Thursday, March 01, 2007

Which Came First, Poverty or Crime?

Kevin Drum writes:
IMMIGRATION: NOT THE SOURCE OF ALL OUR PROBLEMS AFTER ALL....Some new data on the immigration front:
A study released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California found that immigrants who arrived in the state between 1990 and 2004 increased wages for native workers by an average 4%.

UC Davis economist Giovanni Peri, who conducted the study, said the benefits were shared by all native-born workers, from high school dropouts to college graduates....

Another study released Monday by the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center showed that immigrant men ages 18 to 39 had an incarceration rate five times lower than native-born citizens in every ethnic group examined. Among men of Mexican descent, for instance, 0.7% of those foreign-born were incarcerated compared to 5.9% of native-born, according to the study, co-written by UC Irvine sociologist Ruben G. Rumbaut.

So are these studies legit? I can't say for sure, but the objections offered up by the immigration hawks at the Center for Immigration Studies were so transparently lame that it suggests they don't actually have any credible criticisms of the methodology. They just don't like the results. But perhaps they'll be able to come up with something better after they've cogitated on the matter for while.

Does anybody here live in an area that could use more people?

Is your neighborhood under-populated? Are there not enough cracker-box, particle-board subdivisions mushrooming up in your open space? Could your roads use more traffic? How about noise? Do you need more car alarms, more subwoofer base response from your neighbors' stereos, perhaps a few more basketball hoops in your neighbors' driveways? Are you not standing on line long enough at the supermarket checkout?

How long did it take you to get your current job? What kind of competition were you up against? If you lost your job, how long would it take you to get another?

In IT, Democrats are all too happy to work with Republicans on making it easier for people like Bill Gates to import workers to compete with you. Let's talk turkey - to replace you. Come to think of it, most Democrats in Congress are happy to work with Republicans on legislation like that for any industry. As long as that industry makes substantial contributions to their campaign war chests.

The immigrants coming to the U.S. come here for economic opportunity, opportunity that is fast disappearing for Americans who are already here. If the economic outlook evened out worldwide, like if the IMF's and World Bank's policies were more "citizen friendly," nobody would leave their homeland. If we remain on this current path, there will come a day when we (and our children, grandchildren) will have to leave the U.S. to find work if we and they want to do something other than service jobs for low wages.

American citizens are, again, not dealing with any of the real problems facing us. We're letting politicians and corporations control the subjects of debate. We're going into another election cycle talking about issues like a security policy that will make us more insecure. When are we going to stop reacting, talking on their terms, and start discussing alternatives that will deliver real change, real security and equity for us all?

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