Mr. President/Mr. Sledge?

Too often we attribute Donald Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party to the large number of racists in its base. That is certainly a major factor but far from the only one. Today I want to explore the exploitive (and often deep pocketed) part of the Party which Trump certainly represents. All we have to do is look at the last ten days of events in America to see illustrations of both phenomenon and their compatibility within today’s GOP. Let’s explore.

Last weekend we suffered through mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. The El Paso tragedy had unmistakable links to Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric which emboldens right wing maniacs. This incident was motivated by Trump’s continued fallacy of an immigrant invasion.

On Wednesday Trump made a bizarre visit to El Paso where he never made a public appearance nor visited the site of the mass shooting. Sycophant Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz made certain to get their TV time greeting Trump on the tarmac when Air Force One landed. I’ve never been a fan of either but am I the only one who wonders if Cruz has any integrity or self-respect left?

That same day ICE raided several industrial facilities in Mississippi and arrested over 600 undocumented workers. If you think that was a coincidence, factor in that Wednesday was also the first day of school in Mississippi. MS-13 gangbangers don’t work in meat processing plants. From a management standpoint this was far from the optimal use of resources. Some 600 ICE agents were called in from around the nation to pull off the raids.

Many if not all of the arrested will face serious hardship which some may say they deserve. While I may not completely agree I see that case. My question is how about the employers? To date none have been charged with any offense. These people didn’t hire themselves!

The authorities are not commenting on the status of the employers. In the past, almost without exception, the employers never go to jail. Sometimes the companies pay a fine. Often it is waived or significantly reduced in exchange for their cooperation.

The reason unscrupulous employers hire undocumented workers is because they are easy to exploit. They don’t unionize so you never have to deal with them collectively. You can often get away with paying them a low wage. You can cheat them on things like overtime pay. If they get hurt you simply fire them. They are undocumented, live in fear and aren’t about to make waves.

This is another case of privatizing the profits – it’s relatively easy to make a profit if you labor costs are artificially low. In this case while we do socialize many of the costs involved in having an underpaid population and we ultimately deport many of the exploited. The companies and their fat cat GOP donor owners get to stay; they just hire replacement workers who are often undocumented and the cycle continues.

Largely via the reporting of Pulitzer Prize winner David Farenthold of the Washington Post we have learned that Donald Trump has a long history of employing undocumented workers at his businesses. Of course when caught the Trumps come up with some excuse(s) and promise to be good in the future. Farenthold broke another story Friday morning that Trump still employs a roving crew primarily composed of undocumented workers who travel among his facilities doing stone work. They are skilled craftsmen who would be difficult to replace and American replacements would be much more difficult to exploit. They are so good at what they do that other Trump employees have nicknamed them The Flintstones after the old cartoon series.

In the series Fred Flintstone worked at the quarry and his boss was Mr. Sledge. Is President Trump a modern day Mr. Sledge?

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