Sunday, July 24, 2011

Does Detroit Need Immigration?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, not content with imposing a nanny state on New York City, has weighed in with his solution to Detroit's problems.

Having read reports of Detroit's dramatic population loss (about 25% over the past decade), Bloomberg's solution is simple. Immigration!

Mayor Bloomberg: Detroit Needs Final Solution
Snyder sees immigrants as a key to state's economy

Governor Snyder apparently thinks this is a swell idea, too.

Neither Bloomberg nor Snyder seem to have addressed the most basic question. Why is Detroit losing population? They make it sound as if it were some unknowable force of nature causing Detroit to lose people.

In fact, people are fleeing Detroit because of high crime, social disfunction, high taxes, and low human capital. Anyone who can afford to leave does.

Bloomberg and Snyder seem not to understand that the whole point of immigration is to move someplace better than where you are now. Why would anyone in their right mind choose Detroit as the place to start a business? Why didn't Bloomberg and Snyder move their businesses to Detroit if it is so full of opportunity?

Instead, what Bloomberg and Snyder seem to want for Detroit is colonization, where more advanced outsiders share the blessings of civilization with the benighted native population. But colonization can only work when the colonists have political control. Imperialist Europeans are in short supply these days, anyways.

The flipside to Snyder's belief that immigration is the key to turning around Michigan's economy is apparently that existing Michigan residents are a bunch of lazy bums. While that may be true in Detroit, it is a slander against Michiganders generally.

The reason for Michigan's economic depression is dysfunctional political structures (both government and unions). Some of Snyder's other initiatives are positive reforms, but so far they have mostly been marginal changes, with tax reform being the big exception.

It is true that some immigrants come to America, start businesses, and create jobs. You know what those immigrants have in common? They aren't from the Third World. The three examples Snyder cites were Dutch, Armenian, and Canadian. Michiganders who oppose more immigration aren't upset about Canadian immigration (well, other than Granholm).

Meanwhile, most of America's immigrants continue to come from the Third World, particularly Latin American, particularly Mexico. Why didn't Snyder cite all the big Mexican-founded corporations in Michigan? Wait, there aren't any?

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