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Over at Internet Commentator, Frank McGahon writes:
From the point of view of the rest of society there’s nothing wrong with “poor academic and economic performance” per se [since] the costs of such “poor” performance are borne by the actual “performers.”
Though this debate started with Frank, I am not trying to single him out–this sort of argument seems common amongst loose and open borders libertarians, when they’ll even admit that many immigrant groups aren’t doing well economically or academically.

The problem with the “libertarian” argument in favor of loose/open borders is that, even in the absence of a welfare state (unlikely to ever happen), and the absence of government-funded infrastructure (even more unlikely to ever happen*), there are certain costs of poor-performing, high-crime groups that are unavoidable. Unless one plans to hole himself up on his own private property forever**, one will always have some exposure to his fellow citizens, including those who are poor, uneducated, and more likely to commit violent crimes. Thus, the only practical way for people to express their preferences as to the economic and academic characteristics of their new fellow citizens is through the government. I am certainly not questioning the idea of private property, but I *am* questioning the idea of abolishing public property. The average person’s control over his circumstances should not be limited to a 1000 square foot house. A middle or even lower-middle class person should be able to choose to be insulated from crime and poverty without excessive cost. Under mass low-skill immigration, this is increasingly not an option; thus, one’s freedom in a country that allows low-skill immigration is reduced, even free of welfare and infrastructure costs (which is, as I said before, highly unlikely to ever happen in an industrialized country).

*Even many small government conservatives and libertarians do not necessarily find such a situation desirable; in fact, I am not sure fully privatized transporation and education are good ideas. A private justice system is almost certainly a bad idea.
**Assuming one can afford a property far away from poverty and crime, which will become more difficult as the U.S. and Europe accept more poor/unskilled/uneducated immigrants

Posted by bb at 11:38 AM

• Category: Science 
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The trap one often falls into is to focus on one of those to which the typical response of the [h-bd] convert is to eithera) completely ignore itb) dismiss it as an “outlier” or “an exception to the rule” which rather betrays complete ignorance of Popperian falsification. If you really don’t understand this point, imagine “exceptions to the rule” of gravity.–Frank McGahon

This has to be one of the silliest comments I have ever read.

As I am not a huge fan of Lynn (he does have WN aka “whining Nazi” tendencies), I will not go at length to defend L&V, though their data *is* remarkably close to TIMSS data. However, when one is dealing with an issue like h-bd, one has to go with the weight of evidence–not stick with PC until one meets some ridiculously high standard of evidence; almost any social science data will have outliers. Setting a high standard of evidence is what people do when they’re cornered; e.g. the tobacco companies denying that cigarettes are addictive and can cause cancer. The h-bd issue we are dealing with here is this: are there nontrivial differnces in coginitive ability between different populations? This seems a perfectly reasonable question to ask. Remember, even with typical U.S. IQ figures, we only see about 10 to 20 percent of variance between racial groups (the mean IQ figures E. Asian=103, Black=85, Latino=90, Euro=100, SD=15 give 13% of variance between groups). However, while the variance in almost any trait is primarily within races, it does not mean that between-group variation is trivial. One need only see the poor economic and academic performance of Hispanics (on average) in the U.S. to see this.

Given what we know about biological factors that can affect intelligence (such as NMDA and GABA activity during development), what we know from twin studies, and what we know about the correlation between white matter in the brain and IQ (just to name a few), Bertolt Brecht’s* conclusion that all disparities are “a product of history, not nature” simply seems loony. Unfortunately, all too many who describe themselves as conservatives and libertarians seem all too willing to go along with Brecht.

*Communist writer in the 1920s and 1930s.

GC comments:

More to the point, if you’re using words to describe an inherently statistical phenomenon, it is easy to make it seem like your objections and nitpicks are powerful. If there are 10 outliers on a height-weight scatterplot with 1000 points, those inclined towards verbal sophistry can say: “There are at least 10 things that don’t fit! First, there is Jane, the anorexic 6’4″ woman. Then there is Steven, the 5’0 200 lb man. Then there is…” and so on down the list. Because of the way the human mind works, if you can fill up a page of text with objections, you can make yourself think that you’ve come up with a powerful counterargument…even when the substantive trend is unaffected by these nitpicks.

With respect to the wealth of nations, which was the topic discussed in the thread, the trend is fairly clear:

NOTE: I know the graph has to be updated. The data is now about 5 years old. It would be trivial to do the update with the aid of Nationmaster, and maybe I’ll do so in the next few days. But in any case, even if you neglect the x-axis and the correlation and the scatterplot and just look at the histogram of points on the y-axis (GDP-per-capita of each nation), the relationship between ethnicity and GDP-per-capita is clear, EVEN IF you believe IQ is not the explanatory variable.

Now, yes, individual nations matter. Yes, you can point out that there is an overlap by comparing Bermuda to Russia. Yes, most of the outliers can be explained through historical arguments whereas others are more puzzling. But the trend is clear.

However, if you are intent on obscuring this trend, you can do so by avoiding graphs and equations entirely. This is the tactic of Ned Block and Stephen J Gould. One cannot understand the technical aspects of heritability or evolution without equations or graphs…but one can certainly make others misunderstand said technical aspects if one is so inclined.

Posted by bb at 09:10 AM

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Kevin Drum has a post over at his blog about affirmative action, and many commentators, in an attempt to defend large-scale preferences, have questioned the validity of standardized tests. Most of their criticisms are nonsense.

First, Claude Steele’s “stereotype threat” is (almost) pure bunk. From the American Psychological Association:

C. M. Steele and J. Aronson (1995) showed that making race salient when taking a difficult test affected the performance of high-ability African American students, a phenomenon they termed stereotype threat. The authors document that this research is widely misinterpreted in both popular and scholarly publications as showing that eliminating stereotype threat eliminates the African American–White difference in test performance. In fact, scores were statistically adjusted for differences in students’ prior SAT performance, and thus, Steele and Aronson’s findings actually showed that absent stereotype threat, the two groups differ to the degree that would be expected based on differences in prior SAT scores. The authors caution against interpreting the Steele and Aronson experiment as evidence that stereotype threat is the primary cause of African American–White differences in test performance.


Another major criticism of standardized tests is that they don’t predict much variance in college GPA. One issue that even many pro-standardized testing people don’t consider is that college GPA is not necessarily a good factor to measure any predictor against. The student getting a 3.8 GPA in ethnic studies may have a higher GPA than the student getting a 2.5 GPA in upper division physics courses, but the fact is that the latter student is likely to be a *far* better student than the former. Indeed, even amongst “hard” and “easy” majors there can be a fair amount of variance. Physics, at least at the university I attend, is a far harder major than engineering. I know a number of people who got A’s in lower division physics courses (which engineers also take) who are getting C’s and D’s (with significantly more effort) in upper division physics courses. I would also guess that many social science majors tend to be significantly more difficult than ethnic studies.

Another issue regarding the correlation between standardized test scores and college performance is restriction of range. When there is relatively little variance in test scores at a given university, this relatively small amount of variance in test scores will not necessarily be that useful in predicting college success. However, this does not mean that a large group of people admitted with test scores well below the mean would do well. A useful analogy may be height in basketball. If one were to devise a metric of general basketball performance in the NBA, height would probably not explain an incredibly large amount of the variance (maybe something like 10-20%, depending on the metric). But this does not mean that the NBA could start hiring a bunch of players who are 5’6″ and they would all do OK.

I would also add that blacks and whites with the same SAT scores perform roughly the same in college. In fact, the SAT slightly overpredicts black performance in college, and I would suspect the same applies to other ‘disadvantaged’ groups like Latinos, as well as poor whites and Asians admitted under “top 10%” plans.

Note:If many of these arguments seem similar to those of “dude” in the WM comments thread, it’s because I AM “dude.”

Edited at 1:27PM 2004-12-22 for clarity

Posted by bb at 01:23 PM

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From a commencement speech President Bush gave (free reg. req’d):

Our greatest failures as a nation have come when we lost sight of our compassionate ideals…Our greatest strength as a nation is that we bravely face our flaws and do our best to make things right. Our greatest successes as a nation have come when we broadened the circle of protection and inclusion. And this work is not finished. We will press on until every person shares in the promise of our country.

I also found this statement quite alarming and ignorant [edit: I have lengthened this quotation to include greater context]:

So in Africa and elsewhere, we are leading the fight against AIDS and other diseases. Where there is famine, our country provides food. Where there is desperate poverty, our country provides developmental aid. Where there is natural disaster, even in hostile nations, America is eager to help. And where there is tyranny, America works and sacrifices for peace and freedom. The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world; it is the almighty God’s gift to all humanity.

If the “liberty we prize” is “God’s gift to all humanity,” why has the vast majority of humanity been denied it throughout human history? Just a few hundred (and maybe a lot less) years ago everyone in the world lived under what most Americans today would consider tyrannical governments.

For more on Bush’s multiculturalist, big government, and invite the world/invade the world ideology, read this article by Steve Sailer.

Also, Steve, Lawrence Auster, and Abiola on why George W. Bush is no Reagan.


Godless also wrote an excellent post about the more radical “invade the world/invite the world” neocons back in January.

Posted by bb at 12:38 PM

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Open borders libertarians and neoconservatives often speak of the great benefits of having a large supply of “cheap labor.” The problem with “cheap labor” is that it is not really cheap labor at all, but subsidized labor. For example, in California, education alone costs nearly $7,000 per kid, per year.[1] Given that the typical Hispanic mother has 3 kids (it is probably higher for the poorest Hispanics), we’re already talking about a cost of $21,000+, more than many unskilled immigrants make in salary, much less pay in taxes.[2] This doesn’t include other services, both “welfare” type services such as health care and housing assistance, and other services, such as law enforcement (including police, courts, and jails), and transportation (new roads and highways, public transportation). Increased population also means that pollution will increase and/or stricter environmental controls will need to be enacted, which can also be expensive. Another problem with immigration and population increase in general is that it helps to push housing prices higher.

NRC (National Research Council) data bears this out:

The most comprehensive research on this subject was done by the National Research Council (NRC), which is part of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, conducted in 1997, found that more-educated immigrants tend to have higher earnings, lower rates of public service use, and as a result pay more in taxes than they use in services. In contrast, the NRC found that because of their lower incomes and resulting lower tax payments coupled with their heavy use of public services, less-educated immigrants use significantly more in services than they pay in taxes. The NRC estimates indicated that the average immigrant without a high school education imposes a net fiscal burden on public coffers of $89,000 during the course of his or her lifetime. The average immigrant with only a high school education creates a lifetime fiscal burden of $31,000. In contrast, the average immigrant with more than a high school education was found to have a positive fiscal impact of $105,000 in his or her lifetime. The NAS further estimated that the total combined fiscal impact of the average immigrant (all educational categories included) was a negative $3,000. Thus, when all immigrants are examined they are found to have a modest negative impact on public coffers. These figures are only for the original immigrant, they do not include public services used or taxes paid by their U.S.-born descendants.

In the mid 1990s, immigration cost each California household nearly $1200[Control-F+”measures”]. If one takes out skilled immigration, and takes into account the large increase in the immigrant population in California since the mid 1990s, the figure would probably be subtantially worse.

Hispanic immigrants and their children also, on average, have low levels of education, persisting through the second, third, and fourth generations.

Another problem with libertarian/neoconservative position in favor of loose or open borders is that immigrants often bring ideas that are very different from those promoted by libertarians and neocons (and conservatives in general). Though immigrants cannot vote immediately, once they and their children *DO* become voters, they tend to vote heavily Democratic. This not only increases the power of the Democrats but pushes Republicans to run panderers and big spenders like George W. Bush. Republicans may also pander and spend because of the “necessity” of attracting future Hispanic voters in addition to today’s Hispanic voters. Immigrants, given poverty and a tendency to cluster in ethnic enclaves, are likely to move in Democratic areas. When redistricting comes up, this means that the number of Democratic districts is likely to go up–even if many new residents are non-voters, children or even illegal aliens. The bottom line is that there is no getting around the tendency of immigrants to empower those who are very much opposed to libertarianism and conservatism in all its forms.

[1]Abiola’s argument about this:

As for the frequent claims that, say, each immigrant schoolchild costs the taxpayer $5,000 (or some other outrageous figure) a year, that is an out and out falsehood, based on the confusion (whether deliberate or otherwise) of average costs with marginal costs; just because per capita expenditure on elementary education is $5,000 a year does not mean that the marginal cost of educating an extra schoolchild, illegal immigrant or otherwise, will be $5,000 or anything close to it. After all, a school once built is a sunk cost, whether it houses 1 child or 1,000, so charging the price of adding child 901 to the 900 already in the building at average cost is a manifest absurdity – but that is just the sort of argument anti-immigration nuts routinely make.

This is a largely spurious argument. What happens when the immigrant children are numbers 901 through 1100? Immigrant children are not somehow immune to needing new schools. Additionally, when immigrants move into already densely populated areas, building new schools can become quite expensive because it is so difficult to find or create a site for a school (think Belmont). School construction is also not the only education cost–teacher and administrator salaries are also major costs, if not the main costs, associated with education. These costs will tend to rise (and/or standards will tend to fall) as the student population increases relative to the teacher population due to simple supply and demand, thus increasing per-child costs (and/or lowering the quality of education).

[2]The illegal aliens legalized under the 1986 Immigration Act were especially poor and had especially low levels of education:
An Immigration and Naturalization Service study found that after ten years in the United States, the average amnestied illegal alien had only a seventh grade education and an annual salary of less than $9,000 a year.1 Unlike immigrants with a sponsor who guarantees they will not become a burden on the public, when Congress enacts an amnesty, it makes the American public financially responsible for those amnestied.

Posted by bb at 08:35 AM

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From Abiola:

Anyone who advocates a return of the draft, under any conditions short of grave and imminent national peril, is at best a misguided idiot, and at worst a totalitarian thug.

Couldn’t agree more. Sending people off to die against their will in the name of egalitarianism is one of the worst ideas I can think of. Not that risking a draft by insisting that we install democracy in Iraq as ideological neoconservatives do is a good idea either…

Abiola also makes a very good point here:
Appeals for the reinstatement of the draft are symptomatic of what it is I find least attractive about liberalism, the attitude that not only should the state treat all its citizens as equals before the law (an unexceptionable notion), but that all individuals are interchangeable for any purpose whatsoever, like pawns on a checkers board.

Read Abiola’s full post here.

Posted by bb at 08:40 AM

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President Bush is now calling those who are skeptical of the idea that democracy will magically crop up in Iraq in the next couple of years racist. (via Steve Sailer):

There’s a lot of people in the world who don’t believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren’t necessarily — are a different color than white can self-govern.

Bush’s statement not only uses the tactics of the hard left, but is utterly ridiculous. First of all, Bush assumes that everyone MUST be the same and that to believe otherwise is racist. But he makes another assumption–that the nonexistence of any racial differences means that Iraq can (fairly) easily become a democracy. That is utter nonsense as well. It took hundreds of years for European countries to go from medieval hellholes to quasi-democracies.

The examples of Germany and Japan that neocons like to bring up are also fallacious. Germany was already a Western country and one that had had a democratic system under the Weimar Republic. Even Japan had begun adopting some Western ideas as early as the late 19th century, and it certainly didn’t hurt either that Japan’s emporer-worship was thoroughly discredited when it was defeated in WWII. However, there is absolutely no Western or democratic tradition in today’s Iraq, and the radical Islam that dominates Iraq today is not going to be discredited there anytime soon.

Importantly, no country with Iraq’s per capita GDP has become a democracy. The idea that Iraq can become a democracy anytime soon is foolish, and it seems to me that Bush is trying to cover up his mindless idealism with charges of racism.

Update: I would also recommend this article by George Will (also linked from Sailer’s site).

Posted by bb at 03:39 PM

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According to Eric Vilain, anyway. You can find his article here (free registration required). I found this quote especially laughable:

Sex should be easily definable, but it’s not. Our gender identity — our profound sense of being male or female — is independent from our anatomy. A constitutional amendment authorizing marriages only between men and women would not only discriminate against millions of Americans who do not fit easily in the mold of each category, but would simply be flawed and contrary to basic biological realities.

OK, so because there are a handful of ambiguous cases, we should just throw out the concept of sex entirely. In any case, “male” and “female” are far more hard and fast terms than “old” or “young,” or “hot” or “cold,” yet we don’t throw those concepts out or view them as baseless social constructs. The idea that any category that isn’t 100% straightfoward is invalid is simply ridiculous, and Vilain’s argument is the same basic argument as the “race does not exist” argument with even less justification.

Posted by bb at 09:59 AM

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Though most conservative and libertarian types are strongly against a living wage and are often against any minimum wage at all, as a conservative myself, I see such views as overly simplistic and idealistic. America today is far from an absolute free market system—the government provides services such as education, health care, housing assistance, and food stamps. Though this may seem like a trivial statement, it often seems to be ignored by the Limbaugh/Hannity/Bush “Right” when the issue is immigration or “cheap” labor in general.

Workers who are paid low wages and few or no benefits generally pay very little in taxes and often use taxpayer-funded services heavily. Businesses (and individuals, such as in the case of nannies) can also draw low-wage workers from other countries who require such services and pay very little in taxes. The lowered wages due to an increased unskilled labor pool also mean that native-born unskilled workers pay less in taxes and are likely to use more in public benefits.

Employers should be required to pay the full cost of hiring unskilled workers, especially because so many employers are so enthusiastic about bringing new “cheap” (subsidized) labor to the U.S. It is harmful and unfair for employers to be able to pay $7 an hour for a worker (for a 50 hour workweek, 50 weeks a year, this works out to a paltry $17,500 a year), while the taxpayers are stuck paying $7,000 or more per year, per kid to educate the employee’s children, and thousands or even tens of thousands more for health care and other benefits. At the least, the minimum wage should be increased, and employers should be required to pay for catastrophic health care benefits (obviously low-wage employees are unable to afford such care on their own—taxpayers end up paying for it). I might even support a low wage tax that would increase with decreasing wages. Such a tax would make up for the taxes low-wage workers do not pay and for the benefits they use.

Some libertarians and those who lean libertarian believe that “any willing employer should be able to hire any willing employee.” The problem with that statement is that there is a third party—the unwilling taxpayer who often must pay for services and benefits for immigrant workers. To me there is nothing “libertarian” (much less sensible) about forcing taxpayers to subsidize employers’ cheap labor.

Posted by bb at 07:42 PM

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Randall Parker of ParaPundit linked to an interesting (and troubling) article called “The Recipient Class.”

Troubling is the fact that single mothers (in addition to unskilled immigrants and the elderly[1]) are a growing population and a substantial net drain on the tax system, and their being a net drain goes beyond that they are more likely to be uneducated, poor, and have low IQs.

Interestingly, Asians contribute more in terms of taxes paid minus benefits received ($1730 per capita) than whites ($651 per capita), in spite of lower per capita incomes[2] and only marginally higher household incomes. The main reason for this seems to be that Asians are less likely to be single mothers than whites, in spite of having slightly lower incomes.

To me, our whole system seems unsustainable. In addition to importing huge numbers of dependent unskilled workers (and GWB wants to import more), we are subsidizing unwed motherhood and promoting its growth, and Congress just passed a Prescription Drug bill when we already know that taking care of the elderly is likely to be a major burden down the road even without any new benefits.

[1]I am not bashing old people here or suggesting that there should be major cuts in benefits, but old people are a growing portion of the population and are dependent. Also, Bush and Congress have made the problem worse with the Prescription Drug bill. I think old age benefits, and our welfare state in general, would be perfectly bearable were it not for the constant expansion of benefits, as well as mass unskilled immigration and perverse incentives such as rewarding unwed motherhood. Unfortunately, George W. Bush has been spending irresponsibly, promoting mass unskilled immigration, and has vastly expanded old age benefits…and the Democrats want to spend even more than Bush does and want an even more liberal illegal alien amnesty plan than Bush’s plan.

[2]It is often stated that Asians have higher incomes than whites, but their per capita income is lower than that of whites.

Posted by bb at 01:15 PM

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All amount to quotas, and ‘race neutral’ means of acheiving diversity may be the worst. Unfortunately, even many ‘conservative’ political leaders, including President Bush and the Supreme Court, support some form of quotas/racial preferences.

One way to get X percent (X percent is the desired percentage in each case) of some minority is that an organization could simply mandate X percent (a direct quota). Or they could predict that X percent of a minority would be admitted if Y points are added to that minority group’s applications, and thus mandate that Y points are added to each ‘underrepresented’ minority application. Or, an organization could predict that X percent of a minority would be admitted if the top Z percent of high school students at every high school were all required to be admitted to that organization, and then require admitting that top Z percent of high school students. Yet another alternative to admit X percent of an ‘underrepresented’ minority would be to enact a “comprehensive review” system and invent whatever criteria are necessary to acheive the goal of admitting X percent of a minority, which is essentially what the UC system in California has done.

In all four cases, approximately the same X percent of some minority gets admitted over more qualified applicants who are not ‘underrepresented’ minorities. All four systems add up to quotas, though only the first is called ‘quotas’ by most people, either due to ignorance or a political agenda. The last two methods are actually the worst, because they can allow grossly underqualified applicants of all races to be admitted into prestigious universities. The bottom line is, even if you believe some group has faced terrible injustices (which I am highly skeptical is a signficant factor today), admitting a person of that group to Berkeley when that person will have a severely reduced chance of receiving a solid degree (i.e., one that can allow significant economic advancement) is not a realistic way of correcting those injustices.

Posted by bb at 03:33 PM

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Little disgusts me more than the praising of the “swing voter” or “moderate,” who is not “fair and balanced” (most of the time)*, but rather is ignorant of politics. Worst, because of peoples’ malleability in areas they don’t think about much (politics is often one of them), they are likely to have simply picked up the leftist beliefs they were taught in school and by the media. Part of the reason Bush is so leftist on domestic issues (ie being in support of large spending increases, pro-open borders, pro-affirmative action, anti-‘racial profiling,’ soft on gun control, etc) is because a significant number, if not the majority, of the vaunted “swing voters” and “middle Americans” are leftists themselves, due to a combination of ignorance and apathy about politics and a leftist school system and media.

Here is an article about the myth of the virtuousness of swing voters.

As to the political malleablity of the average person, who does not think about politics much, read this article excerpt (from “Verbal Reports on Mental Processes”, Nisbett and Wilson, Psychological Review, 1977, p. 236). The study in the excerpt (Goethals and Reckman, 1973) shows that peoples’ opinons can be easily changed on controversial issues (busing to force racial integration in the schools was a major controversial issue in 1973 when the study was done). Moreover, the study shows people do not even realize that their opinions have been changed.

“[I]nvestigators assessed the opinions of high school students on 30 social issues, including attitudes toward busing of schoolchildren to achieve racial integration. One to two weeks later, students were called and asked to participate in a group discussion of the busing issue. Each group was composed of three subjects whose pretest opinions indicated that they were all pro-busing or all anti-busing, plus one high school student confederate who was armed with a number of persuasive opinions and whose job it was to argue persistently against the opinion held by all other group members. He was highly successful in this task. Following the discussion, subjects indicated their opinions on the busing issue–on a scale different in form from the original measure. The original anti-busing subjects had their opinions sharply moderated in a pro-direction. Most of the pro-busing subjects were actually converted to an anti-busing position. Then Goethals and Reckman asked their subjects to recall, as best they could, what their original opinions on the busing question had been. Subjects were reminded that the experimenters were in possession of the original opinion scale and would check the accuracy of the subjects’ recall. Control subjects were able to recall their original opinions with high accuracy. In contrast, among experimental subjects, the original anti-busing subjects “recalled” their opinions as having been much more pro-busing than they actually were, while the original pro-busing subjects actually recalled their original opinions as having been, on the average, anti-busing! In fact, the original pro-busing subjects recalled that they had been more anti-busing than the original anti-busing subjects recalled they had been.”

*Yes, I know Godless is a “swing voter,” but he is definintely a special case. Most “swing voters” are not sitting around studying h-bd issues and reading extensively about politics. Also (at least it seems to me), the reason (in addition to social/religous issues) that Godless is not in a hurry to vote straight-ticket Republican is that he sees the Republicans (especially GWB) as often being just as weak or weaker than the Dems on issues like immigration, affirmative action, and controlling the budget, which is a common ‘right-wing’ viewpoint.

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California governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger has come out in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens. Here is the quote, from the Washington Times:

The governor-elect said he supported a bill sponsored by Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, that would grant temporary working permits to allow illegal immigrants to travel to and from the United States and loosen the requirements to apply for visas.
“I want to make all undocumented immigrants documented and legal in this country,” said the Austrian-born actor. “It’s all part of the package.”

I personally was never that hopeful that Arnold would be a big supporter of immigration reform, which is part of the reason I voted for Tom McClintock in the recall and not Arnold (though I doubt even McClintock would have advocated stopping unskilled immigration (especially illegal but legal as well), as I do). However, I also didn’t think Arnold was so radically in favor of open borders.

When are people, especially people who call themselves conservatives, “fiscal conservatives,” and Republicans, going to realize that the USA simply cannot afford mass unskilled immigration, much less giving citizenship to those who have ignored our laws? Let’s face it, most illegal immigrants are taking far more than they contribute. Many of not most illegal aliens pay no taxes whatsoever, and many illegals (and unskilled legal immigrants) who do nominally pay taxes probably take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit, effectively reducing their tax contibution to zero or less, as they send their 3 or 4 kids to public school at $7,000-$10,000 a pop per year. That’s not to mention health care, housing support, law enforcement, rent control, and other services.

And while the average Latino farm worker is certainly no terrorist, what about the nontrivial number of illegal aliens who almost certainly are? What would stop an illegal alien terrorist, who had been working and following the law up to the time he applied for citizenship (other than immigration law, of course) from gaining citizenship? Giving amnesty also sends the message that people will be rewarded for breaking the law, which will almost certainly encourage more illegal immigration.

Republicans are so PAINFULLY stupid…

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California is now one step closer to giving legal driver licenses to illegal aliens. In a near-party line vote (one Democrat voted against the bill), the Assembly passed the legislation 44-30, and Gray “Gumbi” Davis promises to sign the bill.

This bill is naked pandering to the Latino vote, and (I would think) an encouragement of voter fraud, since illegals could more easily attempt to register to vote as part of the “Motor Voter” bill. I also believe the bill is unconstitutional and illegal, since the state of California is now aiding and abetting the violation of federal law.

I can’t believe that California is giving driver licenses to illegal aliens when the budget is already out of control thanks in large part to rampant illegal and unskilled immigration. California now may become an even bigger magnet for costly illegal aliens. The bill is also a major national security threat, since terrorists and criminals who are here illegally will now be able to have valid identification, making it easier for them to evade law enforcement and immigration authorities.

One of the most outrageous comments on the opposition to the bill from an assembly member (I don’t remember the exact quote) was that terrorism is caused kind of “racism and bigotry” that makes people refuse to support driver licenses for “undocumented immigrants.” No…terrorism is made easier by people who refuse to make a distinction between those who are here legally and those who are not, a considerable number of whom are terrorists.

Posted by bb at 10:21 AM

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National Review writer Rich Lowry is now actually calling for a reduction in legal immigration:

"The real answer is to scale back legal immigration [emphasis mine] and control the nation’s borders, so low-income workers don’t have to compete against new immigrants, especially people who have no right to be here."

Lowry also wrote:
"Economics 101 says that the more poorly skilled workers there are, the less they will make. Indeed, according to the National Research Council, roughly half of the decline in real wages for native high-school dropouts from 1980 to 1994 was due to immigration."

The NR has been railing against illegal immigration, multiculturalism, and especially immigrants who present a direct national security threat, but has not generally been so hard on legal unskilled immigration. It’s good to see the NR taking a tough stance on legal immigration, because any immigration reform that does not include the reduction of legal unskilled immigration is not taking care of the main thrust of our immigration problem–the importation of a persistent[1], dependent, and resentful underclass.

[1] Even notwithstanding Bell Curve-type theories, it is clear that something is tending to hold down some non-white immigrant groups but not others, and that this something is not going away any time soon (for example, second- and third-generation Latino immigrants continue to lag behind native-born whites (on average, of course) in income and education). Given the general success of many non-white and/or previously discriminated against groups (South Asians, many East Asian groups, and Jews), it seems unlikely that the "something(s)" holding down some immigrant groups include white racism or "institutional racism."

• Category: Science 
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In response to the Supreme Court’s decision essentially upholding quotas (but not the 20-point bonus for "underrepresented" minorities), the University of Michigan is replacing with the 20-point bonus with something I see as even worse: a required essay that students must write on diversity.

Students will have the choice between two prompts:

"At the University of Michigan, we are committed to buiding an academically superb and widely diverse educational community. What would you as an individual bring to our campus community?"
"Describe an experience you’ve had where cultural diversity–or a lack therof–has made a difference to you."

Not only did the Michigan decision do practically nothing to erode affirmative action, it has made things worse, at least at the University of Michigan. Now students are going to be forced to write an additional essay that essentially must be from a leftist perspective (could anyone seriously write a non-leftist response to these questions and not get hurt in admissions)?

See the full story at the LA Times (registration required).

• Category: Science 
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Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution