September 18, 2022

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A Lesson From the Past for Ron DeSantis (Joshua Zeitz, 9/18/22, Politico)

In the spring of 1962, David Harris, a short-order cook from Little Rock, Ark., arrived in Hyannis, Mass., a small but tony vacation village located on Cape Cod, best known then and now as the location of the Kennedy family's summer compound.

Harris, who was Black, traveled to Hyannis in search of work, with funding and encouragement from Little Rock's White Citizens' Council, one of many local organizations comprised of middle-class white professionals who, while dedicated to the preservation of segregation, styled themselves as the respectable, moderate alternative to the Ku Klux Klan.

Earlier that year, council members in New Orleans and Little Rock dreamed up a public relations stunt: They would offer Black Southerners bus fare and relocation costs to undertake "Reverse Freedom Rides" to Northern cities, where, they told their victims, good jobs and housing awaited them. The idea was to embarrass and expose the hypocrisy of Northern liberals who cheered the real Freedom Rides, but whom, they suspected, would blanch at receiving thousands of Black transplants in their own communities. Harris was just the first of roughly 100 Black Southerners whom the councils shipped to Hyannis.

In this particular case, the Citizens' Council had a specific target in mind: Edward M. Kennedy, the president's younger brother, who was campaigning for a seat in the United States Senate. "President Kennedy's brother assured you a grand reception to Massachusetts," the council's leadership assured them. "Good jobs, housing, etc. are promised."

Kennedy, a summer resident of Hyannis, called the segregationists' bluff: He organized a reception for Harris, comprised of local residents who extended a warm welcome.

The story of the Reverse Freedom Rides assumed new meaning this week when persons seemingly associated with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis promised a group of Venezuelan asylum seekers that good jobs and housing, as well as expedited work permits, awaited them in Boston. The migrants were transported instead, without their knowledge, to Martha's Vineyard, in an attempt to surprise and expose the hypocrisy of liberals who oppose the Republican Party's hard-line immigration stance.

The ploy didn't work out exactly as planned. Residents of the small island warmly embraced the asylum seekers, much as the citizens of Hyannis welcomed David Harris some 60 years earlier.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Good News is Bad News: Understanding Today's Topsy-Turvy Economy and the Fed's Reaction Function (Joseph Politano, 9/17/22, Apricitas Economics)

The biggest source of "good news that's bad news" comes from the labor market. The Federal Reserve wants to get inflation down, and in doing so wants to see aggregate income growth moderate towards the 5% per-year level from before the pandemic. So the fact that aggregate wage growth still remains elevated by pre-pandemic standards is not welcome news to them--higher income growth means higher spending growth, and higher spending growth means higher inflation. [...]

What kind of bad news could become good news based on the Fed's reaction to it? In theory, one example came hidden in last month's jobs report. Even though job growth was relatively strong, the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 3.7%. That wasn't from a reduction in workers with jobs but rather from an increase in the number of people without jobs who were actively looking for work.

To be clear, one report is not enough to draw a trend from (especially when unemployment data can be so volatile). But a situation in which wage growth mediates through labor supply improvements rather than labor demand destruction is the Federal Reserve's best-case scenario for the job market. So rising unemployment can also be bad news that's actually good news.

Open the borders and have FL and TX distribute the new employees.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


'I belong here': New US citizens take oath on Ellis Island (AFP, September 17, 2022)

The 200 new US citizens are among 19,000 that will be sworn in across the country this week, US Citizenship and Immigration Services said.

As sunlight streamed through the enormous arched windows, the emotion in the room was palpable as the group took an oath of allegiance to the United States, less than a mile away from the Statue of Liberty.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland presided, telling the newest American citizens: "This country -- your country -- wholeheartedly welcomes you."

The head of the Justice Department choked back tears recounting how his own relatives fled religious persecution in Eastern Europe. 

He said two of his grandmother's siblings were unable to escape, and died in the Holocaust.

"I have often thought about what members of my family felt as they came through buildings like this one," he said. "And I have often thought about what their decisions meant for my own life."

Before the ceremony, Lovell Brown, a 31-year-old originally from Jamaica, told AFP she was excited to be on the island for the first time for "such a big moment."

"I just feel like I'm actually a part of the United States now," said the teacher, who has lived in the United States since she was 17.

"It makes me feel like I belong here."

You were American before you got here.