By Jonathon Moseley
The Bull Elephant reports on a Seismic Shift occurring May 10, in which Eric Cantor’s machine was defeated in the 7th Congressional District, Cantor’s home turf. According to the Examiner, Republican voters booed and heckled Eric Cantor when he spoke at the 7th Congressional District convention, right after the convention threw out Linwood Cobb, the District Chairman supportive of Cantor, and elected tea party candidate Fred Gruber as Chairman instead.
So should Virginia Republicans pull the plug on Cantor’s machine? Why are Virginia conservatives fighting so hard to disconnect the establishment and crony capitalists from the RPV? Republican leadership nationwide is talking right, but promoting policies that harm the middle class and contradict what voters in Virginia and other States want the GOP to accomplish. Apart from just votes on legislation, other machinations by GOP leaders anger conservatives.
Eric Cantor is the second highest member of the Republican Party’s leadership nationwide, as the Republican Majority Leader in the GOP-controlled U.S. House. Therefore, this local contest takes on national significance. Gruber supports David Brat, who is seeking to retire Eric Cantor by defeating Cantor in the June 10 nominating primary.
Amnesty for illegal aliens is one of several key issues at stake. Inside Virginia, Cantor’s supporters emphasize attacks at their own initiative against “nativists” opposed to amnesty, while promising riches and economic growth if comprehensive immigration reform is passed.
On August 30, 2013, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers published in its journal Spectrum, “The STEM Crisis Is a Myth.” (STEM jobs are those in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.) The IEEE describes itself as the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence in science and engineering for the benefit of humanity. The IEEE article reports that within the United States —
[T]here are more STEM workers than suitable jobs. One study found, for example, that wages for U.S. workers in computer and math fields have largely stagnated since 2000. Even as the Great Recession slowly recedes, STEM workers at every stage of the career pipeline, from freshly minted grads to mid- and late-career Ph.D.s, still struggle to find employment as many companies, including Boeing, IBM, and Symantec, continue to lay off thousands of STEM workers.”
The Washington Post reported on April 24, 2013, in “Study: There may not be a shortage of American STEM graduates after all,” that the United States has “more than a sufficient supply of workers available to work in STEM occupations.” A study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found, for example, that “many computer science graduates report that there are no jobs available for them in their computer disciplines.”
And IEEE analyzed: “Viewed another way, about 15 million U.S. residents hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline, but three-fourths of them – 11.4 million – work outside of STEM.” Therefore, “If there is in fact a STEM worker shortage, wouldn’t you expect more people with STEM degrees to be filling those jobs?”
So there are about 11.4 million high-tech workers who are already citizens or legal residents available to fill high-tech job vacancies, but they are not working those high-tech fields that they chose to get college degrees in. Those are 11.4 million candidates that Microsoft could recruit before trying to import foreign workers.
So why is Eric Cantor pushing for comprehensive immigration reform? That would seriously harm the high-tech Dulles Corridor, originally a Republican initiative to build the benefits of Silicon Valley within Virginia.
Democrats, of course, won’t give Republicans an expansion of immigration for high-tech workers unless Democrats also win amnesty for the 11 to 20 million future Democrat voters who are currently breaking the law. Therefore, amnesty for low-skill workers is a requirement in any compromise to import more high-tech workers so that employers can pay low-skill salaries to highly-trained professionals.
In the 1990’s, some Republicans launched a deliberate strategy to mortgage the GOP to business lobbyists after Newt Gingrich led the Republican Revolution to take over the U.S. House in 1994. Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist, Tom DeLay, and Rick Santorum were some of the early advocates. National conservative leaders living in Virginia, like Grover Norquist, continue to push this approach within Virginia Republican politics. The idea has many fervent converts who are totally convinced of the wisdom of subordinating the RPV to business lobbyists.
Called “the K Street Project,” at first it sounded like a good idea (to some) in 1995. But as time went on, the idea got out of control. Instead of the GOP tapping in to business as a natural ally, crony capitalists completely co-opted the Republican establishment. Instead of Republicans enlisting business lobbyists in their cause, smarter business lobbyists ate the Republican establishment and converted establishment Republicans into puppets for business lobbyists like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The biggest weakness of the Democrat Party is that the American people fundamentally don’t want the polices liberals are selling. So establishment Republicans are now in the same position of advancing policies that the voters don’t like. Establishment Republicans have thrown away their natural advantage of supporting policies that are common sense, and which the American people prefer, to push unpopular policies benefiting crony capitalists.
And one of the most unpopular policies is being sold based on a lie. The Washington Post reported on July 7, 2012, in “U.S. pushes for more scientists, but the jobs aren’t there,” on high-tech graduates who cannot find jobs. The Post quotes Jim Austin, editor of the online magazine Science Careers:
And yet, it seems awfully hard for people to find a job. Anyone who goes into science expecting employers to clamor for their services will be deeply disappointed.
On July 9, 2009, USA Today reported in “Scientist Shortage? Maybe Not” the findings of Michael Teitelbaum, of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York, that there are “substantially more scientists and engineers” graduating from the USA’s universities than can find attractive jobs.
Obviously, Virginia Republicans have always stood for policies promoting a strong economy, job creation, economic freedom, and a business-friendly environment. That has been one of the RPV’s strengths. But establishment Republicans have embraced something completely different. Promoting policies that are fundamentally unpopular, lose votes, and lose elections to please crony capitalists is not the proud tradition of pro-economic growth Republicans.
Eric Cantor’s policies – not what he says but what he pushes for under the table – directly harm Virginia’s voters. Free enterprise depends upon businesses competing for the purchases and loyalty of consumers. Sound, conservative economic policy empowers the consumer in free enterprise, rather than giving preferential treatment to big business. Economic success comes when businesses out-do each other to win over consumers.