tv After Words CSPAN November 13, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm EST
of the role that mexican people have played in the history of the state and history of the country. >> 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. harvard university economist george borjas is next on booktv "after words" program oafter woe
economy throughout history. >> host: welcome to the viewers. i'm delighted to be here with you today. i have been working on immigration issues for many years though not as many as the distinguished guests today. i think what would be fair to say for both of us is that we've already been astonished that the immigration issues are receiving currently not just in the united states but many other countries according to surveys by the centers that have been the top issues in the presidential election and among candidate donald trump is among the top three most important issues. there's certainly no previous selection and in which it's factored so importantly in the campaign. our guest today is one of the
countries preeminent economists studying the impact of immigration to the united states. we are here today to discuss his new book we wanted workers unraveling the emigration narrative. it's a very accessible and readable account of what he has learned from his more than three decades of research into immigration economics. and as we will talk about today, his work and at th the work of r immigration economists has had tremendous impact in washington on affecting how policymakers think about these issues and shaping the sort of policies that they debate and ultimately adopt. welcome, professor borjas. i want to start by asking you to tell the viewers how you became interested in the topic of immigration economics. immigration was sent a field of economics when you're getting
your phd. how is it that you came to gravitate to this particular subject? >> guest: great question to start with. i came to the u.s. just before the missile crisis in 1962. i went to school at columbia and as you said, immigration wasn't even in the backwater of the professional interests at the time. this is in the mid-1970s. but there was an economist who began to write about it and as a graduate student who attended the seminars eventually we moved to california and in california, this is in the early '80s i
began to see the every day change on the labor market in california and that is the spark that led to my interest. my experience had a lot to do with it in the following sense i have been to leave cuba about a week before the missile crisis closed down the door for many years. it basically found that it was much more than in the short time. if you look at the data right now you find a pattern much more than the earlier rifles.
my historical background that it was abruptly ending gave me an idea and it was maybe the reason that if what arrived more than that of years ago might not be because of assimilation but because the different waves of immigrants and they were well known dan after the missile crisis and the difference was the actual spark to my interests and my first paper intact was to address the assimilation into the different immigrants tend to have the different skills in the labor market. >> we will drill dow drawdown bs
question of assimilation which as you point out is central to the argument you make in the books i want to start by asking you a larger conceptual question. you start off in the book by challenging the conclusions that we often hear from immigration economists but there are enormous economic aim gains to e had from opening the united states more to immigration. my colleague and full disclosure i worked with him on a project that said they talked about a trillion dollar bills on the sidewalk to be picked up if only the united state united states t opened its doors more widely to the world. why do you find these arguments unpersuasive? >> let me start from a broader perspective. there is no data whatsoever that would allow anyone withstand the impact on global gdp for examp
example. all the experiences of the mass migration have been due to the offense. both histories even debate about what to tell us what happened in the setting to let people in and across the border where ever why want to solve these are manufactured by economists and by working out at the model then you basically drawdown the numbers to the model. whenever an assumption is the estimates would be a little off. so my arguments are twofold. even to accept the model they
claim that implies many other things and they are usually left out of the discussion for example there would be a lot of money into the same mathematical model would imply that there would be over 5 billion people moving across the country when we open up the borders. there would be a different perspective as to what is going on in terms of the policy decision. at the model also implies if you work out all the numbers there would be a huge distribution of wealth and its true that the people would benefit greatly but it's also true that the workers in the developed countries would be worse off.
they downplay all the gains to be had and they would cook up a whole implications that that mathematical model would have. if you have people moving across the countries it is hard to imagine that the infrastructures of the countries are much more than just the capital. the political infrastructure, the cultural infrastructure, sort of the way that things get used in countries would remain coming and that is a fundamental in those models. economists have to assume that
somehow you get 5 billion people moving and nothing happens. so somehow, the people who leave the poor countries bring with them their labor and we know it's more than just robotic workers. immigrants are people who bring much more than just their neighbor. they bring their culture, language, political ideas, their social interactions and all those things is what effect infrastructure and it's not difficult to make an addendum to the model that would turn all of those dollar bills on the sidewalk into a negative gain for the developing world. so, my point is and that we shouldn't believe the models completely. my point is we should take them with a grain of salt.
it's these assumptions like that they don't bring anything other than labor and that is false. >> host: so we are realistically not going to move into a world where 5 billion people are moving here in the united states. we admit roughly 1 million immigrants legally every year in a lot of your research and work on this book is focused on those immigrants, the much smaller number though not an insignificant number who are coming here. so let's talk about the concept of assimilation that is so central to your book. i think the gains to be realized from the people in your work themselves into the united states depend an awful lot on how well they do in the economy. and i think that we as americans historically have had a lot of faith in the idea of the melting pot and the power of assimilation that people will quickly become full members, for contributing members of society.
you suggested the assimilation process is not as automatic as a lot of us are led to believe. what are the difficulties and challenges in the assumption when millions came and it worked well since 65 when millions more have come. the data to look at the patterns basically over the last hundred years so we know which did and which did not. when you look at the data it's not just my research but the search of other others at showst those that arrive after 1980, 85 a satellite in an economic sense and let's make it clear we are talking about the economic
assimilation which is that immigrants becoming more like natives in terms of their earnings so they catch up economically. they are not catching up as fast as in the 50s, 60s and 70s and you pointed out the people that came back did incredibly well over time. it turns out inventive research by a team of economic historians from stanford university that look at the actual data and was able to look at the manuscript from the older senses and crack the individuals over time in the early 19 hundreds and that was looking at that old data and suggests they didn't assimilate all that either so what you have is a fascinating pattern. as you know it's sort of book ended by the two mass
migrations, that that occurred before the 1920s and which occurred after the 1970s, 1980s and 90s. what you see is tha the people t arrived before the 1920s didn't assimilate very quickly in terms of the economic stats. the people that arrived after the 1980s are not assimilating very quickly in their economic status but the people that are sort of in the middle between the 1920s and the 1970s that experience a little assimilation but it's also to be the period where there was the law. so there is this remarkable pattern that those that arrive in a bit of mass migration don't tend to catch up as quick lee as those that appear in the period of less immigration and if it raises an interesting question to me, which is why.
and that's the point you made earlier about assimilation might not be a universal experience. assimilation i isthe assimilati. expensive and when something is expensive, they tend to do less of it. when something is cheaper, they assimilate. so just think about the process of what it takes to assimilate. it means you have to learn the language which takes time and effort and you might have to move away into a part of the country you have fewer friends and fewer familiar faces and that his costly as well. so when they come in during the period of mass migration it is easier for them to find the enclaves that are very welcoming and provide into the local
economy but the problem is thatt it's also a center that holds back the language skills, the incentive to move to a broad economy and so their labor to everyoneveryone else as opposedt the labor market which is what the enclaves really is and that is part of what might be going on right now that the growth of the ethnic enclaves might actually even though it's worse for the immigrants in the social sense it might actually be hampering the assimilation process by sort of cutting down the incentive to learn english and to acquire skills that could be sold in the broad marketplace. >> host: let me follow up a little bit. as i read your research into the others iand theothers it doesn'e that there is a tremendous amount of evidence of slowing the language acquisition but there has been a slowing of the
economic gain to you talk about that the new generations of immigrants are not catching up as quickly as the older so you suggest one may be numbers if there are more in the process of catching up economically becomes slower. you suggest others such as levels of education. what are the different things that seem to affect how quickly it is that immigrants catch up to natives in terms of their economic performance. >> the two things i looked at carefully are basically the size of the ethnic enclaves which basically have a hampering effect on assimilation into the other it solves the immigrants that are skilled tend to catch up quickly or to the native population and the argument economists make this sort of rationalized that correlation is
not people who are skilled at to begin with find it easier to acquire more skills. if you already are well-educated isn't that difficult for them to come in and acquire whatever skills you need to make it in the market you can make learn it faster and so on and that is something that seems to be pretty important. immigrant groups that tend to lag behind are those that are less skilled in terms of educational bubbles into the groups that tend to have large ethnic enclaves living in the u.s.. those are the variables most tend to focus on but i'm sure that there are many others but not enough research has been done on those in the economic framework. >> host: it would be fair to say compared to some of those in canada or australia the percentage of immigrants coming to the united states that have
fairly low levels of education and skills is rather high compared to some of these other countries. >> guest: that is exactly right. most have a system they grade applicants and give them points for how much education they have, how old they are, what kind of education they have and so on. we don't really have that kind of point system. i forget the number but i think it's like 70% or something along that range of illegal immigrants are coming for the family preference system they are coming because they have a family connection to someone already in the u.s. and they basically enter without any kind of scale, which is the complete opposite of what happened in australia and canada. >> host: so what you're saying is that it's not necessarily family preference highest skilled but that is then determined whether they get to the united states or not, it
depends whether they have a relative here who can sponsor them to join them in the country whereas in some other place like canada and australia it is a skills filter test for immigration. >> guest: that's exactly right. beginning in 65, we set up a policy that is in place today. so the last major change regulated legal immigration in the u.s. happened back in 65 and that was the enactment of the family preference system. the way the system works is if you have a close relative in the u.s., spouse, parent or i'm sorry, if you happen to be a close relative of someone in the u.s., spouse, parent, child, you can come in basically automatically because you have a family preference visa and there's even more distant family relationships that includes siblings were example and so
it's had quite an impact on the kind of immigrants we get and that is what we have. employment visas are available as well but they are a very small part of the legal immigration system that we have right now. where australia is the main way they felt her immigrants out and it has a lot to do with skills. when i teach this policy distinction in my classes i go to the website in canada or australia and see whether i can qualify to enter. the problem is once you reach a certain age it doesn't matter much anymore because they don't want you. it's not that difficult for people at the age of 50 or so to fail the test to be able to get into canada or australia. >> host: if it's any comfort, i would feel, too.
i wanted to just one point again for the viewers, here in washington, the debates of her comprehensive immigration reform, there've been proposals going back a decade or more now to change the balance so that the united states would admit and actually cut some of the family category preference is to sponsor your brothers and sisters would be eliminated but those proposals i think they are broadly popular and congress has been tied up in the inability of congress to move forward on the broader package of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. i want to turn back to cuba for a moment and talk about the left wathat was a kind of unique incident in which the dictator fidel castro briefly lifted the ban on cubans traveling abroad and 125,000 or so promptly did
so from the cuban port so this was in the early 1980s and nearly all of them as i understand settled in miami. there were networks and that's where most of them went. this provided as i understand your work and the work of others, a rare sort of natural experiment in which there was a sudden shock to the labor market in the introduction of 125,000 cubans who haven't been there more or less than the previous week with the previous month and those kind of natural experiments are rare in the real world and the economist was the first to look at that experience and say this gives us a chance to try to evaluate the economic impacts of migration on the native workers, so we've been talking about how the immigrants themselves be with this question and what affect the new immigrants have on the wages and job opportunities for americans. hard work as i understand suggested that this huge influx
had a subtle impact on the native workers who were already there in miami. you've already have challenged these conclusions into the research has been dedicated to taking a second look at the impact. so tell us about this incident and why it was so important to your profession and our understanding in this country about immigration and what you're research tells us about when it actually happened. >> that is a great question. let me tell you why the experiment is such an important thing to look at. athe way economists think about it is best described in the mathematical model behind it you want to tell the story of what we have in mind. it's like a helicopter floating all over the country at night. all of a sudden it opens the doors andoors and people take od
land in different cities and the next morning people wake up and the question is what happened so i will bunch of people arrived and what happened until the next morning. it comes close to achieving that idea in a sort of random shock. all of a sudden fidel castro picked up the doors, 100,000 people migrate literally within a matter of weeks. so the number of workers in miami increased by 8% within a matter of weeks and it's very fascinating to look at miami before and after nancy what happens as a result. that is what david did it in a beautiful paperback in 1990. he claimed that not much happened. i had comments from several people looking at this particular chapter that involved all kinds of models and the work
people do in the absence of a clean natural experiment. they said why can't you do something a little simpler. so i decided in the butt to actually go back and one thing i've learned over the 25 years the study was published is that it's crucial if you're going to start working, you have to look at the people that are most affected. it turns out around one third of the refugees were high school dropouts, so that would seem to make a very sensible argument that perhaps the people to look at if you want to see what happened in miami, look at the high school dropouts who were in miami at the time. let's focus on the high school dropouts. remarkably nobody has done that
in the last 25 years and that is what extends all of summer, 2015, we wasted the experiment by looking specifically at high school dropouts. it turns out that if you specifically look at the example, the people that you would think would be most effective between the 1970s to the 1980s assembly population over the ten-year period or high school dropout you see a remarkable drop within miami, and that is where the provision came about and that is the thing that i discuss in the book. when you look at it by looking specifically at the people that are most affected by the refugees, you find that the market impact is what you would expect of what common sense tells you. you get low skilled workers and
it works out as a result of that. >> one of the interesting things i find about this in the international trade and you suggest some ways there are parallels in both cases, growing global markets are immigration put american workers in competition with other workers, whether they are in china or mexico or whether they are directly in the united states in terms of immigration. and certainly the economics would lead us to believe more competition would have a downward pressure on wages. but there's been an awful lot of research into this is what you challenge them to immigration to try to make a different argument that suggests that isn't true in the affect is that we would be led kind of logically to believe are not in fact what's going on. why is this such an enormous fight in the economic field?
>> guest: i have to return to trade because you raised a point of trade. in the last ten years or so, economists have begun to document the negative impact of trade on the workers in the u.s. market. before it was thought to be very small and numerically relevant and now there is a new body of work schilling trade has an impact and some people have been left behind by trade. immigration is actually in part trade to measure the impact. there's a couple of reasons why it's so difficult and why the debate is still going on for the next few years. like that experiment i just described, they are not different in different cities. immigrants choose where to live and any rational human being would rather live in a high wage
city in a low-wage city. they are going to settle down in cities that have high wages. that makes it very hard to detect the impact of the potential negative impact it could be having on the market because the data so that is one difficulty that has been very difficult to get around. the second difficulty is that when immigrants come into the town and change it, natives
respond. what would happen over the long term is people who have been competing are going to take it, they are going to move out. so the people that are competing might move to a town that didn't feed many immigrants but when they do that they essentially are refusing the impact of immigration from the cities that received those that didn't end iin me and every the end every s affected because it refused the impact to the national economy and that makes it hard to get the impact of immigration so these are issues that sort of the nonrandom placements across the u.s. mainly in the high wage city's independent native response which basically refuses away from the towns that received into the other towns
both of few things make it difficult to use the data to observe something and that is another reason why this is such an important experiment because it is clearly something they went to miami because the cuban-american population of miami was actually visibly involved in sponsoring their entries. they had to bring their goods to the port in cuba and bring the refugees back and that's different than saying they go to the high wage places. they said that is exactly where they were living and that is number one. number two, it makes it very difficult to compare cities over a long period but again it
provides a short phenomena. if you look at miami just before and after any kind of reaction has taken place, more workers compete in the same cell group and offer less of that kind of worker. >> host: one thing the book did for me is see things more skeptical than i already had. i have a lot of respect that i read these paperbut iread thesea lot of the way people do i look at introduction and conclusion and i kind of skipped over the math and methodology. and i came away from reading this persuaded if you're not able to dive into the math and the methodology you should be suspicious of the conclusions because there's a lot of assumptions that go into reaching the policy action.
i want to challenge you just quickly on a couple of points. you have raised in passing this argument we hear a lot about. if employers paid more, than thn americans would be willing to do the work. you raised the wage to $20 an hour to attract the american worker you are going to lose market share inevitably. so i wonder, isolating immigration from the larger economic context.
if they don't have this workforce they are going to go out of business. just put it is a good point also. look, the fact of the matter is employers can adjust to the low supply of labor in many ways. they can raise the wage or they can invest in capital. there's all kind of technologies that would arise to make sure they can do what they want to do with the workers they have. but i really mean is the following. immigrants do jobs they just don't want to d give it the goig wage. i give an example in the book of
a firm in 2006 at a chicken processing plant and a used a lot of undocumented workers, low skilled undocumented workers. the immigration authorities came in one weekend and removed 75% of the workforce. what do they do? they don't close down. they put an ad in the paper and they have been at copy and the buck. they put an ad advertising jobs at higher wages and that is what happens in a lot of cases. in the long term it may be that they are so high that employers have to start looking at other mechanisms by which they can produce output and meet the demand for their product and that involves a lot of capital. i know very little about the technology culture but i've read several papers that claim in the u.s. we are lagging behind technological advances in
agriculture simply because an players in that field have such a limitless supply of the low skilled labor so they have very little incentive to invest in the technology to take whatever they are producing. an earlier point you made where you said that the book may be a little skeptical of economic research in general, that is actually something i wanted to know because it's like all these results people but that the introduction into skip over the things in the middle. the details matter or assumptions come in that drive the data one way or another. that's actually a very important point. postcode your point about the labor supply for agriculture, we may be on the cusp of a another experiment because we have seen the workers reduced quite dramatically.
it will be interesting to see how the agricultural economy in the united states adjusts to that. one other challenge fairly quickly on this one as well. you talk in the book about the impact of immigration primarily on the wages and employment opportunities for americans but much like trade, there is also consumers and where the argument is in favor of trade as well, imports are cheaper, clothing is cheaper, television sets are cheaper, we get our apple iphone's assembled in china and they are a lot cheaper than they would be. be. is there a similar effect, the restaurant meals or hotel bills lower than they would be and who benefits from the? >> guest: there's no doubt about it they do all kinds of things. one is they affect wages they basically reducing the wage of people. the other thing is that in
itself createit'shelped create k about it if somebody off a higher profits of people that use immigrants it differs dramatically. the question they try to usually look at is what happens in the slice of the economic pie in total it's clear that some people use but also some people gain. the models look at the native population. the people who lose well lose less than the gain so the economic pie actually increases slightly and increases around $50 billion a year. there is another area where the devil is in the details as long as we stay with the traditional way that economists model the market in the u.s.. you will get and increase around
50 billion but that involves also a distribution of wealth in the hundreds of billions from the workers to the terms. it's easy however to come up with other stories that will make those numbers irrelevant and those stories is the externalities. in other words immigrants come in and for example, high school immigration can create many, many benefits beyond the standard models that allow for. hi school immigrants can come in and teach us how to produce better products and how to produce them factor to be faster. they complement us and it can increase the productivity and speed up dramatically. the number could be much greater and on the other hand it could be low skilled come in and they change all kinds of things in society.
they make its mark difficult for the social transaction to take place or whatever and that would reduce the games. when we talk about the 50 billion-dollar range people often throw around, that's actually based on a very narrow point of view which is more than in the united states and just look at what happens in the terms of productivity and the labor market. and again, no doubt about it. the national economy will expand by around $50 million a year. having said that, you need to compare the number with whatever fiscal impact before they can conclude it is a plus or a negative. >> host: let's turn to the question of the fiscal impact. again, another kind of fascinating exploration of how the numbers get used. there's a lot of debate on immigrants are paying taxes but they are also collecting
benefits of the various sorts. you drill down on one aspect of this which is welfare benefits of different kinds and food stamps and aid to families and other benefits. i was fascinated in this chapter you have a chart and future all ththe charge in one way and it seems to show welfare used by immigrants is roughly the same as it is by native americans in the united states already and then you draw a chart another way and it appears to show that in fact immigrant families are using far more in terms of welfare than the media and american family. i was very interesting. explain to the viewers how you dice the numbers to come up with two very different results and which ones you find incredible. >> i love that in the book because it shows you how
important it is before you start making policy decisions based on what economists say, look at the details. so we have data in the survey that goes back to 1994 that basically tells you which families use welfare in the u.s. annually since 1994 and we know where people are ones we can classify and as you said there's a chart in the buck. curtain number one or curtain number two. so i use used to seem the same o different curtains. in one of the immigrants and natives the same and the other they are very different being much more heavy recipient of fair use. and if you look at the debate over the immigration policy, you can actually go to the think tank reports and depending on which one you choose to read, you will find conclusions that
they are for different chart. think of an immigrant woman that comes into the u.s. today and suppose this is a young woman and in the next few years she meets a significant other and gets pregnant a couple of times and has children into this then left a single mother. here we have an immigrant family composed of a single woman and two children. one way to look at the data which is the way that social science and research data is because the welfare programs are usually allocated at the family level his tunic that the unit, the family unit. suppose the family is up for. that's composed of the mother and two children would be medicaid. if we want to count household now on welfare that particular household in the data is tallied once. one immigrant family on welfare. another way to do that is to
look at it at the personal level. so it becomes now three different entries. therein lies the trek by breaking it up at the personal level you are basically taking part of that family did which was a family into the u.s. and allocating the welfare used because the children are natives and that makes a huge differen difference. the national academy put out a report a couple of weeks ago they do the calculation for the welfare programs and they are very careful about this and they do a sensible thing. if you really want to consider at family levels for what you want is to look at the unit that involves the immigrants that household and dependent children, that is the unit we
should be thinking about. so when i see think tank report claiming all kinds of things about welfare and the personal level, i know deep inside that it is trying to, you know, they are trying to spin the data in a particular way that nobody would be convinced by if they were actually very honest about what they are doing. >> host: that is a nice segue into talking about the recommendations. i wonder whether you have anything to grind at all in the book. you were certainly careful about trying not to draw for the most part specific policy conclusions from your economic research. so, certainly you mentioned think tanks in washington and others. we make plenty of use of the research that you do and your colleagues do in the policy recommendations but you are quite careful here. your final chapter does have a very provocative title and the title of the chapter is who are you rooting for and that
reminded me of the old pete seeger union song what side are you on. why did you choose the title for the final chapter? >> guest: great, great question. i think i chose the title because any discussion of the immigration policy has to answer the question first. let me tell you why. anything possible to devise an immigration policy that makes everybody better off. for example, all the book basically showed the extent of the importance of trade-offs that we want a bigger economic pie because of immigration. some people lose commending the workers, and some people gain, meaning employers. so, to the children in the immigration policy, you are really making a decision about how much you care and how much you care about this particular
group of natives. before we go ahead and say we should have more for example, it is more important to ask first who are you rooting for. this program might create benefits but also losses. thlosses. you only have to look at "the new york times" reporting on the program and find out all these stories of people actually being forced into a replacement. are they better off as a result of the program, probably not in fact most likely not. but maybe they can start innovating in all kinds of ways. but again you have to make a decision who you are rooting for and that is why i chose the title in that way. it's the first step we have to address before we start discussing.
it's easy for people to argue but get rid of the family preference system or do this or that but they never quite tell you what ideology is driving that choice. one of the purposes of my book i hoped was to make it very clear that it is a little dishonest to start proposing policies in this particular or that particular policy shift without first telling me or everybody else what is it you want to accomplish and who is it you want to help because every single policy proposal affects some groups negatively and some positively. >> host: but we push on this a little bit because one of the most challenging things and one of the phrases you hear so often
this is a win-win policy the notion you can design a policy that everyone is better off. you are sharply challenging that saying the choices we make on immigration some people will be winners and some people will be losers. i wonder are there ways to design immigration programs to minimize that? you take the layoffs at disney by prince wrote about so well, those are workers but i think by most categories are moderately skilled and working for outsourcing companies where they take over whole contracts. they are not the sort of microsoft programmer that he think of are the highest. are there ways to design programs so that may be the uniteunited states get a littlet more of the benefits of immigration and a little less of the negative costs that you
talked about or is it really this zero-sum trade-off that you suggested an answer to the previous question? >> guest: it all depends on what the numbers look like. let's take the numbers available for face value. they indicate the conclusion of the labor market increases by $50 billion a year. the national academy of sciences reports that in the short run the fiscal burden is at least 50 billion. so the average worker it hides below the distribution even though the pie might not be much bigger or much smaller it is different and that is really the problem.
would we be here right now having this problem if immigration the last 20 or 30 years where every american was made better off? the fact of the matter is no we wouldn't be debating it at all we would be happy with the whole scheme of things we developed over the last decade or so some people are left behind and needs to be addressed. in the last chapter of the book we turn to the policy discussion if that is the point i really want to stress. there are trade-offs but nothing is win-win. there will be winners and losers. some people will win and some people will lose. but i will suggest is if we want to keep the policy we have in place right now into the future into the kind of policy we have right now is one where we have a
lot of immigrants who are going to be very productive and who can create all kinds of increases they help pay the bills but there's also many more and they tend to be costly. in the book i confess i'm not open to getting rid of the immigration. one of the things that makes it so exceptional is the history provided an incredible hope for millions of people all over the world who have no hope whatsoever to come in and make a life for themselves.
my question is if i really want to keep that, what we are doing now doesn't seem so far-fetched. we have a policy we try to do good by admitting a lot of these into giving them chance of the american dream and we also finde american dream and realized i didn't immigrants to pay the bill. all these high school immigrants and maybe that's the right mix. what's wrong with the policy isn't that we are not that the problem is we forget the fact that these immigrants are having an impact on the native workers and we don't care what happens. we are letting them fall behind as a result of immigration and if they are left behind, both high skilled and low skilled. >> host: you mentioned the reporting. they are skilled workers displaced by their visa. become much worse off. the low skilled workers that are coming in from abroad are making
the workers worse off also and many of the low skilled workers happen to be either previous immigrants are hispanic or black americans. let's make them better off, too. let's talk them to be covere thy to employers but think about the immigration policy in a broad context. until now we've basically got the immigration policy into parameters. how many to admit and which ones to admit. i would propose we have a third parameter which is how do we ensure that the games and the losses from the policy that we pursue our more evenly distributed if it is really true that immigrants may be slightly increase the distribution to ensure people don't get left behind. for example, bill gates claims that microsoft created four new
jobs for every single visa but microsoft gets. i don't know if it is true or not but let's take it at face value. that must imply that microsoft is generating thousands and thousands for each visa that it gets. if that is true tha but make thm pay for a new visa if they are profiting that much in generating all those jobs, let's make microsoft pay for those visas and we could use that payments to compensate the payment to compensate the people left behind in the program. you might be surprised by how much employers are willing to pay if we set up the system. in singapore for example, which is a regulated kind of immigration policy. if you want to import a guestworker, you have to pay into the government 20% to
guestworker salary every single month and somehow, employers do that because it is benefiting a lot. let's try the assistance to the u.s. to make sure that the policy is conducted on a more even scale. right now we have people i benefiting a lot and of course it's more limited but there's also people left behind and that's part of the political debate right now that we are having and we haven't paid much attention to the people left behind in the immigration of trade actually in the last years. >> host: for those of us who work on immigration policy here in washington, i think this is potentially a really interesting set of suggestions. you talk about the possibility of an adjusted adjustment program that provides benefits to some american workers who lose their jobs to import. to defend microsoft a little bit actually, microsoft several years put out a proposal but
said they were willing to pay an additional $10,000 for every visa of a god, provided that money was piled back into computer science education for american high school students, because they said we can't find enough highly trained computer scientist, so let's try to do that in a way that benefits both ends. $10,000 might not be enough, the right figure might be 20 or 30-amp for economists sometimes talk about creating and option system. but these are interesting sort of public policy approaches that come out of your work. we are running down to the end of our time here, so i'm just going to ask you is there any kind of a final take away from your book that you want the viewers to be aware of before we close this? >> guest: the final take away is in their trade-offs. not everybody is happy.
some people tend to gain and lose. for far too long we've tended to oversimplify and economists in particular tend to be guilty of this and oversimplify and spend in a particular direction. they downplay all the costs and besides the globalization in general. it's true there's benefits but there's also costs. we want to avoid the kind of political conflict that we have today think how simpler the of e discussion would be if we could ensure the games for those that are more than just employers. right now bigger concentrate onn