May 12, 2013

David Frum speaks sense on immigration

From The Daily Beast:
You Can't Wish Away the Facts About Immigration Amnesty
It's not some personal quirk of Jason Richwine's that has caused him to doubt that the legalized immigrants will rapidly raise their skill levels or education standards. The most authoritative study of Mexican immigration over time has found exactly the same thing. Edward Teles and Velma Ortiz write from the left in their book, Generations of Exclusion. They indict American society, discriminatory educational attitudes, and other "exclusionary" forces - but they have the goods that Mexican-American inter-generational progress has slowed to a stall.  
... Unless you posit that the newly legalized immigrants will dramatically outperform the existing immigrant population, you will reach a result very like that of the Heritage Foundation: that the taxes paid by the newly legalized will not begin to equal the costs of their Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other benefits. ...

Let me put this in boldface: Heritage's cost estimates are driven not primarily by welfare, but by healthcare. Every newly legalized immigrant, no matter how ambitious and hard-working, will get old. When he or she gets old, he or she will qualify for Medicare. Medicare is very, very expensive, and getting more expensive all the time. Fewer and fewer Americans - whatever their ethnic origin - pay enough in taxes to cover their predicted future health care costs. Inevitably, Medicare is becoming a more redistributionist program. People on the left get this point when they scoff at the imputed Tea Party slogan, "Keep your government hands off my Medicare." Why do they forget the point when they speak of immigration? ...
A lot of people come to these immigration debates with strong prior ideological commitments. Jason Richwine's aren't very attractive, but neither are Grover Norquist's. The apologists for plutocracy are content this week to use anti-racism as their debating tool. But a tool is all it is. 

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Thanks again for all that you do. Someday your work will be assigned reading in Journalism schools across the country. That is if J school even continues to exist in its current form, of course.

-The Judean People's Front

Anonymous said...

"The apologists for plutocracy"

I like it

Anonymous said...

What happened to the illegal immigration/amnesty bill? There's but one mention of the word "immigration" on Drudge, buried low; not a single mention of the bill on the Wash Post's huge front page; and just one brief mention, buried again, on NRO's The Corner.

Where did it go?

eah said...

I have a question: If, as Frum says, "The most authoritative study of Mexican immigration over time has found exactly the same thing", how does Richwine have "strong prior ideological commitments"? And exactly what would those 'unattractive' "strong prior ideological commitments" be?

Another question: Has Frum ever met Richwine? If, and assuming not (? -- if only for rhetorical purposes), how would he know anything about Richwine's "strong prior ideological commitments"?

I can more easily understand why Frum would label them 'unattractive'.

To me, Frum is just as stupid and cowardly as ever here.

Anonymous said...

I like this approach of attacking immigration amnesty by emphasizing the real risk immigration from Mexico poses to Americans' health care benefits. It's a risk people can relate to therefore it's tough to deny.

David said...

Steve,

Frum's isn't an anti-amnesty piece.

It's an anti-Medicare piece.

He's all for amnesty. The only problem is that painful fact about cost. That must be dealt with. So Frum writes a column about how government help for the old is the problem.

It's just a big, unrelated coincidence that it's the white gentile population getting old in the biggest numbers.

Dutch311 said...

I second anonymous. Your writing gives us a lot of ammo out here in the ongoing fight.

Harry Baldwin said...

Frum has been doing great work on this issue. I'm almost ready to forgive him for having a profile picture that looks like Rick Moranis.

europeasant said...

Stop all affirmative/quota programs immediately! Stop this everywhere, in education, government, business. This is the only way we can have true equality in America. Enough of the nonsense with special people needing special care.

We are headed for a tribal society system ruled by the big father in DC. Government will continue to expand until some time in the future where it cannot be sustained.

The actions will be slow and over time all old people will forget and young will see this as the new way for the world.

A new Eloi will rise and a new predator class will arise. Which one will you be?

diana said...

Well well. Frum sounds a bit shocked at l'affaire Richwine. Perhaps Richwine will prove to be the Dreyfuss of 21st century America.

You wonder what's going to happen to the poor sod. His Devil's Island is unemployment and social isolation.

Anonymous said...

David Frum a Steve Sailer reader? Who'd have thought? Oy vey!

Anonymous said...

Frum's reasoning is incorrect:

"Every newly legalized immigrant, no matter how ambitious and hard-working, will get old. When he or she gets old, he or she will qualify for Medicare."

Legally or illegally in the US they will still get old and need healthcare. Some may have the wealth to return to their country of origin, but most will end up in US hospitals. Deporting sickly 75 year olds that have been delivering Chinese food for 50 years does not seem likely. I doubt the countries of origin will accept them on mass. And I don't blame them. The difference between legal and illegal is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. That's all.

So if Frum's idea is to save on healthcare, then you have to have mass deportations now, or never. That is why in the 50s they had mass deportations, the people who invented Social Security could see where things were going and they took decisive action.

The Radical Centrist said...

I don't care if immigrants are 100 times more economically valuable than citizens. We live here. And if we want to stop immigration, we should be able to stop it. Is this america a democracy or not. THAT should be the core of this debate.

Aaron Gross said...

This isn't news. Frum has been writing against mass immigration for decades. He's been writing about the lack of Mexican-American achievement, citing academic studies on it, for years. I remember quoting one of his posts on that topic years ago, when he hinted that the reason was partly genetic, by saying that the trend would likely continue with future generations. Lately, with immigration reform in the news, he's gone into high gear and written some great stuff, including anti-immigration angles that no one else - not even vdare - has seen.

The other thing, about the "plutocracy," has only been for the last five years or so.

For all that, I still regularly see paleocons describe Frum as an "open-borders neocon." That, when he was probably immigration-restrictionist before Pat Buchanan was. He's the only mainstream pundit other than Buchanan to have called for an immigration moratorium.

One thing, though. Frum's not anti-immigration for racial reasons or, probably, for reasons of the "national question" (as his personal friend Peter Brimelow calls it) either. He would describe most of us as racist.

Maybe because of that, his anti-immigration position hasn't seemed to hurt him at all with his new centrist colleagues. Now that I think of it, though, the neocon Heather Mac Donald is even closer to "vdare" anti-immigrationism than Frum is, and she hasn't been hurt by it either. Given examples like Heather Mac Donald, I think that the main reason Steve Sailer and other "paleos" are excluded might be more style than substance.

Anonymous said...

Hats off to Frum. My respect for him is through the roof. He puts it simply and succinctly

Aaron Gross said...

"Is America a democracy or not?"

Well, Tom Tancredo ran for president a few years ago. He was on national television, expressing his opinions in widely watched presidential primary debates. How many votes did he get?

Immigration exists because while a majority opposes it, they don't oppose it very strongly.

Anonymous said...

The looming burden of Mexican/CentAm immigrants is even worse that reported.

Most of these folks are young and work in jobs that require a fair amount of stamina and physical labor. They are doing young people's work. By the time they hit 40, they probably won't be able to handle the work anymore. Most don't have the equivalent of even a high school diploma. What will they do when they are past 40 years old? Who will support them?

Anonymous said...

For all that, I still regularly see paleocons describe Frum as an "open-borders neocon." That, when he was probably immigration-restrictionist before Pat Buchanan was. He's the only mainstream pundit other than Buchanan to have called for an immigration moratorium.

David Frum is considered scum by most of us on this side of the debate because of his smears of those who were against the Iraq War. He wrote his famous "Unpatriotic Conservatives" hit piece back in 2003. Of course history has proven that those 'unpatriotic' conservatives were correct.

I wouldn't trust Frum any farther than I could throw him.

As for him being for immigration restriction before Pat Buchanan, I doubt it. Frum was a 5 year old Canadian lad in 1965 when Emanuel Celler pushed his nation breaking immigration act through Congress. I imagine Pat was a 27 year old aghast at that act. Also, Pat was making headlines on the Mexican border in 1992 demanding a wall be constructed during his presidential campaign. I don't recall Frum doing the same.

Anonymous said...

One thing, though. Frum's not anti-immigration for racial reasons or, probably, for reasons of the "national question" (as his personal friend Peter Brimelow calls it) either. He would describe most of us as racist.

Basically he wants a strong golem and he knows that mass immigration will weaken it.

Aaron Gross said...

@Anonymous, I should have said maybe, not probably, Frum was anti-immigrationist before Buchanan. Frum came to those beliefs around 1990, but I'm really just guessing about Buchanan.

I'd be interested if anyone knows when Buchanan first started writing against mass immigration. I did notice that Buchanan's famous "culture war" speech from 1992 doesn't even mention immigration, unless you count the praise of Koreatown residents who "still believe deeply in the American dream." Frum was already an immigration restrictionist by then.

Anonymous said...

"I don't care if immigrants are 100 times more economically valuable than citizens. We live here. And if we want to stop immigration, we should be able to stop it. Is this america a democracy or not. THAT should be the core of this debate."

I agree. We don't have to have a good reason.

The only reason is we don't want to be taken over.

I'd rather have a dictator than have the idiots who supposedly represent us.


They represent corporations, foreigners, black Americans and Jews. The rest of us are just supposed to shut up and take it or we will be called racist and xenophobes.

Anonymous said...

Pat Buchanan ran in 1992 on an anti-immigration platform.

Anonymous said...

Basically he wants a strong golem and he knows that mass immigration will weaken it.

What purpose does a strong golem serve?

Anonymous said...

I agree. We don't have to have a good reason.

The only reason is we don't want to be taken over.

That's not only a good reason, it is one of the best reasons, my man. Get out there are use it.

Anonymous said...

Get out there are use it.

Get out there AND use it.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous, I should have said maybe, not probably, Frum was anti-immigrationist before Buchanan. Frum came to those beliefs around 1990, but I'm really just guessing about Buchanan.

The Anti-defamation League records Buchanan's nativist immigration views back to 1990. According to them, he uttered these ridiculous statements in 1990.

1990: "Does this First World nation wish to become a Third World country? Because that is our destiny if we do not build a sea wall against the waves of immigration rolling over our shores…..

"Who speaks for the Euro-Americans, who founded the U.S.A.? …Is it not time to take America back?"

I imagine Buchanan's views on this go back further. I do know he changed his views on free trade, but I doubt he did so on immigration. Free trade is something that one might not think is going to kill the culture until you see the results. Bringing in non-Europeans is something a Paleo would have probably never been comfortable with.

PS. I am trying to see if the ADL has a file on David Frum.

Dave Pinsen said...

"I have a question: If, as Frum says, "The most authoritative study of Mexican immigration over time has found exactly the same thing", how does Richwine have "strong prior ideological commitments"? And exactly what would those 'unattractive' "strong prior ideological commitments" be?

Another question: Has Frum ever met Richwine? If, and assuming not (? -- if only for rhetorical purposes), how would he know anything about Richwine's "strong prior ideological commitments"?"


I'll offer two possible reasons, based on correspondence I had with a Catholic conservative pundit. I don't know if they apply to Frum, but they were new to me. I had seen the Catholic pundit make a negative comment about Richwine and I asked him why. His explanation was that 1) he thought the emphasis on IQ and race that Richwine brought to the immigration issue by association was a huge handicap for the restrictionist side; 2) he didn't feel much loyalty to or sympathy for Richwine given that Richwine had, he said, written for a website the pundit described as WN and pagan.

"To me, Frum is just as stupid and cowardly as ever here."

Do you not see the irony of a pseudonymous commenter calling Frum cowardly for publicly opposing mass immigration?

Aaron Gross said...

@Anonymous, thanks for the reference. In 1990 Frum had only started favoring immigration restriction, by his own telling, so Buchanan definitely wins the who-was-there-first prize.

Anyway, Frum has been writing against mass immigration for two decades. In the article I linked to above, Frum's friend Peter Brimelow says he got Frum to write an article on immigration for National Review in 1996; he'd already been a restrictionist for some time.

Re your remark about the ADL, they probably opened a file on Buchanan because of his Jew-baiting, not because of his anti-immigration stance.

The ADL is not the same as the SPLC. They don't have a file on Frum, but they probably don't have a file on Heather Mac Donald, either. Which is to my other point, that paleocons (for lack of a better label) like Sailer are ostracized more for their style than for their substance.

This final point is maybe off-topic. I don't know Frum any better than you people do - only from his public persona. But for those who attack him as a human being, based on a decade-old article or whatever, here's another article he wrote a decade ago: his obituary for Maggy Brimelow.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of smart people in these comments, and often there are smarter ones up above in Steve's clips and remixes of their pieces. If someone super-rich is listening, please create a magazine for the right that has a style and temperament like that of the New Republic from 10 years ago. Pay your writers extra, even if it means revenue loss, for a core staff of very smart people who are willing to work together and also to use their words as weapons against each other. Also, often pay controvercial guests to engage staff in live debates. I'd love to see Kaus, Frum, Sailer, Murray, Pinker, and others use their powers of reason and rhetoric both in support of and against each other. I'd love to see Steve in the role of Marty Peretz -- neither man is a natural leader, but they have a genius for finding other interesting writers. Steve is himself a much better writer than Marty, but I suspect Marty was better at firing people than Steve. As the rich donor setting this up, you could say the mission embodied a hodge-podge of documents of your choice, along the lines of the British Constitution. Only in the place of the Magna Carta and what not, you might choose essays by Edmund Willson, George Orwell, some Mad Magazines, and Youtube clips from old movies. Any takers? I bet Steve would hate the cat-herding role I have in mind for him, so you'd probably better pay him more than he gets now.

Anonymous said...

Do you not see the irony of a pseudonymous commenter calling Frum cowardly for publicly opposing mass immigration?

He is a coward. Frum has greater immunity to taking certain positions than most on account of his background.

Anonymous said...

"Do you not see the irony of a pseudonymous commenter calling Frum cowardly for publicly opposing mass immigration?"

Frum isn't going to lose his livelihood over that Daily Beast piece. It's within the bounds of PC, as is everything I've ever read by him. A lot of anonymous and pseudonymous commenters here express opinions that are far outside the bounds of PC. We WOULD lose our livelihoods if our real identities were connected to our comments. Your comparison is invalid. The irony alleged by you does not exist.

It may well be that you do not hold any views that are outside the bounds of allowed discourse. It would be nice if you could try to imagine that there may be people out there who do sincerely hold some views that cannot be expressed publicly without negative consequences.

Anonymous said...

Aaron Gross wrote: "Which is to my other point, that paleocons (for lack of a better label) like Sailer are ostracized more for their style than for their substance."

Here's a counterexample: Jared Taylor. He's clearly ostracized purely for his beliefs; no one, as far as I know, has ever accused him of coming off as abrasive. (I guess another counterexample is Richwine himself.)

Anonymous said...

"If someone super-rich is listening, please create a magazine for the right that has a style and temperament like that of the New Republic from 10 years ago. Pay your writers extra, even if it means revenue loss, for a core staff of very smart people who are willing to work together and also to use their words as weapons against each other."

This is a pretty good idea. Multi-millionaires and billionaires out there, take note. I'm not actually sure who I'd want to read as much as Sailer, but the potential is there. Hell, why should only professional writers get a shot? Get Svigor and JPF to write columns.

The only disadvantage is that comments are seen as less an obvious endorsement by Steve than say, a columnist. One of the advantages that Steve currently enjoys is that he can be relatively moderate himself while allowing highly un-PC comments. Kind of like an editor functions in a print newspaper.

Not all of these comments are persuasive, but they are read. The good ideas are persuasive. I wonder if people like Coulter read the comments as well, because the commentary is often as interesting as the posts themselves, with new analysis being generated.

Anonymous said...

PS. I am trying to see if the ADL has a file on David Frum.

You'd better look up in its list of speakers.

Anonymous said...

I and you and everyone else don't owe an illegal immigrant anything--not welfare, not a job, not an explanation.


The minute Americans started trying to be nice by "explaining" is when we asked for trouble.

It's really simple: we owe them nothing, not even an explanation.

Now, leave. Go home and make your demands of your own people and your own government. If you don't like your government, change the damn thing.

eah said...

@Dave Pinsen

You get the prize for missing the point.

Do you not see the irony of a pseudonymous commenter calling Frum cowardly for publicly opposing mass immigration?

No, I don't. Maybe you ought to look up the definition of irony.

Read my comment again. I didn't get on Frum's case for "opposing mass immigration". The gist of my comment was that he didn't just oppose mass immigration. If that's all he'd done, I would not have written what I did (not that I fully believe or trust him on that). Instead he also quite directly cast aspersions on Richwine by saying he had "strong prior ideological commitments" (whatever those are, Frum doesn't say) that "aren't very attractive" (hmm, could Richwine's "strong prior ideological commitments" be his use of IQ in his analysis? -- is that what's 'unattractive'?). That's what I had a problem with.

Besides the basic illogic of saying on the one hand that the "most authorative study" of the same thing confirms what Richwine's own data heavy, 'ideological commitment' light analysis showed, and on the other had saying Richwine has "strong prior ideological commitments" (like what?) that "aren't very attractive".

Anonymous said...

What happened to the illegal immigration/amnesty bill? There's but one mention of the word "immigration" on Drudge, buried low; not a single mention of the bill on the Wash Post's huge front page; and just one brief mention, buried again, on NRO's The Corner.

Where did it go?
--
It's still being marked up by the Judiciary Committee.

Sign up for the newsletter at numbersusa.org for daily updates.

Bill said...

But for those who attack [Frum] as a human being, based on a decade-old article or whatever

Frum is a miserable waste of protoplasm: dishonest, vapid, and repellant. And the article linked above by Anonymous is proof positive.

NOTA said...

Aaron:

It's not just an article. There was a coordinated effort to silence conservative critics of the Iraq War, and the larger war on terror, and to push the critics who couldn't be silenced out of the tent. He took an important part in that effort, on behalf of an intellectual movement within conservatism that has been a disaster for the US.

That doesn't mean he can't have something to say that's worth hearing, or that he can't be on the side of the angels this time. But that also doesn't mean we're likely to forget his actions in the past.

If you used to work as Bernie Madoff's accountant, that's what people will remember you for, even if afterward you dedicate your time to feeding widows and orphans. If you spent years as a political commisar under Stalin, people will think of you a certain way even if later you repent of your prior actions and do better things. Similarly, Frum once played a role in helping an evil, destructive movement get power it still largely holds to do evil, destructive things to the nation and the world, and it's natural that people remember that.

Dave Pinsen said...

Eah,

"Do you not see the irony of a pseudonymous commenter calling Frum cowardly for publicly opposing mass immigration?"

"No, I don't. Maybe you ought to look up the definition of irony."

Bing dictionary, second definition of "irony" = "apparently contradictory". Bing dictionary, first definition of "contradictory" = "inconsistent". It was inconsistent of you to accuse someone of cowardice while exhibiting cowardice yourself, by hiding behind a pseudonym.

Anonymous said...

Re your remark about the ADL, they probably opened a file on Buchanan because of his Jew-baiting, not because of his anti-immigration stance.

Aaron, I hesitate to ask this because I know it is going to open a can of-off topic worms. But what makes Buchanan an anti-semite or anti-Israeli? I know it is hard to argue this now because for over twenty years he has been labeled as such. And many people reflexively think he is despite not knowing what he has said or written in the past.

Admittedly he once called Capital Hill Israeli occupied territory to stress the point about the strength of the Israeli lobby. I believe the Israeli lobby has a pretty strong hold on the US government, as does the NRA and other lobbies. But I don't think that makes one an anti-semite

And he has written that the USA should have stayed out of WW2 until the Soviets and Germans bled each other white so as to minimize our casualties in that conflict. I would probably advocate the same given it was in the best interest of my fellow Americans.

But I don't believe the guy is an anti-semite. And I have seen him express support for Israel, though he doesn't think the USA should still be giving her $3 billion annually. Does not supporting this annual gift of US aid make one anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic?

In the past twenty some years the GOP decided to follow the neocons and globalists in support of endless interventions, open borders and free trade, or as iSteve would say, "invade-the-world-invite-the-world-in-hock-to-the-world". Buchanan's advice would have served us better, but he was damaged goods once the ADL and company jumped all over him.

Even if he were an anti-Semite, I would still wish that we had followed his advice and not that of the neocons and globalists. We'd be better off for it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: This is a pretty good idea. Multi-millionaires and billionaires out there, take note. I'm not actually sure who I'd want to read as much as Sailer, but the potential is there. Hell, why should only professional writers get a shot? Get Svigor and JPF to write columns.

Thanks for the praise! How about a podcast version of NPR's" Left, Right and Center" called "Right, Right, and Wrong," cohosted by The JPF and Svigor. Every week we could invite a respected representative of the cathedral and castigate it (I used IT because slime mold is gender neutral).

Special guests could include Thrasymachus, Cail Corishev, Dave Pinsen, Aaron Gross, DVN, NOTA, Rohan Swee, David, Rob, jody, Ex-Submarine Officer, and of course Whiskey. Maybe even Truth. I miss him sometimes.

-The Judean People's Front

Matra said...

Anyway, Frum has been writing against mass immigration for two decades

Frum has probably written hundreds of columns over the past two and a half decades but I don't recall more than one on the subject of immigration. Maybe he wrote two or three others in that quarter century period but compared to how many he has written on other subjects such as the Middle East his immigration stuff barely registers. There's little evidence to indicate he cares much about it. But if he or any of the other columnists who occasionally bring up immigration (Froma Harrop comes to mind) were to write about it more they to would come under greater scrutiny. Right from his early days when he targeted Andrei Navrozov at Yale to his recent "conversion" to some liberal social views Frum has always appeared like a shameless careerist - though I'm pretty sure the one issue he'd never change his mind on is Israel! So with that in mind I think even if he really does care a lot about immigration he'll be extra careful in how he addresses it so as not to jeopardise his position

Incidentally, Frum's father-in-law, Peter Worthington, died today.

Art Deco said...

The ADL is not the same as the SPLC. They don't have a file on Frum, but they probably don't have a file on Heather Mac Donald, either. Which is to my other point, that paleocons (for lack of a better label) like Sailer are ostracized more for their style than for their substance.

Heather MacDonald has written about social pathology in and among recent immigrant populations. The reduction of sociology to anthropology and psychology and of the latter two to biology is not one of her shticks.

This final point is maybe off-topic. I don't know Frum any better than you people do - only from his public persona. But for those who attack him as a human being, based on a decade-old article or whatever, here's another article he wrote a decade ago: his obituary for Maggy Brimelow.

I recall the obituary.

Mr. Frum has done much to burn his bridges to various parties over the years, leading, I think, to the widespread belief that his stock in trade is opportunistic opinion hucksterism.

Well wishers of AEI were I suspect astonished to discover that Christopher deMuth was paying him $100,000 a year to do no work. When Arthur Brooks (a serious scholar hired away from Syracuse) told him the arrangement would no longer be continued, he shot up quite a lot of chaff about how he was being punished for his dissents.

Others were dumbfounded he would get anywhere near (much less employ) a gruesome character like Alex Pareene.

Still others were perplexed at his thesis that Republicans were duty bound to embrace one of the Administration's policy tar-babies.

Still others could not understand why he was wasting time and pixels attacking talk radio hosts. Messrs. Levin and Limbaugh were not trafficking in pornography.

FredR said...

Aaron Gross has a point. I'm not sure I'd say it's about style, exactly, but there are definitely ways of packaging anti-PC views that will allow them some mainstream penetration. Unfortunately, that requires a hell of a lot of social intelligence and consistent internal discipline.

David said...

It's astonishing that some people apparently can't see through this Frum article.

"The apologists for plutocracy" want two things here:

1. Amnesty, open borders.

2. Eliminate Medicare (really, all social insurance programs). Particularly since white people are getting old.

So what does "conservative" Frum do here?

First, he smears Richwine as intellectually dishonest ("prior commitments") and a crypto-Nazi ("unattractive"). Next, he frets about the cost of amnesty. Then, he strongly implies a solution: the high cost of amnesty could be reduced if only this darn Medicare program wasn't around. I mean after all, in this time of massive deficits and necessary austerity, and VERY necessary "enlightened" immigration, don't you think certain government programs should be cut?

If the only barrier to enlightened immigration is a ruinously expensive, socialistic government program, then doesn't it make sense to question this program? Seems conservative, right?

That's Frum's theme. It's special pleading for amnesty based on economic conservatism.

Apparently few can see this, though - even though it's right in their face on the computer screen. They're still parsing Buchanan/Frum from 10 years ago. "Is Frum a nice guy?" "Well, 10 years ago, he was a bastard." "Well, I disagree that he was a bastard." "Did you read the current article?" "Well, I'm thinking about Frum and what I feel about him and - " "Did you read the article?" "Well, in 'Unpatriotic Conservatives,' he said =" "Did you read the current article?" "Well, I can't really tell but maybe he is a nice guy, after all. He did write that good obit 10 years ago." "Did you read the current article?" "Well, back in 1992, he = " "Did you read the current article?" "Well, in his 2003 strategies, I feel there was an attempt to influence - " "What about the current article?" "Well, I kinda have mixed feelings. You see, some people say that he is nice. However, there are some other people who say that he is a bastard. And so - " "Are you going to pay attention to the current article?" "Well, I feel his gambit in 2003 was really an attempt to temper the neocons -" "Then you don't care to analyze this article?" "The main thing for me is that it's hard to figure out what kind of a guy he is. Some people feel one way, other people feel another way, and the feelings which we feel that we should feel are not feeling right, and so it's hard to feel our way to knowing what we should feel, because your feelings are the most important factor - " Etc.

Hunsdon said...

NOTA: On Frum, well said, sir.

Anonymous said...

It's just a big, unrelated coincidence that it's the white gentile population getting old in the biggest numbers.

Okay actuaries, break out those morbidity rate tables.

Lots of old white gentiles are pretty darned healthy. You can deny them their knee replacements and save some cash. I am guessing the rates for healthcare for whites aged 65-75 is way better than for hispanics. Hispanics live long unhealthy lives vs. whites and Asians who live long healthy lives.

Dave Pinsen said...

"It's astonishing that some people apparently can't see through this Frum article.

"The apologists for plutocracy" want two things here:

1. Amnesty, open borders.

2. Eliminate Medicare (really, all social insurance programs). Particularly since white people are getting old."


Hogwash. The only folks who are in favor of amnesty/open borders and eliminating social insurance programs are a tiny handful of libertarians. Frum is no libertarian (consider his position on gun control, for example).

The reality is about 180 degrees away from what you've written here. The vast majority of open borders advocates are supporters of social insurance programs. Stop and think about this for a minute.

Flooding the country with poor immigrants doesn't help the Democrats if the Democrats don't have social insurance programs they can offer them in exchange for their votes. And it doesn't work for business either. It's the welfare state that makes poor immigrants attractive to them. How many drug prescriptions do you think busboys or landscapers can afford without Medicaid? How many houses can they buy without the government subsidizing mortgages?

Without a welfare state, immigrants would only be worth their labor, and poor, unskilled immigrants can't produce enough to afford an American lifestyle absent social insurance programs and subsidies.

Anonymous said...

"I first met the patriotic Mr. Frum 20 years ago, when I still worked for National Review. (At that time and long afterward, I must say, I always found him personally genial.) His first contribution to the magazine was an article warning that a Reagan arms sale to Saudi Arabia, by endangering Israel, would drive many people away from the conservative movement.

"At the time I was too naïve to have suspicions of Frum. But two things about his article troubled me.

First, the question for Americans should have been not whether the arms sale was good for Israel, but whether it was good for America. But this obvious consideration didn’t seem to occur to Frum, who now challenges the patriotism of Americans. (Nor did Canadian interests seem to concern him, but never mind.)" Joe Sobran from The Wanderer

I doubt that Frum's priority has ever changed.

Art Deco said...

Frum is no libertarian

This year. Frum's first bid for public attention was a book called Dead Right, issued in 1994. It is a libertarian volume. 'Atypical libertarian' would have been a passable description of him even four years ago.

NOTA said...

Fred R:

I think the problem with that strategy is twofold:

First, it makes it much harder to say anything, because you're balancing your heretical views with the stuff that the Inquisition expects to hear. You will be a much less effective speaker and writer when you're spending so much effort solving the say-it-without-getting-lynched puzzle instead of solving the say-it-clearly-and-correctly puzzle.

Second, you will inevitably find yourself in a position, now and then, where you must choose between honesty and expedience. That's a pretty corrosive choice, especialy when you have to make it often and have to split about 50-50 to stay out of trouble.

NOTA said...

Dave:

I've read the claim that a lot of people working bottom tier jobs use a fair bit of public assistance, and that Wal Mart in particular encourages their employees to sign up for those benefits. On one hand, that seems kind-of admirable, helping their employees make ends meet and all. But think about it a little longer, and it sounds kinda like Wal Mart is using the taxpayer to supplement their extremely meager pay all the way up to subsistence level.

I'm not entirely sure this is bad, even now. There will be people who can't do much more than work at Wal-Mart, they're humans and deserve some dignity, and working for your living is a good way to keep that. But the vision of the bottom-tier unskilled jobs as something more like a higher tier of welfare, instead of a way for people to support themselves and pay their own way, is hard to square with a lot of the way I'd like the world to work. As should be obvious, it's also hard to square with importing a lot more bottom-tier workers.

Dave Pinsen said...

NOTA,

I agree it's not a bad thing that the government provides some assistance to poor workers, but I think it would be better for the dignity of those workers (and for the GOP's political prospects), if the government used trade and immigration policy to facilitate the creation of more private sector jobs that offered better wages and benefits.

David said...

Add: "There's this other article that gives his position on gun control. From this article, I deduce that he isn't a libertarian. Given the standard definition of 'libertarian,' I further deduce that he must be opposed to amnesty, because libertarians are for open borders, and he isn't a libertarian, given his position on gun control. (Following me so far? Good!) Therefore, he isn't implying what he's implying in the current article. His position on gun control and my dictionary of political terms prove it."

And: "But eliminating social insurance while opening the borders makes no sense. It would hurt people. Surely everything Mr. Frum says makes sense. A newspaper wouldn't publish it otherwise."

>Okay actuaries, break out those morbidity rate tables.<

Look at the absolute numbers. More white people receive Medicare than all other races of people combined. Here [pdf] (NB: the gold is on page 16, despite ~60 pages of apparently unnecessary fretting about the data sets).