Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rising Tide of Xenophobia

A social trend that has been unfolding since April 2010 has been a rising tide of xenophobia at the state level in the United States. Xenophobia is generally characteristic of bear markets of Cycle degree or larger as a bearish social mood results in smaller social units and increased friction between social units. Bear markets also result in increased protectionism in which groups of people based on common characteristics such as race, religion, gender, economic status shut other groups out.

The trend started with Arizona passing an immigration bill, SB 1070, in April 2010. The immigration law drew criticism nationwide due to the possibility of "racial profiling". Massive protests erupted for a number of weeks leading up to the signing of the bill into law, and for a number of weeks afterward. The Obama Administration expressed its disapproval with the law and the US Justice Department sued to block the new law.

The trend accelerated in February 2011 and it continues today. In February 2011, Indiana became the second state to pass tougher immigration laws. This was followed by Utah in March 2011, and then Georgia and Alabama a few months later. In all of the cases, the passing of the immigration laws resulted in massive protests in which people took to the streets.

So far, the rising tide of xenophobia has been kept in check to a large degree as federal judges have blocked all or part of the immigration laws in Utah, Indiana, Georgia, and Arizona. At the federal level, there is still a limited level of openness towards immigrants as evidenced by repeated efforts by the Obama Administration to get the DREAM act passed into law. Considering that we are still near the peak of a Primary degree bear market rally, a limited level of openness would still be evident.

As the next leg down, Primary wave [3] down, commences, expect the tide of xenophobia to accelerate over time, and the rising tide will eventually become too much for the groups such as the ACLU to overcome. Expect the DREAM act to get scrapped in the near future, especially if Michele Bachmann wins the presidency in the 2012 presidential election (more on that later). All pretense of openness towards immigration will disappear in the near future as social mood takes its next leg down. The federal government will eventually close the borders in the future, most likely in 2014, and this would happen regardless of who is president at the time (If its Obama, borders get closed to stop the outsourcing of jobs out of the country, if its Bachmann, borders get closed to stop all further immigration into the country).

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