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Old 02-10-2014, 08:45 AM  
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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GOP 'principles' offer no protection for wages, employment of existing workers

Last month, the House Republican leadership released its guiding principles on immigration reform. While mostly boilerplate, the document suggests that the House GOP envisions a bill similar to last year’s Senate compromise spearheaded by Marco Rubio: enhanced border security in exchange for legalization of the illegal immigrant population; more visas for the highly skilled and permits for temporary guest workers; and a rationalization of the immigration process. The main difference is that the Senate bill offers a special path to citizenship for the entire illegal population, while the House principles offer it only to immigrants brought here illegally as children.

This difference is intended to mollify conservatives who warn that the Senate bill would pad the voting rolls with millions of new Latino Democrats. But that fear is overblown. Of the 11 million or so people in the country illegally, Pew reports that only 9 million are Latino, and not all of them would become citizens. The Latino turnout rate, moreover, was only 48 percent in 2012, and the bloc broke for Democrats 71-27. So the best case for Democrats is that they would net about 2 million more new voters than Republicans starting in 2028.

Instead, conservative critics should focus on two other problems. First, the border and visa enforcement provisions are only as effective as the follow-through by local and federal authorities, and the political calculations of Democratic pols will incline them toward lax enforcement, making these provisions of dubious value. Second, the Senate bill and House principles offer no protection for the wages and employment status of existing workers. This fact, often overlooked by critics of comprehensive reform, is its greatest weakness.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate bill would decrease average wages by 0.1 percent by 2023 (although over the following decade wages would rise with increases in productivity). What’s more, this effect would not be evenly distributed:

The legislation would particularly increase the number of workers with lower or higher skills but would scarcely affect the number of workers with average skills. As a result, the wages of lower- and higher-skilled workers would tend to be depressed slightly (by less than 0.5 percent) relative to the wages of workers with average skills.

Furthermore, the CBO projects that the bill would increase the unemployment rate, in part because of “imbalance[s] between the types of workers needed to produce the goods and services demanded in the economy and the skills and occupations of available workers.” Again, the burden would fall particularly on the low end of the socioeconomic scale.

Conservative proponents of the House principles and the Rubio plan offer political and philosophical arguments in favor of passing a program along these lines. Absent an explicit commitment to protect wage and employment levels, however, they are not persuasive.

The economic case is that reform will increase economic growth, and indeed it will. CBO estimates that the Rubio bill would boost gross domestic product by 3.3 percent between 2013 and 2023. The GOP, however, should not support growth for its own sake, but rather as the best way to generate broad-based prosperity. That is an important distinction, for there are policies that can increase growth without broadening the middle class—and if the CBO’s analysis is correct, the Rubio bill is one of them. Wages would fall, unemployment would rise, and according to the CBO, per capita gross national product would fall by 0.7 percent in 2023. Thus, even as the aggregate economy would be larger, the average American’s share of that prosperity would be less than without the Rubio reform.

This points to the tensions in the strategic alliance between the right and business. Conservatives are pro-business because they believe that, in general, business is good for everybody. If business presents a plan that hurts a significant swath of the country for its own advantage—such as the Senate bill—conservatives should oppose it. Indeed, they should do so loudly and forthrightly, for their biggest electoral liability is the widespread conviction that the GOP stands with big business instead of with the average person.

The political case is that Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, and their only hope is to win the fast-growing Latino bloc. The problem here is lack of context. There are only three states where comprehensive immigration reform might directly affect Republicans’ prospects in the near term: Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. Arizona and Texas are solidly Republican; California is solidly Democratic; and the bulk of the Latino vote in Florida is Puerto Rican or Cuban, two groups who are mostly already citizens.

But what happens if the Republican party slackens in its commitment to protecting wages and employment? Several decades ago, the GOP began winning the white working class in the South, and more recently it has done so in the border states (Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia). Yet its advance in the Midwest has stalled. Ohio remains less than a sure thing, even though its demographics have changed little. Pennsylvania and Minnesota are creeping closer to the Republican party, but have not yet flipped. Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin remain frustratingly elusive.

These are all states where Republicans regularly win statewide, yet lose presidential contests, in part because Democrats successfully tag GOP nominees as heartless plutocrats. The only way for the GOP to shatter this image is through an explicit and relentless commitment to pocket-book issues of concern to average Americans. A comprehensive immigration bill that lowers wages is a giant step in the wrong direction.

The cost-benefit calculus is simple. If Mitt Romney had won the Southwest, he still would have lost the election handily in 2012. If, on the other hand, he had swept the Rust Belt, he would have won by the same margin in the Electoral College that George W. Bush did in 2004. The Latino vote might be the fastest growing in the country, but Republican victory for the foreseeable future depends on carrying the Rust Belt.

Republicans, moreover, if they ignore the harm to workers from immigration reform, will be missing an opportunity to turn the tables on the Democrats.

For over a generation, Democrats have supported wage-suppressing policies demanded by rent-seeking unions, the environmentalist left, and the consumer rights movement, while still parading as the party of the people. And on immigration reform, the Democrats are kowtowing to ethnic pressure groups while harming the average worker.

This might explain why Democrats insist on bipartisanship now in particular. They were happy to pass financial reform legislation, health care, and a massive stimulus basically on party line votes. Immigration reform is one of just two salient issues where they’ve insisted on reaching across the aisle. The other was the Bush tax cuts. Not wanting to be cast as the party of tax hikes, the Democrats sought political cover on that issue. Similarly now, Democrats want to legalize new potential voters, but not at the expense of lowering wages and increasing unemployment, especially in the midst of the longest economic stagnation in generations. Enter the Republican party: Bring in the GOP to neutralize the wage issue, then reap the benefits down the line from the new voters.

In 1960, Barry Goldwater blasted the policies of Dwight Eisenhower as a “dime store New Deal.” This was an exaggeration, but Goldwater was on to something. The Republican party did not enjoy enduring successes until Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1980, when the party articulated a compelling alternative to New Deal/Great Society liberalism. So it goes with immigration reform. Offering a “lite” version of the Democratic proposal is poor political strategy, for the party will always be outbid. By contrast, offering a robust critique and a sensible alternative is the proven way to turn the party’s fortunes around.

On immigration reform, far from echoing Democratic claims, Republicans should mount a vigorous attack that spotlights the negative effects the Senate bill would have on the economic stability of the working class.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articl...on_778810.html
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:02 PM   #16
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George Will was arguing in support of amnesty Sunday on the tv and I never did understand exactly what is was he was stating as to why he supported it. Normally he is quite easy to understand
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
This is what I've argued all along. The RINO's have always put put a fake argument over immigration. They have always embraced it.

The argument they will give you is "these people do work American's won't". Which is patently false. Both the crew that built my deck and the crew that does my landscaping are nothing but immigrants, illegal or otherwise and for companies owned by white guys. They get the cheap labor but the cost on my end stays the same. That's the dirty little secret we are supposed to turn a blind eye too.

To be completely safe, you really should only hire Native Americans.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:05 PM   #18
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To be completely safe, you really should only hire Native Americans.
Look up and behind you...that's the point flying over your head
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:07 PM   #19
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What the hell is "wage protection"?
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:09 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
This is what I've argued all along. The RINO's have always put put a fake argument over immigration. They have always embraced it.

The argument they will give you is "these people do work American's won't". Which is patently false. Both the crew that built my deck and the crew that does my landscaping are nothing but immigrants, illegal or otherwise and for companies owned by white guys. They get the cheap labor but the cost on my end stays the same. That's the dirty little secret we are supposed to turn a blind eye too.
Why didn't you hire an American crew?
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
Look up and behind you...that's the point flying over your head
Even if we buy your premise, the cost on your end does not stay the same. They are competing with others for your business. If they don't adjust their prices accordingly and take into account their immigrant-based savings then they will lose business to some other company.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:12 PM   #22
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What the hell is "wage protection"?
I think Petegz28 is saying that if we allow immigrants to work legally in the US, they'll be willing to work for less than unskilled Americans and the next thing you know we'll be having immigrants building our decks.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Even if we buy your premise, the cost on your end does not stay the same. They are competing with others for your business. If they don't adjust their prices accordingly and take into account their immigrant-based savings then they will lose business to some other company.
Please don't confuse petegz28 with these complex economic concepts. He's in the rant zone.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:30 PM   #24
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Even if we buy your premise, the cost on your end does not stay the same. They are competing with others for your business. If they don't adjust their prices accordingly and take into account their immigrant-based savings then they will lose business to some other company.
Ironic to hear such a concept coming from a supporter of Obamacare as well as every other anti-free market Lib policy under the sun.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:45 PM   #25
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Ironic to hear such a concept coming from a supporter of Obamacare as well as every other anti-free market Lib policy under the sun.
You're making less sense with each new post.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:50 PM   #26
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:54 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Even if we buy your premise, the cost on your end does not stay the same. They are competing with others for your business. If they don't adjust their prices accordingly and take into account their immigrant-based savings then they will lose business to some other company.
What are you babbling now? The entire point of illegal labor is for competitive advantage. Either the firm charges the same as competitors and pockets the surplus profit or they cut prices, and get more work while driving out competitors. Neither one is good for labor, and the data on wage pressure is clear.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:31 PM   #28
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I think Petegz28 is saying that if we allow immigrants to work legally in the US, they'll be willing to work for less than unskilled Americans and the next thing you know we'll be having immigrants building our decks.

Fair enough, but I'm trying to understand how the mechanics of something called "wage protection" would work. It sounds awfully "unconservative."
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:43 PM   #29
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What are you babbling now? The entire point of illegal labor is for competitive advantage. Either the firm charges the same as competitors and pockets the surplus profit or they cut prices, and get more work while driving out competitors. Neither one is good for labor, and the data on wage pressure is clear.
I'll hold your hand on this (no homo, NTTAWTW).
pete claimed he received no price benefit from the non-immigrant white guys hiring people he assumes are immigrants at what he assumes are low wages.
I said he is receiving a benefit as the white guy will likely lower his price in order to compete.
I didn't make any argument about it being good for labor.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:50 PM   #30
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Fair enough, but I'm trying to understand how the mechanics of something called "wage protection" would work. It sounds awfully "unconservative."

I agree it sounds like a rather ambiguous concept. What I make of it is with the import of cheap labor you will lower the wages of the lower class and most likely some of the middle class while the cost of living continues to rise as well as the evern-increasing share of generated wealth to a select fewer a fewer. I am not sure if that is what the OP is refering to but I see it more generally as the more we allow the wage,income gaps skew further and further apart the more damage we are cauing our economy in the long run. The importing of cheaper labor would expedite that as well.

What people like Patteeu still cling to is an economic model that is currently broken by the very people who wanted it implemented in the first place. The days of "investing in America" are coming to their final few but big-business, conservaties are still turing a blind eye. Corporate boards own less and less of the companies they run but increase their salaries, bonuses and severance packages. They are doing the same thing the politicians do, they craft rules and contracts that ensure they come out ahead regardless of their performance. You have CEO's and executives making millions for failing much like how you have congressman and senators making sure the laws they pass don't effect them personally.
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