Aggregator • MaxedOutMama • ID=66170
The rather long conversation in the comments on the last post is very interesting, at least to me. Whether we like it or not, we have to negotiate a feasible compromise on raising as much revenue as we can while preserving decent growth rates in the economy. It is always interesting to see how people think about this.
I have bursitis of the left arm and shoulder in three joints. It's due to an infection, and this is causing me extreme pain, which is why I haven't posted much and haven't responded to most the comments. The hunt-peck-gasp-and-sweat method of communicating by keyboard is very frustrating.
But I believe I am getting better, because A) I managed to get dressed today although it was a sweaty and painful endeavor, and B) I had enough interest in life to take this BBC sex differences test.
My overall score was 0 (totally neutral) but when I go through the individual tests it looks to me that's because of fliers. For example I got a perfect score on the spatial rotation test, but I also was way better than either sex norm on the verbal test. IMO I am far more on the female side, and sure enough, I find masculine faces attractive. I did not need this test to tell me that. I had noticed. I'm 49. You figure these things out in your teens.
So I'm figuring that there is a scaling problem here - if you are a person who is good at most things, the test is not sensitive enough to pick up the sex-related differences.
And speaking of scaling differences, my suggestion to Mark is that the Gini coefficient (map explanation) is not really sensitive enough to pick up some very important economic essentials. One of those essentials is persistence. In other words, if lower income/asset members of the population are likely to gain more income and assets over the course of their lifetime in an economy, the situation is very different than an economy in which the Gini coefficient may be lower but the ability to change positions in the income hierarchy is very limited.
It is also more important in societies with relatively high standards of living to look at the bottom 20% compared to the middle third.
And, even if all other things are equal, a society with a high standard of living that accepts a lot of immigrants without screening for wealth or assets will wind up with a higher Gini coefficient. The new arrivals are generally from poorer countries; they arrive poor and with limited language skills, and if enough of them come they literally drive down earning potential for the jobs for which they are qualified. The exception to that is in an industrial country with a lot of laboring positions, but still, if enough come they will drive down wages.
Look at the map and look at Canada and Australia - both light green. Both countries have generally had extremely selective immigration criteria. Canada has been far more lenient lately, but note the comments in this 2006 Toronto Star article:
An endless stream of newcomers arrives in the big cities with few options but to work in poorly paid jobs such as cleaning houses and driving taxis. Wages of these jobs are thus kept low and the occupants of them have little chance to get ahead.Then read this November 2009 article focusing on the recent changes involving the bad economy and the growing number of illegal workers. Canada has historically generally had a labor shortage, but they are walking a fine line here and it is exacerbated by the population concentrations. Compared to the US, they don't have a problem, but the Canadian ethos is quite egalitarian and it troubles them more. Note that the changes in immigration were quite recent. In the US, we have pretty much followed an unrestricted southern immigration policy for over 20 years. It has sharply driven down labor prices.
Previously, poverty levels among immigrants were about the same as those of the Canadian-born. Now they are much worse. According to a report by the Canadian Council on Social Development, whereas the poverty level of those who arrived before 1986 was 19.7 per cent, or slightly lower than that of the Canadian-born, the poverty level of those who came after 1991 was an alarming 52.1 per cent, while that of people born in Canada remained unchanged at around 20 per cent.
If this trend is not reversed, Toronto and Vancouver will by 2020 be home to an entrenched underclass living in slums. Because of gentrification and rising property values in the central cities, these slums will be located in the suburbs, requiring long commutes for those fortunate enough to have employment.
Fan Yang, a reader of the Toronto Star, shrewdly analyzed the impact of federal immigration policy in a letter to the newspaper in 2003. He accused the federal government of "dumping more cheaply acquired labour into the domestic labour pool, regardless of whether there is a healthy demand. Businesses welcome that enthusiastically as they bear no direct cost of unemployed immigrants and only garner the rewards of lower labour costs."
China is almost unique because a lot of its industrial workers are basically illegal immigrants within their own country. They don't have residence permits to be in the areas in which they work, and thus they are not eligible for the most part for free schooling for their children or social benefits such as unemployment.