Immigration Controversies – Thomas Sowell

Sowell

Thomas Sowell

Despite controversies that rage over immigration, it is hard to see how anyone could be either for or against immigrants in general.

Both in the present and in the past, some immigrant groups have made great contributions to American society, and others have contributed mainly to the welfare rolls and the prisons. Nor is this situation unique to the United States. The same has been true of Sweden and of other countries in Europe and elsewhere.

Sweden was, for a long time, one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world. As of 1940, only about one percent of the Swedish population were immigrants. Even as the proportion of immigrants increased over the years, as late as 1970 90 percent of foreign-born persons in Sweden had been born in other Scandinavian countries or in Western Europe.

These immigrants were usually well-educated, and often had higher labor force participation rates and lower unemployment rates than the native Swedes. That all began to change as the growing number of immigrants came increasingly from the Middle East, with Iraqis becoming the largest immigrant group in Sweden.

This changing trend was accompanied by a sharply increased use of the government’s “social assistance” program, from 6 percent in the pre-1976 era to 41 percent in the 1996-1999 period. But, even in this later period, fewer than 7 percent of the immigrants from Scandinavia and Western Europe used “social assistance,” while 44 percent of the immigrants from the Middle East used that welfare state benefit.

Immigrants, who were by this time 16 percent of Sweden’s population, had become 51 percent of the long-term unemployed and 57 percent of the people receiving welfare payments. The proportion of foreigners in prison was 5 times their proportion in the population of the country.

Source: Immigration Controversies – Thomas Sowell

The Perverse Economics of Obamacare: Earn Less, Get More | International Liberty

danmitchel

Dan Mitchell

The left-leaning San Francisco Chronicle has a financial advice column that inadvertently show how Obamacare discourages people from earning income.

To put it in even simpler terms, this couple has figured out that they can get almost $14,000 of other people’s money by reducing how much they earn by just $2,000.

That, in a nutshell, is the perfect illustration of the welfare state. It tells people that they can get more by producing less. And the system is based on the theory that there will always be some suckers who work hard to provide the subsidies.

Obamacare was put together by people who don’t understand economics. This is probably the understatement of the year since I could be referring to many features of the bad law. The higher tax…

Source: The Perverse Economics of Obamacare: Earn Less, Get More | International Liberty

Millennials Embrace Socialism, But Do They Know What It Is? – Jonah Goldberg

Given a choice between a government-managed economy and a free-market economy, millennials overwhelmingly chose the latter. It seems young people realize that putting bureaucrats in charge of Uber wouldn’t work too well.  Still, it boggles the mind that anyone can see the folly of having the government take over Amazon or Facebook but be blind to the problems of having the government run health care.

Source: Millennials Embrace Socialism, But Do They Know What It Is? – Jonah Goldberg

Ce qui est vu et ce qu’on ne voit pas

I find it fascinating, if not reassuring, in the struggles for economic liberty that the same feeble arguments against free commerce and in defense of statism, even 166 years ago in post-revolutionary France, were peddled as progressive and as our salvation from the evils of commercialism on society .  It was a lie then, just as it is today.  

Robert Nelson

Bastiat.2That which is seen, and That Which is Not Seen; by Frederic Bastiat

On Intermediaries:

While the exaggerated development of public services, by the waste of strength which it involves, fastens upon society a fatal sycophancy, it is a singular thing that several modern sects, attributing this character to free and private services, are endeavouring to transform professions into functions.

These sects violently oppose what they call intermediates. They would gladly suppress the capitalist, the banker, the speculator, the projector, the merchant, and the trader, accusing them of interposing between production and consumption, to extort from both, without giving either anything in return. Or rather, they would transfer to the State the work which they accomplish, for this work cannot be suppressed.

The sophism of the Socialists on this point is showing to the public what it pays to the intermediates in exchange for their services, and concealing from it what is necessary to be paid to the State. Here is the usual conflict between what is before our eyes, and what is perceptible to the mind only, between what is seen, and what is not seen.

It was at the time of the scarcity, in 1847, that the Socialist schools attempted and succeeded in popularizing their fatal theory. They knew very well that the most absurd notions have always a chance with people who are suffering; malesuada fames.

Therefore, by the help of the fine words, “trafficking in men by men, speculation on hunger, monopoly,” they began to blacken commerce, and to cast a veil over its benefits.

“What can be the use,” they say, “of leaving to the merchants the care of importing food from the United States and the Crimea? Why do not the State, the departments, and the towns, organize a service for provisions, and a magazine for stores? They would sell at a return price, and the people, poor things, would be exempted from the tribute which they pay to free, that is, to egotistical, individual, and anarchical commerce.”

The tribute paid by the people to commerce, is that which is seen. The tribute which the people would pay to the State, or to its agents, in the Socialist system, is what is not seen.

In what does this pretended tribute, which the people pay to commerce, consist? In this: that two men render each other a mutual service, in all freedom, and under the pressure of competition and reduced prices.

Obama Speechwriters Laugh About ‘You Can Keep It’ Obamacare Lie – Matt Vespa

So, basically, these clowns are laughing at selling a lie to the American people that the president’s health care plan is going to be affordable. It’s not. More Americans are opting to remain uninsured because it’s more economical for them—that’s failure. UnitedHealth, one of the largest health care providers in the country, pulled out of the Obamacare exchanges in two states after incurring horrific losses, and might pull out from the individual market altogether by 2017. The last remaining Obamacare exchanges are on the brink of collapse, and the billions have been wasted as a result. In a recent CBO projection, Obamacare’s enrollment numbers for 2016 are off by 24 million. Since the law went into effect, 9 million people (5 million employer-based, 4 million on individual plans) have lost their health insurance plans. I’m sure they find this hilarious, bros.

Last time I checked, laughing at millions of people who got their insurance gutted because you put to paper a bold-faced lie is sort of messed up.

Source: Obama Speechwriters Laugh About ‘You Can Keep It’ Obamacare Lie – Matt Vespa