Huh, Yourself

Jonah Goldberg endorses one of his reader emails:

Democrats complain about "income inequality", and at the same time
support importing a bunch of low skilled/low wage workers into the
US. Huh?

Look, that's moronic. It's obviously possible to both believe that something is a problem and also to not support every conceivable initiative to ameliorate it. I, for example, think it's a problem that the streets in American cities are so dirty. I don't, however, think that we should execute people for littering. Nor do I think we should import Mauritanian slaves to clean the streets. What most liberals think is that we should resist efforts to frame the economic problems of working class Americans are solely a matter of zero-sum competition with Mexican peasants, as opposed to something that could be more productively dealt with through measures that might compromise the interests of the global elite.

By contrast, what really is baffling is the strain of conservative thinking which holds that income inequality isn't a problem but that then turns around and cites inequality as a reason to curb immigration. There's nothing hypocritical about rejecting certain solutions to certain problems, but it doesn't make any sense to propose a solution to something you don't think is a problem.

UPDATE: To be clear that I'm not dealing with a straw restrictionist here, Mickey Kaus is both the author of a book about why we shouldn't care about income inequality and a passionate defender of the view that we should restrict immigration to curb income inequality.

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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