At a New Year's Eve dinner at the Hyatt Regency, Saipan's best hotel, DeLay knew it was time to give credit where it was due. Giving the toast, the then third most powerful Republican in the US Congress declared: "When one of my closest and dearest friends, Jack Abramoff, your most able representative in Washington DC, invited me to the islands, I wanted to see first-hand the free-market success and the progress and reform you have made."
Giving his audience what they wanted to hear, he dismissed the notion that the US government was about to enforce American work practices in the far-off Pacific.
He declared that the islands' garment industry, which employed imported labour from Bangladesh, China and other countries, was a great American success story. "You are a shining light for what is happening to the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we are trying to do in America and leading the world in the free-market system."
Three years later, the influential congressman all but single-handedly blocked a law that would have imposed US labour standards, including paying workers the minimum wage, on the Marianas garment industry. Thanks to DeLay's manoeuvrings the issue never even reached the floor of the House of Representatives.
So a great American success story is importing lots of labor from dirt poor countries to pay that labor well below the US minimum wage. The success story is achieved by what are essentially bribes. I wonder what the average wage is in the Saipan garment industry.
If you ever wonder why America's elites defy the wishes of the majority on immigration just remember the Saipan story. Money talks.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 January 08 11:09 AM Immigration Money Politics|