Thursday, April 22, 2021

Follow-up on "Five Actions" post

"You didn't address the problem of illegal immigration, which has a negative effect on government-managed humanitarian aid programs and all labor, union and non-union."  From Aggie's comment in Five Actions post

It is not uncommon for various appendages of the vast, Federal government to be working at cross-purposes with each other.

A prime example is that "safe" vehicles have features that reduce their fuel economy and features that increase fuel economy increase pollution.

The laws surrounding immigration from Latin America are irrational because our politicians want to have their cake and eat it too.

My personal  belief is that we need, and will continue to need, robust immigration from Latin America. Otherwise, we will depend on robots to change our poopy Depends when we are ninety.

In a rational world, illegals would be drop-kicked out of the US and the laws would be dynamically relaxed until the numbers coming in matched the anticipated needs of the economy.

Unfortunately, we have laws on the books but the vast bureaucracy refuses to use them.

Case in point. I know a woman who was sexually assaulted by an illegal immigrant. The young woman agreed to testify. The attorney for the illegal immigrant kept cancelling the court date when the young woman showed up. Finally, he copped a plea for a sexual assault charge that was a misdemeanor.

The kicker is that this was the fourth time he had been nailed for sexual assault. Given the difficulty in pinning him down, how many other women did he assault? The judge did not turn him over to Federal authorities for deportation. And how many more will he assault?

So, in Joe's perfect world we would enforce the laws on the books the way they were written but we would also write the laws so they capture what we truly intend and are laws that are economically advantageous to those of us who are already here.


It is interesting that Aggie brought up Labor as an issue.

Some academics contend that compulsory education was implemented to artificially reduce the labor force and keep wages high. You could even say the entire "go to college" thing is about keeping workers off the market and reducing wages.

But on the other hand, we still want a screaming-deal on getting our lawns mowed, our foundations poured, houses re-roofed, broadband internet installed and a thousand other menial tasks.

One way to meet these conflicting criteria is to have a visible labor force (which gets paid well and votes) and an invisible labor force. 


In theory I do not like Unions but in practice they have treated me well.

Even though I was "management" most of my bosses used the same due-process standards we were contractually obliged to offer union represented employees.

In an economy with some employees represented by unions and others not represented, the employees represented by unions tend to congregate in industries with pricing power and accumulate a larger share of the net product than non-union employees. Since unions, as such, do not increase productivity, it means that the non-union employees subsidize the union employees compared to a union-free environment.

From a more micro viewpoint, the increased wages of union employees increases the break-even economics for automation and other productivity strategies. Operations that were marginally viable to automate at $12/hr become a slam-dunk at $18/hr. So, unions indirectly increase productivity because more is invested in automation resulting in fewer employees producing the same or more volume.

I once had a union-represented employee who was very pro-union. His family owned a bar in the small town he hailed from.

I asked him "So, when you retire and take over the business, are you going to help your employees get unionized?"

His response was "You have to be fucking nuts!"

He would not be able to compete with the other bar in town. Or, "Union for me but not for thee."

That reinforces the contention that organized labor is a zero-sum game for the over-all economy. It does not create wealth but tilts the table, favoring one group at the expense of others.


I am not sure this addresses Aggie's question but I gave it a shot.


  1. The union comment is 'typical' of those that move OUT of the union into something else.

  2. The problems of the government will be forgotten when the balloon goes up.

  3. Allowing immigration is a big part of the reason you have few children and will have fewer grandchildren. Can't raise American children in America on third world wages, so Americans can't afford children. We will stop needing immigration shortly after we stop allowing immigration.

    1. I was just about to write something similar. A healthy society produces its own children. It is when people have no hope for the future that they do not. Underlying the frantic, sex and consumer-goods obsession of today's younger Americans is a foundation of despair. The illegal immigrants don't have that despair. They know that this is paradise compared to where they came from.

    2. I think this also goes back in support of what I said originally: Most of our society's ills could be cured by government-supported programs that encourage the establishment and growth of traditional families. It is terribly expensive to rear a multi-child family nowadays, and it shouldn't be.


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