US: Is More Immigration Always Better?

Over at Vox, Matt Yglesias briefly summarizes the case for more immigration:

Studies done in the United States show that immigration raises average incomes of native-born Americans, including native-born Americans with low skill levels. Immigration is, of course, even better for the incomes of the immigrants themselves, which makes reduced barriers to migration one of the biggest possible game changers for overall global growth. What’s more, as the Economist’s Ryan Avent has recently shown, more immigration could be a highly effective fix to the currently hot topic of secular stagnation.

There are many assumptions packed into this paragraph, and they’re worth examining closely.

First, Yglesias is right to observe that immigration raises the average income of native-born Americans. It’s not clear, however, that immigration raises the average incomes of native-born Americans more than a range of other policy measures, like shifting towards consumption taxation, reforming Social Security and Medicare, or drastically improving the productivity of our education system…

  • The first comment sums it up nicely…

    Here are two points they both get completely wrong;

    1) The Law of Supply & Demand applies to Labor just as it does to every other commodity.

    2) GDP is Not a measure of individual wealth or prosperity.

    The assumption that Immigration somehow magically increases incomes is proven wrong time and again; and yet still we see this myth trotted out by Wall-street Tools. The law of Supply and Demand was not repealed for Labor, and history & data prove it. No business has a right to cheap labor subsidized by the Citizens they refuse to employ, and no Illegal or Visa holder has a right to be here at all. American Citizens Do have a Right to demand our Government act in our best interests, and Government has a Duty to protect the property and prosperity of our Citizens.

    This flood of both legal and Illegal labor directly harms Americas Middle Class, Poor, Workers and our nation overall….wages and earning have been flat and falling for years under this flood of foreign labor and that is no accident. What Companies are doing now is importing cheap labor for jobs they could not ship overseas – All at the expense of the American worker and family. How is any American OK with that?

    We did all this before remember; If Amnesty worked, we would not be in this mess now.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Matt Yglesias is a quantum tool-bag of the worst proportions and nothing he writes should be believed, as he is such a partisan hack.

    More immigrants always leads to lower wages in the short term (supply and demand), and if you start counting forward from 1965 to the present, the long term too!
    In short, anything other than highly restricted immigration is always bad for the country.

    Everything else is crap, and an obvious lie when you think back to how your father was able to work and support a family while your mom stayed home, while you will never be able to do that.

    Remember, if you and your spouse have to go to work in order to make ends meet and you haven’t started having kids yet, then you can thank an immigrant. Well, immigrants and the politicians that brought them in because it helped their party win future elections, and a friendly media that allowed them to paint it as being “nice” and doing good works.

    • I belive nothing by Yglesias, I am a bit surprised that the National Review’s commenters are taking apart the NR’s piece about Yglesias.

      I think the word is out – Mass Immigration is a Ponzi scheme.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        Not only is it a Ponzi scheme, it also drags the politics of the entire nation to the left.
        I call that one a huge bug, for the socialists that thrive on class warfare, it’s a feature.

        • That is Canada’s story, except now we have a conservative government setting immigration intake records.

          This is in a time of persistent unemployment, a generational welfare class, and the continued loss of traditional working class jobs in both manufacturing and the service industry thanks to off-shoring and automation.

          I sold into Ontario’s manufacturing industries for over 10 years, you would not belive the rust belt we have become.

          The idiots at Queen’s Park have not helped with their ruinous Green Energy policy.

          Our politicians have bought into the myth that increased immigration increases demand and productivity and ultimately raises everybody’s boat. How could that be in an economy that was flooded with Temporary foreign workers whose sole purpose was to provide a low wage subsidy to corporate bottom lines?

          The TFW was so blatantly abused and embedded in corporate culture that it literally became a part of the business model for corporations like Tim Horton’s and McDonald’s.

          I don’t know what you want to call that, but it isn’t a free market, Robber Baron Crony Capitalism maybe.

  • eMan14

    I don’t think he’s taking into account the native American’s who are not working. Who have been replaced by the new immigrant. And who is not making an income, other than the free handouts by different levels of government. Which are probably not included in the “average” American income statistics.

    • I am reluctant to believe any government stats any longer. Look at how easily the TFW program was abused. The government had no idea what was going on.

  • Raymond Hietapakka

    …”raises average incomes of Native-born…how can that be when wages have remained essentially flat for the last 20 years plus poverty and joblessness has skyrocketed…

    …when will I get paid to bullszchiddt?