September 2, 2010

The Value of Vapidity

From Slate:
Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor. Really. We Mean It.
Economists are making the case politicians are afraid to: Immigration is great for the U.S.
By James Ledbetter

If you pay attention only to politics, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the current debate about immigration in America is limited to how severely it should be restricted—whether we need only to seal the border or actually change the birthright citizenship clause in the Constitution.

But among economic pundits, the discussion is heading in exactly the opposite direction. Pro-immigration arguments are booming, and reached a zenith this week with the publication of a paper by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank [i.e., Giovanni Peri], arguing among other things that immigrants, despite popular misconception, do not displace American workers. This has led a number [Felix Salmon] of economic bloggers [Kevin Drum] to make the very rational argument that one of the best things America could do now to fix our sagging economy is to encourage more people to come here and work.

According to the econo-blogosphere lately, immigration is a cure-all for America's economic ills. We'll get to the question of whether anyone is listening, but here is a guide to the virtues-of-immigration arguments that have been making the rounds in recent weeks.

Immigrants will solve our housing crisis. ...

Immigrants are needed to replenish the American workforce. ...

Immigrants make the economy better. ...

I'm always getting accused of being obsessed with IQ, but it seems an awful lot of people are obsessed with showing off how smart they are. In general, that would be a good thing, except that our culture has got itself into a culdesac whereby a proof of being "thoughtful" is by how little thought you give to crucial topics such as immigration, and by how mindlessly you sneer at those who actually have thought hard on the subject.

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess that neither their children nor their relatives nor anyone they know are the sort of losers that have to compete with immigrants in the marketplace for low-wage work.

l said...

Are these the same economists who couldn't have foreseen the sub-prime meltdown? LOL!

Anonymous said...

I did not RTFA at Slate [nor will I ever read it], but the excerpts which you posted read like a parody.

Is it supposed to be a serious article?

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that economists are touting immigration, all of a sudden.

It means the elites know that the natives are restless.

Meanwhile, a black woman tossed acid at a white woman, disfiguring her:

http://www.postchronicle.com/news/original/article_212321213.shtml

Motive unknown. Race not a factor.

Chris said...

I wonder why Ledbetter doesn't cite Borjas (who by the way is also "appropriately" an immigrant)? Idiot.

Chief Seattle said...

Paid liars. No different from the run up to the Iraq war. Academia's a competitive place, and the elites will pave the way for an actor willing to play a part in their propaganda.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that economists are touting immigration, all of a sudden. It means the elites know that the natives are restless.

Recessions are one of the rare times when voters actually sit down and think about shit. For some, it's because they don't have the money to pay for any other distractions. For some, it's because they don't have a job. For a few, though they'd hate to admit it, it's because that job mowing lawns is looking better and better the closer their unemployment coverage comes to running out.

That's why Democrats are extending unemployment coverage out to infinity - wouldn't want Americans to start demanding that illegal immigrants leave.

That's why the Americans for Tax Deform/CoC (Chamber of Commerce) crowd is pushing harder than ever against immigration enforcement. Note that they're also using the continuing recession to push for more tax cuts for the rich, never mind that the economy grew faster in the 80s and 90s than it did in the 00s, despite higher capital gains taxes.

Here is a graph and a chart of US GNP growth rates from 1980 to present.

In 2001, Bush reduced the maximum capital gains rate to 15% and introduced a phase-out of the estate tax (zero this year, but returns to the full rate next year). From 1981-86, the maximum cap gains rate was 20%. From 1986 to 1997, the maximum rate was about 28%. From 1997-2001 it was back to 20%. And then, of course, 15% from 2001 to present.

See here.

And yet, looking at the graph and chart, do you see a tremendous effect, if any at all, in economic growth due to reduced cap gains taxes? I sure don't. There was a boost in growth in the late 90s, which coincidentally followed the 1997 reductions, but that also coincided with the internet/PC boom. Yet even after the 1986 tax increases economic growth remained strong.

Anonymous said...

These guys aren't thoughtful, they're clever. They come up with elegant thought constructs with no real relation to how things actually are in the meatspace.

Anonymous said...

Note that they're also using the continuing recession to push for more tax cuts for the rich, never mind that the economy grew faster in the 80s and 90s than it did in the 00s, despite higher capital gains taxes.

Economic growth is slowing to a halt in the USA [and tax policy is no longer nearly as effective as it ought to be] because of the plunge in Caucasian total fertility rates, to near-extinction levels, in the early 1970s [from which depths those rates have been struggling to recover for the last 35 years]:


Statistical handbook on the American family
Page 72, Table D1-6, Total Fertility Rate and Intrinsic Rate of Natural Increase: 1960-1994
Page 72, books.google.com

White

1970: 2.385
1971: 2.161
1972: 1.907
1973: 1.783
1974: 1.749
1975: 1.686
1976: 1.652

2009 Statistical Abstract of the United States
Section 1, Population
Table 8. Resident Population by Race, Hispanic Origin, and Age: 2000 and 2007
PDF FILE: pop.pdf

Not Hispanic, White alone, in thousands

45 to 49 years: 16,109
40 to 44 years: 14,597
35 to 39 years: 13,272
30 to 34 years: 11,425
25 to 29 years: 12,497
20 to 24 years: 12,930
15 to 19 years: 13,006
10 to 14 years: 11,866
05 to 09 years: 11,255
00 to 05 years: 11,175


There are literally not enough young Caucasian people to make the country work anymore - and the situation is especially dire in the Blue States, with their extinction-level fertility rates and their state & local governments preparing to default on the pensions promised to unionized government workers [i.e. there are no longer enough young Caucasian workers to float the pension Ponzi schemes].

PS: None of this is meant to be an endorsement of the idea that we should flood the country with low-IQ, violence-prone, third-world nitwits.

I'm just pointing out why tax policy is not going to be the panacea that it was for Reagan [and the GOP congress of the 1990s].

rightsaidfred said...

great historical mistakes

I wanted to point out that great mistakes were at one time vigorously supported by the Smartest Guys in the Room.

Anonymous said...

"Pro-immigration arguments are booming, and reached a zenith this week with the publication of a paper by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank"

It reads like something out of The Onion.

Seriously, pro-immigration arguments are "booming"? Like the mere quantity of an argument makes up for the lack of quality? Like the usual suspects haven't been making these same bogus arguments for decades?

The economy is in the tank, but fortunately the business of publishing self-serving, self-interested "studies" is booming!

Give me a million dollars, and I'll write whatever bullsh!t you want. I'm tired of denouncing the Establishment. I want in! Gimme gimme gimme!

OhioStater said...

The benefit of Ellis Island immigration, immortalized with that saying about the huddled masses, is that it made America whiter.

After the emancipation of slaves America was 75% white, 25% black, with a higher black mix obviously in the south. After Ellis Island, whites were 90% and nonwhites 10%.

Current immigration is the opposite of Ellis Island as it makes America less white.

ATBOTL said...

"I guess that neither their children nor their relatives nor anyone they know are the sort of losers that have to compete with immigrants in the marketplace for low-wage work."

Or for work as a doctor, engineer or computer programmer.

Anonymous said...

As the old phrase goes,
"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing".
Of course this phrase is aimed at dilettantes in such esoteric subjects as high explosives or even more exotically occultism.The meaning is that the diletantte immerses himself in books on the subject and likes to think himself an 'expert' - although he's not as knowledgeable as he thinks he is.Puffed up with arrogance and self-belief he is lead on to some pretty disaterous results.

Anonymous said...

The stupid party, sigh: "Arizona Governor Stumbles during Debate".
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hL0KfmkQCaNik9ibF9bjELnxkndwD9I04B9O0

SFG said...

"Of course this phrase is aimed at dilettantes in such esoteric subjects as high explosives or even more exotically occultism."

Hee-hee...for us nonsupernaturalists occultism's harmless outside of the movies...or if your boss catches you ;)

Anonymous said...

"... it seems an awful lot of people are obsessed with showing off how smart they are."

For 'progressive' thinkers this means selling blatantly absurd ideas like:
The way to reduce unemployment is to invite more low skill labor in the gate, and;
The way to solve a crisis created by excess credit is to print more money.

If it doesn't make sense to someone with ordinary street smarts, you must be an intellectual.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the root cause of the mortgage crisis - and subsequent global meltdown was immigration.
Put simply, if there was zero immigration in the past 30 years, the USA's population would not have grown at all, and very little new build would have been needed to add to the housing stock.
Simple and obvious one would have thought, intelligible to a 5 year old who realises that if you take matchsticks away, soon you're left with no matchsticks, I'm mean few things in this life can actually BE so simple, uncomplicated and unconfounded - even a simple operation like mowing the lawn involves far harder deductive logic.
But oh, no.The professional quibblers have to quibble away, with this study, that study, this theorem ,that model and tell you the way to cure a housing boom is with another housing boom - and if you can't understand that, then you're stupid.
that great Greek sage AEsop has always been a hero of mine, but more apposite is a modern AEsop, namely that great Dane Hans Christian Anderson, his tale of 'the Emperor's new clothes' is no mere fairy tale, it's the profoundest wisdom going.

Anonymous said...

This idiocy joins the pantheon that includes the Boston Fed's specious 1992 paper about redlining that was a driving force behind the Affirmative Action Housing Bubble.

The latest head of the Boston Fed just yesterday went on about how the richer communities have a responsibility to help the poorer ones.

Ahh, economists. To call economics the "dismal science" is an insult to all other scientists!

Brutus

Anonymous said...

Ohio, your numbers are a bit off, the country was never 25% Black. more like 13%. the estimate below lumps in free blacks with whites but there weren't many of those in 1860.

Total 1860 Population
Total Free Population 27,489,561
Total Slave Population 3,953,760
Grand Total 31,443,321

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Lady Lynn Forrester de Rothschild on FoxNews (attacking Obama) here:
http://video.foxnews.com/v/4328101/lady-de-rothschilds-palace-revolt

...at 4:33 in the video, you can hear her praise Lindsey Graham for "reaching across the aisle" and being "bipartisan" for working on "immigration reform", and complaining he actually "got punished for it" because he "wound up in a primary" being challenged "from the right". She complained that we "punish moderates".

She was complaining about Obama in the video, whom she has turned on. Its five minutes long. If there is an "establishment", Lynn Rothschild, who was a billionaire even before she married Old Man Rothschild, would be it. What are the elite upset about with the Obamessiah Steve? Is it Iran? Is it letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the top whatever percent? Was one of the bank bailouts not big enough? Was he too harsh on BP? Any ideas?


She must be tiffed about something to fly to New York and appear on Cavuto. You know she cleared it with the Old Man first. I wonder what has them piqued?

Anonymous said...

"Chief Seattle said...
Paid liars. No different from the run up to the Iraq war. Academia's a competitive place, and the elites will pave the way for an actor willing to play a part in their propaganda."



Chief Seattle,
Thats a very good analogy. If our unemployment is 10%, and illegals hold 7-8 million jobs (Rubenstein, Vdare)......the our unemployment would probably go down to 8% or even 7% if the illegals were not here. How is illegal immigration good for the 10% of unemployed Americans? Its hysterical that such arguments are made at such a time as this.

JerseyBrett said...

Simply speechless after reading this. I just don't understand the rationale behind the philosophy of "if you increase your population, you get rich." How do they justify mass immigration with these stastics:

http://www.businessinsider.com/ten-states-with-ridiculously-low-unemployment-rates-and-why-2010-8

We should truly welcome the best and brightest to come here. However, as we have stated over and over again, that number is probably no more than 50,000 a year. Throw in a few entertainers, athletes and wealthy investors and you are loooking at around 65,000 to 70,000 a year. Instead, we get this:

http://queenscrap.blogspot.com/2010/09/perry-avenue-crap-unveiled.html

Thank you economists!

Anonymous said...

OT - Very subversive by the Onion

http://www.theonion.com/video/in-the-know-are-tests-biased-against-students-who,17966/

Bruce Banned said...

Foreign investment is good and badly needed. On that we can agree: we need foreigners to invest in the real economy, not just to buy treasury bonds. But we don't need actual investors here, at least not in large numbers. There are enough qualified and manual workers on the ground (both nationals and immigrants) for a a couple of generations. Now let's start some ventures and cut down on the B.S. to a minimum in polite society. Please. Time is running short.

Anonymous said...

These guys aren't thoughtful, they're clever. They come up with elegant thought constructs with no real relation to how things actually are in the meatspace.
=================================

the same can be said about this community.

azmyth said...

When times are stressful, people find a scapegoat to blame for their problems rather than carefully analyzing the facts. While people continually harp on restricting Mexicans, our most generous immigration laws are towards Mexcians! What is the argument against high skilled, high IQ, low crime groups such as the doctors, scientists and engineers our country spends so much effort trying to keep out?

Paul Mendez said...

Economists got a big boost in prestige during the Second World War, when their job was to advise the government on how much war materials the US economy could produce and how quickly. Most of the economic statistics the government started collecting -- and that economists still rely on today -- were designed with a mentality that MORE is always BETTER. More output, more jobs, more workers, rising wages, rising asset values? Always good. In the 70's, even rising consumer prices were considered beneficial.

Even today, GDP growth is worshiped. If you cut my lawn for $100 and I cut your lawn for $100, we are both no better off, but GDP grew $200. Yippeeee!!

Modern mathematically oriented economics rarely considers "external" costs like pollution or crime, because they are so hard to quantify. And it cannot handle things like culture, quality of life, and morality because they cannot be quantified at all.

Therefore, if you are an economist and your entire career is built around how to maximize the GROSS OUTPUT of the economy, more immigrants makes perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the economic models are that incorrect. The problem is they do not consider quality f life nor long-term consequences. Taken to their logical extreme all our economic problems would be solved if we just let half a billion Chinese enter the country. But would that country be the United States anymore?

carol said...

Oh, something's afoot no doubt. The beginning of another big push to force immigration down our craw. They're hoping everyone's now desperate enough to try anything to re-inflate house prices.

Anonymous said...

honestly i don't even think they care about facts anymore - just trying to keep pushing the big lies. like with iraq, like with everything. That's one thing Hitler nailed.

Grumpy Old Man said...

They never studied the residential construction industry in So. Cal. These used to be union jobs with serious apprenticeship programs. They broke the unions. Now you open a ridgecap and are likely to find crushed cans of Tecate inside.

What are the sons of the former union workers doing? Working for WalMart or cooking meth, I suspect.

Meanwhile, small-scale agriculture in Mexico has been devastated by NAFTA.

To an economist, these people are just "factors of production."

Anonymous said...

"The benefit of Ellis Island immigration, immortalized with that saying about the huddled masses, is that it made America whiter."

AFAIK, great point! But some white nats don't agree. They don't think that anyone from Southern Europe or the Jews of E. Europe are white.

IMO they are crazy and wrong. But I'm just saying.

acy said...

Yeah, ATBOTL, it's a whole lot easier for a foreign-trained physician to pass the U.S. boards than for a foreign lawyer to pass a U.S. bar exam. Funny how that works. The legal elite might want to rethink the current fashion for international law.

And engineer, programmer - no license needed in most cases. Just a few visa hoops that the legal profession will be glad to help with.

It is in the interest of lawyers that immigration paperwork be complex, the bureaucracy slow, and the gates very wide.

Tuna said...

Just look at Rome, massive immigration led to, oh wait. But look to other countries that embraced open borders policies...there are no successful countries that had massive demand for entry and let massive numbers in? Then every successful economy has been led by immigration idiots. Let's prove them wrong by conducting a massive experiment with our nation. What could go wrong?

Anonymous said...

Do you realize that they have made a movie based on the book Freakonomics? And that it is being released on Amazon before it gets into the theaters.

Talk about vapid.

You have been posting and debating Freakonomics for a decade. How about a movie review?

The problem with the immigration debate is that it doesn't take into consideration recent research. For example these guys don't seem to have read Lynn and Vanhanen. If I have a nation with 100 million people with an IQ of of 100. And if I import 10 million people with IQs of 90, what do I get? The average national IQ loses a point.

The loss of national brain power is a long term permanent effect. Previous generations always suspected that it was true but now we pretty much know it's true.

It's pretty easy to show that national wealth is a function of economic innovation. Importing less intelligent peoples is something that a nation will sooner or later pay for.

BTW this isn't racist. I favor importing Mexicans, just not surplus, illiterate neolithic peasants. Lets get the Mexican engineers, architects, and doctors to come here. Let's have a policy of "brain drain" toward our neighbors to the south. This isn't going to happen of course. Mexico wants to keep its productive people.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

The cost of immigration in crime and the subtle inflation that increases living and travel expenses for the hated natives who seek safe neighborhoods drives down real value of money and labor. It also fails to give a national identity and culture time to develop and flourish. Insofar as anything works in this country, it is probably dominated by a single race.

Anonymous said...

It helps that the immigrants aren't going to take jobs from economists.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of people who think that immigrants increase the overall wealth of a nation. They are aware of your arguments against immigrants. They disagree with you. Many of these people are not stupid. You should open your mind to this possibility.

kurt9 said...

Immigrants are needed to replenish the American workforce. ...

Really?

Does high unemployment mean that the American workforce is already "replenished"?

These economists are quite funny. Perhaps they should consider being comedians in the entertainment industry. Perhaps they already are and that news is really a form of entertainment.

Jake P. said...

Makes perfect sense, when the qualification to enter the country is simply...the ability to enter the country.

Anonymous said...

The fact is this:

It is mathematically impossible for a low skilled, low productivity immigrant (such as Mexico exports by the millions)to increase the per capita GDP of a nation of more highly productive workers.
It's just a simple arithmetical division, the ratio of wealth produced per person.How 'economist' manage to weasel, quibble and argue there way out of a simple matter of division is beyond me - how laypeople actually believe this guff is even more baffling.
Although the nation is made poorer by low skilled immigration (per capita GDP is the only real, useful measure of a nation's wealth), certain groups ARE made richer by uncontrolled immigration, namely big business and its owners (witness how the super-rich conrol an ever greater share of America's wealth), and of course the immigrants themselves.
Everyone else is screwed, to put it bluntly.

ATBOTL said...

"What is the argument against high skilled, high IQ, low crime groups such as the doctors, scientists and engineers our country spends so much effort trying to keep out?"

First, they displace native born Americans from those jobs. Second, they add to the growing number of racial aliens who are hostile towards America's founding population.

Svigor said...

PS: None of this is meant to be an endorsement of the idea that we should flood the country with low-IQ, violence-prone, third-world nitwits.

Hey, sorry if I helped create a situation where you have to add caveats that aren't strictly necessary. I've had to do that for years on a whole spectrum of ideas I advocate, and I know it's somewhat offensive to the sensibilities.

K(yle) said...

The trend for a developing economy is that it will unload it's 'peasants' as they are a drain (or a projected drain) on the economy. They are free riders and their meager income isn't taxable to the extent that it actually pays for the public services they will use in their lifetime.

Usually the entire peasant industry, such as textiles will be drastically reduced if not completely exported from the country to one where that business is still lucrative.

A large unskilled, underpaid peasant population in the US is just going to stagnate the economy (it already has, as the mean wage has barely increased in 40 years). We are propping up industries that are a net drain. The employees are 'free riders' that will never earn enough to pay in taxes for what they use from the public. The people running these companies are profitting from their peasants but at the expense of everyone else.

The goal is to limit free riding as much as possible so that the quality and availability of public services is better for all, or cheaper for all. The result of our policies is that everything is both expensive and basically unavailable unless you fall into the category of 'minority' and even there services are extremely sparse considering how much is paid in.

The economists are fundamentally wrong. Perri in particular uses faulty research methods by going state to state with high immigration and investigating the local economies independent of each other (and not investigating neighboring states at all). This method doesn't work for reasons that shouldn't need to be(and will not be) stated.

Propping up not just businesses, or worker, but entire industries that are better suited to less developed countries is not beneficial. It doesn't even appear to be beneficial on paper if the math is done right. Perri just didn't do the math right, and probably deliberately so.

California does not benefit from Mexicans sewing dresses locally. California had the money to buy those dresses from companies operating in Mexico. Calinfornia had more tax money to fund public works, et cetera. Instead that money goes straight into the pockets of the shareholders and owners of the businesses importing immigrant labor.

When you subsidize the workforce with any kind of social welfare (public schools, police, roads, et cetera), all employers are benefiting from public funds. If those employers have a workforce that makes below the income bracket necessary to break even or contribute to the funding of commonweal programs, those employers are effectively subsidized.

Business taxes are supposed to offset this but due to interstate and international competition there is the potential you will drive out employers that are beneficial rather than vampiric.

You bring in to many of these 'private' corporations and they start stagnating or killing the economy.

The 14th Amendment would likely stop an easy solution of individually taxing businesses for the estimated public services of their employees instead of based on payroll. This would also probably result in some businesses being targetted with higher taxes that don't warrant it, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

The other solution is the simplest, which is to just cut-off and even reverse immigration; which also isn't going to happen.

ATBOTL said...

Let in too many southern European immigrants and America becomes Argentina. America is at it's core an English country with other northern Europeans who are similar enough to assimilate into that culture completely. Start adding a lot of any other group, and the country will change.

Needless to say, Jewish immigration has been an absolute disaster as Jews have installed themselves as a hostile elite working tirelessly to undermine white interests. Importation of "high IQ" Chinese and Indians, which many here advocate, is having the same effect.

Svigor said...

Are you that Chinese guy? Just a wild stab in the dark. Criticism is only constructive if it's specific. Anon's comment has been supported here over and over, but yours hasn't, so you can't piggyback on it.

the same can be said about this community.

Chief Seattle said...

The study says that "In states with a heavy concentration of less-educated immigrants, U.S.-born workers have migrated toward more communication-intensive occupations. Those jobs pay higher wages than manual jobs..."

Why would communications jobs pay more than manual jobs? Who wouldn't rather talk on the phone all day than do hard work in the hot sun? Historically indoor work has always paid less - a waiter or clerk or retail salesperson vs a line worker or forester or carpenter. So maybe the authors would be so good as to explain why the prevailing wage of a butcher has gone from $18/hr to $8/hr in nominal dollars over the last decade. What exactly are those english speaking former-butchers working at now that pays so much better? Or is it that they're working for $10/hr at Home Depot, so they're still relatively better off than new immigrants that took their jobs, even if they're worse off than before?

Anonymous said...

"After the emancipation of slaves America was 75% white, 25% black, with a higher black mix obviously in the south. After Ellis Island, whites were 90% and nonwhites 10%."

Case in point--NYC was about 94% white in 1940,now 35%. My suburb of Chicago is only about 65% white and 30% foreign born,which most aren't white.. It was about 99.999 % white in 1970 probably.

Anonymous said...

"It helps that the immigrants aren't going to take jobs from economists."

People make fun of black studies,sociology etc. It seems like Econ is in the same category.

Anonymous said...

"They never studied the residential construction industry in So. Cal. These used to be union jobs with serious apprenticeship programs. They broke the unions. Now you open a ridgecap and are likely to find crushed cans of Tecate inside."

It's not like housing is really cheap in So. Cal because they got rid of the unions.

Anonymous said...

"Throw in a few entertainers, athletes "

We don't need athletes. We have our own. You wouldn't know the difference if all the Dominicans weren't in MLB. We don't need H!b's either. I would put the number at world class needed immigrants an no more than a few thousand.

Anonymous said...

Anon said:


There are a lot of people who think that immigrants increase the overall wealth of a nation. They are aware of your arguments against immigrants. They disagree with you. Many of these people are not stupid. You should open your mind to this possibility.


Of course they are not stupid. They have an agenda. You should open your mind to this possibility.

Severn said...

I just don't understand the rationale behind the philosophy of "if you increase your population, you get rich."


For these people, that's an axiom rather than the conclusion to a carefully constructed argument sported by facts.

The pseudo-economist Julian Simon was prominent in pushing this nonsense. The argument goes something like this -

"There are many more people in the world today then there were two hundred years ago, and their standard of living is higher on average. Therefore if we can just quadruple the current population (ideally of the world, but he'll settle for a country) everybody will be vastly better off."

That's it, that's the entire "argument". Why Bangladesh has failed to turn into Switzerland via this process is something dismissed with the wave of a hand.

Whiskey said...

The anon with the TFR rate is SPOT ON. America has the same demographic crisis that Japan has -- not enough young people. Only Germany, really, has managed to stave off (temporarily I suspect because of unification) the depression that low fertility brings.

Yes there are not enough young White people to create a prosperous economy.

This was also why Rock music died in the early 1990's when that demographic bust hit.

Re Rothschild turning on Obama. The elites are upset that Obama has done such a poor job that Joe Sixpack is getting the pitchforks ready, and their wealth which is globally mobile still depends on a strong US defense posture, globally. Cannes is no fun if Iran's nukes turns the topless beaches into a burqua fest. [Chiraq in the early 2000's basically used France's nukes to famously threaten back against Iran styling itself France's Muslims protectors, and threatening terror attacks.]

Whiskey said...

Chiraq's opaque comment was that France's nuclear forces were "configured" to respond to threats large and small, after press reports that Iran had threatened terror attacks like the ones in Paris in the 1980's and 1990's if France did not allow special exemptions for Muslims in the secularization laws.

Folks like Rothschild depend on having all sorts of rich, well run places that are SECURE against threats (and basically, free ride on US defense expenditures). Obama has rapidly eroded that US defense dominance, particularly wrt Iran's ballistic missile and nuke program, which is a direct threat to Europe given Iran's stated ambitions as the protector of Muslims in Europe (and globally).

Anonymous said...

The United States, with some 310 million residents (don't know if that estimate includes 'undocumented' residents) is already the third most populous nation in the history of mankind, behind only China and India.

India hit the 310 million mark exactly 6 decades ago. They are well over a billion now.

Is that really what we want for our future? It appears that the majority of those in power think so.

Fanwank said...

In a related vein...

The Wall Street Journal has an article on how political correctness makes certain ideas unthinkable in the field of finance:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703946504575469463045249550.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Of course, that's not how they frame the story.

Anonymous said...

OFF TOPIC - Steve, please comment on Thilo Sarrazin -- it sounds like he's making a Bell Curve argument over in Germany.

http://www.signandsight.com/intodaysfeuilletons/2063.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/world/europe/03germany.html

Anonymous said...

"There are a lot of people who think that immigrants increase the overall wealth of a nation. They are aware of your arguments against immigrants. They disagree with you. Many of these people are not stupid. You should open your mind to this possibility."


Based on what?

Classic I-think-therefore-it's-true line of thinking.

Mindless conformity and compliance. Smart people think it is good, therefore so should you. Uh, smart people think it is good for them, dumba$$. That doesn't mean it is good for us.

Baloo said...

"There are a lot of people who think that immigrants increase the overall wealth of a nation." This particular 'anonymous' has made an odd statement, like "Liquids are good for you." Some liquids are, some aren't. Some immigrants increase wealth, some don't. Right now we're getting a lot of immigrants who consume a lot more wealth than they create.

Anonymous said...

"These guys aren't thoughtful, they're clever. They come up with elegant thought constructs with no real relation to how things actually are in the meatspace."
=================================

the same can be said about this community.

Really? Care to explain that? That's not how I'm seeing it at all.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of people who think that immigrants increase the overall wealth of a nation. They are aware of your arguments against immigrants. They disagree with you. Many of these people are not stupid. You should open your mind to this possibility.

As if we dont hear their BS 24/7/365 already! And have for decades.

No, they're not stupid, they're corrupt, disingenous, they are liars.

You want us all to sell out and parrot their propaganda line but dont think that you are touching upon some hidden, gem of understanding these mighty powers comprehend that we dont.

Its not like we can even sell out! They dont even need us.

Anonymous said...

'These guys aren't thoughtful, they're clever. They come up with elegant thought constructs with no real relation to how things actually are in the meatspace.'

That's a good point. You don't get any points for bringing up obvious truths, so, bend the truth to suit you clever hypothesis and voila! you are a counter-intuitive super-freakonimicist that the average reader can't follow (so you must be bad ass).

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

There are a lot of people who think that immigrants increase the overall wealth of a nation. They are aware of your arguments against immigrants. They disagree with you. Many of these people are not stupid. You should open your mind to this possibility."

They are not aware of our arguments against immigrants - they can not even bring themselves to think of such things, or allow any debate to be framed in this way. And many of them are stupid. Perhaps you are too.

Anonymous said...

America has the same demographic crisis that Japan has -- not enough young people.

Whiskey - that's Blue State America.

Republicans are still making babies.

Anonymous said...

America has the same demographic crisis that Japan has -- not enough young people.

Whiskey - that's Blue State America.

Republicans are still making babies.

EDITED TO ADD: Our problem is that Blue State America is [or was] about half of our country - i.e. half of us simply failed to show up for the greatest game of all.

Anonymous said...

Here is a good quote in the Sarrazin article:

"All this fuss strikes me as somewhat staged and the racism argument smacks of red herring. So he doesn't want to live in a Muslim Germany because he is suspicious of that sort of society. What's wrong with that? The economist in Sarrazin has calculated that the 750,000 Turkish immigrant workers now number almost 3 million and of the able bodied among them, 40 percent live off the state instead of working. This makes no economic sense for him and leads him to ask whether immigration, in its current form, is not a mistake. This is no reason to get upset at Sarrzin, instead we should be asking the politicians who are responsible for this state for affairs whether or not they have really served the interests of the country."

Anonymous said...

"There are a lot of people who think that immigrants increase the overall wealth of a nation."

There are a lot of people who believe things that aren't true, or are only true in very specific circumstances. What you are doing is called the fallacy of the argument from authority, and you aren't even smart enough to cite some relevant authorities.

"They are aware of your arguments against immigrants."

Really? How do you know? Can you cite some examples of this alleged awareness? Why don't they reply to these arguments so as to refute them? Why do they simply give the silent treatment instead, knowing that the corporate media will cover for them by also trying to give the silent treatment (the media blackout) to anti-immigration arguments?

"They disagree with you."

They would disagree if they were aware of it. They live in a very secure bubble which protects them from having to hear the other side of the argument. That's what comes from either being a billionaire or being in the pay of billionaires who pay them to spread misinformation that serves the interests of billionaires.

"Many of these people are not stupid."

Smart or stupid, they have one thing in common: they are either liars or they have an agenda and/or a secular "religion" of globalism.

"You should open your mind to this possibility."

We are quite aware of this possibility. You, on the other hand, are clueless.

Bruce Banned said...

Whiskey: Cannes is no fun if Iran's nukes turns the topless beaches into a burqua fest

Whiskey: I just had to save that sentence of yours in my computer. Have you ever contemplated writing stand-up comedy? I'm sure there's a market for neocon humour.

Jonathan said...

Whiskey - that's Blue State America.

Republicans are still making babies.



The Return of Patriarchy

headache said...

meatspace


That's a good term.

headache said...

Whiskey sez:Only Germany, really, has managed to stave off (temporarily I suspect because of unification) the depression that low fertility brings.


Germany has the same fertility problems that the US and Japan are struggling with. The gov. tried to deal with it by importing Turks and Arabs, but the Islamization is doing damage to productivity and the local population does not like to have head-scarved unproductive women with 10 babies clogging their living space, not to mention the mosques disfiguring the cityscape. So that idea is no longer working.
Up to now it was possible to offset dropping fertililty rates with productivity growth. In Germany and Japan productivity growth was always achieved through technology, offsetting rising wages. In the US it used to be tech, but I suspect for the last 10 years it’s been falling wages. That does not work in Germany due to heavy unionization and strict labor laws, a positive side effect of society there honoring manual skills, as opposed to the US. Currently a massive anti-immigration debate was started in Germany by Sarrazin, who is/was a director of the National Bank, the Bundesbank, basiically pitting Sarrazin and the German population against the political elite, big business, media, and Jewish and Islamic interest groups. Merkel, who notwisthstanding being the daughter of a leftist pastor, seems to be a closet Jew, has tried to force him out because he dared mention that Jews have a common gene pool, which of course is common knowledge in HBD circles. But the genie is out of the bottle and Merkel (maiden name Kasner, which is Jewish) will probably lose the next election. There is also a strong probability that a new conservative and nationalist party will be established right of the governing CDU, now that Germans are finally ready to throw off the guilt complex forced on them by the allies, liberals, opportunists and Jewish groups. Interesting times.

Matt said...

"They are aware of your arguments against immigrants. They disagree with you."

If they don't discuss the contra-arguments specifically, it's kinda a leap of faith just to assume they know and have fully considered them on the basis of them being generally intelligent.

Generally people (including people here) will try to find the first convenient argument that justifies what they want to believe already (preferably a beautifully "counter intuitive" one that goes against the mainstream paradigm). That's why an antagonistic pluralism where we invoke real measures (preferably that aren't just bullshit sociology statistics) keeps us honest.

Curvy said...

"Germany has the same fertility problems that the US and Japan are struggling with."

I STILL don't get it and need it explained to me:

Why is subreplacement level reproduction *really* a problem, so long as the gov't keeps out invaders and the aging are cared and provided for by the few young using the leverage of robotics/automation?

It seems to me that the argument at bottom boils down to extrapolations. "If this generation has few children, then it's inevitable that the next will have even fewer and so on," essentially goes the argument. They extrapolate the trend to zero, such that eventually NO babies are born.

Such trend-extrapolation-to-zero is preposterous on its face.

Even if THIS generation of 20 million women have only 10 million kids, there's no proof THOSE kids would limit themselves to 2 or less per woman.

The grandkid generation may grow up to continue the trend and have only 5 million, who then might have only 2 million -- OR, they might, because housing is more readily available, so cheaper, easing overcrowding, so feeling more optimistic, have 20 million kids, and the trend change is back to population GROWTH.

Real life example: In 1900, when The Care and Feeding of Children by Emmett Holt was the childrearing "bible," American women having only two children was very common. (This was ALSO a time of mass immigration. Hm. Maybe that's why American women WEREN'T having many kids, due to the pressures of resource competition from the immigrant hordes.)

But what did the 1950s moms, (childbearing during an immigration restrictionist era) do? Had three or more, giving us the fabled Baby Boomers.

Childbirth rates go down when a bad economy or overcrowding makes family formation difficult.

When things get better, either due to new lands, new opportunities, or decreasing population makes housing available and cheap, the birthrate goes up.

That's what would have happened for Whites in America, but that our treasonous gov't is refusing to protect us from invaders. Instead, they are mass-importing invaders with the excuse that current falling birthrate is the death-knell of the country and that it's all White women's fault for refusing to have enough babies.

Anonymous said...

One thing I wonder about: Why don't you nativists simply argue for higher immigration quotas from Europe? Wouldn't that be easier than attempting to keep brown people out of the country?

corvinus said...

Whiskey said:
America has the same demographic crisis that Japan has -- not enough young people.

Whiskey - that's Blue State America.

Republicans are still making babies.

EDITED TO ADD: Our problem is that Blue State America is [or was] about half of our country - i.e. half of us simply failed to show up for the greatest game of all.


Think of the Hispanics and Asians as the blue staters' attempts to recruit replacements to keep them in competitions, to make up for their European-level birth rates. Without the immigrants and blacks, the Dems would be heading to oblivion.

My take on this is that the ivory-tower set is getting desperate. The Mexican immigration wave has pretty much stopped, and isn't likely to start up again if the economy recovers because Mexican and American TFR are now at rough parity. If Mexicans and Central Americans start to imitate Spain and Cuba in their birth rates -- like Puerto Rico has recently done -- the Dems are toast.

And this doesn't even take into account black fertility. If state and local government is forced to cut back on welfare benefits, as seems likely, black birth rates will go down and abortions unfortunately will head up, as has happened in Michigan in the last couple of years.

headache said...

Curvy said...

"Germany has the same fertility problems that the US and Japan are struggling with."

I STILL don't get it and need it explained to me:

Why is subreplacement level reproduction *really* a problem, so long as the gov't keeps out invaders and the aging are cared and provided for by the few young using the leverage of robotics/automation?


I fully agree with you. I was just commenting on Whiskey's point. You are right, why should any illegals enter a country? In fact why should anyone come along and decide to be citizen of that country? Surely citizens can decide who they want as neighbors? Wow, this reminds me of...Israel!

Curvy said...

"One thing I wonder about: Why don't you nativists simply argue for higher immigration quotas from Europe? Wouldn't that be easier than attempting to keep brown people out of the country?'

Talk about vapid thinking.

If we had a political climate such that getting higher immigration quotas from Europe were even in the realm of possibility (and INCLUDING a clause specifically excluding the Arab Muslims in Europe, or we've just shot ourselves in the foot) then getting the gov't to do its job and expel the brown invaders would be laughably easy.

Rohan Swee said...

Curvy: I STILL don't get it and need it explained to me:

Why is subreplacement level reproduction *really* a problem, so long as the gov't keeps out invaders and the aging are cared and provided for by the few young using the leverage of robotics/automation?


Because obviously, the infinite growth required to maintain the developed nations' Ponzi schemes is a perfectly sane policy that all rational peoples should be pursuing and promoting. On the other hand, dealing with the problems of a transitory top-heavy demographic structure would be so difficult, so mind-boggling, so unprecedented, so utterly beyond the powers of any but a race of gods that...oh just shut up and keep stuffing more immigrants into the country.

Such trend-extrapolation-to-zero is preposterous on its face.

Like that ever stopped 'em. We're talking about people who eat "preposterous on its face" for breakfast.

Anonymous said...

The anon with the TFR rate is SPOT ON. America has the same demographic crisis that Japan has -- not enough young people.

And yet America now has a problem that Japan doesn't, a growing third world population that may or may not assimilate.

Anonymous said...

If taking in more immigrants is good for the bottom line, why is India building a 2500 mile barrier with Bangladesh?

Anonymous said...

Corvinus,
You are wrong.
As long as Mexican wages are a small fraction of American wages and Mexico continues to be a violent, murderous sh*t-hole (check out that recent 'drugs related' massacre of 72 of *their* immigrants), then there remains an enormous incentive to immigrate to the USA.
Mexico is a mass nation of a population of 110 million - if half of them left (which they assuredly want to do), the impact on the USA of having a full quarter of their population added would be enormous.

elvisd said...

Will economists EVER stop weighing housing start ups as the great indicator of economic health in this country?
Thought it was stupid when I first noted it as a teenager and I still do.

Mike said...

One thing you might look into is Mexico's immigration laws. I understand they're quite strict, and Mexico spends a non-trivial amount of money keeping people from illegally sneaking in over their southern borders.