2005 October 18 Tuesday
Hispanics Doing Most Hurricane Reconstruction Work

You might think that the poor blacks and whites of southern Louisina would enjoy a burst of higher paying construction work for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction.. Well, no. The federal government is looking the other way while a huge influx of Hispanic workers is keeping wages down and displacing the locals.

More than seven weeks after Hurricane Katrina cold-cocked the New Orleans area, the London Lodge on Airline Highway still has no electricity and isn't open for business. Nevertheless, it doesn't have many vacancies.

The first floor of the Lodge, a landmark on a strip briefly famous for trysts between prostitutes and a Louisiana television evangelical, is gone, the Sheetrock and furniture and cigarette machines and glass that once comprised it left in smashed heaps scattered about the lot. And housed on the second floor above the piles of moldy rubble are the workers creating those piles.

Most are Latino. Indeed, on similar jobs throughout the hurricane-ravaged region, a majority of the workers are Latino, primarily coming from Texas. The hotels and motels on both banks of the Mississippi River -- most in better shape than the London Lodge -- are filled with these new arrivals.

Take away the Mexicans and rebuilding would stll get done. But it would get done by American citizens at higher wages. The article cites examples of illegals getting $8 per hour. In inflation-adjusted terms that is much lower than the minimum wage in the late 1960s. Take away the illegals and the wages might be a couple of bucks an hour higher and poor black and white Americans would be doing the work. Fewer idle hands would be the devil's workshop for crime. More lower class Americans would learn some work habits. They'd still be getting paid less than minimum wage workers of 1969. But it would be an improvement over current conditions.

The bulk of the Hispanics are illegals.

Rojas is among those who believe that a significant proportion of the Latino work force -- as much as 80 percent, by his estimate -- lacks legal documentation. He candidly acknowledged that a handful of his recent hires are among them. The fact that New Orleans faces emergency needs, and is doing so without a full labor force in place, means fewer questions are being asked, he said.

You hear a lot of liberal Democrats bemoaning black poverty on TV shows and in newspaper columns. But here was an opportunity to give some of those people jobs for higher wages than they normally command and those very same liberal Democrats are utterly silent on this subject as the jobs go en masse to Mexicans (with Ray Nagin as a rare exception). The Democrats strike a pose claiming that they care about poor people. But this really is just a pose.

Next time you hear a liberal Democrat claim that the Republicans are the heartless bastards responsible for poverty in America ask that liberal how the Democrats can stand by and let Hispanics displace blacks from all the construction jobs in southern Louisiana.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 October 18 09:20 AM  Immigration Societal Decay


Comments
Christopher Rasch said at October 18, 2005 10:50 AM:

But it would get done by American citizens at higher wages.

Um, why should I care that it is done by Americans? Do they deserve the job more simply because of where they happened to have been born? Should I avoid buying a Honda just because it was assembled in Japan? Or an Ipod because it was made by a Korean? If not, why not hire a Mexican to rebuild my home?


Christopher Rasch said at October 18, 2005 10:56 AM:

But it would get done by American citizens at higher wages.

Um, why should I care that it is done by Americans? Do they deserve the job more simply because of where they happened to have been born? Should I avoid buying a Honda just because it was assembled in Japan? Or an Ipod because it was made by a Korean? If not, why not hire a Mexican to rebuild my home? If you want to argue that hiring a Mexican is bad because the of the negative externalities created, I can respect that (even if I disgree). But appeals to nationalism?


Randall Parker said at October 18, 2005 11:38 AM:

Christopher,

Yes, negative externalities. You do not admit there are negative externalities? Or deny they are that high?

Nationalism: So then you are opposed to nationalism?

You sound like perhaps you are an open borders libertarian. Do you favor totally free and unfettered travel by workers across borders?

Ivan Kirigin said at October 18, 2005 1:20 PM:

Why don't the poor whites and blacks in NOLA take the available $8/hr jobs?

If they are skilled, and can get high earning jobs, good. If they aren't, they should learn a fast lesson about the value of their labor.

Also...

I meant to bring this up in the last immigration thread. Isn't it good that the same task can get done for less money. Isn't it doubly good because the government will likely bail out insurance companies, and provide a great deal of funds out of pocket.

Isn't the desire for higher wages for clearly less-useful workers a bit of a 'broken-windows-fallacy'? The minimum amount of money should be spent to get a task completed, so that the maximum gain can be had from limited resources.

Also, how do these negative externalities correspond to the high rate of productivity growth recently?

As for externalities, in my opinion (as I've stated before), the problems you associate with immigration have more to do with government interference into medicine and schools than with the actual immigrants.

Christopher Rasch said at October 18, 2005 2:47 PM:

No, I'm not a nationalist. I see no reason to favor (or disfavor) individuals based on which side of an arbitrary line they happened to have been born. Are you a nationalist?

Yes, I think that poor, uneducated immigrants do impose some externalities. However, I think that the costs of trying to stop immigrants (in terms of lost freedoms, and higher government spending) are higher than the costs the immigrants impose.

Moreover, I want the freedom to travel freely accross national borders as easily as I cross state borders now. Therefore, I support the right of others to have the same freedom.

In order to address the possibility of that an individual might commit a crime/go on welfare, etc, I would require every resident (citizen and non-citizen alike) to post a bond (of an amount to be determined). If a resident then imposes a cost on someone else, their bond would be forfeit and would go to pay restitution to whomever they harmed. Only those who resided here without paying the bond would be subject to deportation.

As for growth of parasitic social programs (welfare, tax-subsidized schools, social security), I think that they will be a problem regardless of immigration rates. Restricting immigration may slow the rate of growth, but doesn't address the fundamental public choice problems at their root (rational ignorance, voter irrationality, concentrated benefits/diffuse costs, etc.) I think the parasitic social programs will only be eliminated by radically changing the political process.

daveg said at October 18, 2005 2:52 PM:

It is true that in a "perfect" libertarian world illegal immigration would present less of a problem.

For example, instead of emergency room costs we would just let the illegals drop like flies as they got sick. Of course, there would be removal costs and if they had communicable diseases then that would be an unavoidable externality.

And of course there is crime. It is been blogged here and elsewhere that illegal aliens are a huge portion of the jail population. They represent 25% here in California. That is an externality you probably can't avoid as you can't just let criminals go free. You also have to include the cost to the victims of this crime, which is a high cost indeed in some cases.

Also, so long as we have that pesky supreme court decision saying states must allow the children of illegal aliens to attend public schools. This is an externality we must endure.

And then there is just the basic use of services such as roads and the effects of overpopulation in some areas.

The list goes on, but the reality is there are huge externalities not accounted for.

If you really think immigration "improves" a country ask yourself if Japan would be better or worse off in they received in influx of mexican quality illegal immigrants equal to 10% of their population - which is about 15 million.

I can safely say this would reduce the competitiveness of Japan while also reducing the culture and their quality of life.

It is no different here in America.

Randall Parker said at October 18, 2005 3:54 PM:

Ivan, Christopher,

I think you are both underestimating the immediate and long term costs of low IQ illegal immigrants and their progeny. You both make a number of assertions that just are not true. I suspect you just do not know the research literature on criminality, social pathology, and other factors. Rather than rebut each individual assertion I'd rather point you to what you need to read to understand why your beliefs are incorrect. I've got large category archives which you can use to familiarize yourself with the current state of knowledge. Suggest you read these:

Immigration Crime
Immigration Demographics
Immigration Economics
Immigration Societal Decay

Ivan,

As for your own desire to move freely across national borders: Most countries do not allow any foreigners who want to to just take up residence and work in them. Lax US immigration policies do not lead to lax immigration policies elsewhere.

Christopher,

How can you impose bonds on poor Mexicans for the damage they might cause? We'd have to catch them all coming across the border and make them pay up. Well, most of them have no money. So how's that going to work?

As for your contention that enforcing border controls would cost too much: No, it would be orders of magnitude less expensive than paying to put illegal criminals in jail, to treat them when they show up sick or injured or in labor at emergency wards, and to pay to educate their kids and to provide them with police protection. Low skilled labor is subsidized labor.

The US could erect a barrier to keep out illegals for a cost of between $2 billion and $8 billion. That is less than we spend for one year's medical costs on illegals. Even that cost doesn't include the costs of medical care for the descendents of illegals who have low rates of medical uninsurance.

See my posts Mark Krikorian On How To Gradually Reduce Illegal Alien Presence, Can Immigration Law Be Enforced?

Also see my Immigration Law Enforcement archives.

Ivan Kirigin said at October 18, 2005 4:26 PM:

"Lax US immigration policies do not lead to lax immigration policies elsewhere."

I'm not sure how this is related to what I've mentioned before. As long as the US is a relatively free market, I see this completely to my advantage. The incentive system is for all people who believe they can do better in the US to come.

I trust your sources, but I'm concerned that immigration is too much of an excuse for other problems.

Health care is far more expensive than it need be due to excessive regulation, most especially in requirements to practice and various approval preesses in the FDA. Education is far less flexible than it should be because of tired government administration. Plenty of business regulation hurts the unskilled more than others, a good example recently in the demonization of Wal-mart.

Yes these are libertarian talking points, but they haven't been addressed. Do you disagree with the ideas? Why?

Generally, I agree that the current state is bad. Illegal immigration should be limited, and better filtered legal immigration should increase. Despite this, I'm not going to complain about hispanics taking jobs that may as well be done by a robot, and will soon enough.

Hugh Angell said at October 18, 2005 4:39 PM:

"However, I think that the costs of trying to stop immigrants (in terms of lost freedoms, and higher government spending) are higher than the costs the immigrants impose."


I suppose throwing the 'cost of lost freedoms' means that, conveniently, we can't quantify
the 'costs' you cite or even agree on their existance. I would note that prior to 1965 and
the liberalization of American immigration the US was not a police state yet very few
illegal immigrants wandered about from 1925 to 1965.

Certainly the 'costs' imposed by illegal immigration are orders of magnitude greater than
enforcing the law but even if it were not since when do we decide it is 'too expensive' to
enforce the law? Even if investigating and bringing to trial Enron executives or some
lousy serial killer is expensive we do it because laws have to be enforced.

As to the 'loss of freedom' involved in prohibiting those without legal right to live
where they choose; hell we do this everyday. Lots of people would prefer to live other
than where they live but, in this country we have rules and I can't just decide that
because Pacific Heights is 'nicer' than Oakland that it is 'my choice' where I shall live.
I have to have the money to buy a house in Pacific Heights before I can move there. This
is 'not a loss of freedom' it is merely preserving the property rights of others and making
my 'freedom of movement' dependant on my ability to pay.

However, with that said, one big reason Mexicans get those construction jobs over our own
poor blacks is that they are better workers. They show up, work hard, don't cry racism
when a dispute breaks out and as a result obviously employers prefer them to hiring
indigenous negroes. Finding a solution to that 'little' problem can only be solved by
making it illegal to hire illegal aliens.



Randall Parker said at October 18, 2005 4:56 PM:

Ivan,

I replied to you the other day arguing "Do not make the perfect the enemy of the good". That is what libertarians do. Here is what I said to you in case you missed it:

Humanity is not compatible with libertarianism.

You are making the same mistakes the communists made. You desire an ideal society that is not achievable in this world with human nature. If humanity was more compatible with your ideals then governments would be smaller and less invasive.

You have a moral responsibility to not make the perfect the enemy of the good. You have a moral responsibiliy to not make the same kind of mistake that the communist idealists made.

You need to accept that not everyone has the capacity or the motivation to respect the rights of others. You need to accept that, on average, the races differ in their capacities to respect rights. You need to accept that people with lower average IQs are more likely to be needy, more likely to ask for government help, more likely to vote for it, and that there's a large fraction of the total population that will support their desires.

You are making the perfect the enemy of the good. Stop doing that.

As many have already pointed out, Hispanic immigration has given the Democratic Party a lock on control of the California legislature. It took a very bad governor and a Republican's Hollywood star celebrity to get a Republican in as governor. But we have a 2/3rds Democrat state legislature and that looks to be a permanent change (at least until offspring genetic engineering).

Immigrants are not just economic actors. They are political actors too. The problem for libertarians is that the bulk of the low IQ immigrants are far far more interested in getting higher income (and smarter) people to pay taxes to support them than they are in respecting the rights of you or I to keep the fruits of our labor.

Look at all of human nature. If you make people even poorer by bringing in more dumb people that is only going to increase their resentment and their willingness to choose a life of criminality and to vote for Robin Hood government. Libertarianism is as loony as communism. It is not compatible with human nature for many humans. It might be compatible with your nature. But you are unusual and you need to accept this obvious truth.

John S Bolton said at October 18, 2005 5:41 PM:

The antiloyalist also pretends that there is no significant difference between those born to either side of the border. To increase the aggression on the net taxpayer, as the result of such foreigners coming to live here, is a hostile act by those foreigners. the officials who divert public funds to such hostile foreigners here , commit treason. Those foreigners are thus accesory to treason, but the citizen on net public subsidy is in an altogether postiion, and this is of high moral significance. Likewise the illegal alien who steps on a landmine at the border, is a dead invader, not someone whose rights have been violated. The libertarian would have to pretend that invaders have rights, but nations have no right to collective defense. Bush is promoting the occasions of future intercommunal conflict, by failing to defend our fellow citizen the net taxpayer, to whom he owes loyalty when this attack by illegal aliens occurs. The administration, in subservience to the power seeking objectives of the permanent government, is waving in these foreign hostiles on to net public subsidy. You can realize how negative the reaction of the displaced will be, when they find that illegals have been moved in to take their places; when you know that many of them already believe that the levees were dynamited to wash them out. The administration is cynically moving its Mexican pawns into postiion, to maximize the intercommunal violence to come. These are the raw materials for vicious power grabbing.

Ivan Kirigin said at October 18, 2005 5:51 PM:

I wasn't then, and am not now, talking about the effect immigration has on voting tendencies.

I'm talking about things that need reform regardless of immmigration.

It is not making perfect the enemy of good to
1) Agree with you that change is needed and
2) Point to other areas which could use a change.

Wouldn't reform in the other areas I mentioned remove some of the externalities caused by immigration?

As for Californians (I was one for 20 years), I can tell you they are very socially liberal, but MANY are fiscally conservative. That is the kind of Democrat I can live with. It is the kind of Republican the state currently has. Also, the liberal culture is in no small part because of the ground-zero hippy culture in SF. Further, the gerry mandering is a huge cause of the political landscape. If it were just immigration, Texas wouldn't be Republican.

Ivan Kirigin said at October 18, 2005 5:59 PM:

By the way, here are some excellent comments about economic literacy and how it changes and affects policy in good and bad times:
http://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2004/Caplanidea.html

Randall Parker said at October 18, 2005 6:32 PM:

Ivan,

The only reason California does not have much higher taxes right now (and it already has a high sales tax and hefty income tax) is that it requires more than a simple majority to pass a tax increase due to the state constitution. The majority would be happy to fleece the rest of us.

Texas is Republican because a huge percentage of whites are Republicans. The majority of Hispanics are still Democrats of course. Since whites have become a minority in Texas only the lower rate of Hispanic voting is keeping Texas Republican and as the white percentage shrinks that will change. In fact, the whole Republican Southern Strategy is going to fail eventually as Hispanics continue to flood into the Old South.

As for externalities:

1) The Welfare State is going to grow, not shrink. The aging of the population and the growth of the Hispanic voting bloc assure that.

2) Crime, increased government corruption, and reduced civil volunteerism are among the externalites that a reduction of the welfare state could not avoid. But, again, the welfare state is going to grow as demands for it grow.

Crime costs come in terms of the costs of the criminal justice system. But that is actually the smaller cost. The bigger cost is from property losses, deaths, injuries, and other damage done by criminals and by costs of preventing crime by private individuals and industry. Let in a higher crime group and you get more of that. The opponents of nationalism such as Christopher Rasch above seem intentionally oblivious to these costs.

Look at medical spending. In the last couple of years 2% more of the population came under Medicaid and Medicare. That's the trend for the future. Open Borders Libertarianism bears part of the blame for this trend.

Open Borders translate into more rights violations done to Americans. The libertarians have it completely backwards. They are unempirical.

John Martin said at October 18, 2005 7:26 PM:


But it would get done by American citizens at higher wages.

Christopher,

It costs twice as much to subsidize illegal labor, with less result and quality of effort.

Christopher Rasch said at October 18, 2005 8:04 PM:

Randall,

I've been reading your blog (via the Livejournal RSS feed) for over a year, so I'm familiar with many of your arguments. (And I have great admiration for the breadth of your reading -- futurepundit is quite fascinating.)

That said, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to respond to a suggestion to read a book-length archive of blog posts. So instead I'll respond to the specific points you raised.

1) Whether or not poor Mexicans can pay for the bonds depends on a) the amount of the bond b) the expected earnings of the Mexican in the U.S. Assuming for the moment that the purchase of such bonds could be enforced, how much of a bond would you require before allowing the average Mexican into the U.S.?

2) You claim that a barrier could be erected for between $2 - $8 billion. Leaving aside whether such a barrier would be effective, proponents of government initiatives are not known for their accuracy in estimating the costs. For example, In September 2002, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Iraq war would cost $1.5 billion to $4 billion per month. In fact, it costs between $5 billion and $8 billion per month. Moreover,

"Prior to the war, White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsay estimated the war would be about 1 to 2 percent of the gross national product, or about $200 billion on the high end. Lindsey left the White House post several months later. Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels called Lindsay's estimate "very, very high" and told news organizations the cost would likely be between $50 billion and $60 billion." (5)

The U.S. has already spent $312 billion on the war, and current CBO estimates put the final tally at $700 billion. (2) The costs of all earlier wars have been similarly underestimated. (2)

And it's not just war -- the costs of Medicare, Social Security, and other great society programs have been similarly vastly underestimated. For example:

"At its start, in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion," wrote Steven Hayward and Erik Peterson in a 1993 Reason article. "The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation). This was supposedly a 'conservative' estimate. But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion." (4)

Why should I believe that your projected costs are not similar underestimated?

3) Even if such a wall were built at your projected costs, I have no confidence that it will work. The U.S. has spent $40 billion so far this year alone in the "War on Drugs" (3) (up from $1 billion/year in 1980), yet the street cost and purity of drugs has remained the about the same as it was 30 years ago (in inflation-adjusted terms).

Why should I believe that a "War on Illegal Immigrants" will be any more effective?

You write:

"Nearly half of all illegals came in through legals ports of entry. So the construction of a barrier on the border with Mexico would probably cut illegal immigration by about half."

This assumes that immigrant behavior is static. Do you think that immigrants will just throw up their hands? Illegals already pay large bribes to coyotes to take them across the desert. How much more would it cost to bribe a border guard? And what about the thousands of commercial vehicles that cross into the U.S. every day? The tourists and businessmen?

In my opinion, so long as there is a large differential between median U.S. and Mexican wages, there will be an inexorable pressure for immigrants to come to the U.S.

Ironically, I think that immigration restrictions make it more likely that immigrants will stay in the U.S. than they would otherwise. Since crossing the border is so risky, once an immigrant makes it into the U.S., they stay and build new lives here. If it were easier to cross the border, I think a lot of immigrants would come here to build up a nest egg, then move back to Mexico to start their own businesses, secure in the knowledge that they could come back to the U.S. if their venture doesn't work out. This would a) provide venture capital, thus allowing Mexicans to build up their own economy b) create demand in Mexicans for a U.S. style legal environment (instead of the current cronyism and corruption that characterizes Mexican law now) c) raise living standards so that Mexicans have enough time, money, and energy to lobby for political reform d) reduce pressure on Mexicans to move to the U.S. in the first place.

3) Just as the War on Drugs has caused enormous damage to our civil liberties, I expect a War on Illegals would have similar consequences. You write:

"The solution to our immigration problem is to build a wall and then start deporting all the illegals."

So first you want to build a Berlin Wall around the United States. Assuming you agree with Krikorian's proposals, you also support stepped up "document audits", asset forfeiture, and a national id card system required to own a car, start a business, go to school, or do pretty much anything. Doesn't this ring any alarm bells for you? Are you so confident in the benevolence of government officials that you would give them the power to track your every move?

4) You complain about the costs of uninsured llegals. But how exactly is an illegal immigrant supposed to get a good paying job with insurance without documentation? Most high paying jobs don't pay cash under the table. And what value is a good education if you can't get a job doing anything other than menial labor?

Yes, Mexicans use social services (healthcare, education). Why shouldn't they? We allow them to use them. We should stop subsidizing them. Of course, you could argue that there is now a voting constituency for tax-subsidized healthcare and government schools, and it would therefore be quite difficult to eliminate the subsidies. And I would agree. But I see them as problems regardless of whether immigrants come to the U.S. or not.

5) You wrote:

"Take away the Mexicans and rebuilding would stll get done. But it would get done by American citizens at higher wages."

If a Mexican and a U.S. citizen of equal skill applied for the same job, and assuming that each imposed the same level of externality, would it matter to you who got the job?

1) http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/07/17/MNG5GDPEK31.DTL&type=printable
2) http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0321/p02s02-woiq.html
3) http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm
4) http://www.reason.com/sullum/112803.shtml
5) http://zfacts.com/p/447.html

Randall Parker said at October 18, 2005 9:19 PM:

Christopher,

We used to very cheaply and effectively keep out illegal aliens. Operation Wetback had an incredible productivity rate of hundreds of illegals deported per agent rounding them up. Once it became clear that they all had to go most self-deported rather than wait to be rounded up. A similar phenomenon happened after 9/11 with illegal Pakistanis. Once it became clear that in the NYC area federal agents were going to round up and deport all the illegals most left before being captured.

I base my estimate on barrier construction for the US-Mexico border on the Israeli cost for the West Bank barrier. In that case a government is also paying for the construction.

Iraq is a highly unanalogous comparison. It makes far more sense to compare to similar tasks.

Look at highways for a closer analogy for barrier construction. The cost per mile is similar. The United States government has funded construction of tens of thousands of miles of interstate highways. These structures involve use of large amounts of steel and concrete. In some areas they also involve barrier structures to, for example, hold back a hill from falling down on the highway. My father supervised the construction of one such structure (spent most of his life supervising large highway projects for a private contractor to state governments) and that barrier structure is still there and hasn't collapsed. Ditto bridges. Governments fund the vast bulk of them? Why do the vast bulk of them not fall down? After all, government paid for them.

You ask:

If a Mexican and a U.S. citizen of equal skill applied for the same job, and assuming that each imposed the same level of externality, would it matter to you who got the job?

But you act as if they both will be here regardless of which one gets hired. We already have to pay for the medical costs and crime costs and the like of lower class Americans. If we bring in Mexicans to do the work instead then those Americans do not all just magically vanish or leave the country when they fail to get the job. In fact, the externalities from the lower IQ black and white Americans go up as the lower IQ Mexicans come in and get their jobs.

Black adult male labor market participation rates have fallen to 66.7% for those who are not in jail. This has happened in spite of a cutback in welfare cases due to the 1996 reform. We pay for those people who are idle in a variety of ways.

You are the one who proposed bonds to reduce externalities, not me. Now you complain when I point out the impracticality of such bonds. Those most likely to impose externalities are most likely to be unable to pay the bonds.

Good paying jobs and "documentation" and insurance: But the legal Hispanics are making far less and getting medical insurance and the like at far lower rates than whites. So the problem goes a lot deeper than legality. Groups which have lower average IQs do less well, have illegimate kids at higher rates, commit crime at higher rates, are more likely to vote for Robin Hood government, etc, ad nauseum. Libertarians can not change that. They can only ignore it.

Christopher Rasch said at October 18, 2005 10:22 PM:

Why do the vast bulk of them not fall down? After all, government paid for them.

I'm not questioning the ability of the wall to stand up. I'm questioning the ability of the wall to serve its intended purpose of keeping the Mexicans out. I note that you ignored my points about bribing border guards and/or smuggling aboard the thousands of commercial and tourist vehicles that cross the border every day.

Iraq is a highly unanalogous comparison.

Yeah, cause this time, things are different, right? How about we compare it to Boston's Big Dig? Or San Francisco's BART? Or the Chunnel?

It makes far more sense to compare to similar tasks.

I note that you ignored my points about the costly ineffectiveness of efforts to date to keep drugs from crossing our borders.

We used to very cheaply and effectively keep out illegal aliens. Operation Wetback had an incredible productivity rate of hundreds of illegals deported per agent rounding them up. Once it became clear that they all had to go most self-deported rather than wait to be rounded up.

Hmmm...

"It is difficult to estimate the number of illegal aliens forced to leave by the operation. The INS claimed as many as 1,300,000, though the number officially apprehended did not come anywhere near this total. The INS estimate rested on the claim that most aliens, fearing apprehension by the government, had voluntarily repatriated themselves before and during the operation. The San Antonio district, which included all of Texas outside of El Paso and the Trans-Pecos,qv had officially apprehended slightly more than 80,000 aliens, and local INS officials claimed that an additional 500,000 to 700,000 had fled to Mexico before the campaign began. Many commentators have considered these figure to be exaggerated." (1)

Previously in the article, the number of agents involved was estimated to be about 700. Dividing the officially apprehended number by the number of officers, we get a count of 112/officer. Assuming the operation lasted three months, that's 40 illegals/month, or about 1.3/day.

Is two illegals/day effective? I'm not sure.

I'm also not sure how much validity to give to the estimates of those who fled on their own. I believe that some repatriated on their own, but I'm also very wary of government figures, given the self-serving incentives the estimators faced.

And note the tactics required:

"going as far as police sweeps of Mexican-American neighborhoods and random stops and ID checks of "Mexican-looking" people in a region with many Native Americans and native Hispanics."

Police sweeps? Random stops?

Groups which have lower average IQs do less well, have illegimate kids at higher rates, commit crime at higher rates, are more likely to vote for Robin Hood government, etc, ad nauseum. Libertarians can not change that. They can only ignore it.

I've granted that uneducated, poor Mexicans cause some negative externalities. I also agree that they are political actors, and will vote themselves (along with blacks, white trash, large corporations, college professors, and other interest groups) ever increasing subsidies. However, I disagree that the solution is to turn the U.S. into an East German police state.

1)
http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/OO/pqo1.html

As for my bond proposal, I wasn't complaining that you were pointing out the impracticality of the proposal. I asked you what amount you think that the average Mexican would need to post before being allowed into the U.S. (assuming for the moment that such a bond requirement could be enforced). What amount do you think would cover the externalities imposed by the average Mexican?

Randall Parker said at October 18, 2005 11:46 PM:

Christopher,

I didn't answer every point you made because your post was long and my replies here already have been long.

Big Dig: Again, not analogous. Building hugely complex set of structures in busy a city is quite unlike building either a wall or a highway out in a desert. The Big Dig was not well bounded. Highways routinely get built on fixed price contracts and get done on time. A barrier structure'e cost per mile could be pretty well scoped after building a few miles of it.

Smuggling humans through a fairly small number of controlled crossing points is orders of magnitude more difficult. Will some people get thru? Of course. But not hundreds of thousands a year.

Externalities and bonds: Consider just crime as a source of external costs. Suppose a single guy commits crimes that require he be put in jail for 20 years. Well, there goes at least a half million dollars. The problem with the bond approach is that an individual can cause even millions of dollars in damage due to deaths, maimings, property damages, costs of police investigations, costs of trials (and jurors aren't even paid), and jail time.

So I do not see how a bond system could work.

Plus, you got the problem that for every crime a criminal commits there's some multiple (and I've read it runs into the dozens at least) of crimes that the criminal doesn't get caught for. Well, how to take cash from a bond for imposed costs that do not get assigned to an illegal?

This is part of a bigger problem: Humans can and do inflict costs on other humans the inflicters can not pay for. Every time libertarians trot out the liability limitations of the Price-Anderson Act as an example of government subsidy of the nuclear power industry I always ask why any individual should be allowed to drive on the highway without a few million dollars of insurance. After all, someone who kills a highly paid business executive in an accident has caused millions of dollars of lost income to his spouse and children. Yet the person responsible for the accident does not have to pay. Libertarianism doesn't have an answer for the external cost problem.

East German police state: You seem to be missing the point that the decay of poverty and crime are what cause the government to violate our rights thru taxes and other means. I'm far more worried about getting killed by low IQ immigrants than by the government.

A free society only works if the vast bulk of the population respects the rights of others. You don't get searched or held for questioning for a crime when no crime gets committed in the first place. You don't get accidentally charged for a crime someone else committed if someone else doesn't commit a crime. You don't get called up to serve on a jury at your own cost if there is no trials because there is no crime.

Where I see the libertarians getting it wrong is that I do not see the government as the biggest agent of rights violation. No, the public is. The kind of public we have determines how much of our rights get violated. Our rights will get violated by governments and public alike. But if we can control the make-up of our public we can reduce the extent to which both government and public will violate our rights.

Ned said at October 19, 2005 5:57 AM:

Don't mean to intrude here, but the classic dogmatic "open borders" position is in fact highly contentious among libertarians. http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-fonte050902.asp

birch barlow said at October 19, 2005 7:45 AM:

Allowing large-scale illegal immigration would not make sense even if we weren't dealing with largely uneducated immigrants having largely uneducated kids in large numbers (though this is a huge problem). If we were to have a loose land border with an East Asian country, we would be far better off education, crime,welfare, and IQ-wise. However East Asians are still pretty fond of identity politics, and an open border would definitely present national security problems. A country has to have the ability to control who comes in its borders. Not everyone coming through the border has good intentions. Even those who do often do not fit well with a high-tech society. Right now, in addition to the illegal aliens, we have massive volumes of hard drugs coming accross the border that not only cause problems here but also fund sleazy Central American drug cartels.

Engineer-Poet said at October 19, 2005 7:52 AM:

Randall, you keep making this error:

illegals who have low rates of medical uninsurance.

Ivan:  You're a prime example of the intellectual disconnect which forced me away from orthodox Libertarianism.  Here, let me show you in your own words:

Health care is far more expensive than it need be due to excessive regulation, most especially in requirements to practice and various approval preesses in the FDA.
Even if true, nowhere have you stated any logical connection between unlimited immigration and reduced costs of providing medical care.  It's as if you're a meme-bot, repeating catch phrases you don't really understand.  Amusing to those of a certain bent, but ultimately pathetic and highly unconvincing.

Randall Parker said at October 19, 2005 9:04 AM:

E-P,

Oops. As I'm sure you realize, I mean to say "high rates of medical uninsurance" or "low rates of medical insurance".

As for FDA regulation: It is meant to protect people who aren't smart enough and informed enough. The more the percentage of dullards increases the more the argument will be made that the public needs protection. The people making the argument will avoid all references to intelligence of course. But the vast majority of the public will agree with them.

A couple of decades ago I could at least entertain the idea that the majority could be convinced to libertarian positions. But too many years have gone by and I've learned too much about human nature to still take that idea seriously. It is about as foolish as believing that the Russians ever could have been reshaped into New Soviet Man.

Again, the libertarian mistake is the same as the communist mistake: Promoting an ideal society that is not compatible with human nature.

Matra said at October 19, 2005 9:08 AM:

In the last years of the Cold War a University of Toronto professor claimed that the Berlin Wall was built to keep West Germans from moving to East Germany where life was better! The professor became a bit of a laughing stock but it would seem that many agreed with him as I've heard and read several advocates for illegal aliens claiming that building a wall along the Mexican border would make the US like the GDR. The Berlin Wall was built to keep people in the GDR and to restrict their contact with the West. It was not built to keep jealous West Germans from moving to the GDR. A wall will not prevent Americans from travelling abroad! It would protect US property in the same way that a locked door or a high fence might protect an individual's property. It may not be 100% effective but better than nothing.

One of the many problems with libertarian ideologues is that they think all restrictions on our freedom come from the state. Illegal aliens robbing, drinking and driving, and committing other crimes are more likely to curtail the freedom of residents of a neighbourhood than state action. The lack of concern, indeed the utter contempt, libertarians and other opponents of border control have for the plight of working class Americans tells us a lot about them.

Randall Parker said at October 19, 2005 9:33 AM:

Matra,

I agree. I can understand why young idealists in their early 20s can embrace libertarianism. But one really ought to grow up and mature at some point. Idealism is not morally superior just because idealists seek a better world. Wrong headed idealism can inflict a great deal of suffering (and it has and still does).

Immigration increases crime, Robin Hood voting, taxes, government corruption, pollution, housing costs, commute times, racial preferences, and a great many other problems. I've catalogued and explained how. But faced with a choice between empirical evidence and idealistic dreams many people of a wide variety of political persuasions choose the latter.

Engineer-Poet said at October 19, 2005 10:36 AM:

Just think how well-behaved our immigrants (legal and otherwise) would be if we deported them for the first instance of public drunkenness, reckless driving, unlicensed or uninsured driving, or other dangerous or reckless behavior.

We should "chip" deportees to see if they come back.  If they've committed some serious crime, I see nothing wrong with a suspended sentence of capital punishment which is carried out if they return unlawfully.  If we've thrown them out for being criminal, we want them to stay out.

Ivan Kirigin said at October 19, 2005 12:14 PM:

Engineer-Poet,

I didn't realize reform in health care in America is so crazy, as to be labeled "orthodox Libertarianism". I suppose you've never really encountered a very orthodox libertarian if you've labeled me one.

"Even if true, nowhere have you stated any logical connection between unlimited immigration and reduced costs of providing medical care. It's as if you're a meme-bot, repeating catch phrases you don't really understand. Amusing to those of a certain bent, but ultimately pathetic and highly unconvincing."

One of the externalities mentioned was the large number of uninsured among illegal immigrants. It is expensive to have uninsured people for a large number of reasons. A big reason is the market-warping tax deductions companies get in paying for 3rd party health insurance, where as individuals get no such deductions. This inflates prices and lowers quality. All this makes sense, as your doctor is paid almost regardless of quality, the employee doesn’t care about the “price”, as the insurance company is paying for it, and the insurance company wants to pay for as little as possible.

If you reform this, health care becomes less expensive, and the externalities from illegal immigrants decrease.

My main point has been that there are other venues for reform that would improve the problems caused by today's immigration.

Now that I've made the obvious, but apparently necessary "logical connection between unlimited immigration and reduced costs of providing medical care", I will kindly ask you to remove the "engineer" from your name. Clearly you don't have a grasp on even a simple argument like mine.

Should I explain this in greater detail?

Randall Parker said at October 19, 2005 1:03 PM:

Ivan,

I've repeatedly argued for health savings accounts combined with high deductible medical insurance policies. But even a shift toward more people getting their medical expenses paid that way would not suddenly make all the low paid illegals able to afford their medical care. Nor would it eliminate other external costs of illegals.

Yes, a reduction in the welfare state and a reduction in distortions in the medical services market would reduce external costs of illegals. But, first of all, Libertarians are unable to convince the majority of the public to strongly support such changes in policy. Second, a majority would like to see a reduction in immigration and the general trend in public views is in that direction.

You are arguing that a libertarian utopia could manage open borders better than our current system. Well, libertarian utopia is not achievable. What's worse, open borders of a prescription for producing a voting population that would be even more opposed to libertarian policies than our current population is.

Again, libertarians make the same mistake the communists make. Libertarianism is not compatible with human nature.

Engineer-Poet said at October 19, 2005 1:11 PM:

The elephant in the room that Ivan can't bring himself to mention is that unfettered immigration is forcing so much uncompensated care costs upon hospitals that they are closing.  Opening the borders will not cause the system to be fixed, it will cause it to collapse.  There is no connection to reform.

And Randall, you're failing to distinguish between small-l and big-L libertarians.

Big Bill said at October 19, 2005 2:26 PM:

Yes, Christopher, I am a nationalist. I know who created this country. I know how they did it, and I know that no other people since has been able to match what we have done. If you disagree, why don't you move somewhere else like Mexico or Russia? If you don't care what side of an imaginary line THEY live on, surely you cannot care what side of that same imaginary line YOU live on. But of course they care or they wouldn't crawl on their bellies through a desert, or spend months suffocating in a sealed shipping container just to cross that same "imaginary line". And lets be honest, shall we? You desperately care which side you live on too. You are never going to leave this country for exactly the same reasons they pray they never have to leave here: Americans DO take care of each other and have built something truly wonderful and unique.

Let me be blunt. The reason immigrants move here is because they are culturally disfunctional. They have proven themselves unable to create and sustain a livable culture on their own. To survive, to reproduce, to live, they need us. We, on the other hand, don't need them. Unlike the Mexicans who live on the other side of the imaginary line, we take care of our own. We feed the poor, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless. We build schools and provide doctors for all. They don't. They live lives of sickness, poverty, savagery, corruption and hatred, all of which they would love to import into our own land as their own culture and teach their children and their children's children to do the same. My God, in London Africans immigrants butcher children for body parts to be used for witch doctoring. Muslims butcher their daughters for falling on love with boys from other cultures. American doesn't want or need those "social externalities".

Whether the immigrants are Russian Jews, Nigerians, Albanians, Kenyans, Kurds, Turks, Mexicans, Guatemalans, Indians, Pakistanis, Brazilians, Chinese, or Philipinos, they are desperate to escape the hellholes they have fashioned and desperately hope they won't be forced to go home and live in the mess they created. For their own narcissistic reasons they also adamantly refuse to admit that they had any responsibility for the pathetic lives they led before they got here. No, they expect us to stop teaching what is good about America and "celebrate" the cultures the immirants desperately left so they will "feel good about themselves" in America, instead of joyously abandoning the sick cultures they came from and becoming Americans. We are supposed to pretend that the increased racial conflict, crime and social costs are somehow the fault of Americans for being racist, for not giving immigrants free national health care, or for publicly celebrating American culture and religion (which makes them feel unwanted).

Yes, Christopher, like Teddy Roosevelt I am a nationalist. It is my nation, my people, I celebrate, because it is my nation, my people, my religion and my culture that have made this land what it is. W look out for each other. Wee take care of each other. We are good -- better than most. And, no, I don't want to live in Mexico with the Mexican nation, in Pakistan with the Pakistani nation, in Israel with the Jewish nation, or in Kurdistan with the Kurdish nation. Now maybe, just maybe, there are a few people who are similar enough to me and my nation, my values, my religion, and my culture that I am willing to share my country with them. Not because they "deserve" it or have any right to work here, live here or even breathe my air, but because they have something to contribute that *I*-- that my nation -- thinks is valuable. And if they do come here, they had better be ready to become a part of and celebrate MY nation, because I will not be celebrating theirs.

And by God if they (or you) don't like it, I wholeheartedly welcome you to move back home to your homeland and rejoin your nation.

Ivan Kirigin said at October 19, 2005 2:32 PM:

I have said at least 3 times that I am in favor of reform. Greater enforcement of our current laws, and more filtered immigration based upon education and/or intelligence.

At least half a dozen times, it's been projected upon me that I support unlimited immigration. I do in a utopia, as Randall likes to observe, but I'm not talking about my utopia.

Perhaps I should restate my very basic point: don't blame immigrants for everything, when there are other systematic problems in need of reform. They would need reform even with closed borders, and make our selectively open borders have worse externalities.

"But, first of all, Libertarians are unable to convince the majority of the public to strongly support such changes in policy. Second, a majority would like to see a reduction in immigration and the general trend in public views is in that direction."

I is a bit over-reaching to map current public opinion in the US to "human nature", wouldn't you say? The changes I'm describing existed in the past. There was a point in this country's history when the federal government regulated very little, collect and spent few tax dollars, etc.

Has human nature changed since then?


As yes unanswered: Why don't the poor whites and blacks in NOLA take the available $8/hr jobs?

Randall Parker said at October 19, 2005 4:20 PM:

Ivan,

What does blame have to do with it? I advocate for what is best for me and for my country. I can't do that without pointing out the consequences of immigration.

Other things need fixing? Of course. But be realistic. The welfare state isn't going away. The legal requirement for hospital emergency wards to treat all comers is not going away. Given that these things are not going away adding low IQ and low income immigrants to the mix is even worse. Though even without the welfare state there'd still be externalities that argue against letting in lots of immigrants. At the same time, letting these people in builds political support for the welfare state.

As for the past: Go back before transportation was cheap. Go back to when most people lived off of what they produced from their own farms. Conditions were different. Therefore outcomes were different.

Look at land use regulation. When there was a far lower ratio of people to land then of course there was going to be less land use regulation. When there was little in the way of a chemicals industry or oil industry or coal industry as compared to now then of course there was less regulation. We didn't have to worry as much about people were doing on their own plots of land when the worst damage they could do was far far less than it is today.

Also, another driver of regulation was and is rising affluence. Poor people care less about clean air because they have bigger worries. But as people satisfy their basic desires they move on to caring about other desires. The environmental movement began in the United States because the United States was the most affluent country.

John S Bolton said at October 19, 2005 5:17 PM:

Actually the environmental movement began in Germany, because it was the most educated country, thanks to government schools for the entire people; but then came Hitler. Libertarians and others, like to give us this moral fudging, where there is supposedly no connection between immigration and any immoral act committed by immigrants. They say dont blame the immigrant, it's not his fault but that of the government which corrupted him with alternative welfare or tolerance of some gross crimes. This puts immigrants outside of morality and outside of humanity, if they can't be blamed for what they do wrong. It places the net taxpayer and citizen victims of immigrant aggression in general, outside of the nation. It puts them outside the circle of those to whom we owe loyalty when they're attacked by foreigners, and that is a grossly immoral betrayal. When immigration cohorts are net consumers, this is an evil to us; and America is of unique importance to the furtherance of civilization. All the world should care, when evil is this way done to what we are all counting on.

John S Bolton said at October 19, 2005 5:35 PM:

Why do citizens not take all the jobs that illegals otherwise get? Because availability of labor at a below standard wage, creates its own demand. The economy can adjust to any volume of menials, provided wages and standards are allowed to fall far enough. It is dishonest to represent them as pure labor, though, and not as net consumers, when each downward addition to the workforce is almost all net consumers. The citizenry has no obligation to mount boycotts against illegals; that would be like saying that the French might have defended their country, not by arms, but by boycotts. The immigrant aggressor is a public responsibility. This idea of an obligation to boycott, would excuse the German invasions as well, if private boycotts were ineffectual in expelling them. When a country is overrun by foreign aggressors, this is by definition a public matter; it is about aggression. Anarcholibertarians like to pretend that invasions of all kinds, are private affairs. If a people cannot remove a multitude of foreign aggressors by means of boycotts, this does not mean that they approve of the invasion, nor are they morally then obliged to accept it.

Sal said at October 19, 2005 5:37 PM:

Robert Locke demolishes shallow libertarian arguments in the Marxism of the right.


http://www.amconmag.com/2005_03_14/article1.html

Venomous said at October 20, 2005 1:19 AM:

Globalist free traders and communists represent an extreme danger to the well being of the nation. Both groups cling to the erroneous notion that a nation is solely an economic entity. Not every aspect of our existence can (nor should) be reduced to economic terms. Even if it were economically beneficial for me to sell out my country for profit, I have no interest in doing so.

John Thomas said at October 20, 2005 3:16 AM:

Christopher Rasch,
You are an extremely unintelligent person, although your use of big words might con yourself and the gullible.
I won't elaborate any further by wasting words on you.

Martin Bauer said at October 20, 2005 5:00 AM:

Christopher Rasch is not only unintelligent, but he – as the other libertarians who posted on this blog – is proof to the fact that a heardened heart will cause delusion. (sorry for sounding the moralist again)

    "As for growth of parasitic social programs (welfare, ..." (Christopher Rasch at October 18, 2005 02:47 PM)
I will give him one clue (and then refrain from wasting my time as well): Parasites suck on the host organism by (biological) force or ruse; they do not ask for moral consent of those who support them, – voluntarily, a fortiori, as Randall points out, for they know that moral values exceed market values by more than the pride of being (ostensibly) true to an ideal (see end of comment).
By that means the word "parasitic" would fit far better for the corporate welfare (a term used very deliberately, and based on experience, by the former chairman of Pres. Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors, Joseph Stiglitz) that international corporations extract (subsidies, wheedling contracts, phoney accountancy techniques, etc.) from the tax payer as well as to what they fleece of consumers – or frustrate with the unemployed at home and abroad! – by their ability to harness the various governments to fix the rules of markets according to their needs by calling for the GENERAL PRINCIPLES of libertarianism (such as free trade) in a self-serving, DISCRETIONARY WAY – just enough to reach a state of society where some individuals (those now creating, then destroying, huge virtual values at the stock exchange) can enjoy their "fast lessons of the value of their labor" (thank you, Ivan Kirigin at October 18, 2005 01:20 PM, for expressing your faith in markets so purely) of adding "worth" thousands or millions of times as much as others produce at the sweat of their brow.

If I had any doubt that one (near) day socialism will be in for a savage come-back, reading the elaborations of libertarianism on this blog has removed it from me. I do not hope for it, but it will be inevitable if conservatives do not free themselves from market fundamentalism and progressives remain addicted to (liberal) moral gesturing and hypocrisy.

    "Not every aspect of our existence can (nor should) be reduced to economic terms. Even if it were economically beneficial for me to sell out my country for profit, I have no interest in doing so." (venomous at October 18, 2005 02:47 PM
Exactly so. I'd only add (without an edge of contradicting you) the selling-out of humane society, (i.e. some limit to inequalities necessary to prevent resentment and serfdom from coming back), natural environment and international peace and understanding to your list of values rooting outside of economics.
Bob Badour said at October 20, 2005 6:00 AM:

Ivan, let me respond to the apparent bases of your logic:

1) Health insurance reform will shift the externality from one payer to another, but in the end, the payers extract the money from the same pockets.

Health spending accounts etc. will allow the affluent to control their own healthcare spending. However, the large pool of impoverishing immigrants (both legal and illegal) will still show up at emergency rooms looking for care. Someone will still have to pay for that relatively expensive treatment. While the government may take your money as taxes instead of the insurance company taking your money as premiums, the ultimate payer will still take the money from your pocket.

2) When government was small, suffrage was not universal. The groups most likely to vote themselves benefits from the pockets of others lacked the vote. And those with the pockets had the vote. Has human nature changed? Not at all. Since the introduction of universal suffrage, the government has grown quite consistently.

3) You say "Don't blame the immigrants for everything", but I don't think Randall is blaming them for anything. He blames the failure of the US Federal Government to preserve the sovereignty of the United States of America for the costs imposed by illegal immigrants.

I fail to see how the external costs imposed by those immigrants lack relevance. And I similarly fail to see the relevance of other problems. As illustration, if I have a backache and a toothache, a visit to the chiropractor will not address my toothache; although, it might reduce my pain overall.

Given the above observations, I wonder what is the point of your posts? Your arguments seem orthogonal to the issue at hand.

Martin Bauer said at October 20, 2005 8:04 AM:

Why, sorry, Bob, isn't that all too clear? He dreams that the issue at hand would be (on its way to being) solved neatly, with far more coherency and radicality than any conservative can suggest, in the coming world of perfect libertarianism with its clear and self-evident separation between the two challenges of designing laws [teach which values count in society] and living under them [learn one's lesson about what one is worth]. He is keenly aware that reality is not utopia, but has never suspected that therefore emulation of the ideal may even be the wrong direction to seek optimization.

This is the philosophy of someone who has no inkling of man being a spiritual creature (not a simple addition of physical and intellectual capacities), and has never yet personally and wholeheartedly addressed the problem of human failure.

(By the way, I am not pleading that the welfare state is 'good', but that a 'socially caring state', a social market economy, is the only way for capitalism to remain humane once some degree of complexity (i.e. substitution of traditional by functional and anonymous structures) of society is reached. Social market economy is good, partly just because it allowed to prevent too much welfare mentality, as long as it prevailed. – Maybe I'm still hampered in expressing myself clearly for the problem of translating my European background and terminology into the American environment.)

Bob Badour said at October 20, 2005 9:27 AM:

Martin,

The German Social Market Economy is a socialist welfare state. Let's just call it what it is. Pretending that one market intervention is an intervention while another intervention is not an intervention is nothing more than delusion.

Bob Badour said at October 20, 2005 9:36 AM:

P.S. No Martin, it is not clear to me what Ivan is trying to accomplish with his posts. Perhaps he is just trying to distract readers from a topic he finds uncomfortable.

Martin Bauer said at October 20, 2005 10:08 AM:

Bob, the German social market economy has never had the explicit design to put huge numbers of people on welfare, and it didn't that way as long as it was adhered to. Moreover, I have absolutely no intention of denying that social market economy is not free market economy; (therefore not totally free of "interventions", or better sayed: "interference" of politics on market processes - but that too with a design that those interferences shall not grow arbitrary or boundless).

But I didn't mean to interfere and are intent to learn what Ivan himself has to answer to you.

Michael Blowhard said at October 20, 2005 10:59 AM:

Just to drag in my pet theme where immigration rates and policies are concerned: How about the preferences of the people already living in the USA? All the talk of costs is valuable, of course. But I don't think it should be allowed to obscure the fact that most Americans think immigraton is out of control, would like it brought back under control, and aren't crazy about what it's doing to the country's ethnic makeup. I've seen a few polls indicating that American blacks, for instance, when they learn that they're no longer the #2 racial group, are very indignant about it.

What we want our country to be is every bit as important as the economic costs of this or that policy, no? And what most Americans seem quite clear about is that they don't want the country becoming what it's in the process of becoming.

Melissa said at October 20, 2005 1:28 PM:

"However, with that said, one big reason Mexicans get those construction jobs over our own
poor blacks is that they are better workers. They show up, work hard, don't cry racism
when a dispute breaks out and as a result obviously employers prefer them to hiring
indigenous negroes."

Dear Hugh,

Generalizations when discussing racial issues? Shame on you! Have you ever considered that these companies are not hiring poor black workers because they are American citizens who will not tolerate the treatment that perhaps a person from outside United States might for the hope of "prosperity"? I happen to be a poor black American and I also happen to reside in New Orleans. Never before have I seen this number of Mexicans in my city, nor I have I ever seen human beings forced to work in such deplorable conditions. Among the littered tent cities and trailer camps, there are hundreds of workers crammed into spaces too small for anything close to comfort. How would you feel about working in those conditions?

As far as "crying" racism...if an illegal alien cries racism, who would care? Are the anti-discrimination laws that protect American citizens going to protect them? I can think of a handful of civil rights groups that may speak up. Do you deny that racism exists? Are you that blind? Where do you live? I live in the South- its amazing what you see and hear when people don't know they are being observed. I have seen enough instances of blatant racist thought to assure myself and you: racism does exist and it can affect every aspect of our lives, especially in the work place, where hard work should result in reward but often times may not, due to racism. Are you upset that somewhere along the line, workers who were discriminated against spoke out and demanded justice? (And not just black workers...whites, hispanics, women, homosexuals) I must say, I am not.

Hard workers, better workers? Are you serious? What about poor white workers? Are Mexicans better workers than them? Does it have something to do with genes? Oh, maybe its on a scale: White workers are the most industrious, then Mexicans, then blacks, and everyone else falls somewhere in between. Give me a break. I think you missed the point...this is not about race. It is about legal vs. illegal employees. People who reside and pay taxes in our country (because even the lowliest fast food worker pays taxes) versus people who come in, make money and leave, no tax included.

Perhaps the language barrier between Spanish-speaking Americans and the corporations with legal backing that hire them is just large enough to make it easier to take advantage of those workers, thus increasing the corporation's profit margin. Maybe it is not simply a question of black or Mexican or white. Maybe these employers just see green, an easy way to make buck.

Just things I hope you will consider...

Ivan Kirigin said at October 20, 2005 1:49 PM:

Melissa wrote:
"Generalizations when discussing racial issues? Shame on you!"

You obviously haven't read many of the posts on this blog :-P

More later...

Hugh Angell said at October 20, 2005 3:06 PM:

Melissa,

I don't know where to begin. I suppose I should first say that a business is about making
money. A businessman, contractor, what have you, won't be one for long if they don't make
money. This means 'racism' isn't a wise policy and will undermine the profitability of any
company that seeks to enforce racially discriminatory policies without reason.

Historically racism could be a factor in hiring because it existed both as a de jure
policy and a de facto one. ALL companies practiced it so the 'nail that stuck out got
hammered'. Those days are over. Today a company hires who is most competitive. It's not
just in New Orleans that Hispanics dominate many construction trades, its everywhere.
Roofing, concrete and sheetrock work are very tough jobs. Few native born Americans want
to do this kind of work for that reason.

True, there are 'hard working' blacks but there are also many who are not and have
behavioral problems that make them poor employees at best and at worst a dangerous
liability to have on the payroll. Where I work almost ALL disciplinary action is taken
against black employees and it is not because of racism. It is because of theft of
company property, absenteeism, drug use, disrespectful or violent behavior etc. I do not
suggest that no whites or hispanics engage in such deleterious conduct, they do but not
at anywhere near the same incidence as do African Americans. When you add to this the
fact that blacks are less intelligent than all other ethnic groups the plain truth it
that in a free and competitive labor market blacks, as a group, will end up exactly where
they always have... last hired, first fired. This is not because of racism, in fact today
'racism' is applied to require businesses hire more blacks than they would otherwise
desire to do and many of them are given posts as supernumeraries and contribute nothing
to the enterprise except their skin color! Vice Presidents of Human Resources, Diversity
Consultant and all the other hokum of modern coporate America owes nothing to the essential
task of competitive business enterprise but are simply a way to put a black person in a
business suit to keep Jesse Jackson and the race hustlers off their case.

I would suggest that if blacks disagree and feel they are equally capable of creating and
operating successful business they prove me wrong. Unfortunately other than in carefully
created and government protected niche areas black enterprise is virtually non existant.
Certainly, given the number of affluent blacks in this country it should be possible to
have a created at least one Fortune 500 company founded, run and operated by blacks but
I am unaware of it.

Bob Badour said at October 20, 2005 3:16 PM:
Among the littered tent cities and trailer camps, there are hundreds of workers crammed into spaces too small for anything close to comfort. How would you feel about working in those conditions?

Melissa, Did you not just confirm Hugh's generalization? I doubt very much the living environment is any more cramped than on a naval vessel or any worse than in a prospecting or logging camp. I doubt it could be worse than the living conditions of the pioneering settlers who first built civilisation there, for instance.

Do you expect luxury and comfort for working in a disaster area?

To a great extent, the amount of litter indicates the general attitudes of the people living in the camp.

You are absolutely right, though--it's not an issue of race. It's an issue of economics. The large number of illegals available to work in those jobs drives down wages making it unattractive for many to work in those conditions. If the illegals were unavailable, the contractors would have to pay more. People working in prospecting camps in remote areas get isolation pay that far exceeds normal pay, for instance.

Randall Parker said at October 20, 2005 7:22 PM:

Michael Blowhard,

You remind me of an essay that Peter Brimelow recently wrote on the core of traditional conservatism (as distinction the non-conservative neoconservatism):

The core of conservativism, it seems to me, is this recognition and acceptance of the elemental emotions. Conservatism understands that it is futile to debate the feelings of the mother for her child—or such human instincts as the bonds of tribe, nation, even race. Of course, all are painfully vulnerable to deconstruction by rationalistic intellectuals—but not, ultimately, to destruction. These commitments are Jungian rather than Freudian, not irrational but arational—beyond the reach of reason.

When I arge that libertarians promote an ideology that is incompatible with human nature I'm also saying that libertarians want us to deny our desires in order that they can create a society that they see as (at least in their imaginings) economically more efficient. They want more human interactions to become market transactions. Never mind that people have other desires. Never mind that they do not want to become homo economicus.

The homo sapiens species is not homo economicus. We needs that are not met by a pure market society. We desire collective protection and collective membership in groups and the nation-state is a reflection of basic desires hardwired into our brains. Why should we deny ourselves in order to create their utopia?

Jorge D.C. said at October 21, 2005 3:30 AM:

No, I'm not a nationalist. I see no reason to favor (or disfavor) individuals based on which side of an arbitrary line they happened to have been born.

Christopher Rasch...are you 14 years old? The vast majority of national borders on planet earth are anything but "arbitrary".

Perhaps you were taught (indoctrinated) in an amerikin publik skool that the U.S. borders are "arbitrary"?

Moreover, I want the freedom to travel freely accross national borders as easily as I cross state borders now.

You actually sound like you're about 12 years old. And, if so, well, no one can fault such romantic notions. But back here on The Planet Known As Reality national borders and state borders are not the same and never will be the same. You are comparing apples and oranges. Your argument demonstrates zero understanding of what makes a nation. As opposed to what makes a state (district, province).

Please consider a de-federalized education. The No Child Left Behind Era babble is embarrassing.

John Thomas said at October 21, 2005 4:16 AM:

It might be Christopher Rasch's dream to turn the USA into another Bangladesh, India or Nigeria - with all the degradation and misery of Calcutta visited on a big American city - and wage rates driven so low that it is more economical to employ a man to pull a rickshaw than it is to use motorised transport.This happens to be my very worst nightmare.
If Christopher Rasch wants and loves this human degradation- the ultimate Malthusian nightmare, he is very welcome to go and emigrate to these countries he evidently loves so much - and wants to re-create for your sons, daughters and grandchildren.
But, please, for the love of God,don't take the rest of us with you.

Melissa said at October 24, 2005 9:53 AM:

Hey Hugh,

I know that companies exist to turn a profit.

Generally, discrimination is not a wise policy as it is illegal. I won't even address the ethical implications.

I am sorry that you are so close-minded. People like you are the problem with this country. According to geneticists world-wide, the six genes that control the color of one's skin have no correlation to intelligence- google it if you have time. The "behavioral problems" that you mentioned as well as the many disparities between the life of an African-American and the life of a caucasian are socio-economic, not racial.

Hugh, the construction industry in New Orleans was never composed of mainly Hispanics, in fact our city does not have a large Hispanic population. I was referring to the very noticeable influx of large numbers of Hispanics in the construction/demolition industry since Hurricane Katrina. So its not everywhere, just in your little corner of the world. And your workplace may be the exception, as I doubt that it is the rule. As for petty theft and tardiness/absenteeism- it is a very sad thing to see an employee engage is such behavior. It bothers me, but not nearly as much as examples of widespread corporate corruption and theft in recent years (WorldCom, Enron). Oh, and by the way, I don't think one of the CEO/Presidents involved in those schemes was black.

Concerning Fortune 500 companies- give me a break! Many of those companies had their beginnings in a time when African-Americans were certainly discriminated against. The average founding date of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies is 1898. Just give it time- in 100 years, I am sure the composition of the Fortune 500 list will be radically different. Why don't you check out BlackEnterprise.com to find out more about African-American companies. It may open your eyes. And by the way, the number one ranked Fortune 500 company, Wal-Mart, is facing legal problems regarding their discriminatory pay and promotional practices where women are concerned- discrimination is real and it will cost Wal-Mart real money.

Oh, and Hugh? Don't you worry. Every day, people are working to change the erroneous perceptions held by people such as yourself. And I think that they will succeed.

Bob Badour said at October 24, 2005 11:32 AM:

Hi Melissa,

I tried googling like you suggested, but these are the results I got:

While the distributions of IQ scores among different racial-ethnic groups overlap considerably, groups differ in where their members cluster along the IQ scale.

50 professors at Universities throughout the U.S., Canada, and Britain have signed the following statement concerning the generally accepted science of intelligence and inter-race differences in intelligence.

many commentators have offered opinions about human intelligence that misstate current scientific evidence. Some conclusions dismissed in the media as discredited are actually firmly supported.

...

Members of all racial-ethnic groups can be found at every IQ level. The bell curves of different groups overlap considerably, but groups often differ in where their members tend to cluster along the IQ line. The bell curves for some groups (Jews and East Asians) are centered somewhat higher than for whites in general. Other groups (blacks and Hispanics) [are] centered somewhat lower than non-Hispanic whites.

The bell curve for whites is centered roughly around IQ 100; the bell curve for American blacks roughly around 85; and those for different subgroups of Hispanics roughly midway between those for whites and blacks. The evidence is less definitive for exactly where above IQ 100 the bell curves for Jews and Asians are centered.

I did not find what you told me to expect to find. Can you offer a more direct link to these alleged geneticists and their supposedly well-published conclusions?

Martin Bauer said at October 24, 2005 12:22 PM:

Melissa wrote that the six genes determining the colour of the skin are found irrelevant for intelligence; maybe the factors determining the (most) obvious difference between blacks and whites are not their sole genetic point of differentiation, and especially not the one relevant for mental capacities .... (?)

One the other hand, given that Bob Badour's source is correct, is this question about average IQ really as crucial for moral and practical attitudes and industries? At the risk of outing myself as not having read some of the sources that Randall Parker has given me for homework upon earlier comments of mine, I'd like to put in the question if a capacity of intelligence (amenable to assessment on a one-dimensional scale) can really be a fully appropriate index of the whole configuration of mental capacities presaging working or business performances.

I am traditionally strongly skeptical of this notion; maybe I'll have to revise my opinion, let's see ...

Randall Parker said at October 24, 2005 12:38 PM:

Martin,

I'm not going to distill down the conclusions of lots of research just so you can reject it. Go do the reading. I've given you the links. You aren't going to believe an assertion anyway.

That reading would be a far better use of your time than reading a debate here. Go read.

Bob Badour said at October 24, 2005 3:03 PM:

Actually, Martin, Melissa wrote the geneticists found no correlation, which I find hard to believe given the evidence available. No direct effect--plausibly. No causation--plausibly. But no correlation? It's very doubtful anyone can make that fit empirically.

As long as politicians continue to enact damaging social policy based on fantasies of how they wish the world were instead of how it really is, the issue is crucial for moral and practical attitudes and industries. Some policies integrate over the entire curve and then group average differences become very important.

What's the effect of opening the border to huge numbers of immigrants showing group average differences along multiple axes?
What's the effect of demanding equal outcomes for two groups with differing average ability?
What's the effect of demanding organization hire people based on race?

Melissa said at October 24, 2005 4:07 PM:

Thanks Bob,
I visited the link and read the study- the graph was nice and colorful:

Please see the abstract of the 1987 study the graph came from (Demographic characteristics and IQ among adults: Analysis of the WAIS-R standardization sample as a function of the stratification variable):
"The sample included 1,880 adults stratified according to sex and age (equal numbers of males and females within nine groups), race, occupation, urban-rural residence, geographic region, and education. There were 1,664 whites, 192 blacks, and 24 from other nonwhite groups. Analyses of variance were conducted separately for Verbal (VIQ), Performance (PIQ), and Full Scale IQ (FSIQ). The differences in mean IQs due to sex, urban-rural residence, and geographic regions were nonsignificant. However, there were significant differences that were due to race and education level, and there were also sizeable differences noted for occupational groups. There was a 14-point difference in favor of whites over blacks on FSIQ. Differences due to education and occupation were striking: College graduates earned FSIQs that were 32 points higher than the FSIQs of individuals with 7 years or less of schooling, and professional and technical workers outscored unskilled workers on the WAIS-R Full Scale by 22 points."

Did you notice...the scientists tested 8.6 times more whites than blacks. The sample size of each group would need to be the same for the study to hold any merit. It's just good science to have a sound methodology for testing certain hypothesis. The Wikipedia article you provided the link to references the infamous "Bell Curve" study- highly controversial- not widely accepted. As for your second link...of course an extremist from the Stormfront White Nationalist Community Discussion Board would cite such an article. The 52 professors you referenced signed that statement in support of statements asserted by "The Bell Curve". Did you know- Many of the signers had previously made similar claims about race and intelligence and were cited as sources in the book. Fifty scientists hardly constitutes a majority of the scientific community and I am not impressed.

Since you seem to have only chosen the first hit on "race and intelligence" at google.com, let me provide some other sites for you:

The American Association of Anthroplogy speaks out against your very outdated way of thinking.
http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/race.htm

From: http://www.dushkin.com/connectext/psy/ch08/raceintel.mhtml
"Since, until fairly recently, most intelligence tests were standardized for White, middle-class people, it is no wonder that other races do not score as well as Whites. Indeed, it could be argued that the earlier versions of intelligence tests were invalid for measuring intelligence of African Americans (Houston, 1990)."

And then there is the "race does not exist (in biological terms)" argument- not saying that is does or does not, but I find this very interesting...
According to Human Genome project, the definition of race has no basis in science.
"New and sophisticated methods for studying the relationship between human genetic differences, the environment, health and behavior, all made possible by the completion of the Human Genome Project, have made traditional race-based measurements of human differences obsolete, according to numerous authors writing in a special issue of the American Psychologist devoted to Genes, Race, and Psychology in the Genome Era (January, 2005)."

See also:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/kron/archive/1998/02/23/race_part1.dtl&type=special
http://skepdic.com/iqrace.html

At best, Hugh's comments about race and its relation to intelligence are inconclusive and clearly his arguments display a general dislike for persons of color, who in his opinion are inferior to whites. His argument is flawed as he is biased and lacks any objectivity whatsoever. It seems that you and Martin should take the time to read these, then get back to me- are you willing to open your mind to other ways of thinking?

Randall Parker said at October 24, 2005 4:25 PM:

Melissa,

Actually some groups do score higher in IQ tests than whites:

- Ashkenazi Jews
- Koreans
- Japanese
- Chinese

and probably some others. How do you account for this?

Also, IQ tests have greatly improved in quality and yet the racial gaps in scores remain. Again, how do you account for this?

I'm impressed by IQ tests because of their predictive value for large groups. For example, IQ is predictive for premature death and car accidents:

6. A large followup of Australian veterans found that IQ was the best predictor of death by age 40 (had 50+ predictors). Vehicle fatalities were the biggest cause (as is typical), and, compared to men with IQs of 100+, men of IQ85-100 had twice the rate and men IQ 80-85 had three times the rate. (Remember, SES could not explain this.) The US (and apparently Australia) forbid induction of persons below IQ 80 because they are not sufficiently trainable--found out the hard way.

The Human Genome Project managers are government employees and people dependent on government funding. They are not going to make offensive statements.

Neil Risch at Stanford found that yes indeed race does exist.

STANFORD, Calif. - Checking a box next to a racial/ethnic category gives several pieces of information about people - the continent where their ancestors were born, the possible color of their skin and perhaps something about their risk of different diseases. But a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine finds that the checked box also says something about a person's genetic background.

This work comes on the heels of several contradictory studies about the genetic basis of race. Some found that race is a social construct with no genetic basis while others suggested that clear genetic differences exist between people of different races.

What makes the current study, published in the February issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, more conclusive is its size. The study is by far the largest, consisting of 3,636 people who all identified themselves as either white, African-American, East Asian or Hispanic. Of these, only five individuals had DNA that matched an ethnic group different than the box they checked at the beginning of the study. That's an error rate of 0.14 percent.

According to Neil Risch, PhD, a UCSF professor who led the study while he was professor of genetics at Stanford, the findings are particularly surprising given that people in both African-American and Hispanic ethnic groups often have a mixed background. "We might expect these individuals to cross several different genetic clusters," Risch said. This is especially true for Hispanics who are often a mix of Native American, white and African-American ancestry. But that's not what the study found. Instead, each self-identified racial/ethnic group clumped into the same genetic cluster.

Martin Bauer said at October 24, 2005 5:51 PM:

Bob, yes: Melissa wrote "correlation", which is not the same as "determination". I shouldn't have colloquialized it.

Melissa, thanks for your links as well. It is rather difficult to see through this labyrinthine assertions and counter-assertions. Is this assessment of IQ levels to racial groups done by internationally unanimous standards or can we expect academia in different parts of the earth to find different hierarchies of average IQ.

Randall, I did not ask you for further explanations. I meant plain talk, not teasing (the remark on homework showing you in a brief way that I am aware of having probably already got the clues which you find relevant). I fail to see why you find absurd that engaging in discussions, especially controversial ones, might be an efficient way to prepare a judgment on whether the methodology below the conflicting theories is valid or not? It is a bit stressful if people know better than I what my intentions are.

I happen to have difficulty in imagining a single number (or even a few ones) essentially defining the social worth of a person, and I happen to find proper than some reluctancy is granted a person before convincing himself against (a) his long-held ideas, (b) the wide-spread beliefs of the public (ridiculed as PC by ParaPundit, how shall I yet know if justifiedly so or not?) and (c) an unfathomable realm of consequences with those rejecting a public consent apparently uninterested to discuss how may be assured that their ideas will affect public opinion without creating new (old) kinds of prejudice. Which approach is conservative, by the way?

I'm not intending to get professional with psychometric research, I am primarily interested in its relevance for morals, politics, worldview and inquisitive common sense. And I think this interest very reasonable and fail to see how you should expect your lay visitors to seek for a heap of data, and not for these things. As I intimated, I will look at the heap of data as soon as I can assess its relevance to my interests. And I will not precipitate any judgment of whether I believe your links or Melissa's links or both or none.

Randall Parker said at October 24, 2005 6:08 PM:

Martin,

I have only so many hours in the day. I need to get a FuturePundit post up. I need to get a lot of code for a web site working before a meeting tomorrow. I do not have time to tutor you thru the basics of psychometrics.

Some stuff just requires study. I realize people want to form and defend opinions from a position of ignorance and expect others to to the heavy lifting involved in changing their minds should they even feel inclined to change away from views they find comforting. But you can't really understand life that way. It requires more work than that.

How about reading g: Highly general and highly practical. Or how about g, jobs, and life. Both are by psychometrician Linda Gottfredson. You can find more articles by her on her reprints page.

Bob Badour said at October 24, 2005 6:34 PM:

Hi Melissa!

The sample size of each group would need to be the same for the study to hold any merit.

I fail to see how that makes any sense. Were the researchers to sample the entire universe of US residents, they would sample 6 or 8 times as many whites as blacks. By your reasoning, this universal sample would lack validity, which is absurd.

I would expect a valid sample to choose subjects entirely at random. If one does this, one will naturally have more whites in the sample than blacks. I would strongly suspect sampling bias if the two cohorts were represented by numerically similar samples.

For some interesting reading related to sampling bias etc. I highly recommend Thomas Gilovich's How We Know What Isn't So

Many of the signers had previously made similar claims about race and intelligence and were cited as sources in the book.

Am I to understand you correctly that by the very fact of having expertise in the field and having studied racial differences, the foremost experts on the topic cease to have credibility?!? By your reasoning, to hold a valid opinion one must be ignorant and untrained. Again, I find this absurd.

If the 52 foremost nuclear physicists agreed on the validity of Maxwell's equations, one would not abandon electricity on the word of english professors and political scientists no matter how large their numbers.

The American Association of Anthroplogy speaks out against your very outdated way of thinking.

I have a couple observations about the AAA link you provided. 1) A political body of scientists is first and foremost a political body and not a scientific body. 2) Their concern regarding "discussions which imply that intelligence is biologically determined by race" has no relevance to the link I provided to the "Mainstream Science on Intelligence" statement by 50 scientists. After all, paragraph 7 in that statement explicitly states that race does not determine intelligence.

Regarding "Genes, Race, and Psychology in the Genome Era", I find their statement unsurprising given the simple, broad and rigid racial categories of black, white, asian etc. The African continent has far more human biodiversity than any other continent and perhaps more than all of the others combined. Once we start looking at a genetic level, pigmies and watutsis will clearly show up in different genetic clusters.

I personally do not ascribe to such a simplistic and rigid definition of race. In the definition of race I use, pigmies and watutsis need not share the same race. Even still, in the aggregate, I note the group average differences among the broad racial groupings remain.

I similarly failed to find any relevance from the other two polemics you provided links for. Neither the Bell Curve nor any of the 50 scientists signing the statement made any statements regarding aryan racial purity of which I am aware.

I have yet to see anything suggesting the consensus among geneticists you claimed. In fact, I have yet to see any geneticist claim to know how many genes affect skin color let alone that a consensus puts the number at 6. Neither have I seen any evidence that any geneticist ever looked for any correlation between genes known to affect skin color and intelligence.

I am not sure where you got the ideas you stated so confidently and so precisely, but the google search you suggested proved as fruitless as asking you for a direct link.

Bob Badour said at October 24, 2005 6:52 PM:

Martin,

Is this assessment of IQ levels to racial groups done by internationally unanimous standards or can we expect academia in different parts of the earth to find different hierarchies of average IQ.

The gaps show up very consistently in terms of standard deviations regardless of the scale used for IQ. Standard deviation is internationally uniform and derives from the work of this guy. (Perhaps you recognize him?) He's one of my personal heros.

Martin Bauer said at October 25, 2005 8:44 AM:

Randall Parker at October 24, 2005 06:08 PM:

    "I realize people want to form and defend opinions from a position of ignorance and expect others to to the heavy lifting involved in changing their minds should they even feel inclined to change away from views they find comforting."

My position is that of philosophical quibbling or word-twisting, if you like to stick to the negative take and reject my remonstrations that there MAY BE a difference between being the slave of PC on the one hand and expecting some wisdom in it, and therefore refraining from slashing out at the civil decency embedded in it, on the other.

    "But you can't really understand life that way. It requires more work than that."

Those who know me would see how superficial this remark is. The most astute critical analysis that can be made of my intellectual life is that that I'm making things infinitely difficult for myself, and thus fail to acquire enough of practical knowledge to convince strangers that I'm not ignorant. Yet, certainly, nobody expects you tutor me. I'm just making use of my right to preserve essential doubts for a longer time than others find appropriate.

    "How about reading ..."

Well, let's see. You are probably right in that I should do more reading than commenting for quite some time to follow. I think I'll retire. I have already learnt some lesson, others may follow upon reading. Thank you for having opened my eyes to what is still "comforting" with the broad of western society.

Bob,
I see, you really are of solid good humour. Your link shows me you love at least one thing that was intimately related to the German Social Market Economy. But to be serious again: Of course my question was absolutely futile: The wavelengths of light are the same all over the world and therefore blacks and whites can see alike that blacks are black and whites are white. Anything still unclear ?!

Melissa said at October 25, 2005 10:59 AM:

Seek and ye shall find Bob.

If you chose to accept that geneticists have not come to a consensus on race being a determining factor in intelligence and you chose to accept the side A over the others, it's fine. You are free to think as you please...I simply presented an argument for you (and Hugh) to consider.

Regarding sample size Bob, I was simply stating that in order to compare the average IQ of one group to another, you would need to have the same number of people in each group. Let's not call it black or white: I think it is fair to say that the average IQ of people in group A consisting of 1000 members would be more accurate a number than the average of gourp B consisting of only 125 people and to compare the two different sized groups would be a misrepresentation.

Scientists at the Human Genome Project put the number at 6. As I understand it one of the main goals of that project is to map human DNA.

My original reason for answering Hugh (I find it interesting that he was not courteous enough to engage in debate with me) was the assertions he made regarding other ethnic groups' intellectual and work ethic superiority and thus greater value than that of blacks. I find fault with that argument. As I understand it, one of the tenets of the aryan racial purity theory is that of superiority of the aryan race over others. Therefore, I assert that the website forum/discussion link you provided came from the viewpoint of a person who has misused a scientific study to back their claim of racial superiority. Am I wrong?

You know what's sad Bob? There are a lot of people in this country who feel they are superior to others based on a great number of factors. That kind of thinking has resulted in the waste of resources, many wars, great loss of life, shame and regret, and has served no one's purpose. In the end, neither side really wins. And believe me, I understand that you have to stand for something in life, but what is being accomplished? Is it worth the cost? These questions are purely rhetorical.

Melissa said at October 25, 2005 11:00 AM:

Seek and ye shall find Bob.

If you chose to accept that geneticists have not come to a consensus on race being a determining factor in intelligence and you chose to accept the side A over the others, it's fine. You are free to think as you please...I simply presented an argument for you (and Hugh) to consider.

Regarding sample size Bob, I was simply stating that in order to compare the average IQ of one group to another, you would need to have the same number of people in each group. Let's not call it black or white: I think it is fair to say that the average IQ of people in group A consisting of 1000 members would be more accurate a number than the average of gourp B consisting of only 125 people and to compare the two different sized groups would be a misrepresentation.

Scientists at the Human Genome Project put the number at 6. As I understand it one of the main goals of that project is to map human DNA.

My original reason for answering Hugh (I find it interesting that he was not courteous enough to engage in debate with me) was the assertions he made regarding other ethnic groups' intellectual and work ethic superiority and thus greater value than that of blacks. I find fault with that argument. As I understand it, one of the tenets of the aryan racial purity theory is that of superiority of the aryan race over others. Therefore, I assert that the website forum/discussion link you provided came from the viewpoint of a person who has misused a scientific study to back their claim of racial superiority. Am I wrong?

You know what's sad Bob? There are a lot of people in this country who feel they are superior to others based on a great number of factors. That kind of thinking has resulted in the waste of resources, many wars, great loss of life, shame and regret, and has served no one's purpose. In the end, neither side really wins. And believe me, I understand that you have to stand for something in life, but what is being accomplished? Is it worth the cost? These questions are purely rhetorical.

Bob Badour said at October 25, 2005 7:47 PM:

Melissa,

You say "Seek and ye shall find", but I already sought where you instructed me to. Only, I did not find what you told me I would find. I found quite the opposite, in fact.

As Churchill once said: The truth is incontrovertible; panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may destroy it, but there it is.

I understood what you said about the sample sizes, and you are simply mistaken. The size of the smaller group will limit the confidence level, but it does not invalidate the comparison per se. You are suggesting that comparing a random sample of 1600 with a sample of 200 is somehow less valid than comparing a sample of 200 with a sample of 200, which is absurd.

While it is of little importance, do you have a link to where the scientists at the Human Genome Project determined the number of genes affecting skin colour is 6? I have yet to locate any such thing, and I have found much that seems to contradict the assertion.

I have no idea where you get the idea that anyone here, any of the scientists who signed the statement or any of the researchers doing the original work have any opinions whatsoever regarding aryans or racial purity. Anything outside of that strikes me as irrelevant. Are you suggesting that the 50 foremost scientists studying this topic did not in fact sign the document and that some ignoramus with an axe to grind forged the signatures? If so, do you have any evidence supporting the suggestion?

With all due respect, ignorance and deceit have always caused far more damage than knowledge and truth, and I do not expect that to change any time soon. I fail to see why you think knowledge and truth cost when they generally pay handsome dividends. I am not sure what else you might think I stand for.

Evelyn Valencia said at October 28, 2005 12:18 PM:

If Mexicans can do the job, let them do it... let them have the oportunity to do something in the country. We all know that illegal people contribute to the country more than what we think.

Bob Badour said at October 28, 2005 2:15 PM:

What makes you think we know that? I mean other than in a Gilovich sense?

Cecilia said at April 23, 2006 4:10 PM:

Let's face it people, americans will not and completely turn away to any of the jobs that day laborers are doing. I had a contractor work on my house only a few weeks ago, and stated not even his own son would do the job that he hires Mexicans and those of south american decent to do. Not even 15 dollars an hour, do I honestly beleive any american will work as hard as they do. Lets face it, if all the construction and lawns were done by americans there is no way in hell you would be paying the prices you are paying to have you roof done, lawn mowed, or farm maintaned. Illegal people contribute more to this country than we think. They are adding to our economy, and giving big $$$'s to all those construction companies.
Give me a break, this whole country is a melting pot, unless you are a NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN,, you are just as much of an immigrant as any of the immigrants in our country today. We've had our wave or Italians, Irish, etc. it's just another time, another era in society.

Cecilia


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