Your Lying Eyes

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11 August 2006

Piss-Poor Study Finds No Effect of Immigration on Employment

But it does suggest that a "study," no matter how infantile its design, can gain national exposure in the New York Times if it sounds the right theme. "Immigration and Jobs Link Is Disputed" is the Times' headline. The actual study from the Pew Hispanic Center is here.

The study does little more than construct tables by state of foreign born residents and native-born employment metrics: employment rate, unemployment rate, and labor force participation rate. It finds that in some states native employment goes up, while in others it goes down, and so concludes that there is no national impact. The paper is something you might expect from a precocious high-schooler who doesn't have the necessary background in statistics to design a more robust study.

I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb by suggesting that any paper using so coarse a framework to identify negative effects of immigration is unlikely to have received such credulous coverage in the Times. Astonishingly, the Times was only able to find one expert to provide comment, which was positive with only a mild cautionary note.

The study's author does address one obvious objection: that increases in immigrants may cause native workers to leave an area. He points out that the literature is divided on this issue, and thus needn't concern us! The other obvious objection to his methodology - that immigrants go where the jobs are, and thus still might suppress native employment even where the employment numbers are up (or dissuade others from moving from depressed states to high-growth states) is not addressed at all (or so little that I couldn't find it).

Trying to pin down the actual effects of immigration is a very difficult endeavor. There are many confounding variables and the data is not consistently available in the detail required. And one really must get down to discussing the quality of different immigrants, since not all immigrants contribute equally to society. That means recognizing that some immigrant groups have higher crime rates, lower earnings potential, higher rates of anti-social behavior, higher propensity for ghettoization, etc.

No one (let's hope no one) would doubt that South Asian immigrants are less likely to commit crime, are more likely to get higher paying jobs, graduate high school or college, and less likely to have a child out of wedlock than Mexican immigrants. Yet immigration advocates brazenly go on TV accusing restrictionists of not being concerned about immigration so much who the immigrants are. Uh, yeah, that is important. But we're not allowed to talk about that. But everyone knows that there's a difference - we're supposed to just pretend it's not there.

And so I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for the definitive study on immigration effects to decide the issue for good. Your just going to have to rely on the best analytical tool available - your own lying eyes.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pew Hispanic Research Center, excuse me.....the NONPARTISAN Pew Hispanic Research Center, did this study (if its the one described in the business section of today's TENNESSEAN newpaper. This is hardly non-partisan.


I have to be honest on what I see out there as far as hispanics effecting the job market. Other than construction, maids, diswhashers, and landscaping, where they REALLY have depressed earnings, Wages drop a couple of dollars an hour in most other straight jobs. Local warehouses still pay decent (10 bucks or so an hour vs. the 12 or so one would think they WOULD be paying by now if you did this stuff in your youth). The big difference is benefits. Many employers are offering NADA here now. The old thirty-nine hour trick is probably still in effect, but maybe it's not. Lots of lower end-retail doesnt offer benefits now either. So if you DO get hurt, youre kinda screwed.


BTW, I read a great article in the TimesOnline (British) last night detailing Japan's falling birthrate. It actually stated the real reason too, which astonished me. Young people feel so economically threatened and uncertain about the future, they wind up not starting families. Like people working here for somewhat suppressed wages and no benefits are doing.


Question for Ziel............Do you notice the new Feudalism thats occuring here in America now. A history professor I had back in college in 91' griped about Gated Communities and how we were "moving back to a feudal era". I thought he was full of shit. He warned about an impending recession of Mario Cuomo didn't get the Democratic nod a year out from the election (Clinton came out of nowhere I guess) and how America's economy was really getting ready to fall without Cuomo's leadership. And the Dems wonder why whites cant bring themselves to hit that "D" in the booth when they have idiots like this as stalwarts.
BUT,
He was right about the feudalism thats occuring NOW. I see gated communities springing up everywhere in the upper end of the Nashville real estate market, even if they are JUST CONDOS. Lots of places have a security guard and a real iron fence around the property. Most of this is near the city proper. Its as if the wealthy are afraid of what is coming to surround them, so if they dont want to move out to the sticks, they live in the city on the condition that its in a fortress.
It reminds you of medieval Europe where the wealth is in the castle behind a drawbridge and moat and the local serfs live in squalor in the piss-ant village down in the valley. Hip spots where the wealthy youth hang out (the Gulch, Hillsboro Village, Elliston Place and West End here in Nashville which are all like mini-Buckheads of Atlanta or mini-South Beachs of Miami) have BEAUCOUP cops there bringing a super high presence to areas that have about zero crime. They are uniformed security guards so the scum that lives within walking distance knows the man is around all the time and to toe the line. Kind of like a knights escort for a nobleman who wants to slum in the medieval village perhaps to pick out a donny lass to sport, but doesn't have the cojones to go down there alone. It shouldn't amaze me that the local business owners have the juice with the council to pressure the police to have parked cruisers with the evening lights on waste nights making theselves obvious in these areas. You feel sorry for the cops who must be bored out of their gourds just sitting there. They dont realize it, but they are the Knights in Armor defending the debauching Vandy/Belmont/Yuppies a'partying night after night. All while they could be fighting some real crime less than a mile as the crow flies away.

I wonder if the immigration gets as bad as I really think it might, if gated developments will be de rigeur for even just middle class people. Motion sensors on the walls, one armed security guard on shift with an alarm and direct line to the cops, cards to let your car in the gate with security codes, with the requisite pool, gym, and tennis court all paid for by your homeowners association fees.

Those would be weird neighborhoods in that if you were a kid in them, you wouldn't be gatherin' the guys to go play flag football or baseball with a tennis ball against the guys in the next subdivision anymore like all of us did. There wont be one, it will be a mile away behind another wall. Isolation. mh

August 11, 2006 9:14 PM  
Anonymous nameless said...

anonymous said:
"The Pew Hispanic Research Center, excuse me.....the NONPARTISAN Pew Hispanic Research Center, did this study (if its the one described in the business section of today's TENNESSEAN newpaper. This is hardly non-partisan."

Yes, the Pew Hispanic Research Center is a bit dubious as an objective source. Aren't they the ones who came up with that laughable 10 million figure for the total number of illegals in the U.S.? There's got to be that many in California alone.

ziel said:
"The study's author does address one obvious objection: that increases in immigrants may cause native workers to leave an area. He points out that the literature is divided on this issue, and thus needn't concern us! The other obvious objection to his methodology - that immigrants go where the jobs are, and thus still might suppress native employment even where the employment numbers are up (or dissuade others from moving from depressed states to high-growth states) is not addressed at all (or so little that I couldn't find it)."

You've probably heard alot about Hazelton, PA lately, and the fact that it is being overrun with illegal aliens. I'm familiar with that area (its near Scranton-Wilkes Barre), and it is by no means an economically vibrant region. I don't think they ever recovered from the decline of the Anthracite coal industry decades ago. If illegals are flocking to that area, it sure isn't because there is a bonanza of jobs available around there going unfilled by native workers.

There is also no doubt that natives are fleeing states being invaded by illegal aliens. I have encountered lots of Texans who've left that state in recent years, complaining that it is rapidly becoming Mexicanized. If they're leaving Texas to live in the likes of PA, you know it must be bad down there.

Colorado is another state that is being rapidly transformed into a northern Mexican state, by all accounts (why do you think Tom Tancredo is so hopping mad on this issue?).

Here is a handy map of U.S. states by job growth, from 2001-2006:

http://images.inc.com/bestcities/2006/job_growth_map.pdf

As this map shows, Colorado has had a whopping .1% net job growth during this period. With the flood of Mexicans pouring into that state, you know their workforce has grown by many times that figure. Colorado is also a state that has long been a popular destination for young people from other parts of the country, wishing to relocate to a more dynamic place to live and work. Not just young college graduates, but guys right out of high school, who are in direct competition with the Mexicans for entry-level jobs. Well, it looks like they should scratch one more state off their list of potential places to relocate to.
TM in York, PA

August 11, 2006 11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nameless,

It really is cruel isn't it? Its almost as if our government hates the whites and blacks who primarily populated this nation until about 1990. This attempt to provide an unnending cornucupia of cheap labor is going to make so many so poor, that they will all revert, regardless of race, to be social democrats. All arguing for free job training and schooling and free housing (since they will be making so few bucks an hour as to make home ownership the old fashioned way all but impossible), free medical care, cheap transportation. The list goes on.

Bush is really giving the democrats the demographic changes they could not have even DREAMED of. I'll never understand it.

I think the hard-core corporatists honestly believe that they can always protect themselves from socialism and socialistic impulses from the poor by donating money to politicians, but when an electoral hegemony is created of non-whites, and a REAL leftist gets elected, what are they going to do?

It seems like people are simply ignorant of economic history and dont remember or have not read about the 80-percent-plus tax brackets we had in American after WW2 for a little while. The corporate class cannot fathom that one FDR-like liberal's presidency and a friendly congress can wipe all the shelters, living trusts, deductions, etc in just a few years. Its a fluke that Da' Terminator got elected in California. I keep wondering as the Southwest states governorships, senates, and houses all go hispanic whether or not legislators in Washington will look up and say "hey thats coming our way".

If I were a betting man, given the electoral changes in this nation, I'd bet on our economy looking like its going to be structured much more like a Canada's in coming years.

August 11, 2006 11:48 PM  
Anonymous nameless said...

"No one (let's hope no one) would doubt that South Asian immigrants are less likely to commit crime, are more likely to get higher paying jobs, graduate high school or college, and less likely to have a child out of wedlock than Mexican immigrants. Yet immigration advocates brazenly go on TV accusing restrictionists of not being concerned about immigration so much who the immigrants are. Uh, yeah, that is important. But we're not allowed to talk about that. But everyone knows that there's a difference - we're supposed to just pretend it's not there."

Yes, and they at least have the decency not to expect Americans to learn Hindi or Punjabi in order to accomodate them. Nowhere near enough attention has been paid to the fact that more and more jobs in the U.S. are requiring bi-lingual/ spanish fluency. (And since hispanics are more likely to be fluent in spanish, whether or not they can speak/ write in English worth a damn, this amounts to a defacto affirmative action program for spanish speakers. It isn't enough that we are expected to tolerate these hordes of interlopers, but we're even supposed to speak their miserable language.

August 11, 2006 11:51 PM  
Anonymous nameless said...

"It really is cruel isn't it? Its almost as if our government hates the whites and blacks who primarily populated this nation until about 1990."

I think our leaders have taken a page from the Khmer Rouge's book, and which to commit genocide against their own people.

August 11, 2006 11:56 PM  
Anonymous jimbo 1 said...

Ziel, nothing to do with this post, but I thought you might find this one interesting. I did.

http://select.nytimes.com/2006/08/12/opinion/12frank.html?hp

I´ve been trying for years to put my finger on what it is about you righties (of which I actually don´t count you as typical) and this great menace of liberalism. Helps explain why people like my mom still can´t get beyond FDR.

August 12, 2006 5:47 AM  
Anonymous Gina said...

1) Like you said, the immigrants are going to go where the jobs are, 2) if there are a bunch of cheap employees available, people will buy slaves, er, maids and lawnmowers when before they just would have done their own work, thus "creating" jobs, but only for cheap immigrants. Like in 2nd and 3rd world countries, where people are cheap. They may be employed as slaves, but they sure aren't making much.

Re: gated communities. I would be most interested in where that history professor of yours lived, anonymous. Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, railed against "gated community exclusion" after Katrina, yet she lives in a highly exclusive, upper-middle class, very white neighborhood. (Just because there aren't gates doesn't mean it isn't exclusive). The people of the upper class who make such displays generally make d*mn sure they themselves and THEIR children are safe from any inclusion they advocate for others (she wasn't offering to take in any refugees into her home). It certainly is going to suck if everyone has to live behind walls, but we'll probably all be there, including your history professor and the Anne-Marie Slaughters of the world. Sad.

August 13, 2006 7:32 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

In Borjas's book he isn't crazy enough to try to suggest that immigration over the past decades are associated with negative effects on the employment of native-born workers. He knows there is no evidence to suggest that. His main focus was on that the immigration has cause the wages of unskilled workers to reduce slightly.

Although this study was not scientific and the results are inconclusive, Borjas isn't one of the voices disputing it.

August 13, 2006 7:38 PM  
Blogger C. Van Carter said...

"increases in immigrants may cause native workers to leave an area"

Note too that increases in immigration causee workers not to leave an area. Think of an unemployed construction worker somewhere in the rust belt who chooses not leave for the construction boom in Las Vegas because he knew wages will be low and his living conditions poor because of the influx of illegals. By the logic of this dishonest study (I see no reason to assume the logic of the study is asinine accidentally), such a person was not affected because the unemployment rate in his state didn't change and the unemployment rate in Nevada decreased.

If mass immigration is a good thing, why do those for it:

1)Choose not to live near immigrants?

2) Choose not to send their children to school with immigrants?

3) Lie about it?

August 13, 2006 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cut and paste a portion of a comment from the great Udolpho's blog for this (so I hope he, a real genius, doens't kill me for it), but it is so middle-of-the-sweetspot-of-your-baseballbat-RIGHT, its impossible not to wanna spread:

Udolpho wrote: "It is intended, of course, to end discussion of a matter considered sensitive by the Party, but who and what is the Party anymore? The rise of modern Republicanism began merely as opposition to a leftward-drifting Democratic Party, which is why it eventually assimilated large elements of disaffected Democrats. Conservatives felt they had seized control, but in fact the old-style Republican politicians never relinquished it, witness the political initiatives that have actually succeeded – mass immigration for business, a federal bureaucracy from which the politicians can dispense favors and in which they can install cronies, and whatever legislation is favored by corporate interests at the moment. The conservative idyll of a reduced government and an agrarian-rooted politics are as far from coming to pass as they have been since the 19th century. You are more likely to see spats come back in style.



The trouble that the contrarian faces is that he is countering not ideas but devotion to Party – the Party hates ideas and tries to get by with as few of them as is manageable. What it has instead – a mutable ideology of zeitgeist, calculated to acquire the exact necessary number of votes – is too frustratingly amorphous to engage, and when you try to penetrate it with thought it simply swirls and reforms elsewhere."



Gawd, that sums up the GOP right now. We lost it when Reagan got on that helicopter and left the White House. So help me, at that moment, as an 18 year old, in my bones I had a sensation of fear for no apparent reason while watching Reagan get on that chopper. I was worried then about that strangely effiminate man, Bush the Elder, was not near the leader than the one leaving...............................its been all downhill from there in my opinion for the US or A.

August 14, 2006 4:35 PM  
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April 24, 2007 8:27 PM  

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