Now Playing at Reason.tv: Drew Carey Reports on the Tragically High Cost of Building a Border Wall

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At a time when pundits and politicians of all stripes endorse securing the border between the United States and Mexico, reason.tv travels south to see what's really going on—and what the human and monetary costs are of amping up border patrols.

Building a wall along the border with Mexico is a great idea—if America wants to be like China and the former East Germany. In the 13th episode of reason.tv's acclaimed and controversial Drew Carey Project, our host suggests there are better ways to ensure American security while also promoting free trade with our neighbor to the South.

"One way out of this mess would be to simply allow peaceful workers to enter our country through legal ports of entry," says Carey. "If we did that we could stimulate our economy, bring a huge underground labor market out into the open and we could put unscrupulous smugglers out of business. More importantly, we'd free up border patrol resources that could be used to fight criminals and terrorism."

To watch this 11-minute video, click on the image above.

Go to reason.tv for additional articles, videos, and information on immigration. And how to embed this video at your website.

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  1. Building a wall along the border with Mexico is a great idea-if America wants to be like China and the former East Germany

    Because they both have famous walls, get it?

    Sheesh, as if there’s no valid arguments against building a wall along the border.

  2. Building a fence that people can’t cross would stop most of the problems Drew was talking about. People wouldn’t be dieing in the desert because they wouldn’t get here in the first place. Those smugglers would go out of business just like the drug runners. Don’t really see a problem with this. Also, just because a guy has 6 kids to feed doesn’t mean he should be allowed to break a nations laws to feed them. It means he shouldn’t have had 6 kids.

  3. Building a fence that people can’t cross would stop most of the problems Drew was talking about. People wouldn’t be dieing in the desert because they wouldn’t get here in the first place. Those smugglers would go out of business just like the drug runners. Don’t really see a problem with this.

    Well, as though ripped from the headlines of yesterday’s New York Times, there is the problem of the corruption of Border Patrol agents themselves.

    Of course, the real issue with corrupt Border Patrol isn’t that they wave through harmless migrant workers. The problem is that they have no idea what else they are waving through as well…

    Although bad apples turn up in almost every law enforcement agency, the corruption cases expose a worrisome vulnerability for national and border security. The concern, several officials said, is that corrupt agents let people into the country whose intentions may be less innocent than finding work.

    “If you can get a corrupt inspector, you have the keys to the kingdom,” said Andrew P. Black, an F.B.I. agent who supervises a multiagency task force focused on corruption on the San Diego border…

    “You’re basically giving that smuggling organization an opportunity to conceal whatever else they want in that vehicle,” he said, “whether it’s drugs, weapons, terrorists.”

    As with drugs and trade, it is far, far better for everyone if people can be free to associate as they wish. It is immigration law that is the problem… Not immigration.

  4. As someone who had a written invitation to Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” speech, I’m disgusted.

  5. The Berlin Wall turned that country into a prison. Pretty much the exact opposite of what the US is doing. We are trying to keep people out that we do not know anything about. That is the difference, I think, and one of the reasons I hate it when people bring up the Berlin Wall when talking about the US – Mexico border wall. We are trying to get people to follow legal channels to get into this country otherwise there isn’t really a reason to have a border in the first place.

  6. The Berlin Wall ended up

  7. There were perfectly legal ways for East Germans to emigrate to West Germany; some chose to sneak in illegally to escape the oppressive poverty of the East. So their wall was just as legitimate as ours will be.

  8. How is this Wall any different from the older Wall, and its current sister Wall?

  9. We are trying to get people to follow legal channels to get into this country otherwise there isn’t really a reason to have a border in the first place.

    There are legal channels to get into this country? What are they, and why do the 12 million people here illegally not know about them?

  10. @MikeP
    Did you watch the video? It said that there are legal ways to enter this country but it is pretty much impossible for the poor Mexican to get in without doing it illegally.

    @Quibble
    Theirs was to keep people from leaving. Ours is to keep people from entering. Too completely different things.

  11. It said that there are legal ways to enter this country but it is pretty much impossible for the poor Mexican to get in without doing it illegally.

    Ah. So when you said that there were legal channels to enter this country, you really meant that there weren’t legal channels to enter this country.

  12. Tracy, the East Germans put up the wall because the West Germans were too soft to do what was required to stop the flow of illegals. How can you argue with anyone who would fight the good fight?

  13. Theirs was to keep people from leaving.

    So is ours. By restricting the flow of people in AND OUT, you’re ensuring a steady increase in the number of illegal aliens who won’t ever risk leaving the country for any reason.

    Ours is to keep people from entering.

    That’s what the East Germans were told, too.

  14. I wonder why no one ever makes the logical connection between falling real estate prices and the lack of a few million people looking for a place to live.

  15. Hey, anyone know why Mexico does so poorly in the Olympics?

  16. I love when the Space Shuttle goes up so that I can watch the images of this beautiful planet float by. Of course you can’t see the imaginary lines that we’ve drawn to separate ourselves from one another. That so much time, money, and violence is exhausted out of these lines, speaks to immaturity of our species.

  17. I love when the Space Shuttle goes up so that I can watch the images of this beautiful planet float by. Of course you can’t see the imaginary lines that we’ve drawn to separate ourselves from one another. That so much time, money, and violence is exhausted out of these lines, speaks to immaturity of our species.

    Fuckin’ hippy!

  18. Immediately after the Maginot Wall is built, look for news stories about Mexican “boat people” coming across the Gulf. Politicians will have their symbol come election time, though, and isn’t that what government projects are all about?

  19. To strike the 8 bells on the East German wall comparison, even your fearless leader warned today about excessive Communism analogies.

    N.B. I’ll give you the China comparison is somewhat more historically appropriate (to an extent, iirc, it was mainly used so barbarians had a roadbump bringing their booty back to Mongolia (manchuria?).

    N.B.ismo. I’m not a fan of the wall even if you only compare it to the fence between the Taylor’s and Wilson.

  20. The Berlin Wall turned that country into a prison. Pretty much the exact opposite of what the US is doing.

    Uh…yeah. Guess that’s why the restrictions on casual visits to Mexico and Canada get stronger every year. We used to go to Windsor for lunch. Now…”Your papers, please!” Who knows what next year will bring?

    To paraphrase you-know-who, “Any wall big enough to keep the dirty brown people out is big enough to keep you in.” But good luck with that “trusting the promises of politicians” thing. It always works so well.

  21. @MikeP
    No. It is there. They just can’ use it. Just as Costa Rica requires a monetary investment to become a citizen the US has its own requirements. Just because some people can’t meet those requirements does not mean it isn’t there.

    @Quibble
    No. The wall was put up to keep East Germans from leaving. West Berliners were allowed to cross the wall, East Berliners weren’t. Yet again. Theirs was to keep people in. Ours is to keep people out.

    @Rhywun
    This wall is not to keep people from leaving. It is to keep people from entering. We will gladly allow illegal aliens to leave. We are forcing them to go back right now. The only difference is that once they leave they will not be allowed to come back without following proper procedures. Also, the East Germans weren’t told anything. They had a totalitarian government that decided that the all was going up. They didn’t need to tell their people anything.

    @Mucho Mas
    You’re probably right about that except that it is a lot easier to see people coming over water than through brush which means it is easier to ship them back as well.

    @Kolohe
    But that is exactly what this wall is. Mexico is a separate country from the United States which means this wall is exactly what you described. It is a separation of properties so that one may not trespass on the other.

    @Joel
    The fact that the United States is only now requiring passports to enter or leave only means that they are finally catching up to the rest of the world. If I wanted to fly to Europe for lunch I would need a passport. Not because people are trying to keep me from leaving but because I am entering a foreign nation. Also, not all people against illegal immigration are racist. Actually very few of us are. We just want people to follow the proper procedures for entering.

  22. Also, not all people against illegal immigration are racist. Actually very few of us are. We just want people to follow the proper procedures for entering.

    You may not be racist, but boasting about being a statist isn’t much better.

  23. The Berlin Wall turned that country into a prison. Pretty much the exact opposite of what the US is doing.

    Uh…yeah. Guess that’s why the restrictions on casual visits to Mexico and Canada get stronger every year. We used to go to Windsor for lunch. Now…”Your papers, please!” Who knows what next year will bring?

    To paraphrase you-know-who, “Any wall big enough to keep the dirty brown people out is big enough to keep you in.” But good luck with that “trusting the promises of politicians” thing. It always works so well.

    Those camps that KBR are building, which are only for illegal immigrants. I would imagine that these camps may be as easily converted to detaining undesirables as well as anyone else the federal government decides is unpatriotic or some such BS.

  24. The only difference is that once they leave they will not be allowed to come back without following proper procedures.

    In other words, they won’t leave. Good luck “forcing” them all.

    Also, the East Germans weren’t told anything.

    They were constantly told they lived in paradise. I wasn’t there when the wall went up, but the obvious conclusion is that they were supposed to believe the wall was there to keep others out.

  25. Also, not all people against illegal immigration are racist. Actually very few of us are.

    Okay, the ‘dirty brown people’ crack was unwarranted, and I apologize. I’ve no reason, based on your comments, to think you a racist.

    Easily persuaded, maybe. You do know how to tell when politicians are lying, right?

    We just want people to follow the proper procedures for entering.

    But the procedures seem to be the problem here. As with the WOD, at some point you’re just repeating the same procedures that keep giving you bad results and hoping for good ones this time.

  26. Great video as always. It is a shame that all of this baseless anti-immigration fervor has spread as of recently.

    I hope to see much more of these and Drew Carey.

  27. If the legal immigration process is controlled by the US Congress, then they are part of the problem if they are setting the legal numbers too low.

    The Congress should determine an adequate number we can allow into this country without causing undue strain on the economy.

  28. Drew Carey is, needless to say, even dumber than Reason’s regular contributors. And, of course, it’s difficult to achieve that level of dumb.

    Let’s just concentrate on one point. While individual workers might be “peaceful”, as a group they form a PoliticalPower bloc for foreign governments. In other words, for very little gain (cheap labor is cheap for a reason), we’d be giving a foreign government even more PoliticalPower than they have now.

    Does Carey have an answer, or, if he ever discussed that issue would he just answer with one of his cheap jokes?

  29. @Rhywun
    When they are caught it is very easy to force them out. Also, as states start putting laws into place to stop the hiring of illegal immigrants they will no longer be able to find the work they need to survive. At that point it becomes a decision of going home or starving.

    @Joel
    No problem. I just hate that whenever anyone starts talking about illegal immigrants someone always throws the race card. They don’t seem to understand that we don’t care if a person is here on an expired Visa from Canada, we still want them gone.
    The problem is that so many people have been getting around the procedures that we don’t even know if they would work. Immigration is a very complex issue that can only be settled when everyone is following the same set of rules. Once the influx of illegal immigrants has been stopped and we start sending the rest of them home we can see how well out immigration procedures are working. Until then we have no base line to work off of to see whether the procedure needs loosening up or tightening down.
    One question. What is WOD?

  30. Does Carey have an answer, or, if he ever discussed that issue would he just answer with one of his cheap jokes?

    Knock Knock.

    Who’s there?

    Cheap labor.

    Cheap labor who?

    Cheap labor that forms a foreign government political power bloc.

    Ha ha ha ha!

  31. Immigration is a very complex issue that can only be settled when everyone is following the same set of rules.

    Yet somehow you come to the conclusion that that set of rules means restrictive quotas that throttle the economic prosperity of both prospective immigrants and the US economy and that must be enforced at any cost — including a thousand miles of border fence.

  32. @Mitch Port
    It isn’t baseless. Illegal immigrants are trespassing on United States soil. By being here they lower the mean salary of the entire country because they are willing to work for less. They also take the jobs of actual citizens of this country that want the work.

    @MikeP
    No. I came to the conclusion that we can only get to a standard set of rules once people cannot sidestep them.
    How would raising the average wage of the country throttle the economy? How would no longer having to pay for the free education of illegal immigrant children throttle the economy? How would no longer giving free health care to illegal immigrants throttle the economy?

  33. How would raising the average wage of the country throttle the economy?

    The average wage of the country is not a terribly interesting metric. The average wage of the country can go down while the average wage of both native workers and immigrant workers goes up.

    How would no longer having to pay for the free education of illegal immigrant children throttle the economy? How would no longer giving free health care to illegal immigrants throttle the economy?

    As it now stands, these services cost much less than the economic benefits illegal immigrants provide. If in the wisdom of the state children must be educated and people must receive health care, then preventing the entry of workers in order to avoid providing these services throttles the economy by unnecessarily limiting its labor pool.

  34. I came to the conclusion that we can only get to a standard set of rules once people cannot sidestep them.

    People will always be able to sidestep restrictive rules: see the Times article or the War On Drugs.

    The standard set of rules I would like to see are much less likely to be sidestepped. Furthermore, since that set of rules denies the entry only of authentically dangerous people, you have pretty good reason to believe that anyone caught sidestepping them deserves the harsh treatment you currently reserve for harmless economic migrants.

  35. The standard set of rules I would like to see are much less likely to be sidestepped.

    Did I say “much”? I meant “much, much”, where each ‘much’ represents an order of magnitude.

  36. When they are caught it is very easy to force them out. Also, as states start putting laws into place to stop the hiring of illegal immigrants they will no longer be able to find the work they need to survive. At that point it becomes a decision of going home or starving.

    We already have such laws. The fact that they don’t “work” means the government isn’t trying hard enough. How much is it worth to you to ensure that not one foreigner trods upon our soil for a moment longer than we allow him?

    we’d be giving a foreign government even more PoliticalPower than they have now

    I dunno about Lone’s neck of the woods, but the Brazilians, Colombians, Bangladeshi and Chinese in my neighborhood don’t seem to give a shit about forming power blocs. They’re too busy working and raising families.

  37. @MikeP
    Not having to provide those services is not the reason to send illegal immigrants home. That is merely a side effect.
    Thanks for the definition of WOD. Honestly didn’t realize what it meant.
    Having a wall that people cannot get over under or through with guards on the beaches pretty much eliminates any way of sidestepping the immigration policies. Only corrupt officials would be able to help at that point but that goes beyond the immigration debate.
    What are you rules? Only allow non-dangerous people through? It’s already policy to only let through non-dangerous people. Also, once a person is over here they can be shipped back if they are deemed a danger at a later date. The only difference that I can see is that you want to allow every non-dangerous person to come in. Correct me if I’m wrong about your rules.
    Even with your rules in place we would still need a secure border or else all of your rules are for naught. Violent criminals could still just sneak in.
    Economic immigrants are no more harmless or harmful than any other kind. The fact that they came over here so that they could make money means less than nothing to me. They could have come over here to see a dying relative and I wouldn’t care because either way, they are breaking the law. The reason for coming does not matter to me. The fact that they are here illegally does.

  38. Still waiting for anyone who wants to offer a grown-up response to my comment above that isn’t based on ignorance of the facts…

    Look, let’s face it: Reason supports corporate welfare and not only that but they offer the half-baked opinions of a washed-up TV comic.

  39. @Rhywun
    I know that at least in Arizona and to a lesser extent Nevada the laws that have been put into place have been forcing illegal immigrants to leave the state for greener pastures elsewhere. If all states enacted the same laws then it would work. If you mean that throwing them out doesn’t work I have to agree with you. I don’t think it is for their lack of trying though. Right now the problem is that no matter how many times you throw a person out they can always get back in through any one of the many unsecured border crossings. That could be stopped wth a border wall.
    It’s not tat it wold cost a lot of money, which I know it would. It is the fact that they are breaking the laws. If the laws are changed then OK. Until that happens, these people are breaking the law. The fact that millions of people are breaking the law by being here does not make it legal just because their are a lot of them.

  40. @Orange Line Special
    Not very grown up but:
    Personally, I think that is more of a conspiracy theory than anything else. Can you offer any proof of what you are saying?

  41. What are you rules?

    You understand them pretty well. Essentially, the US should end all quotas, all duration limits, and all labor rules for all visas. Denial of entry should be for cause only.

    Even with your rules in place we would still need a secure border or else all of your rules are for naught. Violent criminals could still just sneak in.

    Finding 5,000 undesirables among 5,000 illegal entries is much, much easier than finding 5,000 undesirables among 500,000 illegal entries.

    Even so, such a rules change is not “all for naught.” Unrestricted migration admits phenomenally greater freedom to many more people, both immigrant and native.

  42. That so much time, money, and violence is exhausted out of these lines, speaks to immaturity of our species.

    Yeah cuz the commons works so well at conserving resources.

  43. The fact that millions of people are breaking the law by being here does not make it legal just because their are a lot of them.

    “It’s the law” is not a good enough excuse for me. You need to tell me why laws which prevent people from seeking to better themselves are just.

  44. Still no attempts at a reply. Maybe if washed-up comic DrewCarey would like to learn what intellectual honesty is he could touch on my question in his next video.

    As for Tracy’s question, I have literally thousands of posts about the wider issue spanning over five years. And, I probably have dozens of posts about the specific issue of MX and other countries having PoliticalPower inside the U.S.

    However, HeatherMacDonald wrote a good intro here.

    Since that was written, the prez of MX has explicitly said that they’re going to be working with U.S. non-profits to push their agenda inside the U.S. He also encouraged MXans inside the U.S. to push their agenda to Congress.

    And, as I’ve detailed many times, they have links to various non-profits who just happen to push their agenda already.

    So, when you’re actually familiar with this issue – unlike Reason and their favorite washed-up comic – it gets a whole lot more complicated.

  45. “Building a wall along the border with Mexico is a great idea-if America wants to be like China and the former East Germany”

    Because as we all know, a liberal democracy building a wall to keep out illegal aliens is the same thing as a communist police state building a wall to keep in its own citizens.

  46. Tracy

    Those smugglers would go out of business just like the drug runners.

    No, the drug runners have a lot more money, they’ll find ways over/under/around any wall you build. But the human smugglers, that’s a different story. Live human cargo is always the most expensive cargo you could haul. A wall would be outrageously expensive, but it will certainly slow down the people traffic.

    They also take the jobs of actual citizens of this country that want the work.

    It doesn’t sound like you’ve been around here before. Or something. I mean, the economic law of supply and demand is revered around here until you start talking about immigrants. Then somehow, the law of supply and demand (labor pool vs demand) is ignored.

    The fact that the official line around here — which is roughly that “Mexican immigrants do not depress the wages of US citizens” — is a blatant violation of the law of supply and demand, is something they haven’t figured out how to deal with. So they just ignore it and call you a racist if you aren’t in favor of wide open borders.

    I know that at least in Arizona and to a lesser extent Nevada the laws that have been put into place have been forcing illegal immigrants to leave the state for greener pastures elsewhere.

    You’re right, but around here they deny that any such thing could in fact be happening. Around here they’ve put up articles which claim that the border states are really, secretly, in fact asking for WIDE OPEN BORDERS. Which is not true, I know because I live in one of these borders states. But Reason lives in another dimension.

    I have met few people who actually favor wide open borders, that were not a) deluded bleeding heart liberal Democrats or b) anarchists. Neither group makes up the American mainstream.

  47. Rhywun

    “It’s the law” is not a good enough excuse for me. You need to tell me why laws which prevent people from seeking to better themselves are just.

    You banish the welfare state — I mean kill it dead gone — and then if you want to, we can discuss open borders. Until then you will not convince me they should exist.

    The tripe that illegals don’t get welfare state services is just that — tripe.

    Kill the welfare state, then come back and tell me the laws that restrict how many Mexicans can legally cross the borders is too restrictive. Then maybe I’ll be ready to listen.

    If you can’t think of anything else — until then, restricting Mexican immigrants is law because I’m not interested in paying the welfare bill for them.

  48. The fact that the official line around here — which is roughly that “Mexican immigrants do not depress the wages of US citizens” — is a blatant violation of the law of supply and demand, is something they haven’t figured out how to deal with.

    You might want to read beyond chapter 1 in your econ book and get past supply and demand and into comparative advantage.

    Mexican immigrants depress the wages of US citizens they directly compete with — namely, high school dropouts. Economic studies find the decrease in their wages to be somewhere between 5% and 0.4%. Everyone else in the economy sees their wages rise.

    Oh. The immigrant’s wages rise too.

  49. GrownUpResponse TO ScreamingChildish LoneWacko =

    The pernicious influence of the MexicanGovernment can be witnessed in…. uh…. I mean, 12 MILLION illegals have conspired to influence our country into…. ar….hm……… Hispanic Music Awards…. and Yo Quiero Taco Bell…. and ….. um…. ah….. shit like…. uh… the Landscapers Union…. Fucking POLITICALPOWER!! HaveYou NotHeard of TexMex??? Texas is being converted into a mongrel half MexicanGovernment controlled secessionist state…. Remember the WhatsItCalled? They want the Almaho back! Plus, reason sucks! Now = answer me!!! Pay Attention To Me!! I make sense to Someone!! I am Mature!!

  50. Is there anyone “mature” enough to realize that this whole issue is a big bunch of redherring bullshit?

    Meaning,

    We Do Have A Wall = Nothing Happens. We waste money.

    We Dont Have A Wall = Nothing Happens. Well, agriculture needs less subsidies. But they still get it. So nothing really happens.

    Meanwhile, we’ve got 2 wars going on, and oil is 130 a barrel. And America is freaking out about mexicans.

    We so deserve whatever we get

  51. Proposal =

    Trade Texas to the Mexicans, send all “illegals” to live there.
    Make GW Bush the Viceroy of TexMex
    All will flee back to Mexico
    Problem solved

  52. Five hours later, and still no grown-up response to my original question.

    Even used car salesmen try to answer objections, but obviously Reason, their washed-up comic hack, and their commenters apparently haven’t evolved to that level yet.

  53. Orange Line Special | May 28, 2008, 10:47pm | #

    Five hours later, and still no grown-up response to my original question.

    1 – “grown ups” only bother with other “grown ups” You’ve never answered anyone’s questions here in your miserable life. You only consider yourself “informed”. Talk to yourself. It’s worked for you so far.

    2 – Example of last “grown up” who bothered to respond to the drivel you spew (of the godforsaken few who seem to read it) =

    If you support the north american union, then move to the EU. If I ever hear anybody in person say they support the North American Union, I will kill you right there on the spot and tell the authorities what i did, was no different than our soldiers fighting for our country. I recommend everybody who stumbles upon somebody talking about supporting the NAU, to kill them right away to protect our country. Supporters of the NAU are real terrorists. My grandfather fought for the United States, and I will fight(kill) anybody who is against the future of the United States. START FIGHTING AND REMOVING THESE TERRORISTS WHO WORK INSIDE OUR GOVERNMENT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. TELL BUSH HE IS NOT ALLOWED BACK IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO. I’m so disgusted about this NAU, I think it’s only appropriate to arrest George W. Bush for treason and if they won’t do it, then I guess people like me will have to take matters into their own hands. I am all for the UNITED STATES you backstabbing piece of shit who calls himself president.
    IMPEACH George W. Bush | 05.28.08 – 9:04 pm | #

    I suggest you contemplate how interesting and informed you really are based on the half dozen screaming ignorant maniacs who seem to find you a worthwhile source of information

  54. Mexican immigrants depress the wages of US citizens they directly compete with

    Ah ha! Progress in America! We might come clean yet here.

    It’s not just high school drop outs these days, but Mexicans do compete with — and drive down the wages of — Americans with only a high school diploma, like in the construction trades.

    So I’ll offer a deal to all you Open Border types. Tell me what your occupation is, and then let’s go find ourselves a third world country that has lots of people who could do that job. Maybe India, China, Africa? There’s got to be somewhere.

    Now, we import boat load after boat load of these people, who work in your very own little profession. I mean flood the MARKET people.

    When we’re damned sure that we’ve driven YOUR wages to the absolute rock bottom low that anyone on the globe could possibly drive them — then, any of you still in favor of wide open borders, come let me know. You’ll have my vote and support for it.

    Until then, bag it. I really don’t want to hear about open borders from anybody who isn’t willing to sacrifice their own ass first.

    Because the implicit assumption behind most of those I see advocating open borders, is that it won’t be their paycheck on the line — which has about as much credibility as farm subsidies.

    Do you people really, really think that the lowest global common denominator in living conditions, should be the driver for the whole US labor market?

    Hint: think four or five times before you answer. And make sure you know what kind of hovels people live in, over in the third world.

    The fact that people in third world countries cannot put governments together, that allow them to live better, does constitute an obligation for me to sacrifice myself.

  55. Because the implicit assumption behind most of those I see advocating open borders, is that it won’t be their paycheck on the line…

    No. The implicit assumption behind most of those advocating open borders is that we live in a positive sum universe. If someone willing can be found to do work for a lower wage, then the economy is better off. Those who directly compete with the new labor may find their wages lower, but through complementary productiion and specialization, there will be opportunities to take advantage of the new labor for them too.

    Do you people really, really think that the lowest global common denominator in living conditions, should be the driver for the whole US labor market?

    I really, really think that the lowest common denominator has nothing to do with the US labor market. Living in the US implies US rents that provide a floor for US wages. Why do you think illegal immigrants make more than minimum wage?

  56. Well, my offer stands. If you think it’s such a great deal, let me know when you’re ready.

  57. I ignored your offer because the game is rigged in my favor. I work in an industry that is starving for immigrants — immigrants who would “compete” directly against me. Not allowing enough of those immigrants into the US means that those jobs must be created outside the US and that the further multitude of high value jobs that develop around those jobs will need to be created outside the US in order to take best advantage of them. That reduces employment and productivity opportunities for me in the US.

    The end consumer of course doesn’t care too much, but, as a producer, the richer the network of similar producers near me is, the better my position is.

    So if I were to take your offer, you might think I was arguing for open borders for my own personal gain rather than for moral or economic reasons. I’d rather leave my own self interest out of it and debate on purely objective terms.

  58. Well Drew Carey may be funny but he is wrong! Illegals would always cost more than any border fence! The supply will never end from south of the border!

  59. Well Drew Carey may be funny but he is wrong! Illegals would always cost more than any border fence! The supply will never end from south of the border!

    And you know this to be true because you use exclamation marks!

  60. Five hours later, and still no grown-up response to my original question.

    I can’t help noticing that your original comment did not actually include a question, unless you count this: “Does Carey have an answer, or, if he ever discussed that issue would he just answer with one of his cheap jokes?” Perhaps you imagined that you asked a substantive question — you have a long history of imagining things that obviously aren’t true — but you have yet to actually share this query with us.

    Meanwhile, I posed an actual question to you in this thread a full eleven days ago, and I still haven’t received an answer.

  61. Dont hold your breath

  62. Ebeneezer Scrooge | May 29, 2008, 3:42am | #

    So I’ll offer a deal to all you Open Border types. Tell me what your occupation is, and then let’s go find ourselves a third world country that has lots of people who could do that job.

    Sure. I’m an economic research analyst. About 1/5 of the people in my trade come from india/china/somewhere else. And we need more of them. Because most of the demand for the skill is here and not there, and most Americans just suck at basic economic reasoning (see: shitty populist public educational system). The companies that these people work for are US-tax paying firms. When they grow, our GDP is positively affected. Just like the impact of cheap housing and food produced by Mexican immigration. Net/Net, the US benefits far more from both high-level immigration (e.g. science, math, health professionals) and low-level immigration than it has to ‘pay’ for it. It’s a fucking softball. Are you saying that if we just cut off the input of farm laborers and slaughterhouse workers from mexico, that native americans would see ANY increase in employment opportunity as a result? You really dont understand the issue here. The cheap labor create *more* jobs for americans. Mostly in the management of that labor, and in the exchange of the goods that that labor produces. Ask a fucking farmer whether they are “open border” or not. They simply can’t survive without it, in many cases. So if your goal is to put thousands of agricultural-dependent industries out of business, excellent strategy. Lets all send those jobs back to the “native” countries, and pay out the nose for it, and let our country wither on the vine. Immigration drove this country economically throughout the 20th century, and stymying it now is basically kneecapping the country when it is already fucked by other macroeconomic effects. You might be well intentioned, but you probably need to read some data more objectively without starting with false preconceptions about cause and effect.

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