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2010 June 29 Tuesday
Milton Friedman On Open Borders And Welfare State

The late great free market economist and monetary theorist Milton Friedman argued against open borders immigration as long as the welfare state exists.

Q: Dr. Friedman should the U.S.A. open its borders to all immigrants? What is your opinion on that?

A: Unfortunately no. You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state.

Q: Do you oppose a unilateral reduction of tariffs and if not how can you oppose open immigration until the welfare state is eliminated?

A: I am in favor of the unilateral reduction of tariffs, but the movement of goods is a substitute for the movement of people. As long as you have a welfare state, I do not believe you can have a unilateral open immigration. I would like to see a world in which you could have open immigration, but stop kidding yourselves. On the other hand, the welfare state does not prevent unilateral free trade. I believe that they are in different categories.

The statement of the truth needs frequent repetition against a background din of falsehoods. Hence this post.

By Randall Parker    2010 June 29 09:03 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
2007 June 10 Sunday
Latin American Immigrants Big Welfare State Users

Coming from the folks at the Center for Immigration Studies, here is one reason (there are others) why libertarian advocacy for high immigration is a huge mistake. Mexican and other Latin American immigrants are big welfare state users.

  • 51% of all Mexican immigrant households use at least one major welfare program and 28% use more than one program.
    – 40% use food assistance, 35% use Medicaid, 6% use cash assistance.

  • 45% of all Latin American immigrant households use at least one welfare program and 24% use more than one program.
    – 32% use food assistance, 31% use Medicaid, 6% use cash assistance.

  • 20% of native households use at least one welfare program and 11% multiple programs.
    – 11% use food assistance, 15% use Medicaid, 5% use cash assistance.

Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and some of the Republican supporters of immigration amnesty think that giving immigrants amnesty will turn them into Republicans! An amazingly deluded theory. The 1986 amnesty did not create a huge Hispanic Republican horde. Hello? Karl Rove? How do you explain that? Or, rather, how do you ignore that? Ignoring evidence is more the Bush Administration's style. Bush's crowd looks down on the "reality based community".

It makes sense that the last immigration amnesty didn't turn Mexican and other lower IQ Amerind immigrants (see the section on chapter 12 Amerindians here) into Republicans. People who use welfare state benefits tend to vote for the Democrats. A group that makes extensive use of the welfare state is a group that will vote for liberal Democrats who will tell them their poverty is not due to any shortcomings in their ability or character.

Turning illegals into legals via amnesty will further increase their already high level of welfare program usage.

  • Among Mexican and Latin American households, welfare use is somewhat higher for households headed by legal, as opposed to illegal, immigrants. Thus legalization will likely increase welfare costs still further.

  • 90% of Mexican and Latin American households have at least one worker. Their heavy welfare use reflects their low education levels and resulting low incomes – and not an unwillingness to work.
    – 61% of all Mexican immigrants have not graduated high school.
    – 48% of all Latin American immigrants have not graduated high school.

Of course the liberal nostrum for this state of affairs is education, education, education. That's supposed to be the cure-all. But it does not work. Their scholastic performance does not improve much in the second generation and after the second generation does not improve at all. See the table in the update at that link. So of course they are going to remain low skilled and low income and big welfare state users.

  • There is a common but mistaken belief that welfare programs are only for those who don’t work. Actually, the welfare system is designed to provide low-wage workers, or more often their children, things like food assistance and health care.

  • It is the presence of their U.S.-born children coupled with their low education levels that explains why so many immigrant households use the welfare system.

  • Most recently arrived immigrants are barred from using welfare programs and this would likely apply to those legalized by the Senate bill – however this is not true in every state, nor does not apply to all programs. Most important, the bar does not apply to the U.S.-born children of immigrants, who are immediately eligible.

How to save money and roll back the welfare state? Ship the illegal aliens back home.

  • There are an estimated 1.4 million households headed by illegal aliens using at least one major welfare program. If even half these families returned to their home countries, the savings for taxpayers could be substantial.

The American Chamber of Commerce and other facets of the cheap labor lobby would rather we pay more in taxes to support low skilled and low IQ illegal aliens so that they can get cheap labor for themselves. They want larger private profits by shifting more costs onto the taxpaying public. Congressional representatives and Senators who buy their arguments are fools.

Some claim that we either must give the illegals amnesty or allow them to stay here as illegals. The term "benign neglect" gets used to describe the latter option. But mass deportations are relatively easy to do and would yield a large net benefit for American citizens in the current generation and even larger benefits for future generations.

Some might object that I'm bringing up very ugly subjects by bringing up IQ differences. Leftists will shout "racism!". Well, I agree with "Katie's Dad" that if we can not speak honestly about group average differences in behavior and IQ then we can't maintain the Republic. The conventional conservatives have gone along with the lying myths of the Left and the result has been disastrous. We need more honesty and more frank discussion on immigration. We also need more than half measures. Time to stop immigration and deport the illegals.

By Randall Parker    2007 June 10 02:17 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (11)
2003 September 20 Saturday
US State Budgets And Immigration

David Ignatius has a column in the Washington Post which has a general thrust aimed at attacking Bush on the federal budget and economics. While the column reads like a predictable partisan liberal Democrat's slam on a Republcan president (yawn) it does bring up an interesting quote from Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee about his state budget:

Huckabee illustrates how the fiscal crunch is playing out across the country. He says that 91 percent of his budget now goes for education, Medicaid and prisons. These amount to fixed costs. Because of declining revenues, he had to cut his budget 11 percent over the past two years -- despite raising the state's tobacco tax last May.

Here's what is interesting about it from an immigration standpoint: illegal immigrants generate more in costs for education, Medicaid and prisons than do native born citizens because the illegals are less educated, have larger families that have to be educated, pay less in taxes, most don't have medical insurance, and commit crimes at a higher rate. Well, if 91% of a state's budget is in spending categories that illegal immigrants (and, for that matter, low-skilled legal immigrants) drive up while the immigrants pay less in taxes then that illustrates why another state, California, has been so heavily impacted by its millions of illegal immigrants and their children.

California has been lucky to have large high tech industries with a lot of highly skilled and highly paid workers to provide a tax base for funding the costs incurred by the state and local governments for millions of low skilled immigrants. In spite of this California now has high income and sales taxes and yet it finds itself saddled with a large state budget deficit. By contrast, a poor state like Arkansas could not afford a large influx of illegals. As illegals have begun to spread more widely across the US this is going to exacerbate state government budget burdens in states that are already having a tough time making ends meet.

By Randall Parker    2003 September 20 08:33 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
2003 August 08 Friday
Immigration Expands US Welfare State

The battle over the use of matricula consular cards is a battle over backdoor amnesty of illegal aliens and social welfare state services for illegal aliens.

Once an illegal alien is in possession of a driver's license, the door is open for unobstructed travel and a variety of social services — such as emergency medical care, city services and marriage licenses, none of which require a Social Security card — and other government benefits. Indeed, the possession of a valid driver's license will even make fraudulent voting by illegal aliens much easier.

The Bush administration has also made a significant contribution to the campaign for the acceptance of the matricula. The Treasury Department has recently written regulations allowing banks and other financial institutions to accept the matricula as valid identification.

The costs are mounting.

Los Angeles County is facing the closure of 16 hospitals and health care facilities because of looming insolvency. The problem is not that the facilities are underused. They are used too much, and because health care workers are not instructed -- some would say not permitted -- to inquire as to the immigration status of people seeking care, the facilities are saddled with millions in costs that are not reimbursable under the Medicaid program. Medicaid reimburses medical facilities only for emergency treatment of illegal aliens. Because no inquiry as to immigration status or even residency is ever made, medical services that are not reimbursable under Medicaid are regularly rendered. As a result, Los Angeles County incurred a $360 million healthcare deficit in fiscal 2002 alone.

Hispanics lack medical insurance at two and a half times the rate of whites. Their higher rates of poverty and lower educational attainment make them logical supporters of Robin Hood government. (or see here)

They were twice as likely to call themselves Democrats as Republicans, viewed the Democratic Party more favorably than the Republican Party and, by a margin of 49 percent to 21 percent, said the Democratic Party was more likely to care about the needs of Hispanics.

A majority said they supported a bigger government providing more services, backed affirmative action and questioned whether the war in Iraq was worth the cost.

The country as a whole should look at California if it wants to see the future. Heavy Democratic majorities, expanded state spending for social programs, and higher rates of poverty are in the America's future.

By Randall Parker    2003 August 08 01:28 AM Entry Permalink | Comments (0)
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