Order a print subscription
Search: 

Archive


Bail Bondsman Chesterfield VA
cover

Subscribe to our newsletter

Opinions

October Letters To and From the Editor

If you don’t believe in fixing the immigration system or you ascribe to the falsity of undocumented Mexicans raping and murdering innocent, hardworking Americans, please take the time to read this week’s cover story.

P.C. Amin, a native of Gujarat, a state in western India, came to the United States in 1970 to get an education and a job. He ended up in Richmond, working for the Virginia Department of Transportation only because, well, he ran out of bus money.

Amin went on to build the region’s largest hotel company. Today, his family operates 38 properties with assets in excess of half a billion dollars. He employs 1,500 people. All told, his hotels pump $10 million a year into local tax coffers. Through hard work and a penchant for homing in on – and eliminating – inefficient operations, Amin and his family-owned business, Shamin Hotels, have turned around a number of hotels that were either bankrupt or in financial duress.

Amin’s story is one among many. Look around the region, find any strip shopping center that is pushing more than 25 years in age and you’ll find immigrants running shops, filling empty storefronts that would be contributing nothing to the local economy if they weren’t there. Many of the immigrants who are already contributing to the economy are undocumented. They could contribute so much more if our government only made it easier for them to do so.

We need the young, mostly working-age immigrants who come here more than ever. The labor force participation rate – the number of adults who have a job or are seeking one – has been declining for years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. One of the big reasons: About 75 million baby boomers, whose working years peaked in the late 1990s, are entering retirement. As they leave the workforce, they become dependent on government entitlement programs. Meanwhile, birth rates have been declining for the last two decades, and there won’t be enough young people entering the labor market to offset the number of boomers leaving it.

It’s called the dependency ratio – and it’s heading in the wrong direction. There will be more 65-plus people drawing money out of the system than what’s going back in. From a policy perspective (certainly not a political one), perhaps one of the simplest solutions is to provide those who want to come here and contribute to the economy a chance to do so. If we stop viewing illegal immigrants as a threat, we might find they hold the keys to our future.

– Scott Bass




Editor’s note ‘misleading and condescending’

I am not a Trump guy. With that said, I found your September letter [“From the Editor”] to be misleading and condescending, using phrases like “needs an outlet” as if some benevolent, smarter than “we the people” master is there to turn the valve when we’ve let off enough steam to tamp us down for another four years. And without that outlet, the people’s frustration might, God forbid, seep out like some kind of sludge from the sewer. The imagery you intended is palpable.

Then staging the tea party and Occupy movements as counterweights to one another is simply false. The tea party was, and is, completely organic in its beginnings and continued impact. It has been carried out lawfully, respectfully and with tremendous effectiveness, unlike the Occupy “movement,” which turned out to be a gathering of mostly directionless pawns financed by progressives behind a curtain. Occupy is known best for its in-your-face lawlessness. Yet, with all of this well documented, you refer to the tea party with qualifiers like “fairly constructive” and “all things considered.” What things? While referring to Occupy as “refreshing”? You mean as refreshing as the morning after a party gone very bad with unresponsive bodies lying about, trash everywhere and human waste in all the wrong places? Today, the tea party is alive and well and still very much influencing events, while the Occupy folks have crawled back to their college campuses and parents’ basements with hangovers.

What’s depressing is that you’re too smart not to know this, and maybe at some point you’ll admit as much. We’ll see!

Ben Thompson
Midlothian

© 2017 Chesterfield Observer