A company that owns 11 McDonald's restaurants in Nevada was fined one million dollars Wednesday after pleading guilty to employing 58 illegal immigrants.You are going to see reports that this is indicative of some serious crackdown on illegal immigration. I would suggest that we really need to look at the numbers involved here. How many violations were really involved here? I would expect 58 is just the tip of the iceberg—just what the prosecuting attorney had an ability to prove. I'd be surprised if there hadn't been at least 200 violations over the lifetime of this company. I wonder if in the past, the company's employees have benefited from one of the amnesty programs?
The company, Mack Associates Inc., knew the employees were illegal immigrants and had offered them names and social security numbers belonging to other people, the US Justice Department said.
What is the potential economic value of 200 violations? I'd expect at least a half of those folks have—or expected to—grabbed the brass ring of a US green card. Each of those green cards has considerable economic value-on the order of at least $200K. The cost to the public of each incidence of illegal immigration is at least $100K according to the NSF.
So we have here a case in which a $1 Million fine was appraised for a theft that involved $20 Million or so of value transferred to the shareholders of this company at the expense of American workers and the American taxpayer. Now, I would suggest that hardened corporate criminals will just see that as a cost of doing business.
The public doesn't understand the economics here yet—most economists don't either. For a criminal penalty to be effective, the cost of getting caught timesÂ the chance of getting caught must exceed the value of getting away with the crime.
This phony tactic of election year immigration enforcement may work politically. However, I think long run, it will have problems. This level of enforcement isn't going to stop illegal immigration. It may reduce it a bit—but it won't stop it.
I would suggest that VDARE.com readers need to solidify their political resolve here. Why shouldn't all eleven of those McDonald Franchises be sold to compensate the victims of illegal immigration? Why shouldn't there be laws on the books that would closely examing the complicity of the McDonalds Corporation in granting a franchise to a company that was obviously violating US immigration laws? Does America really need enormous concentrations of wealth to maintain a functioning market economy? If not why not give the little guy a break and tax those economic dinosaurs more appropriately for past crimes?