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Are There Economic Policy Choices between “America First” and “Global Cosmopolitanism”?

Hard talks on the boat

Wages for American working men got a double whammy during the last fifty years. First, starting in the late 1960s, American women entered the paid workforce as never before. This added significantly to the supply of labor in the American workforce. Secondly, just as the American labor market had started to move beyond the economic shock of increased entry of women into the workforce, the uptick in globalization – easier mobility of capital and labor across national borders – effectively increased the supply of labor competing with U.S. workers a second time. Many of these workers were willing to work for wages significantly below wages for American workers. There are other causes as well, but these factors certainly contributed to stagnating wages for working men in the U.S. over the last 50 years.

But this is not simply a story of loss; there are tradeoffs. While the wages for American working men stagnated during this period, the wages for American working women increased significantly, particularly for the first forty of those years. And wages for workers in many non-Western countries, particularly among the poorest of the poor, increased significantly during that period as well.

First, women. According to U.S. Census data, between 1968 and 2010, the number of men in the workplace grew by 68.6 percent. Over this same period, the number of women participating in the paid workplace more than doubled, increasing by a whopping 118.7 percent. During this period the median income for U.S. men stagnated. In constant 2010 dollars, median income in 1968 for U.S. men was $32,844, while it was $32,127 in 2010. In contrast, median income for women almost doubled during the same period, from $11,089 in 1968 to $20,831 in 2010. On a relative basis, in 1968, median income for women was 33.7 percent of median income for men, by 2010 that almost doubled, to 64.8 percent.

So, too, since 1970 there has been a stunning decrease in “extreme poverty” in the world, usually defined as people living on $1 or less per day (and occasionally defined as people who live on less than $1.25 or less than $2.00 per day). A 2009 NBER working paper reported “world poverty rates have fallen by 80 percent [from 1970 to 2006]. The corresponding total number of poor [in extreme poverty] has fallen from 403 million in 1970 to 152 million in 2006.” The U.N., the World Bank, and the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative in separate studies report somewhat higher absolute numbers of people starting and remaining in extreme poverty, but all confirm absolutely stunning declines in extreme poverty during this period.

To be sure, there are factors for declining world poverty beyond lower-wage workers in lesser developed countries competing with, and underpricing, U.S. men in an increasingly globalized labor market: The development of better internal markets in countries throughout the world, improvements in the rule of law (at least in economic matters), better infrastructure, education, health and nutrition, and technological innovation. All of these undoubtedly contribute to this decrease in extreme poverty.

Nonetheless, the transfer of production from the U.S., with comparatively high labor costs, to production in lesser-developed countries, with lower labor costs – thereby increasing demand for labor in lesser developed countries and so increasing wages in those countries – undoubtedly contributed to declining extreme poverty throughout the globe as well. And it’s not simply capital that moves more easily with globalization. Labor moves more easily as well, whether legally or illegally. Even if illegal immigration into the U.S. suppresses domestic wages (and I’m entirely open to studies showing it does, although estimating the net effect of illegal immigration on U.S. workers is the tricky part of the calculation, given that foreign workers in the U.S. buy things in the U.S. as well as sell their labor here), remittances sent back to the home countries of these workers contribute to decreases in poverty in those countries.

This, then, is the conundrum regarding stagnating wages in the U.S., particularly for men. On the one hand, no one suggests closing the domestic labor market to entry by American women into the workforce to induce greater relative scarcity of labor and increase the wages American men receive. But gains made by foreign workers are less visible, and less valued, by American policymakers and by American voters.

On one hand, that’s entirely understandable. Americans share connections with other Americans that we do not share with non-Americans. There is nothing wrong with national identity and national solidarity. But does national identity and solidarity entail rejection of any notion of identity and solidarity with non-Americans? For every American job “taken” by cheap foreign labor, there is, often enough, a decrease in poverty in that other nation. Beyond that, there is a more-general increase in demand for foreign labor, thereby moving us on the long-run path to equalizing wages between American workers and foreign workers. Ultimately, a (general) equalization of wages worldwide is the only permanent solution to the problem of foreign wage competition undercutting wages for future generations of Americans. This is not necessarily a utopian expectation the way things are going. We used to worry about cheap German labor, and cheap Japanese labor. But we don’t worry much about Germans or Japanese stealing American jobs anymore; wages in those countries have risen so much that they don’t systematically threaten growth in U.S. wages.

I don’t think one needs to be lost entirely to elite cosmopolitanism to wonder if there are ways of assisting American workers to sustain wage growth without consigning other, generally worse-off workers in other countries, to continued poverty. Plus, we need to recognize that it’s generally a good thing for everyone in an economy when producers employ the least costly factor inputs in production. That does mean that gains and losses are distributed equally across the globe. But, generally, a bigger pie is better than a smaller pie.

But there are tradeoffs. Some tradeoffs we won’t make, at least not any more – for example, erecting legal barriers to protect wages of American men from competition from American women entering the labor market. Other tradeoffs – such as erecting legal barriers to reduce competition from workers in other countries – are tradeoffs that many American policy makers and voters are willing to consider, if not support. But they are tradeoffs. This means that protection for American workers will likely hurt other workers. The workers hurt just won’t be Americans. The questions of the moment are: Does the welfare of non-Americans count in the creation of U.S. economic policy? Secondly, to what extent, if at all, should it count?

Reader Discussion

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on March 03, 2017 at 09:12:18 am

A nice discussion, as far as it goes. But, by omitting consumers, it leaves the unfortunate impression that the case against protectionist policies depends upon us caring about workers overseas. In truth, it doesn't.

Imagine that the factory that was "stealing our jobs" did not, in fact, have any workers at all. Suppose it was fully automated, gobbling up minerals and spitting out fully formed automobiles. Is there any reason why the American government should deprive American consumers of access to those automobiles? Would it matter if the automated factory were located in Beijing or Berlin or Detroit?

Protectionist policies harm U.S. consumers, including workers, both male and female, and the nonworking elderly and poor, and children too. While it is possible that some such policy might occasionally, and briefly improve the lot of some organized and select group of U.S. companies or workers, the price will always be too high. And that is before accounting for the costs of rent-seeking and corruption that are always incurred when the power of government is commandeered to serve the few at the expense of the many.

Freedom to trade is not only the best global policy, it is the best selfish, unilateral, "America First" policy.

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Brian Mannix
on March 03, 2017 at 10:09:55 am

The questions of the moment are: Does the welfare of non-Americans count in the creation of U.S. economic policy? Secondly, to what extent, if at all, should it count? -

NO

They are not, or at least should NOT be, if we are concerned for Individual Liberty.

"Policies" are designed and enforced for objectives; and, to establish means for the attempts to attain them.

Policies have purposes.

In the social and economic contexts "Policies" operate to influence, direct, constrain and control individual and group human conduct, for objectives and by means that have not been determined by those whose conduct is a affected.

Policies impinge upon Individual Liberty, reducing the aptitudes and capacities for individual and group determinations of objectives and appropriate means for attainment by substituting external factors, most commonly coercions, often through governmental force.

Historically, the generation of wealth and improvements in quality of life in America (the real reasons for escape from subsistence and "poverty") came from the interactions of the hundreds the thousands and millions of individuals (and the groups they formed) setting their own objectives and determining the means for attainment, based on their own motivations, WITHOUT POLICIES.

The resort to seeking "collective choice" in the form of policies, has subordinated and disastrously diminished individual and group initiative, in many, many cases actually thwarting individual and group capacities to resolve issues in the relationships that we carry our society forward economically and socially.

The two great questions before us should be how can we restore the capacities for individual and group initiatives in setting objectives and determining means; and, how can we reduce or eliminate the use of "Policy" determinations that thwart, pervert and attempt to replace those initiatives?

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R Richard Schweitzer
on March 03, 2017 at 10:59:19 am

1) Beyond that, there is a more-general increase in demand for foreign labor, thereby moving us on the long-run path to equalizing wages between American workers and foreign workers."

Isn't that a pleasant prospect? Of course, all one need do is to look at the relative wage movements of American vs foreign worker and one can detect that the movement will be to "bring all American boats down to the lower sea level on other shores." Goodness, what a fine goal that is.

2) There is indeed a connection between wealth of foreign nations and globalized labor / immigrant labor. Look only to Mexico, a nation which actively encourages its citizens to cross the US Border to secure employment in order to ease the burden placed upon Mexican citizens by its own corrupt autocracy.

3) Want to pay for The Wall - how about a 10% tax on all remittances to Mexico?

4) "But we don’t worry much about Germans or Japanese stealing American jobs anymore; wages in those countries have risen so much that they don’t systematically threaten growth in U.S. wages. "

Well, no we don't; but perhaps we should be concerned about barriers to *fair* trade that these nations still employ against American goods and services. Heck, we can also consider the EU and the outrageous fines assessed by the EU competition czars against American companies as barriers to trade and as a mean of adversely affecting the costs of American goods and services.

5) "Does the welfare of non-Americans count in the creation of U.S. economic policy? Secondly, to what extent, if at all, should it count? "

ABSOTIVELY NOT!!!
a) Agree with all that R. Richard has said above.
b) To put this query in perspective, ought not we to ask of our foreign "friends"" "Does the welfare of American workers count in the creation of your economic policy?" I suspect that a truthful answer to that question would prove rather illuminating, would it not?
In fact, why should it count in their determinations? It is neither their responsibility, nor ours, to consider the "happiness" of the "other." Talk about globalist attitudes, my goodness gracious, man!
c) What is more, as I believe to be implied in R. Richards comments is the unstated (and correct) assumption that all these POLICIES have failed, will continue to fail because of simple Hayekian "knowledge" problems as well as the detrimental effects upon individual liberties.
d) These POLICIES, and more importantly, the states implementing institutions and mechanisms have the non-salutary effect of further depressing liberty, initiatives AND consolidating those same institutions, mechanism and "knowledge elites" that have engendered so many of the problems we currently confront.
e) We have had enough of this.

Let other nations prosper, yes, but not at our expense. What may have been sensible trade policies after WWII, when the rest of the world was devastates, and that allowed for certain trade / tariff advantages to be imposed by the 1) defeated powers and 2) Allied powers, in order to bring them back into the world economy / fend off Soviet Communism, are no longer viable in an age where these reconstituted powers are themselves economic power houses or power blocs (EU).

"To thine own [House] be true."

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gabe
on March 03, 2017 at 11:45:27 am

Mr. Gabe,

Your item 2, in part, "...Mexico, a nation which actively encourages its citizens to cross the US Border to secure employment in order to ease the burden placed upon Mexican citizens..." - is a phenomena that never ceases to amaze me; that worker migration for employment and remittance could (seemingly) actually be a major part of any sovereign country's national economic policy.

And, I presume its likely that Mexico imposes some sort of income tax on remittances? If so, perhaps a largish tax as you recommend on remittances by the U.S. would in time make migration less cost effective as to produce a reduction. Of course, I suspect its largely an all cash transaction. I wonder, too, if they rely on migration to skew unemployment rates to a more favorable light?

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Paul Binotto
on March 03, 2017 at 12:05:38 pm

" if they rely on migration to skew unemployment rates to a more favorable light? "

And why wouldn't they?

After all the Obamaites skewed our unemployment rates by factoring in our own immigration - by that I mean all those American workers who despairing of ever finding any work *immigrated* themselves out of the pool of those actively seeking work. We no longer count them as unemployed.

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gabe
on March 03, 2017 at 15:30:27 pm

A lot of the US jobs being taken foreigners are non-manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs can always be moved outside the US border by moving the manufacturing process over the border and importing the manufactured goods. When that happens US workers lose their jobs. Industry, not policy, will sort out this out.

One of the driving forces of government is stability of income. The people of Britain and the US did the Brexit and Trump things because we were fed up with the grabbiness of socialism. Sooner or later you run out of other people's money. We, the "other" people, got fed up with little or no annual raises and poor growth of long-term investments. So we have Brexit and Trump.

US policy will be motivated likewise. Policies that drive better salaries and income for most of us "other" people will eventually be put in place. If they do not get put in place expect more discontent and activism from we "others" and the policy makers and their policies will be replaced by policy makers and policies that are more advantageous to us. That's the part of democracy that works well over time.

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Scott Amorian
on March 03, 2017 at 16:08:47 pm

Wow, Rogers … nice essay. Could scarcely agree more.

First, starting in the late 1960s, American women entered the paid workforce as never before. This added significantly to the supply of labor in the American workforce. Secondly, just as the American labor market had started to move beyond the economic shock of increased entry of women into the workforce, the uptick in globalization – easier mobility of capital and labor across national borders – effectively increased the supply of labor competing with U.S. workers a second time. Many of these workers were willing to work for wages significantly below wages for American workers. There are other causes as well [for] stagnating wages for working men in the U.S. over the last 50 years.

Rogers identifies causes 1 and 2; I’ll mention two more:

3. Re-industrialization. American men not only compete with American women and with workers in the developing world; They also compete with workers in the developed world. This might seem obvious, but after WWII US workers faced little competition from those quarters, as their physical capital lay in ruins and their human capital lay in graveyards. Alas, many working people complain that they cannot achieve the status of their uneducated fathers in the 1950s and 60s—when that status was achieved on the backs of a worldwide labor shortage that (we hope) is unlikely to recur.

Rogers remarks that, “We used to worry about cheap German labor, and cheap Japanese labor. But we don’t worry much about Germans or Japanese stealing American jobs anymore; wages in those countries have risen so much that they don’t systematically threaten growth in U.S. wages.” But that’s not accurate. We do worry about losing jobs—not because Japanese and German wages are so low, but because their productivity is so high. This was especially pronounced in the auto industry—until German and Japanese manufactures opted to build plants in the US. (Damn globalism outsourcing jobs to American workers!)

4. Automation. American men not only compete with American women, workers in the developing world, and workers in the developed world. They compete with machines. Donald Trump complains about the decline of US manufacturing, when in fact the US has never manufactured more stuff than it does today. The problem is not with a lack of manufacturing; the problem is that manufacturers have found ways to produce with many fewer (high-paid) workers.

Of all the threats to the salaries of US men, I suspect the latter one is the greatest. Eric Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s Race Against the Machine (2011) describes how quickly the capabilities of software and robots are improving. Tyler Cowen’s Average is Over (2013) predicts a world in which all productivity is conducted by a small class of technical experts, and everyone else is relegated to a comfortable if undeniable second-class citizenship. Martin Ford Rise of the Robots (2015) describes a post-work world with robots and machine intelligence running everything, triggering the need for a techno-socialism. Ditto Thomas Piketty’s Capitalisms in the Twenty-First Century, Chris Hayes’s Twilight of the Elites, and Ryan Avent’s The Wealth of Humans (2016).

But in truth, they were all late to the party. In 1930 John Maynard Keynes wrote Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren describing his view of how the economic future would unfold.

At the time, the world was caught in a deepening depression. “We are suffering just now from a bad attack of economic pessimism,” Keynes noted in the opening to his essay. But Keynes believed that, once the world had overcome its Depression, growth would resume and living standards would return to the upward path they’d been on previously. He acknowledged that rapid technological improvement would cause some short-term discomfort (“a temporary phase of maladjustment”), but urged readers not to lose sight of the big picture:

All this means in the long run that mankind is solving its economic problem. I would predict that the standard of life in progressive countries one hundred years hence will be between four and eight times as high as it is today….

….Time spent working would dwindle to perhaps fifteen hours a week, and then to nothing. And the main problem humanity would face would be just what to do with itself in a world of abundant leisure.

Keynes was right: Rich economies have already experienced at least a fourfold improvement in living standards. It seems likely that some will, by 2030, have enjoyed an eight-fold rise.

But we achieve this astonishing productivity with ever less demand for labor. What are we going to do with this abundance of leisure? And how much longer can we stumble on, pretending that the labor market is a sufficient means for distributing the abundant wealth of our society?

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nobody.really
on March 03, 2017 at 16:16:03 pm

Historically, the generation of wealth and improvements in quality of life in America (the real reasons for escape from subsistence and “poverty”) came from the interactions of the hundreds the thousands and millions of individuals (and the groups they formed) setting their own objectives and determining the means for attainment, based on their own motivations, WITHOUT POLICIES.

Maybe so. Or maybe this is the standard libertarian fantasy.

Let's find out: Please name a specific human being and describe that person's accomplishments, and we can explore whether or not that person's accomplishments were influenced by policies. I have a strong suspicion I know the answer, but I'm willing to be surprised.

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nobody.really
on March 03, 2017 at 17:16:21 pm

Yeah, yeah, yeah. More leftist propaganda. I know better than to waste my time arguing with you guys so I'm not gonna play the point-by-point argument game.

The one point worth noting though is about the ongoing growth in automation. The FUD spread by a lot of folks is that automation is going to take over everything, therefore some variation of much-beloved socialism will eventually be necessary. The government must step in and take control, or everyone will die either from starvation, boredom or by becoming human batteries for the robot overlords (boo-hoo-hoo).

No.

The driving force in any democratic economy is the desire of people to take care of their families and to save for retirement. People will not allow robots (or equally inhuman statists) to remove their ability to provide for themselves and their families. We will always find ways to acquire income by bringing value to the economy. Statists always take more from the people than what they give back so a democratic public, when we feel enough of the pinch, we will eventually eject the statists. The free market rules. That's the nature of the human beast.

As with the overwhelming majority of human affairs, government intervention is and will always be unnecessary to address inhuman social disruption. For the most part, good government exists to protect people from stupid people. Bad government exists when said stupid people finagle their way into government and dominate it.

The robots are not going to kill us all. Neither will they force us into socialism. We love our families too much to let either of those things happen.

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Scott Amorian
on March 03, 2017 at 17:20:11 pm

Nobody:

Good comments - agreed.

I recall some years back some fellow remarking that perhaps the best thing that happened to Japan and Germany was that they were bombed to smithereens. with their old industiral infrastructure destroyed they were no longer burdened by the somewhat outdated tools / technology / approaches of the past whereas the US not having suffered such a disruption was *free* to continue in its old outdated ways.

There was some merit to that.
Witness, the spread of cell phone technology / infrastructure in, say, India. If i recall correctly the rate of adoption of this technology significantly outpaced our own. why, because they had no existing inertia resistance, the old fuddy-duddy landline folks, to slow the adoption of cellular technology.

Am not quite ready to accept Cowen's *musings* but i used to argue that the problem of past generations was the distribution of scarcity while the modern problem is the distribution of (potential) surpluses.

Go figure.

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gabe
on March 03, 2017 at 17:28:58 pm

nobody:

I understand your point re: POLICIES (caps intended).

But I think you are referring to "policies" (small case intended). By this I mean, and I suspect that this is what you are getting at, are those rules / laws / policies of GENERAL applicability, such as contract rights, tort laws, laws against restrictions of trade, etc and the general underlying legal supports for property rights.

What Richard is asserting by POLICIES (large cap) is a deliberate set of practices / laws designed with the *purpose* of improving heretofore uncertain (the marketplace, don;t you know) outcomes AND the support governmental mechanisms / institutions required to effect that *purposed* end.

Whereas begore, we sought policies to allow certain means to work their magic, as it were, now we apparently seek POLICIES to effect (and affect, as well) specific ENDS.

There is a difference.

As to your conception of policies in an earlier regime / time, clearly you are right.
BUT so too is Richard given the evolution of ostensibly proper government aims.

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gabe
on March 03, 2017 at 18:07:51 pm

The people of Britain and the US did the Brexit and Trump things because we were fed up with the grabbiness of socialism. Sooner or later you run out of other people’s money. We, the “other” people, got fed up with little or no annual raises and poor growth of long-term investments. So we have Brexit and Trump.

US policy will be motivated likewise. Policies that drive better salaries and income for most of us “other” people will eventually be put in place. If they do not get put in place expect more discontent and activism from we “others” and the policy makers and their policies will be replaced by policy makers and policies that are more advantageous to us. That’s the part of democracy that works well over time.

1. Naturally, people crave the power to consume. Taxes reduce out power to consume—relative to a world in which we have the same level of income, but government services are free. In other words, relative to a fantasy world.
But perhaps taxes have reduced people’s power to consumeHas socialim’s “grabbiness” reduced people’s power to consume relative to the past? If so, specifically what past?

Here’s a graph of the growth in GDP per capita for the US, UK, and Russia. And, sure enough, the average has declined in the UK relative to the period before the Great Recession. (It also declined in the US, but has since grown beyond that point. Russia is a basket-case.)

Here’s a graph of real disposable income per capita in the US. The moral is clear: On a per capital basis, we’ve never had as much disposable income as we do today. If people weren’t complaining about lacking sufficient disposable income during the Reagan Administration, they CLEARLY have no basis for complaint now.

But that per capita covers a multitude of sins. So here’s a graph of real median household income compared to real GDP per household in the US. Clearly, the median is not doing as well as the average. In other words, US policies are having the effect of letting the rich get richer while the typical household has remained stagnant.

So our problem is not that public policies depress productivity or earnings, even on an after-tax basis. The problem is that the earnings flow entirely to a narrow slice of society.

In short, we don’t suffer from too much socialism; we suffer from too little.

2. Indeed, we, the “other” people, got fed up with little or no annual raises and poor growth of long-term investments. So we have Brexit and Trump.

But the reason we “other” people see no annual raises are the once cited by Rogers (and me): There is a glut of supply relative to demand in the labor market. Admittedly, Democrats have failed to develop policies to change this. But Republicans have also failed to develop policies to address this. The only difference is that Republicans LIE and claim that they can do something about this.

Sure, we can build a wall on the southern border—but that’s just a symbolic gesture. First, the vast majority of undocumented immigrants arrived in the US illegally—and then stayed; a wall will do nothing to stop this. Second, net illegal immigration across the southern border dried up years ago; if we’re already close to zero, how much lower can building a wall drive that number?

This is not a labor policy. This is labor policy theater.

Democrats, to their credit, have largely refrained from selling false hope. Rather, they have focused on the good news—as a nation, we’re rich!—and on developing policies to help share the wealth.

Yes, I know, people would prefer a world with a robust labor market. And I’d prefer a world with less gravity. But public policy is not an exercise choosing the ideal; it’s an exercise in choosing among the options available to us. The economic burdens of manipulation the labor market will simply not be worth the cost. Redistribution is the next best option.

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nobody.really
on March 03, 2017 at 23:29:42 pm

The free market rules. That’s the nature of the human beast.

Uh ... yeah. And free markets are driven by supply and demand. And, in case you missed the original post and my addition, the thesis is that the growth in the labor supply is outstripping the demand. So if you believe in free markets, you should know where that dynamic leads.

So could you point out what aspect of your comment has any bearing on the supply of, or the demand for, labor?

As with the overwhelming majority of human affairs, government intervention is and will always be unnecessary to address inhuman social disruption. For the most part, good government exists to protect people from stupid people.

Down through history the leading cause of preventable death has been infectious disease. The US has vastly less infectious disease deaths today than in the past, and than in other parts of the world.

So why do people die so much more in the developing world, or in the past? Your hypothesis is that they were so much stupider than Americans today. My hypothesis is that Americans today are every bit as stupid as people ever were—but they live with the benefit of better government, and so are less likely to die of their stupidity.

More narrowly: Has it come to your attention that the unemployment rate varies over time? During the Great Depression, and the Great Recession, it really surged. During various economic booms, it fell. Why is that? Your hypothesis seems to be that unemployment is caused by a decline in people’s love for their families, while booms are caused by a surge in familial love.

Suffice it to say, I don’t share that view. Instead, I’m closer to the view that the free market rules—and those rules apply even when they lead to outcomes that don’t lead to happily-ever-after fairytale endings for wholesome, family-loving people.

This is the Library of Law & Liberty website. Maybe you’d have better luck peddling your theories at https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/.

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nobody.really
on March 04, 2017 at 08:18:10 am

"My hypothesis is that Americans today are every bit as stupid as people ever were—but they live with the benefit of better government, and so are less likely to die of their stupidity." - You are always so very provocative in your comments, would only that you were so committed to them, as you are provocative, as to step-out from behind the shadow and safety of your moniker, Sir or Madam Nobody. But that would be in a better world.

The above quote speaks a very elitist worldview about citizen's and their 'government of the elites" who in their superior intelligence, assume the role of Nanny of the stupid - while the stupid "cling to their guns and religion" - So very Obama-esque.

The "better government" that "lead" the march against infectious disease, did so, with the consent and mandate of the citizens - i.e. the citizens look around see so many deaths of family and neighbors to disease and they say to their government, "Do something about this, this is why we have you in the first place." - then government acts accordingly, (this of course, for sake of illustration, is a simplification of the process and dynamics) .

This is quite different from the prevailing (at least by half) view of government - i.e. "We know what's best for the people (and the world) and we are therefore, going to do "this" or "that", despite having neither the express consent or mandate of the citizens to act against "this" or to change "that", because we are enlightened, we are smarter and more educated and well, just not so deplorable."

The response will be, "Oh, but we do have the consent of the people, they voted for us didn't they?" - Yes, but usually only by the thinnest margins - and, there is no limit to how thinly "ballot-box consent" can be stretched to justify actions quite different from vague campaign promises such as "Hope" - which can rightly be translated, " We really "HOPE" they won't catch-on" To be fair, "Make America Great Again", is nearly as vague - both sides are guilty.

Better like Beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but I would posit, this so-called "Better Government" that you seem to embrace is not the one the Framers envisioned when they gathered "in order to form a more perfect union".

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Paul Binotto
on March 04, 2017 at 12:03:08 pm

nobody:

re: POLICIES (large caps)

You correctly assert that the problem is that larger amounts of wealth are being harvested by a smaller slice of the population.

Yep! Absotively.

Yet a very credible case may be made that this outcome is the direct result of a POLICY, i.e., one that permits unfettered immigration to our shores. Economists (see recent Claremont Review) estimate that this overly large pool of unskilled labor has permitted the upper strata to accrue approximately $500 BILLION in excess wealth - all at the expense of the lower strate.

Now that is a POLICY effected by the governing structure; coupled with less than optimal trade policies in pursuit of a globalist objective (POLICY, again), it is clear that POLICIES do adversely affect the citizenry whereas the "policies" (small cap) of the past, a rule of general applicability did not have such a deteminative effect upon outcomes.

The tip of one's nose is always difficult to observe, residing as it does in the center of one's field of vision. It takes considerable effort to see one's nose, i.e., that which is clearly in front of us.
At times, we may delude ourselves into believing that we see the whole field. Careful that it is not simply a bugger obscuring our view.

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gabe
on March 04, 2017 at 18:14:50 pm

nobody:

I am both surprised and disappointed in the above comments. Restrain yourself and your arguments to some reasonable approximation of what Scott was presenting. You know full well that he was not positing a direct correlation between familial love and unemployment, yet you chose to make such an attribution. Are you again slipping into your mode of *spurious* argumentation?

Now as for Disneyland bit: I doubt that Scott, nor many others would really be interested in visiting Disney as they have now decided to push their own "leftist" agenda with the first Gay Beauty and the Beast. Oh the wonders of it all, proclaimed the Progressive press - "The FIRST gay CARTOON kiss."

Is this is what the lefty loonies have been reduced to then I must say YOUR side is doomed.

Anyway, your snootiness detracts from some otherwise intelligent argument.

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gabe
on March 04, 2017 at 18:32:58 pm

The tip of one’s nose is always difficult to observe, residing as it does in the center of one’s field of vision. It takes considerable effort to see one’s nose, i.e., that which is clearly in front of us.

Gabe, gabe, gabe… I commend you on your desire to not fall into my errs by maintaining a steady gaze on your own nose. But honestly, the resulting look is not helping your argument as much as you may think.

[T]his outcome is the direct result of a POLICY, i.e., one that permits unfettered immigration to our shores.

Well, here we illustrate the indeterminacy of this “POLICY” framework. Do the US have a POLICY of permitting people to immigrate—or do we have a POLICY of limiting people’s immigration? In the absence of any POLICY, people would cross the border unimpeded—as, indeed, people did for much of this country’s history.

Economists (see recent Claremont Review) estimate that this overly large pool of unskilled labor has permitted the upper strata to accrue approximately $500 BILLION in excess wealth – all at the expense of the lower strata.

I surmise you are referring to a review of George Borjas’s immigration book. But you didn’t have to go to the Claremont Review for such an analysis; you could have found one here at the Library of Law and Liberty, along with links to various competing views.

Now that is a POLICY effected by the governing structure; coupled with less than optimal trade policies in pursuit of a globalist objective (POLICY, again), it is clear that POLICIES do adversely affect the citizenry whereas the “policies” (small cap) of the past, a rule of general applicability did not have such a deteminative effect upon outcomes.

1. Economists disagree about the effects of immigration, but largely agree on the following. First, immigration in the US has led to economic growth—that is, the benefits have exceeded the burdens. (Even Borjas does not dispute this.) Second, the benefits are stratified, with the immigrants themselves receiving a large share, along with the upper echelons of society, while having much smaller benefits for low-skilled native workers.

Economists disagree about whether the net effect is negative or positive overall for this segment. Yes, immigrants tend to compete with low-skilled workers for jobs—but immigrants, unlike imported steel—also create demand for more jobs. Immigrants buy houses, attend schools, wear clothes, eat food, drive cars, etc.—and somebody gets employed to provide all those things. Public radio has been doing stories about dying rural towns in the Dakotas (I think)—and about one town that is thriving because it accepted a meat processing factory and all the immigrants that came to work there. The janitor at the local school may complain that he faces competition for his job, and blame immigration. The janitor at the school in the neighboring town loses his job because they've closed down the school. When designing POLICIES, which outcome should we prefer?

2. But here’s the larger point: What should we do about all this?

One option is to say that it’s bad, bad, bad, and shut down immigration. Yes, this might well increase the wages of low-skilled native workers—but at what cost?

Because, outside of service jobs, a choice to shut down immigration of cheap workers often coincides with an employer’s choice to move the factory elsewhere. So to really make this POLICY effective, you now need to impose not just an embargo on people, but also on the goods made by those people. Now consider the cost.

Almost inevitably, policies that impede trade increase costs for the would-be buyers. And when you add up these costs, they swamp the value of the incomes received by the native workers. Check out the costs that we’ll pay for the Carrier deal saving 700 jobs for some indeterminate time in Indiana. For the price of this intervention, we could have simply guaranteed people an equivalent revenue stream for retiring, and still saved money.

So the alternative POLICY is to do whatever grows the economy the most—AND THEN SHARE THE RESULTING WEALTH.

Oh, that’s so interventionist, you say; it’s such a “POLICY.” But embargoes on immigration and trade are also POLICIES; they’re just more expensive policies. Why pick the more expensive option?

Well, because we really value the idea of work. And here, I agree: Work has many benefits beyond just a paycheck. But how much do we value those benefits? Hypothetically if society could preserve a $50,000 job, or give somebody a pension of $50,000 just to retire, which should society choose? Ok, what if the pension was $60,000? $80,000? At what point do we say that the value of preserving a job for a native worker exceeds the benefit?

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nobody.really
on March 05, 2017 at 01:01:50 am

The “better government” that “lead” the march against infectious disease, did so, with the consent and mandate of the citizens – i.e. the citizens look around see so many deaths of family and neighbors to disease and they say to their government, “Do something about this, this is why we have you in the first place.” – then government acts accordingly, (this of course, for sake of illustration, is a simplification of the process and dynamics) .

I’d like to hear more about this theory.

According to Guns, Germs, Steel, people have been dying of infectious diseases roughly since the domestication of animals. Indeed, the Pilgrims were able to get a foothold in America not because it was a virgin wilderness, but because it was a widowed wilderness: The infectious diseases brought to the New World by the Spanish had decimated the booming populations that had previously inhabited those lands.

Thus, I’d be a little surprised if government got into the disease-control business because of popular outcry. After all, you and I constantly struggle under the burdens of gravity, yet I can’t recall popular outcries for government to do something about that. If we grow up with a given burden, we’re likely to conclude that it merely reflects “the way it is.” It requires people of vision to see that “the way it is” isn’t the way things have to be. And people of vision are few; they’re elitists; and thus their perspectives are obviously crap.

My hypothesis is that Americans today are every bit as stupid as people ever were—but they live with the benefit of better government, and so are less likely to die of their stupidity.

The above quote speaks a very elitist worldview about citizen’s and their ‘government of the elites” who in their superior intelligence, assume the role of Nanny of the stupid – while the stupid “cling to their guns and religion” – So very Obama-esque.

I may well hold those views—but I don’t think my comments here reflect them.

Scott Amorian said, “For the most part, good government exists to protect people from stupid people.” I responded,

So why do people die [of infectious disease] so much more in the developing world, or in the past? Your hypothesis is that they were so much stupider than Americans today. My hypothesis is that Americans today are every bit as stupid as people ever were—but they live with the benefit of better government, and so are less likely to die of their stupidity.

In short, I have not alleged that Americans are stupid relative to anyone else. I do allege that Americans are roughly as stupid as anyone else. I could have said just as smart as anyone else, but Amorian chose stupidity as the relevant attribute, and I followed suit.

Nevertheless, Paul Binotto and I agree that government does not exist merely to protect people from stupid people. It also exists to protect people from stupid diseases. And stupid natural disasters. And stupid predatory animals. And from smart predatory animals (including people).

Moreover, government is made by—and staffed by—people, just like any other organization. Intelligence does not merely reflect the attribute of an individual. Mostly it reflects the attributes of organizations. Various primates can out-perform human children in tasks of special reasoning and dexterity. But if the task requires coordination among people, human kids out-perform other primates by a mile. Thus, human organizations develop intelligence at doing various tasks both by selecting participates who have certain attributes, but also by simply sticking with certain tasks for a long time and learning from mistakes.

From the dawn of the automobile, stupid drivers have lost control of their cars and crashed, killing themselves and others. Thanks to government policies designed by elitist busybodies, roads are designed to reduce the likelihood of crashes and the harm likely to result to others, and other policies have changed car design to reduce the likelihood and extent of harm to drivers and passengers.

From time beyond memory, stupid people have overdosed on opioids. Today we can save some of those stupid people thanks to Narcan, an intervention created with the aid of government-backed research and government-protected patents. Similar stories could be told of myriad other medications.

Stupid people avoid planning for various kinds of contingencies. Government policies create various types of social safety nets (national defense, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, police, fire, FEMA, procedures for passing property and child custody in the absence of a will, etc.) and, yes, compels people to pay for them even when those people are NOT in need of the various types of aid.

This dynamic also works in reverse. Americans have a lower life expectancy than people in most other developed nations. Why is that? Are Americans just stupider than people in those other nations? Or perhaps do those other nations have policies—in particular, health care and gun control policies—that reduce adverse consequences for their own citizens, no matter how stupid they are?

If that belief makes me an elitist, then I would be only too proud to accept the attribution. (I can only aspire to becoming Obama-esqueness—but I’ll need to lose a lot of weight. And gain a lot of height.)

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nobody.really
on March 05, 2017 at 02:33:33 am

I am both surprised and disappointed in the above comments. Restrain yourself and your arguments to some reasonable approximation of what Scott was presenting. You know full well that he was not positing a direct correlation between familial love and unemployment, yet you chose to make such an attribution.

Ok, let me apologize. While I stand by my arguments, I acknowledge that I did not tie them as tightly to Scott Amorian’s remarks as I would have wished. Scott said,

The driving force in any democratic economy is the desire of people to take care of their families and to save for retirement. People will not allow robots (or equally inhuman statists) to remove their ability to provide for themselves and their families. We will always find ways to acquire income by bringing value to the economy….

The robots are not going to kill us all. Neither will they force us into socialism. We love our families too much to let either of those things happen.

So what should unemployed people think when confronted with this attitude? Amorian asserts that employment is purely a matter of individual attributes, not social ones. If you loved your family enough, you’d have a job. Thus we don’t need social programs to deal with unemployment, because it’s not a social problem; it’s purely a problem of individuals who lack merit.

I think Amorian is ignorant of the relevant facts. Anyone who has studied macroeconomics knows, for example, that the Fed has occasionally constricted the money supply notwithstanding the fact that this policy would increase unemployment. Clearly that mechanism couldn’t work if employment were purely a function of individual merit, over which the Fed has no control.

Now, there’s no special shame in ignorance; we’re all ignorant of things until we learn about them. That’s part of why we read blogs, right?

But I also find Scott Amorian’s remarks express a callous disregard for the suffering of others. That pushes my buttons. So I guess I responded more harshly than I might have otherwise. For that, I’m sorry.

Now as for Disneyland bit: I doubt that Scott, nor many others would really be interested in visiting Disney as they have now decided to push their own “leftist” agenda with the first Gay Beauty and the Beast. Oh the wonders of it all, proclaimed the Progressive press – “The FIRST gay CARTOON kiss.”

Uh … really?

The theme of nearly all Disney cartoons is a protagonist who feels like a misfit, seeking acceptance. Perhaps not such a surprising theme, since a number of the authors, composers, and lyricists were gay as a daisy. Recall Mulan, the girl who sings about how she doesn’t feel like herself when she’s compelled to conform to traditional gender roles, and spends the rest of the movie as a guy? (And recall that her dad was voiced by George Takei?) Recall the characters of Scar? And Ursula the Water-Witch? And just maybe, once or twice, you encountered the song “Let It Go”?

Yet only NOW you’re worried that Disney has become too gay-friendly? Honey, that horse sashayed out of that barn a loooooong time ago.

Let it go.

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nobody.really
on March 05, 2017 at 02:38:05 am

Let me thank Scott Amorian for articulating the classic libertarian view, and gabe for articulating the populist view. They provide helpful bookends for my argument.

Libertarians typically oppose government intervention, arguing that market forces will find optimal solutions. Alas, they ignore how government interventions have already set the stage: WWII was an ENORMOUS government intervention in the labor market, creating a surge in demand for US labor in the post-war years, which basically built the middle class that we know today. As those advantages have faded, the plight of low-skilled workers has grown more dire—yet libertarians argue for staying the course. Because this policy offers no relief to the working class, they increasingly throw their votes elsewhere.

The populists are happy to promise relief to the working class in exchange for votes—whether or not the populists can actually deliver. They promise to re-create the economy of a bygone day, even in the absence of the circumstances that made that economy possible. The propose imposing embargoes on immigration and trade, which will succeed at save jobs even as it loses many others, and incurs great cost overall.

I want to give relief to the working class, too, but often in the form of a social safety net and wealth transfers. Like populists, I want to help those whom the market mechanism leaves behind. But like the libertarians, I respect the power of well-regulated markets to achieve optimal outcomes, and want to enable that mechanism to function as much as possible. Unless we can create a society that commands the assent of 50% of the voters, market-oriented policies will be replaced with random populist interference in the markets. We’ll get embargoes on immigration and trade, and subsidies targeted to whichever firm the government favors at the moment.

In short, I join Charles Murray (in concept, if not detail) in arguing that we need a policy designed to optimize productivity, and then share the results of that productivity. Libertarians won’t like the sharing part. But that’s a necessary cost to avoid the chaos of the populists. Populists won’t like the free market/creative destruction part. But they’ll gradually learn that the idea that we can revert to some bygone economic system is a myth, and the effort will prove to be more expensive than it’s worth.

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nobody.really
on March 05, 2017 at 09:08:05 am

Dear Sir or Madam Nobody,

Gravity has never been a struggle or a burden for me. And, as far as I can tell, no one has ever actually succumbed to gravity, but only to the effects of it, such as in seeking to defy it by stepping out the window of their loft building. And, while this indeed may be akin to “people of vision (who) see that “the way it is” isn’t the way things have to be”. And (also why such) “people of vision are few”. But this does not make them any less mistaken or delusional; any less so, than is this analogy, or that it also quickly falls to the ground under the weight of its own faulty reasoning.

While people falling from buildings, just as masses of bodies dropping dead from disease, does tend to draw attention to a problem, (especially if you happen to have them land on you), thus, making both apt issues of demand for governmental remedy; still most sane people don’t have to be hit on the head, (even the most stupid ones) to realize the futility of calling for the eradication of gravity, but rather they might call instead for fixed windows in high buildings or perhaps more rightly, the building of mental hospitals.

Any further discourse between us over the proper role of government, and in a certain way, more importantly, the role of those who govern would be circular, as neither of us is likely to be very much persuaded.
So I will, instead, only close by suggesting that perhaps there is an alternative explanation to your hypothesis as to why citizens of (European, I presume you refer) countries may have longer life expectancies than Americans. It may be that due to the very high tax burden required to support these so-called superior policy, there is little surplus discretionary income remaining for the average citizen to fill their plate. Whether this is virtue or vice, I will not debate, but in my view, this level of government involvement and participation is not the proper one in a free society.

Also, by far, more children die each year by abortion than by gun violence. And, fifty-years of programs and billions of tax dollars to fight the “War on Poverty” have hardly made a dent in reducing the rates of poverty they were promised to lift people out of; nor has forty-years of Roe, been any more successful in its similar promised effect.
Gun violence among young people can be attributed to poverty, but guns are not the common denominator. And, gun-control will not alleviate poverty; it will only provide a scape-goat for years of the failed government policy that only perpetuates it.

But, in the end, contrary to what you may think I think of you or of your perspective, I feel certain, despite our differing views, that still, you are a person of good will.

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Paul Binotto
on March 05, 2017 at 11:18:44 am

nobody:

Fair enough and it would appear that you were not distracted by a bugger (bugga, sp?).

Clearly, we agree that the putative benefits of current immigration (BTW: I would add that Borja's figures probably include a "globalism" component, as well) have not been equally distributed.

Whereas, you would prefer State intervention in this distribution of income / wealth, I would prefer (and not for some Smith / Lockean ideological sentiment) that natural forces perform this service. Yes, that would mean that the current distribution, absent some renewed / heightened sense of social responsibility on the part of our economic overseers, would remain virtually unchanged. This does not mean I would be satisfied with that outcome.
Yet, to my mind it is less about the outcome than the means, the *policies* (small caps) that are, or have been deployed. Again, a *policy* of general applicability, one which applies the Law on immigration equally to all comers, i.e., a LAW THAT IS ENFORCED would have a rather salutary effect. Another general *policy* / rule: "One does not have an inherent right to cross the borders of another nation and take up residence there."
You also assume that without these *policies* (small caps) that there would be no restraint on immigration, that it would be unfettered. That is not, nor has it always been the case. While intake was virtually limitless in earlier times, as recently as 30 years ago, certain requirements were placed upon both the immigrant and their family / sponsors. All of this is absent now, as is the change in the character / demographics of immigrants following the *Sainted* Ted Kennedy's immigration proposals in the late 1960's(date ?). Here again, we see a POLICY with a distinct end. could it have been to insure that a steady supply of lower income people as potential voters for the Democrat Party be provided? Why was the allocation for European immigrants changed? etc etc.; or was this simply the first stirrings of the "globalist / multicultural impulse?"

Now, it very well could be that even a return back to earlier, more sensible immigration policy and a respect for the rule of law (and national sovereignty, I might add) would not produce the nirvana that some may suppose. Granted! Yet, why make the assumption that given the current problems that only the STATE possesses the wisdom / knowledge / technical expertise to resolve this issue, given further that in so many respects it is these same *experts* whose POLICY prescriptions have condemned us to these dire prospects. (Please include in this, the "cronyism", self dealing of corporate elites that meshed nicely with the ideological preferences of the Progressive / globalists / multiculturalists populating the academy / media and the governing structure).
As you yourself argue, "What is to be the cut-off point" - $50K, $60K, $100K? Who shall receive it? When, etc etc. If someone as bright and articulate as yourself cannot answer it (I mean, after all you do post at LLB, and not presumably at disneyland.com), why should we expect that some FAS minion, recently credentialed with a "grade inflated" Masters degree from a once respected Ivy League university will better perform this task? HA!

No, I would prefer that we simply enforce LAWS of general applicability, employ / deploy *policies* of general applicability AND, where, and when, necessary devise new *policy* (small cap) to assure a level playing field for all.

Sadly, as I suspect you know, that discussion will take us far afield from mere immigration.

BTW: Here is a thought for you:

Ever wonder why modern immigrants, in large measure, do not appear to assimilate?
How about becuase in our current urge to be globalist and multicultural, WE SIMPLY NO LONGER HAVE ANYTHING TO OFFER THEM.

I would submit that the POLICIES advocated by your Proggie friends are in very large measure responsible for this.

take care
gabe

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gabe
on March 05, 2017 at 13:28:27 pm

Whereas, you would prefer State intervention in this distribution of income / wealth, I would prefer (and not for some Smith / Lockean ideological sentiment) that natural forces perform this service.

Uh, not quite, on both counts.

I don’t unwaveringly favor state redistribution. I favor whatever will address the social needs most efficiently. As far as I can tell, that would be redistribution.

Moreover, gabe, you also support state intervention. You just support the kind of intervention that imposes embargoes on immigration. THAT IS STATE INTERVENTION. Maybe you’d call it “familiar” intervention or “agreeable” intervention or “friendly” intervention—but it’s all state intervention. Again, I don’t necessarily oppose that policy. I merely want to see evidence that it would achieve the desired outcomes at the least cost.

You also assume that without these *policies* (small caps) that there would be no restraint on immigration, that it would be unfettered. That is not, nor has it always been the case.

Again you confuse whether a state intervention is familiar with whether it is a state intervention. Two separate questions.

While intake was virtually limitless in earlier times, as recently as 30 years ago, certain requirements were placed upon both the immigrant and their family / sponsors. All of this is absent now….

What? So now there are no requirements placed on immigrants or sponsors? There’s no vetting process?
What are you talking about?

…the *Sainted* Ted Kennedy’s immigration proposals in the late 1960’s(date ?). Here again, we see a POLICY with a distinct end. could it have been to insure that a steady supply of lower income people as potential voters for the Democrat Party be provided? Why was the allocation for European immigrants changed? etc etc.; or was this simply the first stirrings of the “globalist / multicultural impulse?”

Uh … during the 1960s the biggest backer of the Democratic Party was labor unions—and unions have traditionally been opposed to widespread immigration. I’m not seeing the sense here.

Now, it very well could be that even a return back to earlier, more sensible immigration policy and a respect for the rule of law (and national sovereignty, I might add) would not produce the nirvana that some may suppose. Granted! Yet, why make the assumption that given the current problems that only the STATE possesses the wisdom / knowledge / technical expertise to resolve this issue….

Uh … who exactly are you proposing establish and enforce immigration limits—the Boy Scouts? You’re proposing state remedies, just as I am.

… given further that in so many respects it is these same *experts* whose POLICY prescriptions have condemned us to these dire prospects.

Yeah—they condemned us to being the wealthiest nation in the history of history, even on a per-capita basis. The principle problem you identify is that this wealth has accrued to a narrow slice of the population. I agree, and so I propose remedies addressing *that* problem—not some imagined problem involving immigration.

Ever wonder why modern immigrants, in large measure, do not appear to assimilate?
How about because in our current urge to be globalist and multicultural, WE SIMPLY NO LONGER HAVE ANYTHING TO OFFER THEM?

I would submit that the POLICIES advocated by your Proggie friends are in very large measure responsible for this.

I would like to see data on this. As far as I know, every generation has complained that the immigrants of that generation have failed to assimilate. The fact that people speak with regional accents demonstrates a failure to assimilate. The fact that many cities have regions known as “China Town” or “Little Italy” demonstrates a failure to assimilate. The distinctive behaviors of Hassidic Jews and Amish people demonstrate a failure to assimilate.

So what?

But here’s some consolation for you: I expect that shortly we will be seeing more deportations, and thus more news stories about families being thrust into an environment that a parent left as an infant. These stories will document how the families struggle, knowing nothing of the language, culture, or traditions of this place. These struggles will demonstrate that they are, culturally, very poorly adapted to this new home and, in fact, were rather better adapted to life in the US. In short, the stories will show that these expelled undocumented immigrants had assimilated better than you realized. I hope that gives you whatever satisfaction you seek.

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nobody.really
on March 05, 2017 at 16:30:24 pm

nobody:

For a smart fellow, you are still unable to discern the difference between a POLICY and a policy.

The latter is one of general applicability while the former is one designed with a specific outcome, indeed, a VERY specific outcome in mind. i.e., the Kennedy inspired changes in immigration quotas by nationality.

Also, the fact of Chinatowns and Little Italy's does not support the assertion that past immigrants failed to assimilate. one must look at the "changing" composition of those ethnic enclaves. Over time, and in my own families case a relatively short time, the early arrivals moved and moved into the mainstream, to be replaced by new arrivals. The early arrivals moved out of Little Italy to Queeens, Brooklyn, Long Island, to use New York City as an example. Moreover, they sent their children (my parents) to schools where ENGLISH was the linguistic medium AND it was expected that it be understood by the students. There was a clear understanding and desire to accept the ways of the new country. To deny this is to deny the history of all those hearty immigrant souls who risked much to come to our shores.

Yet, you wish to deny this. You also seek to trivialize the past requirement to assure that a "sponsor" of an immigrant assume financial responsibility for that immigrant by making an inane joke about "extreme vetting" of the sponsors. To be perfectly frank, my own father-in-law had to be vetted in order for his son's Japanese wife to be admitted to this country. A financial vetting (such as it was) to assure that should some ill fate befall her, then my father-in-law would "pay her way" and not the US Government.

This was a joke that "did not bark."

But why not do it your way. Let us let everyone /anyone enter our country whether they are financially able, are skilled or unskilled, posses no grounding in classical liberal democratic values. are affected (infected) with any manner of once forgotten communicable diseases (I should note my own grandson had picked up one of these ailments) that had been absent from the US for well near a century.

What the heck, we are an "open" people right. Oops, it seems to be that the concept of a "people" is what you and your ilk have a problem with it, isn't it. A *people* would entail some minimal right to decide who that *people* is. Hey, I remember from the 1960's "Power to the People" - except it is only one kind of people that you allow to exercise power, isn't it.

Give me a break.

Again, if you can not discern the difference between POLICY and policy (which apparently you can't) then there is no action or practice that you will not see as supportive of your Statist perspective. Goodness, if I claim that "Red Light / Traffic Lights" are a simple policy of general applicability, you will then conclude that it is therefore fitting and proper that we also assure that a recent immigrant be provided with automobile insurance and a high performance sports sedan.

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gabe
on March 05, 2017 at 17:25:19 pm

nobody:

I couldn't give a rip about "gay" this or gay that. I simply wanted to highlight the silliness of your "disneyland' suggestion for Scott. It was crude and uncalled for.

As I have said repeatedly, and from an old Loe Cocker song (at least his version)

"Do {gays] still figure in your [my] life"

Nope, never did, never will. don;t give a hoot.
So I have no need to let it go as I was never holding onto anything in the first place other than a desire to not see my fellow bloggers insulted (you and i are different - we like to go at each other and can still laugh about it).

So I ain't letting go - no need to.

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gabe
on March 05, 2017 at 17:32:31 pm

Wrong again:

If, as you say, I am a populist and populists do not want the free market, we got a problem, brudda. I do want free market solutions - free and fair.

And oh BTW re: difference in immigration in past vs present and how old time immigrants did not assimilate.

Submitted for you consideration as you appear to be partially returned from the Twilight Zone:

From todays "The Federalist", a story of illegal immigrants suing Wells Fargo for not backing their student loans;

"Recently, a group of young illegal immigrants in California filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo bank for denying their student loans applications on the basis of their immigration status. The Los Angeles Times profiled one of the plaintiffs, Mitzie Perez, who came to the U.S. illegally in 1997 from Guatemala. Five years old at the time, she is now 25 and a junior at the University of California-Riverside, focusing on gender and sexuality studies.

Perez and the rest of plaintiffs are beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The 2012 executive order, signed by President Barack Obama, gave temporary deportation relief to young adults brought to the U.S. illegally as children, who met certain criteria. That relief applies for a period of two years, subject to renewal.

About 750,000 immigrants have applied for DACA’s reprieve, which lets them work and study in the U.S. legally. Does that mean a bank like Wells Fargo must ignore these young people’s immigration status when making loan decisions? Absolutely not."

Can you imagine my grandfathers generation having the absolute temerity to attempt this.

No, they would not and did not because they by and large played by, and accepted the rules and customs of their new home. Only in an environment where these interlopers are assumed to have a plethora of heretofore unexisting rights, to include the right to maintain their own unique cultures can this be possible?

Are you kidding me?

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gabe
on March 05, 2017 at 18:38:35 pm

For a smart fellow, you are still unable to discern the difference between a POLICY and a policy.

No, I’m able to discern the distinction. A POLICY is something you disapprove of; a policy is something you approve of. It’s an “I know it when I see it” distinction. And thus, it may be a perfectly workable distinction—for you.

Also, the fact of Chinatowns and Little Italys does not support the assertion that past immigrants failed to assimilate. one must look at the “changing” composition of those ethnic enclaves. Over time, and in my own families case a relatively short time, the early arrivals moved and moved into the mainstream, to be replaced by new arrivals. The early arrivals moved out of Little Italy to Queeens, Brooklyn, Long Island, to use New York City as an example. Moreover, they sent their children (my parents) to schools where ENGLISH was the linguistic medium AND it was expected that it be understood by the students. There was a clear understanding and desire to accept the ways of the new country. To deny this is to deny the history of all those hearty immigrant souls who risked much to come to our shores.

Yet, you wish to deny this.

Dude, plenty of immigrants assimilate, while others don’t—just as always.

On the assimilation side, we can find—

• Fazlur Rahman Khan, the Dhaka-born Bangladeshi-American known as the “Einstein of structural engineering.”
• Shahid Khan, the Pakistan-born student at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, who runs the Flex-N-Gate auto parts company and is the 360th richest person on the planet.
• Ayub Ommaya, the Pakistani-born Muslim neurosurgeon who invented an intraventricular catheter system (used for the aspiration of cerebrospinal fluid or the delivery of drugs), developed the first coma score for classification of traumatic brain injury, and developed the US’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
• Ahmed Zewail, the Egyptian-born Nobel Prize Laureate for Chemistry.

On the other side, we can find my great grandfather who emigrated from Germany and secured a variety of patents, but never managed to learn more than rudimentary English. And my spouse’s grandmother who emigrated from Finland and apparently never learned even rudimentary English. In short, the idea that all past immigrants promptly assimilated is just nonsense. Some did, some didn’t—just like immigrants today.

And, true enough, some choose not to assimilate—just like today’s Amish and Hasidic Jews. Those communities seem relatively stable, having no expectation of gradually disbursing into the mainstream. And this is a problem because … why?

In my city, grade schools are filling up with the children of goddamn immigrants who won’t assimilate. Instead of playing baseball, football, hockey, etc., they play soccer. So the local schools are converting more baseball fields and football fields to soccer fields, and leasing their ice time to the suburban schools. Thanks to kids like these, the US might win a World Cup someday. True, the US might have a reduced prospect of keeping the Stanley Cup—but honestly, the US has been importing most of its professional hockey players for years.

Damn those immigrants and their refusal to assimilate! How are my kids supposed to win soccer scholarships? Oh, the humanity…!

Or consider the fact that some immigrant cultures place an exceptional amount of emphasis on academics, leading their kids to out-perform the children of native-born Americans. Damn those immigrants and their refusal to assimilate! How are my kids supposed to win academic scholarships, or get into med school? Oh, the humanity…!

You also seek to trivialize the past requirement to assure that a “sponsor” of an immigrant assume financial responsibility for that immigrant by making an inane joke about “extreme vetting” of the sponsors. To be perfectly frank, my own father-in-law had to be vetted in order for his son’s Japanese wife to be admitted to this country. A financial vetting (such as it was) to assure that should some ill fate befall her, then my father-in-law would “pay her way” and not the US Government.

This was a joke that “did not bark.”

Please review Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A in the INA, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It includes the following explanation:

What is the Legal Effect of My Signing Form I-864?
* * *
Under this contract, you agree that, in deciding whether the intended immigrant can establish the he or she is not inadmissible to the United States as a person likely to become a public charge, the U.S. Government can consider your income and assets as available for the support of the intending immigrant.

Now, I’m no immigration attorney; I merely discovered this based on a Google search. But it would appear that sponsorship requirements remain firmly in place. So could you restate your concerns about these requirements?

(And while you’re at it, could you provide citations/links to support your claims? It’s kind of burdensome to ask others to disprove your claims, rather than to ask you to support your assertions in the first place. I appreciate it.)

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nobody.really
on March 05, 2017 at 19:12:00 pm

And oh BTW re: difference in immigration in past vs present and how old time immigrants did not assimilate.

Submitted for you consideration as you appear to be partially returned from the Twilight Zone:

From todays “The Federalist”, a story of illegal immigrants suing Wells Fargo for not backing their student loans;

“Recently, a group of young illegal immigrants in California filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo bank for denying their student loans applications on the basis of their immigration status….

About 750,000 immigrants have applied for DACA’s reprieve, which lets them work and study in the U.S. legally. Does that mean a bank like Wells Fargo must ignore these young people’s immigration status when making loan decisions? Absolutely not.”

Can you imagine my grandfathers generation having the absolute temerity to attempt this.

No, they would not and did not because they by and large played by, and accepted the rules and customs of their new home. Only in an environment where these interlopers are assumed to have a plethora of heretofore unexisting rights, to include the right to maintain their own unique cultures can this be possible?

Hard to say what someone of your grandfather’s generation would have the temerity to do; I don’t know his generation.

But back in the 1940s a guy named Korematsu seemed distinctively of Japanese descent, and that level of difference was sufficient to get him incarcerated under US law. And even during a time of national emergency, even existential crisis, he still had the temerity to bring suit.

Likewise, throughout the country there were black people seeking to vote, and some of them had the temerity to sue.

Now you’ll be gratified to learn that in that era they generally did not prevail in their claims. And likewise, if the claims of these DACA students are as frivolous as The Federalist claims, then we can rest assured that the court will dismiss them. Thus, somebody with a less refined sense of justice might not see the problem.

But as you rightly observe, whether or not they ultimately prevail is not the point. The point is the that they deemed themselves somehow worthy of even filing a claim in court, to be considered by a judge, rather than subjecting themselves to the edicts of The Federalist or gabe! Why is it that these uppity people don’t seem to know their place? Oh, the temerity of it all! Oh, the humanity…!

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nobody.really
on March 05, 2017 at 20:06:47 pm

Wrong once again:

Temerity, indeed, it is. Please do not equate this with the just and rightful demands of Black UNITED STATES CITIZENS for assurance / protection of those rights that are guaranteed them in the US Constitution.

Of course, it is no surprise that you once again attempt to "Confront us with our "alleged) failures" as the song goes.

BUT

There is no equivalency between those people who are here, or who have entered into our polity, illegally and the just claims of both Black AMERICANS and Japanese AMERICANS. Moreover. the two previous groups were not claiming that a Bank had an obligation to provide them with loans, now were they?

Your attempt to equate the two is typical of your never ending efforts to delegitimize American law / tradition and instead, by virtue of a constant denigration of our past demoralize all those who disagree with your rather "bugger" obscured view of American history and culture.

You may continue to belittle and trivialize all things American, refer to us as "populists" (wrongly so attributed), nationalists and or racists, or at a minim,um the beneficiaries of "white privilege" but your seemingly rational / scientific analyses are riddled with error - and, I would suggest that it is not simply an error of calculation or analysis, but rather, Dear Boy, it is one of epistemology.

Simply stated - warped thinking which prevents one from seeing anything of value in YOUR OWN SOCIETY!

You must be rather unhappy, living with this enormous and unending GUILT.

Hey. lighten up, enjoy life, try to observe the good in YOUR culture.

I do.

Ha!

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gabe
on March 05, 2017 at 20:42:53 pm

There is no equivalency between those people who are here, or who have entered into our polity, illegally and the just claims of both Black AMERICANS and Japanese AMERICANS. Moreover. the two previous groups were not claiming that a Bank had an obligation to provide them with loans, now were they?

With respect to the distinction between the citizenship of Black Americans and Japanese Americans, on the one hand, and DAPA applicants, on the other, you are right: the former group are recognized as having US citizenship; the latter are not.

But with respect to their respective rights to request relief from a judge, I find no distinction. EVERYBODY is entitled to file a suit, no matter how pointless. And it is this that you find objectionable—just as people found it objectionable that Black Americans and Japanese Americans would have the temerity to seek redress of grievances in the courts. And in this, I find the objections identical in their degree of merit.

Your attempt to equate the two is typical of your never ending efforts to delegitimize American law / tradition….

To the contrary: I’m happy to embrace my nation’s traditions—including the tradition that anyone can sue for anything at any time.

So the question is simple: What, exactly, do you find so threatening and distasteful about people exercising their right to mail a claim to a courthouse? I repeat, if the suit has no merit, the court will reject it--so no harm, no foul.

Yet that protection is not sufficient for you. You clearly feel threatened by the mere fact that people are filing suit. You feel the need to impose judgment based on the little facts you have, and don’t feel comfortable relying on a judge, with the benefit of all the fact and years of training, to do this job for you.

Why? What leads you to conclude that you are in a better position than a judge to make such judgments, or that you cannot rely on the legal system to act appropriately?

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nobody.really
on March 06, 2017 at 08:59:47 am

nobody:

Last comment on this:

No, I do not feel threatened. Kindly do not impute to me feelings / apprehensions that perhaps you yourself MUST, of necessity, experience as one cannot imagine a person with your peculiar sensitivity to all the past wrongs of America weighing so heavily upon your soul. Clearly, one who is so acutely aware of the wrongdoings perpetrated by his own kind must suffer mightily, and live in fear of, the ultimate retribution that is to come. As I said, your problem appears to be an epistemological one.

As for me, I am threatened by nothing, other than perhaps my beloved Seahawks having a crummy year.

goodbye!

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gabe
on March 17, 2017 at 10:01:47 am

“[On St. Patrick's Day, t]he president will salute the legacy of one wave of immigrants even as he deploys against other immigrants the same calumnies once heaped upon the Irish….

The Irish Catholic immigrants who washed up in the United States after the potato famine of the 1840s were, on the whole, the most destitute national group ever to arrive on American shores.

They were nobody’s ideal of the desirable immigrant. The typical Irish Catholic arrival in New York or Boston was a peasant with little formal education and few material resources. Worse, these people were religious aliens — the papist hordes who threatened to swamp Protestant civilization and, in their ignorance and superstition, destroy enlightened democratic American values….

Mr. Trump’s assertion that millions of illegal immigrants voted to deprive him of his victory in the popular vote directly echoes one of the most common charges against the Irish in the 19th century: that, in the words of one Yankee, “Irishmen fresh from the bogs of Ireland” were led to the polling booths “like dumb brutes” to “vote down intelligent, honest native citizens.”

The relentless campaign to associate undocumented migrants with criminality reworks the charge that Irish Catholics were innately crooked and violent. And the demonization of Muslims as implicitly un-American reproduces the canard that Irish Catholics could not be trusted in high office because they would take orders from the Vatican. As late as 1960, John F. Kennedy faced exactly these slurs in a presidential election.

[There are various] ways to toast the achievements of the Irish in America. One of them is tacitly racist. It relies on a silent distinction, an assumption that the Irish are somehow different from, say, today’s migrants from Latin America. But what is that distinction? It is not that the Irish were wealthier or better educated by contemporary standards, or more highly skilled or harder working. It is simply that they were white and their whiteness gave them a right to be in the United States.”

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nobody.really

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