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Discussion: (39 comments)

  1. juandos

    legalizing undocumented workers“…

    Why don’t we call it what it is? Legitimizing crime…

    How would you legalize a burglar? By calling that person a furniture mover?

    1. Nickolaus

      A burglar violates your property rights. A person that crosses an artificial border “illegally” seeking a better life is not violating your property rights any more than one who crosses it with some pretend stamped documentation that has been approved by government busybodies.

      1. Artificial border? Does U.S. law and taxing authority not end there? Does a foreign nation’s not begin there? You put illegal in quotes. Is there a legal immigration policy? If so, don’t be drama queen. It violates your property rights, professor, because someone places a claim on your(and my) time, income, property, and effort when they become eligiable for the generous public assistance offered here. Sometimes I really do feel like a Libertarian until a few of them open their mouths and reveal how short-sighted their views are.

        1. “Does U.S. law and taxing authority not end there?”

          Funny you should ask. As a US citizen living abroad, I can assure you it does not.

          Given the US governments’ own lack of respect for the limiting powers of its own borders through an aggressive foreign policy, and the above mentioned tax polices, I see no reason why anyone else should respect said “borders”.

          1. Well, then it’s every man for himself. You have no reason to gripe if the U.S. screws you over, since you don’t believe in “rule of law” in the first place. Post again when you develop some consistent moral principles.

          2. “Well, then it’s every man for himself. You have no reason to gripe if the U.S. screws you over, since you don’t believe in “rule of law” in the first place.”

            Teh law is teh law is a “principled” argument? I wonder where you would have fallen when it came to the Fugitive Slave act.

          3. The Fugitive Slave Law was an immoral law violating the natural rights of human beings. A sovereign nation establishing a reasonable immigration policy is not a violation of basic human rights. You don’t get to walk across some nations borders and lay claim to it’s tax-payers just because you fell like it.

          4. The right to free movement is absolutley a natural right. Its a right that exists independent of government just as the right to self defense does.

            Also, immigrants don’t “lay claim” to tax payers. The government does through confiscation.

            You don’t get to tell people who they can and can’t associate with when and where they want just because you feel like it.

          5. Free movement? Someone can freely move onto your property if they wish? Stay there if they wish? I think you need to reconsider just how much of a natural right “free movement” is. Do you make this stuff up or did you read it somewhere? It’s really simply. When you can effectively dismantle the welfare state, then people can mass-migrate whereever they can effectively afford to buy or rent. Until then, I’ll settle for an immigration bureau that insures that 200 million uneducated immigrants don’t suddenly show up next year and expect health care.

          6. “Someone can freely move onto your property if they wish? Stay there if they wish?”

            The nation state is NOT analogous to private property.

          7. Yes, but all property is either owned by individuals or collectively by the public, the upkeep/use of which is funded by tax-payers. A public park (just as an example) is maintained by my tax revenue. A person does not have a right to “squat” there. A nation-state is really just a collection of indivuals who privately or collectively own property. Again, when you can insure that I am in no way responsible for subsidizing these people, they can come and go as they please. As it stands, we’re a long way from that. Their right to move ends when it infringes on my right to be free from subsidizing thier public assistance.

          8. “Someone can freely move onto your property if they wish? Stay there if they wish?”

            The nation state is NOT analogous to private property the same way government “rights” are NOT analogous to individual rights (the only right that really matter).

          9. Again, nation states are just individual property owners who also own some property collectively (like public parks, public schools). Adding boatloads of uneducated poor to one’s nation does not necessarily (despite the CATO Institutes pipedream) add more to GDP than it costs in social services. I have Libertarian-leanings, but for every step they take towards converting me, they take two steps backwards because of an incredibly silly ideological assertion. There is no such thing as a natural right to move wherever you want unless it’s highly qualified. In fact, it has to be so qualified that is almost seems to be non-existent as a natural right.

          10. “Also, immigrants don’t “lay claim” to tax payers. The government does through confiscation”

            That’s just pure sophistry. It’s sleight of hand.

            A growing mass of underclass, largely created by the 1965 immigration reform and illegal immigration, vote in the politicians who “lay claim” on those of us still struggling to pull the wagon. We should be blaming the masses far more than IObama, Pelosi, Reid, etc.
            The politicians are just doing what their masters are ordering them to do.

          11. “Yes, but all property is either owned by individuals or collectively by the public…”

            I’d love to see the legal title and where you name is written giving you ownership.

            “A public park (just as an example) is maintained by my tax revenue. A person does not have a right to “squat” there.”

            No one is saying they do. What we are saying is they have the right to rent private property from othe individuals. Public parks has nothing to do with anything we’re talking about;

            “A nation-state is really just a collection of indivuals who privately or collectively own property.”

            Not its not. Government property is NOT collectively owned.

            “Their right to move ends when it infringes on my right to be free from subsidizing thier public assistance.”

            I’d love to know how you define “rights”, particularly those that pertain to the individual.

            “Adding boatloads of uneducated poor to one’s nation does not necessarily (despite the CATO Institutes pipedream) add more to GDP than it costs in social services.”

            So essentially your argument comes down to fear of the dirty masses. Nice.

            “There is no such thing as a natural right to move wherever you want unless it’s highly qualified. In fact, it has to be so qualified that is almost seems to be non-existent as a natural right.”

            As I said above, natural rights are those that exist independent of government. Two of those are the rights to free association and free movement.

            I, as an individual have the right to rent my property to whomever I want, including foreigners, given the right to free association. Nothing complicated about it. Merely two individuals doing business on mutually agreed upon terms… I don’t know how you, as a conservative, think this transaction is any of your damn business.

            Your beef regarding the welfare state is with the government, not individuals.

          12. “I’d love to see the legal title and where you name is written giving you ownership.”

            My taxes pay for the upkeep/use of public property. My votes help determine how it is used. I’d say ownership is not inappropriate. Do you have a title of ownership for your own body? Please stop engaging in sophistry.

            “Not its not. Government property is NOT collectively owned.”

            Yes, it is. When you own stock in a corporation you are a partial owner. When you have voting rights and pay taxes you are a partial owner of public property. If enough citizens want Yellowstone park bulldozed and turned into a water park, then it’ll happen. Still think the “government” owns Yellowstone independent of voters?

            “I’d love to know how you define “rights”, particularly those that pertain to the individual.”

            I define them a lot more clearly than you, oh one who thinks that people can waltz to whereever they want and everyone else just has to deal with it regardless of the financial burden it placed upon them.

            “So essentially your argument comes down to fear of the dirty masses. Nice.”

            Are you a Libertarian or a whiny liberal? More sophistry.

            “As I said above, natural rights are those that exist independent of government. Two of those are the rights to free association and free movement.”

            Freedom of assiciation…yes! “Freedom of movement” is so full of holes it needs to be dropped by Libertarians. It’s a poorly thought out plank that has more characteristics of cultlike dogma than of reasonable principle.

            “Your beef regarding the welfare state is with the government, not individuals.”

            Except that individuals unfortunately are -at the most fundamental level- the government. Remember “popular soveriegnty” from your high school civics class? Individuals vote for the government. Our government is an reflection of what people (a.k.a. individuals) want. I understand that all worldviews including Libertarinism must be based on First Principles, but this ill-considered “free movement” notion is a weak link in an otherwise strong chain. Drop it like a hot potato. It works only in world where there is no collectivist social programs…in other words nowhere. Quit saying “its government” as if government is somehow radically different from the individuals who vote for our government.

          13. “I define them a lot more clearly than you…”

            So do it.

          14. My whole last post did it. Reread it. If you don’t understand something, then ask. I’ll explain. If you’re having trouble wraping your brain around it, then let’s start with the concept of individual rights as being free from constraint. Do you understand how I was arguing that a person has an individual right to be free from unjustified wealth redistribution? Your position on “open borders” immigration seems like a rather obvious violation of this individual right. And please don’t mindlessly shout that it’s the “government” taking my property. You’d be much more accurate in saying that individuals (namely liberals) who are taking my property and handing it out through the mechanism of government. But again, government is nothing more than a reflection of individuals.

          15. You haven’t defined shit. You’ve simply asserted that you have “an individual right to be free from unjustified wealth redistribution”. So I ask again, how do you define individual rights.

            I define individual rights as those rights that exist independent of government. The right to self defense, the right to free movement, the right to free association all exist independent of government.

          16. “You haven’t defined shit. You’ve simply asserted that you have “an individual right to be free from unjustified wealth redistribution.”

            You apparently “define” them the same way that I do. Is use the word “apparently”, because once you begin to list them it’s clear that at least one your unalienable rights is pure crackpottery. But since I consider the list of actual natural rights to be part of a clear definition, that’s why I conclude that my definition is superior to yours. I agree with freedom of association and freedom of self-defense, but the third leg of your philosophical stool is broken. I’d replace it if you want a firm foundation to rest upon.

          17. Just like the other two, you don’t need government to give you the right to free movement. The only thing government can do is protect it or infringe on it. It fits perfectly well into the definition.

            “You apparently “define” them the same way that I do. ”

            So how does the right to free movement not fit my definition?

          18. Oh it it fits in YOUR definition just fine. It’s the quality of your definition with which I have a beef. This’ll be my last post on the subject, and I’ll let you have the last word. Freedom of movement is frought with philosophical problems in ways that freedom of self-defense and freedom of association are not. The latter two rights are exercisable without infringing upon the natural rights of others. Freedom of movement is not. If all property in a nation were privately owned, in what sense would a person have the right to freely move to that nation if no one wanted them to move there? I mean literally no one wanted to sell property or rent property to that person. In what meaningful sense would they have a natural right to move there? This right can only be morally exercised IF someone else agrees to contract with them. Now when you add in the extra condition of some immigrants being net recipients of public assistance instead of net contributers to public assistance, then it’s clear that property must be taken from citzens to provide this welfare. The larger the number of these types of immigrants and the greater disparity between what they pay in taxes and the amount of public goods they consume exacerbates the the amount of property confiscation. Again, this is not an argument for no immigration policy. It is an argument for a moral policy that does not abuse the property rights of the citizenry. At issues is the conflict between this supposed “right to move” and the right of a citizenry to be free of wealth confiscation and redistribution. Take Care.

          19. “Freedom of movement is frought with philosophical problems in ways that freedom of self-defense and freedom of association are not. The latter two rights are exercisable without infringing upon the natural rights of others. Freedom of movement is not.”

            Absolutely wrong. If you really believed that, then you should be, in principle, against someone from one state moving to another. Living in New York, with a large welfare state, you would argue against people moving in from other states as they’ll (in your mind) at to the burden.

            The same arguments you make against free movement as a right, you could make against the right to self defense. “The right to bear arms isn’t a legitmate right because someone might use a weapon to rob and kill me”, is no different than saying “the right to free movement isn’t a right because someone might move here and be a burden on the welfare system”. You cannot infringe on the rights of some individuals because there is potential for someone to abuse those rights and infringe on the rights of other.

            Hell, with your logic, you could argue that the right to free association doesn’t exist because individuals might get together and plan to rob and kill you. It’s the EXACT SAME logic.

            “If all property in a nation were privately owned, in what sense would a person have the right to freely move to that nation if no one wanted them to move there? I mean literally no one wanted to sell property or rent property to that person. In what meaningful sense would they have a natural right to move there? This right can only be morally exercised IF someone else agrees to contract with them.”

            You’re using an obsurd hypothetical, but I’ll indulge you. Your hypothetical is no different than saying, “your right to free association doesn’t exist, because if no one wanted to associate with you in what meaningful sense would they have a natural right to free association? This right can only be morally exercised IF someone wants to associate with them.”

            You can scream and bitch about the welfare state all you want, and I’ll agree with you, but again, your beef isn’t with individual immigrants. It’s with the individual politicians and citizens who created the mess… largely white and non-Mexican.

          20. “You can scream and bitch about the welfare state all you want, and I’ll agree with you, but again, your beef isn’t with individual immigrants. It’s with the individual politicians and citizens who created the mess… largely white and non-Mexican.”

            You are so obviously ducking the issue with that “government did it” sleight-of-hand. The FACTS are Hispanics and immigrants overwhelmingly support affirmative action and government handouts. Makes sense since around 75% of Mexican immigrant households use some form of welfare, according to CIS.
            http://www.cis.org/immigrant-welfare-use-2011

            Once they become citizens(do you recognize citizenship laws in your libertarian fantasy land?) they overwhelmingly vote for those handouts. The politicians are really just puppets doing what their constituents demand. But perhaps you can just tell the IRS you don’t recognize their taxing authority, according to libertarian principles.

            All you fancy philosophizin’ about “right to travel” doesn’t change the fact that your open borders religion, if realized, will inevitably mean the death of all your other libertarian dreams.

          21. The US is on a bullet train to bankruptcy because of three things and three things only: Medicare, Social Security, and defense spending. All created and supported overwhelming by white Americans on BOTH sides of the political isle born right here in the USA. As such Your argument about teh WELFARE!!!1!!1! is simply a red herring. You don’t want poor Mexican immigrants and the dirty masses you think they represent sullying good ol Amerikin kulture.

            You claim that the CIS claims 75% of MEX immigrant use some form of welfare, but as far as I can tell you simply pulled that number out of your ass. But let’s say that number is correct, based on how CIS broadly defines “welfare”, what percentage of hard workin’ red blooded Amerkins have used some sort of welfare? Have you? Do you despise you parents for taking SS or Medicare?

            “All you fancy philosophizin’ about “right to travel” doesn’t change the fact that your open borders religion, if realized, will inevitably mean the death of all your other libertarian dreams.”

            I think you mean YOUR team RED dreamz.

          22. “The US is on a bullet train to bankruptcy because of three things and three things only: Medicare, Social Security, and defense spending. All created and supported overwhelming by white Americans on BOTH sides of the political isle born right here in the USA.”

            So? They were opposed by small government conservatives and libertarians of all colors. It’s utter madness to allow millions of barely or completely illiterate low skilled peasants into the country and think we have a prayer of rolling government back.

            “As such Your argument about teh WELFARE!!!1!!1! is simply a red herring. You don’t want poor Mexican immigrants and the dirty masses you think they represent sullying good ol Amerikin kulture.”

            Depends on what you mean by “Americkin kulture.” Looks like you buy into all that liberal “diversity is strength” bullshit. Regardless, the welfare aspect is not a red herring. The fact you don’t want to address, and so you imply I’m a racist instead, is that importing Mexico’s poverty = a huge net fiscal drain on the country.

            “You claim that the CIS claims 75% of MEX immigrant use some form of welfare, but as far as I can tell you simply pulled that number out of your ass.”

            Then you didn’t look at the link. Table 4 should clear it up for you. This is obviously info you’d simply prefer not to know, and so you don’t. Best to simply call the data ,and anyone who repeats it, racist.

            “But let’s say that number is correct, based on how CIS broadly defines “welfare”, what percentage of hard workin’ red blooded Amerkins have used some sort of welfare? Have you?”

            Wow, your redneck writin’ is so impressive. I’m truly outmatched by your genius. But the answer is we are talking about immigration. We can’t do much about natives on the dole. It’s idiotic, and unnecessary, to abide the Mexican government’s efforts to outsource their poverty onto our backs.

            “Do you despise you parents for taking SS or Medicare?”

            No. A)They are American citizens that paid in on the front end B) My parents and I would vote to roll back both programs in a heartbeat. C)Illegal immigrants would make both programs far more entrenched, yet far more unsustainable.

            “I think you mean YOUR team RED dreamz.”

            LOL. Nice dodge again. Keep ducking.

      2. I guess Nickolaus doesn’t recognize laws he disagrees with. It’s all just “pretend.” Good luck with that.

        “A person that crosses an artificial border “illegally” seeking a better life…”

        Yes, those EBT cards and an early place in the affirmative action line are certainly a sweet deal!
        Suck it, gringos!

        1. I find it amusing that noone is willing to defend juandos’ “it’s wrong because it’s against the law” line of argument, but instantly switch to utilitarian and social-democracy concerns. Nickolaus’ response must have been devastating to make all his respondents forget the original line of thought entirely.

          1. “devastating”

            Yes, we’re still checking ourselves for injury.

            The basic libertarian open borders impulse is suicide for their own cause. In essence,we’re going to allow millions of low IQ ditch diggers to stroll in here, become citizens(do you recognize those laws?) and vote to turn the USA into the same kind of hellhole they fled from in the first place.

            Then the libertarian ideas will surely have a forum!

      3. juandos

        A person that crosses an artificial border “illegally” seeking a better life“…

        You know you’re right nickolaus and those invading parasites should be treated as the invaders they are…

  2. Wait a minute!
    The paper Mr. Pethokoukis cites does NOT find wage gains at all education levels for US-born workers!! The authors state that in the long-term analysis, U.S.-born workers with less than high-school education will suffer a 1.1% DECREASE in wages as a result of immigration. The authors think that is OK, because U.S. workers with all other education levels enjoy an INCREASE in wages due to immigration. But again, the article does not say what Mr. Pethokoukis says that it says. I realize nobody will believe me on this, so I will find a direct quote presently.

  3. It’s right there in the paper’s introduction!

    “This positive effect results from averaging a positive effect on wages of U.S.-born workers with
    at least a high school degree and a small negative effect on wages of U.S.-born workers with no high
    school degree.”
    Please notice the word “negative”!!!

  4. And now a quote from body of the paper by Ottoviano and Peri:

    “Second, the group of least educated U.S.-born workers suffers a smaller wage loss than previously calculated. In the long run native workers only lost 1.1% of their real wage due to the 1990-2004 immigration. Even in the short run (as of 2004) the negative impact was a moderate 2.2% real wage loss.”
    You see? A moderate wage loss in the short run, and a “mild” wage loss in the long run! The authors did NOT find “wage gains at all education levels for US-born workers”!

  5. In her article cited above, Shikha Dalmia argues that immigration helps push US-born high school dropouts up into the middle class, because they can speak English. It’s an intriguing idea, but then she cites Ottoviano and Peri.
    Mr. Pethokoukis, or anyone at AEI, can you please cite a study that shows net economic benefits for US-born high school dropouts from large-scale low-skill immigration? I’m not saying that such a study doesn’t exist, I’m just pointing out that you haven’t cited one yet.

    1. Well, even without the study, you’d have to contend with simple economic logic. If immigrants do some job for half the cost, then, in a competitive market, you’d expect prices to drop or not go up as much as otherwise.. not just for the immigrants, but for all consumers. Also, you’d have to explain why unemployment does not go up along with immigration (unemployment rises when times are bad, and immigration rises when times are good). Either way, here is something close to what you might be looking for:
      http://openborders.info/double-world-gdp/

  6. Oops, I may have overstated things above. The Ottaviano and Peri study cited by Shikha Dalmia argues that the long-run effects of immigration on US-born high school dropouts might range from -0.3 to +0.6. Maybe that’s the study Mr. Pethokoukis meant to cite?

  7. BPaulH

    I like James and enjoy and almost always agree with his points when he appears on Kudlow’s show. I haven’t read the Heritage report, he has, so it’s not really fair for me to question James’ view on the report’s findings.

    James’ argument addresses the benefits of immigration. Heritage’s argument addresses costs of amnesty of illegal immigrants. These are two different things. Whatever costs and benefits those illegal immigrants generate, they are already being generated presently. The amounts might change by moving from the underground to the above-ground economy, but all of their economic potential is here, both prior to and after amnesty.

    1. ” Whatever costs and benefits those illegal immigrants generate, they are already being generated presently

      Not true. SS, Medicare, and some welfare programs they cannot now access will become available to them. Also, they can jump to their designated spot in the affirmative action line ahead of evil straight white guys.
      Further, they will have then have the right to chain migration, further burdening our already bankrupt republic.

      1. BPaulH

        I wasnt clear with what you quoted. I agree with Heritage that amnesty will increase costs $6.3 billion. What i was attempting to point out is that all the economic benefit that James states Heritage was not considering is a theory associated with NEW immigrants coming in. Those theoretical benefits will not occur just by providing amnesty to people already working here. As you, and Heritage, say, they will impose net costs.

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