Friday, May 5, 2017

"California Fails the Immigration Test" published at Real Clear Policy

From my perspective, much of the immigration debate takes place on the right. Traditional conservatives feel that mass immigration is a cultural and economic disruption, while libertarian-leaning conservatives emphasize how immigration makes the American economy more efficient. To the extent that progressives are involved in the immigration debate, it is generally as advocates for the immigrants themselves -- arguing that deportation is unethical, for example, or that immigrants should be allowed to sponsor their extended families. For progressives, to what extent is immigration seen as a positive good for natives rather than just for the immigrants? More specifically, do progressives believe immigration moves us closer to their ideal vision of American society?

If so, please read my new piece for Real Clear Policy. I describe how America's leading progressive state, California, is failing on the issues most important to progressives -- poverty, low education, and social distrust. Many factors contribute to that failure, but one that stands out is the demographic change caused by decades of mass immigration. From the piece:
Given the impact of immigration, it is tempting to excuse the failure of progressivism in California on the grounds that the state faces demographic challenges that other states do not. After all, one can easily identify both blue states and red states that perform well on various social indicators, and that performance is largely driven by the states’ people, not by their governments. But here is the problem for progressives: They told us immigration-related challenges could be overcome through policy. High tax rates, strict labor regulations, and strong unions were to lift the least-skilled into a middle-class lifestyle. Investments in education were to close early-learning gaps. Ethnic tensions were to be smoothed over with diversity training seminars and multicultural textbooks. 
Needless to say, however much progressive policies in California are helping achieve those goals, they have not succeeded nearly enough. In the showdown between mass immigration and progressivism, immigration has won, hands-down. The California experience thus stands as a hard lesson on the limits of public policy.
I would like progressives to engage more on this question.

Update 5/18/2017: None ever did.


  1. Since you went to a brand name school, I'll help you out a little. Arguing with crank physicists like Luboš Motl, I can see how these schools tend to provide people with a fifth-rate grasp of mathematics and basic logic. Before even mentioning immigration, there is NO EVIDENCE that population growth produces real economic growth! High wages actually created the industrial revolution because they increased technological innovation and adaptation. The story of the 20th century was technology and not demographics.

    "The data say very strongly that labor force growth has a very small, empirically insignificant association with the growth of output per worker."

    "Using figures from the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, José Lobo of Arizona State University and my colleagues at the Martin Prosperity Institute examined the trends in population growth and productivity growth (measured as economic output per capita) for all 350-plus U.S. metros over the decade spanning 2001 to 2011. Their main conclusion: There is little, if any connection, between the two. Roughly 46 percent metros had above average population growth, while 43 percent had above average productivity growth over this period. Here's the rub: Across the nation, fewer than one in five metros (19 percent) experienced both population growth and productivity growth over the past decade. There was no statistical association between the two, according to the team's analysis."

    "The type of jobs that the UK now tends to create – low-paying jobs in the services sector (Berry, 2014) – helps to explain the change. Rapid population growth, outpacing productivity, is incentivising firms to concentrate in labour-intense but low value-added industries."

    "A staggering 96 per cent of America’s net job growth since 1990 has come from sectors known to have low productivity (construction, retail, bars, restaurants, and other low-paying services were responsible for 46 percentage points of total growth) and sectors where low productivity is merely suspected in the absence of competition and proper measurement techniques (healthcare, education, government, and finance explain the remaining 50 percentage points)"

  2. If there had been no "progressives" answering the questions on the above-mentioned subject matter, there will be none in the future. This is only an opinion based on the past actions of progressives on the topic hereunder.

    Gender Development : The "Gender Wage Gap"

    Gender Wage Gap is popularly defined as the gap between the income of males and females who work in the same industry. From the progressive side, the said issue was further defined as "a woman is paid less for the same job" or, as popularly quoted, "a man is paid $1.00 and a woman earning only 78%-82% ($0.78-$0.82) of the man's wages". (O'Brien, Sara Ashley (April 14, 2015). "78 cents on the dollar: The facts about the gender wage gap". CNN Money. New York. Retrieved May 28, 2015; U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook, December 2014 Report 1052)

    This claim had been re-evaluated and yielded results that the previous study did not take into account many variables that would be deemed necessary to arrive at the results such as but not limited to: [1] personal choice of career paths, [2] personal priorities over career opportunities in cases of sample population in a particular industry, [3] total compensation index including fringe benefits, and [4] overtimes (Sommers, Christina H., 2014; Brooks, Jackson, 2012; US Department of Labor; CONSAD Research Corp. Retrieved February 16, 2016).

    Despite the evaluation on the study of the subject matter, there has been no significant change in the stance of the progressives on the subject matter.

    This issue, along with the immigration issue, might be thoroughly debated on by experts. However, I highly doubt if progressives will be inclined to even listen to differing points of view. The progressive methodology, in my opinion, is to establish a desired result then work back the data to support said result.