Fade's Alabama second-guessing about tough immigration legislation

9 posts

Niccolo and Donkey
Mike Dionysian President Camacho SteamshipTime

A couple of stories here:

Alabama Immigration Law May Get Second Look After Big Business Backlash

And then there's also this:

Alabama Can't Find Anyone to Fill Illegal Immigrants' Old Jobs


Understandably, there is a populist groundswell movement against illegal immigration in places like Arizona and Alabama. The individual states are attempting to do that which ought to be the responsibility of the federal government of the United States. Unfortunately a lot of the knee-jerk solutions are counterproductive. Randomly harassing foreigners is not the right route. It's pointless to go after Mexican aliens because they have nothing to lose. The proposed border wall is a bad idea. The best way to tackle the problem is to enforce laws against illegal immigration in a manner that "civil rights" laws are enforced -- by going after the businesses that break the law. Impose extremely high penalties on businesses that hire illegal aliens, and confiscate property that rents to illegal aliens. Make the penalties painful, and enforce them, and businesses will make a point of hiring natives. American businesspeople love money and nothing else, and the only way to get their attention is to hit them hard in their wallets. When illegals discover that they are unable to easily find work or lodging, they will go home of their own accord.

Bob Dylan Roof

The backlash was predictable, of course. Peasant slaves are far cheaper than the coddled minimum-wage labor that the citizen body has to offer.

Immigration overhaul will require a painful restructuring of the economy and the end of the entitlements and liberal credit policy that allow the American lower class to abstain from working. The minimum wage will likewise have to be selectively lowered to keep businesses competitive on the international market.

This sort of hysteria is overblown - America has a huge, vibrant lower class that currently expends its energy engaging in disruptive, pathological behavior, but could be redirected toward the sectors occupied by Mexicans. (If Sailer's recent observation on the cultural trajectory of Mexican immigrants is accurate, Mexicans will be indistinguishable from the current population of physically and mentally weak proles within a generation, so the solution can't be to import mentally-tough peasants forever.)

As Mike pointed out, the private sector survived the onslaught of civil rights legislation, and it will survive the removal of incentives to hire peasant slaves from Mexico. I know plenty of bums occupying various cities across the nation who could be transformed into competitive low-wage laborers.
It's funny how our society's characteristic faith in the Invisible Hand of the Market seems to wane when we address certain issues involving the cost of labor. If agricultural work is as strenuous as is claimed, then why shouldn't hourly wages be increased relative to the wages in other sectors? That means some agricultural goods make increase in price. On the other hand, we will move towards full employment and reduce the dole, so the net cost is probably a wash for the American taxpayer-consumer. If the market is as magical as is claimed, then in what way doesn't the market provide the solution here?

The pain would mainly hit those able-bodied people not used to working, I think. The able-bodied should not be eligible for the dole, but reasonable measures should be taken to ensure that jobs are available. The current system doesn't save the consumer much if anything. It mainly provides increased profits for select groups of greedy businesspeople. In return, we lose our country, heritage and nation.
Bob Dylan Roof
Our agricultural economy is distorted by multiple layers of subsidies, tariffs, and "free trade" agreements, so it's difficult to speak of its machinations in terms of the laws of economics. For example, we're importing Mexicans to work as slaves so that we can turn around and dump the cheap produce on Mexico for a profit. I'm guessing the businesses won't raise wages because they would make the product noncompetitive in whatever market they're operating in.
Do the taxes brought in from these profits offset the costs of tariffs and subsidies for the American taxpayer-consumer? If not then the whole thing should probably be reformed in accordance with weening ourselves off the labor of illegal aliens.

I think in our lust for profit we tend to lose sight of the actual purpose of these economic sectors. Food is meant to feed people, but viewed purely as a business venture, it is a justification for demographic catastrophe. Houses are meant to house people, but viewed as investments, housing became dangerous, speculative bubble that eventually popped at enormous taxpayer expense.

The general welfare of the American people must start counting for something.

Another thing that seems to be stifled by using this alien slave caste is innovation. Addicted to cheap labor the USA is lagging behind in agricultural technology, I have heard. Taking a long-term view, it's likely that much of agricultural labor can eventually be roboticized as that technology continues to mature.
This is a plain admission that the whole thing's about cheap labour, isn't it? "Doing jobs Americans won't do"... well, not for the wages we're offering.
We tax farmers, put the money into schools, give children interest-free college loans and tell them that they have to get a diploma. We teach them that only idiots do manual labor.

We ban the people willing to do the work, and now we get to where we are.
Bob Dylan Roof
I don't know how we fare in the long-run. However, it's entirely possible that the net result is generally inefficient because of the way that legislation is drafted in our political system. For example, while corn syrup is cheaper to produce than sugar, the corn lobby has generated legislation that has artificially lowered its cost even more through tariffs and restrictions on sugar imports. The native sugar industry doesn't even have a lobby because it free-rides on the corn lobby and benefits from the artificial high prices that are a byproduct of the artificially-cheap corn syrup. I doubt that aggregate wealth is being maximized in the U.S. by this arrangement.

Yes, that's a good argument. It's analogous to the laissez-faire anti-slavery arguments.