2012 March 04 Sunday
Least Skilled Little Employed

As long time readers know, I want to put a total end to low skilled immigration. Every immigrant to the United States should be very smart and very useful. The era when lots of human brawn was needed for manufacturing and construction is long gone and more manual labor tasks are getting automated every day. To give you a sense of just low little market value the least skilled have: Most high school drop-outs do not have jobs.

Less than 40% of the 25 million Americans over age 25 who lack a high-school diploma are employed. And those who are working don't earn much.

High school drop-outs have much lower IQs on average than college graduates. It is not like we can do miraculous educational reforms that will enable schools to turn drop-outs into brilliant engineers and entrepreneurs. With rare exceptions the drop-outs aren't smart enough to learn skills that will make them highly useful in an economy where even truck drivers will eventually be replaced by robots.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2012 March 04 09:51 PM  Human Nature Cognitive Ability


Comments
Aurelius said at March 5, 2012 12:22 PM:

High school today is so dumbed-down that you'd have to be more than just an idiot to flunk out. It takes a special kind of laziness not to graduate from an American high school these days. Well, not that special - over 20% don't. On time grad rates by race, from a 2010 NCES study:

1) Asians: 91.4%
2) Whites: 81.0%
3) American Indians: 64.2%
4) Hispanic: 63.5%
5) Black: 61.5%

So, Hispanic graduation rates are just barely higher than blacks.

This country needs genuine education reform, including higher behavioral and performance standards, school choice, and vocational tracks that shift those unable to graduate from college into more appropriate studies. Racial pressure groups and the ever-growing Hispanic population ensure that will not happen.

Check it Out said at March 5, 2012 6:35 PM:

"I want to put a total end to low skilled immigration"

Well, just to talk about Mexican immigration...

We are committing a great injustice in how we are dealing with Mexican immigration and the status of illegal Mexican workers in the United States. Congress ought to support President Bush's idea of a guest-worker program for illegal Mexican workers in the United States. We do owe something to Mexico and its people.

In the 19th century the United States, which was experiencing great industrial, technological and economic growth, sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean. But, there was one big problem. Mexico was in the way. Western land belonged to Mexico. So, the United States invented a doctrine called Manifest Destiny that said the nation that could better use the land had the right to it. We forcibly took what are now California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas from Mexico. When we seized these lands from Mexico they became first U.S. territories ruled directly from Washington D.C. Afterwards, when enough Americans from other parts of the country settled into these territories, the federal government in Washington allowed the people in the territories to vote on statehood and to have their own individual state governments.

The historical evidence shows that America provoked war with Mexico. Why should this be hard to believe? After all, the U.S. didn't invent the doctrine of Manifest Destiny for nothing. History shows that American military forces invented reasons and excuses to go to war with Mexico. There's no reason to believe Mexico would start a war with militarily superior U.S. Certainly, Mexico didn't have any doctrine of manifest destiny to conquer to justify conquering U.S. territory.

Check it Out said at March 5, 2012 6:51 PM:

The U.S. can partly correct the great injustice and wrong committed against Mexico by giving legal status to Mexican workers in the U.S. who are doing jobs that most Americans refuse to do. No one is being hurt and everyone wins.

But, isn't this giving amnesty to illegal immigrants? Not completely because Americans do owe Mexico at least this much for taking hundreds of thousands of square miles of territory from them. There is no conceivable way that the U.S. can deport the millions of Mexicans already here, and the employment vacuum this will cause will be felt in everyone's pocket book. Americans are taking a lot of the work they do for granted. Americans would definitely feel the pain if all the illegal Mexicans were to leave.

The overwhelming majority of Mexican workers are law-abiding and work very hard for low wages but that money means a lot for them and their families back home. They do pay billions in payroll taxes. Yes, they may have gotten their social security and I.D. numbers on the black market, but the tax money that's withdrawn weekly from their paychecks is very real. If they were given legal status they would be paying even more in taxes. With all the baby boomers retiring soon we'll need all the hard earned tax money from Mexican workers. We don't have enough people in the workforce to support social security once all the baby boomers retire.

These immigrant workers are not the "barbarians at the gates of Rome" as Pat Buchanan dramatizes them to be. They probably have far superior moral and family values than that of your average American. They're even the same religion as Pat Buchanan: Roman Catholic.

They didn't come here to plunder, rape, and kill. Yes, some may commit crimes but not the vast majority. The vast majority came for a better life and they are contributing. They are not taking someone else's identity and then stealing from their bank accounts and stock portfolio. Their identities are made up, for the most part, de novo which is illegal but it is not the taking of someone else's identity, and, again, it is not so that they can steal, rape, and plunder someone else's money and property, but so that they may work to feed their families back in Mexico, many who are suffering because of Mexico's economic policies.

Mike said at March 5, 2012 6:59 PM:

I'm not sure I can follow Check it Out's logic by saying that since we took territory from Mexico in a war over 150 years ago, therefore we should let as many Mexicans in to the country as some sort of restitution. In a way he is confirming that "the nation that could better use the land had the right to it."

Besides, we already have a guest worker program, and have had it for years. So inventing more won't do anything. Employers don't want to use the guest worker program.

Aurelius said at March 5, 2012 11:38 PM:

"We are committing a great injustice in how we are dealing with Mexican immigration and the status of illegal Mexican workers in the United States. Congress ought to support President Bush's idea of a guest-worker program for illegal Mexican workers in the United States. We do owe something to Mexico and its people."

Of the ca. 1.1 million people granted US permanent residence annually, about 1/7th are from Mexico, even though Mexico only comprises about 1/60th of the world's non-American population. More Mexicans are granted LPR status each year than people from any other country.

In the 19th century the United States...sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean. But...Mexico was in the way. Western land belonged to Mexico. So, the United States...forcibly took what are now California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas from Mexico.

How, pray, did Mexico come to own the land that the United States "stole"? Answer: By itself stealing it from the Native Americans.

How much investment did they put into it? How many people loyal to Mexico were living in those territories?

Answer: not many. In 1850 only 11,380 people lived in the Utah Territory #comprised of Utah, the Western Slope of Colorado, and nearly all of what is now Nevada#. Mexico had few if any settlements there. Nearly all of the people were white, English-speaking Mormon Yankees. By 1860 Utah's population was 40,244.

California? California was already roughly half American when the settlers there revolted in 1846 and formed the short-lived Bear Flag Republic. Only ~95,000 lived there by the 1850 Census - again, rougly half of them American. By 1860, under American control, California's population soared to 379,994.

The population of New Mexico Territory in 1850 was 61,547, and by 1860 under American control it climbed to 95,516.

So, in total, there were no more than 170,000 people living in the 525,000 square mile area that we "stole" from Mexico, the majority of whom weren't even Mexican.

WJ said at March 5, 2012 11:46 PM:

"They probably have far superior moral and family values than that of your average American."

Bullshit. It is a well established fact that Hispanics have much higher illegitimacy rates, teen pregnancy rates, abortion rates, STD rates, high school dropout rates, and welfare dependency rates than "your average American."

I won't even bother referencing the data. You can find copious amounts of it by going to Google or Bing and searching for the breakdown of the relevant statistics by race.

Sgt. Joe Friday said at March 6, 2012 7:22 AM:

"They probably have far superior moral and family values than that of your average American."

George W. Bush is obviously finding his retirement to be a boring existence. He's taken to posting comments on Randall's blog site under the pseudonym "Check It Out." WTF?

California kid said at March 6, 2012 11:16 AM:

Those 'robots' will be immigrants and will vote to steal your paycheck. That's the plan. Both parties, GOP and Dem, like this.

Engineer-Poet said at March 6, 2012 6:12 PM:

And that, California kid, is why we should be replacing all those immigrants (illegal and legal) with machinery.

Machinery doesn't fill your district with "failing schools".
Machinery doesn't cause your social spending to go through the roof.
Machinery doesn't smuggle drugs across the border.
Machinery doesn't bring new forms of crime like "express kidnapping".
Machinery doesn't drive drunk or commit robbery.

And most important of all,

Machinery won't vote your hard-earned wealth to itself as soon as it can muster a majority.

Obvious said at March 7, 2012 7:39 PM:

"This country needs genuine education reform, including higher behavioral and performance standards, school choice, and vocational tracks that shift those unable to graduate from college into more appropriate studies."

This country needs less non-Whites. The End.

PK said at March 8, 2012 8:21 AM:

How about more Asians? or just simply letting the tons of exchange students stay and work in America after having spent 10s of thousands of dollars on an American education?

America is sending engineers and scientists back to their home country after giving them a top notch education whilst letting in millions of uneducated, unskilled refugees.

A Mexican labourer will face the risk of deportation and etc to stay in the US, any other normal person wont brace such shame to live in a country that dont want em so they go back home and make that country better.

Check it Out said at March 8, 2012 3:45 PM:

They probably have far superior moral and family values than that of your average American

Aurelius said at March 9, 2012 3:55 PM:

Check It Out,
Provide an operational definition of "family values" and "moral values," including the variables which you would use to empirically measure such attributes. Then show us the relative performance of Hispanics, or recent Hispanic immigrants, on these variables as versus "average Americans" (exclusive of Hispanics, etc.)

Some commonly used indicators of "morality" and "family values" are:
1) Illegitimacy rates
2) Teen pregnancy rates
3) STD infection rates
4) Divorce rates (assuming you adjust for cases of shacking up)
5) Literacy rates
6) High school and college graduation rates
7) Welfare dependency
8) Birth rates (here I confess Hispanics may excel)
9) Other measures of family cohesion, such as distance to the nearest family members (where Hispanics may also excel, if only because they squeeze so many into a house, and only because they're poor, rather than out of any particular love).
10) Church attendance

Strictly defining and quantitatively measuring one's hypotheses is how science lifted us out of the dark ages; how Galileo, for example, determined that heavier objects do not fall faster than lighter ones. But why look to hard data when you have so many silly, inane myths to fall back on?

JJW14 said at March 10, 2012 6:07 AM:

In 1846, the Americans and the Mexican fought a war over who would have the right to rob the Indians. The Mexicans lost; they have no grounds for complaint.

Randall Parker said at March 10, 2012 8:42 PM:

Check it Out,

I read your "probably" as meaning that you have no idea. Differences in illegitimacy rates alone are enough to disprove your imaginings.

California's economic future is in peril.

Check it Out said at March 14, 2012 5:58 PM:

"How, pray, did Mexico come to own the land that the United States "stole"? Answer: By itself stealing it from the Native Americans."

Mexico is mestizo mainly -which is Spanish and Idian- and there is also a huge indian population. The Spanish didn't go for the extermination of Native Americans as the British did. They enslaved them and mixed.

@ Randall,

My "probably" means PROBABLY, which means "I'm not sure", but it shows a little less conceit than your dogmatic "certainties". The USA stole from Mexico and that's how History is taught in Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Maybe the rest of the world is wrong Randall, and I say maybe, because you and a few others can be right, but it is highly improbable.

@ JJW14 Mexians ARE American, kid.

Aurelius said at March 16, 2012 9:18 PM:

Check It Out,

The Spanish just bred more with Indian women, voluntarily or involuntarily, than the British settlers did. The British settlers in America were far more likely to bring their women with them and settle as families. Roanoake, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay were family enterprises. Over 1/4th of the Mayflower passengers were female, and that was just the first of many ships to populate Plymouth.

There are lots of way to define "probably," but "I'm not sure" isn't one of them.

And, once again, in 1848 the Mexicans had almost no settlements in the 525,000 square miles of territory they claimed as theirs. Jack shit. Rhode Island in 1850 had almost as many people (145,000) as there were in the whole half-million square miles we "stole." Nearly all of the people in the Utah Territory were English-speaking Mormons, and the citizens of California successfully revolted against Mexico on their own. Mexico valued the American Southwest so much that in 1853 it gladly sold us an extra 30,000 sqaure miles of it for $10 million.

Aurelius said at March 16, 2012 9:19 PM:

Check It Out,

The Spanish just bred more with Indian women, voluntarily or involuntarily, than the British settlers did. The British settlers in America were far more likely to bring their women with them and settle as families. Roanoake, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay were family enterprises. Over 1/4th of the Mayflower passengers were female, and that was just the first of many ships to populate Plymouth.

There are lots of way to define "probably," but "I'm not sure" isn't one of them.

And, once again, in 1848 the Mexicans had almost no settlements in the 525,000 square miles of territory they claimed as theirs. Jack shit. Rhode Island in 1850 had almost as many people (145,000) as there were in the whole half-million square miles we "stole." Nearly all of the people in the Utah Territory were English-speaking Mormons, and the citizens of California successfully revolted against Mexico on their own. Mexico valued the American Southwest so much that in 1853 it gladly sold us an extra 30,000 sqaure miles of it for $10 million.

McNeil said at March 18, 2012 2:07 PM:

Aurelius, you have to admit that a country's land is sovereign territory even if it is not being used or settled by people. By your criteria, anybody could then take vasts areas of Siberia, the Sahara or the Australian dessert. It don't work like that. Besides there were Spanish cities in New Mexico and California long before the US was what it is today. The Spainish were forced to sell Florida otherwise it would've been taken from them anyway.

Not for nothing, many states and cities in the USA have Spanish names. All of the southern bordering states are Spanish words. For example in Spanish, California means the Hot Ovens, Arizona means the Dry or Arid Zone, New Mexico or Neomexico is obvious and Texas/Tejas means Roof Tiles. Nevada means Snowed or Snow-Covered, Colorado means Painted Red or Colored Red. Amarillo means Yellow and Florida means Flowered or Flower-Covered.

History text books teach different nonsense in different countries. History taught in England is quite different from History taught in France, specially on wars and invations. Are we the exeption? Mexicans learn a different History. Are we so sure they're so wrong and we so right?

Aurelius said at March 18, 2012 2:53 PM:

If history is all relative then I choose that version of history which favors my relatives.

The area that is now the Southwest US was not settled. The Utah Territory had virtually no one prior to the arrival of Mormons in 1847. We didn't steal Texas - Texans rebelled. We didn't steal California - the Californians rebelled. The New Mexico Territory had about 60,000 people. It might be hard to draw a clear distinction between a country's settled territory and land which it merely claims, but a nation claiming a vast area with perhaps 1/5th of a person per square mile is blowing smoke.

Ultimately, of course, unsettled land can still be yours if you can defend it. Alaska and Montana are pretty empty. But if you haven't settled it and aren't able to defend it, it ain't yours.

McNeil said at March 18, 2012 3:08 PM:

@ Aurelius: No idiot! History is not relative otherwise is not History; it's about the way you tell it.

"Texans rebelled. We didn't steal California - the Californians rebelled" No, that's not the way it happened. A few rebelled and the US helped, a little like Lybia or Syria today.

"It might be hard to draw a clear distinction between a country's settled territory and land which it merely claims, but a nation claiming a vast area with perhaps 1/5th of a person per square mile is blowing smoke."
Of course and the US doesn´t just claim it steals, right? The whole world knows that those territories belonged either to Mexico or Spain.

"Ultimately, of course, unsettled land can still be yours if you can defend it." No dummy, that's in prehistoric times. Three, four, five centuries ago there were international boundaries and treaties and agreements that some respected and some broke. Today we call it International Law. Mexico IS Mexico even if it cannot defend itself against a US invation or theft. But even if today the US stole the rest of Mexico it would still be called theft, regardles of the fact that Mexico couldn't defend its territory aganinst the US.

McNeil said at March 18, 2012 3:14 PM:

A countriy's territory IS a country's territory even if in some parts of it there's only 1/5th of a person per square mile, like some places in Australia, Canada, the US, Russia, Argelia, Lybia, Egypt, Brazil, etc, etc, etc.

If another country takes that low populated or empty area from another country's territory is THEFT, and you can complain and yell and moan all you want. Either something is smooth or bumpy, hot or cold, right or wrong, true or lie.

McNeil said at March 18, 2012 3:24 PM:

Ultimately, of course, unsettled land can still be yours if you can defend it. Alaska and Montana are pretty empty. But if you haven't settled it and aren't able to defend it, it ain't yours."

Idiocy; pure idiocy. Pre-historic ownership you're talking about! Are you considering that as your future foreign policy for when you become president?

Aurelius said at March 18, 2012 4:29 PM:

Fine, you're absolutely right. Now tell the millions of Mexicans, and their descendants, who have come here illegally over the last 30+ years that they should fucking go home, or move to within the boundaries of the area that we "stole."

Oh, that's right: when we take empty land from foreigners, we're evil; when foreigners take from us, it's part of their "civil rights." After all, from the "California's Grim Demographics" thread, you think that we're evil to restrict immigration #i.e., invasion# and that we're obliged to redistribute our wealth to the poor Hispanics who just barely arrived. Yours is the ideology of theft, not mine.

And if you think anyone on this blog buys your bullshit then you're really an idiot. If you're going to convince mostly hardcore conservatives to change their views, then at least try to make sense.

Two Mexicans are sitting in a bar, commiserating. One says to the other, "The gringos are evil. They stole half our land." The other replies, "Yeah, and they took the half with all the good roads and schools."

Just Chillin said at March 22, 2012 5:24 PM:

I see a problem here of confussing immigration with invation. That's a huge mistake even though the sentiment seems to be spreading like fire with wind. Another problem is Aurelius's little tolerance and quick to anger. He lacks argumentation because he's too bussy feeling hurt and insulting.

The only true owners of America would in any case be the Indians. They thought the land beloged to nobody, that we belonged to the land. But then came all kinds of people from the East and South to claim, plunder, kill and enslave. In a way all white descendants are historically illegal over the last hundreds of years, whatever you want to call them, English, Spanish, Portiguese, French, Mestizo. This is a historical issue which requires more careful consideration than that Aurelius and McNeil are giving.


Engineer-Poet said at March 23, 2012 12:51 PM:

Oh, hogwash.  The Native Americans fought all kinds of wars over territory.  They knew who it belonged to:  whoever wanted it and could hold it.

Europeans just played that game better, and the whining about "true owners" is noise they'd never be making if the roles were reversed.

Mthson said at March 23, 2012 3:50 PM:

The desire of mestizos from Mexico and Central/South America to come to the US has nothing to do with the land.

There's plenty of land in Latin America, and it's actually much better land and climates than a lot of the US, like Minnesota, which is prosperous nonetheless.

Mestizos want to come to the US solely because of the labor and ingenuity that was invested into building a high technology society.

Check It Out said at March 23, 2012 4:03 PM:

> "Europeans just played that game better, and the whining about "true owners" is noise they'd never be making if the roles were reversed."

We should then justify invations, huh? Nice morality you got there. What those Europeans did is now called genocide, not "the game" as you call it. Look it up on Wiki.

> "Mestizos want to come to the US solely because of the labor and ingenuity that was invested into building a high technology society."

What Mestizos? There's still an important part of Latin American Mestizo who don't want to work in the US at all. Be specific please.

Engineer-Poet said at March 23, 2012 6:50 PM:

Ask the Native Americans if they've ever apologized and ceded land to tribes they won wars against.

Be prepared to get some blank looks.

Just Chillin said at March 25, 2012 5:07 PM:

"Ask the Native Americans if they've ever apologized and ceded land to tribes they won wars against"

Well ask the Native Americans if they never did. Maybe they did after all, so who are you to say otherwise. Now, if you mean that it was wrong of some Native Americans to invade other lands and not to apologize, well then you illustrate exactly a point on the cruelty of invations. By the way, there's not much historical record or memory with names and dates of tibal invations. After all Native Americans are a little hard to find around these days, and in any case who are you going to ask that remembers?

Look man, many people around the world are getting sick of all the genocide perpetrated by the US or any other country, group, leader or ethnic group. People everywhere are now getting sick of all that and saying enough is enough. So how many people in the world do you think enjoy to hear you come again with the crap of higher IQs in whites, racism, hatred against immigrants, etc.

"Be prepared to get some blank looks."
Well, I don't know about "blank looks" if that's your thing. Sounds kind of gay to me, which I respect, but that's your business.

Be prepared to bump yourself against a brick wall.

Engineer-Poet said at March 26, 2012 3:37 PM:
By the way, there's not much historical record or memory with names and dates of tibal invations. After all Native Americans are a little hard to find around these days, and in any case who are you going to ask that remembers?
So in your book, guilt for ancestral actions is only for people with written languages and recorded history (and only a subset of those).  Thank you so much for clearing that up.
many people around the world are getting sick of all the genocide perpetrated by the US or any other country, group, leader or ethnic group.
Yes, about that... where's your outrage over
  • The various Muslim genocides against Hindus.
  • The attempted Turkish genocide against the Greeks (which nearly succeeded).
  • The Turkish genocide against the Armenians roughly a century ago.
  • The Rwanda genocide about 20 years ago.
  • The on-going genocide of Europeans by Mugabe's Africans.
  • The same happening in S. Africa.
  • The various Han Chinese genocides of other ethnic groups, including the Tibetans at this very moment.
It looks like that you could actually be DOING something in several different places if genocide really bothered you.  Instead, you're here, complaining about something long gone from living memory and utterly unchangeable.  It's almost like... you had a transparent political agenda or something, having nothing to do with genocide at all.
Well, I don't know about "blank looks" if that's your thing. Sounds kind of gay to me, which I respect, but that's your business.
Your lack of English vocabulary fits with your political naïveté, which also dovetails with your envy of high IQs.

-adj 5. exhibiting no interest or expression: a blank look

I'm sure you don't have any understanding of what it means because it's your own usual state.

Enjoy your invisible ignorance, Mr. Brick Wall.  You won't learn anything, but you do make a good comic foil.

Engineer-Poet said at March 27, 2012 4:26 AM:

s/invisible/invincible/


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