Immigration crackdown: good or bad?

4/30/2010:

Arizona pushing the envelope

Do you think the laws the State of Arizona are trying to pass are worthwhile?

If you read some of the other sites like the NY Times – you’ll see many people against this law – most of the time dropping buzzwords like “rights” and “privacy” and other left-wing philosophies or right-wing attacks.

“Currently, many U.S. police departments do not ask about people’s immigration status unless they have run afoul of the law in some other way. Many departments say stopping and questioning people will only discourage immigrants from cooperating to solve crimes.

Under the new Arizona law, immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500. That is a significant escalation of the typical federal punishment for being here illegally – deportation.”

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38 Comments on "Immigration crackdown: good or bad?"

escaped68
Member

With the economics in the shape that they are in most people look to save $$ anyway they could. Landscaping is a big loser with people cutting their own grass and saving the cost. Now the grass millionares are sucking wind. There is one a**hole that i know that had 10 trucks&trailers loaded with equipment and had at least 20/25 illegals working for him on a daily basis. He had all sorts of loans to pay and he lived the high life. This year he is down to 3 trucks and he is hurting, he still has the loans to pay for all of the idle equipment and the huge house he bought. And this seems to be the happening to a lot of these landscaping barons.

MidnightRacer
Member

getz wrote, “Prices will go up. Honestly, prices are depressed right now. Landscaping is an expensive business, between equipment, transportation and labor.

I have a cousin in the business, and the only way he survives against the guys using illegal labor is by charging a premium, offering organic service and being very good at what he does.”

If prices go up, people demand less. Money’s not going to appear out of nowhere, and priorities will not have landscaping replace summer soccer. When prices go up, demand drops, materials (variable) decrease (recall when new homes crashed and plywood, materials price significantly decreased). The cost of equipment will also drop given lower demand.

Your cousin charges a premium already with his niche. When you enforce federal law and rid business from illegal practices, your cousin’s business prices will not increase, but his materials and overhead will decrease. The businesses with the illegals will have to adjust (become legal and well managed) or go out of business.

G.C./Contracting is all about tacking on a % profit. That’s adjustable to stay in business. With a decrease in competition, those businesses who can offer a discount on annual contracts/package deals – vs – a la carte. Much of contractors’ inflated fees come from the position that they’re not sure if the rest of the year will bring them $n. Once that’s eliminated along with illegal/unsafe labor, it all is adjusted. It’s the market at work.

HansBrix
Member
HansBrix

Well at least landscaping isn’t one of life’s necessities – unlike agriculture. If prices really went up people will suddenly want less of it. Maybe the current demand exists only due to current price distortions.

I read somewhere that the labor component of produce prices is really not that big – like cents on the dollar. Anyone have the real stats?

getz76
Member
getz76

Economically, sudden increases in wages can wreak havoc on the macro. Increasing wages and inflation can start a bit of a spiral. There are a lot of levers here. In the example of landscaping, end-cost will go up. Yes, some owners are reaping inflated profits, but they are also competing with plenty of others, which is driving cost down. There is no shortage of labor, so it is not like they have excess demand.

It is the right thing to do, though. We have defacto-slavery for our “standard of living” in the West. Free trade? Fair trade? Prices are artificially suppressed with currency manipulation and near-slave labor in Asia and Central America.

The correction will eventually happen, and it will send a shock through retail markets. People will have to start deciding what they really need. Maybe a television will need to last 10 years again instead of 2 years… maybe people can do without 4 televisions and stainless steel appliances.

HansBrix
Member
HansBrix

Sure prices will go up. But wouldn’t that spur labor saving innovation especially in ag?

And didn’t the plantation owners of the old South have a similar argument about the economic perils of abolishing slavery? Look where that got them.

IMO reliance on low wage labor is the enemy of technological progress. Not exactly the best long term solution as far as I can tell.

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