New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, now teamed up with Rupert Murdoch, is once again touting “research” from the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE), a mouthpiece for some the world’s largest transnational corporations. Bloomberg is renewing his call for mass amnesty and open borders as the surefire way to rejuvenate the U.S. economy. The argument runs thusly: immigration spurs entrepreneurialism, innovation, job creation, economic growth, etc., etc., so the more immigration we have the better off everyone will be. The proof? Mass Immigration = Growth (higher GDP) = Good. But, of course, if one actually takes the time to read the report the glaring holes in the author’s “methodology” become glaringly apparent.
First of all, being self-employed could technically qualify one as an “entrepreneur” but there is a big difference between Mark Zuckerberg and the guy who cuts his grass, even if both are their own bosses. And while it may be true that immigrants started a lot of business in 2011, the questions unanswered are: How many of these businesses remain viable in 2012? How many Americans are employed in these businesses? Do these jobs offer good wages and benefits? The report doesn’t say, it only trumpets the fact that immigrant-owned businesses increase the GDP, which no one accepts as a dependable measure of economic prosperity.
The report also employs some rather dubious methodology in order come up with its classification of what constitutes an immigrant entrepreneur. One of the reasons for this is that the data on whether a business is immigrant owned, and the size and profitability of that business, is not easy to extract. But this doesn’t stop the author from making assertive claims that are not supported by verifiable facts. Even more deceptive is that the author cherry picks statistics from two different databases that he then manipulates and uses totally out of context. Data collected before the U.S. economy collapsed cannot be extrapolated to make reliable estimates about the current make-up of U.S. small businesses, yet that is exactly what the author does.
The PNAE is correct that immigrants are growing the size of the U.S. economy, but that is far from meaning that a growing U.S. economy means a strong or equitable one. If PNAE claims about mass immigration were true, California, which according to its report, has the largest percentage of “new immigrant business owners at 36.6 should be in tip-top economic state. Instead, the unemployment rate in California is 10.8 percent, the state has a $16 billion budget deficit, and many of its municipalities on the verge of bankruptcy. That’s quite a steep price to pay to provide Mayor Bloomberg and his CEO cronies with cheap labor.