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View Diary: Proper Comprehensive Immigration Reform (13 comments)

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  •  The "demand" is not the objective (0+ / 0-)

    To say that demand rises because population rises is not disputable. But that isn't the issue.

    Does the immigrant contribute enough to the production pie to satisfy the demand created by the immigrant and his family and does his being in the community increase the size of pie for the rest of the community? Does the immigration actually have a positive effect for the community as well as for the immigrant and the GDP?

    I feel very strongly that the answer to the first part of that question is a definite yes in the vast, vast, majority of cases.  That the immigrants who come here are productive members of the community and that they do not pose any severe burden. But the answer to the second part of that question lies mostly outside the hands of the immigrant just as it does for all those who's income is derived from wages.

    Even if the immigrant produces in excess of his (and his family's demand) what happens to the excess?  If all the excess goes into the pocket of the boss who then uses it to bribe the congress to get even more illicit gains for the boss and the congress then the immigration scenario does not serve the rest of the community and it ultimately deprives the immigrant as well.

    As population increases you can very well be creating a hardship on the community due to increasing economic rent (this actually is an economic fact). Technological advance, real capital development, and division and specialization of labor will enhance productivity and this can relieve the adverse effects of the increase in population.  But such increase in productivity does not insure a proper distribution of output.  So there is no Simple Simon prognostication concerning the effects of immigration even if the immigrants were all college grads.

    It is ultimately political even if it is environmentally sound.

    "I know no safe depository for the ultimate power of society but the people themselves" -- Jefferson

    by TheTrucker on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 12:58:23 AM PST

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    •  I wish I had a cite... (1+ / 0-)
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      TheTrucker

      but I recall reading that the answer to your second question is also a resounding yes. On the city level (and I'm sure this is just as true on the national level), city planners actually use the formula that for each worker brought in from other cities, two new jobs will be created. That is one of the main reasons why many cities compete to grow and bring in more companies (which then will attract the workers, which in turn will create the extra two jobs mentioned before).

      Even if the immigrant produces in excess of his (and his family's demand) what happens to the excess?

      That's actually a moot question. EVERYBODY produces in excess of his demand. Otherwise, he wouldn't be working. If a worker spends $50k annually, he needs to make $50k annually. If he only produced $40k worth of goods, why would the employer keep that person? In fact, he'll probably need to make at least $100k worth of goods (or services) before the employer even starts seeing a profit.

      Also, I want to point out that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with a business being profitable. There is a lot wrong, of course, with today's obscene profits.

      As population increases you can very well be creating a hardship on the community due to increasing economic rent (this actually is an economic fact).

      On the community scale, that is true, but is actually unrelated to immigration. On a national scale, that is not true (at least not for a country as sparsely populated as the USA. It would be different in Bangladesh or much of Western Europe). That is because cities "steal" population from each other. The "loser" cities, such as many smaller midwestern towns, see the reverse effect, reduced rent. So a city will grow regardless of immigration, and will grow at roughly the same rate, too (immigration is miniscule compared with domestic migration).

      The increasing rent is offset by the benefits to the city.

      Now you argue that the benefits are unevenly distributed. And I agree on that front; it is something we have to work on, for instance through stronger unions. But legal immigration actually helps with that, because it gives the legal immigrant the protections of labor law.

      Army 1st Lt. Ehren T. Watada, Lt. Cdr USN Matthew Diaz, SPC Eli Israel: true American heroes.

      by sdgeek on Wed Dec 19, 2007 at 07:21:39 AM PST

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