As one who tries to live by the rules, as the vast majority does, I’m frankly getting very tired of being penalized for the rule-breaking habits of the small minority. It’s crept into my life again.

This time, it was at the Roseburg DMV office as I renewed my aged driver’s license. Now, those of you staffing the office, relax. Please know my literary ire is not aimed at you. Matter of fact, in my occasional visits to Oregon’s far-flung DMV network, our local guys were more pleasant and helpful than many I’ve experienced. All of them.

No, the angst is brought on by our legislators using … dare I say it … “a nuclear weapon on an ant” in their desire to keep licenses out of the hands of illegals. There are far, far more legal residents than illegals on our highways. Yet we law-abiders must produce original or original certified birth certificates, proof of legal name, social security cards, proof of physical residence (utility bills, etc.) before they’ll do business with us. Oregonians get “nuked” while bad guys get a license in another state.

Same thing at your neighborhood airport. “Flyer’s shakedown” I call it. Luggage inspection, physical inspection, questions, forms, photos. And after every hurdle, some guy tries to light his underwear on fire. Nothing … nothing… in the inspection process is going to corral some nut wanting to bring down an airliner with his blazing jockey shorts. So what’s the validity of delays and frustrations piled on the rest of us?

This process of penalizing good people along with the bad starts before kindergarten when we’re told “everybody will be punished if someone doesn’t confess.” We grow up with the idea that, while being good and honest citizens, we rule-following majorities will be held hostage to the far fewer miscreants. Oregon’s legislators have made it so with driver’s licenses. Congress did the same with air travel.

Dealing with airline safety is a subject for another time and more space. But help for the overwhelming majority of Oregonians, and Americans in general, is easier to find.

We’re dealing with federal government failure to secure our borders. That failure has resulted in significant consequences for the law-abiding. We’re secretly photographed, subject to surveillance almost anyplace, fingerprinted, quizzed, bugged, intercepted and suffer loss of privacy because politicians won’t address the root problem: employers … read large campaign cash contributors … hiring illegals: no questions asked.

In Seattle last summer, we saw groups of undocumented workers standing at several places in the suburbs. Day-laborers … illegals … waiting for contractors to pick them up to do jobs that would result in cash at the end of the day. That scene is repeated in major cities daily. You stop hiring and you’re a long way toward ending illegal immigration.

Ranchers and farmers knowingly hire illegals by the day, week or season. “No one else will do the work,” they say. Road apples! Illegals are paid cash; the employer can avoid taxes, worker’s comp and cut costs.

You keep setting pots of honey out on your patio, you’ll draw those who want honey. Simple as that. End employment of non-documented and we end the majority of our immigration problem. Not all of it. But a good chunk. Tomatoes may cost three bucks apiece but that’s the price of secure borders.

Still, ranchers, farmers, growers of all stripes, contractors and a lot of major companies keep hiring. And keep political contributions flowing.

I’m often told “government can’t solve most of our problems.” ‘ Tis true. So here’s a big one we can do ourselves. But we won’t because of the cheap labor and a willing illegal work force. In this country, even in the problem-solving department, the majority is held hostage by a minority.

And that adds to my frustration. It’s a no-brainer to throw rocks at government bodies. Many times, the lumps are well-earned. But here’s a rare situation of a solution to a national problem when we don’t need the public troughers. It’s a problem we can solve. Privately. Only we won’t. It will continue so long as the private-employer-few continues to hold the many hostage.

Our health care bills are higher because of the problem. Our porous national security costs more. Our justice and prison systems are fuller and more expensive. Our drug problems are massive. Taxes are higher.

But there’s a bright side. Our tomatoes are cheaper.

One Response to “A private sector solution to a large national problem”

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