The Lovers, Of Dreamers, And E(lon Musk)

“Two movies on a single screen.” That’s how Scott Adams described the American reality right now. We are all watching the same events unfold, but we are seeing those events from two perspectives. Consider the very popular book and play Wicked; that’s a re-telling of “The Wizard Of Oz” from the perspective of a Wicked Witch. If you’ve read the book, then you now have two perspectives on that story — but you likely prefer one of the two, and consider it to be the “real” perspective.

When it comes to the “Dreamers”, the between 1.8 and 3.6 million illegal/undocumented immigrants who were brought here by their parents, the “red” and “blue” movies are, as you’d expect, quite different. Rather than get caught up in the numbers of how many “Dreamers” are in the US military (about 900, considerably less by percentage than native African-Americans) or how many are in prison (about 1,500 — which is also considerably less by percentage than native African-Americans), I just want you to look at the two people above. Try to get a sense of who they are, what their story might be, and which side of the Narrative they serve. Then we can talk about them.


The woman on the left is DREAMer Abigail Hernandez. Last week she posted on a local high school Facebook page that she was going to “shoot all of you bitches”. In many ways, Ms. Hernandez is a catalog of conservative nightmares regarding DACA. She is 21 years old but she is still in high school because she has reduced cognitive capacity. Her parents do not speak English but claim to own seven houses. Ms. Hernandez was in possession of a shotgun; her father says, in Spanish, that it belongs to him. It took police five days to act on Ms. Hernandez’s threat, because Rochester is a sanctuary city.

If you are watching the “red” movie, then you want Ms. Hernandez and everybody like her gone from this country. You don’t see them adding any value, and you do see them endangering American citizens. You have unbridled hatred for the people who let Kate Steinle’s killer go free in order to “send a message” to President Trump. You are pretty sure that a lot of DREAMers are on welfare or in gangs.

Now for the woman on the right. She is part of the Washington Post‘s continuous campaign to support unlimited immigration, and as such she was the subject of a fawning piece in the paper this week. I’m not a Post reader but since I own an Amazon Kindle the article was pushed to my device and I was encouraged to read it every time I booted up the Kindle so I could play (and, often, lose) a game of computer chess. Her name is Rosa Aramburo. She is a medical student who might lose her chances at a residency because she is not in this country legally.

It’s worth noting that CNN ran a similar article, as did the Harvard website, the HuffPo, the Duke University website, and dozens of other media sources. Given that there are only about sixty-five Dreamers enrolled in med school, that’s well over one major media article per med-school Dreamer. This, by the way, is what alt-right people are talking about when they use “Narrative” with a capital “N”. Sixty-five people out of 3.6 million amounts to statistical noise — by the numbers, there should be more DREAMers who have been struck by lightning — but somehow these med-school kids keep on boiling up to the top.

If you’re watching the blue movie, you likely see Ms. Aramburo as a classic example of immigrant moxie and mettle, a young woman who has proven by her own hard work that she deserves to be an American as much as any fat hick with an F-150 whose parents happened to be American citizens. You believe that there are many more like her and she is just the tip of an excellence iceberg floating towards the economy of the future. We cannot afford to lose her and the other people like her!

Over the course of the past day, I tried pretty hard to find a news source that had run both a piece on Ms. Hernandez and a piece on DREAMer medical students. The Venn diagram of those media sources looks like a set of binoculars. The Washington Post appears to be completely unaware of the former; Breitbart is profoundly unconcerned with the latter. This is what’s known as a “filter bubble”. If you’re watching the red movie and consuming red media, you get the mentally handicapped woman with a shotgun. If you watch the blue movie and consume blue media, you get a tsunami of coverage about the 0.000018 percent of DREAMers who are med students.

Is it possible to look past the “movie” and just see reality? I’m not sure. The best I can personally do is tell you some things that are more factual than the appeals to emotion embodied in the two women above. Here’s one of those things: The DREAMers aren’t a hot potato because of their criminality or their medical-school-ness. They are important because they are a block of blue votes. Period. That’s why the Democrats want them — and their criminality is irrelevant. Furthermore, they have the ability to bring several million more blue votes to this country via the process known as “chain migration” in Red press and “family reunification” in the Blue press. They could swing our 50/50 nation permanently Blue, once and for all, amen.

And yet Trump is willing to let them stay if he can have the rest of his border control measures. This infuriates Republicans, who are less concerned about the safety of Americans than they are about Republican majorities. And it infuriates the Democrats, who have grown accustomed to having their complete and total way on every topic in this country with the sole exception of gun control.

There would be a Blue/Red stalemate on this topic were it not for one thing: DREAMers and their families represent cheap labor. So the Republican Party is letting the Democrats sell them the rope with which they will be hanged. Republican donors want cheap labor, which is why you get all these Republican leaders who mouth a party line on relatively irrelevant stuff like late-term abortion and transgender bathrooms then turn around and bust their ass to get as many immigrants into the workforce as possible. The Democrats are looking towards a brown America circa 2075; the Republicans are trying to get next quarter’s profits up so they can cash out their stock options and retire to a gated community.

That, in a nutshell, is why we will continue to have effectively unlimited immigration. It isn’t logical, and it isn’t even moral because it forces the “undocumented” immigrants to go through hell to get here. A truly moral open immigration system would allow anybody in the world to come here in an affordable and safe manner, as opposed to giving priority to Mexicans who are willing to die in a false-floor car trunk. But we can get to that in a moment. The fact of the matter for now is that both Democrat and Republican party leaders want unlimited cheap labor. The only people who disagree are working Americans, who are irrelevant to the conversation.

We could end the discussion right here except for one thing. There are many people, including both Elon Musk and your humble author, who think that most jobs will be automated out of existence in the next twenty years. We are remarkably close to automating things like McDonald’s restaurants from top to bottom — and we are also remarkably close to automating everything from paralegal work to radiation oncology. In fact, the only reason some jobs still exist is because the immigrants are cheaper than the machines. There’s a new push to automate farm work because immigrants are currently in short supply. With two or three iterations of the technology, it will be cheaper than the Mexicans, the same way that automated checkout machines are cheaper than cashiers even with substantial theft.

In a country where robots (meaning capital) have replaced most of the jobs (meaning labor), how do you prevent the people from destroying the machines and setting the world on fire? Elon’s answer, and mine, is a Universal Basic Income scheme. In other words — the robots will do the work, the robots will be taxed, the tax money will be given to people in the form of a universal subsidy, and the people will use their money to buy the products and consume the services created by the robots. As closed ecosystems go, it ain’t great. But it works better than a country with 90% unemployment and a one-percent cabal that owns every single robot. That’s a recipe for blood and thunder.

When you put all of it together, you come up with the unpleasant fact that this country is importing millions of people who will eventually be nothing but recipients of basic income. They will be laborers with no labor to perform. They will exist solely to consume and to vote. Since the United States will probably move to basic income before, say, Ecuador, we are essentially handing out Willy Wonka’s Golden Tickets through the most inhumane, degrading process possible. Can’t we do better than that?

Here’s a little ad-hoc immigration policy that I came up with during a short flight. You can probably do better; feel free to post in the comments. It works like so. We start by closing the border and deporting everybody. I mean everybody, whether they are tatted-up gangsters or Nobel Prize winners. No sanctuary cities, no exceptions. And we let the country settle for five years.

At the end of that five year “pause” we announce a system by which everybody in the world can apply to be an American. No favoritism given to anyone. You sign up online and you get a number. Then we hold a computerized drawing and come up with, let’s say, three million numbers. Each one of the “winners” gets a free ticket to the United States. They are citizens the minute they hit the ground.

We do that every year. Bring in three million, five million, something like that. Put a process in place for chain migration/family reunification/whatever. But the key thing is that it’s 100% random, meaning 100% fair. There’s no under-the-table work. Everybody has a social security number, everybody pays taxes. Everybody shares in the American dream the same way.

When basic income comes, we stop the music and turn off the program.

It’s simple, and it would work. I don’t think most people would accept it. What if — gasp! — we let in a bunch of Germans? Or Russians? Or Canadians? What if immigration didn’t create cheap labor or free votes? What if it was really a way for people to become citizens on the same terms offered to my great-grandparents a hundred and four years ago? What if some of those people brought money, and assets, the way the Chinese inhabitants of Vancouver have? How does a country full of would-be Eloi function when the supply of Morlocks dries up? What will the American movie look like then?

95 Replies to “The Lovers, Of Dreamers, And E(lon Musk)”

  1. John C.

    I agree with you about an immigration pause. After a few years of that, an annual immigration number can be set legally by Congress and signed by the President. The goal will be to keep the labor market tight for as long as possible.

    As far as who gets in reopening Elis Island makes sense. Backgrounds and health could be checked and green cards provided to those that pass. When the quota is met, The island closes till next year.

    It is scary to think of the end of work with the concomitant depression and lack of life fulfillment.

    Reply
  2. JustPassinThru

    What we are seeing, is the deliberate destruction of the nation and society.

    What you are seeing, is the Elites, our new nobility, REPLACING its POPULATION. Into something more to its liking – more servile, more malleable, more subservient.

    What you are seeing, is a hostile invasion of irregulars – with the ascent, and the complicity, of the Ruling Class.

    Unless stopped, it will be the end of the nation. NO nation has EVER existed without defensible, enforced perimeters. We will not, as the Leftist small-d dreamers hope, morph into that Utopia of One-World Government – what will happen is a collapse of authority and law and order, and borders along new lines.

    Given the Identity Politics and racialist division the Left has been spewing for decades, it will probably be two or more new regions organized around skin color and tribalist characterists.

    And as we’ve seen in South Africa, Nazi Germany and, yes, Mexico…societies organized around race and tribal identities can NOT be free and are NOT meritocracies. They are obsessed with race, racial purity, privileges and access allowed to THIS group but not THAT group.

    It will be the end of America – the wet dream of the Hard Left for a hundred years.

    Reply
  3. JustPassinThru

    It should be pointed out: The “Dreamers” in the military are a red herring.

    Any foreign national accepted for enlistment in the United States Armed Services, is eligible for citizenship upon completion of his enlistment with an Honorable Discharge. Many thousands of Filipino and Mexican enlistees obtained citizenship this way, lawfully and with honor.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Seems to be a favorite recent theme of TV shows and movies: Patriotic Dreamers in the military fighting off our nation’s enemies while evil Immigration and Border Control agents try to figure out ways to ship them back to the shithole country of their origin.

      Reply
  4. -Nate

    “— the robots will do the work, the robots will be taxed, the tax money will be given to people in the form of a universal subsidy, and the people will use their money to buy the products and consume the services created by the robots.”

    GAH ! ~ NOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo……………….

    -Nate

    Reply
  5. stingray65

    Another alternative would be to shut down all government welfare to citizens, non-citizen residents, and corporations. Farmers, bankers, professors, manufacturers, doctors, entrepreneurs, etc. will get no special tax breaks, subsidies, protections, mandates or other forms of corporate/professional welfare. Every citizen and non-citizen resident will pay for their own food, shelter, education, medical expenses, retirement, and the taxes and bureaucracies that are currently associated with all those welfare programs are terminated immediately (housing prices in DC would become much more reasonable overnight). Your much, much, much lower taxes will then pay for little more than national defense and equal protection before the law, and the rest is up to your own skills, initiative, and choices. In other words if you want to eat you better find and keep a job or latch on to someone of means. I suspect that 90% of current immigrants would find the US a much less attractive place under such a system, while the remaining 10% would be the smart hard working ones that like the idea of working, keeping most of the money they earn, and paying taxes for only truly beneficial purposes. In fact, I also suspect a lot of current deadbeat citizens would be looking for greener pastures to emigrate to as their welfare checks stop arriving.

    Of course no vote of citizens, congress, or the courts would allow my plan to pass because there are too many people in the government trough, but it stands at least as good a chance as Jacks plan. As for near total job automation and widespread universal income, if the current welfare state is any guide we can look forward to even more drug overdoses, suicides, mass shootings, and broken families if either comes to pass, because most of the population needs steady work to maintain any semblance of mental and physical health.

    Reply
    • Eric H

      It’s entertaining that you think taxes would decrease in any meaningful way with your changes.
      Perhaps snuffing out all that infrastructure would keep the deficit from getting worse, but probably not.

      Reply
      • stingray65

        Eric H. Transfer payments (i.e. social security, medicare/caid, various other welfare programs to citizenry) account for about 67% of federal spending. Another 5% of the federal budget is devoted to various types of corporate welfare. I expect a few more % could be cut by shutting down or radically downsizing HUD, Dept of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Energy, EPA, and State Department. So cutting about 80% of federal spending would no doubt allow much lower taxes. Remember there was no income tax in the US until 1913, and even then it was only paid by the Rockefeller types until WWII, so if we get the government down to the approximate size it was for the nation’s first 150 years you don’t need much revenue.

        Reply
        • Eric H

          If you don’t want to pay for civilization perhaps you should move to a well-defended cave somewhere, after all that’s what you want.

          It sounds like you want everyone to go back to living on a farm as the US was an agrarian society pre-20th century. You also don’t want roads, communications, electricity, clean water, clean air, or an educated populace.

          Reply
          • stingray65

            Didn’t say I don’t want anything, but it is debatable whether we need government to provide everything or that it does a good job at providing them. Did Flint have clean water? The question, however, is about immigration. When the US had virtually open borders until the 1920s, there was no welfare state, so immigrants had to work or they starved. You cannot have open borders (or semi-open borders) and a welfare state, since we have a welfare state that will be difficult to get ride of, we need to greatly restrict immigration to those that will be makers and not takers.

          • -Nate

            Lying again I see .

            Corporate welfare far exceeds any welfare $ spent on the Citizens .

            Croatia and Poland are both lily White, odd how you alt right hate types never want to live _there_ .

            Your mis use of words will never disguise your true intentions and hate/envy .

            -Nate

        • stingray65

          Nate: I got my figures from the Federal budget – if you are going to continue with the name calling you could at least provide some links to back up your point of view. Admittedly there are some people that don’t consider Social Security and Medicare to be welfare since they are supposed to be funded by payroll deductions, but the welfare case is based on the fact they are pay as you go so no one’s contributions are being “saved” for retirement – they go out the door to pay some current retirees benefits, and there is a fair amount of redistribution from high income contributors to low income recipients. Corporate Welfare is also somewhat difficult to count, because things like depreciation/depletion allowances and Non-Profit exemptions are considered corporate welfare by some, and not welfare by others. So please enlighten me with all your wisdom on government spending.

          Reply
          • -Nate

            Since you only use known false talking points, we’re pretty much done here .

            Sadly, many Americans _DIED_ so that you have the freedom to be so patently dishonest .

            -Nate

  6. Opaddington

    Good lord, man! You think a mass, universal deportation scheme is a simple solution? If you were to ask me for the most complex solution possible that one would be a top contender. Everybody is gone for 5 years? Who maintains the infrastructure? How do you address our enemies, say, the Chinese? You really think they’re going to sit idly on the sidelines while a massive, modern, fully developed western nation and all of its resources are sitting undefended? What’s the flight time from Shanghai to Honolulu? That’s how long it would take for enemy boots to occupy US soil.

    People aren’t going to voluntarily surrender their every worldly possession. Some dude who paid a mortgage for 30 years ain’t walking away from his house. The only way this goes down is at the barrel of a gun. That begs the question, who’s controlling the guns? You said everybody gets removed so who’s going to remove the gun wielders? Will they self deport? Good luck with that. We know quite well from history that the people exerting force in these situations never apply the rules to themselves.

    Reply
      • Opaddington

        In that case, totally do-able but it overlooks the unfair circumstances of the F150 driving hick that you mentioned. The left would never, ever let that slide. It’s intolerable that a redneck is consuming fossil fuels and chicken wings at breakneck speed in Texas while the next Ms. Aramburo is languishing in Guatemala. You can’t leave people like him out of the equation if you want the left on board. And you absolutely must have the support of the left or it’s a non-starter.

        Reply
        • -Nate

          What unmitigated B.S. ~ the right wing is the one who’s stridently supporting open borders for cheap labor whilst leading you around by your nose .

          Wake up America before it’s too late .

          FWIW, I live smack in the middle of illegal immigration and don’t like it one bit but lying never helps us, if clouds the true problem just as the 1% wants so they can have their cake and eat ours too .

          -Nate

          Reply
          • everybodyhatesscott

            What unmitigated B.S. ~ the right wing is the one who’s stridently supporting open borders for cheap labor whilst leading you around by your nose .

            The establishment right and the left are in lockstop on the open borders. It’s one of the big reasons Trump won.

    • yamahog

      ” The only way this goes down is at the barrel of a gun.”

      Then that’s how you do it. Personally, we don’t even need the state. Just be like the Philippines and suspend legal protection of The Enemy.

      Reply
  7. Booty_Toucher

    “You have unbridled hatred for the people who let Kate Steinle’s killer go free in order to “send a message” to President Trump.”

    Where is this coming from? The bullet ricocheted and killed her, pretty difficult for the prosecution to prove homicide beyond a reasonable doubt. And beyond that, what does this have to do with Trump?

    I’m going to assume that the goal of the opening was to set the stage on that “red” perspective, because perception is often stronger than reality. But let’s be clear, that trial had little to do with Donald Trump. Her killer could have been a MAGA hat wearing gun-aficionado and the trial would have gone the same way. Should the dude have been in SF? No, and that’s for sure a travesty.

    Reply
          • Booty_Toucher

            Just read it (thanks Ark-Med). My reading of the article is much different than yours; it just speculates that the “president is deeply unpopular in the City by the Bay” and that “Kate Steinle may also have been a victim of ideologically driven jurors looking to send a message to the president,” without offering much supporting evidence.

            Sorry, I don’t buy it. Again, if you’re trying to paint a picture of certain people’s perception, I get it. But I personally don’t think that the verdict in this case says anything about immigration, and certainly not Donald Trump. And again, if you’re arguing he shouldn’t have been there in the first place, I also agree.

        • Ark-med

          No paywall if you Google “San Francisco Wasn’t a Sanctuary for Kate Steinle” and click through the search result.

          Reply
    • Opaddington

      So I could visit the wharf in San Francisco. Have a cup of coffee, enjoy the view for a bit. Then put my MAGA hat on, whip out a pistol, and start firing it around randomly, The result of my action being that a young woman gets murdered in front of her father. You genuinely believe that my punishment would be time served and 48 months of parole?

      The guy who defended the murdering scumbag said the trial was clouded because Trump is creating a vindictive attitude toward illegals. That’s what this has to do with Trump.

      Reply
      • Booty_Toucher

        If you could make a convincing argument that you fired the gun and killed her by accident, yes, I think you would get off with the charges they brought up.

        Reply
        • Opaddington

          “Hello San Francisco district attorneys who were weeping tears of joy while voting for Hillary Clinton. Good day members of the jury who were chosen from a community that has seething hatred for right wingers, especially Donald Trump who is literally Hitler. My name is Opaddington and I’m a 44 year old, white, heterosexual male who voted bigly for President Trump. I want you all to know that I’m super sorry that I shot up the wharf while I was wearing my MAGA hat the other day. The sea gulls were pissing me off and I was just trying to scare them away. I really, really, really did not intend to kill anyone. Sitting in jail waiting for my trial sucked major donkey balls and was plenty of punishment. Let’s all agree on that and let me walk out of here a free man.”

          I’m sure they’d be convinced.

          Reply
  8. hank chinaski

    “so they can cash out their stock options and retire to a gated community above the favelas, with private armed security, after disarming you, like they do in Mexico and Brazil .”
    /added salt

    Repeal the 14th. It gave the freed slaves citizenship. It’s done.
    Bring back quotas that were done away with in ’65.
    Kick everybody out.
    Otherwise, merit based, on useful skills, income, IQ, beanie-baby collection, whatever. No lottery. No asylum.
    Wipe that shit off the base of the Statue of Liberty.

    Vox suggested this today: “This is why immigrants should not be permitted to vote for the subsequent three generations and should not be permitted to hold government office until the sixth generation that is fully resident there.” A little harsh, but a start. Public office with dual citizenship IMHO should be a red flag.

    As far as automation goes, I have no answers. The cost of the ‘Great Society’ programs and the military policy as practiced for the last generation are not compatible with current and future demographics and global economy. Importing millions of landscapers and maids certainly won’t fix it.

    Reply
  9. link3721

    I’m not sure that deporting all the illegal immigrants is practical or cost effective. I’d be more apt to have total amnesty with the freeze just to save the cost of deportation and spend that money registering and figuring out which of the illegals are dangerous. While I’m more of a libertarian and thus more unlimited immigration minded, I’d be willing to go with the random lottery form, with the caveat that direct family members (spouse and children only) could also be brought if you “win” the lottery since research shows that having a support system helps with integration into the country and reduces the likelihood of becoming “radicalized”.

    With respect to universal basic income, I think it’s almost inevitable. I think it would be viable today if it replaced all forms of welfare and if the minimum wage was eliminated as well (UBI should provide what minimum wage is intended to provide). The impact of automation will be interesting to see if it truly becomes more widespread. We are living in interesting times.

    Side note, I can’t seem to find a contact email for you. I’ve got a bicycle question that may be interesting Ask Jack for you…

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Technically you wouldn’t have to deport them, the vast majority would self-deport if e-verify were implemented and enforced, and welfare benefits for non-citizens were revoked.

      I don’t understand the logic of a random lottery for immigrants – why would we want to import ISIS terrorists, Africans infected with Aids, or Mexican rapists who happen to get their lottery numbers drawn?

      Reply
      • Opaddington

        Agreed. Deporting illegals is described by the establishment as a Herculean task that is impossible to accomplish. What a crock of garbage that is. They tend to hate America, check out their La Raza rallies with the Mexican flag flying proudly, and the only reason most of them are here is to enjoy the largesse of the US taxpayer. Cut off the freebies and they’re gone.

        Reply
      • hank chinaski

        Agree.
        Odd that Trump’s method of funding construction of ‘The Wall’, taxing the substantial remittances that flow south, gets zero mention in press from either side. It would disincentive illegal migration as much as the wall itself, and serve the same purpose as eVerify or restricting entitlements.

        As far as the impossibility of physically rounding up and deporting illegal aliens, Ike did it.

        The chutzpah of judges blocking the reversal of DACA by executive order, when it was itself created by one, pales.

        Reply
        • stingray65

          Hank, I love the idea of taxing remittances, which is mostly untaxed income anyway, although such taxes would tend to drive it underground. I also agree with your view on DACA judges – it would be nice if our judges of leftward persuasion would peruse the Constitution once in while before making their idiotic rulings. I don’t like your use of the word “entitlement” because that implies the person is “owed” something. I do not see any logic in saying that someone who is in the country illegally (a crime) is entitled to anything besides deportation.

          Reply
          • CJinSD

            Those remittances are keeping the New York Times in toilet paper. Even if you just forced the wealth vacuum underground, you’d be taking Carlos Slim’s means of funding his propaganda puppets. That might make everyone that voted for Hillary involuntarily smarter by itself.

      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        We are getting those people now… As a much greater than random percentage. And there’s nothing to say we can’t screen these people after their number comes up.

        Reply
      • Dan

        I’m not so sure the vast majority would self-deport. I think more likely you would end up with a huge(er) underclass of homelessness and crime.

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      • EMedPA

        I hate to bust everyone’s xenophobic bubble, but resident aliens, documented or undocumented, have been ineligible for benefits since the 1990’s. They do pay taxes if they’re working on the books.

        Y’all could, as they say, look it up.

        Reply
  10. EDP

    What commentators almost always fail to address is the acute economic impact of deporting 1-3 million people.
    That large of a shock to the system will certainly cause upheaval, especially since the deportations would be concentrated in a tight age range. With the multiplier effect you are talking about erasing many, many billions of dollars of economic activity depending on how you want to do the math.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      The statistics seem to suggest that the DACA class is a net negative for the American economy. Not that you don’t get a shock in that case.

      Reply
      • stingray65

        Yea, but what would all the social work, welfare benefit, and legal defense staffs do if they couldn’t dispense taxpayer funded products and services to illegals? Such a shock to the bureaucracy might lead to dangerous thoughts such as; do we actually need all these government employees and their gold plated pensions and benefits?, or perhaps even more dangerous; might the government give first priority to serving deplorable US citizens?

        Reply
      • Opaddington

        Using economics to support illegals is a common technique. My mother-in-law has mentioned it to me with a tone in her voice that suggests she believes she’s dropping a thermonuclear bomb on my worldview. She hears it on NPR everyday and she sees Mexicans doing yardwork in her Florida neighborhood so it must be true.

        These people broke the law to get here. They aren’t rushing out to file W-2’s upon their arrival. They want to be paid under the table and their employers want to pay them that way. They use our schools, our hospitals, food stamps, etc. The government employees with whom they interact are perfectly happy to help them game the system. The idea that their activities are a net plus to our economy is a joke.

        Reply
        • everybodyhatesscott

          I’ve worked with a decent amount of under the table mexicans. I honestly liked most of them but none of them paid taxes and they make 30-40k a year tax free while killing any legal landscaping market. They’re hardworkers but they’re playing by a different rulebook.

          Reply
  11. Pat

    I woke up this morning with a vague thought of Eloi and Morlocks in my brain… I must have subliminally know you were sending this out

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Right now I’m using the Amazon Underground app just called Chess. It has me ranked at a thoroughly depressing 1122 or something like that.

      Reply
  12. stingray65

    There are two issues that almost never comes up with regards to the small numbers of “elite” dreamers such as the medical student Jack discusses. The first issue is who’s spot did she take? Elite schools have lots of qualified applicants, many willing to pay full price for their super star degree, and this illegal Dreamer took one of those spots and probably a chunk of scholarship money. Did she get a “gender preference” nod over an equally qualified black male US citizen from a disadvantaged background, or get a “diversity preference” to take the slot of a white woman US citizen with higher grades and MCAT scores, and no need for financial aid? How much has the school paid for legal help to navigate this illegal Dreamer around possible deportation efforts, which might have been spent on a scholarship for a legal applicant?

    Whatever special favors she received to get her elite US medical school spot, her abilities were no doubt still impressive and I have little doubt that she will be a qualified doctor who will relieve a lot of pain and suffering of patients during her career, but which patients will they be? She would almost certainly be an academic elite in her home country, and no doubt would have qualified for a spot at the top medical school there where the medical needs are likely far greater than the US, but that country has likely lost her talents and her spot at “home” was probably taken by a less qualified applicant. Thus the second issue is whether the US is doing “shithole” countries a favor by taking and keeping their best and brightest?

    Reply
    • totitan

      stingray65
      “The first issue is who’s spot did she take?” She took a spot based on her med schools admission standards. They vary from school to school but most of them give priority to US citizens providing there are enough of them who can meet the academic standards, which many times there are not. There is a surplus of applicants and a growing shortage of Doctors so med schools can be very selective about who they admit. The real issue is that med schools have not expanded enough to be able to produce the number of doctors needed.

      Your assumptions following your question are not factual and are carefully worded to incite anger without actually coming out and stating that your claims are true by ending them all with question marks. I will admit that you are clever but not very difficult to see through.

      Reply
  13. Dirty Dingus McGee

    *runs to store for more popcorn*

    Unchecked immigration is already at a level that’s unsustainable. I recently returned home from Phoenix, where in certain parts of the barrio (read 60% of downtown Phoenix), poverty and homelessness are at staggering levels. At the facility we were working at, there were never less than 4 panhandlers at the exit/entrance ramp to I-17 from dawn to dusk, EVERY DAY. In a 1 mile radius, I spotted at least 8 homeless shelters, 4 food banks and several community centers, all covered up with people. Anyone who tries to explain to me that this is NOT a drain on our welfare system, is met by the look one reserves for a dog turd sandwich.

    My solution; same as New Zealand. Unless you have a skill or knowledge that is not available from within the county, sorry Charlie. And as the border tightens, every damn one of the H1B imports goes home.

    As for automation, it’s been around in one form or another since the dawn of time. Water powered spinning mills and mechanical looms took human jobs in the 1700’s. As automotive assembly has progressed, automation even in rudimentary forms 110+ years ago has eliminated jobs for people. I see no end to it, even tho I’m a bit of a Luddite.

    Reply
  14. AoLetsGo

    “They will be laborers with no labor to perform.”
    I appreciate what Jack has written but it portrays a depressing future. I have been to every ghetto in this country and a lot of the poor rural areas as well. I have seen all the people hanging out with nothing to do. These people are bored, sullen, and resentful with the devils idle hands. Maybe the bread and circuses will be enough to keep the pot at a low boil, maybe not.
    I think of myself as a positive guy, sarcastic, no BS, and brutally honest, but positive nonetheless. I have skills and some capital so barring a disaster I should be fine the rest of my life. I worry for my children and especially for future generations.

    Reply
    • CJinSD

      Don’t believe for a second that idle people will still be around when their votes are no longer needed. It will be George Bernard Shaw City. With the exception of Jack Baruth, every peddler of the universal income apocalypse has been a self-professed environmentalist. The existence of other people is the only thing wrong with their world. I don’t know how Jack can be so right about emotional support animals and so wrong about this, but it seems to be the case.

      Reply
  15. Some Democrats

    “They are important because they are a block of blue votes. Period. That’s why the Democrats want them.”
    Um, no.
    If you want to know why the Dreamers are important to Democrats, it might be better to…. y’know… ask some Democrats.

    Reply
      • silentsod

        Well, for one, this “Some Democrats” is clearly a plural being and likely benefits from the multitude of viewpoints contained within themself.

        Reply
      • Some Democrats

        “but what do you know that I don’t?”

        Probably a lot, but on this subject. not much. You aren’t a stupid man. I’m sure you can come up with more reasons that Democrats (or anyone) would be pro-immigration, and some of them are actually right. But to defend them would take work. It’s easier to go with the straw man that is easy to knock down. It’s intellectual laziness, and it’s typical of your writing. Come up with something blindingly obvious, then couch it in lots of fancy language and send it in. (Someday crossovers will be collectible? No way! I haven’t read the article, but let me guess… Did you talk about station wagons, and how nobody wanted them in the 70s but now they are cool? I must have ESP!)

        I know you can do better, Jack. Or at least I hope you can. But I also know you can’t be bothered.

        Reply
        • Some Democrats

          Whoops, I was wrong. You compared today’s SUVs to yesterday’s Monte Carlos. Jeezus. And to think, you were alive in the 1970s! Well, what’s the difference, most of your readers weren’t. They’ll take the Old Man’s word for it and never know the difference. But I will give you credit here, Jack — both your comparison of the Equinox to the Monte Carlo and your supposition that Democrats support immigrants because they vote blue are certainly creative. (If not BS. The majority of the country, not to mention the areas of the country where immigrants from the south tend to settle, already vote blue, plus you have a good-sized block of Catholics from those countries who won’t vote for a pro-choice candidate. You just keep taking the easy way out, Jack!

          Reply
          • stingray65

            Immigrants from the south frequently settle in Texas and Arizona and Nevada. Nevada used to be a very reliable Republican (Red) state, but now it is leaning blue due to Hispanic immigration. Arizona and Texas seem to be heading to purple and it is all driven by Hispanic immigration. The Dems (in politics) want to make those states as Blue as California (also solidly Republican until late 1980s), which would mean they win every Presidential election and have firm control of both houses of Congress. They need to keep the flow fresh, because when immigrants assimilate they typically become more conservative/Republican because they want to keep more of their own money (Italians used to be Democrats, but now are Republicans), but assimilation slows down when newbies keeping coming in. As Obama and Clinton found out when trying to fill their cabinets, Dems also like cheap nannies, maids, and gardeners that they can pay under the table, which led to problems during the FBI background checks and confirmation hearings.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            When you say the majority of the country votes blue, are you referring to population or geography? If you look at the blue/red by county maps, the latter is false. If you mean the former, it’s only true if you count motor-voter California.

          • Some Democrats

            “When you say the majority of the country votes blue, are you referring to population or geography? If you look at the blue/red by county maps, the latter is false.”

            Fuck me, Jack, maybe I spoke to soon when I said you weren’t a stupid man. People vote. The land they are standing on does not vote. Those “blue/red county maps” are a ridiculous talking point intended for people who are too stupid to realize that they are entirely meaningless. Although, given the fact that you brought up that ridiculous argument, the country might be better off if we took your vote away and gave it to the dirt underneath your feet.

            “If you mean the former, it’s only true if you count motor-voter California.”

            Shame on me, I forgot that every state except California voted Republican in the last Presidential election.

            Oh, wait, that didn’t happen. Never mind.

            Stick to cars, Jack. Leave the political arguments to those who are better at it.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Don’t get so angry in such a hurry.

            The founding fathers disagree with you. They foresaw the tyranny of urban groupthink because they’d seen it in London and Versailles. That’s why each state gets two senators. That’s why the vote of a state rep from rural Virginia counts as much as the vote from Fairfax County.

            If you remove California from the popular vote totals, Mr. Trump wins that too. In California you don’t need to prove citizenship to vote. That’s by design.

            With all due respect to your suggestion that I leave politics to the experts… that kind of thinking brought us Vietnam and Iraq and the Great Society. Maybe what we need is more amateurish involvement, not less.

          • Dirty Dingus McGee

            Some Democrats sez ” Leave the political arguments to those who are better at it.”

            I’m gonna guess that you think YOU are the one who is better at it. I will further guess that you are under the age of 40, have some form a social studies degree and don’t work in that field, and to top it off live in an urban jungle. Am I close?

            Because YOU think you are smarter and more valuable than some sod buster in Nebraska or Ohio or anywhere for that matter, shows what limited knowledge you actually have. I have yet to meet ANYONE who hasn’t worked in a blue collar profession, that brings more to the table than someone who has. When your car breaks down, do you repair it yourself? Same with your HVAC system. Did you build your own house? Pound every nail, paint every wall? Does Google, or Apple or Microsoft grow all the food you eat? Does NPR or MSNBC or the local liberal arts college lay down the pavement you drive/ride your bicycle on?

            I didn’t think so.

            For you to think you’re more important than these folks is laughable. If the electricity was to go out tomorrow, how long would you last? A month? A week? 2 days? These folks that you disparage, would keeping you alive long after your assigned expiration date, if you were left to survive on your own. As far as I know, a degree in sociology is not very edible, without a serious dose of ketchup on it. Neither is eating crow.

  16. safe as milk

    i think universal basic income is a pipe dream. i’m seeing a future that looks a lot like the movie WALL-E at best or World War Z at worst.

    Reply
  17. Jeff Zekas

    Jack, I can’t speak for other states, but in California, in one prison, on one yard, we had a thousand illegals. There are over 33 prisons in Cali, and all of them have illegals. And Cali is one state out of fifty. So, yeah, there are a lot more than 1,500 illegal criminal aliens in the whole U.S.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jaeger

      Yes, they are very careful to make the actual number of illegals in prison very difficult to discover. It’s difficult to estimate just how large of a crime problem they contribute since so many sanctuary cities generally avoid prosecuting them for anything less than major crimes. And of course the media goes to extreme lengths to avoid reporting on crime committed by illegals.

      Reply
  18. Kevin Jaeger

    “There are many people, including both Elon Musk and your humble author, who think that most jobs will be automated out of existence in the next twenty years.”

    I sense a betting opportunity. I’d be willing to bet anything from a friendly $10 to the value of a suburban Columbus house that this prediction will not come true. At no time between now and this day in 2038 will the unemployment rate exceed 30%.

    Keep in mind automation of manual labor has been happening for centuries and all of the easy tasks have already been done. Now we’re into the diminishing returns where ever larger amounts of capital and technology are required to automate fewer remaining jobs. The farm labor force has already declined about 90% and the remaining jobs are becoming ever more difficult to automate. Ditto for almost every other sector of the economy.

    Reply
      • Cdotson

        Jack,

        I know the stakes are small, but that’s a bad bet. The “Unemployment Rate” is politically manipulated with ridiculous caveats and conditions that artificially depress the official unemployment rate, making its rise all the more troubling.

        The more interesting measure is the Employment Rate, the percentage of all adults engaged in the workforce. At its peak in FY2000 it was less than 65%, and during the Obama economy hit bottom at about 58.5% in 2011. The last data I saw it still hadn’t recovered to 60%. Unemployment did not even flirt with 10% during the period of minimal job market engagement. Unemployment was estimated in the 20% range during the peak years of the Great Depression. This country will cease to exist before 30% unemployment becomes measurable.

        Further as an engineer in the industrial automation sector I can confidently state that you and Mr. Musk vastly overestimate the rate at which automation will take over. It is true that labor cost increases will increase the rate at which menial jobs are replaced by automated equipment, but there is still a lot of low-cost work for which cost-effective automated solutions remain difficult to supply. Take car washing, for example.

        Reply
      • stingray65

        I think you will be able to pay off your bet with a payroll deduction from your February 2038 Universal Basic Income monthly stipend.

        Reply
    • Danio

      This. With the invention of the sewing loom, there would be no more need for labour. With the proliferation of electricity, the automobile, computers and the internet jobs have been displaced. Yet there is always more for us to do. The beauty of humanity is that we can create, yet without some sort of firm assurance, everyone seems to think the end is right around the corner.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jaeger

        Yes, I’ve heard this story for a very long time. I had a university professor in the 1980s who was adamant that computers were going to put everyone out of work. Now it’s robotics or AI or whatever.

        I’m confident I’ll be able to book a trip to Ohio in 2038 and collect my $10.

        Reply
  19. Wurmpth

    The actual position of both major parties on immigration is to have the maximum amount possible, in order to drive down wages, as dictated by the corporate ruling class that contribute the money that both sides require to be elected and stay in office.

    In both cases the parties have gone directly against the interests of their supposed supporters among the general public.

    Democrats are supposed to be the party of the working people; the very people who are losing jobs, or unable to get jobs, or stuck in wage stagnation due to the constant importation of lower wage immigrants.

    Republicans are supposed to be the party that supports long term business growth on the grounds that such activity is the best way to improve the economic status of all Americans through offering jobs and investment opportunities. Although the corporate quarterly profits look great, the corporate ruling class (who aren’t really very bright despite their constant efforts to portray themselves as brilliant job-creators) are actually shooting themselves in their collective feet, because when everyone except a tiny 2 or 3% either works at Wal-Mart or is unemployed subsisting on the “universal basic income” dole, there won’t be enough customers to buy all those goods and services. Henry Ford, no left-wing liberal he, knew this quite well and intended that his employees should be able to buy his company’s products.

    The corporate ruling class are pouring money into politics and they don’t give a damn what happens to their country as long as they get theirs fast – after all, isn’t everyone who really matters, a citizen of the world now, with homes in gated-security-guarded communities on several different continents?. And they have got everyone else brainwashed into supporting it.

    Reply
  20. Franklin Mint

    They might all be Blue voters in theory but I’d love to see the turnout statistics for the Central Valley. Whenever I read an update from Victor Hanson it suggests the more likely outcome is a disengaged and adrift little piece of Mexico.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Even in California they don’t let all the illegals vote (yet), so I believe the Central Valley is still solidly red.

      Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’m saying there’s a blue movie and a red movie. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t a thousand other movies — but they don’t really matter. The libertarian movie doesn’t matter, the Amish movie doesn’t matter. You get the point.

      Reply
  21. Ken

    Jack – have you had a chance to read: “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future”?

    I caught the author, Martin Ford, presenting last year at the annual AIA conference. Picked his book up after his speech. Can’t say I agree with everything, but he makes some very valid points about the coming automation and possible solutions (basic income mostly).

    Advancement in AI is both amazing and scary. Its going to completely disrupt the workforce. Even highly skilled, highly educated, labor isn’t immune. If you have a semi-repeatable job that can be performed via data analysis (e.g. accounting, actuary, underwriting, etc.) there will come a time a machine will either highly supplement or perform it all together.

    Reply

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