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OpenMarket: May 2008

  • Carney on the Growing Sugar Boondoggle

    May 16, 2008
    Tim Carney continues exposing the politically motivated pork that politicians dole out to buy support and campaign contributions. This week, in his DC Examiner column, he takes on the farm bill's expansion of the sugar program.
    The farm bill headed to the White House this week guarantees that 85 percent of all sugar sold in the U.S. will be grown domestically. That means the federal government will fiercely restrict imports from other nations,...
  • They Took Our Jobs!

    May 16, 2008
    This Wall Street Journal article about Ben Bernanke's “Bubble Laboratory” is a fascinating look at economic bubbles and the changing nature of the Federal Reserve Board. But what caught my eye was that the three economists selected by Bernanke to research and advise on this topic are all immigrants. Wall Street Journal, Friday, May 16, 2008. A10 Does anyone think that Americans are made poorer because these immigrants are “took our jobs?”
  • Who's Best at Lobbying 2.0?

    May 16, 2008
    I'm looking for examples of effective tech lobbyists. We've seen a lot of people moving from the Valley to the Hill lately. Microsoft has gone from "Jack and His Jeep " to a giant lobbying shop. Google learned from Microsoft's mistakes and now has a couple floors down on New York Ave. These guys are making an impact in Washington, but what are the best Baptist and Bootleggers scenarios? Bruce Yandle was the first to put this name to the common two-man play in Washington. It involves a moral authority and an underwriter with deep pockets to fund a lobbying effort. He used Baptists and...
  • Immigrant Assimilation

    May 16, 2008

    The Manhattan Institute study about immigrant assimilation attempts to measure civic values of immigrants. Participation in the naturalization process and military service are used to gauge this metric. But the study admits that this is problematic:

    “Changes in civic assimilation could, in theory, reflect either changes in immigrant civic attitudes or changes — perhaps even anticipated changes — in policy” (4).

    Many in the anti-immigration crowd complain about a lack of immigrant assimilation. Although immigrant assimilation into American society has never been quicker or more widespread, our terrible immigration laws encourage many to forgo civic assimilation. ...

  • Laying the blame for climbing gas prices

    May 16, 2008

    Gas prices have climbed to record highs for many reasons, including expensive oil, cheap dollars, and strained refineries. But some have offered an especially novel explanation for consumers' pain at the pump: credit card interchange fees....

  • Globalization and Immigration

    May 15, 2008

    Here's a common question I hear when debating immigration and globalization:

    “If the world is becoming so much wealthier due to globalization, then why are so many people from nations with rapid economic growth immigrating to the U.S.? Shouldn't they stay in their native countries if they are truly developing?”

    The answer, I think, is that a rural Chinese peasant with an income of $100 per annum cannot possible afford to move to the United States. But if that peasant's income rises to $5000 per annum due to accelerating economic growth, he can suddenly afford to move to a place where he can increase his income even further.

    How many immigrants do you know from desperately poor places like Sub-Saharan Africa or other places untouched by globalization?...

  • Immigration Is Good for the Economy 2: Inventions

    May 14, 2008

    The falsely praised THE FISCAL COST OF IMMIGRATION by Edwin Rubenstein doesn't even mention “patents” or “entrepreneurship” anywhere in his study. This oversight (I don't want to accuse Edwin Rubenstein of intentionally misleading his readers) casts real doubt on the sincerity of this report.

    Focusing on skilled immigration, Professor Jennifer Hunt in this study states:

    “Twenty-six percent of U.S.-based Nobel Prize recipients from 1990-2000 were immigrants (Peri 2007), as were twenty-five percent of founders of public venture-backed U.S. companies in 1990-2005 (Anderson and Platzer n.d.), compared to a foreign-born population of 12% in 2000” (Hunt, 1...

  • Immigration Is Good for the Economy 1

    May 14, 2008

    These comments made yesterday have prompted me to write a series of blog posts. I only hope that zeezil or other commentators decide to respond to my specific points instead of pasting cookie cutter commentary.

    THE FISCAL COST OF IMMIGRATION by Edwin Rubenstein is a fatally flawed study which uses poor methodology. Rubenstein claims that tax revenue was lower than expected because of immigrant competition driving down wages. That claim assumes two things: 1. Wages have decreased and 2. Immigrants decreased them. Neither of those assertions is true. As Professors Russ Roberts and Don...

  • House considers Farm Bill on the floor

    May 14, 2008

    On the floor this morning, U.S. House of Representatives is considering the House-Senate conference report on the new Farm Bill, which the White House has threatened to veto because of its bloated $300 billion cost and lack of reform. However, the bill's proponents say they will have the two-thirds majority needed to override a Presidential veto.

    Currently, on C-Span, Rep. Jeff Flake is objecting to the rules which don't allow time for opponents of the report to debate the bill.

  • Immigration Assimilation

    May 13, 2008
    The Manhattan Institute released a fantastic study called Measuring Immigrant Assimilation in the United States. As the title suggests, it sets forth a clear statistical methodology for measuring the economic and civic assimilation of different immigrant groups. One interesting passage is:

    “The slow rates of economic and civic assimilation of Mexicans apart from other immigrants, and may reflect the fact that the large numbers of Mexican immigrants residing in the United States illegally have few opportunities to advance themselves along these dimensions.”

    Could it be that the Federal government's policy toward immigration has the unintended negative consequence of slowing assimilation? If entire groups of people are legally restrained from using...


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