Thursday, January 08, 2004


I'm not sure I buy Jarvis' viewpoint on Bush's immigration proposal. Outsourcing certainly does send money, and to some extent, jobs, outside our borders, but there is more to the equation than merely keeping the jobs here. All of those new immigrant workers are going to be eligible for benefits, which cost the American taxpayer money. If the majority of these workers are working at payscales below what most Americans would accept, as seems to be the plan, then it is likely that they will be taking more from the public treasury than they put in. There are a lot of complex variables involved here, and it's nearly impossible to predict the outcome of such a move. As the Germans discovered, you can wake up in a recession with a massive population of immigrants collecting far more benefits than they are putting into the system.

I was watching O'Reilly last night, and Dick Morris had an interesting observation about Mexican immigration. He pointed out that over the last several years no states have gone from being Democratic states to Republican states. However, several states (I can't recall which ones) have gone from being Republican states to Democratic ones. The reason? The states that switched from Republican to Democrat received enough Mexican immigrants to tip the scales in favor of the Democrats. This points out one of the potential unintended consequences of Bush's immigration policy. While I'm not against immigration as a concept, and I don't have anything against Mexicans, I do worry about allowing a large population of people into this country who are likely going to vote for more and more benefits for themselves out of the public treasury. While Bush is counting on the Hispanic vote in 2004 with this move, we may see the massive influx of Mexican "guest workers" mysteriously become citizens, and then say "thanks for letting us in, but we're voting Democratic anyway."

Ideally, I believe in the concept of open borders. Two things keep me from supporting that concept in our current environment: First, our current welfare state makes it so that immigrants can move here and live of the American taxpayer instead of adding to the economy. Second, the war on terror has made open borders a near suicidal policy for the US. Without the fear of terrorism, we could get rid of our social welfare system, abolish the minimum wage and other regulatory policies, and open the borders. The result would be a booming economy open to anyone who wants to come here to work. Unfortunately, al Qaida and the American left (and now the right) has seen to it that this system will never see the light of day.

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