August 29, 2007
Wages for Crow Producers Shoot Up
In a customarily blase demonstration of data abuse, Mickey Kaus tried to argue that the multi-week crackdown on illegal immigration is already boosting wages across the nation. Kaus didn't have any non-anecdotal evidence of this, but no matter. Having not proven anything, Kaus went on to sneer, "Didn't Kevin Drum and other leftish bloggers sneer when I suggested that rising unskilled wages were in the offing? I think they did! ... How much do the people who serve crow make?" Dunno. Maybe Mickey could actually look up some BLS numbers and find out -- but then, non-anecdotal evidence is so old media.
Even so, now that the new census numbers are being crunched, here's some more fascinating data for Mickey to crow about:
Know what most of those states have in common? Immigrants! Lots of them! So the crackdown is working! Only problem is that these numbers are from 2005-2006, long before the crackdown. Think we'll be seeing this image on Kausfiles anytime soon? [Don't ask me, I don't exist -- ed]
But that only seems to prove what the Kausians are saying. That the states after the crackdown have seen their wages go up...
Oh wait..that chart is BEFORE the crackdown. Ahhhh.
Posted by: Karmakin | Aug 29, 2007 12:08:49 PM
The article really doesn't disagree with Mickey's logic (though it probably would by further extension), but it does disagree with the premise of his argument: wages aren't increasing; income is. Nobody quoted in the article disagrees with the assessment that the rising income is because more family members are in the workforce, and they're working longer hours. (And even in light of that, the income increase is pretty small nationwide.)
But there is a question that I'd like to ask (I don't know the answer to this) about the regional difference. According to the numbers that accompanied the map, the income for "noncitizens" increased far more than for others, and we can presume that the vast majority of noncitizens are Latinos who earn low wages. So can't we also say that what we're seeing here dovetails with the aphorism that we see in developing economies: when the baseline is low, growth rates can be high while absolute growth remains low? (Something to that effect.) Since the increase is heaviest among the lowest earning workers, even that isn't anything to crow about, is it?
Am I reading the data wrong, or does that seem like a reasonable conclusion to draw here?
Posted by: jhupp | Aug 29, 2007 12:18:25 PM
I have never been able to understand why people take Kause serious. He seems like any other right wing shill, like Ann Coulter in drag.
Posted by: bryce | Aug 29, 2007 12:20:39 PM
Mickey Kaus is such an insufferable ass. Did you see his post about how The Bourne Ultimatum is "anti-American"? Oy vey! He's fast heading into solid gold wingnut territory (though, to be fair, he's been inching in that direction for years).
Your post gets at one of my pet peeves about the media -- their tendency to report something as an incontrovertible truth when it's based on nothing more than a few flimsy anecdotes. It's particularly annoying when the topic is something about which there is an abundance of rich, solid data. This is something I tried to get at in my opt-out post last week.
One of the great things about having Kaus as an ideological opponent is that he's so effin' lazy. He rarely bothers to bestir himself, run a Google search or two, and acquaint himself with actually facts and data. Thankfully we can count on Ezra to do that, which makes him such a valuable ally in these disputes.
Loved the little touch in Ezra's post of the note from the Editor. With Mickey, it's kind of like shooting fish in a barrel, but nevertheless he deserves every ounce of snark being hurled at him.
Posted by: Kathy G. | Aug 29, 2007 12:21:26 PM
"Think we'll be seeing this image on Kausfiles anytime soon? [Don't ask me, I don't exist -- Ed]"
Posted by: Luke | Aug 29, 2007 12:23:57 PM
Mickey Kaus still has a blog somewhere? Huh. Learn something new everyday.
Posted by: MikeJ | Aug 29, 2007 12:26:00 PM
Right -- what the census numbers actually show is a decline in income. WHat's interesting about this data -- from a Kausian standpoint, at least -- isn't so much the relative increases of the border states, but the lack of increases in the midwest, northeast, etc. If it's in fact true that immigrant slacken labor supply and drive down wages, you'd expect to see relatively better wage markets in places where they weren't exerting that drag. You're not. Is this definitive data? Not at all -- but it's suggestive.
Posted by: Ezra | Aug 29, 2007 12:28:38 PM
Kathy G -- you commented so I don't have to -- I actually don't know what Mickey says anymore. I've stopped reading his blog and Slate altogether. Between Mickey the Maus, Hitchens, Lord Saletan, Jack Shaefer and John Dickerson, the asshold factor just got overwhelming.
Posted by: Klein's Tiny Left Nut | Aug 29, 2007 12:37:22 PM
I'd correct my typo, but upon further consideration I kind of like it.
Posted by: Klein's Tiny Left Nut | Aug 29, 2007 12:38:25 PM
"Kathy G -- you commented so I don't have to -- I actually don't know what Mickey says anymore. I've stopped reading his blog and Slate altogether."
think we really care?
When I first saw the map in the paper I was thinking, those states are where people are moving. But on consideration it does knock a hole in the anti-immigrant argument.
Posted by: Peter K. | Aug 29, 2007 12:56:03 PM
"critics of current immigration policy often say [insert red herring argument here]"
But Statistics do not support [insert red herring argument here], therefore massive immigration is good from this writers point of view"
[Full disclosure of commenters in support of massive immigration]
1] Totally insulated from the negative immigration effects of increased competition at both the low wage level and at the highly skilled technical level.
2] Never had to retrain in my life, but recommend retraining for those other than themselvs [and family/friends of course] as pabulum for their moral sensibility.
2A] Really don't have clue what school in their 30's and 40's would entail and their ignorance is such, they can't imagine why nobody would hire a retrained worker who was...say, 53 years old.
3] Honestly feel that paying the nanny, restaurant worker or lawncare guy a living wage is not necessary moral obligation to obtain everlasting life in the hereafter.
4] In sum, a collection of some of the most ignorant of left and right, who because of angst or greed, feel free to lecture honest working people on the virtues of dropping from the right vagina at the right time. Lovely bunch...no really.
There's almost an infinite supply of low cost workers worldwide.
But economist keep telling us that an oversupply of people, doesn't reduce the price folks are willing to pay for that overabundant resource. With labor apparently, supply and demand have nothing to do with price.
Posted by: S Brennan | Aug 29, 2007 1:31:31 PM
Much like Kaus, I'll make a statement without hard evidence and based on a dimly remembered anecdote, only it'll happen to be right. Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina are all leading examples of non-border states with sudden surges in immigration. I won't make any sweeping generalizations [this isn't a help wanted sign at a fast food restaurant, after all -- Ed.] but you can see how they stand out from their neighbors on the map.
Posted by: boat shoes | Aug 29, 2007 1:32:26 PM
As an aside, does anyone find it morbidly depressing that in this period the median income in Louisiana increased and the poverty rate went down? In what was Year 1, After Katrina.
I haven't made my daily tour of the blogs yet, but has anyone mentioned this?
Posted by: boat shoes | Aug 29, 2007 1:40:07 PM
Is it really an anecdote if you are the only one that is saying it? When does it just become lying? (Fancy disingenuous statements, as they are, still lies.)
Posted by: DC1974 | Aug 29, 2007 2:30:44 PM
S Brennan wrote:
'[insert red herring argument here]'
Sure. Do you want the red herring between the straw man, excluded middle, and ad hominems you used, or on one side of them?
Posted by: Sock Puppet of the GS | Aug 29, 2007 5:11:25 PM
Wealthy people are fleeing the Northeast and Midwest for the South and West, as they have been for a while now. Not rocket science.
Posted by: tmchale | Aug 29, 2007 5:30:32 PM
I'm sorry my observations/opinions offended you Peter K. (Is that for for Kaus)?
Posted by: Klein's Tiny Left Nut | Aug 30, 2007 1:38:00 AM
"If it's in fact true that immigrant slacken labor supply and drive down wages, you'd expect to see relatively better wage markets in places where they weren't exerting that drag. You're not. Is this definitive data? Not at all -- but it's suggestive."
Los Angeles has more legal and illegals than any other city except NYC.
Since Real Estate prices in LA increased much more that nation average, should I believe that presence of enormous number of illegals, their gangs, pressure on schools and health care, all of it, is very good for real estate prices?
If I'm a lefty looking for cheap votes or a righty looking for cheap labor, I will insist that more poor illiteral immigrants does wonders to the price of my McMansion.
All map shows that wages has grown more in some states. Did they grow because illegals arrived there?
Or illegals were attracted there by the booming economy and wages are, in fact, LOWER than they would have been otherwise?
Posted by: mik_infidelos | Aug 31, 2007 3:15:07 PM
ezra - your readers demand more frequent mickey-bashing!!
also, next time you're in Cali, you should stalk the starbuckses of venice beach with a videocamera and confront him max blumenthal-style.
Posted by: David | Sep 1, 2007 8:37:43 PM
Posted by: judy | Oct 11, 2007 6:48:56 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.