[Peter Brimelow writes: This column appeared in WorldNetDaily, Thursday December 3, 2009, under the headline Putting Americans back to work. As far as I can see, it's the ONLY mention of the immigration moratorium anti-unemployment policy option that appeared in the media during the entire Jobs Summit week. Can that really be true?]
President Obama's much-touted job summit is scheduled for today. Congressional Democrats are reportedly working on another multi-billion-dollar stimulus package (of course!). Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, is trying to upstage the Democrats by holding his own summits, yesterday and today. These Republican summits will reportedly emphasize tax cuts (of course!).
There is no doubt that America's jobs crisis is very serious. Unemployment had reached 10.2 percent at last report in early November, its highest level for some 26 years. The next unemployment report, to be released tomorrow, seems certain to show more job losses—for the 23rd consecutive month. [PB note: In fact, unemployment unexpectedly eased slightly—another example of how economists always get everything wrong—although immigrant displacement of American workers intensified, something which is only reported on VDARE.COM. Month-to-month government statistics are particularly tricky, because they are often revised dramatically.]
Notoriously, unemployment is a lagging indicator. So, even if the recession is ending, it may continue rising for some time—and will certainly remain high for a long time to come.
The Obama administration has made health care the center of its domestic agenda. But according to the Los Angeles Times' Peter Nichols (Nov. 27):
“Polling shows that the health-care overhaul is not as important to Americans as an economic recovery that yields jobs. With a midterm election next year, Democrats in control of the White House and Congress can't afford to look out of touch.
A Senate Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, ‘Democrats have to address the No. 1 concern of their constituents—and that is, by a long shot, jobs.’”[Democrats work on multibillion-dollar jobs package]
Incredibly, despite the recession, about 125,000 legal immigrants and "temporary" workers a month—as many as 1.5 million a year—are still entering the U.S.
And, with some 15 million Americans unemployed, there are still an estimated 8 million illegal aliens holding jobs here.
Indeed, the Obama Administration has repeatedly promised that it will try to amnesty these illegals next year. This would end any hope that they might eventually leave the American job market. In fact, because there's usually a fair degree of back-and-forth across the border in the illegal-alien population, the administration's repeated promises of amnesty are probably discouraging departures.
Democrats and Republicans have been bickering about whether the Obama administration's stimulus package really created the claimed 650,000 jobs.
Neither of the major political parties has been talking about the immigration answer to the unemployment crisis. And, as far as I can see, Googling around, there have been no (zero) discussions of an immigration moratorium in the Mainstream Media—liberal or "conservative."
Part of the answer, of course, is the entrenched special interests that have resisted immigration reduction all along—the ethnic pressure groups, the cheap-labor lobby, etc. They won't allow any discussion of an immigration cut, even in the current emergency when it would help desperate unemployed Americans, because they fear a precedent would be set and that their own dirty deals would eventually come under patriotic scrutiny.
These special interests give a lot of money to politicians. They can buy silence.
Another part of the answer: the intense emotion some Americans, especially intellectuals, feel about immigration. It's literally a holy cause with them, and they react very nastily if you question it. You even sometimes find economists making easily refuted claims that immigration does not impact U.S. employment and incomes—in other words, that the laws of supply and demand have been repealed, uniquely, in the area of immigration.
In contrast, contrary to stereotype, critics of immigration policy are generally rational. What's not rational about supply and demand?
But why don't MSM journalists at least ask policymakers about the option of an immigration moratorium as a way of reducing unemployment?
There's the usual liberal media bias, needless to say.
But my own theory (which will probably sound weird to anyone who hasn't spent the years I have in establishment financial journalism!) is that it goes beyond bias. Journalists don't ask about an immigration moratorium because nobody else has asked about it. The idea would just never occur to them on their own.
Call it intellectual inertia—if you want to be kind.
Unlike spending or tax cuts, an immigration moratorium wouldn't even add to the federal deficit.
What's not to like?
Peter Brimelow (email him) is editor of VDARE.COM and author of the much-denounced Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, (Random House - 1995) and The Worm in the Apple (HarperCollins - 2003)