Non-conservatives behind anti-immigration issue?

Republicans are in an uproar over accusations that the think tanks behind their recent anti-immigration policies are not conservative at all; rather, they have their origin in the population control movement, with its advocacy of abortion and anti-human environmentalism.

From the Washington Post by Peter Wallsten:

Much of the [Republican] party’s sharp language on immigration during the election campaign, which Republican strategists blamed for alienating Hispanics, was drawn from the research and rhetoric of the groups advocating tougher measures to discourage illegal immigration.

Now, Republicans pushing the party to rethink its approach to the issue are accusing those groups — Numbers USA, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) — of masquerading as conservative. Critics say the groups and some of their supporters are pressing an un­or­tho­dox agenda of strict population control that also has included backing for abortion, sterilization and other policies at odds with conservative ideology.

“If these groups can be unmasked, then the bulk of the opposition to immigration reform on the conservative side will wither away,” said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles and a leading organizer of the effort.

Officials from the groups say they are the victims of a smear campaign that unfairly characterizes their mission. They acknowledge that some key figures in their past held a wide range of views on population growth and abortion, as do some current members, but the groups accuse their critics of pushing guilt-by-association arguments to distract from the merits of the case for restricting immigration.

The groups have provided the intellectual framework and grass-roots muscle for opposing legislation that would legalize millions of illegal immigrants.

Well-funded and politically savvy, the groups produce research papers, testify at congressional hearings and appear frequently in the media to push for reducing immigration. . . .

Conservatives who are taking on the groups, including Rubio, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and officials of the Catholic Church, argue that the three organizations are motivated by far different philosophies than many of their Republican allies realize. Among those views: that population growth from increased migration threatens the environment.. . .

The critics, however, argue that the three groups have misled conservatives. These critics point to reports on the FAIR and Numbers USA Web sites, for instance, that warn of environmental devastation from unchecked population growth, and they are circulating a 1993 report by CIS researchers sympathetic to contraception and the RU-486 abortion pill.

In the latest issue of the Human Life Review, an antiabortion journal, Hispanic GOP strategist Lopez accuses the groups of “hijacking” the immigration debate for their own purposes. He argues that population-control advocates “have built, operated, and funded much of the anti-immigration movement in the United States.”

“Those who seek to advance the pro-life cause should not allow themselves to be fooled by those whose work is ultimately diametrically opposed to the right to life,” Lopez writes.

The article has created a stir in conservative circles. It ascribes the vision behind the groups to John Tanton, a controversial Michigan-based leader in the “zero population growth” movement, who co-founded FAIR in 1979 and later helped start Numbers USA and CIS.

In a 2001 letter by Tanton being circulated as part of the current campaign, he laid out his idea to “move the battle lines on the immigration question in our favor” by convincing Republican lawmakers that “massive immigration imperils their political future.” The goal, he wrote, was to “change Republicans’ perception of immigration so that when they encounter the word ‘immigrant,’ their reaction is ‘Democrat.’ ” Organizers of the campaign against the groups found the letter at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library, which houses Tanton’s papers.

More from the National Journal by Fawn Johnson:

Groups opposing proposals to legalize undocumented immigrants receive grant money from environmentalist population-control groups. It’s not a secret. You can find the evidence right there on the foundation websites. The immigration groups don’t deny it either.

Republicans who are advocating for a comprehensive immigration overhaul see the environmental link to these groups as a smoking gun that undermines their conservative credentials, even though the groups themselves don’t adopt liberal or conservative labels. But because Numbers USA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and the Center for Immigration Studies all argue for reducing immigration into the United States, they tend to align with many Republicans on the issue.

These groups also receive money from foundations that are concerned about overpopulation. The Colcom Foundation funds all three groups; it also gives money to Negative Population Growth and the Conservation Fund. The Weeden Foundation funds the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association as well as the Environmental Paper Network; it also consistently funds CIS and has given grants to Numbers USA in the past.

The three groups that want reduced immigration are not, in fact, conservative. They are “single-issue” organizations whose members hold a variety of viewpoints on climate change, population growth, and abortion. “We are an immigration policy group. We see [immigration growth] as a precursor for rapid population growth, which most people think isn’t good for the country. We are being attacked by both sides,” said FAIR Media Director Ira Mehlman. “As individuals, we are interested in a lot of different things.”

“Republicans think I’m a liberal. Democrats all immediately think I’m a conservative Republican,” said Roy Beck, the executive director of Numbers USA. He laughs at the conspiracy theories being floated by Republicans who disagree with his perspective on immigration.

An example of the criticism being aimed at the trio by conservative immigration-reform advocates: “These groups are in no way conservative. They were founded, and are funded and staffed, by radical environmentalists and zero-population activists,” said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

via Why GOP Sees a Conspiracy As Environmental Groups Join Fight Against Immigration – NationalJournal.com.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • kerner

    At last, somebody besides me is actually noticing this. They left out the fact that the restrictions on immigrant labor was the brainchild of Teddy Kennedy and his Labor Union supporters and is intended to inhibit competition in a free market.

    But I’ve been saying for years that anti immigrant sentiment (which strict enforcement of existing immigration law perpetuates) is not based on conservative principles.

  • DonS

    One of the major problems in our society today is that we don’t actually look at ideas, but rather focus on the people behind them. If we can somehow discredit those people, in any way, then we can dismiss any ideas they have espoused without consideration, out of hand. This widespread smear effort appears to be in this vein of modern political tactics.

    I am sure that, of the many groups and advocates identified above, there are some bad apples, with impure motives. Heck, every one of us has impure motives in some sense of the word. But this broad-brushed smear, suddenly appearing in the media, smacks of political opportunism rather than an innocent attempt at purity. This, while we know that the administration is openly trying to undermine the law for the crass purpose of gaining votes for its political party, since we’re talking about impure motives for particular advocacy positions.

    We know what our problems are. We have an immigration system that makes no sense, is too restrictive, but at the same time too lenient with those who disregard it. We have enforcement agencies which openly defy and ignore the law. We need to craft laws that are enforceable, allow us to understand who is entering the country and residing here, for national security purposes, and which ensure that new immigrants are not an added burden to our absurdly generous entitlements society. We need to ensure that new immigrants are properly educated as to American values and encouraged to assimilate into our society and common language. There are certainly bases for compromise.

  • sg

    “But I’ve been saying for years that anti immigrant sentiment (which strict enforcement of existing immigration law perpetuates) is not based on conservative principles.”

    No offense, but that is just absurd. Opposing immigration is inherently conservative by definition. We want to conserve our culture, so importing people who have a foreign culture they are bringing with them is not going to contribute to conserving our culture.

    So, if population control nuts, or pro abortion people were behind a push for balancing the budget, should conservatives then be suspicious of the goal of balancing the budget?

  • sg

    “But I’ve been saying for years that anti immigrant sentiment (which strict enforcement of existing immigration law perpetuates) is not based on conservative principles.”

    Rule of law is most certainly a principle I would like to conserve.

  • tODD

    SG said (@3):

    We want to conserve our culture, so importing people who have a foreign culture they are bringing with them is not going to contribute to conserving our culture.

    Wait, who wants to preserve whose culture?

    And how long ago was it, exactly, that the culture of this nation did not include assimilating the cultures of other peoples?

    Because, well, last night I had some pasta. I’m worried about the deleterious effect that might have on “our culture”. Should I also worry about the foreign culture that brought the faith to these shores — which I share every Sunday? Has that foreign faith corrupted “our culture”? Should I cancel my plans to eat at one of any number of food carts near my office that serve up cuisine that is opposed to “our culture”? What kind of food should I then eat?

    In short, SG, your take on “our culture” does not appear to be one that most of us in the United States consider to be ours, nor have we for a long, long time.

  • sg

    I really don’t know what you are talking about, tODD.

    I referred to rule of law. That is part of our culture. It is not embraced as widely by those outside our culture. Check out the World Values Survey and the corruption index http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results. If we are importing folks from more corrupt countries, we will get more corruption here. It has been documented. It is not fantasy. Strict enforcement of immigration laws means that we get people willing to play by the rules because they have to go through our immigration process which is a severe test of that willingness. So we are screening for those personalities by requiring compliance. We have more legal immigration than any country ever has had. Even strict enforcement of our immigration laws represents an extremely wide open door, the widest most open door in history. Far more open than Canada or Mexico or Europe or the almost totally closed door of Australia. Canada, Mexico and Australia are populated largely by settlers/immigrants as well, so why are we the ones expected to take tons of law breakers unwilling from the first step to follow rules?

    Here is how Canada takes in Mexican workers:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/canadas-guest-worker-program-could-become-model-for-us-immigration-changes/2013/01/05/2b82a468-551b-11e2-89de-76c1c54b1418_story.html?hpid=z2

    Anyway, our male labor participation rate is around 65%. So 35% of men don’t have jobs. We don’t need more workers. Workers pay taxes to pay for folks who don’t have jobs. A rational and legitimate Left would prioritize workers’ welfare over capital’s desire to depress wages for their own profit at the expense of workers.

  • kerner

    sg @6:

    Alas, there is no such thing as a “rational and legitimate left” such as you describe. But your use of Marxian terminology helps prove the thesis: opposition ot immigration is not “conservative” (if by “conservative”, we mean “not Marxian”).

    You say “we don’t need more workers”. But even believing that you can begin to know how many workers “we” need is based on a fallacy and a lack of understanding of economics. I can’t in this thread give you a course in the colleted works of Friedman, Hayek and VonMises, but you could start by readinfg the Road to Serfdom by Hayek, or you might read this for starters:

    http://mises.org/daily/2989

    You can also look here:

    http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~nroubini/NOTES/CHAP4.HTM

    Where you will read this:

    Productivity is the cornerstone of economic growth. We are richer than our grandparents and than the average person in the third world primarily because we are more productive. Productivity also affects our competitive position: the more productive we are the better we are able to compete on world markets. In short, productivity is the source of the high standard of living enjoyed by the developed economies relative to the third world or to the same economies fifty or one hundred years ago.

    and the point of that quotation is that “we” that is, everybody, can ALWAYS use more productive workers. Productivity creates economic growth, and this is what creates prosperity. Therefore, if a worker who can be more productive enters a country, then the entire country benefits by having more affordable goods produced. Surely, those workers who would prefer to protect their lack of productivity by legally excluding the more productive, “suffer” in the sense that they don’t get to be overpaid for their lack of productivity anymore. But that is hardly a foundation for a conclusion of what “we” need.

    The market will determine how many workers “we” need, because the most productive will get the jobs. And this is how it should be.

    Oh, and, Hey, no offense taken.

  • fjsteve

    I’m confused. Are we talking about all immigration or just the type that we don’t/refuse to control? Shouldn’t we be making the distinction in the debate? I find it hard to believe that anti-immigration folks here are all talking primarily about legal immigration or that the anti-anti-immigration folks are talking primarily about illegal immigration.

  • sg

    and the point of that quotation is that “we” that is, everybody, can ALWAYS use more productive workers.

    That is so ridiculous. Ain’t nothin’ productive about people sitting on unemployment. The fact that people who want to work can’t find jobs kind of destroys that bald assertion. Of course employers want to hire someone at $5 and hour instead of $16. Duh.

    Productivity creates economic growth, and this is what creates prosperity.

    Prosperity for whom? The folks at the very top? They are prosperous enough already. Importing more unskilled folks to displace American citizens is stabbing your fellow citizens in the back. I unapologetically favor US citizens over foreigners. How would you like your field of work flooded with cheaper workers so you would end up unemployed or see your wages fall? But it is okay for you to promote that happening to your fellow citizens?

  • kerner

    sg:
    Turn that around for a minute. Of course a person would rather get paid $16 per hour for producing very little instead of getting paid only $5 per hour for producing a lot. Duh. But why should anyone pay somebody a lot of money for producing little?

    If you read anything about this you would have read that the CONSUMER is the person “at the top”. So when you ask “prosperity for whom?” The answer is: Prosperity for the consumer! It is the consumer who sets the market price of everything. Which brings us to the follow up question: why should American consumers be forced to pay unnecessarily high prices for poor quality goods and services, when they could get higher quality for less money? I unapoligetically favor US consumers over unproductive workers from anywhere. And what makes you think you are qualified to make that choice for everybody? If you want to pay more money for inferior quality unapoligetically, be my guest. But what gives you the right to take that choice away from other American consumers who may not have as much money as you, or who may just want to spend their money more wisely than you?

    And as it turns out, I work in a very competitive field. Sometimes it would be nice to say: “we” don’t need more people to compete with me. I could make more money and not have to work so hard if I could limit my competition. But I have absolutely no control over entrants into this market. I have to be both a good at my job and a good businessman to make a good living ( and there is room for improvement in my business skills, just ask my wife). Sometimes things go poorly, and my wages DO fall; I make less money than I did the year before. And nobody does anything to protect me from competition. People drop out of my particular job market all the time, finding it too stressful and too hard to make money. Someday I’ll do the same, and nobody will shed a tear. And why should they? The world doesn’t owe me a living.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I could be wrong (like usual) but I think that the problems that arise with unchecked immigration have less to do with the flow of people into our country and more to do with government social programs and policies, and government/business cronyism. Get the government (the federal government especially) out of everything besides the bare minimum to hold the Union together and provide for the common defense, and I think we’d have such an economic boom that it wouldn’t matter how many immigrants came across the border. We’d be begging for more.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    Been with you for years on the immigration issue. But no, I can’t seem to convince my conservative friends who are convinced that illegal immigration of Mexicans is tantamount to the sack of Rome by the Germanic hordes and will end western civilization….

  • sg

    Kerner, do you think demand is totally elastic? Where else is that true? The short answer is that it is not. We have high unemployment and low wages. We have growing wealth disparity. Do you think that the labor market is entirely insensitive to the labor supply? If there are ten workers for every job, then of course you can lower wages to almost nothing and still have very high unemployment. That is exactly what we have.

    I can’t seem to convince my conservative friends who are convinced that illegal immigration of Mexicans is tantamount to the sack of Rome by the Germanic hordes and will end western civilization….

    This is just insulting and totally ignores what is really going on. Your argument sounds like you are saying that anyone who raises objections is just irrational. You give no reason why you think things will change. We have high debt and deficits, low growth, and a stangnant economy despite importing 50 million people over the past five decades. There is no evidence to support the idea that we need more people to come in and displace workers who will then fall into our very expensive safety. There are record numbers of people on food stamps. Have mercy.

  • sg

    “People drop out of my particular job market all the time, finding it too stressful and too hard to make money. Someday I’ll do the same, and nobody will shed a tear. And why should they? The world doesn’t owe me a living.”

    And America doesn’t owe foreigners the opportunity to displace ever more workers. 35% of working age men don’t have jobs.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg – where do you get your numbers? The US Dept of Labour indicates a 7.9% general unemployment number for January (this accounts for all people of working age).

    35% of working age men would translate to at least 17.5% unemployment, were every single female worker employed (which they are not).

    So sorry, it does appear as if you are pulling numbers out of your hat to support your xenophobia…

  • sg

    Unemployment rate is not the same as the labor participation rate. The labor participation rate counts everyone of working age who is not institutionalized. The unemployment rate counts only those who are receiving unemployment benefits from the state. See here

    http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

  • sg


    “So sorry, it does appear as if you are pulling numbers out of your hat to support your xenophobia…”

    Why do you have to sink to using gratuitous insults?

    I am already aware of the politically correct position on this issue which so many conformists seem to feel the need to enforce to prove their morality. Can you just for a minute consider some relevant information, and take a break from the moral preening? It is a bit tiresome.

  • sg

    How is it we who have skills and command high compensation don’t want to pay our fellow citizens decent wages and even go so far as to put on the airs of moral superiority because we want to pay less for services leaving our poorer fellow citizens without employment. It is not the moral high ground to import foreigners to displace our neighbors from their jobs so that we can enjoy buying those services at lower cost to ourselves.

  • sg

    Okay, this wiki entry has a helpful graph as well as a nice explanation of labor force and participation. Be sure to click on the graph.

    Just to be clear, the unemployment rate is not the same as those not participating.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_force

  • tODD

    SG (@17), did you notice how you went from decrying “gratuitous insults” in one sentence, to accusing others of being “politically correct” and “conformists” in the next?

    Yeah.

    Also, as a fellow citizen of yours, can you get some legislation passed that will get me a raise? That’d be great, thanks.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg – you are incorrect as to the Labour rates: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.tn.htm

    It is not a gratuitousness insult: Your opinions about immigration are, as you have demonstrated over and over again, influenced by your reprehensible racism, which is skubalon. What is more unfortunate is that these opinions seem do dominate your mental process.

    So: It is not an insult. It is a description of a regrettable reality, and I have no interest in being nice about it.

  • sg

    sg – you are incorrect as to the Labour rates:
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.tn.htm

    What?! That says the same thing that I said.

    Here, I will quote fron the page you linked.

    The civilian labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons.
    Those persons not classified as employed or unemployed are not in the labor
    force. The unemployment rate is the number unemployed as a percent of the
    labor force. The labor force participation rate is the labor force as a
    percent of the population,…

    Okay, I am going to type really slowly and see if you can get it this time.

    The labor force participation rate is the labor force as a percent of the population.

    So, only about 65% of people in that age range are either employed or unemployed. I had previously referred to 35% of men not having jobs because men have a bit higher participation rate but among them, some are on unemployment.

    It seems that when you have decided you don’t like someone, all your reason flies out the window. I find the racism charge like the latest version of the Godwin award. It just announces that the person is flummoxed beyond the capacity for rational thought. After you calm down, review that participation definition again on the bls website.

  • sg

    “Your opinions about immigration are, as you have demonstrated over and over again, influenced by your reprehensible racism, which is skubalon.”

    LOL, my neighborhood is at most 30% white, probably more like 20% as were the 40 people I had over at my house last weekend. You on the other hand left your vibrant diverse homeland for the whitopia of Canada, not that I blame you, but come on, man, I am not accusing you of racism. The goofy racism thing is just lame. It really is okay to question the current prevailing “wisdom” that all non-white immigration must be good and the more the better. Anyone even wishing to discuss any possible negative impact of immigration must certainly be racist. How silly.

    Interesting book:
    http://www.richbenjamin.com/whitopia.html

  • sg

    Uh, oh,

    I hope I haven’t cursed this thread with italics by one of my typos.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg, let me quote you:

    The unemployment rate counts only those who are receiving unemployment benefits from the state

    Now, in the page I quoted, it is clearly stated that their numbers are arrived at BY SURVEYS.

    However, what you do not get is that it is your pernicious, evil racist propaganda that I am against. You have posted interesting comments on other subjects. But ever so often the hydra rears it’s head…

  • sg

    “The unemployment rate counts only those who are receiving unemployment benefits from the state

    Now, in the page I quoted, it is clearly stated that their numbers are arrived at BY SURVEYS.

    Yeah, and? What is your point?

    However, what you do not get is that it is your pernicious, evil racist propaganda that I am against.

    You are too funny. Ooooh, evil racist propaganda!!! Hilarious. Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

  • CW2

    Sorry Klasie,calling someone ‘xenophobic’ or ‘racist’ is no substitute for serious debate.To quote the late,great Ernest van den Haag,from his September 21,1965 essay,”More immigration?”,in National Review magazine:

    “…one need not believe that one’s own ethnic group,or any ethnic group,is superior to others(or more likely to make good citizens) in order to wish one’s country to continue to be made up of the same ethnic strains in the same proportions as before.
    And,conversely,the wish not to see one’s country overrun by groups one regards as alien need not be based on feelings of superiority or ‘racism’.
    The wish to preserve one’s identity and the identity of one’s nation requires no justification-and no belief in superiority-any more than the wish to have one’s own children,and to continue one’s family through them need be justified or rationalized by a belief that they are superior to the children of others,or more fit,or better in business…”
    Read the complete essay at: http://vdare.com/articles/in-memoriam-ernest-van-den-haag
    Every normal and healthy nation around the world have enacted immigration laws specificallly designed(and with the understanding that immigration from one country to another is a privilege,not a right) with the best interests of their native-born populations in mind.
    For example,Japan and Israel have immigration laws explicitly designed (and rightly so ) to maintain the ethnic character of their respective homelands.But no thoughtful person speaks in terms of Japanese or Jewish supremacism.Real nations understand that the recipe to a truly healthy society does not entail opening their doors to the dregs of the planet.To expect otherwise,is to invite a never-ending maelstrom of racial,civil,political,economic & religious strife.
    As for the main theme of this thread, I am linking to several articles that expose the impious charlatans whose disengenuous and scurrilous smears seek only to obfuscate the truth about the true consequences of the ongoing invasion of our nation.Here they are:
    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2013/02/a-president-rubio-could-just-order.html
    http://vdare.com/articles/comprehensive-immigration-reformers-hysterical-and-hypocritical-campaign-to-link-opponents
    http://vdare.com/posts/evangelical-immigration-table-campaigns-for-amnesty
    http://vdare.com/articles/the-evangelical-immigration-table-a-treason-lobby-front
    http://nationalreview.com/articles/340962/borking-immigration-hawks-mark-krikorian

    For those of you who value hard facts and empirical evidence rather than the immature name-calling from the likes of Klasie,kerner,and toDD,I am also linking to the following websites that place a high premium on intelligent,thoughtful,evidence-based,and well-reasoned analysis of the immigration issue.I heartily suggest a thorough reading of their archives(especially their post-2012 election coverage to the present)so you can understand exactly where they are coming from.Having done this,you will soon understand that the open borders types,the patronizing ,GOP Hispanderers,and so-called free traders DO NOT have a leg to stand on.On these websites you will be presented will the full nexus of immigration-related issues : border security,economics,race realism/hbd (that is,talking about racial issues as they truly exist and WITHOUT SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS),national identity,etc. Here they are:

    http://vdare.com
    http://vdare.com/posts
    http://americanpatrol.com
    http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com
    http://thesocialcontract.com
    http://aconversationaboutrace.com
    http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/itaa.real.html
    http://mangans.blogspot.com
    http://humanbiologicaldiversity.com

    And don’t forget that most of these sites will have a links page to other similar sites.Check those out as well.If,of course,you’re brave enough.The truth will,indeed,set you free…from open borders propaganda and the ‘politics of guilt’!!!

  • kerner

    sg:

    OK, first of all, they labor statistics you cite do not support your position, and you might even know that because you have cited these stats in more complete form before. Take the table you link to @16. You claim it indicates that labor participation among Americans is delcining due to immigration, but your link only considers the figures from 2003-2013. When you take all the available data beginning in 1948, when there was considerably less immigration, you can see that total labor participation was in mid 50% range during that era, and began increasing during the 1960s. Labor participation peaked during the G W Bush era (when illegal immigration was also peaking) and began to decline in 2008, when the bank crisis hit and Obama’s economic policies began to take hold. This is not evidence that immigrants are displacing American workers.

    http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet

    Also, tucked away in the corner of the wiki you linked to @19 I found this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Labor_Participation_Rate_1948-2011_by_gender.svg

    Which shows the same graph as the bls data, but also includes data divided by gender. As I know you are aware (because I remember you referring to this before), male labor participation has declined steadily as female labor participation has risen steadily, combining into the middle line that shows the overall increase in labor participation for the population combined. So, if we are going to assume that correlation equals causation (a dicey proposition), it is far more likely that female workers are “displacing” male workers than any other phenomenon.

    But when you consider argue that immigrant labor displaces native born labor, why does that not hold true for the female workforce? As far as I know, there are just as many female immigrants as male ones. Yet female participation in the workforce continues to rise dramatically from 1948 to 2013, blissfully unaffected by all those female immigrant workers (again, except for a decline after 2008 that is explainable for other reasons).

    Further, so what if American participation in the workforce is slightly lower today than the record highs of the mid 2000s, at about 65%? This means that 35% are not participation. But unemployment is only at about 8%. Which means that the other 27% are not trying to find jobs. The are out of the workforce for other reasons, such as being in school, or earlier retirement, or just being supported by someone else. But you cannot credibly claim that immigrants are taking the jobs away from Americans who aren’t even looking for jobs.

  • kerner

    sg:

    But I repeat, you are proving the thesis of this thread by your comments. However you might choose to characterize it, the main reason you don’t want more immigration from Latin America is your perception that it will have a negative impact on our culture. But when that tactic is poorly received, you retreat into the rhetoric of the political Left.

    i.e. ” Boo hoo hoo, the free market is just a front for the rich fat cats to exploit the poor working man! The government needs to interfere in the market to prevent all this exploitation.”

    That may be your position, but it is not “conservative”. At least that is not economic conservatism. The economic conservative believes that the free market creates prosperity for everyone, including for low or semi-skilled workers who do in fact have to compete in the market like everybody else, and who can and do advance beyond their present station. And this is the reason American so-called poor people are wealthy by global standards, and it is also why American poor people are far more likely to escape poverty than in other places.

  • kerner

    hmmm. my first link @28 doesn’t work for some reason. But you can find it by going to sg’s link and changing the starting point, or now that I think about it, the same graph you would have seen in the second link is available in my second link near the bottom.

  • tODD

    CW2 (@27), if you haven’t been on this blog for long, then you’re missing a whole lot of context. This isn’t the first time SG has discussed these things, nor the first time any of us have replied to her. As such, the labels you decry are, indeed, not “substitute for serious debate”. They’re just shorthanded references to what has gone before.

    But no thoughtful person speaks in terms of Japanese or Jewish supremacism.

    Hah. Which appears to be your way to label anyone who does discuss such supremacism as less than “thoughtful”. Which, you know, is no substitute for serious debate. Ahem. I get that you seem to prefer those countries’ approach to immigration, but that doesn’t preclude the existence of supremacist thought among their citizens.

    But then you did this, and I kind of stopped taking you seriously (my emphasis):

    For those of you who value hard facts and empirical evidence rather than the immature name-calling

    Having done this,you will soon understand that the open borders types,the patronizing ,GOP Hispanderers

    Um, hypocrite.

    Attempting to brand an argument as “xenophobic” isn’t “immature name-calling”. You could make the case that it’s an attempt to end discussion by resorting to a pejorative label, but, frankly, I get the impression from your comment that you don’t believe in xenophobia. Or, rather, that you do — you espouse it, that is — but you don’t like the label being directed your way, nor would you ever agree to its use for that reason.

    Anyhow, a long list of links isn’t really an argument, either. Nor are they likely to persuade people, unless you have given us a good reason to follow your links. People might be interested in an article that answers a question they have. They are very unlikely to read a long list of web sites, each with a long list of articles on them.

    Also, labeling your articles as “intelligent,thoughtful,evidence-based,and well-reasoned analysis” sort of gives the opposite impression of what you intended. It makes me think that you’ve got a thesaurus, but don’t understand that you’re being pointlessly repetitive. Which brings into question your ability to discern which analyses are, in fact, “well-reasoned”. FYI.

  • sg

    “When you take all the available data beginning in 1948, when there was considerably less immigration, you can see that total labor participation was in mid 50% range during that era, and began increasing during the 1960s.”

    Also, tucked away in the corner of the wiki you linked to @19 I found this:

    Kerner, I referred specifically to male labor participation and back then it was like 90%. Male labor participation should always be high. If labor participation is around 5o% because women are not working, that is okay. If labor participation is low because men aren’t working, that is a critical problem. Also, that graph wasn’t tucked away in the corner, it was the one I called attention to by saying be sure to click on it.

    As far as I know, there are just as many female immigrants as male ones.

    I think that is true only for legal immigrants. I think illegals are still more likely to be male. Here is an interesting point made by one think tank:

    About one in eleven workers in California is an unauthorized immigrant.
    California’s labor force includes about 1.8 million unauthorized immigrants; along with Nevada, Texas, and New Jersey, it has the highest concentration of unauthorized workers (9%). Among adults ages 18 to 64, male illegal immigrants (93%) are more likely than U.S.-born males (81%) to be in the labor force. Conversely, female illegal immigrants (58%) are less likely than U.S.-born females (72%) to be in the labor force.

    I consider men displacing our men a bigger problem.

  • sg

    Attempting to brand an argument as “xenophobic” isn’t “immature name-calling”.

    I think that the terms xenophobic or racist are employed more to intimidate. Let’s say a person, or better, let’s say an argument really is xenophobic or racist. Okay, here on a blog we can just laugh that off, but it the real world that could be used to bring real and significant retribution against a person. Whole departments of city governments have been sued and lost because of just the appearance of racism even when the court concluded that there was no overt or intentional racism. It is called disparate impact. When you live in a place and time where you see, well, blatant injustice like losing a suit for disparate impact even when the court recognizes that no one even did anything discriminatory, people get pretty nervous. I don’t figure commenters here are deranged vindictive psychos who are going to try to hunt down folks or anything, but the charge of racism just naturally has a chilling effect on conversation because in some ways it has come to be the biggest most evilest thing ever if a white person is racist. Others of course are free to be racist all day long, no problem. This strange state of affairs where racism is considered the most horribleist thing ever is really weird. I mean if someone talked about blacks the way some get away with talking about rednecks, he would have plenty to fear in terms of losing his job, etc., but folks are prejudiced against and blatantly discriminate against rural whites (those oh so privileged folks) with total impunity.

  • sg

    However you might choose to characterize it, the main reason you don’t want more immigration from Latin America is your perception that it will have a negative impact on our culture.”

    Yes, like diminishing important features like rule of law.

    “But when that tactic is poorly received, you retreat into the rhetoric of the political Left.”

    The political Left happens to be correct on that particular point. If the folks on the Left take a position, it has to be measured on its merits. You can’t just dismiss it because it is a position held by the Left.

    My objection to kerner’s position is that it gives no preference to citizens and allows foreigners to displace citizens. I mean why should citizens fight and die in wars to preserve the sovereignty of this country if the laws passed by their duly elected representatives can just be ignored by fellow citizens and aliens who wish to profit from violating the laws? Does rule of law matter or not?

  • kerner

    sg @32{

    What think tank is that?

    I don’t have any statistics on whether there are more or fewer and an equal amount of male and female immigrants. I do know that there are a lot of female illegals doing jobs in child care, hotels, food processing and such.

    But lets look at the claim of the “think tank”. Let’s assume that 81% of Native born males are working, whereas 93% of illegal males are working. Why do you think that would be?

  • sg

    i.e. ” Boo hoo hoo, the free market is just a front for the rich fat cats to exploit the poor working man! The government needs to interfere in the market to prevent all this exploitation.”

    That may be your position, but it is not “conservative”. At least that is not economic conservatism.

    So what? Who cares if that position is not currently labeled conservative? Why should that affect our judgement of the policy? Like I have to get in line with what someone has managed to bamboozle folks into supporting? That is just goofy bandwagon reasoning. I don’t need to agree with something that obviously isn’t working just because some folks managed to fool people into thinking it is “conservative.” Also, the free market has to have some rules. The citizens of this country have voted for a particular immigration policy. It is the most liberal and welcoming policy in the world. Far more open than any other country, but it is not just an open borders free for all. An open borders free for all is hardly conservative because no country has ever done that, so no one can conserve that policy.

    The economic conservative believes that the free market creates prosperity for everyone, including for low or semi-skilled workers who do in fact have to compete in the market like everybody else, and who can and do advance beyond their present station. And this is the reason American so-called poor people are wealthy by global standards, and it is also why American poor people are far more likely to escape poverty than in other places.

    Um the reason poor people in America escape poverty is due to transfer payments from workers. The average number of workers per household in the bottom income quintile … zero.

  • sg

    Public Policy Institute of California.

    http://www.ppic.org/main/publication_show.asp?i=818

    I don’t know anything about them but their sources look pretty mainstream ordinary.

  • sg

    “But lets look at the claim of the “think tank”. Let’s assume that 81% of Native born males are working, whereas 93% of illegal males are working. Why do you think that would be?”

    Illegals can be abused with impunity. Paying lower wages to employees creates an asymmetry that confers a competitive advantage.

  • kerner

    @38

    You’re overlooking quite a bit, aren’t you? for example, see here the high percentage of people ages 55-59, 60-64, and 65-69 who are out of the workforce. While technically the “retirement age” in the USA is about 67, a significant amount of people retire much sooner, and the raw numbers must be pretty high because this demographic is the retiring “baby-boomers”, and age group more numerous than younger generations.

    You also fail to take into account Americans who are “out of the workforce” because they are being educated for better work. This will include a very high percentage of 16-19 year olds, and quite a few 20-24 year olds as well. Illegals aren’t “displacing” these people either (even assuming I agree with your concept of displacement, which I do not). Students are intentionally not doing menial jobs so they can spend their time training for better ones.

    But your fundamental error is equating “low” wages with “abuse”. A payment agreed upon by a willing buyer and a willing seller is not abuse. It is a contract. If person A is willing to sell his labor for a dollar or two per hour less that person B, the buyer (employer) must still consider the quality of the work offered by both A and B, and then decide whose labor he wishes to buy. But this transaction is no different than every contract for services that is entered into by the millions every day in the United States. Everybody who provides, or pays for, any service undergoes the same analysis, and it always works out the same. We all pay for the highest quality service we can get for the money we want to spend. Competition lowers the cost and increases the quality, thus giving each of us more to spend and better service in return. This equals prosperity for everyone, even those who have to, themselves, be competitive in their own fields.

    If B is willing to do unskilled labor better than and/or cheaper than A, then B will get the unskilled job. And, A’s alternatives are:

    1) become willing to do better quality unskilled work and/or for lower wages;

    2) use the excellent educational opportunities in the United States to acquire marketable skills that pay better; or

    3) complain to the government and get the government to pass laws requiring employers to fire the more productive B, and hire A’s underhanded lazy ass instead.

    You, sg, are essentially arguing for option 3. And I am arguing that option 3 inhibits economic growth and productivity, leads to nothing but economic stagnation, and diminishes prosperity for everyone.

  • kerner

    oops. forgot to post the link.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retirement

  • fjsteve

    But no thoughtful person speaks in terms of Japanese or Jewish supremacism.

    Actually, perhaps I’m exposing my lack of thoughtfulness, but both of these groups clearly have a history of supremacist, racist, and isolationist actions–even in modern times. I understand the latter is a sensitive topic and that their insular behavior can be linked to years of horrific persecution, nonetheless, it exists. Most ethnic groups do have at least some racist tendencies but it’s interesting that you picked these two group.

  • fjsteve

    kerner @39, you have to admit that the legal status and wage differential are recipe for abusive treatment, right? This seems to me to be the catch: a surplus of lower wage workers builds the economy but we have to assent to the abusive potential as an acceptable risk. If we don’t, and we agree that deporting them is impractical, we give them legal status providing them access to legal work protection (minimum wage, social security, workers comp, etc), and ending many of the economic advantages of hiring them in the first place. Do you agree?

  • kerner

    fjsteve:

    we do.

  • kerner

    however, we do not end every advantage of hiring them. A great many illegals are hired with all those safeguards. ICE regularly raids some medium to large employer and apprehends or chases off a bunch of people whose major crime seems to be willingness to work.

  • fjsteve

    kerner, then what happens when employers who now have to pay higher compensation lay off those workers since, in most cases, the benefits of remaining here unemployed are greater than returning home unemployed?

  • fjsteve

    @44, I understand that it’s not a one-for-one deal–meaning every illegal worker run off equals employment for a legal worker–but do you think it happens enough to make it a worthwhile endeavor?

  • robert m. peters

    One feels that one has wondered onto the stage of the theater of the absurd when it is asserted that those who oppose the demographic war of the elites against Western culture, be it the various idioms thereof barely clinging to life in Europe or the idiom thereof almost comatose in America, are not conservatives. Legal and illegal immigration are indeed weapons of the elites to rid themselves of the Old Narnias as C.S. Lewis might say and replace them with aliens, systematically destroying a culture which with one of its roots reaches back to Homer and with another back to Genesis. It is much more than merely about illegal workers, although that is a part of it; it is about an deadly assault on the West.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Ah, the tinfoil hat brigade has arrived!

  • robert m. peters

    KK,

    Your ad hominem does not contribute to the discussion.

  • robert m. peters

    Kerner at ,

    Your words:

    “At last, somebody besides me is actually noticing this. They left out the fact that the restrictions on immigrant labor was the brainchild of Teddy Kennedy and his Labor Union supporters and is intended to inhibit competition in a free market.”

    You do realize that Teddy supported, strongly supported the 1965 Immigration Reform Act and became a champion of immigrants, legal and illegal. If you are trying to make us paleo-conservatives and traditionalist look like “liberals” by linking us to Teddy, then your link is missing.

    Here is a link for your consideration:

    https://www.numbersusa.com/content/nusablog/beckr/september-2-2009/ted-kennedys-immigration-legacy-and-why-did-he-do-it.html

  • robert m. peters

    Abortion and immigration, the latter now almost unrestricted it is legal and illegal forms, are the sharp edges of a double-edged sword which is destroying both in Europe and in America the last vestiges of Western Civilization. In America by 2050, if projections are correct and trends continue, projections and trends which Bill Clinton, pro-abortion and pro-immigration celebrated in one of his speeches, those of us of European and African ancestry who have antebellum roots will be in the minority. It is our ancestors who came to settle, to build the communities with their traditions, customs and habits which other immigrants, predominately although not exclusively from Christian Europe sharing antecedent virtues and vices, would want to participate in and contribute to. Post 1965 immigration, legal and illegal, brings people who do not share those antecedent virtues and vices and which unlike the original European settlers and later immigrants from Ireland and Southern and Eastern Europe do not subscribe to the common antecedents of Western Civilization and its American idiom, the latter into which they would readily and easily assimilate, but these post-1965 immigrants, for the most part, respond to the fiction of American as a propositional nation as opposed to America as sets of peoples with common traditions, customs and habits; post1965 immigrants come to take advantage of the welfare state and the corporate state which themselves are parasites on the American middle class, make up primarily of those who are descendents of either antebellum Americans or of pre-1926 immigrants who assimilated into the dominate culture.

  • robert m. peters

    Mr. Erickson,

    Your words:
    “Kerner,
    Been with you for years on the immigration issue. But no, I can’t seem to convince my conservative friends who are convinced that illegal immigration of Mexicans is tantamount to the sack of Rome by the Germanic hordes and will end western civilization….”

    One cannot introduce a new meme into a culture without radically changing that culture. It is not only a matter of the Central American and Mexican underclasses joining out growing underclasses, including those of the middle class slipping into the underclass, but it is a matter of totally alien traditions, customs and habits arriving with legal aliens from all parts of the globe.

    The rule of law can only occur when a people has the same traditions, customs and habits which can be reflected in their statutory laws and politics. Thanks to diversity, multiculturalism and immigration, legal and illegal, we no longer have the same traditions, customs and habits. We do not and cannot have then the rule of law; we have the rule of man based on which faction and which whim controls the apparatus of the ever-growing and ever-more centralized Hobbesian state.

  • fjsteve

    robert @ 52,

    Could the same have been said for Irish and Italian Catholic immigrants in the mid-1800′s? They share many of the same traditions as Hispanics. In fact, the culture of California has had heavy Hispanic influences since before its inception. Of course, the customs of native-born Hispanics isn’t exactly the same as Latin American immigrants and, in fact, there have been culture-clashes in the past. But, as with any immigrant society, the immigrant and local cultures often meld into a new, distinct culture.

    I share concerns about the unintended consequences of mass illegal migration but I just can’t go with you here. The introduction of new cultures into the big melting pot has been a feature of this country from the beginning and it’s one of the things that makes it rich and unique.

  • kerner

    fjsteve:

    I understand your concerns, but you have to remember that most of them are caused by governmental restrictions of the market in he name of supposedly protecting someone (misplaced good intentions). For example, I am not a fan of minimm wage laws, and you will noticethat during periods when we veer towards a free market, we stop needing them (eg. the mid 2000′s when fast food franchises and other traditionally minimum wage employers were hiring for 20-30% above minimum wage).

    As for safeuards like unemployment and workers’ comp, these are quasi insurance programs that employers and employees pay into to operate, and I do support these.

    But, I hope you will agree with me that when the government tries to outlaw something for wich there is a market demand, the result is the creation of a black market, and it is in that black market where most abusive practices take place. Once a the market becomes legal, most of the abuses disappear and yes, a lot of the big profits dry up. Of course, then the exagerated demand for the formerly illegal goods/services go away as well. As you point out, if th emplomnt laws are pretty much the same for everybody, the only advantges that remain for immigrants are the those tied to thir productivity, which are an integral part of any market based economy.

    Also, when an economy is truly market based, layoffs become rare and situational. When wages are set by the market, there are always jobs available. When wages are set by some artificial notion of what they “should be”, that is when the jobs dry up. Every time the minimum wage increases, teen age unemployment increases with it, and teen age unemployment then stays high until inflation undoes the damage done by the artificial minimum wage.

    If we stop worrying about trying to control the labor market (i.e. A “deserves” a job at X wages, so we won’t allow B to work), productivity will rise, and prosperity will increase, including for both A and B.

  • robert m. peters

    America has never been a “nation of immigrants.” That is part of the fiction. Europeans who settle the territory which is today known as the United States were “settlers” who recreated in a new idiom the diverse variations of Western Culture from their home countries and took that culture with their Bibles, their guns, their axes and their plows into a benighted wilderness, there forming communities and creating new republics as western Virginia became Kentucky and western North Carolina became Tennessee; and so the process went.

    The Irish of the 1840′s and 1850′s were still Europeans, albeit Roman Catholic, but shared a common heritage with roots deeper than the confessional struggles after the Reformation. They were given no advantage over the dominant Protest population nor should they have been given those advantages. The America into which they came was no propositional or creedal nation but was a union of constitutionally federated republics with very diverse social orders; it was also not a welfare state. Despite being a confederation of republics, Americans shared with their dominate British heritage common traditions, customs and habits into which these new comers could and wanted to assimilate. The dominant stock remained in the majority. This remained true for the next major wave of immigration, postbellum, which ebbed and flowed until WWI and at the latest the very foresighted immigration reforms of 1926.

    None of this is any longer true. The stock of descendants which held common traditions, customs and habits has diminished. Birth rate, mitigated by affluence and ideology, abortion being one of its fruits, has placed that stock on the waning slope. We are no longer a union of constitutionally federated republics but a highly centralized and bureaucratic state beset with a paper aristocracy, ideologues and the attendant bureaucrats. We are a welfare state. We are a state in which corporatism is a stalking horse for socialism. By fiat law, the playing field, unknown in all of history, has been tilted in favor of the incoming aliens, legal and illegal.

    Mexicans as such are hardly Europeans; and the essence of their Catholic heritage, the glue that held things together, was marginalized and almost completely destroyed by the Marxist revolution after WWI.

    Louisiana, my home state, has native-born Spaniards. “Hispanics” is a meaningless term. Those Louisiana Spaniards, like Spaniards from California who sent militia to Spanish Louisiana, fought not far but on behalf of the American colonies against the British under the Spanish Governor Galvez. They have been a part of the fabric of our region, as you say, before we Saxons got here; but they shared and continued to share together with us the traditions of the West in the American idiom. They cannot be remotely compared to the legal and illegal aliens coming into what is left of our country. The historical context is utterly withershins.

  • kerner

    Robert M. Peters:

    Yes, I realize that Teddy Kennedy was a big supporter of the INA of 1965. And you ARE tarred with the association with Teddy Kennedy, because the the laws the “enforcement only” crowd seeks to enforce are still based in the INA of 1965.

    For example, the current scheme of family based visas comes right out of the INA of 1965. The current system of giving work “permission” only to those who can prove that their jobs are in such short supply that there are literally no American workers willing to apply for them is also straight out of the INA of 1965; it is the brainchild of Teddy Kennedy and Big Labor. The first quota system, that restricted the number of immigrants from any particualr country was introduced in the 1920′s, but the countries in the Western Hemisphere (including all of Latin America and Canada) were exempt from the quota system until, you guessed it, the INA of 1965. That’s right, there were no limits whatsoever on immigration from Mexico until that great conservative, Teddy Kennedy, :) made it so.

    It was only after the INA of 1952, as later modified in 1n 1965, that “illegal immigration” became much of a problem, because that was when the United States first got the idea that people coming here to work was a bad idea.

  • fjsteve

    kerner, two things:

    1) We already have an employment black market and it seems to me that any attempt to “fix it” by legalizing alien workers will result in a decreased demand for those workers. Also, you are speaking of a completely free market as if it will ever happen. We will likely always have minimum wage laws and other governmental interferences (which aren’t always bad, by the way) that will continue to create the desire for a black market.

    2) “…when an economy is truly market based, layoffs become rare and situational. When wages are set by the market, there are always jobs available.” I honestly don’t get this. There are a lot of reasons for layoffs that would happen no matter how free the market (poor management, reduced demand, material shortages, etc). Yes, they are situational, but I don’t see them as rare.

  • robert m. peters

    Kerner at 54

    While there is not evidence that some abstract force such as “the market” exists and while I would not leave moral decisions up to such a market if it did exist, I do agree with you that the government creates the black market with mandated benefits and the minimum wage. I believe, however, that the number crunchers and the ideologues in government know and exploit this. On the one hand, the Democrats placate the labor unions with minimum wages which effectively put the unskilled Americans out of work and the placate their emerging immigrant constituency by creating along with their welfare state more incentive for them to come; on the other hand, the Republicans and their corporate constituency want to suppress wages and need the immigrants for that wage suppression. The Republicans, the stupid party, also believe that they can court the immigrant vote as well.

  • kerner

    Robert M. Peters @55

    Wow. Talk about fiction. Please tell me: how far east does ones country of origin have to be before is ceases to be ine of the endless variations of “Western Culture” that you so idolize? Germans? Poles? Slavs? All of these have a pagan, non anglo saxon history, and don’t get me started on the Celts. And economically, most of the European immigrants of years past were very much the underclass of their respective cultures. And most of them didn’t “settle” the wide open spaces either creating new republics from scratch. Plenty of them “settled” in theexisting big cities. I know my ancestors did.

    I agree that the federal government has morphed into a bloated monster, and that “corporatism is a stalking horse for socialism”. But all of that seems to have occurred well before we had a waive of immigration from Latin America. So, all those Eurotrash immigrants don’t seem to have maintained the ideal you seem to believe once existed, if it ever really did.

    But I see very little actual difference between the motivations of immigrants past and present. If there seems to be a difference due to the welfare state, we would be much better served to attack the welfare state than the immigrants.

  • robert m. peters

    Kerner @ 56

    Surely, you are not that politically naive. Those of us who oppose immigration as it now stands, legal as well as illegal, are as opposed to the 1965 Immigration Reform Act as we are to the illegal immigration from Central America and Mexico. Kennedy was indeed a cunning politician: to get his plan through to open the flood gates of immigration from Asia and Africa; he was will to “close” the door to the south, knowing full well that he would miss no chance across his political carrier to wedge that door open as wide as possible; and he did not miss an opportunity, if you read the article which I linked. Of course, those of us who want to stop the flood of immigration would like to see the 1965 Act enforced against those made illegal under it; but we would like to repeal the act and stop the flood of legal aliens from Asia and Africa, which in the long run is likely far more dangerous.

  • sg

    The current system of giving work “permission” only to those who can prove that their jobs are in such short supply that there are literally no American workers willing to apply for them is also straight out of the INA of 1965

    The key is that Americans won’t apply for that work at that wage. It is just like nursing. Men weren’t interested in nursing until the wages were more attractive. As the skill level required increased, so did wages and male participation. There are reasons we don’t have illegals applying to be nurses, nor many of their children studying to become nurses.

    California growers prefer illegals because they are cheaper. They are concerned that illegals won’t work for terrible wages under terrible conditions if they can get legal protection. Hiring illegals is inherently exploitive.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432004578304701711529248.html

  • kerner

    RMP @58:

    And now we have the ultimate canard: Republicans are stupid because they believe that: 1) their principles have merit and 2) an immigrant might be capabloe of learning and appreciating them. Never mind the fact that this has so rarely been tried, or that the times when it has possibly been tried (2004?) it seemed to be working.

    But we instead of having any confidence in our own convictions, we are told by the effete re-writers of history that we are foolish to try to teach the truth to the great unwashed, as they will never get it. Much better to try to wall off our culture into a glorified gated country club. Hey, there’s a model for a lasting civilization.

  • robert m. peters

    Kerner at 56

    Actually, it is not what I idolize; it is what is. One has to go as far back as Homer and Genesis. You are, whether you are ignorant of it or not, a part of the story which is Western Civilization. I strongly suggest that you become acquainted with your own story. I suggest that you take a non-PC version of Western Civilization and read your Homer, Virgil, St. Augustine, Dante, Burke and Jefferson.

    When I wrote of those who founded a beach head on the Atlantic Coast in towns such as Jamestown, Virginia; Wilmington, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; and St. Augustine Florida and who then spilled out of those palisades to push into the wilderness with their Bibles, their guns, their axes and their plows to found settlements and to transplant culture into a new American idiom, I was not, I believe its being clear in my post, speaking of those immigrants who came postbellem and up to WWI or 1926, apparently the time of your people; nevertheless, your people did not enter a fully consolidated, welfare-oriented Hobbesian state which had stacked the deck against the dominate traditions, customs and habits which had developed in the two hundred previous years. The immigration context of your generation no longer exists. We have become a propositional nation, i.e. an “unnation” with a welfare ideology.

  • sg

    “And economically, most of the European immigrants of years past were very much the underclass of their respective cultures.”

    Key word here, economically. Their academic performance demonstrates that they were actually quite competent. Remember before the French revolution it was the peasants who grew the food and paid taxes to the elites who did not grow food nor pay taxes. Now we have the middle class who produce and pay taxes.

  • kerner

    Oh, on a side note, for those of you who are interested in the links posted by CW2 @27, at least one of these also proves the thesis of this thread:

    http://thesocialcontract.com/

    Which posts ots own link to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcQYI4yo8mM

    Which is a video that claims that all sources of energy that we used today, except hydro-electric power, will be totally exhausted by 2100. It further argues that the only way to maintain a civilized society in North America will be to reduce our continental population to 10 million people. Isn’t that just terrific? To save civilization in North America, all we have to do is exterminate 450 million people, give or take. I shudder to think about how many people he wants to kill on other continents.

    So, yeah, naturally this is the kind of person who opposes immigration. The kind who sees human life as a dire threat to the planet.

  • fjsteve

    robert @55, Very, actually, extremely few native-born Californians at any point between nationhood and California statehood were 100% Spanish, either by ethnicity or by custom. The vast majority were Mestizos. Not that it matters a whole lot. I don’t see “European” as a single, unique culture. Neither did the various nativist groups who protested the arrival of some of my own European ancestors.

  • robert m. peters

    Kerner at 62

    The Republican Party has never been a principled party; it is after all “the party of Lincoln.” Only the naive would believe that the Republicans are now courting legal and illegal immigrants because of principle. Being a raw bloc of political power, they sense were the power is migrating – to the “new Americans” and they want a piece of the action. It is about power and about money; not about principle.

    Who is re-writing history, and what does re-writing history mean? What is this “truth” that we should be trying to teach the unwashed?

    It is the elites who control the apparatus of government who are creating the legal and economic incentives for legal and illegal aliens to come here in the inordinate numbers in which they are coming. Never before have elites worked so hard to undermine the people who allow them, regrettably, to govern. It is unprecedented in history. Were it not for these ideologically, unwarranted and artificially created incentives, we would not be having the problem which we now face. There would be no call “to gate the community” or “close the borders.”

  • sg

    “And economically, most of the European immigrants of years past were very much the underclass of their respective cultures.”

    Key word here, economically. Their academic performance demonstrates that they were actually quite competent. Remember before the French revolution it was the peasants who grew the food and paid taxes to the elites who did not grow food nor pay taxes. Now we have the middle class who produce and pay taxes.

    But we instead of having any confidence in our own convictions, we are told by the effete re-writers of history that we are foolish to try to teach the truth to the great unwashed, as they will never get it.

    Look Mexico is not exactly a welfare state, it was based on western culture, but it is not that much like the USA. So, we have 500 years of real world experience to look at how easy it is to get the indigenous people of Mexico to westernize.

    Much better to try to wall off our culture into a glorified gated country club. Hey, there’s a model for a lasting civilization.

    Remind us from history of the civilizations overtaken by hostile foreign cultures that managed to maintain their civilizations. Let’s see, the Ottomans took over Turkey which remained Christian and continued to progress. Oh wait, no it didn’t. In fact when Tesla was living near the end of Ottoman Empire and only 15 minutes away, he chose to take his talent to New Jersey thousands of miles and a huge ocean away rather than to Ankara just a hop skip and jump away. Look, if those people were so great at building great civilizations they would have done it themselves by now. The Chinese did.

    So, kerner, what immigration policy do you think is reasonable? It sounds like you want a total open borders free for all. That may not be the case, so what restrictions would you like enforced?

  • sg

    Which is a video that claims that all sources of energy that we used today, except hydro-electric power, will be totally exhausted by 2100. It further argues that the only way to maintain a civilized society in North America will be to reduce our continental population to 10 million people. Isn’t that just terrific? To save civilization in North America, all we have to do is exterminate 450 million people, give or take. I shudder to think about how many people he wants to kill on other continents.

    So, yeah, naturally this is the kind of person who opposes immigration. The kind who sees human life as a dire threat to the planet.

    Ach, wehe.

    Look, either the video is correct or it isn’t. If it is correct, then the 450 million will die anyway. If not then they won’t, right? Either way, it is based on whether or not the assumptions in the video are correct and not upon “the kind of person” the videographer may be. Come on, people. Can we stop with all the “kind of person” BS?

  • robert m. peters

    First Steve at 66

    Metizos are merely Indians who learned Spanish to the degree of their inclination and became Catholic, some only nominally or not at all. I am very familiar with the ratios of pre-state California. The Spanish who came from California to Louisiana were not Metizos; neither were or are those of Spanish origin in Louisiana.

    No, you are correct about the nativists. Most of them were British and Protestant, predominately in New England. They were narrow-mindedly Puritan, oblivious to the common culture of the West and believed in “American Exceptionalism,” which is, in fact, antithetical to a common Western culture.

  • robert m. peters

    Kerner,

    I am no enemy of Mexican or “Latin American” nationals working in the United States. As a child, I accompanied my great uncle on a yearly trek to Mexico where we would pick up Mexicans to work on the plantation of which he was the manager. They came legally; were paid well by agrarian and Mexican states; were housed Sparten but clean; and they worked hard and long. Our local Red Necks would work hard and long but not during hunting season; our local blacks would not work hard and long; the Mexicans did and caused no trouble. I am all for Mexicans and other Central Americans working here with proper visas and supervision. There should be no path to citizenship; and they should have no rights to education or welfare of any kind. Those who come to work here should pay their taxes to Mexico and have their benefits guaranteed by Mexico. What undermines these workable programs are the agendas of the elites either side of the border and those who naively or with malice of forethought want unlimited immigration.

  • sg

    I am all for Mexicans and other Central Americans working here with proper visas and supervision. There should be no path to citizenship; and they should have no rights to education or welfare of any kind. Those who come to work here should pay their taxes to Mexico and have their benefits guaranteed by Mexico.

    You just described what Canada does.

  • kerner

    RMP @60:

    To tell you the truth, I don’t think Teddy Kennedy was that intelligent. And he was quite the friend of Big Labor, which was one of his major sources of political support. Big Labor has always been an opp[onent of immigration, seeing immigrants as “unfair” competition. Labor Unions have changed their tune recently, only because of the recent demise of the private sector labor movement in the United States. To have been secretly planning to encourage immigration, Kennedy would have had to anticipate the decline of Big Labor, or even have been colluding in it. As I said, I don’t believe Teddy Kennedy was that smart. More likely he, like the Unions, are simply hoping to import, and then indoctrinate, the immigrants, and this is an opportunistic, rather than planned for, event.

    @63:
    You are, whether you are ignorant of it or not, a part of the story which is Western Civilization.

    So I am, but that story includes a lot more than Homer, Virgil, St. Augustine, Dante, Burke and Jefferson. It also includes Hobbes, whom you apparently despise, as well as Nicolo Machiavelli, Thomas Torquemada, Ivan the Terrible, Nero, Karl Marx and Adolph Hitler. And Classical Western Civilization has in fact absorbed many barbarian cultures, including the Germans, the Norse, the Slavs, the Celts, and the Magyars. Frankly, if the culture of Homer and Virgil can absorb my people, I’m pretty sure it can absorb almost anybody.

  • fjsteve

    robert, mestizos aren’t Indians, they are mixed Spanish and native. There may have been some Spanish priests or officers but, as I said, very few by the time California came into the union. Interestingly, when they spoke of “foreigners” in the territory that would become California, they weren’t talking about Spanish or native Americans. They were, even then, talking about Anglos.

  • sg

    As I understand it, illnesses wiped out many of the natives leaving the Spanish and the mixed folks who were lucky enough to be able to survive the foreign illnesses. In 1900, there were only about 13 million people in Mexico and while they were undoubtedly partly mixed, there were tons who were very much predominantly of European ancestry. The great rise in population came after vaccines which really allowed the native population to increase. Also, consider Argentina which is about 95% white and far more European than the US. There are mixed people there too, but not a lot. Just because Europeans moved in and took over does not mean that they had to mix extensively. Some did and some didn’t. Countries like Brazil and the USA clearly show that plenty of folks are not mixed just because there is opportunity.

  • robert m. peters

    I am fully aware of the entomology of “mestizos.” The French had much the system although not quite as complicated as that of the Spanish. The full ethnic or racial chart is in the museum of Los Adais which was the capital of Spanish Texas now located in Louisiana, a place where I often give tours; and a chart which I discuss with students in no little detail; however, there is a vast difference between the etymology of a word, its definition and its ultimate application. Indians who spoke a smattering of Spanish and who mix Christianity with tribal rites were referred to as “Mestizos,” whether there was a Spaniard somewhere in their lineage or not. As time passed, from the 16th century to the 18th and early 19th century, there was in most cases no objective correlative between the term and the ethnicity of the person to which it was applied.

    Sure Anglos were foreigners in California. They were foreigners in Louisiana. Spaniards were considered foreigners in Louisiana as well as were, ironically, Cajuns, by the Créoles. The Créoles of Louisiana were actually closer to the Germans of Louisiana than they were the Cajuns. The man who did the most to transcend the diversity in late 18th century Louisiana was Galvez who galvanized an army made up of Spanish militia from California, Spanish regulars, Canary Islanders, French militia, Indians, primarily Caddo, free African militia and the admixture of Saxons and Celts who had already come into Louisiana.

    The experiences of the late 18th and the early 19th century, as important as they remain to our story, are totally out of context with the forces moving immigration, diversity and multiculturalism, none of which should be supported by a conservative.

  • robert m. peters

    Kerner,
    Teddy was indeed smart and opportunistic. Even if I believed that the elites, including Teddy, did not have it planned out, the fact is that the door which they allegedly closed was pried wide open by them when it became political opportunity and political expediency. You will also note that most of the “no” votes against the bill and its ancillaries came from Southern Democrats in whose tradition I stand.

    Western Civilization has indeed been able to amalgamate aliens, at certain times and under certain conditions. At other times, it has been able to win important battles at the right time, otherwise it would have been destroyed: the Battle of Poitiers; the Battle of Lech; the Battle of Lepanto, etc. Never, however, have we had elites marshaling fiat law with a pseudo-moral imperative to allow aliens, legal or illegal to overrun us. No Roman or Roman ally in his right mind was arguing that my Germanic ancestors should be allowed to overrun the crumbling empire. No Frank was arguing that Charles Martel should allow the forces of Islam to overrun Christendom or Europe. We come closest to the modern scenario when we look at Christian Roman Britons allowing my Saxon ancestors to enter the country to help protect them from my wild Celtic ancestors to the north: BIG MISTAKE. Western Civilization is now extremely weak. Republicanism has given way to a centralized Hobbesian states which is an abstract corporation with a monopoly on coercion, with the ability to define the limits of its own power and which is drive by a strong will, which is the whims of the fickle masses manipulated by the elites who control the apparatus of government, the media and the academy. Communion has given way to the collective. Character has been replaced by the cult of personality. The community of persons has given way to the so-called autonomous individual, the creature of Rousseau, outfitted with the abstract rights of Locke, a would-be Promethean self who is in reality an isolated, alienated, estranged and shriveled self, whose only esteem lies in being a member of a faction which sometimes animates the elites and which is sometimes manipulated by the elites. In this condition, prevailing in Old Europe as well as here, the West cannot stand the onslaught.

    I am fully aware of the major heroes and scoundrels of Western Civilization.

  • kerner

    @77:

    First, Mr. Peters, allow me to formally welcome you to this discussion, as I believe you have added much to it. Your perspective is different from what I have read here before, and your comments have forced me to look at this issue in a different way. Yet I still must disagree with some of your underlying assumptions, and inevitably, your conclusions.

    You say that you are fully aware of the major heroes and scoundrels of Western Civilization. If that is true, then you must be aware that the innumerable scoundrels, villians, fools and barbarians of Western Civilization far outnumber its comparitively few heroes. The history of Europe is one of tyranny, greed and frateracidal war. What good qualities our culture possesses are ours by the grace of God, not because we are smarter or nobler people than everyone else.

    The very federated republics you exalt are not the result of a consistant line of European thought, but are rather the result of a series of providential events that no one planned. A casual observer would consider them lucky accidents, but as a Christian, I don’t believe in luck.

    England only became a united country because it was conquered by the vikings invaders. Before that it was a collection of petty states constantly at war with each other and raided by the vikings, who eventually took over. While there were some English kings who ruled all of England, the uniting force that lasted was the Norman conquest (certainly not what Englishmen of that time planned or wished for). But it was provodential that William the Conqueror and his very able youngest son, Henry I, were very good administrators who united England into a coherent whole for good.

    The Normans were succeeded by the Plantagenets whose most important characteristic was their propensity to have many children and to fight dynastic wars which had the long term effect of weakening the monarchy and killing off most of the feudal nobility. Again, not something anyone desired or planned.

    The Tudors separated the english Church from the rest of Christendom, not for reasons of principle, but for purely selfish reasons, and then promptly died out after only three generations. The Stuarts further weakened the monarchy by engaging almost non-stop in religious civil wars.

    By the time the protestant Stuarts died out, the monarchy was so weak that the English contrived to settle the monarchy on the next protestant in line, who turned out to be the prince of Hanover. Provodentially, George I’s other characteristics turned out to be that he was not only a terrible administrator, he had absolutely no interest in actually ruling (as long as he had the money and prestige of a monarch), and turned the actual administration of the government over to his prime minister.

    It was in this environment of autocrats gradually pursuing various suicidal political courses that the idea of someone other than the autocrats having rights evolved. Not because anyone could have planned this centureis lond series of events by moral or intellectual prowess, and certainly not because the English were as a group particularly noble or intelligent. It was simply because the noble and intelligent among them were in the right places at the right times.

  • kerner

    continued:

    You also say:

    No Roman or Roman ally in his right mind was arguing that my Germanic ancestors should be allowed to overrun the crumbling empire.

    In point of historical fact, that statement is simply untrue. See the following link to an article describing the relationship that the Western Roman Empire, and the Byzantine Empire had with the Germans:

    http://www.roman-empire.net/army/army.html

    You will read there that both the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantines incorporated German barbarians into their armies. The your Germanic ancestors, and mine, soon overthrew the Western Empire, while the Byzantines were able to continue incorporating our Germanic ancestors into their armies for 500 years successfully. Not only did the Germans in the Byzantine army not cause Byzantium’s downfall, but for those 5 centuries they were instrumental in its survival. What was the difference?

    The Western Empire was morally, intellectually and financially weak. By 500 A.D. the Western Roman Army was almost entirely German. Small wonder then that they simply felt entitled to take over. But I think it is important to p[oint out that thye Western Romans had become so dependent upon the Germans for protection because they had become incapable of depending themselves. As such, if the Western Romans had contrived to deport every German in Roman territory, it would not have saved them. They were so weak as a culture they could not have stopped the Germans from taking Rome from the outside.

    By contrast, the Byzantines incorporated the German heavy calvary into their army, but they promply developed a corps of Byzantine mounted archers to rival the strength and effectiveness of the Germans, while still developing the infantry and navy, etc. By diplomacy, the Byzantines outmaneuvered the Germans to their west, but used their own German troops primarily to fight their enemies to their east. The Byzantines also developed the “theme” system in which a military unit was assigned to a particular province to defend and those military units, whatever their national origins, naturally came to identify with the place they lived and were expected to defend. In other words, the Byzantines were able to successfully incorporate the very barbarians that brought down Rome into the Byzantine army by 1) not fearing them and 2) respecting the strengths that the Germns possessed, and 3) taking purposful steps to assimilate them into the Byzantine military and culture in a controlled way.

    I make this analogy to make the following points:

    1) You and others like you are correct to be concerned about the immigration of culturally different people into our country, but your position that immigration will cause an inevitable collapse of our civilization is incorrect.

    2) At least one other great nation has in fact absorbed large numbers of barbarian immigrants into its culture, and even into its military, and continued to thrive for 500 years, therefore it is possible for the United States to do the same.

    3) A culture that is too weak to absorb and assimilate barbarians is also too weak to protect itself from them from without, and is therefore doomed anyway.

    4) Therefore, the only rational course for a culture that wishes to survive is to try to strengthen itself so as to be able to absorb those who seek to join it, and to even encourage others to join it for the right reasons. Those right reasons being embracing those things that made the culture strong and attractive in the first place. But this cannot be done by treating immigrants with such hostility that they regard us with equal hostility.

  • kerner

    groan.

    Now I must apologize for my many typos, which I never seem to keep out of my comments, but which seem particularly abundant in my last two comments.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    While the Roman Republic was a mono-cultural state, this changed quickly during the transition to Empire. What Robert doesn’t realise is that he is reading history through the lens of the nation-state. The nation state is a relatively new invention, and often came about through the subjugation of a few cultures by others. The French were essentially a couple of Kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages only finally coming into their own much later. But along the line followed the suppression of the Breton, the Catalans and others. Bismarck united the Germans in his own brutal fashion, after Napoleon made it easier. Garibaldi united the Italians, by war. Kerner makes the same point about the English.

    Nationalism is not necessarily a virtue.

    I find the pov of Robert, and sg and others as having a strong undercurrent, perhaps unrecognized, of Nietzschean thought.

  • robert m. peters

    Mr. Kerner,

    I am fully aware of all of the Roman history which you outline. I teach courses on Rome, Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. You miss the point. Romans indeed as a result of the decay of the empire were compelled by the realities which beset them to integrate my barbaric ancestors as the Roman world transformed; however, as I have pointed out there was never at any time an ideological movement among Roman elites that Rome would be more virtuous or stronger by allowing my barbaric ancestors into the empire. It became a matter of Roman policy because there was no option; not because it was some ideal, certainly not among the Romans that all men and all cultures are equal.

  • sg

    “The history of Europe is one of tyranny, greed and frateracidal war. What good qualities our culture possesses are ours by the grace of God, not because we are smarter or nobler people than everyone else.”

    I just want to make the point that a group would not need to be very smart or noble to be smarter and nobler than every other group. I mean some group is smarter and nobler, just not by much. No groups have particularly high averages. Any group would have to be impossibly smart and noble in order to be smarter and nobler than every other individual. This point is really about setting a higher bar for Europeans than for every other group. All groups are comprised entirely of sinners. No one is good, not one. We are all dead in our sin. That being the case, it does not follow that no group has led in invention and technology, specifically in those areas that alleviate human toil or misery.

  • robert m. peters

    Klasie,

    Nationalists for me are anathema! Bismark, Garibaldi and Lincoln are certainly no heroes of mine. I am an Aristotelian republican. Both the national state and globalism, which is what you wittingly or unwittingly advocate, are the enemies of Aristotelian republicanism. As to Nietzsche, you could not be more wrong, assuming you know your Nietzsche.

    The Hobbesian state used nationalism as its stalking to sweep away the independent kingdom, principalities and free cities of Germany and Italy and to destroy the union of constitutionally federated republics in America. It is now shedding its nationalists guise, to ironically the chagrin of old nationalists, as it asserts itself globally. Multiculturalism, diversity and immigration are its weapons to that end. At the beginning of the French Revolution, there was a moment when the Hobbesian state could have been avoided; and France could have become a federation of up to eighty republics, each with ancient traditions, customs and habits; however, the opposite happened: France became a brutal centralized Hobbesian state and began to export this paradigm in the form of revolution and war across Europe with the abstract notions of “equality, liberty and brotherhood,” a “brotherhood” without a father, as its motto. Multiculturalism, diversity and the ideological immigration are in fact the advanced weapons of the Hobbresian state and the corporatists, the ideologues, the bureaucrats and the paper aristocracy which animate it. It is no place for a conservative.

  • sg

    “I find the pov of Robert, and sg and others as having a strong undercurrent, perhaps unrecognized, of Nietzschean thought.”

    Endless ad hominem. Have you not yet figured out that not everyone is cowed by this silly shaming tactic? I know it often works to get people to stop discussing such things, but it clearly isn’t working now. Just make solid points to support your point of view. That will be more helpful to everyone than this incessant ad hom unsupported by any examples.

    Anyway, as for nationalism, it is probably essential, yet it can be high jacked by evil tyrants as we have seen many times. The problem with folks like Hitler was not so much that he tried to get some German pride going so they could recover from the war, the problem was that he was a homicidal genocidal maniac and that people were more loyal to him than they were to their country and countrymen. They didn’t realize that they had never really needed him in the first place. They just needed to work on national recovery. What started as reasonably healthy nationalism – be loyal, work hard, pull together, etc – turned into insane fanaticism due to loyalty to the brand name Nazi. But it definitely seems wrong to see nationalism as the problem. Nationalism is also what motivated the British, French, USA, (Russia?) to resist the Nazis. They didn’t want their own nations overrun.

  • sg

    I just want to be clear that when I refer to nationalism, I mean an identity. It is generally ethnic identity but it doesn’t absolutely have to be. Israel has various ethnicities that can immigrate because they are Jewish. I think we recognize the rights of ethnic groups not to be eradicated. There has been plenty of concern from various points of view that smaller tribes still have a right to exist and not be forced or coerced to give up their identities. This applies to tribes in the rain forests of Brazil as well as to Estonians. Those tribes who do have sovereignty over their own territory, such as the Swiss may chose to organize it and their internal politics as they see fit. That includes immigration. This right is generally referred to as the right to self determination.

  • sg


    4) Therefore, the only rational course for a culture that wishes to survive is to try to strengthen itself so as to be able to absorb those who seek to join it, and to even encourage others to join it for the right reasons.”

    Everyone is fine with those joining for the right reasons. That is why we have the most open and welcoming policies in the history of the world. Those people joining for the right reasons are called legal immigrants.

    Those right reasons being embracing those things that made the culture strong and attractive in the first place.

    We already do that. The problem is that illegal aliens do not come for the right reasons and often they and their kids are here for the welfare largesse.

    But this cannot be done by treating immigrants with such hostility that they regard us with equal hostility.

    We do not treat immigrants with hostility. If we did, far fewer would come. We are not the cause of their hostility. They are the cause of their hostility. We can see that they are just as hostile even to one another here as well as in their native lands. A disproportionally high fraction of illegal aliens are criminally inclined. Our very welcoming immigration policy screens out criminals. It selects for good potential citizens.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Robert, I think we are not thinking about the same things. When I talk about Nietzsche (who also did not love Bismarck, btw, but admired Napoleon), I’m thinking about the themes of weakness, struggle and power over the ‘lesser man’ that permeates so much of what is assumed in nationalist thought. Granted, you did not overtly state anything like that, but it seems to me that there is still a whiff of that, and when it comes to sg, it is the dominant theme.

    These themes run counter to both the essence of the faith, and to rationalist thought.

    BTW, I loathe Nietzsche myself. I also am no fan of Rousseau, and yes, Kant and I have our disagreements. I’m probably closer to Aristotle than Plato, but would you venture to guess where my philosophy lies.. ?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Robert – I’m no nationalist, and yes, I like pan-national political entities. In spite of the current malaise, I still prefer the EU-project above petty states. Historically, noticing the multitude of imperfections, I do have some admiration for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as opposed to say Bismarck’s Empire. I do like them more decentralized, though.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg, let me address this:

    You have argued, on this blog, that certain races are more inclined towards crime, are less capable wrt intelligence, while others are brighter and better. You grounded your analysis, not in cultural and economic circumstances, but in genetics. That is the very definition of racism. It also inform your opposition to immigration – while you often just talk about illegal immigration, at the core you seems to say that there should be less of “them”, and more of “us”, because we need to be able to reach our exalted state – less of them will lead to a better future for us. This is but a difference of degrees with those reviled people from the past. Most of us, from Kerner to Todd to fws to Grace have pointed this out to you, but you have stubbornly refused to listen. So yes, you are, when it comes to this issue, generally seen as the raving lunatic fringe, best ignored because of you holding on to what amounts to be tame version of despicably evil ideas.

  • sg

    Klasie, is data racist? Or are just those who report it racist? The data simply reveal what is there. You can look anywhere you like. Dept. of Justice. Iowa test of basic skills, National Assessment of Educ. Progress. These are just facts. The differences simply exist. Are facts racist? Are you saying that simply acknowledging differences is racism? The crime committed by whites in the US is virtually the same rate as Europe. Coincidence?
    How in the world is it despicably evil to say the truth?

  • sg

    “It also inform your opposition to immigration – while you often just talk about illegal immigration, at the core you seems to say that there should be less of “them”, and more of “us”, because we need to be able to reach our exalted state – less of them will lead to a better future for us.”

    This is what is known as a bald faced lie.

    I have said that we should use the duly enacted laws to screen all immigrants to make sure that the individuals we accept are not criminals.

    I have not said we should kick out anyone who is a citizen. So your claim that I want less of them exists only in your mind.

    Your “exalted state” BS is likewise your own invention. You project that on to what I have said.

    We always have been and always will be fallen, until the end of the age when Christ comes again.

    There is no moral mandate to allow criminals into our country to abuse us and our posterity.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DATA HAS CONTEXT!!!!

    You cannot just look at the data and say THIS! or THAT! You have to examine all contributing factors. You have to examine methodology, bias and trend. You have to examine many, many different things. You have to question, again and again, from many angles. Examining data is my life – I damn well know what I’m talking about.

  • sg

    “So yes, you are, when it comes to this issue, generally seen as the raving lunatic fringe, best ignored because of you holding on to what amounts to be tame version of despicably evil ideas.”

    So what are these despicably evil ideas?

    Because I am pretty sure you will have to include all crime statistics reporters and education statistics reporters among those with the same ideas.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Sg, on the one hand you have talked about desirable immigrants. Fine. And then you go on to say that people from certain countries/cultures/races are not desirable, based on a bad, bad readings of stats. Without looking at the FULL context.

    Can’t you see the obvious implications here?

  • sg

    Seriously, Klasie, bias? In the Dept. of Justice stats? Bias in the ITBS?

    That is just lame.

    Look, correlation does equal correlation.

    You increase x, you get more y.

    You don’t need to identify cause.

    Many many many people have devoted their lives to explaining away the data, and yet there they are. Disbelieving the obvious is far closer to lunacy than acknowledging it.

    Look, I just think we would all be better off with a rational policy that takes actual info into account. Most people from all races are perfectly fine to admit as immigrants. However, open immigration without any controls is just plain stupid. That is not the way to get good people of any group.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    This is fast becoming a Proverbs 26 dilemma.

  • sg

    “And then you go on to say that people from certain countries/cultures/races are not desirable,

    No, actually, I didn’t. Go back and check.
    I said we should enforce reasonable entrance requirements like not being criminals.

    You keep bringing up the silly racism charge. And I keep calling you out for it.

    based on a bad, bad readings of stats.”

    LOL, dude, those stats speak for themselves. They are what they are.

    Without looking at the FULL context.

    What full context?

    Can’t you see the obvious implications here?

    No.

  • sg

    This is fast becoming a Proverbs 26 dilemma.

    More ad hominem.

    Still no explanation.

    Basically your argument consists in, “I am right. You are wrong. Agree with me or I will endlessly insult you.”

    You have no argument. You have no data to support your charges. You defame people without cause.

  • sg

    “I like pan-national political entities.”

    Like the British Commonwealth countries? :D

  • sg

    Or should I say more specifically Her Royal Majesty ER II?

    I guess I had never thought of her position specifically as a trans-national political entity.

    Really she is though.

  • sg

    Here is some full context for you, Klasie,

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-298.html

    Literally more money than they knew what to do with. No expense spared. Highest per student spending in the nation.

    No improvement in academic performance.

  • kerner

    @102:

    And what do we learn from that link besides the obvious conclusion that, after a certain minimal threshold, education spending (per pupil expenditure) is irrelevant to academic performance? Which, incidently, appears to be the point of the report.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    So you cannot ever say anybody is fundamentally wrong, and that they consistently misunderstand / misapply things, because then it is ad hominem? I’ tired of you ad homining my ad hominems :)

  • sg

    “So you cannot ever say anybody is fundamentally wrong, and that they consistently misunderstand / misapply things, because then it is ad hominem?”

    Generally it is more convincing if you give a reason why you think something is incorrect. You don’t give any reasons and you mischaracterize what people say. That is why it is just ad hominem, not argumentation. I mean, would this statement really convince you, “I damn well know what I’m talking about.” Seriously? If you have some great data based reason, then just cite it and explain it. How hard is that? Well, it is pretty hard when you don’t have it, or more specifically no one has it.

    And what do we learn from that link besides the obvious conclusion that, after a certain minimal threshold, education spending (per pupil expenditure) is irrelevant to academic performance?

    Kerner, after the Kansas City school district spent this mountain of money on lavish everything, it then lost its accreditation because the students’ academic performance was extremely low. That is the context for extremely poor performance. They had everything the experts said kids need and still failed. Yet a dozen years before that, when the schools were filled with white kids who just had regular facilities, the students demonstrated adequate performance on average. Klasie wants to make it about culture and economics, but the Kansas City experiment is a huge case study showing that money and school culture do not raise performance. The point here is that you can’t make people be what you wish them to be. Not even if you spend a mountain of money and use every trick in your bag. Klasie, says that is racist, but look at KC. The facts don’t lie. So if it isn’t culture and it isn’t economics, what is left? Well we dare not even think it because it is incredibly evil, you know, the truth. The challenge is treating people well and fairly despite differences. It is far less fair to blame everyone who tries to help when certain groups don’t perform like other groups. So as we continue with our bi modal immigration policy, by which we are bringing in very high performers and tons and tons of very low performers and the natives are shrinking as a fraction, how long before those new (and very tribal) high performers tire of funding the violence and dysfunction of the low performing groups? I mean they aren’t particularly generous toward the low performers in their own countries and those are their co ethnics not folks of a totally different group.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg, I think we have 2 years of interrupted debate on this matter. You have been told so many times why you are wrong, that the effort seems somewhat pointless….

  • sg

    Yeah, Klasie, I know, I am wrong because …well because. No one ever came up with any actual reason or data. No one ever. So two years of just saying I am wrong is just two years of blah blah blah. You still have never cited one single reason or any data to support what you say. You just wish it weren’t so and call anyone racist if they dare say hey, look at these numbers. Gee, none of these groups are just like the others. Each seems to have its own different average that is stable over time and geographic location. Hmm. Well there is nothing more racist than that.
    It is all ridiculous. No reasons, no facts, no evidence supports your position.
    Endless ad hominem.

    Also, despite all this, I have managed not to insult you or build straw men. Every citation I ever gave you was neutral and unbiased, data based. Even as you lied outright about what I have said which is nothing more than just hey, look at the numbers.

    Also, Klasie, you never answer the question of why it is racist to just say hey, look at these numbers. Why can’t you at least answer that?

  • sg

    You grounded your analysis, not in cultural and economic circumstances, but in genetics. That is the very definition of racism.

    Gee, where do genetics come from? How do they change over time? How about natural selection and adaptation? Nah, you wouldn’t buy that line. Human beings aren’t subject to selection. That is, wait, what did you call it? Oh yeah, “pernicious, evil racist propaganda.” All the other critters are subject to nature, but not us. Don’t even think it. It is evil. So absurd.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg, I have never said that looking at numbers is racist. I have said that your inferences are. Also, myself and others have explained to you why. Yet you continued to carry on asserting these things. Which of course leads to the question, why this is such a hobby horse?? Why do you find it so important to prove that certain races are inferior, according to you? Does it make you feel better?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg, you are grabbing words you don’t understand, pushing studies that do not say what you think they say (see Kerner earlier), and then screaming harder than anyone else about it. You obviously have some problems, and I will desist in engaging you any further. I have tried to explain the importance of full data context before, and nothing seems to have been understood.

    I will not trouble myself about this anymore.

  • sg

    “Which of course leads to the question, why this is such a hobby horse??”

    I think it is your incessant ad hominem calling me a racist. Yup, that is what it is. Looking at this thread, it was your comment at 25 that started your BS racism charge even though the topic was actually labor participation rates with no mention of race. But not having something salient to say, you called me a racist.

    So why is racism your hobby horse?

  • sg

    I have tried to explain the importance of full data context before, and nothing seems to have been understood.”

    No, you assert. You don’t explain. You have explained nothing.

  • sg

    “Why do you find it so important to prove that certain races are inferior, according to you?”

    This is so dumb. Another straw man. I never said that. I said look at the numbers. Look at their actual performance. Do you think there are no public policy implications from those numbers? Seriously? Look at Nevada no longer administers the Iowa tests because they were dead last at the 42nd %ile. So, now some honest state has to be last. Is that what we want to be going? Just stop collecting performance data and bury our heads in the sand?

    I have never said that looking at numbers is racist. I have said that your inferences are.”

    Yeah, you wouldn’t want anyone to infer the obvious. Tell us what do you infer from such data?

  • sg

    “I have tried to explain the importance of full data context before, and nothing seems to have been understood.”

    Bull, you could have done that at comment 25 instead of calling me a racist.

    “I will not trouble myself about this anymore.”

    How convenient. But will you continue to trouble me by calling me a racist every time I cite a data point? I am guessing you will. If there were data showing whites were doing poorly, well then no more context is necessary. If it is some other group, then here comes Klasie whining about some context out in the ether that he never even explains.

  • kerner

    sg:
    Of the students in Kansas City, you say:

    “They had everything the experts said kids need and still failed”

    Sooo…the experts were wrong. Spending money to give kids “everything the ‘experts’ [say] kids need” doesn’t help, therefore, the “experts” don’t know what kids need. Isn’t that the point of the article?

  • sg

    Kerner, the premise that Klasie holds to is that performance indicators have to be viewed in context. So, culture and economics are the only factors he will accept as influencing performance. Okay, so in the KC example those two issues were addressed and it didn’t change performance at all. It was a huge experiment over many years and it yielded no improvement. So if culture and economics are oh so super important, then why does changing them have no effect? The short answer is that they aren’t much of the problem. More likely economics, culture and educational achievement are all caused by the same thing. It is a reasonable inference. That doesn’t prove that it is correct. But the KC example lends exactly no support to Klasie’s assertion that it is all culture and economics and the people themselves are blank slates or whatever it is he thinks. There was no change in anyone group’s performance despite totally different cultural and economic environments.

  • kerner

    sg: seriously. The Cato Institute (a body I haghly respect) reviewed the facts of the KC court ordered integration plan and concluded trhe following:


    Conclusion

    All the money spent in Kansas City brought about neither integration nor higher levels of achievement. The lessons of the Kansas City experiment should stand as a warning to those who would use massive funding and gold-plated buildings to encourage integration and improve education:

    The political realities of inner-city Kansas City made it impossible to fire incompetent teachers and principals and hire good ones.
    Because the community regarded the school system as much as an employment opportunity as an educational institution, less than half the education budget ever made it to the classroom.
    School superintendents found it hard to function because every decision was second-guessed by the court-appointed monitoring committee; the attorney for the plaintiffs; and the state of Missouri, which was paying most of the bills.
    Because the designers of the Kansas City plan assumed that inner-city blacks couldn’t learn unless they sat in classrooms with middle-class whites, the district wasted exorbitant amounts of time and money on expensive facilities and elaborate programs intended to attract suburban whites instead of focusing its attention on the needs of inner-city blacks.
    By turning virtually every school in the district into a magnet school, the Kansas City plan destroyed schools as essential parts of neighborhoods, fractured neighborhoods’ sense of community, and alienated parents.
    The mechanism used to fund improvements to the school system (a federal desegregation lawsuit) deflected attention from the real problem–the need to raise black achievement.
    The ideological biases of local educators and politicians, and the federal court, made them reject solutions that might have worked, such as merit pay, charter schools, or offers by private schools to educate students in return for vouchers.
    Because the district had no way to evaluate the performance of teachers and administrators, promotions couldn’t be based on merit.
    The desegregation plan created inverse achievement incentives–the district got hundreds of millions of extra dollars in court-ordered funding each year but only if student test scores failed to meet national norms.

    I don’t see anything in the author’s conclusions about “not being able to make people into what you want them to be”. In fact, I don’t really understand how education “makes” anyone into anything. People are people. They react to certain things in common predictable ways but also individually in ways that are only predictable if the individual is known.

    Frankly, I consider most of the data you find so fascinating to be pretty pointless when it comes to this discussion. What is the correlation between the Iowa test scores and deciding whether an individual Mexican should be able to get a job in Iowa?

  • kerner

    Oops. We cross posted.

    There was nothing “totally different” about the cultural and economic environment of the KC schools. It was nothing more than a bunch of fools spending money on useless nonsense (the same useless nonsense that they had spent money on before, only more so), which predictably yielded no positive results. The point of the study is not that black children can’t “perform” whatever that means. It was that everything the federal judge and the KC school system did was irrelevant to getting them to perform.

  • sg

    Look, Klasie started this by calling me a racist. I merely stated we need to put our workers first. I know you don’t agree with that, but still, our workers are diverse so it wasn’t about race, anyway. I think illegal immigration is stupid because it brings the bad with the good. We need to choose good candidates. But when we have low labor participation, I don’t think we need more workers certainly not a million a year. So, Klasie jumps on that and called me a racist. I told him I am just looking at performance numbers which he still thinks is racist somehow because he imagines I hold positions that I don’t. He also imagines a whole bunch of excuses for the differences in performance but has no evidence for it. And yeah, I am going to challenge his baseless insults. It is not that the data are so fascinating. They just are what they are. They aren’t irrelevant.

    I don’t see anything in the author’s conclusions about “not being able to make people into what you want them to be”. In fact, I don’t really understand how education “makes” anyone into anything. People are people.

    Did you miss this sentence in the conclusion you cited?

    The mechanism used to fund improvements to the school system (a federal desegregation lawsuit) deflected attention from the real problem–the need to raise black achievement.

    What is the correlation between the Iowa test scores and deciding whether an individual black should be able to get a job in Iowa?

    If Mexicans don’t need scores to get jobs, why do blacks?

  • robert m. peters

    It would seem that this thread has diverged from the topic of anti-immigrant conservatives are pro-abortion and pro-eugenics, etc.

    Americans of African origin have been hit by both evils: abortion with millions of them having been aborted since Roe v. Wade and immigration, legal and illegal, with the immigrants taking housing, funding and political power, particularly as it relates to the Democratic Party, from them. They, like all of us with deep roots in antebellum America, will continue to diminish.

  • kerner

    sg@119:

    If Mexicans don’t need scores to get jobs, why do blacks?”

    They don’t.. Who said they did? To get jobs they only need one score, and according to our new friend many of them have. @71 he said:

    [Mexicans] worked hard and long. Our local Red Necks would work hard and long but not during hunting season; our local blacks would not work hard and long; the Mexicans did and caused no trouble…

    These are the qualifications to get a job. And that’s why the elder Mr. Peters hired them. Test scores are not acheivement. They are only a very imperfect predictor of success. And in the real world, they are irrelevant.

    One would think that these characteristice (a willingness to work hard and long, and to not cause any trouble for ones neighbors) would be the characteristics we would consider those of a good citizen as well. But the younger Mr. Peters would deny Mexicans that opportunity, without explanation (in @71 at least), but I think I see the explanation @120.

    Mexicans were no part of the antebellum Amercan scene that Mr. Peters longs for. Therefore they must not be permitted to further pollute with their alien ways the old order. African Americans were part of the antebellum south, so they can stay. Part of a simple, two sided power structure of southern American history. But seriously Mr. Peters, were African Americans really so much better off as chattel slaves that competition today from hard working Mexicansis the thing that “diminishes” them? And why should the fact that Hispanics had no place in antebellum America be a reason for keeping people with a work ethic, good manners, and maybe even a little self respect and ambition from becoming American citizens?

    But sg, market forces can explain the idleness and disfunction we see in some African American individuals. Idleness and disfunction is what many people (of all races in our society are paid to do. And we get what we pay for. When we start paying people for being productive, we will get more productivity. If I had to attach a reason for why the test scores of African Americans in Kansas City are, on average, lower than those in the surrounding white suburbs, I would say that it is probably because the white kids see some correlative benefit to doing well on the tests, and that a significant portion of the inner city black kids do not.

  • sg

    “They are only a very imperfect predictor of success. And in the real world, they are irrelevant.”

    This is so not true. They are the single best predictor of success, which is why schools use them. Just try getting into law school without an LSAT score. The better the score, the better the school you can get into, and the better the school the better the firms that will hire you and the more money you can earn. Of course, you know all this.

    But sg, market forces can explain the idleness and disfunction we see in some African American individuals.

    Maybe, but they don’t explain school achievement in grade school. The children of the dysfunctional and idle among other groups have higher achievement. Anyway, what market forces do you mean? Market forces like the oversupply of labor due to illegal aliens? And welfare that takes people out of the labor pool by provisioning idleness? People, as you noted, respond to incentives. If the actual jobs people can really get don’t provide their needs any better than welfare, then duh, they aren’t going to work.

  • sg

    t would seem that this thread has diverged from the topic of anti-immigrant conservatives are pro-abortion and pro-eugenics, etc.

    Nope. This is just straight up law and order immigration law enforcement. Reject and deport criminals. That is all that is advocated. I deplore both abortion and genocide. So, you misunderstood. Enforcing immigration law and incentivizing good behavior would help all communities regardless of ability.

    Also, for those alleged lovers of diversity, it is worthy of noting that the last amnesty program along with birthright citizenship have allowed immigrants from Mexico to fill about 90% of legal immigration spots with their own relatives such that people from other places all have to compete for those few remaining spots. So, once again we reward the criminal at the expense of those who demonstrate that they would make better citizens because the are willing to abide by our laws.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Robert @ 120, quite right. Also, I do retract my comment about you and Nietzsche – upon reflection, it was hasty and stupid. What this thread demonstrates is that although some folks claim law and order as their goal (a goal I support, btw), their reasoning includes arguments founded on racial superiority/inferiority etc. That I seriously detest, both on a moral and an anthropological level.

    BTW, as a Aristotilean Republican, we are not that far apart – I have been finding that I have a growing appreciation for Spinoza and Voltaire, both in terms of politics as well as ethics. If I understand the term Aristotilean Republican correctly, your politics is not 100% egalitarian, and borrows from Plato a lot?

  • sg

    “I would say that it is probably because the white kids see some correlative benefit to doing well on the tests, and that a significant portion of the inner city black kids do not.”

    This is not evidence based. This comes purely from your imagination. Wouldn’t the children of financially well to do blacks out in the suburbs also see some correlative benefit to doing well on the tests? And wouldn’t a significant portion of the children of dysfunctional low income whites not? But test results don’t show that. They show that very low income whites have higher test scores than better off blacks on average. And those differences are there from PreK-12 and beyond. My point is just that we need to stop blaming society. It is not society’s fault and it is not the fault of whites or blacks. It just is what it is. If we treat everyone fairly, then everyone will do better than this insane and divisive blaming.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/09/education/09gap.html?_r=0

  • sg

    “some folks claim law and order as their goal (a goal I support, btw), their reasoning includes arguments founded on racial superiority/inferiority etc.”

    Bald faced lie.

    The reasoning is from data. Correlation does prove correlation. It does not prove cause. However, when some possible causes are thoroughly investigated and do not seem to correlate, then it seems that they are declaring themselves not to be the cause.

  • kerner

    sg:

    “Wouldn’t the children of financially well to do blacks out in the suburbs also see some correlative benefit to doing well on the tests?” That question is not evidence based either, and it also comes purely from your immigination.

  • kerner

    “If we treat everyone fairly, then everyone will do better than this insane and divisive blaming.”

    Which is EXACTLY why the most productive person should get the job, and why the government should stay out of that decision making process. Stop your insane and devisive blaming of productive workers and employers for the problems of the unproductive.

  • sg

    “There was nothing “totally different” about the cultural and economic environment of the KC schools.”

    Oh yes it was totally different.

    It was nothing more than a bunch of fools spending money on useless nonsense (the same useless nonsense that they had spent money on before, only more so), which predictably yielded no positive results.

    And who were those fools? And why did they choose to squander the opportunity if that’s what you think they did?

    The point of the study is not that black children can’t “perform” whatever that means. It was that everything the federal judge and the KC school system did was irrelevant to getting them to perform.

    Okay, well then isn’t that admitting that no external cultural and economic factors matter? And doesn’t that only leave endemic factors to consider? And doesn’t changing endemic factors equal changing the people themselves, as in changing how they live and what they do at home? At that point, isn’t any intervention sort a violation of their rights?

  • sg

    Which is EXACTLY why the most productive person should get the job, and why the government should stay out of that decision making process. Stop your insane and devisive blaming of productive workers and employers for the problems of the unproductive.

    Hey, so long as they are citizens or entered the country legally, I agree. If they are violating the laws that free citizens passed through their duly elected representatives, then, no. Law and order. Representative government. Civil rights. That is what I am arguing for.

  • sg

    “Wouldn’t the children of financially well to do blacks out in the suburbs also see some correlative benefit to doing well on the tests?” That question is not evidence based either, and it also comes purely from your immigination.”

    Yes, of course it came out of my mind. Duh. That is why it is a question not a statement. Duh again. But it isn’t a crazy question and it certainly implies equality of persons living under comparable conditions. Do you think well to do blacks living in the suburbs see no correlative benefit to doing well on tests? And if you don’t think they do, then why don’t you think they do?

  • kerner

    “They(the tests) show that very low income whites have higher test scores than better off blacks on average.”

    Which demonstrates what? That tests are not a good predictor of success?

  • sg


    It was nothing more than a bunch of fools spending money on useless nonsense (the same useless nonsense that they had spent money on before, only more so), which predictably yielded no positive results.

    Sure, buddy. How is it Philips Exeter and Emma Willard manage to take mountains of money and spend on all kinds of enrichment stuff and turn out (predictably?) profound positive results?

  • sg

    “Which demonstrates what? That tests are not a good predictor of success?”

    Where does this fantasy of yours come from? The tests are the single best predictor of success. That is why everyone uses them. Test scores are better predictors of success that socio economic background, quality of school, GPA, country of origin, or any other predictor.

  • kerner

    sg:
    Hey, so long as they are citizens or entered the country legally, I agree. If they are violating the laws that free citizens passed through their duly elected representatives, then, no. Law and order.

    OK, let’s review:

    You want to treat everyone fairly, but “everyone” does not mean everyone. If we actually treat EVERYONE fairly, some of “them” might do better that some of “us”. So, in that case it’s ok to engage in insane and divisive blaming, and pass laws that do not treat some people fairly. That’s your position, right?

  • sg

    “Everyone” does not include criminals. Does that help you? Or shall we open the prisons of the world and let all the criminals compete with American workers? Because when we say everyone, we mean every one.

  • sg

    What is the point of having a country that your forebears fought and died for if that country doesn’t even give you basic civil rights? Our forebears established a nation of laws. That is our social contract: democratically elected representatives and rule of law and civil rights. That is what we agree to support and defend.

  • kerner

    @136:

    What has treating criminals as criminals got to do with excluding a 19 year old Mexicana with a clean record who wants to apply for a job cleaning hotel rooms in Palm Beach?

    @137:

    All you are saying in this comment is, “What is the point of having a country based on principles, if you can’t choose to ignore those principles whenever it suits you.

  • sg


    “What has treating criminals as criminals got to do with excluding a 19 year old Mexicana with a clean record who wants to apply for a job cleaning hotel rooms in Palm Beach?”?

    He doesn’t have a clean record if he entered the country illegally.

    Also, if he displaces an American worker and earns a lower wage, then he will need government assistance as will the displaced worker. His participation increases income disparity because there are now two poor people of which only one is a worker, instead of one worker at slightly higher wage using less government service. I understand you see yourself and the immigrants as beneficiaries, but you ignore your fellow citizens who have to under write him and your other fellow citizen, the displaced worker.

  • kerner

    sg:

    “If the actual jobs people can really get don’t provide their needs any better than welfare, then duh, they aren’t going to work.”

    To borrow one of your favorite phrases, Duh. So, if the choice is between paying people to work and paying them not to work, I know which one I choose.

    ““They are only a very imperfect predictor of success. And in the real world, they are irrelevant.”

    This is so not true.”

    On the contrary, it IS true. While tests are of some use as a predictor of success, they are very imperfect. There are quite a few people who have done well academically who do poorly in the competitive marketplace, and vice versa. There are so many different ways people learn that “one size fits all” academia doesn’t even address. Plus, there is sometimes a big disconnect between academic scoring and the actual value of the work academia qualifies a person to do. But when I say test scores are irrelevant, I mean that predicting success is different from actual success. The way to get success is not to try to predict it with data. That can be a huge waste of effort. The way to get success is to organize a competitive system with incentives for success, and then let everyone try to succeed.

    I have to temper that last statement a little by admitting that an aptitude test confirmed for me what my family already knew: I would be much happier and successful as an attorney than as an engineer, and so I am. But as I said, there was a lot of empirical evidence to support that conclusion before the test showed it. As for the LSAT test, etc. People used to become attorneys through what amounted to a form of apprenticeship. As far as I can tell, our present system isn’t any better than the former system was at turning out competent lawyers. Of course, Law Schools are skimming a lot of money they aren’t about to give up anytime soon.

    “Anyway, what market forces do you mean?”

    The very simple market forces involved in people giving us what we pay for. Pay people to do nothing, and they will do nothing. Pay people for their children being “disabled”, and their children will do nothing. Force employers to pay a lot for a little work, and people will produce as little as possible. Let the market set the price for labor from whatever source, and productivity will be maximized and there will be more prosperity for everyone.

    As I said several times, the people who work “hard and long” (rmp’s words) and most reliably, and who “make no trouble” for their neighbors, are assets to any society, and we should be happy to have them. It’s not a matter of generocity, it is a matter of a contract, which is always a win-win event with each party giving up something in exchange for something else he values more.

  • sg


    All you are saying in this comment is, “What is the point of having a country based on principles, if you can’t choose to ignore those principles whenever it suits you.

    How about this foundational principle:


    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    to ourselves and our Posterity

    to ourselves and our Posterity

    not to the most productive worker who can sneak in.

    to ourselves and our Posterity.

    Now if you want to amend that section and have it stricken, then join a campaign to do it. Until such an amendment is ratified by the citizens, the section stands as a foundational principle. That is our social contract.

  • sg

    “Let the market set the price for labor from whatever source, and productivity will be maximized and there will be more prosperity for everyone.”

    BS. This is utter tripe. There are 300 million in the USA and 7 billion on the planet. From among that 7 billion, we likely could replace 99% of American workers with a more productive worker at a lower wage. That is so dang dumb.

  • sg

    ” But as I said, there was a lot of empirical evidence to support that conclusion before the test showed it.”

    Yes, of course, that is why people who don’t have time to go over all the other stuff can use the test because, as you say it reveals the same stuff. It is an accurate and convenient short cut.

  • sg

    While tests are of some use as a predictor of success, they are very imperfect. There are quite a few people who have done well academically who do poorly in the competitive marketplace, and vice versa

    Ugh, do you know what a trend or correlation is? Of course there are exceptions and of course tests aren’t perfect predictors. But they are better predictors than anything else. If something else were a better predictor, it would be used. But there isn’t a better predictor. I doesn’t have to be perfect to be the best.

  • dust

    sg at 141….very nice and right on! unfortunately, kerner won’t get it…remember, he’s a lawyer :)

    cheers!

  • kerner

    sg @139: A Mexicana would be a she, not he, but I digress.

    Your first argument is the most easily dispose of. You make a law that makes it illegal for her to apply for a job, then you argue that any attempt to apply for a job makes her a “criminal”, thus ineligible to get a job. This is such circular nonsense that I am positive, without reading your Iowa test scores, that you realize it. The question is why it should be illegal for our hypothetical Mexicana to apply for the job in the first place. And at least you get to that in your second argument.

    But you are wrong about that as well, because your economic argument is superficial and full of assumptions not based on fact. First you resort to your often repeated (and false) statement that every time a foreign worker gets a job in the United States, she “displaces” an American. A pure one for one exchange with no other effect on the greater economy. So let’s examine what really happens when you prevent or terminate our hypothetical Mexicana (call her: Rita), and let’s move the hotel to Orlando.

    Rita works in a motel near Orlando that caters to middle class tourists who want to go to the theme parks. The hotel has a staff of 10 maids, 5 concierge/desk clerks, 2 shift managers a full time maintenance man, and the owner. It also contracts with landscapers, and HVAC company and food and paper products vendors, a waste management company, and a lot of other people. 8 of the 10 maids are Mexicans, but everybody else (except maybe some of the landscape guys) are Americans. At the urging of sg, ICE raids the hotel and Rita and her 7 fellow Mexicans are deported. Before this, the maids made $9.00 per hour. The hotel tries to hire more maids at $9.00 per hour, but can’t find enough Americans willing to set aside their public assistance to take the jobs. So the motel offers $10.50/hour. Still no luck. $12.00/hour. Nope. OK, $14.00/hour. At last! 8 unmotivated former welfare recipients (who may themselves be criminals) agree to leave their idleness behind ad take the 8 empty maid jobs. But the motel now has to raise its room rates. And the unmotivated former welfare recipients do a poor job. As in Mr. Peters experience, some of them will not work hard and long. Others will work hard, but disappear during hunting season (or whatever reason unrelaible people disappear for in Florida). In any case, the more expensive rooms are now dirtier. The customers don’t want to pay more for dirtier rooms. maybe they can find cheaper cleaner rooms elsewhere. maybe in sg’s ideal world, ICE has raided all the hotels in the area, and rooms are more expensive and dirtier all over the greater Orlando area. In either case, fewer people are going to patronize the motel. Maybe the middle class clientel decides to go on vacation less often (having to save longer to afford a motel). Maybe they decide to something else entirely on their vacations. But they definitely patronize this hotel less often. In such an environment, some hotels are going to close, and let’s say (so I can use the same numbers) that Rita’s former employer is one of them. Now, not only have the original 8 American workers who replaced Rita and her alien colleagues back on welfare. Following the sg plan “displaces” at least 10 other Americans who worked at the same hotel, who now have to go on public assistance. Plus, the HVAC people, the vendors and their drivers, the landscapers, waste management company, all lose the hotel as an account. So they lay off people and their proffit margins decline. If any of them are public companies, the value of their stock declines as well. So, sg, by ignoring market forces and eliminating 8 Mexicanas, you have not only failed to employ 8 Americans, you have cost at least 10 Americans their jobs and driven the roles of public assistance up, not down. And you have taken money out of the pockets of innumerable other Americans who work at all those companies that were connected to hotel business, and maybe even the theme park workers who have fewer tourists coming to Orlando. Those that work for wages aren’t getting any raises when their employers are doing less business. Those who sold to the hotel on commission are getting fewer commissions. Plus, what was formersly productive real estate is now vacant. Being unproductive, the land is worth less, and the owner has the city reassess it at its new lower value. So, not only are all those Americans you put out of work not paying taxes, the owner is no longer paying any taxes on his profits not paying as much real estate taxes as he used to (if he can afford to pay the taxes at all). If the owner can’t pay the taxes, or his mortgage, either the bank or the city owns the property and people who never wanted to have to are having to maintain this vacant real estate at some expense. All these American people are suffering and losing money, and a lot of them are costing the public money, and all because you (or INA of 1965) decided that the most productive workers should be able to negotiate for and get jobs. Your problem, sg, is you simply refuse to look past that superficial one employee for one employee “displacement” that you think is the whole story. But it never is.

    Meanwhile, if it simply became “legal” for Rita to work here on the same terms as any other legal alien (no welfare and get a financial sponsor) she is very unlikely to actually need or get public assistance.

    @141:
    and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity“.

    …unless, of course, our posterity start a business and want the liberty to hire the most productive employees they can find. Those “blessings of liberty” we are not going to secure for our posterity. Because “we” apparently think the government knows better than our posterity does when it comes to running our posterity’s business.

  • kerner

    oops. That should read:

    “all because you (or INA of 1965) decided that the most productive workers should NOT be able to negotiate for and get jobs…”

  • kerner

    One more thing, what makes you think that the $9.00.hiour Hotel maid job is the only job that the “displaced” American could get if he/she really wanted one? Why not get a pell grant and go to technical school and learn HVAC or Hospitality management, or route sales, or even drive a garbage truck? All of which probably pay more than a hotel maid gets, and all of which are not rocket science such that almost anyone of normal intelligence could learn how to do if he/she were really iterested in working, and all of which would be available in a robust economy that did not insist on making it illegal to hire productive workers who make their employers profitable.

    The reason we “need” productive workers is because productivity is what makes the economy boom, and that in turn creates more job opportunities of all kinds.

  • kerner

    One more thing, what makes you think that the $9.00.hiour Hotel maid job is the only job that the “displaced” American could get if he/she really wanted one? Why not get a pell grant and go to technical school and learn HVAC or Hospitality management, or route sales, or even drive a garbage truck? All of which probably pay more than a hotel maid gets, and all of which are not rocket science such that almost anyone of normal intelligence could learn how to do if he/she were really iterested in working, and all of which would be available in a robust economy that did not insist on making it illegal to hire productive workers who make their employers profitable.

    The reason we “need” productive workers is because productivity is what makes the economy boom, and that in turn creates more job opportunities of all kinds. I know this is counterintuitive, but it is the same reason that tax revenue increases when tax rates decrease. Your would think that tax revenue would increase when tax rates increase, but the opposite is true. Because, when tax rates decrease, it stimulates the economy and and there is more income to be taxed. The same is true here. When productive workers are hired, the increased productivity stimulates the economy and creates more jobs and more tax revenue for everyone.

  • sg

    So silly. Americans are just as productive. Illegals only create an asymmetry that confers a competitive advantage as long as they are illegal. Their illegal status prevents them from leveraging better pay. If you don’t have laws that make it illegal for them to work, then there is no point in hiring them. They are attractive to employers because they can be abused with impunity. Allow them to work legally and they instantly become worthless, which is why their children are not as desirable as workers. It is all about the difference in power. But you know that.

  • sg

    Meanwhile, if it simply became “legal” for Rita to work here on the same terms as any other legal alien (no welfare and get a financial sponsor) she is very unlikely to actually need or get public assistance.”

    Rita and how many of her illegitimate children? Hispanics lead in illegitimate births with 80 per 1000 women per year. Blacks 65, whites, 32, Asian 22.

  • CW2

    @ 31 Todd Stadler,

    “…if you haven’t been on this blog for long..”
    No,I have not been here long at all.”
    “…I get the impression from your comment that you don’t believe in xenophobia.Or,rather,that you do – you espouse it,that is- but you don’t like the label being directed your way..”
    Here,you are wrong.I welcome being labeled ‘xenophobic’ almost as much as I welcome the kisses of a beautiful woman.The more frequent the proponents of open borders accuse immigration reductionists like myself of being xenophobic,etc., as opposed to submitting empirical evidence supporting their position (which they do not have),the more it serves to discredit their postion and drive another nail into the coffin of their (your)open-borders agenda.
    “…Anyhow,a long list of links isn’t really an argument,either.Nor are they likely to persuade people,unless you have given us a good reason to follow your links.People might be interested in an article that answers a question they have.They are very unlikely to read a long list of websites,each with a long list of articles on them..”
    Five of the six articles I linked to are directly related to the Washington Post article cited by Dr.Veith.I added them to my comment with the intention of clearly demonstrating that those who are attacking groups such as FAIR,CIS, and Numbers USA , are doing so ,not from a genuine concern for the pro-life cause,which,for the most part,I consider myself to be a part of,but from behind a veil of false piety that obscures their true agenda,which is amnesty.
    Furthermore,the additional inclusion of links to 8 websites (hardly a ‘long list’) was not meant to be an argument in and of itself.My intention is to offer these links as alternative sources of ‘hard facts’ that are routinely suppressed by the so-called ‘Mainstream Media’.

    “…Also,labeling your articles as ‘intelligent,thoughtful,evidence-based,and well-reasoned analysis’ sort of gives the opposite impression of what you intended.It makes me think that you’ve got a thesaurus,but don’t understand that you’re being pointlessly repetitive.Which brings into question your ability to discern which analyses are,in fact,’well-reasoned’.FYI”
    Funny.I question the ability of self-identified ‘Christians’ to discern ‘which analyses (vis-a-vis the immigration issue),are,in fact,well-reasoned’,which are demonstrably based upon outright lies ,discredited ‘research’,shopworn cliches,& a deliberate distortion of biblical texts in an attempt to reward those who have invaded our country!

  • CW2

    @ 41 fjsteve. ,
    I agree with what you said at 41.I failed to state more clearly the point I was trying to get across in that particular sentence. As a regular reader of antiwar.com,for instance,I am well aware of the contemporary issues facing Israel (e.g. the question of Zionism and the many injustices inflicted upon the Palestinians).And we all know about the inhuman barbarity committed by Imperial Japan during World War 2;the book “The Rape of Nanking” offering one of many notorious examples.
    All nations,to one degree or another,have a history of high crimes and misdemeanors.The trouble comes when we endeavor to view such crimes as a pretext to brainwash other nations (or ours,for that matter) into opening their borders to all and sundry,regardless of how such an influx would affect their countries.
    To suggest importing superfluous levels of immigrants into our own nation,what the folks at vdare.com call ‘electing a new people’ ,thereby diluting what has long been known as our ‘historic American nation’(i.e.a strong majority of those with European-American ancestry),is akin to pouring gasoline on a raging wildfire.Who ,besides those afflicted with insanity,would willfully consent to that?

  • robert m. peters

    CW2:

    The German playwright, Bertolt Brecht, himself a Communist who had opted to leave the United States and return to East Germany, nevertheless had a falling out with his Marxists comrades who apparently came to loathe the German people whom they were systematically penning in, told the elites of that regime that if they hated the Germans on their territory so much they “should elect a new people.” That is precisely what our elites are doing with both legal and illegal immigrants: they are electing a new people. They are systematically marginalizing, relativizing and outlawing our most cherished traditions, customs and habits and amending our Constitution by fiat. Into that moral vacuum, they now import the new Americans.

  • kerner

    sg@150:

    You have hit upon the solution that satisfies us both. Remove the laws that make it illegal for foreigners to work! Then, iff you are cotrrect:

    1. Their competitive advantage disappears, therefore

    2. There is no reason to hire them, so

    3. those who are not truly competitive simply go home or stop comong for jobs that no longer exist, or

    4. they try to go on public assistance, in which case you and I can unite in opposing allowing that to occur, unencumbered by arguments over the free market, and without the argument that immigrnts deserve sympathy because they “just want to work.”

    If you are correct, there will be almost no immigrant labor. If I am right, the immigrant labor that does develop will be productive and but not because they are abused. Either way we are both happy.

  • kerner

    well…I would/> be happy if I could type.

  • CW2

    Kerner @ 65,

    “…for those of you who are interested in the links posted by CW2 @27, at least one of these also proves the thesis of this thread…”
    “…a video…argues that the only way to maintain a civilized society in North America will be to reduce our continental population to 10 million people.Isn’t that just terrific?To save civilization in North America,all we have to do is exterminate 450 million people…”

    It is one thing to disagree with the underlying premise set forth in the video you mention ( the impending depletion of natural resources,the consequences thereof,and what could (or should) be done about it),but it is another thing altogether when you deliberately misrepresent the contents of the video in question.
    Nowhere in the video is there even the slightest mention of abortion or euthanasia,let alone the use of such fanatical language as ‘extermination’.
    Using melodramatic code words to make the bogus assertion that the filmmaker is seeking to exterminate people ,only serves to demonstrate that you are adept at mimicking the Cultural Marxists in their use of reactionary polemics.
    Moreover,your attempt to blacklist the links I cited in my comment further proves the overzealous nature of your sinister accusations.I trust that those people who endeavor to visit those particular sites will come away,not only with a cornucopia of fresh insights,but with a more nuanced understanding of why opposing mass immigration-for political,economic,cultural,ecological,and religious reasons-is so critical.

    “…I shudder to think about how many people he wants to kill in other countries.
    So,yeah,this is the kind of person who opposes immigration.The kind of person who sees human life as a dire
    threat to the planet.”

    Here,you have clearly crossed the line!!! Since when has engaging in character assassination become a Christian virtue?By spreading such malicious lies,on a Christian blog,no less,you have exposed yourself as a man who is not truly interested in learning the truth.What,in the name of God,makes you believe you know what ‘kind of person’ I am,when we have never even met in person before?What the hell are you smoking?
    I suppose such propaganda is to be expected these days.
    It has long been a disingenuous tactic of many in the so-called ‘Pro-L ife Movement’,Which,For The Most Part ,I Am SYMPATHETIC WITH,to denounce anyone voicing concern for the environment with the kind of sweeping allegations that you have seen fit to accuse me of here.Such overwrought rhetoric,far from proving the thesis of this thread,as you hopelessly proclaim,is really a lazy man’s way of refusing to honestly contend with the arguments presented for consideration.
    For the record,Kerner,I am opposed to abortion and euthanasia.And just about the only kinds of birth control I support are vasectomies and/or tubal ligations,and,perhaps better,Natural Family Planning.Not everyone has what it takes to be a good parent.

    YOU OWE ME AN APOLOGY!!!

    I am of the opinion,Kerner,based upon your comments here and on other immigration-related posts,that you would have been much happier having lived through The McCarthy Era.Or the Inquisition!!!


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