Jason Stverak misleads about immigration and the free market (Franklin Center, Koch, Krieble)

In Forbes, Jason Stverak of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity offers "To Achieve Real Immigration Reform, Put The Free Market Front And Center" ( peekURL.com/zYzhdmf ). The Franklin Center is part of the Koch family sphere, and it shows as Stverak wants to put employers completely in charge of our immigration system.

Stverak also shows that he doesn't understand what a free market is: he supports giving business a subsidy and helping companies "privatize profits and socialize costs." What he describes as the "free market" would - in reality - involve a large amount of corporate welfare.

Stverak begins with a variant of the immigration tradition fallacy. He writes:

One hundred years removed from its peak, Ellis Island continues to represent all that America has done to open its arms to immigrants. Unlike today's broken immigration system, the focus was on hard work, and we allowed the market, rather than the federal government, to determine how many immigrants passed into America each year. Washington can start to fix our immigration system by returning power to employers through expanded guest-worker programs - letting the free market do the job federal bureaucracies are failing to.

The situation then was far different from what it is now: large parts of the U.S. were barely settled, it was more difficult to travel from country to country, and so on. Not to mention the fact that employers weren't completely in charge as Stverak wants: some percent - perhaps around 2% - were turned away [1] and many others weren't allowed to board steamships in the first place.

Regarding the rest, see system is broken. It's not that our laws are broken, it's that enforcement of those laws is hampered by corrupt politicians. Some of those corrupt politicians receive donations from companies that want illegal alien labor, other politicians want more race-based power.

Then, Stverak shows that he doesn't understand free markets:

The shift in our immigration policy from a largely market-based system to a more red tape-laden, quota-based one has forced the rate of legal immigration far below the market's demands. The government grants a limited number of citizen-track visas each year regardless of how many unskilled foreign laborers the economy needs to function, creating unskilled labor shortages and requiring businesses to - often unknowingly - turn to illegal immigrants to mow lawns, clean hotel rooms, and perform other essential jobs that many American-born job seekers prefer not to take.

The "market's demands" are based on companies trying to take advantage of everyone else. Their low-priced labor is heavily subsidized, and they want more of it. If employers had to pay all the costs of their labor, they'd be forced to stop doing things old-fashioned ways. What employers want is ever-cheaper labor and at the same time to pass the bill off for all the services those employers require (schooling, roads, welfare programs, etc.) to everyone else. See also "Business pushes immigration reform even as it lays off American workers" ( peekURL.com/zwECYWk ).

Regarding the "shortages" Stverak mentions, millions of Americans are unemployed. And, there has been no spike in wages for low-skilled occupations. In other words, it's simple Economics 101 that there's no such "shortage". See crops rotting in the fields and my patriotic solution for more. Obviously, expecting those in the Koch sphere to promote pro-American plans is asking way too much.

And, of course, the last part of Stverak's quote above is the same jobs Americans wont do line used by countless other hacks.

Continuing on:

Although Washington is quick to identify illegal immigration as a problem to score political points, lawmakers often don't acknowledge that our out-of-synch laws make undocumented border crossings much more likely. Because quotas on immigration are far below the market's demands, the economy is perpetually reliant on millions of undocumented immigrants. Foreign laborers have every reason to come to America for "shovel-ready" jobs, but neither the incentive nor the ability to work through the years of administrative red tape that legal immigration requires.

Corrupt politicians in Washington and elsewhere are the main reason why there's illegal immigration in the first place, as discussed above. And, even if we allowed more legal immigration, companies would want more in order to get even lower wages and more compliant labor. They'd do that content in the knowledge that they could "privatize profits and socialize costs": pass the costs of their cheap labor on to everyone else. Regarding the last part above, find "capricious" here.

Stverak then goes on to promote a massive guest workers program:

Because the present system merely encourages illegal immigration, Congress needs to consider reform options that would put employers back in the drivers' seat and recast the federal bureaucracy in a supporting role. One idea that merits more discussion is an expansion of the guest-worker program. Often referred to as the "Red Card Solution," this plan would create an unlimited supply of guest-worker visas that foreigners could use on a short-term basis to fill seasonal jobs.

...Since red cards for guest workers would be temporary in nature, they would come with no pathway to citizenship attached, and thus would not be "amnesty" for those who have entered the country illegally.

How the "Red Card Solution" would fail miserably is discussed in detail at that link. The originator of the "Solution" is one Helen Krieble, heir to the Loctite fortune and owner of a horse ranch. See her name's link for more.

Want to do something about this? At a high level, work against the Koch family. That's obviously difficult because they spread their money around and even those who aren't in their pay now don't want to cross them in case there are future sinecures down the line. But, at least work to peel off some of their base in the Tea Parties. That shouldn't be that difficult since the Kochs fund loose borders groups and a Koch brother even joined with George Soros to fund the American Civil Liberties Union.

On a more specific note, look up those who talk to @JasonStverak and @FranklinCenter, and make the points in this post to them.

[1] nytimes . com/2007/03/31/nyregion/31immigration.html