Silly Wild-Ass Guesses Re Poverty and Illegal Immigrants

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johnkarls
Posts: 1712
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Silly Wild-Ass Guesses Re Poverty and Illegal Immigrants

Post by johnkarls »

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Silly Wild-Ass Guesses By The Census Bureau Last Thursday (Sep. 16) That 14.3% of the American Population Is Living In Poverty and The Relation of the Number of Illegal Immigrants To That Statistic

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(The original/ancient meaning of SWAG is military = Silly Wild-Ass Guess – just like many other acronyms in American English are military, such as what ensues from a SWAG = a SNAFU = Situation Normal - All Fucked Up!!!)

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Editorial comments –

“Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and The Global Economy’s New Killing Fields” chronicles how the Mexican drug cartels have, during the last few years, branched out from their traditional activity of smuggling illegal drugs into the U.S. to take control of the traffic in smuggling illegal aliens into the U.S.

The reason is obvious = the routes, methodology, etc., for both activities are virtually identical and the profitability of both activities is enormous.

Particularly if the drug cartels are treating the illegal aliens as de facto slaves!!!

Indeed, whenever Reading Liberally/Salt Lake has focused on illegal immigration, we have always recognized that (1) the reason why American companies and American individuals hire illegal immigrants is, largely, to avoid paying the minimum wage, (2) the federal minimum wage (raised to $7.25/hour in 2009 through the efforts of Sen. Ted Kennedy) is, in effect, American society’s judgment of the threshold below which compensation could fairly be described as “slave wages” and (3) importing illegal aliens is the equivalent of “out sourcing” jobs that cannot be physically moved to China or India.

[For apologists who claim that illegal immigrants perform jobs that Americans do not want, there are two answers, one moral and one facetious –

(1) The moral answer is that “everything has its price” and the exclusion of illegal aliens (aka de facto slaves both economically and, because they can easily be preyed upon, legally as well) from the domestic economy would mean that the wages for the jobs currently performed by illegal aliens would rise to the level that Americans would be willing to perform them or, if the compensation rises to the level that the work can no longer be performed economically, then the work should not be performed at all!!! JUST LIKE FOLLOWING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, MUCH OF THE WORK THAT HAD BEEN PERFORMED BY SLAVES WAS NO LONGER ECONOMIC AND DISAPPEARED!!! THE AVAILABILITY OF DE JURE SLAVES OR DE FACTO/ECONOMIC SLAVES SHOULD NOT BE AN EXCUSE FOR CONTINUING JOBS THAT ARE ONLY ECONOMIC AT SLAVE-LABOR COMPENSATION LEVELS – A CIVIL-WAR LESSON WE SEEM TO HAVE FORGOTTEN!!!

(2) The facetious answer was contained in a Jay Leno/Tonight Show monologue in the distant past when he noted news reports that a high percentage of Los Angeles hookers were illegal immigrants but joked that, not to worry, the illegal-immigrant hookers were only “doing” American men that American hookers were unwilling to “do”!!!]

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Last Thursday (Sep. 16), the U.S. Census Bureau issued a report (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/ ... index.html) that 14.3% of the population was living below the poverty line in 2009.

The accompanying press release (http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases ... 0-144.html) provides the following statistics –

As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the weighted average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2009 was $21,954. Since the average annual CPI-U for 2009 was lower than the average annual CPI-U for 2008, poverty thresholds for 2009 are slightly lower than the corresponding thresholds for 2008.

43,569,000 (14.3% of total population) = number below poverty line

36,407,000 = number of native-born below poverty line
1,736,000 = number of foreign-born naturalized citizens below poverty line
5,425,000 = number of foreign-born non-citizens below poverty line
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43,569,000 = total
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This information raises quite a few unanswered questions vis-à-vis illegal aliens.

(1) How many illegal aliens are there?

(2) Do they typically live below the poverty line? Do they typically earn less than the minimum wage? How many jobs at the minimum wage is the official poverty line?

(3) Are illegal aliens living below the poverty line included in the statistics just released by the Census Bureau?

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Taking the questions in reverse order and trying to fathom what the Census Bureau is saying =

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Question 3

Are illegal aliens living below the poverty line included in the statistics just released by the Census Bureau?

Suggested Answer 3

Who knows???

Though the number of foreign-born non-citizens below the poverty line (only 5,425,000) compared to the total number of illegal aliens (commonly guessed to be 13,000,000) seems rather low.

A more reasonable guess re what the Census Bureau is trying to say is that 5,425,000 is the number of foreign-born non-citizens WHO ARE IN THE U.S. LEGALLY who are living below the poverty line. After all, there are approximately 40 million LEGAL non-citizen immigrants who are here permanently (not just “green card” holders) and applying the 14.3% poverty rate to solely the 40 million LEGAL non-citizens here permanently = 5.72 million.

Accordingly, all of the illegal aliens (commonly guessed to be 13,000,000) should be added to the 43.6 million reported by the Census Bureau to be living below the poverty line, for a real total of approximately 60 million.

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Question 2

Do illegal aliens typically live below the poverty line? Do they typically earn less than the minimum wage? How many jobs at the minimum wage is the official poverty line?

Suggested Answer 3

Presumably illegal aliens live below the poverty line if one assumes that the reason for their existence is to pay less than the minimum wage. Indeed, as we have examined in the past, there can be legally deducted from the minimum wage amounts for housing and meals and the amounts actually deducted are very often, if not usually, exorbitant. And that’s assuming that employers are concerned at all that the illegal aliens will complain that minimum-wage standards are being violated.

Even if an illegal alien earned the federal minimum wage = $7.25/hour, a standard 40-hour work week (or 2,000 hours/year) * $7.25/hour = $14,500/year which means that the “family of four” would have to have 1.51 jobs to earn the $21,954/year poverty threshold – and that’s assuming illegal-immigrant families only average two children.

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Question 1

How many illegal immigrants are there?

Suggested Answer 1

THE RESIDUAL METHOD (aka SWAG or Silly Wild-Ass Guess Method)

What is truly appalling is that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security uses this method!!! It is also used by the Census Bureau, the Pew Hispanic Center, and others.

This method starts with the number of self-proclaimed foreign-born people in the U.S. per the official census. However, before subtracting from this number the fairly-precise number of legal immigrants who have not become citizens, the SWAG artist pulls out of the air an estimate of the census undercount of self-proclaimed foreign-born people in the U.S. – since there is no penalty for answering the census questions incorrectly and illegal aliens have every incentive to claim they are U.S.-born.

The SWAG estimate of the census undercount ranges from 10% to 40% of the number of self-proclaimed foreign-born people in the U.S. = 4 million - 16 million. The Census Bureau uses 10% with no explanation for its 10% SWAG. Accordingly, its 13 million statistic is understated by 12 million if one assumes a 40% SWAG instead.

THE FOREIGN REMITTANCE METHOD

The 40% SWAG, for a total of 25 million illegal aliens, is supported by Bear Stearns’ study of remittances to Mexico as reported by the U.S. Federal Reserve Banks and the Mexican Central Bank.

According to that data, remittances stayed fairly stable until 2000, when a steady and dramatic increase began.

Assuming that the increase in remittances to Mexico is the best estimate of the increase in illegal aliens since 2000, the Bear Stearns investigators conclude that the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. is approximately double the number SWAG’ed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Census Bureau.

If 25 million illegal aliens are added to the 44 million Americans living in poverty, the real total population living in poverty is 70 million rather than the mere 43.6 million admitted by the Census Bureau.

FINAL COMMENT ON RECENT SWAGS THAT THE NUMBER OF ILLEGAL ALIENS HAS DECREASED AS A RESULT OF THE RECESSION

News reports are common that the number of illegal aliens in the U.S., which is already a SWAG as described above, has declined.

The news reports never disclose the real basis for their SWAG that the number has declined. Typically, they only cite the decline in the number of construction jobs, which are often performed by illegal aliens.

However, the implicit assumption that the decline in American construction jobs means that illegal aliens who have lost the construction jobs are returning to Mexico is a SWAG for at least two reasons = (1) since we have nothing but SWAGS regarding how many illegal aliens actually cross the border into the U.S., we also have nothing but SWAGS regarding how many illegal aliens, if any, actually cross the border in the other direction, and (2) the implicit assumption of the news reporting that the loss of jobs by illegal aliens means that they are returning to Mexico is itself a SWAG based on the assumption that an unemployed illegal alien is better off in Mexico than on American welfare for which false ID’s make qualification mere child’s play.

UtahOwl
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Re: Silly Wild-Ass Guesses Re Poverty and Illegal Immigrants

Post by UtahOwl »

I believe I have heard in at least 2 NPR reports that the number of illegal aliens CROSSING INTO the US has decreased, but the number of illegals here has remained essentially constant. If the situation described in Murder City exists in a substantial fraction of Mexico, AND if crossing from Mexico to the USA continues to be dangerous and difficult, then why would we rationally expect the numbers of illegals in the USA to decrease?

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