Trump and Immigration

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to deport all illegal aliens and sharply restrict legal immigration. I’ll leave the foolishness of the first for another post; I’m more interested in the restriction on legal immigration Trump is proposing here.

He also calls for “a pause” in all immigration, for an unspecified period.

That was buried in the WSJ op-ed at the link. I’ve not seen anything even remotely definitive on Trump’s plans for Social Security, so I have to ask: how does he plan to fund that program?

“Gig” Economy Workers

These unfortunates are exploited by evil startup companies. Or so say unions, plaintiffs’ lawyers, and Democrats looking to maintain the dependency of others on them in government.

In the last year such companies as Uber, Lyft, HandyBook, Instacart, Postmates and Try Caviar have been slapped with lawsuits arguing that they have misclassified workers as “independent contractors,” which aren’t covered by most federal and state labor regulations.

Another startup, Homejoy Inc, has shut down because it couldn’t raise its next round of capital due to such suits.

The nuisance suits also demand such union froo-froo as

Teachers Unions and Chris Christie

Jake Tapper fed Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Chris Christie the straight line:

[W]ho “at the national level deserves a punch in the face?”

Christie had the answer:

Oh, the national teachers union, who has already endorsed Hillary Clinton 16, 17 months before the election. …they’re not for education for our children. They’re for greater membership, greater benefits, greater pay for their members. And they are the single most destructive force in public education in America. I have been saying that since 2009. I’ve got the scars to show it. But I’m never going to stop saying it, because they never change their stripes.

Change the Subject

At the Federal level, Republicans in Congress are attempting to take national-level steps to curb union abuses of members and nonmembers. The particular abuse is union use of dues to fund a particular party’s candidates, whether the union members support that party or candidate or not for now, at least, the Congress is ignoring union states’ practice of collecting dues from non-union members—which the employees are required to pay as a condition of keeping their jobs—and using those coerced dues also for political work rather than union activities related to work).

Projecting Again

Recall the union violence threatened and inflicted in Wisconsin when Governor Scott Walker (R) was working to break union strangleholds on the state government and local school districts.

Now, in nearby Illinois, we get this.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union sent a memo to its members expressing fear that in the face of union intransigence in negotiations with the State’s government, Governor Bruce Rauner (R) might use the National Guard and retired state workers to keep the government open should the AFSCME decide to strike.

Democrats and Unions

Illinois’ Democrat-controlled legislature—both houses—passed a budget earlier this year that spent $4 billion more than it intended to collect in revenue: a $36 billion spending bill against a $32 billion revenue bill. Never mind the rank dishonesty of this—bankrupt Illinois has no hope of raising those $4 billion except by borrowing, and these Democrat legislaturists know that. They have no intention, then, of repaying the borrowing, and that’s the dishonesty.

But leave that aside for a moment, and consider the following.

Democrats and Regulation

Uber is successful in competing with the established taxi industry, and New York City Mayer Bill de Blasio (D) is all upset about it. He wants to freeze Uber’s (and other ad hoc rides-for-hire companies’) growth until he can figure out how to regulate them:

[W]e support a short pause in the rapid increase of for-hire vehicles to make sure that the future growth of this industry lives up to the policies and principles we set out as a city.

“Short pause.” Sure. He supported his argument in that piece by citing other jurisdictions where Uber had resisted…being over-regulated.

An Excess Profits Tax

In 1917, Progressive icon Woodrow Wilson instigated an excess profits tax running from 20%-60% because, of course, the Progressive knew better how American business owners should spend their money than did the Americans who’d actually earned it through their businesses.

During the Great Depression, Democrat (and Progressive) icon Franklin Roosevelt instigated two excess profits taxes while openly slandering American businessmen as being on a capital strike: Roosevelt actually accused businesses of refusing to spend—at rates satisfactory to the Democrat (and Progressive)—the profits they’d earned.

Now we get the proud early 20th Century Progressive, Hillary Clinton, with her proposal for a “tax credit…to encourage more businesses to offer profit-sharing to their workers.”

Anything for a Fee

The American Law Institute periodically issues “restatements” that attempt to codify the common law—but also shift the law in the direction the institute wants it to go.

Reason enough to distrust this gang.

That’s nothing, though, compared with this:

The institute’s restatement defines the tort of battery as any contact with another person that “offends a reasonable sense of personal dignity” or—the new addition—contact that is highly offensive to another person’s “unusually sensitive sense of personal dignity, and the actor knows that the contact will be highly offensive to the other.”

An Argument for Positive Immigration Flows

James Pethokoukis, writing in a different context, presented evidence in his AEIdeas piece for us doing better with our immigration policies. First, see the graph below, with particular attention to the “Increases in the workforce (labor inputs)” part of the bars.LaborProductivityAndImmigration_BetterVersion

Pethokoukis’ argument centered on Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s promise to work toward a 4% GDP growth annual rate if he’s elected; Pethokoukis argued that would be hard to achieve because of shortfalls in the availability of actual laborers.