More From Borjas on Immigration in 1996
More from the 1996 Borjas article on Immigration I cited yesterday. All of this should be familiar to anyone who has been reading my posts. It’s also the same findings for which I keep getting attacked in comments. The funny thing is, numbers are numbers and the results are the same whether I do the analysis or a Harvard professor does it:
Consider the received wisdom of the early 1980s. The studies available suggested that even though immigrants arrived at an economic disadvantage, their opportunities improved rapidly over time. Within a decade or two of immigrants’ arrival their earnings would overtake the earnings of natives of comparable socioeconomic background. The evidence also suggested that immigrants did no harm to native employment opportunities, and were less likely to receive welfare assistance than natives. Finally, the children of immigrants were even more successful than their parents. The empirical evidence, therefore, painted a very optimistic picture of the contribution that immigrants made to the American economy.
In the past ten years this picture has altered radically. New research has established a number of points.
• The relative skills of successive immigrant waves have declined over much of the postwar period. In 1970, for example, the latest immigrant arrivals on average had 0.4 fewer years of schooling and earned 17 percent less than natives. By 1990 the most recently arrived immigrants had 1.3 fewer years of schooling and earned 32 percent less than natives.
• Because the newest immigrant waves start out at such an economic disadvantage, and because the rate of economic assimilation is not very rapid, the earnings of the newest arrivals may never reach parity with the earnings of natives. Recent arrivals will probably earn 20 percent less than natives throughout much of their working lives.
• The large-scale migration of less-skilled workers has done harm to the economic opportunities of less-skilled natives. Immigration may account for perhaps a third of the recent decline in the relative wages of less-educated native workers.
• The new immigrants are more likely to receive welfare assistance than earlier immigrants, and also more likely to do so than natives: 21 percent of immigrant households participate in some means-tested social-assistance program (such as cash benefits, Medicaid, or food stamps), as compared with 14 percent of native households.
• The increasing welfare dependency in the immigrant population suggests that immigration may create a substantial fiscal burden on the most-affected localities and states.
• There are economic benefits to be gained from immigration. These arise because certain skills that immigrants bring into the country complement those of the native population. However, these economic benefits are small — perhaps on the order of $7 billion annually.
• There exists a strong correlation between the skills of immigrants and the skills of their American-born children, so that the huge skill differentials observed among today’s foreign-born groups will almost certainly become tomorrow’s differences among American-born ethnic groups. In effect, immigration has set the stage for sizable ethnic differences in skills and socioeconomic outcomes, which are sure to be the focus of intense attention in the next century.
The United States is only beginning to observe the economic consequences of the historic changes in the numbers, national origins, and skills of immigrants admitted over the past three decades. Regardless of how immigration policy changes in the near future, we have already set in motion circumstances that will surely alter the economic prospects of native workers and the costs of social-insurance programs not only in our generation but for our children and grandchildren as well.
But let us be realistic. You don’t need to be a numbers person to reason any of this out. In the age of Google, all this is fairly obvious to anyone who cares to think about the issue.
Think of the skills the nineteenth century immigrants brought — zero.
Do today’s immigrants get on welfare. Surprise; their American raised (and relatively to the old country: spoiled) progeny will shy away from the $400/wk jobs spawned by a 6% union busted labor market.
Collective bargaining (backed by centralized bargaining) — AS THE NORM — would set the price of labor by the max the consumer is willing to pay — rather than the min the suffering employee is willing to settle for. Upshot: immigrants wont out compete natives for employment — what with their English and other deficits.
We have 40 million immigrants here. 12 million are illegal. 8 million (just a guess) are overworked, underpaid Mexicans. Are we going to build a Maginot Line to keep them out in the future — we’ll be the laughing stock of the world. How many construction tens of billions and how many guards are we going to mass at the border to keep these people from working for us cheap?
Trump isn’t the only one proposing a wall.
Heck, it isn’t even the only the US is associated with. Since 2008 the American taxpayer has been funding the construction of this:
As senators, Obama and Clinton both voted in favor of a 700 mile fence.
As Senators Clinton and Obama sat in a different position. Would you like me to list what Trump has said as a citizen?
It seems to me that immigrants are not a homogeneous stream whose success or failure can be measured over time without looking at their composition. They have choices about where they want to go.
First, they want to move to a country where they will be better off than in their country of origin. For many immigrants, this still leaves a wide open field of dozens of possibilities.
But then secondly, they want to choose a country where they will do the best they can in terms of education, human rights, social services, health care, rule of law, etc.
Over the past thirty years, the US has slipped in those categories. The health care problem alone would be enough to keep discerning people away. Or, such people might come for a few months or years of work, consultancy, teaching, or some such, but not to stay as permanent residents.
With this in mind, perhaps the difference you see in your figures is a result of self-selection by the most competent, who decide that Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, France or Germany are much better choices.
Healthcare is determined by the healthcare industry in the US. Do not believe for one minute it is legitimate.
I am still internet less so I cannot do much searching. I don’t know much about the other countries’ programs but I do know that Canada’s criteria are more selective than those used by the US:
What difference, at this point, does it make what Trump said as a private citizen, he had no real influence in international political affairs, unless you believe that Trump’s political donations pushed Clinton’s, Schumer’s and Biden’s 2006 vote to yay, but didn’t influence Kennedy, Kerry or Lautenberg.
In contrast as Federal legislators, Obama and Clinton voted to build a wall, sorry, a fence, that was 700 miles long. Trump as a candidate for the executive office has proposed building a wall that’s 1000 miles long. Quoting someone more eloquent than me: “[Vote for] a 700 mile fence, and you’re the champion of diversity and all that is right in the world; support a 1000 mile wall and there’s no possible explanation besides white nationalism?”
“But let us be realistic. You don’t need to be a numbers person to reason any of this out. In the age of Google, all this is fairly obvious to anyone who cares to think about the issue.”
possibly the most fatuous sentence i have read all day.
a good reason not to vote for Obama or Clinton
but Trump will take us to new lows. if you can’t see the ugliness is his rhetoric, or if you don’t think it will have consequences… well, i’d have to suspect there is something not nice about you too.
it takes enormous effort to create a civilized society out of the squabbling apes we started out as, and the organized thugs we became for the nest million years, and only gradually, step by step have we created the possibility of a world where most of us most of the time can live in relative security. Trump doesn’t want to repeal the New Deal, he wants to repeal what makes us human.