Mexican immigrants being deported from US. Mexican immigrants being deported from US.

People of Americas on cusp of the abyss

Dystopian hell predicted after inauguration of the Master of Mendacity

Donald Trump is on the cusp of taking the oath of office, and consequently the American people (meaning in this context all of the people of the Americas) are on the cusp of the abyss, waiting for the long freefall into the deep crevasse of a dystopian hell.


Overreacting? Well, not if you watched, as I did, the Master of Mendacity’s first circus act on January 11, which was oddly billed as a press conference.

This bizarre display of hubris (there will be plenty more to come) was foisted upon serious journalists who couldn’t get their questions answered, and presided over by the soon-to-be Carnival Barker-in-Chief, didn’t bother me. In fact, it was entertaining, in the sick way that watching a plane crash at an air show is entertaining – you can’t believe the horror but you can’t look away either.

It didn’t bother me that I was watching the personal reality show of a sexist, racist bigot, homophobe and borderline moron (he even used the “you’re fired” line from his previous reality show, and called CNN “fake news” for good measure).

It didn’t bother me that I was watching a freely-elected failed real estate broker with a bad comb-over who speaks in meaningless Orwellian slogans and can’t seem to form a grammatically correct (or even intelligible) sentence, and who makes George W. Bush and Dan Quayle look like polymaths by comparison.

It does not even bother me that this man has never demonstrated even the slightest interest in public service over the course of his lifetime, much less any executive experience.

No, I won’t go into the laundry list of things that make this sardonic, supercilious shell of a hectoring man-boy a despicable person and the worst choice for president in the history of the American republic. I’ve already done that, as have many others.


What does bother me, though, is his apparent gnat-like attention span and inability to grasp something as basic as the principle of good governance, despite being surrounded in Washington D.C. by an ocean of public policy cognoscenti.

In keeping with his severe megalomaniacal personality disorder, he prefers the company of consiglieres, sycophants, shills and apparatchiks, who apparently don’t mind – and perhaps even encourage – his recursive truculent preening.

His policies are those of the neighborhood drunk at the corner bar – asinine uneducated musings unsupported by anything even resembling a fact. As a single example of how dangerous his fake policies can be, we need only examine Trump’s border and immigration position(s). (The parenthetical “s” is necessary because policy consistency is not something in Trump’s limited vocabulary.)

To paraphrase: build a big beautiful wall, okay maybe not a complete wall, fences will be okay in some places, and make Mexico pay for it, but we’ll pay for it first and then negotiate with the Mexicans later; no I never said a fence, it will be a wall; and deport 11 million undocumented Mexicans and their families even if some of their children are U.S. citizens, but then again maybe we can’t do that, maybe we can be more flexible, ad infinitum.

I’ve already weighed in on the feckless absurdity of Trump’s wall, so let’s just look at Trump’s deportation plan. In doing so, we’ll have to pretend that The Donald is as good as his word (it takes some imagination). Also, that the substantive and procedural due process guaranteed by our constitution doesn’t exist. Also, that it would be logistically feasible and financially affordable. Also that . . . well, never mind, you get the idea.

With that rather long (but necessary) throat-clearing out of the way, I come to the 2004 mockumentary “A Day Without a Mexican” by Sergio Arau, which mockumented the societal and economic collapse of California when all Mexicans disappeared, leading to, among other things, food shortages and gang violence over black-market produce sales. It won best screenplay at the Cartagena Film Festival not because was particularly well produced, but because its satire was so close to the truth.

Economists largely agree. Leaving aside the human costs, a study last year by the center-right American Action Forum concluded that the economic costs to the United States of mass deportations would be devastating: the administrative costs would run from $400 billion to $600 billion and overall, removing all undocumented immigrants would cause private sector output to decline by between $381.5 billion and $632.5 billion. This translates to a 2.29% to 4.7% reduction in total annual output from the private sector.

It gets worse. Agricultural economists at Cornell concluded in a study completed just last month that deporting all undocumented workers would shrink the economy by 3% to 6%, and because roughly half of all agricultural workers are undocumented, wine prices would skyrocket, 3,500 dairy farms would close, the price of milk would increase by 90% and overall food prices would increase by 5% to 6%.

And as I have previously written, undocumented immigrants are a net benefit to our economy, as the Conservative Action Forum has admitted.

Are there answers other than walls and mass deportations, or to put it another way, economic self-immolation? Yes. They were called the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 and the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007. They weren’t perfect bills, but they were very good, pragmatic bills, providing for immigration reform and real guest worker programs.

They died in Congress because Republican pollsters discovered that good public policy is bad politics. Republicans in both the House and the Senate realized that fear was a much easier sell to their ignorant constituents than principles of economic demography, history, and easily verifiable facts.

And of course the open secret on Capitol Hill and Wall Street is that many wealthy Republicans like the status quo because undocumented workers don’t have rights, like a minimum wage. They (country club Republicans) have been having their cake and eating it too with their political cris de coeur against undocumented workers and immigration reform, while at the same time enjoying the fruits of their illegal, underpaid labor.

There are really only two possible outcomes on this issue. Donald Trump will deport 11 million people as he promised, which would cause a massive economic and humanitarian crisis. Or Donald Trump will markedly increase deportations, but far short of his goals, claiming that his tiny orange hands are tied by an uncooperative Congress and legal (e.g. “constitutional”) hurdles.

He too, will have his cake and eat it too. None of his supporters will blame him because of course not keeping his promise was not his fault, and they will give him all due credit for trying.

That is what happens when you elect a populist. He will tell you what you want to hear knowing that he can never deliver on his promises, and also knowing that he will never be blamed for not delivering on his promises. Trumpistas will drink the shit milkshake of Trumpism, thinking they like it.

Who will suffer? Everyone. Latinos will be worse off, average U.S. citizens will be worse off, Latin Americans will be worse off, everyone who voted for Trump will be worse off; in sum, everyone will be living in a darker, less tolerant, less prosperous world.

I began this op-ed with the analogy of Donald Trump’s recent press conference being a circus act. It was of course by any reasonable account just that, but I also used the word circus because of its Latin significance with respect to the fall of the Roman Empire. Panem et circenses – bread and circuses.

What Trump offers is palliative: it comforts but does not cure, and like bread and games, it is an emotional distraction, and appeases emotional needs, ignoring real problems, elevating the immediate self-interested wants of a minority of the electorate above the wider concerns of civic society and duty.

I have previously compared Trump to Mussolini, but I now find that comparison somewhat wanting. Better to compare him to Caligula, the self-absorbed Roman emperor obsessed with sex, money, anger, bread and circuses.

Glen Olives Thompson is a professor of North American Law at La Salle University in Chihuahua, a specialist in law and public policy and a frequent contributor to Mexico News Daily. Some of his other non-academic work can be viewed at

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  • Dave Warren

    Almost defined him… a little worse however.

  • Happygirl

    Well said.

  • Jumex

    END >>>>> Rant

  • 101st

    I don’t disagree with you, G.O.Thompson, but this is what happens when the Democratic party has this great need to finally elect THE first female president…..qualified or not. Such arrogance.

    • Alan Anderson

      I agree with you completely. The Democrats, and I am one of them, ran probably the only person in America that couldn’t defeat Trump.

    • Happygirl

      So you don’t believe a woman is capable of being president? Or that the USA is not ready for a female president? Some of world’s greatest leaders were women…Queen Elizabeth 1st and 2nd, Catherine the Great, Indra Ghandi, Joan of Arc come to mind. So you are saying the USA is so backward that the thought of electing a strong , intelligent and experienced woman…or any woman, made them so ill that they HAD to vote for Trump….sad.

      • Donald Blair Godier

        Problem with your argument happy girl is Hillary was neither strong, intelligent or experienced, in all her years in politics she has not had 1 positive accomplishment, unless you consider selling influence for millions of dollars to foreign countries an accomplishment. Or contributing to the murder of 4 Patriots in Benghazi and then blaming it on a video an accomplishment, I would love to see a sensible, accomplished woman, become President. Someone who actually cares about America and not hustle power and financial gain. Hillary lost because Americans know she doesn’t give a damn about the people. I would nominate someone of integrity as our 1st Female President, like Condoleezza Rice, now that would be a great choice!

        • Happygirl

          I admire Hillary Clinton and as you know she was cleared of Benghazi over and over again…she worked tirelessly for women and children…she is not stupid, she is college educated…and she is an experienced politician (Secretary of State) with years of public service…Putin fears her because she knows and has stood up to him. You believe what Republicans tell you…they did a great smear campaign. You have a right to your opinion and I to mine. She would have made a great president.

          • Donald Godier

            She would sell out America like she has done with anyone who ever thought they were her friends! Her and Bill Clinton are despicable human beings who don’t deserve to live free! Jail would be to good for either of them, they have committed mire acts of treason against the U.S. than even the Muslim loving jackass who’s leaving the peoples house as we speak!

  • jdwfinger

    What no one ever asks is why the Mexican government NEVER takes care of its people. WHY do Mexicans want to leave Mexico by the millions? Is it because Every Mexican in any type of power takes bribes and steals? Is it because the minimum wage is $4 A DAY while people like Slim and all his cronies keep getting richer. Or is it that the Mexican people after hundreds of years believe they are SHEEP for the slaughter. I think Mexico is getting what it deserves. The CARTELS if they could unite would be better for Mexico than any party now. CHAPO for presidente

  • gypsyken

    Thanks very much for this cogent essay. To avoid my having to repeat myself, please see my comment on the article “How will MX deal with the Donald” to access the recent poll showing that most U.S. voters, who didn’t vote for Il Duce Trump in the first place, now have a negative view of him. He is now actually viewed even less favorably by Americans than he was before the election! We are awaiting further information about what Russia has on him, and has done for him (access to the Steele dossier is also in my comment), but if the inauguration proceeds as scheduled, Il Duce is certain to be called an illegitimate president.

  • Mike Lyle

    This is hysterical and erroneous prophecy which none but the Divinely-inspired can predict with true authenticity. Fear-mongering, doubt-mongering, sources can only be attributable to those who either know nothing of God, or those who have been politicized.
    Friends of Mexico will have nothing to do with such frivolous, speculative articles. Racists, of course, will hold fast to such spurious speculations. While those of us who have delved deeper into the culture and have seen our inter-cultural similarities hold fast to the claim that we are not alone, nor unique, among the species of cultures presented to us in this small garden we call the world.

    • Happygirl

      What are you trying to say? You make absolutely no sense.

      • Charliej

        He is speaking in tongues. The superstitious never make seense.

        • Happygirl


  • flylowguy

    “wine prices would skyrocket”
    Lots of people might be on the fence regarding Trump’s incipient failure mode. But if skyrocketing wine prices comes true, there’s going to be a revolution.

  • Donald Godier

    I can only say I am sure that you believe all that crap you wrote. The reason Donald Trump was elected is because no President since Ronald Reagan has given 1 shit about the U.S. The progressives have destroyed America and driven us to 2nd rate status as a country. The one thing I do know is that Donald Trump loves America and is as sick of what is happening to America as I am! What is wrong with the President of the United States actually believing in his country? I for 1 am happy to see a real red blooded American finally be elected again!

    • harvey

      if the US is currently a second rate country as you state, which countries are supposed to be first rate?

      • Donald Blair Godier

        IMHO only 1 at this time, Isreal, they have a leader who is willing to stand up to the rest of the world and they stand for absolute freedom and take no shit from anyone, especially not the soon to be ex president, the Muslim loving, American hating, joke who’s been trying to lead from behind for the last 8 years in the US.

        • Happygirl

          Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being investigated for corruption by his own government, Israel has been condemned worldwide for building illegal settlements…etcetera.

          • Donald Blair Godier

            Illegal settlements? Against whom, a bunch of thugs and thieves, the Palestinians have been thrown out of every Arab country in the region, they had a chance to get a 2 state solution and turned from it many times. There will never be a 2 state solution, maybe a 3 state solution would eventually work but the Palestinians have no right to a homeland, they’ve never been entitled to a state of their own, they are the outcasts that even the Arabs can’t stand. The land the Isreal is are building settlements belongs tof Isreal by conquest, they were attacked! The pronouncements against Isreal in the United Nations are all illegitimate by a body that hates that Isreal exists because at heart the UN is the most anti-Jewish organization on the planet! Until the world realizes that everyone’s freedom is at risk as long as 1 Islamic extremist is still alive and bands together with all freedom loving people to eliminate this threat permanently, there will never be peace in the world!

          • Happygirl

            You have your opinion and I have mine…Israel is not a 1st class nation…not by a long shot.

          • Donald Godier

            And you don’t know shit about the world, little girl

          • Happygirl

            At 64 don’t call me little girl, don’t talk down to me because you don’t like what I have to say. I follow world affairs closely from multiple worldwide sources…I read…I listen and I make educated opinions. I have even been known to change my mind.

          • Donald Godier

            Like I said you don’t know a dann thing about life, you may have a lot of years but to believe what you do shows you haven’t actually lived. I have been involved in every political campaign in the U.S. since 1960, I have run for national office, I served many years in the armed forces and am a disabled vet, I shed blood for my country and have watched the Looney left continually destroy my country. I have no tolerance, NONE, for whiny liberals who think we should coddle the useless lazy people of the world who don’t want to work for a living. No one is entitled to anything they don’t earn through hard work and sweat. Almost every liberal I know, and some even are good friends, work for some government or educational institution and have never made a payroll or had to scramble to pay your employment taxes for your employees, who should be paying them all themselves, No one ever gave me a damn thing, a fact I am proud of. The world is a cruel place and no government is fair to it’s people but no people should expect anything from their government except that they be protected from foreign invaders or criminals. Government is not responsible to feed you, clothe you or give you health care or feed your kids, if you can’t feed them then don’t have them. Personal responsibility is everything the U.S. was founded on and for and America, especially for the last 8 years us a cesspool if whiny, wanting, needy, lazy assholes that have their handout for everything. So excuse me if I think your 64 year old mind still operates like a whiny entitled brat! And that’s my unvarnished opinion! And Hillary Clinton was never cleared in Benghazi because like every other criminal thing she has done since graduating law school she has lied, destroyed documents and covered up. She is as responsible for the deaths of those 4 American patriots as if she stood over them with the gun and shot them herself, and trust me if it would give her power or money she would shoot you or me or anyone in her way! She is a despicable human being who should be fried in the electric chair along with her sexual predator husband!

          • Donald Blair Godier

            Oops sorry, misspoke, I wasn’t involved in this year’s election, since I live in Mexico now. But I have been very vocal on Facebook about it, and for sure a lot of my Mexican friends aren’t crazy about my opinions, but you know what they still accept me for who I am, and my family is here and they make me happy and tolerate my ancient views.

      • Happygirl

        I can think of a few…Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Germany, France, Holland, New Zeland, Australia and my home country Canada. Bet there are others out there that have some suggestions…Just saying.

        • Donald Blair Godier

          Ha ha ha…. Canada is ruled by another looney liberal, Germany is in shambles due to uncontrolled Muslim immigration, France is a joke, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Holland? What have they accomplished? Nothing, I might go along with NZ And the Aussies!

          • Happygirl

            I was born in Australia so better strike that off your list.

          • Donald Blair Godier

            Well that’s 1 positive in your favor.

        • miabeach

          Exactly. White is right.

      • miabeach

        Norway, Sweden, you know more whiter countries who can be fleeced while they get called racist.

  • Donnie W. Jennings

    Glen, I think probably one of the best compliments that Trump could possibly receive from Mexico is to have a Pendejo Loser such as yourself be against him. Thank You!

    • Donald Blair Godier

      I’m with you Donnie!

    • Glen Olives

      You’re quite welcome.

  • Mary Dyson

    Thank you for this in-depth, articulate and thoughtful essay. I’m sure there are places where I might disagree with you except I don’t. You hit the nail on the head over and over.
    I note in the comments there are a lot of insults and judgements voiced against individual writers. It makes it difficult to have respectful and civil discussions with each other.
    I’d say (my judgement) there are a few too many pissing contests (yawn) that find their way into the commentaries.

  • miabeach

    God bless President Trump. I’m happy to know all illegal aliens and their needy families will soon be gone. No more free food, no more free healthcare, no more hit and run accidents, less stabbings, less rapes, less theft of Americans. Let the dishonest Latino politicians figure out how to feed these free loaders.

    • mercurywoodrose

      less rape, fewer rapes. fixed that for you. now go fk yourself.

  • mercurywoodrose

    I have a new favorite commentator on the American Scene. the North American Scene. Glen, please have a bowl of Olives as a gift, from one stunned observer to another.

    • Glen Olives

      Thank you, very kind of you to say so.

  • mercurywoodrose

    PS your headline sounds like an ONION headline. only its true. im not sure how they will be able to parody him. like sarah palin, the best parody is straight quoting. also the only possible way to bring him down. hold him to his words.

  • Annie’s got a gun

    Mr. Thompson-your thought process is crass, crude, and sensationalist. I am sorry for you. There is no treatment available.

  • alance

    Glen has a severe case of TDS – Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  • Mike S

    Excellent opinion piece- best I’ve seen on the bloviating, narcissistic, vindictive, inarticulate, insecure, bullying, litigating, silver-spooned fake businessman, ostentatious, pathological lying, incurious, bigoted, con artist. Keep up the good work. When Vladimir Chump takes over, America will be sliding backward. He has a 37% approval rating going in- lowest ever in American politics. Buyers remorse has already set in.

    Don’t forget, The electoral college was put in place 230 years ago to preserve slavery. The president represents all Americans and should be decided by popular vote. Why should some rural hick in South Dakota have more say than me- a Californian? California’s economy represents 15% of the total national GDP and is bigger than France’s GDP. California gets 87 cents back for every tax dollar it sends to Washington. Most red states are just the opposite…moochers. California has the largest Latino population in the US. Hillary won by 2.8 million votes. She lost the electoral college by 70 thousand votes in three states (Mich, Wis, Penn ….out of 12 million total votes), a number easily caused by Russian and FBI meddling. She also had the largest popular vote lead of any losing candidate in history.

  • K. Chris C.

    Pay no mind to the monkey, it’s the organ grinders and their tune that heed must be paid to.

    Pols are but puppets and their words nothing more than a tune to bemuse or inflame the audience in the service of the puppet masters.

    Watch the grinders. Listen to the tune.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  • mikegre

    I guess anyone can be a professor.

    • Cam Nante

      I’m guessing you couldn’t

  • I don’t think ole Glen is a Trump fan. I could be wrong, of course.

    • kallen

      Agreed. It was more [of the same] Trump hating drivel so after the first three paragraphs I skipped to here….not that I’m a Trump fan but the media has been full of this ever since he won. Reading yet more of it is just a waste of my time.

      • Yep, column reads like a monologue from a skinny Michael Moore or a male Rosie O’Donnell.

  • David Nichols

    Sorry about your illness Glen, derangement is a terrible thing to witness.
    Your segue into ad hominem attack belittles your ideologically driven desire to impress those in your ivory tower echo chamber…
    Your team lost, now you are feeling what I have had to accept for the last 8 years…
    Note: The key word in the above sentence is “accept”

    • Glen Olives

      Thank you David, I hadn’t known that I was ill, except for maybe putting on a few pounds during the holidays. Worried, I googled “derangement syndrome” but couldn’t find anything useful. As far as my team losing, I don’t think I had a dog in the hunt. Al Gore and Bernie Sanders, after all, were not candidates. Which brings me to our apparent disagreement, defined by you. Must I “accept” Donald Trump as our new president? Well, of course, after all, he’ll be sworn in on Friday. But “accept” has never been, as far as I know, a synonym for “agree” or “acquiesce.” Absent contrary evidence, I don’t think I could ever agree that Trump is a great business man or public leader. But let’s take another look in a hundred days. Maybe I’m wrong.

  • Mike S

    Ode to Trump by TK

    A Fool.

    I am a fool,
    And what’s worse
    A fool
    Who derives pleasure
    From being a fool.

  • sam_brit10

    Thank you, thank you, for reminding us how much the Mexican immigrants, including the undocumented ones, actually contribute to the economy, in large part by doing jobs that AMERICANS (the USA ones) WON’T DO.

    Of course the Trumpophiles want to hear nothing against their sunset-hued hero and will attack you personally rather than disputing your statistics.

    Any Trump supporter from the USA living in Mexico should be ashamed of themselves, anyway. It is incredibly easy for a USA citizen to live in Mexico legally, and take advantage of the low cost of living, great climate, and FRIENDLY, HARDWORKING, WONDERFUL Mexican people. We should all be campaigning for the USA to return the favor.

    But as you say, there is no telling from what Trump SAYS, what he will actually DO. So at this point it’s wait and see.

  • Mike S

    There is not a lot you can do with Trump “true believers” except just keep confronting them with facts and exposing his exaggerations and lies- a daunting but necessary endeavor considering how many daily lies he tells. I like this opinion piece because he cites a lot of facts. Trump and his “wall” and his fear mongering about Mexicans needs to be confronted. A few facts to dwell upon:

    There are about 11 million undocumented residents living in the US. That number has shrunk one million the last 8 years under Obama mainly due to hiring more border patrol agents, more ICE agents, and better enforcement of labor hiring laws. Obama has mostly concentrated on deporting recent arrivals and law breakers. Of the 11 million, 6 million are from Mx; Asians are now the fastest growing group of illegals. Of the 6 million Mexicans, 2.5 million came in legally and are “over stays”. Many will eventually return to MX voluntarily. Of the 3.5 million illegal border crossers, many were enticed to the US by promises of jobs and lax enforcement of labor hiring laws encouraged by Republican business interests to suppress wages and unions. These are mostly long-term, law-abiding, hard-working residents doing jobs most Americans refuse to do…many who brought young children with them who now know no other country but the US. The violent crime rate among undocumented residents is half the national average. These residents do not qualify for welfare and can not vote. Most Mx illegals live in California and Texas- not the rust belt. So trump has appealed to bigotry, demagoguery, and fear mongering describing a “non-problem”. Trump’s wall is a total con job.

    Unlike China, there is no significant trade deficit between MX and the US (especially now that they are importing US hydrocarbons). Unlike China, Mexicans love and buy US products. Unlike China, MX is a democracy and not a rival military empire. Manufactured goods from Mx contain 40% US made parts on average. Many products go back and forth between the border many times before being finished. Mx manufacturing relies heavily on US design, engineering, robotics and software; 2 million high paid US jobs rely on that trade. Mexican agriculture keeps our grocery prices low.

    If Vladimir Chump starts a trade war with Mx, both countries will suffer unnecessarily.

  • shesaid5

    The Liberal Case AGAINST Illegal Immigration:

    This is the Progressive Case AGAINST Illegal Immigration:
    The Conscience Of A Liberal–Paul Krugman

    “First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small.
    ” But as Mr. Hanson explains in his paper, reasonable calculations suggest that we’re talking about very small numbers, perhaps as little as 0.1 percent of GDP.

    “My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That’s just supply and demand…

    “Finally, the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear. ”
    Report: Obama’s Book Says Illegals Can Hurt Americans
    Didn’t anyone in the Hispanic media read Obama’s book? Or listen to when he speaks?
    Barack Obama in his own words from “The Audacity of Hope”
    – Illegal Immigration hurts Black Americans and Blue Collared Workers

    Video Not Working? I wonder why?!? Here’s an Audio Link:

  • shesaid5

    Gives one pause:

    “There he goes again, the blabbermouth nativist, Donald Trump, the wall-building xenophobe.

    “We have a massive poverty population coming into our country virtually every day from Mexico,” whines the guy who vows to build “a beautiful wall” along the southern border.

    Oops. Beg your pardon. Misread our notes. Those actually were the words of Walter Mondale, Democratic senator, Vice President, presidential candidate, Minnesota progressive, speaking in the early 1970s.”

    And, so on…..

    Hypocrite Harry Reid in 1993: “No Sane Country” Would Permit Birthright Citizenship

  • shesaid5

    An Atlantic Monthly article that shows that most economists’ thinking that an increased influx of immigrants provides more jobs for Americans is FALSE and does harm jobs for US workers and the economy:

    “The former ambassador stated,” If you were to deport the 30 million undocumented immigrants in the United States that’s going to cost you about 130 billion dollars.”
    The Conscience Of A Liberal–Paul Krugman

    “First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small.”
    ” But as Mr. Hanson explains in his paper, reasonable calculations suggest that we’re talking about very small numbers, perhaps as little as 0.1 percent of GDP.

    “My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That’s just supply and demand…

    “Finally, the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear. ”

    Also, it is patently untrue that “immigrants” are the solution to low rate of start-ups:

  • shesaid5

    The U.S. currently has eleven non immigrant guest worker visa programs.

    There is no cap on the number of workers allowed into the U.S. under the H-2A temporary agricultural guest worker visa program.
    “The provision could more than triple the number of H-2B visas for foreign workers seeking jobs at hotels, theme parks, ski resorts, golf courses, landscaping businesses, restaurants and bars. The move is intended to boost the supply of non-agricultural seasonal workers.”

    Alabama had to bite the bullet and hire LEGAL Immigrants for its AG Industry:
    Africans Relocate to Alabama to Fill Jobs After Immigration Law

    “East Coast began calling Atlanta refugee agencies several months ago looking for legal immigrants to come to Alabama for a year, said Mbanfu, refugee employment director for Lutheran Services in Atlanta. He said the company would have taken as many refugees as he could refer. The agency connected East Coast with refugees who had been in the country three to five years, he said.”
    Immigration raids yield jobs for legal workers

    ‘When federal agents descended on six meatpacking plants owned by Swift & Co. in December 2006, they rounded up nearly 1,300 suspected illegal immigrants that made up about 10% of the labor force at the plants.

    But the raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents did not cripple the company or the plants. In fact, they were back up and running at full staff within months by replacing those removed with a significant number of native-born Americans, according to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

    “Whenever there’s an immigration raid, you find white, black and legal immigrant labor lining up to do those jobs that Americans will supposedly not do,” said Swain, who teaches law and political science.”

    • Mike S
    • Glen Olives

      Being in regular contact with State Department consular officers, I can tell you with some confidence that unless you are a foreign athlete, TV personality, or college educated professional, non-immigrant work visas are an expensive, bureaucratic joke, which is why semi-literate campesinos and their employers don’t usually bother with them. Businesses who employ undocumented workers like the current dysfunctional system just fine.

    • shesaid5

      I want to thank both Glen Olives and Mike S for demonstrating that Corporate AG willfully disobeys the law in hiring Illegal Aliens to enhance their bottom line and that in Alabama it was made to comply by hiring LEGAL workers. Si Se Puede!

  • Güerito

    Hi, Glen.

    I’m surprised you didn’t cite the study that just came out by the National Academy of Sciences that looked at the overall impact of immigration on the US economy.

    A summary from one of the participants on the NAS panel that completed the study:

    “Anyone who tells you that immigration doesn’t have any negative effects doesn’t understand how it really works. When the supply of workers goes up, the price that firms have to pay to hire workers goes down. Wage trends over the past half-century suggest that a 10 percent increase in the number of workers with a particular set of skills probably lowers the wage of that group by at least 3 percent. Even after the economy has fully adjusted, those skill groups that received the most immigrants will still offer lower pay relative to those that received fewer immigrants.

    Both low- and high-skilled natives are affected by the influx of immigrants. But because a disproportionate percentage of immigrants have few skills, it is low-skilled American workers, including many blacks and Hispanics, who have suffered most from this wage dip. The monetary loss is sizable. The typical high school dropout earns about $25,000 annually. According to census data, immigrants admitted in the past two decades lacking a high school diploma have increased the size of the low-skilled workforce by roughly 25 percent. As a result, the earnings of this particularly vulnerable group dropped by between $800 and $1,500 each year.

    We don’t need to rely on complex statistical calculations to see the harm being done to some workers. Simply look at how employers have reacted. A decade ago, Crider Inc., a chicken processing plant in Georgia, was raided by immigration agents, and 75 percent of its workforce vanished over a single weekend. Shortly after, Crider placed an ad in the local newspaper announcing job openings at higher wages. Similarly, the flood of recent news reports on abuse of the H-1B visa program shows that firms will quickly dismiss their current tech workforce when they find cheaper immigrant workers.

    But that’s only one side of the story. Somebody’s lower wage is always somebody else’s higher profit.

    ***In this case, immigration redistributes wealth from those who compete with immigrants to those who use immigrants—from the employee to the employer.***

    And the additional profits are so large that the economic pie accruing to all natives actually grows. I estimate the current “immigration surplus”—the net increase in the total wealth of the native population—to be about $50 billion annually. But behind that calculation is a much larger shift from one group of Americans to another: The total wealth redistribution from the native losers (workers) to the native winners (employers) is enormous, roughly a half-trillion dollars a year. Immigrants, too, gain substantially; their total earnings far exceed what their income would have been had they not migrated.

    When we look at the overall value of immigration, there’s one more complicating factor: Immigrants receive government assistance at higher rates than natives. The higher cost of all the services provided to immigrants and the lower taxes they pay (because they have lower earnings) inevitably implies that on a year-to-year basis immigration creates a fiscal hole of at least $50 billion—a burden that falls on the native population.

    What does it all add up to? The fiscal burden offsets the gain from the $50 billion immigration surplus, so it’s not too farfetched to conclude that immigration has barely affected the total wealth of natives at all. Instead, it has changed how the pie is split, with the losers—the workers who compete with immigrants, many of those being low-skilled Americans—sending a roughly $500 billion check annually to the winners. Those winners are primarily their employers. And the immigrants themselves come out ahead, too. Put bluntly, immigration turns out to be just another income redistribution program.

    Once we understand immigration this way, it’s clear why the issue splits Americans—why many low-skilled native workers are taking one side, and why immigrants and businesses are taking another. Our immigration policy—any immigration policy—is ultimately not just a statement about how much we care about immigrants, but how much we care about one particular group of natives over another.”

    Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers, The candidates tell drastically different stories about immigration: They’re both skipping half the truth.

    A summary of how the 500 billion transfer from workers to employers was arrived at:

    • Glen Olives

      An interesting study indeed. Immigration, legal or illegal, is a double edged sword, and I wouldn’t claim that it is all positive; I don’t own a pair of rose colored glasses. But while the study is couched in terms of immigration, it very clearly is an indictment of neoliberal economic policy, not illegal immigration from Mexico. It’s somewhat counter intuitive, but much of our anemic economic growth is due to an aging population and not immigration. See, e.g., As a purely academic argument, of course, fewer immigrants would mean more jobs for unskilled workers, and overall higher consumer prices as well. Which is why Republicans have traditionally been against meaningful immigration reform while at the same time railing against illegal immigration because it is so politically popular. All I’m doing is calling out the hypocrisy.

      • Güerito

        Yeah, I just wanted to put it up here because, as I think you know, my argument over the last 18 months or so has been that illegal immigration (or immigration in general, really), amounts to a giant worldwide wealth transfer from workers to employers.

        • Glen Olives

          We agree on that much, but I think the larger problem is outsourcing, crowdsourcing and automation rather than immigration. The best policy answer in my view would be universal basic income, but I can’t see how it could sell politically.

  • Donnie W. Jennings

    Y’all need to stop bad mouthing Glen! It is folks like him that got Trump elected! It is folks like him that have given the control of the House and the Senate to the Republicans. As well as most of the state Governorships. They spew out the hate, the prejudice, the distortions, and the lies we see in Glen’s articles. We are sick and tired of it! We are still the richest, most powerful and most influential country that has ever existed on earth! But, that has been threatened by the Liberals! They have woke us up and we will prevail! As quoted by the Japanese leader responsible for training the folks that attacked Pearl Harbor, I paraphrase, “we may have awakened a sleeping giant”! The “sleeping giant” is not Trump, it is us, the people that are tired of the Liberal lunacy!

    • Glen Olives

      Perhaps you’re right, Donnie, but neither history nor economic theory suggest that you are. We have the largest GDP of course, and the largest military, the largest prison population, and also, sadly, the most people killed by gun violence, a rapidly declining middle class, as well as a rapidly declining average life expectancy. Our quality of life rankings are far below that of countries like Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, Spain, and Finland, among others. Yes, we are the richest country and most powerful country in the world. We are too, as you suggest, arguably the most influential country in the world. But when citizens of other countries are happier and more economically secure, why would it matter the biggest and the baddest? The best test of government is how the average citizen lives, not how rich the richest person is, or how powerful its military is, or how much wealth it produces compared to its closest competitor. Would you not agree with this basic assertion? We are a civilization in quite obvious decline. I suspect that you might agree, and blame this on Obama, but you would be mistaken. This decline has been happening since the 1970s, through both Republican and Democratic governments, though surely Republicans administrations have been worse. If you can, let go of our ideology and look at the facts, with a mind toward a disciplined way of analyzing them. That’s what I did a decade ago, and am now routinely accused of being a leftist ideologue from my friends on the Right, and a neoconservative ideologue from my friends on the Left, depending on the political issue or policy being discussed. I thus believe by pissing off people on both sides of the fence, I’m getting something basically right. Try it. You’ll like it.

      • Donnie W. Jennings

        Glen you have been predicting the rapid decline of the US ever since I have been reading your hate filled rants! You have also been predicting the rapid rise of Mexico’s fortunes. Neither has occurred. I have actually hoped the second would come true! You are a reject from the US that has succeeded in nothing you have done, at least according to you. You see Glen, the reason most of us think you are disoriented and dis-honest is the hate and dishonesty expressed in your writings! I am no psychiatrist, but I have studied a bit in that field. You sir, have issues! Yes, you can quote Liberal rants that support your own ridicules writings. But, it has no value, it is like the rest of the Fake News being regurgitated at the leading News Outlets. As a well educated, mature, fairly well read, and intelligent person, I read your stuff sometimes, just like this article and I wonder, is he just pulling our chains or trying to stir up conversation on various topics? Surely he does not expect the ridicules propaganda he puts forth, the half truths, the lies to be met with respect other than from the folks that have a reason, justified or not, to dislike the USA.

        To use a pun, one of the stupidest things I see folks, such as yourself, do is try to convince your audience that Trump is stupid and unsuccessful. I read things in your articles and from other folks that have quite frankly, accomplished nothing in their lives ‘blowing off” about how stupid he is! The man is a self made billionaire! Yes, I know he got a million dollar loan from his father, but it makes no difference if it was ten million or fifty million, I know the difference between that amount and billions! With the untold millions of dollars spent by hillary and her kind, very little trash has ever been found on him. It is really quite amazing! Of course, as intelligent folks know, the stupid person was hillary. There is no conceivable reason why she lost the election to Trump, but she did! In the end, it was the her dishonesty and the absence of truth and accountability that defeated her, it was not Trump. As I think I have told you before, Trump was far from my first choice in the Republican primaries, but in the end, he was the only choice. BTW, while I am sure the Liberal and other Haters will find fault with the folks he is naming for his cabinet, he is doing exactly what smart business folks do, he is surrounding himself with people that are competent in each of the areas of which he needs strong people to assist him. He is not even President yet, but he is already rattling the cages of the countries that have been taking advantage of the USA for years! Will he make mistakes, of course, but he will never BOW down to our adversaries or Kings of other countries, he will never back stab our closest allies. But regardless of what he does, good or bad, most of us will never doubt what country he support, we will never question is he for us or against us! He may be flawed, but he is not a traitor, nor will he ever sell us out!

        Glen, I would never expect you to take advise from me, but I can tell you based on my own life experiences, my education and from reading most of the responses you gain in your articles, if you backed the hate down a few notches, along with the arrogance and the obvious half truths you might gain a bit more respect for what you write. Of course, I have no experience in the areas of what can be gained from writing such inflammatory and biased garbage. I know that there are college professors that often spur debate by stating provoking positions. Maybe that is the case, maybe you are not as misguided and corrupt as your articles suggest. I am sure that I will never know the truth. Maybe you will never know as well!

        • Glen Olives

          I don’t try to convince. I don’t think I have that gift — a politician’s gift, and I am no diplomat. I just speak what I believe to be true, and in doing so, provide supporting evidence and analysis, about which I have had very productive conversations with others who disagree with me. You’ve spent quite a lot of time attacking me personally, and I don’t mind at all. I’m no Donald Trump, and I wouldn’t bother with personal Twitter vendettas. If you think we might ever have a productive conversation, then I suggest you might tell me specifically where I’ve gone wrong in writing about a specific issue, rule, analysis and conclusions derived. For example, you might begin by telling me what facts I got wrong in the above piece; I’m human after all, maybe I missed something. Then, assuming I got the facts right, did my reasoning about their implications go awry? Surely you’ll doubt me when I say this, but I’m no ideologue. You also make some other claims which interest me very much. You claim, for example that I have been predicting America’s “rapid” decline and characterizing my op-eds as “hate filled rants.” This interests me, because I don’t think you or anyone else can point to anything that points to these things being true. With regard to the specific issue of immigration, the industrial economies of northern Mexican states are growing at a rate close to 7%. That’s pretty amazing in a country hamstrung by political corruption and narco violence. The reason? Neoliberal economic ideology embraced by both Republican and Democratic leaders for four decades. Trump’s rhetoric is different, but his actions are not: if you think that he cares about the middle class or working poor, you are a fool. I understand the emotion, but I don’t understand the lack of basic reasoning skills. Bookmark this post or otherwise save the URL, and take a fresh look in a year.

          • Donnie W. Jennings

            Glen, if you can’t read your wrintings and see the hatred, racism and intolerance for nothing other than your own Liberal thoughts, nothing I am going to say is going to register on you! But as I said in my first entry to your hate fest macarading as an article, Thank You! You and your kind handed control of the US to the Republican party. You and your kind represent the new face of hatred and racisim in the USA! The American people have woke up and we won’t take it anymore!

          • Glen Olives

            Okay, if you mean by the “American people” the minority who voted for Donald Trump, fine; as I said, nobody disputes that your guy won. But as an intolerant racist as I am, I would only ask you to simply tell me where, you think, I have actually been an intolerant racist. Copy and paste anything I’ve written to support your assumption. And feel free to use as many exclamation points as you like.

  • Felipe_Calderoff

    When the 11 million illegal workers are gone, wages will increase rapidly and the 11 million Americans now out of work will do those jobs, but this time for a living wage. They will be off unemployment, food stamps and medicare and be paying into the system, instead of taking money out of the system. Meanwhile, those legal workers on the bottom rung of the ladder will see a real wage increase, because there will no longer be illegal aliens jumping the fence to take their jobs and work for less under the table. It is a win-win for the USA.

    • Glen Olives

      Fine in theory, fatal in fact. Outsourcing, crowdsourcing and automation are the real enemies of American labor, not immigration. But immigration is a sexy, emotional issue, not technology or the dogma of neoliberal economic policy.

    • Mike S

      You suffer from amnesia. When Bush lied us into an unfunded $3 trillion unnecessary war while giving tax breaks to the plutocrats and doubling down on “trickle down”- the seeds were planted for the total economic meltdown of 2008. The Republicans repealed Glass Steagall and then removed all supervision of Big Banks and Wall Street and we played a terrible price by 2008. Obama spent 6 years digging us out of that hole. He restored 15 million jobs that were lost. Unemployment is at record lows and wages are rising despite the doom and gloom Chump preaches. It was so easy for Chump to somehow blame undocumented Mexicans for all the rust bet factories that fled to China and jobs replaced by automation. Chump supporters have no critical thinking skills whatsoever. Chump is a con man and demagogue and great at scape goating. Obama actually shrunk the number of undocumented residents by one million- first time in 50 years. Chump will run with the momentum of the solid Obama economy for a few years and then crash and burn just like Bush.

    • I’m very much looking forward to watching these “Americans” you refer to picking apples and cabbages, and packing meat. Make sure that you post a video here when it happens.

      • canadiana

        There’s other immigrants that will do the work.

    • drbsea

      Felipe, if there were such a thing as the Ship of Fools, you sir would most certainly be at the helm.

      • Felipe_Calderoff

        So, unable to come up with a cogent economic response, you just call me a name and move on? What a putz.

    • osuespirit

      What makes you think Americans will go work in the fields, wash dishes or work as bus boys? What makes you think that all of those on unemployment want to work? I read an article in the NY Times that said without Mexicans most restaurants in New York would have to close. Wait until you see the price of food and other goods rise beyond your means. Who is going to pay for all this? You are!

    • Cam Nante

      I can’t believe someone is stupid enough to believe as you do!!!! Have you ever read a book? Or watched anything other than Fox news?

  • TM

    Interesting article but the result is predicated on the source of material. If you consider the level of imports between the US and Mexico and the dramatic and continuing fall of the Peso, it might have been better to agree a joint and more concerted effort at border control . Like it or not Mexico is paying for the “wall” albeit an economic wall of money flowing between the two states. Compromise would be a good start. The smart politician will be the one that identifies the issues between the people who voted for Donald Trump and trying to build bridges between the US and Mexican communities. Whether we like or dislike the President Elect’s hairstyle or oratory will not solve the problem. Dwelling on these issues will drive Mexico down a black hole and there are plenty of poorly paid who will fill the jobs even if the consumer has to pay for it. In any event as a lawyer how can one argue two wrongs make a right – it is OK to exploit the undocumented as it adds to the economy and keeps prices down

  • Henry Wilson

    just when i feel the need of a big guffaw for the day from the numbnut pseudo-intellectual latino left…up pops another piece of ridiculous xenophobic racist nonsense from your computer, glen. thank you for that. made my day. seriously.

    • Glen Olives

      You’re quite welcome, Henry.

  • drbsea

    How on earth is that Moron Dream Team of Trump/Pence going to deport eleven (11,000,000) million people from the US?

    Does he think United Airlines, Delta, American, Alaska, Southwest are going to start flying hundreds and hundreds of flights FREE from assorted US cities to assorted cities in Mexico? Fat chance that will ever take off.

    Does the Moron Dream Team of Trump/Pence think they are going to round up a gizillion Greyhound buses to DRIVE people from any US city to assorted Mexican cities? Don’t see that happening either.

    There is no physical way for the Moron Dream Team of Trump/Pence to do this insane b.s. stunt that Trump and the Republican party have cooked up in the back of their mean spirited, inbred, slightly retarded minds.

  • gulfporter

    Great article. We all hope newly elected Agent Orange will be impeached within a few months. The House Republicans will at first work with Das Leader to further their conservative agenda, but once Donnie Small-Hands veers off the Republican course, House Leaders will realize they’d rather work with the conventional Pence. It won’t be difficult to find impeachment charges.

  • Güerito

    Just came across this today.

    Meet The Mexicans Who Think Mexico Will Pay For ‘The Wall’:

    “Walking along the looming, ever-present border wall that already divides the violence-afflicted city of Tijuana from “America’s finest city,” San Diego, every Mexican I spoke to inevitably offered the same response when asked, “Who will pay for ‘The Wall’?”

    “Mexico,” more than a dozen people said, one after another. Indeed, not one believed in Mexico’s ability to stand behind its government’s reiterated promise.

    Resoundingly, they cited lack of confidence in the current administration, and fears of what would happen if Mexico attempted to somehow resist paying for the wall.

    Some noted that even U.S. companies looking to expand into Mexico—like Ford, which announced the cancellation of a $1.6 billion manufacturing plant in northern Mexico last week—are being forced to bend to the president-elect’s will, before he has even taken office.

    “If the United States says Mexico is going to pay for the wall, then Mexico is going to pay for the wall. Period,” said 38-year-old Terán Palomares, who manages a seafood restaurant overlooking the border fence in Tijuana.

    “Mexico is terrified of the U.S. and its power, and even more worried about any economic repercussions that could come from refusing to pay.

    “Even if the final cost is disguised in some way—as an increase in foreign debt, or something—and isn’t just a lump sum from the Mexican government, Mexico will pay for it,” Palomares continued.

    • Mike S

      I think the “wall” is just Trump grand standing and appealing to the bigots in his following. He will build a few fences and some small sections of wall to great fanfare and ribbon cutting, but I doubt if a real wall will ever be built. He will hire a few more border patrol and deportation “ICE” agents and then I think the issue will fade away. Too many of his fellow plutocrats want the cheap labor. The bigger worry would be if he imposes tariffs and starts an unwarranted trade war with Mx which would stupidly harm both economies.

      • osuespirit

        I live in Mexico and they have a few tariffs up their shirt sleeves as well. I have not talked to one Mexican who thinks they will pay for this wall. And I have seen the numbers but cannot quote them. This will be as disasterous for the US as for Mexico. Trump never considers the consequences of his actions.

  • Three score and ten

    Gotta hand it to you Glen. There are 83 comments before this one (a record maybe?). You really know how to stir things up even if you are wrong.

    • Glen Olives

      Don’t know about a record. Anything about Trump is bound to draw attention, though. I would rather be writing about other things, but that’s hard to do these days. Attention spans seem to be getting shorter and shorter. Am I wrong about Trump? Perhaps. I’ve been wrong before. Ask me again in a hundred days.

  • alance

    If Hillary had won instead of Trump, I would probably be putting the finishing touches on my new fallout shelter.

  • CharliePeters

    Trump Loves GMO Corn Mandate

  • Felipe_Calderoff

    So, you cannot produce a cogent economic response, so you just call me a name and move on? What a putz.

    • Cam Nante

      There have been hundreds of ‘cogent economic responses’ published that you’ve chosen to ignore while you mindlessly ‘follow Trump’