Newsweek has released a list of the top 10 "Most Overblown Fears" of the decade, and most of the items are things most people have already forgotten about. However, two things on the list are those that the corrupt elites would dearly love to be overblown fears: immigration and globalization.
For the first, "Mexican-born immigrant" Ilan Stavans of Amherst College runs-down his adopted country, engages in various fallacies, and fails to offer any sort of counter-argument to his opponents' claims (2010.newsweek.com/top-10/most-overblown-fears/immigrants.html):
Are immigrants stealing our jobs? Are they overcrowding our schools, hospitals, and prisons, ruining our language and endangering our children? Such questions have always been with us, but they gained a hostile edge in the 1930s, when the so-called Third World— the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania—replaced Europe as the place where the vast majority of immigrants came from. With a different color skin, different tongues, and different customs, the new breed of immigrant stretched the nation’s idea of a melting pot, and met with sometimes hateful resistance that continues to this day. (As a Mexican-born immigrant, I should know.) But in resisting us, the country is resisting its future. Our uniqueness is based on our openness "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," says Lady Liberty, borrowing a line from Emma Lazarus. Our power is based on an ability to attract the world’s best and the brightest. But do we still give newcomers a chance to prove their worth? Judging by the hostile reaction to immigrants during the past decade, America has replaced its compassionate, welcoming smile and open arms with a menacing bark. “Get away, leave me alone, I live by and for myself and don’t need you,” Lady Liberty says now. People still dream of coming to America because this is the land of freedom, equality, and justice. Yet those very principles have not been evident recently. As a result, we have begun to undermine the very foundation on which we stand.
1. He's conflating all forms of immigration, the various types of legal and the illegal. A valid discussion should break them out by status, country of origin, and other factors.
2. Illegal aliens and other low-wage immigrants are indeed driving down wages for low-wage U.S. workers and they are indeed taking jobs that Americans could and should be doing. In Stavans' case, Amherst College can only employ so many academics, and if they chose him instead of a more qualified American, then I guess we've got another example.
3. A poem that was later tacked on to the Statue of Liberty is not, as far as I know, the rule of law. It's a poem; the many others using this same hoary talking point will be listed on the Lazarus fallacy page.
4. He says all of the above ignoring the fact that we currently have one of the highest immigration rates in the world; we currently admit over 1,000,000 people each year.
5. For the rest, see the immigration tradition fallacy page.
The other "overblown" fear - globalization - is discussed by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times (2010.newsweek.com/top-10/most-overblown-fears/globalization.html). Showing how he's wrong is left as an exercise.
Sun, 11/22/2009 - 03:39 · Importance: 4