Friday, March 31, 2006

WSJ becomes embarrasingly irrational, unempirical

I didn't think the WSJ could get any less empirical in their tendentious apology for open borders, but I've been proved wrong. First, they launch into smearing Tom Tancredo (again). Then they launch into empty sentimentalism:
To wit, do Republicans want to continue in the Reagan tradition of American optimism and faith in assimilation that sends a message of inclusiveness to all races? Or will they take another one of their historical detours into a cramped, exclusionary policy that tells millions of new immigrants, and especially Hispanics, that they belong somewhere else?
Reagan shows what the Republican Party should not do. He won a second term after one of the most lopsided elections in history. Then came the 1986 amnesty, and the Republican Party has subsequently struggled mightily to garner 50% of the vote in Presidential elections. Republicans enjoyed a boost from the flourishing of talk radio and the internet that culminated in control of the House and Senate by Newt and company in 1994. For the first time the right had a national outlet. But that hiccup is running its course. Demographic trends bode terribly for the future of the Republican Party. The quixotic ideology the WSJ touts is what led to the mess in 1965 and again in 1986. We do not need three strikes.

Ted Kennedy, who is a leading proponent of the impending Senate disaster, said 41 years ago that such an historically unprecedented demographic shift would not occur with the
INS Act of 1965. He promised that "Our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually." Today, there are 500,000 illegals that pour into the country each year, and that's a low-end estimate. Total annual immigration surpasses Kennedy's mark by several hundred thousand. He also errantly assured skeptics that "the ethnic mix of the country will not be upset." Now the two most populous states in the union--California and Texas--have white minorities.

The putative benefits do not require unskilled Hispanic immigration:
This has been mostly for the better -- in revitalized inner cities, a younger workforce to fuel a dynamic economy, and in general helping America avoid the senescent future of other industrial nations.
As far as these positives exist, they can easily be attained through a merit immigration system that selects for the brightest and most industrious immigrants the world over. The current immigrant workforce will of course have a detrimental effect on our ability to cover benefits promised to the baby boom generation because the foreign-born make less money and consume more in government benefits than natives do. They are, on the whole, net costs. The solution is to bring in net assets. Contemporary immigration patterns only accentuate the coming tsunami of obligations for the baby boomers, as they compete with Hispanic advocacy groups for handouts.

To combat senescence, what we need are incentives for the native wealthy to have more children, which will boost the nation's average IQ, keep the US birthrate
at least at replenishment, and narrow the wealth gap (all of which will benefit the Republican Party). Importing third-worlders that cost more than they are worth does not improve our economic prospects.

The WSJ, which openly
called for an end to American sovereignty prior to 9/11, throws around the typical "nativist" charge, as if to insinuate that it is immoral to want what is best for the citizenry of one's own country instead of what is best for foreigners at the expense of the natives. Yet, in the same paragraph, the WSJ admits that different areas of the country have suffered more from immigration than others:
But there have also been costs, and parts of America have borne more than have others. The border states in particular have experienced more crime and social disruption, as well as the cost to local taxpayers of "free" health care and education for illegal immigrants.
The states with the most immigrants have suffered the most from immigration! Who would have thunk it? Sounds like an airtight argument to import unskilled masses into the rest of the country to me!

As is typical, the WSJ calls those in opposition to its
unpopular position as a "small but vocal" group. Maybe the editors missed that 60% of Americans want a barrier along the US/Mexico border. Maybe they overlooked the plurality of Americans who think the US is not doing enough to secure its borders (82%). Or the 62% of Americans that want the US to "do whatever it takes" to cut the flow of illegals (including militarization).

The WSJ fears that Hispanics
will get fed up with the GOP:
But because the policy is aimed largely at Hispanic immigrants, it will also rightly be seen as a specific ethnic rebuke. Millions of Hispanics -- both illegals and those who have been here for decades -- will get the message that the Republican Party doesn't want them. Those Republicans who shout "no amnesty" and want to make illegally crossing the Rio Grande a felony are well on their way to creating a generation or more of new Democratic voters.
Hispanics make up about 8% of the voting electorate, and go 3-to-2 in favor of Democrats. The 800 pound gorilla of our electoral system--whites--vote Republican 3-to-2 and make up 77% of the electorate. So for every ten percent increase in Hispanic support, the GOP still comes out behind if it costs them a single percent of the white vote. Isn't it clear that the Republican Party should be interested in turning away not Hispanic voters, but white voters?

Obviously the last sentence quoted is inanity. Bringing in an ethnic minority underclass that congregates in urban areas (can you get any more a quintessential definition of a Democratic stalwart?) is not going to help the Republican Party. It is going to create a generation of new Democratic voters. How the WSJ can expect its readers to buy its illogical nonsense that more Democratic voters are good for the Republican Party is beyond me.

I should start at the bottom of WSJ op/eds, because they become progressively more unhinged:
In 1994 in California, [immigration restrictionists] rode Pete Wilson's Proposition 187 to a short-term re-election victory but at the cost of polarizing Hispanic voters and making themselves the minority party in our largest state.
So it was the wildly popular Prop 187, which was shot down by the Judiciary and therefore never had a chance to take effect, that caused the Republican downfall in California! It wasn't the increasing poverty, wealth disparity, and white flight brought on by the growth in size of the Hispanic underclass that did it. That the growth in the Hispanic population of California is directly related to the decline in the Republican Party's popularity there doesn't matter! If we expand the California experiment across the entire country, it will be good for Republicans, you'll see!

Responding to solutions like militarization of the border and the construction of a wall,
the WSJ blathers:
Any bill that merely harasses immigrants and employers, and stacks more cops on
the border, may win cheers in the right-wing blogosphere. However, it will do nothing to address the economic incentives that will continue to exist for poor migrants to come to America to feed their families.
At least they've admitted their position. Americans should sacrifice their own well-being to provide a plane for economic equilibrium with the third-world. In other words, the US should continue to allow in foreign net-liabilities until the standard-of-living decreases to the point of making the US an undesirable destination for migrants. Good plan, even without taking birthrates (that poorer nations have more explosive birthrates and therefore perpetually drive down the global standard of living) into consideration! I guess social problems being imported for $17 billion a year is the best way to "address the economic incentives" of Vicente Fox's open borders position!

The evil Tancredos of the world will be awful ambassadors of the people:
Without doing anything to draw illegals out of the shadows and help them assimilate into the mainstream of American culture and citizenship.
That would be the assimilation we've seen over the last couple of weeks in the streets of Los Angeles and other third world cities across the country, right?



savage said...

Benefits of multiculturalism abound.

"A Hispanic student had brought the flag to school Thursday morning in a response to what he said was a racist remark directed at him the day before. After he and other students raised the flag over Apache Junction High School, another group of students took it down and burned it, according to the East Valley Tribune newspaper."

Tell me why this gets spotlighted as egregious when done to the Mexican flag but not the US flag. Burning the American flag is a cause for celebration especially when a minority does it, but dare burn a Mexican flag and watch out.

This country is on the brink.

faq said...

Ed Gillespie has an editorial in the wall street this weekend that is more of the same. He celebrates the fact that immigrants add $10 billion in net economic output and then says that the typical immigrant pays $80,000 more in taxes than he takes in. Take a look at it.

crush41 said...


I don't need to tell you why. You already know. Elites on the left and the neocon right both hate nationalism and the challenge presented by the middle class. Increasing the size of the underclass squeezes those in the middle and consequently makes an increase in the scope and power of government--and the big business interests it serves--more easily attained. And of course, no one wants to be called a racist!


I read that same piece this morning with ire. Gillespie's claim that immigrants add $10 billion in economic doesn't tell us anything important. If we annexed Mexico tomorrow our GDP would increase by 8% or so in a day. But our GDP per capita--that is, our standard of living--would drop by around 20%. Huge wealth transfers would take place from the states to our new addition to the south. Corruption and crime would grow, etc. So that's misleading.

Secondly, that study is based on data that is fifteen years old and funded by a pro-immigrant group.

Thirdly, his assertion that immigrants add a net benefit of $80,000 is absurd. The foreign born population makes less--and the more recently arrived they are the larger the gap becomes--than natives and use more in services.

My guess is that it was a tendentious study that only looked at benefits directly attributable to the immigrants. That is, it probably takes how much they pay in total taxes minus direct wealth transfers (welfare and uninsured benefits) while disregarding things like educational costs, road wear, infrastructure use, etc.

In any case, newer immigrants are becoming progressively less educated, lower skilled, and more impoverished relative to the native population. European immigrants are twice as likely to have been here for 20 years as Hispanic immigrants and less likely to have come in the last five. The face of immigration is changing, so even if it were positive (and there's no way that it is) it would be a flawed comparison.

He also repeats the lie that Prop 187 hurt the GOP in California. Of course it was never implemented because of judicial injunction, and so everything that it attempted to stop--massive wealth transfers from natives to migrants--was halted. As Democratic voting third-worlders poured into California and whites fled to states like Nevada and Utah, they took the Republican Party's support with them.

I hope Tancredo makes a run in '08. Immigration is one of the few issues where the public agrees across the political spectrum. The neocon Republicanism of guys like Gillespie, the WSJ, and the Bush administration has been disastrous. I'm anxiously awaiting the emergence of a party to support.

crush41 said...

Gillespie's op/ed can be found here.

Cleanthes said...

Deportation is impossible. What are you going to do with the people already here? Closing the border doesn't solve the problem.

FuturePundit said...

Deportation just requires sufficient political will. Once we build a wall and start hunting down illegals most will self-deport before getting caught.

crush41 said...

The Time poll shows that just shy of half the country favors deportation.

I do not want to make the good the enemy of the perfect. I wonder what people would think of HR4437's enforcement with a stringent guest worker program followed by an active deportation of those still "in the shadows" after a grace period expired. The political will does not exist for full-fledged deportation. But if illegals were first given time to come forward, the mudslinging against those favoring deportation would have less effect.

Futurepundit is right. Most of those that left the country with the execution of Operation Wetback did so voluntarily to avoid being caught. The same would happen with employers--hammering a few high-profile companies, especially those like Walmart that already draw public disdain, would go a long way.

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