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Will the U.S. Continue to be a Nation of Immigrants?

Immigration in U.S. Obama

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#21
caltrek

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Ronald Reagan, a Republican, granted amnesty to illegal aliens while he was President. And Republicans lick that man's balls. Figuratively, because he's dead.

Problem is that at least one conservative that I have argued with thinks that Reagan made a serious mistake in granting that amnesty.

 

Oh well.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#22
caltrek

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Concerning this notion of robots replacing the need for "unskilled" farm workers.  I think we may be farther away from that point than many think. There has already been considerable investment in mechanizing farms, particularly here in California. Productivity per farm worker is now an order of magnitude higher than in some other parts of the country, yet the need for such "unskilled" workers is greater here than elsewhere. Part of the reason is that many forms of farm work require more skill than is realized. Skills that are still presently way below what robots are able to accomplish. Even if technically feasible, there is the basic question of economics. Farm Laborers are forced to take care of their own upkeep.  Presumably, the upkeep on robots will be entirely the farm owners responsibility, even if this is sub-contracted out (including leasing of such equipment). 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#23
Futurist

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This appears to be relevant here:

http://www.census.go...marytables.html

 

These extremely new U.S. Census Bureau population projections project (on Table 2) that the foreign-born percentage of the total U.S. population will increase from 13% right now to 19% in 2060.



#24
tw88

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I don't think the we should let it any more immigrants. The argument that there aren't enough STEM workers to fulfill positions is bs. There are more STEM graduates then ever. Tech companies just like to hire people on H1B visas because they can pay them 30% less on average. In order for someone in the US on an H1B visa to get a different job, they have to go through the whole process of getting a new H1B visa with their new employer. This difficultly of switching jobs on an H1B visa enabled companies to pay such immigrants less than they would pay an equally qualified american who can freely go from one job to the next in search of higher pay.  The push from big tech companies to expand H1B visas is only so they can drive down wages in what is basically the only sector of the US economy producing solid middle class paying jobs. 

 

I think the US has enough people, and if we don't put political barriers in place to halt  immigration then we will drive down wages to the point  that we will no longer be a high income country. Additionally, if there are not significant political barriers to immigration now, then we will get swamped with unmanageable levels of refugees as climate change goes into full effect.  The US is also in a unique position in that its birth rate (the highest of any developed country) is only slightly below the replacement rate. If we halt immigration now, and continue with birth rates in the range of 1.8-2.0, then we can over time slowly reduce the population to a more manageable environmentally friendly level with out the the economic impacts of population levels dropping too fast as seen in countries like Japan. 



#25
Lunix688

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For reference

 

graph_us_pop_projections_to_2100_5_scena

 

Even with zero immigration, U.S population will still rise and will only begin declining later this century ( but it will still remain higher than today ). 


"Liberterianism is a mental disease. A national health crisis and a threat to the future of this country...Worse than the threat from terrorism, asteroids, disease and yes global warming.
It is mindless anti-government idiocy. If it isn't turned back I predict the end of this country as a world power. Simply put the need to educate our entire population like any sane country is sen as wrong by the cult that practice this foolish idiocy. So is simple workers rights, child labor and every other sane policy of the modern world."
-Matthew
 
"The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”
-Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
"The world runs on individuals pursuing their self interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order from a, from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way."
-Milton Friedman
 
 

 


#26
TheAsianGuy_LOL

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I don't really like how the illegal immigration is ruining America, but I do think immigration, legal or not, will still be a large factor in the US population. Even if not, it's not like the population is going to be dented or something. As long as multiculturalism and fail politics get in the way or become a true reality, then I'm for the US gaining immigrants (legal of course). Although I'm born here, most of my relatives come from Vietnam. So you can see why I have my stance on immigration. 


"We know Everything, but not Everything"~ Me

"Don't question what I know, question what I don't know."~ Me

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#27
Lunix688

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I support immigration entirely.

 

I wish the U.S had open borders, however that would present a large security hazard. But, that could be solved by still having border security/and fences, but people can go through 'checkpoints' to enter. Not just some guy saying I wanna go to Texas and swim across. :/

 

The U.S needs immigrants, and it's a humanitarian thing to do - to open borders. Why should people NOT have opportunity/freedom/etc just because they are born somewhere else? Not to mention, families are practically torn apart by flawed immigration policies.

 

Also, I would presume open borders would be pretty good for the economy. More tax payers, more consumers, more workers - which will likely accept lower wages compared to the average American. 

 

The U.S can handle a large influx of immigrants and the U.S is pretty innovative. 


"Liberterianism is a mental disease. A national health crisis and a threat to the future of this country...Worse than the threat from terrorism, asteroids, disease and yes global warming.
It is mindless anti-government idiocy. If it isn't turned back I predict the end of this country as a world power. Simply put the need to educate our entire population like any sane country is sen as wrong by the cult that practice this foolish idiocy. So is simple workers rights, child labor and every other sane policy of the modern world."
-Matthew
 
"The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”
-Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
"The world runs on individuals pursuing their self interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order from a, from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way."
-Milton Friedman
 
 

 


#28
Sciencerocks

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On the other hand, there are a large amount of very highly-skilled people coming into the US from other areas, a lot of them being developed countries, e.g. Ireland, UK, Germany, Japan etc. These people are there to fill a hole in the jobs market, and their positions will be made redundant only when the education system in America pushes these areas more (STEM), or when robots are incredibly intelligent and capable of such tasks, which be a very long time. As such, I can see these types of people moving to the US for a long time yet.
 

 

What a lot of Americans don't realize giving out skilled-work visas, like H1B, to foreigners is currently the best solution to the deterioration of America's public school system. Congress is extremely dysfunctional these days so we can't rely on innovative solutions/regulations from them, so H1B will have to do for now.

 

If you hear someone yelling "They're takin' ouuurr jerrrbs!" just ignore the person.

 

 

Why not fix our educational system and increase our ability to produce extremely skilled people? Most of these nations we're taking skilled people from are in need of them. How is this fair to those nations?


To follow my work on tropical cyclones


#29
Italian Ufo

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I hope that a Mormon President will be elected on the next round so that the prophecy of the White Horse will become true. God is angry with us, thats why American economy will stay sluggish in these years. I believe that a Mormon President will please God and USA economy will do much better. I pray everyday until this day will come. 



#30
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I don't really like how the illegal immigration is ruining America, but I do think immigration, legal or not, will still be a large factor in the US population. Even if not, it's not like the population is going to be dented or something. As long as multiculturalism and fail politics get in the way or become a true reality, then I'm for the US gaining immigrants (legal of course). Although I'm born here, most of my relatives come from Vietnam. So you can see why I have my stance on immigration. 

Fail politics?



#31
caltrek

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One of the flaws to the arguments that (illegal) immigrants take away jobs is that jobs can be exported. If major corporations can't import cheap labor, they export jobs. I'll admit they do this any way because labor laws still impose certain minimum labor costs. Still, trying to preserve jobs by restricting immigration has its limits.  Moreover, many studies show that immigration, including illegal immigration, actually benefits the economy meaning more jobs all around. The problem is that there are still some losers.  Still, I suspect the willingness to scape goat immigrants far exceeds their actual share of the blame.

 

As for imposing a policy on red states, we are one union, like it or not, and need one uniform immigration policy.  Why should California have to suffer irrational labor laws because red states with lower levels of population dislike the idea of further immigration?

 

Remember, most folks in those red states are at least descendants of immigrants themselves. Moreover, in many cases their ancestors didn't have a problem importing labor by force from Africa when the need suited them. Now that many will voluntarily immigrate, they have a problem. Could the prospect that such immigrants will on some level enjoy equal rights be the difference? 


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#32
caltrek

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I hope that a Mormon President will be elected on the next round so that the prophecy of the White Horse will become true. God is angry with us, thats why American economy will stay sluggish in these years. I believe that a Mormon President will please God and USA economy will do much better. I pray everyday until this day will come. 

^^ In which a grumpy alien puts caltrek's patience to the test.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#33
tw88

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Some jobs can be easily exported, and others can't. A lot of the jobs being taken by illegal immigrants, such as in agriculture, construction, and hospitality, are not jobs you can really export. Additionally, you can discourage companies from exporting jobs by increasing tariffs. I'm sure that increasing immigration increases jobs, but that may be due to there being more people. The real question is if immigration increases the number of jobs available per a person in a population and and if it increases well paying jobs with cost of living increases from more people factor in.

#34
caltrek

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Some jobs can be easily exported, and others can't. A lot of the jobs being taken by illegal immigrants, such as in agriculture, construction, and hospitality, are not jobs you can really export.

 

True.

 

 

Additionally, you can discourage companies from exporting jobs by increasing tariffs.

Not that easy.  For example, if you are violating trade treaty obligations. You could easily end up facing international trade sanctions.  Even if permitted, affected countries might be tempted to retaliate by raising their tariffs. Under some scenarios, you could set off a trade war that the U.S. might lose.

 

 

I'm sure that increasing immigration increases jobs, but that may be due to there being more people.

 

Maybe, maybe not.

 

 

The real question….

Thwere are a lot of real questions...

 

 is if immigration increases the number of jobs available per a person in a population

 

One question.

 

 

 and if it increases well-paying jobs with cost of living increases from more people factor in.

 

A second question, which begs another question:

 

What would cutting off immigration do to local costs?

 

You used the example of agriculture. If California were to magically export all illegal immigrants tomorrow by beaming them out of the country using a newly invented teleportation system at least two things would happen:

  1. Crops would rot in the fields because of the lack of sufficient number of workers to weed and harvest.
  2. The agricultural industry would be forced to pay higher wages to minimize the loss of crops. Although farm worker wages are far from the only costs of planting, growing, harvesting and delivering crops to the market, an increase in food costs to consumers could easily be the result.  So consumers could lose out.  Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) might not keep up.  Further, as wages rise in the agricultural industry, competitive pressures against other industries would build in order for those industries to retain their work forces. This in turn would put upward cost pressures for other industry products.
  3. Upward cost pressures of agricultural products from California could easily ripple out beyond the borders of California because California exports food to the rest of the country. 

 

 

 

A fourth question:  What is fair for undocumented workers?

 

Anybody who thinks the current system is fair to that population probably also thinks that the earth is flat, that greenhouse gases cause the earth to cool, and that smoking is not harmful to health. Essentially, the lack of fairness to that group is the reason agricultural unions like the UFW are in favor of immigration reform.  Right now, workers may be reluctant to join unions because of fears that come from being undocumented.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#35
tw88

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What would cutting off immigration do to local costs?
 
You used the example of agriculture. If California were to magically export all illegal immigrants tomorrow by beaming them out of the country using a newly invented teleportation system at least two things would happen:

  •  
  • Crops would rot in the fields because of the lack of sufficient number of workers to weed and harvest.
  • The agricultural industry would be forced to pay higher wages to minimize the loss of crops. Although farm worker wages are far from the only costs of planting, growing, harvesting and delivering crops to the market, an increase in food costs to consumers could easily be the result.  So consumers could lose out.  Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) might not keep up.  Further, as wages rise in the agricultural industry, competitive pressures against other industries would build in order for those industries to retain their work forces. This in turn would put upward cost pressures for other industry products.
  • Upward cost pressures of agricultural products from California could easily ripple out beyond the borders of California because California exports food to the rest of the country. 

 

There are other cost that you don't account for. A lot of immigrants are working in low wage sectors, and don't pay a lot of taxes, yet because of their low wages are going to consume more public resources like food stamps, housing assistance ect. Low wages are not necessarily low cost.  Teenagers use to be a source of low wage workers, but now most of the jobs traditionally given to teenagers are given to immigrants, as a result teenage employment has steadily decreased over the past 20-30 years. Why higher a teenager that will quit if your mean to them, and who's parents will object to poor working conditions when an immigrant will work for less, complain less, and put up with more abuse? Teenagers are usually going to be living with their parents and don't need food stamps and housing assistance to compensate for their low wages, and thus are a truly low cost group of workers.  Further, employers can also higher seasonal temporary guest workers to fulfill any demand that teenagers can't fulfill. 

 

Additionally, letting in huge numbers of immigrants also drives up the cost of living. The more people you have in a given area the more demand there is for housing, and the higher the housing cost are as a result. 

 

 

Both of these forces can be seen in a  place like California which has some of the highest housing cost of any state and the highest poverty rate of any state (http://www.huffingto..._n_2132920.html).  

 

A fourth question:  What is fair for undocumented workers?
 
Anybody who thinks the current system is fair to that population probably also thinks that the earth is flat, that greenhouse gases cause the earth to cool, and that smoking is not harmful to health. Essentially, the lack of fairness to that group is the reason agricultural unions like the UFW are in favor of immigration reform.  Right now, workers may be reluctant to join unions because of fears that come from being undocumented.

 

Most immigrants are legal and don't have to worry about such a situation. I think that people who were brought here illegally as children should be given a legal status.  I am less sympathetic for those who came illegally as adults. Nobody forced  them to come to US or to overstay their visa. Unfortunately worrying about deportation is one of the consequences of choosing to stay in the country illegally. 



#36
Lunix688

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^Actually, immigrants use welfare less than citizens. 

 

http://www.cato.org/...lower-rate-poor

 

Also, immigrants aren't a drain on the economy - but contribute by consuming products, requiring housing, food, etc which all in turn benefits the local economies.

 

peri.gif'

Not to mention, most PhD students are immigrants, and many highly skilled individuals in the U.S are immigrants

 

Also immigration is shown to improve the economy

http://thinkprogress...ericas-deficit/

 

immigrationchart.jpg


"Liberterianism is a mental disease. A national health crisis and a threat to the future of this country...Worse than the threat from terrorism, asteroids, disease and yes global warming.
It is mindless anti-government idiocy. If it isn't turned back I predict the end of this country as a world power. Simply put the need to educate our entire population like any sane country is sen as wrong by the cult that practice this foolish idiocy. So is simple workers rights, child labor and every other sane policy of the modern world."
-Matthew
 
"The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”
-Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
"The world runs on individuals pursuing their self interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order from a, from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way."
-Milton Friedman
 
 

 


#37
Lunix688

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In response to demand for housing increasing, therefore housing cost goes up - surely though, as demand increases, market forces will dictate that supply increases?


"Liberterianism is a mental disease. A national health crisis and a threat to the future of this country...Worse than the threat from terrorism, asteroids, disease and yes global warming.
It is mindless anti-government idiocy. If it isn't turned back I predict the end of this country as a world power. Simply put the need to educate our entire population like any sane country is sen as wrong by the cult that practice this foolish idiocy. So is simple workers rights, child labor and every other sane policy of the modern world."
-Matthew
 
"The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”
-Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
"The world runs on individuals pursuing their self interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order from a, from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way."
-Milton Friedman
 
 

 


#38
EVanimations

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I hope that a Mormon President will be elected on the next round so that the prophecy of the White Horse will become true. God is angry with us, thats why American economy will stay sluggish in these years. I believe that a Mormon President will please God and USA economy will do much better. I pray everyday until this day will come. 

 

Ha. Hahahaha. He's a Mormon now. I guess a lot happened when I took a break.

 

Anyway, I think immigration will continue, as long as Mexico is not a very nice place to live. I always say we need to make it easier for people to become citizens of the USA; we need to be more accommodating, and not persecute immigrants for simply trying to seek a better life here than they would in their home countries.



#39
tw88

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^Actually, immigrants use welfare less than citizens. 

 

http://www.cato.org/...lower-rate-poor

 

 

The study didn't say that immigrants use welfare less often than native born citizens, it's saying that when immigrants do use various forms of public assistance they use less. The study did say "Non-citizens are almost twice as likely to have low incomes compared with natives.". So while they may use less of a public assistance resource when needed, there is still going to be an increase in demand, and thus more money given out, for public assistance as a result of such immigrants. 

 

In response to demand for housing increasing, therefore housing cost goes up - surely though, as demand increases, market forces will dictate that supply increases?

 

Sure, to an extent.  Eventually you reach a point where pretty much everything is developed.  Knocking down old development to make way for more high density housing is generally a long process, making such an area  more susceptible to increased housing cost if demand outstrips this slower pace of development.  First you have to buy up property, which some may not be willing to sell. Then you have to get approval for a high density housing plan, which often faces objections from people in the community that don't want a tall building obstructing views, or fear that high density housing will bring in low income residence that will cause their housing values to fall. City zoning ordinances may limit the height of a building, and it may take years for such zoning to change. It's not uncommon for redevelopment plans in cities to take decades.   Why do you think places like NYC and San Francisco have such high housing costs? Even if an area has lots of room to expand development, homes can only be built so fast and if the pace of population growth outpaces how fast homes can be built, then this too can cause housing prices to increase. 



#40
tw88

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Also, immigrants aren't a drain on the economy - but contribute by consuming products, requiring housing, food, etc which all in turn benefits the local economies.

 

Also immigration is shown to improve the economy

http://thinkprogress...ericas-deficit/

 

immigrationchart.jpg

 

 

Of course letting in more immigrants will "improve" the economy, in the sense that it will increase growth. There are primarily two ways you can grow an economy, you can add more people to it, or you can increase productivity. Adding more people is going to grow the economy no doubt. A larger and/or faster growing economy doesn't mean there is going to be more to go around per person, or that unemployment will decrease, or that wages will increase. Immigrants, wither they are unskilled, or highly skilled are generally willing to work for for less money than an equally qualified American. There is no reason to think that this will do anything but put a downward pressure on wages.  The United States has had some of the largest waves of migration ever over the past few decades yet no one would argue that Americans are better off now then they were 10-30 years ago.  It's a lot harder for workers to fight for higher wages if they can be easily displaced by someone willing to do it for cheaper. 

 

There is also an environmental cost to immigration. A lot of immigrants are coming to, or are causing growth in areas of the the US that are severely water stressed, and simply cannot handle a larger population. The western half of the US simply doesn't have the water resources to support the type of growth it has experienced in the past few decades.  Most climate predictions show that undeveloped/developing countries are going to be harder hit by global climate change than developed ones. The only way we are really going to avoid the worst impacts of global climate change and global over population is if we adopt strong protectionist policies now. If we don't then we are only going to get even more swamped with immigrants in the coming decades, which will put more pressure on land and water resources with in our borders.







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