Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Illegal Immigrants Never Were The Linchpin Of Our Economy

"Although they broke the law by illegally crossing our borders," Bloomberg said, "our city's economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported. The same holds true for the nation."

That was NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg from back in June 2006.

That quote of his typifies the mindset of Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and other business-minded (rational?) influence peddlers.

Though not for all of its proponents, that was a self-centered, myopic viewpoint. The economy was running rampant two years ago; contractors simply couldn't be found to fix up your house. Ergo, we desperately NEED illegals!

Of course now things are different. Unemployment is creeping up towards 6% and the construction industry (read: unskilled labor market) is in shambles. Here's a more up-to-date anecdote:

"Agustin Garduno, wearing a paint-stained sweatshirt, said he sleeps in cars and on floors at friends' houses because he can't afford rent. As noon approaches and no contractors have pulled up to the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Oxnard Street looking to hire, it will be the fifteenth day he has gone without work. "If you gave me a ticket, I'll go back to Mexico because here, there's nothing," said Garduno, 48, who used to make $1,300 a month and now makes about $500."

Historically, whenever economies have weakened, xenophobic resentment has always reared its head. With our financial markets battered, just you watch how much more afraid the *farsighted* politicians become to tout Amnesty and other rights for illegal immigrants. I've predicted this all along and I have history on my side.

There are even anecdotes of illegals voluntarily returning to the Third World - if only on a small scale.

Last month, while vacationing in the Hamptons I filmed about 100 illegals hanging out during midday - with job prospects fading by the minute.

Now I've gone to Southampton and driven by this spot (between 7/11 and McDonalds) for years. Either the crews hanging out there got much larger than I remember or the quantity of day labor demanded recently fell off a cliff.

The fact is, illegal immigrants were a symptom of a booming economy (2002-2007); they were hardly the linchpin.

On the other hand, as for our prison *business*...

Something like half of incarcerated Californians are *undocumented*.

And something like 20% of all federal inmates are also, as Bloomberg would call them, *day laborers*.


Two Dogs said...

Give us a post about how the financial markets like/dislike/ are ambiguous to minimum wage laws. My prediction is that this next quarter we will be hearing about the record setting jump in unemployment simply because of the "raise" that was granted to the lowest wage earners on July 24.

Weird that in less than two weeks, I have heard of, at the very least seven, architectural firms in the Southeast cutting their workforce by half.

Building is about to come to a crashing halt.

CaptiousNut said...

Though I agree with you 100% that raising the minimum wage eliminates jobs, it's not possible to parse economic data as we would like to.

Statists will say, "Hey, Bill Clinton raised the minimum wage in 1997 and unemployment fell, the stock market boomed, etc."

In other words, the economy is sinking today too, so the effect of a higher minimum wage is impossible to *net out* of unemployment statistics.

For the record, I reject all government statistics as inaccurate, fraudulent, and, most importantly, un-actionable.