Thursday assorted links


#2 raises some important questions about why people migrate anywhere. Japan is an argument against the idea that migration is driven by material factors like HDI and availability of jobs; on the contrary, it seems that a culture of openness and receptiveness is a necessary attractor, among other reasons that merit further investigation.

I don't think it is about "openness". I think it is about admiration of the target country's culture. Germans are famously difficult in the openness area but they have a culture that is generally admired. Japan, not so much

If it were simply about admiration for the target country's culture there would be an entire mini-state of Otaku and Weaboos on their way to Japan right now.

By whom? Unemployed Philosophy majors and Neonazis?

"Japan, not so much"

Huh? Millions are crazy about Japanese culture. I had to try to explain to my young daughters that they can't carry little Japanese flags in Shanghai even though their favorite Vocaloid characters had them.

Their attempts on mental domination start in youth, at home and overseas.

According to who? What are the exact tracts of German culture people love so much?

My list of fave places to live in Asia would be: Hong Kong, Japan, South Korean and Taiwan...

GDP per hour worked in Japan is lower than in any other major developed country except Korea. As result real wages per hour for skilled professionals are lower in Japan than in any other major developed country. This is also a reflection of the outdated business culture in Japan which values effort over result. Also, Japanese culture is highly xenophobic regarding most other countries, specially Japan's poorer neighbors. In the US it is relatively easy for Mexicans to assimilate into to the US even with current government. In Japan it would be very hard for a Chinese to assimilate with local culture and the same applies for Westerners. Japanese language is an enormous barrier as well since it is from a completely different language family from any other language in the world, while English and Hindu are from the same broader family.

Another important factor: most skilled worker migration is between countries of the same civilization. That is, most skilled workers working in the UK are from other parts of Europe or the US/Canada/Australia. Japan is an altogether different civilization from any other country in the world, hence it is less likely people will immigrate there: it's a much bigger cultural shock than immigrating from Canada to the UK for instance.

Japanese actually is fairly easy to pronounce, compared to English, and has a very regular grammatical structure compared to French, Spanish or German. It is difficult to learn for cultural reasons that have nothing to do with what language family it belongs to. The writing system is notoriously complex, it has thousands of Chinese loanwords borrowed centuries ago that all sound the same to foreign ears (kyuuko, kookyu, kyoiku, kaisha, shakai, etc.), and has developed elaborate levels of politeness that are hard for foreigners to navigate. Japanese culture is the barrier to entry in Japan, the language just reflects that.

The grammar is difficult for Westerners because it is so different from English, Spanish, French, German, etc. A PhD student who was studying both Chinese and Japanese for a PhD in history told me while in Japan that he could easily speak basic Chinese in China from the start but nothing came out of his mouth when trying to speak Japanese. That is the wide gap in grammar at work, and I told him it will come out over time if he keeps speaking.

Pronunciation is easy (at least, if your goal is to be understood, not to sound like a native), and the grammatical structure is actually a lot more regular than French, Spanish, or German (or English). There's only two rules of syntax: (1) sentences are SOV, and (2) every phrase is head-final. The writing system is complicated, and the Chinese characters (with their multiple readings) are a major hurdle to proficiency, let alone fluency, but Chinese is more or less the same. The elaborate politeness exists, yes, but even young Japanese have difficulty navigating many of those rules, so if you have questions about almost any aspect of business etiquette -- from the correct phrases to use in a business email, to when to arrive for a meeting, to correct seating order and position for a conference table -- you can just look it up. Some companies have manuals to teach their new employees how to behave professionally. Honestly, the Korean rules around politeness are more complex, because they're more contextual and individual -- some people stand on ceremony, and others don't -- and Korean has more morphological registers than standard Japanese has. On the other hand, Korean doesn't have the same in-group/out-group rules for register as Japanese, so if you use respectful speech when talking about person A, you do that in pretty much all contexts, rather than having to shift from respectful speech to humble speech depending on whether you're talking to someone who is in-group vs. out-group.


Actually it is kind of hard, now that I think about it. But if you're visibly foreign, people will tend to cut you some slack unless you say something that's actually really rude, or they suspect (as people have occasionally suspected of me) that you know perfectly well how you're supposed to talk, you're just not bothering. Because then you really are being rude.

If you just walk around Tokyo, though, it's obvious why GDP per hour worked is low in Japan (or Seoul for Korea) -- there's a huge number of people employed in those "zero-marginal-product" jobs. Lame old men standing around directing traffic by small repair projects. Workmen fixing stuff that's just a little bit worn, nowhere near the end of its useful life. And those hordes of shop girls (and men) in department stores. There's a huge amount of very visible inefficiency in Japan, and it's mirrored by similar inefficiencies in their companies -- men who get sidelined from promotion and spend the final 10 years of their career pushing paper by a window, or get sent off to be the ceremonial head of a small regional subsidiary.

I think the reason Japan is low on the list is simply that you don't have the opportunity to amass wealth in the same way that you do in a place like China, or southeast Asia. It's an extremely middle-class country -- a place for living, not a place to make a fortune. I am actually more surprised by how low Korea is on the list, given that wandering around Seoul you are confronted with the "impudence of wealth" and there seems to be a lot more opportunity to make a quick buck in Seoul than there is in Tokyo. My guess there would be that the problem is Korean xenophobia.

+1 on the ZMP workers. What was perplexing to me though was the contrast with the high degree of automation in some areas: E.g. vending machines for everything are everywhere, and I hear there's self-service hotels etc.

I thought facts have a liberal bias? Then why do liberals have to use the same dishonest tactics as republicans?

What "Demographic Decline"? American women are having plenty of babies

"Some 86 percent of women ages 40 to 44 are mothers, compared with 80 percent in 2006, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data," writes Gretchen Livingston, a senior researcher at Pew Research Center. "Not only are women more likely to be mothers than in the past, but they are having more children. Overall, women have 2.07 children during their lives on average – up from 1.86 in 2006, the lowest number on record."

Hey Amanda Marcotte (author of the above article), what global warming? Today's temperatures are the same as they were in 1998.

What “Demographic Decline”? American women are having plenty of babies

Live births fall about 10% short. Need more to get to replacement level.

Also most of those babies aren’t white, ergo not “American” according to the people most concerned about demographic decline.

2. "Japan Wants Immigrants. The Feeling Isn't Mutual." LOL

Also, is it Japan that wants immigrants, or the Abe government?

(And a young friend of mine would immigrate in a second, but she's not a high-skilled, or even college, person, and doesn't see Japan as being nearly open enough to let her try.)

I don't think the population as a whole is opposed to immigrants on principle, but they tried low skill immigration (from Brazil) a few years ago, and it turned out people didn't like that. In practice, they didn't like it. Urban professionals are probably not going to cause the same friction, but if they don't learn Japanese and don't follow Japanese etiquette, there's going to be friction.

#2 No matter how much Japan's apologists try, the world wil neer forget
Always remember!!!

Wow good point.. We should just like nuke them and then re-build their country in a more free-market capitalistic image.. oh wait..

I am talking about hitting them until hey surrender!!!!

Um, you know it's not 1944 anymore right?

So what? They haven't changed an iota! They are still fascists plotting against their neighbours and the West. Do you think they become nice people because they were firebombed and nuked? Real nice people don't need to be firebombed to developed an conscience! It is iherent to functioning human beings! It is clear they are faking it to folol gullible Westerners such as yourself.

But they already surrendered decades ago. What exactly are you proposing?

A punitive expedition, maybe regime change and occupation, partition and the old Morgenthau Plan. Make them pay for what they did! Teach them it is unacceptable. The only language they understand is force.

How would forcing the Germans to deindustrialize teach the Japanese that what they did is acceptable?

OK got it. I was afraid you were a lunatic.

"How would forcing the Germans to deindustrialize teach the Japanese that what they did is acceptable?"
Apply the Morgenthau Plan to the Japanese, stupid!

"OK got it. I was afraid you were a lunatic."

So it is now cleared, right?

Hello, no! On the contrary, we need Japan to nuke up and take an aggressive and antagonistic approach to defense (and offense). China isn't going to check itself, or are you naive enough to think we can stop them ourselves?

You are repeating the mistake of those who supported Hitler because they thought he would check Stalin. On the long run, it only made Stalin stronger. We can destroy Red China, but first we must destroy the Japanese threat - for ever and ever!

The vast majority of civilized human beings have long since stopped holding any grudges against the Japanese people. Others, such as Charbes A., hold on to old prejudices for a while longer.

"Others, such as Charbes A., hold on to old prejudices for a while longer."
It is not prejudice!! I judge hem for what they did and do!! I judge them for the content of their character, not for their (Satanic) religion or color of their skins. They are aggressors.

They must be aggressors, for international balance. Now they must acquire nuclear weapons.

They must be stopped, no matter the costs! If the price is their nuclear annihilation, I would pay the price. I hate those hypocrites.

Yep, gotta respect them. The Japanese do make great warriors.

They do make great murderers. They raped nd murdered innocent people. Hwy have no conscience whatsoever. None at all. I would be ashamed if my country had done what theirs did.

They murdered and raped Russians. That's the problem, right?

And Chinese, and Vienamese, and Taiwanese, and Koreans, and Americans and French and Brazilians and Filipinos. They are murderers.

Americans killed, enslaved and raped more people than the Japanese ever did. Hail Emperor Abe!

Germans killed, enslaved and raped more people than the Japanese ever did. Hail Emperor Merkel!

Russians killed, enslaved and raped more people than the Japanese ever did. Hail Emperor Putin!

Chinese killed, enslaved and raped more people than the Japanese ever did. Hail Emperor Li!

So you support Fascism... Fascism, then, is better than America's democracy... It is sad to see there are fifth-columnists among us.

Great warriors maybe, but what about the pixelated porn or mayo on pizza?

They behave like animals.

Germany has tons of immigrants, what are you talking about? And what makes you believe that average citizen of this world is that knowledgeable about history?

It is totally different.

#4 Maybe you are wrong about Janos Kornai nd market socialism.

#4 - "In 2010, exports had accounted for about 26.2 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP)."- this is the key fact left out of the analysis of why Janos Komai was wrong about China. China does at least 26% of its GDP with external trade, unlike the USSR did. Consequently, they went further than the USA. #4 implicitly recognizes this by saying China is more capitalist than the USSR ever was, but, the truth is without the USA's market, China would be nothing. The same can be said about the state intervention policies of Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and sometimes Indonesia, as Joe Studwell pointed out (implicitly, he never really outright says it as that's kind of rude), "Why Asia Works".

Let's face it: without US consumers and their market, the rest of the developed world is nothing. American Exceptionalism, again.

Isn't it hard to get around the example of 19thC North America as an example of successful mass migration? There are so many parallels in the objections: divided loyalties, language, crime. In history there are no control groups, but it's hard to imagine the US would be better off without, for example, Eastern European, Irish, and Italian immigration 1840-1945.

Look to the IQ of the immigrating population to determine its long term success. It's the one factor that explains effectively all of the variation in outcomes.


Anyone who lives in New England knows that Irish immigration on the whole has been a net negative for the US. The negative effects of Sicilian and Calabrian immigrants were somewhat offset by Northern Italians. But in retrospect the Know Nothings were generally right.

4. Can Kornai be blamed for assuming Americans aren't as dumb as they turned out to be. No, this isn't a partisan dig, for Democrats are the ones blaming Russians for the stupidity of Americans. The China miracle would never have happened absent the complicity of America's business and political leaders. Hey, I'm surprised by how easy it is to manipulate Americans. Aren't you? Russians may be criminals, violent criminals, but Russians aren't responsibility for American stupidity. Americans are. [As for the success of "market socialism" in China, what do Americans think about the success of America's version of "market socialism" that prevailed during the years of America's rise to world economic dominance.]

#1 is hyperventilating nonsense. Mexico is not at war with the US. Hispanic immigration is not an "affliction". And "legal" vs. "illegal" immigration is not by definition useful and good vs. destructive and bad, unless you think our current immigration laws are the height of perfection. This sort of cognitively challenged argument is the equivalent of "it's bad because it's illegal", which a 10 year old could see through.

To some today, the use of might is always wrong.
The practitioners of this ideology are victim supremacists.

Beyond the hyperventilating poor-me white-men-are-so-put-upon attitude, lots of people hold that might (aka violence) is always wrong because people have intrinsic natural rights, or due to a commitment to the moral equality of all humans. The idea that "all men are created equal" is not "victim supremacy". ( And I can see this guy has a sore spot about the word "supremacy" - why ever would that be?) And most people advocating for a rational, humane, immigration policy aren't engaged in "territorial aggression" (against whom, we might wonder). I mean, his whole argument is a massive strawman. Nobody is arguing that America should admit more immigrants in order to compensate non-whites for the collective crimes of the white race. And only someone who thinks in terms of racial competition would even think that.


The fact that your ability to feel empathy is tied to who much the race makes you tingle is just another example of how you are human cancer. We get your husband is a beta dweeb who doesn't set of the old tingles- we don't base or immigration policy on what gets you off.


Sam's empathy is tied to race too, just opposite Hazel's. Massive hypocrite. Let's see if he can reply without mentioning tingles.

My empathy is not tied to race at all.
I'm a white female. I just don't have special extra empathy for white people that makes me think that white people are more deserving of the right to have jobs and the equal protection of the law and so forth. I don't think that "America" is defined by whiteness, that rights are, or should be, tied to nationality, or that US citizenship should only, or even preferentially, be conferred upon people of European ancestry. A man like Jorge Garcia, who has lived in America since the age of 10, is married to an American citizen, and has two American citizen children, ought to be a US citizen, by any rational humane immigration law. The fact that he was deported, would have been, is, a gross human rights violation, morally equivelent to the internment of the Japanese during WWII (if not on the same scale, yet). That's not differential empathy tied to race. It's just empathy.

I meant to say "would be considered a gross human rights violation" if hit had been done to an American citizen. And since he should be an American citizen by any humane standard, it IS a gross human rights violation.

I agree with you 100% (DACA has no reasonable argument against it). I was just using Sam's own hypocrisy against him. Even if he's incorrect tying your empathy to race, we all know which race he thinks deserves any.

Yeah, no problem. I knew what you meant, I just felt the need to say it publicly.

Anyway, it is kind of flattering that I have my own trolls these days. ;)

Your empathy is entirely tied to race. You screech like Dido lest a single non-white feel the slightest of discomfort. meanwhile you constantly denigrate white suffering.

Sam, with all this insight on white suffering -- sorry, White Genocide -- you must be from Zimbabwe.

Talk about hyper-ventilating nonsense. So an illegal alien gets deported and he and his family are otherwise free to go about their business. That is a far cry from being confined to an internment camp (and wrapping up your idiosyncratic views using language like "rational humane" does not make your case any stronger). Of course you never bother to censure the people who put him into that situation in first place or the government that granted a string of temporary stays that only made matters worse by holding out false hope.

So an illegal alien gets deported and he and his family are otherwise free to go about their business. That is a far cry from being confined to an internment camp

Is it? He's been forcibly separated from his loved ones, with no assurance of ever being reunited. At least the people in internment camps were together, and their stay was presumably temporary, lasting only as long as the war lasted. The government wasn't planning to send them back to Japan. This guy faces the prospect of at least 10 years before he can even *apply* for a legal visa, with no assurance of actually getting one. During which his children will grow up without a father.

People in internment camps don't get to leave the camps. Jorge Garcia's family members are free to visit or to move to his current location if they wish. So spare us the emotional manipulation of kids growing up without their father (as if the left cares very much about absent fathers anyways).

Jorge Garcia’s family members are free to visit or to move to his current location if they wish.

They're free to move to Mexico, where they will lose all the opportunities and advantages they would have if they grew up in America. Do recall these are American citizens we're talking about. Or that doesn't count because one parent is an illegal alien? And if they want to have a father, they have to consent to be educated in the Mexican school system.
And occasional visits to Mexico City are not much of a parental relationship - no more than a divorced parent who lives on the other side of the continent can parent.
Your concern about absent fathers appears to be hypocritical when it conflicts with your desire to keep America white.

You're the one attacking a straw man as I'm not a member of the alt-right insisting on keeping America "white" (the alt-right and Trumpsters direct far more vitriol against those of us "establishment" conservatives).

You sound like a ten year old who doesn't understand that there are trade-offs in life and that compromises (which includes a wider range of possibilities such as such as living closer to the border, attending an American expat school, etc. ) must be made. In that respect being sent back to a country that borders the U.S. is less troublesome than being sent elsewhere.

Let no one say tingles drive your sputtering- your t count is far to low for that. any time you tingle it's because you ate to much cheese.

Points for cleverness! Now do clockwork_prior!

"Feelings, nothing more than feelings, . . ." Morris Albert

They can stay with no citizenship; no vote; no entitlement; no Medicaid; etc.

Milton Friedman - You can have a welfare state. You can have open borders. But, not both.

Bottom line: Democrats need voters (citizenship not required); and Hazel needs to shout from the roof tops her virtue.

And, America doesn't need more people. Go ask the greens.

Your idea of basic human rights is all well and good until it collides with my pursuit of happiness (see Declaration of Independence and Constitution) : heightened crime, overcrowding, education systems overload, health care bankruptcies, etc.

I get the racism element. At some point, "they" decided there were too many evil, hate-filled white people in the USA. Plus, they would swing the demographics the other way and bring in more voters to facilitate confiscating much more other people's money.

I imagine that sufficiently set you off. I will not further trigger you girls with facts.

LOL not a single fact in your post.

I lost my virtue in an orgy of debauchery decades ago, so I don't care what people think of it.

I care if Jorge Garcia gets to live with his US citizen wife and US citizen children and legally have a job in the country he has lived in for 30 years, since he was 10 years old. And others like him.

The Declaration of Independence declares that all men have an inalienable right to pursue happiness, not just you. Maybe we need to protect it's virtue from the hordes of white nationalists who apparently don't agree with it.

If Republicans weren't the party that accepts white nationalists they could compete for these future voters, too. It speaks volumes that the GOP isn't even interested in trying to appeal to immigrants and minorities.

heightened crime - Immigrants tend to lower the US crime rate
overcrowding - there is plenty of room here.
education systems overload - we could spend half as much and get the same results
health care bankruptcies - the tend to be healthier that the overall population and more customers is good if you want to avoid bankruptcy.

Flocinna with the lies. Why does the left have to conflate statistics on legal immigrants and illegal immigrants? Just be honest.

A 'rational, humane' policy does not allow people to walk across the border at their own discretion, run up the cost of local government, and practice identity theft.

Indeed not. I makes it legal for them to enter at a regular checkpoint, have a job, and use their own names while doing so.

They can already do that. What they cannot do lawfully is just show up and do that without an application, sponsorship, &c.

Which is equivalent to saying that they can't lawfully do it, since the application isn't going to be approved any time in their lifetime.

Which is equivalent to saying that they can’t lawfully do it, since the application isn’t going to be approved any time in their lifetime.

Unless they have a life expectancy of about 12 years, that isn't so.

12 years is the wait for a brother-sister sponsorship.

The wait for an employment sponsorship for a person without a college degree is "never".

Run up the cost of local government???

One can't simultaneously believe that illegal immigrants are discriminated against systemically and that they are net taxpayers. This is a meme of cognitive dissonance marketed at people who are much less concerned with truth than they are with feelings.

I think you are missing the point. Any policy that creates the incentives for an uprising to overthrow it is foolish. No matter what arguments can be applied.

If I remember correctly you were (are) horrified at Trump winning the election. He won because he harnessed the discontent with immigration. There is a very very simple solution to that. Immigrate carefully and thoughtfully. Then Trump can't win and overthrow a generation's worth of consensus.

Same by the way with economic policies, health care, etc. It has to work. If it doesn't, the opposite extreme will win power and break all the windows.

And in a democracy what works is what the electorate says.

Further on this is why it came to this.

Personally I have nothing against immigration at a sustainable level. I think there would be wide support for a rational immigration system in the US. In Canada there is, and the extremes are within a very narrow band.

Trump said things on a public stage that were unsayable. It is a case study of why suppressing debate never works. A good portion of the media considers any position but open borders to be horribly racist, meaning that only someone with rhino skin would even approach the issue. Even the policy nonsense over the last couple weeks were characterized by accusations of evil. Trump doesn't care what anyone calls him and finds the whole policy establishment against him extremely vulnerable. The whole thing is liable to collapse, and the screaming has no effect.

We are almost at the state where an accusation of racism is a badge of honor. This makes me furious at those who throw around that accusation so carelessly that it has lost it's power. They should be tarred and feathered and/or put in stocks in the public square to be urinated on. I want that word to mean something, and it doesn't.

Well, people who claim that Hispanics are less intelligent and/or inherently socialist and therefore an existential danger to America's (supposed) liberal/libertarian traditions, are racist. That's a racist argument. And we shouldn't be afraid to say so. Sorry if you find it offensive, but I'm not going to pretend I don't think something is racist just because you think it might offend people. People should be offended. They should be offended by the idea that Hispanics are unfit to become American citizens.

Well, people who claim that Hispanics are less intelligent and/or inherently socialist and therefore an existential danger to America’s (supposed) liberal/libertarian traditions, are racist. That’s a racist argument.

It's a pair of sociological / psychological contentions. They may be true, or they may be false. Jason Richwine at his worst is less offensive than you at your best.

" Jason Richwine at his worst is less offensive than you at your best."


Yet 'those people = racists = claim is less human because of race or cultural features' are conflated with others, who reason that a) (such as Hispanics) are perfectly good people, in many ways harder workers than some US citizens yet b) there are simply too many of them arriving too quickly, and that should be stopped because the scale and pace of arrival causes harm to citizens of the place they are arriving.

You might argue that stopping immigration is hard, or evil, but a volume or scale or harm argument isn't a racist argument (except in that you may profess citizen is more important than non-citizen, and harms against citizens should be addressed before you address harms to non-citizens). I suppose you can call it in-humanist, since someone with reason to immigrate that is refused is harmed. Isn't a racist argument however.

It’s a pair of sociological / psychological contentions. They may be true, or they may be false.

Yes. So how does that make it not racist? Racism is a set of ideas that revolve around the contention that there are genetic differences between races. Or just the idea that "races" are a real thing.

For some reason this idea that different races exist and that they have different inherent traits has gotten a bad name over the last century. Maybe people are rationally skepitical of the benefits of following policies that are based on such ideas.

Would your town change if 1/2 of the population over a decade and a half were hispanics? Or Germans? Or Italians? Of course it would.

Your charge of racism becomes irrelevant and justifiably ignored if those changes are happening and any expression of discomfort or discontent with the direction is written off as racism.

The changes would not be all positive, and the community would never be the same again. It isn't racist to not like that.

Remember that those who dared speak out about the systematic rape of white girls in Rotherham were called racist and were disciplined.

That is the standard to which your accusations must be held. I automatically assume that an accusation of racism is a ploy to distract attention from evil.

derek the Canadian fears towns that are "half hispanic" but that has been unsurprising in the Southwest, since Mission San Diego was founded on July 16, 1769.

It is a truth that keeps on giving. The farther you are from Mexicans the more you fear them.

"Racism is a set of ideas that revolve around the contention that there are genetic differences between races. Or just the idea that “races” are a real thing."

False. Do you own a dictionary?


1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

Graco, fundamentally "Racism" as in "Race"-"ism" , is the beleif that races exist. It is the belief that humanity is divided into distinct "races". Hating other "races" is not a requirement.

"Hispanic Identity Fades Across Generations as Immigrant Connections Fall Away"

200 years from now, the lack of global open borders will be looked on as a crime against humanity as bad as what we think about slavery 200 years ago.

They will ask the same questions: “why couldn’t we do something about it” and history will record our time as saying something like “oh, the changes in the economy will be to hard (how will the cotton plantations run without slaves)” or “we’re too afraid of the newly free people (because slave/immigrant horrible people dangerous political ideas blah blah)”

We will be similarly judged as being horrible racist people without common dececeny.

Your reply Hazel is a bit of a rant (blah blah “poor white guy” etc) that doesn’t engage with what was written. I too believe in the moral equivalence of human beings but that’s not the same as saying there’s a right to unfettered (immigration) access to any polity one wants.

I thought he also raised good points about the contortions involved in stretching “race” complicity as far as some of us do... E.g. why is collective punishment bad when Israel does it against Palestinians but peaceful guys like, ahem, yours truly of Scandinavian descent gets slurred as a European master race colonist settler, as though my ancestors were imperialist Brits or Congo grabbing Belgians.

In short how long is the chain of moral guilt?

I thought he also raised good points about the contortions involved in stretching “race” complicity as far as some of us do

That is exactly the strawman argument I was responding to. Nobody involved in the immigration debate is arguing that immigration should be liberalized as some sort of recompense for the "race complicity" of white Europeans in oppressing third worlders. Yes, there might be people out there on the far left who claim that Europeans have oppressed other peoples, but there's no connection between that position and arguments made by advocates of immigration reform. They simply have nothing to do with eachother. Bryan Caplan does not go around ranting about neo-colonialism, and he is one of the leading advocates of open borders.

Bryan Caplan on numerous occasions has made it clear that he supports open borders to spite the jocks that snubbed him in high school.

It is very very common for any attempts at real immigration reform (i.e. reducing illegal immigration, moving to a points system) to be attacked on exactly this basis- that any such change is racist, white supremacist, etc. The whole edifice of race-based grievances is trotted out. And objectively, reform has nothing to do with race since no racial stratification is being proposed.

"people make racist arguments in favor of restricting immigration" is not equivalent to "white people are collectively guilty for the crimes of colonialism, and that's why we should have more immigrants."

Can you tell the difference?

All that definitely does get brought up. The idea that other countries (like Haiti) are doing badly "because of us" and therefore we have a moral obligation to let them immigrate to the U.S.

I've heard plenty of people maintain that other countries problems are caused by US interference, sometimes accurately, often not. That may be an argument that we're obliged to accept refugees from those countries when those countries are in some sort of present day crisis caused directly by our involvement. I.e. Since we started the war in Iraq, that's a pretty good argument we should accept Iraqi refugees. However, nobody is making the claim that the 18th century history of colonialism obligates "the west" writ large to accept immigrants as some sort of reparation for our historical sins, which is the claim that Gallatin is making.

One may, and here one does, tell a romantic tale of walls .. but the correct answer is "that's stupid."

A wall not only isn't a significant improvement on existing fences and drones, here it is not even part of a coherent immigration policy.

I love how no matter the topic, Hazel ALWAYS gets her little misandristic remarks in. She can't help it. It's what she is.

"Mexico is not at war with the US."

It sometimes seems to be at war with itself:

I'm curious - do you live in an area where Latino gangs operate?

It seems that generalization is a theme recently, when immigration is much more individual.

Just as immigrants from Africa are not entire "sh*thole" countries, immigrants from Mexico need not be gang members.

What about a divinity student? Too risky?

" ... when immigration is much more individual."

I am not being facetious when I say that while I'm sure this is obvious to you, I don't know what it means, or why you assert it.

But I will go so far as to agree that our experience, you and I, of the effects of immigration is individual. As an old-school enviro (once mainstream, now a "racist" thing to be) I will bemoan the traffic and the sprawl that is a feature of the boomtown I live in (it is parallel boomtowns, a tech-y, millennial one; and an immigrant fertility-driven one). I will probably eat a taco made by an immigrant this week. While I don't myself employ an immigrant, immigrants will soon be building a new house on my street, that I hope will persuade people this is a gentrifying neighborhood, and increase the value of my property. They will work seven days a week, as long as the weather is good, 11 or twelve-hour days. They aren't the "folks that brought you weekends," in other words, but it's not my problem.

Nor am I terribly worried about being shot in the head, and my remains discovered in a burnt-out car. That will happen to somebody within fifteen miles of me, this week or next, but it won't involve me, except in leaving the faint feeling that, in some way, I acquiesce in it. Maybe that is what the non-gang members in Mexico do too?

That actually kind of worked, until you got to "shot in the head" fantasies. Civilians don't get shot in the head. If you are trying to keep a meth territory, maybe.

Ah, so the people on the receiving end of cartel violence don't get that coveted "individual" status ...

Get real.

"There's no evidence that immigrants are either more or less likely to commit crimes than anyone else in the population,"

Really? The newspaper of record of America's motels said that? And duly considered the crimes committed by their children? Oh, those numbers aren't available? Well, still - what are we even arguing about?

And if you think about it - get even realer! The numbers may be even lower - they may even be negative! - if those guys from Yale are right that there are 22 million pre-citizens here, rather than the oft-reported 12 million.

But I guess we won't know how to take that latter claim until the USA Today submits it to scrutiny.

Gangs of all kinds have become dramatically less violent in California since the introduction of legal medical marijuana highly defunded them.

It is having the same effect as the end of Prohibition on Italian-American gangs.

Interesting. Sam Quinones utterly missed that. Swimming against the tide, he credits police work and prosecutors, with a nod to rising real estate prices:

1. How would walls keep out the undesirables from Ireland, those worshipers of many gods controlled by the Pope, those criminal Italians and Spanish, those Jesus killer thief Jews, those uneducated peasant farmers for Nordic areas, ...???

A century ago, the Trump-like anti-immigrant nationalist were working to keep out those Trump supposedly wants to get priority on immigration today.

Mexicans and Canadians were welcomed to come work and then go back home without placing a burden on schools and welfare.

But Melania Trump would have been most probably excluded by the Quota Act of 1921.

The number of Mexicans and Canadians coming to stay in the US rose as restrictions on their freedom to move around the US increased after 1965, and it soared after Clinton started building hundreds of miles of wall on the US Mexico border. The new restrictions and walls were compromises by Democrats with the conservative anti-immigrant [white] nationalists (many in the Democratic Party). The farmers wanted lots of Mexican migrants, so the restrictions of 1965 were not welcome, especially when combined with farm worker rights movements and laws.

[I grew up in Indiana when farms produced more than machine harvested crops like corn, soybeans, wheat, .... I remember farmers being vexed by migrant worker laws and regulations, but I didn't understand the reasons, nor what the impact would be. My dad moved to NY apple and peach country and got to know farmers in the 90s vexed by migrant worker rules and regulations. The 1965 and subsequent changes that restricted movement of Mexicans and Canadians has been very damaging to the US economy and to society in general.]

Note, in the two decades after restrictions, the number of "illegals" was 3 million. But in the decade after the wall building began, the number of "illegals" soared to over 10 million. And "illegals" are Spanish speaking, not those from outside the US who speak English no matter their status. Ie, Melania isn't an illegal immigrant. Where is the wall to keep out the Melanias? Those undesirable Catholics controlled by the Pope...

You're comparing apples-oranges immigration paradigms. Read the article.

> The velocity and scale of modern migration patterns are truly staggering.

> In the 1830’s migrating from Dublin to Philadelphia entailed a month-long journey on a disease-ridden vessel. 19th-century death rates on trans-oceanic journeys ranged as high as 30%. Today that same journey is a $500, 8-hour flight.

> Upon arriving in 1830s Philadelphia a past migrant’s only ties to their former homelands were unreliable mail and courier networks. Past migrants had little choice but get to know their new neighbors and as Emerson said, “construct a new race, a new religion, a new literature”. Today, WhatsApp, FaceTime, and regular low-cost flights to the old-country make this much less likely. Add on top of these technologies a “salad-bowl” public ethos of ethnic separation and you drastically increase the probability of factionalism and violence.

That is to say:

Immigration then worked differently than immigration today.

There was less of it

It was more difficult

The world was a "bigger place" such that ties to the old country withered and died, forcing people to re-identify with their neighbors in the new country

The article clearly points out that a wall requires internal policing, which is to say, duh if people are flying over and doing visa overstays a wall on the southern border isn't going to help.

> They must, of course, be paired with interior enforcement, labor verification, and law enforcement strategies.

Still the article is overall defending physical (and maybe metaphorical) walls against unchecked immigration from "poorly governed, demographically ballooning areas".

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make vis a vis the article and Trump/Melania/Peach farmers..

> "Immigration then worked differently than immigration today.

There was less of it

It was more difficult"

And yet amazingly the same arguments about crime and loyalty and non-assimilation were trotted out back then about those immigrants and we all turned out rather fine. In fact it's probabaly easier to assimilate with today's technology. I'm guessing today's recycled immigrant skeptics have zero experience with the mass of second-generation refugees who are as fluent in English as any native.

Keep in mind Melania came to the US as an entertainer, I don’t think she has an immigrant visa.

So how did Sam Goldwyn, Louis Mayer, and Darryl Zannuck get all their hot foreign prospects in the 1920s and 1930s? Did Garbo, Bela Lugosi, Ilona Massey, Paul Henried, etc... come on immigration visas, did they take up quota space?

I have no idea, but I suspect something else was going on. Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco while his parents were here performing in Chinese Opera.

Here's a slightly different question on this migration theme. I often here that capital is mobile and labor isn't so you hear conclusion from models based on those assumptions the labor wants to be taxed rather than having capital taxed. (I suppose one might also apply the public financing bit about taxing inelasticities to minimize welfare losses). But it that's really true the implication should be that only the wealthier would migrate and there should be a lot less concern about immigration rules.

The two positions seem inconsistent to me.

I think "Andrew" does not get why Kornai was partly wrong about China. He is right in noting Kornai downplaying role of China being lower income/more agricultural than Hungary/Eastern Europe. But I think he is wrong that private market capitalism is dominant in China. Even in nominally private companies, the state either is an outright part owner or otherwise substantially influences policy. China did it differently, in particular maintaining in fact stronger, if not so obvious control of leading sectors of the economy. A simple symbol of this is that in a classic market socialism like Hungary or the former Yugoslavia, there was no central planning, while in China they not only have still have it, but take it seriously, even though it is formally indicative rather than command. At the recent Party Congress there was much bragging about how they have now had more Five year Plans than did the former Soviet Union, and it is clear that it is driving a lot of policy.

Kornai simply did not foresee the unique and subtle way the state would maintain its supreme control of the economy in China. Bu then, nobody did, at least outside of China that I am aware of.

Chinese private companies don’t really take part in “central planning” but they do recognize that good relationship with the government is essential (or who knows what charges the boss might be brought up on). It is really weird to see all the photos of Chinese executives with CCP politicians in corporate Annual Reports. You aren’t going to see Jeff Bezos smiling next to Donald Trump on the first page of the Amazon Annual Report.

I suspect that Kornai will be right in the long run, he was just off in the timing of China's eventual slowdown.

Noah Smith has an ideological commitment to promoting immigration in general, and immigration to Japan in particular, which leads him to twist and misrepresent the Japanese social and political consensus regarding immigration. He tries to suggest that Japan wants and is trying to encourage immigration into Japan in the same sense and manner that US and Western elites do, which just isn't true. His purpose for this is to deflect attempts by Americans and Westerners opposed to immigration to point to Japan as a model for policy, as well as to push Japan towards more pro-immigration policies.

Indeed. Japan is remarkably closed to immigration. Wasn't there a story about how they sent all the people home who came to work on rebuilding after the tsunami? I had family there and there was a simple rule; an immigrant can't do a job that a Japanese person can do. So my uncle taught english, was a model, and did other jobs that only someone from elsewhere could do. That was a while ago, but I don't think it has changed very much.

Bingo! This comment is 100% correct and pierces through Noah Smith's deceptions. I'm actually disappointed in Tyler Cowen that he feeds into this.

Well he points out that Japan doesn't want low-skilled immigration. It is decidedly not looking for poor huddled masses. If American immigration were made up of only the kinds of workers Silicon Valley wants, 90% of the heat on the topic would disappear.

People in Silicon Valley want nannies, maids & gardeners as well as computer programmers.

I consider myself a fair minded moderate and I have stopped reading Noah Smith altogether. It isn't that I want an echo chamber, but he's so tendentious that I can't abide him.

Here's his opening sentence:

"Even as the Donald Trump administration tries to think up ways to keep talented foreigners out of the U.S., Japan is trying to lure them in. But it’s having trouble getting them to come."

If he can't engage with the strongest points of the immigration restriction crowd's arguments, as opposed to offering a caricature, why bother read him?

What is Trump's position on "skilled worker" visas?

Everything on the front page of my google search says he wants to cut them.

Tendentious? Or merely accurate?

The skilled worker visas have been abused. That's the problem. This story is from CBS, not exactly a Trump tool:

They should have used a chart, like this page. H1B levels have been the same since 1990, with one exception, one change.

The exception was a big surge 2000-2004, but that is long gone.

The change was the addition of 20,000 Masters slots.

So what's the problem? Not finding 65,000 + 20,000 qualified people per year? Or is this "displace Americans" just bad economics? Of course you could say a program with "1" visa displaced 1 American, but that is a pretty bad model.

4. Kornai should have looked at Singapore.

Also, China was only communist for 30 years before the change, so lots of people still remembered how to run a business. Unlike the USSR.

#2: The exact opposite is reality. Here is another article presenting that reality opposite from Noah Smith's fantasy world:

"Japan's Prime Minster Shinzo Abe refuses to relax immigration rules despite shrinking population"
"Less than 2 per cent of the population are foreign born"
"But when it comes to refugees, Japan is even less welcoming. In the first half of 2017 it accepted just three asylum seekers."
"Japan's reluctance to accept foreigners mirrors a wider caution towards immigration in a nation where many pride themselves on cultural and ethnic homogeneity."

Or here is another article featuring Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussing the Japanese plan to raise the birth rate of their current citizens and stabilize the population to a desired equilibrium level and focus on raising standard of living for citizens rather than population growth:

If you offered the people of the globe full citizen membership rights to live in Japan, of course you can easily find a billion takers. There is no problem drawing more people. Japan is quite deliberately not doing that and Noah Smith is quite deliberately misleading people for his own reasons.

Japan has introduced the system for skilled immigration, Smith decribed, yes or no? If the answer is yes, why if they do not want immigrants?
"There is no problem drawing more people."
You mean people would rather go to Japan (specially if they could pratically take their civilization with then) thn be in North Korean death camps or starve in African slums? The point remains, is the lack of skilled immigration (the only kind he Japanese may think about accepting) due to Japanese rejection of candidates or lack of candidates?

I don't believe Noah Smith's description of Japan's immigration system is accurate or reasonable. For example, I don't think this is true: "So for skilled workers, Japan is now among the easier rich countries to move to" .

I'm pretty sure this has changed but when the government went to a point system to attract skilled labor, in the first year of the new rules, an engineer who lived in Japan a few years wrote that he has a P.hD. and passed the most difficult level of a Japanese lanuage proficiency test, yet he was still ten points shy of the cut-off then.

Haha -- this may be one of those situations where they want to claim that they're "open to immigrants" so foreigners will stop criticising them, but then they rig the standards so that they don't actually have to accept more than a handful of immigrants. Like what they did with car imports, where in principle they were open to imported vehicles, but in practice the inspections regime, distribution networks, and other features of their market combined to make it extremely difficult to import cars into Japan.

I think they cautioned on the restrictive side at first but loosened the criteria the next year and I think even more a couple of years after that.

It's 2018 and our professors need to explain Why Walls Work.


It's pretty shameful that Tyler and his comrades have created a climate in which "George Gallatin" can't use his real name.

Without agreeing with everything "Gallatin" says, I am with you on this, y81!

What Tyler doesn't realize is that (slightly) right of centre libertarian economists are practically akin to Goebbels in the minds of the most zealous of the progressives who dominate the far left campus scene now. And whose baleful influence has spread from the campuses to the greater world. Does Tyler think his charm, and fondness for ethnic food, will help him?

Of course Tyler won't necessarily be beaten up with a sign hung around his neck, and he won't necessarily have to lock himself in his office on No-Whites-on-Campus day. But hiring practices will change slightly and his "type" will be isolated, and their "suspect" funding sources (right wing billionaires) will be challenged. There's a reason why right of centre types end up "off campus" at private institutes and think tanks.

#2. Because Japan is a rule-bound society where all important aspects of work are formalized and cleansed of emotional expression. Kind of like the workplace culture we are headed for when we expunge all impure passions and restore the image of equality and inclusion rendered in beautiful shades of corporate beige. |

What high-skill creative mind would want to through the aggravation of moving to work in a place like that?

Eh, Japan is still insular. From three data points, sure, "the number of foreigners living in Japan has risen a lot in recent years" but let me see years four and five.

Is China socialist today, or just a very authoritarian version of capitalist?

OMG, Japan is a shitbox of regimented, tortured robots and the girls have short legs. The whores are great, though!

China is far cooler to live - lots of lazy people so you can fuck around and hang out and smoke weed, and the girls are gorgeous, long-legged chicks for girlfriends (but the whores are bad compared to the Nips, who really get into being whores due to the whole subservient chick geisha shit!).

It's cool the Chinas hate the Japs -- who wouldn't after WW2? Japanese are NOT trustworthy, IMHO - really passive agressive little fucks who'll screw you while smiling. Opposite - Chinese will just put it out there that they DGAF about you, and that's cooler.

China's also got lots of different cultures and is far older and not so Nazified all up in their manners 'n shit.

They are both wildly snobbish, but what culture worth its shit isn't?

You don't really want to live in either place, man.

You wanna live - if you dig the sideways cookie -- in Cambodia, man. Just pick a spot with good Internet and decent ganja and enjoy the exchange rate for a few months while you do your Webex gigging and enjoying threesomes - if your girlfriend is Australian or South African, she can probably be talked into it. Don't take an American girl over there, she'll jump your shit right away and peep your mission statement - which is just to hang, smoke it and poke it up, and spend your long dollah.

What else matters besides fun times with drugs and sex, man? That's your filter for ALL data on these Asian places, IMHO.

We only live a few decades, don't blow it by licking some corporate or academic superior's asshole for 20 years and developing roids and rage!

Portrait Of The Young Man At Age 23

Or a young Tyrone's travelogue?

The Nips themselves are miserable, by the way. If you get to know them they think their life sucks, too.

they just can't break the chains, though. They WANT to, but they haven't got the balls to do it.

It's too bad.

Japan has trouble doing maintaining their own software devs, especially in large companies: Their idea of a life long salaryman who works crazy hours, makes just enough to have a sensible salaryman life, and not more, and whose life goes on tracks just doesn't work quite so well compared to triple the salary at American companies, especially for early grads. Their entire country's social situation is based on those tracks, and paying developers as they are worth anywhere else breaks down the system. Read Patrick McKenzie's article on Doing Business in Japan: He lives there, worked in those companies for years, and left that life to be both happier and make more money.

I asked some recent M.Sc. engineering grads why Japan was not on their list for taking a job. I was surprised since Japan is advanced in robotics and lots of other tech stuff. They had lots of hands-on lab experience so quite employable. Their list included North America, Europe, Australia, China and Singapore. Japan - "no way, you have to stay at the job till midnight if that's when your boss leaves even if you finished all your work hours ago."

Galatin’s argument is remarkably stupid.

“The plain truth is that walls are effective. They must, of course, be paired with interior enforcement, labor verification, and law enforcement strategies. ”

Sure, if you pair the wall with those other elements. But then you don’t need the wall. Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have no walls, but have been remarkably effective in keeping immigrants out simply by making it clear they are unwelcome. The Hungarian wall was for show to stop a few very poor migrants, but did nothing to stop thousands of immigrants in trucks and vans passing through to Austria.

A wall is a huge expense that will become completely ineffective the second a future administration decides to stop funding it. It would be a monument to fear and lack of will and nothing more.

"A wall is a huge expense that will become completely ineffective the second a future administration decides to stop funding it."

The wall will still exist as a physical barrier, though, until it decays or is deliberately destroyed. So we'll go from, say, 90% effectiveness to, say, 20% effectiveness when a future administration decides that borders are racist. If we rely solely on interior enforcement, labour verification, and other law enforcement, all of which can be cut off immediately with the stroke of a pen. So we'll go from 85% effectiveness to 0%.

There is a current section of wall that has reduced crossings by 90%. Went from patrolled to wall+patrolled. Obama even voted for it as Senator. Walls are VERY effective.

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