Immigration

We are a country of immigrants.  Idealistic dreamers created this country.  People who have ideas and a willingness to work add to our economy and culture- making life better for all of us.  We should continue to make room for as many of these people as we can realistically assimilate.

Rand Paul’s speech at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce captured this point of view.  Here are his money quotes:

“If you wish to work, if you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you.”

 

“[We should] not to stop most immigrants from coming-we welcome them and in fact should seek to increase legal immigration.”

 

“It would also enable us to let more people in and allow us to admit we are not going to deport the millions of people who are currently here illegally.

This is where prudence, compassion and thrift all point us toward the same goal: bringing these workers out of the shadows and into being taxpaying members of society.

Imagine 12 million people who are already here coming out of the shadows to become new taxpayers.

12 million more people assimilating into society. 12 million more people being productive contributors.”

Let’s create probationary work visas, bring people out of the shadow economy, and start working diligently to educate and assimilate the latest newcomers, high skilled and low skilled alike, so that we can live true to our motto, E Pluribus Unum- Out of Many, One.

Related Links:
Rand Paul’s Speech
Text of the speech from the WSJ
Cato Institute’s Daily Podcast:  Rand Paul’s Pro-Immigration Push

Sequestration

I will admit that I have almost ignored sequestration, but recently I’ve had a few of my friends ask about my stance, so here it is.

I don’t believe it should amount to much.  I believe that political posturing and the associated drama and exaggeration will have the largest negative economic effects. The small reductions in bloated federal spending should NOT represent a substantial cut to the goods and services this country provides.  Why am I so dismissive?  Numbers.

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The sequestration dollars specified in the Budget Control Act of 2011 represents a cut of $109B in the 2013 overall budget of $3,807 billion or about 2.86% (see White House Table S-1.) This is almost $80 billion more than the $3,729 billion 2012 Budget. The sequestration plan, proposed by the White House, specified that a large portion of the cuts would be from defense in hopes that failing to prevent military budget reductions would be politically unacceptable to House Republicans and therefore encourage them to compromise on the President’s desire to continue to expand Non-Defense Discretionary (NDD) spending.  The President’s plan failed and now he’s trying to make the stakes higher.

I don’t want to invalidate the concerns people have regarding the impacts.  Both military groups and promoters of specific social and educational programs have weighed in on how they believe they will be negatively affected including: the PTA, AAP, Public Health, and other groups. Some of the cuts will hurt, but I suspect that a lot of pain will be self inflicted for political gain.

To steal from a favorite educator, intellectual, and author of mine, Thomas Sowell:

Back in my teaching days, many years ago, one of the things I liked to ask the class to consider was this: Imagine a government agency with only two tasks: (1) building statues of Benedict Arnold and (2) providing life-saving medications to children. If this agency’s budget were cut, what would it do?

The answer, of course, is that it would cut back on the medications for children. Why? Because that would be what was most likely to get the budget cuts restored. If they cut back on building statues of Benedict Arnold, people might ask why they were building statues of Benedict Arnold in the first place.

http://www.cato.org/blog/truth-about-sequestration

Defense Spending Cuts Triggered by Sequestration

Defense Spending Cuts Triggered by Sequestration

 

When Regulation Becomes Counterproductive

Shot of San Onofre on the way to work.

San Onofre spewing radioactive steam on the way to work.

Safety crews at San Onofre decided against taking additional steps to ensure that the nuclear plant was safe in order to avoid triggering long and costly bureaucratic reviews:

http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/articles/documents-prove-san-onofre-nuke-officials-knew-of-safety-problems-group-says

When avoiding bureaucracy forces people to avoid doing common-sense things they would normally do in a non-regulated environment, has regulation gone too far?  When regulations are effectively counterproductive are they worth it?  When events like this happen, should we re-assess if the regulations are accomplishing their intended goals or making things worse?

Several additional examples in other industries to follow shortly…