Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who'da thunk it?

This piece seems to contradict accepted liberal thinking regarding illegal immigration. The old line about illegals only doing the jobs Americans won't do seems to have been exposed as the steaming pile conservatives said it was. A couple of notable points:

1) As legal immigrants and native-born Americans have moved in to fill positions made available after ICE raids, wages for those positions have risen. Obviously, employers can pay crap when employees are too afraid of deportation to complain.

2) Attention is being paid to conditions that resulted in higher on the job death rates for illegals. Obviously, employers can ignore/overlook dangerous conditions when employees are too afraid of deportation to complain.

A possible downside is union organizing. These days, one can't overlook the possibility of unions working to improve conditions and pay morphing into the usual back-breaking wage hikes that has burdened the auto industry and others. Such pressures can also result in creative ways to eliminate the problem, which, said another way, is to eliminate the need for workers, such as through automation. This will put workers out of work again, but would keep product prices down. But for the immediate future, the bottom line is that the argument against open borders and "comprehensive immigration reform" can now be tossed. Americans ARE willing to do those jobs, especially in this economy.

22 comments:

Vinny said...

Liberal don't accept that thinking. It is big business that pushes the malarkey about illegal immigrants only taking jobs that Americans don't want so that it can force labor costs down. The reason that Bush was in favor of immigration reform was because he wanted to help his conservative buddies in big business get richer.

Marshall Art said...

Yeah, right, Vinny. This has been an issue since Reagan gave amnesty to illegals during his administration. Since then, no one's done a damn thing to enforce the laws on the books.

But this nonsense about who'll do what jobs has been a mantra for those on the left who see grateful lawbreakers and their families as votes.

But even if you're right about Bush, where's the sense of it? The article shows that when legal and native Americans get those jobs, wages are forced up and conditions are forced to improve. These consequences aren't a big surprise. They've been discussed in response to the mantra. Nice try, though.

Vinny said...

We want our Border Patrol agents chasing, you know, crooks and thieves and drug-runners and terrorists, not good-hearted people who are coming here to work," Mr. Bush said. "And therefore, it makes sense to allow the good-hearted people who are coming here to do jobs that Americans won't do a legal way to do so. And providing that legal avenue, it takes the pressure off the border.George Bush in 2004 speaking in favor of immigration reform.

I have to admit that I found plenty of conservatives who recognized this as bullshit. Nevertheless, the uber-capitalists who backed Bush on this like The Wall Street Journal and The Cato Institute are definitely not sources of "accepted liberal thinking."

Marshall Art said...

I wasn't denying Bush's desire for "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" or that right-wingers supported it. I was disputing the notion that only they used the line about "jobs Americans won't do". I was a major opponent of Bush's immigration ideas as I thought they were wrong-headed and just another form of amnesty. All immigration reform has to begin with utilizing and enforcing laws already in existence, deportation of everyone caught here illegally (with possibly confiscation of their property as we do with drug dealers), and strengthening the border against infiltration. THEN we can look at changing how many are let in legally and under what circumstances.

And by the way, it would be nice to see come proof that Bush was working to enrich anyone other than everyone. He took a nasty left turn at the end of his second term, and he never cut spending to go along with his excellent tax cuts, but prosperity for all was his goal until I am shown proof otherwise.

Marshall Art said...

BTW, I saw your post about what his policies did in that vein compared to Clinton, and I need to do some research. I've heard the exact opposite of what your post presents.

Mark said...

That's just common sense. Why is it that government studies never factor in common sense?

Vinny said...

Marshall,

I don't recall liberals making that particular argument.

I think the liberal argument for immigration reform was that it would make it harder for employers to exploit illegal workers and that this would put upward pressure on wages in general.

Marshall Art said...

I'll tell ya, Vinny, I'm not willing to belabor the point. I'm not really interested, at this point, who said what and how often. As far as I'm concerned, the argument was favored by everyone who hoped to see changes such as "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" would bring. If you want to insist it was only said by greedy Republicans hoping to help their greedy corporate cronies, fine. I'll concede the point. More important to me is that we now see it was the bullshit argument opponents like myself said it was and for all the reasons it turned out to be.

At the same time, I will say that I oppose the "liberal" argument you've put forth here for much the same reasons. Boo-hoo that illegal invaders are exploited. That's not why I'd like to see businesses punished for hiring them. So they pay for their illegal entry by suffering the torment of being taken advantage of. That's only poetic justice followed by the civil justice of being deported.

Vinny said...

I'm not really interested, at this point, who said what and how often. As far as I'm concerned, the argument was favored by everyone who hoped to see changes such as "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" would bring.

That's why I don't bother with your blog much anymore. I think it's important to know who said what and why.

Marshall Art said...

"I think it's important to know who said what and why."

On this issue it doesn't much matter, does it? Let's concede for now that the right was the ONLY purveyor of this notion, that illegals are doing what Americans won't do. Fine. The article to which I linked showed that notion to be crap, which was what all rational thinking opponents of the pro-illegal movement was saying, this being the point of the post, and not who said what. (By "pro-illegal movement", I refer to any, from either side of the aisle, who sought to ignore existing laws and "forgive" the act of illegal entry into our country and/or abusing expired visas and the like.)

Now let's look at the other side, your defenders of the "innocent", who supposedly worked to oppose those greedy company owners who sought to exploit those hearty workers. Who would be exploited in the first place if existing laws were being enforced, if invaders chose to wait in line until they would be legally allowed to enter the country? No one. And why are they being exploited in the first place? Because they can't complain being here illegally. And why are they here but to work where they can, taking jobs Americans won't take at the pay being offered to those who didn't wait in line to be allowed in legally, but snuck in.

It is ludicrous to try and make an argument over who said what, when both sides are acting on the same disproven concept of illegals doing the work Americans won't do. The left just pretends they are more compassionate about it, when they're just looking for votes.

Vinny said...

It matters a great deal. If you understood Bush willingness to sell out American workers in order to please big business, you would not have been nearly as surprised by the fact that the rich were the only people who benefited from his tax cuts.

Marshall Art said...

I'd only be surprised if it were true, which it isn't. See here and here for a couple of arguments against.

It's really pretty silly to suggest that Bush "sold out the American worker" considering they comprise a larger share of voters. How could he help his rich buddies if every subsequent president worked against them because of his selling out of the voting public? Doesn't make much sense. The paybacks would be massive.

Also, about 13 million low income earners were removed from the rolls of taxpayer under Bush's tax cuts. At the same time, the top earners contributed to an additional 3% of the total tax burden.

Vinny said...

Why do you trust those articles? Are you sure those aren't the same guys who were feeding you the crap about illegal immigrants doing the jobs that Americans won't do?

Marshall Art said...

Oh, I dunno, Vinny. I guess the US Treasury Dept might be worthy of some degree of respect. That's the source of one of the authors.

Vinny said...

You know that’s the same American Enterprise Institute that supported Bush’s call for a guest worker program. I couldn’t find a specific instance in which they claimed that illegal immigrants only do jobs that American’s won’t, but that really doesn’t matter since as far as you’re concerned, “ the argument was favored by everyone who hoped to see changes such as ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform’ would bring.” Well the AEI was someone who hoped to see those changes. These are exactly the guys who you think were feeding you a line of crap.

I’ll tell you two potential problems I see with that article from the AEI. First, it only looks at Federal taxes which are mostly paid by the rich. The lower and middle classes pay most of their taxes in the form of state and local taxes. Since Federal taxes get kicked back to the states, lower Federal taxes can force states to raise taxes. Second, the AEI chose to look at the top 10%. Why? If you looked at the top 2% who pay most of the estate taxes, you might find that they gained a lot more from the tax cuts. I haven’t had a chance to look at all the numbers, but I suspect that the AEI has carefully picked the numbers that would make the tax cuts look most palatable, even if those numbers did come from the treasury.

Marshall Art said...

"You know that’s the same American Enterprise Institute that supported Bush’s call for a guest worker program."

Sounds like an argument for their objectivity.

"I couldn’t find a specific instance in which they claimed that illegal immigrants only do jobs that American’s won’t..."

So what? Did I say that everyone who believes it says it out loud? Do you mean to make a federal case of it? It was said, quite a bit, by a variety of people. The point here is that it was proven untrue. End of story.

"First, it only looks at Federal taxes which are mostly paid by the rich."

That's the issue you raised. You didn't mention state and local taxes, did you? Do you think that where states raised their taxes as a result of federal taxes dropping, that those who no longer have to pay federal taxes have an equal amount of state taxes to make up for it? Even if I bought your premise, I can't buy that the state increases made up for what the poor no longer have to pay. You'll need some non-partisan evidence of that charge.

"If you looked at the top 2% who pay most of the estate taxes, you might find that they gained a lot more from the tax cuts."

So what? The death tax is federal double-dipping to begin with. It's an incredibly bad policy from the start to tax (again) the funds passed on from one person to their heirs. It's the reason people store up wealth---to take care of their families.

"...I suspect that the AEI has carefully picked the numbers that would make the tax cuts look most palatable..."

Oh really? What a surprise you'd feel that way. I'm sure your sources are without blemish. This has been a sticking point between us before. You'd dismiss any source I'd provide, even if it was named "Vinny", only because it paints a picture you don't like.

Vinny said...

Sounds like an argument for their objectivity.

A pro-business think tank supports a guest worker program that screws Americans workers and you think that this shows objectivity?

Marshall Art said...

Don't you get dizzy spinning things like that? First, from AEI's own site:

"From the beginning, however, the Association's spirit was libertarian and conservative rather than simply "probusiness." Its founding mission statement would still serve well: to promote "greater public knowledge and understanding of the social and economic advantages accruing to the American people through the maintenance of the system of free, competitive enterprise." So, too, its academic and empirical commitments: AEA was to be "nonpartisan and nonpolitical," was to "express no opinion of its own," and was to produce "accurate, impartial, and objective" research."

Anything "pro-business" is a result of their objective study of an issue that tends to tie together good for business with good for all. I doubt you could defend the notion that they are pro-business exclusively and above all else.

Secondly, are YOU suggesting a guest worker program screws American workers, or are you suggesting that AEI would support any program believing it WILL screw American workers.

Thirdly, if AEI indeed supported Bush's "Comprehensive Immigration Reform", then that would depart from the feelings of most conservatives and THAT makes them objective. Had they not supported it, and I don't know that they did or didn't, I'm sure you would have stated that it was only because they are a conservative group.

Maybe you have a new definition of objectivity, but within such discussions, it would denote points of view not depending on party leanings.

Vinny said...

So they're objective because they say they're objective?

I depart from the opinions of most conservatives, does that make me objective?

Marshall Art said...

"So they're objective because they say they're objective?"

Yes, if they can't be shown to be otherwise. Or, no, because YOU can't show them to be otherwise.

"I depart from the opinions of most conservatives, does that make me objective?"

Not if you depart from them because they are conservative.

One is objective when one deals with facts and/or conditions without interference of personal feelings, prejudices or the like. You, for example, are not objective when you assume AEI is pro-business or conservative simply because they're positions align with the goals of business or conservative philosophy. Sometimes, those positions are just right or the best. One can be objective and appear conservative or pro-business. That appearance is generally a result of the bias of the observer.

Vinny said...

You assume conservatives are objective until it is shown otherwise. Of course, liberals can be assumed to be biased until shown otherwise, too.

Moreover, it would be impossible to show that a conservative was biased because anyone who tried to do it would necessarily be a liberal whose arguments can be rejected until it is proven that he is objective.

Unfortunately, the only person who could be trusted to prove that a liberal is objective would be a conservative, but if a conservative tried to do so, it would show that he was really a liberal so his opinion could be ignored as biased.

"That's some catch, that Catch-22," Yossarian observed.
"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.

Marshall Art said...

"You assume conservatives are objective until it is shown otherwise."

Seems only fair. Some who visit here assume the worst.

"Of course, liberals can be assumed to be biased until shown otherwise, too."

Not as a rule. But of the sources used by the liberals of whom I referred above, Sherlock Holmes was not needed to show bias.

"Moreover, it would be impossible to show that a conservative was biased because anyone who tried to do it would necessarily be a liberal whose arguments can be rejected until it is proven that he is objective."

I pretty much concern myself with what I feel is objective or biased based on my own discernment of the material being reviewed by me, and how it matches my perception of reality. So your clever "Catch 22" doesn't really mean anything. If I find, for example, AEI's analysis to be sound and logical, I would suspect your objections to it until you could convince me of your position. It would matter little to me whether or not you were conservative or liberal, but only whether or not your objection has merit. If you base your objection on a source, such as the New York Times, which has a history of bias, I'd be less than impressed and your argument would need to stand on it's own. That is to say, that even though your source is lame, it doesn't necessarily disqualify the objection if that objection has merit as indicated by the quality of your argument.