Mexican Immigration Down

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Funny how it works: The down economy means there are fewer jobs available. Fewer available jobs means we’re seeing fewer illegal immigrants willing to risk their lives to come here to work, because the work isn’t available.

Golly. Maybe Mexicans really were coming here to actually work and not merely drop “anchor babies” and collect welfare checks, after all.

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53 Responses to “Mexican Immigration Down”

  1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Yeah, if it weren’t for the illegals providing labor more in line with real world market rates, our products would most likely be even more uncompetitive on world markets than they already are.

    On the other hand, I can certainly sympathize with the union perspective of fairness in artificially inflating wages for jobs that take a week to learn far above those jobs that require four or more years of college at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. I mean, forcing a factory worker to to work for anything less than six figures is predatory.

    Anyone else notice how everything people don’t like is being referred to as a predatory practice now? I remember when I first heard it used in a child abuse case. I actually took it literally, thinking the guy had eaten the kid.

  2. #2 |  CHRISC | 

    Amen! We as a supposedly Christian (ha!) based society have such a tendency to demonize groups of people. I live near Salem, and seems people haven’t changed much in 400 years. I have always said – the guy or family who is willing to risk life, limb and money to cross a hostile desert for simply the opportunity to make a better life can play on my team anyday. I contrast that with the welfare state we have created regardless of immigration. Give me the motivated one. What ever happened to our melting pot? Did the politicians cook it so much it actually melted???

  3. #3 |  Ben | 

    Working in the drywall industry, I’m on the fence on this issue. Crews consisting on mostly illegal Mexicans (and some other central American countries) work harder and for significantly less than crews of legal Americans.

    This means two things. The illegal crews win bids by undercutting other contractors. These contractors that are losing the bids are trying to play by the rules: paying workmans comp, insurance, taxes, paying their bills. They are also trying to make a living wage.

    The Mexican crews tend to live 10 or more to a hotel room and, in general, are not trying to support a family in the United States.

    I understand that the market dictates price, but at the same time, if customers could they’d pay nothing for labor and labor needs to be able to live. Making $8 an hour with no insurance hanging drywall is not a living wage.

  4. #4 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I make no distinction as to whether a wage is a “living wage” and I probably wouldn’t have much faith in whatever entity determines what a living wage is. To me it’s just a catchy phrase that sounds like something every American is entitled to (along with any number of other things).

    The way to deal with low labor rates is to get people to move to other jobs where there’s a shortage of labor and the rates are higher. Artificially inflating wages in low paying jobs does nothing but discourage people from doing what it takes to change.

  5. #5 |  Some other Matt | 

    I’m thinking with Ben on this one. This is actually the first time I’ve heard the argument that “Mexicans [are] really were coming here to …. merely drop ‘anchor babies’ and collect welfare checks.” Maybe I heard it before and just dismissed it out of the ridiculousness of it.

    These things bug me about the illegal immigrant argument:
    -People cry racism, even on this site. It’s the same silliness of claiming racism to blacks if you happen to disagree with one of Obama’s policies. I’m sure that you can realize that there just might be reasons people don’t want non-citizens running into our country without some sort of documentation, yeah?

    -The point that Ben brings up about livable wages. Somehow, we’re able to label Americans as both demonic racists and selfish for wanting to have a job that can support their families. Maybe it’s just that I grew up in an utterly poor town and am utterly poor myself, but there was always someone willing to work at whatever roustabout job or hot, dirty offshore job. Perhaps we should figure out what is making prices so high instead of demonizing the working poor for trying to, y’know, survive?

    -And while we’re on the cure-the-disease-not-the-symptom tangent, perhaps we should look at immigration policies with some actual hard numbers to get an idea if our immigration cap is too high, too low, or what. If it’s too high, we put a bigger strain on ourselves and more competition for income, and in this sort of economic environment that may not exactly be what we *want* to do. If it’s too low, we have a bigger black market of immigration the world over. Where’s the balance?

    I guess I just don’t like the emotional smearing that gets attached to this topic. It’s like reading about abortion and having to hear “baby killer” and “woman hater.”

  6. #6 |  Mattocracy | 

    The best thing about paying mexican laborers is that the government gets less money fro payroll taxes. That’s a huge plus for me.

  7. #7 |  Fred | 

    Dave, the “entity” that determines the living wage is the market.

    Yes, I know that immigrants come here for jobs, but that doesn’t change the fact that millions of those jobs are had by breaking the rules of the game. Forget the laws on immigration; they are breaking the labor laws. No matter how advantageous that may be to the consumer, endorsing that system penalizes the employers who are trying to stay legal and play by the rules.

  8. #8 |  Ben | 

    Dave, in general, I agree with you. This time you sound like a troll.

    If you don’t believe there’s such a thing as a livable wage, go work at a convenience store at $7.50 an hour for a year with no outside assistance.

    Can’t afford to buy food? Or rent a flea bag appartment? Or take your kid to the doctor when he’s got an ear infection? From what you’re saying, Americans don’t have the right to any of those things, they’re all just extra because you could room with fifteen other people and eat out of dumpsters behind resturants and let your kid freeze because you can’t afford a proper jacket for him.

    No, there’s no such thing as a living wage.

  9. #9 |  Ben | 

    Also, Dave, remember that if the legal crews get busted for NOT playing by the rules, they’re basically ruined for life with the amount of fines levied against them. Mexicans get deported so they can reboot and try again.

  10. #10 |  Mike T | 

    Golly. Maybe Mexicans really were coming here to actually work and not merely drop “anchor babies” and collect welfare checks, after all.

    You make it sound like they can only do one of those. How do you explain Mexicans who come here to work, put their kids in public schools, and then have more kids who become American citizens (and the Mexicans who also collect welfare)?

    In Virginia, every illegal immigrant who puts his or her kid into a public school costs the tax payers ~$7500 for that kid’s education. That is paid for by property taxes, not income taxes, so illegals, like the American poor, have no reason to shriek about being overtaxed. If you’re going to defend illegal immigration, at least have the honesty to admit that certain classes of tax payers really do get shafted by illegal immigration.

    With real estate property taxes, you have an even worse problem than you do with income taxes because a minority pays them to support the education system, but all of society gets to use that. If you value liberty, then you have to concede that adding more people to this system who benefit without paying is going to add more people with a vested interest in milking those that pay taxes.

  11. #11 |  Mike T | 

    Ironically, the anchor baby phenomenon is a great example of judicial activism. Being born in the US is insufficient under the 14th amendment to become an American citizen by birth. It says:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    Like the 2nd amendment, to get the left-wing view, you have to distort the English language to defend that value. Mexican field workers are not, in 19th century legalese, “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” since they are neither citizens nor legal permanent resident aliens.

    Half of the problem with illegal immigration would go away overnight if the courts would actually read the Constitution as written. No anchor babies, no “birthright citizenship” for illegals’ children, and most people would have absolutely no problem with increased immigration for the purpose of working, not gaining citizenship.

  12. #12 |  Mike T | 

    ***Correction: at least one parent has to be a US citizen under the 14th amendment. The “subject” in the 14th amendment’s citizenship clause means a subject in the sense that one is a British subject or a French or American republican citizen. Since Mexicans are citizens of los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, they cannot confer American citizenship on their children.

  13. #13 |  Wonko | 

    “here to actually work and not merely drop “anchor babies” and collect welfare checks, after all.”

    Does anyone say that? Who are you arguing against? Strawman? Bogeyman? We know they come here to work, but they drop the anchor babies and use up public services nonetheless. And none of this “well, we need to prohibit non-citizens from using those things” line I see over on Reason. We tried that with Prop 187 in California and it was shot down by a court about seven seconds later.

    Hey, I support allowing in (legally) as many workers as we need to keep the economy humming, but this open borders stuff is blinkered, ideological insanity when our neighbor to the south pathologically broken to the extent that it is. If Mexico could somehow be fixed (I suggest magic elves and unicorns), maybe we could start treating it like a 51st state, but we are several parsecs out of that ballpark.

    And then we could start concentrating on those damned Canucks. ;-)

  14. #14 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #7 Fred

    Yes, I know that immigrants come here for jobs, but that doesn’t change the fact that millions of those jobs are had by breaking the rules of the game. Forget the laws on immigration; they are breaking the labor laws.

    Which labor laws are you referring to? It’s obviously not the one that allows employer and employee to mutually and voluntary agree to a rate of compensation without government interference because that freedom doesn’t exist in the U.S. But, that’s what a free market in labor would look like.

  15. #15 |  Mike T | 

    Which labor laws are you referring to? It’s obviously not the one that allows employer and employee to mutually and voluntary agree to a rate of compensation without government interference because that freedom doesn’t exist in the U.S. But, that’s what a free market in labor would look like.

    A true free market regime in the US would also allow American corporations to outsource their entire manufacturing process to Chinese laogai or, if you prefer another analogy, would have allowed them to contract with the Soviets to have the prisoners in the gulag do the work.

  16. #16 |  Zargon | 

    #8

    Can’t afford to buy food? Or rent a flea bag appartment? Or take your kid to the doctor when he’s got an ear infection? From what you’re saying, Americans don’t have the right to any of those things, they’re all just extra because you could room with fifteen other people and eat out of dumpsters behind resturants and let your kid freeze because you can’t afford a proper jacket for him.

    So wait. Some people are apparently in so dire of straits that they’re willing to move hundreds of miles from home, live 15 to a room and eat out of dumpsters for an $8 an hour job with no insurance, and the solution to this problem is to deny them that shitty $8 an hour job, forcing them (and presumably, their family back home) back into whatever worse conditions they tried to flee from.

    So is the point that Americans have the God-given right to food, shelter, and healthcare, but everybody else can go curl up under a bridge and die? Because that’s what I’m getting out of this.

  17. #17 |  Mike T | 

    If you don’t believe there’s such a thing as a livable wage, go work at a convenience store at $7.50 an hour for a year with no outside assistance.

    If you believe that most people who make that little aren’t either in still in high school or have a severe lack of any discernible work ethic, then I encourage you to go to work at said location. It may seem hard to believe, but most businesses that hire unskilled labor are more than happy to pay good wages to unskilled laborers that have decent work ethics.

    The problem with illegal immigration is that it allows employers to hire workers with the same work ethic, but who come from crushing poverty and who are willing to live in abject squalor in order to get paid. There is a severe exploitation element inherent to that, and I’ll give you that, but I will never concede that most people who barely ever make above minimum wage deserve better.

    If we had a more open, but more scrutinized immigration process we could give the Mexicans more freedom to demand better wages, which would make the hard-workers among their ranks better able to market themselves.

  18. #18 |  Ben | 

    Hyperbole: 1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.

    The point I was making is that there is a certain standard of living that, while it may be higher than the rest of the world, is accepted in this country. I’m not talking 72″ HDTV either, I’m talking a decent place to live and possibly even has a roof that doesn’t leak, a diet that is not borderline starvation, and basic medical care.

    A single man can ignore that far easier than a family living here in this country trying to be American. Do you really not believe that an illegal immigrant worker can more easily live in hotels from week to week than an American family? If I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand.

    As I said, I’m on the fence about this issue. I understand that cheap labor is here and it will be used over more expensive labor. I also understand that some people just aren’t cut out to be doctors, lawyers or computer programers. Why should a person who likes trade jobs be told “well, your work is worth exactly what these mexicans are worth, which is about $8 an hour” when in fact the American laborer can’t live on $8 an hour. Or look at it this way, the Mexicans are worth a whole lot more than $8 an hour too, but, being from what amounts to a third world country, don’t have a concept of being worth more than that.

    I don’t have an answer for this. There is no good answer, I don’t think. Wage control doesn’t really work, nor does making immigration illegal. The only thing that will really fix this problem, as I see it, is the entire country realizing that labor is worth more than management. Actually producing something is more important than telling someone to produce something.

    I, myself, am just a stupid wage slave. I make a decent living, but if my house was not paid off for about 80 years now, it sure as hell wouldn’t feel like a decent wage.

  19. #19 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #15 Mike T

    A true free market regime in the US would also allow American corporations to outsource their entire manufacturing process to Chinese laogai or, if you prefer another analogy, would have allowed them to contract with the Soviets to have the prisoners in the gulag do the work.

    A true free market in labor in the U.S. would make outsourcing LESS necessary because U.S. labor cost wouldn’t be artificially inflated, which is the driving force behind outsourcing.

  20. #20 |  Mike T | 

    A true free market in labor in the U.S. would make outsourcing LESS necessary because U.S. labor cost wouldn’t be artificially inflated, which is the driving force behind outsourcing.

    Nice evasion, Dave. You clearly don’t want to deal with the fact that in a true free labor market, it would be legally possible for American manufacturers to outsource to countries which use slave labor, including ones like Soviet Union and its gulag during the Cold War or the PRC with its laogai labor camps today.

    There are some, not many, but some inherent moral limits on what two parties can peacefully agree to because one of those parties may be violating the basic human rights of another in the process.

  21. #21 |  Ben | 

    A true free market in labor in the U.S. would make outsourcing LESS necessary because U.S. labor cost wouldn’t be artificially inflated, which is the driving force behind outsourcing.

    Explain this to me, because I don’t understand. Are you talking “true free market” meaning no regulation at all which includes health & safety as well as environmental? Cause last time I checked there’s a lot of countries in Asia who have neither OSHA nor the DEP forcing them to enforce basic standards.

    As much as I like the idea of living without artificial regulation, there is serious need for both OSHA and DEP. Am I wrong?

  22. #22 |  Dave Krueger | 

    There wouldn’t be as many Mexicans here if the U.S. had a free market in labor. The Mexicans are here because of the distorted wage rates in the U.S.

    The free market is a system that provides feedback that moves labor to where it’s needed most. It accommodates skilled and unskilled labor and encourages education, job training, and self improvement. If you fuck with it, you’re not making it better.

    Artificially inflated labor rates are simply a form of welfare and to the people who pay for it (consumers), it’s a tax.

  23. #23 |  Mattocracy | 

    The problems people have with illegal immigration are caused by the government, not the illegals.

    “They’re taking welfare payments without paying income taxes!”
    The problem is that we give out welfare in the first place, not brown people getting a portion of it. Besides, most welfare recipients are white southerners who just don’t want to share the spoils of income redistribution.

    “They aren’t paying for public schools!”
    This is a problem with how we fund public schools. Fund them with sales tax that everyone pays, legal or not, and not with property tax.

    “They took our jobs!”
    These jobs belong to the employer, who has a right to hire anyone he wants for whatever wage the employee is willing to work for. The cheaper labor lowers prices and increases purchasing power, freeing up more capital for other endeavors.

    Mexicans aren’t the problem, it’s government.

  24. #24 |  Mike T | 

    There wouldn’t be as many Mexicans here if the U.S. had a free market in labor. The Mexicans are here because of the distorted wage rates in the U.S.

    The free market is a system that provides feedback that moves labor to where it’s needed most. It accommodates skilled and unskilled labor and encourages education, job training, and self improvement. If you fuck with it, you’re not making it better.

    True, but not relevant in light of other factors. Until the birthright citizenship and welfare issues are resolved, you are placing individual liberty in an even more precarious position by allowing their children to become citizens and thus wield political power over you. Few countries have ever been so insane as to make the children of foreigners automatically citizens by fact of having been born 51% more on their soil than on their neighbor’s territory.

    As Milton Friedman right pointed out, open borders and a welfare state cannot coexist–period. The former WILL create more of the latter, especially in a system where the children of the immigrants can wield political power.

    The only libertarians who understand this are the right-libertarians who supported Ron Paul.

  25. #25 |  Mike T | 

    This is a problem with how we fund public schools. Fund them with sales tax that everyone pays, legal or not, and not with property tax.

    What sort of alternate universe do you live in where it is easy to get an increasingly larger number of people who pay no taxes to support the system they use, to voluntarily take one for the team and tax themselves?

  26. #26 |  Mike T | 

    These jobs belong to the employer, who has a right to hire anyone he wants for whatever wage the employee is willing to work for. The cheaper labor lowers prices and increases purchasing power, freeing up more capital for other endeavors.

    And in a true free market economy, there are no labor laws telling the employer that they cannot contract those laws out to countries like China to firms that specialize in using prison labor to make goods.

  27. #27 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #21 Ben

    As much as I like the idea of living without artificial regulation, there is serious need for both OSHA and DEP. Am I wrong?

    Yep. At least (and especially) in terms of OSHA. But I’m not going to argue about that because it’s another topic. These agencies aren’t responsible for inflated wages, which is what I was talking about. They are responsible for added (and unnecessary) costs to business, but I don’t think Mexicans are swarming across the border because of OSHA or the EPA.

  28. #28 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #24 Mike T

    Until the birthright citizenship and welfare issues are resolved, you are placing individual liberty in an even more precarious position by allowing their children to become citizens and thus wield political power over you. Few countries have ever been so insane as to make the children of foreigners automatically citizens by fact of having been born 51% more on their soil than on their neighbor’s territory.

    Nope. Not me. I made no comments about the rules regarding citizenship. I simply said that a free market in labor would reduce the number of Mexicans in the U.S. and that would happen regardless of whether you change citizenship rules or not.

  29. #29 |  B | 

    With real estate property taxes, you have an even worse problem than you do with income taxes because a minority pays them to support the education system, but all of society gets to use that.

    You don’t think landlords pass the cost of property taxes to their tenants? If you occupy a dwelling, you pay property taxes, one way or another.

  30. #30 |  Mike T | 

    Nope. Not me. I made no comments about the rules regarding citizenship. I simply said that a free market in labor would reduce the number of Mexicans in the U.S. and that would happen regardless of whether you change citizenship rules or not.

    It would decrease the number of Mexicans, but it would increase the number of “Americans.” Most of the people who object to illegal immigration do so mainly because of the birthright citizenship issue, and the welfare issue. Your points are non-sequitor if you don’t take those factors into consideration.

  31. #31 |  jpok | 

    Mike T,
    Prisoners and slaves cannot negotiate their rates of pay. So your example of American firms outsourcing jobs to the gulags does not in any way resemble a free market situation.

  32. #32 |  jpok | 

    That’s not say that environmental and safety standards differing between countries presents no problem to a free-marketer. But your example is kinda silly.

  33. #33 |  Mike T | 

    You don’t think landlords pass the cost of property taxes to their tenants? If you occupy a dwelling, you pay property taxes, one way or another.

    There is a psychological difference being passing them onto others and making others actually pay them. When you subsume taxes into the price, people don’t feel like they’re being taxed, and thus don’t feel like they have anything at stake.

  34. #34 |  Mike T | 

    Prisoners and slaves cannot negotiate their rates of pay. So your example of American firms outsourcing jobs to the gulags does not in any way resemble a free market situation.

    Of course it does. When you outsource to India, you aren’t outsourcing to individual workers, but to the company that handles all of the messy details. The negotiations take place between the Indian company and the American company, not between the Indian employees and the American company. If India passed a law allowing slave labor, that dynamic would not change.

    Your argument is also non sequitor in that Dave and I were talking about a free market in America, not some hypothetical global free market regime. Even if America had no labor laws, that would not change the economic structures of any other countries that engage in outsourcing with us.

  35. #35 |  Mike T | 

    But your example is kinda silly.

    No, my example is actually a sadly realistic one for workers in some countries. If we allowed outsourcing to North Korea, you’d have to be a fool to believe that the North Koreans who did business with us wouldn’t have a government rifle to the back of their head making sure they “did business honorably.”

  36. #36 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #30 Mike T

    It would decrease the number of Mexicans, but it would increase the number of “Americans.” Most of the people who object to illegal immigration do so mainly because of the birthright citizenship issue, and the welfare issue. Your points are non-sequitor if you don’t take those factors into consideration.

    You seem to want to insist that I’m making some kind of argument for more legal immigration. I am doing no such thing and I don’t know how I can make that any more clear. I haven’t even made any comments about whether I agree with current immigration laws or not.

    And to say I can’t discuss the labor rate incentive for immigration independent of citizenship laws or welfare is bullshit.

  37. #37 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Dammit!

  38. #38 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I find it surprising that people in a largely libertarian forum would be so distrustful and opposed to the free market. Maybe I’m more of a radical idealist than I’ve been giving myself credit for.

  39. #39 |  B | 

    There is a psychological difference being passing them onto others and making others actually pay them. When you subsume taxes into the price, people don’t feel like they’re being taxed, and thus don’t feel like they have anything at stake.

    True enough, but the context in which you raised the issue implied that immigrants sending their children to taxpayer-funded schools were not also paying the taxes that support said schools. That simply isn’t true. Who cares whether someone “feels” they are being taxed if we are talking about paying into the system from which they derive a benefit? More to the point, what does it matter how people who can’t vote anyway feel about taxes?

    Did I misunderstand your point?

  40. #40 |  Ben | 

    Liberty is great, Dave, but the sad truth is that with liberty comes great responsibility. I’m enough of a realist to know that liberty without the necessary responsibility is a very dangerous idea.

    Which brings me back to the point about costs of doing business legally in this country. If we had the necessary social responsibility, we wouldn’t need this.

  41. #41 |  Mike T | 

    You seem to want to insist that I’m making some kind of argument for more legal immigration. I am doing no such thing and I don’t know how I can make that any more clear. I haven’t even made any comments about whether I agree with current immigration laws or not.

    And to say I can’t discuss the labor rate incentive for immigration independent of citizenship laws or welfare is bullshit.

    Welfare reform and birthright citizenship are a political prerequisite to getting the free market that you want. You can draw a total distinction on paper all damn day long, but it won’t change the reality on the ground that a free market for labor is not even remotely politically viable until those concerns are addressed.

  42. #42 |  Mike T | 

    True enough, but the context in which you raised the issue implied that immigrants sending their children to taxpayer-funded schools were not also paying the taxes that support said schools.

    If they’re living in subsidized housing which is very common in poor neighborhoods, they aren’t.

  43. #43 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #40 Ben

    Liberty is great, Dave, but the sad truth is that with liberty comes great responsibility. I’m enough of a realist to know that liberty without the necessary responsibility is a very dangerous idea.

    The biggest responsibility that comes with liberty is keeping it intact. That isn’t possible in a population that fears it and fear is commonly the first reaction when people in the U.S. are confronted with the concept of shrinking government control over their lives. Government thrives on it.

  44. #44 |  Wonko | 

    “I find it surprising that people in a largely libertarian forum would be so distrustful and opposed to the free market.”

    Some of us just don’t take it to unworkable extremes. You’re going to wind up with a large class of failures who are not going to just sit there and quietly starve, and on the other side you’ll have those that will game any “free” system you care to devise to the detriment of all others. Too many Libertarians these days come across as Objectivists, which leads to the common “with a small l” modifier when people claim to libertarian beliefs.

  45. #45 |  Brian V. | 

    I don’t agree with Radley’s notion that providing jobs to ambitious illegal immigrants has is somehow noble. Those who knowingly employee illegals do so solely to improve their bottom line; there isn’t a shred altruism in sight.

    Compare Bernie Madoff to the drywall contractor who hires illegals–it’s all simple avarice, the only difference is its magnitude.

  46. #46 |  Brian V. | 

    Preview would a good feature!

  47. #47 |  Billy Beck | 

    “Maybe Mexicans really were coming here to actually work and not merely drop “anchor babies” and collect welfare checks, after all.”

    Regardless of your speculation, many of them do just exactly that.

    Milton Friedman was correct, Radley.

  48. #48 |  annemg | 

    I can’t believe all of these posts insisting that everyone is entitled to a living wage. Everyone isn’t entitled to a living wage. An economy can not run successfully if every person working is paid a living wage, mainly because that living wage will become *not* a living wage any more. Some jobs just aren’t worth that much. If you want to make more money, get more skills. If you can only make minimum wage, that’s because you need to make yourself more valuable.

  49. #49 |  Radley Balko | 

    Compare Bernie Madoff to the drywall contractor who hires illegals–it’s all simple avarice, the only difference is its magnitude.

    Preview wouldn’t have saved you from that little nugget of stupidity.

    Bernie Madoff bilked widows, families, charities, and hundreds of trusting investors out of billions through fraud and deceit. The drywall contractor voluntarily paid a willing laborer for his services.

    If you can’t see the difference, something ugly is clouding your judgment.

  50. #50 |  Zargon | 

    hose who knowingly employee illegals do so solely to improve their bottom line; there isn’t a shred altruism in sight.

    Well of course not. The reason the free market works isn’t because everybody is an altruistic saint – it’s because everybody (or almost everybody) can be expected to look out for #1 almost all of the time.

    I’m in a business that’s being significantly outsourced. Yet when I hear bitching and moaning about it, I just can’t get myself worked up over it because I’m just not capable of forgetting about the other side of the equation. For every job like mine that’s outsourced, several people are hired in India, or wherever else. Those people’s lives are undoubtedly harder than mine, even after they get the job, and even if my job goes out the window. But it seems like everybody is able to just forget about them because they’re so far away.

  51. #51 |  Brian V. | 

    Re #49

    Harsh, Mr. Balko, harsh. Why so testy today?

  52. #52 |  Brian V. | 

    Continuing–

    I don’t agree, Radley, despite your insults. Hiring an illegal is just like buying stolen goods: sure it’s cheaper, and maybe nobody gets hurt, but it’s still wrong.

  53. #53 |  Scooby | 

    Brian,
    When you say “maybe nobody gets hurt”, you demonstrate that you subconciously know the difference between malum prohibitum and malum in se.

    Hiring an ineligible laborer is wrong because it’s illegal, just like possessing drugs. Stealing (and facilitating stealing by buying stolen goods) is illegal because it’s wrong- it does hurt the victim of the theft.

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