solving the refugee crisis

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CorruptUser
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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:42 pm UTC

sardia wrote:OK, take the EU. Elasto, Prove that wide open borders was bad for them.


The EU's borders are basically like the US states', and even with those borders it's still more difficult to move between EU countries than between US states as almost everyone in the US speaks English (or at least the employers do).

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby SDK » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:02 pm UTC

And even though they're open to each other, they're not open to the rest of the world. Canada and the US (pre-911, at least) had similar standards for who we allowed in our countries. The US could be reasonably confident that anyone coming from Canada had already been vetted, and vice-versa. Same for the EU. Fully open borders, to any country in the world, has certainly never been tried by any modern developed nation.
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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:16 pm UTC

Reeeeally think Sardia should take marcoeconomics.

Y = A*N^(1-a)*K^(a), or total economic output is technology * number of workers^(1-a) * capital ^(a). The "a" is a factor generally agreed to be around .3 for developed nations, but added so that doubling capital and workers doubles the economy. "Technology" is economics slang for "anything other than capital and workers", e.g., health of the workers, education, weather patterns. But divide out the workers, and the per worker GDP is A*K^a. Unless the workers are bringing in really good technology with them, which isn't likely, the per-worker GDP is going to plummet. What ends up happening is that money gets invested into capital until the economy stabilizes, at which point the per-worker GDP is restored. However, while we can always build more steel mills, we can't build more bauxite mines. If those workers happen to be scientists or engineers, they can enhance technology far beyond whatever they cost the economy, but we already do snatch up those immigrants.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby Zamfir » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:34 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
The EU's borders are basically like the US states'

There are some serious differences between those.

For example, residence rights are tied to work (or showing that you have enough funds to live on without work). This is interpreted fairly broad - you can stay in another EU country while looking for work there, or some time after you lost a job, if you lost a job due to a work injury, if your spouse has a job, if the job is part-time and not enough to live on, etc. But in the end, it's not unconditional. You have the prove to local authorities that you meet one of the criteria, or they can expel you. And residency is not full citizenship - you can't vote in many elections, to give an example.

Asylum seekers are another example where EU border are still very present. If a country can show that an asylum seeker passed through another EU country, then they can expel the asylum seeker back to that other country to try to make an asylum application there. So for refugees, the original topic here, the EU does not have open internal borders.

Just yesterday, I spoke to a German guy who lives on the Czech border. He told how every time he gets a new car, it takes some time before the local border guards recognize it and know that he's not cigarette smuggler. Then the border 'disappears' again for him, but it's reminder how the border is still there, even if it's sleeping most of the time.

And , of course, Brexit has shown that EU borders can pop back with much greater ease than US state borders. That's important for people planning a long term future.

Beyond the borders and residency rights, EU countries are also simply different countries, with different laws, administrations, taxes, social security systems. Countries are made to treat EU residents comparable to local citizens but that still means that you change system from country to country, even if the various systems will accept you.

To make a long story short: for a tourist, the EU can feel like a single "United States of Europe" just with more languages. But dig a bit deeper, and it really is not.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:27 pm UTC

Wait, how many times is that getting a new car?

But otherwise, thanks! Good to know a bit more about the EU.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:54 am UTC

sardia wrote:That's the thing about the Mariel boatlift, people pan it as all sorts of bad policy, but when you look at the numbers, you don't see anything. Look at the huge numbers of people that were rapidly moved into the Miami labor market. The paper shows(provides evidence) that it had no effect on wages or unemployment rates. It's not a straightforward relationship that for every person who moves, there's 1 less job for you. And yes, the OP is a moron, but there's other long time posters here who are giving really bad arguments.


It is, to a degree, like altering wages. If you give everyone twice as much money, well, prices will inflate to twice as much. Yeah, this has nasty effects and such on savings, but dealing in larger numbers doesn't mean much. Actual production to consumption isn't changed, so it's not really meaningful.

Likewise, increasing population size does cost more to support them. Twice as many people will cost roughly twice as much to support. That said, there are twice as many people producing(again, roughly). End result, average person's life isn't going to be very affected. At least, not in gross GDP/person senses. So, the "they took er jerbs" argument isn't really relevant on a large scale.

Now, as you drill down, talking about productive vs non productive refugees gets more complex, and pretty much every country puts a finger on the scales to try to boost the numbers in it's favor. It's easier to emigrate somewhere if you're skilled, rich, not disabled, etc. But, mostly, we're not talking about immigration as a whole being a problem, we start talking about specific problems within immigration.

sardia wrote:Wait, prove that statement. I think it's probably true, but has anyone ever had wide open borders? The last one I could think of is the US Canada border*, and that ended after 9/11. Maybe the wild west era before the civil war? Lots of free movement in those days.

*I know it's not a true open border even then because people could cross but not emigrate.


Used to be quite common. In general, closed, secured borders have arrived over the past hundred years or less. Granted, that's not exactly modern, but I think you can have pretty open borders in some circumstances, at least. The general adoption of border controls seems to mirror the rise of the powerful nation state that keeps pretty close tabs on individual civilians, be it taxes, social programs, or what have you. The more detailed the state/citizen interactions, the more it matters what people you have. Like most things, it seems to be more about money than anything else. Gotta keep tabs on who you're going to tax, got to keep tabs on what things they might be importing/exporting to dodge tax.

I don't think security is honestly a very large driver in most cases. Okay, for the Ukraine, it probably is. But most countries are not in that situation.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby Zamfir » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:51 am UTC

It's true that strong border controls go together with the development of strong central states, but that doesn't mean that older systems were really more open. It's more that the old barriers were more diffused, instead of concentrated at clear geographical lines. And less defined from a procedural point of view - the counterpart of a country refusing entry at the border, is that it also grants entry permits, an official 'accepted' status with value throughout the country .

Cities would have their own entry rules (and walls!) , smaller villages and communities might have less formal methods to accept or refuse travellers and migrants. You find toll gates and tariffs all over the place, not so much aligned with large scale territorial boundaries. Localities each have their own laws and customs, often treating outsiders different - like excluding them from jobs, or putting special taxes on them.

When modern people talk about open borders, that's rarely what they have in mind. They mean a situation where inter-state, cross-border affairs resembles the open situation that nowadays exists within centralized states. But that open situation within states is just as recent as the tighter borders around the states.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:54 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Likewise, increasing population size does cost more to support them. Twice as many people will cost roughly twice as much to support. That said, there are twice as many people producing(again, roughly). End result, average person's life isn't going to be very affected. At least, not in gross GDP/person senses. So, the "they took er jerbs" argument isn't really relevant on a large scale.


You are assuming that there is twice as much grazing space, twice as much oil reserves, twice as lumber. This isn't the case.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:02 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:It's true that strong border controls go together with the development of strong central states, but that doesn't mean that older systems were really more open. It's more that the old barriers were more diffused, instead of concentrated at clear geographical lines. And less defined from a procedural point of view - the counterpart of a country refusing entry at the border, is that it also grants entry permits, an official 'accepted' status with value throughout the country .


Sure, there was still the concept of outsider status in a number of ways, that's fair. It's mostly that the nation-state was less predominant. So, yeah, the complete opennness concept is fairly recent.

Even the US, despite all that good statue of liberty imagery, pretty harshly restricted immigration not all that long ago. Raw numbers are pretty high now in comparison to a few decades back.

CorruptUser wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Likewise, increasing population size does cost more to support them. Twice as many people will cost roughly twice as much to support. That said, there are twice as many people producing(again, roughly). End result, average person's life isn't going to be very affected. At least, not in gross GDP/person senses. So, the "they took er jerbs" argument isn't really relevant on a large scale.


You are assuming that there is twice as much grazing space, twice as much oil reserves, twice as lumber. This isn't the case.


An economy is not composed solely of resource gathering. Particularly in the US, in which a lot of farming and what not is largely industrialized, and thus uses a small proportion of workers. We're also not really running out of any of those things, and it seems pretty unlikely that immigrants will cause us to do so.

In short, such an assumption is entirely unnecessary to conclude that immigration is not harmful to the economy at large. Yeah, specific people might have different outcomes, and that's still fair to consider, but it seems that arguments regarding immigration often frame the issue a bit inaccurately.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:08 pm UTC

Whether farmers make up a large or small percentage of workers is irrelevant. To double the economy we'd have to double the amount of meat and grain produced, we'd have to double the amount of cars produced, we'd have to double the amount of energy produced, and so forth. Stop avoiding the obvious here.

The only way around that is if we bring in enough scientists that can multiply the value of the inputs, which A) we already give priority to them anyway, and B) the overwhelming majority of people are not.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby sardia » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:40 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Whether farmers make up a large or small percentage of workers is irrelevant. To double the economy we'd have to double the amount of meat and grain produced, we'd have to double the amount of cars produced, we'd have to double the amount of energy produced, and so forth. Stop avoiding the obvious here.

The only way around that is if we bring in enough scientists that can multiply the value of the inputs, which A) we already give priority to them anyway, and B) the overwhelming majority of people are not.

Prove that farmers(or insert industry here) has enough workers. You seem to think every single sector of the economy is at full employment?

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:26 am UTC

That's intentionally missing the point and you know it. In order for the economy to double when doubling the workforce (without increasing technology), you need to double the capital. And some forms of capital such as oil wells can't be doubled.

You want to make the argument that letting in refugees is something that should be done for moral reasons? You can make that argument. But you can't make the argument that letting in refugees isn't going to stretch resources for the locals.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby sardia » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:46 pm UTC

That was Tyndmyr making that argument. I was questioning why you implied that there wasn't an area in our economy that could support more workers. There's labor shortages that are being solved with immigration and there's data that immigrants increase GDP. I don't have the data to show that the show immigration
GDP increase scales infinitely.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby sardia » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:46 pm UTC

That was Tyndmyr making that argument. I was questioning why you implied that there wasn't an area in our economy that could support more workers. There's labor shortages that are being solved with immigration and there's data that immigrants increase GDP. I don't have the data to show that the show immigration
GDP increase scales infinitely.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:32 pm UTC

We currently have shortages of nurses. Beyond that, the only areas where we can import people without reducing per-capita GDP are in the usual places; upper-middle or upper class jobs, arts, sciences, etc etc. Note that I have never said that we should avoid allowing these workers in.

Well, that and forced prostitution, and I suppose other forms of slavery, but I get the impression that that wouldn't be an improvement for them.



As an aside...
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Personally I'm against the H1B visa program, unless you are paying them relatively high salaries, e.g. $100,000+, in which case bring as many over as you damn well can. I'm also against the "guest worker" program, unless you are paying them at least $15/hr or whatever a barely-living wage is. Don't pull that "they only do the work Americans won't" shit with me; they do the work Americans won't for crap wages. If the farms offered $15/hr, you can damn well bet that you could find plenty of Americans willing to do that work, even if it's ex-cons. There's only two immigration policies I'm in favor of expanding; student visas, and the military. I don't care if the person isn't capable of better than minimum wage, if they bleed for us, they deserve citizenship more than most of the locals; I include people like interpreters and so forth who worked for the US knowing their families might get targeted as a result (fuck you Trump for saying these people shouldn't be allowed in). As for student visas, well, student visas are probably the greatest thing we could possibly do, for at least a half dozen reasons; 1) the kids tend to come from well connected families, i.e., those in power, 2) said families become more favorable to business and other cooperations, 3) the families pay full price (i.e., $200,000 comes IN to the US), 4) the kids are "hostages" in that no general is going to order a nuclear strike where his daughter goes to school 5) we are exporting American culture, 6) the kids grow up as "American", etc etc.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby sardia » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:56 pm UTC

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shot ... rn-doctors
So in a rural area, you wouldn't support bringing in a cheap foreign doctor? They aren't paid much and keeps the salaries of potential doctors in rural areas low. This isn't your glamorous specialty surgeon who makes high six figures. This is family doctors who get paid rural decay rates.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:09 pm UTC

And your rural-decay rate doctor still makes much more than the locals in that area, so...

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby sardia » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:16 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:And your rural-decay rate doctor still makes much more than the locals in that area, so...

I was trying to clarify if you meant relatively high wages compared to locals or to the industry itself. You could have been for maintaining high wages ( or the corollary, increasing wages for poverty level jobs like farm hands) by not increasing the labor supply. If your idea is a simple, "does it pay a lot?, then let them in" makes more sense than "we should defend wages of these x industry jobs by not importing cheap people".

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:33 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Whether farmers make up a large or small percentage of workers is irrelevant. To double the economy we'd have to double the amount of meat and grain produced, we'd have to double the amount of cars produced, we'd have to double the amount of energy produced, and so forth. Stop avoiding the obvious here.

The only way around that is if we bring in enough scientists that can multiply the value of the inputs, which A) we already give priority to them anyway, and B) the overwhelming majority of people are not.

Prove that farmers(or insert industry here) has enough workers. You seem to think every single sector of the economy is at full employment?
No, that assumption is not necessary. Some sectors aren't at full employment, but neither is the present population fully employed. The lack of a perfectly efficient match between workers and jobs doesn't refute CorruptUser's main point, which is that doubling the workforce won't automagically double production, because labor isn't the only thing required to produce things.
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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:54 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:That's intentionally missing the point and you know it. In order for the economy to double when doubling the workforce (without increasing technology), you need to double the capital. And some forms of capital such as oil wells can't be doubled.

You want to make the argument that letting in refugees is something that should be done for moral reasons? You can make that argument. But you can't make the argument that letting in refugees isn't going to stretch resources for the locals.


Not every part of the economy is capital intensive. Particularly for a service industry such as much of the US is. Yeah, yeah, there are ultimately limits, it can't scale indefinitely, but at the scale of current immigration, it isn't going to be a significant factor on employment in general. Specific numbers likely depend on the specific economy, and what exactly it needs. An industrial economy is going to need additional factories to employ additional workers. Adding maids, farmhands, etc, however, is extremely low-capital, and this seems to be what we're actually doing in the US.

Double the work, but double the workers isn't a bad thing at all, provided the workers are capable of doing that work. If we're talking, say, taking in sick or disabled people, the argument changes a bit, but existing systems filter for economically valuable people already. Even in countries such as Canada. Not just a US thing.

Sure, having around ol' money and resources is nice, but current productivity is what drives employment and consumption.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby EMTP » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:45 pm UTC

ucim wrote:While I agree with the idea of fairly open borders, borders are there for a reason. When you enter somebody else's country (with that country's blessing), you are a guest. If you do so without that country's blessing, you are an intruder. There are many reasons to be an intruder, some of them very good reasons, but it is on the put-upon country to decide to forgive or not. (That said, I lean towards forgiveness, but said forgiveness is not a right.)

As an equivalent, everyone has the right to leave any house, including their own, and to return to their own house.


Intruders also go by the name "colonists" and Americans, the British, Australians, and the Israelis (to chose a few obvious examples) are hardly in a position to claim the moral high ground regarding "intruders."

It is not true in a legal sense that "it is on the put-upon country to decide to forgive or not." Countries have obligations to refugees, very detailed ones, including not sending them back into an unsafe environment: http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/protection/b ... ugees.html.

You want to make the argument that letting in refugees is something that should be done for moral reasons? You can make that argument. But you can't make the argument that letting in refugees isn't going to stretch resources for the locals.


You can certainly make the argument that every inhabitant of a state costs that state some money, and that refugees have a long history of being net contributors to societies prepared to welcome them and allow them to contribute. Einstein was a refugee, ffs.
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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby ucim » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:44 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Intruders also go by the name "colonists" and Americans, the British, Australians, and the Israelis (to chose a few obvious examples) are hardly in a position to claim the moral high ground regarding "intruders."
Hey! We stole that country fair and square. :)

In any case, I'm not "claiming moral high ground"; the colonists did not have the right to intrude. However, there was lots of empty land, and it was no big deal, at least in the beginning. When you declare war, you don't have the right to invade another country either. That these things happen doesn't make them right.

EMTP wrote:It is not true in a legal sense that "it is on the put-upon country to decide to forgive or not." Countries have obligations to refugees, very detailed ones, including not sending them back into an unsafe environment: link.
Good to know. But that's an agreement that was made. It's a right that the signatory states have granted each other, and a responsibility they have decided to accept. (Once they accept it, they need to live up to it... at least until doing so breaks them.)

Oh btw, your second (uncredited) quote is not mine, it's CorruptUser.

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Re: solving the refugee crisis

Postby EMTP » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:27 am UTC

However, there was lots of empty land, and it was no big deal, at least in the beginning.


If you're talking about the US, your history is about a hundred years out of date. No, there was not a lot of empty land. Yes, it was a big deal, as you could deduce from the fighting and dying that went on. Not only were colonists immediately in competition with local tribes for resources, but in no way were these complex societies too stupid to recognize the thin end of the wedge. On the contrary, Native leaders sized up the Plymouth colonists very shrewdly as technologically advanced, ignorant of local conditions, small in numbers but with a lot of wealth and power behind them in Europe.

At no time were the European settlers regarded as no big deal because there was lots of everything for everyone.

Oh btw, your second (uncredited) quote is not mine, it's CorruptUser.


Yes, I'm aware. When quoting someone a post or two up, I don't always feel it necessary to put up a citation. It's lazy of me, I know. "Uncredited" is not what you mean, since that implies trying to take credit for someone else's work. "Unattributed" I think is what you are trying to say.

Good to know. But that's an agreement that was made. It's a right that the signatory states have granted each other, and a responsibility they have decided to accept. (Once they accept it, they need to live up to it... at least until doing so breaks them.)


There are rights which belong to refugees which have been recognized by the signatory states. They are not granting rights to each other; they are agreeing with one another to abide by certain rules with respect to refugees. Obviously any rule, be it the 1st amendment or the START treaty or the Logan Act, can be violated. All I am saying is that we have certain legal as well as moral obligations with respect to refugees; they aren't simply unpeople who are entitled to nothing and simply ought to be grateful we don't murder them and feed them to our pets.

In addition to the legal arguments, and the practical arguments (refugees have brought HUGE benefits to our country) a large majority of our national politicians specifically identify as Christian or (in the case of a significant minority) Jewish. And both those faith traditions are absolutely fucking clear on what you do with a foreigner who ends up at your doorstep without money or power or connections. And it's not "extreme vetting."
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