Monday, July 9, 2007

Openness to Low Quality and Large Quantity of Immigration can Slow or Catastrophically Reverse Growth of Productivity

That the advancement of civilization can be thrown into reverse via mass immigration, is admitted, in a roundabout way, in the below quote, where the effect of such restrictionism is noted to be one of "inducing labor-saving innovations": " The primary policy pursued by every rich country is to prevent unskilled labor from moving into their countries. And because unskilled labor is the primary asset of the poor world, it is hard to even imagine a policy more directly inimical to a poverty reduction agenda or to “pro-poor growth” than one limiting the demand for unskilled labor (and inducing labor-saving innovations)." quoted from Lant Pritchett via Econlog:

There is a grave difficulty for power-greedy elites in speaking rationally
on the subject of the desirability of mass immigration of undesirables.
If they were to do so, they would forfeit the chance to try to smear and 'diagnose'
all opponents of their openness-valuing position. Ref.:Parapundit 6-24


Scotty said...

This reminds me of a 2005 post at econlog with the economist Robert Fogel's quote:
"ultimately, what the government can pay [in future Social Security benefits] depends on how the economy performs. If we continue to grow as we have in the neighborhood of 2 percent per annum per capita over the past 50 years, we won't have any difficulty paying for it either..."

Arnold Kling then says: "How fast is the economy growing? According to Fogel, faster than Congress can give away money to the elderly. That's fast!"

Ignored by Arnold (and Fogel apparently) is what will happen in the future when congress is giving money away to not only the elderly and our old underclass, but our enormous, rapidly growing new hispanic underclass as well. Me and Randall Parker tried to tell everyone what is really going to happen, to no avail of course.

John said...

We're seeing effects in the popular uprising against amnesty, which has flabbergasted the political elites. No reasonably assumed rincrease in productivity can make up for mass immigration on to net public subsidy, since we have to use more labor to accomodate such a presence.

John said...

There has been progress with the libertarian elements becoming more willing to consider the effect of quality of population, even in terms of immigration. Quoting from your link:
"If those gaps persist, the number of Americans age 26 to 64 who don't even have a high school degree could soar by 7 million, to 31 million, by 2020. Meanwhile, although the actual number of adults with at least a college degree would grow, their share of the workforce could fall by a percentage point, to 25.5%.......]" This is quite ominous for future productivity growth, and it's all from low quality of immigration.