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Free Minds & Free Markets

The U.S. Needs More Immigrants

Without young workers, the economy can't grow.

In times of economic trouble—and with gross domestic product (GDP) growth still below 2 percent in the United States, today surely qualifies—many Americans instinctively become more cautious about immigration. If we let in more workers, they fret, the newcomers will be a drain on the economy, dragging down wages and gobbling up services.

Olivier BallouOlivier BallouIn fact, precisely the opposite is true. The National Academy of Sciences recently released a comprehensive report finding that immigration has an overall positive impact on economic growth. Moreover, while new immigrants may have a slight depressing effect on the wages of prior immigrants, they have small to no effects on wages and employment for the native-born population.

If we want our economy to grow, what America needs more than anything is workers. Domestic fertility rates are plummeting even as the boomers are rushing into retirement. The U.S. birth rate hit an all-time low in 2017: 1.7 children per woman, well below the "replacement rate" of 2.1. At the same time, the number of immigrants entering the country has slowed considerably, thanks in part to the Great Recession of 2007–09. Not only do these trends put enormous pressure on the country's entitlement system, they are already causing a drag on the economy. And this problem will only get more serious in the decades to come. Unless the U.S. finds a way to welcome more foreigners, and quickly, it is headed for a demographic crisis.

The concerns are understandable—but if we use them to justify constricting immigration, we'll be doing a devastating disservice, not just to outsiders who want to start a life here, but to those of us who are already here.

The Changing Character of America's Immigration

Anti-immigration politicians and activists often paint a picture of America as a place where immigrants are pouring across our southern border, where the overall number of outsiders is exploding, and where illegals dominate the foreign-born population. The reality couldn't look more different. As fertility rates have crept downward in Mexico and Latin America, far fewer young people have been trying to enter the United States.

It's true that since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act began allowing family unification, the number of foreign-born people in the country has greatly expanded. As a share of the U.S. population, it rose from 4.7 percent in 1970 to over 13 percent in 2015. That is higher than it has been at any time since the early 20th century, when immigrants reached almost 15 percent. In 2015, more than a quarter of all immigrants living in the U.S. were of Mexican origin, four times as many as from any other country.

Olivier BallouOlivier BallouYet the total volume of new immigrants has fallen off in the last few years. In the two decades from 1980 to 2000, the share of foreign-born residents in the U.S. nearly doubled, from 6.2 percent to 11.1 percent. In the next decade and a half, from 2000 to 2015, it rose only from 11.1 percent to 13.4 percent.

Far from being out of control, the number of net new migrants to the U.S. has been falling. Out of a U.S. population that totaled 323 million in 2016, the annual increase in the foreign-born population from 2000 to 2010 was only 878 thousand per year. And that dropped to 648,000 per year, or about two-tenths of a percent of U.S. population, from 2010 to 2015.

Today, Latin America contributes little to U.S. immigration. Since 2009, more Mexicans living here have returned to that country than new Mexican immigrants have arrived. Although migration to the U.S. from the smaller Central American states has increased, the overall fraction of immigrants arriving who are Hispanic has dropped from more than half in 2001 to just over one-quarter in 2015. Asians, coming mainly from China, India, and Pakistan, now far exceed Hispanics among new immigrants.

Finally, it's important to observe that the vast majority (76 percent) of immigrants in the country are legal. Of 44.7 million foreign-born residents of the United States, only about 11 million are unauthorized; 19.8 million have become naturalized citizens, 11.9 million are legal permanent residents, and 2 million are here on valid temporary (student or work) visas. Moreover, the reverse flow of Mexican migrants in the aftermath of the Great Recession means that the total number of illegals in the U.S. has recently dropped. After hitting about 12.2 million in 2007, it has been holding steady at 11 million for the last seven years.

The Incredible Shrinking Labor Force

If this strikes you as good news, think again. For an economy to grow, the average worker must produce more output over time and/or more workers must be employed in productive jobs over time. Since 2005, U.S. labor productivity (that is, real GDP per employed worker) has grown slowly if at all, averaging under 1 percent per year and even turning negative in 2016. The number of employed workers, meanwhile, has also been rising by just 1 percent per year. As a result, real GDP growth, somewhat disappointingly, has remained stuck at around 2 percent per year, rather than the 3–4 percent typical from 1960 to 2000.

America's working-age population is about to put a further brake on that expansion. The baby boomers are retiring, and while the millennials—now the largest living generation—are entering the labor force, the cohorts coming up behind them are getting smaller. In 2015, the population of 15- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. was 44.2 million. That's twice what it was in 1955. Yet in 2050, even assuming immigration increases to 1 million per year, that age group will be about 46.4 million, or just 5 percent higher. The strong growth in the number of young people entering the U.S. labor market essentially ended three years ago.

Olivier BallouOlivier BallouIf not for immigrants and the children of immigrants, the size of the American labor force (that is, residents between 25 and 64) would decline over the next 20 years. From 2015 to 2035, the number of working-age Americans who are U.S.-born and who have U.S.-born parents will fall by 8 million workers. Without an influx of foreigners, we're in for a bad time: Even if the rate of productivity growth doubled overnight, real GDP growth would be less than 1.6 percent per year.

We currently expect to gain, on net, 18 million immigrants in the next two decades. Assuming that's correct, the total workforce will still grow by only 0.3 percent per year, thanks to retirements. Again, even if the productivity growth rate doubles, the small increase in the labor force will limit real GDP growth to less than 2 percent per year during that span.

Far from overwhelming the U.S. economy, Hispanic immigration is being lost as a driver of the economy. Before the recession of 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau predicted that the country's population would reach 439 million by 2050. By contrast, the latest forecast, issued in 2017, is that U.S. population will reach only 388 million by that date—a difference of 51 million people. That means fewer workers and fewer taxpayers.

Where did those 51 million people go? They're the immigrants and children of immigrants, mostly Hispanic, who would have materialized if immigration rates had continued as they were in the lead-up to 2007. But as we have noted, immigration has dropped sharply. Even more important, the fertility of Hispanics within the U.S. has also dropped by about a quarter since 2007.

As the Hispanic population becomes more like the native population in terms of education and employment, it also comes to resemble the rest of the population in terms of fertility. In the 1990s, Hispanic women in the United States had almost twice as many children as non-Hispanic whites. By 2016, the number was only 20 percent higher—70.6 births per 1,000 Hispanic women between 15 and 34, compared to 58.8 for non-Hispanic white women of the same age range.

Aging Populations Are Expensive

While immigration rates have declined and the growth in the working-age population has slowed to a crawl, elderly Americans are the demographic sector that is truly exploding. The number of people aged 65 and older in the United States is projected to grow from 49 million to 80 million by 2040, an annual rate of increase of 2 percent. The costs of providing pensions and health care for this group will rise at least as quickly as their numbers, but likely even more, as health care costs continue to go up faster than inflation.

Olivier BallouOlivier BallouEarlier, we allowed the rate of worker productivity to double overnight so projected GDP growth could remain at 2 percent per year. Yet that estimate assumed immigration would continue at current rates, providing 18 million new U.S. residents from 2015 to 2035. And despite our allowance, productivity growth is not likely to double. More realistically, it would do well to rise from 0.8 percent to 1.2 percent per year, resulting in annual GDP growth of 1.5 percent. While technology will continue to improve, the workforce is getting older. The number of young workers is going to be virtually flat for the foreseeable future, and workers over 40, whose productivity is usually stable or declining, will provide the bulk of the increase in the labor force. This means that the population of nonworking seniors is likely to grow faster—and the cost of their health care is likely to grow much faster—than GDP will.

The current rate of growth puts the United States squarely on track to exhaust the Social Security and Medicare trust funds in less than two decades. The best hope for stimulating faster growth to prevent this fiscal meltdown is to add more workers. To simply restore the U.S. population in 2050 to where we expected it to be a decade ago, America would have to admit at least an additional 1 million immigrants per year from now until then, for a total of 53 million over that period. This would raise the foreign-born population of the United States to 26 percent. If that seems like an intolerably high number, observe that it's less than Australia has today.

It is also the price of America's success in extending the life spans of its seniors and in enabling women to gain education and enter more professions. These achievements, while wonderful in their own right, have helped create the current problem: too few young workers and many more people surviving long years after retirement.

Beggars Can't Be Choosers (and Shouldn't Want To Be)

From 2010 to 2040, just two regions of the world are likely to enjoy increasing labor forces: India and Africa. After 2040, sub-Saharan Africa is projected to become the only region in the world with a growing workforce.

This is where many of our workers will need to come from. Imposing extra barriers on people from regions that are seen as "undesirable" is therefore a catastrophically bad idea. But it's also a mistake to create strong preferences for skilled as opposed to unskilled migrants.

Anticipating a future driven by robots and artificial intelligence, some may think there is no point worrying about America's future labor needs; the problem will be too many workers rather than too few. And some jobs may indeed disappear, such as taxi drivers, production line workers, and cashiers. Yet skilled workers—whether with craft skills in carpentry, masonry, or plumbing; with advanced technical skills such as writing computer code or welding complex alloys; with human skills such as caring for the elderly, troubled youth, children, or those with disabilities; or with creative skills in the arts, literature, or basic science, not to mention the professions of law, medicine, teaching, and religious ministries—will remain essential to the growth and functioning of modern economies. Robots are not likely to replace workers in these fields within the next two or three decades, while the growth of America's young labor force has ended right now.

But unskilled immigrants too will be vital—for elder care (much of which is labor intensive), for craft and construction work, for landscaping and maintenance work, and for service work in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

Even more important than all that, however, are the incredible contributions of the children of immigrants, which are often impossible to predict. Almost half of the companies in America's Fortune 500 today were founded by immigrants or their children. Eight U.S presidents had at least one parent born in another country, including both Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump (whose mother was an unskilled domestic servant from Scotland).

America's main allies and adversaries—Europe, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and China—are facing even more severe problems of falling youth and rapidly increasing aging populations. They will need to bring in young people from elsewhere in the world to refuel their economies. Whether they accept migrants and train them or seek to recruit the most skilled workers from abroad, they will be looking to scoop up talent. If the U.S. instead shuts its doors to immigration, it will inflict upon itself the severe shrinkage in the number of new workers that is challenging other developed countries. The economy will grind nearly to a halt as more and more resources are devoted to taking care of the aging rather than improving the productivity of the young.

The solution is to substantially increase immigration from today's diminished levels. To be sure, we will want many of our new workers to be trained to be productive. But many of the most valuable immigrants will be those who come to the U.S. and gain skills here, as college students or as children of immigrants who then go to school in America. Inevitably, most of them will come from India and Africa.

These young workers are the key resource of the 21st century. If we welcome them, we can unlock faster economic progress. If we disdain them, we condemn the nation either to slower growth and higher taxes or to major cuts in pensions and health care benefits for our native-born population.

Photo Credit: Joanna Andreasson

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  • SQRLSY One||

    Well I guess that Government Almighty must step up to the plate here, and FORCE the natives to MAKE MORE BABIES!!!

    'Cause illegal humans can NOT enter the mix, here, 'cause they DISOBEY THE LAWS of Government Almighty, and we can NOT contemplate abiding law-breakers in our midst!!!!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    By that logic, a developer should demolish a building in my town and build a skyscraper in its place without bothering to get a building permit. Wake me when the woke left supports an underground network to make things like that happen, because the immigrants I know don't like to be homeless.

  • BruceMajors||

    And force you to pay for the daycare of the construction workers' children while they build it.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Libertarians: Things are really expensive, not a lot of room for people, commute times are getting longer. BRING IN MORE HUMANS!
    *Before any quibble fuck decides to chime in, I mean cities. The places where everyone moves to.

    Animals: You guys ever heard of Darwin?

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  • Horny Lizard||

    A fucking men we definitely need new people here.

  • Cy||

    I don't think there're a lot of libertarian immigrants, legal or illegal. Then you'd need to find ones that can read and write English. But alas, until then we're stuck with a bunch of Reason writers who love themselves some open borders.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I don't ascribe much credit to assessments of libertarianism from faux libertarians of the "Libertarians For Bigoted, Cruel Immigration Practices" variety.

    Carry on, clingers. Maybe work a bit on the libertarian drag in which you masquerade.

  • Cy||

    Libertarian principles don't give a shit about your feelings. Right and wrong, don't give a shit about your feelings. The law doesn't give a shit about your feelings.

    The only "Cruel Immigration practices" I see are parents dragging their kids thousands of miles knowing they risk being discovered breaking the law or worse, just selling them off to coyotes.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Libertarianism has nothing to do with your bigotry, your backwardness, your lack of education, your inability to handle change, your ignorance, or any other attribute of your downscale conservatism.

    Anti-immigration and anti-immigrant yahoos have been with us for more than a century. They lose every time, as they should, because they are losers. Downscale, disaffected, deplorable, no-count losers.

  • BruceMajors||

    What about finding ones who are net taxpayers, so that we don't subjugate more taxpayers every time we let one in?

  • SQRLSY One||

    A little-heralded set of facts...
    The illegal humans are paying for your and my Social Security paychecks when we retire, is the actual facts. They pay in, but have virtual zero chance of getting paid back. See…

    See "The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes" (in quotes) in your Google search window will take you straight there, hit number one... AKA http://www.theatlantic.com/bus.....es/499604/

    Double-plus good,GREAT!!! So I am looking forward to being an old-fart in an old-fart home, attended to by young farts who are secretly illegal humans, getting taxed on their pay, to support me some more, but not to support them! Then they will have to also listen to me fulminate about that them thar illegal humans, in doddering old-fart shameless cussing and swearing! ... I just hope that they don't secretly spit in my Gerber Baby food too much! (I guess I'll have to insist on seeing the jars opened in front of me, and listen for the popping of the vacuum seal, if I can recall to do that, and can still hear worth a shit).

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Why settle for spit when there's crystal meth down the street?

  • JoeBlow123||

    So to prop up a system libertarians should not agree to, we need illegal aliens. Keep up he good work SQRSLY, you are winning as much as Trump.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Sarcasm, Dude... I think it is WAAAY immoral and unethical, how we squeeze the illegal humans to prop up Social Security, and they will way-likely NEVER benefit from the taxes they pay in!

    But illegal-human-haters don't want to talk about the FACTS in the link I listed...

  • BruceMajors||

    Every illegal kid or kid of illegals forces a taxpayer to work to produce $12,000-$30,000 to pay for their daycare at public school so they can pluck chicken for Perdue.

    That's slavery.

  • mpercy||

    Sure they are...and sure they can't get it back...

    Treasury Department's inspector general's report: "Individuals Who Are Not Authorized to Work in the United States Were Paid $4.2 Billion in Refundable Credits."

    The credits amounted to $1,000 per child, and they are "refundable," meaning that parents may receive refunds even when they do not owe any tax.

    By 2005, the report said, 796,000 persons without valid Social Security numbers claimed refundable child credits totaling $924 million, and in 2008, these claims had risen to 1,526,276 persons claiming $2.1 billion in refunds.

    The IG report stated that more than 2.3 million persons who did not have Social Security numbers valid for working in the U.S. got an average of roughly $1,800 each in 2010 in child tax credit refunds. That included 9,000 illegal immigrants who each got a total of $10,000 or more by retroactively claiming credits for tax years prior to 2010.

  • perlchpr||

    The IG report stated that more than 2.3 million persons who did not have Social Security numbers valid for working in the U.S. got an average of roughly $1,800 each in 2010 in child tax credit refunds.

    So...
    1.) There are an apparently huge number of illegal immigrants committing fraud.
    2.) The IRS is apparently way too stupid to... do a simple lookup to see if a given SSAN is valid before cutting a check? Surely even they can't be that incompetent? There's got to be more to it than that.

  • mpercy||

    Forbes:

    The IRS actually wants illegal immigrants to illegally use Social Security numbers, he suggested. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen made the surprising statement in response to a question from Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., at a Senate Finance Committee meeting. The question was a touchy one. Gee, is the IRS collaborating with taxpayers who file tax returns using fraudulent information? It wasn't put exactly that way. According to Senator Coats:

    "What we learned is that ... the IRS continues to process tax returns with false W-2 information and issue refunds as if they were routine tax returns, and say that's not really our job. We also learned the IRS ignores notifications from the Social Security Administration that a name does not match a Social Security number, and you use your own system to determine whether a number is valid."

    Commissioner Koskinen was asked to explain this. He suggested that as long as the information is being used only to fraudulently obtain jobs, the IRS was OK with it. In fact, he said that the IRS actually had an interest in helping the illegal immigrants to crook these rules. In fairness, perhaps it's just the 'that's not my department' response that abounds in big government. Perhaps this just isn't the IRS's problem, but it sure seems odd to have any agency chief encouraging illegal immigrant theft of SSNs.

  • hello.||

    Except that every immigration reform proposal includes amnesty for the 15 million illegal immigrants we've accumulated since the 6 million we amnestied in 1986. Once they are legalized they will be entitled to collect social security benefits in addition to the tax credits and transfer payments they already qualify for.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    The actual facts are that that's not how SS works, dumbass. Current workers are paying for current retirees' benefits, to the extent they are not working under the table as most illegals do.

    Anybody under 45 who is paying into SS is getting nothing when they retire. So I have zero sympathy for illegals doing so.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    If we want our economy to grow, what America needs more than anything is workers. Domestic fertility rates are plummeting even as the boomers are rushing into retirement.

    I support immigration on general principal. There is a strong moral argument for a generous immigration policy. We should increase the number of visas we hand out through the diversity visa lottery and open that lottery up to all countries so that politicians don't use immigration for social engineering. I would also support reciprocity visas.

    That being said, the economic arguments for immigration tend to be dehumanizing. If we want to solve our balance of payment problems through immigration, let's amend social security policies to require Americans born between 1945 and 1965 to move to Mexico in order to college social security retirement benefits.

  • Cy||

    So you want to import a bunch of people who love ponzi schemes, but we need to fix the ponzi schemes?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    My plan to ship baby boomers to Mexico is a half-hearted attempt at reductio ad absurdum. My parents belong to the silent generation, and they are the only people I want to relocate to Mexico for economic reasons. Frankly, I think that would be more humane than having them live with my progressive brother in New Orleans.

  • Cy||

    Panama is better. They at least let you keep your guns.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Oh, it's a good thing my parents are too left-wing to shoot guns. If you think Rodney King and his girlfriend got into some bad fights, you should hear what my parents did to each other back when I was a kid.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    I mean seriously, labor is not an input for capital in the same sense that oil is. No one was embarrassed to worry about us reaching peak oil when they wrote about it in preservationist literature back in the 1960's and 1970's, but it sounds kind of racist if someone notes how the graph above indicates that we reached peak Mexican back in the 1980's.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    'Peak Mexican' will never appear in the media but you have a point.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Solid point hombre.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    I remember my high school history book explaining how the baby boomers were responsible for the prosperity of the 1950's because they had consumed without producing when they were kids. Shouldn't this logic apply to their golden years?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Not only do these trends put enormous pressure on the country's entitlement system, they are already causing a drag on the economy. And this problem will only get more serious in the decades to come. Unless the U.S. finds a way to welcome more foreigners, and quickly, it is headed for a demographic crisis.

    Alternatively, the crackheads in recovery can get real jobs. Spending over $15,000 in medicare funds for a two week "tune up" at the pysch ward of the county hospital because one parties too much on a Friday night is not something to brag about when they let one out. But enough about my neighborhood ...

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You're terrified that there's enough of a "labor shortage" that wages are actually starting up in real terms, after being static or falling for decades?

  • Cy||

    Woketarians love economics unless it involves addressing the demand side of labor in a positive light. If you happen to be one of those people who benefit from the demand side or care for any of those people, you're not educated, you're racist.

    It's worth noting a lot of the 'woke' open borders bleeding hearts hold positions that face zero threat from their would be invaders. At least, that's what they believe.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I think you are confusing supply and demand. If wages are going up because of immigration restrictions, that is a supply issue. It is not something to be celebrated.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Wages are going up because government costs every family more.

    You need to earn more to pay 50%+ in all the taxes, fees, and tariffs.

  • Cy||

    "I think you are confusing supply and demand. If wages are going up because of immigration restrictions, that is a supply issue. It is not something to be celebrated."

    It is absolutely something to be celebrated if your wages increase because of a lack of supply of workers for your position. Whether or not you're a gardener or a lawyer.

    Manual labor has been replaced by illegals because illegals are far more attractive to employers. If those employers had to go back to hiring the poor, the school aged children or college students we'd be much better off as a country. There is already plenty of supply in our nation, it's just not as convenient for employers as hiring illegal aliens.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If those employers had to go back to hiring the poor, the school aged children or college students we'd be much better off as a country.

    But see this is the problem when thinking about this problem from a nationalist point of view.

    If, in your hypothetical scenario, all the undocumented immigrants were kicked out and employers had to hire those college/school kids again, then yes, the college/school kids would be better off. The employers would be worse off, because their costs would go up. The customers of the employers would be worse off, because presumably the prices for the goods/services that the employers offer would be higher. BUT, since the *biggest* losers are the foreigners who wouldn't have the opportunity to be employed at all, the nationalists say "YAY America wins overall!" EVEN THOUGH economically, it would *have* to be a net LOSS, otherwise, if it wasn't, the employers would be hiring the college/school kids right now!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Education in the USA sucks currently. If we had a decent education system where competition prepared kids for adulthood, a high school diploma would be enough for most adults. Undergrad and Graduate schools would be for people looking to specialize and gain large amounts of knowledge that they need to get into advance fields.

    US young adults costs employers more because they still need to learn basics of business after having a 4 year degree.

    Foreigners cost US employers more money because of visas, travel costs, and turnover because they are not full-time employees.

    The solution is not to just hire more foreigners just like the solution is not to never hire foreign workers.

  • hello.||

    Leaving aside of course the cost of providing government services to those illegal laborers whose wages are not sufficient to provide a subsistence living. And leaving aside the damage done to the rule of law when one class of workers (illegal laborers) are able to operate under a completely different set of rules than another class of workers against whom they are theoretically competing. Illegal labor is not subject to OSHA. Not subject to withholding. Not subject to minimum wage laws. Not subject to overtime pay requirements. Not subject to health insurance mandates. Not able to raise complaints about workplace harassment or discrimination. Even if a native-born worker wanted to compete in that market he has no chance of being hired because he can't fly under the radar and escape all labor laws and regulations with the only consequence being a bus trip back across the border from which he will return in a couple of weeks.

    When you don't factor in any of the costs you aren't actually calculating a net figure.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I note that you failed to consider the costs of what happens when the undocumented immigrant is hired, but the college kid is not.

    Does the college kid go on to take unnecessary subsidized college classes? Does the college kid just sit at home and collect a welfare check?

    FURTHERMORE, what happens when the employer hires less expensive labor, freeing up more capital to be used for other wealth creation schemes, allowing the native-born college kid to be hired in addition to the undocumented immigrant? Hmm?

    And the POINT IS, that if you only consider the costs and benefits TO AMERICANS, and declare "Yay America Wins!" if there are more benefits than costs TO AMERICANS, you are fundamentally looking at the problem incorrectly.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Ahh another wonderful sermon from chemjeff.

  • BruceMajors||

    And the cost of providing public school daycare for the immigrants' kids, so they will be free to mow yards and pluck chickens.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It's not something to be celebrated if you're not paid wages. If you are, as most people are, of course it's something to be celebrated.

  • perlchpr||

    There is nothing more terrible than the possibility that black people might finally find jobs that pay above minimum wage.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    lol, +1, perlchpr.

  • AmendmentXMigrant||

    How did that work out for The United Farm Workers of America?

  • perlchpr||

    To be perfectly honest, I don't know anything about what you are referencing, so I have to say, "I don't know."

    I'm guessing you have an opinion. I'd be interested in hearing it. More data points are always useful.

  • MasterThief||

    I continue to not find these arguments compelling. The government promises too many benefits to the native population so we need to bring in way more foreigners to pay for them. Assuming this imported labor force provides more than they receive from government, then we also must also consider their retirement benefits if they are being given citizenship. If one of the arguments for doing this is because the immigrants have a higher fertility rate, then you are indeed pushing to replace the natives. How about we tackle the issues presented by retooling government spending? If people are living longer then we need to adjust the medicare and SS age of eligibility. If there is not enough money to take care of the boomers then maybe we need to reduce spending on military and welfare (in spite of already spending around half the budget on the elderly.)
    I guess the short version of my response is "fuck you! cut spending!"

  • Cy||

    +1

  • sharmota4zeb||

    +1

  • perlchpr||

    +1

  • Earth Skeptic||

    +1,000,000,000,000 (endorsement inflation)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    + "n"th

  • DJF||

    I thought the US had already tried a policy of importing sub-Saharan Africans to do menial jobs in the US and it did not work out well. And wasn't there a article just a few days ago which said that the importing sub-Saharan Africans had not made the US rich but instead innovation was the driving source such as not hand picking cotton but instead inventing cotton picking machines

  • Cy||

    Don't you know these are all lawyers, doctors, programmers and libertarian writers who just want a better life? How dare you claim Dreamers don't have a right to be here!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Yet the total volume of new immigrants has fallen off in the last few years. In the two decades from 1980 to 2000, the share of foreign-born residents in the U.S. nearly doubled, from 6.2 percent to 11.1 percent. In the next decade and a half, from 2000 to 2015, it rose only from 11.1 percent to 13.4 percent.

    It looks like we had a sure of immigration as Reagan revved up the Cold War and the War on Drugs, and after the Soviet Union crumbled.

  • mpercy||

    We had a surge of immigration after the Reagan-era amnesty.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Asians, coming mainly from China, India, and Pakistan, now far exceed Hispanics among new immigrants.

    Yeah, you should hear how some of the Blacks and Hispanics in my town bitch about Asians moving into the neighborhood, but at least the LA riots won't be coming back any time soon.

  • Cy||

    When I lived in LA, my girlfriend worked at the hospital that Rodney King and his girlfriend were constantly in and out of for domestic abuse. It's so strange how someone so random and small can trigger such an event.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Allowing hordes of Latin Americans into the USA (legal or illegal humans) to supplement our dwindling pool of labor sources ***USED*** to be a good idea! Now that Der DrumpfenFuhrer has "polluted the pool" by traumatizing them (yanking them away from Momma's breasts) and giving them PTSD and future mental illness, they will NO LONGER be a viable pool of reliable workers!!!

    Funny how EVIL that you think helps you now, turns around and bites your behind later! DrumpfenFuhrer and minions, meet Karma!!!

  • Cy||

    Deep breaths... It's going to be OK! The sun will come up tomorrow.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    It looks like Romania's national debt is about $80 billion and Romania's population is about 20 million, which means the debt per person is about $4,000 or what it costs to vacation in Romania. The USA's debt per citizen is about $65,000. That means a young American willing to work gets the equivalent of $61,000 by immigrating to Romania and joining the labor pool of a country that didn't spend trillions on bad ideas when he was too young to vote.

  • Don't look at me.||

    It would take more than $61,000 to get most anyone to move to Romania .

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    The U.S. Needs More Immigrants: New at Reason

    Shilling for immigration is New at Reason? Say what?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Not new but still retarded.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    As the Hispanic population becomes more like the native population in terms of education and employment, it also comes to resemble the rest of the population in terms of fertility. In the 1990s, Hispanic women in the United States had almost twice as many children as non-Hispanic whites. By 2016, the number was only 20 percent higher—70.6 births per 1,000 Hispanic women between 15 and 34, compared to 58.8 for non-Hispanic white women of the same age range.

    I blame porn. Porn is a very effective birth control method. Yiddish speakers still have a high birthrate. If you need help on a farm in Orange County, New York, try hiring a bilingual manager who speaks Yiddish and English along with hiring some blue shirts at a reasonable salary for the manual labor.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Is a tax base of one native language and ethnicity paying out the wazoo to support a retiree class of a different ethnicity and native language a politically stable situation?

  • damikesc||

    Oh, Reason doesn't address the question about why Hispanic youths want to support white retirees.

    Especially when they are taught that these retirees were unbelievably cruel and racist to them and their families.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    What does ethnicity have to do with it?

  • Cy||

    Ask the Albanians or the Kurds.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I guess they imagine some sort of race-war dystopia where lower-class minority nurses rise up in rebellion against their white nursing home patients.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yeah, that's not it Chemjeff.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Okay, so why the obsession with "a tax base of one native language and ethnicity paying out the wazoo to support a retiree class of a different ethnicity and native language"?

  • damikesc||

    Can you think of an example in history where this dynamic WORKED without impressive amounts of force to make it work?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Gee I don't know, maybe the past 50 years of American history?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Chemjeff, Damikesc said "WORK".

    The USA is in debt up to our ass because of welfare. Its not working. Its unsustainable.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Have there been race wars because low-wage minority employees are providing for higher-wage white employers? No? Then by the context of the original statement, I would declare it to have "worked", more or less. NO it is not working economically, but that wasn't the context of the original question.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    That should be "lower-wealth" and "higher-wealth" instead of wage, I suppose.

  • hello.||

    Have there been race wars because low-wage minority employees are providing for higher-wage white employers?

    Are we including union terrorism and Chicano supremacy? Because yeah... there have been.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Please provide citations of the "race wars" in the last 50 years that you are referring to.

  • JoeBlow123||

    50 year's in a single country is your example of success? Furthermore, a country that was/is heavily European?

    I must ask, have you ever read a history book? Or even Wikipedia?

  • JoeBlow123||

    Laugh, as if ethnic groups have not battled over shit before. Ignoring these possibilities are pretty hilarious. It is better to be like chemjeff and breathe the sweet chemicals of utopian horseshit he laps up every day.

    We must remember that the only economics matter, culture or society or history do not exist. Right, chemjeff?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The costs of providing pensions and health care for this group will rise at least as quickly as their numbers, but likely even more, as health care costs continue to go up faster than inflation.

    And libertarians believe that this is a collective national responsibility, because ...?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Americans could save on healthcare costs if we start shooting ourselves in the foot instead of shooting our selves in the head. Head trauma is more difficult to patch up.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Or learning to aim better.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    The libertarian case for immigration - it allows government to continue growing.

  • MasterThief||

    It does seem like that's the practical argument that they keep making. I am certainly on board with open borders when it comes to freedom of movement and trade. Where I disagree with it is that in practice it leads to broader collectivism or one-way immigration/emigration patterns. I'd think it would reduce inequality in the long run by weakening the stronger nations and economies down to a similar level as the weaker ones. This is before considering that humans are tribalistic and would prefer to share a geographical area with those who share their language and culture (one of the reasons nations exist.) At the least, it would be wise for open borders libertarians to recognize that we have enough of a challenge with collectivist natives that importing people who have been shown to be similarly inclined is a self-inflicted wound to the ideology. Let's beat back the progressives and statists here and strengthen our foundation as a liberal democracy so that any immigrants adopting our culture are also adopting the morals and beliefs we would like to see take primacy. I'm not saying that libertarian immigrants couldn't come from Africa and Central America, but what we have seen is that the majority of those who do come hold views directly opposed to libertarianism. Let's not commit suicide by handing the weapon of democracy to those who would see our views destroyed

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    that the majority of those who do come hold views directly opposed to libertarianism.

    Just like the majority of native-born citizens, then.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The majority of native-born citizens do want America to remain somewhat free, in spite of Lefties trying to destroy freedom every day.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Even a majority of Republicans want to keep the welfare state.

    The government could close the border tomorrow and there would still be a welfare state growing just as fast.

    It wasn't illiterate Guatemalans who created the welfare state. It was native-born citizens.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    See, closing the border wold absolutely put a damper on the welfare state.

    There are more Americans in more states that want to curb the welfare state. Even more young Americans who want to curb the welfare state than Boomers.

    Closing the US border to a trickle and waiting 15 years for most of the Boomers to die, would bring about great demand for less government. As long as young people are not brainwashed to be socialists.

    RINOs want a welfare state but much smaller and for their pet projects.

    Libertarians want no welfare state.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    In what fantasy world will there be some sort of groundswell of support for ending the welfare state?

    The one time when it was attempted - the Tea Party protests - it turned out, most of the protestors weren't really opposed to the welfare state in principle, they were opposed to the welfare state when Obama was the one espousing it. But, put the same policies in the mouth of an orange-haired baboon, then they all come around to supporting it.

    Despite all of his faults, W. Bush deserves credit for even attempting to make a teensy weensy reform to Social Security. But even that was too much for people to swallow.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump has tried to cut the federal budget twice and Reason opposed the budgets. FY 2019

    A 42.3 percent cut to all "non-defense discretionary" spending, from the currently planned level of $756 billion in 2028 to $436 billion. This category includes funding for government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department, certain safety net programs like Head Start, law enforcement spending at the FBI and Department of Justice, and scientific research through the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.
    A 33.7 percent cut to the EPA, a 29.5 percent cut to the National Science Foundation, a 22.2 percent cut to the Army Corps of Engineers (a major infrastructure program), a 21.4 percent cut to the Labor Department, and a 26.9 percent cut to the State Department, among many other discretionary spending cuts.
    A 7.1 percent cut to Medicare by 2028, due to reforms meant to cut payments to providers and reduce wasteful treatment without limiting access to health care. The Affordable Care Act in 2010 included many similar provisions with related goals.
    A 22.5 percent cut to Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies by 2028, through repealing and replacing Obamacare.
    A 27.4 percent cut to SNAP (food stamps) and a 20.1 percent cut to Section 8 housing assistance by 2028:

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Trump has tried to cut the federal budget twice and Reason opposed the budgets. FY 2019

    Who cares what Reason supported or opposed? Republicans in Congress also opposed them. They are the ones with the power of the purse strings after all.

    Trump can propose whatever he likes, but when Congress keeps increasing more and more spending, *and Trump accedes to it*, Trump's words are meaningless.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It might have been native-born Americans who got the welfare state rolling under FDR but the immigrants help take it to the levels that it is at now.

  • hello.||

    Just like the majority of native-born citizens, then.

    Nope.

    When it comes to the size of government, Hispanics are more likely than the general public to say they would rather have a bigger government which provides more services than a smaller government which provides fewer services.

    Some 75% of Hispanics hold this view; just 19% say they prefer a smaller government. By contrast, just 41% of the public at large voice support for a bigger government.

    Support for a larger government is highest among immigrant Latinos, with 81% holding this view. This share falls to 72% among second-generation Hispanics and 58% among third-generation Hispanics.
  • hello.||

    Just so we're clear by the way that means that 81% of your holy brown immigrants not only support the welfare state that currently exists with at least tacit support from the native population. They want a much larger government providing more services and curtailing more freedoms.

    I know you're a habitual liar but can you please try to stick to regurgitating your self-righteous moralisms instead of insulting everyone's intelligence by posting shit that can be easily disproven in 5 seconds on Google?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    This is because most Hispanic immigrants tend to be POOR. Support for government services is a function of income and ideology, not race or immigration status. See this poll.

    61% of *all Americans* with an income below $30,000 think the government should redistribute wealth via heavy taxes on the rich. And that figure is 55% for those with incomes between $30k and $75k. Considering that the median household income for *all Hispanics* is about $45k, it is not surprising at all that newer Hispanic immigrants, who will tend to be poorer than the median, will support a more active government doing more things.

    These are *mainstream American views*, unfortunately for us. They aren't particular to immigrants importing some alien foreign culture. Immigrants who demand welfare are acting like normal Americans!

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Furthermore, the original claim was that a majority of immigrants are hostile to libertarianism, to which I rejoined that the same is the case for a majority of native-born citizens. There isn't a majority anywhere, native-born or immigrant, that wants to cut spending on any serious level. (Republicans want to cut "foreign aid", Democrats want to cut "defense", but neither tribe wants to cut anything more substantial than that.) There isn't a majority anywhere who wants deep cuts in the regulatory state. There isn't a majority anywhere who wants to privatize entitlements, or even privatize the schools. There is only now a barely growing majority wanting to legalize pot, but only largely because pot is viewed as 'mostly harmless', not out of defense of liberty for its own sake. There isn't a majority anywhere which is in favor of free speech *absolutism* - the left wants to criminalize 'hate speech', the right wants to criminalize 'unpatriotic speech'. The list goes on and on. It is just not true that immigrants are some foreign alien species importing some virus of alien socialist values into the purity of American capitalist society. America by itself, without any help from immigrants, has already adopted a whole lot of statism and socialism.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If the majority of Latino immigrants want an even bigger state, then preventing them from entering the USA will allow native-borns to gradually cut the government. Which there is support for both cuts and limiting immigrants.

  • Echo Chamber||

    "In times of economic trouble—and ... today surely qualifies"

    These be boom times, Jack, not times of economic trouble. Step away from the punchbowl of hysteria

  • sharmota4zeb||

    After 2040, sub-Saharan Africa is projected to become the only region in the world with a growing workforce.

    So we either prepare our society for more immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, or we figure out another way to increase the future workforce we will have 22 years from now. Hmmmm. I may be a simple guy with only two biology degrees, but ...

    Meh, it's demographics. Elected officials should respond to demographic shifts by changing laws and budgets, not by manipulating demographics with either births or immigration. It's time to reduce government budgets.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Reason has too many Lefties writing articles here.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You appear to dislike liberals, libertarians, Democrats, moderates, RINOs . . . why not just stay at Stormfront, where you would be surrounding by like-minded people and be snowflakey happy?

  • posmoo||

    Oh Christ, I remember this faggot from wapo. Thanks conspirators for bringing the progressive trash along.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He might be multiple sock puppets as Tony or Buttplug use that phrase "why not just stay at Stormfront".

  • hello.||

    Tony and Buttplug have been around here since the Bush administration. This is just one of Mikey Hihn's many sockpuppet accounts. It's easy to tell since he can't help but use the exact same copy-paste responses epithets and dementia-induced verbal tics and repetition.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hihn is busy then to visit Volokh and Reason.

    I assume some of these trolls are getting paid to further Socialist nonsense and troll up good forums so people leave.

    It seems counter-intuitive to troll a forum so much that web traffic goes down which might result in less opportunity to get paid to troll. Maybe they just get paid by number of posts not how effective they are.

  • perlchpr||

    "Michael Hihn" is just a robot. A small database of short phrases to word salad together, along with a couple of pre-built long-form posts. All driven by a pair of 100 line perl scripts. One to comment, and one to maintain the "enemies list" website.

    Rev. Kirkland, on the other hand, appears to be a parody troll account written live. Though not as creatively as OBL. I've been grading their efforts recently in the hopes of helping them improve their material.

    Though, the common phrases make me wonder... maybe the "Kirkland" author is the person who wrote the "Hihn" software?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Click, whirrr "Left - Right = 0"

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I guess working the third shift at an IT help desk hasn't done much to improve your people skills, perlchpr. Shocker.

  • perlchpr||

    This is three times you've brought it up, so, I guess you really want to make sure people noticed.

    It was very clever of you to have noticed that I have the name of a common programming language in my handle, and to thereby deduce that I work with computers. Not quite Sherlock Holmes, but definitely very close.

    *encouraging applause*

    Keep up the good work!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I dont know a lot about bots that monitor comments but it seems like if you directly reply to their troll comment it sends a troll signal and they return to mess up a discussion.

    I comment around them and dont click "reply to this" button.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Rev., I would like to compare and contrast your views with the views at Stormfront. Please explain to me why the Romans ransacked Jerusalem.

  • perlchpr||

    Do the people at Stormfront have deep opinions about ancient Israelite history?

    I'm not actually a history buff, but is the answer: "The Romans had an Empire, the Jews at Jerusalem were a client state, they rebelled, the Romans put them down"?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I generally decline to perform basic research for belligerently ignorant right-wing bigots. They seem impervious to facts.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Libertarianism!

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah. Because anyone who opposes our god emperor's protectionist and xenophobic policies is a leftist anarchist. True libertarians oppose liberty in trade and liberty in immigration. If you support freedom and liberty then you're not a libertarian. True libertarians want government to dictate to us who we may trade with and who we may employ. Because government control is true freedumb.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I never mentioned Trump.

    You want absolute liberty and absolute freedom. That is anarchy.

    True Libertarians have respect for the rule of law under the Constitution.

    American Libertarians wants maximum liberty and freedom under the supreme rule of law (US Constitution). The Constitution provides for a tiny limited government to provide for national defense and a few other enumerated duties.

    The states have more leeway but they should be tiny and limited too.

    The rest of the rights and freedoms belong to The People.

  • sarcasmic||

    That is an interesting comment, because it doesn't agree with your support of protective tariffs and your support of restrictive immigration.

    You talk a good libertarian game, but when it comes down to it you are a reflexive Republican Party Man who will support whatever policy they put forth.

    I am a patriot by Mark Twain's definition, which is to support your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.

    Oh, and I fart more economics than you will ever know.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Oh Sarcasmic, you are very smelly which as you admitted must mean you are 99% fart gas.

    We all know that you Anarchists hate Libertarianism. It ooozes from your nonsensical comments.

    While your tiny amount of incorrect economic knowledge comes from farts, I have learned economics via books, education, and running a business.

  • perlchpr||

    We all know that you Anarchists hate Libertarianism.

    That's a fairly ridiculous assertion.

    The exact same ideas (individual sovereignity, NAP) which originally led me to libertarianism in my teens and 20's, taken to their logical conclusion, then led me to market anarchism in my 30's and 40's.

    I certainly do not hate libertarians. I think they don't go far enough, but I don't hate them. On the contrary, I recognize that they're the only people in vaguely mainstream politics who want to take things in the same direction I want to go.

    In an ideal universe, I'd like zero government. Libertarians don't want zero government, but they want a lot less than we have right now. They're the only allies I possibly have, beyond other anarchists.

    I figure that if ever a miracle occurs and we end up with a government that the libertarians find satisfactorily small, then I can bother with fighting libertarians about the true "proper" size of government. Until then, I consider them some of my closest fellow travellers.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    In an ideal universe, I'd like zero government.

    That explains the disaffected, irrelevant, anti-social, and un-American parts.

  • perlchpr||

    3/10

    Kirkland, I'm disappointed.

    You've definitely got the right flavor of proggy mean-spiritedness down, but you're just not cutting it on the viciousness factor.

    Do please try harder. This is hardly your best work.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You talk a good libertarian game

    He doesn't talk a good libertarian game. He is a standard issue right-winger, prancing about in libertarian drag that doesn't fool anyone except perhaps some of his fellow goobers.

  • hello.||

    Because when the government extracts wealth from its citizens and uses it to pay for the relocation of third world peasants and to maintain their income because they can't survive on the slave wages enjoyed by their employers there is true liberty and justice for all. True libertarians want government to run an international system of transfer payments so that holy brown people can have the same standard of living as disgusting white people. Because government violence that benefits holy brown people is true freedumb.

    Gee this game sure is easy. Easier for you of course since you actually have to misrepresent what your opponents say.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    But unskilled immigrants too will be vital—for elder care (much of which is labor intensive), for craft and construction work, for landscaping and maintenance work, and for service work in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

    Once he is a teenager, Jr. can stay at granny's house after school. Jr.'s job is to call 911 if there if granny has a medical emergency. Granny's job is to call 911 if she smells crack. Granny's house is in the back yard of a nice estate on a 5 acre lot in the exurbs, because this French family paved the way by moving into their 3-D printed house. The tourists can go take a hike, because nature is free entertainment. Landscaping takes little time if one chooses a low maintenance design or has faith in evolution.

  • perlchpr||

    Oi. Living in Albuquerque, $240k for a 1000 sf house doesn't impress me much.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    So we need to keep growing the workforce to keep growing the economy because we can't seem to grow productivity.

    Even accepting that the economy must "grow" in a simple-minded sense, could we do better on productivity? How much does professional activist add to GDP? Or for that matter, how do private or public bureaucrats add to the bottom line?

    My simple-minded way to look at it: if what you do helps to grow the pie you are productive; if your purpose in life is about distribution of the pie, you deserve the chipper.

  • posmoo||

    Why would I care about a slightly bigger economy if I can't possibly expect economically benefit, as the article admits, and the price is America turns into mexicolite and we lose the bill of rights? I go to Mexico every January, but I sure as hell don't want to live there. That's a terrible bargain.

    And why is every Reason writer so concerned with the right of the entire world to move here but not at all about securing the right of Americans to move anywhere else? It doesn't seem like these reason writers really give a shit about freedom movement since they are willing to give up the biggest chip u.s. citizens have to negotiate for it unilaterally for nothing. If they don't actually care about the freedom of movement what can they possibly care about here, why are they lying to us?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    One reason is that purposely upsetting people on here gets website traffic.

    Another reason is that most of the Reason writers are NOT Libertarians.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    I think there is still a bit of the "White man's burden" perspective among American leaders over a certain age. In the eyes of some people, it's cool to join the Peace Core to help another country or open America's borders to help people in other countries improve their lives through immigration, but Americans moving to another country to live there and work there is "colonialism". The double standard is supposed to prove that we are better, or something like that.

  • perlchpr||

    Ironically, even as an anarchist, I don't disagree with the concept of the "White Man's Burden". I think it's a moral imperative to help out less fortunate societies, to help them improve.

    Which doesn't mean importing all of their citizens here, it means helping their home countries develop so they don't have to come here.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Do you help them improve by destroying the countries who have actually managed to do better?

    Import Mexico, become Mexico.

  • mpercy||

    meme:

    We are going to Mexico to vote in their elections and demand free healthcare while waving the American flag.

    If they ask for our papers, we'll riot, attack police and sue them.

    You up for a road trip?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Why would I care about a slightly bigger economy if I can't possibly expect economically benefit,

    Get an education. Get to work. Develop a marketable skill. Ditch the superstition, the bigotry, and the anti-social demeanor. Stop pining for good old days that never existed. Cure that insularity.

    You may not be destined to be economically inadequate.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Also, move out of the desolate backwaters and join a modern, successful, educated, tolerant community.

  • Jacky Hood||

    The loss of boomers and seniors from the workforce is not voluntary for many of them. Employers could mine this 'nation' of more than100 million people. They assume that these well-educated, skilled, wise people will be too expensive and will have a lot of absences. This is not true. Most would be happy to work for the $60,000 that employers must pay people with H1Bs. Seniors are covered by Medicare and do not need health insurance; they can be hired as contractors to avoid the Obamacare mandate. Also, they do not have absences due to children, hangovers, and other issues associated with people in their 20s and 30s.

    Here in Silicon Valley, hundreds of well-qualified people in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s cannot even get interviews while companies are asking for more H1Bs. Immigrants are great and many boomers and seniors are immigrants. But why pay for relocations and bring people to an area with very expensive housing when unemployed boomers and seniors already live here?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Say it like it is, Jacky!!!!

    For short, "age discrimination" is alive and well!!! Amen!!!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Great point Jacky Hood. Part-time work for older people could solve many employee shortages.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Great point and sadly no media outlet will ever address this labor pool or how Silicon Valley is ageist. Reason will not as its open borders or bust.

  • hello.||

    Old people don't vote as a monolithic bloc for Democratic politicians.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    True but old people do vote to keep Democrats and Republicans from cutting Social Security and Medicare.

  • TLBD||

    If all this cheap foreign labor is so great, why aren't companies moving to the source?

    Because said companies are relying on you, the productive American citizen, to train them and cover their deficiencies. Meanwhile, huge downward pressure is put on wages for unskilled Americans, then you, the productive American citizen, has to indirectly subsidize the same company by contributing more to the welfare state so people are able to take care of their health and put food on the table.

    Maybe there is a libertarian solution to this besides these fucking constant shallow articles where the author sticks his head in the sand and regurgitates some theoretical talking point.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If all this cheap foreign labor is so great, why aren't companies moving to the source?

    They do.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maquiladora

  • TLBD||

    My comment was too broad, but yeah. If it is the most efficient way to make money, they should go there. The problem is that often the most efficient way to make money is to have the government subsidize your cheap labor on multiple levels (due to the actual workers wage, the downward pressure on other workers wages, and pushing even others out of the job market) in the US.

    That needs to be dealt with, and libertarians need to stop pretending those issues do not exist.

  • hello.||

    That needs to be dealt with, and libertarians need to stop pretending those issues do not exist.

    They don't really pretend they don't exist. They fully support socializing the costs of keeping a welfare-dependent peasant class for the business community. Some of the more honest ones like Bleeding Heart Libertarians will actually say as much. Others like the crypto-communist you're replying to like just like to lie about it.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    That's right! Because it's not enough to be just opposed to the welfare state. To be a Libertarian In Good Standing(tm), you must be especially opposed to the welfare state consumed by immigrants. Didn't you know that when the state steals your tax money to pay for an immigrant's welfare check, it is even more theft than when the state steals your tax money to pay for a native born citizen's welfare check? It's extra-super-duper theft!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Libertarians fundamentally are for limited government (low taxes and no welfare) and for regulating national borders to protect property rights and our freedoms (regulate immigration)

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Libertarianism In One Lesson

    See Chapter 10, the section on prohibitions.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    So your solution to natives sucking at the welfare teat is to allow more foreigners to suck at the welfare teat?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Nope, that's not the solution to reducing the welfare state. Immigration isn't about reducing the welfare state. The solution to reducing the welfare state is to reduce the welfare state.

  • mpercy||

    Why are we importing poverty? If the immigrants (legal or illegal) are getting a welfare check, that's about what we've done, isn't it?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    IF I were to accept the implied premise that the decision on who should be let in to the country should be one that is made collectively "by the people", or one that is made centrally by the state, then I would agree that this decision should be made to select only high-quality immigrants.

    But I don't accept that premise anymore. The decision on who should come here should be made by those doing the migrating, with very minimal interference from the state or from any other party.

    If migrants come here, then I don't think they should be receiving a welfare check. But IF THEY DO, the solution is not to interfere with their migration, but to cut off their welfare check.

    Easy enough?

  • Mark22||

    If migrants come here, then I don't think they should be receiving a welfare check. But IF THEY DO, the solution is not to interfere with their migration, but to cut off their welfare check. Easy enough?

    What you do is advocate opening borders now and worrying about welfare later. So what you actually propose to implement is leftist internationalism at the expense of US tax payers. You're saying that the (non-existent) right of third world migrants to violate the US border is more important to you than the resultant theft-by-taxation from US tax payers. That doesn't make you a libertarian, it makes you a flaming, lying leftist.

  • Mark22||

    Didn't you know that when the state steals your tax money to pay for an immigrant's welfare check, it is even more theft than when the state steals your tax money to pay for a native born citizen's welfare check? It's extra-super-duper theft!

    Did anybody say that the level of injustice was different? Of course, it's not: a dollar taken from me by force is a dollar taken from me by force regardless of what it is spent on.

    But to the degree that I can use my vote in order to limit and reduce that theft, I am certainly going to vote that way. And I have two ways of doing that: (1) to reduce government spending on Americans, and (2) to stop adding net-takers to the US citizenry.

    Punishing illegal immigration and restricting legal immigration to net contributors is a legitimate function of the US government, compatible with libertarianism, and a legitimate exercise of my political power.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Punishing illegal immigration and restricting legal immigration to net contributors is a legitimate function of the US government, compatible with libertarianism, and a legitimate exercise of my political power.

    You keep asserting that. You're still wrong every time you assert it.

  • Mark22||

    You keep asserting that. You're still wrong every time you assert it.

    It is clearly "legitimate": it conforms to US and international law. Millions of Americans are exercising this right. SCOTUS has affirmed this right many times.

    The fact that you try to redefine "legitimate" as "conforms to Chemjeff's delusions about human rights" doesn't make my exercise illegitimate.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Additionally, have you noticed some companies complaining about information security from India, China, and other non-American countries.

    They might have cheap labor compared to the USA but at least its easier to control you company secrets inside the USA than in a country that might or might not want to steal your technology.

  • TLBD||

    That is another issue, but related for sure. That complaining is not much more than a demand that the US Gov, and by extension the taxpayer, do something about it that they are unwilling to pay for themselves.

  • perlchpr||

    If all this cheap foreign labor is so great, why aren't companies moving to the source?

    Are you unfamiliar with all of the screaming that occurs when companies try to outsource like that?

    Also, I'm not sure it would work for a lot of the industries that illegal labor gets employed in.

    If you moved your farm from California to Mexico, you'd have to pay import taxes on the vegetables you were shipping into the country. Likewise processed chickens. And of course, you can't export your lawn to Mexico for gardening services.

  • turco||

    So in other words, the Ponzi scheme that is the elderly welfare state is running out of victims. At one point the entire Earth population will start declining. What then ?

  • turco||

    So in other words, the Ponzi scheme that is the elderly welfare state is running out of victims. At one point the entire Earth population will start declining. What then ?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Whatever the solution, the Boomers will never accept cuts to their Social Security and Medicaid.

    "We paid into the social security trust fund" /Boomer mentality

  • hello.||

    Mikey Hihn serves as a nice example. Blathering endlessly how anyone who wants to get gouged less in taxes to pay for his welfare-addicted useless old ass to sit in his Medicare nursing home waiting to see if the brain cancer or dementia takes him first is a selfish un-American traitor. The sooner that entire cohort dies off the better.

  • perlchpr||

    I'm pretty sure it only costs a couple of bucks a month to rent an Amazon Cloud server, so I don't expect the "Hihn" robot to actually consume many resources.

  • DiegoF||

    Well, that is what they have been told, from the time they ran their first paper route. And I can kind of understand why they, having been on the "business end" of a young-to-old redistribution tax their whole working lives--in part to benefit people who had only ever been on the benefit end--would feel a little indignant at now actually being deprived of being beneficiaries so that a younger generation will not have to endure what they did while young.

    It's a sentiment we must ignore, of course, but I can kind of understand why someone might have it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I definitely understand why they have it but I still give them shit since they should have stood up to the generation running that ponzi scheme like we are trying to do now.

    I have advocated paying them all they paid into it plus interest and end all social programs.

    Have a plan to pay off all debt and debt incurred with this plan within 5-10 years. We would be a stronger nation by doing that than waiting for the music to stop and the USA being without a chair.

  • perlchpr||

    they should have stood up to the generation running that ponzi scheme like we are trying to do now

    Especially since they actually outnumbered their opponents.

    I honestly have no idea how to beat the SS scheme. The number of people who benefit from it outnumber the people who have to pay for it, and tend to be more inclined to go to the polls to vote.

  • perlchpr||

    I can understand why they'd be upset, but honestly... when you climb into bed with the Devil, don't be surprised when you get fucked.

  • hello.||

    Let's conveniently forget that labor force participation is still the lowest it's been since the 1970s and that over half of people with undergraduate degrees are employed in fields where no higher education is required. Clearly we need more laborers! For good measure let's conflate pig ignorant sheep fucking dual-illiterate peasants from central America with Indian compsci PhDs so we can pretend that their economic output and usage of public services is precisely the same. While we're at it let's conveniently avoid undermining our own retarded and duplicitous argument by wilfully ignoring that legal immigration rates have remained at well over 1 million per year with another 250,000 per year in illegal immigration during the entire economic downturn and anemic recovery, which might suggest that our prescription for more immigration as a magical economic salve is unlikely to actually provide the promised benefits. Let's also hope that nobody notices how our advocacy for open borders remains unchanged regardless of economic or social conditions because it is an article of faith and has absolutely no connection whatsoever to actual economic and social realities.

  • librich||

    Well said.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nicely put.

  • Nardz||

    +++

  • DiegoF||

    Do Central American peasants really fuck sheep that much tho? I think that is mostly Uruguay.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Big business needs more cheap labor.

    Big government needs more cheap votes.

    And most of all, big banks need more debt slaves.

  • librich||

    As always, Reason flunks the test when it comes to any issue associated with population growth. The root assumption of this article is that growth is essential to our future. In order to grow, we need more bodies; and if we aren't producing the bodies ourselves, we should import them.

    When I was a kid there were 150M people in America. Now there are 320M. How many humans do we think our country can support? What kind of lifestyle deteriorations are people willing to accept? Can we pile up bodies in perpetuity in order to stimulate economic growth? You won't see these questions debated in Reason. Or even discussed.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I can never get the open border people to say how many Americans should their be. 320M? 200M? 1 Billion?

    The roads around where most Americans live are almost always crowded during the work day. When is enough...enough?

  • blardo||

    I can never get the open border people to say how many Americans should their be. 320M? 200M? 1 Billion?

    That's because most open border people don't believe that the government should put an arbitrary cap on the number of people who can live in this country. It really only makes sense to pose that question to people who believe in such an idea. How many people do YOU think the government should allow to live here?

    The roads around where most Americans live are almost always crowded during the work day. When is enough...enough?

    That's life in the city, isn't it? Overpopulation is a problem, but you can also look at it in terms of what we can do to promote/allow more decentralization. Almost two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within 3.5 percent of its land area, so it doesn't make much sense to say we're running out of space.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Let the current American population decide how many Americans there will be by having babies or not.

    Let current Americans decide what education level they want to pay for themselves.

    Let current Americans decide what jobs they want to take.

    Let the market decide then which businesses need to remain and which ones need to go bankrupt.

  • librich||

    As always, Reason flunks the test when it comes to any issue associated with population growth. The root assumption of this article is that growth is essential to our future. In order to grow, we need more bodies; and if we aren't producing the bodies ourselves, we should import them.

    When I was a kid there were 150M people in America. Now there are 320M. How many humans do we think our country can support? What kind of lifestyle deteriorations are people willing to accept? Can we pile up bodies in perpetuity in order to stimulate economic growth? You won't see these questions debated in Reason. Or even discussed.

  • Mark22||

    How many humans do we think our country can support?

    Depends on the people.

    There are 7.6 billion people in the world. If you take the top 1% of people from every country in terms of intelligence and productivity and brought them to the US, those 76 million people would be a great asset to the US.

    If you take a 1% random sample of those 7.6 billion people and brought them to the US, the US would turn into a third world shithole.

    Who immigrates matters a great deal.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Below you argued against using consequentialist arguments to defend liberty. And now here you are using consequentialist arguments to object to immigration.

  • Mark22||

    Below you argued against using consequentialist arguments to defend liberty. And now here you are using consequentialist arguments to object to immigration.

    (1) Since I don't consider immigration a question of liberty, making consequentialist arguments about immigration would be unrelated to "defending liberty".

    (2) I didn't object to immigration. In fact, I would strongly favor letting in the top 1% of the rest of the world population into the US. I object to forcing me to support low skill third world migrants.

    (3) Progressives and leftists make consequentialist arguments ("you should support X because it's good for society"), and they reject arguments based on liberty ("supporting X curtails people's liberty"); it's not in their value system. So, if I want to convince a progressive not to pursue a policy, I necessarily have to argue based on their value system, not my own.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Well said librich.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Appeals to more immigration justified by a desire to prop up a sagging welfare state is not a particularly convincing argument.

    It's part of the whole problem of using consequentialist arguments in order to defend liberty. The problem with consequentialist arguments is that when the consequences cease being positive, then support for liberty will also diminish. When, instead, we should be making the case for support for liberty for its own sake, regardless of the potential consequences.

    Besides, if Reason wants to make consequentialist arguments in favor of immigration, then they don't really have a leg to stand on when they then turn around to make principled absolutist defenses of free speech, or gun rights, or any other aspect of liberty.

  • Mark22||

    Appeals to more immigration justified by a desire to prop up a sagging welfare state is not a particularly convincing argument.

    I'm glad we agree at least on something.

    It's part of the whole problem of using consequentialist arguments in order to defend liberty.

    Something else we agree on.

    The only thing we disagree on, it seems, is that you think Guatemalans have an basic human right to waltz across the US border and benefit from infrastructure and services created by US tax payers, a right that only exist in the minds of communists and anarchists.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Okay, so let's consider a thought experiment.

    Suppose you and I own adjacent parcels of land, and I invite you onto my property. No government infrastructure or public roads involved. Just you walking with your own two feet from your property onto my property. Should the state, or any third party, have the power to interfere with this travel?

    Now, consider the exact same scenario, but there is a national border separating our two parcels of property. Does your answer to the previous question change? If so, why?

  • Mark22||

    Should the state, or any third party, have the power to interfere with this travel?

    Yes, there are many circumstances under which third parties have, and ought to have, the power to interfere with travel between adjacent parcels of land. That's true even in an entirely libertarian society.

    No government infrastructure or public roads involved.

    Even if my answer to the previous question were "no", this situation doesn't exist in the US: there are always government resources involved, even if a person simply stays on your private land.

    You don't own land in the US, do you?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yes, there are many circumstances under which third parties have, and ought to have, the power to interfere with travel between adjacent parcels of land. That's true even in an entirely libertarian society.

    I am not asking about what *is*, I am asking about your opinion of what *should be*.

    *Should there* be restrictions on neighbors, owning adjacent parcels of land, residing in the same country, not using any government infrastructure, visiting each other? If so, what should they be, and why?

  • Mark22||

    *Should there* be restrictions on neighbors, owning adjacent parcels of land, residing in the same country, not using any government infrastructure, visiting each other? If so, what should they be, and why?

    Of course there should be, and it should be whatever private parties agree to.

    Currently, private agreements imposing restrictions on neighboring land use are less common for the simple reason that government mechanisms like zoning, city ordinances, and national borders take care of many of those needs. Libertarianism isn't about the elimination of such restrictions, it is about their privatization.

    Concretely, in a libertarian world, merely buying a piece of property in any reasonably desirable location probably would require you to agree to restrictions that are likely going to be at least as strong as those imposed by government today. Some of the arbitrary government criteria ("must be a US citizen") would be replaced by economic criteria ("must have a $5M umbrella insurance coverage and demonstrable income").

    Of course, in a libertarian world, you might be able to buy some junk desert land in the middle of nowhere without such restrictions and create your migrant utopia there, far away from civilization.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    What does any of this have to do with a third party having any say-so on neighbors visiting each other?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That third-party was given power to manage the national borders by the people here before you.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Now, consider the exact same scenario, but there is a national border separating our two parcels of property. Does your answer to the previous question change? If so, why?

    Yes, because if he steals your grandfather clock and runs home with it, the federal government will hear you complain and get involved to bring you justice. We have governments, because people do violate the nonagression principle. We have boundaries to make it easier to keep most interactions between people who agree to resolve disputes in the same court system and follow the same set of laws.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Complaining about the burden that immigrants have on the welfare state is like complaining about the size of a tip after eating at an expensive restaurant. The reason your wallet is substantially lighter after eating at a fancy restaurant isn't because of the gratuity you left to the waiter.

  • Mark22||

    No, it is not at all like that.

    If I pay $300 for a meal at a fancy restaurant and leave $50 in tips, I receive a $300 meal and $50 in service.

    Low skilled immigrants receive money (not just welfare) from the US government without providing commensurate value for the money they receive.

  • Eddy||

    I know immigration can be an asset to a country, otherwise why would we have complained about George III discouraging immigration, and assigning Georgie's actions as a basis for revolution?

    We're in a fortunate position of having lots and lots of people wanting to come here, which I would think entitles us to be selective. Being selective isn't the same as being anti-immigrant.

    I have a certain distrust of the activists and politicians who oppose each and every proposal to in any way limit immigration. Especially when admitting people indiscriminately leads to more votes for their party - where does the national interest come in?

    At the same time I know there are people who want too little immigration, or who want to use de facto internal passports to enforce immigration laws (e-verify!).

    Really, we finally get an issue where moderation might be called for, but it doesn't seem forthcoming. Just another case of the pendulum wildly swinging from one side to the other.

  • Mark22||

    If we want our economy to grow, what America needs more than anything is workers.

    Importing below-average productivity third world workers is going to grow the US in absolute terms, but it is going to decrease per capita performance. Of course, if you are a wealthy Democratic billionaire donor or an ignorant academic bloviator, you don't care. But for the average American, that's a lousy deal.

  • Mark22||

    From 2010 to 2040, just two regions of the world are likely to enjoy increasing labor forces: India and Africa

    Well, in that case, India and Africa should be economic powerhouses, instead of the poverty-stricken, racist, misogynist, disease-ridden basket cases that they are. And if those people come to the US, they are not going to be slave labor for senile white baby boomers like you, they are going to find their identity as oppressed racial minorities and demand massive government handouts.

    Aging Populations Are Expensive

    Aging populations are not expensive at all if those aging populations invest their retirement funds elsewhere. Of course, if you have retirement and medical systems that are pyramid schemes, like the US does, then declining birth rates cause a massive problem for government.

    Bad advice from people like you destroyed fertility in the west with the policies you advocated and created several generations of people who didn't save for retirement and are panicked at the idea of a decreasing tax base. Americans would be fools to keep listening to your latest bad advice, which amounts to nothing more than ass covering for previous screw-ups of the American intelligentsia.

  • AmendmentXMigrant||

    Our founders actually left it to the states to be more selective about the type of immigrants allowed without granting them the full privileges and immunities available to citizens. Immigration policy was nationalized and now legal immigrants qualify for certain subsidies. States had poor laws on the books and they vetted immigrants to determine whether they were likely to require public aid. They would require bond for each immigrant if they were deemed a risk. Illegals still incur and pay smuggling fees. I doubt a 25 year old Guatemalan who has never made $5,000 in yearly income, would jeopardize his legal status and earning potential trying to obtain public benefits if an agreement is in place. It also doesn't mean that the US would be the more desirable place to have children if he were allowed migrate freely.

  • turco||

    "Bad advice from people like you destroyed fertility in the west"

    I truly believe that SS schemes contributed to declining fertility rates. If you depended on your own savings and your own children only in old age, you have an incentive to raise more productive children. With a welfare state, you are better off letting someone else bear the cost of having kids.

    It is not the only factor of course. Contraception and changing cultural mores play big roles as well.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think as long as the open borders crowd wants to continue to call people who are against ILLEGAL immigration anti-immigrant and racist, then you'll make zero progress this issue. I agree with a lot of the points in this article and I think those points could support increasing the annual allowance of LEGAL immigrants. The majority of Congressmen refuse to do so even while many if them on both sides of the aisle continue with their lying accusations of anti-illegal immigration being exactly the same as anti-immigration. Everyone knows this is a lie so seems pretty counter productive to keep trying to use it. In fact, the refusal to be honest about this will most likely contribute to Trump's re-election. I guess feeling superior and losing is more important than being honest and winning.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The National Academy of Sciences recently released a comprehensive report finding that immigration has an overall positive impact on economic growth. "

    Durr. Imagine how pathetic it would be if you added a million bodies but not a penny of GDP. Of course more bodies means more economic activity.

    Does it mean more economic activity for citizens *already* here?

    "Moreover, while new immigrants may have a slight depressing effect on the wages of prior immigrants, they have small to no effects on wages and employment for the native-born population."

    Uh huh. Law of supply and demand repealed because Open Borders Uber Alles!

    Reason would never accept such economic quackery when it comes to minimum wages.

    See the pattern? Always on the side of corporate profits against US labor.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "If we want our economy to grow, what America needs more than anything is workers."

    No one should give a damn about economic growth per se.

    I'm concerned with the economic value for the citizens we already have. That's part of the "for the people", in government of, by, and for the people.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Population Replacement NOW!"

  • buybuydandavis||

    "America's main allies and adversaries—Europe, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and China—are facing even more severe problems of falling youth and rapidly increasing aging populations. They will need to bring in young people from elsewhere in the world to refuel their economies."

    Even Europe is turning against the "you need moar human widgets". China, Japan, and South Korea laugh at you.

  • Ron||

    2.1 legal immigrants get Social Security to illegal immigrants are paid under the table and do not contribute to Social Security Third point off-topic I forgot what does it say must be drunk

  • Ron||

    Remember now if the left is so concerned about justice Cavanaugh then all they have to do is start making it legal for abortion in their own states superseding To the some homecream court. I am going to piss this post this has Siri heard me tell it it's funnier that way but truthful

  • Fairbanks||

    So the answer to having medical and retirement systems that promise more in benefits per person than is contributed per person is to bring more people into the system? At some point we have to blow up the systems. What's the point of making the problem bigger before that happens?

  • JeremyR||

    Wages have essentially been stagnant for decades. So no, we don't need more workers, we need fewer workers so companies will have to compete for workers and raise the standard of living.

  • JeremyR||

    The other thing is that we are approaching a time where population growth on a planetary scale will reach zero. It's happened in most 1st world countries and will eventually happen to third world countries as women gain more power

    We're going to need to figure out how to deal with an economy without simply just adding more people

  • sharmota4zeb||

    According to Human Progress, the average American employee works fewer hours than he used to. In the 1950's he worked about 2,000 hours a year. Now he works under 1,800 hours per year. We could compensate for the shortfall in employees by working longer hours if we wanted to. We would want to if businesses paid more. The free market can accommodate any size labor pool, be it larger or smaller. The ponzi scheme that is our welfare state depends on a growing labor market.

  • BruceMajors||

    $700 billion is spent on "public education" in the US annually. One fourth of the students are immigrants or children of immigrants.

    In Washington, DC $29,000 per child per year is the cost to the taxpayer for each student. In most communities it is at least $12,000.

    Most Americans may not even pay enough in taxes for their children's public education. In a 2012 Reason Foundation survey of immigration policy studies, Shikha Sood Dalmia opined that many Americans don't pay enough in taxes to cover the cost of their third child.

    Why should taxpayers be forced to cover the cost of warehousing immigrant kids in "schools" so their parents will be free to pluck chickens for Frank Perdue?

    Why does this do more for GDP than investing in smaller class sizes for American children, or investing in capital goods, would?