Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act smited Graham family’s stability

February 19, 2007

Two posts at Vdare by Patrick Cleburne and Randall Burns lead into this article’s discussion of how Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act harmed the family of Senator Lindsey Graham while he and his sister were growing up. Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act created income inequality and economic insecurity to further undermine Senator Lindsey Graham and his sister’s start in life when both their parents died.

If you look at p60-191.pdf at they have a graph showing income inequality went down from the start of statistics in the 1940’s to bottom out at the time of the 1965 Immigration Act and started up after 1968 and has gone up ever since. Men’s median wages flattened in 1973 and in 2005 were below 1973. See p60-229.pdf graph page 14. Most Senators timed the income inequality graph perfectly, coming of age as young adults when income inequality was low from the 1940’s to 1960’s and then building or increasing fortunes as income inequality increased from 1968 to the present.

In an earlier article, Graham was compared to several other senators who sponsored or cosponsored the S. 2611 amnesty bill who unlike Graham benefited from low income inequality when they started out as young adults and high income inequality in their peak earning years. Several Senators who conspored S. 2611 built or deepened fortunes from the misfortunes of others on the income inequality graph.

From an earlier Old Atlantic article:

The lives of Arlen Specter and the 6 cosponsors of S. 2611 are reviewed at the end of the article in terms of how they fit on the income inequality graph. Arlen Specter, John McCain and Ted Kennedy were born in the 1930’s and became young adults in the 1950’s while income inequality was falling. They could build careers and have families while still young. Two Senators, Chuck Hagel and Mel Martinez were born in 1946. They became 21 in 1967. They had families and full careers as they timed the income inequality graph perfectly, low income inequality when they were young and rising while they got on top. Both became rich on this curve.

Lindsey Graham and Sam Brownback were born in the mid 1950’s. Graham had to start out as the curve was getting worse. He had to choose a career or family and chose career. He has never had children. Brownback solved this problem by marrying an heiress and has 5 children and a career. Brownback is running for president.

Patrick Cleburne comments on the prior Old Atlantic article at
The Senate: In an Income Time Warp?”

Patrick Cleburne

A large number of Americans appear to have realized that income inequality has increased and that massive immigration is substantially responsible. And they are increasingly willing to say so.

A frequently-expressed view of Peter Brimelow’s is that the current generation of political “leaders” was formed intellectually before immigration was discernable as a social problem. Quite possibly they will literally have to die off before public policy will change – people rarely have new ideas.

Personally, though, I still think the more persuasive explanation is that these Senators are selfish, corrupt, and unAmerican.

Mr. Cleburne has some kind words for a previous Old Atlantic column and this blogger, which I thank him for. I am only too well aware of the editing work needed for this blog and I thank my readers for putting up with it.

What To Do With The Senate?” Randall Burns at

Randall Burns deepens our understanding of the comparison of the lives of the Senators by providing information on the life of Lindsey Graham. Burns points out that Graham helped to take care of a sister when both of their parents died.

His sister was taken in by relatives and Graham arranged to do his law school education near to where she was living and also with the military’s assent adopted her so she could take advantage of military health care.

As Burns points out, this was not selfish on the part of Graham. But in the context of the discussion here and in Mr. Cleburne’s column, Graham was distinguished from the selfish Senators as illustrating the impact of economic insecurity as he reached young adulthood. The other Senators’ lives illustrated selfishness and attributing to themselves the advantage of the timing of their birth on the income inequality graph.

The loss of both parents can only be a shock to the sense of economic security of any person. Since Graham had a minor sister at the time, that can only deepen that sense of economic insecurity. In the comparison of the lives above, Graham illustrated how economic insecurity was higher in the late 1970’s and 1980’s as income inequality was going up from its low in 1968 as the effects of Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act cut in.

By pointing this episode out, Burns deepens our understanding of this. Graham was subject to two shocks, one was the loss of his parents while he had a minor sister and the other was the rising tide of income inequality from Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act. This meant it would be harder for her to have a job during school or for her relatives to support her who had taken her in.

In fact, Graham tells us she got 600 dollars per month from Social Security and that she needed that money. This shows how social security had taken the place for the Graham family of a job market with job shortages and high wages, which is the historic basis of income security for all but the rich.

Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act had taken from the Graham family the economic opportunity it needed both before and after the loss of Graham’s parents. The Kennedy 1965 Immigration Act had left the Graham family unprepared except by social security and the kindess of relatives for one of life’s blows, the loss of the two parents. We can infer that Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act kept Graham’s parents from having sufficient life insurance, and that they couldn’t afford sufficient life insurance because Kennedy took away the wages of both of Graham’s parents with his 1965 Immigration Act.


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