I'm anti-immigration. Change my mind.

Author: spacetime ,

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  • spacetime
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    I believe that when you cut out all the bullshit and virtue-signaling, it becomes very clear that the U.S. would benefit from a drastic reduction in immigration levels.

    Immigration advocates always bring up economics, but the economic benefits of immigration are actually quite limited. The main benefit is that immigrant workers fill domestic labor shortages, by taking jobs that native-born American workers can't/won't take. However, this is only true up to a certain numerical threshold. Any immigrants beyond that will start competing with Americans for jobs, which is obviously harmful (although it does reduce labor costs for businesses, thus lowering prices across the board). Restricting immigration levels to the bare minimum needed to fill labor shortages would improve employment prospects for millions of Americans, even if it would also cause some mild price inflation.

    The sociological impacts of immigration are far more clear-cut: immigration without assimilation has devastating effects on the country's social fabric. It erodes its sense of unified national identity and reduces overall levels of trust and kinship between its inhabitants. In order to ensure that all immigrants are fully integrated into American society, they must be selected carefully (on the basis of cultural compatibility) and admitted in relatively small numbers. 

    So there you have it. Change my mind!

  • spacetime
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    And I actually hate the idea of using immigration to fill domestic labor shortages. It's fine as a short-term solution, but in the long-term, we should be reforming our education system and social safety net so that those labor shortages don't exist in the first place (although, again, since immigrant labor tends to be cheaper than American labor, this would cause some price inflation).
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @spacetime
    Are  you also against H-1B immigrants?
  • spacetime
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    The H-1B program is ostensibly designed to fill labor shortages, but it often gets abused by companies that just want a cheap alternative to American labor. I suppose if the program is reformed to eliminate any such instances of abuse, then it's fine. But like I said, we should really be focusing on getting American workers to fill those labor shortages.
  • Greyparrot
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    We actually wouldn't need any immigration reform for many low paying jobs if we eliminated wage price controls (minimum wage) so that our American teenagers can do the work the illegal immigrants are doing.

    H-1B is important to keep in place though if we want to continue to exploit other countries by draining the best and the brightest from the shithole countries.

    A lack of illegal labor only raises wages for Americans as employers have to fight with each other to get the few workers.
  • spacetime
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    --> @Greyparrot
    That's a very interesting idea. I wouldn't support eliminating the minimum wage, but waiving it for minors could be a great way to fill shortages of unskilled labor without immigration.
  • Greyparrot
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    That's a very interesting idea. I wouldn't support eliminating the minimum wage, but waiving it for minors could be a great way to fill shortages of unskilled labor without immigration.
    If it's a good idea to waive it, then it's a good idea to eliminate it. That's a general rule for any legislation including taxes if you want to promote equality under the law.

    Besides... why waive it only for teens when there are young felons (and society!) that would benefit greatly from the elimination of the minimum wage. Unskilled labor can include any age group, so just drop the damn minimum wage so they can get a job and produce something for society, even if it's producing something trivial. 
  • spacetime
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    --> @Greyparrot
    If it's a good idea to waive it, then it's a good idea to eliminate it. That's a general rule for any legislation including taxes if you want to promote equality under the law.
    Treating minors and adults as "equal under the law" is a blatantly absurd and unworkable proposition...


    Besides... why waive it only for teens when there are young felons (and society!) that would benefit greatly from the elimination of the minimum wage. Unskilled labor can include any age group, so just drop the damn minimum wage so they can get a job and produce something for society, even if it's producing something trivial. 

    I don't deny that minimum wage laws have an unemployment effect (although you're exaggerating its magnitude). I just think it's worth the cost to preserve a minimum standard of living for American workers. I'm okay with waiving it for minors because most minors aren't financially supporting themselves, so it doesn't really matter how much they earn.


  • Greyparrot
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    I don't deny that minimum wage laws have an unemployment effect (although you're exaggerating its magnitude). I just think it's worth the cost to preserve a minimum standard of living for American workers. I'm okay with waiving it for minors because most minors aren't financially supporting themselves, so it doesn't really matter how much they earn. 

    Except when you impose a minimum standard for workers...it goes both ways.....

    Why would you impose a standard saying you must have equivalent of a high school diploma worth of job skills to work in the United States?

    Why would you insist the minimum standard for a worker in the USA is to produce 15 dollars worth of productivity?

    Maybe some workers would choose to be less productive...some workers don't have the skills to be that productive.



  • Greyparrot
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    Treating minors and adults as "equal under the law" is a blatantly absurd and unworkable proposition.
    I never said minors ... I said teens...as in 18..19....
  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    error
  • triangle.128k
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    --> @spacetime
    And I actually hate the idea of using immigration to fill domestic labor shortages. It's fine as a short-term solution, but in the long-term, we should be reforming our education system and social safety net so that those labor shortages don't exist in the first place (although, again, since immigrant labor tends to be cheaper than American labor, this would cause some price inflation).
    Labor shortages aren't a bad thing, they drive up wages and working conditions. The elites emphasize it as such for this reason. 
  • Greyparrot
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    Labor shortages aren't a bad thing, they drive up wages and working conditions. The elites emphasize it as such for this reason. 
    It also helps to form artificial monopolies as the businesses that can't afford automation go bankrupt.
  • Imabench
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    The main issues I see with your arguments can be boiled down to 4 main points. 

    #1) You claim that immigration should be restricted to the bare minimum levels needed to fill labor shortages, but there is simply no way to accurately compute what that bare level is in a given month or year. Labor shortages are impacted by how many jobs are available, how many more jobs are created, how many Americans decide to go into retirement or stop looking for work, how many positions a company decides to open or close, and those are just things off the top of my head. Restricting the number of immigrants allowed into a country based on numbers that fluctuate or maybe cannot even be calculated simply isn't practical...... 

    2) Your first argument is also built on the assumption that unemployed Americans looking for work should be able to fill open jobs before immigrants, but the geography of the country throws a giant wrench into that belief. 30,000 people in New York who are looking for work aren't going to move to Arizona to fill 30,000 farming jobs just because they're available. People who want to find work want to find it near them and most of the time will wait until something opens up close to them, rather then jump on whatever they can find anywhere in the country. The sheer size of the US makes it impossible so have it that every job that is open can be filled by every American who is looking for a job, so limiting immigration based on theoretical levels of labor demand will be thrown off from inaccuracy. 

    3) The second main argument you make against immigration is far weaker than your first one. You start off by focusing entirely on 'immigration without assimilation', and make a bunch of fairly opinionated claims about how it harms things like 'kinship' and 'national identity' which aren't things that can really be measured or evaluated in the first place. More importantly though is that even if the first generation of immigrants do not assimilate well with society and maintain most of their own languages and culture, later generations from that first generation do assimilate at a better rate, since they grow up learning the languages and customs from early ages rather then be thrusted into it in the second half of life. 

    4) You claim that immigrants must be selected carefully on the basis of cultural compatibility, but offer no explanation of what that basis is or how to calculate it. How do we calculate the cultural compatibility of someone? By having them speak English? By being Christian? By having them pass a high school level civics exam? By rooting for a particular sports team? We already have citizenship tests that all immigrants have to pass in order to become a naturalized citizen, does that not qualify as a means of testing a persons cultural compatibility? You do not specify. 
  • spacetime
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    --> @Imabench
    Thank you for providing such a thorough, substantive response.


    #1) You claim that immigration should be restricted to the bare minimum levels needed to fill labor shortages, but there is simply no way to accurately compute what that bare level is in a given month or year. Labor shortages are impacted by how many jobs are available, how many more jobs are created, how many Americans decide to go into retirement or stop looking for work, how many positions a company decides to open or close, and those are just things off the top of my head. Restricting the number of immigrants allowed into a country based on numbers that fluctuate or maybe cannot even be calculated simply isn't practical...... 
    Actually, economists have developed many reliable methods of measuring labor shortages. You can read about some of them here.

    2) Your first argument is also built on the assumption that unemployed Americans looking for work should be able to fill open jobs before immigrants, but the geography of the country throws a giant wrench into that belief. 30,000 people in New York who are looking for work aren't going to move to Arizona to fill 30,000 farming jobs just because they're available.
    Well, yes... that would constitute a labor shortage. Geography is among the most common reasons why labor shortages exist. As I said, I have no issue with immigrants taking jobs that Americans legitimately can't/won't take.



    3) The second main argument you make against immigration is far weaker than your first one. You start off by focusing entirely on 'immigration without assimilation', and make a bunch of fairly opinionated claims about how it harms things like 'kinship' and 'national identity' which aren't things that can really be measured or evaluated in the first place.
    It's difficult, yes, but again -- researchers have actually developed some very reliable methods of doing so. There are tons of empirical studies out there that use sophisticated metrics to quantify factors related to social stability (e.g. interpersonal trust levels, connectivity within social networks), and most of them conclude that immigration without assimilation is terrible for social stability. Check some of them out here, here, and here.

    More importantly though is that even if the first generation of immigrants do not assimilate well with society and maintain most of their own languages and culture, later generations from that first generation do assimilate at a better rate, since they grow up learning the languages and customs from early ages rather then be thrusted into it in the second half of life.
    True, but that doesn't make it any less crucial to maximize the assimilation of first-generation immigrants. They make up more than 10% of the U.S. population!

    4) You claim that immigrants must be selected carefully on the basis of cultural compatibility, but offer no explanation of what that basis is or how to calculate it. How do we calculate the cultural compatibility of someone? By having them speak English? By being Christian? By having them pass a high school level civics exam?
    All of those factors would definitely be taken into consideration when determining cultural compatibility, especially the "speaking English" one. I would also be okay with relying on the subjective assessment of trained interviewers.
  • spacetime
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    --> @triangle.128k
    Labor shortages aren't a bad thing, they drive up wages and working conditions. The elites emphasize it as such for this reason. 
    In many cases, there simply aren't any workers available to take the job, regardless of how high the pay-rate is. Those are the kinds of labor shortages that should be filled by immigrants. Leaving them unfilled would just inflict gratuitous harm upon businesses.
  • Swagnarok
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    Any economic benefits to mass immigration are temporary. After a certain point they'll be numerous to tip elections in the favor of the Democratic Party, and after that they'll just start siphoning off all our national resources for themselves.
  • spacetime
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    So far, the majority of this thread's respondents have been even more anti-immigration than I am... lol
  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    --> @Swagnarok
    Any economic benefits to mass immigration are temporary. After a certain point they'll be numerous to tip elections in the favor of the Democratic Party, and after that they'll just start siphoning off all our national resources for themselves.

    how does one support a family of 5 doing seasonal work picking apples under the table?  The kids are going to school, perhaps tax payer funded food, yet no income taxes are being paid.  What about the use of other public works, like roads, heathcare etc, also paid by taxes.  I guess the pro side thinks this stuff just comes from the tooth fairy.

    bubububbbut they spend their money in the community, ok how about I stop paying taxes and do the same thing?
    to say they are a net benefit is b.s. over all.
  • Imabench
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    Actually, economists have developed many reliable methods of measuring labor shortages. You can read about some of them here.
    Oh neat, I didn't realize they managed to pin it down as well as they could. 

    I guess now the only argument that could be made is that there wouldn't be much harm in keeping a slight surplus of the number of immigrants needed to curtail labor shortages rather then keep it at a bare minimum, but that argument doesn't work out well either since historically speaking there have more often then not been economic developments resulting in a large number of unemployed people rather than a large number of unfilled vacancies. 


     
    Well, yes... that would constitute a labor shortage. Geography is among the most common reasons why labor shortages exist. As I said, I have no issue with immigrants taking jobs that Americans legitimately can't/won't take.
    This part was building off the assumption that the geographical qualities of the US might throw off the accuracy of calculating labor shortages and labor needs based on criteria not factored into the original calculation of how much of a labor shortage there is in the first place



    most of them conclude that immigration without assimilation is terrible for social stability. Check some of them out herehere, and here.
    Those first two links have like 40 pages worth of info that I don't really have the time to go through. If you can pinpoint where in those links the studies address social stability for immigration, that would be helpful. 




    that doesn't make it any less crucial to maximize the assimilation of first-generation immigrants
    Thats true in theory but the reality is that you're not going to be able to achieve 100% assimilation with first generation immigrants, especially if you want to tie immigration to something as large as labor shortages while also considering the pool of people that immigrants usually come from. Even if the first generation of immigrants assimilate rather poorly to US society, later generations achieve far greater success by being more exposed to the language and culture of the US from an early age, making the long term effects of poor initial assimilation for the most part negated.  




    All of those factors would definitely be taken into consideration when determining cultural compatibility, especially the "speaking English" one
    I personally don't mind the 'speak English' aspect, since the language barrier is the biggest barrier to success in economic freedom and educational achievement for new immigrants. My issue though is the inclusion of the other factors people would want to screen against such as religious belief, which goes against what the country stands for since the country was literally founded by people seeing to practice religious freedom. Other factors outside of ability to speak English that could be used to bar immigration could also be needlessly arbitrary, such as an immigrants age, health, family size, or job history..... 

    if you want to measure an immigrants ability to assimilate into a country, knowledge of how the government works and ability to speak English is fine with me, but also as far as I would go. Anything beyond that for the most part is arbitrary and should not be enforced just because we want to cull down the numbers. 
  • RationalMadman
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    You are anti immigration because you're not a globalist.

    You are anti globalist because you're short-sighted.

    You're short-sighted because you're happy where you were born, how you were born in the situation you've been raised in.

    You are happy where you were born, how you were born in the situation you've been raised in because you have benefited and are benefiting from past immigration even if you aren't one.

    You are a hypocrite because you're right-wing.

    Yes I know I broke the pattern. Well done, you made logic implode.
  • triangle.128k
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    --> @spacetime
    In many cases, there simply aren't any workers available to take the job, regardless of how high the pay-rate is. Those are the kinds of labor shortages that should be filled by immigrants. Leaving them unfilled would just inflict gratuitous harm upon businesses.
    I suppose it depends on the sort of labor shortage. Crucial jobs such as the medical field should certainly be filled by immigrants as a short-term solution. That being said, the rate at which this occurs should be quite limited at best - which I think is a point we can agree upon.

  • Imabench
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    Crucial jobs such as the medical field should certainly be filled by immigrants as a short-term solution. That being said, the rate at which this occurs should be quite limited at best - which I think is a point we can agree upon.
    There's another angle to that which is worth considering though given America's undying pursuit at being #1 at things. If you want to fill crucial jobs such as areas in medical or engineering fields with immigrant labor, it might be best to not just aim for the bare minimum. Nations that are the most powerful nations in the world, whether it be the Roman Empire, Great Britain, or the US, had a remarkable ability of attracting the worlds best and brightest to their own countries rather then rely only on talent that could be cultivated within their own borders...... Great countries monopolize talent from around the world, not just talent from their own citizens. 

    If the ultimate goal is simply achieving economic self-preservation, taking in the bare minimum of talented immigrants is what you aim for. But if you want to have the absolute highest achievement in those fields that sets a golden benchmark compared to the rest of the world, bringing in as much talent from the outside world as you can is the way to do that, and position the country to continue to remain one of the most powerful nations in the world for decades to come. 

  • Greyparrot
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    This is correct, and there really shouldn't be any limits for H1-B visas if America is going to continue its long standing policy of exploiting shithole countries by draining them of all of their best and brightest.
  • vagabond
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    Yes and only the 1% have the right to do that.