Saturday, November 24, 2012

Powell on Immigration

Another good piece on immigration, the first half of the article is definitely worth reading.  A snippet:
Consider that in the decade between 1900 and 1909, a near record 8.2 million immigrants arrived at our shores. About the only immigrants denied entry into the United States were those believed to have a disease or a criminal record. During this decade, the percentage foreign-born people in the population was at an all-time high. According to the Census Bureau’s Historical Statistics of the United States, unemployment got down to 1.7 percent (in 1906) – the lowest recorded peacetime level in U.S. history.
How could this be? Well, when taxes are low, when there are few regulatory obstacles to enterprise, and it’s easy and inexpensive to start a business – entrepreneurs can create productive jobs fast, maintaining low unemployment even when the labor force expands rapidly.
Immigrants themselves create a substantial share of new jobs. Immigrants include the most entrepreneurial part of our population, because they take the very difficult step of leaving their homeland. By coming to America, they demonstrate that they’re open to new things and willing to work hard. The labor force participation rate of recent immigrants is reported as high as 94 percent, about one third higher than the general population.

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