Thursday, June 07, 2007

Immigration: Update--It's Dead

Update: John Hawkins has the skinny about what happened today with the many-headed hydra of a bill:

PS: I asked my source if his boss has been hearing from his constituents on this bill and what the for and against ratio was. He said that they have received thousands and thousands of calls and the ratio was something like 95%-98% against the bill.

PS #2: I also asked my source why he thought so many Republicans had been supporting such an incredibly unpopular bill. He gave three reasons:

First off, there was what he referred to as the "Rovian School of thought," which says that passing this bill would capture the Hispanic vote for the GOP for decades to come.

Next up, there's the "Chamber of Commerce" vote. He says these Republicans were heavily influenced by business groups that want cheap labor no matter what the cost is for the rest of the country.

Then there was the last group, the smallest group in his opinion, who were willing to sign onto a terrible bill just so they could say they were part of a big reform that had bipartisan support.
Wait one little minute, here! What about the bill is for the Hispanic people? Where's the love? The first reason the Republicans went for it: self-interest, the second reason: economic, the third reason: stoopid Republicanism. Since when have the Democrats given a tinker's damn* about bipartisan support?

*Hello, mom. Mom also says this regularly, "Cold as a cob" and/or "Hot as a cob". How a cob can be cold and hot is a mystery.......... Mystery solved thanks to this internets thingy. Another idiom--"stick in the mud" is also a favorite. And don't be a "bump on a log" either especially if you're "homely as a hedge-fence". Oh, I have more, yesindeedy, but I'm going to save them and spring 'em on ya when you're unawares.


There might be immigration desolation but first some opinions:

Siggy has much to say about how the immigration problem came about:
The largest segment of the illegal aliens are unskilled workers. They have absolutely no incentive to seek legal status, because if they do, they will not be hired. It is in the best interest of the farmer or meat packer to keep the costs down. Lower costs means that products are more affordable. Employers will seek out those unskilled workers that have not sought legal status and thus will not burden them with higher costs and legal obligations. To do that would be to double the grocery store price of many agricultural and food products overnight.

No employer who wishes to remain competitive in the market will pay higher wages for unskilled labor.

For every semi skilled or unskilled illegal alien who attempts to ‘legalize’ him or herself, at least two more will cross the border, willing to stay in the shadows and work for lower wages. The implications of that are almost beyond comprehension. The added burden on health care, school systems, welfare and social services will be enormous. Add to that social tensions and the cultural demands that will pit minorities against each other- and against everyone else for a slice of ‘guvamint cheese,’ and the outcome will be nothing short of disastrous.
Like I said (well, I didn't say it exactly): It's the economy stupid. Hugh Hewitt has a solid round-up about the actual bill.

And, The Anchoress has put up Part II: The Conversation continues. This post is mostly decrying the "Bush betrayed us" sentiment--a sentiment I don't share, by the way. President Bush told us exactly how he felt about immigration during the run-up to both elections. I voted for him anyway even though I disagreed with him. First, I agreed with the majority of his platform (I am not a one-issue voter). Second, it was an issue that caused much dissent, enough that he strategically avoided the topic in most stump speeches, that I thought it would be debated. And boy has it been debated. Finally, I thought his opinions would be moderated by the people and Congress. The opposite has happened.

About President Bush: I think he wants to help the economy, business interests, and illegal immigrants, and in that order. He knows how the illegals get hurt by being on the edges of society. Some wonder if he gives the thought to how much the economy is hurt the other way, too. All the workers have families (elderly and young'uns) who do not contribute to the system. He obviously believes that America has a net benefit economically. Business wins--tax wise, price control, wage control. Everything is cheaper and more competitive. And then the illegals are often hurt by the system. They can be taken advantage of--money, language and education all affect their decision making.

And then there are the voters who enjoy cheap labor even though they don't want to admit they enjoy cheap labor. My yard costs $25 to care for. It cost $15 when Rick, the hot high school kid across the street mowed it. Sigh. Rick. But, I digress. Hmmm, this is interesting: Over at the inflation calculator, I got this information: It would cost $28.07 for my yard work now, if it was $15 in 1985. That's pretty close to what I'm paying. But here's what's interesting:
if you were to buy exactly the same products in 2006 and 1985,
they would cost you $15 and $8.02 respectively.
That's what illegal immigration and China and India has done for America. Cheap labor means cheap stuff.

But here's what else is interesting. The chiropractor who treated me as a kid charged $40 for the same kind of service my husband and I charge $65 for. The inflation calculator puts the cost at $74.84. But a $40 product in '85 would be $21.38 today. Well. Services like education and medical care continue to outpace inflation. See how economically friendly we are at our practice--we could hike our fees $10 and still be under inflation rates? Goods prices have declined. I guess the moral is: don't get educated or sick. (I demonstrate why a non-economist shouldn't talk about the economy.)

Anyway, the illegal immigration debate will continue. Even though it might cause me economic pain, I still say: stop the border and increase legal immigration. It would be a start in the right direction.


Anonymous said...

"if you were to buy exactly the same products in 2006 and 1985,
they would cost you $15 and $8.02 respectively."

I don't get it. This seems to contradict what you're saying here: "But a $40 product in '85 would be $21.38 today"

Melissa Clouthier said...

Following inflation, one dollar will buy you almost twice as much as it would have in 1985. So products are cheaper--manufacturing is stream-lined, labor has been exported and imported and is cheaper, salaries have remained stagnant up until the last couple of years and computers and automation have empowered individuals to solve their own problems. In short, consumer goods cost less as time has gone on.

That is NOT true in education and health care, where a dollar will buy you less because those prices have risen faster than inflation. The government is heavily involved in both. Funny, that.

For something like yard work, the costs have stayed the same (adjusted for inflation). The laborers are just different in most parts of the country. Where teen boys used to do this work, now illegal (and legal) residents do this work.

I think there are two contributing factors: 1) Kids are working in different jobs or 2) They are just not working because they are coddled. I'm sure there are other factors.

Again, I'm no economist. Maybe Maxed Out Mama will come on by and clarify things for you.

R Berle said...

Bush and Rove are working to split off Hispanic voters from the Republicans. This will make Jeb Bush the inevitable candidate in four or eight years. Jeb has a Mexican wife and is popular in Florida and Texas. He will have the Bush money machine behind him. The important thing is that the Republicans lose this time-- watch as Bush kills republican chances this time.

Anonymous said...

r berle --

Phone that one in to Art Bell sometime. It's at least a new twist on the "Vast Republican Conspiracy" theory.

Question: After eight years of "Praise Hillary!", will Chelsea be old enough to Ascend the Throne? Or will Mommy & Daddy pull a Paris Hilton?

Teri said...

Education and medicine outpace inflation because they are controlled by unions. The AMA is one of the most successful unions around and the point of a union is to drive up wages for their members. Same thing with the teachers union. How much do you think our education system would cost if they hired illegals as teachers or outsourced to India??