The Watering Hole, August 31, 2015: Chris Christie vs. Technology

In order for Governor Chris Christie’s plan to round up people who overstay their visas to work, he would have to invent time travel technology. And even though it’s impossible to know if time travel really has been invented if you’re not the one using it (if history has changed, so have all your memories), looking at his poll numbers it would appear he hasn’t yet. After all, if you started out doing poorly in your effort to become President, and you had the ability to travel back in time, wouldn’t you go back in time and change things so that you had the humongous lead in Republican polls and not some billionaire with an oversize ego and even worse ideas than yours? Actually I shouldn’t say Trump’s ideas are worse since he hasn’t explained how any of them could work except to say “Management.” But I digress. Anyway, without time travel, Christie’s plan to call in FedEx Chairman and CEO Fred Smith to help teach the government how to track people who have overstayed their visas can’t work. At least, not if your plan involves finding any of the estimated eleven million people who are here illegally. Well, listen to him try to explain his plan this past Saturday. [Video via Think Progress.]

Christie’s campaign spokesperson (or “spox” as they’ve come to be called these days) is none other than FedEx CEO Fred Smith’s daughter, Samantha. It’s possible that’s a coincidence, and not at all related to Christie mentioning FedEx as part of his plan. It’s also possible that Ebola-infected monkeys will come flying out of Christie’s butt and nest in Donald Trump’s hair. One can dream, but one should probably seek professional counseling or be more diligent about taking one’s meds. But I digress. Christie said that “at any moment, FedEx can tell you where that package is. It’s on the truck. It’s at the station. It’s on the airplane.” But they can’t actually tell you where that package is “at any moment”. In order to do that, each package would have to have something like an RFID tag, which transmits a low-level signal that can be tracked by satellite, and FedEx doesn’t do that for every package they deliver. What they can tell you is where the package was when the bar code label on it was last scanned. And they don’t get scanned all the time. FedEx drivers pick up and deliver hundreds and hundreds of packages each day, so scanning every single package at every stop would be impractical. You can find out when your package got put on the plane, but until it lands and the label is scanned again, all you can find out is that it is in transit. So it is not true that FedEx can tell you where a package is “at any moment.” Christie tried to explain to Chris Wallace that of course he knows people aren’t packages. [Video via Raw Story]

But to use this technology that can find the people who overstayed their visas, you would have to find the people who overstayed their visas and give them some kind of bar code that can be scanned, or a visa with an RFID chip in it. Then you would have to install scanners all over America that can detect these bar codes and RFID tags, and keep their current locations handy so that the microsecond their visas expire, you’ll know exactly where to go pick them up. Assuming that in addition to buying and using all this technology, you also came up with the money to have them picked up, housed while being processed, and transported to a waiting government official in Mexico. Whose taxes are you going to raise to pay for all that? I suggest Donald Trump’s, for starters. Followed by all those millionaires and billionaires who got ginormous tax cuts back in the Reagan days, heralding the beginning of the destruction of the Middle Class in America. The calls for balancing the budget (a completely unnecessary and self-defeating goal) were nothing more than the legalized transfer of wealth to the top 1%, and most of that to the top 0.1%. We were told that the rich people would use their tax cuts to create jobs and the wealth would trickle down to the rest of us. Yes, they actually told us that. And it was complete bullshit and they knew it. Because rich people do not create jobs. Consumer demand creates jobs. A need for a product or service develops, and someone starts up a business to meet the demand for that need. And it isn’t always a rich person doing it. How many times have you heard of the guy who had nothing and started a multi-million dollar business? What rich people often do is give that guy several hundred million for his business and take it over themselves. But no matter how big that business gets, it isn’t the owner that created the jobs, it’s the consumer demand of the Middle Class that created the vast majority of those jobs. Without that demand, there would be no reason for that business owner, either the guy starting out who hasn’t yet made his first million, or that guy with the hilarious Trumpadour hairstyle, to hire people in the first place. But I digress.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Chris Christie, Donald Trump, roadkill you may have personally worn on your head, or anything else you wish to discuss.

31 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, August 31, 2015: Chris Christie vs. Technology

  1. We just missed having today as Labor Day. Four tens this week, and I’ll have a four day weekend starting Thursday at 5:30!

    I bet the CEO of Fed Ex couldn’t track a single package on his own system. His personal assistant probably can, though.

    Thom Hartmann regularly says, ‘we don’t have an illegal worker problem, we have an illegal employer problem’. If they beefed up the E-Verify system, to the point it could be used to prosecute employers who hire ineligible employees, and they actually prosecuted enough of them to make them all scared to cheat, what would happen? Many of the undocumented people would presumably have to leave the country to make a living elsewhere, as in Romney’s idea of self deportation. Putting aside the humanitarian aspect of this, the demand for labor would inevitably rise, and wages would follow. I bet the Rs don’t actually have the guts to cross the wealthy to do this, so Christie’s threat is empty in the first place.

    • Wasn’t it Alabama (possibly Georgia) that kicked out the illegal immigrants only to find that white people couldn’t (in most cases) or wouldn’t (in all the rest) pick the crops, which ended up rotting in the fields? Even prison labor didn’t want to do it. It’s not the money, it’s the hard back-breaking work. And even if they pay the immigrants minimum wage, it’s still going to drive the cost of food up. So people have to decide what’s more important – cheap food or a nation without illegal immigrants.

      • “Illegal immigrants” — a buzzword meant to enable the right wing’s effort to instill ever more hate and fear in the “minds” of the uninformed masses. The ONLY tools Republicans (neo-fascists) have to enable influence and control of the “common” people are hate and fear, and when they find a h/f enabling concept they milk it constantly. They don’t give a shit about consequences; the only consequence they care about is political power and the money implicit. The welfare and well being of we the people isn’t even on their totem pole, and if/when failure of their policies becomes obvious their tools are distractions such as “Benghazi” and “Ebola!” and “Jade Helm!” and “emails!” and etc. etc. etc.

        Today’s GOP has devolved to become the most corrupt political movement in America’s speckled political history. The blame for that reality is, of course, the democrat party and all the evil it’s pulling off with the aid of the Illuminati, Agenda 21, the Free Masons, the New World Order — alladem bad guys that “illegal immigrants” vote for thanks to VOTER FRAUD! which they are working diligently to control.

        The bottom line on “Illegal Immigrants” is that the entire issue could be solved practically overnight if the issue was addressed intelligently and not politically. Which is why it’ll never happen.

    • It would be the humanitarian thing to do to prosecute employers who hire illegally. Illegal workers are easy to exploit.

  2. Deporting “Illegal Immigrants”
    I vaguely recall that Texas and all land west of that was a territory of Mexico until we waged a war against them.
    My history is a little rusty but there was some weak excuse used to seize land from Mexico.
    Deporting people was tried in the 30’s and was an abject failure and ruinous to families and individuals known as Mexican repatriation.

    Today’s weasel words: Mexican Repatriation

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Repatriation

    • The last part of Arizona to become part of Arizona was the area south of the Gila river and down to the current border with Mexico, the so-called “Gadsden Purchase.” Included therein today is Tuscon, AZ’s second largest city and, curiously, AZ’s most “progressive” and “liberal” voters — along with the “patriot” screwballs who are working to “protect” us from ‘them damn Mexican illegals.’

      In a nutshell, the area serves as fairly solid evidence that people with functioning minds, no matter their racial or ethnic heritage, can get along and prosper, and that when problems generated by hate and fear enter the area, it’s invariably white supremacist militia idiots retards that are to blame. And assholes like Donald Trump (et al.)

    • S’true – what would you do if a bunch of people showed up by crossing the border illegally, ignoring the laws of the land (you had to be Catholic to own land and you could not have slaves – slavery was illegal in that country at the time) and then started an armed revolt……. and called it ‘manifest destiny’?

      You might get bit pissed off….. 170 years later and Mexican Manifest Destiny is here – payback’s a bitch, eh, Tex?

  3. Y’know, Chris Xties grand idea should take a page out of sci fi. Have exploding necklaces placed around the vermin’s necks. Have them timed to go off ten minutes after their visa expires. Have them wired to explode if tampered with.
    Only problem then, is processing the vermin quickly enough so that the gummint enforcers don’t get blown up while the vermin are waiting in line.
    In order to prevent this, we could have them wait in concrete bunkers with shower heads for injecting some sort of gas to keep them docile.

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