Low-skilled immigration seems to boost support for Republicans

In this paper we study the impact of immigration to the United States on the vote for the Republican Party by analyzing county-level data on election outcomes between 1990 and 2010. Our main contribution is to separate the effect of high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants, by exploiting the different geography and timing of the inflows of these two groups of immigrants. We find that an increase in the first type of immigrants decreases the share of the Republican vote, while an inflow of the second type increases it. These effects are mainly due to the local impact of immigrants on votes of U.S. citizens and they seem independent of the country of origin of immigrants. We also find that the pro-Republican impact of low-skilled immigrants is stronger in low-skilled and non-urban counties. This is consistent with citizens’ political preferences shifting towards the Republican Party in places where low-skilled immigrants are more likely to be perceived as competition in the labor market and for public resources.

Here is the NBER paper by Anna Maria Mayda, Giovanni Peri, and Walter Steingress.


No s**t!

Breaking news, the sky is blue!

To bad we're all getting conned. The USA has 2 major parties for immigration, one of them is paying lip service to enforcing the law.

"...one of them is paying lip service to enforcing the law."

To fair, the Trump administration has decided to actually enforce the law. This is clearly a case of the Rule of Law over the Rule of Man.

There are some encouraging signs, however I don't see any signs that the MS-13 members the Obama administration planted in undeserving societies have been wholesale deported. If the Trump administaration diverted as much money to the wall, as the Obama administration (illegally) diverted to subsidize money loosing ACA insurers (CSR), if might be enough to build the wall.


Also, covering 100% of the border with a fence similar as that between Israel and Jordan or the Hungarian one, would have immediate effects as a good stopgap issue:



The other option, is to require a large escrow payment for all temporary visas for nationals of low income nations. This would resolve many of the visa overstay problems, using economics rather than surveillance and police work.

MS-13? Nevermind then. This is not a quantitative argument.

It just gets worse from there...

We had ms-13 at the alternative school where I used to teach. The police told us they were responsible for one of the students that was murdered during my tenure. Of course none of the three murdered students was murdered on school grounds so nobody gives a shit and people tend to roll their eyes when you say ms-13.

Should actual changes to economic welfare matter more? Should we refuse a Net Good because some will need redress?

Here’s the problem with the current immigration debate: Neither side is revealing the whole picture. Trump might cite my work, but he overlooks my findings that the influx of immigrants can potentially be a net good for the nation, increasing the total wealth of the population. Clinton ignores the hard truth that not everyone benefits when immigrants arrive. For many Americans, the influx of immigrants hurts their prospects significantly.


How about a net loss?

Here's the thing about both trade and immigration: They grow the pie. They increase national wealth.

Now, if you do them, but at the same time oppose "tranfers" you have a problem. You make everyone on average richer, but some people actually poorer.

You *could* do globalization with tranfers, and make everyone richer.

Unless you are stuck in a no-tranfers version of free market ideology. Then you have to refuse the globalization, and make everyone poorer, in order to avoid making some people poorer.

What if you are bringing in people who are net recipients of tax dollars relative to what they pay?

(This is not a discussion of the size of the groups. Unless you are asserting that the group is empty, and no one is a net recipient of tax dollars, in which case go ahead and say that.)

Why do people keep what-if-ing contrary to the study?

Frankly I think this is the problem. Trumpist populism is fully divorced from quantitative responsibility.

There is no study that concludes that illegal immigrant families are net contributors to the treasury because it isn’t true. Maybe it’s true given enough qualifiers which are left out of the NPR headline and radio blurb, ala “illegal immigrants commit less crime than Americans*”

*If you compare them to the highest crime demographics in the country.

FYI, the GDP can grow while the average person gets poorer. There is no evidence that the median American’s lot is improved by the marginal illegal immigrant’s presence.

Try bringing a link to a data fight.



LOL, try reading your own damn links. This is a quote from the link you posted above:

" Immigrants receive government assistance at higher rates than natives. The higher cost of all the services provided to immigrants and the lower taxes they pay (because they have lower earnings) inevitably implies that on a year-to-year basis immigration creates a fiscal hole of at least $50 billion—a burden that falls on the native population."


But that is only on the tax accounting basis, and doesn't incorporate GDP growth.

Move them goal posts .... push.....harder...you can do it....

No, this is my original position, and if you guys can't deal with it maybe I should just quit for the day.

My first comment this is been about whether you value GDP growth, or if you want to knuckle down and avoid growth, to protect unskilled labor.

Thomas posted: "There is no study that concludes that illegal immigrant families are net contributors to the treasury because it isn’t true. "

You responded with "Try bringing a link to a data fight." and posting a link.

The link supports his position. Just man up and admit you are wrong for once, instead of trying to dodge the issue.

I am maybe in a funny position arguing for the libertarians, but I think you guys still aren't talking about GDP growth, only instantaneous transfers.

That certainly does not disprove my point, that you can win on the GDP even as you pay the transfers:

In fact, most economists doubt that a 3 to 4 percent growth rate is possible at all without some fundamental policy shift. Sustained periods of such high growth haven’t occurred since the tech boom of the 1990’s and, before that, the baby boomers entering the workforce in the 1960’s. But according to a new analysis, there is a quick route to high growth: a massive increase in immigration.


Surely you get how even if GDP goes up, if GDP per capita goes down, everyone can be worse off??

Do you think you're fooling anyone, or do you have cartman-level delusions?

"Why do people keep what-if-ing contrary to the study?"

It's not really difficult to comprehend that his statement doesn't contradict the results of the study. An immigrant can "increase the total wealth of the population" and still be a drain to the average taxpayer.

If a low skilled immigrant household earns $20K per year and pays $2,000 per year in taxes, but consumes $4,000 per year in services. They add $20K to GDP but still consume far more services than they pay for.

Will the made-up numbers ever cease?

How about reading the article you linked to above? {rolls eyes}

The original link is the one that looks at total net benefit for the economy.

In addition to their net fiscal effects, Immigrants impose high levels of externalities via social trust and impact on rivalrous goods (Aren't you glad your children have to learn Spanish now? And that house prices are so high in the bay area?) Not to mention the effects on the long term political dynamics of the Republic (But of course all political cultures are equally friendly to liberty, aren't they?).

Pro-immigrant advocates needs to stop pretending that a short term GDP growth argument is a slam-dunk win. I'll respect them when they can put together a proper cost-benefit analysis over the long term with transfers to show how immigration is pareto efficient at the margin.

Here's the thing about both trade and immigration: They grow the pie. They increase national wealth.

If you could limit immigration to the kinds of people who are, in this analogy, really good at pie-growing vs the ones who are only good at eating pie, you'd wind up with more pie than in a scenario where you assume all immigrants have equal pie-growing skills. This is essentially an optimization problem. If want to say we shouldn't think about it that way because it reduces humans as mere inputs in a pie-grow, then say so, but don't try to make utilitarian arguments and then ignore the factors that effect the utility in question.

I have no problem with high-skill or points-based immigration *but*:

I believe that unskilled immigration reliably raises GDP across the literature.

I am not the one refusing reality,

Okay, but government transfers are a component of GDP statistics, so you can have a rise in GDP statistics thanks to low-skilled immigration and still leave the natives worse off.

I think George Borjas has done that math, but there is a quick sanity check:

More immigration means more labor. More labor means more output. More output means more GDP.

To believe otherwise is to believe in a zero sum game, in which more people working always produce (and consume) the same.

Nope. My concern is that these folks annual contributions to GDP do not equal the per capita costs of the social spending programs (Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, whatever) they're eligible for. Pretty simple. Nothing to do with thinking in zero sum terms.

At this point you should probably find a study to support your position, rather than just "wondering" all day.

From the Minneapolis Fed:

A representative recent immigrant with more than a college degree contributes over $800,000 to government coffers on net over a 75-year period. In contrast, a typical recent immigrant who lacks a high school diploma represents a net cost of
about $117,000 dollars. Interestingly, this net cost does not reflect disproportionate outlays as compared with similar natives. Table 3 shows the difference in net fiscal 75-year impacts of immigrants versus natives by education level. Although low-skilled immigrants impose a net fiscal cost, apparent in Table 2, the net fiscal cost of natives of similar education is far larger.


Note that I'm not crazy about transfer to natives, either, so maybe that's what I ought to be more concerned about.

Those are two separate issues. The fact that we lose more money on low skilled natives doesn't lesson the fact that we lose money on low skilled immigrants.

"To the extent that immigrants impose net costs,
these are concentrated at the state and local level and are largely due to the costs of public

Big deal.

Yes, really big deal, I agree

Here’s a quick sanity check: we have a progressive tax system -> the median consumption is greater than the median production.

Does the average illegal immigrant earn higher income than the average legal resident despite language, education, and legal restrictions?

The classic working person opposition to immigration probably is based on a zero sub mental model of economy.

Now who is the one spouting off without any evidence?

Increasing GDP by adding head count means absolutely nothing. You haven't done any work to demonstrate that low skilled immigration is an economic benefit to current residents.

Here is one example :


Because the net cost to state and local governments is closely related to immigrants’ education and income, the socioeconomic composition of the immigrant population determines the fiscal impact in each state. For example, because New Jersey has a high proportion of well-educated and high income immigrants who contribute more to state and local revenues than they consume in public services, the net fiscal burden of immigration is small in New Jersey. In contrast, California’s high share of less-educated and low-income immigrants means that immigrants’ contribution to state and local revenues is smaller relative to their consumption of public services. As a result, the estimated fiscal burden of immigration is five times higher for native residents of California than of New Jersey.

Doesn't that support what I said more than what you said?

My point too.

If California has the highest GDP in the country, it may not sweat those tranfers.

That seems like an obfuscation.

No. Is my original question. Which is more important to you? That everyone get rich, with transfers? Or are you so opposed to transfers that you must keep everyone poor?

California pay some transfers, and has the highest GDP in the nation.

The obvious fallacy here is that California did not get rich because of unskilled immigration. It got rich because of skilled migration! Highly skilled!

What is the historic share of agriculture in the California economy?

What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

California's agricultural output is the largest amount for any state and made up 12.5 percent of the total agricultural production for all 50 states.

So in answer to your original question, there are roles for unskilled labor.

That was not an answer to my original question, but okay.

I was at an investors presentation for a robotics ETF, and they were showing video of an apple picking robot. It was very cool, the thing works, but what struck me was all of the potential customers (apple growers) unanimously agreed that in 20 years there will be almost zero unskilled Mexican immigration. That country will grow but more importantly they have plummeting fertility in Mexico.

This problem will largely take care of itself.

No it won't. There are votes to be bought and Facebook gets rich regardless of whether its eyeball count comes from French physicists or Somali clansmen. Even their pathetic title-pawn loans can be aggregated and securitized.

msgkings said, "This problem will largely take care of itself."
In my role in DevOps, I've eliminated the jobs of seven technical support team members over the last three years., however, the new Google Duplex service has the capability to eliminate *all* first tier Sales, Technical, Medical, Banking, and General Support jobs.


Anon, your line of argumentation is so stupid it is hard to take seriously.

I am sorry, I still can't see your link to actual data.

Your data disproves your points but you aren’t capable of comprehending that. I thought you were intelligent.

Did you even look at the original link?

This overlooks my findings that the influx of immigrants can potentially be a net good for the nation, increasing the total wealth of the population.

"Should actual changes to economic welfare matter more? Should we refuse a Net Good because some will need redress?"

Matter more to who? Who is we? Part of the issue here is that everyone promises that they will do things to help the losers in this exchange, but damn little ever comes from that except talk. Nothing strange about those losers looking to the political process to make them whole, its what democracy is all about.

We have an Earned Income Tax Credit very much stuctured to protect the working poor as they face Globalization.

How much higher it should be, if at all, to compensate for low skill immigration is just math.

As is picking an immigration level for strong, or even maximum, economic growth.

If you wanted to pick the immigration level for maximum economic growth we would be letting in zero low-skilled immigrants and a lot of high-skilled immigrants

I would favor a moderately large wage subsidy (for citizens). The underground economy would end up unsubsidized and at a disadvantage instead of at an advantage by avoiding taxes.

Agreed. Taxation should fall on consumption unless you have a really good reason otherwise! Alas for the follies of our age!

According to a non-‘s logic the average Chinese person has more economic welfare than the average Swiss citizen, because “China has a larger GDP and I’m an idiot”.

You tell me Thomas, is it a positive or negative for China, is it a positive or negative for the United States, that China surpass the united states with the highest GDP on Earth?

Listen, you dope. Your argument is that increasing GDP by bringing in immigrants who earn less than average income will increase consumption net of transfers. This is disproven by a concept known as division:

17t/y > 18t /1.1y

If you’re still having trouble consider whether the average person is wealthier sharing $100 among 10 people or $200 among 25 people.

More made up numbers *and* a steady state view of immigrant potential.

No one's kid becomes Steve Jobs ..

The inequality is true for all ratios less than the first ratio, which is a trivial proof. When your argument is disproven by a trivial proof, reflect.

In other words, unless illegal immigrants earn greater than the GDP per capita ex ante, they reduce GDP per capita. The GDP of Venezuela is greater than the GDP of my city, but the residents of my city eat steak and they eat rats.

This is weird. Anonymous seems to be genuinely stupid here. You'd think anyone could understand the GDP-per-capita thing?

Perhaps he's not trying to maximise native welfare, but simply state power via immigration? He's thinking more like Stalin; who cares if the peasants starve, behold the power of their state! It's delightfully feudal.

Thomas, God help him, hit on one of the important issues here.

When you refused the minds and hands of immigrants, they don't sit still at home. They create increasingly powerful and competitive economies of their own.

Homeboy, you are literally arguing against basic arithmetic. It is mathematically impossible to increase the GDP per capita by increasing proportion of the population earning less than GDP per capita. Acknowledge this basic point and move on. Be honest for a change.

Lol what a bizarre comment. Didn't you just say it's not zero-sum? Why would it be bad for the home economy to become bigger and stronger? That's good for everyone (if true)

This format rocks on mobile!!!

Most Irish and Scottish immigration in the past (as President Trump is fully aware of) was of the low skilled variety (and in a number of cases, English was the second language of such immigrants).

One wonders what might be the difference between a low skilled maid from the Hebrides whose second language was English and one from the Dominican Republic whose second language is English. Assuming that the viewer is being obtuse, of course.

'and they seem independent of the country of origin of immigrants'

Build the Wall! Or, in the original words at the start of his presidential campaign - "I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall."

(And the irony of Trump saving Chinese jobs at a company that violated American sanctions against Iran paired with this, from the same announcement speech, is pretty much off the scale - 'I beat China all the time. All the time.' ZTE is undoubtedly looking forward to further Trump beatings, one can assume, while it continues to evade American sanctions.)

Wait, are you arguing that the US wouldn't be better off without Scots-Irish and Irish immigrants? I mean, if you want to pick an example of low-skilled immigrants whose descendants have successfully assimilated there have got to be better examples than those two groups of people.

Make Ireland pay for the wall!

Just about everyone in the 1800s was poor unskilled labor. That's call "the 1800s". It was nasty, brutish, and short. Especially in a place like Ireland where they literally got starved to death.

Here's the thing though, people were poor but not "the poorest". The mere ability to afford crossing the Atlantic, even in steerage, usually meant the ability to save a substantial sum. One rarely was dealing with the underclass, but at a minimum people capable to producing economic surplus and planning for the future. It's just the case that practically everyone back then was poor by our standards.

Good point. Plus the government was small so the cost of lower-skilled immigrants in terms of health, education and other services was likely outweighed by their contributions of labor and even capital.

Today, educating a single child runs about $7000 a year while a birth is about $10,000.

And then there’s the cultural factor, and I don’t mean just language and shared heritage. An immigrant from Scotland in 1900 was so separated from their native country by distance, cost of travel and lack of communication that the incentive to assimilate was overwhelming.

Pro-immigration references to the past are mostly worthless.

You are familiar with the numerous Little Italy's and Chinatowns found in most cities?
And how these assimilation is never a one way street, that the host culture was changed as much as the immigrant? To the degree that a visitor from 1818 would find modern American culture wholly alien?

"An immigrant from Scotland in 1900 was so separated from their native country by distance, cost of travel and lack of communication that the incentive to assimilate was overwhelming."

Not quite so...Many immigrants from 1900s lived in areas crowded by other immigrants from same region. So there was little incentive to assimilate and learn English. Still they did do...So no major reason to believe it will not happen with today's immigrants.

Pro-immigration references to past are still worthwhile.

Especially since the arguments are virtually word for word, except swapping "Yellow Horde" for "Low IQ" because it sounds more modern and sciency.

So no major reason to believe it will not happen with today's immigrants.

We'll just have to repair to the minor reason that the educrat sector has been working to promote Spanish language retention and that elites in general (especially higher ed elites) carry around with them a conception of privilege and immunity in which hispanophone mestizos rank just below sexual deviants and blacks (and well above non-exotic wage earners).

It's funny how everyone thinks science has come so far EXCEPT IN THIS ONE AREA where it has obviously stalled out since the 1700's and the failure of science hundreds of years ago means that no science on this subject is ever trustworthy. Medicine in general is on the other hand is TOTALLY different.

Just about everyone in the 1800s was poor unskilled labor.

The bulk of the population consisted of yeoman farmers, artisans, and merchants. I think they had some skills.

Not sure about the states, This site indicates the majority of the population of England was by 1840 literate:


Especially in a place like Ireland where they literally got starved to death.

Ireland suffered an acute famine in the 1840s which induced a demographic disaster. Ireland was less affluent than Britain (with, per the Maddison project, per capita income levels about 45% blow those of Britain and 20% below those of France). It was still recognizably European in its income levels (equal to Sweden's).

"Ireland was ca. 1820".

Yes. US 1800's immigrants were "reasonably good quality" human capital, by the global standards of the time. Furthermore, the economy then was much less capital and skills intensive, as has been pointed out; the premium on skills was much lower and government transfers all but non-existent.

So it's perverse to argue that America was built on immigration with low human capital or that the same 1800 skill mix now wouldn't be a net fiscal drag.

I wonder what cutoff the authors use for low vs. high skill. The same authors published a paper earlier showing that immigration as a whole reduces Republican voting share, so their cut-off for “low-skill” here seems like it’d probably be really low: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21941

George J. Borjas, at the link above, looks at the wage impacts on US High School dropouts.

I think they are the same effect. Immigrants tend to vote for Democrats, but US citizens who are exposed to low-skill immigrants tend to vote for politicians who oppose low skill immigration (who tend to be Republicans).

How does that fit with this:

"only 2 percent of all U.S. counties have both—a high concentration of Trump’s primary voters as well as high immigration or trade. More than 60 percent of counties that had very high support for Trump showed low concentrations of Mexican immigrants or trade exposure."


Ah, but they heard about the reaction to Trump's taco bowl. Since coastal elites considered that to be Not Good Food, they all ran to the bulwarks to protect their civilization.

That is non-responsive. The question in the paper is how low-skill immigration moves the needle. It's not a question of where the needle already is or what caused the needle to be where it already is.

I think whenever we evaluate these types of things, we need to remember the two-party system does have a natural equilibrium towards 50-50. Dramatic shocks can destroy or create a party, but slow moving changes just force a party to adapt.

An alternative hypothesis is that low skilled immigration under some definitions and measurements boosts support for republicans *over time*, but is very damaging towards the vision of America for Republicans in the past. I don't necessarily think this is or isn't the case, but it's the correct counter-factual to consider when measuring the dynamic changes of parties over time.

Honestly, I think you're lost. You probably thought this was SSC. We only like low-quality comments here. Think Prior or Mulp. Try harder to emulate them next time.

> Honestly, I think you're lost. You probably thought this was SSC.

+1 - Thank you for this day's chuckle.

Immigration is an easily solved problem.

Let in the following:
Males: Iq >= 120
females: 7 or better (no makeup)

Problem solved.

Objectively, yes. But not for special interests who want low-skilled labor and open border fanatics who are satisfied with nothing less than the destruction of the nation

Mmm....assuming females are uniformly distributed on a 1 to 10 scale, such that 40% make 7+, then that's 4 female migrants for every male. Approved.

In other words, if you're qualified to be Alex or Tyler's student, you can get in as a male, if you're qualified to get on The Apprentice, you can get in as a female!

High IQ is overrated for building a healthy society. Low IQ populations have obvious drawbacks, but high IQ types do as well, particularly when they concentrate in cities and have parasitic jobs. High IQ types are useful for certain technical jobs but it's best to have intelligence evenly distributed throughout your society.

Ethnic interests add another wrinkle. High IQ multi-culturalism is likely even worse than mixed IQ multi-culturalism. It's true high IQ people don't exhibit the high crime, welfare dependency, etc., but if they have distinct ethnic interests they will subvert the interests of the native population. And high intelligence just means they'll be all the more effective in doing this.

Evidence please? What do you make of Canada and Australia?

LOL. They're done as Commonwealth "countries" once China just sends 40M homebuyers to each.

Here's the problem with this paper. There was no strong hypothesis made before the study, therefore the data cannot support a hypothesis. It is random data.

How do we know this? Because it covers the period 1990 - 2010. Were Republicans against immigration over that period? Where? Not in Texas they weren't.

This is retconning the Republican position on immigration. Bush and Bush did not share Trump's anti-immigration views.

Here's my hypothesis. People in places most inundated by low-skilled immigration were most likely to turn Republican because... the Dixiecrats died out over that period. I believe this is well-documented. Ann Richards was governor of Texas in the early 90's because of Dixiecrat votes. The Republican shift over the course of the decade had nothing to do with immigration.

Ann Richards was governor of Texas because she had a quite inept opponent, and I believe his words from years before were used against him.

You're missing the forest for the trees.

If in 2010 an Ann Richards type Democrat had run against a Clayton Williams Republican type, Clayton Williams would have won in a landslide, despite any rape jokes he might have made to reporters. That's because the state had shifted very Republican over those 20 years. The reason is that the rural-Dixiecrats died off. The Republican conversion of the state had nothing to do with immigration.

There has indeed been 23 years of Republican executives of Texas since Richards. You might be right. As an anecdote, I lived on campus during the Richards/Clayton election campaign, and any foreign student in the dorm would be able to register to vote, if he or she desired so, I did not!

"People in places most inundated by low-skilled immigration were most likely to turn Republican because..."

California, New York metro, DC metro, Chicago metro, Florida, Georgia, Texas

Low skilled immigrant areas go Democratic. That Texas, Florida, and other Southern States go GOP is due to cities not determining the government for the State. E.g., Houston is Democratic, but rural Texas is GOP and not immigrant, even though heavily Mexican because Texas was carved out of Mexico and 150 years of immigration has failed to erase it's Mexican roots. While not quite a one drop rule, the Bush family embraces the Mexican blood from living in Texas for a generation. Unlike Trump who seems to deny the Slavic heritage of his current family.

Both Columba Bush and Melania Trump are low skill immigrants.

No kidding!
Earlier waves of unskilled labor were easier to absorb. The recent waves have displaced too many working class Americans. In retrospect, I have had employers remark that the immigrants work harder and take less breaks. The illegal factor is especially distasteful to people who have seen their wages or work hours reduced because their employers can't compete on contracts because others undercut the fair and legal market.
If every immigrant was an Elon Musk, not many would object because of his productivity.

What evidence do you have for them taking jobs Americans want, or that GOP voters have done in a hundred years?

Maybe they displaced blacks in the fields and other farm labor jobs, but Mexicans have been doing the farm work for a century since farms were automated and the farm labor booted out of farm housing and board in the 20s and 30s.

Granted many jobs were decent jobs, because of unions, like the meat packing union workers, but it wasn't immigrants that displaced union workers.

It was GOP "right to work" at slave labor wages policies. Moving meat packing southwest from Chicago was a competitive advantage until all meat packing was gone from Chicago, and NYC, etc, and now is was a race to the bottom with lower and lower wages and harder work conditions, until no American worker would take the job, and only those Americans who like boiling frogs were cooked to the point they simply died out.

The GOP has hated the unions and "prevailing wage" laws that kept jobs in the "big cities" employing American workers, but where the GOP destroyed both, the jobs and wages became so poor that few Americans have been willing to do them.

Reagan is more responsible than anyone for making slashing wages and benefits for the working class a high priority policy in the public and private sectors.

It isn't possible to study this without taking ethnic tribalism into account.
Right now the mysterious ability of brown skinned people to get people to vote leaves the white people as some strange passive spectators with no agency of their own.
It can't be explained by economics. The impact of Republican policy robs the working class of far more money than immigrants.

Some of us really don't put a color in front of our American citizenship.

We, the unhyphenated Americans.

Dominant cultures never need to.
When your city decides to close the schools for Eid and keep them open on Christmas Day you will discover right quick what your color is.
Which is where all this is coming from.
White people are apprehensive about their loss of cultural hegemony and anxious about their declining economic prospects in a global economy.

We are a nation built on an idea, not an ethnicity.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness ..."

It is a nicely expandable idea, one that has made us the greatest nation on earth.

Don't discard it so easily.

But the Constitution says, "to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity". It means WASP rule.

Look who reads Steve Sailer's blog.

I don't usually it. But some friends of mine have read it ocasionally. I oppose racial supremacism. Brazil welcomes people from all nations and races. President Temer is from Lebanese stock and very-well regarded in his family's country. He was very poor, but he prospered because Brazil is a land of opportunity.

Thiago, you are a g-- damn American treasure.

No, I am a Brazilian treasure.

Absolutely we should embrace our multicultural identity.

But we have to confront f the power of ethnic tribalism which was sufficient to take control of a majority of our elected bodies.

They have skills, a huge meth trade between Calizuela and Mexico. The cartels are skilled at bribing Calizuela politicians and spreading meth around Hispanic communities. In Fresno, the meth capital of the world, a new shipment of meth from Mexico will send another 1,000 brain damaged victims to LA, where they live on the street and die by the age of 50. Mexica is a failed state, Calizuela will soon follow.

Oh I get it, Calizuela is like Cailfornia but mixed with Venezuela. Droll!

Given that we are now a larger economy than the UK, perhaps it should be Great Calitainia.

Compared to say, Kansazuela.

Most people in the 1800’s were very poor and unskilled. But, that’s the 1800’s and it wasn’t the most pleasant. The government was small at the time, which meant the cost of the lower-skilled immigrants with regards to education and other services were likely to be outweighed by the contributions of labor. Now, education for an individual is more than $5000 a year. Now, immigrants with this load of education cost cannot travel to their native country.

Most people in the 1800’s were very poor and unskilled.

Evidently your memory of the nineteenth century has faded badly. Many people were more skilled than their current descendants. There were then, just as now, individuals that did things that others could not, which was why they were able to make a good living. These would include blacksmiths and wheelwrights, bakers, butchers, carpenters, plumbers, chefs, teamsters, brewers, and marginally skilled people like newspaper writer and doctors. Blue water sailers and steam engineers, too. All occupations that you and others of this generation couldn't enter without years of training and experience. And that's the way it was for those in the nineteenth century as well.

In fact, education has been part of the life process since the stone age. For normal people, even the illiterates of tribal societies, education is a daily experience. Maybe not what you and others might consider education, ie. sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a room full of uninterested post-pubescent knuckleheads listening to some tenured pseudo-intellectual describe something that he's only read about. But learning new things is in itself education, regardless of how it's done.

In 1840, nearly 70% of Americans worked in agriculture.

My unskilled ancestors who arrived in the 1800's also worked the land.

My unskilled ancestor who arrived in the US in 1912 was a waiter. He saved up his money, bought a restaurant, then a hotel.

I, their descendent, am a very well-paid knowledge worker in the top 1% and pay a huge amount of state, local, and federal tax!

You are equating knowledge with skill. They're not the same thing. A person with immense knowledge can have few skills. Someone could memorize Keynes' The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money and still have zero skills.

On the other hand, an illiterate field worker must know some things about plants and animals and be able to provide proper care for them. Just because they get soiled during the process doesn't mean that they're "low skilled".

People who sit in front of computer screen all day, pecking away at a keyboard or nattering on a phone, might consider themselves "skilled workers". Actually, they're just one element in a complicated data entry system.

Sure, "skills" or even current salary is only a proxy for productivity/earning power, which is what we are ultimately interested in, right?

Re-cast the argument to only immigrants with "high earning power" or "high expected net fiscal gain" and you have the steelman case. There must be a level at which the marginal immigrant is a loss-making proposition!

Most people in the 1800’s were very poor and unskilled. But, that’s the 1800’s and it wasn’t the most pleasant. The government was small at the time, which meant the cost of the lower-skilled immigrants with regards to education and other services were likely to be outweighed by the contributions of labor. Now, education for an individual is more than $5000 a year. Now, immigrants with this load of education cost cannot travel to their native country.

I give up... With so many posts each day, I cannot keep up with this blog!

Which, ironically, proves you are human.

So, what skills did the current First Lady bring to the U.S.?

Certainly not a degree in architecture and design from the University of Ljubljana.

Yet, strangely, no one seems to remember our first naturalized citizen First Lady in these discussions. Trump exemplifies how America is made great by the immigration of low skilled females whose first language is not English, after all.

Probably no one "remembers" her because she is totally irrelevant?

Well, that is harsh. The first naturalized citizen to be First Lady, whose second language is English, with a single year of college education, is irrelevant? She would seem to perfectly fit the concept of a low skill immigrant, just as Trump's mother did, and it is irrelevant to discuss America's blessings in having such immigrants contribute to the very highest levels of American political leadership?

Is this an example of Trump Derangement Syndrome? Because till now, I can not recall anyone dismissing the First Lady as being 'irrelevant.' I assume a normal Republican voter is thoroughly satisfied with the job performance of such a low skill immigrant up till now.

I think your opponent just says "single sample anecdotal argument", doesn't he, Prior?

Your opponent smiles to see you waste a shot.

It is not a shot. It is fascinating to see any discussions of low skill immigration into the U.S. with absolutely zero reference to the mother of the current president of the U.S. or of his current wife, so as to cover both older and current periods.

What is interesting is how many of the same group of people that are apparently appalled at low skill immigrants are also ardent supporters of the son of a low skill immigrant, who is currently married to a low skill immigrant.

It would seem that such a typical American success story would be celebrated, not ignored. Particularly as it illustrates that such measures as 'skill' are imperfect at best, when choosing immigrants that contribute to the U.S., such as a child of a domestic being elected to the highest office of the land.

Both the President and the First Lady are living examples of the benefits that low skill immigration has brought to the U.S., demonstrating, as basically all Americans believe, that anyone can be president, even if their mother grew up not speaking English and came to the U.S. to work as a domestic. This is a classic American success story, and one that remains oddly uncelebrated by people concerned about America's greatness, which is to major measure based on future Americans coming to the U.S. to live a better life.

Single Sample Anecdotal Argument Fail. And a hypocrisy fallacy. LoL.

Slow down there, Prior, keep some material for later!

This remains intriguing. President Trump is the president of the U.S., and the child of a non-native English speaking mother who was a low skill immigrant. He is a true example of what makes America as an immigrant nation great, even if you seem to dismiss this point.

Further, he married a non-native English speaking wife, who was a low skilled immigrant in turn.

There are many examples of low skill immigrants becoming great Americans, after all, even if you may not be familiar with them. This is what makes America great, that it is a nation that attracts people to come and contribute to its greatness.

The strange thing is, that instead of celebrating Trump as clear proof of this reality, most people simply gloss over it.

And he is not a single sample, though of course he is fairly unique in being president. Maybe you have heard of Sergey Brin (arrived as a child, admittedly)? Or possibly Rupert Murdoch (already rich, of course)? Or the former two term governor of California named Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Arnold Schwarzenegger exemplifies the low skill immigrant category, as he was a body builder when first residing in America. Nonetheless, he too has made major contributions to the U.S. in a number of ways, and the U.S. has benefitted from his determination to live in America. And the parallels to Trump show that Trump is not a single sample, particularly in light of how both of them reached high office as Republicans.

The U.S. is pretty unique in this way, and something that remains a source of pride for many Americans. And to have such discussions about immigrants without anyone pointing to actual examples of how America has always benefitted from those considered to be low skill immigrants is to ignore America's reality.

It pains me to say this but prior's posts in this thread have been mostly outstanding.

All of his examples are true and irrelevant. Respectfully, Msgkings, It's just cherry-picking.

Firstly, you need to look at what happens to ALL low skill immigrants, on average, not just the wildly successful ones. Hasty induction fallacy.

Secondly, calling out hypocrisy of (some) Reps on this doesn't invalidate their general argument. Its a variant of ad-hominem fallacy.

One thoughtful point that MIGHT be relevant RE Melania Trump; allowing people to buy their immigration with a sufficient large payment to the treasury to cover expected cost (including externalities, and a profit for the public purse).

Kinda like, we don't mind if a billionaire imports a hot but clueless wife from abroad, so long as he makes a large payment on her behalf?

Didn't we try mass importation of a cheaper, browner helot class once before? How'd that work out?

Conversation overheard in university, circa 1890:

"This university upholds the canon of Western civilization, the glory of Greece and the grandeur of Rome!"

"Sir, a couple applicants are here, a certain Mr. Giusseppe Giancarlo and a Mr. Spiros Papadokis"

"Bah! Lower caste helots, who understand nothing about Western Culture- Away with them! Now let us resume our reading of Virgil..."

I'm talking about the African farm equipment, genius.

Oh, the people who built America and made it into an economic and cultural superpower?

Worked out pretty well.

I believe the skill she brought was being smoking hot.

Probably the best thing about Trump is he provides the best looking First Lady in history. She makes Jackie K look like a bag lady. Too bad she hates his guts.

Oh, the people who built America and made it into an economic and cultural superpower?

Worked out pretty well.

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