War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength
A piece of work is Professor Walter E. Williams of George Mason University. Back in February, I flagged a column by Williams in which the nimble prof performed the lump-of-labor fallacy shuck and jive. One of the venues for that rendition of Will Automation Kill Our Jobs was David (“Trump is 100% right”) Horowitz’s FrontPage Mag.
Little did I know at the time that just three weeks earlier, Williams had penned a defense of Trump’s (Sessions’s, Miller’s) immigration policy, Immigration Lies and Hypocrisy also published at FrontPage Mag. One may admire the accuracy of article’s heading as a label of its contents until one realizes it is not actually intended as a confession.
I wrote to Professor Williams about the bizarre discrepancy between his January 30th column and his February 20th claims. I don’t really expect to hear back.
Dear Professor Williams,
I appreciate that you “can’t respond to every query” but my question raises urgent questions of morality and intellectual integrity. In February of this year, you wrote an opinion piece decrying the so-called “lump-of-labor fallacy” that you claim lurks behind concerns that automation will “kill jobs.” I noticed that one outlet that carried your syndicated column was David Horowitz’s “FrontPage Mag.”
Today, the Guardian featured an interview with Mr. Horowitz in which he asserted that Donald Trump’s immigration policy is “100% right.” Horowitz, the article notes, was a mentor to Stephen Miller, the Trump advisor who in 2015 authored Senator Sessions’s “Immigration Handbook for the New Republican Majority.” Here are a few excerpts from that document:
The last four decades have witnessed the following: a period of record, uncontrolled immigration to the United States; a dramatic rise in the number of persons receiving welfare; and a steep erosion in middle class wages. But the only “immigration reforms” discussed in Washington are those pushed by interest groups who want to remove what few immigration controls are left in order to expand the record labor supply even further.
No issue more exposes the Democrats’ colossal hypocrisy than their support for an immigration agenda pushed by the world’s most powerful interest groups and businesses that clearly results in fewer jobs and lower wages for Americans.
Here are the findings from a poll of likely U.S. voters commissioned by GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway:
- 77% of respondents said jobs should go to current U.S.-born workers or legal immigrants already in the country—instead of bringing in new workers to fill those jobs
- 88% of conservatives, 78% of moderates, 78% of independents, 71% of Democrats and 62% of liberals says current U.S. workers should get jobs preference
- 80% of respondents said businesses should recruit the currently unemployed instead of expanding the labor supply with new workers from other countries
How are any members of the Democrat caucus going to explain why they are determined to provide instant work permits to every illegal immigrant and visa overstay in the country? How are they going to explain why they want to double the number of guest workers when we don’t have enough jobs for the workers here right now? How are they going to explain why they voted for legislation that will surge the labor supply at a time when wages are down and a record number of Americans can’t find work?
As you will no doubt agree, these arguments conform with what you have denounced in your column as a lump of labor fallacy. In fact, at the time the handbook came out, Walter Ewing of the American Immigration Council countered the handbook’s claims with one of the fallacy claim’s stock surrogates — the “not a zero sum game” rebuttal:
Employment is not a “zero sum” game in which workers compete for some fixed number of jobs. Immigrant workers spend their wages in U.S. businesses—buying food, clothes, appliances, cars, etc. Businesses respond to the presence of these new workers and consumers by investing in new restaurants, stores, and production facilities. And immigrants themselves are 30 percent more likely than the native-born to start their own business. The end result is more jobs for more workers. The economic contributions of unauthorized immigrants in particular would be amplified were they given a way to earn legal status.
So, what does Walter E. Williams think of this Trumpian lump-of-labor fallacy policy? Judging from your column published in January of this year, people who disagree with that policy are liars and hypocrites. Your automation column was published about three weeks after your immigration column. How do you reconcile the discrepancy?
Do you see those poll numbers? Regardless of whether it was the cretinous Kelly Anne Conway who commissioned them, they probably are not too far off from reality. If the Democrats buy into your “thinking” on this issue, they are going to lose the next two elections and Trump will get his full 8 years. Tens of millions of people are horribly suffering from the lack of good jobs. Illegal aliens are the perfect foil for an authoritarian politician like Trump to bash to score political points. That’s how he won in 2016–he saw an open path to the presidency no one else saw because they were blinded by the tired conventional “wisdom.”
Citizens of any country have a right to expect that their government will control the borders in a manner that is advantageous to its citizens. If the government is no longer perceived as doing that, especially when they are facing dire economic times, they will flush that government and get a new one. That’s what’s happening now, and it will continue to happen as long as people like you with comfy, secure, professional class jobs keep preaching the same old garbage from your ivory towers.
You may not have read my previous post on this matter or be familiar with my track record. You are agreeing with my position. The “conventional wisdom” — and F***ing so-called “liberal” economists in particular — created a golden opportunity for a demagogue and then did virtually nothing to stop him but wring their hand and clutch their pearls.
I’ll name a few names: Clintonites Paul Krugman and Larry Summers, Blairites Richard Layard and Jonathan Portes. These are people who should know better but they don’t know how ignorant they are. I am so angry I could spit. These “new Keynesians” sacrificed democracy (and possibly civilization) on the alter of perpetual “growth” uber alles (even if it meant fudging the numbers by inflating the labour supply).
I was in Mexicali last week visiting a customer, a potential customer for the Korean company I work with in the US. It is a different experience than working with Thais, Chinese, Malaysians, Filipinos, Germans, Czechs, etc. I find them to be more distant and I am assuming it is due to the owner.
Coming out of Mexico and waiting in a really fast line (20 minutes) to get through customs was a delight as compared to 1-2 hours going through at Juarez. About 12 car/SUV lanes going. I was in the Ready line due to my Global Entry ID which I wonder if that may be list of who are potential powerful people in the US for use by the Millers and Spencers of the US.
Scattered amongst those lines are Mexicans selling their wares or providing a service other than sales such as cleaning your car windows. Since the inside of a rental car is potentially more dirty than the outside (Enterprise never really wipes the inside down adequately), I usually pass it up and give a $ anyway. There is always work to be done; but, it may not be in the same function as one may have grown accustom to and the gains from it are smaller.
Automation, job migration overseas, and process improvement/change are eliminating opportunities or minimizing the need for labor in producing a physical product thereby making a higher income harder to come-by. The need for Labor has diminished unless one wants to be a window wiper or sell plastic Jesuses/velvet paintings in the Ready lanes. It is no secret.
The promise was with these improvements would go the gains from this increase in productivity. From what I read and hear from Denis/rjs, and my own experience, those gains are staying with Capital/Owner class who are also getting the bulk of the tax cuts which simultaneously destroys more jobs than it develops and distributes little in GDP growth (4 tenths of 1% this go-around (Reagan to Bush to trump).
I think we can agree shorter work weeks would solve much of the issue even if the COM went up a bit which would be a lesser cost than an idle work force on welfare. As soon as Dems promote that as a solution, I think Repubs would fire back with theft of Capital from the 1% which many of those siding with Repubs would see it as stealing their ability to become wealthy.
I think there is a solution there.
Does immigration contribute? Sure it does and it is more readily apparent because people physically exist as compared to a process change. Immigration also gives us a younger work force.
” That’s how he won in 2016–he saw an open path to the presidency no one else saw because they were blinded by the tired conventional “wisdom.””
The only thing trump did differently than any gop candidate in the last 50 years was to bring his racism center stage. Oh, and he did lie more than any human being I have ever seen.
But as long as he is flagrantly racist, his voters do not care about the lies.