American socialism and immigration, China’s parallel in history and the environmental problems of environmental policy. These wide range of topics are in the news and in this edition of Quick Takes
A Socialist Immigration Policy
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) recently criticized the Biden Administration for reopening detention facilities for adults and children entering the country illegally. She went even further and said that the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) should be abolished and not even exist. Since she was on a roll, she also added that she is in favor of creating a special ‘climate refugee status’ (as an side, although not quite sure what that is, but if it means that I can be a refugee in a warmer climate during winter, say in Bora Bora, then I am all in).
Combined with previous statements that she has made, apparently Congresswoman Cortez is in favor of 1) letting anyone who wants to be able to just walk across the border, 2) ask for a driver’s license, 3) sign up for welfare and Medicaid, but 4) not be reported to federal law enforcement or immigration authorities if they commit a violent crime or other felony.
There you go. THAT is a little glimpse of socialism in America.
China Has A Close Historical Parallel
China has been widely criticized for deporting ethnic minorities to work and ‘re-education’ camps (or ‘concentration camps’?). They have decided that they will simply absorb Hong Kong and ignore international treaties it agreed to guaranteeing certain independence. And China is threatening Taiwan and is being increasingly provocative because they argue that Taiwan is ethnically Chinese and should be part of China.
In the 1930’s, Germany deported ethnic minorities to work in concentration camps. It absorbed Austria and ignored international treaties that it agreed to guaranteeing independence. And Germany threatened Czechoslovakia because they argued that it was ethnically German and should be part of Germany. (Eventually, Czechoslovakia was annexed by Germany)
The historical parallels to China of 2020 and Nazi Germany of 1938 are striking. Too much so. Maybe we need to keep that in mind and President Biden can learn from the mistakes of the early part of the last century.
The Environmental Problems With Environmental Policy
As the Biden Administration moves quickly toward a ‘green’ economy, Thinking Man cannot help but be reminded that, as has been noted in this column before, the rush to ‘do something’ is often not thought through and leads to unintended consequences and problems of its own. Such is the case with the rise in the use of wind power. A worthy goal and alternative, yet now that wind turbines have been in wide use for several years, turbine parts are starting to reach the point where they need to be replaced and one thing that is not recyclable are wind turbine blades.
The latest problem is the push for electric cars. Why is that? Electric cars would significantly reduce carbon emissions, after all. Well, batteries for electric cars require a number of rare earth metals such as lithium, cobalt and copper. To meet demand will require the opening of new mines. Making the problem worse, President Biden has said that he will increase the federal land bans mining by 300%. With the United States dependent primarily on imports from China for lithium and other required rare earth metals, the US runs the same risk it had when the country realized at the time the pandemic hit, how many drugs and medical supplies were imported from China.
So it seems that to save the environment, we have to ruin the environment by allowing more mining. Or by telling China to ruin their environment and importing it all from there.
Sometimes it doesn’t seem that things have been thought all the way through.