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Even Washington Monthly (somewhat) admits the "challenges" of massive low-skilled immigration (Texas, Phillip Longman)

A rare moment of clarity on mass immigration comes from Washington Monthly as senior editor Phillip Longman (also linked to the New America Foundation offers "Oops: The Texas Miracle That Isn’t" ( peekURL.com/zRPFqc5 ).

OK, the moment of clarity is a bit obscured but not completely botched as might be expected. Here's how it ends:

...As we’ve seen, the flow of native-born Americans moving to Texas has been quite modest over the last generation, and for good reason. Few native-born Americans could lower their taxes, or raise their standard of living, by moving there. But Texas population has nonetheless boomed due to two main factors: immigration from abroad, mostly Mexico, and a birthrate that is the second highest in the nation after Utah.

Both come with challenges. Texas leads the nation, for example, in the percentage of teenagers with multiple children. And one factor driving down Texas’s per capita income is simply a compositional effect of having a high and rising percent of its population comprised of young, low-skilled, recent immigrants.

But regardless of its sources, population growth fuels economic growth. It swells the supply and lowers the cost of labor, while at the same time adding to the demand for new products and services. As the population of Texas swelled by more than 24 percent from 2000 to 2013, so did the demand for just about everything, from houses to highways to strip malls. And this, combined with huge new flows of oil and gas dollars, plus increased trade with Mexico, favored Texas with strong job creation numbers.
But this model of economic development, which also combines a highly regressive tax system with minimal levels of public investment, has not allowed Texas to keep up with America’s best-performing states in per capita income or rates of upward mobility. And that’s what most people, including in Texas, most want the economy to deliver. The real Texas miracle is that its current leaders get away with bragging about it.

If challenged, Longman and others in his sphere would attempt to claim that everything is going to turn out OK, and would propose solutions other than cutting back immigration as a way to solve Texas' Texas-sized problems. But, at least somewhat admitting there's a problem is the first step, right?

Want to do something about this? Longman doesn't appear to be on Twitter, so instead look up those who chat with @Ed_Kilgore and point out that Kilgore isn't as intellectually honest as his colleague.

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 20:48 · Importance: 4