Skip to main content

In a recent comment to a diary presented by Duke1676 I used some very inflammatory name calling in combating what is a significant amount distortion in the actual economics of illegal immigration.  While those calling themselves "progressives" are obviously quite kind and forgiving folk who have a certain sentimentality "caring" about the less fortunate, it is never a good thing to ignore economic realities; not good to ignore  and the price of these sentiments being paid by those who may not be quite so altruistic. The problem is that a great many of these "less than generous" common folks will soon crowd into the voting booths and register their dismay at the flood of illegal labor that continues to enter our country from the south and contribute to the increasing wealth disparity and to adversely effect their prosperity.  We are all acutely aware of the jingoistic bigotry of the Republican party and their feigned fascination with law enforcement for their own political purposes.  This diary seeks to expand on the actual economics of immigration (legal and illegal) without all the heat, emotion, misdirection, and political posturing.

Going directly to the core of the issue it is important to understand that physical realities are not overcome by sentiment or caring or fancy economic posturing.  I become quite vexed when I see otherwise intelligent human beings indulging in flights of fancy that are disputed by objective reality.  Even more do I become angered when I start to believe that people intentionally distort the economic facts so as to finance an idea or object whether that object is wholesome or not. When I see it happening I think of using 9/11 to legitimize an invasion of Iraq.  For me, distortion is bad regardless of the objective. And then there is the fine line between "spin" (presenting the facts in a way that is favorable to your argument) and actual misleading and incorrect claims.  I often take the liberty of referring to the latter as "lies".

I will tell you all flat out that illegal immigration has an adverse effect on jobs and wages for the "working class" of America and I intend to defend that point of objective reality using all classical economics and logic and reason necessary to refute those who would claim otherwise.  I do not normally argue by citing supposed "authorities" other than classical economists.  I will warn you all that I take a very dim view of latter day neoclassical economics and find it to be a glorified school of "finance" as opposed to any true pursuit of political economy.  And with the exception of Marx, and Henry George, most all of the various "schools of economics" have biased themselves in favor of the wealthy and the powerful at all times.  The latter day neoclassicals are just a little more blatant about this bias.

In true Physiocratic, classical, Marxian form I will always separate the divisions of economic humanity into "classes" and even "subclasses" so as to deal with the realities as opposed to making false generalizations.  The "working class" are the less educated and less resourceful members of the society who are not especially talented, and who own no capital of significance (no trucks, backhoes, laundry or restaurant equipment, an inventory of direct sales items, etc) and who strictly work for wages.   The "Working class" is a subclass of the "Producing class" which is the entire sector of the economy that actually produces or delivers goods and services and the return to this class can include neoclassical "profit" which is the return from the USE of "capital" (trucks, small convenience stores, bulldozers, lawn maintenance equipment, even fleets of trucks and similar equipment).  Then there is the "ownership class" which are the individuals that invest their money in the ownership of land and real capital so as to derive neoclassical "rent" and "interest" respectively.  Examples of this are the ownership if common stock or the ownership of a tool rental business that derives income form renting out the tools, car rental, structures such as office buildings and apartments. If the income is "passive" (the owner of the land or real capital does not actually participate in the USE of the equipment or land) then the income is rightfully called "interest" or "rent" depending upon whether the income is from the provisioning of real capital or the "letting" of land..  Then there is the "financial class" who derive their income solely from the lending of money or the extension of credit.  Assuming hard money such as gold or silver the income would be termed interest.  But in the case of credit the income is more appropriately styled as "economic rent".

Now having defined the proper relationships within the economy/society it is possible to actually speak to the effects of legal and illegal immigration on the various classes or economic groups.  And in this discussion I will address various proclamations of the latter day school of neoclassical economics to illustrate why the classifications are necessary in truthfully dealing with the real economics.  The neoclassical school has been refuted utterly by the "Cambridge Capital Controversy" in which it is shown that the aggregations of land and capital or even the various forms of capital are not mathematically defensible.  This same irrefutable refutation (primarily of marginalism calculus) holds true for most of what the neoclassical school presents as economics.  By aggregating classifications that should not be aggregated the neoclassical nincompoops are able to claim that certain economic effects derive where they truly do not.  This misrepresentation goes hand in hand with the claims of the more altruistic and caring individuals who wish to help the migrant Mexicans. By aggregating "illegal immigration" with "green card immigrants" and then also by mixing macroeconomic effects with the more pointed and direct adverse micro effects they present a false picture of the reality that harms working class Americans.  There are ways to mitigate the harm by properly addressing the problems of immigration and foreign policy.  But we do ourselves a disservice by pretending that the wage problems do not exist.

The following neoclassical proclamations/cites (taken from an attempted rebuttal some of my comments) will serve as examples of the "false economics" used to claim that "illegal Immigration" is not harmful to "working class" wages.  These false aggregations are the love child of a profession supported by the "owner class".

Its about wages but the following assertion has wage effects:

# JOB LOSS:

Comparative Advantages and Gains from Immigration
by Giovanni Peri (University of California, Davis and NBER), Chad Sparber (Colgate University) April, 2007, (Immigrants have little effect on jobs of US high school dropouts. Foreign and native-born workers with similarly low educational attainment in fact compliment each other in the workforce rather than compete. Using forty years of data the study looked at the actual tasks performed by each class of workers to see what jobs were being done by native-born workers as opposed to foreign born workers.The study found that foreign born workers perform more manual and physical tasks, while native-born workers do tasks that are more language-intensive and interactive, and that native-born workers benefit from this specialization)

This supposed "refutation" of micro economic reality is typical neoclassical pig manure.  The neoconomists would have you believe that the prosperity of "working class" persons is unaffected by immigration because the people that would have been disadvantaged will now specialize in supervising the immigrants. But simply assume that undocumented people would not have shown up and ask yourself what would have been the result.  Assuming the same demand for whatever was being produced, there would have been some combination of less production, or higher prices and, higher wages for the "working class". The false claim that "native-born workers benefit" is actually contradicted below by the exact same same bloviating nimrod neoconomist that makes this preposterous assertion here.

But the primary "snake oil" in this one is the trumpeted gain from "comparative advantage".

Attend:

Comparative advantage is a macro economic effect that engenders no return to wages. The gains of "comparative advantage" are bestowed as interest, profits, and rents.  I wonder if it is even remotely possible that normal people understand this or have any real clue.  This FACT is one of the primary reasons that rising GDP has not been a boon to the working class (or even the producing class) and this is quite evident from observing the current Republican "economy".  "Comparative advantage" is observed between NATIONS, And it is NOT a positive wage effect. And as we will see later, the adverse rent effects act as a wage deflator even if nominal wages remain flat.  There are more jobs but there are more people looking for jobs.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Again we are specifically addressing workin class wages but the following assrtion has wage implications:

# JOB LOSS:  (we were speaking of wages but again this includes a wage assertion)

The Diffusion of Mexican Immigrants During the 1990s: Explanations and Impacts
by David Card, Ethan G. Lewis, NBER Working Paper No. 11552, Issued in August 2005  (low-skilled Mexican immigrants are readily absorbed into the workforce and have little effect on low-skilled native workers.)

The wage data and employment data for the 90's is very compelling as it was the only period in the last 40 years where wages actually rose.  However, to use this data as support of preposterous claims concerning effects of immigration on working class wages is disingenuous at best.  The demand for labor increased in the 90's due to the actions of the Democratic Congress in 1990 and then again in 1993 restoring a rational tax policy.  These alterations in tax policy caused a shift from bonds to equities creating a very prosperous and growing economy throughout the 90's.  The Republican Congress created an actual demand bubble with their ridiculous capital gains tax cuts of 1997.  In such a robust economy it is possible to "absorb more workers" without clobbering wages.  But that is not the point, however.  What would the wages gains have been WITHOUT the arrival of the undocumented workers? HMMMMMMMMMMM? Or what would have been the effects of increased illegal immigration if the 90's would have been a period of economic downturn like that which is currently manifesting itself here in 2008?

-------------------------------------------------------------

Again the following assertion has wage impliations:

# JOB LOSS:  (we were speaking of wages but again this has a wage assertion)

Growth in the Foreign-Born Workforce and Employment of the Native Born
by Rakesh Kochhar, Associate Director for Research, Pew Hispanic Center, August 2006, (no relationship between the growth in the foreign-born population and employment outcomes for native-born workers)

And what the hell would you expect from the "Pew Hispanic Center".  This is simply a proclamation from a supposed "authoritative source" that cannot be relied upon to be unbiased. Why anyone would cite such a source in defense of a claim concerning adverse effects of illegal immigration is to me, unfathomable.

--------------------------------------------------------------

More wage implications:

# JOB LOSS:  (we were speaking of wages)

The Diffusion of Mexican Immigrants During the 1990s: Explanations and Impacts
by David Card, Ethan G. Lewis, NBER Working Paper No. 11552, Issued in August 2005  (low-skilled Mexican immigrants are readily absorbed into the workforce and have little effect on low-skilled native workers.)

MY detractor liked this one so much he had to repeat it. There is no justifiable claim of cause and effect here other than the irrefutable data illustrating the health of the economy during the nineties as THAT contributed to the ability of the economy to "absorb" the immigrants.  The cause of the robust economy was not the arrival of the immigrants.  The cause of the robust economy (and the Republican overheat) was tax policy.
--------------------------------------------------------

At last we have some headings about wages

# WAGES

Task Specialization, Comparative Advantages, and the Effects of Immigration on Wages, by Giovanni Peri (University of California, Davis and NBER), Chad Sparber (Colgate University). August 2007, National Bureau Of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 13389 (Looking at data for the 50 US states (plus the District of Columbia) from 1960 to 2000 the report shows that foreign-born workers specialize in occupations that require manual tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and building. Immigration causes natives — who have a better understanding of local networks, rules, customs, and language — to pursue jobs requiring interactive tasks such as coordinating, organizing, and communicating. Simulations show that this increased specialization mitigated negative wage consequences of immigration for less-educated native-born workers, especially in states with large immigration flows.)

I wonder if folks understand the meaning of the word "mitigated" or if they even bother to account for the context in which it has been used here.  This bloviation says that the American workers would have been worse off with the arrival of the additional competition for wages had specialization not taken place.  It is tacitly admitted here that the adverse effects of the enlarged labor pool were SOFTENED due to "specialization".  I have already informed you that "comparative advantage" is a return to rent and profit and NOT a return to wages. Further, average wages are not a metric that can be employed to assess the micro-economic effects at the low end.  As CEO wages increase astronomically the "average" wage will rise even though the wages on the low end are stagnant or slightly falling. There is also the indiscriminate translation of rent into profit and wages by the aggregating neoclassical people that allows them to present wage claims at the top that are actually inflated by economic rent.

-----------------------------------------------------------

# WAGES & RENTS

The Effects of Immigration on U.S. Wages and Rents: A General Equilibrium Approach, by Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, (University of Bologna, FEEM and CEPR), Giovanni Peri, (UC Davis and NBER),  Sept, 2007,  Centre for Economic Policy Research (This paper documents a strong positive correlation of immigration flows with changes in average wages and average house rents for native residents across U.S. states.. Separating the effects of immigrants on natives of different schooling levels we find positive effects on the wages and rents of highly educated and small effects on the wages (negative) and rents (positive) of less educated. We propose a model where natives and immigrants of three different education levels interact in production in a central district and live in the surrounding region. In equilibrium the inflow of immigrants has a positive productive effect on natives due to complementarieties in production as well as a positive competition effect on rents. The model calibrated and simulated with U.S.-states data matches most of the estimated effects of immigrants on wages and rents of natives in the period 1990-2005.)

There is no way in hell that normal people can come close to understanding what these wonks are saying here. And in no way are they refuting the claim that ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS contribute to working class wage deterioration.  If nothing else we see the magic words "IMMIGRANTS" and "AVERAGE WAGE" used again in this "model" as opposed to any clear distinction between IMMIGRANTS and undocumented workers, and the necessary distinction between "working class" wages and average wages is also missing.

But lets pick the embedded FACT out of the juiced up econobable:

"Separating the effects of immigrants on natives of different schooling levels we find positive effects on the wages and rents of highly educated and small effects on the wages (negative) and rents (positive) of the less educated."  

I will now give you a proper interpretation:

It says that the CEO's got higher wages and collected more rent from the land they owned while the working class (defined here as the less educated) paid HIGHER rents while having their wages go negative. And if the "model" shows something other than that, then the "model" is simply based on false assumptions and defective math. Economics is not sorcery.  The babble ADMITS to:

"small effects on the wages (negative)"

and

"rents (positive)"

It is the latter that bears examination in that rent is a COST to the "working class" as opposed to an income.  As rents move in a "positive" direction then so to does the cost of living for the "working class".
------------------------------------------------------------

# WAGES & RENTS

How Immigration Affects U.S. Cities , by David Card, UC Berkeley, June 2007, Centre for Economic Research and Analysis of Migration, Discussion Paper ,CDP No 11/07  (This paper describes the effects of immigration on overall population growth and the skill composition of cities, focusing on the connection between immigrant inflows and the relative number of less-skilled workers in the local population. The labor market impacts of immigrant arrivals can be offset by outflows of natives and earlier generations of immigrants. Empirically, however, these offsetting flows are small, so most cities with higher rates of immigration have experienced overall population growth and a rising share of the less-skilled. These supply shifts are associated with a modest widening of the wage gap between more and less-skilled natives, coupled with a positive effect on average native wages. Beyond the labor market, immigrant arrivals also affect rents and housing prices, government revenues and expenses, and the composition of neighborhoods and schools. The effect on rents is the same magnitude as the effect on average wages, implying that the average "rent burden" (the ratio of rents to incomes) is roughly constant. The local fiscal effects of increased immigration also appear to be relatively small.)

Here again it is repeated that wealth disparity is increased by the influx of unskilled and undocumented labor and that rents increase due to the increasing population.  It is plain to most of us that the obscene wages at the top distort the "average wage" to an extent that makes such a metric unusable in discussions of mean wages and the effects below mean.  People CLEARLY do not understand what these neoconomists are actually saying and this is the game they play in their support of the "owning class".
------------------------------------------------------------------

# WAGES:

How Immigrants Affect California Employment and Wages
by Giovanni Peri, University of California- Davis, Public Policy Institute of California, February, 2007 (studying 40 years of data, report finds the flow of immigrants into California has helped increase wages and job opportunities for native-born workers)

My initial reaction was that this was just a blatant lie.  But after due consideration of housing costs (rent) in California it is quite possible to get away with this subterfuge.  This has to do with the HONEST definition of real wages as opposed to the neoconomist definition.  The neoconomist definition of real wages is the wage as adjusted to the cpi (adjusted for inflation). The HONEST definition of "real wages" is what you have left after you pay the $*&%^&$ rent.  The mirage is that the workers in California are better off due to the "apparent" rise in wages.  But the increased rents caused by the increasing population will eat up all these apparent gains and then some.  As usual it is possible for neoconomists to make claims concerning the aggregate that simply do not hold true in the specific.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

# WAGES:  

Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages
by Gianmarco Ottaviano and Giovanni Peri, NBER Summer Institute, August 2006 (There is a positive and significant effect of immigration on the average wage of U.S.-born workers)

Here again "average wage" is irrelevant to any discussion of what is happening at the lower end.  The previous discussions have already established this.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

# WAGES:  

Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?
by David Card, Department of Economics, UC Berkeley, January 2005 (wages of native dropouts are not effected by the supply of less-educated foreign workers)

This is flatly contradicted by: "The Effects of Immigration on U.S. Wages and Rents: A General Equilibrium Approach, by Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, (University of Bologna, FEEM and CEPR), Giovanni Peri, (UC Davis and NBER),  Sept, 2007,  Centre for Economic Policy Research "  As presented above.
------------------------------------------------------------------

# WAGES:  

Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S.
by Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, Giovanni Peri,  NBER Working Paper No. 11672, Issued in October 2005 (overall immigration generates a large positive effect on the average wages of U.S.-born workers)

Average wage again.  Wages earned by CEO's, baseball stars and, insurance salesmen will tend to mask the effects on "working class" wages. The reality is increasing wealth disparity.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

This completes the list of supposed "refutations" of my correct economic analysis of the effects of illegal immmigration on working class wages and working class prosperity.  And ecah has been dealt with in turn.

The proper solution to the problem bears repeating:  The amnesty for current illegals must include "green cards: that do not limit the job mobility of the new workers.  There must be an increase in LEGAL immigration quotas,  And there must be enforcement of immigration laws.  The increas in immigration will STILL adversely effect the working class, but the advrese effetcs can be offset by increaese in heath care subsidies, education subsidies, FICA tax cuts, and other fiscal policies.

Originally posted to TheTrucker on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:28 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  This is a pretty ridiculous diary (6+ / 0-)

    If you are trying to claim that the soaring cost of housing in California is due to immigration, you're going to have to square that with the ongoing affordability of housing in Texas - which has just as much immigration as we in California.

    Ultimately whining about immigration is merely an effort to scapegoat innocent people while taking our eyes off the real causes of our economic collapse - macroeconomic policies designed to transfer wealth to bankers and investors at everyone else's expense. When the history of this second great depression is written immigration will be but a footnote.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:33:48 PM PST

    •  What's Ridiculous.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justCal, dconrad

      ...is suggesting that the endless pipeline of cheap labor made possible by illegal immigration isn't one of the most vital cogs in the wheel of "the real causes of our economic collapse".  I like to think of myself as somewhere in the middle on immigration and don't necessarily agree with everything in this diary, but always recoil when I see "progressives" making close variations on the pro-immigration arguments coming from Grover Norquist.

    •  You obviously did not actually red the diary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark27, justCal, dconrad

      There is no claim that ALL of the increase in Ca. land rent is due to immigration.  There is no "whining about immigration" in the diary.  And the failure of NAFTA because of the financial aspects has been noted in my other diaries.  This diary is about the adverse effect on working class wages posed by illegal immigration.  The macro effects are also covered where appropriate.  Your comment seems purely emotional.

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

      by TheTrucker on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:08:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rents (0+ / 0-)

    Rents were pretty much flat during the housing bubble.    They are predicted to increase now that the bubble has burst and renting becomes more attractive.

    •  Economic rent is not the same as apartment rents (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dconrad

      But in this case the two are treated similary by the neoclassical folk that I am criticising.  I am just taking them for what they have actually said and demonstrating why it is wrong.

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

      by TheTrucker on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:11:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, I get that, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Avila, nio, Nightprowlkitty

        Must say, I had quite a bit of trouble understanding your diary, and this is coming from someone who reads a number of economic blogs and publications on a daily basis.  To be honest, it seems like you are dressing up your language to obscure what in the end are some pretty simple arguments that do not stand up to claims of absolute truth.  You propose solutions to the problems of immigration in your last paragraph, but even those are unclear to me.  Just sayin'.

  •  Most of Your Points Ring True... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dconrad, toddpw

    ....and as someone who grew up in a Midwestern food processing town devastated by declining wages made possible through a revolving door of low-wage immigant labor, I can speak on the issue more personal experience that most of your critics are likely to.

    The "Kossack wing" of the Democratic Party is probably gonna give you a rhetorical spankin' for raising these inconvenient truths.....and I fear it's one of many things going on in American politics today that will push the working-class into the arms of the Republican Party beyond 2008.

  •  Increased prices (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nightprowlkitty

    in food, gasoline, and health care, I have a feeling, are what most affects the average working person.

  •  Stagnant to declining real wages (0+ / 0-)

    are not exclusive to the working class.  Middle class professionals have been hard hit these past eight years as well.

    •  I recognize the decline in wages across the board (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opendna, dconrad

      But this diary is concerned with working class wages as affected by illegal immigration.  I do not claim that this problem transmutes itself to the entire "productive class". That may or may not be the case,  But it is not part of my thesis in this diary.

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

      by TheTrucker on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:21:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tech workers have H1-B visa immigrants. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        justCal, dconrad, TheTrucker

        There's a white collar version of this, all right.

        These days tech companies start offices in Canada, China, and India so they can simply avoid hiring in America.

        The "Information Economy" is a fantasy. It might have worked had they really kept those jobs here in America.

        Seriously, the globalists will say anything to delay the revolt, and the longer we give them the benefit of the doubt, the more screwed we will be.

        Global mobility of capital has enabled the boycotting of whole governments. If this is not global Plutocracy by proxy vote, then what is?

        by toddpw on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:33:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mexico and the United States are economically (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nightprowlkitty, blueness, TheTrucker

    conjoined (unequal) twins. The Mexican economy is thoroughly penetrated by US corporate power. The US draws its economic colonies ever closer; so who do you want to crack down on? the voteless disenfranchised migrant worker... yes there's some economic displacement... there was some displacement when Chinese workers were paid less than white men in Californa (and were met with lynchings) . . . there was displacement when African-Americans finally got some jobs in the steel industry after WWI... as strike-breakers, no less. . . divide & rule

    the Mexican migrant/immigrant worker is an integral part of the US economy and the US labor market--you can no more expel her than tear off your own fingers...

    one way to avoid large new immigrant populations would be not to invade and interfere with the process of social change in other countries... every intervention creates new labor market links and pathways, for refugees populations we help create: Dominican Republic; Vietnam; El Salvador

    divide & rule, divide & rule:

    anti-immigrant populism is the populism of fools

    "It takes a wholly childish vote to raze a village"

    by juancito on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 12:59:46 AM PST

    •  I have offered the correct solutions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueness

      But they are not politically easy to do.  As you have said, the US corpotopia has invaded all the nations to the south and everywhere they have penetrated the working class has been disenfranchised economically and politically.  The targets of the "crackdown" (as you put it) are the coporations and the plutocrats. The economic remedy is simple enough but the political support is still lacking.  Such solutions are very often achieved only through outright revolution.  The probelm with revolution is that there is no way to predict what will happen after the current thieves are removed.

      The last object of any "crackdown" would be the "working class" and that term most certainly includes the migrant workers.  If you read the last portion of my diary you would have seen that I am all for legalization that enhances the mobility of those who come here. The farm stuff is hard to change because it has been going om for so long, but migrant workers are not migrant because they like it any more than I, as a long haul trucker, actually like not having a real home.  The solution to the actual problem is the improvement of conditions in Mexico (I will normally center on Mexico because it is close and convenient though I realize that central and south America are part of the troubled area also).

      It is easy for me as an ivory tower observer to suggest alterations in someone else's life.  But the remedy I offer is not without truthy academic support:  The natural resources of Mexico must be nationalized and the economic rent from those resources distributed equally to all Mexican voters.   This can be done in varying measure using an ad valorem tax system, especially on land.  This particular solution directly addresses the primary cause of the disenfranchisement -- the consolidation of the small farms and the resulting displacement of the small farmers.   The tax system merely recovers the land rent that actually belongs to the people.

      As I said:  That is the peoper economic solution.   But the politics are a bitch.

      But statements saying that we can't "expell" people from the USA because of economic necessities are inflamatory and incorrect.  We would have the same political problem as we would have in a Mexican land reform but that is not true economics.  The American economy (utilitarian good) will NOT be harmed by the expulsion of anyone other than sceintists and engineers and the like.  The result of migrant expulsion would be a fall in the trade price of land, primarily in California. The financial people end up gettiing hurt and the working class Americans are better off for it.  I DO NOT SUGGEST SUCH EXPULSION, but the economics are NOT what prevents it.

      Your closing comments are absoultely correct.  The problem of migrant workers (actually the displacement of working class people) is created by the consolidation of agriculture that happens due to the current version of capitalism.  The gains are all rent gains and those gains are realized by the financial sector of the USA.  The gains do NOTHING for any of the "productive class" anywhere; not in the southern countries, nor in the USA either.  The nationalization of land and the collection of that rent and the redistribution of it to the people of the sovereignty is the correct way to address the issue.  That is the real solution to the real problem.  That sounds to most rightarded people as a "communist manefesto", but it is not.  Natural resources are not CAPITAL.  We are not talking about state ownership of the CAPITAL means of production.  We are not even talking about state ownership of the land.  We are talking about a very high ad valorem tax on raw land value and the redistribution of those proceeds in an egalitarian manner.

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

      by TheTrucker on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 08:23:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  just one question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nightprowlkitty, blueness

    did you actually READ the studies you're "refuting" ...or are you simply discussing the brief synopses I provide to describe what are extremely lengthy and detailed academic works....because it appears that you're not refuting the methodology, statistics or academic veracity of the works ...just merely stating your opinion of the synopses of the findings....that's the equivalent of giving me your opinion of a book based upon it's dust-jacket liner notes.    

    And since your such a self-proclaimed expert on economics, perhaps you would be so kind as to supply the details of actual work done by recognized economists in the field of labor/immigration economics that back up your interpretations and assertions.

    Your more than welcome to your opinions...like the old saying says...they're like assholes, and everyone's got one ...but there is vast difference between opinion and the actual work done by trained economist.

     

    •  I do not argue by citing authoritiies (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      blueness
      Hidden by:
      Nightprowlkitty

      other than clsassical economists.  Any time you actually want to discuss the economic issues as opposed to citing neoclassical nimrobs then I will be ready and waiting.

      To answer your primary question:  I have not read the complete "works" of the lying pigs that you have chosen to quote nor do I intend to do so.  I have utterly refuted the points you have chosen to present. And whether you got em from Einstien or Jesus is irrelevant and whether have purchased a pig due to lipstick and eye shadow is also irrelevant.

      The point that is being stressed here is that macro returns to rent and profit and to executive salaries do not reflect returns to working class wages.  That point is tacitly admitted in the stuff you choose to cite.  As far as my citing  some "wonks" of authoriy you can forget it. I don't work that way and no one should ever work that way.  If you don't understand economics then stop trying to debate it, or debate it and learn from it.  If you can assert some argument other than appeal to authority then lets see it.

      Your reliance on "trained economists" is like a reliance on trained seals.  Ask yourself who pays these "trained economists".  IT sure as hell isn't the working class.

      But in the subject of opinion:  I am of the opinion that anyone with a degree in economics from most univertities has been almost labotomized.  The strengh of character and commitment to principal necessary to withstamd marginalist claptrap through years of battering in the latter day "economics" classes would be very rare indeed.

      God gave you a brain.  Use it.

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

      by TheTrucker on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 09:19:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  short version ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Duke1676

      ... of that idiotic response you have gotten:

      I am right because I am right and anyone who disagrees with me is a big poopy-head!

      This asshole is nothing more than a troll.  I'm getting tired of his bullshit.

      •  What part of this do you not understand (0+ / 0-)

        Any time you want to discuss the issue as opposed to posturing I am ready to roll.  My credentials, if you will, are a very good understanding of the economic principles in play here and that understanding is based on classical economics.  If you wish to actually debate the matter then do so.  If not then you can simply accept the points as I have made them.  Your translation of my position is quit amusing.  But I am right because classical economics is "right".  If you feel that neoclassical bullshit is the truth then I feel very sorry for you.  You are shooting yourself in the foot.

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

        by TheTrucker on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 10:06:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is no debate ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Duke1676

          ... with a fool like you.

          You answer factual information with bullshit opinions.  You make shit up as you go along.

          You seem not to understand the rules of this community.  Yes, we do require sources for the kinds of assertions you have made.  And no, you don't get to put down a source by calling the author a "liar" and other ad hom attacks.

          At this point I am not objecting to your nonsensical diary, which is not worth commenting upon -- it is a community matter -- you are new here (or a sockpuppet for all I know) and clearly do not understand you can't just assert your opinions as fact and refute facts with opinions.

          You have no credentials here.

          •  You lose (0+ / 0-)

            You answer factual information with bullshit opinions.  You make shit up as you go along.

            Perhaps you would like to show us where that has happened, Nightprowlkitty.  I looked at the references Duke used for his position that you seem to think serve as "factual information".  I can only surmise that since these statements are made by an "authority figure" that you respect then you will say that they are "factual".  The problem with that position is that I have pointed out where this supposedly authoritative person has condradicted the position taken by Duke.  It would seem that it is I who have the "factuals" and Duke who has the opinions.  Here is the EXACT quote from Duke's authroritative source that totally supports my position:

            "Simulations show that this increased specialization mitigated negative wage consequences of immigration for less-educated native-born workers, especially in states with large immigration flows."

            Perhaps you do not understand the English language.  The dispute has now gotten that simple.  You need no knowledge of economics to understand what the word "mitigated" means, or to understnd the pharse "negative wage consequences of immigration".  This is Duke's authoritative source and YOUR version of "factual information".  The problem appears to be that Duke, nor you, actually understand what your "factual information" says.

            It appears that Duke has used stuff he does not understand trying to make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

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

            by TheTrucker on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 07:21:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... I think Duke's response is very much on target:

              If you would like to have an intelligent and informed conversation about these economic studies, go read them then we'll talk. But as long as you insist on basing your entire argument on single paragraph synopses of lengthy and detailed studies intended merely to supply the reader with a vague idea about the study's contents..I've got no time for your idiocy ... no matter how many times you cut and past the same bloviating bullshit

              Duke has proved his credibility and knowledge on this subject.  You?  Not so much.

              I've read his diaries as well as visited his website.  His merit is well earned.

              It's not a win or lose kind of thing here at Daily Kos, and that's something you just don't seem to understand.

              It's about understanding issues and backing up what you say with credible sources.  You have done neither -- you admitted you hadn't read any of these studies and now you take one summary paragraph out of context and like a child wave it about going "I win!  I win!"

              You'll have to do a whole lot better than that to gain any credibility here.

              Poor you.

  •  BTW (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nightprowlkitty, blueness

    And what the hell would you expect from the "Pew Hispanic Center".  This is simply a proclamation from a supposed "authoritative source" that cannot be relied upon to be unbiased. Why anyone would cite such a source in defense of a claim concerning adverse effects of illegal immigration is to me, unfathomable.

    The Pew Hispanic Center is so called because it is the branch of the Pew Research Organization that studies issues relating to Hispanics ...not an Organization made up of, or promoting Hispanics any more than the National Hurricane Center is made up of, or promoting Hurricanes.

    In spite of all your efforts to appear knowledgeable and informed on this issue, statements like this betray your true ignorance.

    •  I do not argue by citing authorities (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      blueness
      Hidden by:
      Nightprowlkitty

      If you want to assert the actual arguments without the citations or, at least, to defend your assertions then do so.  Appeals to authority are not debate.  Give your own rationalization as to the efficacy of your position.

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

      by TheTrucker on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 09:32:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you really are an idiot (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nightprowlkitty

        If you want to assert the actual arguments without the citations

        What you're really saying is ..."If you want to ignore all the factual evidence so that my ignorant perspectives are on an equal footing with reality based evidence"

        My God...do you even realize how stupid this sounds.

        It's the same logic used when arguing for creationism.

        •  So show me some "factual evidence" (0+ / 0-)

          I have actually addressed YOUR cited authorities and shown primarily that your interpretation of what they are saying is just flat wrong, or that the cites do not represent factual evidence.  

          Case in point:

          # JOB LOSS:

             Comparative Advantages and Gains from Immigration
             by Giovanni Peri (University of California, Davis and NBER), Chad Sparber (Colgate University) April, 2007, (Immigrants have little effect on jobs of US high school dropouts. Foreign and native-born workers with similarly low educational attainment in fact compliment each other in the workforce rather than compete. Using forty years of data the study looked at the actual tasks performed by each class of workers to see what jobs were being done by native-born workers as opposed to foreign born workers.The study found that foreign born workers perform more manual and physical tasks, while native-born workers do tasks that are more language-intensive and interactive, and that native-born workers benefit from this specialization)

          This supposed "refutation" of micro economic reality is typical neoclassical pig manure.  The neoconomists would have you believe that the prosperity of "working class" persons is unaffected by immigration because the people that would have been disadvantaged will now specialize in supervising the immigrants. But simply assume that undocumented people would not have shown up and ask yourself what would have been the result.  Assuming the same demand for whatever was being produced, there would have been some combination of less production, or higher prices and, higher wages for the "working class". The false claim that "native-born workers benefit" is actually contradicted below by the exact same same bloviating nimrod neoconomist that makes this preposterous assertion here.

          But the primary "snake oil" in this one is the trumpeted gain from "comparative advantage".

          Attend:

          Comparative advantage is a macro economic effect that engenders no return to wages. The gains of "comparative advantage" are bestowed as interest, profits, and rents.  I wonder if it is even remotely possible that normal people understand this or have any real clue.  This FACT is one of the primary reasons that rising GDP has not been a boon to the working class (or even the producing class) and this is quite evident from observing the current Republican "economy".  "Comparative advantage" is observed between NATIONS, And it is NOT a positive wage effect. And as we will see later, the adverse rent effects act as a wage deflator even if nominal wages remain flat.  There are more jobs but there are more people looking for jobs.

          Comparative Advantage  is pretty well described.  It is a gain from trade and not a gain to "workers" unless the owners of the means of production CHOOSE to make it so.  And if there is ample competition for jobs due to an influx of people then this increase in wage is not going to happen.  What part of "water is wet" do you have a problem with?

          Then later this same person contradicts himeslf and that seems to just slide right by you:

             # WAGES

             Task Specialization, Comparative Advantages, and the Effects of Immigration on Wages, by Giovanni Peri (University of California, Davis and NBER), Chad Sparber (Colgate University). August 2007, National Bureau Of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 13389 (Looking at data for the 50 US states (plus the District of Columbia) from 1960 to 2000 the report shows that foreign-born workers specialize in occupations that require manual tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and building. Immigration causes natives — who have a better understanding of local networks, rules, customs, and language — to pursue jobs requiring interactive tasks such as coordinating, organizing, and communicating. Simulations show that this increased specialization mitigated negative wage consequences of immigration for less-educated native-born workers, especially in states with large immigration flows.)

          I wonder if folks understand the meaning of the word "mitigated" or if they even bother to account for the context in which it has been used here.  This bloviation says that the American workers would have been worse off with the arrival of the additional competition for wages had specialization not taken place.  It is tacitly admitted here that the adverse effects of the enlarged labor pool were SOFTENED due to "specialization".  I have already informed you that "comparative advantage" is a return to rent and profit and NOT a return to wages. Further, average wages are not a metric that can be employed to assess the micro-economic effects at the low end.  As CEO wages increase astronomically the "average" wage will rise even though the wages on the low end are stagnant or slightly falling. There is also the indiscriminate translation of rent into profit and wages by the aggregating neoclassical people that allows them to present wage claims at the top that are actually inflated by economic rent.

          Here your most quoted "wonk" admits that wage consequences of the influx of labor are negative, or do you not understnd the english lanquage?  What part of "Simulations show that this increased specialization mitigated negative wage consequences of immigration for less-educated native-born workers, especially in states with large immigration flows." are you having a problem with?

          I then went on to describe the adverse effects of rent on the "working class".  What part of "the working class pays rent and the owning class collects it" do you have a probem with.

          The problem we have here is that you don't understand what YOUR cited persons are saying.  And you are hanging your lack of understanding of what you cite on ME.

          I admittedly go further than that and claim that these cited statements are purposefully misleading and they are DESIGNED  to be misleading by the people who make them. But just leave that charge asside and address the actual data as opposed to all an indictment for not supplying a bunch of academic citations. I do not need to supply academic credentials to parse what these people are saying.  It is simple English. What do you have to say about my claim that you have misinterpreted these cites?

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

          by TheTrucker on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 03:48:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why does Nightprowlkitty, give +1 for name call (0+ / 0-)

          (I am being called an "idiot" by Duke) While I get a -1 for asking Duke to make his own arguments?

          I have no idea what economic credentials Nightprowlkitty might have, but that isn't the point.

          I want an answer to the actual question I have asked about why I get a -1 and Duke gets a +1 in the exchange above.  And BTW, Nightprowlkitty, when I call someone a liar it is because they lied.  Normally it is a lie about something I have supposedly said and didn't, or a claim that I have taken some position that I have never taken.  If anyone feels that I have used the term erroneously then show me the place that I did it.  If I was wrong I will do what I can to set it right.  But I am not going to stand still for people intentionally mischaracterizing my position or lying about what I have said.

          When Duke Posts crap about the position of the rightards that are NOT about the issue of wages (e.g. racsism etc.) in an attemt to tar me with that Republican shit, that is mischaracterization and lying.

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

          by TheTrucker on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 06:52:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site