Cantor for lunch, Brats for Dinner

Re Cantor’s Virginia primary loss:

Among other half-assed assertions, I will say college professors are proven consistently more dangerous as candidates than investment bankers.  Just shows to go ya.

This was a contest determined for the most part by the immigration issue, it seems.

There’s a lot that can be discussed both about the GOPs hatred of brown people, chortle chortle, and conversely it’s electoral / demographic ‘need’ to get on board with an amnesty plan.  But Brat’s message was basically, amnesty / immigration reform is a sop to big business, and it’s going to be a downward force on wages.

That’s intuitive, and so far as it’s merely intuitive and lacks concreteness, it still seems so rock solid as conventional wisdom that I don’t know how you blunt it with a MattY / Ezra data driven argument.  Are there any decent data driven observation to counter it?

As a pragmatic argument, it’s also an effective counter to this racism hooey.


5 thoughts on “Cantor for lunch, Brats for Dinner

  1. pm1956

    What i find hard to believe is that this professor believes in the free movement of goods (free trade), the free movement of capital, but not the free movement of other factors of production (namely, labor). Not exactly libertarian.

    the result of policies like that are capital and production moving to places where the labor is cheap–the de-industrialization of the US *(which is offset only by drastically reducing the use of labor thru mechanization, etc).

    The downward force on wages does not stop if you prevent the movement of labor–you just get joblessness instead.

    Yes, immigration can create downward pressures on wages, but there are offsetting issues as well. Immigration is generally considered to be a cause of economic growth in national economies. Further, as populations age, immigration is also a much needed source of younger taxpayers and laborers. Most immigrants are taking jobs that others will not fill.

    1. Erik Petersen Post author

      I agree, immigration is / can be a nice driver of economic growth. I don’t think there are many conservatives who object to organized immigration. The objection is to throwing open the southern border so that electoral demographics will be permanently tilted left, which is the Democrats ulterior motive.

      I don’t think his libertarianism is so pure that his theoretical inconsistencies are not explainable.

  2. pm1956

    Ok, here is I think the best article on this event:

    and here is another article on the same topic, different slant, but generally supportive:

    I think that there is something to this nostalgia issue. I do think that the most conservative factions in the GOP are generally afraid of the future, they want the US to go back to what it used to be, and immigration is the issue that seems to reflect this urge most powerfully. But the whole “constitutional” urge is also there (this is what we saw at the Bundy ranch–a desire to return to a largely fictional version of what the Constitution originally was like before the government got big and owned all the land, etc.). It also helps to explain the GOP’s willingness to do nothing (because it is better to stay where we are if we can’t go back to what we were).

    This is, of course, the antithesis of Reagan, who projected the idea of an American future where the whole world would be more like us. Both Bushes also largely projected the same image. It is really hard to win national elections with a pessimistic outlook

  3. pm1956

    Yes, i thought that this was good. Clearly, the Tea party represents the conservative populist streak. What they want is a return to the mainstreet of yore (1950’s america small town life)

    I do not see them as competing, rather complementary explanations.


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