Do Illegal Immigrants Help Push Americans up the Ladder?

That’s what this study says.

Here is an article on the topic.

Immigration seen as boon to natives

SAN FRANCISCO – The flow of immigrants into California has helped increase wages and job opportunities for native-born workers, said a study released Tuesday that challenges the long-held belief that newcomers take jobs from Americans.

Immigrants don’t compete directly with native workers for jobs, but tend to bring different skills to the workplace, said the Public Policy Institute of California report. This allows native workers with the same education level to take more specialized, better paying jobs.

”The labor market is not a market of identical people,” said University of California-Davis economics professor Giovanni Peri, the study’s author. ”Workers have different skills, perform different tasks, have different experiences, fill different positions.”

I’m skeptical that this study took into account all of the impact from illegal immigration.

Your comments are welcome.

Twelve Reflections on an Educated Person

The 12 points below are borrowed from a post on Illinois Review, and can be found with a good essay here.

1) An education person writes his own script through life, he is not a character in a government or corporation play, nor does he mouth the words of any intellectual’s Utopian fantasy. Education and intelligence aren’t the same things. The educated person is self-determined to a large degree.

2) Time doesn’t hang heavily on an educated person’s hands. She can be alone, productively, seldom at a loss for what to do with time.

3) An educated person possesses a blueprint of personal value, a unique philosophy which tends toward the absolute, not one plastically relative, altering to suit present circumstances. An educated person knows who he is, what he will tolerate, where to find peace. Yet at the same time, an educated person is aware of and respects community values.
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Barone’s Polling Analysis

Michael Barone is one of the classiest and accurate analysts of the poltical scene. He’s gone from fairly neutral to somewhat right as of late, but that hasn’t changed the general accuracy of his judgement calls.

Newt Vs. Hillary

Pollster Scott Rasmussen reports that in a recent presidential pairing, Hillary Rodham Clinton would beat Newt Gingrich by a 50-to-43 percent margin. That sounds fairly plausible, although it’s a little better showing for Gingrich than I would have expected. But take a look at the favorable/unfavorable ratings. Rasmussen’s numbers have Clinton’s fav/unfav at 50 and 48 percent and Gingrich’s fav/unfav at 43 and 48 percent. You’re tempted to think that Clinton and Gingrich both got the votes of every respondent who had favorable feelings toward her or him–and not a single vote more.

Of course, that’s not quite the case, but it’s pretty close. Note that these two politicians–both figures of huge national prominence in the Bill Clinton years–inspire unfavorable feelings in almost half the electorate. I wonder how many are unfavorable to them both. Clinton and Gingrich in different ways have considerable political strengths. But the nomination of either one may be seen as taking us back to the partisanship of the 1990s. Not where all that many of us want to go, I think.

If she’s doing that poorly against Newt, I can see why there so many Democrats flirting with Obama.

Hillary v. Rudy

First, there’s a huge difference between men and women in almost every state. Hillary carried men only in California (48 to 45 percent), which has 55 electoral votes. Rudy carries women in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming: 194 electoral votes. That’s a huge advantage for Giuliani, though if we assume his lead over Clinton is not as great today as it was last July, not as huge as the contrast between 194 and 55 suggests.

Second, I took a look at Hispanics in states where SurveyUSA’s sample was more than 5 percent Hispanic. I suspect that it ended up oversampling Hispanics in some states (Idaho, for example), which is common, especially when you’re dealing with small groups. Remember that the 1996 and 2000 VNS exit polls showed that the share of Florida voters who were black increased from 10 to 16 percent. But people who examined the appropriate precinct returns are confident that that didn’t happen. There’s an error margin on these percentages. With that in mind, look at the percentages for Rudy and Hillary in the following states. The Hispanic percentage of the sample is shown, along with additional comments where I have any.

Though currently neutral, I think McCain is going to be the nominee, and my bet is he fares even better than Rudy’s current flash-in-the-pan numbers.

Much can happen, but look for another swing in the next election. The Dems may keep the Senate, but the White House and the House are going to back to Republicans if these early polls are any indication.

The Source of the Problem(s)…

Greg Blankenship of the Illinois Policy Institute, just put up a post sounding the dangers of a "Gross Receipts Tax (GRT). " 

Given that I’m getting to be more and more of an agnostic on the ideological hodge-podge of debating one form of tax over another, I’m less interested in what form at tax takes than I am in seeing either a freeze or reduction in taxation – particularly in Illinois.  I asked Greg for some sources of information on the effects of a GRT and he sent me to the Tax Foundation, where I found this…

From a “Tax Foundation” page on the GRT…

“Yesterday Texas joined a growing list of states with gross receipt style taxes when Governor Perry signed into law a new franchise tax to comply with a court mandate to improve education funding

The updated franchise tax levies a 1 percent tax on the gross receipts of businesses in Texas (retailers pay a .5 percent rate), but exempts sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Businesses can elect to deduct either the cost of goods sold or employment costs.”

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!!!!! Education funding – Education funding – Education funding !!!!!!  The fake debate/issue that gave "conservative" Texas its first GRT and destroyed Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights is the same debate that is driving all of the tax talk in Illinois.
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As God is my witness, decent, freedom-loving people will either make the necessary effort to expose the “Education funding” scam, and the Education Establishment that promotes it for what it is, or we will eventually be taxed into oblivion while our kids are turned into a class of low-level managers.

Good Golly People!! We carp about GRTs, Property Taxes, etc. etc. etc. but we refuse to go after the source of the problem – which is nothing more (or less) than the public’s unwarranted support of a corrupt and unsupportable bureaucracy that is bankrupting entire states while mis-educating their children.  It’s as if everyone is brainwashed into ignoring the problem, and therefore cause us to focus on issues that divide rather than unite.

We’ll go cuckoo for Clones, silly over $tem $ells, and bonkers over babies. We then immolate ourselves over immigration, garrote ourselves over God, Guns, & Gays, and titillate ourselves over taxes, but we won’t go public with the truth about the source of the attacks on our culture and our pocketbooks. That truth is…
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A Conceptual Framework for Undermining Support for Public Education

This essay builds off of an incredibly insightful post on the Real Clear Politics Blog (2004). It was origianally posted on my old Movable Type blog in August 2005.

Note that I’m working on the formatting. Enjoy!
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How Conservatives Can Go Green…

If I had my druthers, the whole slew of Republican Presidential Contenders should/could be replaced by Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina. I’m a fan for many reasons, but one of them is linked below. (article on “Coservative Conservationist”) The fact is that Freedom-Oriented people (I’m getting sick of the “Libertarian/Conservative” label) need to start thinking of ways to deserve “environmental” votes.

One way might be to court reasonable “Greens” on issues where they share common sense and eschew ideology. The scary thing about moving in that direction is the often utter cluelessness of Republicans and their operatives.

Observe.
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It was Probably a Job Requirement

Former ACLU Chapter President Arrested for Child Pornography

Feb. 23, 2007— – Federal agents arrested Charles Rust-Tierney, the former president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU, Friday in Arlington for allegedly possessing child pornography.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by ABC News, Rust-Tierney allegedly used his e-mail address and credit card to subscribe to and access a child pornography website.

The complaint states that federal investigations into child pornography websites revealed that “Charles Rust-Tierney has subscribed to multiple child pornography website over a period of years.”

As recently as last October, the complaint alleges, “Rust-Tierney purchased access to a group of hardcore commercial child pornography websites.”

Rust-Tierney admitted to investigators that he had downloaded videos and images from child pornography websites onto CD-ROMs, according to the complaint.

The videos described in the complaint depict graphic forcible intercourse with prepubescent females. One if the girls is described in court documents as being “seen and heard crying”, another is described as being “bound by rope.”

The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and the Arlington County Police as part of the Northern Virginia and District of Columbia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Rust-Tierney made an initial appearance in a federal court in Alexandria, VA, Friday. He is being detained pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 28.

Rust Tierney coaches various youth sports teams in and around Arlington, Virginia, according to court documents.

In the past, Rust-Tierney had argued against restricting Internet access in public libraries in Virginia, writing, “Recognizing that individuals will continue to behave responsibly and appropriately while in the library, the default should be maximum, unrestricted access to the valuable resources of the Internet.”

[Note: I edited and adapted the comment below from another blog. I would have liked to attribute it, but the person is anonymous.]

The ACLU understands perfectly well what it is doing. The goal is that child pornography becomes protected speech and all moral opposition becomes an attack on the 1st Amendment. The program is Gramscian in nature and the goals are plain:

As the bromides of the ACLU become the sense of the ‘base’ the capitalist ‘superstructure’ will collapse and the Marxist utopia shall rise from the ashes. The organization has always been adept at pushing the thoughtless ‘liberal left’ into a frenzy of activity in support of causes with implications they are incapable of grasping.

As we think back on last week’s To Catch a Predator, we can see the ACLU strategy in all its glory. Not only have 1000s (the people caught represent 1000s) of people loosened their morals enough to sink to the level of considering sex with 13 year-olds. Add to that a large cohort of parents too stupid to monitor their children’s access to the internet. Pile on top of all of this a school system that actively promotes children seeking out such sites, and you have Gramsci’s dream world coming true.

Vaclav Klaus – Genius

Vaclav Klaus is the President/PM of the Czech Republic. In a recent interview, he evicerates a media moron while calling Al Gore “insane.” All in all, a very good day.

President of Czech Republic Calls Man-Made Global Warming a ‘Myth’ – Questions Gore’s Sanity

Czech president Vaclav Klaus has criticized the UN panel on global warming, claiming that it was a political authority without any scientific basis.

In an interview with “Hospodárské noviny”, a Czech economics daily, Klaus answered a few questions:

Q: IPCC has released its report and you say that the global warming is a false myth. How did you get this idea, Mr President?

A: It’s not my idea. Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. IPCC is not a scientific institution: it’s a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It’s neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment. Also, it’s an undignified slapstick that people don’t wait for the full report in May 2007 but instead respond, in such a serious way, to the summary for policymakers where all the “but’s” are scratched, removed, and replaced by oversimplified theses.

This is clearly such an incredible failure of so many people, from journalists to politicians. If the European Commission is instantly going to buy such a trick, we have another very good reason to think that the countries themselves, not the Commission, should be deciding about similar issues.

Q: How do you explain that there is no other comparably senior statesman in Europe who would advocate this viewpoint? No one else has such strong opinions…

A: My opinions about this issue simply are strong. Other top-level politicians do not express their global warming doubts because a whip of political correctness strangles their voice.

Q: But you’re not a climate scientist. Do you have a sufficient knowledge and enough information?

A: Environmentalism as a metaphysical ideology and as a worldview has absolutely nothing to do with natural sciences or with the climate. Sadly, it has nothing to do with social sciences either. Still, it is becoming fashionable and this fact scares me. The second part of the sentence should be: we also have lots of reports, studies, and books of climatologists whose conclusions are diametrally opposite.

Indeed, I never measure the thickness of ice in Antarctica. I really don’t know how to do it and don’t plan to learn it. However, as a scientifically oriented person, I know how to read science reports about these questions, for example about ice in Antarctica. I don’t have to be a climate scientist myself to read them. And inside the papers I have read, the conclusions we may see in the media simply don’t appear. But let me promise you something: this topic troubles me which is why I started to write an article about it last Christmas. The article expanded and became a book. In a couple of months, it will be published. One chapter out of seven will organize my opinions about the climate change.

Environmentalism and green ideology is something very different from climate science. Various findings and screams of scientists are abused by this ideology.

Q: How do you explain that conservative media are skeptical while the left-wing media view the global warming as a done deal?

A: It is not quite exactly divided to the left-wingers and right-wingers. Nevertheless it’s obvious that environmentalism is a new incarnation of modern leftism.

Q: If you look at all these things, even if you were right …

A: …I am right…

Q: Isn’t there enough empirical evidence and facts we can see with our eyes that imply that Man is demolishing the planet and himself?

A: It’s such a nonsense that I have probably not heard a bigger nonsense yet.

Q: Don’t you believe that we’re ruining our planet?

A: I will pretend that I haven’t heard you. Perhaps only Mr Al Gore may be saying something along these lines: a sane person can’t. I don’t see any ruining of the planet, I have never seen it, and I don’t think that a reasonable and serious person could say such a thing. Look: you represent the economic media so I expect a certain economical erudition from you. My book will answer these questions. For example, we know that there exists a huge correlation between the care we give to the environment on one side and the wealth and technological prowess on the other side. It’s clear that the poorer the society is, the more brutally it behaves with respect to Nature, and vice versa.

It’s also true that there exist social systems that are damaging Nature – by eliminating private ownership and similar things – much more than the freer societies. These tendencies become important in the long run. They unambiguously imply that today, on February 8th, 2007, Nature is protected uncomparably more than on February 8th ten years ago or fifty years ago or one hundred years ago.

That’s why I ask: how can you pronounce the sentence you said? Perhaps if you’re unconscious? Or did you mean it as a provocation only? And maybe I am just too naive and I allowed you to provoke me to give you all these answers, am I not? It is more likely that you actually believe what you say.

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What a delicious beating. If only Bush could be this articulate.

Can Illinois Get A Hurricane? Please!

I will soon be re-releasing my “Extreme Wisdom Plan for an Illinois Renaissance,” where I argue that there is no rational need for a silly concept like a “School District.”

Just convert EVERY Illinois public school into an independent charter. (Yes! there will be transition issues).

Below is an article that sorta proves my point as to why this is not only a good idea, but doable. Check out the chart and get some religion. All the dogma, all the tricks, all the nonsense about spending are demonstrably false. Gut the system. Fund the child, not the bureaucracy.

Reading, Writing & Resurrection

Roché-Hicks had opposed charter schools because she thought they would kill off public schools. But after Katrina, a charter was her only hope for King’s resurrection. She gathered a board, and in the spring of 2006, King’s charter application was one of the first approved.

View image

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Note to Ms. Roché-Hicks. It isn’t about the system. It’s about the kids.

Why the Left Hates the Right

Back in 2005, Howard Dean, the avatar of the angry left, recently stated "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire their discipline and their organization."

Other than proving that he is the leading a–hole in the nation, what else does this tell us?  That was the topic of discussion on Michael Medved’s radio show on Monday.

I was listening to Medved when an insight hit me upside the head that forced me to call his show.  Apparently, he liked my insight too, because he gave me a copy of his book.  Here is how it all plays out.

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I have often stated that the real battle at hand, from an ideological perspective, is to break down the differences between those who have a collectivist mindset and those who have an individualistic mindset.

The collectivist subconsciously discounts individualism. They don’t like it; they don’t understand it; and it is for that reason that — intentionally or not — all of their policies work to destroy it.

The individualists on the other hand, while they despise communism, socialism, and the liberalism that destroys the individual, usually can’t bring themselves to hate the individual Communist, socialist, or liberal. The ironic fact is that we individualists actually judge people by the "content of their character" and not the "color of their ideology."

At first glance, this may not seem very deep or insightful. However, I believe it explains why poltroons like Howard Dean can get away with saying they "hate Republicans" and why the left (for all its pretensions of tolerance and openness) is so deeply suffused with hatred while we conservatives are not.

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