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A Voice in the Dark

In AD 2101 war was beginning. What happen? Someone set up us the bomb! We get signal. What? Main screen turn on. It's you. How are you gentlemen!! All your base are belong to us!! You are on the way to destruction. What you say? You have no chance to survive. Make your time. HA HA HA HA.... Take off every 'Zig' You know what you doing! Move 'Zig' For great justice.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Why Immigration Worries Conservatives

Outside The Beltway wonders Is Anti-Immigration the New Mercantilism?, and notes that...

"Much of the anti-immigration rhetoric strikes me as being very similar. I'll often hear claims about protecting the middle class. The implicit idea here is that the middle class is entitled to a given lifestyle/income level."

This is not precisely the case. The idea here is that most people are middle class, and that most immigrants (legal or illegal) are comparable in ability to our own citizens, and therefore that immigration brings with it a flood of new middle class people that stir up tremendous disturbance among the existing middle class.

The poor don't care about immigration because their lives will still suck. The rich don't care about immigration because... well, because they don't care about *anything*. But the middle class are working very hard to get ahead, not doing a very good job of it, and they're absolutely petrified that something will go just a LITTLE bit wrong and they'll end up homeless.

There are a few flaws in this logic, primarily that most illegal immigrants are unskilled and will compete in the lower classes. Legal immigrants are a more representative sample of the culture, but a disproportionately large number of them are still unskilled. So the competition happens lower on the totem pole, and the middle class is largely unaffected. Therefore, to be accurate, this threat should be targeted at the poor. There are two problems with this, from a political perspective.

First, the poor live in a constant state of uncertainty and fear, it's next to impossible to frighten them. Spin the biggest scare story you can, and they'll just gaze at you dispassionately before heaving a sigh and saying "yup, that's how it always goes, all right". Then they'll turn around and walk off and probably forget every word you just said.

Second, to state the obvious, the poor have no money! It doesn't matter how much you talk about immigration, the poor simply do not have anything to give you. And they're too busy struggling to feed their families to volunteer at your campaign headquarters, too.

Going to the opposite end of the spectrum (the rich), you find that they are also impossible to frighten. Why? Because they don't live in a competitive world. Tell them that they'll face twice the competition, they still have no competition. Twice nothing is nothing.

So in order to get something worthwhile from this scare tactic, you have to go to people that have money, and are easily frightened. And that's the middle class.


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