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Random Thoughts on the May Day protests, illegal immigration and security
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I get a sense that in a lot of places, the protests would be deemed "successful" by their organizers. Huge crowds in Chicago, LA and NY. But in Atlanta, in a state full of immigrants, both legal and illegal, not so much. I assme that was the case in other areas as well. As few as 2,500 and as many as 4,500 are reported to have been at the State Capitol rally yesterday. Like I said, fewer than go to Hawks games and you know how well the Hawks have done.

I also notice that fact wasn't covered in most of the MSM accounts of the protests.

Again, I remain emotionally torn on the subject of illegal immigrants. I can sympathize and empathize with those who's only intent is to better their life and the lives of their family members. On the other hand, I lean, intellectually, to resisting their demands for citizenship based on simply being here after disobeying the law. And, of course, given the WoT I have security and sovereignty concerns. I also have cultural and social concerns. Assimilation does not seem to be a priority or desire for many of those flooding our country.

And then there is the cost. I'm always reminded of a Milton Friedman quote, which I can only paraphrase, in which he said open borders wouldn't be an issue if we weren't a welfare state. Think about it. Although he didn't anticipate the security concerns, his point is valid.

We hear that illegal immigrants give more than they take and that they do jobs that Americans won't do. I say poppycock, and here's a single example which proves the point:
"The meat packers are confirming what we know," says University of Maryland economics professor Peter Morici, "and that is that this large group of illegal aliens in the United States is lowering the wage rate of semiskilled workers, people who are high school dropouts or high school graduates with minimal training."

In fact, a meat-packing job paid $19 an hour in 1980, but today that same job pays closer to $9 an hour, according to the Labor Department. That's entirely consistent with what we've been reporting — that illegal aliens depress wages for U.S. workers by as much as $200 billion a year in addition to placing a tremendous burden on hospitals, schools and other social services.
Would Americans work as meat-packers at $19 an hour? Ever visit Green Bay in the '80s? But most won't work for $9 an hour. Yet defenders of illegals claim they're helping us more than they're hurting us. When the average hourly wage is a little over $16, few Americans can afford to work for $9 wages and even think about raising a family. Not so with illegals who even at $9 an hour earn 3-5 times more than they could in their home country. Not being able to afford to work for a wage isn't an unwillingness to do the job.

No one questions the work ethic of the illegal immigrant, but I'm sick and tired of the continued questioning of the work ethic of US workers through this tired canard.

A mildly disturbing but not surprising aspect of yesterdays protests is the infiltration of left-wing parasite groups such as ANSWER. Some protesters seemed to understand that ANSWER's agenda was not their agenda ("Palestinian solidarity" for heaven sake?), but still tacitly accepted their participation since it swelled their numbers. And, of course, the "La Raza" crowd will do nothing but hurt any cause, and especially that of illegal immigrants.

I do believe we have to take strong and measured steps to stop this uncontrolled mass influx of illegals.

Step 1: Control the border (and I'm going to do a post on how I believe that could be accomplished technically at some point). Expeditiously hire and train the Border Patrol personnel necessary and give them the assets, equipment and authority to do the task.

Step 2: Set up a fast and effective way of marrying up those who want to work here and those who want to employ them. Require that those who wish to be guest workers must sign up in their home country or be considered illegal and subject to immediate deportation and permanent barring from the country. Requiring those who wish to participate as guest workers sign up in their native countries is a "self-deportation" measure.

Step 3: Stringently enforce existing laws against businesses who hire illegal aliens. No work, no illegals. Make this a priority. Make a Social Security confirmation database readily and easily available to employers and require that all new-hires have their identity checked and confirmed through that means. Then things like this would be less and less likely to happen:
One internal study found that a restaurant company had submitted 4,100 duplicate Social Security numbers for workers. Other firms submit inaccurate names or numbers reports for nearly all of their employees. One child's Social Security number was used 742 times by workers in 42 states.

"That's the kind of evidence we want," said Paul Charlton, the U.S. attorney in Arizona. He regularly prosecutes unauthorized workers, but says it's hard to prove employers are involved in the crime.

"Anything that suggests they had knowledge . . . is a good starting point. If you see the same Social Security number a thousand times, it's kind of hard for them to argue they didn't know."
Step 4: Set realistic immigration and guest worker goals and expedite and steramline the process. IOW, get into the archaic and byzantine bureaucracy which makes illegals choose to break the law v. attempting to work within it. There is no reason it should take months or years for permission to immigrate or work to be granted. Make it easier to apply legally than it is to sneak in illegally and people will play by the rules.

Border security first, guest worker program and enforce the existing laws rigorously second, and radically reform the immigration bureaucracy to expedite those programs.

Citizenship? We'll talk about that when we get the immigration and security issues under control. But suffice it to say, no one, especially those here illegally, is entitled to citizenship, no matter how loudly they demand it.

OK, I'm all over the place here, but as I entitled the post, they're 'random thoughts' about the whole issue. Your thoughts are solicited.
 
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Amen McQ - My thoughts are all over the place as well, but you pretty well covered them. It is the empathy we feel for these people that causes the problem. I care for them as people, but want them to care for the laws of my country. It’s tough to have rule of law when you only randomly apply the law.

I like your Step 2 - force people to go home to sign up. Self deportation in order to get back in legally. I like it.

One other item I’d throw into the mix for discussion is the whole Spanish anthem thing. Have you read the translation? Here’s a hint, it has nothing to do with our battle for freedom as American’s. It is about the struggle of the latino. Now lets just think about what would have happened to the _____ (fill in the blank with your favaorite nationality) had they arrived in the US in the 1800’s, kept their own language, not assimilated and came up with their own ’national’ anthem.

And finally - on the cover of Investors Business Daily today was a picture of one of the rallies. The biggest sign, front and center said ’no human can be illegal’. Wow. And here I was thinking those pesky laws were meant to be followed. Apparently I can break all I want because I’m human, and therefore can not be ’illegal’.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
You’re going to have to address the 500 gorilla sitting on the divan.
Do we change the law so that it’s not automatic that a non-citizen of this country can give birth to a citizen by virtue of being inside our borders.
Being born here to non-citizens shouldn’t give you automatic citizenship.

I realize that the above is going to make for some heart-wrenching, made for television broadcast scenes when it comes to people returning to their homelands. But I refuse to be swayed by any more ’for the children’ arguments.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
This came up at Jerry Pournelle’s site today....
[...] the Goths wanted nothing more than to be part of the Roman Empire and its wealth, they didn’t intend to invade and conquer they just wanted in, and they came not in armies and hordes but in tribes a few hundred a day... Eventually Theodoric the Goth deposed the last Roman Emperor of the West. They were Arian heretics but wanted to control the Church even so. Perhaps there are some lessons in there. Perhaps not.
And of course, there’s the difference between "immigrant" and "colonist".
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Do we change the law so that it’s not automatic that a non-citizen of this country can give birth to a citizen by virtue of being inside our borders.

Being born here to non-citizens shouldn’t give you automatic citizenship.
Well you’re right, and I’d be interested in a little judicial review in that particular case.

the 14th Amendment says "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. "

The question is whether those who are born here are "subject to the juridiction thereof" if their parents aren’t (because they’re here illegally.

It was found, in 1884 Elk v. Wilkins that native Americans born in the US were not automatically citizens because as members of tribes, they were not wholly ’subject to the jurisdiction’ of the federal government. Congress later reversed that decision.

There’s also US v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), where the court ruled that birth within a US territory made Wong Kim Ark a US citizen even though the parents could not be legally naturalized.

But I’m still not completely sold on the last interpretation (not that it matters)but it probably is in line with the Congressional legislation which reversed Elk v. Wilkins.

My guess is, though, that if Congress could change the original decision legislatively, they could then do it again, if so desired, without a consitutional amendment.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
One other item I’d throw into the mix for discussion is the whole Spanish anthem thing. Have you read the translation?
I think there are two versions. The one which has been in the news recently is a translation of the English. But, as I understand it, there is one coming out in June which has verses which have nothing to do with our national anthem.

The most important point I’d make about a spanish language anthem is not that I think it is disrespectful (I’m talking of the close translation) but instead it goes to my concern about assimilation. It is another among many indicators that a significant portion of those demanding rights here have no intention of assimilating with the dominant culture. And that concerns me (just as it should have concerned France when it realized the number of unassimilated muslims it has within its borders).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Courtesy of NPR -
English translation:

Verse 1

It’s sunrise. Do you see by the light of the dawn

What we proudly hailed last nightfall?

Its stars, its stripes

yesterday streamed

above fierce combat

a symbol of victory

the glory of battle, the march toward liberty.

Throughout the night, they proclaimed: "We will defend it!"

Chorus

Tell me! Does its starry beauty still wave

above the land of the free,

the sacred flag?

Verse 2

Its stars, its stripes,

Liberty, we are the same.

We are brothers in our anthem.

In fierce combat, a symbol of victory

the glory of battle,

(My people fight on)

the march toward liberty.

(The time has come to break the chains.)

Throughout the night they proclaimed: "We will defend it!"

Tell me! Does its starry beauty still wave

above the land of the free,

the sacred flag?
Not exactly ’And the rockets red glare’. And the whole thing about ’does it still wave over the land of the free gets me. The question is not asked to mean ’does the flag still fly’ it is asking rhetorically ’is this land still free’. And that’s what gets me. No one wants to limit their freedom, unless of course their acts limit someone elses.

Oh yeah, and the fact it is in Spanish really gets me. Lack of assimilation, lack of concern for the host country... what would their reaction be if we showed up in Mexico City one day with 5,000 gringo’s singing an English translation of the Mexican anthem? Probably would not be a good day for 5,000 gringo’s.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
I think there are two versions.

Nuestro Himno is an "interpretation", not a direct translation into Spanish. That’s why it doesn’t mention the rockets red glare. I think Meagain is reading a little too much into it. This is what happens when people try to translate poetry or songs and keep the rhythm or rhyme - you have to change the direct meaning of the words.

A direct translation can be found at Wikipedia - I have also posted it in an article at AtlasBlogged, if anybody would like to make a comparison to Nuestro Himno.

But the version of Nuestro Himno that McQ is talking about being released in June includes rapping in English:

Let’s not start a war
With all these hard workers
They can’t help where they were born


That’s a little off theme from Francis Scott Key.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
It seems to me we’re conflating a number of issues that need to be considered separately: immigration, illegal immigration, border security, and assimilation.

Immigration doesn’t concern me but the security part does. Control the borders and illegal immigration takes care of itself (day forward).

And with respect to illegals currently in the country, I have a question: are there good reasons why illegal immigration should be treated differently than other crimes? I’m not necessarily hostile to the idea but I’d certainly like to hear the argument.

It can’t be that we’re "a nation of immigrants". All countries are from Albania to Zimbabwe. Except maybe in Tanzania, everybody everywhere is ultimately from somewhere else.

It can’t be that the perpetrators just want a better way of life. All criminals do. All humans do. It’s not a justification for breaking the law.

It can’t be that many of those who enter illegally subsequently live within the law. That’s true of other lawbreakers as well. We prosecute them nonetheless. It is sometimes used to mitigate the penalty, though, and I think that might be reasonable in this case, too. The problem here is that many illegal immigrants demonstrate indifference to any other law that gets in their way, too, e.g. drivers licenses and mandatory insurance.

It can’t be that there are so many of them. Otherwise we wouldn’t prosecute traffic violations. And the "how do we deport 12 million" argument? Puh-leeze. Does anyone propose that we give a pass to other lawbreakers because we can’t resolve all the other unsolved crimes at once?

There have never been laws here that forced assimilation. The closest there’s been has been the public school system and it’s now a barrier to assimilation. Should there be? Times change.

As far as the National Anthem goes, I’ve been in favor of a Constitutional amendment making English the official and sole national language for 40 years. Until it is as far as I’m concerned people can say (and sing) anything they want in any language they want to use under any circumstances.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
The jurisdiction thereof is interesting - I mean, if they commit a crime here, bank robbery, grand theft, etc, they are certainly going to be subject to our jurisdiction.
I would hope it would be re-interpreted to mean what was almost certainly intended, that children of our citizens are our citizens, and of course that people who are properly naturalized are our citizens.

That particular issue though is going to be played strongly as families of ’citizens’ are sent back to their own countries. That we are deporting American citizens and that we’re fairly evil. "It’s for the children!".

I already saw someone play the "poor us" card on a previous thread. How they came from poor countries, where staying or being sent back would somehow translate to death (even though clearly large numbers of them stay and some probably even go back without being consigned to a shallow grave) and therefore we were obligated to let them break the law to come here, and were obligated to adjust the law so they could stay here. I think it’s fairly obvious what would happen if the majority of the ’poor’ of the world decided tomorrow that it was their right to reside in the US.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
It seems to me we’re conflating a number of issues that need to be considered separately: immigration, illegal immigration, border security, and assimilation.
Heh ... that’s why I called in "random thoughts".

But I don’t conflate them at all. My position has always been "first, control the border". Then talk about immigration reform and illegal immigration.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Nuestro Himno is an "interpretation", not a direct translation into Spanish. That’s why it doesn’t mention the rockets red glare. I think Meagain is reading a little too much into it. This is what happens when people try to translate poetry or songs and keep the rhythm or rhyme - you have to change the direct meaning of the words.
When you think about it, it is english translated into spanish and then back into english. Nothing is going to survive that well.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
." This is what happens when people try to translate poetry or songs and keep the rhythm or rhyme - you have to change the direct meaning of the words."

An excellent reason to use the original, English version.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Bah...The present-day immigrants will not be integrated totally, but their children will be. Again total assimilation may not be good thing. The immigrants have some good things to bring to the table (The Indians and Chinese come to mind, with their near-fanatical devotion to education)

11-12 million illegal immigrants problem will be easily solved (politically) by legalizing them and making them pay into Social Security. Legalizing the illegal immigrants will be sold as a remedy to the social security deficit...
 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
Border security first, guest worker program and enforce the existing laws rigorously second, and radically reform the immigration bureaucracy to expedite those programs.
All well and good. You address these issues unobjectionably. I like your plan. Cool beans.
However,
The most important point I’d make about a spanish language anthem is not that I think it is disrespectful (I’m talking of the close translation) but instead it goes to my concern about assimilation.
Awe, you shouldn’t concern yourself. Answer this: How many alien brood have you met that doesn’t speak English?
Every time America had an influx of immigrants, illegal or no, whether they be German, Italian, Polish, Irish, and so on, the arriving party spoke very little English if any. But in each and every case, the immigrant’s children spoke English perfectly well.

Now by now you must be thinking, Well no mierda, pendejo. This difference is, that when other nationalities immigrate to America, they tend to shed their native tongue and learn ENGLISH.
True. They were separated by oceans, however. Also, the geographical proximity between the U.S. and Mexico isn’t the only issue. There is a cultural and historical lateral as well. Here in Tejas.., umm.., excuse me, Texas, I’m surrounded by it. Coming home everyday, I cross the Brazos River.., umm, excuse me, Arms Rio.

I realize that all of this is merely academic. And that place names and language integrations are not the primary concern of those who wish immigrants to learn English. But for the life of me, I cannot discern as to what those concerns might be. Why should it matter to me, or you, if a particular segment of the population doesn’t speak the English tongue? It seems that the only people Spanish speaking people seem to hurt are themselves.
When I go about certain parts of Houston, TX, the parts where all of shops and markets are presented in Espanol, the reason I don’t feel threatened is that I have a myriad of other choices around town, the overwhelming majority of them English. There are parts of Houston where I can go that all of the pictorials are in Vietnamese, for Pedro’s sake. And none of these situations harms me in the least bit.
Our friend, the market, has determined this. So goes the market, so goes the language. So… tough tacos, gringo.

Okay. So when does it become harmful? I would say that if or when any other language than English is taught in schools, other than by choice of course. When government documents and other official business must be conducted in many different languages, also raises concerns. And I know of instances where these scenarios are occurring… and that does concern me. It is cost prohibitive and counter-productive.
Regarding the cultural perspective…, not so much.

But back to hombre.
I have worked with many Hispanic fellows, some of them didn’t speak a lick of English. My experiences were that I found none of them who DIDN’T want to learn English, they all did. And I helped them as much as I could,.. Cómo se dice en ingles,… “gentleman’s club.” Bottom line, it’s extremely difficult to learn a second language as an adult. But rest assured, their progeny will more than likely speak better English than El Presidente. So cut ‘em a little slack, will ya’.

The Hispanic community is a cultural plus.
Vamos a la cantina.
Tequila, anyone.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
An excellent reason to use the original, English version.

Hey, way to miss the point.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
At first thought, I am all for securing the border with troops.

Now, how long do we think it will take before the forces that be, on Mexicos side, push a batch of women and children up into the battle zone. What do we do? Shoot them? It would happen sooner or later. Some innocent would get killed by our troops. Do we have the heart to not only close the border by force but to deal with the concequinces?
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
We could invade and conquer Mexico, turning the Mexican states into territories. It would certainly solve the citizenship issue, as well as dramatically reducing the length of border we would need to defend.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
I think we should be honored that they want to translate our national anthem into Spanish. America’s about more than a language.

Also, if we want a secure border on the cheap, we could revisit some Vietnam war ideas:

landmines.

tac nuke landmines if we are SERIOUS.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
"Hey, way to miss the point."

I think I made my point. What’s your point, that changing meanings is a good thing?

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
What’s your point, that changing meanings is a good thing?

Not at all.

The individual words do not have to be translated in a literal, word-for-word manner in order for a work to keep the same intent and spirit - the meaning. Surely you would agree that this is true for other works - say, prose or political speches. It’s rarely an issue, but it can be for some works, especially lyrics. In order for lyrics to have any rhythm or rhyme in another language, it is sometimes necessary to use something other than a direct, word-for-word translation.

Nuestro Himno is not meant as a direct, word-for-word translation. That does not mean that it cannot convey the same meaning and spirit that the Star Spangled Banner does in English. You may disagree that it is successful, or even that it was ever the intent. But to say that original meaning cannot survive interpretation is simply not true.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
Well no mierda, pendejo. This difference is, that when other nationalities immigrate to America, they tend to shed their native tongue and learn ENGLISH.

And as you note, Pogue, this isn’t an all-or-nothing venture, and it doesn’t always happen to the first generation. We should be mindful that there are regions of the United States where the integration was slow and incomplete, other than Tejas, excuse me, I mean Texas. The Pennsylvania Dutch didn’t assimilate quickly, if they can be said to have assimilated. And they are still very different from, say, the Creoles, who are certainly not proper American WASPs. Chinatown is not always celebrated, and it hasn’t been assimilated. Yet these aren’t a problem. The question of assimilation is a separate issue.

The problem is, of course, an issue of security - it’s right there in McQ’s headline. All it will take is a terror plot from Indonesian Muslims to go public (successful or not), and we’ll see more focus on illegals coming from southeast Asia, because then we will see unassimilated Asians as a security threat. It would have been nice if we could focus as a nation on what McQ lists (at least steps 2-4, until he details #1) without the hoopla of culture clash, but because of the sheer number of Hispanic immigrants, I don’t suppose that is realistic.

And speaking of realistic, let’s get back to McQ’s four steps. I don’t see step #4 as very realistic at all, and it may be the most important one. Our federal government couldn’t streamline its ass with two hands and a Constitution.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
Yeah, I’m not particularly moved by the cultural arguments. Perhaps, in some small areas, but in the main, I think that’s something time will take care of rather well.

For example: I used to live across the street from three generations of immigrant Ukrainians. The grandmother didn’t speak any english at all; the husband/wife spoke it decently well, but with a harsh accent; their son spoke perfect english with no Ukrainian accent at all. I’m not worried about the "cultural issues" for two reasons:

1) I believe they will assimilate gradually because I believe our culture is, by and large, better and more suited to modern life.

2) I believe in freedom and a free market in cultures. Let the free market decide what culture we’ll have 100 years hence.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Let the free market decide what culture we’ll have 100 years hence.
Damn it Jon - thanks for making me question my own thoughts on this.

;-)
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
1) I believe they will assimilate gradually because I believe our culture is, by and large, better and more suited to modern life.
Well that’s certainly not how it has worked in France and much of Europe.

The fear is the sheer volume of illegals (and the fact that they’re illegal) will create islands in which assimilation is rejected. Again, much of Europe suffers from that problem now. That is why stopping the flow (or at least putting a valve on it and controlling it better) is seen as important to improving the probability of assimilation.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Would Americans work as meat-packers at $19 an hour? Ever visit Green Bay in the ’80s? But most won’t work for $9 an hour. Yet defenders of illegals claim they’re helping us more than they’re hurting us.
Uh, McQ, isn’t this the same argument you’d put down in a heartbeat if made in favor of a minimum wage?

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
Uh, McQ, isn’t this the same argument you’d put down in a heartbeat if made in favor of a minimum wage?


Uh, no.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Okay, then what’s so special about meat packers? What about everyone else making $9/hour? If we’d be better off with meat packers making $19, then why not bring everyone making $9/hour? Heck, why stop there? Why not force employers to pay no one less than $19/hour? We’d just be that much better off, right?
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
Oh, I forgot to add at the end there:

PULL!!!

=8^)
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
Okay, then what’s so special about meat packers?
It’s an illustration of wage erosion because of the impact of illegal aliens.

Minimum wage is a government mandated wage floor.

You tell me how they’re similar.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
," much of Europe suffers from that problem now."

And not just Europe. Sri Lanka, for example, displays the benefits of multiculturalism. There are also the various Chinese enclaves scattered throughout Asia, and who can forget Indonesia/Aceh? As far as I know, Switzerland is the only country ever that has shown long-term stability with a multi-lingual or multi-cultural population.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
It’s an illustration of wage erosion because of the impact of illegal aliens.

Minimum wage is a government mandated wage floor.

You tell me how they’re similar.
$19/hour = $19/hour.

If meat packers make $19/hour rather than $9/hour, then meat is more expensive for everyone that buys it. Meat packers may be better off, but everyone else is worse off; it’s a net loss to the economy. If this weren’t true we could just raise the minimum wage to $35/hours or so and End Poverty As We Know It™.

Before there were meat packers, feed lots would simply ship quartered meat to grocery stores and butcher shops where butchers would "process" it. Butchers were professionals who made good livings, but centralized meat packing ended all that.

It’s the cycle of life, McQ. Schumpeter’s creative destruction. No one is saying that illegal aliens haven’t displaced some low-skill workers, some of whom are worse off but many of whom are better off having responded to being displaced by upping their game. But when it comes to the question of whether or not the economy is better off there is no question about it: there is a demonstrable, quantifiable net gain to the economy. Consumers are simply able to get more goods and services for their money.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
. "Meat packers may be better off, but everyone else is worse off; it’s a net loss to the economy"

I don’t think there is a net loss, merely a redistribution.

If meatpackers are worse off(at $9/hr) but everyone else is better off, why is that a net gain? Again, I think it is redistribution, but in the opposite direction. It is surely a gain for one side or the other, but not , I think, a NET gain for the economy as a whole.

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Doesn’t answer the mail, Peter.

One is a direct and arbitrary intervention in the market by government, and the other is a distortion of the labor market by people not required to play by the same rules as citizens.

Obviously there may be a few pennies per pound added to the cost of meat, but since those working for $9 an hour don’t face the same costs (taxation, housing, cost of living) that those who’s families are resident and citizens, they can drive the labor cost down with their willingness to underbid those who can’t work at that wage and meet their financial obligations to their families and the state.
But when it comes to the question of whether or not the economy is better off there is no question about it: there is a demonstrable, quantifiable net gain to the economy. Consumers are simply able to get more goods and services for their money.
Absolutely true, but not the point of the piece. The point is that allowing illegals (who bypass the laws of the land and thus sidestep the inherent costs the laws require) to underbid domestic labor works against one of the primary purposes of government ... to provide and enforce laws which provide equal opportunity for all.

We’re either a nation of laws (and equal opportunity) or we’re not. It seems your point is as long as the consumer benefits, we can ignore that particular purpose of government.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I don’t think there is a net loss, merely a redistribution.

If meatpackers are worse off (at $9/hr) but everyone else is better off, why is that a net gain? Again, I think it is redistribution, but in the opposite direction. It is surely a gain for one side or the other, but not , I think, a NET gain for the economy as a whole.
It’s a redistribution if you look at it statically, but economies are dynamic. The gain occurs when money is exchanged for goods and services. If you get a particular good or service for a lower price, you have the difference to spend and/or save which in turn increases aggragate demand; this is where the gain is realized. The end result is economic growth. This is the process by which economic growth happens—more for less, more for less as efficiencies and innovations are taken into account by competitive prices, more for less, endless iterations of more for less...

McQ!
Absolutely true, but not the point of the piece. The point is that allowing illegals (who bypass the laws of the land and thus sidestep the inherent costs the laws require) to underbid domestic labor works against one of the primary purposes of government ... to provide and enforce laws which provide equal opportunity for all.
I disagree that illegals are able to sidestep much of anything in the way of taxes and such unless they’re working for cash. But then legal American citizens sometimes bypass the law by working for cash too. Mexican Americans are simply willing to work harder for less, period. I watched this exact debate unfold in South La. and Tx. during the eighties regarding Vietnamese shrimpers. The same rumors, the same resentments, the same everything—except that the Vietnamese immigrants were legal. Now it’s the Vietnamese that own all of the boats, companies, essentially the Gulf shrimp market— and now they have to contend with cheap farm raised shrimp from China. Constant change is here to stay it seems.
We’re either a nation of laws (and equal opportunity) or we’re not. It seems your point is as long as the consumer benefits, we can ignore that particular purpose of government.


Actually that’s not my point at all. Here’s my point: remember that old joke about Apple Computer?

Q: What do you get when you cross Apple Computer and Microsoft?

A: Microsoft.


Well guess what you get when you pit the rule of law against the laws of supply and demand? That’s right, the laws of supply and demand.

I’m very sympathetic to the law and order arguments, especially the security arguments. The cultural arguments? Not so much. But unfortunately most of the economic arguments are not just spurious, they’re dangerous, because misapprending them means the difference between producing actual order on the border or not.


 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
"you have the difference to spend and/or save which in turn increases aggragate demand"

This difference comes from the reduction in demand from meat packers. I may have more money so my demand increases, but the meat packers have less money, so their demand decreases. I don’t think you can cause economic growth by shifting demand from one sector to another. The net demand is still constant. If your reasoning is correct, why not increase the wages of meat packers to, oh, $19/hr. This will increase demand and threfore economic growth. If the lower price is caused by productivity increases rather than wage reduction, you may be right. I have taken some economics courses, and I have yet to hear the theory that cutting wages causes economic growth.

"I disagree that illegals are able to sidestep much of anything in the way of taxes and such unless they’re working for cash."

Guess what?

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Another big media event fizzles a real BANG AND A WHIMPER type event
 
Written By: SPURWING PLOVER
URL: http://

 
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