And yet the economic benefits of immigration may be the most settled fact in economics. A recent University of Chicago poll of leading economists could not find a single one* who rejected the proposition.... Rationally speaking, we should take in far more immigrants than we currently do.
So why don’t we open up? The chief logical mistake weI guess that settles it. More leading economists smoke Camels than any other cigarette. The logic is impeccable:
makeattribute to our opponents is something called the Lump of LaborStraw Fallacy: the erroneous notionwell-worn straw man that [they think] there is only so much work to be done and that no one can get a job without taking one from someone else. It’s an understandableunmitigated assumptionred herring. After all, with other types of market transactionsargument, when the supply goeswe make something up, the price fallsit's true. If there were suddenly a whole lot more oranges, we’d expect the price of oranges to fall or the number of oranges that went uneaten to surge.If Adam Davidson was an orange, we'd expect stale boilerplate canards to be high in vitamin C.
- Put your argument here.
- Replace with a lump of straw.
- Knock down straw.
- Q.E.D. your argument is wrong.
- My argument is right.
- Economists agree.
- Therefore, it's a fact!
- Publish findings in New York Times Magazine.
* Four is "not a single one"? Well, I suppose technically... Or perhaps Davidson meant those who rejected the proposition were married? Several of the "uncertain" economists left comments indicating the question was too vague to answer but suggesting disagreement if the question was clearer. The same number of economists, four (or "not a single one"?), disagreed with question B, that "many low-skilled American workers would be substantially worse off..."
S.H.A.M.E. on Adam Davidson.