5 Reasons Why Low Skilled Immigrants are Good for the Economy

As House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) wrangles with members of his own party over the failure to move an immigration reform bill through the House, take a moment to count the ways in which immigrants of all skill levels contribute to the American economy with this Reason TV video featuring Reason columnist Shikha Dalmia.

Produced by Paul Detrick: "Shikha Dalmia: 5 Reasons Why Low Skilled Immigrants are Good for the Economy"

Originally published on April 11, 2013. Original text is below:

The Senate's "Gang of Eight" proposed immigration reform plan will likely take a look at how to make it easier for high-skilled immigrants to gain legal status in the United States. Reason Foundation senior analyst Shikha Dalmia gives five reasons why low-skilled immigrants are good for the economy too:

1. Americans are the Customers of Low-Skilled Immigrants

Most Americans are not competitors of low-skilled immigrants, they are actually their customers. They buy all kinds of services from them: House cleaning services, childcare services, landscaping services, home construction services. If Americans can spend less on these services, then they have more money in their pocket to spend elsewhere, which means more jobs created elsewhere in the economy.

2. Low-Skilled Immigrants are Mobile

Latino and other foreign workers don't have ties to the local community and they haven't invested in property so they can pick up their bags and leave at any point to wherever they are needed. They can go to where houses are built in Arizona or pick fruit in Florida, they can go wherever they want. They "grease the wheels" of the labor market, as Harvard economist George Borjas has put it.

3. Low-Skilled Immigrants are Good for Women

Low skilled immigrants increase the supply of high skilled workers and these high-skilled workers are often called women. Many professional women would be forced to spend much more time at home taking care of their children, cleaning, doing laundry if it were not for the presence of foreign nannies, Korean dry cleaners or Chinese takeout.

4. Low-Skilled Immigrants May Cost the Welfare State Less

A big fear about low-skilled immigrants is that because they are poor they impose a big cost on the welfare state. But the truth is that most of them don't even qualify for most means tests benefits that Americans do so they may actually be saving the welfare state money rather than costing it money. A CATO working paper from February 19, 2013 said, "Low-income non-citizen immigrants are generally less likely to receive public benefits than those who are native born."

5. Low Skilled Immigrants Create Jobs

 They create more jobs for Americans because they reduce the cost of a key import in production: labor. When labor costs go down, more businesses can form, when more businesses can form, there are more jobs for everyone--including Americans. The fact that there is someone else to do menial work like pulling weeds means that Americans can do relatively more value added work. For instance, their English speaking skills become more marketable in a diverse economy with lots of immigrants who don't speak English.

Dalmia appeared last month on Capitol Hill to talk about the importance of low skilled immigrants. If you would like to read more articles and videos from Reason on immigration click here.

Video is about 3 min. Produced by Paul Detrick. Shot by Sharif Matar.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube Channel to receive automatic updates when new material goes live.

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  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Lights Muriken signal.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Please don't.

  • Virginian||

    Quiet mongrel. You just wish you could attain white women. Also JOOOOOOOOOSSSSSS

    /Murikan

  • Cytotoxic||

    Here in Canada everyone's going full retard over the Temporary Foreign Workers Program because DEY TRK R JERBS. Most of the insanity is on the left-poor immigrants take a backseat to big labor-but contards are also on board with keeping furriners out. The Conservatives government of course put a moratorium on further usage of the TFWP by restaurants in addition to restrictions that were already crippling the sector.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    This is a lot of derp on both sides.
    One of the persons interviewed on the CBC said they should raise the cost of using TFWP which would incentivize employers to raise their wages.

  • AlmightyJB||

    6. They make babies.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    With you? Pics or GTFO.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Haha. I had that taken care of after kid 2. I do like those latin girls though.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Not that I'm incredulous you make babies, just looking to score some amateur pics for my immigrant revenge porn site.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Two of these immigrants have been getting it on:

    http://kehilalinks.jewishgen.o.....es/Komarov family.jpg

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

  • Dweebston||

    This family must be reduced by 3/5ths in order to sustain its population in the long term.

    /Ehrlich

  • Hydra||

    7. They vote for leftists who promise more taxes and welfare.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Lies.

  • Virginian||

    How is this a lie? Cyto, you're strident about everything, but wrong about some things.

    It's a fucking objective fact that immigrants vote Democrat, as a general rule. We can argue over why that is true, but it is fucking true.

    I don't know who's worse in this debate, the nutjob nativists or the sunshine and rainbows open borders crowd.

  • lap83||

    They're both ridiculous. The truth is that all immigrants are aliens from another planet who want our secret Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe.

  • Lord at War||

    cyto is a Canuckistani.

    His country would not allow me to even "enter"- let alone "reside"- because I had a DUI conviction 12 years ago.

    But, He's willing to allow an unlimited number of latinos to enter our country because NONE of them would be allowed to enter his country.

  • SlV||

    Harp seal tacos, salmon tacos, poutine tacos, herring tacos, polar bear tacos...

    all drenched in maple salsa

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    If you let the immigrants get away with breaking the law, the rot will spread throughout society and you'll end up with this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXqFOWe-BCI

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    See especially after the 50 second mark

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    My dogs think that puppy is simply confused.

  • OldMexican||

    5 Reasons Why Low Skilled Immigrants are Good for the Economy


    I'll give you one good reason immigrants are good for economic activity that trumps all others: Comparative Advantage.

    I'll give you one good MORAL argument for immigration: people have a right to contract with whomsoever they desire, including immigrants. As long as immigrants do not violate the Non-Aggression Principle when migrating to a new place, then there is no compelling reason to stop them from migrating.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    I'll give you one good reason immigrants are good for economic activity that trumps all others: Comparative Advantage.

    Really? Always and everywhere? You're making some big assumptions there.

    Assume we import 50,000 immigrants that are in a vegetative state. How is that good for the economy?

  • Virginian||

    Derpderpderpderpderp

  • cavalier973||

    An increase in the number of jobs to take care of these poor people, duh.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    And whose paying to fund those jobs?

    That sounds a lot like the broken window fallacy to me.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Sounds like you have a broken brain that can't grok sarcasm or much else.

  • Agammamon||

    Do you know what 'comparative advantage' means?

    In your example it means that there are 50,000 immigrants who can be vegetative better than I can so I will go and do the things I do best and we'll trade surpluses.

  • Irish||

    Assume we import 50,000 immigrants that are in a vegetative state. How is that good for the economy?

    I don't think your theoretical massive influx of comatose immigrants has much of a bearing on reality.

    "What if we allowed people to immigrate to this country and they were secretly alien body snatchers that infiltrated the upper echelons of American government?!? WHAT THEN, LIBERTARIANS?!?!"

  • Hawk Spitui||

    I agree that the example is greatly exaggerated. However, the point remains: Is the wealth generated by these low-skill workers sufficient to cover the costs of their maintenance? Mostly, it's not.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Actually the data is clear that it is. Their 'maintenance cost' is no greater than the natives.

  • SlV||

    I don't think your theoretical massive influx of comatose immigrants has much of a bearing on reality.

    It is not unusual to see recent immigrants in Atlanta carrying a portable oxygen supply or maneuvering about on powered chairs. Go to an international market and there's a good chance one will be in front of you in line paying with an EBT card.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Hawk Spitui,

    Assume we import 50,000 immigrants that are in a vegetative state.


    Then they would not be immigrants, they would be imported meat.

    How is that good for the economy?


    Depends on the chef. Slisl! Slisl! Slisl! Slisl! Slisl!

  • Hawk Spitui||

    Ok, then, we can substitute 50,000 quadriplegics.

    In any event, the point still stands. A minimum degree of ability to participate in the economy is required before the benefits of comparative advantage offset the costs. Would you care to state where the minimum degree rests?

    Keep in mind, the average cost of just medical care throughout the life of an individual would requires they earn a wage of at least $12 an hour to meet them. Unless they can generate at least that much of an income, they are a net cost, comparative advantage not withstanding.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Ok, then, we can substitute 50,000 quadriplegics.


    I don't think we'll be lucky enough to receive a bumper crop of Stephen Hawkings on America's doorstep.

    Less glibly, I would think that the "minimum degree" rests on whether or not an immigrant can get a job from an American taxpayer without being a net burden to the other American taxpayers. The former is a subjective evaluation which can only be made by an employer; the latter is dependent in large part on what amenities are made available to the immigrant. An immigration/naturalization/welfare policy structured around these constraints would be more than adequate to handle whatever you throw at it, quadriplegics or otherwise.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's a change in tone from my more progressive acquaintances towards immigration. As the country becomes more socialized, people on the left increasingly resent those who aren't paying their "fair share". I remember when they used to say ObamaCare was for the working poor--now they're demonizing the poor for not buying health insurance. It's the same transformation happening with immigration.

    Now, the economic arguments that anti-immigration people used to make all the time are being adopted by the left. Pretty soon, the left will be saying that the reason the anti-immigrant lobby was wrong was because they were racists. The American left is starting to look more like their European counterparts on immigration.

    I see all the arguments against immigration have socialist overtones and assumptions behind them. Even those on the right who want to deny immigrants social services, ostensibly, to keep spending and taxes down are assuming that being an American citizen, somehow, entitles you to social spending programs--which is the very stuff from which socialist shit is woven.

    I've got a word for Americans who think they're entitled to a free education, social security, medicare, etc. because they're American citizens. I call them "welfare queens". I know they think they're on the right, but the next time they lock arms with their fellow immigrant bashers, they may find themselves hugging a progressive.

  • Hydra||

    Even those on the right who want to deny immigrants social services, ostensibly, to keep spending and taxes down are assuming that being an American citizen, somehow, entitles you to social spending programs

    Not necessarily. They just don't want to increase the number of people dependent on social spending programs. It's a lot easier to keep poor people from other countries out than to wrench the native parasites away from the trough.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    SKAPGOATZ

    Where previously everything, even a drought or the actions of big business, was Chavez’s fault, now it is blamed on “the collectives”. Now that Chavez is gone and the opposition still has won an electoral victory, they have realised it's not enough to just call Maduro a “dictator” and belittle him because of his lack of formal university education.

    They need to demonise the active, organised people too ― because they are not going away.
  • Virginian||

    They need to demonise the active, organised people too ― because they are not going away.

    I can think of a few ways to make the poxy socialists go away.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I know their weakness. It's bullets.

  • Virginian||

    A whiff of grapeshot to quell the mob.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    GOP Senate aspirant in North Carolina says "the majority of the stuff that is in Obamacare is bad, because it’s not fiscally sustainable. It’s a great idea that can’t be paid for." His potential Democratic opponent pounced, quotes the "great idea" remark, and says the Repub is trying to play both sides of the fence.

    Even PolitiFact had to categorize the Democrat's claim as "Mostly False."

    http://www.politifact.com/trut.....ed-obamac/

  • Virginian||

    I will say one of the things that pisses me off most about Republicans is that they concede the premise of the Left's policies, and then try to argue about the implementation.

    If you concede that it is a moral imperative that everyone gets health insurance regardless of their ability to pay, you've lost the fucking argument.

    Obamacare is not a great idea. Nothing about it is a great idea.

  • Hydra||

    Exactly, it doesn't even guarantee that everyone gets health insurance. It's all manure and no pony.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    It can't have been a ringing endorsement, since the Democrat just quoted the "great idea" quote while leaving out the fiscally-unsustainable part.

    It's as if the Democratic mindset is that you first get your great ideas, pass them, and then worry about paying for them.

  • Virginian||

    Right but in the soundbite era, you don't ever put something on tape that can be chopped into an endorsement or into hypocrisy. The Dems know this. They stay the fuck on message. The GOP has too many people who aren't disciplined.

    Obamacare is terrible policy and politically unpopular. Go look at Dem ads from 2005 and 2006 and change Iraq to Obamacare. Then pound it home.

  • Hydra||

    Right but in the soundbite era, you don't ever put something on tape that can be chopped into an endorsement or into hypocrisy. The Dems know this. They stay the fuck on message.

    "You didn't build that."

    "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

    "We have to pass it to find out what's in it."

    "Under my cap and trade plan, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

    Dems aren't any more careful about what they say -- the media just buries (or "clarifies") anything that appears damaging to them.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Ah, I get it.

  • Hydra||

    I'm having a hard time figuring out what part of 0-care he's saying is the great idea.

  • Virginian||

  • DJF||

    6 - We can go back to having cotton picked by hand while we drink mint julep's on the veranda and listen to the darkies sing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot "

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I hope some of them will be diverted from cotton-picking duty to mint julep making duty. Or can you just go down to the liquor store and pick them up?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You muddled fresh mint leaves at the bottom of the glass or you're not drinking a mint julep.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Labradors befriend rescued kitten:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQCl7S_rW5w

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Labrador and Bengal kitten, with other Bengal kittens looking on jealously.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgJJUZaj4kk

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Where the libertarian women at? Let me try one more link:

    Here's a dog defending the NAP principle in trying circumstances -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvJHv9p-W38

  • lap83||

    Libertarian women are so simple-minded that all they need to be entertained is cute videos of dogs and kittens? How sexist! We need much more than that...like cute panda videos, for example.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRP3h2Lt6wQ

  • lap83||

    I mean, uh, illegal immigrant panda mom drags her illegal immigrant baby panda back to their jail cell after they were arrested for trying to make a better life for themselves.

  • cavalier973||

    Many professional women would be forced to spend much more time at home taking care of their children, cleaning, doing laundry if it were not for the presence of foreign nannies, Korean dry cleaners or Chinese takeout.

    What's the point of having your own children if you're just going to delegate their rearing to a hired hand? Why don't you just pay the foreign nanny to have and raise her own children, and then put said children into your will, or something?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Why don't you just pay the foreign nanny to have and raise her own children, and then put said children into your will, or something?

    That didn't work out so well for Sarah and Abraham now, did it?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    There are peace talks scheduled as we speak!

  • cavalier973||

    Well, when the professional woman's husband is the father of the foreign nanny's child, there can sometimes weirdness in the relationships all around. Especially if it was the professional woman's idea in the first place.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It would make for a great sitcom though!

  • cavalier973||

    "Hate is Enough"

  • cavalier973||

    "Family Splatters"

  • cavalier973||

    Scene: Abraham Family Home. Sarah sits on the sofa, glaring at the door as Abe walks in from a hard day at the office.

    Abe: "Hi, Honey; what's for dinner?"
    Sarah: "Why don't you ask the nanny?"

    Hagar walks in carrying a baby. Abe does a double take and a look of embarrassment covers his face

    Abe (in high pitched nasally voice): "Did I do that?"

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Cue the laugh track.

  • lap83||

    I agree, I don't know why people have kids when they're just going to delegate the parenting to someone else. Maybe the mere existence of a family is good for their career or status or something.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    I'd be interested in Dalmia's response (or for that matter, anyone from Reason's response) to fellow immigration enthusiast Tyler Cowan, given that if his proposition is correct, the last thing we're gonna need is more low-skilled labor.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    In citing Cowen's arguments in the link you provide, you equivocate the skilled middle-wage jobs Cowen argues are being eliminated by automaton and outsourcing with unskilled low-wage jobs, about which Cowen wrote "growth at the extremes–service employment at the low end of the wage distribution, ... outpaced growth in the middle in the decades prior to the recession."

  • Irish||

    3. Low-Skilled Immigrants are Good for Women

    Low skilled immigrants increase the supply of high skilled workers and these high-skilled workers are often called women. Many professional women would be forced to spend much more time at home taking care of their children, cleaning, doing laundry if it were not for the presence of foreign nannies, Korean dry cleaners or Chinese takeout.

    This is just tremendously stupid. First, high skilled workers tend to have enough money to pay a decently high premium for child care. They don't really need to drive down the cost of day care in order to avail themselves of it.

    Secondly, does Shikha Dalmia think there wouldn't be any dry cleaners or takeout were it not for Koreans and the Chinese? What, would people forget how to order pizza if there weren't Chinese takeout places?

    There are plenty of reasons to be pro-immigration, which makes it really aggravating that Dalmia resorts to such ludicrous and unsubstantiated arguments.

    Also: "Low skilled immigrants increase the supply of high skilled workers and these high-skilled workers are often called women." That's just some really awful writing.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Nannies aren't cheap so we need more of them so that not just high-income earners can. But you're right about the bad writing there. That's like Doherty bad.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Many professional women would be forced to spend much more time at home taking care of their children, cleaning, doing laundry if it were not for the presence of foreign nannies, Korean dry cleaners or Chinese takeout.


    LOL

    I don't think the "professional women hiring Mexican nannies" voter bloc is as powerful a force in American politics as Shikha seems to.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's a stunningly tone-deaf argument. One the one hand, the image of power blazer and skirted professional women walking through the streets with their Indonesian au pair meekly following a few steps behind while holding their dry cleaning is enough to send a Prog into bloodthirsty rage. On the other, arguing that low-skill immigrants will free up women to pursue their careers outside the home isn't going to endear the concept to the barefoot and pregnant "traditionalist" crowd, either.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    A big fear about low-skilled immigrants is that because they are poor they impose a big cost on the welfare state. But the truth is that most of them don't even qualify for most means tests benefits that Americans do so they may actually be saving the welfare state money rather than costing it money. A CATO working paper from February 19, 2013 said, "Low-income non-citizen immigrants are generally less likely to receive public benefits than those who are native born."


    Don't drink and parse statistics, kids. The bolded part is absolutely true, but says nothing about the cost imposed on the welfare state. It means that, compared to very poor Americans, very poor immigrants consume *less* welfare -- but guess what? Very poor Americans consume a fuck-ton of welfare! Moreover, part of the reason immigrants don't consume more welfare is because illegal immigrants (a subset of that population) are prohibited from certain types of welfare -- such that if their presence were made legal, they would have access to many more types of welfare than are currently available to them.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    such that if their presence were made legal, they would have access to many more types of welfare than are currently available to them.

    Sorry, but that's false. Unless those illegal immigrants are going to be classified as refugees, they're going to have to find someone to cough up I-864s (Affidavits of Support) just like legal immigrants, which prohibits them from SSI, TANF, etc.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Sure, which is why Legal Immigrant Welfare/Capita would still be *Less Than* Citizen Welfare/Capita even after an amnesty. Legalizing illegals in the current legal environment would still increase the level of welfare spending on immigrants, since legal immigrants have greater welfare support than illegals (though you are right that they have less than citizens).

  • Virginian||

    Yeah, the percentage of people on welfare is entirely a function of how easy it is to get welfare. If we do have a widespread amnesty, they will take welfare, probably at a roughly equal rate of native born Americans.

    People are people, and a certain percentage of people will always be willing to sponge and leech rather than work, doesn't matter what country they originally come from.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The other aspect is that humanity does not dichotomize quite so simply into moocher/not moocher. If the difference between me providing for my family or not is crossing an arbitrary line, you're damn right I'd cross it. When I find out I can't go back without complications and the job market has dried up, you're damn right I'll go on welfare if I have to to take care of my kids. It's all entirely understandable from the perspective of people in that position, and it's not like they're just a bunch of assholes who want to steal our money. In large part, they get on welfare because they have large families and finding work is more difficult than they realized. That said, it's not really acceptable to tell the American taxpayer (or the immigrant net taxpayer, for that matter) that they're on the hook to pay welfare for people in that state indefinitely, without having a choice in the matter.

  • Irish||

    It also disincentivizes people from improving their lot, since a lot of people would rather have free time at the rate welfare pays than lose that free time in order to work or go to school.

    It can't be said enough that welfare recipients are making a *completely rational choice* given the choices presented to them, it's just that their choice has hugely negative long term economic consequences for themselves and the country.

    I don't like when people call welfare recipients moochers because it allows scumbag progs to claim libertarians are heartless. The truth is, welfare recipients are making a rational choice, it's just that the choice has dire consequences.

  • Virginian||

    I don't like when people call welfare recipients moochers because it allows scumbag progs to claim libertarians are heartless

    I don't like it when people wish to use euphemisms for ugly realities. If you're on welfare, you're a leech. You're a parasite. You're eating because better people than you are sweating.

    Taking the shame out of welfare is one of the main reasons there are so many people on it.

  • Homple||

    Once upon a time, the stigma of "being on relief" was a serious incentive to "get work".

  • Cytotoxic||

    The data is clear: the importation of poor immigrants pushes poor natives up the income ladder, so no net harm. Immigration has never increased poverty or welfare.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    the importation of poor immigrants pushes poor natives up the income ladder, so no net harm


    Magically, the poor natives (despite no change in their skillset) will suddenly become more valuable to prospective employers in the presence of increased immigration because...?

  • Virginian||

    It's like he doesn't know anyone on welfare.

  • Homple||

    Underwear gnomes are involved somehow.

  • JeremyR||

    Native Americans will be glad to hear to that.

    And I think the Normans made the same argument when they invaded England. You'll love being a serf!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Those two caveats aside, immigrants are an obvious net benefit to the economy at large and in general their negative impacts on a nation tend to be overstated. The best way to minimize costs and maximize benefits is to 1) restrict welfare benefits to citizens only (or to no one, if it is feasible), 2) make it more difficult for immigrants and their children to become citizens, and 3) ensure that those coming are coming to work and not to commit crimes or spread disease. Given a relatively simple system for both entry and exit, most of the problems associated with immigration tend to be either fixable or self-resolving.

  • Homple||

    Any chance of policies 1,2 and 3 being adopted before the General,Resurrection?

  • XM||

    Point 2 isn't really true. Immigrants are very much tied to their local communities, which tends to be ethnic enclaves in which speaking English is not required. Unless there's long term, stable situation waiting for them, not many typical immigrants will ditch Orange County and head to some podunk white town in Minnesota. Latinos are more mobile, but they're still not a big presence everywhere in the country.

    Why is home construction and landscaping considered low skill? You need serious skills to even move heavy stuff to work in a moving business. The immigrants who work those jobs are skilled. You don't need skills to flip burgers or work retail, and that's where most immigrants and natives find work.

    When my family was illegal, we received our share of benefits. I won't reveal how, but let's say having relatives help. Even in the Pete Wilson era, I still got free lunches, clinic visits, etc.

    It's just a bit intellectually dishonest to say that pumping this country with "low skill" immigrants every year won't lead to some hits on the state or federal budget. The government spends an inordinate amount of money to cater to their needs ways beyond "welfare". There's really no other nation that cares of their non citizens to this degree. That's why we kick Canada's ass in terms of immigration.

  • Virginian||

    There's really no other nation that cares of their non citizens to this degree.

    Europe does. It's why they have such a fucking mess.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Europe does.


    Not really. For all the masturbation that goes on in the left about the eternal paradise that is Europe, most of the European states have far less regard for their immigrant populations than we do. Germany (to name a country whose immigration experience I've personally witnessed) tosses its Turkish immigrant population into state-created ghettoes, prohibits them from large categories of jobs, and provides second-rate benefits, at best.

    Sweden is another story (and it is a fucking mess as you would expect), but it is a somewhat isolated example compared to most of Europe.

  • Virginian||

    Certainly Europe hands out more money and nonmonetary benefits to immigrants then the US does.

    As always with free shit, the more free shit you give out, the more people will come just to take advantage of the free shit.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Certainly Europe hands out more money and nonmonetary benefits to immigrants then the US does.


    For the most part that's true, but it's all shitty and second-rate. (Germany at the very least does a lot more in-kind benefits "tailored" for the immigrant community.) The US hands out less, but it's essentially the same stuff that it gives its native (voting) population and the immigrants are less restricted in terms of job opportunities.

  • Bam!||

    "Shitty and second-rate" compared to what, exactly? Compared to what they've come from?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Germany has a 100-year blood law preventing those without Germanic descent from getting full citizenship I believe. Europe in general is harder for non-Euros to immigrate into, and that's a lot of why it's horrible.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Very few Euro countries have jus soli citizenship, and Germany ain't one of them.

    OTOH, I must be missing the vital link where having a bunch of poor, marginally employed Muslims as voting citizens is supposed to improve Germany...

  • Calidissident||

    I think he was using that as an example to illustrate how European countries make it difficult for immigrants and (especially) their children to assimilate into their societies.

  • Troje||

    OTOH, I must be missing the vital link where having a bunch of poor, marginally employed Muslims as voting citizens is supposed to improve Germany...

    One word: revenge.

  • LarryA||

    The other half of the argument, which keeps getting missed, is that many low-skilled, and some high-skilled (laying rock isn't simple) workers don't want to immigrate.

    They want to come to the U.S., work for the season, then return to their families at home. Or, like ski instructors, migrate to where their skill is in season.

    But once they get labeled immigrants, that idea gets lost.

  • Troje||

    Laying rock takes like five days of training to learn. Totally comparable to being a doctor.

  • LarryA||

    "Handmade brick cupulas (domes) have been revered for centuries for their incredible warmth and dramatic architectural beauty. The skills required to handcraft these masterpieces have been all but lost to time, and the advent of mass production. Brick dome Arizona is proud to bring a few of the remaining master craftsmen (cupuleros) to the United States."
    http://www.brickdome.com/

  • thorax232||

    Love it.

  • Troje||

    Latino and other foreign workers don't have ties to the local community and they haven't invested in property so they can pick up their bags and leave at any point to wherever they are needed. They can go to where houses are built in Arizona or pick fruit in Florida, they can go wherever they want. They "grease the wheels" of the labor market, as Harvard economist George Borjas has put it.

    Yeah, that's the Borjas who wikipedia says is "is most well known for his advocacy of reducing the rates of immigration to the United States."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_J._Borjas

    Epic fail Dalmia. "New Jews" my ass, there's a reason your country is such a shithole.

  • Virginian||

    He was also baptized as Jorge Jesus Borjas in Havana Cuba, so I assume his views on immigration are slightly more complex then that.

  • Troje||

    He immigrated to America and considers himself an American first, therfore when he looks at the immigration he asks the question "what is the best policy for Americans?"

    https://cis.org/Borjas

  • Virginian||

    Ah yes, the "fuck you, I got mine" school of thought.

  • Hydra||

    More like the "fuck you, I went through the legal immigration process so I don't approve of you breaking the rules and cutting in line" school of thought.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    I dont' support mandatory minimum wages but I also don't support artificial wage suppression, which is exactly what open immigration provides to employers who don't want to pay workers a fair wage in relation to their work.

    The bottom line is immigration has found it's perfect special interests who are together pushing it through at the detriment to lower skilled workers who don't have much more in their interests except a scarcity of people who want to do some of the crappier jobs.

    Libertarians who support this may believe that their philosophical reasoning is sound but they are blinded to the facts on the ground. Every society necessarily has a lower skilled class and to hammer them with unfair competition is not only unfair, it's cruel.

    Of course Silicon valley is in love with immigrant labor because now they can undercut their workers as well, but the vast majority of people affected by these laws are of the lower skills.

    So the left just wraps the argument in racism, and reasoning (ha, the irony) is just tossed aside in the debate.

  • Calidissident||

    "I dont' support mandatory minimum wages but I also don't support artificial wage suppression, which is exactly what open immigration provides to employers who don't want to pay workers a fair wage in relation to their work."

    How is allowing labor markets to operate freely "artificial wage suppression?" THe only thing artificial are the attempts by the government to control the labor market via immigration controls

  • Fain||

    Here is the basic idea: there is a first world, and a third world. There is a reason some countries are part of the first world and some aren't. I want to live in the first world, and immigration is welcoming the third world into our first world country.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    It's so simple that I'm always amused that people act like they don't understand. We have an entire country next door to us, loaded with poor, uneducated laborers who are willing to work for ridiculously low wages, cram 10 men in a 1 bedroom apartment and take abusive treatment from their bosses.

    Anybody with common sense can understand that if you unleash that work force into the labor market, that what is going to necessarily happen is that low wage, low skilled jobs are going to be taken up by this new excess labor force.

    Al Gore and company may be full of crap when they say "The debate is over." but there really is nothing to debate here unless you want to glaring replace reality with whispy theory. We've seen reality. We've seen the entire construction industry, and many others, totally change, including the depression of wages. We've see results that would be totally expected just by applying common sense.

    It's sad to see an organization like Reason abandon Reason, of all things, over this one issue because it somehow bumps up against ideology. The last thing that in involved in their position is reason.

    My attraction to Libertarianism is based on my belief that a competitive marketplace is best for everybody, most especially the labor force.

  • Calidissident||

    "My attraction to Libertarianism is based on my belief that a competitive marketplace is best for everybody, most especially the labor force."

    Except, you're advocating the opposite of that; you're advocating suppression of competition, because you don't like the outcome and want to use the government to try (and fail) to force your preferred outcome instead.

  • umh||

    It holds down labor cost and I'm sure laborers are thrilled about that.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Libertarians can care less about the troubles of low paid laborers.

    The problem with the entire libertarian thing is that in the near future, labor, itself can become obsolete in the United States.

    So if that's the case, more and more people will be on the government dole in some way or another.

    I've heard libertarians speaking about the Citizen's Wage. That sounded so, un-libertarian.

    As much as I'm not a Libertarian and I'm a pure Progressive, I'm actually voting for Gary Johnson in 2016. He's far more to the LEFT than any Democratic Candidate running. I am not voting for Hilary

  • Alice Bowie||

    It's hilarious to hear this from Shikha Dalmia.

    I work with a lot of Indians from India in technology.
    All of them pretty much come from the affluent classes in India.
    The poor there are unable to bribe their way to the American Embassy to do the Lottery thing or obtain a legitimate VISA.

    I think Libertarians would prefer America to be more Like India in which there is so so much extreme poverty that one doesn't need to iron a shirt, cook a meal, drive, mow a lawn, etc.

    Most of my best friends now are from India. They bring so many positive things and are such beautiful people in Heart and physically.

    My one complaint about them is that the extreme poverty breeds contempt. And, these people have that attitude towards their subordinates (that are from India...doesn't work too well with New Yorkers).

  • JeremyR||

    Er, the extreme poverty in India is due to their history of embracing socialism.

    It's why leftists love the country so much.

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