Ruben Navarrette gets it........
In short, if you don't prepare yourself against competition, you'll be consumed by it.
Competition. A simple concept and a beneficial one. It makes us better by forcing us to work harder. Sadly, it's also an idea that is going out of style in a society where students expect to get good grades just for showing up, where everyone gets a ribbon no matter where they finish, and where parents scheme to get their kids into college by lobbying state legislatures to create set-asides for in-state residents at public universities.
When we're not hiding from domestic competition, we're trying to shield ourselves from the foreign variety. High-skilled workers don't want to compete with those from China, India or Pakistan. Low-skilled workers are just as afraid of those from Mexico, Guatemala or El Salvador.
Politicians only make matters worse. While Republicans exploit the immigration issue, Democrats do the same thing with trade. In last year's Democratic presidential primary, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tried to give displaced workers in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania a convenient villain to blame -- the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Both parties use lies and demagoguery to exploit fears and convince frightened Americans that we can fence ourselves off from competition. Build a wall. Impose a tariff. All so we don't have to put up with the annoyance of being forced to out-work, out-produce and out-hustle someone else to make a living.
Imagine that. What people in other countries accept as the natural order, we continue to resist. What our own parents and grandparents came to expect decades ago when they went after a job, we think we're above. We've come to think that competition is cruel because there are winners and losers; so we spend all our time devising new ways to minimize the losing.