April 5, 2006

DON'T BOTHER THEM WITH ECONOMICS, THEY'RE TOO BUSY HATING (via Pepys):

The Economic Truths of Immigration Reform (Lawrence Kudlow, 4/05/06, Real Clear Politics)

As long as the American boom beckons, Mexicans in search of prosperity will continue to stream to this country. They have a strong incentive to do so. The only way to reduce illegal immigration, therefore, is to raise the unskilled H-2B visa level and bring it in line with job openings in the United States. This is the only feasible economic solution to the chronic problem of illegal immigration. The idea worked forty years ago with the successful Bracero program for farm workers. It can work again.

Today's low visa limit of only 140,000 has caused illegal flows to skyrocket. This must be changed. Tamar Jacoby of the Manhattan Institute estimates that U.S. labor-market conditions can absorb about 400,000 Mexican immigrants per year. This would balance labor supply-and-demand conditions and illegal immigration would plummet.

You can build a fence, but desperate Mexicans in search of economic opportunity will climb over it or tunnel under it. This is the reality. And by the way, our H-1B visa program for skilled workers, now at only 65,000, should be unlimited. We need all the scientists and engineers we can get.

Once these immigrants get here they work hard. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanic unemployment is only 5.5 percent, compared to 4.8 percent overall.

As for the claim that illegal workers don't pay taxes, Princeton professor Douglas Massey estimates that roughly two-thirds of undocumented immigrants pay the FICA payroll tax. Overall, illegals have fed $7 billion to Social Security and $1.5 billion to Medicare. They are contributing to our wealth, not reducing it.

And what do they take from the system? According to Forbes magazine, only 10 percent of illegal Mexicans have sent a child to an American public school and just 5 percent have received food stamps or unemployment benefits. A U-Cal Davis study also shows that more immigrant workers leads to more economic growth. This is standard economics. Multiply an enlarged workforce times existing productivity and you get more economic growth.

But for some reason, immigration opponents can't make this connection. They are blinded by fear-mongering, defeatism, and pessimism.


Posted by Orrin Judd at April 5, 2006 4:53 PM
Comments

I think Mr. Kudlow, Prof. Massey, and the writer for Forbes magazine did their research on an airplane flying 35,000 feet over the border States.

Posted by: Tom Wall at April 5, 2006 6:19 PM

When the facts rebut your emotions stick with the viscera.

Posted by: oj at April 5, 2006 6:27 PM

"And what do they take from the system? According to Forbes magazine, only 10 percent of illegal Mexicans have sent a child to an American public school "

I believe that is a bug, not a feature.

Posted by: ken at April 5, 2006 7:28 PM

It's not hate, and it's not racism, so the creap shot need not be repeated. We actually love the illegal aliens, praying the Fiddler on the Roof prayer for the Czar for them often.

If the country needs the labor, and it looks as though it does, admit them temporarily and legally for work purposes, with ZERO line-jumping privileges.

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 5, 2006 8:08 PM

The fiddlers moved here too. Though, of course, the exact same types of folks insisted Jews couldn't be assimilated and ought to be banned.

Posted by: oj at April 5, 2006 8:12 PM

Wow, $8.5 billion v. almost $20 billion sent back.

Posted by: Sandy P at April 5, 2006 8:23 PM

For services they aren't eligible for. By contrast, you'll get paid much more than you ever put into those programs when you retire. The natives are the parasites.

Posted by: oj at April 5, 2006 8:29 PM

We have no labor shortage, the American underclass can do the work.

Posted by: Perry at April 5, 2006 9:44 PM

the exact same types of folks insisted Jews couldn't be assimilated and ought to be banned

So we're supposed to believe that Barbra Streisand's assimilated? Talk about your crackpot racial theories...

Posted by: joe shropshire at April 5, 2006 10:27 PM

Indentured servitude. It worked for my ancestors.

Posted by: jefferson park at April 6, 2006 12:34 PM

For services they aren't eligible for. By contrast, you'll get paid much more than you ever put into those programs when you retire. The natives are the parasites.

Posted by: oj at April 5, 2006 08:29 PM

Orrin, taking out MORE out of those programs than you put in is also a feature of private retirement accounts: It's called interest based capital accumulation. You don't want natives to take out the interest that their contributions earned?

Posted by: Ptah at April 7, 2006 9:16 AM

That's too ignorant for even a Know-Nothing--you think your SS check is going to be what you contributed plus the interest accrued?

Posted by: oj at April 7, 2006 9:22 AM

Bingo.

The problem of social security is that the benefits from SS are MORE than our contributions and interest, because it is a defined benefit program.

Posted by: Ptah at April 7, 2006 10:00 AM

I stand corrected--you have to be exactly that ignorant. You're blaming illegals who pay the difference between what you put in and what you'll take out.

Posted by: oj at April 7, 2006 10:19 AM
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