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  • "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."

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Protectionism is ... Moronic pt.I

Posted by The_Chef On 10:11 AM 14 comments



So I'm sick of hearing about this Amnesty Bill that is in the works in the House and the Senate and that the Bush Administration seems to be pushing. There are alot of people spouting nonsense about how this immigration will hurt Americans and do all of these other awful things.
So let's look at this issue. Let's get the flag-waving statists who use their patriotism to cover their ignorance out of the way and get down to the meat of the matter.


Immigration has been the backbone of this country since its founding. Now all of a sudden we hear cries of "Close the border!" and all of this other nonsense. Illegal Immigration is a problem in one and only one aspect and that is the aspect of the welfare state. (Those of you that know me, know that I absolutely loathe the welfare state, it creates perverse incentives, rewards lack of productivity, and creates an entitlement mindset.)
So let's look at this immigration deal. These people come to the US for a better lifestyle than is offered in Mexico, They work low-income jobs which many Americans would not work and here's an interesting fact from the 2005 Census Bureau: Nearly one-quarter of all hispanics marry non-hispanic spouses. The number get's higher for those born in the US. Roughly 32% of all US-born hispanics marry non-hispanics, and 35% of all college educated hispanic females mary non-hispanic husbands. So .... apparently they assimilate pretty damn well.

So the argument that they don't assimilate well into american culture is just WRONG.

Next is the argument that they are "taking" American jobs. Allow me to explain, there is no "right" to your job. So first off if someone wants to underbid you for your job, that's just the way things work. You have to be willing to negotiate and haggle to keep what you have.
Second, it seems very odd to say this. 99.99% of first gen hispanics don't come to this country to work in high skill jobs. They are working in low-skill labor markets which by the way, is a very easy market to enter and exit (well except for minimum wage, which we won't get into here.)

Third there is the argument that the increase in immigration = more of a terror threat.

Here's an interesting thing... Immigrants are less likely to commit a crime than naturalized citizens... wait for it .... Yep that argument from the idea of crime is nonsense. ANd on a side if the Immigration service can't tell a difference between Achmed and Juan, we gotta a whole different set of problems.

The biggest problem people have is immigrants drawing benefits from the welfare system, but that is merely a symptom of the disease. So if we didnt have a welfare state, this wouldn't be a problem.

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14 Response for the "Protectionism is ... Moronic pt.I"

  1. theantilib says:

    It's JMHO that the reason there's an uproar is that people perceive amnesty as a reward for circumventing the legal process of immigration. I don't think the issue is immigration, per se, but Americans demanding that immigration law be upheld, no exceptions. If you sneak in through the backdoor, you've broken the law. Come in through the front door like everyone else, and don't forget to wipe your feet on the welcome mat!

  2. Jon says:

    Undoubtedly, but I'm of the opinion that illegal immigration is kinda like speeding. It happens all the time and on the whole isn't that big of a deal.

    And let's not forget that the Europeans who founded this country kinda just took the land they wanted. So if legality is an issue, our ancestors and founding fathers are kinda screwed.

    Russ Roberts had a good blog post about why illegal immigration is not the drastic harm that everyone thinks it is and people should not be getting worked up over it.

    Part of the problem is that the immigration laws suck something awful. it takes forever to get through all the red tape and the system is openly biased against any non-white attempting to get into the country. if we cut down on all the bureaucratic bullshit we wouldn't have alot of this problem.
    But to each their own.

  3. theantilib says:

    Well, I can't say I'm familiar with the naturalization process, but I'm fairly certain that unregulated population growth would not be a good thing for any nation. Don't you think that at some point people really ought to take inventory of their country's political situation and say "enough!"? Change has to come from within, and though I do feel sorry for those in third world countries, I don't believe that draining the populace into a first world country is the answer.

    Remember Ellis Island? America has not always opened her arms to *all* those seeking refuge. Pah. That's one of those glorified patriotic myths of yore. A great number of hopeful immigrants were turned away. Jews weren't always welcomed. My great-grandfather changed his last name so as not to sound Jewish, and he was permitted entrance. Other relatives were not so fortunate, and had to return home, where they were hastily rounded up into a concentration camp. I don't need to tell you how that story ended. But the point is that immigration has never been a free-for-all.

    I would like to see evidence of this alleged bias against non-whites, if you don't mind. Do you have something to back that up?

  4. theantilib says:

    P.S. Incidentally, I know you. Do you know who I am? :-)

  5. Jon says:

    There are some candidates I'm considering.... any enlightenment would be appreciated.

    Most of the preferential treatment to non-whites is related to the "lottery" system in use. the percentage chance of being chosen for an entrance visa and being put on the list for a green card is high for non-whites than whites. I need to go back and look at exactly how it is calculated.

  6. theantilib says:

    "Most of the preferential treatment to non-whites is related to the "lottery" system in use."

    Ok. Originally you stated that non-whites were biased against. Are you sure that the increased odds of being chosen for a visa, for non-whites, aren't directly related to the higher numbers of would-be hispanic immigrants? There would certainly be more of them.

    "There are some candidates I'm considering.... any enlightenment would be appreciated."

    Whom would you like it to be? :-) And whom would you dread discovering on your blog? :-O

  7. Jon says:

    Only one person I could dread on my blog...

    As to who you are ... *shrugs* you're someone who makes me think... that's enough for me to know.

  8. theantilib says:

    Oh, come on, at least give me a hint as to who this noxious personality is.

    Considering that thinking went out of style some time ago, it's good to see some people dabbling in it. ;-) I embrace my role as a cogitation catalyst!

  9. Jon says:

    A certain unnamed female Econ Professor is the only person whom I would be forced to commit ritual seppuku.

  10. theantilib says:

    Allow me to assure you that I am not her. I'm far too sexy to be an econ professor :-) Take a guess?

  11. Jon says:

    How about narrowing my search parameters before I go guessing?

  12. theantilib says:

    *sigh* Think of all the sexy women you know, then choose the one who seems most likely to be your blog's mystery poster.

    I'll let you know if you're right or wrong. Let's see how many guesses it takes :-) Come on, don't spoil my fun.

    To make it interesting, why don't you start with *the* sexiest woman you can think of who has even the remotest potential for being "theantilib", and then work your way down. Oh, yes, this should be interesting ;-)

  13. Jon says:

    Just e-mail me:

    econ.cookbook@gmail.com

    We'll take this discussion there.

  14. theantilib says:

    Check your gmail. :-)