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The Examiner is a newspaper to which I am endlessly grateful because it gave me the opportunity to publish letters on immigration that liberal and Hispanic publications denied me despite The Examiner's very conservative position. Nevertheless, even though you can find interesting articles by Irvin Stelzer in the same newspaper or by David Brooks or George Will, there are authors like Jay Ambrose whose work should have earned them a place in The Onion. In this entry we will see Jay Ambrose's evolution (sic) on two issues through the letters I sent to The Examiner about Ambrose's articles. Some of these letters were published. The dates and titles to which I refer are those of my responses but Ambrose's articles could be found in The Examiner's editions previous to those dates.

I. November 18, 2005 "Stepping in mass distortion"

This is the first letter I wrote about an Ambrose's article. In previous entries I have criticized the pro-immigrant and anti-war movement for letting many buzzwords become "common wisdom" due to the lack of long-term effort to spread even the most basic knowledge and ideas in the mainstream. That is how it is now common knowledge that illegal immigrants have jumped a line even though such a line does not exist or that illegal immigrants are so due to their low educational level even though the more than 90% of immigrant visas according to the present system are awarded based on family connections or country of origin, counting for nothing your educational level but in a very few cases. On the war, similar ineptitude has led to us today to not give conclusive answers to those who say that the Surge is successful even though many historical examples (from the Napoleonic invasion of Spain to the Shining Path in the 80s, passing through the independence of Alger and the way Indochina's Ho Chi Ming managed to kicked the French and then us out of Vietnam) show that escalations like the Surge are band-aid approach with successful results only in the very short term and that in the long term only progressive political solutions can bring peace. That is how today we find ourselves trapped discussing the number of troops needed in Iraq even though such number has never been a decisive factor beyond a very short term and even though many historical examples show that these escalations's fruits are so fragile and reversible.

Dear Sirs:
With respect to the article ‘Stepping in mass distortion’ by Jay Ambrose and the letter by Erik Ehudin:

  1. Tony Blair and Bush have denied the main points of the Downing Street memo (fixed intelligence and lack of a post-war plan) but never have dared to say the document is a forgery. Testimonies like that of Ray McGovern about the pressure put by Cheney on the CIA (whose frequent visits have remained as unexplained as the members of his Energy Task Force) and the Valerie Plame case could explain why ‘hundreds of intelligence agents’ did not ‘race to the press with the news’. So Ambrose proves nothing with that argument.
  1. Iraq was a threat, as Clinton himself recognized by 1998, but not an IMMINENT one. That’s a key difference because the regime was hardly trying to survive after 10 years of sanctions (in spite of the corrupt oil for food UN program). Here Ambrose needs a bit of synchrony.
  1. To the argument that the President relied on the best intelligence available at the moment, just one answer: Hans Blix. The Duelfer report later reached the same conclusions as Blix's and speculated that Saddam would like to reconstitute its WMD program, without providing any concrete evidence to support such speculation.
  1. The argument for ‘the wrong signal to our troops’ may lead us to consider Walter Cronkite as a Viet Kong agent. Patriot = cheerleader. Even though many Democrats voted for the war fearing the label of ‘unpatriotic’, that does not discard the case for deception.
  1. The argument for ‘action preferable to action’ reflects Ambrose’s misunderstanding of this kind of war. Even the French paratroopers understood in Alger that you don’t fight a NON-CONVENTIONAL war with a conventional strategy. From what part of history has the Bush administration taken this ‘strategy’? The nonsense of the notion itself of ‘fighting them abroad for not to have to fight them here’ supposes that al-Qaeda is a country’s regular army that is going to move in perfect formation. The result is that we have opened in Iraq an even bigger training camp than the one we closed (?) in Afghanistan . Putting pressure on the Saudis to change their Wahabi school curricula would have had much more significant effects on Democracy for the Middle East . Education, market and integration are part of the long-term political strategy that even the French paratroopers didn’t see in Alger.
  1. The Public Law 107-243, Section 3b states conditions (not reasons or justifications) to the President’s determination that

"(1) (...) further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq (...)
(2) (...) is consistent with the United States (...) continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist (...) who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

  1. I don’t comment the last paragraph of Ambrose’s article because I assume it is a joke.

Reading you,
Alfredo M. Bravo de Rueda E.
Gaithersburg, Maryland

II. December 23, 2005 "Clarity on immigration reform"

This is the first letter I sent The Examiner about an Ambrose's article on immigration. Of course, Ambrose's article was full of the trash the xenophobic Right uses against immigrants. After all, who better to show your bravery at full than those who cannot defend by themselves. If I had to correct my letter today I would do it in just one point: I am against the enforcement of an immoral and inefficient law but I am also against amnesty. Amnesty implies to forgive those immigrants who broke immigration laws but to keep the present system as if this system of castes had any legitimacy. My position is for immigration reform, is for setting a standard where you earn your right to be here. A merit based immigration, on the other hand, does not have to be biased to academic or military requirements. The Task Force of the S. 1033, best known as Kennedy-McCain (Yeah! The old McCain) could play an important role here to manage a comprehensive notion of merit and character. About the difference treatment I propose for immigrant and guest workers, who are they and why I propose such different treatment, see my first entries on immigration, where I present my position on immigration and even a legislative proposal.

Dear Sirs:
Despite Ambrose’s caricature (‘principally loyal to Mexico ’, ‘resentment’, ‘jealous’ or in David Duke’s words, a minority that cannot be assimilated) and economic stereotypes (‘take jobs’, ‘drive down wages’ and other myths unsustainable in a serious analysis –cfr. Peri and Ottaviano, Aug 2005, that, using more realistic assumptions than Borjas, show that immigration only affects negatively the less educated 9% of the labor supply. Also my article, attached) of illegal aliens, his article has some positive points. I, who believe in the market, agree on ‘illegal aliens won’t come if the jobs aren’t there’ and that’s why an amnesty would work if the number of visas keeps pace with the needs of the market (so most of the positions will be filled legally and illegal immigration would become a marginal problem manageable by law enforcement unless we let conservatives reduce arbitrarily again the number of visas -cfr. Hispanic Pew Center ’s statistics). In Ambrose’s article there is no criterion on when to give a temporary labor permit and when permanent residency even tough it is there where ‘methods of assimilation’ really count (though I prefer civil and military volunteership, commitment to save and invest here and learning English than history lessons). The new standard for legal residency should be that you have to DESERVE it, something that judges each person according to his character; something that is absent in the immigration law.
Reading you
Alfredo M. Bravo de Rueda E.

III. December 14, 2006 "The World War II Study Group"

It could have been a degenerative disease caused by being exposed for too long to Fox News or it could have been what in psychiatry is known as the separation of the individual from reality. Whatever it was, it was funny to expose Ambrose's ignorance on the issues he so dearly writes.
In this letter I decided to be more explicit with the some of the historical examples I was talking about. For this entry, just two notes:
(1) Our success in Philippines at the end of the XIX Century and the British success in Malaysia in the 1950s had no political answer for the long term. In the case of Philippines, even we court martialed the officers for the brutality they used to defeat the insurgency. As we sided with the most ultraconservative sectors of that society, we corrupted the system as we corrupted it in Central America. It is not a surprise that Philippines has been one of the last countries to join the South East Asian chain of economic development. In Malaysia, the British defeated the communist insurgency but at the end they were kicked out of the country too.

Dear Sirs:
Once again Jay Ambrose shows us his ability to construct anti-subversive policy on slogans and faulty comparisons. In WWII we fought states; in the Middle East we have insurgencies, movements that can transcend states and borders. One real fault of the ISG [Iraq Study Group] is that it hardly goes beyond the question about the number of troops. When was the last time regular troops, behaving as troops, defeated a subversive movement? Philippines, end of the XIX Century. Unfortunately subversive movements have gotten smarter after that. If they do not have or lose public support (Baader-Meinhof, Germany 1977 and 1991; Shining Path, Peru 1992), an unavoidably expensive and slow intelligence work, complemented with special forces, has proven to be the only successful way to defeat them. If they have public support (FLN, Alger 1957) you also need a political solution or defeat is a matter of time (FLN, Alger 1962). This is difficult with just 6 Arab speakers in our embassy in Iraq and the Zogby polls show that they do have support. On the other side, letting them corrupt the political system, like in Africa and Latin America , is not victory.
Instead of absurd comparisons with WWII, on insurgency we should be studying the case of the Kurds at the light of the successful strategy of the British in Malaysia in the 1950s and, on terrorism, the successful work of intelligence that defeated the Shining Path in Peru in 1992. Instead we insist in strategies that led to tragic results in Peru in 1983-1984.
With respect to talking to Iran and Syria , unfortunately that is the price we will have to pay for going to this war the way we did. It would be worse to have Iraq transformed in another Afghanistan .
Reading you,
Alfredo M. Bravo de Rueda E.
Gaithersburg, Maryland

IV. December 21, 2006 "Sympathy for the cheated"

This entry continues shows another milestone in Ambrose's quest for that other dimension with no history or economy, where Fox News is credible and David Duke is finally recognized as a genious so misunderstood in that other dimension where we are facing Bush's legacy in the economy and the Middle East. People like Ambrose made possible a portal between those two dimensions in 2004 so a country in war and with dramatic loses of jobs voted inspired in issues like the gay marriage. So bizarre were those times that the Religious Right defended the Napoleonic marriage, the same marriage created by Napoleon to limit the power of the Church in civil affairs and the same Napoleon that in this times was considered the Anti-Christ by many.
In that parallel dimension, illegal immigrants, 5% of the population, are guilty of the whole population's problems and Pastor Butler sits at the Right of God in heaven.

Dear Sirs:
Once again Jay Ambrose shows us his ability to construct immigration policy rationalizing prejudices and baseless tales. The effect of immigration is positive on wages on employment for all but the 9% less educated of the labor supply. Immigrant could only steal jobs in a fantastic scenario in which not only they have no effect on the demand of goods and services and so in the increased scale of the supply of many goods and services but also in which employers see only wages and not productivity on their employees. Jay, work is not a commodity. This 9% should receive help but not protectionism. A more restrictive policy on Welfare may be necessary but legalization cannot lead to hordes of infinite numbers of new illegal immigrants because open economies like ours adjust more easily on quantities than on prices so they cannot take more workers, legal or not, than what the markets to which they are related allow. If our immigration law would have kept pace with the needs of the market, illegal immigration would be a marginal phenomenon. Prohibition should have taught all of us a lesson: you cannot restrict markets in the name of prejudices. And Jay, most immigrants are not Mexicans. Even among illegal immigrants, they just represent 40%.
"(That) is something they brought on themselves" is what segregationists said of the Freedom Riders while beating them and thinking that the Civil Rights movement was "cheating" their way of life. The immigration law does not give any chance to those born in the wrong country or family. Let’s honor not our Funding Fathers but our Founding Fathers with a law that judges immigrants, including the 12 million illegal immigrants, for their own character. Coming to America should be something you DESERVE.
My moral question, Jay, is: Veiled racism or just poor research?
Reading you,
Alfredo M. Bravo de Rueda E.
Gaithersburg, Maryland

V .September 28, 2007 "Spitzer making New York an illegal-immigration magnet"

Here Ambrose attacked former governor Spitzer for not braking the law and for not joining his crusade of demonization and scapegoating of illegal immigrants.

Dear Sirs
Ambrose's surrealistic approach shows us once again why he is not George Will or David Brooks. We have selected three samples. In his new involuntary joke Ambrose says:

  1. Drivers are "dangerous because of the reasons they were denied licenses in the first place" (sic) meaning that illegal immigrants are dangerous drivers due to their legal status. Jay, alcohol could affect your driving; your legal status, hardly in the real world.
  1. "In the 9/11 attacks most of the hijackers were aided in their evil by driver's licenses, just as future terrorists could be aided in their murderous mayhem by the Spitzer policy" (sic). Not only the 9/11 terrorists who obtained driver's licenses were here legally but also is ridiculous to state that driver's licenses were essential to their plan. Without driver's licenses, they would have aborted their plan? No Jay, they never had to work in America ; they had plenty of money to hire drivers if needed. If the driver's licenses were not essential to their plan, should we ban flying schools because they enrolled in them or pizzas because they ate them?
  1. "Society will witness increases in the poverty the immigrants bring with them" (sic). That relation immigrants-poverty, is a genetically proved one? Otherwise your statement could be as absurd as the studies of the late XIX Century that postulated the inferiority of blacks due to their poverty without paying attention to the injustice of segregation that kept them poor. Your article states that immigrants bring poverty. We are lucky not to have a more extended poverty among immigrants if we consider the poor criteria of the immigration law for their selection and, in the case of illegal immigrants Jay, you condemn the poor ones but advocate denying them the main tool to escape their poverty?

With respect to your editorial of September 28, you do not release additional information to back your assertion that driver licenses for illegal immigrants regulations have failed in the states you mention. If illegal immigrants engage in reckless driving or drive uninsured, that privilege should be revoked indefinitely for those individuals in addition of any other legal consequence resulting from their fault and their status but that is not a reason to label and pack the whole group.
Reading you,
Alfredo M. Bravo de Rueda E.
Gaithersburg , Maryland

VI. July 23, 2008 "In Iraq, Obama misses its strategic importance"

Columnist or calumnist? You decide. In this article, Ambrose makes use of all his ignorance to attack Obama on Iraq and so, we think, earns the position of first columnist of The Onion.

Dear Sirs:
We trust one day Ambrose will be honored as first columnist of The Onion, where he would not have to be "instructed by the facts of history". Yes Jay, insurgencies are not new and escalations, surges and other band-aid approaches are ineffective in the long run against them. The French learned that lesson in Alger and Indochina, Peru in the 80s against the Shining Path and us in Vietnam, where we militarily won the battles but politically we lost the war and ended up evacuating the country. Short term reductions in violence mean nothing in terms of success against insurgent groups. In the short time, intelligence and special forces bring some relief, as in the Algerian Casbah in the 50s for the French, but they were kicked off the country a few years later because they lost the political war. If you have examples of countries that, after properly kicked have become "progressive, big time allies" I hope you are not thinking of Diem or the Sha.
Furthermore, when you write about Iraq's "minute, strategic significance" in the war on terror, you forget that al-Qaeda moves across borders, from Sudan to Afghanistan to Pakistan and not in Iraq before us. Al-Qaeda is not a regular army geographically defined. The Russians have learned it from Afghanistan to Chechnia.
Finally, the timing of the war had nothing to do with genocides, already consumated, or al-Qaeda in Iraq, marginally existent before the invasion only in the no-fly zone, or with Iran, happy that we got rid of Saddam for them, but with the oil negotiations between Saddam and French, Russians and Chinese. Obama could have his gaps in this field but his judgement has proved to be much more mature than McCain's. The thousands of lives lost or destroyed by this war deserve more respect than the nonsensical boogeymen of al-Qaeda ruling Iraq if we leave, precisely the kind of approach you can take to consolidate a position in The Onion.
Reading you,
Alfredo M. Bravo de Rueda E.
Gaithersburg, Maryland

VII. Of course, these are not the only one articles written by Ambrose. Weekly you can read a new one in The Examiner and write the editor about them. On my side, I guess The Examiner will have to make a bold movement to avoid The Onion to snatch his peculiar columnist and I guess that movement is going to be to move his column from the Opinion section to the right of the Sudoku.

Originally posted to Alfredo Martin Bravo de Rueda Espejo on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 09:03 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Allow Me To Suggest Some Reading Material (0+ / 0-)

    And Jay, most immigrants are not Mexicans

    Yearbook Of Immigration Statistics 2006

    The most current yearbooks are here

    Even among illegal immigrants, they just represent 40%

    From The Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized
    Migrant Population in the U.S.

    Note that the estimates in this report are based upon the 2000 Census and Current Population Surveys from 2004, 2005, etc., as are many of the quantitative and qualitative reports on illegal immigration from the Pew Hispanic Center and others, and these estimates count upon the accuracy of that data.

    Peri and Ottaviano, Aug 2005, that, using more realistic assumptions than Borjas

    The reports from Peri and Ottaviano and Borjas are also based upon the data above, as are many of the reports from the Heritage Foundation and the Center for Immigration Studies, and like it or not Steven Camarota's work is widely accepted by the US Government

    Immigrant could only steal jobs in a fantastic scenario in which not only they have no effect on the demand of goods and services and so in the increased scale of the supply of many goods and services

    -- Because illegal immigrants in the mean work in well defined job sectors, what is the point at which the wages in those sectors begin to collapse solely because of the supply of individuals who are willing to do the job for less?

    -- What is that individual who speaks Quiche but writes nor reads either Spanish or English buying?

    -- Where are those goods made?

    -- Who is providing those services?

    -- How much money is this individual spending in the US economy versus that which they are sending back home to Mexico or Guatemala?

    -- What is the multiplier in the US economy on wages which are sent out of the country?

    I, who believe in the market, agree on ‘illegal aliens won’t come if the jobs aren’t there’ and that’s why an amnesty would work if the number of visas keeps pace with the needs of the market

    With all respect, while I agree that there must be some adjustments made to the purely family based nature of the US immigration, I find most of your comments regarding the economics of illegal immigration sophomoric, to whit your comment above.

    A graph of the number of visas required by 'the market' if the number of visas 'keeps pace with the market' is represented by an exponential function, and wages cannot remain stable in a market which has access to an practically infinite supply of ever cheaper labor, labor which is more than willing to work without the protection of OSHA or practically speaking any health and safety or wage law.

    In other words, the average wage in El Salvador is eight dollars a day. How do you keep the wages in the US from becoming the average in El Salvador if you allow 'the market' to access that eight dollar a day worker without limitation?

    The common response to this question is that the federal government could somehow enforce wage and hour and safety laws. This reply is ridiculous because it assumes that there would be a government official standing by in every situation wherein there was yet another individual from El Salvador willing to work for less than the federal minimum wage. This response also assumes that wages can be mandated across all job sectors.

    This 9% should receive help but not protectionism

    Here you are simply assuming that even more citizens of the US, most especially not high-wage high-skilled rich citizens, should be put into positions where they have to compete on wages with the third world and that somehow the US will not become the third world in the bargain. It's an argument which assumes that a slave wage peasant culture can be imported into the US in the name of 'marginal utility', entire job sectors can be shipped to countries with dollar an hour labor -- and that at the end of it all somehow our 400,000 dollar homes will appreciate at ten percent per year and we will still be able to sell them to each other.

    It's a stupid argument which at its extreme does not even begin to contemplate what 'taxation without representation' means, what 'We the People' means, or what it means to be a citizen of the United States.

    <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

    by superscalar on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 11:33:47 AM PDT

    •  Alfredo's answer (0+ / 0-)

      1.1. According to the Census you yourself have recommended me to read, Mexican are about 14% of legal residents. Grossly estimates have been around 40%. If you limit the set to illegal immigrants, that percentage may be 56% and get closer to 40% when you consider both legal and illegal Mexicans. Furthermore, even if you take that 40% as referred to illegal immigrants only and it happens to be 56%, does that mean that most immigrants (legal or illegal, you choose the set) are Mexicans? The point here is to expose the caricature "It's the Mexicans or us".
      1.2. It is true that both the Pew Hispanic Center and the Center for Immigration Studies use the same raw data and then make estimations but there are estimations and estimations. The Center for Immigrations Studies, trying to debunk the findings of the Pew Hispanic Centers about what are the determinants causes of illegal immigration, really cooks the data and finds in 2004 a big number of immigrants that could not be explained by the domentic labor demand. Any serious economist would have considered the effect of the January 2004 Bush's speech about guest workers that created expectatives of legalization and so would have used a dummy variable to absorb that effect.
      2.1. You criticize my line "Peri and Ottaviano, Aug 2005, that, using more realistic assumptions than Borjas" so repeating your argument about the data. In this line it is about the assumptions. Borjas does not take into account neither the effect of immigrants in the demand of goods and services nor the effect on the scale of operations. Ottaviano and Peri give examples about how immigrants make possible the creation of complementary positions (that I am not going to repeat here) and are completely honest about the negative effects, concentrated in the 9% less educated part of the labor supply, basically school drop-outs. This sector needs all our support, from better training to better schools in inner cities, but scapegoating immigrants under the disguise of protectionism in the labor market (but irresponsible openness in the market of goods and services, case in which the victims are workers and small business) is not a serious solutions. Among other assumptions Ottaviani and Peri correct are the assumption that companies do not increase their capital investiment when facing an immigration-induced increase on demand of goods and services. If you check the Camarota's work of 2005, whose lines come from Borjas and are repeated by the Rector's work of this year, one basic assumption is that employers are infinitely elastic to wages so if an immigrant comes and ask your job for $1/hour less, no matter your productivity or reliabilitity, your employer will fire you and give your job to that immigrant. Real employers do no act that way because workers are not commodities and so reliability and productivity matter.
      3.1. To your critic to my line "Immigrant could only steal jobs in a fantastic scenario in which not only they have no effect on the demand of goods and services and so in the increased scale of the supply of many goods and services" I would basically answer with my arguments of 2.1. Nevertheless, you include some questions:
      "-- Because illegal immigrants in the mean work in well defined job sectors, what is the point at which the wages in those sectors begin to collapse solely because of the supply of individuals who are willing to do the job for less?"
      It is true that there are sectors in which illegal immigrants concentrate their participation in the labor supply. So what? Ottaviani and Peri show a complementary effect that goes along with the substitution effect you remark and so they find a general positive effect without hiding a negative effect that depends not on the sector but on the educational level of the worker. That is how they reach that so many times mentioned 9%.
      3.2 "-- What is that individual who speaks Quiche but writes nor reads either Spanish or English buying?"
      If by "speaks Quiche" you mean does not speak English and so you suggest that their effect on the rest of the economy is limited you could not be more wrong. They take the bus, pay bills of any kind and their children learn to speak an English as fluent as any native. If you suggest that many illegal immigrants would not have been here if it depended on their merits, the same could be said of many legal immigrants. The problem is the system of castes of the present law and that is why I advocate reform.
      3.3 "-- Where are those goods made?
      -- Who is providing those services?"
      They live somewhere so they pay rent; they eat and clothe so they also go to Wal-Mart; they take the bus and ask for directions. Many times they go to ethnic merchants or merchants with services in Spanish and in the best of the cases they struggle with a broken English to get themselves understood. You can show me cases of illegal immigrants with many years here that have not learnt 10 words in English and I can show you cases of legal ones in the same situation. On the other hand, immigration reform will set the line that separates those willing to assimilate and those who do not. One day, talking to an illegal immigrant, I asked him why he did not make a better effort to learn English. He answered: "What I am going to do with English in [country of origin] if I am deported tomorrow?" Unfortunately that answer made a lot of economic sense: Why would you engage in a long-term investment [learning English] in a scenary of extreme uncertainty?
      3.4 "-- How much money is this individual spending in the US economy versus that which they are sending back home to Mexico or Guatemala?"
      Immigration reform should give the certainty to those willing to invest here because they have a serious expectative to stay here. Although some have engaged in the risky business of buying a home here, it makes a lot of sense to put your assets where you can reach them in the worst case scenario. On the other hand, many legal immigrants send their assets abroad expecting to retire in their countries of origin, where living expenses are cheaper. That is why in my proposal of immigration reform I state that putting your assets here should be a sign of attitude that should be rewarded and sending your many abroad should be penalized with a small tax. I do not have the percentage you are asking in your question but, as you can see, without immigration reform that figure tells you nothing about how an illegal immigrant would allocate his resources if he became legal.
      3.5 "-- What is the multiplier in the US economy on wages which are sent out of the country?"
      If you are an immigrant who sends his money abroad, obviously the money you have sent abroad would have multiplier effect in our economy close to cero but with respect to the effects in the domestic economy, you can see the work of Ottaviani and Peri with respect to effects in the labor market. In the public economy, just to mention another bizarre assertion of the Center of Immigration Studies and Heritage, pseudo-researchers are ready to highlight to lower taxes usually paid by illegal immigrants due to their lower wages but they omit any mention of the effect on tax revenues of the now bigger profits of their employers.
      4.1 Then you quote "I, who believe in the market, agree on ‘illegal aliens won’t come if the jobs aren’t there’ and that’s why an amnesty would work if the number of visas keeps pace with the needs of the market"
      Our economy is an open one and adjust more easily on quantities than on prices. If you opened the labor market to irrestricted immigration, the wage is not going to fall to $8 a day or $1 an hour because those workers have to pay bills and it would be completely impossible for natives or immigrants, legal or not, to pay bills at $1 an hour. Besides that, more people demanding goods and services would have to face the point on which the companies do not believe that is worth the pain to continue increasing capital investment and they just replace inventories keeping their plant capacity unchanged. This would result in an increase of prices that would push out of the market those who cannot get a job that pay enough.
      Passing from theory to practice, you must remember the hard but ineffective anti-immigrant legislation of 1924. The real decline in immigration came 5 years later as a result of the Great Drepression and its effect on the labor demand. On the other hand, if you have studied cases, you will see that friends and relatives are the first ones to encourage their friends and relatives abroad to come, legally or illegally, when the labor demand is unsatisfied and they are the first ones to disuade them when the labor demand is weak. Nobody wants that friend or relative to become a charge if he does not find a job quickly.
      About the exponential function you mention, I would like to introduce me to it if it has an address in the real world. In 2005, when the Senate debated the Kennedy-McCain, the number of up to 400,000 additional visas was discussed. Unfortunately the discussion was not the happiest because that 400,000 is an average. On average, it is 400,000 (not infinite) the number of additional visas we would need to fill the labor market legally. A better approach would be to distinguish the part resulting from the long-term trend of the economy (for immigrants) and the part resulting from short-term trend of the economy (for temporary guest workers). Unless the parameters of our regression are changing, we could use moving averages to make the distinction. At least, that is what I propose in my proposal for reform.
      Finally, labor protection is another reason to use immigration reform to help the labor market reach equilibrium legally. Many times, when employers find out the legal status of their worker, they unleash all kind of abuses. Abuses in cases of applicants under the Section 245-i are legendary as their employers know the applicants cannot reintroduce their application under other employer.
      4.2 Again, you could not have an infinite labor supply in an open economy because the price of products is given. If your internal costs are too big and you are big enough, you move to China. On the other hand, technology makes the transable part of the economy each time bigger according to the term trade agreements are negotiated. Anyway, their is a limit for trade barriers. We have not only not enforced labor and environmental protections in those trade agreements but also negotiated them with little regard for equivalent conditions with our economy. That is how we have ended up crying for artificial devaluations of the yuan between 20% to 40% as if they were something completely unforseeable when those trade agreements were negotiated.
      4.3 Then you say "The common response to this question is that the federal government could somehow enforce wage and hour and safety laws. This reply is ridiculous because it assumes that there would be a government official standing by in every situation wherein there was yet another individual from El Salvador willing to work for less than the federal minimum wage. This response also assumes that wages can be mandated across all job sectors."
      Enlighten me please because I do not see how my proposal leads to such a situation. Precisely because the gap between demand and supply does not close with legal immigrants only and many employers abuse of illegal immigrants, if the number of visas keeps pace with the labor demand, the less likely is that a bad employer will be able to abuse an illegal immigrant and indirectly affect native workers because that immigrant, not illegal anymore, could move. In your daily experience you can see how those workplaces that mistreat their workers have high rates of rotation and are permanently training new employees. If you take from them illegal workers because those workers are not illegal anymore, you will have hurt those bad employees very badly.
      5.1 Then you quote my entry "This 9% should receive help but not protectionism".
      You still do not tell us what your position on immigration is. It seems to be the traditional xenophobic position that tries to seduce that 9% with opium dreams of dishwashers making $20 an hour only if we could get rid of those brown immigrants, 5% of the population who magically seem to be the cause of all grievances. So if EPA and the Department of Labor prosecutors have seen their numbers reduced and so their capabilities to enforce environmental and labor protections, the real cure is to persecute immigrants. If inner city schools are underfunded and the gap between rich and poor get wider and wider, the solution is to harass illegal immigrants. Please, at least Neo-Nazis are more honest about what their real intentions are. I enjoy to have an intelligent debate but you cannot characterize as "stupid" a position you have demonstrated not to know. You even twist the sense of my words making me advocate of shipping jobs abroad. If you had bothered to read my entry "Economic myths about immigration" you would not have made that mistake but intentionally. On energy, there are projects to develop jobs that cannot be easily shipped overseas but that requires more investment in education and training. Another parameter you can use to keep some distance with developing countries (more than Third World Economies because you see jobs moving to China but not to Chad or El Salvador). When evaluating the decision to move a plant overseas, it is the not the wage but the cost of the product, including the labor component, what is considered. Finally, now that you mention homes and other non-transable expenses, this is money that remains in the economy even if you adjust your cost hiring cheap immigrants but that is money you will not see here if, instead, the employer moves his plant to China.
      Why some people love freedom as far as freedom is only theirs, as far as opportunities are only theirs?
      5.2 Now that you have left behind your interesting academic objections and begin to attack me with the flag ('taxation without representation', 'We the People' means, or what it means to be a citizen of the United States), let me introduce you one of the most important Founding Fathers and most important immigrant of our history (who would not have been able to come legally with this law): Alexander Hamilton. That is the standard I set for my legislative proposal (see previous entries). There is a previous entry you could find very useful on this topic: Moral Grounds to reform an immoral system.
      It will always be nice to debate with you as far as you post your comments with a constructive attitude. If your comentaries are posted with an Ambrose attitude, I will answer them as I answer Ambrose's columns.

      •  Alfredo's partial correction to 1.1 (0+ / 0-)

        I must correct a mistake I made yesterday while answering in a hurry the Superstar's attacks on my position. While Mexican foreign born are 11.54 million, or 30.8% of the 37.47 total population of foreign born according to estimations at 2006 (this numbers include illegal immigrants), it is true that Mexicans represent 57% of the illegal immigration population. Furthermore, the 14% is referred to the flow of legal residents while the objection was made about the stock. It is an even worse mistake. Nevertheless, those numbers imply no change to my point. The xenophobic Right has packed and labeled all illegal immigrants and Mexicans and then challenge the American public with the absurd question "Are you with Mexico or with America?". The priority of our immigration policy must be America, must be to have a market efficient and merit based immigration system that honors our Founding Fathers and not the present system of castes that betrays them. Whether Mexicans are 40% or 57%, the real point is that they should have a chance to prove their character and earn their right to stay (or be deported, if fail). The gaps between labor demand and labor supply have created the windows of opportunity for massive illegal immigration. If the number of visas keeps pace with the labor demand, illegal immigration would become a marginal phenomenom, whose size would be more easy to manage through enforcement but, again, for that enforcement be moral, it must be based on character. That is what America is about. Those who do not understand that, just pretend in the winning end of a birth-based fate, like the conservatives they critic, or deceive themselves with easy dreams of dishwashers earning $20 an hour just if, instead of solving the real problems, we get rid of those brown immigrants. Wallace and Long, again.
        Does this mean to end family-based immigration? Of course not, it just mean to make it honest. The present system has sheltered a market of fake marriages with the right to work in America as their real goal. In my proposal, family-based immigration awards visas with no right to work because the right to work in America is something you will have to earn. I do not pretend to bore you repeating things I have mentioned before but, in this proposal, with illegal immigration reduced to marginal levels, enforcement becomes a more present dangers for those who violate the terms of their family-based visa, banning them for ever of the opportunity to come to the United States. Furthermore, it encourages honest marriages and keeps in America a lot of the money send abroad through remittances because now the family beneficiary of those remittances is here in America.

  •  By The Way (0+ / 0-)

    The argument about "drivers license for illegal immigrants" is not about safety, it's about jobs.

    If an illegal immigrant cannot get a driver's license to drive a truck they cannot be legally insured.

    What better way to, at the same time, bust the the professional driver's unions and make a running joke of the law which says that an illegal immigrant should not be in the country to begin with than to pass a law which makes it legal for that illegal immigrant to have a driver's license?

    <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

    by superscalar on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 12:07:53 PM PDT

    •  Alfredo's answer (0+ / 0-)

      Many laws have stated monstruosities and we do not defend them just because they were at some time law. The Jim Crow and the Fugitive Slave Acts are just examples of that. We need an immigration reform that honors our Founding Fathers to replaces this system of castes that betrays their memory. An efficient system should reduce illegal immigration to marginal levels more easy to deal with through enforcement. An efficient system suposses a number of visas that keeps pace with the needs of the market. A moral system suposses a system based on merit instead of one overwhelmengly based on country or family of origin. Driver licenses are a tool for illegal immigrants to escape their poverty but are not a goal in itself. The goal is to have a moral and efficient immigration system, of which the issue of driver's licenses is just a by-product.
      What is your proposal on immigration? A fantastic closed economy where dishwashers can earn $20 an hour because the "US citizens" have gotten rid of that 5% of basically brown, unassimilable undesirables? A system where you can hide behind the flag while excluding Founders like Hamilton, where the 'accident of birth", whose dominance in the immigration law JFK lamented, became a reason of pride?
      I will be waiting for your proposal.

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