There were repeated calls here in Virginia for Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. There were no calls at all for John McCain. The first 3 had robocalls and live person calls. McCain had only a ghost call.
The people who called for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were not amnesty enthusiasts. I brought up immigration as my issue and said Mike Huckabee had taken the NumbersUSA pledge of Roy Beck of no amnesty. The Clinton called wondered how we would remove them and I discussed attrition be enforcement. I mentioned that President Eisenhower had removed over 1 million Mexicans in the 1950’s. She had not heard of that.
The Clinton caller was a woman around 50 who had two daughters. She said this is why she was calling. I reviewed some data for her on why I oppose immigration.
- Men’s median wages are the same as in 1973.
- Women’s median wages are lower than men, so they are lower than men’s were in 1973, in fact what men’s were in 1960.
- Productivity has doubled since 1973.
- The convergence of women’s wages to men’s has slowed.
- Labor force participation rates of black and white men were both 80 percent in 1965 and are now 67 and 74 percent.
The only explanation of this is the impact of immigration. Price, wages divided by productivity, have fallen by half, for both men and women in effect. Yet fewer men have jobs as a percentage. This can only partly be explained by women in the work force. A large part is immigration.
I suggested stopping immigration until some tests were satisfied:
- Women’s median wage was at least 90 percent of men’s.
- Men and women’s wages adjusted for the doubling of productivity since 1973, i.e. doubled.
- Labor force participation rates of men were back to 80 percent for black and white men.
- Black wages got closer to white wages than they are now, preferably over 90 percent as well.
She didn’t disagree with any of this. She was surprised by the numbers and was very concerned about the future of her two girls. She also was working herself and was clearly not in the top 1 percent that now get 20 percent of national income as compared to the 10 percent they got in 1965. They had got 20 percent before immigration restriction in 1924 started them to lose their excess share, i.e. to lose our share as well as their share.
This worked. She didn’t know the numbers but it connected to the experience of her life. She could also see that if wages divided by productivity are down and men’s employment is down, that can’t be natural. She was less concerned about men, but I pointed out to her that a man without a job wasn’t worth anything to anyone. She agreed with that.
I also pointed out that teenage employment rates are much lower today for white and black teens than in 1965. Teens not in the workforce now mean it will be worse in the future from here. But it already got worse from where it was in 1965 when teens had jobs. So it will get much worse from here. An unemployed teen is called a gang member in many jurisdictions.
The person who called for Obama was not that interested in amnesty. She was black and young. But when I explained to her the drop in employment ratios for black and white men she did understand this was a problem. She is at the age of looking for a man or has a man and having an employed man is something she recognizes as a problem for black women.
The caller for Mike Huckabee was a middle aged man. He was already against immigration. There was not much real distinction between amnesty and legal immigration in these discussions. At the end of the calls, facts, numbers, logic and listening to their views as well worked.