Negative Effects of Immigration on the Economy
by Mike Kimel
Negative Effects of Immigration on the Economy
In a recent post, I showed that looking at data since 1950 or so, the percentage of the population that is foreign born is negatively correlated with job creation in later years. I promised an explanation, and I will attempt to deliver on that promise in this post.
I can think of a few reasons for the finding, just about all of which would have been amplified since LBJ’s Presidency due to two things: the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act and the launch of the Great Society. The Hart-Cellar Act may be better known as the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It phased out country quotas in existence since the 1920s. As a result of these quotas, about 70% of all immigrants were coming from England, Germany and Ireland, with most of the remainder coming from elsewhere in Western Europe and from Latin America. The Great Society, of course, included a number of welfare programs, many of which (or their descendants) are still in existence.
With that, reasons why the foreign born population is negatively correlated with subsequent job creation include:
1. Immigrants who are sufficiently similar to the existing population when it comes to language, culture, skillsets and expectations will integrate more smoothly. Slower and more imperfect integration necessarily requires more expenditure of resources, resources which otherwise could go toward economic development.
2. Naturally, skills and values that are more productive and efficient than those of the existing population are conducive toward growth. Conversely, bringing inferior technology and processes does not improve the economy. As the source of immigrants shifted away from sources of sources of high technology like England and Germany and toward the developing and not-developing world, the likelihood that a randomly selected new immigrant will improve productivity diminishes.
3. Eligibility for welfare can change the incentive structure for existing and potential immigrants. An immigrant arriving in the US in 1890 certainly had no expectation of being supported by the state. It may be that most immigrants arriving in the US now also don’t have that expectation. However, it is no secret that welfare exists so some percentage of potential immigrants arrive expecting to be supported to some degree by the state. In some (many?) cases, the expectation increases post-arrival. (Like any great economist, Milton Friedman got a lot of things wrong about how the economy works but he had a point when he said you can have a welfare state or open borders but not both.)
4. Rightly or wrongly, reasons 1 – 3 above may combine to create resentment in the existing population. Think “my grandparents came to this country with nothing and nobody gave them anything…” Resentment can break down trust and institutions necessary for the economy to function smoothly.
5. Over time, transportation has become cheaper and easier. As a result, the likelihood that an immigrant has come to the US to stay has diminished. Many immigrants come to the US for several years and then go back to their country of origin. This in turn leads to four issues that can have negative impacts on the economy:
5a. Immigrants that expect to leave often send back remittances, taking resources out of the US economy. For example, in 2010, remittances from workers in the US amounted to 2.1% of Mexican GDP.
5b. Relative to many non-Western countries, the US taxpayer invests heavily in the creation of a state that is conducive toward acquiring useful skills and education. Often, the acquisition of such skills and education is heavily subsidized. When people acquire those tools and then leave without applying them, the value of the resources could have been better spent elsewhere.
5c. Immigrants who don’t expect to stay can have less reason to integrate culturally and economically; any real estate investor can tell you that all else being equal, a neighborhood made up largely of homeowners is almost always nicer than a neighborhood made up largely of renters.
5d. Immigrants who arrive with a non-negligible expectation of leaving are, on average, more likely to take risks which generate private gains and social losses. If the bet goes well, congratulations. If the bet goes bad, “so long suckers!” The bet may even involve a crime.
6. (This one is more conjecture than the others – I think it is true, but I haven’t given it enough thought, particularly whether it is entirely separate from the previous reasons.) The non-existence of a lump of labor does not mean there isn’t a population to labor multiplier, or that the multiplier cannot change over time. In an era of relatively slow economic growth, economies of scale, and outsourcing abroad, the number of new employment opportunities per new customer (i.e., job creation per resident) can shrink. We’ve certainly seen something resembling that since about 2000.
None of this is to say that immigration is good or bad, or even that it should be opposed or encouraged. In this post I simply tried to explain what I saw in the data. I will have one or more follow-up posts.
#2 seems just wrong historically.
The factory/industrial age as normally defined took off by the 1880s and if anything tapered off after the 1920 Act started metering immigrants and the vast proportion of actual manufacturing facilities in the upper midwest were staffed not entirely by Germans but also by Eastern Europeans (Poles, Hungarians Serbians) and Southern Europeans (Italians) many from rural and certainly underindustrialized countries. That is America became the industrial AND scientific capital of the world precisely when the borders were open.
Nor can you attribute the scientific progress we saw in the pure sciences in the 30s and applied sciences/engineering in the 50s as the result of importing a bunch of Brits. Many of these developments were driven by refugees from first the Nazis and later the Soviets and also drew on Hungarian and Polish populations. As well of course Austrians like Einstein.
I find the idea that England and Ireland were the source of a lot of early 20th century tech kind of doubtful (early steam technology of the previous century yes, metallurgy yes but all that in place by 1920) and Germany seems to be more the source of chemical and electrical engineering, important but not the end all and be all.
I rather think this bullet point is working backwards from the racialist (not ‘racist’) theories that gained ascendancy in the early years of the 20th century which attributed all talents and good things generally to “good Anglo-Saxon Protestant stock” (if you were in the U.S.) and ‘pure German-Scandinavian-Aryans’ (if you were in Germany) and more or less denied it to ‘swarthy Catholic peasants’ from the South and East. Which is some versions included people from Catholic Bavaria and rural Austria. Much like the British version summed up in the phrase: “the wogs begin in Calais”
Not buying it. Just seems like post-facto rationalization of a policy firmly rooted in late 19th and early 20th century racialism that had manifestations like eugenics and Social Darwinism (both equally ‘scientific’)
#4 suffers from some of the same faults. A lot of really early immigrants to this country (like mine who were all here by the 1860s) didn’t really come here with no expectations. Instead they could apply for land grants and get 80 free acres in the West (which at the time mine came meant Indiana). The Upper Plains were settled the same way and Oklahoma to this day celebrates the Land Rush. The Mountain West and Far West too were largely settled by people working land grants and mining and ranching claims or were recruited directly from Europe to work on railroads, mines and in forests. And in none of this were English language skills the essential lubricant, the entire upper tier of the U.S. was settled by folk whose great grandparents spoke Swedish and Norwegian and who came from little farms.
Mike a lot of your claims seem plausible enough. But too many of them seem to be rationalizations in origin and not rational data informed arguments.
2. Institutions and attitudes part of the technology and values. People who are used to a train system that runs like clockwork will, on average, bring more benefit to a modernizing society than people who pay no attention to time. Also, I said nothing about race or ethnicity. I do plan on discussing the alt-right’s view of how the world ticks in a later post, that post will definitely not be heartily endorsed by anyone on the alt-right. To be fair I suspect it will also piss off some folks here too.
4. Expecting a grant of land in the middle of a hostile territory and to feed yourself from it is not the same as expecting cash subsidies for housing, food, etc.
” People who are used to a train system that runs like clockwork will, on average, bring more benefit to a modernizing society than people who pay no attention to time. Also, I said nothing about race or ethnicity.”
Civilization as punctuality? Who knew? Oh except you say “modernizing”. Except I say that the basic unit of society that totally valorized showing up to the second was the factory system itself. Otherwise valuing punctuality in and of itself is just anality in practice. Plus it is worth noting that this particular ‘value’ is only imposed downwards. Even today there is a well understood concept of “fashionably late”. Like taxes, punctuality is for the ‘little people’.
You can claim that “I said nothing about race or ethnicity” but if you valorize aspects of society that are associated with certain specific populations then you bring it in by the back door. Seems to me that a lot of this post was anticipated by Weber’s (critical) study: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Or to put in another way, and to repeat myself:
“The Wogs Begin in Calais”
“Build that wall”
As long as I am recommending old books I would add Thorstein Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class . And point out that Gilded Age Society totally valorized leisure and activities that were not strictly bounded by time like golf and yachting and lunching (as it was done in business circles then) even as they railed against the terrible waste of productive time represented by demands for the Five Day Week and the 12 Hour Day.
And we see this today. The claim is that the Masters of Industry gain their outsized competion because darn it, they just work harder than everyone else and put in more hours. Which leads one to ask who then is it that is actually going to those museum charity balls, who actually is a member of those day time Racquetball Clubs, who keeps yacht brokers in business, who are those guys who have summer houses in the Hamptons and a nice little ski condo in Vail. It is amazing that these nose to the grindstone 7 and 8 digit earners manage to keep their scratch handicaps. (A century ago it would be their polo goals).
The truth is that the Leisure Class has always valorized Leisure. And indeed used it as the characteristic mark of their class. Even as they impose dawn to midnight hours on their workers and servants.
A neat example of this is the demand by wealthy Protestants that the Sabbath/Sunday be kept as a day of rest and church and that such things as ball games and play should be put aside for Sunday School and Day and Evening Services. And yet as a matter of course they expected full dressing and meal services for themselves on those days. That is the Working Classes should work Monday through Saturday and worship on Sunday even as their Masters observed “the Season” in London and another “Season” in Monte Carlo. Oh and maybe some shooting on their friends Scottish estate in THAT season.
I don’t think you can consider the effects of modern immigration on economic development/growth without also considering the decline of the industrial revolution, deunionization and ultimately a change of the economy to financialization.
This fanaticizing about small business developing into big business as noted when Harley came up with his designs and the Wrights developed the math for flight and the idea of economy of scale for justifying consolidation did not exist is just stupid.
Offhand I do not see any data that supports the main argument here. The big break in economic growth came in the early 70s, coinciding with the first oil price shock and hitting pretty much all of the high income part of the world, not just the US. Trying to tie any slowdown in job growth to the 1965 change in immigration law or immigration rates is going to be hard, with it possible the relationship goes the other way.
Indeed, some of this depends on who the immigrants are. Many are very entrepreneurial and have started businesses that have hired lots of people. Look at Silicon Valley, but not just there. The US cities that are the most economically growing are the ones with the most immigrants. West Virginia is the model because it has few immigrants? Really?
When you know where you are going, correlation is causation.
Having lived a decade and a half in South America, I would say that yes, civilization is punctuality. Heck, . Also, are you saying ethnicity determines one’s view of time?
Forgive me but I don’t understand the point you are making. I also don’t see that I am fetishizibg small business,
Look at change, not levels. I took s quick look at per capita personal income by state in 1960 and 2015. The fastest increase was in North Dakota (oil I assume), MS and Arkansas. Not major immigrant magnets for most of the time period. At the bottom are NV, AK and DE. 7th from the bottom is CA, eighth from the bottom is AZ. WV is 23rd fastest. Quick and dirty, as I said, but it isn’t the states that enjoyed the most immigration that grew the fastest from before Hart-Cellar to the present.
You really are more interesting when you point and yell “racism.”
Arkansas immigration. http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=5034 If I had to pick a word it would be “Tyson”
“Also, are you saying ethnicity determines one’s view of time?”
Yes. Lots of things are invisible when looking from a group (ethnic or not) out. Timekeeping to the hour is ancient. Timekeeping to the minute dates to the 17th century and is associated with Dutch and English clock and watch makers. I don’t find the proposed relation of this to the advent of factories and ‘factory time’ at all fanciful. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_timekeeping_devices
I keep wondering why Dan Crawford is so willing to associate his name with Mike Kimel. For the sake of your reputation give Mike his own contributor byline.
There are technical reasons. Basically the mechanics and history of the blog interacting. I wouldn’t make anything of it.
It’s Mike’s choice to do it that way. I did it that way for my first year or so blogging here.
Regarding fetishizing small business, I was not directing it at you. It’s just that promoting the small business, and adding the phrase “good jobs” is nothing more than jingle language on the stump trail.
Regarding the economy, even that of the 50’s to 70’s is far different as to how we make our money now vs then. Without the mechanisms of what was an industrial/producer economy, I can’t see how the 2 periods (cut line 1980) can be looked at for what immigration has lead too. The nation changed it’s economic model and thus it’s economic structure.
Yeah, this is just baffling. Why anyone think that the dramatic change in technology in manufacturing methods, communications and so many other things, the virtual end to labor union power, international trade agreements, the outsize predominance of the finance industry, the change in the very nature of the securities industry, rampant mergers and acquisitions and dramatic consolidation in most industries, and the change in the nature of executive-suite compensation and in the expectations of shareholders–as well as, probably, other things–have no role or a lesser role than the impact of immigration, is beyond my understanding.
Picking a single thing–a personal hobbyhorse, obviously–and attributing to it the effects of many, many other things, is just really strange, because it’s so obviously wrong.
Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio in Italy BEFORE Mussolini made the trains run on time. So I’m confused. And he didn’t even immigrate to America. Instead, all those American immigrants and non-immigrants of Scottish, Irish, English and German ancestry just borrowed his technology, after waking on time each morning and milking their cows on their homesteads.
I’m also confused about how all those Eastern European immigrant Jews managed to build the movie industry and therefore Hollywood and much of LA. It’s my understanding that in Poland, Russia and nearby countries back in the day, most people didn’t have Swiss clocks or watches. Although I think I remember that Tevya was wearing a pocket watch during that scene in which he sang “If I Were a Rich Man.”
“At times, employers have deliberately used illegal immigrants to undermine native-born workers. The janitorial industry in Los Angeles is a case in point. In the early 1980’s, most office-building janitors in Los Angeles were native-born and unionized, their pay averaging twelve dollars an hour. But building owners were able to break the union by switching to lower-cost, non-union cleaning contractors who relied on illegal immigrants pouring into Los Angeles. By the early 1990’s, janitors’ wages in Los Angeles had plunged to seven dollars an hour.”
– Steven Greenhouse, “The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker”, 2008
Beverly, I do not think it is “picking on a single thing.” Rather, it is taking one of those factors that is “low-hanging fruit.” Illegal immigration, and our legal immigration policy, is something that is far easier to deal with than are the other factors you mentioned.
Warren, interestingly there is a word for that: ‘scapegoating’.
Historically it has turned out badly for the goats. And often doesn’t do a damn thing for the scapegoaters. And depending on how the tactic is deployed another phrase comes to mind:
It’s not fruit at all if it has nothing to do with what this post alleges that it caused. As Barkley Rosser says, the opposite of Kimel’s claim is more likely to be true.
1. I lived in Little Rock for 4 years and I happen to be Hispanic. My arrival there no doubt put a sizable uptick in the percentage of Hispanics in the city, and my departure left a commensurate sized hole. The Hispanic presence in the state is not as high as you’d think. Pew (http://www.pewhispanic.org/states/state/ar/) puts it at 7%, giving the state the rank of 29th most Hispanic state in the US.
2. Something you mentioned earlier… I think we can say that some cultures are better than others based on revealed preference. People all over the world are trying to get into the US, Canada, Britain, Northern Europe, Australia and New Zealand. My guess is that with minor tweaks in the labor and welfare laws, Japan would be an equivalently desirable destination. The fact that people want to get to some places much more than anyone else says something about the culture in those places, namely that they are able to generate outcomes that are desirable.
3. The Egyptians were using sun dials and water clocks way back when. It seems the need to tell time long predates industrialization. In Europe, or rather, on European vessels, timekeeping devices were needed to help determine location. I’m not sure what the Egyptians of a few thousand years ago did with their time keeping skills, but I wouldn’t be surprised if knowing the time helps with surveying when you don’t have access to to much more than string and weights. There was, after all, a Greek gentleman some millennia laer who managed to figure out the size of the Earth based in part on a shadow seen at noon on a specific day of the year.
The post didn’t state that immigration laws were set to optimize growth prior to Hart-Cellar. Sure, the US would have been better off with more Samuel Goldwyns and more Enrico Fermis. But the fact that we didn’t let in as many Italian scientists as we could have doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ignore the fact that there are people from cultures which engage in FGM, say, who simply aren’t assimilating very well. I’m sure you could find an example of a 16 year old who had to defend his family’s honor by killing his sister, and who later went on to discover a cure for some awful disease but exceptions are definitely not a rule.
Back to the Eastern European Jews who started movie studios. Samuel Goldwyn didn’t come from Germany, but his birthplace – Warsaw, is not exactly on the other side of the world from Germany. And I’m going to guess he came with some values in common with the typical German. I know nothing about making movies, but I do know that a studio that can’t keep to a schedule won’t survive. Keeping time matters.
Yep. All those Chinese people who came from rural China to work at Foxconn had to go through intensive instruction about how important the concept of time is so that the factories could work under time schedules. And all those Bedouins had to be instructed by Germans about what it means to keep time, before they got into that oil-drilling and refining thing.
You’re definitely right about Poland. My grandmother emigrated from there at the age of 17, and at least by the time I knew her she was an accomplished time-teller and knew of its importance. And she emigrated from Malawa, not sophisticated Warsaw!
There is another word for it, Bruce — OPTIMIZATION.
You direct the energy where it will have the greatest effect.
Yes Warren but when you define “Optimazation” as “Brits and Germans who own Swiss watches” it gets uncomfortably close to “Whitewashing”
Coming to the US is a privilege, not a right. And there a lot more people who want to come the US than we can accommodate. Some years ago, Gallup found that 150 million people would move to the US if they could. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/153992/150-million-adults-worldwide-migrate.aspx) We could easily increase our population by 50% very quickly which would cause major problems.
It doesn’t seem unreasonable to be selective, and to try to pick people who will stand a better chance of being productive and self-sufficient in their new environment.
You were a lot more interesting when you were not an obvious racist.
What did he say that is racist?
You missed my response to Barkley R. His statement doesn’t fit the data.
Your response to Barkley is really strange. Might AZ be eighth from the bottom in change because, say, it’s a magnet for retirees on fixed incomes? And as someone else in the thread noted, Arkansas’ change is related mostly to the poultry processing plants that have grown so much in size and are staffed largely by … Mexican and Central American immigrants.
Ever been to southeastern Michigan? It has a very, very large number of Middle Eastern immigrants—the largest number in the country. Most of the adults work in small, family-owned businesses, not in the auto and auto-supplier industries. The families that own these businesses, including the large number of franchises such as gas stations and fast-food places, but also used-car lots and independent dollar stores or small grocery stores and the like, are … Middle Eastern immigrants.
You really should stop isolating a fact—a statistic or something else—and attributing to it results that cannot be attributed to it just by the fact of the existence of that fact.
If you are going to tell people to go look at your response to me, then let me point out what a stupid and irrelevant response it is. Typical Trump garbage: data does not fit? Use different data!
So, you looked at per capita income growth and found that, wow!, WVA was 23rd from 1960 until recently! And Arkansas was way up high, wow! while California was way down. Case closed.
Sorry, the question is “job creation.” How surprising. If you have lots of people coming in, especially if many of those are taking low wage jobs, you may not have a high growth of per capita income, but you also may be near the top of job creation. AR and WV are not anywhere near the top in job creation, but over the period cited, I think CA has been Number One, but I am going to check.
Anyway, you have just let your brain fall in a toilet. Wrong data set.
This is a quick further response to your stupidity, but I do not have a lot of time to waste because you dropped your brain in the toilet.
So, the quickest I could find was a report on the ten states between 2010-13 that had the highest per capita rates of job growth, a list whose order I suspect has changed and would probably look different if taken over a much longer period, but that I have no doubt is tied to rates of immigration, and this list is highly correlated with percent of immigrants in the population, and does not include AR or WV.
So, do your best at fetching your brain back out of that toilet before you accidentally flush.
Are more immigrants coming in than jobs created?
No. Especially if you discount for family members too young to be immediate entrants to workforce.
Barkley et al,
The question (read the post) is why the data show that more immigrants led to slower job creation using national data. But we can do this by state. For instance, we can look at states with the biggest percent immigration pop in 2000 (I believe they were, not necessarily in order, CA, TX, FL,NJ and NY). Then pull employment data from 2000 and from this year and see where they sit on subsequent job creation. Based on what national data showed in the earlier referenced post, even someone with his brain in the toilet can noodle out what the state data will show but I will be happy to put this on the to do list for another post.
Good news. I located some data. I will write a post.
With so much poop around there must be a horse somewhere. Any way I just wanted to say the effects of legal immigration is mostly good . The effects of illegal immigration is mostly bad. Just plain old common sense here. Nothing to write home about. All the political correctness being expressed is to me about letting way to many illegals in and then having some sort of amnesty given so they can all vote democratic in the future. I would bet that they would like to have them all voting in November if they could. So why would they ever want to vet them properly if they can still have their vote?
Speaking of poop how would the agricultural sector actually function without undocumented immigrants? How about independent roofing contractors? Landscaping companies? Hotels?
You say “mostly bad” and “nothing to write home about” but seems to me that is because you have nothing substantive to say. To the folks at home or right here at AB. “plain old common sense”. Shit Flat Earthers had that. Before most of them were taught to look at evidence and data. Now only the bone ignorant still believe.
“All the political correctness being expressed is to me”. Well that should settle everything! As long as it appears that way to YOU! And Alex Jones. Bill you are too smart to keep that kind of company.
Yves Smith republished this post, with this prefacatory comment:
“Yves here. I wonder if there is a simpler explanation. US immigration policy has come to be about suppressing wages. The suppressing wages operation has been great for those at the top of the food chain at the cost of overall growth.”
Here’s the link: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/09/negative-effects-of-immigration-on-the-economy.html.
Of course, most of U.S. policy since the late ’70s–and in the extreme since Reagan’s inauguration, has been about suppressing wages.
So, Mike. Wanna post something on, say, correlations between concerted anti-labor-union government policy, or a lack of antitrust-law enforcement, or that once MBAs took over most large publicly-owned corporations and began receiving huge compensation packages tied solely to quarterly earnings and stock prices, or the hugely expanded role that the dramatically changed and metastasized finance industry plays in the U.S. economy, or global trade agreements, have played in wage suppression during the period you’re looking at?
It is said that ignorance is bliss. I am certainly ignorant. For example, I am trying to figure out how my comment up thread that elicited such vitriol, namely that states with a relatively large immigrant population tend to have less growth in per capita income is all that different from Yves Smith’s comment about immigration driving down wages. I am also less than ecstatic, so my ignorance is definitely not driving bliss at this time. And yet, in my ignorance, I still wonder whether I am the one who is supposed to be enjoying bliss around here.
Mike you started with this:
Perhaps you don’t see the difference between an argument that new immigrants will tend to undercut wages (because new and ‘hungry’) and one that says that immigrants who do not share language and culture (i.e. ethnicity) thereby are bringing inferior and less efficient skill sets and will “necessarily” suck up more societal resources. At best you are making an identify being “poor” and “inferior”, at worst you are making the kind of argument that used to be made that blacks didn’t make good quarterbacks because they lacked the “necessities”. Whereas the first argument is consistent with arguing that opening the doors to high skilled Indian and Chinese engineers and doctors who will undercut American professionals on wages. (Edit: that is not arguing for inherent inferiority even though willing to work at lower wage price points)
“[How] would the agricultural sector actually function without undocumented immigrants? How about independent roofing contractors? Landscaping companies? Hotels?”
How did they do it before the waves of illegal immigrants?
To be precise, I started a few posts back. This one is intended to explain a result. shown in an earlier post on this topic. That is stated in the first line of the post. It doesn’t matter whether we like what the data says. It says what it says, and I am trying to explain it in this post.
Barkley R then comes around and states that places that have the most immigrants are the ones growing the fastest. Perhaps this is a case of Simpson’s paradox, but that usually isn’t the most efficient explanation. It also misses the point – I noted that immigrants today affect job creation tomorrow, whereas Barkley’s point could be due to immigrants today going where the jobs are today. Since I had already shown that didn’t apply at the national level in the earlier post, I decided to comment on his point by pulling the most accessible data on the topic – income data from the BEA. It wasn’t apples to apples, but supply and demand (see my earlier post on Cesar Chavez), etc…
The fact of the matter is, what Yves Smith wrote is an example of good, my comment on the other hand is an example of bad, and yet, what she wrote and my comment make the same point.
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.
Webb when I talk about common sense in immigration reform this is to the extent of what I mean. For the most part people are kind hearted and good intentioned beings although there are a few bad apples in every barrel. This goes back to the laws of statistical averages in the skiddles comment by DT junior I believe. Second if we look at most past immigration history through NY and SF you can see for the most part the melding pot of diversity was very beneficial to the growth and prosperity of America. Immigration is not a bad thing per say but today’s demands that we must have much better controls of it in a much broader sense of security for all Americans. Therefore much greater controls and vetting processes must become the norm for all immigrants and green card workers. Things are different today and not the same as things were 100 years ago with immigrants coming just wanting to work.
That requires no reform of the laws at all, William. It only requires enforcement of the laws we already have.
Sure, growth yesterday pulls in immigrants today. But you have not remotely shown, and you will not be able to, that more immingrants today means slower growth tomorrow. Places like CA and TX that pull in lots of immigrants just keep on growing, while I think we are going to wait a long time for the lack of immigrants in West Virginia to trigger that massive takeoff in economic growth.
I don’t see your interpretation at all. Must be my ignorance again.
Retread the first sentence of the original post.
OK, Mike, I “retread” your first sentence, which sent me to this earlier post, where I see you are making you arguiment, which is not on the state level, where I think you are going to find just the opposite. Indeed, it looks to me that your result would disappear if you ran job changes this decade against immigration today.
You have done a very odd thing and have only five data points, which means you do not have stat significance. Frankly, why at the natoional level would we expect immigration during one decade to negatively impact job growth in the following decade? Can you give one causal connection on that? I cannot imagine one, and this newly released NAS study, which contains criticisms of immigration’s impact on the economy, says there is no link.
You have really cherry picked hard. The highest rate of immigration was in the 90s when job growth was also very high. But you want to say that high immigration in the 90s played into lower job growth in the 00s. Really? Not even Donald Trump is stupid enough to make argument.
Looks like brain still in toilet, if not fully flushed away.
Just to hammer this home, let us try to figure how this might work. So it might go through the main negative channel the NAS report highlights, that of immigrants on local finances (note we are not at the national level; you just do not have a national level argument). So, Texas has lots of immigrants in the 1990s, so in the 00s they have lots of children pouring in to Texas schools thus burdening local finances. Local governments raise property taxes to cover all this, and this harms job growth. OTOH, West Virginia has few immingrants in the 90s so does not fact this pressure to raise property taxes in its local communiites in the 00s, so should do better. Except that Texas does great and West Virginia remains mired in the dumps.
And, of course, there is no mechanism for anything like this to transllate to the national level. But I await your explanation as to why we see so much growth of jobs in Texes despite this ongoing inpouring of immigrants, while West Virginia’s nearly total lack of any immigrants has so far failed to set it off into a wild blue yonder of job growth.
I suspect you cooked up the bizarre and uper stretched argument you made in that earlier post during a previous episode of your head being in the toilet.
As you say, my brain is in the toilet. But let me try to explain my muddled thinking.
1. 5 data points. Yes. It turns out the Census goes through a lot of effort every 10 years. Those data points are 10 years apart. It isn’t as if they are 5 years one after another. Would results change if all years between the decennial Census were filled in? Possibly, but not probably.
2. “Frankly, why at the natoional level would we expect immigration during one decade to negatively impact job growth in the following decade? Can you give one causal connection on that?” That was the topic of this post. I laid out a few reasons. Why would you expect the arrival of immigrants today not to have any effect on the job market over the next however many years, whether positive or negative? The arrival of immigrants today affects both the supply and demand for labor tomorrow unless they magical disappear, which to be frank, is not something the data seems to show.
3. To focus more on this in particular: ” Can you give one causal connection on that? ” In fact, the point here is causality. If job creation is high, and immigration is high, what leads? Are the immigrants creating jobs or or going to jobs created by others? But if we relate immigration today and job creation over the next decade, we are focusing specifically on the question of whether immigrants create jobs. After all, the argument often made is that immigration creates prosperity. Why wouldn’t someone check that?
4. I went with national level data because its easier to find going back a long way. I thought earlier I had found a source of state level immigration going back several decades. Sadly I was wrong.
5. “Just to hammer this home, let us try to figure how this might work. So it might go through the main negative channel the NAS report highlights, that of immigrants on local finances” Why? You have to get to reason 5b in my post before I even mention taxpayers, which is the closest I get to discussing public finances. None of the mechanisms I mention rely on public finance. And if I was to rely on public finance as an argument for how immigration affects jobs, I could think of several more direct ways than through school spending. Sure, it matters, but it isn’t among the more important mechanisms.
6. TX and WV? If you’re going to compare a large diversified coastal state to a small landlocked state at least go with CA instead of TX. TX’s foreign born pop is about 17%. CA’s is about 27%. And maybe pick a state that doesn’t rely heavily on an industry the federal government is trying to kill. Heck, Montana and Wyoming, and maybe even Vermont are not all that different from WV when it comes to share of the population that is foreign born.
So to summarize for my muddled toilet-dwelling brain… had I been smart enough to avoid cherry picking which I did by going with national level data (which you assure me will provide different results when the next Census gets done) and instead relied on the very generalizable comparison of TX and WV, and had I not decided to try look at causality, and had I thought to rely on an argument based on public finance, then I would have reached the conclusion I should have reached. Good to know.
“Why would you expect the arrival of immigrants today not to have any effect on the job market over the next however many years, whether positive or negative? The arrival of immigrants today affects both the supply and demand for labor tomorrow unless they magical disappear, which to be frank, is not something the data seems to show.”
Maybe you can explain why the fact that someone immigrated here in, say, 1993 be a negative for the job market in, say, 2007, any more than that a native-born American couple’s, say, six kids, born in the decade and a half beginning in 1970 all have reached working age by 2005?
This strikes me as nutty. Why are you distinguishing between native-born Americans and immigrants a decade or two after the immigrants immigrated?
And why NOT look at CA’s jobs growth as compared with MT’s or VT’s, as you suggest? If you can’t find specific statistics, then why not look at unemployment rates or some such?
You simply pick a factor (immigration) and another factor (nationwide job growth) and attribute the second factor to the first, without considering any other factors. That’s just weird.
So I spent my Friday evening scrounging for data and I found some. I hope to have time to play with it this weekend and write something up. As always, I will make my data and spreadsheet available to anyone who wants it.