A long one.
I predict that soon someone will make some correlation between legal abortion and increased illegal immigration, similar to Steven Levitt’s abortion-crime idea as told in his book Freakonomics.
For those of you who haven’t read the book it spends a lot of time explaining his theory that abortions are disproportionately had by women who would otherwise bear criminal children (to put it bluntly). Those children are never born, which reduces the number of criminals, which reduces crime rates. He has a large amount of documentation and math to support this idea. Bear in mind that the 80-20 rule applies here, something like 20% of the women who get abortions have 80% of all abortions.
A similar idea (unique to me so far) is that were there no abortion, there would be many more children who would grow up to be low-skilled, low wage workers. That creates an artificial void on the bottom of the income ladder, which the Mexicans and other illegals fill.
I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and it’s all part of my emerging theory on open-source eugenics
and artificial evolution, which I’ll explain more when I flesh it out.
On a related note, the pro-choice argument and the usual nativist argument are essentially the same. There is ownership in a country, as there is in one’s body. It is up to the owner; the citizens of the country collectively or the individual woman to determine who can be there (to put it crassly). Every child is a wanted child, and every immigrant, is a legal immigrant.
Or that’s what I think right now anyway. Thoughts anyone?
On a related note, everyone should check out the most recent BloggingHeads, which features a very interesting dialogue between James Pinkerton and Mickey Kaus. Very good bigthink about the future (and a lovely new term, technological determinism) and immigration.
One quibble is that he reiterates the theory held by most people, which is that we could reduce illegal immigration to a trickle without much effort by building a wall. It’s similar to the thought that we could win the drug war if only we tried harder.
The government can’t keep drugs out of prisons, and the Soviets had the biggest police state in history, and they had tremendous drug problems. It’s ridiculous to think while we can’t successfully ban inanimate objects, we can successfully ban animate ones.
I imagine we’ll do what we’re doing with the drug war, which is spend a lot of money and civil liberties to create self-perpetuating interest groups (much like the classic bootleggers and Baptists unions of the prohibition era) and to deal with the actual problems as poorly as possible.
For the record I think sanctions on employers is the most effective way of dealing with the total number of illegal immigrants (not that it will do that much) and the main thing we should be doing (if we insist on some collective action) is to rapidly Americanize the immigrants that are here. Put simply, we need to change the Mexicans living here into Americans of Hispanic descent and throw this whole notion of multiculturalism away (the illegal immigrants did).
Everything that needs to written about the current green line conflict (to use hip internationalist jargon) in Denmark has been written. I suppose the underlying theme is the need for people to participate in a society to a strong degree.
It is a good display of spine by the Danes; I imagine we’ll see a lot more of this sort of thing in the future as multiculturalism wears thin for the Europeans, and diminishing marginal returns (as it becomes easier to move about that part of the world) on immigration.
I went back to Marginal Revolution, and came across this post, The Unreported Mexican Immigration Story which makes the point that Mexican immigration increases as Mexicans get rich enough to leave. Well worth reading.
Naturally I was drawn to Cynthia Tucker and her column “So . . . illegals can work but can’t learn?”
Since 2000, Georgia’s colleges have employed a sensible policy that recognizes the academic potential of some illegal immigrants without swamping the state treasury. The Board of Regents voted to allow public colleges and universities to admit them if they pay out-of-state tuition rates. But the regents also gave each college president the latitude to waive that higher tuition for a limited number of students. That policy has worked well.
When I took a public finance class (around 1995 or so) at UGA I remember hearing that tuition covered about 20% of the actual cost of college for the average student. Out of state tuition was about two and a half times that of in-state tuition, so even if illegals are paying the out of state rate taxpayers are still picking up part of the bill. They are also displacing legal students who would otherwise be accepted. Also note how government acceptance of illegal activity doesn’t faze her at all.
She closes with
But Johnson has described employers who hire undocumented workers as only “part of the problem. If they [illegal immigrants] are here working and not using taxpayer funds, that’s not as much of a burden.” So, he said, he and his colleagues will take a close look at any proposal to crack down on hiring practices, making sure new laws don’t “impose an undue burden” on employers. After all, business executives are a reliable GOP constituency, and they fight any move to curb their access to cheap labor.
Apparently, Georgia’s official policy is this: We like illegal immigrants just fine, as long as they work for dirt and stay out of sight. They’re welcome to pay state income tax and local sales taxes, but that’s where the welcome ends.
Well, yes. You try to maximize the benefits while minimizing the price. How revolutionary. One thing to note, is that the current situation is entirely dependent upon the voluntary behavior of the illegal immigrants. Under the reign of cruel business they still don’t have to come here.
About 9 years ago I attended a Future of Freedom Foundation seminar on illegal immigration led by Jacob Hornberger (who, if memory serves was a really nice guy and a class act in general) who suggested that we let them come over to work but deny them all health, social and educational benefits. His prediction was that our kids would work for their kids.
I think that’s worth a shot. It’s certainly better than the look the other way policy we have now. It would also keep the self selection going in the right direction.
I found these old pictures on the cell phone so I figure I’ll tell the story about them for prosperity.
Sometime last October Mark and I were out riding around downtown, afterwards we go to Moes’ in Ansley. After we come out (this is in probably the most left-leaning neighborhood in a very Democratic city) we see this bumper sticker,
which really stood out in terms of humor and originality. All the other bumper stickers (on around 90% of cars) were fairly juvenile and stale.
We exchanged a good chuckle and I took the picture (note reflection).
Up comes a large steroidal guy who sees me taking the picture and goes “You want to see a good bumper sticker, look at this one”. We then go to his car and he has this one.
He then mistook my saying “That’s pretty good too” (which it is) for “Elaborate on the topic. Tell me all your feelings on immigration and how your background informed your opinion; don’t omit anything. Go back generations in your family if you have to but make sure I understand your position completely.”
Which he did for the next 20 minutes or so.