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Monday, October 02, 2006



I mentioned this on Thoma's site...The premise seems strange. Could this not be an article about the perils of bullet-hole-less feet? Frankly, feet without bulletholes stifle the pressures to innovate new solutions to walking that would arise from feet with bulletholes in them.

Zachary Wood

You are absolutely right. Without the illegal immigrants working in our country our economy would deteriorate. But some of them need government funds and take those funds away from the people that need them.

Arthur Eckart

If there weren't illegal immigrants, there would be legal immigrants, and legal immigrants would be much better for the economy.


Illegal immigrants work harder than locals. (I should know, I'm employing them presently.) And, because they are illegal, they are no burden whatsoever on social services, to which they have no access. (Except for fraud, which is about the same level as that perpetrated by the locals.) Most are young men, not overly skilled, simply seeking work. The construction industry is a perfect fit.

What's the difference between a local hire and an immigrant hire? In Europe, it is about 2/1 after factoring in social service charges.

Without illegal immigrants the construction industry in practically any developed country on earth would come to a grinding halt. Legalizing them simply places them outside of the market for labor in the building industry.

The question is cost. In the building industry, the work is punctual. They act as a sort of bumper between high and normal demand for construction. At present, demand is high so there are many. When demand lowers, these people will disappear back from where they came.

If, however, they want to remain, then they become a real problem. They want to establish more permanently, and therefore need access to social services such as health care and schooling. That is the only moment when they should be legalized, if at all.

Hi-tech immigrants have numerous ways to be accepted legally into a country, and a healthy percentage become permanent residents. On a world scale, it is less a distinct minor percentage of any population that leaves home illegally to work. These are often the most desperate and the least skilled. Why should they be denied work?

They take the jobs away from only the idle who don't want to work ... and who are comfortable with a minimum income obtained from odd jobs and the dole. But, of course, they are the "legal" idle, aren't they.

Arthur Eckart

Promoting illegal activity leads to greater illegal activity. Many illegal immigrants are criminals, which is costly to society. Eventually rewarding illegal immigrants with legal status facilitates illegal immigration and it's not fair to law-abiding legal immigrants. I'd like to see some evidence entire industries will grind to a halt without illegal immigration.

Arthur Eckart

Also, I may add, illegal immigrants have higher fertility rates, which increase demand for health care, basic education, and other social services. The U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 raised quotas of high skilled and low skilled workers (partially at the expense of average skilled workers). However, most illegal immigrants are low skilled workers.

Arthur Eckart

A few years ago, I read about increased U.S. visas for immigrants who had $1 million. Also, the link below (of more rich South Americans moving to the U.S.) states: "Those who can afford it often opt for business visas that require a minimum of a $500,000 investment in a company that creates jobs in an underdeveloped area in the U.S." Consequently, U.S. income inequality may increase.



I read somewhere that someone thought anyone who imployed illegal immigrants should be arrested. Now I may think that too many illegal immigrants are bad for our economy, but I think that person's statement might have been a little too harsh. What do you think?

Arthur Eckart

Brittany, most illegal U.S. immigrants are low-skilled. However, they're ambitious and hard workers. They help keep wages and prices low, for many firms, and raise profits. So, many businesses are for illegal immigration. However, economists tend to be specialized. They can't piece together the complete puzzle for a true picture. I think, if they saw the true picture, they'd know an increase in low-skilled workers lowers living standards. U.S. immigrants a hundred years ago had similar skills compared to the domestic population. However, today, most U.S. immigrants have lower skills than the domestic population. I've also cited the "second generation phenomenon." The tens of millions of children from the millions of illegal immigrants don't understand why they're relatively so poor compared to other Americans, who've been in the U.S. for generations. So, there's resentment. They're also less ambitious and hard working. Moreover, substantially more government goods will be demanded, particularly education and health care. However, Americans, so far, haven't been willing to pay higher taxes for those government goods.

Arthur Eckart

Also, I may add, there's the conventional assumption U.S. education and health care are inefficient compared to other developed countries, because the U.S. spends substantially more per capita on education and health care, than any other country, while U.S. test scores and life spans are lower than many developed countries. However, the U.S. is the only major developed country with a fertility rate exceeding its replacement rate, which reflects its large Third World immigrant population and generally poor black community. Anyone who has compared "poor area" U.S. schools and hospitals to "rich area" U.S. schools and hospitals would notice the differences in quality are similar to the difference between night and day. I suspect, the top 75% of people in the U.S. have the highest quality education and health care in the world, while the bottom 25% have much lower quality education and health care.

Robert Meyer

could a possible solution be to leave it how it is. as it stands illegal immigrants that work hard and benefit society are the ones laying low and the ones "bothering" society are getting deported so as it stands it may be best. comparable to speed limits...

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