I and many others, including Yves Smith, waded into the thicket of Mike Kimel’s provocative generic and specific-reasons-for-the-generic claims in his post here earlier this week titled “Negative Effects of Immigration on the Economy.” I and others, including academic economist Barkley Rosser, commented in replies in the Comments thread to Mike’s post. Yves did so on her Naked Capitalism blog, in prefatory comment to her republication of Mike Kimel’s post.
Yves is an expert on such matters as the effects of immigration on the economy. I, suffice it to say, am not. But Angry Bear Bruce Webb and I both invoked Yves’ prefatory comment as refutation of Mike’s specific reasons for his generic claims. But Mike begs to differ, claiming that Yves’ preface is in agreement with his post.
To which I replied:
You and Yves Smith make the same point? Really? Actually, Yves was trying gently to refute your main point, which was your claim that immigration has a negative impact on job creation and your attributing this to the fact that so many immigrants aren’t white and from Europe and therefore, culturally (and intellectually) don’t sufficiently appreciate the importance of such things as time schedules and promptness.
Yves’ point was the opposite: that lower rates of job creation comes from lower rates of increase in GDP, which has nothing to do with the entrepreneurial, timekeeping and English-language skills of the current wave of immigrants and everything to do with the highly successful corporate efforts in the last nearly four decades to suppress wages–one (but only one) tactic of which has been the use of immigrants to keep wages down, thus reducing DEMAND FOR GOODS AND SERVICES. The effect on job creation is, contrary to your claim, not direct and is not the result of what you say it is, and is the indirect result of deliberate corporate goals.
Funny, y’know, but Germany, Holland, Scandinavia and Canada all have had very large non-white immigration in recent decades. All have strong laws supporting worker power, as well as corporate cultures that favor long-term investment and rational executive-suite compensation, and … voila! They have economies that work well.
Obviously, Yves can speak for herself on this if she cares to. But it’s clear from the comments in the lengthy Comments thread to Mike’s post that I’m far from the only one who takes strong issue with what is at the heart of Mike’s premise.
This is by no stretch the type of thing I normally post about, but it gets to the heart of what others do, here and elsewhere, and certainly concerns issues at the forefront of this election cycle. And therefore it’s worth my walking out onto this limb here.