News & Analysis
Solution to America's Economic Woes Is Immigration?
The low-hanging fruit across the border ... President Obama (left) visited America's border with Mexico to remind us all that there are plenty of growth opportunities out there waiting to be plucked. The president is, at long last, renewing his call for immigration reform, including creation of a path to citizenship for the country's undocumented immigrants ... The case is strong on the merits. – The Economist
Dominant Social Theme: It a simple and logical formula. America has many empty houses and office buildings and Mexico has plenty of people that would fill them. Open up the borders! Problem solved!
Free-Market Analysis: The Economist magazine has finally reached the nadir of its unnecessary existence. In a column entitled "Economics/Free Exchange" the newspaper of the power elite actually suggests that "at a time when America is concerned about excess housing supply ... it is madness that so many willing immigrants find it impossible to gain permission to work in the country on a stable, long term basis." We had to read the sentence twice because the first time it seemed like something of out of a high-school sophomore's economic book report.
The statement is ludicrous in its simplicity and naïve in its assumption. It seems to postulate – hell it flatly states – that America's housing glut can be cured by letting Mexicans (the implied "immigrants) flood across the border to help the US "innovate" its way back to a healthy economic situation. How this is to be accomplished isn't clear but the article is hazily optimistic that "there are huge potential utility gains to letting more willing workers enter rich economies."
Notice the buzz word "utility." Somewhere, lurking in the background like "Nellie" the Loch Ness monster is some sort of strange Keynesian analysis. Actually, this isn't the only paragraph where it rears its terrible head. The article has many other incoherent sentiments to suggest. Here's another: "We should support free immigration to the greatest extent possible based on liberal principles alone. People should be free to move and choose their own destiny. Governments shouldn't interfere with the right to immigrate any more than is necessary and certainly not to satisfy the nativist demands of unhappy citizens."
"Liberal principles?" The anonymous author doesn't make clear whether it is "classical" liberal sentiments being referred to or modern democratic liberal ones. And then this: "Nativist" demands of citizens. What snooty language. So being protective of one's property and national boundaries is "nativist." It sounds a bit like a swear word in this context, but we're not sure that's so.
In fact, if one follows libertarian logic through to its sensible conclusions (and avoids Georgist arguments), those that live on the land and work it should own it or at least occupy it. This leaves little room for immigrants unless they either have a bankroll and can live without working or have a prospective business or employer that will allow them to earn a living wage. The article doesn't really deal with these points, though it makes other somewhat strange arguments. Here's some more:
The lump of labour fallacy is seductive, and in times of economic hardship it becomes very difficult to convince people that more competition for scarce jobs will make their lives better. Here again it is clear that weak labour markets are the enemy of liberalism, and those concerned for the future of free markets should do what they can to alleviate that weakness. But immigrants are people and they deserve a chance to move to maximise the return to their skills.
When an immigrant moves to a rich country, that increases his or her welfare and boosts the productive potential of that country, which is good for everyone. Historically, relatively open immigration rules have been both a sign of and a source of national strength. If America can return to a more open past, the prospects for its economy will be considerably enhanced.
This fine blather is exactly why the Economist is unnecessary. Masquerading as free-market vehicle, it trots out all the Adamite arguments about the invisible hand, etc., while ignoring the most inconvenient and important economic fact of all: the modern economy is a central banking one that runs on fiat money.
America is not ruined because it has ceased to innovate or because it does not have enough immigrants "innovating." America is ruined (and it is) because its central banking system has turned a vital economy into a centralized one, full of rigid regulations and a boom-bust cycle that regularly destroys the small businesses of its entrepreneurs.
First the monetary system has to be fixed. Arguing that open borders are morally correct and economically imperative simply ignores the larger problems of the US's sclerotic financial system – the regulations, taxes and fiat money surges that have undermined what was once the world's leading economy, post World War II.
It is an impressive take down. It only took the Anglo-American elites a half century to turn the breadbasket of the world into a basket case. Why would they want to do so? Because these elites are fanatically focused on installing global governance and having prosperous and healthy nation states (Western or otherwise) is not in their best interest. The bigger and more powerful the economy, the more they seek to undermine it.
It is an ambition, we surmise, which has its nexus in the City of London and its main allies in Israel and America. And ironically while Israel struggles to maintain its "Jewish" identity, America is being encouraged to open its borders by elite mouthpieces such as the Economist. The argument is dishonest not only because it does not acknowledge the real problems America is facing but because it does not mention the North American Union that has been so controversial in the States.
The North American Union – long denied by the elites like everything else including their desire for a global currency – is a planned union between the US, Mexico and Canada. The political planning for the union goes back to Ronald Reagan but it was most aggressively pursued by George W. Bush who signed a number of startling "cooperative" agreements with Canada and Mexico.
As a final parting gift (as if he had not done enough to ruin the country) Bush tried to ram through an immigration policy that would basically have set up a guest worker program in the US. His base deserted him and Bush ended up taking the stance of an injured "prophet before his time." He was no such thing of course. He was just another manipulated pooh-bah (albeit a warmongering sociopath) helping to implement a variety of policies intended to lubricate the path for world government.
Enter President Barack Obama who spent his first two years further bankrupting the US with a variety of "stimulus" packages and a socialist health care bill that the US government is preparing to enforce by arming IRS agents. Fresh from his legislative "victories," Obama has turned his attention to immigration and – surprise – has picked up where his predecessor has left off, advocating open borders and a general recognition of Mexican workers as quasi-American citizens.
The Economist article argues for open borders and open immigration as a boon to economic vitality. But the problems America faces have nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with the ruinous economic system that its elites have foisted upon it. Additionally, immigration is not being promoted for free-market reasons but to further vitiate American democracy and to pave the way for a North American Union that will create a further stepping-stone to world government in much the same manner as the European Union.
Conclusion: In fact, The Economist has it right: A Libertarian world would see far freer immigration, so long as immigrants could afford to pay their way. But as with almost everything else the Economist publishes, the article leaves out the deeper salient points that make its points meretricious in the extreme. By leaving out so much, the article ends up as a kind of elite promotion – of a dominant social theme that will further weaken what is left of American culture – rather than a serious or logical argument. What else would you expect from the Round Table crowd?
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 05/15/11 03:55 AM
Knelt, kneeled. One's a word.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 05/15/11 03:48 AM
"Ooops, got the wrong quote. Sorry Zen."
It's ok. I was in this retreat the other day and I was sitting on my feet with my eyes half closed trying not to think about anything when this very polite fellow came up to me and kneeled down next to me. He said I was breathing with too much purpose, that I needed to relax more and breath naturally.
I told him that I'd been breathing for 54 years and maybe he should go somewhere else and put a cork in it.
All of us make simple mistakes.
Posted by Danny B on 05/14/11 01:08 AM
Due to endless login problems, I [Dan B] have been reincarnated as Danny B. Between '80 and '90, I spent 5 months a year driving around Mexico. Emigration from Mexico has served to keep the population pot from boiling over. It has also served to keep wages depressed in many areas of employment in America. It strengthened the latino voting bloc for the Dems, primarily. The Mexicans and the CIA make lots of money on the extremely modified [GM] marijuana that is flooding the U.S.
GOV hopes to make a lot of money on pot. They have patented it # 6,630,507
Click to view link
The Mexican Mafia has taken over crack production. The Pacific Northwest is the worst in the world. Coos county, OR was the world center of crack production. Now, it is just the state center. The M M is also driving out the traditional pot growers in Ca, Or and Wa.
The Latinos are used to depress wages and also, are a more malleable population. They are proud of their "abilidad para sufrir". Their ability to endure suffering. The Anglos would be a declining population without the higher Latino birthrate.
Things are changing in Mexico. Mexico has one of the 4 "elephant" oil fields in the world. BUT, the Cantarell is fast drying up. It supplied 45 % of the income for the Mexican GOV. Not only will Mexico lose the income, it will have to pay for imported oil.
The participation of adults in the American labor market is steadily falling. Immigration is simply more people competing for a static amount of resources. So, labor demand in America is falling. Adding lots more immigrants will just make competition for resources more acute. GOV is working diligently to increase the number of visae for highly skilled immigrants. That may be fine for the tech sector but, WHAT is the plan for the 50% of people in Detroit that are illiterate.
It's possible that increased immigration of latinos is desired to create race wars to deflect attention from the real culprits. I receive mail that shows latinos burning American flags. How very Anglo !! Divide and conquer.
The dollar is being trashed so American labor can be more competitive in the global market. Low-wage immigration will further this aim. I SERIOUSLY doubt that there is a plan to support all the millions who have no niche available in the labor market.
Suppose we bring back the GIs from foreign wars. Where will they work? After WW II, America kicked out 1.2 million Mexicans to provide jobs for returning GIs. [Operation Wetback] I seriously doubt if it will be implemented again.
Increased immigration is for all the blind fools that are deathly afraid of a fall in U.S. population.
Look at Russia, Italy and Japan. GOV seriously reduced our effective income so, we responded by reducing our family size. Latino immigration was used to make up for the deficit. Japan didn't have the option of immigration. There are 250,000 fewer Japanese men every year. GOV depends on Keynesian growth. A declining U.S. population would have derailed this growth. works for Japan.
Need to stop rambling.
Posted by sparky on 05/13/11 09:22 PM
This is a direct cut and paste from your article:
By leaving out so much, the article ends up as a kind of elite promotion - of a dominant social theme that will further weaken what is left of American culture - rather than a serious or logical argument.
I would concur with that and further state that it isn't KIND of an elite promotion. IT IS AN ELITE PROMOTION. Old George (Bush) really got the globalist ball rolling followed by Clinton, Little George and Barry Soetoro (Aka Obama)as the latest to carry the globalist torch in the U.S.
As in Europe it is the PE's displaying their total comtempt for our national sovereignty and is a clear attempt to convince gullible readers that this is a good idea and might some how solve the housing crisis. Also, secondarily it is merely a promotion to go forward with the North American Union. This Union would be, on the surface of it, a very bad deal for Canada and the U.S. but a better deal for Mexico. Also, let's not forget to mention that such a Union would require the negation of the U.S. Constitution and our liberties defined their in.
I guess my question would be does any one read the Economist? The only thing I know about this rag is that they hate gold and obviously National sovereignty. Little George and Barry (Can you say illegal "presidency") have been particularly egrigous in promoting this Dominant Theme in the U.S. However, here on the ground the promoters of this dominant theme have met with MUCH resistance on this issue and every indication is that this will continue to be the case.
To end on an UPBEAT note Ron Paul has declared his candidacy for the presidency here in the U.S. I understand he has his own views on the Immigration issue, but I for one would be more than willing to give him a complete hearing on this matter.
Do you at the Bell or any one else for that matter know what precisely his views on this issue are? I know his views on many issues and they are precisely what this country needs if we are going to get back to actually treating the Constitution as the rule of Law (And applicable to ALL).....which it is. However, I am unclear what his views are on this matter.
Reply from The Daily Bell
One specific, strongly held belief is that he wants to do away with birthright immigration for the US. Believe that his good friend hard-money economist Murray Rothbard believed in open immigration once all land was held privately.
Posted by Dave Jr on 05/13/11 05:44 PM
Ooops, got the wrong quote. Sorry Zen.
Posted by Dave Jr on 05/13/11 05:41 PM
"now that the former USSR is our ally"
The USSR has always been our ally, but that is not for us to believe. Buuur!, I feel a draft.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 05/13/11 05:16 PM
"The Economist magazine has finally reached the nadir of its unnecessary existence."
You said everything right there and you really did make me laugh out loud. As a libertarian I do support open borders and I have to say the idea of building a 2000 mile fence to keep out the riff-raff is patently absurd. I should also mention that what goes around comes around and picking up stakes for Canada has crossed my mind in the past.
I like Mexicans. I nearly became a Mexican not long ago as a matter of fact. There was this great little surf shack on a beach named Cerritos (yes, the Eagles, "sweet smell of Cerritos, rising up through the air") being built by a guy named Tony, who was the Castilian Don of an old Spanish family and also one heck of a real estate developer.
The problem was that it would have taken 5 years and about $200,000 US (deposited in an account controlled by the Mexican Federal Government) to become a Mexican citizen at the time, and real estate prices in San Diego were dropping like stones. I declined for financial reasons at a significant personal cost, nevertheless it is important to remember that the door between Mexico and the United States does not swing both ways. Personally, I'm holding out for parity.
Posted by Avatar on 05/13/11 05:04 PM
Your tax dollars at work:
Click to view link
We must remember how much money it takes to maintain the infrastructure and logistics of supplying these 700 plus bases. It hardly makes sense to maintain bases in Germany now that the former USSR is our ally. Military hegemony is bankrupting the USA just like it did at one time or another to Spain, Netherlands, Germany, France, and England.
Posted by Wayne on 05/13/11 05:04 PM
And they went for the Korea fabrication, and WWI and WWII. Even the "cause' of the Spanish American War was bogus.
Look at the way they bought the Hillary Clinton's "It take a Global Village to Raise a Child"
As W. C. Fields once said "Never give a sucker an even break"
Posted by Wayne on 05/13/11 04:02 PM
Abandoning them abroad makes a lot of sense!
Too much risk to bringing them home, as they might just become hostile to the system. No, better to just orphan them where they are from the POV of the state.
Posted by rossbcan on 05/13/11 01:48 PM
"They are being paid over there, pay them the same here"
You miss the point. When the crunch hits, NOBODY, especially state agents "gets paid"
And, even pre-crunch, once home, the electorate will be clamoring for MIC cuts and, since the MIC choosers prefer their toys, it will be the grunts sacrificed to unemployment. Think they won't organize, in some manner, or, perhaps already are?
Posted by Bluebird on 05/13/11 01:39 PM
"Bringing them home will be 'crossing the Rubicon', the end."
Not really, Mr. Ross. They are being paid over there, pay them the same here. Protecting our borders would be a good start! The money they spend will go back into our economy, not some foreign land. They will be less likely to be wounded, so that saves on health care. Anything is better than them being paid to kill over money issues! This collapsing economy is supporting them whether they are on our soil or not. Bring them home!
Posted by rossbcan on 05/13/11 01:27 PM
"The USA has over 700 military bases overseas"
And, what happens, when all of these soldiers, sworn to protect the Constitution, "from all enemies, foreign and domestic" are plunked into the middle of a collapsing economy, suffering from "Constitutional Rationalizing (away)"
No, I expect they will be abandoned overseas, to fend for themselves, just like elements of former USSR when the big crunch hits. Military are cannon fodder, expendable pawns to those who pull their strings.
Bringing them home will be "crossing the Rubicon", the end.
Posted by DarbyJie on 05/13/11 01:25 PM
Ha-so begins the psy-ops...
Posted by Avatar on 05/13/11 01:18 PM
Great Article! Let us also not forget that Spanish-Americans now comprise 1/6 of the population. Since they tend to vote the Democrat branch of the Republicrat Party, politics may also be playing a vital role. The USA has over 700 military bases overseas but cannot protect its own border from illegal immigration?
Posted by rossbcan on 05/13/11 01:17 PM
Link to threat report:
Click to view link
First heard on CTV news, Canada
Posted by DarbyJie on 05/13/11 01:11 PM
"It will be called "racist", just as opposition to the Obaminator is...
Yes, they will twist our meaning and smear us. That is why John Galt had to take the microphone *himself* "This is John Galt speaking."
Ah, if only!!
Posted by rossbcan on 05/13/11 01:05 PM
Breaking: Al Quaeda threatens Obama's family...
Now, why would they interfere with their greatest ally in bringing the "great satan" low?
Posted by rossbcan on 05/13/11 12:53 PM
"Our (American's) disapproval never gets heard"
It will be called "racist", just as opposition to the Obaminator is...
Posted by DarbyJie on 05/13/11 12:45 PM
"Americans believed the Gulf of Tonkin,,, allowed the murder at Ruby Ridge,,, the murder of children at Waco,,, 911,,,Yellow Brick,,,WMD,,,Bin Laden and on and on...
They'll gobble this 'immigration thing' up like custard pie... and say yum yum"
It only looks that way. Have you forgotten the only voice Americans have...is the lying, distorting Mainstream Media, who DO NOT report the true reactions of the American people, That which they have the power NOT to report is often more devastating than that which they do. Our (American's) disapproval never gets heard........ :(