The Trick Behind the Heartstrings on Ethnic Grievance

Rhode Islanders need to learn how to translate activist-speak into practical terms so they’ll understand what the advocates who constantly swarm for more money and special privileges are actually requesting.  Consider the latest groundwork-setting for more resources for Rhode Island’s Latino population:

[Anna Cano Morales, director of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University], who was to unveil a report Monday afternoon that details the state of the Latino workforce in Rhode Island, said education and skills training are the keys to having this ever-growing segment of the population flourish.

While state leaders are concentrating their jobs-development agenda on what employers want, Morales said they should also address what potential workers want, what their skills are and what they need to improve those skills.

The headline of the Providence Journal article is “R.I. Latinos lag their white counterparts,” which allows a fundamental dishonesty into the conversation right from the start.  One can’t really claim a group is “lagging” unless you know its starting point.  If family A has been building itself up within American society for six generations and family B arrived last year, family B isn’t “lagging”; they just started later.

It would be unfair and unjust to use government to take from family A that which its members have earned in order to put family B on the fast track.  Indeed, one can go a step farther and observe that Rhode Island government is creating barriers to family A, leading many such families to flee to other states.

Of course, all people should help each other, and the risk is always there for the “I got mine” attitude that Rhode Island has in surplus.  But a voluntary interaction has different effects on both sides of the equation.  The giver reaps the rewards of voluntary giving, and the receiver has gratitude.  When the government forces the exchange, it breeds resentment on one side and entitlement on the other.

What’s really going on here, though, is my frequent theme of a “company state.”  Government agencies and their private-sector satellites are importing people because they will require their services and create a pretense for forcing somebody else to pay for those services.  Far from being virtuous, that process treats people like objects to be manipulated and harmed in the name of helping.

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