A case in point is cheerful iconoclast, which raises a crucial question
I understand why rich people want more immigration — it means cheaper servants and cheaper meals at fancy restaurants. I even understand why Democratic politicians want it — they believe, probably correctly, that the Democrats will end up the political winners.
What I don't understand is why ordinary liberals support this. Liberals claim to be worried about wealth distribution, about the gap between rich and poor. Well, surely adding tens of millions of poor people from Mexico and Latin America over the next decade or so will add to that gap. They claim to want to help the little guy, less skilled workers who have been left behind over the last couple of decades. My liberal friends, those less skilled workers whom you claim to be worried about are competing with illegal immigrants for entry-level and low-skill jobs. They want a generous welfare state, with lots of social services. Surely you know that a generous welfare state is less feasible when you have twenty million more relatively poor people in the United States. It's crazy — this amnesty will won't help the cause of genuine liberalism, or the constituencies liberals purport to want to help.
cheerful iconoclast understands that economic prosperity is a function of culture
it's worth noting one raw fact: The United States has a per capita GDP of $43,500 per year. Mexico's per capita GDP is $10,600 per yearâ€¦It seems fairly clear that our culture is, in terms of creating the sort of society which produces material wealth, superior to theirsâ€¦.it's clear that, over the long run, American political culture has been more successful than Mexico's, and that the Mexicans who come to the United States will bring much of that culture with them.
As an American, much as I enjoy Tex-Mex cuisine, I do not want the United States becoming socially or economically more like Latin America and Mexico. If we legalize ten or twelve million immigrants now, it seems likely that we will move further in that direction.
This of course is a point made by Peter Brimelow way back in 1992:
The free market necessarily exists within a social framework. And it can function only if the institutions in that framework are appropriate...Economists have a word for these preconditions: the "metamarket." Some degree of ethnic and cultural coherence may be among them. Thus immigration may be a metamarket issue.
Some of the longer- established Republican-cheerleading blogs are waking up on Immigration, as cheerful iconoclast wryly notes
Even Hugh Hewitt is skeptical about the bill, and when Hewitt is skeptical of something George W. Bush is doing, well, it suggests that that Bush is in it deep.
The obvious reason is that their readership is furious. Equally important, though, may well be that they sense there are newcomers prepared to do the jobs that they wonâ€™t do.