Friday, December 11, 2009

Illegal Immigration

Classmate Katie Elliott writes about illegal immigration. She argues that illegal immigration is bad for the security and the economy of the United States, and that we should resolve it by enforcing our laws, deporting illegal immigrants, and fining their employers.

The basic argument is that illegal immigration should be prevented, but it relies too heavily on the assumption that illegal immigrants pose a security risk, and that it's an issue easily solved by government. Why do illegal immigrants pose a security risk? Some elaboration would be helpful here. I suppose the idea is that terrorists can migrate into the United States, but terrorists can just as well be citizens, so I wouldn't call it a particularly strong security risk. The economic standpoint may be a little more valid, although she argues that they increase costs in the medical and education systems. It's not like they don't have to pay for medical help or education -- illegal immigrants work and pay money just like citizens, and there are taxes(sales, income) that aren't really avoidable.

She argues that we should resolve illegal immigration by enforcing laws, deporting illegal immigrants, and fining their employers. The problem with illegal immigrants is that they're... well... illegal. It's not easy to catch them entering the country, it's not easy to find them within our country, and transportation outside the country isn't exactly free. Fighting illegal immigration would not be a cheap easy task. I wouldn't say that illegal immigration is good for us, but it seems to me that the costs of preventing it entirely would be worse than the problems we face.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dust Storms and the Economy

Well, here's a broad topic. The U.S. economy. We all know it's not going in the direction we want it to. Everyone has their own ideas about how to improve it. Here's what I think we should do.

First of all, we should lower taxes. Feeding the government money, and counting on it to force the economy into shape, isn't helpful. The economy thrives on opportunity, and if we really want to see it improve, we should give it as much space to grow as we possibly can. With lower taxes, the citizens will have more money, more opportunity, and the economy will improve. It's also been argued that, historically, the economic benefits of tax cuts are powerful enough that tax revenues don't decrease in the long-term.

Second, we should reduce government spending. The federal deficit is greatly increasing and I believe the national government is overextending itself. This goes beyond the economy for me as I believe the government is getting too involved in things that may be best left to the public: health care, network neutrality, and so on. Keep it simple.

Finally, we should not hinder new economic opportunities, such as oil development in Alaska. We do want to get away from oil dependency in the future, but holding oil supplies and the economy back is not the right approach. We need to develop alternatives first. For now, though, oil development in Alaska is an economic opportunity that we should take advantage of.