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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Illegal Aliens Drive Wages UP? Right.

By Walter Moore, Chief Economist and Legal Analyst, L.A. Policy Institute.

You will probably hear the "open borders" advocates start trumpeting a new study which concludes that "immigrants" have not depressed wages in California. The study, "How Immigrants Affect California Wages And Employment," is flawed and misleading for the following reasons:

1. The Study Ignores Taxes And Public Spending

The study's author does not even purport to consider the effect of illegal immigration on taxes and spending. He does not, for example, factor in the cost of educating the children of illegal aliens, or the cost of catching, prosecuting and imprisoning illegal aliens who commit violent crimes. How much better off would Americans be without the tax burden that illegal aliens create? The author makes no effort to quantify that tax burden, and you know the expression: it's not what you make that counts, it's what you keep.

2. The Study Equates Wages With Insterstate Migration

The study's author concludes that: i) there has been no net migration of American citizens out of California; and ii) therefore, immigration has not depressed the wages of Americans working here. But that makes no sense. Even assuming that the influx of aliens has not persuaded more Americans to flee the state than to enter it, that circumstance in no way proves that wages are just as high as they would be without the massive influx. On the contrary, without the massive invasion of illegal aliens, one would expect American workers to flock to California for the climate -- and, of course, the opportunity to be "discovered."

3. The Study Equates Legal And Illegal Immigration.

The study's author does not even purport to distinguish between legal and illegal aliens. This is important for two reasons. First, the author includes in his study data from immigrants who have Ph.D's and work in high-tech jobs. Do you think the immigrants designing microchips are the same ones walking across the border from Mexico? Second, the author does not even attempt to explain how he could possibly have reliable data on the income of illegal aliens, who are paid cash "under the table." How then, can he reliably measure and compare the wages of illegal aliens, legal aliens, and American citizens?

4. The Study Assumes But Does Not Prove Aliens Take "Jobs No One Wants"

Upon reviewing data showing that "immigrants" dominate various low-paying jobs, the author simply assumes that Americans do not want those jobs. That assumption, however, is no substitute for actual data. One can just as easily argue that Americans do not want those jobs AT THE WAGES EMPLOYERS PAY ILLEGALS, but would be happy to do the work at higher wages -- wages the employers would pay if there were not an army of illegal aliens ready, willing and able to do that work for low wages, especially if they do not pay income taxes, and enjoy the benefits of "free" education, health care, welfare for their children, etc.

* * *
The study thus fails to show that California wages are unaffected by the massive influx of "immigrants," and does not even begin to address the impact of "immigrants" on taxes and expenditures. You can bet, however, that the "open borders" advocates will claim the study "proves" that "immigrants" are "good for the economy." Your job, when someone makes that claim, is to ask them to explain the study to you and, when they can't, tell them why the study is no good.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good analysis Walter. Now that Bush, McCain and Kennedy et al are about to peddle their massive amnesty plan again, you can bet the open borders corporatists and ethnic pressure groups will cite this flawed "study."

A real economist, Professor George Borjas from Harvard (Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia, as well as two masters degrees and a bachelors degree in Econ.) has documented how low-skilled native workers have been hurt by immigration, especially Black and Hispanic natives who tend to have disproportionately larger numbers of low-skill workers. And this is not even getting into the other valid points you raise.

February 27, 2007 11:19 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Thank you. I wanted to nip this one in the bud, because you know it's going to be repeated ad nauseum: "immigrants INCREASE your wages!"

February 27, 2007 11:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Changes to a few things that we used to have may be connected to illegal immigration. A good portion of illegal immigrants take low paying jobs on a full-time basis.

Back in the 60's and for a while later, there used to be after-school jobs in a fair abundance for high school students, and summer jobs for high school and college students. Those jobs were not usually career path types, but developing the work-ethic and accumulating some spending money were concepts that were positive factors for young people.

That scene changed somewhere along the way.

Every so often, you will read a statement that sounds like a sort of social barter by those trying to rationalize why gangs continue to exist. "If there were more jobs we wouldn't have to (fill-in with "sell drugs, steal," etc.) This is another example of finding someone else to blame for the problem. The solution proposed then is to create jobs to lure youth from the gang path. Often when jobs are created, there are tax dollars subsidizing part or the entire project. And where is the guarantee that the result is that a life has been snatched from the gangster clutches? There is none.

Well, there might have been more real jobs that might have kept kids in school if there had been less low-skilled people coming steadily across the border. That might have been tolerable even up to the 1987 amnesty- and there were only about 2 to 3 million illegals at that time, compared to 12 million or more now, plus the offspring that are not "illegals." Today, I don't see how anyone could say that importing and cultivating this work force could do anything but depress wages. If and when they become illegal, I expect them to commence an aggressive trend to upgrade their pay since the previous legal sanctions will be gone. There goes much of the cheap labor that the Administration took such pains to groom.

Had the government held up all parts of the plan, especially employer sanctions on hiring illegals, the situation would not be so wildly out of hand as we find it today.

The entire system is undeniably over-burdened. Walter gets to the flaws so well. And there still aren't any readily available summer jobs for college students like before. You could hire a person full-time for the same pay. But then they complain that they can't raise family for the pay from those jobs. Well, maybe you need to change to a better paying job, like a student might do after they get out of school. Or just hold off on having the children until you get into a better situation, a notion that few seem to follow. That goes for illegal and legal residents and citizens, but it is crucial for poor people to avoid more expense, given the lack of much cash.

It’s rare to find a young person getting some extra cash cutting lawns for neighbors, or should I say it’s just rare to see anyone cutting his own lawn. The conclusions of the study are just wrong.

February 28, 2007 1:16 AM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Oh my God! I wish I had thought of that, made that connection. You are absolutely right!

I, for one, didn't have time to get in trouble as a teenager, because I was always either in school or working -- especially in summers. There's nothing like having a real job to teach you the importance of showing up on time, of keeping your promises -- of everything!

Now kids don't have those "starter" jobs because, as you point out, they are taken by illegal aliens as full-time "adult" jobs.

Whoever you are, I take my hat off to you. REALLY good point.

February 28, 2007 8:21 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter, as penance for your biggoted stances on immigration you will come back in your next life as a Mexican. Get a clue, look around, look at the names - this is Los Angeles not "The Angels". Things are not going to change anytime soon and the prophecy is being and will be fulfilled. I am sure there is a nice lot for you in Idaho. Too bad there weren't any Mexicans at Princeton when you went there, you might have learned to be a little more tolerant.

February 28, 2007 8:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1:16 am

Good points. Needless to say, these starter, temporary jobs that we all had as kids have largely gone the way of the dodo bird. And of course, most of the illegals crossing our southern border do not have college degrees, nor the job skills necessary to earn enough money to properly raise large families, especially in So Cal. (Please note the failed amnesty was in 1986, not 87)

February 28, 2007 9:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How could a flood of 30M illegal aliens possibly INCREASE wages???
They are DILUTING the job market!

Not to mention the fact that they are causing the real estate market to rise....resulting in unaffordable housing.

We are being taxed into oblivion, our quality of life is severely compromised, and our health is in jeopardy.

Wecome to hell!

February 28, 2007 9:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Obviously you never took an economics class. Let's see, according to your numbers 30 million illegal immigrants, let's do a little math. Even at minimum wage that's $50 a day multiplied by 30 million. Not all of it goes back to Mexico, these immigrants have to live so they pay rent, buy groceries, buy gas, buy clothes - money back into the system. According to your calculation that's 1.5 billion a day - going into somebody's pocket as wages. Get a clue - this is a free market society driven by supply and demand resulting in higher wages. How much money have you made off these immigrants?

February 28, 2007 11:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

WE HAVE THE SOLUTION TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION! Lets send all the WHITE people back to Europe. All the BLACK people back to Africa. All the ASIAN people back to Asia. And keep the Whites from hybernating with the Natives so we do not create more LATINOS. THEN WHAT? We leave the New Land back to the Natives.

February 28, 2007 3:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

you are a dick

February 28, 2007 4:51 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Let's try that Economics lesson again.

A massive influx of laborers, willing to work at wages lower than than the current equilibrium price, will have what effect on the equilibrium price?

A. The equilibrium price will drop.
B. The equilbrium price will rise.
C. It will have absolutey no effect on the equilibrium price, and only a racist would even consider such issues.
D. We clean your toilets.

February 28, 2007 6:34 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

To 11:00 a.m.:

Actually, 9:34 got it right.

You have mistaken the multiplier effect for a shift in the supply curve.

Absent the inlux of cheap labor, the money would still be spent, but it would be spent -- and re-spent, giving the multiplier effect -- by American workers, who pay taxes, and who would enjoy lower housing prices and taxes due to the departure of Mexico's impoverished, uneducated masses.

February 28, 2007 6:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter Moore you have no clue of what you speak.
Figure out how to end GLOBALIZATION instead of jerking off. Immigrants do not give a HUUTZ about your cheeeesy ideas. All they care about is SURVIVAL. This is the same problem all over the WORLD. ECONOMICS 101, you must be a disgrunteled white guy who thinks immigrants are out to get you.

February 28, 2007 11:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If IMMIGRANTS did not exist were would WALTER MOORE be at. Would he be a Rich white guy, would he be an educated white guy or would he be a dish washer white guy?

WALTER'S MOTHER might be able to figure it out, since SHE RAISED AN IDIOT WHITE GUY.


March 01, 2007 12:03 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter change your picture you look like a pendejo.

March 01, 2007 12:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:03AM / Answer: WALTER MOORE would be A RED NECK HONKY washing dishes in the South.

March 01, 2007 4:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Lets get some of Walter Moores philosophy straight. Greedy Corporations is what forces people to leave their Native Country. Just like Walters ancestors left Europe many moons ago. Other People are continuing Walters ancestors traditions.

Young Walter does not know that what drives our Economy in different directions is again the shifting of our competetive corporations.

Instead of blamming immigrants for Walters troubled life, Walter should get an Education so he can have his facts straight. TONTO!

March 01, 2007 5:02 PM  

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