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Updated: August 3, 2013 6:19AM
In 1907 a surge of over 1 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island and into America.
The majority of the new immigrants were from southern and eastern Europe and were deemed undesirable by the U.S. Congress. One of the questions asked by the immigration officials was, “Do you have any money?”
The hospital at Ellis Island was always overflowing and thousands were turned away for being too ill to be allowed into the country.
These were the poor, oppressed and downtrodden of Europe who came to see the streets of gold. Their most valuable asset was motivation, and the only thing that they asked of their new country was a second chance to succeed.
It’s no coincidence that inequality in America saw a steady decline from 1910 to 1980 when Reaganomics came along.
Millions of immigrants with the right motivation started at the bottom and were given the opportunity to rise financially and socially seized that second chance and made the most of it.
That is what defined us as Americans until Reaganomics redefined us and reshaped our political landscape for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many.
The immigrants today are no different than the immigrants from 100 years ago. They are still deemed as undesirable by the U.S. Congress. They are still just as poor and relatively uneducated. They are also just as motivated and deserving of a second chance.
Unfortunately, success is a combination of motivation along with opportunity. Ranked along side of all developed countries, America comes in dead last in terms of social and economic mobility. America comes in at 27th place for the wealth of its middle class.
If we could infuse a healthy dose of our own money into a jobs bill, with the increase in immigrant manpower and motivation alongside a decent minimum wage, we could once again become the land of opportunity. All we need to do is pry our money out of the cold greedy hands of the Republican Party.
Michael J. McGregor
Our chaotic future
Two members of my extended family spent their time with members of the same sex. We always enjoyed visits with them, but never knew if they were “gay” because sex should be a private matter.
But times are changing. Gay rights leaders are using the mainstream media, politics and the courts to “come out” and declare war on moral principles that are vital to our nation’s survival.
Freedom and morality are the pillars of civilization. As they crumble in America, popular disaster movies forecast the destruction of our civilization. But don’t rely on Hollywood fantasy.
History and scripture offer a clear blueprint of America’s chaotic future as we abandon the way of life that made us great.