Days of Change

A Worthy Adversary

September 14, 2014
1 Comment

I have found that talking to someone with opposing views can be an instructive experience. This is impossible with virtual or online interaction. It is also becoming impossible for people who collect their talking points from websites, like the ones literally named Talking Points Memo. In the case of blogging, I like to take someone who has a fairly well thought out idea and refute it point by point. So, when the Obama-loving website Vox interviews a libertarian leaning economist on open borders, I have something to write for the day.

  1. Why discriminate job hiring on the basis of citizenship?
    We don’t. All laws flow from citizenship. We discriminate against people who committed crimes, but we still let them have jobs if they notify their employer, provided they served their time. If a non-citizen is right with the law, they can also get a job.
  2.  We should let in skilled people. Plus, everyone has a skill (like farming)
    This is just absurd. Industrial agriculture is more effective than soil tending, so foreign farmers have little skill to offer. Transplanting a guy from Haiti to Miami will increase his wage. Sending a Miami resident to Haiti may damn well kill him. If human labor were that valuable, people wouldn’t be unemployed. Even when it was important, FDR created jobs out of thin air to give everyone a paid hobby.
  3. Non-English speakers entering the country would make English a valuable skill.
    I haven’t seen that happen. As Miami and Los Angeles have become Spanish-speaking in neighborhoods, the few English-speaking supervisors know less Spanish than the Mexican illegals know English. Spanish speakers are left on their own with tools that now all have safety warnings in two languages. Americans are still out of work.
  4. Cultural assimilation is boring.
    This is the main argument against illegal (because he makes no distinction) immigrants overpopulating cities. That is a totally elitist attitude. Immigrant populations ignore the law, fear the police and rely on organized crime, but at least the tacos are authentic.
  5. Only 5-10% of the lowest-skilled workers would do worse under open borders.
    What about the 15% or more who are not finding work now? Is that in addition or do we think that information economy jobs will increase with low-skilled labor? Welfare and disability rolls exploded under Obama already
  6. We could enact fines or compensation to prevent financial drains to the system.
    Total BS. That hasn’t happened while immigrants had less protection under the law. Now that they have more protection, such financial provisions are lies to trick voters into allowing open borders. The economist says as much by claiming he doesn’t think such payments would be necessary.
  7. Brain drain of talented foreigners wouldn’t be a problem because they keep family ties.
    The idea that foreign laborers would send money back home kind of negates the booming economy argument. Instead, immigrants either ruin homes by turning them into over-capacity flophouses or start new families. The reality is that employers are preferring immigrants for their lack of intellectual resources and they perception that American workers are too expensive. The one thing the economist never deals with is the current decline in real wages and how open borders is a race to the bottom.

It was nice arguing with a web page.


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