Archived: From Where Doth This Hate Root?

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“Illegals are taking our jobs, they are leaching off the system,” says Ken from the Ken and John show and about 100 other ill-informed folks whose comments you can read on any Blog that talks about immigration and immigration reform.

If the issue of undocumented persons is that they are taking jobs, think about how many jobs will be lost if over 20 million undocumented persons left this country. How many schools would be empty, how many McDonalds will be closed, how many grocery stores would go broke, how many cell phone stores would board up, and the list goes on.

Albeit several formal studies from UCLA and USC have conclusively proven that undocumented families in this country contribute far more than they take, it is still a mystery as to why the ignorant continue to regurgitate wholesale false statements like “they are taking our jobs, or they are leaching off the system.”

There are far bigger leaches of the system. Take Big Oil in California, which has not paid its fair share of the tax burden over the last decade. California Oil Companies pay a measly .1 of 1 percent oil depletion/production fee, while their peers in the other top four oil producing states in the country on average pay a 20 percent oil production fee.

Legislation has been introduced several times over the last decade to normalize California Oil Companies’ oil depletion/production fee, yet because of the lack of information on the this issue, the bill is killed. False statements floated by the oil companies themselves are picked-up by well respected groups like the California Chamber of Commerce, who then apparently reprint these statements without looking at the data. Statements such as “gas prices will go up” and “jobs will be lost” if such a fee is implemented, make their way into mainstream media without any factual analysis. The truth of the matter, as proven by Lenny Goldberg of the Tax Reform Association, is that “gas prices will not go up,” and that such a fee will generate billions in revenue for California. However, this side of the story is never printed.

A 20 percent oil depletion/production fee would generate $4 – $5 billion in revenues annually for the purpose of creating innovative jobs in clean energy in California. Tax experts have conclusively proven that because we are in a global market, the 20 percent fee would have no effect on gas prices, and could be legally designed to prevent Big Oil in California from passing the fee through to the consumer.

Our economic recovery in this country obviously does not depend on the incarceration of working undocumented persons.  Rather, our recovery depends on our personal ability to look past the hate mongering.  Once we get past the hate, we can clearly see that there are abundant resources in California: Namely with California Big Oil, California’s top ten foundations, and the financial services industry in California that includes big banks, and insurance and investment firms that all fall well short of matching the “percent reinvestment” undocumented families make based on their take.  Meaning that, a majority of what an undocumented person earns in this country is reinvested in the community where they live.  On the other hand, Bank of America in 2007 made 25 percent of its revenue in California, yet the Bank of America Foundation only gave 11 percent of its total giving to California. An increase to 25 percent from Bank of America’s Foundation would have meant an additional $30 million to those serving the needs of California’s disadvantaged. How many jobs could have been created with $30 million?  A missed opportunity for B of A thus far, however, with proper pressure on these named institutions, we can normalize the burden of this recovery so that those who have been well endowed over the last decade will do their fair share of “percent reinvestment” in the economy and the community.

We must be clear in our mission to economic recovery… Big Oil in California, the top 6 banks and the top 10 Foundations in California hold the financial resources California needs to create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

L.A. Ortega was born in Los Angeles and is Founder and President of Community Union, Inc. a community-based computer training organization based in Van Nuys, CA. He sits on various business, education and policy advocacy coalitions throughout California. Contact at Facebook: larry ortega, YouTube: CUIncNews, CUInc@communityunion.org, www.communityunion.org.

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