Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

AJ Delgado over at NRO wrote a piece titled “Black Americans: The True Casualties of Amnesty”, and opens it up like this:

One of the sleeper issues surrounding the debate on amnesty for illegal immigrants – an inconvenient one that no proponent of a widespread amnesty wishes to acknowledge – is the devastating effect so-called immigration reform will have on African Americans.

The black unemployment rate is almost 11 percent, far higher than that of any other group profiled by labor statistics. African Americans are disproportionately employed in lower-skilled jobs – the very same jobs immigrants take. As Steven Camarota asked in a recent column, why double immigration when so many people already aren’t working?

The answer is pretty simple, really.  The Democrats want a new underclass of voters.

Black folks are increasingly wandering off the reservation when it comes to supporting Democrats.  Black Louisiana Senator Elbert Guillory changed party affiliation last year because he saw that the point of the left is control, and that the left’s promises are all betrayals and failures:

Black folks like Bernadette Lancelin may not have thought through and realized that “White House money” comes from taxpayers, but she knows that her community is being betrayed in favor of illegal aliens.

Black folks like Elaine from Baltimore want to know where they can get asylum:

US Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow wrote the Congressional Black Caucus warning of the economic issues:

peter kirsanow

“The obvious question is whether there are sufficient jobs in the low-skilled labor market for both African-Americans and illegal immigrants,” Kirsanow wrote. “The answer is no.”

He referenced a 2008 commission hearing in which witnesses testified that illegal immigration “disproportionately impacts the wages and employment opportunities of African-American” males. Scholars noted that 40% of the 18-point decline in the black employment rate from 1960 to 2000 was due to immigration. He noted that illegal immigrants and blacks “often find themselves in competition for the same jobs.”

He pointed out a host of factors (many influenced or caused by progressive policies) that lead to large numbers of black Americans competing for the same jobs that no-skill/low-skill illegal aliens do.  What I didn’t see him mention is that the illegal alien can operate under the table and save their employer compliance costs for things like minimum wages, workman’s comp or social security – thus an employer can pay an illegal in cash, saving the employer resources, and allowing the illegal alien to unfairly compete in yet another way with American citizens.  And as noted, a large percentage of those poor Americans who are forced out of yet another job are black.

Democrats still have a huge number of black folks voting for them as a block, and they expect it to stay the same.  But the Democrats want new guaranteed voters and cheap labor (and many amoral Republicans want cheap labor, too).  A huge influx of teenagers moved around the country to strategic districts who will be voting Democrat not just next election but in every subsequent election – and they will be voting – that’s why Democrats oppose voter ID laws – that demographic change is how Democrats expect to dominate the nation in one party rule forever (flipping Texas is their most public focus).

Not sure if they’ll declare a thousand-year-reich or a people’s collective immediately afterwards.  Could go either way.

Just to preface this, I’ve read there are some conflicting definitions of “liberaltarian”, but for the most part I’ve seen it used not as a way to indicate some hybrid philosophy, but basically is one that is Modern Liberal that calls themselves libertarian in order to distance themselves from the negatives of the Modern Liberal… or progressive.  Maybe they’ll throw in some classic liberal ideas like Friedman, but then like John Stossel did last week, will cite Hayek’s “Why I’m Not A Conservative” essay… while ignoring that a European conservative is very different than an American conservative… a point which Hayek even makes.

I managed to catch an episode of FOX Business’s “The Independents” on Friday on the radio, which frankly was entirely dependent on misconceptions, absurdities, leftist phrasing, and a lot of broken windows.

The episode’s guests included an illegal alien “Dreamer” who’s lobbying for her own special protections; Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who’s so far down in the trenches and relying on direct experience that he sounds inarticulate when talking to high-rise New Yorkers because his viewpoint and argument is dependent on that experience; and Dan Stein, a representative from the Federation on American Immigration Reform.  There were a couple others as well – one a pro-amnesty shill, and the other one of those subtle muddling-the-issues amnesty supporters.

The entire episode was fraught with fallacies and errors of economic, moral, and logic standards.  There was also an intentional lack of differentiation between legal and illegal immigration, except by the FAIR representative and as footnotes for Arpaio, to whom as a law enforcement official, legal immigration is of no concern.

The hosts, MTV VJ Kennedy, Matt Welch – that other guy from Reason, and I assume Kmele Foster was on, though I didn’t hear him introduced; were all engaged in almost every pro-amnesty progressive leftist point dressed up as laissez-faire economic arguments, emotional humanitarian arguments, and general bullshit.

When Stein was on, they argued that illegal immigration is down because deportations are up (a spurious claim itself), while Stein pointed out that the massive surge in illegal immigration due to stories of the illegal-alien-abetting DREAM Act-by-exec-order means that data from last year is somewhat irrelevant.

They (the hosts plus the pro-amnesty guest opposite Stein) argued that illegal aliens are only coming because the economy is improving, and that thus illegal aliens are good for the economy.  Stein rebutted by explaining that illegal aliens are taking American jobs.  To which the response was basically this:

The highest point the argument against Stein got to was accusing him of protectionism.  To their credit, that’s not completely off base.

The purpose of a nation is to provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.  It’s for the citizens of the nation to enjoy the benefits of the nation.  It’s what citizenship is about.  The whole reason to be a citizen is to be a member of a nation.

The concept of having secure borders and enforced immigration laws that result in deportations for illegal aliens is one that exists in order to protect citizenry and the security and sovereignty of that nation.  The liberaltarians on “Independents” seemed only to see the glazier’s side of the economic argument of broken laws.  They ignored that having a secure nation means protection not just from economic threats, but from physical ones as well – not just the lurking specter of terrorism, but also of criminals and biological hazards illegal aliens bring with them.  You do want to screen who comes in to begin with at the very minimum for those physical threats – all of which lead to second and third order effects due to the hidden damages they cause.

As to the economic threats, they were dismissed by the liberaltarian “Independents” towing their party and paymaster’s line, while ignoring that there’s a much bigger argument than “Durka dur!”  (And keep in mind their master Rupert Murdoch is sitting down with Valerie Jarrett to work out ways for the Ruling Class to tell the American people to agree to be invaded.)

For one, illegal aliens do take American jobs.  The immediate response is – but they’re jobs Americans are too stupid/lazy/spoiled to do.

If there weren’t illegal aliens undercutting US wages, the pay rates for those unpleasant jobs would be higher.  This argument is usually dismissed with a wave of the hand or a subject change, and a bias on the part of the person arguing it.

There are a lot of Americans who do take labor-intensive, difficult jobs.  Mike Rowe’s made that point over and over.

mike rowe dirty jobs 1

If illegal aliens weren’t disrupting the job market with wages that can undercut the minimum, as well as using their illegal status as a way to reduce compliance costs for employers (no workman’s comp or insurance, only paid in cash, etc.), employers would have to pay a wage that’s commensurate with the job itself.

To give an example – throughout the midwest there used to be meat packing plants in downtown areas.  Urban populations would work in them for decent, but not great, wages, but enough to keep an economy afloat, provide for a family, and do all that good-ol-American “living wage” stuff unions get all wistful about.  Once illegal aliens became an exploitable resource, a lot of those meat packing plants moved out to rural areas, closer to farms, and where entire rural communities would be radically changed by the influx of illegal aliens and cheap illegal alien labor.  The plants could’ve hired the guy downtown for $20/hour, but found it easier to hire two illegals for $10/hour – illegals they don’t have to provide benefits for, and if one loses a hand in a band saw, they just get another illegal to replace him.

This usually spins into the idea of “well we need to bring those undocumented angels out of the shadows and into society to protect them”… but they don’t necessarily want that.  While they hypothetically could be deported as they’re here illegally, they also don’t have to deal with regulations and compliance costs, taxes, or often any laws at all.  Hell, they can get drunk, drive, and crash into Democrat politicians who will still support illegal aliens.

Democrat Moran, from the news story, states:

“I know this is a tough issue that we’re dealing with and as you probably know I have been and will continue to be pro immigrant and some cases even pro illegal immigrant. And it would be politically expedient for me at this point in time to change that. That should give you some indication of my commitment to immigration and immigrants to tell you that even after being hit by one I will continue to advocate for immigrants and their rights as citizens of this country.”

>Representative Moron Hit By Illegal Alien

Now, that moron aside, illegals enjoy the benefits of not having laws enforced against them in many states.  A park ranger I spoke with last week told me how he’d encountered people breaking laws in Yosemite National Park, but could do nothing as they were illegal aliens with no ID, no auto registration, and California didn’t allow for arresting illegals for pretty much anything.  A friend who did a ridealong for Wisconsin state police encountered someone who wanted to race the officer’s vehicle – when they pulled over the racing driver, it turned out to be an illegal alien and he was released with not so much as a slap on the wrist.  If a US citizen decided to go race the cops on a street, or tear up through a national park, the US citizen would be arrested and in all probability jailed.  If an illegal alien does it, they’re released.

So again, the illegals don’t necessarily want to stop being illegals – it takes away their protected status.

And it takes away their competitive advantage.  And it gives them the option to take the route some Americans have chosen to already – those Americans who turn down work because something else is better…

Getting back to the economics of it, the next liberaltarian counterpoint is that Americans are still too spoiled and lazy and fat to do dirty jobs anyway… and that’s where welfare and unemployment come in (which would also come into play for illegals granted amnesty).

Remember the Welfare Cliff?

welfare cliffNot working one brings in $46,000 in benefits.

For those who didn’t know it, there’s also a way to game unemployment.  I’ve heard it from employers who have difficulty finding help, and I’ve heard it from the lazy bastards themselves when they talk about what they do.  The scam is to work just long enough to get unemployment, then take unemployment for a few months, then go back to work just long enough to qualify for more handouts.

From a personal standpoint, it makes sense.  If you can work for three months, then take a three month vacation at taxpayer expense while your food is paid for by the taxpayer, your housing is subsidized by the taxpayer, your bills are all supported by the taxpayer, and your health care is just an emergency room trip away that’s also covered by the taxpayer… why work?  Your quality of life is decent – you have access to entertainment and cars and gadgets and such – so why bother aspiring for more?

This undercuts the American work ethic and makes the illegal alien’s labor look good.  The illegal alien is benefiting from being able to negotiate his wages to below the mandated minimum wage.  The illegal alien is further benefiting from having his competition removed from the market via government handouts.

Do away with welfare, take away illegal alien labor and suddenly those Americans who are unemployed won’t be sitting around collecting checks from the taxpayer – they’ll have to work for their money in those now available jobs.

Do away with the minimum wage so those workers can compete at the level of their skills, and this will allow employers and businesses to utilize those lower wages to lower costs of products for everyone (which in turn generates more benefit for the new employees, which moves the economy, generates skills for those workers, and puts them at higher wages anyway – and with lower taxes to boot).  But we’ve talked about the problems of the minimum wage for years.

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Anyway, back to “The Independents”.

At one point, one of the hosts, while talking with the “DREAMer” illegal alien used the term “undocumented American”.  This is nonsense.

If you sneak into Quebec tomorrow where you don’t speak French, have no plans to assimilate, and seek only to send remittances home to the US, you are not an “undocumented Canadian”.  You’re an illegal alien.

If you sneak into Japan tomorrow, where you don’t speak Japanese, have no plans to assimilate, but think you can make some money by working for less than native Japanese workers by staying out of sight, you are not an “undocumented Japanese”.  You’re an illegal alien.

If you sneak into Mexico tomorrow, where you don’t speak Spanish (Mexican spanish, not that Castillian lisping Spanish), you have no plans to assimilate, but you think you can make some money by offering a skill that isn’t around locally… well, you aren’t an “undocumented Mexican”.  You’re an illegal alien.  And in Mexico, you can’t own property as a foreigner, and you’re also subject to arrest by any authority or citizen.  You’re an extranjero ilegal and subject to arrest by anyone.

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The entire show was filled with false premises of how illegal immigration works, an economic view through rose colored glasses onto broken windows, it ignored the physical and biological security threats of a totally open border, and the last thing it ignored was the demographics issue.

The swarm of illegal aliens who are going to be made into wards of the state will not be voting for libertarian free market ideas.  They will not be Ron Paul voters or Gary Johnson voters.

illegal aliens democrat registrationThey will be Democrat voters.

They will vote for further expansion of government.  They will vote for the same cult-of-personality leaders they’re familiar with in their home countries.  They will vote for people like The Race who speak to them – The Race being the translation of La Raza.  The same giant racist organization that has Celia Munoz in the White House in charge of Obama’s domestic policy council.

Illegal aliens granted amnesty will not be listening to the erudite arguments for individual freedom because they don’t speak even english.  Those from Central America rarely even speak coherent spanish – instead speaking regional dialects, or regional indian languages.

These are not people wanting freedom – they’re people wanting “free” stuff at the expense of the taxpayer because they heard there’d be a free ride.

Demographically, amnesty will doom the nascent libertarian movement, slowly strangle what remains of both little r republicans and the Republican party, and push the Democrats into perpetual power, reigning as an oligarchy of socialist redistributors.

From Katie Pavlich over at Townhall:

Last week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, through the power of Dodd-Frank, passed a rule giving the agency unprecedented power to shut down businesses, no matter what the reason, at any time it wishes through a cease-and-desist order. Further, the rule puts businesses at the mercy of the CFPB and they cannot go back into operation until government approval or a court ruling is made over an issue. Subsequently because bureaucratic decisions and court rulings take a substantial amount of time to happen, businesses cannot survive during those waiting periods.  Here are the details:

In a notice published in today’s Federal Register, the CFPB has announced that it has adopted its interim final rule on temporary cease-and-desist orders (C&Ds) without change. The final rule takes effect on July 18, 2014.

The CFPB is authorized to issue temporary C&Ds under Section 1053(c) of Dodd-Frank. That provision authorizes a temporary C&D as an adjunct to a cease-and-desist proceeding brought under Section 1053 against a covered person or service provider. A temporary C&D is effective immediately upon service and remains in effect unless modified or terminated administratively by the CFPB or set aside on judicial review.

So they can shut any business down at any time.

regulations grow freedom dies

1053(c) of Dodd-Frank is almost incomprehensible.

(c) SPECIAL RULES FOR TEMPORARY CEASE-AND-DESIST PROCEEDINGS.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Whenever the Bureau determines that the violation specified in the notice of charges served upon a person, including a service provider, pursuant to subsection (b), or the continuation thereof, is likely to cause the person to be insolvent or otherwise prejudice the interests of consumers before the completion of the proceedings conducted pursuant to subsection (b), the Bureau may issue a temporary order requiring the person to cease and desist from any such violation or practice and to take affirmative action to prevent or remedy such insolvency or other condition pending completion of such proceedings.

Such order may include any requirement authorized under this subtitle. Such order shall become effective upon service upon the person and, unless set aside, limited, or suspended by a court in proceedings authorized by paragraph (2), shall remain effective and enforceable pending the completion of the administrative proceedings pursuant to such notice and until such time as the Bureau shall dismiss the charges specified in such notice, or if a cease-and-desist order is issued against the person, until the effective date of such order.

There’s more, but it’s the same kind of legalese gibberish that basically means if there’s something questioned in a terms of service agreement or contract, a business can be shut down.

Ms. Pavlich points out some more things going on with this:

The new rule comes on the heals of revelations the Department of Justice has been smothering firearms dealerships and other “high risk” entities out of business by “choking” banks and stripping funding through Operation Choke Point.

Consumer groups are pushing back against the rule and issuing a warnings to businesses everywhere about what the rule means for them. The United States Consumer Coalition in particular is sounding the alarm:

“This unprecedented rule created by the CFPB grants the agency unilateral authority to literally shut down any business overnight. It is a doubling down of Operation Choke Point (OCP), the Administration’s program to target lawful industries by intimidating banks from doing business with them. This rule allows the CFPB to immediately issue a cease-and-desist order, which terminates all business practices — and a hearing doesn’t have to be granted for 10 days, effectively shutting down businesses for at least 10 days. This is a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ tactic of the Administration that goes against every historical notion of justice under the law in America.”

A quick primer on Operation Choke Point:

The Obama administration, after failing to get gun control passed on Capitol Hill, has resorted to using its executive power to try to put some in the firearms industry out of business, House Republican investigators say.

The assertion is included in a report recently released by California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Citing internal Justice Department documents, the committee concluded that the administration used a program known as Operation Choke Point to target legal companies that it finds “objectionable.”

The program was started in 2013 to protect consumers by “choking” alleged fraudsters’ access to the banking system. The Justice Department essentially forces banks and third-party payment processors to stop accepting payments from companies that are considered “high risk” and are supposedly violating federal law.

However, the documents released by Issa’s committee show the federal government lumped the firearms industry in with other “high-risk” businesses including those dealing with pornography, drug paraphernalia, escort services, racist materials, Ponzi schemes and online gambling.

So basically the Orwellian-named Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is going to have the ability to shut down any business, any time, and we’ve already seen this administration using financial schemes to target businesses they find politically undesirable.

But what’s the best part about the Consumer Financial Protection People’s Defense Bureau?  They can’t be stopped – they’re funded by the Federal Reserve, and thus can’t even be reigned in by congress defunding them.

Republicans and Democrats on Captiol Hill continue to fight over whether the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should be subject to the congressional appropriations process — that is, whether Congress should directly control how much money the fledgling agency can spend each year.

In the meantime, the CFPB funds itself through a bank account at the New York Fed.

Under the Dodd-Frank law, the CFPB gets its money from transfers from the Federal Reserve System, up to specific caps set by the law. The Fed can’t turn down requests under that cap.

The caps are fixed percentages of the Fed’s operating expenses, which works out to the following:
–10% of Fed operating expenses in fiscal 2011 or $498 million
–11% of Fed operating expenses in fiscal 2012 or $547.8 million
–12% in fiscal 2013 or $597.6 million
–12% each fiscal year thereafter, subject to annual adjustments for inflation

So they’re a completely unaccountable, self-funded government group who’ve just made up the rule that they can shut down any business at any time, giving themselves virtually unlimited power to unilaterally destroy any company or enterprise.

It would seem that no advanced civilization has yet developed without a government which saw its chief aim in the protection of private property, but that again and again the further evolution and growth to which this gave rise was halted by “strong” government.

Governments strong enough to protect individuals against the violence of their fellows make possible the evolution of an increasingly complex order of spontaneous and voluntary cooperation.

Sooner or later, however, they tend to abuse that power and to suppress the freedom they had earlier secured in order to enforce their own presumedly greater wisdom and not to allow “social institutions to develop in a haphazard manner” (to take a characteristic expression that is found under the heading ‘social engineering’ in the Fontana/Harper Dictionary of Modern Thought (1977)).

- F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism

Hayek

He begins this discussion in Chapter 2 of the book and references classical antiquity and the trading societies surrounding the Mediterranean as a prime example of nations that went through that rise and decline, but as noted, modern society is going through much the same thing.  The Anointed, to borrow Thomas Sowell’s phrase, know better and begin to “nudge” society where they want it to go.  As Jonah Goldberg noted, American totalitarianism and government control comes with a smiley face, though they’re making pseudo-erudite academic arguments for more outright thuggery.

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”

- Thomas Jefferson

Transcript here.

Via Drudge, from ZeroHedge:

labor force participation jan 2014

The labor force participation rate is dropping again, both as boomers retire and everyone else gets fired and gives up, or quits and goes on welfare as they ask themselves “why am I working when I could be mooching?”

not in labor force jan 2014

The overall numbers keep increasing, and that’s what’s keeping the unemployment rate down.

This is like having two kids in college and saying they just improved their overall GPA… because the one with poorer grades dropped out.

The Obama administration will use the drop in unemployment to say how we’re “recovering”, but we’re ultimately losing jobs (though RINOs and Democrats say we need amnesty to fill all the jobs we have… that Americans can’t seem to get).  We’re losing jobs, we’re losing real wages, we’re losing quality of life, and the only people gaining are the redistributors who are giving handouts to the newly unemployed in order to buy their votes.  The welfare state is having its desired effects for those who wish to control and lord over the welfare state.

In a dispassionate, purely economic view, she has an economic incentive to not work.  Her behavior is reprehensible to those who work, but in an amoral view, her behavior is quite logical.

Parasitism is rewarded, and if it provides all she desires, why not be a parasite?

Margaret Thatcher gave conservatives/libertarians/classic liberals the answer in a simple sentence years ago:

margaret-thatcher other peoples money

To the individual riding the socialist gravy train, however, that’s not a concious concern.  The welfare recipient isn’t concerned about where the next handout is going to come from as long as they keep coming, and if the handouts stop, there’s always someone to blame and some politician willing to buy votes.  The career welfare recipient is almost always someone who isn’t concerned about their long-term well-being, otherwise they’d be actively working to improve their lot in life.  Those rare few that are concerned are those who demand more from others simply because they exist.

At the point that the handouts stop completely, they’ll either starve or work.  Whether that’s because of welfare reform that stops giving people disincentives to work or whether the system collapses and no longer can give handouts, either way, the practically Randian caricature of the moocher exemplified by that caller will simply cease to exist.

If that career welfare recipient is forced to starve or work because welfare goes away by reasoned economic decision-making in government, there’s going to be gnashing of teeth, bleeding hearts bleeding, and knee-jerkers jerking knees.  There will also be private charities for those who truly need, rather than the taxation at gunpoint that leads leftists who “care about the poor” to ignore the poor since they have government to care for them.

If that career welfare recipient is forced to starve or work because welfare has gone away because of collapsing government

mad-max2

That’ll make things interesting.