African immigrant fact of the day

by on November 11, 2014 at 2:33 am in Data Source, Education | Permalink

That’s African immigrants to the United States, here is the fact:

In 2009, 41.7 percent of African-born adults age 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 28.1 percent of native-born adults and 26.8 percent of all foreign-born adults.

The source is here, further information about African immigrants is here.  They speak good English at very high rates — close to three-quarters — and they are more likely than other immigrants to be participating in the labor force.  And their importance is rising:

Though African immigrants represented only 0.4 percent of all foreign born in 1960, this share grew to 1.4 percent in 1980, to 1.8 percent in 1990, and to 2.8 percent in 2000…

There is also this:

People born in the U.S. were roughly four times as likely to report engaging in violent behavior than immigrants from Asia and Africa…

The future of immigration to America is likely African, some south Asian, and Chinese, with Latinos continuing to have a presence as well.

1 Alexey November 11, 2014 at 3:00 am

Elon Musk is an African immigrant to the United States.

2 charlie November 11, 2014 at 8:46 am

Not only that, but a very large percentage of Ugandan-Americans may be ethnically (racially?) Indian.

Throw in former white Algerians (George Allen’s mom), jewish Moroccans (Emmanuelle Chriqui
), Egyptians (Hoda Kotb) and the African-American population starts to look a bit different that expected.

That said, the Ethopian and Nigerian communities are fairly middle class.

I’d expect the talented tenth to be entirely replaced by immigration within a generation – if it hasn’t already.

3 Gopchik November 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm

“Black” Africans displaced the indigenous San and Pygmy Africans by ferocious genocide, enslaving, murdering, and starving the Original Africans. The Black invaders still keep pygmy slaves all over central Africa and have violently shoved the San onto the most inhospitable reservations you can imagine. MLK Day should be renamed Indigenous African Day for all the victims of Bantu savagery.

4 Synapsid November 11, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Gopchik,

If the Bantu-speakers aren’t also Original Africans where do you think they came from?

I’m not disputing that they displaced KhoiSan and Pygmy peoples, just wondering about your terminology.

5 Gopchik November 11, 2014 at 6:31 pm

I was just goofing around, but the Bantu were just another off shoot from the rift valley ancestors (i believe the San are the most similar to the science version of Adam and Eve). Bantus migrated out of their West Africa locality and annihilated most of the Eastern and Southern peoples, carrying the Neolithic tool box with them.

Oddly, that tool box traveled to Europe without displacing native populations (more of an adoption/merger).

Dunno if there are more San survivibg than Native Americans, but Bantus really do keep Pygmy slaves in C.A. these days.

6 Agra Brum November 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Is that because of the hard work that indigenous africans performed in gaining civil rights for Americans and ending segregation?
Oh, they didn’t do any of that? Then we won’t be renaming our American holiday.
Also, if you want a holiday that is better related to slavery and genocide, may I point you to Columbus Day?

7 Gopchik November 11, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Because Native Americans did the hard work of connecting Europe to the Americas? Oh they didn’t do that etc etc.

8 Milo Minderbinder November 11, 2014 at 9:15 am

Also Charlize Theron and Theresa Heinz Kerry.

9 charlie November 11, 2014 at 10:41 am

Well Musk already took care of the South African contingent.

“Nearly three-quarters of African immigrants reported their race as “Black.”
In 2009, 74.4 percent of the African-born population reported their race as Black, either alone or in combination with another race. African immigrants identified as Black at a much higher rate than the native born (14.0 percent) and the foreign born overall (8.6 percent), and accounted for 33.3 percent of all foreign-born Blacks and 2.7 percent the total Black population in the United States.

Racial self-identification varied widely by African country of origin. For example, nearly all immigrants from Ghana (99.7 percent), Somalia (99.3 percent), Cameroon (98.8 percent), Nigeria (98.7 percent), and Ethiopia (98.2 percent) reported their race as Black, either alone or in combination with another race, compared to 4.6 percent of Algerians, 5.6 percent of Egyptians, 8.1 percent of Moroccans, 13.8 percent of South Africans, 56.7 percent of Tanzanians, and 65.7 percent of Cape Verdeans.

10 JC November 12, 2014 at 2:27 am

Elon Musk and Charlize Theron are real “African Americans” because they hold African and American (I guess) nationalities.

11 Ghost of Christmas Past November 11, 2014 at 10:00 am

Oh, not this foolishness again. Of course the actual migrants are unusually clever and energetic compared to their left-at-home relatives. But due to ineluctable genetic, or if you prefer, statistical forces, their offspring exhibit reversion toward the mean. In a few generations, no matter how nice your sub-saharan immigrants are, nearly all their descendants will be indistinguishable from current African-Americans.

12 XVO November 11, 2014 at 10:52 am

The reversion towards the mean theory doesn’t necessarily mean this. They will revert to the mean of their family not necessarily the African population as a whole. One would expect that there are huge variations in family ability between classes of Africans as there are with any other population. The people coming here now are essentially African nobles or middle class vs the initial stock of Africans who were warriors or people unable to resist slavers. We could well and maybe likely see that there children retain their positive traits.

13 Floccina November 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm

+1
Those worried about immigration for IQ reasons should be happy about all the high IQ African immigrants.

14 ThomasH November 11, 2014 at 11:48 am

“nearly all their descendants will be indistinguishable from current African-Americans”

Or any other kind of hyphenated or non-hyphenated Americans. But in the meantime non-immigrants benefit.

15 Cliff November 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Really? I won’t be able to tell the children of African immigrants from the children of Jews after a few generations?

16 Adrian Ratnapala November 11, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Do you believe you could tell the difference by looking at the result of an IQ test?

17 thomas November 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Adrian, is your point that there are no iq differences?

18 Clover November 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Assume a Jewish IQ average of 110 and a Black IQ average of 85 and a normal distribution. 37% of Jews will score <115. As will 2.3% of Blacks.

19 XVO November 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm

@Clober

>

20 Clover November 11, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Oops

*facepalm*

21 Judah Benjamin Hur November 11, 2014 at 4:24 pm

You demonstrate, once again, that most “race realists” tend to be more racist than realist. Frankly, I can’t stand the liberal nonsense on race, but it seems to be better than the alternative.

My idea for immigration is simple. Aside from nuclear family members (spouse, parents, children), the only way to immigrate to the USA is

(1) pass a first year Calculus test and pay $25,000 or
(2) pass a differential equations test and you’re in for free

22 Agra Brum November 11, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Based on the typical costs to be smuggled into the US, you are not setting the test at an appropriate market rate.
However, as some family members exit and enter several times, a residency fee could be levied each year. So let’s say $12,500 to come in, and $3,000 a year to stay, until citizenship achieved.

23 George November 12, 2014 at 3:10 am

So is Dave Matthews.

24 honkie please November 11, 2014 at 3:28 am

So is the kids assimilating a good thing?

25 Chip November 11, 2014 at 3:38 am

Are those degrees earned in the US or in Africa? What is their value?

The study also states that African immigrants are over represented below the poverty line even compared with other immigrants.

The study notes the largest concentration of African immigrants is in Minneapolis but doesn’t note the significant problem with crime and poverty in that Somali community. In Denmark, for example, 41% of Somali men have been convicted of crime.

Europe has a longer experience of mass immigration from Africa. I don’t think anyone can argue it has been generally beneficial.

This is partly (mostly?) due to the large welfare state in Europe which both sends out the wrong incentives and leads to a life of dependency. If the US can hold back the growing welfare state mass immigration may work.

But mass immigration is now coinciding with the expansion of the state. Has this worked anywhere?

26 MR November 11, 2014 at 3:43 am

“If the US can hold back the growing welfare state”

The US welfare state is already mature and established.

27 Ray Lopez November 11, 2014 at 4:13 am

Convicted of crime is not the same as going to jail, “In 2001 a sixth of African-American men [17%] were current or former prisoners..” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/aug/19/usa.garyyounge

28 Peter Krogh Andersen November 11, 2014 at 4:28 am

@chip: The Danish figures you use are wrong. They appeared in an article on a right wing news site with numerous cases of fiddling with the truth, and the figures have since been changed. Read more here (Danish): http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Indland/2014/04/09/163049.htm

In reality the statistics show that 41 percent OF ALL CONVICTED SOMALIS have been convicted under the criminal law.

29 Chip November 11, 2014 at 5:55 am

Thanks for catching that. I did a Google and saw the cite to Denmark Statistics and assumed it was credible.

30 Poldi November 11, 2014 at 6:10 am

Hey, these are blog comments! You are supposed to attack the one correcting you, not being reasonable and liking the new information. I suggest you start with insulting Peter, maybe some snark about him being from one of those terrible Scandinavian welfare states. Then you can double down on your old, mistaken claim! And ditch those “Thank yous”… 😉

31 Moreno Klaus November 11, 2014 at 4:44 am

Yes, in Minneapolis I noticed all the cab drivers were from Erithrea 🙂 and at least one “Eritrean Community Center” . It is a bit hard to imagine from Africa to Minneapolis… they must be pretty desperate… The Somali community is indeed problematic, the cultural gap is just huge.

32 Ray Lopez November 11, 2014 at 7:23 am

The Somalis should move to DC and become cabbies. In Minnesota, I think the Catholics still think being Protestant is radical and vice versa, lol.

33 JWatts November 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Not to mention, they’d probably much prefer the weather. Particularly after yesterday and the 25+ centimeters of snow that Minneapolis got.

34 Floccina November 11, 2014 at 3:30 pm

In Denmark, for example, 41% of Somali men have been convicted of crime.

Do you have a link for that?

35 Artimus November 11, 2014 at 3:40 am

Chip,
I am guessing you don’t like the idea of African immigrants.

36 Chip November 11, 2014 at 5:21 am

I’m in favor or more African and any other immigration if it doesn’t pose an ongoing net cost to already indebted countries.

Do you have evidence that immigration from Africa to the U.S. or EU has a net benefit?

The answer is no.

But instead of limiting or encouraging immigration according to loopy race or ethnic criteria, instead I’d argue for individual assessments based job offers, minimum income etc, with a generous quota for refugees.

The mealy mouthed study above, with its reference to useless degrees while ignoring welfare dependency, is just wish fulfillment.

37 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 8:57 am

But instead of limiting or encouraging immigration according to loopy race or ethnic criteria, instead I’d argue for individual assessments based job offers, minimum income etc, with a generous quota for refugees.

Is there any evidence this has ever worked? The immigrants who built America were not highly educated, highly skilled workers with excellent credit and pre-existing job offers. They were poor and desperate and when they got to America did anything that worked to make them a living. Many immigrant success stories I’ve seen still follow that pattern, starting with pouring coffee at Dunkin Donuts or pumping gas to owning stores and gas stations.

Do you have any evidence that immigration by government planning has ever actually worked as opposed to just allowing immigration?

38 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 9:28 am

The immigrants who built America were not highly educated, highly skilled workers with excellent credit and pre-existing job offers

Just to point out that half the population of the United States as it was in 1990 was attributable to the natural increase of the population base on site in 1790. “Immigrants” did not ‘build’ America, but contributed to its construction. That aside, the country was sparsely populated and large swaths were unsettled prior to 1890 and the immigration and associated demographic churn which took place after 1890 were contemporary in time with labor troubles, escalating street crime, the advent of organized crime, and adding fertilizer to crooked clientelistic politics. The immigrants we have now are conscripted into efforts by our professional-managerial bourgeoisie to marginalize and subjugate a vernacular non-exotic element they despise.

Read George Borjas. The economic benefits to extant populations of immigration is minimal and accrues to the well-healed. We can get along passably with little immigration, and we should.

39 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Just to point out that half the population of the United States as it was in 1990 was attributable to the natural increase of the population base on site in 1790.

If a UFO landed and fired it’s random death beam with fatality set to 50% at the entire US poulation and then took off, I suspect the impact on the US economy would be very dramatic.

were contemporary in time with labor troubles, escalating street crime, the advent of organized crime, and adding fertilizer to crooked clientelistic politics

And this is also a flip side of prosperity. What exactly is crime? Taking something from someone else illegally or supplying someone with something illegally. Both of these things presume either that people actually have something worth stealing or have income enough to spend on illegal activities. I suspect organized crime is a growing problem in, say, China but not so much an issue in North Korea.

The economic benefits to extant populations of immigration is minimal and accrues to the well-healed. We can get along passably with little immigration, and we should.

Nice of you to tell people they can get along without fewer economic benefits because they are supposedly ‘well-healed’. What exactly is your moral authority to be making such decisions?

40 HL November 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Markings on the UFO would look vaguely arabic, decimated USA declares another war in the Middle East

41 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm

I might add, however, the impact of the UFO on the quality of MarginalRevolution comments would probably be an improvement. There you have a type of zero boundary problem…..or is it opportunity?

42 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm

If a UFO landed and fired it’s random death beam with fatality set to 50% at the entire US poulation and then took off, I suspect the impact on the US economy would be very dramatic.

And this pseudo-thought experiment is relevant how? Do you have something other than forensic games up your sleeve? (While we’re at it, the population was half what it is today around about 1952. The world my parents came of age in was not that impoverished).

Had the pre-1840 low immigration regime been maintained, it’s a reasonable wager the frontier would have closed some decades later (say around 1930), that the lower man-land ratio would have delayed some of the movement off the farm and induced a retention of farmer’s fertility rates for another generation, and thus partially substituted natural increase for the mechanical increase which did occur. There would have been a lower population.

But not a much less affluent population. Look at Japan, look at Norway, look at Switzerland. The notion that building a productive and sophisticated workforce requires mass immigration is just tommyrot

And this is also a flip side of prosperity. What exactly is crime? Taking something from someone else illegally or supplying someone with something illegally. Both of these things presume either that people actually have something worth stealing or have income enough to spend on illegal activities.

The attempt at comedy is lame. Boonton, read the Ten Commandments, the issue of a severely impecunious pastoral society. Or, if it pleases you, examine the property and violent crime statistics against the evolution of per capita income. Crime is a social phenomenon, not an economic one.

Nice of you to tell people they can get along without fewer economic benefits because they are supposedly ‘well-healed’. What exactly is your moral authority to be making such decisions?

The benefits as calculated by Dr. Borjas ca. 1996 amounted to about 0.1% of domestic product per annum; it may have been recalculated since, but that’s what it was then. What’s your moral authority to tell ordinary wage-earners that they’ll be outnumbered and displaced in their own communities so Boonton can hire a cheap au pair?

43 Lord Action November 11, 2014 at 9:56 am

It’s reasonable to think that America in 1900 with essentially no welfare state was much better equipped to handle low-skilled immigration than America in 2014 with a massive government and the automatic extension of its responsibilities to new immigrants and citizens. Today, only the top few percent of earners pay their own way, because of how we’ve organized ourselves. That means most immigrants, and a good few native born people, are a net drain on the system in a way that wasn’t the case 100 years ago.

44 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 12:12 pm

BS. First you greatly exagerrate how potent the welfare state is. You sound like a lot of people who like to imagine that there is an endless amount of government benefits for those who just don’t want to ever work. They can have just about anything they want. Why do you bother to work? Well because of your exceptional character of course. You could have the gov’t pay your bills and give you a house…you just do this whole work and bill paying thing because you happen to be an exceptionally good person.

Reality check, the most potent exploiters of the American welfare system is not immigrants but native born Americans. Most immigrants, especially illegal ones, function with little or no welfare benefits and take on multiple low skilled jobs both to make ends meat and to get ahead in their lives. It sounds like you have never bothered to learn even a little bit about the food service industries, contractors, many types of mechanics and so on.

45 Lord Action November 11, 2014 at 1:31 pm

There’s more to government spending than just welfare. There’s Medicare, Social Security, defense, and domestic spending on things like infrastructure, not to mention state and local spending.

You need to pay taxes to support 1/300,000,000 of the number, totaled up over your life, or you’re a net drain. Most of us are a net drain living on the scraps of high earners. My view is that this is a messed up way to run your country.

But feel free to rant against some imagined argument about welfare.

46 Clover November 11, 2014 at 10:48 am

You see that with Asians, come here poor but within a generation are solidly in the middle class. It would be a big mistake to ignore race in favor of “individual” criteria. If I had my way, immigration would be restricted to White people only.

47 careless November 11, 2014 at 11:58 am

Couldn’t you just have started your comment with “I’m a white nationalist!”

48 msgkings November 11, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Word…he makes a comment extolling Asian immigrants’ success…and then says fuck those guys, Whitey Only! LOL

Gotta ‘admire’ the honesty.

49 Clover November 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I am a White nationalist, I believe we need to preserve the White race. To the extent that it is desirable to have any Asians in a White country their numbers do not need to exceed 5 percent. I do not have anything against Asians, I support them doing the same thing in preserving their countries for members of their group.

50 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I am a White nationalist, I believe we need to preserve the White race.

Why?

51 Martin November 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm

White nationalist eh? What’s your opinion of the Jews? Should they be allowed to immigrate?

52 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm

let him answer the question, why should the white race be ‘saved’?

OK I get he is probably a white guy, so am I. But that alone doesn’t tell us anything. I’m left handed…i’m not a ‘left handed nationalist’ demanding that special action be taken to ensure there will always be left handed people in the world. If I was I would be expected to answer two questions:

1. What’s so great about being left handed that special effort should be made to ‘save’ it?

2. if there are so many great things about left handedness, then why would it need to be ‘saved’?

53 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Because Anglo-America is a pleasant place to live, and I want to keep it Anglo-America.

Jews have the same attitude about Israel, as do the Japanese about Japan, Koreans about Korea, Ukrainians about Ukraine, et al.

54 Clover November 11, 2014 at 2:07 pm

It depends. My wife is Jewish and I’ve known many Jews. Most are good people. However, in the current environment I would not want them to be allowed to immigrate because a minority of them are fanatically hostile to America and to White gentiles. I’ve seen this hostility firsthand, it’s not something I’m just making up because I don’t like Jews. Because of this I don’t think America or White Americans would benefit from Jewish immigration.

55 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Because Anglo-America is a pleasant place to live, and I want to keep it Anglo-America.

Why should anyone care what you want?

I really like the color orange. I think it would be cool if every building in NYC was painted orange. Before NYC starts passing laws and trucks full of orange paint start making their way thru the tunnels and bridges, I’m going to have to do something better than that.

56 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm

That’s the wrong question to ask. The point is if sufficient numbers of people agree with me, then we are headed for a showdown. The substantive point is most of us have seen majority non-white countries (and local domestic polities) and we avoid them. If you want to live in a West African country, I submit it’s a lot easier for the rest of us if you just buy a plane ticket.

57 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Why should anyone care what you want?

We have this thing called ‘democratic institutions’, where in elected officials make decisions influenced by the preferences of the people they’re drawn from and who voted for them. Appellate judges and economists who believe in trillion dollar bills on the sidewalk fancy their better than the people who keep the HVAC system running in their office building and do not have much respect for the discretionary decisions of elected officials.

58 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm

The point is if sufficient numbers of people agree with me, then we are headed for a showdown.

Boonton likely fancies the federal courts should declare immigration law ‘unconstitutional’ because it gets in the way of his preferences.

59 HL November 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Congrats, you share more blood with Obama than you do with your wife.

60 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm

We have this thing called ‘democratic institutions’, where in elected officials make decisions influenced by the preferences …

Which is my point, I would need to do something more than simply declare I’d like to see NYC painted orange…I’d have to give everyone else some reasons to support such a thing.

So going beyond the “I like white people” statement of the individual what arguments are offered here in response to my questions? You’re going to tell me West Africa isn’t as nice a place to live as, say, Virginia? OK that’s fine but that’s not an argument about white people.

61 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Which is my point, I would need to do something more than simply declare I’d like to see NYC painted orange…I’d have to give everyone else some reasons to support such a thing

People are giving you ‘reasons’, and you’re not listening to them.

That aside, when you come right down to it, though, a great many public and private decisions are derived from an unarticulated aesthetic senses. That’s true of anyone. You can fancy you’re some sort of justice machine and it’s just cold rationality all the way down to Rawls’ original position, but we know better.

62 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 3:47 pm

You’re going to tell me West Africa isn’t as nice a place to live as, say, Virginia? OK that’s fine but that’s not an argument about white people.

Silly rabbit. It’s not about the real estate; it’s about the people. It always has been, and all the politically correct foot-stomping and outrage! in the world won’t change that fact.

If you completely swapped out the populations of Monrovia and Dresden, what do you think would happen?

63 Clover November 11, 2014 at 4:56 pm

@HL and Boonton, my response:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3hy11bgVRk

64 Judah Benjamin Hur November 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm

“I am a White nationalist, I believe we need to preserve the White race.” And you’re married to a Jew? Do you have children? Most “white nationalists” wouldn’t exactly welcome them into your club. The irony is that your children would be considered totally Jewish while my Hebrew named children, aren’t (I’m married to a Chinese woman), except by Reform Jews (also a few other minor populations like Torah fundamentalists (Karaites), Reconstructionists, and Ethiopian Jews).

“I believe we need to preserve the White race.”

I really don’t think Whites have any serious existential challenges. The only potential threat to Whites collectively is a low birth rate. So be fruitful and multiply!

65 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 5:14 pm

I really don’t think Whites have any serious existential challenges.

No, but non-exotic rank-and-file Americans have seen themselves reconceptualized as an an excrescence to be contained and managed by those who fancy themselves their betters (and the heir to no human accomplishments worth discussing). That’s the subtext of the diversity discourse, whether it’s peddled by the dean of students or peddled by Jeb Bush.

66 Clover November 11, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Most “white nationalists” wouldn’t exactly welcome them into your club.

It depends, I am a member of a local “white nationalist” group that welcomes Jews.

I really don’t think Whites have any serious existential challenges. The only potential threat to Whites collectively is a low birth rate. So be fruitful and multiply!

Open your eyes.

67 HL November 12, 2014 at 1:21 am

you’re too deep in for it to matter but you’re the dumbest kind of white nationalist there is: one married to a jew

68 Boonton November 12, 2014 at 10:00 am

That aside, when you come right down to it, though, a great many public and private decisions are derived from an unarticulated aesthetic senses. That’s true of anyone.

Of course but that doesn’t answer my question. No doubt my desire to see an Orange NYC is an aesthetic sense but that remains insufficient. Given that many people are not themselves white and many whites do not strongly share the self-declared white-nationalist’s articulated aesthetic sense what does he have to offer to actually see his goals accomplished? In other words, why is he worthy of anyone’s attention and interest?

69 Art Deco November 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Of course but that doesn’t answer my question.

So what? You ignored all the other answers.

70 mulp November 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Chip: “Do you have evidence that immigration from Africa to the U.S. or EU has a net benefit?”

Does that mean you are native American “Indian” and not in any way an immigrant from Africa or Europe in ancestry?

71 Clover November 11, 2014 at 5:42 pm

an immigrant from Africa or Europe in ancestry

One of those things is not like the other.

72 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 8:28 am

I don’t. The last time we tried it things didn’t work out so well. Four hundred years on and substantial parts of federal, state, municipal and household budgets continue to be devoted to trying to make African immigration work. The Southern agrarians were surely the most venal, shortsighted people who ever lived.

I don’t blame the immigrants at all; they are what they are. I blame deluded whites who insist that people are fungible even as they buy space away from the vibrancy, generously insulated (they hope) by a layer of docile Latino peasants.

73 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm

The last time we tried it things didn’t work out so well. Four hundred years on and substantial parts of federal, state, municipal and household budgets continue to be devoted to trying to make African immigration work.

Again, prior to 1958 or thereabouts, welfare payments to the non-elderly non-disabled population were not contextually important (and with the replacement of AFDC with TANF, they retreated in importance a great deal). The sociologist Ann Wortham said about the general attitudes of Southern blacks of her father’s generation applies here: “white people were ‘the government’, and you did not trust ‘the government'”. She offered than one of the unfortunate aspects of the evolution of black culture in the United States after 1958 was that a selection of attitudes local to northern blacks tended to spread to Southern blacks rather than the other way around.

74 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm

I think we agree. The only way to sustain a multicultural society is to allow people their safe harbors, from which they can interact or not interact as they choose. Also, unabashedly allowing the market-dominant majority to run things, as with Israel or Singapore, contributes to stability.

75 Adrian Ratnapala November 11, 2014 at 3:52 am

In most countries, African immigrants face worse stigmas than other immigrants. But it in countries like the US and Brazil, things might be different. Simply put: at first glance, they need not look like immigrants at all, only European (looking) immigrants have a similar advantage. Then when people do find out that they are immigrants, that fact probably gives them higher status than native-born black people.

76 dan1111 November 11, 2014 at 4:48 am

Not looking like an immigrant raises your status, but when people find out you are an immigrant, that also raises your status?

I’m having trouble reconciling those two points.

77 Adrian Ratnapala November 11, 2014 at 6:49 am

Almost. The “paradox” being resolved by having a large pool of low-status locals who look like the would-be immigrants. But I didn’t exactly say that that raises the immigrants status. On first sight, and African immigrant does not look like an immigrant, he just looks black — that will lower his status in some situations, but it does create ways in which immigrants can find a place to fit in more easily.

78 JWatts November 11, 2014 at 12:05 pm

“On first sight, and African immigrant does not look like an immigrant, he just looks black”

Um, yeah those darkies all look a like, don’t they?

I’m just poking at you. Your previous comments don’t make me think you are racist. That said, there are often significant visual differences in recent African blacks and multi-generational African Americans. And of course, there’s the even more obvious differences in speech.

79 Moreno Klaus November 11, 2014 at 4:52 am

It is quite easy to see they are immigrants… they definitely dont have an american accent and in brazil even the ones who come from portuguese colonies speak with a very different portuguese accent. Back to your point it depends where they come from. In the Netherlands there is quite an “immigrant hierarchy”… on top west europeans (well if you are german you might notice some animosity), then south europeans, eastern europeans, surinam/other dutch former colonies, turks, marrokans (these are a major source of problems…) and at the very very bottom african descendent men from netherlands antilles (where stereotipically everybody believes the only thing they do is dealing drugs)

80 Moreno Klaus November 11, 2014 at 4:53 am

So more than race, it is the specific culture of the country where they come from….

81 dearieme November 11, 2014 at 6:07 am

African immigrants being entirely interchangeable, let ’em all in. Why distinguish a bright young Ghanian from a Somalian pirate? Almost a racist view – they’re all the same.

82 Anon November 11, 2014 at 7:28 am

African immigrants’ children assimilate with the Black underclass and experience similar employment outcomes.

An earlier MR post on this subject: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/12/economic-convergence-between-black-immigrants-and-black-natives.html

83 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm

African immigrants’ children assimilate with the Black underclass –

Labor force participation odds for blacks are about 10% below those for whites (i.e. the ratio of participating to non-participating is 10% lower). The overwhelming majority of native-born blacks (80% or so) belong to the wage-earning stratum or are respectably retired from that status. So, you’re positing a social disaster wherein African immigrants enter after one generation the lowest quintile of the most impecunious large ethnic population. Not buying.

84 Axa November 11, 2014 at 7:36 am

I’m surprised to see Algeria and other French speaking countries as sources of US immigrants. These immigrants must be really focused and hard-working since they took the path less walked in their home culture.

85 Pierre November 11, 2014 at 7:51 am

Any hard proof that French speaking countries are working less than other countries, or is it just plain old racism?

86 Axa November 11, 2014 at 8:07 am

It’s not racism, most of Algeria migrants aim for France. For construction work and being a nanny all you need is basic knowledge of the local language. That explains 1 million Algerians in France.

If migrants from French speaking Africa chose the US, they are signalling they have skills more important than having knowledge of the local language……in more simple words: you can learn a language in less than a year. Learning to be a nurse, teacher or accountant takes a lot more. That correlates with 10K Algerians in the US.

87 Mr. Econotarian November 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I work with a guy born in France, now a US citizen, who doesn’t like all the lazy french people we have to work with sometimes!

88 mulp November 11, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Lots of American workers don’t like working with lazy Americans.

89 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 8:14 am

IOW, if you’re a higher-IQ African you get the hell out of Africa.

90 msgkings November 11, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Perhaps…and if so we should be happy they chose to bring their higher IQ to the US.

91 Willitts November 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

There is lots of merit to that argument.

One demerit is the brain drain to other nations. Maybe not our concern, but I wish we held that attitude on other issues.

Another is that when we skim the cream from other nations, more exceptional Americans get squeezed out. Our graduate degree programs are largely made up of foreigners. To the extent we like free markets and competition, this is a good thing, but if you are American it is unfair to subsidize a foreigner’s education with tax dollars.

Then there is a cultural effect. When half of your Econ Ph.D. programs are made up of foreigners, what does that do for your higher education system? Do they communicate well with undergrads? Do they have values inimical to American society?

There is more than one way to invade a country.

92 Ricardo November 12, 2014 at 1:44 am

A lot of people earn Ph.D.s in the U.S. and then go back to their own countries. Latin American governments are full of advisers with degrees from Stanford and Harvard. Suharto of Indonesia had his economic team called the “Berkeley mafia” because that’s where they earned their Ph.D.s.

93 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Depends. I’m not particularly happy about the immigration of the high-IQ members of the Frankfurt School. And in retrospect, Britain should have allowed the very intelligent Karl Marx to just be assassinated on the Continent. And as noted, this just means the African countries are that much worse off, which we apparently feel compelled to pay for as well.

94 msgkings November 11, 2014 at 2:16 pm

It’s just sad to see obviously intelligent people like Willits and Anti-Gnostic so angry, and fearful, and pessimistic…especially when this nation and the entire world has been improving on almost every metric for centuries. People move around, the world keeps on getting better.

95 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Right. That’s why Jewish immigration into the West Bank and East Jerusalem has worked out so well. Syria has been thrilled with its Wahhabist Muslim immigration, and there’s the mutual enrichment France and Algeria have been providing each other over the decades. The 3,000 dead Americans killed by Saudi immigration are just a tiny debit entry against all those trillion dollar bills on the credit side. All those reactionary throwbacks like Australia, Norway and Switzerland need to jump on this bandwagon.

I’m still confused why a pro- immigration advocate like Mark Zuckerberg would act like some fearful white redneck, buying four houses around his in Palo Alto and 750 uninhabited acres in Hawaii. But I guess he plans to fill them up with lots of immigrants.

96 msgkings November 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Shorter version: fear, anger, blinkered pessimism. Read Matt Ridley. It’s all gonna be fine, as it always has been.

97 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm

It’s all gonna be fine, as it always has been.

Until it’s not. The Syrian Shia/Alawites, Druze and Christians thought their Mediterranean lifestyle would rock along forever while the Sunnis had 4 – 6 kids to their 0 – 2.

Same, on a smaller scale, as Ferguson, Missouri, as the old white political structure suddenly found out all the private sector whites have emigrated, and a white police officer confronts a very different social order and value system.

Israel sure doesn’t seem comfortable with a lot of “moving around,” and they’re a wealthy, prosperous place. Maybe we could learn something from them.

98 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Same, on a smaller scale, as Ferguson, Missouri, as the old white political structure suddenly found out all the private sector whites have emigrated, and a white police officer confronts a very different social order and value system.

Once more with feeling: Ferguson, Mo. has had a critical mass of blacks for decades and a black majority for 15 years. Fully 70% of the households therein are owner-occupiers, including a majority of the black households. The place has had some abnormal trouble with burglary and car theft but not most categories of crime; the homicide rate is below national means.

99 HL November 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Its easy to have an optimistic view of the world when expectations keep changing. The short term always looks nice, in the long term we’re all dead!

100 msgkings November 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Actually the opposite, in the short term bad things can and do happen: wars, depressions, whatever. In the long run things keep getting better and better for the entire (human) race. Sad I have to add that parenthetical.

101 SinoPlato November 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm

The same thing was said in the 1900s and again in the 1930s.

Any student of history should know that social evolution implies that this is true for limited parts of the world for limited times only. An even in the modern era, that trend was interrupted by severe shocks in several areas, such as the Soviet Union, or Africa as a whole.

102 msgkings November 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm

And the world is immeasurably better than in the 1900s and 1930s, what’s your point?

103 SinoPlato November 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Also, you are conflating moral progress with societal resilience.

The Abbassids were passing laws for a five-day work week a few days before Baghdad fell. Athens lost to Sparta; the Song lost to the Yuan. The good do not always win.

Modern Capitalism allows for individualistic, progressive societies who do not utilise oppressive control/indoctrination/socialisation mechanisms to raise the productivity of their citizens above those societies that do; this can be converted into military power, c.f. US vs Soviet Union, Fascist Japan, Germany. This is not like what we had before. But this is only a phase. In the 21st century, the ‘selective environment’ for societies is changing rapidly in ways we have only begun to have an inkling about.

104 Harold November 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Maybe instead of becoming 10 times better it could have become 100 times better.

105 msgkings November 12, 2014 at 11:41 am

Or it could have become 10 times worse…

Counterfactuals are fun!

106 Harold November 12, 2014 at 8:45 pm

My point, msgkings, is that you say that we oughtn’t to get upset about certain things because the world gets better nonetheless, however if I believe those things prevent the world from improving as much as it could have, I still see that as a reason to get upset.

107 Agra Brum November 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I don’t think this is the first every mention of the ‘brain drain’ phenomenon…

108 randomworker November 11, 2014 at 8:24 am

For the purposes of our EEOC reporting we get to count them as “African American.”

I don’t particularly care for my property tax dollars going to their Islamic charter schools. But I guess if you are going to give to the Christian charter schools, fair is fair. I prefer neither.

109 Beliavsky November 11, 2014 at 8:52 am

“People born in the U.S. were roughly four times as likely to report engaging in violent behavior than immigrants from Asia and Africa.”

The rest of the post is about African immigrants. Including a stat about Asian and African looks like an effort to mislead.

110 JWatts November 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

That, and sense immigrants (even legal immigrants) are reluctant to report crimes to authorities, the comment seems like a non sequitur.

111 JWatts November 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

since

112 The Devil's Dictionary November 11, 2014 at 8:58 am

The European welfare state is immensely bloated (in some countries, to be fair). That attracts certain category of immigrants. America is attractive primarily to those immigrants who seek job opportunities rather than living on the dole.

113 tom November 11, 2014 at 9:22 am

Thanks for confronting the racists. You should do it more often, as there’s a lot of them about on this site. Another thing you might look into is that genetic diversity is wider within sub-Saharan Africa than among the rest of the world.

But I doubt that African immigration to the US will become large-scale. Even Filipinos, who are fairly well entrenched here and educated in large numbers in a skill we need (nursing) are having a hard time getting any attention from immigration reformers. There’s a snowball effect with immigration, and Latin Americans are simply far too far ahead for any other group to catch up. The current laws work in their favor, and they hold far more political power over how the laws will be changed than any other immigrant group. Republicans will not win the presidency until they make peace with Latin Americans.

114 asdf November 11, 2014 at 10:52 am

Actually, Tyler has sung the praises of Gregory Clark, whose books address this issue quite clearly. He is against underclass (largely NAM) immigration and points out that groups such as African immigrants are talented tenth minorities that can’t be scaled up.

115 Clover November 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

A “confrontation with racists?” LOL. TC is shrewd, he sees it for what it is. An earlier post:

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/12/economic-convergence-between-black-immigrants-and-black-natives.html

116 tom November 11, 2014 at 2:19 pm

No, you just missed the point of that post altogether. Tyler is sometimes, you apparently never.

117 QWERTY November 11, 2014 at 9:33 am

Thats wonderfull.

This way it can be a win-win situation.

I guess it is a pretty good argument, why Open Borders is a stupid idea. But maybe thats wasnt the point.

118 Al November 11, 2014 at 10:40 am

I’m a little skeptical about the fact that the study relies on self-reporting anti-social behaviors, but, other than that, very interesting and useful info.

119 LC November 11, 2014 at 10:50 am

Having lived in Africa several times, I wouldn’t read too much into these “degrees” that African universities confer. US public school rigor has been dropping for years and I’d put any American 10th grader up against a grad student from an African school.

120 Al November 11, 2014 at 11:06 am

This survey suggests an excellent global crime reduction policy: have everyone in the world immigrate to a different country.

121 Clover November 11, 2014 at 11:15 am

Many of those degrees come from African universities, which aren’t well known for their academic rigor:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/27/all-candidates-fail-liberia-university-test

I agree we will see mass immigration from Africa during this century, I could imagine it as high as 1 million immigrants a year. Liberals and neocons now are already calling for 2 million a year(double the present figure of 1 million a year), no doubt the liberals and neocons of the future will decide that’s just too few. By 2040 it will be set at 3 or 4 million a year, America’s Black politicians will assure that they get a large amount of that. Most of these millions will be the slum dwellers and Whites won’t have many more places to flee to to get away from them. This is when, I predict, Whites will start to fight back.

122 Dude November 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Is this comment snark or real?

123 Nikki November 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Real. It’s November, time for MR’s annual outbreak of bottomless stupidity. Here’s hoping this degenerate will get the boot quicker than last year’s degenerate.

124 msgkings November 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Race War 2040! Better prepare now! You’ll have a lot of vitriol to type…

125 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Given that almost every armed conflict on the planet right now is essentially civil, I’d say prudence is definitely merited. So far, almost 3,000 Americans have been killed as a result of our invade-the-world/invite-the-world policy. Chechen immigration has also racked up an impressive casualty ratio. We’re also apparently required to deploy overseas troops so we can eradicate Ebola at the source to enjoy the free flow of West African immigration.

Earlier American experiments with the importation of Africans have not worked out very well.

126 msgkings November 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Your keyboard will be most helpful in the coming internet complaining race war, my White Brother!

127 ThomasH November 11, 2014 at 11:41 am

Portfolio theory suggests the wisdom of diversifying the source of immigrants. The lottery ought to place a higher premium on education and might be adjusted to give greater wight to groups with lower proportions of recent immigrants. Proportions. In absolute numbers Chinese and Indians should continue to dominate.

128 Thomas November 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Only in the absence of information. Can you find any example of a market-weighted portfolio except in some Bogleheads retirement accounts?

129 bjk November 11, 2014 at 11:43 am

Is anyone here familiar with the quality of African universities? A BA is not what you think it is.

130 datroof jackson November 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Is it anything like the African Studies departments here?

131 Frank November 11, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Saved you the trouble, google “university of witwatersrand alumni”. South African top universities feature in global rankings.

Africa is not a country, standards very widely. I have worked with MBA students all over the world, they are no smarter or savvy than their SA counterparts.

132 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I’m skeptical of these claims for favoring only ‘high skilled’ or highly educated immigration. In terms of immigration success stories, the ‘came here with nothing and now built this huge business’ type narratives the immigration is usually not a professional or professor but a laborer sometimes coming without even a command of English. In terms of innovation this is probably the most potent benefit of immigration. You are throwing people into the ground floor making them do whatever they can think of to survive and then prosper. You are also throwing people into the mix who are not acclimated to the culture and language. The first makes people desperate enough to innovate, the second applies an ‘outside the box’ persepctive.

In contrast, I’m not so much of a fan on ‘more accountants and doctors’ immigrating to the US. If you tell me someone is an accountant in a 3rd world nation, I am going to guess he probably has figured out how to work well in that environment. He has mastered the ins and outs of that culture and the system in place there to achieve a life better than most in that country. Why exactly would he want to come to the US? One possibility is some horrible act of ethnic cleansing has caused the professional class of a country to flea (examples Jews who left Europe for the US before WWII, Persians who fled Iran after the Shah fell, some Cubans who came to the US to escape communism). Another possibility is personal failure in his home country.

IMO the US economy does and will benefit not so much from the mass importation of College Professors but the nannies, housekeepers, dishwashers, taxi cap drivers and others who come here lacking a pedigree.

133 JWatts November 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm

“IMO the US economy does and will benefit not so much from the mass importation of College Professors but the nannies, housekeepers, dishwashers, taxi cap drivers and others who come here lacking a pedigree.”

The US has a large population of workers that are capable of being “nannies, housekeepers, dishwashers, taxi cap drivers”. However the large number of low skilled immigrants drives the prevailing wage of those jobs down to the point many natives are forced into alternate sources of income. Often the natives can take advantage of disability, welfare, early retirement, education grants, etc, but often the net position is a net loss for the American economy.

“In contrast, I’m not so much of a fan on ‘more accountants and doctors’ immigrating to the US. ”

The US has far more to gain from allowing high skilled immigrants into the country. Furthermore, high skilled natives have a much better chance of being economically competitive with immigration and being able to deal with any drop in wages due to an increased labor supply.

134 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 12:57 pm

This makes no sense at all. When you write:

“Furthermore, high skilled natives have a much better chance of being economically competitive with immigration and being able to deal with any drop in wages due to an increased labor supply.”

The point here is to drop wages. If wages for top surgeons go down, the cost of surgery is less for everyone who needs an operation. If top surgeons are somehow immune from wage pressure, then what exactly is the benefit from immigration of top surgeons? Markets work by trying to lower prices.

“The US has a large population of workers that are capable of being “nannies, housekeepers, dishwashers, taxi cap drivers”. However the large number of low skilled immigrants drives the prevailing wage of those jobs down to the point many natives are forced into alternate sources of income”

I’m going to say no to this. Most nannies, housekeepers, etc. live in the US. When they go to Wal-Mart, they pay the same price that native born people pay for stuff. If they can live on working a double shift washing dishes during the day and cleaning an office building at night so can a native born person.

The problem here is substitution. If we had less immigrants doing, say, landscaping, the result would probably not be an explosion in native born hiring IMO. The response would be that many people and businesses would simply opt to have crappier lawns. Granted they would spend the money they saved on landscaping in other areas but this would be an economic welfare loss for the economy as a whole because the market tells us many people in the economy like having nice lawns, washed dishes, fast food, clean offices etc. This would also impact native borns too. My brother-in-law is a native born truck mechanic. 80% of his work comes from landscaping companies that have many trucks and put a lot of wear and tear on them. Economic gains are synergistic in competition.

135 JWatts November 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm

“The point here is to drop wages. If wages for top surgeons go down, the cost of surgery is less for everyone who needs an operation. If top surgeons are somehow immune from wage pressure, then what exactly is the benefit from immigration of top surgeons? Markets work by trying to lower prices.”

{facepalm} You actually quoted what I wrote, but didn’t read it very well. in particular: “and being able to deal with any drop in wages due to an increased labor supply.

To be very clear, being able to deal with a drop in wages does not mean they won’t experience a wage drop. A surgeon who’s wages drop from $400K to $360K is not going to experience the same economic pressures as 20 drywall hangers who’s income drops from $20K to $18K. He’s probably going to golf a little more with his extra free time and drive his BMW for an extra couple of years, the carpenters are probably going to be skimping on Christmas presents for their kids.

“The problem here is substitution. If we had less immigrants doing, say, landscaping, the result would probably not be an explosion in native born hiring IMO.”

Since, I actually have plenty of relatives that used to be landscapers and dry wall hangers, I can assure you, that you don’t know jack shit. Every relative I know who use to have those jobs, gave up because they couldn’t compete with the wage pressure. In the case of landscapers, they had immigrants bidding for jobs at below minimum wage prices. And, where as, high skilled natives have flexibility and can at worst easily re-train for a new position, a working native with an IQ of 90 is pretty limited in what postions they can easily shift into when they are in their 40’s.

In many cases, they took early retirement, or finagled disability, or just stopped working and became a one job household. In other cases they became long haul truckers and sacrificed time with their families in order to put food on the table. It is not in the best interest of America to replace a native worker with an immigrant and then have the native either stop working or work for less wages.

How much of the stagnation of median American income over the last 20 years is due to a substantial jump in wage competition at the low end? I don’t know, but I suspect it’s not insignificant.

136 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 1:42 pm

To be very clear, being able to deal with a drop in wages does not mean they won’t experience a wage drop. A surgeon who’s wages drop from $400K to $360K is not going to experience the same economic pressures as 20 drywall hangers who’s income drops from $20K to $18K.

This begs the question, if immigration is more open then a hospital can supposedly gain $40K by replacing a single surgeon but only $2K by replacing a drywall hanger. In a more open system where the market gets more say in immigration and wannabe planners less, there would be nothing stopping a mass importation of surgeons or college professors or nobel quality scientists rather than drywall hangers.

But fact is drywall costs money and nearly every building we are in has drywall while we rarely need major surgery. It makes for a very compelling story to tell people about how Einstein was an immigrant to the US and look at all he gave it but the fact is cumulatively speaking the non-Einsteins are still more important to the economy.

Since, I actually have plenty of relatives that used to be landscapers and dry wall hangers, I can assure you, that you don’t know jack shit. Every relative I know who use to have those jobs, gave up because they couldn’t compete with the wage pressure. In the case of landscapers, they had immigrants bidding for jobs at below minimum wage prices

So if you enforced the minimum wage that would solve your problem, wouldn’t it? Since immigrant landscapers would have to bid at no less than min. wage levels, there’d be less incentive for landscapers to immigrate to the US.

How much of the stagnation of median American income over the last 20 years is due to a substantial jump in wage competition at the low end? I don’t know, but I suspect it’s not insignificant.

An increase in labor supply means we can have more things that labor produces. so increase demand and again your problem is solved.

137 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 2:15 pm

In many cases, they took early retirement, or finagled disability, or just stopped working and became a one job household. In other cases they became long haul truckers and sacrificed time with their families in order to put food on the table.

Why not just match the below min. wage bids?

And, where as, high skilled natives have flexibility and can at worst easily re-train for a new position, a working native with an IQ of 90 is pretty limited in what postions they can easily shift into when they are in their 40′s.

Really? Seems to me there’s not much you can do with a hedge fund manager other than hedge funds. A surgerical oncologist is unlikely to leap into the job of plastic surgeon. I’m not really clear why a lawnmower cannot leap into a dishwasher or night janitor.

138 The Anti-Gnostic November 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm

An increase in labor supply means we can have more things that labor produces. so increase demand and again your problem is solved.

No problem there, with all those trillion dollar bills lying on the sidewalk.

It’s hilarious how immigration is the one area where there’s no such thing as declining marginal utility, resources aren’t finite, and falling prices aren’t bad. And beyond that, it’s the one area where economists rend their clothing, burst into tears and throw out all their economic metrics and declare immigration a Kantian imperative.

139 HL November 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm

“Why not just match the below min. wage bids?”

Why not terrorize and threaten to kidnap your competitions family?

140 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Anti-Gnostic

It’s hilarious how immigration is the one area where there’s no such thing as declining marginal utility, resources aren’t finite, and falling prices aren’t bad

So resources are finite and the solution is for us to have fewer resources rather than more?

So let’s see, shall we implement the old Lex Luther plan of nuking the San Andreas plate so California falls into the ocean? With less land real estate in the Us will become more valuable so would that be a good idea?

HL

Why not terrorize and threaten to kidnap your competitions family?

As I said you either enforce min. wage laws or you don’t. If you don’t there’s nothing stopping non-immigrants from underbidding the landscaping contracts of your friends and family.

141 HL November 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Dropping California off the map would benefit some, not so much others. Guess it depends on where you stand.

And yes, enforcing the laws would be nice, but is enforcement equal for immigrants and natives? Each group may face different risks which make one group more prone to defying the law than another.

142 Al November 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm

If we could take all of the laborers currently working on home landscaping and instead get them to cure cancer, design faster internet routers, invent a truly safe form of nuclear energy, find an effective vaccine for HIV, create new and more efficient MRI machines and production robots and so on, then having crappier lawns would be a good thing.

Nice lawns are nice, but they don’t bring the US a major leap forward in global competitiveness, longevity, or quality of life.

We can say the same thing about having a large number and variety of fast food restaurants and offices that are cleaned 5 times a week instead of one time a week. These things are merely nice. They may not even be worth half the money invested in them.

The fact that the US economy has found a use for much of the low wage labor base doesn’t mean that the labor base is doing anything really important or that this labor base is in all cases worth the social services and infrastructure required to support it.

143 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Al,

Then do it. Start a company and hire all those landscapers, cleaners and food workers and give them labs and micrscopes and tell them to cure cancer, make faster internet, and safe nuclear energy. Since that stuff would be worth trillions you can easily fund this by promising them double their current wages while the profits from the company’s sales will more than pay for that leaving a nice windfall for yourself.

Ahhh you say, if a landscaper knew how to cure cancer he wouldn’t be landscaping. Of course, but then you aren’t helping anyone get a cure for cancer by telling the landscaper to stop mowing lawns. You are just getting more neglected lawns.

144 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Also Al,

What does this have to do with immigration? If you think Americans should spend more money on cancer research than lawn mowing then why don’t you pass a law saying you can only have your lawn serviced once every 1 1/2 months? Or that you cannot eat at a diner more than once a week? If we should be spending more on cancer research, HIV vaccines, better MRI’s rather than on nice lawns and eating out what difference does it make if the lawn service has immigrants or native borns or if the burger is flipped by an illegal rather than a legal?

The fact that the US economy has found a use for much of the low wage labor base doesn’t mean that the labor base is doing anything really important or that this labor base is in all cases worth the social services and infrastructure required to support it,

I’m really unclear how you ge to judge this? An office cleaner cleans an office, the office is happy with her job, so they pay her. How does that make that job ‘unimportant’? Are you curing cancer or curing HIV? If not whose to say your job isn’t ‘unimportant’ as well?

145 JWatts November 11, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Al – “If we could take..”

Boonton – “Then do it. Start a company and hire all those landscapers ….”

Boonton, really needs to work on his reading comprehension.

146 Al November 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm

“Ahhh you say, if a landscaper knew how to cure cancer he wouldn’t be landscaping.”

I never said that. I don’t say that.

I favor heavier taxes on or even an outright government crack-down on frivolous luxuries like landscaping services. Every person in our economy has a carrying cost in terms of required government services for them and their families, infrastructure utilization, resource allocation etc. So why allow the use of so many precious human resources on unimportant stuff like landscaping?

I say discourage it.

My opinion is that the government should round up all of these landscapers, take away their lawnmowers and leaf-blowers, and force them to work on cancer cures, internet hardware, safe nuclear energy, AIDS vaccines and better robotics. Then, maybe, just maybe, we’d get somewhere.

And, when you say that it’s unclear how I get to judge this, my response is: People make judgments about the value of different kinds of economic activity ALL THE TIME in our system.

It’s why, for example, in California the governor signed a bill this year that would offer tax breaks for film and TV production that takes place inside state boundaries. It’s also why state and local governments in various parts of America grant tax breaks to corporations which agree to build a new advanced car manufacturing facility, or an electric battery plant. It’s why Californians voted some years ago to fund stem cell research with taxpayer dollars. It’s why city councils place limits on the number of liquor stores that can be opened. It’s why state governments pass legislation allowing casinos to open, or, in some cases, ban them.

Our system has long empowered voters to make evaluations and judgments about the value of various economic activities, discouraging some types while encouraging others. It’s what we’re supposed to do.

147 Boonton November 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Al

OK so if you pass special taxes on landscaping people will spend less on landscaping and there you freed up more money that could be spent on ‘important’ things like HIV research. If you then pass special tax breaks on those ‘important’ things, more money will get spent there.

So then that isn’t really an argument about immigration but about whether or not the gov’t should be using a combination of taxes and tax breaks to tilt the economy more towards ‘important things’. But you know if you did what you want the massive HIV/Cancer/Fast Internet research campus will have lots of offices that need cleaning and if they will be tempted to hire an immigrant firm to do it!

148 Al November 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Ok. Yeah, sorta. Here’s how I’d say it:

Increasing the population entails increased costs and expenses for state and local governments. It generally worsens quality of life by, for example, increasing traffic congestion, increasing classroom overcrowding, and increasing wait times in medical emergency rooms — at least until all of those services and infrastructure capacities can be expanded to meet the increased demand. Sometimes that takes decades. Sometimes it also means increasing taxes. In the mean time the existing population experiences a decrease in quality of life and access to infrastructure and services.

That said, if increased immigration causes significant progress on what I consider important problems, then I’m for it.

On the other hand, if increased immigration is mainly providing things like additional cheap restaurant options, low cost lawn services, and an abundance of office cleaning personnel, I find it hard to believe that increased immigration is worth what it costs and I don’t support it.

It comes down to numbers too, I think. e.g. if Los Angeles needs an additional 1000 office cleaning workers per year, but 10,000 new office cleaning workers arrive each year, I question whether that situation is worth perpetuating.

But that’s probably because I take the viewpoint that people who are already in the US are the ones who should benefit primarily from immigration. This is not a PC viewpoint. I guess a lot of people even consider that viewpoint unethical.

149 Boonton November 12, 2014 at 9:36 am

Al

Increasing the population entails increased costs and expenses for state and local governments

Increasing population also entails more McDonald’s and Quick Checks and 7-11’s. How can we ever afford such things?

Errr because increasing population also means more people with paychecks, more customers, more taxpayers.

So what exactly is the problem?

150 Boonton November 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

My opinion is that the government should round up all of these landscapers, take away their lawnmowers and leaf-blowers, and force them to work on cancer cures, internet hardware, safe nuclear energy, AIDS vaccines and better robotics. Then, maybe, just maybe, we’d get somewhere.

Finally someone steps forward with an economic program that would result in less progress than Pol Pot’s. Long live innovation!

151 Al November 12, 2014 at 11:01 am

The problem is that those McDonalds jobs are low paying. Really low paying.

Although such jobs increase the GDP and raise tax revenues a little, it’s not enough to pay for the expansion of social services and infrastructure improvements required to support those workers and their families. (Another example we’ve seen criticized in the press in recent years is Walmart’s policy of encouraging their own workers to apply for government aid programs because Walmart jobs pay so little.)

And, if a low wage worker has any children enrolled in school, the state is probably losing money on the deal. (For example, California pays $8,000 to 12,000 a year per enrolled child to local school districts. Does a worker with two children pay out $16,000 to $24,000 in tax revenue for the state each year? Does the McDonalds franchise they work for generate that kind of tax revenue?) Another example is that 31% of California’s population is enrolled in Medicaid because, again, these low paying jobs do not offer enough in cash or benefits for the worker to pay for their own health care.
( http://kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/medicaid-enrollment-as-a-of-pop/ )

So, I don’t quite see that it’s a good policy, under the current tax system, to expand this low wage sector of the economy. But, if the government would, say, tax fast food restaurants at rate high enough to pay for the additional government outlays required for government support of their workers, then this could be rectified. Another way of attacking the problem is by significantly raising the wages paid to such employees. Yet another way of attacking the problem is through governmental economic policies that discourage the creation of these kinds of low value, low wage jobs, instead encouraging the creation of high value, globally competitive jobs.

152 Boonton November 12, 2014 at 11:50 am

The problem is that those McDonalds jobs are low paying. Really low paying….Although such jobs increase the GDP and raise tax revenues a little, it’s not enough to pay for the expansion of social services and infrastructure improvements required to support those workers and their families.

The average customer of McDonald’s, though, makes more in income than the average employee. Remember you said your problem here is with more people comes the need for more services. Well more people pay for more McDonalds themselves by choosing to spend their money there. Likewise you are having trouble finding a way to pay for the roads that lead to new McDonalds chains by looking at just the taxes that the employees are paying while ignoring the customers!

And, if a low wage worker has any children enrolled in school, the state is probably losing money on the deal. (For example, California pays $8,000 to 12,000 a year per enrolled child to local school districts. Does a worker with two children pay out $16,000 to $24,000 in tax revenue for the state each year?

I think these figures are exagerrated by two factors:

1. There’s a lot of fixed costs involved. If a school has one less child enrolled, costs do not drop by $8-$12K.

2. These are temporary expenses that happen while the child grows up at which time the child becomes a taxpayer themselves (and remember there is direct and indirect taxpaying…your direct taxes are those you pay with your tax return but you also indirectly pay taxes when you spend your money on businesses that incorporate taxes in what they charge you).

153 Al November 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm

“There’s a lot of fixed costs involved. If a school has one less child enrolled, costs do not drop by $8-$12K”

At the margin, the costs to the state budget _do_ change. The state pays local school districts from $8,000 to $12,000 a year per student in California. That is a recurring, ongoing responsibility, year in, year out. When a school district receives a new student, it claims that amount of additional cash from the state. If the school district loses a student, it claims that much less from the state. If 100,000 new students are added to California school districts, that much more cash is demanded from the state budget by those districts. If, instead, only 10,000 new students were added, the state would be responsible for that much less, again, at the margin.

Here’s a part of Governor Brown’s proposed budget, which the legislature has approved.

“Last week, school districts got their first glimpse of how that question would be answered under Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed new funding formula: Anaheim would receive an estimated $11,656 per student annually; Palos Verdes would get $8,429 by the time the plan is fully implemented in seven years.”

More here: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/24/local/la-me-school-finance-20130225

154 Boonton November 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm

.If 100,000 new students are added to California school districts, that much more cash is demanded from the state budget by those districts.,

CA’s sales tax alone is 7.5%. So 100,000 new students means at least 100,000 guardians. If the gurdians spend $10K per year on sales taxable items, that is $750 to the state. CA has income tax rates that range anywhere from 2-13.3%. So on $10K of spending generates $10K of income…add say another $500 from that alone plus another $250 in income tax from the single guardians themselves. We are up to $1300 per kid in additional taxes alone. More importantly that $1300 is per year every year forever, parents still pay taxes after their kids leave school and they pay taxes before they have kids while school only goes on for about 12 years.

Of course 100,000 people will live someplace and someplace is subject to property taxes. Either the guardians or landlords will collect and pay property taxes. Tax foundation says $1426 per person is collected in property taxes per capita.

Going on CA has utility taxes, if you have and use things like electric, sewer, gas etc. taxes range from 1-11% used. (see http://ballotpedia.org/California_Utility_User_Taxes). Let’s say 5%. So quick google search seems to indicate typical CA resident pays $1000 a year in utilities so that’s another $50 generated in taxes. Not much there but CA pays a lot for housing. Around $8K per year! So if you are paying $8K to a landlord that’s income to someone else. If you are paying it to a bank that’s income for the bank (interest on the mortgage) and the previous owner (who you brought the house from). So take that $8K and apply the CA income tax to it….let’s use 10% so there’s another $800 per year. Second problem, $8K in income per year less $800 in tax leaves $7200. Say $6000 of that ends up getting spent by whoever earns it. Well there’s our friend the sales tax again so another $540.

keep following the money and you’ll notice the actual taxes start adding up. I’m keeping it real simple with 100,000 very low income guardians and I’m just following the immediate effects of 100,000 living and going about day to day stuff. Multipliers do exist, though, so jobs get created by all this secondary income and with that comes yet more taxes paid.

But if this is too much to follow there’s an even easier way to think about it. Jobs exist because people need things done. They need very complicated things like curing diseases and inventing new ipads. They also need basic things like haircuts, coffee in the morning, things to amuse themselves with etc. More people means more needs which means more jobs which means more ways to earn income by doing things. More income means more taxes. If you want to look at one side of the coin….how much the gov’t has to spend building some new roads because a brand new town has grown up or open new schools you have to look at the opposite side too.

155 Al November 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm

You raise a good point about sales tax receipts from a McDonalds. Nice.

A McDonalds store generates on average about $2.6 million in annual sales
( http://www.forbes.com/sites/caroltice/2013/08/30/million-dollar-burger-the-most-lucrative-fast-food-restaurants/ )

resulting in about 0.075 * $2.6 million = $195,000 in additional tax revenues to the state. Dividing that by the low end of the range, I get 24.375 students per year from that store. That’s significant.

An average McDonalds (in Michigan — all I could find) employs about 60 employees
( http://www.mcmichigan.com/2661/30770/default-page/ )

So, as long as those 60 employees have fewer than 24.375 kids, or less than 1 child per two McDonalds workers, the school numbers work out. But, I don’t how many kids employees of McDonalds restaurants have, on average. It may well be more than 1 child per two McDonalds workers. (And of course, the tax calculations we’d make for, say, independent landscapers, who are often paid in cash would be different.)

But, I would question some other things you mention.

100,000 new students means AT MOST 100,000 new guardians. As recent news stories mention, some students have been arriving in the US without ANY accompanying guardians. And, of course, low income family sizes are often larger than just two kids, at least in California.

The average per capita property tax figure of $1426 is, I think, not an appropriate figure for lower income workers. That figure averages in even the really wealthy landowning residents like Mark Zuckerberg, Charlie Munger, Larry Ellison, et al. But low income workers don’t pay, on average, $1426 per year in property taxes. And, if low income people tend to live in low rent, old apartment buildings which have assessed values that date from decades past because of a long continuous ownership and Proposition 13, the contribution to property taxes is smaller than average. (This is one of the reasons why some people in CA want to repeal the portion of Prop 13 which applies to commercial buildings. They want to reassess some of these old apartment buildings and raise property taxes.)

You also mention the typical Californian pays pays $1000 a year in utilities, but for low pay workers, which is what many CA immigrants are, we’re talking about a figure below average, not $1000.

Finally, if I look at income taxes and wages at, again, McDonalds, I see $9.28 an hour here:

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=McDonald's_Corporation/Hourly_Rate#by_State

Plug that into a 2040 hour work year, and we get $18931 per worker or $37,862 for two people. If I plug in $37,862 for a married couple filing jointly with two dependents to this CA tax calculator: http://www.tax-brackets.org/californiataxtable
I see income taxes owed to California are about $434, or about $218 per guardian (the dependents, a renters credit, and a standard deduction reduce taxes somewhat in CA.)

There are also other local government expenses like police and emergency services, street repair, health departments, etc. More research would be needed to see what those things cost.

156 Boonton November 13, 2014 at 5:25 am

100,000 kids would have at least 100,000 guardians. Even if they were among the kids who came to the US alone, fact is most of them would have some family here who would act as guardians or would end up in foster care where a guardian would have been found.

More importantly, though, you missed the time element. Kids grow up to pay taxes. It isn’t necessary to find every dollar in current taxes from the McDonalds job. More are kids always in school. Parents pay all the taxes I detailed before they have kids and after their kids have grown.

157 Al November 13, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Hmm. You know, on this “100,000 guardians” question, haven’t we both gotten it wrong? I mean, when I consider the following scenarios, each with 100,000 kids, I see possible numbers of guardians both above, below and equal to 100,000:

a.) 25,000 two-parent, four-child families = 50,000 guardians

b.) 50,000 two-parent, two-child families = 100,000 guardians

c.) 100,000 two-parent, one-child families = 200,000 guardians

Doesn’t it depend on number of children per family?

158 Boonton November 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Al,

You are correct, however I think the problem is your argument misses a lot of taxes paid indirectly. Just taking that into consideration the ‘burden’ of public school expenses starts to get very light. We have only scratched upon the fact that since the kids grow up to pay tax themselves, it isn’t really fair to just ask if their parents happen to pay tax equal to school costs in the years that the kids go to school. We can get a quick view of just how much public schools impact CA by looking at the total spending versus the total economy.

Google tells me CA spends $70B a year or so on public schools. CA’s 2012 GDP was about $1.959T. The entire public school system in CA could be funded if all the various taxes were scrapped and a 3.5% basic sales tax applicable to anything that generates GDP was put in its place.

159 jerseycityjoan November 11, 2014 at 7:21 pm

I don’t want to live in the world that you want to create. American citizens are the owners of America. They don’t want to be made into unwilling slaves of free markets whose only goal is to drive down wages and labor costs (except their own, of course).

You are so very wiling to have Americans work two jobs and still make next to nothing …. because immigrants do it, so should Americans.

There were so many Americans of prior generations who worked hard so we could live in a better America, with good wages and plentiful jobs. We should be building on what they built, not destroying it.

If circumstances keep pushing against average Americans, we will have the social unrest that is typical when a “let them eat cake” attitude predominates.

Are you ready for that? Are you ready to put barbed wire around your roof?

160 Boonton November 12, 2014 at 6:15 am

I have two people I know. First is J, family member. We rented him a rental unit we have. He is a HS drop out, but he got his GED. He talks about how he works nonstop….landscaping, oil/tire change places, dee jays on the weekend etc. Few months later we are evicting him. Every job is a brand new job that will make him a lot of money, every previous job ended because the boss cheated him out of something or because this new job will pay him a lot. Needless to say we have to evict him because rent doesn’t get paid….and of course this is an outrageous thing for us to do since we are ‘family’ and should give him a chance. Needless to say other problems pile up. DUI tickets, suspended licenses, tickets for driving while suspended. Letters arrive still about the unfinished community service hours he has failed to fulfill for the court. The hole gets deeper.

Other person I know is A. She has several homes and she rents them out to people in a town with a lot of immigration. People working two jobs often rent and while their lives are hard they are often successful. They are not typically working exceptionally high skilled jobs, maybe a house painter, maybe someone who works a shift at a diner or factory. All members of the family typically work and kids are always in school. They pay their bills, don’t live beyond their means, and usually abide by the law (ok sometimes immigration and driving with a license laws are skirted).

One set here will have a good life and the other won’t and you don’t need me to tell you which. Would slightly higher wages thru a massive program of immigration restriction help the first person? Probably not. An extra $2 or $3 per hour is not fundamentally what ails the native born person. What ails him is growing up American with a sense of entitlement and an inability to approach work except as a punishment to be avoided. Ohhh yes he’s an aspiring ‘business owner’, he’s had many businesses. There was the landscaping one, the driveway paving one, DJing etc….. They all lasted a few weeks culminating in him selling off the equipment he somehow got to score gas money.

Skills and education are good to have but ultimately the reason immigration works for the US is because it brings people here who will find what works and do it in order to survive. Mostly that is not a dramatically high skilled job but a very low skilled one. If you work hard and avoid serious mistakes that alone is sufficient to have a pretty decent life, sometimes one that is quite a bit more successful than many natives whose college education have landed them corporate jobs or are lawyers or accountants etc.

161 jerseycityjoan November 13, 2014 at 3:22 am

Not every native born person has problems. Why focus on the bad when there’s got to a more than a hundred million Americans in families in which the adult(s) are unemployed, underemployed, can’t afford to save for and don’t know how they’ll pay for next year’s rent increase? Those people deserve a few extra bucks an hour — and deserve to be #1 in their own country, as all people should be in the land of their ancestors.

Not every immigrant from is a transplant from Ozzie and Harriet era.

By the time we have another 100 million people in the US in 2050, today’s low wage immigrants’ grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be here. If being an American is as morally corrupting as you seem to think it is, and technology continues to kill jobs as the experts expect, then the American underclass will be much larger, in terms of both numbers and a percentage of the population.

By the way, I wrote another response before but it’s under this one, I attached it to the wrong comment.

162 jerseycityjoan November 13, 2014 at 3:05 am

Boonton – In response to your November 12 comment:

You said this:

“If you work hard and avoid serious mistakes that alone is sufficient to have a pretty decent life, sometimes one that is quite a bit more successful than many natives whose college education have landed them corporate jobs or are lawyers or accountants etc.”

I have to disagree. Times have changed. Many of the middle class jobs that low wage earners could aspire to are gone or available in much smaller numbers.

You seem to think it’s pretty common for low wage immigrants to end up making six figure incomes. I do not think that statistics would back you up on that. Now are there former immigrants who get legalized and up using cheap labor illegal immigrants in their construction, landscaping and cleaning businesses? Sure, but what kind of example is that to admire?

My impression is your primary concerns in evaluating people are is the person a financial success and would them make a good neighbor. I have a different perspective.

163 Clover November 11, 2014 at 1:47 pm

“I see it in practice, but it doesn’t work inside my theory.”

164 HL November 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I wonder how much of this boils down to those who’d be happy to pay their kin or countryman a bit more, just for the sake of brotherhood or whatever you want to call it versus those who want the market to work as efficiently as possible, sorry bro’s. How much of the difference is psychological and/or biased by priors?

165 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Neither. Academe is not fond of open markets in their own matrix nor all that committed to them elsewhere. Neither is the legal profession. Here’s a hypothesis: it boils down to who are your kin and countrymen. For a critical mass of professional-managerial types, it does not include people who would not be in their social circle, even if they live across the street. They’re just Emmets. And they;re not ‘diverse’, either. A taste for exotica marks you as one of the Anointed.

166 Not too far off November 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm

*1920’s carney voice* White hooooods! Git yer white hoods heeere. White hoods!

167 Art Deco November 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Your point is what? About whose remarks?

168 leftist conservative November 11, 2014 at 10:30 pm

picture a series of banners hanging from freeway overpasses:
“Africans, Go Home!”
“Mexicans, go home!”
“Asians, Go Home!”

And, voila, despite the continuing sellout of american labor by academia and CorpGovMedia, we could send these foreign invaders packing. If they feel unwelcome here, they will leave or not even come, once word gets out that they are unwelcome.

169 leftist conservative November 11, 2014 at 10:31 pm

oh, I forgot…markets in american grassroots revolt

170 RR November 12, 2014 at 12:06 am

Has there ever been a post on immigration that has not got 100+ comments?

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