Thursday, April 13, 2017

Professors favoring the new slave trade

Some big-shot economists have pushed this letter:
The undersigned economists represent a broad swath of political and economic views. Among us are Republicans and Democrats alike. Some of us favor free markets while others have championed for a larger role for government in the economy. But on some issues there is near universal agreement. One such issue concerns the broad economic benefit that immigrants to this country bring.

As Congress and the Administration prepare to revisit our immigration laws, we write to express our broad consensus that immigration is one of America’s significant competitive advantages in the global economy. With the proper and necessary safeguards in place, immigration represents an opportunity rather than a threat to our economy and to American workers.
This is like saying that slavery has economic benefits. Of course it did, and that is why the practice continued for so long, and still does in some countries.

The letter does not say what "the proper and necessary safeguards" are, but they are obviously not in place. It also does not say who benefits from immigration from Moslem-jihadist countries.
Immigration undoubtedly has economic costs as well, particularly for Americans in certain industries and Americans with lower levels of educational attainment. But the benefts that immigration brings to society far outweigh their costs, and smart immigration policy could better maximize the benefts of immigration while reducing the costs.
The letter says "undoubtedly", as if the authors are not sure what those costs are. Shouldn't they find out before making pronouncements about them?

Many of the economists signing the letter justify immigration on the basis of the benefits to the immigrants.
We urge Congress to modernize our immigration system in a way that maximizes the opportunity immigration can bring, and reaffirms continuing the rich history of welcoming immigrants to the United States.
Maximize the opportunity for whom? These economists try to make it sound like an objective case for immigration, but it is not. For most Americans, maximizing the immigration opportunity would be reforming the rules and drastically cutting the numbers.

What "reaffirms continuing the rich history"? Current immigration policies, where judges have declared that Moslems have a right to come here, are unprecedented. One could say that American history has been as a predominantly white Christian nation, and affirming that history would restrict immigrants to white Christians of good moral character. While such a position seems extreme, it would be more in line with American values and history than our current policy.

No comments: