Even Trump’s perpetual cheerleader says we must allow increased immigration.

https://pilotonline.com/opinion/columnist/guest/article_4398d612-b058-5807-8fd6-e903a428e7a7.html

In stark contrast to the administration’s policy of restricting legal immigration ala Miller, FOX, etc., Thiessen states the obvious: we need more immigrants or we cannot prosper.

Not just high tech jobs, but seasonal labor supplies are not meeting demands. We already have 1.7 million Dreamers who are as American as anyone born here. Many well educated, some even business owners. In addition there are millions of long term undocumented migrants in the shadows that would be a great asset to the US if given legal status.

Add those to the work visas we need to increase, not cut back, and we might start filling those millions of jobs not being filled. Ironically Trump could’ve had his wall fully funded, Dreamers taken care of and adjustments to legal immigration. Not every detail that Miller and his believers wanted, but that is part of governing and the real art of a deal.

Yes we have a flood if asylum seekers that must be vetted and handled with humanity within our laws. A wall won’t help, but more judges, patrol officers and temporary holding areas would.

This populist nationalism that has infected the administration and its ardent supporters is blind to what we need for our economic well being. Even Thiessen sees that…and that alone is saying something.

12 thoughts on “Even Trump’s perpetual cheerleader says we must allow increased immigration.

  1. I’m not so sure.

    is what we need a larger number of immigrants or a more welcoming guest worker policy? Many who come here to work intend to return home where the money they earned here will last a lot longer.,

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  2. Probably both.

    Something I find counterproductive is the policy of bringing manufacturing home from other North American countries. It is the disparity in wealth and income, along with corruption and violence of course, that drives people here from the southern regions.

    Interestingly enough, that is what drove the Great Migration of blacks to the North.

    I think we need to consider investment, both private and public in the troubled regions of Central America.

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    1. RE: “I think we need to consider investment, both private and public in the troubled regions of Central America.”

      This makes sense to me, with the caveat that I have little confidence that our own government and the existing order of international organizations can be trusted to do the right thing. Too many of our institutions are infected with socialism such that I expect little of lasting value can be readily accomplished.

      But considering that the alternative to diplomacy is warfare, local economic investment is the better choice.

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    2. “I think we need to consider investment, both private and public in the troubled regions of Central America.”

      The big fly in that ointment is corruption.

      Aside from the history of nationalization of private investment in the region, you almost can’t open a company or farm there without a “partner” who is a local politician.

      Until they get serious about private property and the Rule of Law there, they will have to make do without any investment from me.

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      1. Nobody said migrant solutions are easy. But with the specter of mass migration in the future due to shifting weather patterns, persecution, civil wars or increasing populations, any nation that can think outside the “wall” will probably have an edge.

        I would not expect us to be that nation despite our incredible resources. Too many short term thinkers in power. And certainly not with the rising nationalist fervor that favors scapegoating even our closest neighbors.

        Trump gave up on his promised healthcare plan because it was “complicated”. So no hope there.

        If you have a leak in the ceiling you might just keep placing buckets, monitoring their levels and emptying them every so often. Or you can spend the money to repair the source, a bad roof. Cheaper in the long run and you sleep better at night.

        I am reminded of the FRAM ad: you can pay me now or you can pay me later.

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        1. well, if you want to invest part of your retirement in a place where it will likely be stolen just to be helpful. go ahead, but don’t force me to put my nest egg there.

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  3. RE: “Thiessen states the obvious: we need more immigrants or we cannot prosper.”

    It is not at all obvious that we cannot prosper without more immigrants. In fact, there are substantial risks that the opposite would occur.

    The reasons derive from the observation that every worker (or worker’s family, to be more accurate) is both a producer and a consumer. Because production and consumption cancel one another out, there is no certainty of gain by increasing them.

    Consider, too, that production is highly variable, whereas consumption is, at least at the lowest limits, highly stable. Production is subject to process efficiencies, availability of capital and material resources, technology changes, and even natural disasters. It can wax and wane wildly due to these factors. In contrast, every productive worker/family requires an adequate minimum of food, clothing and shelter, to pick just three of the basic necessities of modern life. As a result, substantial downturns in production do not necessarily line up with reduced consumption.

    To illustrate the risks involved, imagine doubling the size of today’s workforce through immigration, then enduring a solar storm that fries the electrical grid. Or, imagine doubling the number of worker/families, then putting half of the increase out work because of robotics. Less dramatically, just imagine the complexity of the puzzle of ensuring that every added worker/family is able to be self-sufficient.

    TANSTAAFL.

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  4. First, workers that produce tomatoes will buy pasta sauce, an improvement in value of a raw material. That is one of the tenets of a vibrant economy.

    Second, what we don’t consume here, we export.

    Third, immigrants who work pay taxes, including SS and Medicare.

    Finally, if things do turn south, like the last recession, we need to have paid down the debt and reduced deficits. Like we are supposed to do in good economic times. Fill those 6.8 million jobs still wanting and we can increase revenue to do that.

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      1. A net gain, not a “free gain”. There is no such thing as a free gain. Someone has to conceive it, design it, grow it, pick it, repair it, build it, sell it…the key is to have someone profit at each step.

        Then take that profit and invest and consume. That is how GDP grows.

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    1. RE: “First, workers that produce tomatoes will buy pasta sauce, an improvement in value of a raw material. That is one of the tenets of a vibrant economy.”

      They could also buy raw tomatoes, or shoes, or housing. Even if some improvement in value of a raw material happens along the way, the pricing mechanisms in the economy ensure that an equivalence between production and consumption occurs. There is no ultimate gain.

      RE: “Second what we don’t consume here, we export”

      We also import goods. Assuming imports and exports balance there is no gain.

      RE: “Third, immigrants who work pay taxes, including SS and Medicare.”

      To the extent they do, they would be considered self-sufficient in the sense of balancing their consumption with their production. Again, there is no gain.

      RE: “Finally, if things do turn south, like the last recession, we need to have paid down the debt and reduced deficits.”

      Those are desirable goals. But immigrants who consume as much as they produce don’t have any effect on achieving them.

      Your reasoning is focused on things you can see, which you characterize as benefits, but does not account for things you don’t see, which are equally important because they are costs.

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