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“American-wannabes”

05/11/2022

Republicans tend to look at the flow of illegal immigrants on our Southern border and see scruffy dope-pushers with no respect for American laws nor American values.  Democrats tend to look at the flow of undocumented workers on our Southern border and see wretched refugees fleeing persecution from gangs and corrupt politicians.  Economists, however, see one of the “Four Factors of Production” being squandered and wasted.

Every student of freshman economics learns the “Four Factors of Production” are (1) land, (2) labor, (3) capital, and (4) entrepreneurship, in that order.  America is blessed with vast land resources, capital resources, and great entrepreneurs, but we have become short on labor resources.  Unemployment is a mere 3.6%, with over 11 million job openings.

Of course, it is naive to suggest every immigrant will immediately get a job as a rocket scientist.  However, we are spending billions of dollars every year to perpetuate a failed system.  It’s time to reallocate those dollars.  But, first we must admit, like alcoholics,that we are failing and need to make some changes . . . but what changes?  It will have to be a mixture of many small changes.

One change would be to make the American-wannabes self-select.  Those who cannot already speak English would be subject to Title 42-lookalike rule, that they must wait in Mexico for a hearing, probably years later.  Knowing they have no chance of success, they are less likely to start walking toward the Rio Grande.  Those who can speak English would get an immediate hearing and must show evidence of specialized training or willingness to sign up for it and be held accountable for it.  Expensive?  You bet, but so is our current failing system.

My Democratic friends will suggest that all people should be treated the same, and I agree that all equally-capable people should be treated alike.  Are all applicants to your company treated the same?  Does your company hire every person who shows up?  I don’t think so!  We have an obligation to efficiently allocate assets, and entry to the U.S. is an asset to be allocated.

Whether the Trump Wall would work is irrelevant now.  It is too tainted with politics to even discuss.  If you choose to waste time on it, please discuss it among yourselves.

Years ago, I wrote in jest that the long-term solution to this flood of people is to carpet-bomb central America with condoms.  Now, I think there might be some merit to that improving their birth control and to even subsidize it?  You know the old wisecrack — “the rich get richer, and the poor get babies.”  It’s true!

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