Various economists have weighed in on the cost/benefit stats to the United States of allowing immigration to continue. Some say it’s a wash. Some say it’s a small benefit, but very small and not worth it in the other costs. Others say it doesn’t matter until the first boomers reach official retirement age (2011).
Given the furious debates about immigration going on at multiple levels of government, the article is timely. I’m hard pressed, though, to think that a) we could actually close our borders (without coming off vaguely like the former East Germany), b) closing our borders would actually stop those desperate enough, or c) that Americans are about to go out in great numbers to pick lettuce – no matter what the pay.
Around my office in Chicago, nearly 50% of my neighbors are Hispanic, many from Mexico. Did you know that in a Hispanic grocery store you will find 30 kinds of cheese you probably never heard of? Did you know that rice pudding is one of the most heavenly desserts ever invented?
As 77 million boomers retire, we’re going to need people to fill the workforce. We’re going to need people who have an education. We’re going to need people who speak English and know about hard work. Why would we stop the people who could fill that vacuum from coming here, learning English, and getting educated?
Seems to me if the numbers are close to a wash, we ought to consult a higher authority – our hearts. I’m all for practicality, and in this case I think the smart thing matches perfectly with the kind and loving thing.Powered by Sidelines