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We would have less income inequality, greater mobility, better schools and neighborhoods, and less crime if everyone, especially parents, instilled better values including the Protestant work ethic
Amy Chu and her husband discuss the role of values in the following article
and Niall Ferguson has also discussed the six killer apps that made America great


"I believe much of the blame rests with the fact that many children from minority families are raised with a single and not very educated parent, and that the quality of the schools attended by minority children is deficient. The interaction of these two forces produces a deadly mixture holding back the progress of minority children. The degree of mobility would increase significantly if ways could be found to efficiently lower the high school dropout rate."

Which may suggest, more, not less spending on education which might include counselors and mentors for both "kids at risk" ............ and their parents who didn't get an owner's manual when they may have become parents at a young or poorly educated age.

We do a lot of hand wringing over "wishing" all parents were good parents, but if we have any hopes in the realm of cycle breaking, it's hard to think of anything other than our schools doing a bit more.

Lastly? Why do the becker posner sites so often have goofy stuff like a time limit for making a post?


I do not understand why the US-Government allow this massive immigration from Mexico. That decrease the overall human capital in the USA and harm the United States. Why this stupidity?

jim kirby

Yo Fredoom,

Immigration from Mexico makes perfect sense. What we get from Mexico are educated, potty-trained workers with a great work ethic.

What we need to curtail is the rampant breeding here in the USSA: every kid costs $10,000 to birth and $150,000 to mis-educate in our public schools.

Do you understand economics at all?

Wm Johnson

Yo Jim Kirby, et. al.

Legal or illegal immigration from Mexico or most Hispanic countries makes no sense. What we get from Mexico et. al. are non-educated, expensive additions to our social service networks. According to PEW research over 49% of illegal immigrants have not graduated from their admittedly poor equivalent of high schools and will continue to receive far more in benefits than they will ever pay in taxes. The estimates made by the National Research Council in their study published in "The New Americans, Economic, Demographic and Fiscal Effects of Immigration" are that each Hispanic family costs the U.S. (state, local and federal) over $5,000/year more than they will ever pay in taxes. Other estimates are that this has risen to about $20,000/year. It will cost state and local government over $10,000/year to try to educate--over $150,000 total/student cost in our public schools.

It would cost on average about $30,000/year to incarcerate the additional immigrant felons--their crime rate are about three times the average U.S. rate of criminality.

The recent CBO estimates of how the latest Senate passed immigration "reform" will boost the U.S. economy will boost the U.S. economy does NOT include the state and local costs--see last page of their report. The conservative Heritage Foundation has estimated the latest U.S. Senate immigration bill would lead to the government paying $9.4 trillion in benefits and services to the newly-legalized immigrants, but receiving only $3.1 trillion in taxes from them in taxes-resulting in a $6.3 trillion loss to the U.S. over 50 years.

True reform would cut the number of immigrants granted citizenship from over 1,000,000/year we have now, to less than 500,000; require all new immigrants to have at least a BS degree or pass the SAT and ACT test at an average rate or better etc.. Requiring citizenship of all workers would help dry up the attraction of jobs in the U.S. Another key reform would be to bar anyone who has crossed the border illegally or overstayed a visa from any prospects of future eligibility for U.S. citizenship.

A better class of immigrants are what is needed to help the U.S. economy not cost it significantly more like it does now. Now that would be true reform not amnesty disguised as "immigration reform".

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