Arnold Kling  

The Saddest Sentence I've Read Today

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was written by Rich Lowry.

The key is stepped-up interior enforcement to cut off the jobs magnet that draws so many illegals here.

My guess is that the adverse economic consequences of shutting down this market could be larger than anyone realizes.

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COMMENTS (6 to date)
fiona writes:

The market is taking care of part of it - housing boom is breaking up and all those construction jobs which used to be $15 an hour and were taken by aliens for $9 an hour will be non-existent at any wage...

Steve Sailer writes:

"My guess is that the adverse economic consequences of shutting down this market could be larger than anyone realizes."

Maybe rather than just "guess" in line with your ideological and personal biases, you should garner facts on the subject and develop an informed opinion?

Lord writes:

But accurate, no?

John Salmon writes:

I'm with Sailer.

Visit Charlotte NC and see how illegals are driving down wages. A long-term argument might be made for open borders, relevant to Social Security and other old age programs, but it's brutal in the short run.

El Presidente writes:

Big ups to John Salmon

Povery and polarization ARE sad. No argument here. Progress takes time and costs money. How much of each do we want to spend?

This is where the economist says, "it's better for everyone to liberalize", and the citizen (more importantly, voter) says "I may not live to see the better days and may pay the cost in the mean time."

What we need, and what I've been advocating for California, is a dynamic accounting model with regard to the economic AND fiscal impacts of immigration (legal and otherwise). That would create a clearer choice and an informed debate. It would also allow gradual, accountable liberalization of immigration policy including border enforcement.

Also, although it's rarely linked to immigration policy in public debate, our agricultural subsidies have been wrecking Central and South American agricultural for decades preventing them from maintaining a firm agricultural base in their own economies. The US:Mexico wage differential for agricultural workers is something like 12:1. It's the largest differential between contiguous nations in the world. In my opinion this is why they (Central and South Americans) opt for cash crops, like coca leaves and marijuana, that we spend rediculous amounts of money to keep out of our country. Given that children are inferior goods (technically speaking) we are, in effect, stimulating the production and exportation of immigrants by undermining their home economies. If we reduce demand for emigration in those countries we will reduce the incidence of immigration to ours.

I know I'm preaching to the choir on this one, but don't forget to feel responsible while you're feeling sad. If we're responsible, there's something we can do to change it.

Matt writes:

Jobs without productivity gain should be the phrase.

Economists always forget that a job with no corresponding increase in productivity is a net loss, it is simply another squirrel hauling walnuts. The squirrels need to haul walnuts better.

We need to be on the down side of the glacial cycle, simple having more squirrels follow the ice line north is now a net loss because we want the ice line to start its return back south, otherwise the planet will smoulder.

If the squirrels can head north and use less carbon for more output then fine.

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