Saturday, August 25, 2012

Immigration: Work vs. Welfare

I recently was invited by Senator Aaron Osmond to present to delegates in his district on the immigration issue.  I cited a speech given my Milton Friedman in my opening remarks.  Here is video of that speech:



Please watch both of these videos.  I think they are very insightful.

The issue at hand on immigration comes down to the incentives that drive it.  Are immigrants coming to the United State for welfare?  Or for work?  The answer has far ranging consequences.

A recent study indicated that 43% of legal immigrants who had been here 20 years or more are currently recieving welfare benefits.  On the face of it, this statistic is disturbing.  After all, aren't immigrants supposed to come to better their lot in life through a strong work ethos and personal merit?  That is what we would all hope.

Here is a .pdf of my presentation to the group this morning:

   Immigration Presentation 2012

This issue is of such importance that it will dictate what kind of world we live in come the year 2040.  Immigrants and their posterity are poised to make huge gains in the share of our population over the next generation.  How we decide to handle the demographic realities will determine whether we live in an opportunity and economically mobile society like America circa 1900 or a caste system of haves and have-nots like Brazil 2010.  If we make no changes to our policies, it is my fear we will become the latter.   

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