Friday, July 5, 2019


Ann Coulter: Surprise! That 'cheap' immigrant labor costs us a lot 

We could pay for every idiotic boondoggle proposed by the 300 Democratic presidential candidates if the current president would simply keep his central campaign promise to build a border wall and deport illegal aliens. (Back off — “illegal alien” is the term used in federal law.) 


A 2017 study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) found that illegal aliens cost the American taxpayer — on net — $116 billion a year.
That’s pretty high, but the actual number is more likely triple that.
Straight out of the chute, FAIR assumes that there are only 12.5 million illegal immigrants in the country, approximately the same number we’ve been told for the last 15 years as we impotently watched hundreds of thousands more stream across our border, year after year after year.
The 12 million figure is based on the self-reports of illegal aliens to U.S. census questionnaires. (Hello! I’m from the federal government. Did you break the law to enter our country? Now tell the truth! We have no way of knowing the answer, and if you say yes, you could be subjecting yourself to immediate deportation.)

More serious studies put the number considerably higher. At the low end, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale study last year put the number of illegals at 22 million. Yet Bear Stearns investment bank had it at 20 million back in 2005, and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporters Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele reported in 2004 that 3 million illegals were crossing each year — so simple math would put it at well over 60 million today.
So, right there, the FAIR study underestimates the tab for illegal immigration by at least a factor of three, meaning the real cost is about $350 billion a year. That’s triple what Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) free college tuition plan will cost in a decade.
I don’t mean to bash FAIR. It’s sweet how immigration restrictionists always bend over backward to be impartial. But their circumspection doesn’t mean the rest of us have to ignore reality.
Journalists’ usual method of determining the cost of “unauthorized entries” — as they say — is to phone some fanatically pro-illegal immigration group, such as Cato or CASA, and get a quote sneering at anyone else’s estimate of the costs.
In a deeply investigated 2017 Washington Post article, for example, the Post cited the “belief” that illegal aliens “drain government resources.” Without looking at any facts or figures, the reporter disputed that “belief” with a quote from Cathryn Ann Paul of CASA: "It's a myth that people who are undocumented don't pay taxes."
So there you have it! Cathryn Ann Paul says it’s a “myth.” Now let’s move on to the vibrant diversity being gifted to us by illegal aliens.
Earlier this year, The New York Times mocked President Trump’s tweet saying illegal immigration costs "250 Billion Dollars a year" by quoting big-business shill Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute: "There's no basis to any of those numbers about the fiscal cost." Am I doing OK, Mr. Koch?
The Times further explained that Trump’s figure “did not take into account the economic benefits of undocumented immigrants” — for example, the surprisingly affordable maids of some reporters.
Randy Capps of the Migration Policy Institute told the Times that studies of the cost of illegal immigration count only the costs or only the benefits. “They tend to talk past each other, unfortunately,” he said.

Well, the FAIR study counted both. For every dollar illegal immigrants pay in taxes — fees, Social Security withholding taxes, fuel surcharges, sales and property taxes — they collect $7 in government benefits: schooling, English as a second language classes, hospital costs, school lunch programs, Medicaid births, police resources and so on.
A few years ago, the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector looked at the winners and losers under our government redistribution system and found that in 2010, households headed by illegal immigrants received $14,387 more in government services than they paid in taxes.
Legal immigrant households also were big winners, receiving $4,344 more in government services than they paid in taxes. (Our government does a fantastic job deciding who can immigrate here.)
Only with nonimmigrant households does the government almost break even, doling out a mere $310 more in benefits than those households pay in taxes. (Surprise! The deficit is on track to hit $1 trillion next year.)
Like FAIR estimates, Rector’s study accepted the U.S. Census Bureau’s allegation that we’ve had the same number of illegal aliens in this country since the beginning of the Bush administration. Also like the FAIR study, Rector’s examination counted only the obvious costs imposed on us by illegal immigrants — things such as health care, education, fire and police protection, parks, roads, and bridges.

But there are all sorts of costs that no one ever
counts. What about Americans’ lost wages to
illegal immigrants who are willing to work for
$7 an hour? Even if they don’t apply for
unemployment insurance, how do we count the
cost of suicide, opioid addiction or other anti-
social behavior? 

Why not count the lost wages themselves? We want to know the cost-benefit ratio to those already here, not to the new total that includes the illegal immigrants. If it's a net negative to those already here — well, that's the point.
And what was the tab of illegal immigration to the family of Kate Steinle, the young woman shot dead by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco in 2015? There were obvious, tragic costs, of course — but there also are hidden costs, such as the lost productivity of the people close to Kate for years to come, the additional police presence around the San Francisco pier where she was killed and the reduction in tourist dollars.
We hear about the great largesse bestowed upon us by illegal immigrants all day long. The only hidden benefits are the warm feelings of self-righteousness that the CASA spokesman gets when bleating about illegals and the happiness that cheap servants bring to the top 10 percent.
In Maine, overdose deaths from opioids, mostly Mexican heroin, have skyrocketed in the last decade, up from an already catastrophic 100 to 200 deaths per year to more than double that — 418 in 2018. What is the cost of the state legislature spending weeks debating a bill to provide heroin addicts with Narcan? The cost of more crime and more police?

This isn’t to gratuitously mention the fact that completely unvetted, self-chosen illegal immigrants can, in fact, be rapists, drug dealers and cop-killers. It is to say that no analysis of illegal immigration’s cost can ever capture the full price.

Ann Coulter is a lawyer, a syndicated columnist and conservative commentator, and the author of 13 New York Times bestsellers. The most recent, “Resistance Is Futile! How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind,” was published in 2018.

International Labour Organization report documents growing assault on wages

5 July 2019
A report issued by the International Labour Organization (ILO) yesterday shows that workers’ share of global income has fallen “substantially” over the past two decades, with a systematic redistribution of wealth to both capital and the top income earners.
Globally, the share of national income going to workers is declining, having fallen from 53.7 percent in 2004 to 51.4 percent in 2017, while the share going to capital rose from 46.3 percent to 48.6 percent. This is part of an ongoing trend, only temporarily interrupted by the 2008–09 global financial crisis.
However, the overall redistribution of wealth from labour to capital is only part of the picture.
One of the most significant findings in the report documents how social inequality is widening. Income is being siphoned up to the highest levels at the expense of middle-income earners, defined as the middle 60 percent of workers. Their share of total wages fell from 44.8 percent in 2004 to 43 percent in 2017.
In what it described as a key finding, the report states: “The data show that in relative terms, increases in top labour incomes are associated with losses for everyone else, with both middle class and lower-income workers seeing their share of income decline.”
This is particularly the case in the major economies. “In several high-income countries,” the report states, “the evolution of the labour income distribution between 2004 and 2017 follows a ‘hockey stick’ pattern: substantial losses for the middle and lower-middle class, and large gains for the top. This pattern can be found, among others, in Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.”
This pattern of large gains for the upper income earners, coupled with losses for much of the rest of the income distribution, was particularly marked in Britain, where the report found that the largest losses were for the percentiles ranging from 7 to 50 percent. It also found that the increases for the top income earners were “more pronounced” than in the US and Germany.
On a global scale, the report found that the top 10 percent received 48.9 percent of total wages, the next decile received 20.1 percent, and the remaining 80 percent received 31.0 percent. The lowest 20 percent received only 1 percent of total labour income.
Commenting on the report, Roger Gomis, an ILO economist, said: “The majority of the global workforce endures strikingly low pay and for many having a job does not mean having enough to live on. The average pay of the bottom half of the world’s workers is just 198 dollars per month and the poorest 10 percent would need to work more than three centuries to earn the same as the richest 10 percent do in one year.”
A number of factors have worked to create this situation. First, the ILO data is yet another confirmation of the analysis of Karl Marx, denounced by bourgeois economists down through the decades, that the essential objective logic of the capitalist mode of production is the accumulation of massive wealth at one pole and poverty and misery at the other.
This logic has been reinforced by the policies carried out by governments and financial institutions around the world, particularly since the eruption of the global financial crisis in 2008.
The injection of trillions of dollars into the financial system in order to boost the value of share prices and other financial assets has been one of the key mechanisms for the transfer of wealth up the income scale. Much of what constitutes the increase in wages for the upper 10 percent is derived from the escalating incomes of those involved in the top-level speculative operations of the financial system.
At the same time, governments are working to enhance this redistribution of income through tax cuts benefiting top income earners—the latest example being the passage of major tax cuts for the wealthy by the Australian parliament yesterday, with bipartisan support, following the lead of the Trump administration.
However, the key factor in facilitating this process has been the role of the labour and trade union bureaucracies, together with the social democratic parties, in suppressing the opposition of the working class. All over the world, the cuts in real wages, documented by the ILO report, have been accompanied by the actions of the trade unions in doing whatever they can to prevent and shut down opposition.
This is not merely the product of the total subservience and treachery of individual union leaderships—though that abounds—but flows from the nature of the trade unions themselves, rooted in their national-based structures and orientation.
Their response to the globalisation of production and finance over the past three decades has been to make their “own” capitalist class more “internationally competitive” through cuts in real wages and the imposition of changes in working conditions to facilitate greater exploitation. Consequently, they have undergone a transformation: from organisations that once carried out a limited defence of workers’ wages and conditions within the framework of the profit system, to the chief enforcers of the dictates and demands of capital.
In this role they have been aided and abetted by all the pseudo-left organisations, which have worked to promote the deadly illusion that workers’ struggles must be directed through the unions and that social change can come only through the Democratic Party in the US or via social democratic parties in other countries.
However, a new factor has now entered the scene. The ongoing and intensifying offensive by the ruling elites is provoking an upsurge of the class struggle—seen in the strikes by teachers and educators in the US and elsewhere, the “yellow vest” movement in France, the wildcat strikes in Mexico, strikes against wage freezes in Europe and the mass protests in North Africa.
The crucial issue confronting this growing movement, as yet only in its initial stages, is the development of a program and perspective. It must be based, first of all, on the understanding that all the great social issues confronting the working class, reflected most clearly in the escalation of social inequality, arise from a systemic crisis of the global capitalist order.
This means they can be resolved only with a program that is equally systemic, aimed at their root cause. That is, the growing struggles of workers around the world must be armed with an internationalist socialist program directed to the overthrow of the profit system, the taking political power by the working class and the building of the world party of socialist revolution to lead this struggle.

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