Amidst the interminable bloviating about how Republicans in Congress should capitulate and support mass amnesty, ever increasing levels of legal permanent residents, and expanded guest workers programs, there are some commentators whose incoherent ramblings sets them apart from the more mundane offerings. Joshua Culling, writing on behalf of Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, argued that the Republican Party can “dilute” the Democrats’ edge with “the immigrant community and its descendants” by bringing in tens of millions of more immigrants and…that’s about it. It is tantamount to arguing that one must “abandon free market principles to save the free market system.” Mickey Kaus eviscerates Culling’s piece here: The Grover Plan: More Cowbell!
Jim Powell from the Cato Institute offers up actual specifics, which make his argument even more ridiculous. Among his proposals to “reach immigrants”: cut taxes for the “job creators;” do away with troublesome regulations, particularly on “energy production”; pass more NAFTA-type legislation; end all immigration quotas (i.e. implement a policy of open borders). Boldly disregarding the fact that there is no proof that any of these things would appeal to immigrants, let alone to U.S. voters, a distinction Powell seems unable to grasp (just the same old libertarian agenda that Cato has been peddling for years), he presses forward.
Powell makes the argument that we need to have mass immigration because it will promote racial and ethnic resentments (some of “the ‘biggest bigots’ are often minorities,” he declares). Why is racial and ethnic resentment a good thing, you might ask? Because if you resent the people who live around you, you will be less willing to pay taxes to provide social services and benefits to them, thereby reducing the size and cost of government!
Powell says a lot of silly things, and cites “research” that has been discredited by those who aren’t spokespersons for industries intent on driving down wages for American workers (see here and here). But he surpasses the inanity of all other recent sermonizing on the nirvana of mass immigration in his discussion of why we need so many unskilled, uneducated foreign workers. Americans have no interest in physically demanding jobs, he claims, so admitting millions of low-skilled immigrants every year is an economic necessity, but there are immeasurable cultural benefits as well. Below is a small sampling. Mr. Powell, take it away:
Archeological evidence suggests that chickens were first domesticated in Pakistan….
Italians gave us mainly words about good living — spaghetti, ravioli, pizza, arugula, artichoke, broccoli, chianti, minestrone, ciabatta, panini, coffee, latte and cappuccino, as well as vista, harmonica, piano and opera. Then there’s volcano, umbrella, bankrupt, mafia, fiasco and gonzo.