Heritage Tacks Left on Immigration

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 21 2014 8:54 AM

Heritage Tacks Left on Immigration

Actually, the news that Stephen Moore is joining the Heritage Foundation as chief economist can be interpreted in all sorts of ways. Moore's trip on the center-right/right carousel has spun him from Heritage to the Cato Institute to the Club for Growth to the Wall Street Journal, and now to Heritage again, as the think tanker with the most familiarity with Fox News' green room. The immigraton issue only warrants a graf in Rob Bluey's in-house news-break:

Last year in a Wall Street Journal column, Moore took issue with Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint’s characterization of the late Milton Friedman’s view of immigration. Moore said he discussed the issue with DeMint recently.

Discussed? Discussed? What did they say? Moore, a disciple of the optimistic economist Julian Simon, explained in that Friedman column that conservatives were getting immigration all wrong, and that economists could 'splain it to them.

In 1984, when I was working at the Heritage Foundation, I surveyed the top 75 economists in the country on their views on the economics of immigration. There are few issues that economists agree on so universally: The views of the Keynesians and free marketers ran equally about 9 to 1 in favor of immigration.  
Friedman responded to the survey by saying that "legal and illegal immigration has a very positive impact on the U.S. economy." He believed that one of the most powerful forces of freedom was that people could "move across borders and vote with their feet." He wholly rejected the idea that immigrants are undesirable because they compete with Americans for jobs and lower wages. The free enterprise system, he argued, "created the high wages in the first place."
Advertisement

Moore has been on this beat for the better part of two decades. In his Cato days, he attacked "immigration myths" such as "immigrants depress wages" and "immigrants impose a financial burden on taxpayers." At that time, there was no major immigration bill moving through Congress (then run entirely by Republicans). Right now, all the House needs to do is bring up and pass a new bill in order for a conference committee to come up with a comprehensive reform. Unless the "discussion" between DeMint and Moore was about why Moore should give himself an electric shock if ever he felt like discussing immigration, this hire marks a big deparature from the Heritage of Jason Richwine.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

Even by Russian Standards, Moscow’s Anti-War March Was Surprisingly Grim

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 22 2014 12:30 PM Turkey Just Got Forty-Six Hostages Back From ISIS. How Did That Happen?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 12:44 PM The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy
  Life
The Shortcut
Sept. 22 2014 12:31 PM Down With Loose Laces A simple trick to tighten your running shoes for good.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Science
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 12:22 PM The Age of the Streaming TV Auteur
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.