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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, July 29, 2003


Dean and immigration

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, July 29, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
The Pat Buchanan-led "paleo-conservative" crowd, which has been anti-Iraq-war for strictly isolationist reasons, writes in the American Conservative that they would go for Howard Dean if he was anti-immigration. The strangeness of this is lessened when you realize that they see Dean as a "Rockefeller Republican" in disguise (and that the neo-conservative foreign policy of the Bush Admnistration is very much against the grain of classic conservative thought). The essence of their argument is that Dean can get the "poor white vote" to help him against Bush in the general election:

As George Borjas and other immigration economists have argued, while some immigrants do benefit the overall economy, a large coterie of low-skilled workers has costs, and those costs are borne disproportionately by less-skilled and lower-paid American workers. If you are the sort of person who wishes to hire someone cheap to clean your pool, you are probably someone who benefits from a large reserve army of poor and eager workers. If you are struggling to support a family with the skills of a high-school graduate, you will benefit from a tighter labor market and higher wages that would stem from a lower rate of immigration.

Miles maintained that the first winners from immigration reform would be the black workers—a group that has lost many niches in the American economy during the past generation to new immigrants. But white workers are getting hurt as well. In a phenomenon noted by Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, the white working class has been steadily fleeing high-immigration states during the last 15 years—from California to Nevada and Colorado, from New York to the Southeast. But the immigration surge has kept pursuing them, five or ten years behind, and is now beginning to have a notable impact on labor markets in the interior of the country.

Is there actually a large pool of poor, white voters who would defect to Dean? Somehow I think that poor voters, regardless of race, see Democrats as more attuned to their needs, and I'm not convinced that strict immigration policies would confer any advantage in that demographic.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.