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There is an apparent consensus that our immigration system should be focused on attracting the best and the brightest to America; that our economy needs the influx of skilled workers in order to keep growing and become stronger.
This thought has been espoused by both the left and the right as they rush to explain why it's such a good idea to look the other way as our national sovereignty is violated millions of times over on a daily basis. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity! Immigrants will make our economy a lot better! Immigrants will help create jobs and fund a border fence!
You'd think that if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.
The dubious reasoning in those arguments aside, our immigration system should not be focused on economic growth. Admitting people into our country to become permanent residents or citizens should not rely on skill or education, and doing so will hurt us in the end.
We are promoting economic justifications as the highest reason for the incredible privilege of American citizenship, tacitly valuing our economy above all else. Polls certainly show that the economy and jobs are the greatest concern of the American public, but it would be a mistake to value economic reasons for immigration so highly without understanding what has led to its growth.
What has made us the economic powerhouse that we are, or at least recently were? What rocketed us from a fledgling little nation to the world economic driver in such a short time while other countries have barely moved?
It's a very simple answer, say it with me: Freedom, capitalism, the free market and the rule of law.
That is why we are not only an economic powerhouse, but the world superpower for so many years.
The rule of law is what provides the legal netting to ensure that everyone plays by the same rules, that your property and rights are protected, that you can take a risk and dream and the law will have your back. It is the solid foundation that is not easily swayed by emotion or fleeting movements that would otherwise undermine it. If we do not have the rule of law, we do not have a vibrant economy.
The free market provides the ability to compete. Competition is what forces innovation and drives creativity within the market. Competition is what leads to newer products, better products, and newer and better products at lower prices! Without it, we could not survive economically.
Capitalism is what provides the incentive to take that leap and strike out on your own. Capitalism, though maligned in nearly any leftist circle, is a very simple principle: You keep what you earn and do with it what you will. That's it! This is what provides a major incentive to create, to dream, to invent - you will keep the fruits of your own labor! You can use those fruits to grow, to create more, to dream bigger and the sky is the limit. That is the beauty of capitalism. Without it, our economy dies.
Even with the presence of these three foundational principles, it would all fall apart without the last.
Without freedom, we do not have the room or ability to create what we dream of. Inventors, visionaries and people who chased after a dream with reckless abandon are what drives major economic growth, not skilled labor. Freedom is what gives those inventors a chance to invent; the visionary a chance to dream and chase after it like nothing else in the world mattered. Everything else is built on this. Without freedom, it collapses.
When you read the famous poem "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, there is something special in her description of immigrants that perfectly frames what our immigration system should be about:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
In her description of those she wants coming to our golden door, everything is an adjective - tired, poor, wretched, homeless and tempest-tossed. Those all describe the shape they are in, how they may look or what their station in life is.
Only one word in her description is a verb that describes not what these people are, but who they are - yearning. They are yearning, an indescribable and inescapable longing for something. And what is that thing?
To breathe free.
We will take anyone, no matter their station in life, no matter how poor they are, no matter what their age is or their skills are, even if they have no home in your land and are being thrown out like the trash, we want them here if they long, more than anything else, to be free.
That is what our immigration policy should be. We need immigrants coming here who yearn to breathe free, not to make us a better economy, but to make us a better America.
We, who have lived here our whole lives, have grown accustomed to the limitless blessings of freedom. We take for granted the free air that we breathe every single day. It should be our goal that through immigration, we can remind ourselves of how incredible our freedom is, how valuable and desirable it is.
Our spirit and appreciation for the countless blessings in this nation would be rejuvenated, revived and re-awoken by those who finally are able to taste it for the first time and can satisfy that deep yearning to breathe free. Poetically, it is they who will remind us of how great it is to be an American, and that is what we need the most.
Keep, other lands, your highly trained! Send those who want nothing above the taste of sweet freedom to our golden shores. It is they who shall make us strong. It is they who shall renew and remind the world of the blessings of America.
It is they who we seek.
For other articles and writings by Darrell, please visit the Milk Crate.
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The third quarter growth rate climbed from an initial estimate of 3.5 percent because of greater spending by consumers and businesses, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The figure followed a 4.6 percent surge in the spring, which resulted in the biggest consecutive quarters of growth since 2003.
Analysts believe momentum could slow to around 2.5 percent in the current quarter but then accelerate again in 2015. They expect growth of around 3 percent, representing a sustained acceleration in activity six years after the Great Recession.
The question of whether the economy is accelerating or will accelerate is no longer a question; we can say somewhat definitively that the economy has already accelerated, said Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG.
The economy as measured by the gross domestic product - the countrys total output of goods and services - has been on a roller coaster this year. It started with a steep slide in activity in the first three months of the year when GDP contracted at a 2.1 percent rate, largely due to a severe winter.
Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, grew at a 2.2 percent rate in the third quarter. The figure was an improvement from an initial estimate of 1.8 percent growth. Business investment in equipment shot up at a 10.7 percent rate, an increase from an initial estimate of 7.2 percent.
Since the recession ended in June 2009, growth has averaged at subpar rates just above 2 percent. This lackluster recovery has been blamed on the financial crisis and the severity of the recession. Such types of downturns are usually harder to recover from because it requires repairs to the banking system to get credit flowing again.
But economists believe 2015 will be the year when the recovery shifts into a higher gear, in part because they expect the government itself to help. Government spending grew at a 4.2 percent rate in the third quarter, the strongest performance since the spring of 2009. The gain was bolstered by a 16 percent surge in defense spending.
The factors driving that optimism are the same that have dragged on activity this year: government spending and tax policy. By next year, economists believe those policies will begin to pay off and energize growth. Further gains in employment are expected to provide households with more income and boost consumer spending.
The sharp drop in oil prices is also expected to put more money in the pocket of Americans as they spend less at the pump.
To be sure, weakness overseas and another possible recession in Europe may still hamstring US growth. Those concerns rattled financial markets earlier this fall. But stocks have since rebounded to new highs amid signs that central banks in Europe, Japan and China will take action to bolster growth.
The Federal Reserve in October ended purchases of bonds aimed at pushing long-term interest rates down, but language used by the Fed shows that it does not expect to begin raising short-term interest rates for a considerable time. Many economists believe the Feds benchmark short-term rate, which has been at a record lows near zero for six years, will not be hiked until the middle of next year.
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The UK economy might have shown robust growth this year but its not immune to a slowdown in Europes largest economies Germany and France, John Cridland, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) told CNBC.
Im more worried than Ive been for a long time about the euro zone, the head of the business lobbying organization said in an interview with CNBC. I think slowing of growth particularly in Germany, and the lack of reform particularly in France are a risk to European growth and therefore to British growth, he warned.
The British economy is flying. I dont see at the moment that those headwinds are slowing us down. But Id like to avoid those headwinds slowing us down, he added.
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WHEN people think of a large Asian country on the brink of deflation, they probably have Japan in mind. But China, the biggest of them all, is now skirting close to outright falls in prices across a wide swathe of the economy. Producer prices have been declining for nearly three years and consumer price inflation is mired at its lowest level since 2010.
Deflation is rightly feared by central bankers around the world as a most destructive economic force, making debts more expensive in real terms and leading to a vicious cycle of contraction as consumers delay purchases and companies put off investments. Yet the Chinese central bank has been remarkably laid-back about the downward lilt in prices. The most obvious tool in its kit to arrest the slide would be to cut interest rates, but it has not done so since July 2012; the benchmark one-year lending rate remains lofty at 6%. What explains the central bank's calm in the face of falling prices, and is it making a big mistake?
Inflation data published on Monday provide the latest evidence of China's descent towards deflation. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.6% in October from a year earlier, the lowest since the start of 2010. Month-on-month CPI inflation was flat, falling back from September's 0.5% increase. Core inflation, stripping out volatile food and energy prices, ticked down to 1.4% year-on-year in October, below the 1.7% average over the previous nine months. Meanwhile, the producer price index (PPI) ran deeper into negative territory. Prices of goods as they left factory gates fell 2.2% in October from a year earlier, steeper than the 1.8% decline in September. PPI has been in deflation for 32 straight months.