Thursday, April 06, 2006

Peter Brimelow Speech on Immigration - A Must Read

Peter Brimelow, author of Alien Nation spoke at the Philadelphia Society. VDARE posted it. So many misconceptions about the history of immigration in America are set straight by Peter's research.

"Immigration And America": Peter Brimelow’s Address To The Philadelphia Society"


When I came in to look at the technical literature on the economics of immigration in the early 1990s, I was amazed to find that the consensus among labor economists—the consensus—was that the great inflow triggered by the 1965 Act, and the simultaneous breakdown of the southern border, is not beneficial in aggregate. It brings no net aggregate economic benefit to native-born Americans. It does increase U.S. GDP. But virtually all of that is captured by the immigrants themselves. The native-born Americans are simply no better off.

Since Alien Nation came out, I am happy to say, my reading of the consensus has been confirmed by National Research Council’s 1997 report The New Americans. It estimated that what is called the "immigration surplus"—the net additional wealth that reaches native-born Americans—was something like ten billion dollars. Utterly trivial in a 5 or 6 trillion dollar economy. And wiped out by the transfer costs, the cost of schools and emergency room hospital care and that sort of thing, which are very substantial.


That explains the class base of this debate. It is extremely beneficial to have immigration—for people who go to country clubs and vote Republican. It is extremely unbeneficial if you are a blue collar worker.

It is particularly unbeneficial for African Americans. I am about to publish on VDARE.COM an article that show black unemployment has actually risen—risen—since this recovery started 13 quarters ago.


What we face now, with the post-1965 wave of immigration, is an unprecedented act of social engineering being performed by the government. The government is second-guessing the people on population size, because Americans of all races have spontaneously got their family size down to replacement levels. The American population has stabilized, absent immigration—but in fact it’s projected to go up to 400, maybe 500 million, by 2050, because of immigration. And also, of course, we are rapidly shifting the racial balance. In 1960 the U.S. was 90 percent white; by 2050, whites will be about to go into the minority.

It seems to me that it’s up to those who favor this to explain why they want to transform America. What do they have against the America that existed in 1965?

And why don’t they explain it to the American people, so we can have a democratic debate about it? Why does America have to be transformed?

The classic conservative point of view, it seems to me—though you don’t see it on the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page—is that if it’s not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change. I don’t think it’s necessary to change the U.S., certainly by as much as is being changed right now.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn said in his Nobel Prize speech that

"The disappearance of nations would impoverish us no less then if all men had become alike with one personality, one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities. The very least of them wears its own special colors, and bears within itself a special facet of God’s design."

A remarkable statement for somebody who was brought up a Marxist in that other would-be "Universal Nation"—the Soviet Union.


Always On Watch said...

In all the yapping about immigration--I'm referring to the politicians and the talking heads, not this site--people are taking as a given that we need illegal immigrants as a work force. News flash! The most reliable stats show that illegal immigrants represent less that 5% of the work force in the United States.

It is particularly unbeneficial for African Americans.

I know for a fact that black Americans are not welcome at the day-laborer sites, both the impromptu and the formal ones. In fact, the police will roll by, ignore the immigrants, and harass the blacks.

Businesses which hire illegals love those low wages, but those wages come at a dear cost to ethical businesses. Furthermore, it is simply not true that Americans cannot afford legal labor! Most of my clients are quite wealthy, yet they willingly hire illegals to do housework and yard work. But these clients can well AFFORD to pay a few dollars more. All it takes is a few dollars more (per hour) to bring out Americans to do the work. I know because I have paid that few dollars more for the few chores I've outsourced.

I see a simple solution to the problem of illegal immigrants:

1. A heavy fine levied on anyone who hires an illegal. And I mean "anyone"!

2. A national I.D. card. Without the card, no ability to purchase anything, even with cash. Enforce it at the grocery, the gas station, everywhere--including the emergency departments of the hospitals.

3. The end of birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants. This end to birthright citizenship should mean no enrollment in school.

4. The ability for American citizens to arrest illegals--citizen's arrest.

The situation is out of control. We need draconian measures to take back our nation.

But I predict that none of my proposals will be implemented. Until a terrorist attack because of our porous borders occurs.

Always On Watch said...

This might be worth your time.

friendlysaviour said...

always,.. If France had implemented your point no. 3, then they would not be faced with some of the problems confronting citizens in Paris and most of their big cities.
There's a lot of opposition to biometric ID's in UK because of the implications of who gets access to the personal data stored on them. Some say it would be hard to make these new ID'ds work as there are problems with technology.
My view is,... give the ID cards to all immigrants (and illegals when they are found)then they can be kept tabs on.
Any legal citizen can be found through Drivers license etc., the ID card for aliens would make it impossible for them to disappear.

minuses said...

Over 18,000 illegal immigrants in Malaysia whipped

A total 18,607 illegal immigrants in Malaysia were whipped under an amendment to the Immigration Act introduced in 2002, Deputy Home Affairs Minister Tan Chai Ho said Wednesday.

The number comprised 11,473 Indonesians, 2,786 Myanmars, 1,956 Filipinos, 708 Bangladeshis, 509 Indians and 1,175 other nationalities, Tan told reporters at the parliament lobby here.

friendlysaviour said...

minuses, .. ther you go then, the tolerance of our islamic friends knows no bounds. Hey oerhaps we shoiuld take up the same stategy in the West.
Do you think if we whipped the millions of illegals in Europe, then the moslim world will sing our praises?
I rather think we would bring the Court systems to a standstill with legal-aid funded humanrights cases.
What a crazy world?!

Cubed © said...


There are few among us who aren't terribly concerned about the flood of illegals into our country, and the fact that New World Order George wants to dissolve our borders and destroy our sovereignty.

Because our Leftist school system has systematically deprived us of any education about economics, far too many of us overlook some very important issues.

I'm re-posting here a comment that I made to The Beak over at Liberty and Culture, where a lively discussion on the free market (Economics 101) has been going on. After that, I would like to comment on a couple of the issues you bring up.

Cubed said...


I'm writing this before having finished my first cup of coffee, so I hope I'm understanding you correctly here.

You say, "The free market has failed in some instances."

Oh, my. OK, here's another recommendation; in addition to von Mises, Sowell, and Williams, there is a book by Brian P. Simpson called "Markets Don't Fail." For the sake of brevity, I quote from comments on the back cover: "Too many economics textbooks allege instances of market failure and call for government intervention while ignoring government failure. "Markets Don't Fail" demolishes allegations of market failure and demonstrates allocation of resources is the superior alternative." (Walter Williams)

And: "Markets Don't Fail" is akin to works such as Henry Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson" or Frederic Bastiat's "The Law," not only in terms of the free market ideas it espouses, but also given its clear writing style, reasonable length, and staunch defense of unregulated economic acitivity. This book is a significant contribuion in economics...This text is accessible to the beginning student." (John Lewis)

"This is a rare book on economics that grounds its support of a free market in an explicity code of morality...The intellectual support of capitalism requires more such books." (Andrew Bernstein)

There are others, but you catch my drift.

You also say, "The problem is Mexicans were not paid wages that would lift the economy."

Beak, please bear with me here: The problem is actually that we have a minimum wage in this country which artificially elevates the price of producing something above what the producer can expect the consumer to pay for it.

When the governnment establishes a minimum wage, it automatically cuts out all those people who are willing to work for less. It literally drives thousands upon thousands of people out of work. Some of those people include young people seeking employment for the first time, people who want to work part time, people who have no special skills, people who want to supplement their families' incomes with a second job, etc. etc.

These lower-paying jobs are not the jobs sought after as the primary income to support a whole family, which is how the lawgivers tend to phrase it - "It's not a living wage."

Low-paying jobs don't require much in the way of education or skills, so they give people lacking both an opportunity to get started, to acquire skills, to earn a reputation as a steady, reliable worker, and then to advance on to higher-paying work.

They keep saying, "The illegals take jobs that Americans won't."

Not true. There are plenty of Americans who would take those jobs, but they can't, because of minimum wage.

Many of the illegals work "off the record" for pay below minimum wage. Americans can't do this, because unlike illegals, they are already "in the system." If they did try to work the same jobs held by illegals, they would be caught and prosecuted - as would their employers - for breaking the law.

Minimum wage is government intervention into the market place, and is one of the two or three primary reasons for the flood of illegals into our country. They are filling an employment vacuum created by manipulating the marketplace.

Get rid of it, and thousands of Americans who want to work, but are not permitted to, could suddenly find employment. Many of these would come from the welfare rolls.

When the government tinkers with the economy, things are suddenly thrown out of balance. The usual response is for the government to come in and tinker some more until the whole thing is hopelessly screwed up.

We have never had a "free market," although we have come closer than just about anybody else. Unfortunately, our "mix" of free and controlled markets is, because of the "Tinkering Interventions" of government, damaging us economically more and more.

All too often, people think of a "free market" as one where there are no rules. In a free market, as in a free society of any kind, the rules are clear: No initiation of the use of force, no fraud, no deceit.

Usually, Mme. Reality makes us "take the cure" with a recession, a depression, or a total collapse.

With some effort, one of these days maybe our great grandchildren will "get it right."

Thanks - now on to a couple of other points:

There are definitely a lot of people who have enough discretionary income to hire help at minimum wage, but given a choice between work where the worker is willing to be paid X vs. the worker willing to be paid X-1, why SHOULD they pay X?

I have a problem with requiring ordinary business people to take on police functions. It isn't really fair to ask that they handle all the details of their own work, plus learn the details of doing detective/police work, which is a responsibility we delegated to the government. It's too much to ask, especially with the great but phoney documents that are made today, to require that an employer go to unusual lengths to authenticate the employees' legal status, especially when it is not only the government's job to do this in the first place, but when the government is literally inviting millions of illegals to infest our country. It just isn't fair to ask employers to be vigilantes. The more they have to do police work, the less time they have to focus on running the business.

It's not unlike government intervention into the economic issues of medicine; when a doctor could hire a receptionist and a nurse, the cost of patient care was reasonable. Now, though, with the Nanny State, you see front offices full of employees that were never needed before. The costs of these additional employees' mortgages and grocery bills is passed on to the patient.

THREE CHEERS for an end to "birthright" citizenship!

I think Bush and all the others with their New World Order and One World thing are putting us in very severe danger. The "draconian" measures shouldn't be leveled at us, they should be leveled at the people - the government - who are failing to carry out their responsibilities.

Thanks for letting me get it off my chest.

friendlysaviour said...

cubed,... you said,.."It's not unlike government intervention into the economic issues of medicine; when a doctor could hire a receptionist and a nurse, the cost of patient care was reasonable. Now, though, with the Nanny State, you see front offices full of employees that were never needed before."

You should see the state of the National Health Service in the UK.
Your words also apply to this behemoth of beaurocracy.
After years of spending Billions of £'s on the NHS, our hospitals are now having to lay off nurses and other staff.
We have spent years bringing in nurses from abroad to cope with nursing shortages. Now we are finding that the NHS cannot afford to keep the all the wards open, and the Hospital Management Trusts are having to engage in "spin" to keep to their target results.
Every level of the medical system has a Board of management that is replicated over and over again throughout the service.
When money runs low in the budgets, the managers keep their jobs and lay off actual workers resulting in a net reduction of service.
There are issues such as how much strain has been place on our NHS, through "medical tourism," ie. relatives from place like Pakistan and Nigeria, pretending to be British registered, getting their operations and medicine before returning home. No one dare mention these facts as it is "verboten" under the PC gestapo rules.
To do so, is to be labled racist and no doubt in the New World Order, "insane."
Also the fact that the moslim portion of the childbearing womenfolk place nearly double the requirements on maternity hospital- costs, due to their increased level of birthrate, and then from the medical requirements of their children, all this combines to make a disproportionate demand on services from a group of people with no intention of integration, and indeed a high level of animosity and disrespect, to the host Natonals.
I suspect that much of the bouyant economy of Britain is from the selling off of assets such as P&O, and now again parts of British Aerospace, to foreign competitors.
Also with real-estate. Virtually any person from anywhere can come to UK and buy up property. The clever ones can do this even with dirty money, although this has been made a little more difficult.
Much of this "sell-off" is repeated all over Europe.
Yes, it's great that a European citizen can buy a property anywhere in Europe, but should that include selling up whole parts of our Towns and Cities to overseas Nationals, many from countries not especially friendly.
All this money coming in keeps our Chancellor's coffers full. Where does the sell off stop, though?
What will be left of ourSovereignity in the future? Does it matter, some ask.
I see that the Ruler of Oman has bought up tracts of the coastline of
Southern France and is buying up many millionaires-villas for himself and his family.
I fear that one day, we will wake up to find that he has actually bought himself his Summer palaces in the new Eurabia to be, a province of "Caliphates R Us!"

John Sobieski said...

It's disgusting how Bush has dropped his veil and shown to us, the fools who voted for him, his true colors. Open borders, clueless about Islam, refuses to read any book critical of Islam, superbestfriends with Muslims from SA, Qatar, Dubai and Kuwait. I'm sure he is scheming right now to sneak jizya to his Pals. His immigration policy will destroy us and he doesn't give a damn.

George Mason said...

John, good Bush summary. We will be paying for Bushies' misdeeds well into our great-grand-children.

Brimelow's article indeed is good and is full of very important links, not the least to his book which might be just what I need to read to find out how this immigration tsunami disaster started.