants of Asia, Africa and Latin America
–4.6 billion people– for simple things like radios,  television
sets,  indoor toilets, pure water, electricity is staggering, and
should keep them gainfully employed for the next 50 years.

There  is  no  reason  why the  Asian  “tigers”,  and  other
exporting countries, should be targeting the United States market
with  their cheap labor goods when they are neglecting the  needs
and wants of their own people.

It  is  natural to trade across borders in items  for  which
special skills, technology, or rare materials are required.

Trade based upon starvation labor costs is not legitimate.

To paraphrase the Bible,  first take care of your own people
before being concerned about making money off of other people.

Where should we put:

The idea of diversity is a good one,  to meet the needs of a
diverse public.  My son, facing a serious operation, chose a doc-
tor of his own race over a doctor of a different race.  I am sure
this is repeated millions of times a day.

The  doors of education,  business,  the professions must be
open to all groups of people,  so that citizens may feel comfort-
able dealing with people like themselves.

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