YOU DON'T HATE...

YOU DON'T HATE WHAT YOU DO KNOW. Bryan Caplan offers data showing that the more immigration in your state, the likelier you are to be pro-immigrant. "The simplest interpretation of this result," he writes, "is that people who rarely see an immigrant can easily scapegoat them for everything wrong in the world. Personal experience doesn't get in the way of fantasy. But people who actually see immigrants have trouble escaping the fact that immigrants do hard, dirty jobs that few Americans want - at a realistic wage, anyway." Speaking of realistic wages, it's a point I've made before, but Matt has more on the likely effect of closed borders: not better paying jobs, but fewer jobs. And while he focuses on services that demand will simply dry up for, I'm more concerned about industries where we're barely out-competing global competitors, like agriculture. As The New York Times wrote, if the migrants weren't coming over the border to pick strawberries, it would be the strawberries coming over the border instead. That would, to be sure, be better for Mexico, but it wouldn't be that good for the United States.

Caplan's post reminds me of the odd situation where the GOP's militaristic fear-mongering is, at least according to the vote totals, least effective against those who actually live in a city that suffered an attack on 9-11. New York, D.C., even the targeted Los Angeles -- all went overwhelmingly for the Democrat, despite Bush's apparent advantage on terrorism issues. It's possible that those cities may have felt that Bush's failure to prevent 9-11 demonstrated an incompetence on such issues, and so didn't trust him for protection, or they may have simply decided that scattershot belligerence wasn't likely to leave them safer.

--Ezra Klein

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