lou dobbs is pretty stupid August 14, 2007Posted by AP in econ, news, politics.
during a segment of his show that aired on 13 august, lou dobbs calls economists who support free immigration “idiots” and “jackasses”.
first of all, i find it ridiculous that this segment of mr dobbs’s show is titled “war on the middle class”. the show offers no evidence for how immigration could harm the middle class. instead, the only argument we hear is from a letter discussing the possible effects of immigration on the “poorest americans”.
however, if one actually reads to the end of the quoted sentence, as opposed to stopping halfway, one would see that the letter states that immigration can lead to a net social benefit: the poorest of the poor get more money. on the other hand, bringing people in other countries to a higher level of income clearly conflicts with mr dobbs’s zero-sum view of the international economy. his insistent claim that america’s economy is superior to that of any other central or south american nation seems to imply that he thinks it should damn well stay that way. he likes his poor americans poor, and his foreign poor people even poorer, i guess.
furthermore, the background chosen by the producers of mr dobbs’s show confuses me. is the fistful of dollars supposed to symbolise the middle class’s desperate attempt to hold onto their money, or does it represent america’s tightfisted reluctance to share material wealth with others?
mr dobbs also objects to what his correspondent, christine romans, calls a view of “people as units of labor”. again, maybe I’m missing something, but is there any other source for units of labor besides people?
later on in his tirade, mr dobbs calls alex tabarrok, an economist from george mason university and co-author of marginal revolution, an “idiot” for comparing a worker to an apple. the host embellishes this ad hominem attack by fabricating a family for the suffering proletariat in question. however, what mr tabarrok actually says is that “immigration is just free trade in labor”. that is, the same forces of supply and demand are at work in the markets for labor and consumer goods.
lastly, you don’t need a “differential calculus equation” to run a statistical model.