With even more insouiciance than usual, the WSJ op/ed board treats immigration as an ecunemical good. Employing the standard non sequitur, the board uses the benefits of (extreme) merited immigration as an argument for universal open borders: ...The same logic applies in the rest of industry. In the run-up to the midterm elections, candidates from both parties came out in favor of tougher immigration policies, more security, greater enforcement, and with sharp criticism for the Bush administration's failure to end the third-world immigration that is bankrupting cities across the Southwest, bringing back diseases thought to have been vanquished from the developed world, increasing criminality, depressing wages, and pulling scholastic performance downward. They did not call for an end to all immigration. Nonetheless, the op/ed board now produces this:
Many people do not like the free market in sports--the MLB's lack of a salary cap is part of the reason it is perpetually overshadowed by the always-competitive NFL. An international market for soccer players does not bode well for the prospects of teams from the third- and developing world. Although soccer is among the most simple and least cost-prohibitive sports in
the world, making it ubiquitous in poor nations, the World Cup has been dominated and will continue to be dominated by a Brazilian powerhouse (pulling the best from Latin America) and developed Europe (at least until the US gets serious about the game). Athletic brain-drain is bad news for aspiring developing and underdeveloped countries.
But for the nations doing the draining, the (short-term at least) benefit is obvious. Yet that is only an argument for a specific, exacting merited immigration, not immigration in general. Obviously French fans will benefit less from receiving ten thousand Islamic youths with marginal soccer skills than they will in receiving a single Zidane, although in the end even the latter situation may prove deleterious if French natives forego soccer altogether.
Titled "American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on U.S. Competitiveness," the report found that "Over the past 15 years, immigrants have started 25 percent of U.S. public companies that were venture-backed." These businesses employ some 220,000 people in the U.S. and have a current market capitalization that "exceeds $500 billion, adding significant value to the American economy."
The authors surveyed smaller, private venture-backed companies as well and discovered that nearly half of the founders also were immigrants. Protectionists insist that immigrants "steal" jobs from native workers, but this survey found evidence that these newcomers are more likely to expand the job pool. "[A]lmost two-thirds (66 percent) of the immigrant founders of privately held venture-backed companies have started or intend to start more companies in the United States," according to the report.
And how many of these publicly-traded US companies were started by impoverished menial laborers crossing illegally through the southern border? I support the construction of a wall, harsher punitions for employers who have their cheap labor subsidized by the American taxpayer, and the ending of all entitlement benefits (including citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants born on US soil) for illegal residents. Further, I support a merit immigration system similar to those used in Canada, Australia, and increasingly in Europe, that grants residency based on a host of attributes including age, occupation, physical health, English language fluency, educational attainment, means, IQ, social beliefs, and the like.
The concern for what effect high performing immigrants have on natives is of legitimate concern. I'd like to see mandatory deposits being required that are returned after a certain number of years of residence in the US to entice those who benefit from US educational institutions to stay stateside after graduation. I'm also open to the idea of preference for natives given equal SAT and GRE scores (which already happens to some extent with schools that favor the children of alumni). But the issue of skilled immigration that creates wealth and raises the standard of living for natives is entirely separate from ending underclass immigration that creates an economic liability and depresses the standard of living for natives. If the WSJ op/ed board had any intellectual honesty, it would distinguish between the two. Of course, this is the same board that is blaming the GOP's defeat on those who supported an overwhelmingly popular position on immigration instead of blaming itself for supporting two incredibly unpopular ones--opposition to a minimum wage increase and support the Iraq war.
With a merit immigration system, the US would be able to leverage its high standard of living and enormous market to attract the global cream of the crop. With open borders, the US is letting market forces determine population movement. As the US is an elite entity as far as nations go, this is disastrous. The US will continue to be attractive until it no longer becomes advantageous for people to come here--in short, when the US is on par with the rest of the world (an average IQ of 90, purchasing power parity of just under $10,000, a life expectancy of 64 years, a literacy rate of 82%, etc). As an entity, the US should want to attract those who will make it healthier, wealthier, and more intelligent. The piece mentions Google as an example of a company having benefited from immigrants in the US. The US, like Google, can benefit as well, but only if it hires like Google--taking the best of the applications it receives, not if it gives a job to everyone who wants one.