1. A post by my EPI co-authors and me on high skill immigration is now up at Paul Solman's PBS website. It's a little more polemical than our other paper, but it's what Solman wanted. I wouldn't say I disagree with it, but it emphasizes points that I wouldn't emphasize so much. Ah well - that's what co-authoring and engaging in a public debate comes up with sometimes. The response post, by Vivek Wadhwa, is aggravating. The guy is a real jerk and has been calling us nativists and xenophobes regularly. He's also got weird input like "I'm not aware of any such NCES surveys" even though we discussed our data sources with him weeks ago in private correspondence. He's an odd, bitter guy that I'd personally rather not respond to, but it's a good platform for getting these ideas out.
2. Second, this was a disappointing publication from Alex Nowrasteh (Cato Institute) recently. He argues that if people are worried about immigrant welfare use we should just exclude immigrants from welfare rather than restrict immigration flows. So Nowrasteh is happy to welcome new Americans... as long as we treat them like second class citizens. Nobody would dream of saying that we should have more immigrants but that the police shouldn't respond to their 9-1-1 calls, or that they can come here but they can't use public roads. But you can get away with making that sort of argument about the safety net, and so he does. I think if you want to make an argument against the safety net then nut up and make an argument against the safety net. Don't advocate treating immigrants like they're not part of this community because it's the easy way to make that argument.
3. Speaking of the Cato Institute, they're having an event today called "What Economists Think About Immigration", featuring Madeline Zavodny, Ethan Lewis, and Michael Clemens, with Alex Nowrasteh moderating. It should be streamed online. I'll be there - if you are, say hi!
Procrastinating on January 20, 2017
1 hour ago