There is little that most Americans agree to be true. It might not be the only subject we agree on, but when we discuss immigration, many Americans agree that taking jobs, abusing our hospitals, and educational systems, that immigrants cost more than we benefit . Immigration is becoming a big political football again and it is understandable that when the economy moves against those of us who live here that we raise the drawbridge to keep anyone else from coming here. While it is a popular conclusion, we will address the issue without emotional or political baggage to see the math that many of us are simply missing from the discussion. We will look at the economy as objectively as we can and offer you another perspective. Give me 5 minutes and I will tell you if I see more pain or more gain:
To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. Aristotle
I certainly do not wake up in the morning with the goal of being average. On the other hand, when it comes to getting a handle on what is going on in the economy I have learned that the best way to read the economic tea leaves is by studying the behavior of average people. As we have discussed in a recent article, in both the past two presidential and the recent mid-term elections, it wasn't the coastal states driving the results or the wealthy Koch brothers that swayed the results it was the power of ordinary people. You didn't need to stay up all night long in 2008 and 2012 to see the election results of the las t poll that closed as it was the mid-west in general and Ohio in particular that gave you the forecast you needed to see which candidate would take office. Stay calm and go to sleep. When you wake up develop the habit of watching ordinary people, all unique, doing very predictable things to see where the economy is taking you and your money.
For example, in the USA we consume the most potato chips in our lives on average at age 14, when our mothers are on average 42. It is at age 20 that we on average get our first jobs and 25- 26 that Americans tend to move across the country the most for job opportunities. Depending on our country of family origin, Americans are here either legally, illegally or ill-licitly. We have a lot in common with each other as well as with those who move here. So guess how old the average age is for people who move around the world looking for opportunity? Who would have guessed that according to the United Nations the age is no different? It is the same 25-26 that people outside this country move somewhere to improve their potential for jobs and starting families. The only real difference is that some of those who move often give up everything they have and everyone they know in exchange for the unknowns as they work for the same things you and I want. Often these folks want what you and I often take for granted.
Only the strong survive
Immigrants intend to move and stay in another country. Migrants often intend to work somewhere else and return to their country of origin. After getting a job, falling in love, and having children, however, is when plans must change as roots are being planted. The people who move here do exactly the same things as those who were born here. We all pay sales taxes, federal and state income taxes, buy food, cars, gas, houses and pay for college educations. Economists are not known for agreeing too much. They also don't tend to think along partisan lines. Economists understand the only thing that matters is the color green. When asked the question, As a net benefit is the USA economy better or worse off by allowing for immigration? 100% of the time the answer I get is regardless of how they got here, immigrants are good for the economy. Some economists to go on to say that the notion that immigrants are sending all of their money home is pure poppycock. This country is not cheap to live anywhere. So after paying expenses here in their new home, there really isn't much money to send back to their old home.
For a country to survive it is necessary for there to be more births than deaths. According to the World Health Organization the USA is the only developed country where there are more births than deaths every year. In every other developed country we see that people dying are outpacing birth rates. In the late 1980's we were all convinced that Japan would overtake the USA with the highest Gross Domestic Product. Last year the US remained number one in GDP, followed by China, leaving Japan in the number 3 position, according to the United Nations. As compared to the USA, Japan never had a Baby Boom generation and never allowed for immigration. This is a solid 1-2 punch in a country losing ground. According to the Census Bureau, just as the Baby Boomers comprise about 76 million out of 311 million people here, we have almost the same number of Generations X and Y in the mix. Those groups are the children of Boomers born here and others who moved here. Here is another piece of very good news. Notice the interviews of people around the world and what you see is the language in business is English. Another piece of good news is much of the currency in the world is in the US dollar.
There is enough room for all of us who want to be here to enjoy the magic of compound interest.
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