Published on: September 7, 2017
On Tuesday, we pointed out that CEOs from a number of companies were asking President Trump not to dismantle the the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was instituted by President Obama as a way of guaranteeing the children of undocumented US residents that they would not be deported. Subsequently, President Trump announced that the program would be ended, though he gave the US Congress six months to legislate a replacement, and then, several hours later, announced that he would ”revisit” his decision if Congress could not do so.
The original story prompted this email from an MNB reader:This situation is unfortunate but we need to maintain our borders, control immigration and follow the law. The 800,000 illegals would not be here if President Obama had enforced existing immigration laws. This is plainly Obama’s failure where he admitted he did not have constitutional authority to pass a law and DACA is not a legal law. The children’s parents wouldn’t have come here, if Obama hadn’t encourage the various Central and South American countries to send their citizens here through Mexico. These people may not have come here. To make it more enticing they were given a free ride on the backs of taxpayers. These companies that are left wing progressive and these people mean cheap labor for them and futures democratic voters. It seems these CEOs are less about America and jobs for Americans. What about all the people who have gone through the legal immigration process to become citizens or to work here and spent years doing so? While it is too bad these children are in this situation because of their parents poor judgement and Democrats (and some Republicans) failure to reform the immigration policy legally. I voted for President Trump as did many other Americans. We want America to Be Great Again. Apparently Americans agreed with his position on immigration and draining the swamp. Maybe (the swamp) Sanders, Obama, the Bushes and Clintons (pay for play) would be willing to give all the money they made while they were public servants (getting rich) to support the less fortunate in developing countries so these people would not risk their lives or lose them coming here illegally.
Just a few points here, if I may. (I can’t help myself.)
A lot of the children covered by DACA have been here far longer than eight years, so it is not entirely Obama’s fault.
It is true that there is an argument about whether or not Obama had the constitutional authority to promise these children that they would not be deported. But if I understand the situation correctly, it is, in fact, an argument - some legal scholars think he did, and some think he did not. And, in fact, the Supreme Court has not ruled on the constitutionality issue. So it remains an argument without concrete resolution.
Yes, the constitutionality was being challenged by a number of states Attorneys General. But there were almost as many prepared to defend DACA, and they’re planning to go to court to do so even now.
I’m not sure it is fair to say that they were being given a free ride on the backs of US taxpayers. Many of the people covered by DACA actually have been paying taxes, not to mention serving their country and communities, and contributing to the nation’s economic well-being.
I find it kind of offensive when people suggest that, in this case, CEOs who disagree with them and make a reasoned argument care “less about America and jobs for Americans.” That strikes me as drawing with an incredibly broad brush, and comes perilously close to suggesting that any opinion at variance with yours is somehow un-American. They are simply advancing an argument - supported by some, but admittedly not all, economists - that these folks actually help to support our economy, not hurt it. They think that one of the ways to keep America great - as opposed to making it “great again” - is to embrace these immigrants, not punish them. You can disagree with them, but don’t question their patriotism.
(By the way, there are a lot of people in the food business, which depends on the health of the agricultural community, who are very worried about the DACA repeal. The CEOs objecting to the Trump administration’s policies on this are not just liberal-leaning tech types, but people from all sorts of business sectors, many of them traditionally conservative.)
You’re right that many people voted for Trump. About three million fewer than voted for Hillary Clinton. This is not to suggest that he is an illegitimate president; he won the Electoral College vote, and that’s how the game is played. But I get tired of either side of the aisle suggesting that they have a mandate when they have nothing of the sort. I just wish they’d all compromise a lot more about issues that actually matter and try to score cheap political points a lot less.
For the record, I actually would prefer a nuanced, reasonable immigration policy that is in keeping with basic American values and that reflects modern economic realities … and I’d like it to be voted on by the Senate and House of Representatives and then signed by a President. I have no idea if this is possible, but maybe being given a six month deadline by the White House will be a way to get the disparate parties to strike a deal. I hope so.
I say all this not because I want to get into a political argument with you, but just because I think it is important to recognize that this is a complex discussion, and that there is another side to the argument - lots of people, maybe almost as many as agree with you, and maybe more than agree with you, feel differently. You can’t just dismiss them, or demonize them. Actually, I guess you can … but that simply doesn’t advance any sort of understanding of the issue, much less get us anywhere near a compromise or resolution.
It was interesting to read a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News
poll saying that "more than three-quarters of Democrats, but less than one-third of Republicans, said they felt comfortable with societal changes that have made the U.S. more diverse.” And, there’s another poll, from the Public Religion Research Institute and the Atlantic
, saying that almost half of white, working-class Americans say that “things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country.”
These are not small numbers. It reflects a social, cultural and economic divide that sometimes seems impossible to bridge. In my opinion, one cannot begin to do so by trying to minimize these feelings, or characterizing the people who feel that way as “deplorables.” That’s just plain stupid. But you also can’t ignore the fact that a significant percentage of the country does not feel the way you do, and you shouldn’t dismiss those people as un-American.
We had a story and commentary yesterday about the importance of small format stores, and how retailers have to figure out how to shrink their offerings in order to keep pace with an increasingly urban America.
To which MNB reader Mike Griswold responded:Great points about store formats. There are very few work related topics that keep my up at night, but this is one of them. My concern is that too many retailers store designs for 2018, 2019 still look like stores from 2010-12. Retailers must have more space for e-comm fulfillment in their store designs.
“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. ” Store design teams must be working with supply chain and store operations to better understand the growing requirements of in-store fulfillment.
MNB reader Glenn Cantor wrote:Retailers with large stores don’t necessarily have to re-invent themselves by developing small stores. Instead, they should start with compartmentalizing the shopping experience (and path to purchase) within their larger stores. Separate entrances and checkout areas would make it easier for shoppers meet the needs of specific shopping trips. In a sense, store pick-up already does this.
MNB reader Burt Thomas wrote:With regards to the article in Wednesday’s MNB with Kevin Kelley and “think small” I don’t believe many traditional retailers will want to go small and give up potential new item funding $’s with a smaller selection of items on the shelf. Many of these retailers have budgeted new item funding into their bottom line that they may not be able to make up by going small. They will certainly need to change their model to be successful and survive the pressures coming from every direction.
You betcha. I would argue that any retailer keeping a large store format alive just because it allows it to collect more slotting and promotional allowances has already lost the war. They may win a few battles, but making money on the buy and not the sell will be an increasingly perilous way to go to market at a time when smart retailers are figuring out how to be more targeted about how they reach out to customers.
And, from MNB reader Howard Carr:While I do not disagree with your idea that these grocery operators should start thinking about smaller footprint operations, how do you respond to the level of adoption from the buying public to the Wegman’s 100,000 sf and larger format, which has proven to be hugely successful?
I am of the belief that the retailers and the food manufacturers need to drill down into what the buying public wants, and WHERE they want it. If the customer is going to shop more frequently and purchase more “fresh” product, then the smaller fresher concept is more likely to survive into the future as we enter a time period of re-urbanization where more smaller households shop more frequently for smaller amounts of product each time. However, that lifestyle will not hold true for larger family units, especially with two working parents. There is just not enough time in the schedules of today’s family units to allocate enough time to grocery shop more frequently. The need for this diminishes even more due to better food storage facilities within our homes (refrigerators and freezers).
I’m certainly not saying that all stores need to be small, or big, or even medium. What matters most is what they carry, not how big they are …. though I do think the vulnerability of center store to e-commerce will mean that large stores will be less necessary in a lot of locations and to a lot of people.
Regarding the impact of automation on the economy and employment, MNB reader Jessica Duffy wrote:I was just having this conversation with my son the other day. What automation should theoretically do is reduce the need for people to be stuck in tedious, monotonous, boring, and potentially more dangerous jobs for 8 hours a day, while opening up more work for sourcing, programming, fixing, and producing those robots – hopefully work that will be more productive and fulfilling and safe than traditional production and retail jobs. The key of course is education and training of those who would need to be routed differently to be able to take on those new jobs.
You’re right … but this won’t happen by itself. We need companies and government working together to address this issue, with a strong and coordinated public policy approach.