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Leave Won Because It Has a Better Story

2016 June 27
by Ian Welsh

Leave’s story is as follows:

  1. Your life sucks and you do not have a job, or a good job.
  2. There are a lot of immigrants. They have jobs and many of them have good jobs.
  3. If there were less immigrants, you’d have those jobs.

Leave’s story is coherent. It has defined the problem and proposed a solution. The solution won’t work, but Leave says, “We got a problem, and we can fix it, and your life will be better.”

Remain’s story is this:

  1. Your life is as good as it’s going to get.
  2. Leaving won’t help, it will make your life even worse.
  3. Your life will continue to get worse, regardless of whether you leave. “Remaining” will simply slow down the process of your life getting worse.

Now, Remain’s story is true. “Life is a shit sandwich, but you don’t want to eat a bigger shit sandwich sooner than is absolutely necessary.”

That narrative is not going to win against a lie which says: “We can make your life not a shit sandwich”.

Until the sort of people who supported Remain have an argument for how the 50 percent of Britons whose lives suck under the current economic and political regime can have good lives–not lives that just get shitty at a slower pace–they will continue to lose the people whose lives are “Here, eat this shit sandwich and say ‘Thank you, EU, for making this shit sandwich slightly smaller than it would be otherwise.'”

People will accept a lie over a truth that requires their lives to be a shit sandwich.

If you refuse to offer them a way out, do not be surprised if, like a wolf caught in a trap, they will even gnaw their own legs off to try and escape.

Oh, and your legs.


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36 Responses
  1. Rd. permalink
    June 27, 2016

    ” “we got a problem, and we can fix it, and your life will be better.”

    The ‘western’ world is in serious need of another Renaissance.

    Are you better of from 4/8 years ago? Vote for me and I cut off our dependency on that ME oil!!!! and you will have a shinny home on top of the hill.

    such snake oil ideals are selling like a hot cake in the so called ‘advanced’, ‘democratic’, ‘open’ western worlds. Makes you wonder.

    The westerners, despite their MANY accomplishments since the turn of the century, are still suffering from some of their early dark ages DNA. The colonialism ideals of the EUs and the full spectrum dominance of the US ideals whiles their population high fiving the shock and awe is the DNA of those dark ages. Another Renaissance is essential to hope to get the western world out of that abyss.

  2. June 27, 2016

    Remain Does not have to be that way, it is that people controlling remain want it to be that way. and in fact the people controlling leave also want it to be that way to – because most of the controllers believe also live in London. that is why they are backing off most of the goodies right now.

    The problem with remain and leave his that their is enough funds to go to other places than a few urban cities, it’s that they do not want to share them. But they do want the votes of the people who are disaffected. Leave was better at getting these votes. remain thought that these votes would come back home, thinking that leave would not be able to promise enough.

    That is where the Sun comes in… they are wizards with promising something that will not deliver. Because the rubes that read the Sun usually do not expect anything that they were promised to actually happen.

  3. IDG permalink
    June 27, 2016

    Doesn’t this summarize most of our current political problems everywhere in western democracies though?

    Now to fight back the ‘remainers’ of the west are saying “but don’t fall for the populists, they don’t have easy solutions”.

    They use scaremongering and the media, and people falls back into line. If this fails, because they control the levers of power and media, then they fade issues out of public eye and enter the bureaucrats and ‘technocrats’ to reverse the problem through fake complexity.

    Is like a nightmare, where you are running towards the finish line, but no matter what you do you can never get to it, it keeps moving and moving, because there is a ‘little man’ behind it which keeps moving it.

    And then what will happen is that the real true tyrants will come out, because the string will break up from tensing it, and they will hurt us all (and it may involve WMD this time).

  4. Jib Halyard permalink
    June 27, 2016

    Now you’re starting to get it. The powerful allure of what Martin Gardner once called the “Strawberry Shortcut”. If only you could apply that same scepticism to the unworkable utopian fixations of the left.
    None of the above commenters seem to have worked that out…

  5. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    June 27, 2016

    Once you let a few foreigners into your country, suddenly it’s “racist” not to let in more. So you let in more, and suddenly you can’t win a national election without these newcomers, because they bloc-vote. And what do they bloc-vote for? To let in more of their own people, of course. So you let in still more, and before you know it entire swathes of territory have been taken over by these immivaders, who also begin to challenge and change what you thought were core values and characteristics of your country.

    For some reason these concerns are never brought up in national media, and when they are, they are quickly shouted down as “racist”. So you talk about things like jobs and terrorism, things which are real concerns but also proxies for the things you really want to talk about, but are not allowed to. Of course, the media will still call you a racist for voicing concerns about jobs and terrorism, but at that point you start to wonder if the whole “racism” isn’t just a smokescreen for an escalating genocidal assault on your nation, people, and way of life.

  6. June 27, 2016

    Wow, that really racist Blizz. Is a natural, or do you have to work at it? we do not just shut down its racist, you are racist, were just pointing out facts.

  7. BillionNbillions permalink
    June 27, 2016

    Stirling. You are missing important points made by blizz, and it’s that type of rush to prejudice and discounting fears that drive people to accept fascists promising easy solutions. There is no question letting in refugee immigrants puts downward pressure on wages and increases society costs from people who can barely afford to live as it is. Not only that, how many racist refugees make it in? It seems about 40% of people are racist especially if they come from a very bigoted country like Syria. Would Syria open its arms for a million European Jews fleeing Nazi Germany? Nope, they’d help Hitler round up Jews. So we in the West whose standards of living have been declining for decades, who are told to work more hours for less money that we have to once again open our hearts and wallets and tighten our belts to help a people who if the tables were turned, would blow up our refugee boats with Syrian thugs grinning ear to ear. You know it’s true. Russia has done as much as Assad to create the refugee crisis and how many refugees is Russia taking? Something less than zero. Putin has managed to make the EU look like the bad guys instead of Assad or Putin. Why aren’t the pro-infinite refugee types getting angry at Putin, demanding Putin take care of them, after all Russia has the most land and resources, they could actually fit the refugees into Russia, and they should because they caused the problem. So, now Putin, who hates the EU, laughs at the dissent he has caused, the division and racist hatted he incited, because Putin is a racist and he hates you, Blizz and me. Putin wants to see the EU broken up into easily managed fascist kleptocracies that Russia could take over on a weekend. I hate racists, but concern over gradually lowering standards of living, concerns over never being able to find gainful.employment and the fear for our children’s future make many want the EU to at least stop the hemmoraging of the middle class before bringing in millions of additional competitors for the rapidly dwindling piece of the pie the middle class gets. If the middle class was advancing like the super rich, we’d be happy to invite others to share in our increasing wealth. We’re not happy when we are suffering, getting paid less, and immigrants are allowed in to work for even less so the obscenely wealthy can keep making double digit gains. It’s not the immigrants’ fault, it’s the shell company rich and their bought and paid for politicians who are mostly to blame.

  8. NoPolitician permalink
    June 27, 2016

    It is possible to be opposed to immigration without being a racist, but when I see words like “entire swathes of territory have been taken over by these invaders”, that’s a pretty clear signal of intent.

    Yes, immigration can put downward pressure on wages, and that’s a valid argument to make against it. However a certain level of immigration is desirable because the economic impact of adding an immigrant to the country is no different from someone having birthed another baby into this country 25 years ago – and I don’t recall anyone arguing that we should keep the birth rates down to stop workers from having more competition, or that we should stop people from pursuing certain college degrees to stop competition at a professional level.

    I would argue that in many cases, adding certain immigrants is like a free lunch because those immigrants have been educated outside of our borders, they have received years of health care that we didn’t pay for in our system. I can see that adding a lot of immigrants into one particular area can depress wages – for example, if the number of roofers suddenly doubles due to immigration, a lot of native roofers are going to be either out of work or working for less money.

    The fact that this is a problem speaks more to the dysfunctional nature of our economy, the chasm that often exists between certain professions. Yes, it sucks if you’re a roofer making $50k and you lose your job because of an influx of immigrants, and the next best job you can land is $16k because all other jobs require you to have a degree or a decade of experience.

    One thing that we should be doing is trying to integrate immigrants into the US as quickly and seamlessly as possible, moving them quickly to citizen status. Putting restrictions on immigrants makes them into a more exploitable tool of capital. If you have a worker who can’t move jobs easily, such as a H1-B visa holder, that puts a lot more downward pressure on wages than someone with a green card or a citizen. Illegal immigrants have even more fear of being deported, which makes them very wary about exercising any rights they may have.

    Finally, I think there is a big difference between an immigrant and a guest worker. An immigrant wants to be part of this country. He very likely will spend any earnings right here, helping our consumer economy. A guest worker treats his time here as a gig, and very well may be just sending all the money he earns here back to his home country for use later. That would seem to be a more immediate problem for our economy.

  9. Hugh permalink
    June 27, 2016

    NoPolitician, your solution falls apart because it suffers from a common fallacy. We cannot seamlessly fit immigrants into our country for the same reason we cannot take care of the citizens who are already here. If the rich and elites who run things aren’t interested in, indeed are against, solving this second problem why do you think they would be interested in solving the first?

    Also that immigrants want to seamlessly fit in is, I think, largely a myth. Most of the immigrants I know and meet want to fit in only very limited ways, and they are often unabashedly much more racist, sexist, and even sectarian than the homegrown variety of bigot.

    Immigrants are not like a free lunch to those whose jobs they are taking and whose wages they are depressing.

    I also take issue with your “a certain level of immigration is desirable”. No, it isn’t. The US currently has a population of 319 million going to 399 million by 2050. We can not handle the 319 million we currently have under the current kleptocracy. But even if we overthrew that kleptocracy, we still would have an unsustainably large population and still be contributing mightily to global warming, resource exhaustion, pollution, and environmental destruction both of country and the planet. The optimal sustainable population for the US is probably in the 100-200 million range. We should be thinking how to get back to those levels. And no, I am not suggesting death camps and euthanasia, just sensible planning: essentially ending immigration and promoting small families.

    To the larger question of the Brexit vote, it is always easier to run against something. You don’t need a deep analysis or a solution. All you have to do is say no. Being for something is much more difficult. I mean look at the UK. It narrowly voted Brexit, and the immediate effect has been to expose the complete bankruptcy of the British political classes. They have nothing, nada, zip. You see a positive program to be successful needs a coherent vision which people can understand and buy into, and whose progress they can judge and measure. This is where even half-progressives, like Corbyn and Sanders, fall down. Having a bunch of disjointed planks, no matter how attractive some of those ideas may be, does not a vision make. On top of that, a whole vision would preclude many of the compromises that they have made or intend to make. So both here and in the UK we will get more lies and shit sandwiches because no one here or there in the political establishment would know a vision for a society if it hit them over the head with a two by four.

  10. Guest permalink
    June 27, 2016

    Of course conservatives were happy to have those brown people working cheap and illegally and paid under the table with no political power for decades, and now that the brown folks have native born kids and grand kids they want to close the barn door. I would have been in favor of closing the barn door…….thirty odd years ago, and call me racist if you want. At this point it is beyond moot, since the us is practically third world itself.
    Back to the brexit subject. It seems like nobody will be pulling the trigger on brexit. It’s non binding and Scotland might be able to veto it. Or is the PM empowered to do that himself without legislation authorizing it? Maybe they’ll just go for the Scottish veto kabuki and be done with it.
    If they really want to leave the EU, why wouldn’t England and Wales just secede from the UK and let Scotland and N Ireland stay in the EU?

  11. Bill Hicks permalink
    June 27, 2016

    In the CNN story about the California stabbings I read yesterday, one of the leaders of the counter-protestors who attacked the white nationalists actually said that “anti-immigration views will not be tolerated.” Given the completely unnecessary violence that had just occurred, this idiot was obviously completely oblivious as to just how dangerous the potential backlash from airing such a sentiment could be. The best thing to do about a legal protest by white nationalists is to ignore the assholes, but I fear that incident was just an opening salvo to much greater violence to come.

  12. Bornagaindem permalink
    June 27, 2016

    Best summation I have seen about why idiots ( and republicans) continue to convince people to vote against their real interests.

    As for immigrants and being racist if you want to stop illegal immigration: Illegal workers are just an excuse for employers to abuse everyone. Employers support having them because a) they can pay them less because they are desperate for a job and supply and demand is a real thing 2) they do not have to pay for healthcare or any other fringe benefits for them ( even if they go along with them and pretend they have real social security numbers and have to pay FICA it saves them beaucoup bucks) c) employers can ignore health and safety regulations because illegal immigrants are too scared to complain and if they are hurt they have no where to go and no one to help them and the employer is safe from liability d) that is why the chicken processing plants and some the hardest/worst jobs are done by illegal workers instead of the people who used to do them. This way employers get away with keeping the conditions so bad because if they hired americans it would force them to fix the problems. So none of my motivations for being against illegal immigration have anything to do with racism. I believe that no mater what you do for a living whether it be cleaning toilets or doing brain surgery that working 8 hrs a day should allow you live decently in a first world country.

    The Brits do not have all of these problems because I assume that since the immigrants are legal they have recourse and certainly receive healthcare and other benefits. But the laws of supply and demand still exist.

    I understand that some countries have terrible economic conditions ( we will not discuss running from wars) but I dismiss the argument that we should let them work or let them stay just because they are desperate. If that is really our goal then we should have planes on the tarmac of every poor country in the world and fly any one who gets on one back to the US every night so they can enter the country. Why are Mexico and Central Americans so special that only they deserve to come here illegally and we have to let them stay? Many woudl prefer to remain in their own countries. Help them there; it is more cost effective and empowering.

    IF american employers really need more workers -fine. The rules should be that you have to supply them with a living wage, healthcare, decent working conditions and retirement. If employers really have a shortage they will be willing to do this. I suspect though that there would be NO takers if this were the criteria for bringing in workers.

  13. June 27, 2016

    http://www.epi.org/publication/bp255/

    Immigration put UPWARDS pressure – though small.

  14. ultra permalink
    June 27, 2016

    Leave won because too many people have seen a decline in their standard of living, so they voted against Remain. It’s called the “Win stick, Lose shift” strategy. They are hoping Leave will improve their standard of living because Remain has failed them. However, neither strategy is likely to improve their lot because the game is rigged against them. Those high-paying working class jobs in manufacturing and other areas of the economy will continue to be sent offshore to whichever part of the world has the lowest wages, the lowest taxes, and the fewest regulations. As a result, their standard of living will continue to deteriorate until the working class regains control of the government from the plutocrats and corporations, and they successfully alter the trading policies, labor policies, and welfare policies of the nation-state.

  15. Ghostwheel permalink
    June 28, 2016

    @Hugh:

    Fantastic point about the USA being overpopulated as per it’s ecological footprint. You are 100% correct. What a relief it is to know that someone else is also thinking it!

    The age of “more” is over. This is the age of the “lifeboat.”

    I just hope that even if we reduce our population and ecological footprint (fat chance, I know), that there is actually a viable destination for us on the other end. That is, I hope that the damage we’ve already done isn’t so great that the earth’s physical chemistry is unrecoverable at this point.

  16. June 28, 2016

    I think the Tory want to lose – the get Scotland out, return to their euro skeptic roots, and a prime minister who said he would resign – resigning. The rest was a sham. Or to put it bluntly, this is the result that all of the Tories wanted – including the PM.

  17. anonymous coward permalink
    June 28, 2016

    I don’t think Leave needed any story. For those who voted Leave the story or argument for leaving is the story of their lives. As Johnny Rotten sang it: No Future No Future No Future for you. A refrain like a football team’s anthem.

    The question is not What’s The Story? They all knew the story already, including many who voted Remain. The question is whether one is willing to stand up for Leaving and take the punishments promised to come from every visible authority: the Tories, The Labour party, and the London financial mafia that owns them both, plus the EU mandarins, and the US global hegemon. All these have promised to make the sky fall on the disobedient lumpen proles, or rather more precisely, they have all told the impudent slaves they have nowhere to Leave to, and thus by their own hand the sky will fall and the oceans will swallow them up if they so much as try. Masters always tell their slaves this kind of thing and it typically works. Until it doesn’t anymore.

    Shit on people’s world for 30 or 40 years, lie to them and tell them the brown stuff falling from the Gulfstreams winging overhead is manna from Heaven, tell them conditions will get better for them if they comply with your orders, but it’s their own fault when that improvement never comes, exclude them from all decision making, call them names -stupid ugly racists and genetic fuckups that need to be pushed into a landfill- and eventually they may just be of a mind to retaliate in any way they can. You want to enjoy that future you took from them? They will remind you they’re still around and can stop you from having your future too, if only by casting a shadow of fear or guilt on it. Like the Palestinians, they are now a problem people, a humanoid residue, losers who will just have to be dealt with increasingly harsh measures, since they have impudently refused to curl up and die. You want to enjoy that future carefree and without any worries about them, without nervous glances back over your shoulder? Well you won’t get to. If you do, it will have to be over all their dead bodies.

  18. S Brennan permalink
    June 28, 2016

    NoPolitician states:

    “[A]nd I don’t recall anyone arguing that we should keep the birth rates down to stop workers from having more competition…”

    What utter bullshit; of course it’s been said many times and in many places, all my life, but since your ignorance is wide & deep:

    Japan Unemployment Rate 1953-2016
    The seasonally adjusted jobless rate in Japan was recorded at 3.2 percent in April of 2016, unchanged from the previous month and in line with market expectations. The jobs-to-applicants ratio stood at 1.34 in April, compared to 1.30 percent in March. Unemployment Rate in Japan averaged 2.73 percent from 1953 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 5.60 percent in July of 2009 and a record low of 1 percent in November of 1968.

    A “deep recession” in Japan means no raise for a few quarters…I hope the clueless will notice that the Japanese aren’t trying desperately to come to the USA in spite of the media telling us how horrible it is over there.

    And speaking of ignorance you go to state:

    “..or that we should stop people from pursuing certain college degrees to stop competition at a professional level.”

    This is exactly how MD’s kept their salaries high while engineers declined, there are the SAME # of medical schools in the USA today as there were 100 years ago!

    Not until “liberals” start getting tossed from rooftops for insulting the “Profit Muhammad” will they hear what Barbara Jordan and Caesar Chavez patiently explained to the “infidels” decades ago, immigrates drive down wages and in massive numbers will destroy the underpinnings of the cultural refuge they seek. And for the clueless, paying people a decent wage is a cultural value that we fought hard to weave into the fabric of our society. It’s that “value” that most immigrants seek, raise the Mexican minimum wage from $4.65/day to a number in line with the per capita of the rest of North America, say $5.85/hour and see how many Mexicans come.

    “Liberals” are willing to sacrifice every other value FDR espoused on the alter of “gun control” and Immigration…and in both maters Mexico is edifying. Mexico has a gun murder rate 5 time the USA and yet it has draconian gun laws.

  19. June 28, 2016

    Writing words does not mean you are correct.

    Immigration pushes wages up. the reason medical sciences keeps the numbers down is also that they have restrictions on medical sciences, not just they kept the numbers down.

    Again, immigration pushes numbers up. What pushes numbers down is a legal or illegal barrier to entry. But you do not want to say that, because the conservative position is, technically, they want free markets. Except of course when they do not, like defense.

  20. Some Guy permalink
    June 28, 2016

    Come on Stirling, your link to a study above includes a chart showing how the % of the U.S. population that was foreign born started rising in 1970 and hasn’t stopped since. We’ve all seen a million charts showing the stagnation of wages, the rise of inequality, decline of labor’s share of GDP, inability to capture gains from productivity, etc. all starting from around the same time.

    How hard did they have to make the numbers dance to conclude that this was evidence that immigration was making wages higher. Here’s a clue from the study, “The framework we use … assumes that the economy adjusts to absorb new immigrants and that the overall real wage effect of immigration in the long run is zero.”

    So, it is 100% irrelevant to the topic at hand. Why are you throwing up FUD on behalf of the 1%?

  21. S Brennan permalink
    June 28, 2016

    It amuses, it a bitter sort of way, how the “liberal” pro-immigration crowd, as opposed to the right-wing pro-immigration crowd, gleefully make things worse for the masses, not just in the USA, but worldwide in wealthy, but manifestly unjust places such as Mexico.

    Mexico would have long ago faced reform of it’s modern day peonage system if the “liberal” pro-immigration crowd hadn’t placed a safety net below their wealthy counterparts in the form of massive & destructive emigration. Essentially, the “liberal” pro-immigration crowd ensures that Mexico’s modern day peonage system stays in place, it’s a, brutally bankrupt morality veiled in the thin gauze of “concern” for people whom “liberals” then go on abuse. And all because they are too delicate to clean their own house…or to pay somebody a decent wage to do so.

  22. June 28, 2016

    >So, it is 100% irrelevant to the topic at hand. Why are you throwing up FUD on behalf of the 1%?

    I am not. My English on this page is rated at fourth grade level, obviously you have not passed this level. I am sorry.

    >It amuses, it a bitter sort of way, how the “liberal” pro-immigration crowd, as opposed to the right-wing pro-immigration crowd

    You are talking to yourself, and it is not because your English is for superior to anyone else who is reading it. Have you taken medication for your condition? if you have not done so, I suggest you might.

  23. Hugh permalink
    June 28, 2016

    Re the study Stirling linked to, it is based on data from Current Population Survey (CPS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is also known as the Household survey and is the smaller of the two surveys the BLS uses in its monthly jobs report. Its data is self-reported, and the one figure you probably know best from it is the official unemployment rate number. The other survey is the Current Establishment Statistics (CES), or Establishment survey for short. It is much larger, based on data from most employers, and you would best know it for the monthly jobs and wage numbers.

    Regarding these surveys, the following note is included by the BLS in each month’s jobs report:

    “It is likely that both surveys include at least some undocumented immigrants. However, neither the establishment nor the household survey is designed to identify the legal status of workers. Therefore, it is not possible to determine how many are counted in either survey. The establishment survey does not collect data on the legal status of workers. The household survey does include questions which identify the foreign and native born, but it does not include questions about the legal status of the foreign born.”

    That is the Establishment survey is focused on the job, not the worker. As a consequence, it does not collect any data on the legal vs illegal or native vs foreign born characteristics of workers. The Household survey, by contrast, focuses on the worker: employment, unemployment, race, age, etc. Information on native vs foreign born workers is contained principally in the A-7 table of the monthly jobs report and in annual reports of which this is the most recent having come out in May 2016: FOREIGN-BORN WORKERS: LABOR FORCE CHARACTERISTICS — 2015 (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/forbrn.pdf ). It is from historical data from this series that the data in the link which Stirling cites almost certainly comes from. As stated in these reports:

    “The foreign born include legally-admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents such as students and temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants. The survey data, however, do not separately identify the numbers of persons in these categories.”

    That is these data do not address at all the question of the impact of illegal immigrant workers. The main takeaways of the 2015 report were:

    “In 2015, there were 26.3 million foreign-born persons in the U.S. labor force, comprising 16.7 percent of the total [labor force].

    Hispanics accounted for 48.8 percent of the foreign-born labor force in 2015 and Asians accounted for 24.1 percent.

    Foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in service occupations; natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations; and production, transportation, and material moving occupations.

    The median usual weekly earnings of foreign-born full-time wage and salary workers were $681 in 2015, compared with $837 for their native-born counterparts.”

    If you look at where these workers are concentrated, in lower paying sectors, the discrepancy in pay between them and native born workers is self-explanatory.

    So to recap, these data have nothing directly to say about the impact of illegal immigrants on the labor force and pay. Given that about half of the whole foreign born group is Hispanic, we can infer that at least half of foreign born workers are illegal/undocumented, or about 8% to 10% of the labor force. That is a significant number.

    It is, however, immaterial, or mistaken, to compare wages between native and foreign born workers. The wrong thing is being measured. The correct comparison would be between what native born workers currently make in sectors, such as “service occupations; natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations; and production, transportation, and material moving occupations” and what they would have made in wages in the absence of foreign born labor. This could, at best, be only roughly estimated by using the increase in wage rates in periods before large scale immigration took place, such as during the 1960s. The calculation would be further complicated by wage and job suppression techniques, such as de-unionization and offshoring of jobs.

  24. Chaz permalink
    June 28, 2016

    Surely its 50 percent of Brits who voted rather than 50 percent of Britons?

  25. S Brennan permalink
    June 28, 2016

    Hugh;

    What was your point when you gave that long [and very tedious] quote from Newberry’s neo-liberal-think-tank link?

    I don’t have the time/inclination [pearls to swine] to parse another paean to our corporate greed, but it has to be in the top 10 of cherry picked studies I have been forced to read because some misguided soul wanted to tout their lack of an analytical mind. Hugh; are you self-indentifying yourself as a Blairite/Clintonista neoliberal, or are you just blown away by the pointless use of “mathematica obscurium” by the author?

  26. NoPolitician permalink
    June 28, 2016

    From a systemic/economic perspective, I’d love someone to explain to me how a _legal_ immigrant in the labor force is any different from a citizen being born into this country. At best, you could say that the legal immigrant is willing to accept less from his employer because he is used to a lower standard of living, but I suspect that they will learn US consumption patterns pretty quickly – at least within a generation. All of the immigrants I work with learned very quickly – they drive fancy cars and live in nice houses.

    If the average working-age native citizen is an asset to the country (versus a liability), then the average working-age immigrant should also be an asset to the country.

  27. Hugh permalink
    June 28, 2016

    S Brennan, it is called fact based research. None of my quotes are from the study Stirling linked to. They are from the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics publications, and they do not support or rather render irrelevant the contention that Stirling was making. But hey whatever…

  28. Some Guy permalink
    June 28, 2016

    Stirling, you said that immigration raises wages and quoted a study to back you up. I pointed out that the study, by its design, assumes there is no impact and is thus irrelevant to the point in question (it is only looking at the relative impacts amongst different levels of education, etc.).

    As to your motivation, I suppose only you know the answer to that, I asked but you didn’t answer.

    Hugh, ” The calculation would be further complicated by wage and job suppression techniques, such as de-unionization and offshoring of jobs.”

    That is not even the half of it, since you would need to understand the impact of immigration on the likelihood of wage suppression techniques succeeding politically.

  29. S Brennan permalink
    June 29, 2016

    Cherry picking extraordinaire

    “We then use Current Population Survey (CPS) data from 1994 to 2007 to conduct our own empirical analysis of immigration’s effect on wages over this period”

    Translated means: We carefully cherry pick 13 year; we take peak job growth of the 90’s…carefully timed to exclude all the fallout from the previous recession, then we go forward to the very edge of the greatest credit bubble recession since ’29, then label it “fact based research” for those to clueless read the fine print.

    Yes Hugh; you self-indentifying yourself as a Blairite/Clintonista neoliberal with your “fact based research”.

  30. June 29, 2016

    The Brexit vote and campaign are symptoms of bigotry, class warfare, fear and gross income equality. These four pathologies are now ingrained into the political fabric of counties such as the U.K and, to a worse extent, the U.S.

    The festering disease laid bare by the Brexit vote, however, is not the final tally of the electorate. Rather, the establishment in the U.K., (Political, Media & Moneyed elites) will now ignore the UK’s Brexit voters and carry on as if the people never voted.

    Already the media are referring to the vote (in news stories, not editorials) as an “Advisory Referendum.” The Brexit vote was a farce and a symptomatic tragedy of our modern political and oligarchic system. However, the bigger problem on display is the fact (1) the elites rule and (2) election results (relative to policy) are “advisory” as long as the system is rigged.

    It doesn’t matter how a fearful majority votes in the U.K., and it does not matter what an establishment nominee in a U.S. election promises to “believe” or “want” or even “promise” as policy outcomes. The policy decisions and the winners are predetermined; and if a vote goes against the Bank of England or Wall Street, the system crushes the voter and rewards the oligarchy every time.

  31. Hugh permalink
    June 29, 2016

    S Brennan, you seem incapable of either reading or understanding a simple critique of the underlying definitions and sources that were used in a study cited by someone else. You simply engage in repetitive name calling, the more absurd because I am American, not British, and as my previous comment made clear, I do not favor immigration for overpopulation reasons. Your odd comments are a great way to destroy any credibility you may have.

  32. Kaleberg permalink
    June 30, 2016

    Leave does have a pretty good story. London is doing just fine, even booming, but nine out of ten of the poorest areas in northern Europe are in England. The Brexit vote came down to London versus the rest of England and Wales. London is horribly outsized. In the US it would be a booming NYC, and the next biggest city would be Milwaukee, and Milwaukee would be doing as well as Detroit.

    I think a lot of this is a result of the class system and England’s colonial history. The aristocrats still own most of the land and still run the place as they always have. England was always notably poorer at home than France or Germany. It did, however, offer colonial careers as a safety valve. You might be the third son of gentry, but you’d be hobnobbing with rajahs who had to take you seriously. Colonialism like that is over, but the class system is still there. W1 is still the center of the universe, and the devil has taken the outer reaches.

    http://www.tomforth.co.uk/poorestineurope/

  33. S Brennan permalink
    June 30, 2016

    Hugh;

    You state, “You simply engage in repetitive name calling”, quote me in this text below?

    S Brennan permalink
    June 29, 2016

    Cherry picking extraordinaire

    “We then use Current Population Survey (CPS) data from 1994 to 2007 to conduct our own empirical analysis of immigration’s effect on wages over this period”

    Translated means: We carefully cherry pick 13 year; we take peak job growth of the 90’s…carefully timed to exclude all the fallout from the previous recession, then we go forward to the very edge of the greatest credit bubble recession since ’29, then label it “fact based research” for those to clueless read the fine print.

    Yes Hugh; you self-indentifying yourself as a Blairite/Clintonista neoliberal with your “fact
    based research”.

    Or:

    S Brennan permalink
    June 28, 2016

    Hugh;

    What was your point when you gave that long [and very tedious] quote from Newberry’s neo-liberal-think-tank link?

    I don’t have the time/inclination [pearls to swine] to parse another paean to our corporate greed, but it has to be in the top 10 of cherry picked studies I have been forced to read because some misguided soul wanted to tout their lack of an analytical mind. Hugh; are you self-indentifying yourself as a Blairite/Clintonista neoliberal, or are you just blown away by the pointless use of “mathematica obscurium” by the author?

    To quote your self projection;

    “you seem incapable of either reading or understanding a simple critique …Your odd comments are a great way to destroy any credibility you may have.”

  34. June 30, 2016

    OK, anti-immigrant sorts, what’s the alternative? How many thousands must die because they have been turned away? When your family is in trouble, you take them in, if you can. (A fine old teaching, which comes from the holy book that conservatives like to quote.) That’s the humanitarian argument, but there is also a practical one: the last time millions of refugees were turned away was in the 1930s, and the world is still reeling from the consequences. Besides, you think climate change is going to stop? It may be your children someday, who need to be taken in.

    Look, I’m not saying this is going to be easy. But it is possible, it has positive possibilities, and the alternatives are horrible.

  35. bobbyp permalink
    June 30, 2016

    Farm work is a shit job. Always has been.
    Farm work has always been low paying work.

    Same for dishwashing, landscaping, hanging sheet rock, cleaning toilets, and making beds for others.

    The cause of low wages is granting wage setting power to employers and skewing the income distribution upward.

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