Since I’m kind of (understandably!) fast tracked and trade policy’d out, I thought I’d shift this afternoon to another way the U.S. bipartisan political establishment is shafting Main Street America: Open Borders- and amnesty-friendly immigration policies.
These policies’ leading edges – consisting of President Obama’s recent executive immigration orders – are of course presently stuck in the courts, similarly to how the offshoring-friendly trade strategies also backed by the White House and Congress’ Republican leaders are now stuck on Capitol Hill. But “stuck” is hardly the same as “dead,” and therefore ongoing vigilance is needed – especially since most of the president’s liberal Democratic critics on trade policy are wholeheartedly with him on immigration.
A stout pillar of the liberal case for boosting immigration levels and amnesty-ing the illegal population already in the country (or otherwise creating a “path to citizenship”) is the idea that the youth and energy of newcomers is crucial to American hopes to solving any number of major economic problems – from slow growth to the entitlements crisis. This post from last September presents a sample of these claims.
As I pointed out, liberals’ optimism regarding immigrants’ prospects for attaining the American Dream clashes violently with their decided pessimism that it’s within reach of anyone not to the manor born. And now The Wall Street Journal has reinforced the case for bearishness. Earlier this week, correspondent Nick Timiraos reported on this conclusion of a recent study on the likely future of American home ownership:
“Last decade’s housing crisis could give way to a new one in which many families lack the incomes or savings needed to buy homes, creating a surge of renters and a shortage of affordable housing….Demographics tell the story. Urban Institute researchers predict that more than 3 in 4 new households this decade, and 7 of 8 in the next, will be formed by minorities. These new households—nearly half of which will be Hispanic—have lower incomes, less wealth and lower homeownership rates than the U.S. average.”
Note in particular the timeframe: through “the next decade.” Also of interest is the attempt by some Goldman Sachs economists to find a silver lining in the numbers: “They noted in an April report that even though Hispanics, for example, have lower homeownership rates than non-Hispanic whites, those rates have been rising for the past four decades.”
This point is of interest because the reckless extension of mortgages to low-income Hispanics during the bubble decade was a major source of that period’s housing insanity. In other words, their rising home ownership rates were part of the problem with which the nation is still struggling.
The lesson remains the same. If you want to increase greatly the ranks of low-income Americans, and/or if you want new justifications (and new voters?) for more and bigger government welfare programs, you’ll keep favoring Open Borders-style immigration policies. If you want national prosperity to be built on a sustainable foundation, you’ll favor sensible restrictions.