The ‘New American Economy’ (NAE) is a coalition of individuals who seek immigration reform “that will help create jobs for Americans today”.
They recently posted an open letter signed by over 1470 economists addressing political leaders including Trump President and Speaker Ryan.
This letter is in relation to immigration reform. Supposedly, touting that the benefits of immigration out-way the cons.
NAE requests that the President regard immigration as a significant competitive advantage in the global marketplace, rather than a threat to the economy.
However, I have some issues with this open letter I’d like to point out to those of you who may be interested.
The New American Economy – Open Letter’s Proclamation
The letter states the following:
- Immigration brings entrepreneurs who start new businesses that hire American workers.
- Immigration brings young workers who help offset the large-scale retirement of baby boomers.
- Immigration brings diverse skill sets that keep our workforce flexible, help companies grow, and increase the productivity of American workers.
- Immigrants are far more likely to work in innovative, job-creating fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math that create life-improving products and drive economic growth.
After this, it states that “there are costs… but the benefits that immigration brings to society far outweigh their costs”
Now let’s break this down bullet-point by bullet-point.
Immigration brings entrepreneurs who start new businesses that hire American workers.
Sure, no complaints. Many immigrants do start new businesses, as do Americans.
Immigration brings young workers who help offset the large-scale retirement of baby boomers.
It wasn’t that long ago that the mantra of “There are too many people – stop making babies” was in the headlines.
Why, now, do we need to supplement our population with foreign-born workers to fix that?
Secondly, there is already a tremendous labor surplus. The youth unemployment rate is huge, and finding a job after college is no easy matter. Even then, most of those that find jobs are in jobs that aren’t great (minimum wage, or no advancement opportunities).
Why do we need to offset the retirement of baby-boomers – when we already have too many people for too few jobs?
And secondly, why would we not then encourage a higher birth rate of our native citizens to offset this large scale retirement in the future?
There is no reason for us to bring young workers into this country, when our young workers can’t even get a good job now.
That just increases the problems of our own native citizens. Sure, it looks great from a globalist perspective. But not so great for our own native youth.
Immigration brings diverse skill sets that keep our workforce flexible, help companies grow, and increase the productivity of American workers.
This always makes my blood boil.
“Diverse skill sets”
What the hell is that? What does it mean?
Explain to me – What exactly can an immigrant do, that a native cannot? How can they keep our workplace “flexible” (whatever that means), but we can’t?
We have Americans at the top of business, computer science, medical technology, accounting, military, and every other field imaginable.
Why is it that if you’re born somewhere else – suddenly you have a “diverse skill set”?
On that topic, how do immigrants help a company grow? You mean by getting a larger employee pool? So, by hiring them? Like they could do for, I don’t know – native citizens?
And please tell me how an immigrant would increase American worker productivity. How does this even make sense?
In a business, you’re defined by your productivity and what you can bring to the marketplace. How would having an immigrant with you change that productivity to be more than if you worked with a native?
Short answer: it wouldn’t.
This is an example of a catchy phrase that people use to make themselves feel better, and to act like they have an argument.
Never have I seen anyone actually explain the benefits that a diverse workforce brings that can’t be acquired in a native-only workplace.
See: virtue signalling.
Immigrants are far more likely to work in innovative, job-creating fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math that create life-improving products and drive economic growth.
But why don’t we incentivize our citizens to do the same?
We have millions of students go through STEM. Why can’t they be just as great as immigrants?
Because they have to compete with hordes of millions of immigrants for the same positions that give them the opportunity to create these life-improving products and simultaneously drive economic growth.
And businesses are looking to create a “diverse” workplace, so the natives will get passed up in favor of that mantra. Regardless of merit.
A few extra notes:
Shouldn’t these intelligent immigrants stay in their native countries, to help make them better?
These places – like India, Mexico, Somalia, and the like – need help. They need these intelligent people to better their own countries.
If we continually “brain-drain” these countries, how can we ever expect them to better the standards of living there?
And how do we quantify the costs that we cause on these native countries by taking their most-aspiring workforce participants?
I would be curious to see how these ‘New American Economy’ economists define “costs“. Surely, the benefits can be explained in terms of pure GDP growth and business profits.
But what about costs?
The foreign born population represents 15.4% of the total population. Yet, they compromise 20% of the prison population.
At least 380 of the 580 individuals convicted of terrorism between September 11, 2001, and December 31st, 2014, were foreign born. This doesn’t even include the attacks that aren’t labelled “terrorism”.
Foreign born individuals are also more heavily listed in rape and murder statistics. Much higher than their population percentage and of native populations when compared per capita.
So how do we define these costs?
Do we put a dollar figure on how much a human life costs in comparison to the supposed GDP growth?
Do we put a dollar figure on rape – and label the travesty that the woman has to deal with the rest of her life as the interest?
No. Of course not. These aren’t factored into the equation, because they don’t fit a narrative.
The people that die from terrorism aren’t calculated into the costs of immigration. The buildings destroyed and ravaged in Western Europe aren’t calculated into the cost v. benefit analysis of refugee assimilation statistics.
Neither is the decline of culture added to the costs.
Or the harder job prospects (and thus expenditures required) of natives.
Or the lost economic opportunity of the natives home nation.
Or the increased property crime ratings by foreign nationals.
Or the depression of wages from the labor surplus.
Or the exploitation of the migrants.
Or the increased consumption of medicaid/medicare/health/food stamps that are fiscally greater than natives per capita rates.
Or the monetary cost arising from the necessity of a police state to combat terrorism.
Or the pressure on public services like schools to request more funding because of more students.
Or a million other potential costs arising from un-restricted immigration.
The New American Economy open letter has ridiculous assumptions and it makes me ashamed that so many of our own economists have signed it.
There 4-step “benefits” have 1, maybe 2 actual benefits of immigration. But it fully rejects the consequence of thought in regards to the costs.
But it should be obvious. We, as economists, can’t accurately rate the costs of everything.
Sure, we can make up some nice dollar signs for most things like GDP and immigration business-ownership.
But we can’t put a number on a murder. We can’t accurately describe the monetary costs on society that stems from a rape. And we certainly cannot describe the actual costs (aside from property damage) of terrorism.
It’s simply not calculate-able. It’s a political opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.
So stating that the “benefits out-way the costs” is an erroneously and dishonest conclusion. You can’t measure these issues. So you can’t give a conclusive answer.
It’s not an economic question. It never was. It’s a philosophical one.