Commonwealth Republican Women's Club

Alexandria, Virginia
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CRWC Conservative Book Club
This page was last updated on: August 6, 2019
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At their March meeting, the book club had a lively discussion of the book: We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative by George Borjas.
Come and join us!
Everyone is welcome! 

The CRWC Book Club was founded in September, 2017 by Susan Yonts-Shepard, past president of CRWC, the club's Twitter afficionado, and staunch defender of the conservative way of life.

The book club's goal is to read books about, by, and for conservatives on all of the important issues of the day.

We meet on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Members may bring their own lunch.  The hostess of the month provides drinks. 
Next Meeting

Home of Jan Bates

TBD at 1:00 p.m.

Urban Policy Papers from The Manhattan Institute
2018-2019 Schedule
April - June
Judege Jeanine Pirro
Sean Spicer
Kenneth Starr
Steve Hilton
Alan Dershowitz
George Borjas
Jonah Goldberg
Manhattan Institute
Liars, Leakers, & Liberals
The Briefing
Positive Populism
The Case against Impeaching Trump
We Wanted Workers

Suicide of the West
Urban Policy Papers
Prior Meetings
NEW!! Book Exchange: Feel free to bring to the meeting books you no longer want to exchange for books others bring. Any genre, biographies, mysteries, fiction, non- fiction; it doesn’t matter, someone will want them!
March 16, 2019
Home of Susan Yonts Shepard
The book is full of interesting facts, two of which are that 46 percent of immigrants are on welfare and a majority of them live in California. Borjas says that 98 percent of the benefits of immigration goes to the immigrants. The take-away ideas from the book: We must 
1) have secure borders; 
2) compensate those native Americans who are displaced by immigrant labor; 
3) give up on trying for comprehensive immigration reform; instead, fix pieces of the problem like chain immigration, require English language skills; 
4) remove birthright for the children of illegal immigrants; 
5) extend the prohibition on paying Federal welfare benefits to immigrants for five years to benefits provided at the State level; 
6) and finally, the most surprising recommendation of all, get rid of affirmative action programs.
July 20, 2019
Home of Laurie Kirby
Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy by Jonah Goldberg

Goldberg writes in an easy to read style and his research is very good. The book contains an excellent bibliography of his sources if you want more information on any of the topics he covers. He is also masterful at one liners that sum up some deep and critical thinking. One of the more interesting points he makes is how capitalism destroyed slavery. The very notion that an individual could sell his or her labor or skill to someone else was a completely new concept. Communism, Fascism, any of the isms he notes are all “command economies” and yet are always sold to the people as good for the social order. Ultimately they all lead to forced labor by everyone. You no longer work for yourself. You work for the State. And the State decides what you get in return for your labor. Very different from a willing seller and a willing buyer deciding what a person’s talent and labor are worth. In socialist societies, you are paid what you are paid, or not, it is dependent on the State. Capitalism gives you the option to walk away and find someone who will pay you what you are worth, if you are unhappy.

In discussing “Identity politics” Goldberg notes identity politics is exactly what you see in governments led by absolute monarchs, dictators and even the caste system in India. You, as part of a class, tribe, caste, or type are ascribed a status; you have not achieved a status due to your own effort. Identity politics is manufactured tribalism. “It is the heart of the aristocracy and the soul of nationalism. Identify politics may be a modern term but it is an ancient idea. Embracing it is not a step forward but a retreat to the past.” 
We Wanted Workers by George Borjas

Our book of choice for March was We Wanted Workers by Dr. George Borjas. Everyone was very impressed with the book. It is an honest look at immigration beginning with the last major wave of immigrants to enter the US in the early 1900s up to the current day. We all felt Borjas did a good job of putting to rest some of the more extreme beliefs on all sides of the immigration issue. And unlike some in academia these days he presents his findings with no ideological gloss. 

The book opens with Professor Borjas's own immigrant story.  He came to the US with his family from Cuba shortly after the Castro dictatorship took power. But Borjas is no sentimental supporter of immigration. He is an economist and believes strongly that the numbers on immigration speak for themselves.

He casts a clear eye on the claims made both for and against immigration and concludes that the benefits to native-born Americans are minimal compared to those that accrue to the immigrants themselves. While assimilation, becoming American, is the goal of some immigrants, many of the current policies we have for immigrants actually work against their integration into society at large and allow them to live in enclaves where they don’t have to learn English and don’t have to assimilate. All of which works against them and the US economy.
On religion Goldberg notes that Christianity recognize every person is due a certain measure of justice and every person is obliged to respect others as children of God. The Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the seed from which grew the concept of the individual. (ed. Individualism is a concept missing from Islamic teachings.) Goldberg also notes the notion that God is watching you even when others are not is probably the most powerful civilizing force in all of human history. He quotes author C.K. Chesterton “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”

And finally a couple of pithy quotes from the book: “We drown in information but we starve for knowledge.” And a quote we thought should be included in all Republican literature/handouts “The Government can improve your net worth with a check, but it cannot improve your self-worth.”