Pinboard Links

Flap’s Links and Comments for May 16th on 13:35

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These are my links for May 16th from 13:35 to 16:21:

Illegal Immigration

Illegal Immigration Myths: Jobs Americans Won’t Do

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Mark Krikorian explores the myths over at National Review.

I appreciate Prof. Codevilla’s responding last week to my response to his article on the futility of border controls in the Claremont Review of Books (the original article now appears to be online). (…)

I’ll address several other misconceptions in his article below the fold.

Jobs Americans won’t do: At the center of Prof. Codevilla’s jeremiad is the hoary claim that there just aren’t enough Americans suited to do the hard work our society needs to function, and therefore Mexican workers are necessary to fill the vacuum.

Simply as a matter of numbers, this is incorrect. There are perhaps 7 million illegal aliens in the labor force (the other four million or so don’t work), but there are three times that many native-born Americans of working age, with no more than a high-school education, who aren’t even in the labor force. And this doesn’t count those who are unemployed (i.e., actually looking for work) or underemployed (for instance, they have a part-time job but want a full-time one).

What’s more, a detailed look at immigrants by occupation shows that virtually every occupation contains a majority of native-born workers. Some examples:

  • Maids and housekeepers: 55 percent native-born
  • Taxi drivers and chauffeurs: 58 percent native-born
  • Butchers and meat processors: 63 percent native-born
  • Grounds maintenance workers: 65 percent native-born
  • Construction laborers: 65 percent native-born
  • Porters, bellhops, and concierges: 71 percent native-born
  • Janitors: 75 percent native-born

How can an occupation be described as “a job Americans won’t do” when most people who do it are, in fact, native-born Americans?

Nor is this just the tail end of some better time, with Americans represented by aging holdovers still willing to do blue-collar work; fully one-third of the native-born in high-immigrant occupations are under 30.

What’s more, the presence of large-scale immigration appears to exacerbate the exodus of Americans from blue-collar occupations. One of my colleagues frequently drives from Washington to central Pennsylvania and notes that it’s remarkable how, as you leave the immigrant-heavy Washington area, the fast food places at each subsequent interchange seem to somehow find a larger and larger share of American kids able to flip burgers.

The data on teen employment bear this out. While it is true that labor force participation for teenagers — the “swarms of youth in malls and campuses” Prof. Codevilla sniffs at — has been declining across all ethnic groups and levels of education, immigration accelerates the process. My colleague Steven Camarota has estimated that “On average, a 10 percentage-point increase in the immigrant share of the labor force reduces the labor force participation rate of U.S.-born teenagers by 5.79 percentage points in 1994-95 and 4.57 percentage points in 2006-07.” More immigrants means fewer teenagers working.

Read all of the rest and the destruction of the other myths.

Amazon Tax

eBay Says Let’s Make a Deal to California’s Internet Sales Tax Legislation – Part Two

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As I said before eBay doesn’t care much for but business is business.

Unsurprisingly, eBay has not been enamored with such efforts which would hit eBay sellers, and has been seeking to work into legislation a threshold designed to ensure that at least some of its out-of-state sellers will not be subject to California sales/use tax collection and remittance obligations where they sell to customers in the Golden State (California-based sellers who sell to Californians are already on the hook).

A possible threshold of $10,000 a year or less in sales to Californians has been reported, but sources say that eBay and/or some of its sellers want that limit raised higher– potentially up to $2 million per year.

EBay has its California sellers engaged in a grassroots lobbying effort aimed at forcing amendments to the legislation, which would  defang it.  No doubt eBay sellers located outside of California, who are currently not obliged to collect and remit sales tax on purchases made by Californians, are ecstatic about this. California-based sellers would not benefit from building in a sales threshold, though, especially a high one that could tilt the eBay marketplace distinctly to the advantage of out-of-state sellers. However, their legislators are being urged to make amendments that, if put through, could seriously reduce the already rather pitiful revenues that backers of the legislation claim they would obtain by ramming it through.

The very best case scenario, according to a Board of Equalization staff analysis produced earlier this year, was that this “revenue
enhancement” measure would bring in a measly $200-or-so million maximum in 2012-13.

Let’s see as we repeat – no real, substantive tax revenue for California, a loss of California jobs and a costly litigation. The Skinner Bill (AB 153) et. al is a loser all around.

But, it WILL proceed because the POLS will milk those who have a stake in the legislation for campaign contributions.

Eventually, this will die a quiet, but expensive death.


An Amazon Tax Lesson for California Legislators – Businesses Move and Job Loss Occurs

eBay Says Let’s Make a Deal to California’s Internet Sales Tax Legislation

Democrat Senator Dick Duban to Introduce Bill to Tax Internet Sales

Poll Watch: 63 Per Cent Oppose Taxing Online Transactions

Video: California and the Amazon Internet Sales Tax

Video: How Amazon Internet Sales Tax Legislation Hurts California Small Business

Overstock.Com Threatens to Terminate California-Based Affiliates Should Internet Tax Legislation – AB 153 Passes

Amazon Internet Sales Tax WILL Require Super Majority in California Legislature

Video: California Board of Equalization Casts Doubt on Amazon Internet Sales Tax Legislation

The Amazon Tax Returns to California