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KrazyHorse
21-04-2008, 06:39:14
Got your attention?


stop the illegals. It's supply and demand. Workers here are hurt by illegals (wages depressed with more competition). Employers are helped (wages depressed).

Could you possibly be more wrong?

a) Immigration and trade are virtually identical wrt the above argument, and I remember you saying that you were a vehement free-trader (even a unilateral free-trader, which I am as well, BTW). Do you not see why they're the same issue, or have you changed your mind?

b) "Employers" don't get to keep the surplus; immigration drives prices for low-skill labour-intensive products down, especially those in the classic non-traded sector (cleaning up office buildings, mowing lawns,...errr, see where the stereotypes come from?). In other words, consumers get the surplus.

c) Numerous actual studies have been done to determine the effect of illegal immigration on wages across the US (done city-by-city). Turns out that not only does the aggregate of US citizens make out in the plus (which is pretty much guaranteed by theory of comparative advantage) but the skill set of incoming illegal immigrants is so different from that of US citizens that only the very bottom of the distribution may end up doing very slightly worse (and as I said, this is swamped by how much better everybody else does...including most of the working class)

d) Why would you advocate a stupidly inefficient means of helping out the bottom few percent of society when simple cash transfers would be far cheaper and easier to do?

KrazyHorse
21-04-2008, 06:48:15
Rust belt decline was unstoppable with any reasonably free trade in goods, drastically increased manufacturing productivity and the opening of non-rust belt locations in the US to significant manufacturing development (for example, locations further south).

Those are all good for the US as a whole. And with interstate mobility as high as it is, you'll find that I don't particularly care if one region finds it less good....

KrazyHorse
21-04-2008, 06:53:28
I also don't understand how illegal immigrants (who generally work in services) are competing with manufacturing workers.

AFAIK most manufacturers don't hire a lot of illegals. Manufacturing in the US generally tends to be capital intensive. Ford's not going to be paying some guy who can't speak English 28$ an hour plus full bennies and taking the chance of getting hit with immigration raids.

TCO
21-04-2008, 11:19:32
1. I don't like macro. I like micro. And when a macro issue comes up, I think of it micro-wise.

2. Just because US citizens in general are better off, doesn't mean that the displaced workers are better off. Basic supply and demand applies Kitty. Same thing with science and computer jobs, btw. There's no such thing as a shortage of workers. Just a shortage of cheap workers.

3. Perhaps you are right about manufacturing. But lots of trades have become very Mexican dominated. For instance construction.

4. I donno about the trade thing. Gotta rethink that.

5. Also there are societal issues. And if you want to get all liberal on me, just look at Bosnia or Iraq.

TCO
21-04-2008, 11:34:31
btw, sometimes I'm trying ideas on for size.

Umm on (d)...because a society made up of capitalists barons, mexican guest laborers and welfare Americans will not work well?

TCO
21-04-2008, 11:36:17
Oh...and in services the effect would be more pronounced clearly. However, I think it would still have an effect on manufacturing. For instance, some of the workers could shift to services otherwise.

KrazyHorse
21-04-2008, 17:17:37
Originally posted by TCO
[B]Just because US citizens in general are better off, doesn't mean that the displaced workers are better off. Basic supply and demand applies Kitty. Same thing with science and computer jobs, btw. There's no such thing as a shortage of workers. Just a shortage of cheap workers.

I agree that there is no such thing as a shortage of workers and that the main effect of illegal immigration is to lower wages in the sector where the illegals would tend to work. But they also raise (real) wages in sectors where they do not tend to work. They increase the demand for goods and services which they do not supply. And as I pointed out, the actual empirical data does not support a massive suppression of the wages of the lower part of the distribution. In other words, I don't care that the "construction workers" are suffering. The aggregate wealth of the poorest US citizens is basically unaffected while everybody else's is increased. "Protecting workers" from immigration is no different than "protecting" them from technological innovations which make their jobs obsolete.

3. Perhaps you are right about manufacturing. But lots of trades have become very Mexican dominated. For instance construction.

Yes, and they make it cheaper for me to build a house. That's a good thing. Let's say I invented a machine which could build a house for half the cost of hiring construction workers. Do you think you should make my machine illegal? Some individuals may well do worse when immigrants come in and work in their field for less. So what? Now if the wage depressing effects of immigration were so strong that the price benefits for, say, the bottom 50% were strongly outweighed then we might need to talk about this. The way to solve that problem would be to transfer wealth from the winners of immigration to the losers. But as I've already stated the wage effects for native born workers are pretty mild. They get other jobs!

4. I donno about the trade thing. Gotta rethink that.

It doesn't make a difference whether a Mexican lives in the US and helps build houses for 10$ an hour or does it in Mexico. Think of immigration as a technology which reduces transport costs and increases the size of the tradeable sector. For that matter, think of the Mexican as a piece of technology too...

Lifted from somebody's textbook:

there are two technologies for producing automobiles in America. One is to manufacture them in Detroit, and the other is to grow them in Iowa. Everybody knows about the first technology; let me tell you about the second. First, you plant seeds, which are the raw material from which automobiles are constructed. You wait a few months until wheat appears. Then you harvest the wheat, load it onto ships, and said the ships eastward into the Pacific Ocean. After a few months, the ships reappear with Toyotas on them.

International trade is nothing but a form of technology. The fact that there is a place called Japan, with people and factories, is quite irrelevant to Americans’ well-being. To analyze trade policies, we might as well assume that Japan is a giant machine with mysterious inner workings that convert wheat into cars.

5. Also there are societal issues. And if you want to get all liberal on me, just look at Bosnia or Iraq.

I'm sorry, I must have overslept and missed the ethnic cleansing which changed the US from a cultural hodgepodge of all of the world's nations into a WASP enclave.

KrazyHorse
21-04-2008, 17:23:51
Originally posted by TCO
btw, sometimes I'm trying ideas on for size.

Umm on (d)...because a society made up of capitalists barons, mexican guest laborers and welfare Americans will not work well?

Again, this might be a concern if there was any evidence to back it up.

Instead of looking at real aggregates, however, the immigration opponents tend to look at specific industries. Actual analysis of the aggregate income statistics says that Americans are not going on welfare because of Mexicans. Some Americans go on welfare or take shittier jobs. Others come off welfare or get better jobs. The net effect is a wash for the bottom tail, but is good for everybody else. The skills you need to get a good wage are simply changing. Immigration depresses the value of being able to hang drywall, but raises the value of being able to communicate fluently in both English and Spanish.

KrazyHorse
21-04-2008, 17:32:26
You should check out public choice theory. The people negatively affected by immigration are concentrated and easy to point out. If you were an agricultural labourer or a construction worker in LA then immigration sucks. The gainers are basically everybody else. But those who gain from immigration are diffuse. How do I know that immigration made my apartment building cheaper to construct and is therefore saving me 1000$ a year? What about the bus driver who got hired because the city he works in was expanding? Maybe he would have gotten hired anyway. Public choice tells us that concentrated, highly-visible groups will tend to dominate the discussion. It's why US sugar producers keep getting trade barriers raised. How much do I care that it costs me 25$ a year extra for food because of them?

Sirius Black
21-04-2008, 18:37:08
KrazyHorse :beer:

Many studies have shown that, overall, free trade as well as illegal immigration tends to help the standard of living of Americans. Sure, some of the lowest skilled folk are displaced from their jobs, but the low wages paid get passed on to EVERYONE in the US in the form of far lower prices of agg goods and other goods in industries that illegals work in.

Drake Tungsten
21-04-2008, 23:09:37
Kitty is right. As you can see from this regression output, the impact of immigration on real per capita income is small and not statistically significant...

. regress per_capita_income lntotal_pop median_age pcn_ba_degree_25yrs_over
median_gross_rent employ_pop_ratio pcn_below_pov_line
pro_manu_ratio total_foreignborn_percentpop, beta

Source | SS df MS Number of obs = 296
-------------+------------------------------ F( 8, 287) = 289.70
Model | 4.2981e+09 8 537268088 Prob > F = 0.0000
Residual | 532252211 287 1854537.32 R-squared = 0.8898
-------------+------------------------------ Adj R-squared = 0.8867
Total | 4.8304e+09 295 16374226.8 Root MSE = 1361.8

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
per_capita~e | Coef. Std. Err. t P>|t| Beta
-------------+----------------------------------------------------------------
lntotal_pop | 402.9648 92.5112 4.36 0.000 .1038579
median_age | 293.2696 29.81478 9.84 0.000 .2470929
pcn_ba_deg~r | 23555.43 1605.321 14.67 0.000 .4383774
median_gro~t | 8.797818 1.057113 8.32 0.000 .3094775
employ_pop~o | 6047.023 2715.379 2.23 0.027 .0705492
pcn_below_~e | -22141.73 3053.22 -7.25 0.000 -.2530306
pro_manu_r~o | -27.37966 135.0004 -0.20 0.839 -.0047114
total_fore~p | 1077.07 1821.044 0.59 0.555 .0195301
_cons | -5561.485 2958.41 -1.88 0.061 .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TCO
21-04-2008, 23:55:49
Dude: you must be really lonely.

A. I haven't looked at data.

B. I can see how increased competition in some sectors could affect others (at the low end) given some migration of displaced supply. I'm not sure experimentally or theoretically at what point the overall bettering of the economy is more important or the competion (from a worker standpoint). It will be a balance however and depend on various factors (susceptible to analysis or at least setting up as a problem).

C. So the lower half hasn't been hurt. How do you know. Maybe they'd be doing better? Devil is in the details and I don't know them.

D. Agreed on the machine and trade having similar impacts economically. however, I think the workers have a better case for excluding migration.

E. I enjoy other cultures and take a personal attitude of ecleticism, but I think you underestimate the possible impact of issues of common values, experiences. Just living in the real world on this. I have a very good example to bring to mind but it will get me in even more trouble.

KrazyHorse
22-04-2008, 01:52:40
Originally posted by TCO
[B]C. So the lower half hasn't been hurt. How do you know. Maybe they'd be doing better? Devil is in the details and I don't know them.

Go look for the studies. They do city-by-city comparison to show that the number of immigrants into a city does not predict lower wages for low skill Americans.

D. Agreed on the machine and trade having similar impacts economically. however, I think the workers have a better case for excluding migration.

No! Just the opposite! The Mexican machine has moral value too. Even if the net effect on the US as a whole was nil (instead of being large and positive) then immigration would still be good because it helps the Mexicans.

E. I enjoy other cultures and take a personal attitude of ecleticism, but I think you underestimate the possible impact of issues of common values, experiences. Just living in the real world on this. I have a very good example to bring to mind but it will get me in even more trouble.

The US has never been a unified culture. Maybe prior to the Civil War. Since then there have been regular, massive waves of immigration.

TCO
22-04-2008, 01:55:28
That was before the melting pot became the salad bowl.

KrazyHorse
22-04-2008, 01:59:01
There was never a perfect melting pot. Go ask the Irish and the Italians in the 1870s and the 1910s respectively.

Hell, you're already using Cinco de Mayo as an excuse to drink heavily. The Mexicans are just the Irish pushed a hundred years forward.

By the way, second gen Mexican immigrants speak English better than their parents. And 3rd gen do it even better.

The panic about language and culture is silly. In neither cultural distance nor in numbers (compared to size of US) is there anything particularly different about the current wave of Hispanic immigration.

If you don't want them then I'll advocate getting them to Canada. :beer:

(Canada already accepts ~twice as many immigrants per capita as you guys do)

Drake Tungsten
22-04-2008, 02:01:23
Go look for the studies. They do city-by-city comparison to show that the number of immigrants into a city does not predict lower wages for low skill Americans.

Why would he have to look for something I just posted?

KrazyHorse
22-04-2008, 02:02:09
I don't pay attention to anything you say, Drake. Duh.

Drake Tungsten
22-04-2008, 02:03:10
Well, that's normally a good idea.

KrazyHorse
22-04-2008, 02:03:17
Mexican food :beer:

(I'd never had real Mexican food until I moved here, BTW)

Mexican food in Canada is gross and tasteless.

KrazyHorse
22-04-2008, 02:04:05
My only fear is that Mexicans won't like our winters. We may have to kidnap them.

Sirius Black
22-04-2008, 12:09:04
Mexican food... mmmm... that should be enough reason to keep the illegals here.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
22-04-2008, 12:17:06
But the food will be illegal, too! Think of the children!

Sirius Black
22-04-2008, 12:25:45
Why? Will we have to eat them afterwards?

Dyl Ulenspiegel
22-04-2008, 12:30:34
The illegals will cook them!

Sirius Black
22-04-2008, 12:51:29
In delicious spices?

Funko
22-04-2008, 13:15:48
Mmmm spices.

Sirius Black
22-04-2008, 13:26:08
White kids tend to be insufficiently spiced.