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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5027/the-war-on-immigration-will-fail/

The War on Immigration Will Fail

May 10, 2006 by

There exists a market demand for low-skilled cheap labor, writes Wade Mitchell. Part of this demand is being met by outsourcing of jobs overseas. The rest is met by vast numbers of immigrants coming to this country. Illegal immigration is the market supplying a demand. A demand is being met and satisfied. This triumph of the market is not in itself a problem. FULL ARTICLE

{ 74 comments }

Francisco Torres May 11, 2006 at 4:56 pm

But at the least they are invited guests.

Paul, immigrants ARE being invited by their employers.

Lisa’s point is that the argument many times wielded against immigrants, that they gobble up resources, is inconsistent, since newborn babies do exactly the same no matter if they are invited guests or not. Babies gobble up tax money taken from Lisa, and she did not invite them – which is why she asks a fair question: Doesn’t she have a saying regarding the reproductive rights of people she subsidizes, even if they are white, anglo saxon and protestant?

(And I am not implying a racist overtone from your comments, Paul. I think you’re cool on that)

Paul Edwards May 11, 2006 at 6:36 pm

Hi Fransisco,

“Paul, immigrants ARE being invited by their employers.”

Yes, and i agree that the state will reject many who should not be rejected, and it will allow many it should not allow. This is the nature of the state. But, nevertheless, i am convinced 100% open borders would be an even worse state instigated disaster in theory and practice.

Also,

I agree with your interpretation of Lisa’s point, however what i meant to convey was that if you shift the analysis over to a model of anarchy, one can show that restricted immigration, or more precisely exclusion, is a libertarian right inherent in property, but that there is no situation that justifies one person’s controlling of another’s having children. This is why it is not persuasive in the argument that advocates (not that she is necessarily arguing for this) 100% open borders while living under a western welfare state.

James Bond 007 May 11, 2006 at 11:38 pm

I live N. of Austin, home to hundreds of thousands of foreign workers. These folks build our homes, tend our yards and quarry limestone. My employer looks at my white skin and knows, as a cost of hiring me, he’ll need to pay: salary, unempl. comp., social security and matching soc. sec., workman’s comp, medicare taxes, benefits, plus myriad regulatory requirements.
The company also faces much litigation exposure if we scream “age discrimination” or “sexual harrassment” etc.

WHILE many of our undocuemented neighbors work for cash, and with no incentive to file bogus lawsuits. What a HUGE ADVANTAGE these guys have over us. Plus they get the welfare state benefits, particularly for their children.

Perhaps I could ask an employer to give me the undocumented worker “cash deal.” But he knows I could easily rat him out and sue him, if I ever got angry at him or hurt. Our undocumented neighbors are hugely advantaged.

Reactionary May 12, 2006 at 9:12 am

Alan R,

Nobody seems to want to answer your question so I’ll take a shot: they saw their property confiscated, their young men killed, and their culture destroyed. They ended up a despised minority with intractable social problems.

Here’s a question I never see liberals bother to ask, let alone answer: if immigration is so good and so right, is there no criteria for quality or quantity that could be put in place? 40% of the Mexican population has expressed a desire to emigrate to the US. Should they all be allowed? Criminals? People with TB or hepatitis? How about everyone in Haiti? Liberia? Nigeria?

Here’s another: if Third World peoples are such a boon to a nation, why are the nations where they enjoy majority status such hellholes? Why are Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and, increasingly, mainland China such prosperous places despite their homogeneity?

If you want to see your children’s future after several more decades of unchecked immigration in the US, look at Brazil.

Francisco Torres May 12, 2006 at 9:56 am

if immigration is so good and so right, is there no criteria for quality or quantity that could be put in place?

The market establishes the criteria. People will hire those immigrants that have the necessary skills needed. Those that do not will not find work and leave.


40% of the Mexican population has expressed a desire to emigrate to the US. Should they all be allowed?

Have they, really?


Criminals? People with TB or hepatitis? How about everyone in Haiti? Liberia? Nigeria?

Again, the market sets the criteria. Not everyone finds a job – many DO return home after failing.

Here’s another: if Third World peoples are such a boon to a nation, why are the nations where they enjoy majority status such hellholes?

This question is loaded, but I will take it and reply to it: It is not the people, Reactionary, but the governments, that create the hell holes. And keep in mind that not a long time ago, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and recently, China, were Third World Countries – and are prosperous because their governments have allowed (ugly word, but accurate) free markets to bloom. The US actually created their immigration problem by intervening so many times in Latin American affairs, giving aid to represive and highly statist governments, just to keep left-leaning, represive and highly statist governments out.

Francisco Torres May 12, 2006 at 9:57 am

Sorry, I meant to say “the skills needed”. The “necessary” is redundant. My bad.

Qj May 12, 2006 at 3:36 pm

As a free-marketer, I am in favor of free migration of labor. However, I am a little alarmed at the political power pandering made by the left/socialist organizations supporting illegal immigrants. In my opinion the immigrants and their supporters are more interested in posturing to the powers, instead of the American people. I find it very peculiar that unionists are much more in favor of low wage laborers this time around. I hope that today’s migrant laborer will not be duped into bolstering the numbers of labor unions in hopes of seizing more political favors.

Reactionary May 15, 2006 at 8:55 am

“It is not the people, Reactionary, but the governments, that create the hell holes.”

And it is the people that create the governments. All governments everywhere exist with the active consent or acquiescence of the majority.

“And keep in mind that not a long time ago, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and recently, China, were Third World Countries – and are prosperous because their governments have allowed (ugly word, but accurate) free markets to bloom.”

This is obviously fascist propaganda, since none of those countries have imported millions of low-skilled foreign laborers. In fact, they are remarkably homogenous countries, much like the US was prior to the 1965 Immigration Reform Act.

Francisco Torres May 15, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Reactionary wrote:
And it is the people that create the governments. All governments everywhere exist with the active consent or acquiescence of the majority.

A silly notion. Most governments in the world were either imposed by other countries (like the US or the UK, or the UN in the case of Israel), or imposed themselves by force, and most of the time, people are impotent to do something about it, since these governments are armed to the teeth. Is it your contention that a person such as Stalin or Saddam Hussein wer in power due to the acquiescence of their people? Or was it because they made it clear what would happen to dissenters? Why do you think States in the US did not try to secede from the Union after 1865? Due to their acquiescence?

This is obviously fascist propaganda[??????], since none of those countries [South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China] have imported millions of low-skilled foreign laborers.

Why is this “fascist propaganda”, and why call it obvious? And why would it matter if these countries did not import “millions of low-skilled” workers? They already HAD millions of low-skilled workers. Your question was: “if Third World peoples are such a boon to a nation, why are the nations where they enjoy majority status such hellholes?” My answer: Those countries I mentioned WERE 3rd World countries, were NOT hell holes and the low skilled labour coupled with some economic freedom made them into 1st class competitors in the global market. So having 3rd World labourers around can be an advantage, if you include economic freedom. Your question mentions nothing about “homogenous populations”.

In fact, they are remarkably homogenous countries, much like the US was prior to the 1965 Immigration Reform Act.

The US was homogenous before 1965? Where did you get that idea? Now, that seems like racist propaganda to ME.

Your question mentions nothing about “homogenous populations”. You are just using that as an excuse to extricate yourself from the problem you face with my answer.

Reactionary May 15, 2006 at 4:00 pm

“The US was homogenous before 1965? Where did you get that idea? Now, that seems like racist propaganda to ME.”

It is not. The US has been overwhelmingly Anglo-Celt for most of its history. The 1965 Immigration Reform Act was a radical departure from prior US policy. Immigration from outside Anglo-European populations has brought us nothing but cultural Marxism and socialism.

The Asian countries you listed do well in part because they have a strong sense of themselves as a people.

Japan is also a good case in point: they developed automation rather than importing cheap labor.

Francisco Torres May 15, 2006 at 5:53 pm

It is not. The US has been overwhelmingly Anglo-Celt for most of its history. The 1965 Immigration Reform Act was a radical departure from prior US policy.

Right… Except that the US was filling itself not only with “Anglo-Celt” people but with Slavs, Poles, Russians, Italians, Africans, Asians and Mexicans as well… hardly Anglo or Celtic. Mexicans could cross the border at will before 1965 and afterwards, so I do not see what you’re hinting at. Chinese labourers helped lay train tracks in the West.


Immigration from outside Anglo-European populations has brought us nothing but cultural Marxism and socialism.

Interesting comment, considering Marxism is a European invention – which they are still suffering from it.

The Asian countries you listed do well in part because they have a strong sense of themselves as a people.

Yeah, sure. That is why such homogeneous people as the NORTH Koreans are doing so well, in the same degree, right? I mean, you cannot get more homogenous than that!

By the way, Hong Kong is not predominately Chinese in its population. It has thousands of immigrants from other Asian countries. It is NOT homogenous by a long shot – and yet it is very prosperous.

Japan is also a good case in point: they developed automation rather than importing cheap labor.

So, that’s that! Instead of cheap labour, Americans can simply create automated machines to collect strawberries in Santa Cruz, or landscape lawns in sub-urban Pittsburg, or wait at tables in Dallas. Brilliant!

Reactionary, the Japanese developed robots and automation for R-E-P-E-T-I-T-I-V-E, tedious or even dangerous tasks. Many of these tasks were being performed NOT by cheap labour but by HIGHLY SKILLED labour with the risks involves. Automation allowed these labourers to focus on other things. Cheap labour actually does the same thing: it releases other labour to do more productive tasks – however, the kind of jobs more suited for cheap labour cannot be done by automated machines in a cost-effective way.

Francisco Torres May 15, 2006 at 5:55 pm

Sorry, meant to say: With the risks involved.

Peter May 15, 2006 at 8:41 pm

All governments everywhere exist with the active consent or acquiescence of the majority.

That “or” is very important. I really doubt there is a government anywhere, or ever has been, that had the active consent of the majority. “Acquiescence” in the face of violent regimes where outspoken citizens disappear into the ether is rather less of a test.

Reactionary May 16, 2006 at 9:42 am

“Cheap labour actually does the same thing: it releases other labour to do more productive tasks – however, the kind of jobs more suited for cheap labour cannot be done by automated machines in a cost-effective way.”

You mean like picking cotton? Threshing wheat? Sewing buttons? Deboning chickens? Harvesting corn? In the civilized world, machines do these things. I don’t particularly care to see my smart, automated nation devolve into Guatemala because well-connected businessmen prefer to lobby government rather than figure out how to get more productivity from the existing labor supply.

Francisco Torres May 16, 2006 at 11:55 am

You mean like picking cotton? Threshing wheat? Sewing buttons? Deboning chickens? Harvesting corn?

No, like: Picking lettuce (which machines do not), or grapes (which machines do not), or landscape, or fix roofs, or wash dishes quickly, or wait on tables, or paint walls, or wash windows, or pick up the trash, or sew entire clothes, or change the oil in your car, or babysit kids, or install electrical outlets, or install floors, or clean carpets, or dryclean…

In the civilized world, these things are not yet being done my machines alone – we are way too far for that, yet.

I don’t particularly care to see my smart, automated nation devolve into Guatemala because well-connected businessmen prefer to lobby government rather than figure out how to get more productivity from the existing labor supply.

Please explain to me how can a country that uses cheaper labour “devolve” into a country like Guatemala. I would very much like to see your economic analysis.

Reactionary May 16, 2006 at 12:41 pm

“Please explain to me how can a country that uses cheaper labour “devolve” into a country like Guatemala. I would very much like to see your economic analysis.”

It’s real simple: if you import a bunch of Guatemalans rather than figure out how to increase productivity, you end up with Guatemala. If you increase productivity rather than importing cheap labor, you end up with Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc.

Francisco Torres May 16, 2006 at 3:23 pm

Reactionary wrote:
It’s real simple: if you import a bunch of Guatemalans rather than figure out how to increase productivity, you end up with Guatemala.

The Law of Diminishing Returns would not allow you to RISE the productivity in an activity more than a certain level. For example, if it were a matter of raising productivity making, let us say, blue jeans, then a blue jean factory would have done so. But there comes a point where humans cannot raise their productivity level on a certain skill, like making blue jeans.

For example, how fast can a typist write text? Some can write 50 words a minute. I can write 45. My wife can probably write about 60. The fastest there is 170 words a minute, but only in short bursts. It can be safely said that a normal, highly productive person could write around 75 words a minute with short breaks for reading texts or gathering thoughts. If that is such the case, it becomes more difficult to find people able or willing to write text faster without getting tired or cramped. If the productivity of a person, regardless of origin, can only achieve around the 75 words a minute, then a limit in productivity has been achieved. At that point, the point of comparison between one typist and another is not how productive is one against the other but the COST – meaning, if a person is willing to type at 70-75 words a minute for 5, instead of another willing only for 10, the person charging 5 has a competitive advantage.

It is the same with the kind of work Guatemalans or Mexicans, or whoever, are willing to perform. The productivity level of some tasks has been maximized up to a level where more productivity is impractical, meaning the main concern now is comparative COST. If a Guatemalan is willing to landscape a lawn for 5, instead of 10, with equal results, then the Guatemalan holds the competitive advantage.


If you increase productivity rather than importing cheap labor, you end up with Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc.

You are missing the fact that cheap labour RELEASES local and more productive labour for more productive tasks.

You put so much emphasis on “homogeneity” and on the unlikely risk of the USA becoming another Guatemala, that it makes me wonder…

Reactionary May 16, 2006 at 3:55 pm

“You put so much emphasis on “homogeneity” and on the unlikely risk of the USA becoming another Guatemala, that it makes me wonder…”

If I could be a racist? These days, “racist” means someone who notices the obvious. One such obvious fact is that multicultural empires can only be maintained by force. Another is that there are measurable differences in aggregate intelligence between various racial and ethnic groups. Mass Third World immigration and liberal democracy is just a recipe for disaster.

Reactionary May 16, 2006 at 3:59 pm

And I actually don’t think the US will end up like Guatemala. I think the US will end up like Brazil.

Alan R May 16, 2006 at 4:48 pm

I suspect that the US will end up like the Soviet Uni–er, I mean, Russia: Run by freedom-loving fascist/corporate oligarchs, kept in place by an acquiescient populace soothed by cheap bread and endless circuses, where everyone in the Politb –er, I mean Congress, always gets re-elected, fighting perpetual wars to main the Empire, and like many middle eastern countries, importing hoards of cheap foreign labor to do what we have become too fat, dumb and lazy to do ourselves. Wait! That is already the situation!

Francisco Torres May 16, 2006 at 5:41 pm

If I could be a racist?

No, a fascist. A nationalist, to be precise.

One such obvious fact is that multicultural empires can only be maintained by force.

Not necessarily – it can be held together by peaceful trade. What creates the tension between different cultures is a government favouring one people over another.


Another is that there are measurable differences in aggregate intelligence between various racial and ethnic groups.

You mean stupid people abound more in certain ethnic groups? Like which, for instance? I find such knowledge fascinating…

Mass Third World immigration and liberal democracy is just a recipe for disaster.

I have still to see such dreaded effect happen. Considering that most people migrating to the USA in the late 1800s and early 1900s were coming from what comparatively were third world countries (like Italy, Poland, Romania, Ireland, Russia, plus others), the disaster you imply has yet to make its appearance. Those countries were still mostly agrarian societies with very poor populations and little mechanized industry.

Joshua Katz June 4, 2006 at 9:57 pm

All these concerns about economic hardship and lowering of wages…I have to wonder…why do Americans deserve to make $15/hr for a given job, while those in other countries make $.15/hr for the same job? Some speak about subsidies to the employers of illegals – but what about the money taken from me to buy guns to bring about, by force, a situation that raises your wages artificially? Why artificially? Because the supply is being held down by force.

patrick August 21, 2007 at 3:12 pm

hello i write because it sounds to me you have no hope for our country and i believe that you have given up on the american people sure its not wrong to make your life better and to improve your quallity of life but not at the expense of others not sure if you really get out and see these elegal immagrants in action you know i cant go to the local flea market without having mexicans hit on my wife and make rude comment to her and if i say anything or try to do something about it im the one who is wrong well that is crap besides the leval of crime and the magnitude of drug traffic has gone up since we here in missouri started noticing a large number of immagrants migratting to our area 1st and foremost they are illegal immagrants anything they do here is illegal just being here is illegal when did we stop and say screw the law it really doesnt matter and neither do the opinions of the millions of concernsd u.s.citizens people born here and should have first rights to the u.s. jobs out there ,but, companies are out there giving jobs to illegal immagrants and refusing u.s. citizens i could name a few but i have already spoken with I.N.S. and it wouldnt be very smart of me, i cant stress the fact that U.S. citizens should be our main concern in making sure our people have a bright future if you support mexicans so much move to mexico and fight for their rights there see what happens most likely you would be imprisoned or killed why their government is so corrupt so we should let people of such a corrupt counrty come to ours and sue us for things they would have otherwise such as water towers in the desert so the illegals can safeley break in to our country illegaly and steal our jobs rape and kill our people and on my leval family members oh if you really look at it they say one million illegal immagrants cross the border every day to me if you add it up we are being invaded and that to me calls for action war on illegal immagration, we defenitly have the manpower problem is noone wants to do anything about it and people like you want to fight for these people sorry their lives are so bad in their own country but thats why so many U.S. citizens have fought and died for the american dream wich is being given away to people who do not deserve it you appall me when you say war on illegal immagration is wrong and wont work if you put your mind to it anything can work you just dont have any hope you must be republican we see get rid of the unions and you can control everything you can make U.S. citizens your slaves work hard for low wages put all the money in the hands of the employers none in the hands of the people who deserve it, the ones who bust their asses only to realize they have nothing .so you can take a flying leap

patrick August 21, 2007 at 3:13 pm

hello i write because it sounds to me you have no hope for our country and i believe that you have given up on the american people sure its not wrong to make your life better and to improve your quallity of life but not at the expense of others not sure if you really get out and see these elegal immagrants in action you know i cant go to the local flea market without having mexicans hit on my wife and make rude comment to her and if i say anything or try to do something about it im the one who is wrong well that is crap besides the leval of crime and the magnitude of drug traffic has gone up since we here in missouri started noticing a large number of immagrants migratting to our area 1st and foremost they are illegal immagrants anything they do here is illegal just being here is illegal when did we stop and say screw the law it really doesnt matter and neither do the opinions of the millions of concernsd u.s.citizens people born here and should have first rights to the u.s. jobs out there ,but, companies are out there giving jobs to illegal immagrants and refusing u.s. citizens i could name a few but i have already spoken with I.N.S. and it wouldnt be very smart of me, i cant stress the fact that U.S. citizens should be our main concern in making sure our people have a bright future if you support mexicans so much move to mexico and fight for their rights there see what happens most likely you would be imprisoned or killed why their government is so corrupt so we should let people of such a corrupt counrty come to ours and sue us for things they would have otherwise such as water towers in the desert so the illegals can safeley break in to our country illegaly and steal our jobs rape and kill our people and on my leval family members oh if you really look at it they say one million illegal immagrants cross the border every day to me if you add it up we are being invaded and that to me calls for action war on illegal immagration, we defenitly have the manpower problem is noone wants to do anything about it and people like you want to fight for these people sorry their lives are so bad in their own country but thats why so many U.S. citizens have fought and died for the american dream wich is being given away to people who do not deserve it you appall me when you say war on illegal immagration is wrong and wont work if you put your mind to it anything can work you just dont have any hope you must be republican we see get rid of the unions and you can control everything you can make U.S. citizens your slaves work hard for low wages put all the money in the hands of the employers none in the hands of the people who deserve it, the ones who bust their asses only to realize they have nothing .so you can take a flying leap

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