Monday, July 18, 2005

It's Getting Better All the Time

Paul Craig Roberts continues to catalog the decline of the American economy. Over the last couple of years, Roberts has done yeoman work chronicling the collapse of America's industrial machine. What I haven't seen, however, are concrete solutions to the problem. Roberts would clearly support restrictions on immigration, but I'm not sure what he would do regarding trade policy. Is trade protection the answer to the problem?

A couple of interesting pieces by Steven Sniegoski over at the Last Ditch. Here he discusses the illegality of Iraq war in light of the Nuremberg Standards and here he discusses American and Israeli policy in Uzbekistan. The latter is an important essay that underscores the silliness and hypocrisy at the heart of the democratist pabulum spouted by Bushian neocons.

Something rarely seen in the press is a free-market case against corporate behemoths like Wal-Mart. One study concluded that Wal-Mart received $1 billion in various subsidies. Carney describes the various subsidies provided for just one location in Florida:

In MacLenny, Fla., for example, state and local governments subsidized the distribution center from beginning to end. The county gave Wal-Mart the land for free and built the roads to get there. Between the local and state governments, taxpayers footed the bill for the plumbing, the recruiting and the job training. Finally, Wal-Mart couldn't lure any workers unless it could find somewhere for them to live. Unfortunately, rents in MacLenny would be too steep for new workers earning Wal-Mart's wages. In a free market, Wal-Mart would have to raise its wages to cover the cost of living. Instead the federal government volunteered to make up the difference by subsidizing the new housing that went up to accommodate the new workers.


The war so far has cost $314 billion. Isn't it nice to have the party of fiscal responsibility in power?


This is typical of neocons. Mona Charen, who has always supported mass immigration accompanied by "assimilation," now thinks deportation of Muslims would be a good idea.

And here is some unbelievable nonsense from British historian Nial Ferguson, who seems to think that the colonization of Europe by Islam is a positive good. Ferguson is frightened that his British fellows might recall the prophetic words of Enoch Powell and try to prevent the swell of Islamic immigration into Europe. Ferguson says:

The settlement of Western Europe by Muslims is now an irreversible phenomenon; moreover, it seems bound to continue more or less inexorably, whether legally or illegally.

Such demographic shifts and processes of colonisation are the tides of history; mere laws and fences can no more halt them than Canute could stop the sea coming in. Nor are they invariably a bad thing. Moorish rule was hardly a disaster for Andalucia, as anyone who visits the Alhambra can see. It was contact with the more numerate and scientific Muslim world that helped propel Western Europe out of the Dark Ages.

No, the problem today is not immigration per se; it is the fact that a pernicious ideology has been allowed to infiltrate Europe's immigrant communities. And that has happened because we have blindly allowed our country to be a haven for fanatics.


In case you haven't heard, last week wasn't so good in Iraq. After Sieff wrote this, another 150+ civilians died over the weekend.

The Center for Immigration Studies released a report on births to immigrants from 1970-2002. Among the findings:

* In 2002, 23 percent of all births in the United States were to immigrant mothers (legal or illegal), compared to 15 percent in 1990, 9 percent in 1980 and 6 percent in 1970.

* Even at the peak of the last great wave of immigration in 1910, the share of births to immigrant mothers did not reach the level of today. And after 1910 immigration was reduced, whereas current immigration continues at record levels, thus births to immigrants will continue to increase.

* Our best estimate is that 383,000, or 42 percent, of births to immigrants are to illegal alien mothers. Thus births to illegals now account for nearly 1 out of every 10 births in the United States.

* The large number of births to illegals shows that the longer illegal immigration is allowed to persist the harder it is to solve, because these U.S. citizen children can stay permanently, their citizenship can prevent a parent’s deportation, and once adults, they can sponsor their parents for permanent residence.

* The issue of births to illegals also shows that a “temporary” worker program would inevitably result in the permanent addition of hundreds of thousands of people to the U.S. population each year, exactly what such a program is supposed to avoid.

* The dramatic growth in births to immigrants has been accompanied by a significant decline in diversity. The top country for immigrant births C Mexico C increased from 24 percent of births to immigrants in 1970 to 45 percent in 2002.

* In 2002, births to Hispanic immigrants accounted for 59 percent of all births to immigrant mothers. No single cultural/linguistic group has ever accounted for such a large share of births to immigrants.

* Immigrant mothers are much less educated than native mothers. In 2002, 39 percent lacked a high school degree, compared to 17 percent of native-born mothers. And immigrants now account for 41 percent of all births to mothers without a high school degree.

* The states with the most dramatic increase in births to immigrants in the last decade are Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Nebraska, Arkansas, Arizona, Tennessee, Minnesota, Colorado, Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland.

* Immigrants account for such a large percentage of births because they have somewhat higher fertility and are more likely to be in their reproductive years than natives. Nevertheless, the differences with natives are not large enough to significantly affect the nation’s overall age structure.

* Immigrants who have arrived over the past two decades, plus all of their U.S.-born children, have only reduced the average age in the United States from 37 to 36 years.

* Looking at the working-age (15 to 64) share of the population also shows little effect from immigration. With or without post-1980 immigrants and all their U.S.-born children, 66 percent of the population is of working age.

* While immigration has little effect on the nation’s age structure, each year new immigration (legal and illegal), plus births to immigrants, adds at some 2.4 million people to America’s population, making for a much larger population and a more densely settled country.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ron Foley said...

Darrell,

If Walmart were a principled advocate of free market ideas, it would, of course, refuse all government subsidies. But few enterprises, whether behemoth or mom-and-pop, have the integrity to refuse the government's pirated booty. (After all, it's legal!) Since, ultimately, to refuse "public" funds is to value principle above survival, refusenicks are scarce.

The corporate and institutional ghouls who slaver over the taxpayers' confiscated loot are contemptible, but government(local, state, national)is the extortionist.

Ron

5:04 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

I'm not entirely sure. The whole panoply of government regulatory agencies springing from the Progressive Era was spurred by corporate interests hoping to create oligopolies. Obviously, without the bayonet of the regime, this would be impossible, but I think it is sometimes unclear rather than engine driving the train is the state or corporate interests.

9:03 PM  

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