The Productive Worker Exodus

Well, Arizona nativists are getting what they wanted:  Productive workers who don't happen to have been licensed by the government to work here are leaving in droves  (via Disloyal Opposition)

Unable to find jobs, or fearful that their loved ones will be caught
and deported, illegal immigrants and their legal friends and relatives
are fleeing the state in what the press has dubbed "Hispanic panic." In
a state where illegals make up better than 10% of the workforce,
the exodus promises to have a major impact. The vacancy rate in
Tucson-area apartment complexes favored by illegal immigrants has
jumped dramatically since the law went into effect....

Of course, advocates of the sanctions law will say that this is exactly the result they were hoping for; they want Hispanics to flee the state (usually, they'll claim that they just want the illegal
ones to leave). But with workers leaving Arizona, taking their rent
money, mortgage payments and shopping dollars with them, and with state
employers facing rising labor costs -- if they can even find workers --
the economy is likely to take a major hit. In fact, the University of
Arizona predicts a $29 billion economic loss if illegal workers are successfully purged from the state (full report here in PDF).


  1. Doug:

    This University of Arizona report wouldn't be from the same cast of characters that predicted a positive cash flow from building sports stadiums, would it?

  2. Craig:

    Did the U of A calculate the coming reduction in spending on social services and prisons?

  3. Doug: fact, by your own admission, Warren, housing costs in the state are now going to plunge, along with just about everything else: food, gasoline, you name it. Cost of medical care is sure to follow as the illegals exit. Government should also see slackening demand for their services, particularly from this group of (departing) people. That's always good (even though government always views a decrease in demand of THEIR services as equating to "failure").

    Okay, so labor costs rise. Native workers will surely benefit from both higher wages AND lower cost of living. Sounds to me like the arguments put forward by the anti-illegals have turned out to be quite correct.

    I don't see anything bad from this turn of events. Why do you? My guess: you're an employer. YOUR labor costs are going to rise. I'm a worker. I may have to pay more to rent my boat from you this summer, but I've got more cash to do so. We both win.

  4. Xmas:


    You're making a bad assumption. If Warren can't afford the cost of labor (or even find labor to do the work that's needed), then you won't have any boats to rent at all, no matter how much money you have.

    Also, what's the need for all this labor if demand for goods and services drops.

  5. Tom:

    Thank God for the foolish people of Arizona!

    Hopefully the rest of us can sit back and watch your economy melt down so the rest of the nativists will realize how silly it is to get rid of productive residents.

    We live in a global economy and any person that is not working to their full potential anywhere is a lost opportunity.

    There are now thousands of Mexican men and women that are now back in Mexico trying to scratch out a living while costs and prices in Arizona are skyrocketing. Meanwhile thousands of upstanding Arizona business people now have to make a decision between being a criminal or facing bankruptcy.

    In 50 years people will look back at today's nativist sentiment and realize it was just as ignorant as Negro slavery or restrictions on Chinese labor a hundred years ago. More people being more productive is better for all no matter the skin/cultural/birth place differences.

  6. happyjuggler0:

    Here is an exercise for the Lou Dobbs crowd. Calculate the number of illegal immigrants, and subtract everyone who is unemployed (who presumably fill the suddenly vacated jobs), and tell me what the unemployment rate is now. Once your jaw drops and you realize that the unemployment rate is negative, you will have no choice but to acknowledge the reality that immigrants (illegal or otherwise) actually create jobs by simply being here. In the absence of stupid government regulations (as if), and excepting recessions, the only limit on the number of jobs available is the number of workers looking for jobs.

    The unemployment rate is a function of A) idiotic goverment price floors on labor and similar idiotic labor regulations on firing etc. and B) the number of people who are literally in between jobs and who simply have to send out enough resumes to get a job. Immigrants (legal or not) don't enter the equation.

  7. Zorkmid:

    You are fond of telling us about your education and professional background. Then don't you feel a twinge of shame when you count only half the numbers?

    Illegal aliens work for less. You count that savings on wages as a gain for their employers. Obviously, when wages go up after illegal aliens leave, employers take losses.

    But you completely ignore the complementary effects on citizen workers. When illegal aliens work for less citizens' wages go down-- so citizen workers take losses. When illegal aliens go away, citizens' wages go up-- gains for them.

    How can you privilege employers' gains and losses over other citizens' gains and losses? If there were no other considerations, then the bottom line would be a wash! You suggest that society overall gains from illegal aliens just because employers gain, but that is obviously false-- employers' gains represent mere transfers from citizen workers. The net for society is zero.

    Now, of course, illegal aliens working for less might allow the economy to expand, providing gains overall. But illegal aliens consume vast quantities of tax-funded services like public education, Medicaid, police and court resources, prison space, etc. Also illegal aliens and their children do an immense amount of criminal damage. Even if we excluded wetbacks and their offspring from public benefits (at present we do not), we wouldn't exclude citizens who lost their jobs to illegals from social benefits, so the influx of illegals would still cost taxpayers big bucks.

    The best available numbers show that low wage (that is, low skilled, generally low-IQ) illegal aliens cost more in social spending than they are worth in wage savings, much less in overall economic gains. You can make a good case for immigration by high-wage (that is, high-skilled, high-productivity) workers. But you simply cannot make a plausible economic case for the importation of low-skilled immigrants.

    You have repeatedly described your purely ideological committment to unlimited immigration. This is the one area where you seem to paint yourself as a fool. Do you want to move to Mexico? If not, why do you want Mexico to move to where you are?

  8. bert401:

    Arizona people are really jerky. Illegal Immigrants shall not be admitted. If they are made to stay there then the people who are in need of job will never get right jobs.

    Arizona Treatment Centers