Sunday, October 31, 2010

Restrictionist sentiment grows alongside resentment of elites

In cataloging the sorry state of California's financial affairs, Parapundit explains how the host will become increasingly intolerant of the parasites who feed off of it:
Hitting the wall of government growth means resentment of elites will grow. It also means the elite factions and other factions will come into more direct conflict and settled issues will become unsettled again. Fixed entitlements will become unfixed. Decades long promises will be broken. As governments approach bankruptcy old settlements of political battles will be repudiated out of necessity.
Not only will resentment against elites grow, but so will resentment against the Establishment in general. Big business, in pushing for open borders, will take it for trying to socialize costs while privatizing profits. While native employment levels have decreased during the recession, employment levels among the foreign-born have increased. In euphemism, Pew explains:
Immigrants' job gains may result from greater flexibility with regard to wages and hours or greater mobility. ...

Even as immigrants have managed to gain jobs in the recovery, they have experienced a sharp decline in earnings. From 2009 to 2010, the median weekly earnings of foreign-born workers decreased 4.5%, compared with a loss of less than one percent for native-born workers. Latino immigrants experienced the largest drop in wages of all.
Bringing in more Latin Americans will make the US more like Latin America.

Bryan Caplan argues that increased immigration is a good thing for those who want to see the welfare state dismantled because it creates resentment among natives who perceive an increasing amount they pay in taxes going to foreign settlers rather than to their fellow Americans. So in a similar vein, I guess I'll argue that the "recession" (though I think the term incorrectly insinuates that a recovery is just around the bend when there are so many fundamental indicators suggesting things are going to continue to get worse before they get better) is a good thing for immigration restrictionists. Pew reports that Hispanics in the US have soured significantly on immigration from Latin America over the last three years:
Hispanics are also divided about the impact of illegal immigration on Hispanics already living in the U.S. Roughly equal shares say the impact has been positive (29%), negative (31%) or made no difference (30%). This mixed judgment stands in sharp contrast to views that Latinos expressed on this subject in 2007. Back then, fully half (50%) of Latinos said the impact was positive, while just 20% said it was negative [with the remaining 30% saying it made no difference].
That is, just three years ago, for every two Hispanics who thought illegal immigration had a negative impact on Hispanics already in the US, there were five who thought it was having on positive impact on them. Fast-forward to the present and there are now slightly more Hispanics who assert that illegal immigration is a negative than their are Hispanics who say it is a positive thing. That's a huge shift in opinion.

Kudos, parenthetically, to Pew for having the courage to report as much--the center is left-leaning for sure, but it is empirically honest, which is what's important.

A lot of the polling data I've sifted through in previous posts dates back a few years. I would like to see Zogby do another poll as comprehensive as the one it conducted in 2006. I suspect Americans have become even more restrictionist across the political and economic spectrums since then.


Anonymous said...

Restriction is not enough.

Nanonymous said...

Following Caplan, Tyler Cowen adds his voice in explaining how immigrants create jobs:

Check it out. You know it's true because Prof. Peri published a paper saying it's true.

Audacious Epigone said...


It is encouraging to see how adversarial the comments are, and that in front of a putatively friendly crowd for Cohen.

Telluride said...

Everyone thinks the Matrix was fictional, it wasn't. The parasites feed off the private sector. If you are a government employee, you are a parasite. If not, you are a host.