A Southern Reader Talks To His Son
March 10, 2007, 05:14 PM
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A Southern Reader recently wrote to me:

How serendipitous that your piece on Gates should hit my screen today. In one of those "cherished moments" of father-son "quality time" communications with my 16 year old high school junior son when he asked me today (after a discussion regarding pre-registration for senior year high school courses) "Dad, what kind of work do you think I should try to do when I'm older, like you know...?", I found myself on the spot. My discombobulated answer as he was driving the car essentially consisted of the following: "Son, I'm going to be right up front with you, I would not want to be a young man in your position in today's world. I know that you have strong aptitudes and are interested in art, architecture, and civil engineering, but art is (and always has been) a long shot in terms of generating economic prosperity for you and your family. Architecture to a lesser extent is like art and civil engineering has traditionally been a decent occupational endeavor in this country. However, architecture and civil engineering are now so outsourceable by a mere mouse click or an H1B visa. I think the key to occupational viability right now (who knows what it will be down the road) is to be in something that isn't outsourceable and those fields seem to be Law, law enforcement, licensed building trades, and medicine/healthcare." And his response was, "Or how about owning your own business??" I said: "Sure, but be aware that owning your own business nowadays all to often amounts to pimpin' "

I wonder how open border advocates talk to their children-or if they do. The thing is that mobility in US society is such that in a few generations, the descendants of the very rich will likely move significantly towards the median level of US wealth. Significant legal immigrant means that even those occupations that can't be outsourced are subject to international markets—and those markets are downright vicious.