Thanks to Politico, I read an interesting article by economist George J. Borjas that states the blindingly obvious truth about immigration: it has adverse effects on many peoples’ economic prospects. Unfortunately, many Americans haven’t gotten the memo, at least if this column is any indication. Many still have a hard time coming to grips with this radical notion that more workers means lower wages. For an anti-intellectual people who pride themselves on simple common sense, Americans jettison this common sense when it comes to immigration.
Putting that aside, what makes this article different from most other critiques of immigration is how Borjas clearly highlights the various winners and losers of lax immigration controls. As he notes, immigrants themselves clearly benefit from moving to more affluent Western countries. More importantly, however, it’s the employers of immigrants who reap the greatest rewards. In fact, Borjas argues that mass immigration amounts to an upward redistribution of wealth from employees to their bosses (emphasis mine):
“Somebody’s lower wage is always somebody else’s higher profit. In this case, immigration redistributes wealth from those who compete with immigrants to those who use immigrants—from the employee to the employer. And the additional profits are so large that the economic pie accruing to all natives actually grows. I estimate the current ‘immigration surplus’—the net increase in the total wealth of the native population—to be about $50 billion annually. But behind that calculation is a much larger shift from one group of Americans to another: The total wealth redistribution from the native losers to the native winners is enormous, roughly a half-trillion dollars a year.”
In many ways, brown immigrants are a godsend for the native winners. Not only can these winners bring in Pedro and Panjeet to drive down labor costs and increase their profits, they can even get a moral stamp of approval from liberals – who see non-Muslim brown people as above reproach – for their efforts. The native losers, by contrast, are not fortunate enough to have economic and cultural elites champion their cause.
This clash between immigration’s winners and losers demonstrates that there are no real “right” or “wrong” stances on the matter. Like so many other contentious issues, the immigration controversy reflects incompatible interests; and we all know whose interests are currently prevailing. If we started thinking about immigration from this perspective, it would cut through a lot of moralistic rhetoric and get to the heart of the matter.
Such a perspective would also help pro-white types refrain from indulging in blatant bigotry and unfairly demonizing immigrants. Based on personal experiences, most immigrants are decent people, and one can’t blame them for wanting to better their lives by moving to rich countries. They’re just doing what’s in their best interests. However, their interests are not compatible with my interest in ensuring that whites remain a majority, or at least a plurality (I’m somewhat resigned to whites becoming a minority at this point). Their aspirations are also not compatible with my desire to limit the labor pool and ensure better wages for American-born workers.
At the end of the day, we live in a ruthless, neoliberal society with increasingly dwindling opportunities; the last thing we need is yet more people putting a strain on scarce resources. But again, we should not despise newcomers. Instead, let’s “punch up” at the native winners who import immigrants for their own personal enrichment. From a practical and moral standpoint, that’s the best way to resolve our immigration quagmire.