Aliens & Laws

Jumping Fish
Jumping Ship

The Lexington of the latest The Economist made an important point about the indirect impact of terrorism on America. Migration of brains into America has slowed, tourist has become rather fed-up with security checks that comes with a vacation in America and even conferences have moved away from there as a result of the hassle brought about by security restrictions. Perhaps improving the ‘service quality’ of border customs would improve the situation.

The interesting phenomena raised in the article is that giving illegal workers legal status will help reduce their competition with the American workers.

American blue-collar workers fear that Mexican immigrants will undercut their wages. Mr Hinojosa-Ojeda says they won’t if they are legal. The fear of deportation makes illegal workers accept worse conditions, he finds. Once legal, they demand higher wages, and no longer drag down those of the native-born.

The report on the economic benefits of immigration reform is available from Center for American Progress. The idea fits into conventional wisdom about making choices between alternatives. Removing the option of getting deported would naturally help raise the expectations of the foreign workers and make it harder for them to compete with those native-born.

Ruin & Farms

Years Back...

As The Economist reports on the need for a whole scale re-invention of the state of Michigan, an investor in Detroit has come up with an interesting proposal to utilize the unused land in the largest city of Michigan and attempt to restore economic activity in the city that is hollowing out.

There is much potential in building up engineering capabilities of the population of Michigan to kick-start newer, more tech-intensive industries. The small start-ups may be slow to hire and would begin with the best brains, subsequent growth would help raise employment figures. Like what is mentioned in The Economist article, the state has no quick-fix to return to prosperity and will have to toil long and hard to develop newer industries. This could be considered a punishment for having lobbied so hard to maintain the inefficient automobile industry and the refusal of firms in the state to carry out restructuring.

On the other hand, the urban farming idea in Detroit might be a good start given that it might offer the chance to warm up the construction industry. Nevertheless, reviving Detroit would do little to help the state of Michigan if the other towns and cities don’t come up with new ideas on how to rise again. Moral of the story of procrastinating change: Someone will have to pay the bill someday.