David Frum brings us a very interesting article on how income inequality hurts the Republican Party. I found his discussion of immigration most provocative:
It's widely understood that abundant low-skilled immigration hurts lower America by reducing wages. As the National Research Council noted in its comprehensive 1997 report: "If the wage of domestic unskilled workers did not fall, no domestic worker (unskilled or skilled) would gain or lose, and there would be no net domestic gain from immigration." In other words, immigration is good for America as a whole only because -- and only to the extent that -- it is bad for the poorest Americans. Conversely, low-skilled immigration enriches upper America, lowering the price of personal services like landscaping and restaurant meals. And by holding down wages, immigration makes the business investments of upper America more profitable.
I'm sorta conservative when it comes to markets. I think people who are willing to come here and obey the law should be able to compete, and that over the long-term that process helps the whole country. It's an awkward position for a liberal to hold. At the end of the day, who can really deny that an poor, hungry workers won't hurt poor, slightly less-hungry workers?
Anyway, my big beef with this piece is that, after outlining the problem, Frum gave me no concrete solutions. He gave hints via Romney and Giuliani, but no solid sense of what a conservative take on income inequality would actually look like.
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