Immigration: Select for Risk Tolerance

 

It has been pointed out that all the brave Scotsmen left to settle the world – from New Zealand to Hudson’s Bay, the intrepid Scots made it all happen. They left behind everyone who let their fears control their lives. Scotsmen have conquered the world, while Scotland today is a wallowing morass of welfare and zero-sum despair.

I think the same pattern repeats itself with most other immigrants: America self-selected immigrants who craved freedom and opportunity and could overlook the insecurity and all the unknowns inherent in boarding a ship for distant shores, never to return. I am not sure if there is a genetic component to this tolerance, but there surely is a cultural one: cultures and religions differ in their belief in the ability of individuals to direct their own fate, and most people are swept along by the prevailing winds of nature and nurture.

If we consider that America was founded by this self-selected crowd, and that risk tolerance seems to be somewhat-inherited, then a few things follow:

1: The founding principles of the United States attract like-minded immigrants, but these same principles do not export very well. There is a reason other countries do not have the American Spirit.

2: If we wish to preserve this ethos, then the United States should continue to welcome hard-working, risk-taking immigrants – and one easy way to change the incentives is to entirely bar all public moneys for immigrants.

?

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  1. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Good luck with your fix to immigration  . 

    “You heartless monster. “

    You will be called and then hurled into the abyss.  

    • #1
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Good luck with your fix to immigration .

    “You heartless monster. “

    You will be called and then hurled into the abyss.

    He figures it is worth risking that.

    • #2
  3. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Good luck with your fix to immigration .

    “You heartless monster. “

    You will be called and then hurled into the abyss.

    He figures it is worth risking that.

    Of course. Some things are important.

    • #3
  4. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Does that include public education? That’s pretty expensive. 

    • #4
  5. DonG (CAGW is a hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a hoax)
    @DonG

    Good interview with Scotsman Count Dankula by Michael Malice this week.  Dankula says that Scotland turned left, when Thatcher crushed the coal miners and steelworkers that where the primary industries of Scotland.  The SNP (Scottish National Party) are particularly leftists.

    I agree that we should be very picky on which immigrants we allow.  We are like the Harvard of countries.  This is a competitive country and we should filter out the weak to save them from failure.

    • #5
  6. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Does that include public education? That’s pretty expensive.

    Education may be the one exception I could stomach. It is tough to assess, because a classical American education celebrates the values we hold dear… but no public schools seem to be teaching those any more.

    • #6
  7. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    iWe (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Does that include public education? That’s pretty expensive.

    Education may be the one exception I could stomach. It is tough to assess, because a classical American education celebrates the values we hold dear… but no public schools seem to be teaching those any more.

    It is worth pointing out that through much of US history – through the 1880s – there was very little of what we consider a public school system. Communities, in the form of individuals living in a town or region, clubbed together to build the one-room schoolhouse and pay the teachers. In a sense it was homeschooling writ large. 

    During the colonial era there were no public schools and yet the literacy rate was higher than it is today in the US.

    • #7
  8. Adios Muchacho Inactive
    Adios Muchacho
    @OldDanRhody

    DonG (CAGW is a hoax) (View Comment):
    I agree that we should be very picky on which immigrants we allow.  We are like the Harvard of countries.  This is a competitive country and we should filter out the weak to save them from failure.

    I do not agree here.  There are lessons that are only learned through failure – hard lessons, but valuable ones.

    • #8
  9. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The Americans who have gone through the vetting process to obtain citizenship are far less likely to depend on public resources, commit crimes or otherwise be a burden.  They are a select group and a valuable addition.

    People not in the application process, who invaded without a passport or visa (and even people who enter via chain migration) are not so valuable.

    Immediate aid of one kind of another should be dependent on proof of compliance with orders to appear or otherwise cooperate.  We need to legislatively revisit Plyer v. Doe and require our guests to respect the system.

    • Passport, Visa, green card, or proof of still-pending asylum adjudication must be presented in every context in which a US citizen is required to show ID.
    • Persons who become citizens via chain migration are the end of the chain–only vetted citizens can bring in other relatives.
    • Amend Motor Voter to require citizenship status to be indicated on state-issued ID.
    • Failure to appear for asylum or other status hearing is an automatic denial of such claims and (a) automatic deportation, and (b) a bar on future entry to the US for a period of years.

    Fake SSNs and other illegal acts done to conceal status should be a bar to any future application for citizenship or legal residency no matter how long the person got away with it.

    • #9
  10. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Does that include public education? That’s pretty expensive.

    Education may be the one exception I could stomach. It is tough to assess, because a classical American education celebrates the values we hold dear… but no public schools seem to be teaching those any more.

    It is worth pointing out that through much of US history – through the 1880s – there was very little of what we consider a public school system. Communities, in the form of individuals living in a town or region, clubbed together to build the one-room schoolhouse and pay the teachers. In a sense it was homeschooling writ large.

    During the colonial era there were no public schools and yet the literacy rate was higher than it is today in the US.

    The Northwest Ordinance and Public Lands Acts (I think that’s the name) passed under the Articles of Confederation set aside land and revenues for public education funding.  

    • #10
  11. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Hang On (View Comment):
    The Northwest Ordinance and Public Lands Acts (I think that’s the name) passed under the Articles of Confederation set aside land and revenues for public education funding.  

    They were run by individual citizens living in those communities. Often the only thing the government contributed was the land on which the school was built. It was often built barn-raising style, by every able-bodied man in the community. There was no mandatory attendance. There was no school board or Federal oversight. I don’t think there was even state oversight. And yet literacy rates were higher than they are today,

    • #11
  12. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I could be convinced otherwise, but my concern is that this would create a second class of citizens, people living in the shadows and subject to the whims of their employers.

    Frankly, it’s what we’re doing now basically in that the young people flooding the southern border are the strongest in their home countries. We’re depriving their home countries of their most able bodied people, those most capable of effecting change. Furthermore, an open border with no incentive for immigrants to check in with the local government is a great way to increase human trafficking.

    I would rather fix our system than do this. I’d make much cheaper and easier to become a U.S. citizen. My husband’s assistant came from Australia, and the money she and her husband (he is a military veteran) had to spend to become a citizen was truly horrific. Poor people could not do this. I think the Immigration and Naturalization Service–who always seem to be absent from discussions of immigration reform–are extortionists. People would not believe how badly they treat would-be immigrants.

    And I would like to evaluate our foreign aid programs to see if we can use them to apply pressure to the high-emigration countries to fix themselves.

    We should also spend a lot more time studying the events that occurred in the countries people have emigrated from to stiffen our own backbone in preserving American ideals. My mother-in-law’s family emigrated from Italy. She was the youngest of seven children and the only one born in the United States. Her family left Italy during this period:

    Between around 1880 and 1924, more than four million Italians immigrated to the United States, half of them between 1900 and 1910 alone—the majority fleeing grinding rural poverty in Southern Italy and Sicily. Today, Americans of Italian ancestry are the nation’s fifth-largest ethnic group.

    Given how devoted they have always been to their Italian customs, and I certainly understand and respect that love for their home country, I don’t think they wanted to come necessarily. They came as a way to survive. Conditions were truly terrible in Italy. If their home countries could get their act together, there would be far less global migration.

    • #12
  13. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Even without considering the question of public support, there are reasons why current immigrants are not as likely to be risk-selected as were immigrants of earlier times.  Back in the day, if you moved to the US from, say, Europe or Russia, you would face a potentially-dangerous ship journey, with poor accommodations and food and possible contagious disease.  You were unlikely to ever see your remaining family and friends again, and you couldn’t even communicate with them except by letters–and if you weren’t literate, you could even do that.  

    There is surely still *some* selection for risk-tolerance in immigration…it does take courage to move somewhere entirely new…but not on the previous level.

    • #13
  14. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I could be convinced otherwise, but my concern is that this would create a second class of citizens, people living in the shadows and subject to the whims of their employers.

    Frankly, it’s what we’re doing now basically in that the young people flooding the southern border are the strongest in their home countries. We’re depriving their home countries of their most able bodied people, those most capable of effecting change. An open border with no incentive for immigrants to check in with the local government is a great way to increase human trafficking.

    I would rather fix our system than do this. I’d make much cheaper and easier to become a U.S. citizen. My husband’s assistant came from Australia, and the money she and her husband (he is military veteran) had to spend to become a citizen were truly horrific. Poor people could do this. I think the Immigration and Naturalization Service–who always seem to be absent from discussions of immigration reform–are extortionists. People would not believe how badly they treat would-be immigrants.

    And I would like to evaluate our foreign aid programs to see if we can use them to apply pressure to the high-emigration countries to fix themselves.

    We should also spend a lot more time studying the events that occurred in the countries people have emigrated from to stiffen our own backbone in preserving American ideals. My mother-in-law’s family emigrated from Italy. She was the youngest of seven children and the only one born in the United States. Her family left Italy during this period:

    Between around 1880 and 1924, more than four million Italians immigrated to the United States, half of them between 1900 and 1910 alone—the majority fleeing grinding rural poverty in Southern Italy and Sicily. Today, Americans of Italian ancestry are the nation’s fifth-largest ethnic group.

    Given how devoted they have always been to their Italian customs, and I certainly understand and don’t think less of them for that, I don’t think they wanted to come necessarily. They came as a way to survive. Conditions were truly terrible in Italy. If their home countries could get their act together, there would be far less global migration.

    I agree that the process is unduly costly and onerous for legal immigrants. My sister-in-law is from the UK.  Married to an American, has a bioscience degree and fully employed in research for years, mother of American citizens; still she was threatened with deportation—she had dutifully filled out a form on legal sized document; it sat in somebody’s inbox for 2-3 months until the old forms were replaced with letter-sized paper forms. They notified her that her form was rejected because by the time they got around to processing it, the old forms were no longer acceptable and that it was too late to refile. Had to get a lawyer to write a WTF letter to get it resolved.

    It should all be saner and cheaper  but with an emphasis on the fact it is a privilege not a right such that one can blow off any requirements and still get to live and work here. The reason we have so many people on the shadows is precisely because the policy lacks the clarity of purpose it should have.

    Some of my Irish, Scottish and even Canadian forbears would have been kicked out of the US if there were any standards back then but there was an insatiable demand for labor and additional consumers back then, a set of conditions that no longer applies.

    • #14
  15. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    still she was threatened with deportation—she had dutifully filled out a form on legal sized document

    My husband’s assistant–and as I said, she was the wife of a U.S. military veteran–was in this stage of working with the INS when her mother died in Australia. She wanted to go home to be with her family. I have forgotten all the details, but she had to beg for “permission” to leave, and then there fines or fees.

    The worst of this is, why do we expect people to love our country after we have treated them so badly?

    The whole thing is ridiculous. It’s just a bunch of overpaid bureaucrats.

    If it were up to me to fix the system, I’d start by firing the entire crew of upper-level executives in the INS.

    There is no substitute for the golden rule–in business, government, friendships, and family. None. And when we don’t stick to it, life has a way of coming back to bite us.

    • #15
  16. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Immigration, 1905-Style

    • #16
  17. Terry Mott Member
    Terry Mott
    @TerryMott

    Interesting idea in the OP.

    Here’s another one: Select for testosterone level.  It seems our current crop of young men are somewhat lacking in that area.

    • #17
  18. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Don’t count me in for supporting immigration.  Immigration causes more problems than it solves and creates a discordant, fragmented society.

    • #18
  19. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    On immigration in general, see my post Two Views of Immigration.

    • #19
  20. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Let me add, I also find it a fallacy to compare the nature of immigration from say the turn of the 20th century with today. The situations are different in such a fundamental way that one just has to say that those who claim that “America is a nation of immigrants” or because immigration was so good in the past (perhaps disputable) are just romanticizing. Comparing the past with today is comparing apples to oranges. 

    • #20
  21. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    DonG (CAGW is a hoax) (View Comment):

    Good interview with Scotsman Count Dankula by Michael Malice this week. Dankula says that Scotland turned left, when Thatcher crushed the coal miners and steelworkers that where the primary industries of Scotland. The SNP (Scottish National Party) are particularly leftists.

    I agree that we should be very picky on which immigrants we allow. We are like the Harvard of countries. This is a competitive country and we should filter out the weak to save them from failure.

    Funny thing: this Irish guy had the choice back in the ‘80s- I could have settled, legally, in the US or I could stayed in Ireland. I guess I was too picky to move. No disrespect intended. 

    • #21
  22. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a hoax) (View Comment):

    Good interview with Scotsman Count Dankula by Michael Malice this week. Dankula says that Scotland turned left, when Thatcher crushed the coal miners and steelworkers that where the primary industries of Scotland. The SNP (Scottish National Party) are particularly leftists.

    I agree that we should be very picky on which immigrants we allow. We are like the Harvard of countries. This is a competitive country and we should filter out the weak to save them from failure.

    Funny thing: this Irish guy had the choice back in the ‘80s- I could have settled, legally, in the US or I could stayed in Ireland. I guess I was too picky to move. No disrespect intended.

    In those days, there was a push (from the Irish Embassy in part, as I recall) to get more Irish immigrants legalized because the old national quota system in the law was in transition and if a country did not use up its available slots, the number was reduced the following year.  (After several generations of the likes of my family and the anti-immigration Exhibit A that is South Boston, why the USA would have had an excessive quota for more Irish is a mystery…)  I knew several young Irish bartenders and waiters back then who fully intended to take advantage of the opening but simply could not bring themselves to fill out the forms and get it done in time.

    • #22
  23. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    David Foster (View Comment):

    On immigration in general, see my post Two Views of Immigration.

    Gotta love Flashman.

    There is also assimilation through successive prejudice.  To paraphrase my grandfather:  “The Irish were never going to be accepted but then when the Italians and Jews started getting off the boat, all of a sudden we Irish started looking a whole lot better to those WASP SOBs.”  

    • #23
  24. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a hoax) (View Comment):

    Good interview with Scotsman Count Dankula by Michael Malice this week. Dankula says that Scotland turned left, when Thatcher crushed the coal miners and steelworkers that where the primary industries of Scotland. The SNP (Scottish National Party) are particularly leftists.

    I agree that we should be very picky on which immigrants we allow. We are like the Harvard of countries. This is a competitive country and we should filter out the weak to save them from failure.

    Funny thing: this Irish guy had the choice back in the ‘80s- I could have settled, legally, in the US or I could stayed in Ireland. I guess I was too picky to move. No disrespect intended.

    In those days, there was a push (from the Irish Embassy in part, as I recall) to get more Irish immigrants legalized because the old national quota system in the law was in transition and if a country did not use up its available slots, the number was reduced the following year. (After several generations of the likes of my family and the anti-immigration Exhibit A that is South Boston, why the USA would have had an excessive quota for more Irish is a mystery…) I knew several young Irish bartenders and waiters back then who fully intended to take advantage of the opening but simply could not bring themselves to fill out the forms and get it done in time.

    There were a couple of programmes in the ‘80s. About 10,000 each I think. A lot of Irish people already living there as “undocumented” did not want to risk coming back to Ireland to avail of them, as they would have had to, for fear of not getting back in. 

     

    • #24
  25. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Manny (View Comment):

    Don’t count me in for supporting immigration. Immigration causes more problems than it solves and creates a discordant, fragmented society.

    Lack of immigration causes problems, too. 

    • #25
  26. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Don’t count me in for supporting immigration. Immigration causes more problems than it solves and creates a discordant, fragmented society.

    Lack of immigration causes problems, too.

    Not if the general population were reproducing at a rate they should be.

    • #26
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Manny (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Don’t count me in for supporting immigration. Immigration causes more problems than it solves and creates a discordant, fragmented society.

    Lack of immigration causes problems, too.

    Not if the general population were reproducing at a rate they should be.

    Even if. You’re thinking of different types of problems.

    • #27
  28. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Don’t count me in for supporting immigration. Immigration causes more problems than it solves and creates a discordant, fragmented society.

    Lack of immigration causes problems, too.

    Not if the general population were reproducing at a rate they should be.

    Even if. You’re thinking of different types of problems.

    So tell me, what problems from lack of immigration?

    • #28
  29. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Manny (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Don’t count me in for supporting immigration. Immigration causes more problems than it solves and creates a discordant, fragmented society.

    Lack of immigration causes problems, too.

    Not if the general population were reproducing at a rate they should be.

    Even if. You’re thinking of different types of problems.

    So tell me, what problems from lack of immigration?

    Lack of interaction with other cultures can be a big problem.  It can happen, not only in island countries. 

    • #29
  30. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Don’t count me in for supporting immigration. Immigration causes more problems than it solves and creates a discordant, fragmented society.

    Lack of immigration causes problems, too.

    Not if the general population were reproducing at a rate they should be.

    Even if. You’re thinking of different types of problems.

    So tell me, what problems from lack of immigration?

    Lack of interaction with other cultures can be a big problem. It can happen, not only in island countries.

    In this day an age with the internet and international travel?

    • #30
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