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[经济学人] [2007.06.01]guest and gatecrasher

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发表于 2010-4-29 04:10 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Guests v gatecrashers
请你进来,还是让你闯进来?
May 31st 2007
From The Economist print edition
The uncomfortable economics of immigration reform
移民政策改革的负面经济意义
Jac
HOW much of a jerk do you have to be to oppose immigration? That question is mischievously posed, and ingeniously answered, in a recent post on “YouNotSneaky”, an economics blog.
一个傻子反对移民的程度有多深?最近一个经济栏博客上就贴出了这么淘气的为问题,而回答也是很巧妙的。
The blog's author points out that a low-skilled worker can make $9.34 an hour in America, compared with just $2.56 in Mexico. He also assumes that migrants depress the wages of low-skilled Americans by 5%—a widely cited estimate. Thus Mexican workers gain dramatically by moving north, whereas low-skilled Americans lose out slightly at worst. To justify opposing immigration, the blog concludes, you must attach at least 20 times more weight to the well being of a native-born American than to a Mexican.
博客作者指出,一个低技术的工人在美国每个小时能赚9.34美元,相比之下在墨西哥就只有可怜的2.56美元。他也给出了一个经常引用的预计数字,由于移民,美国低技术工人的工资降低了5%。因此墨西哥工人由于北上而大赚了一笔,而低技术的美国人会因此而生活窘迫。为了给反对移民正名,博客总结说,相对墨西哥人的福祉,你在本土美国人的投入应该至少比墨西哥人多出20倍。
         
Such calculations will not trouble America's politicians, who are busy trying to solve the “problem” of illegal immigration. Congress's fix promises a sorely needed path to citizenship for the 12m or so people already in the country illegally. But it could prove worse than the status quo for future migrants and native-born Americans alike.
美国政客是不会理会这些计算的,他们正忙着处理非法移民的问题。国会的决定承诺给已经在美国的12万左右的非法移民向往的公民身份。但这个决定无论对未来的移民者和本土出生的美国人,结果可能比现状更差
The “compromise plan”, hashed out by a bipartisan group of senators, offers would-be illegals—the 500,000 or so low-skilled workers who sneak across the border every year—a legitimate route into America, through a temporary guest-worker programme. Guest-worker visas would last for two years and could be renewed up to three times. The idea is that if the front door is ajar, no one will feel the need to break in at the back.
这个“妥协的计划”,由一群两党连立的参议员推出。它会给将来想非法入境的50万左右的低技术工人提供一条通往美国的合法道路,这条道路就是临时的外来工人计划。外来工人的签证有效期为2年,可以最多续签3次。这个想法的理由是这样的,既然我们的前门已经开了,就没人觉得还有必要从后门闯入。
Unfortunately, the senators' plan ignores the economics of illegal immigration. Its laws of motion are set out in a recent paper* by Gordon Hanson of the University of California, San Diego. He points out that unskilled labour is increasingly scarce in America. Since 1960 the share of native-born workers with less than a high-school diploma has fallen from 50% to 12%. In response, illegal immigration has proved to be a fairly efficient system for matching willing workers with eager employers. Some 24% of farm workers, 17% of cleaners and 14% of construction workers are foreigners doing their jobs illicitly.
不幸的是,参议员忽视了非法移民带来的经济学意义。关于这点的依据在圣迭戈加州大学戈登*汉森最近的一份报告中已经详细解释了。他指出,美国没有技能的劳动力是稀缺的,从1960年以后,低于高中学历的本土工人的比例已经从50%降到了12%,相应的,非法移民给渴望工作的工人和急需服务的雇主双方提供了一个相对有效且满意的体系
This workforce is geographically mobile, and sensitive to economic conditions in America or at home. One study in the 1990s showed that a 10% drop in Mexican pay relative to American wages prompted a 6% increase in attempts to steal across the border. More recently, the incentives have shifted the other way. A slowdown in remittances to Mexico and other Central American countries suggests the housing bust, and home-building slump, may have reduced the pace of illegal immigration.
劳动力是地区性的移动的,对美国或国内的经济条件很敏感的。90年代的一份报告显示由于当时尝试偷越边境的人增加了6%,墨西哥相对美国人的工资有了10%的下降。最近这种刺激以另外一种现象出现了,到墨西哥和其他中美洲国家的汇款减速了,这也表明由于房产业的低迷,造房的消沉使非法移民的速度减缓了。
Such efficiency is sadly absent from Congress's guest-worker scheme. The senators' original compromise envisaged some 400,000 visas a year, not far off the estimated figure for illegal entrants. But the number has already been slashed to 200,000 and will not vary with economic conditions. Employers will have to prove that they cannot find a willing American worker before they apply for the visas. And would-be migrants must undergo background checks and a medical exam before they arrive. Changing employers once in America involves more bureaucratic hoops.
可惜的是,国会的外来移民工作计划得收效甚微.议员们最初考虑一年只签发400,000张签证,这个数字离预计的非法入境者的数量不是很大.然而这个数字已经锐减到了200,000,并且很难随着经济情况的变化而变化.雇主们不得不打证明说明在他们申请签证前,很难找到一个情愿的美国工人.而要申请成为移民的人在进入美国国境前必须先要经过背景调查和医疗测试.身份是移民的雇主一旦到了美国,会涉及更多的政治圈套。
In short, neither American employers nor would-be migrants are likely to find the guest-worker channel as appealing as the illegal routes they already ply. Not surprisingly, therefore, the senators want to make illegal immigration less appealing. The compromise bill promises some 6,000 extra border guards, hundreds of miles of new fencing and a huge database for checking workers' legal status.
简而言之, 不管是美国雇主还是未来的移民都认为他们已经经常使用非法通道比外来工人计划更有吸引力.因此,议员们想把非法移民变得不那么有吸引力的做法就不奇怪了.这个妥协议案的内容包括增加6000名边境警卫,修筑几百公里的新围栏和建立一个检查工作人员合法身份的大型数据库.
Is all this policing and picketing worth it? Illegal immigration, after all, is a boon to the economy as a whole, much as freer trade yields a net economic gain. An influx of low-skilled workers may squeeze the wages of their competitors, but it benefits the businesses who hire them, and profits consumers, who get their lawns mown and children minded at lower costs.
所有的这些政策和警戒都值得吗? 毕竟从总体上来说,非法移民对经济是个有益的,它的收益跟自由贸易产生的净经济效益是一样的.低技术工人的流入可能会降低他们竞争者的工资,但雇佣他们的行业却会因此而受益,消费者们也可以花更少的钱找人来锄草,照顾孩子。
Set against this economic gain is a fiscal cost, as immigration's opponents are quick to point out. Illegal migrants, with their low skills and large families, are likely to consume more in government services, such as education and health care, than they pay in taxes. The exact fiscal impact is controversial. The federal government is probably a net winner, whereas states, which pay a bigger share of schooling and emergency health care, lose out. Today's taxpayers may suffer—they must pay for educating the children of illegal immigrants. But tomorrow's may gain—these first-generation Americans will likely earn far more than their parents, adding to the pot of taxes in the future.
反对移民的人立即指出,因为非法移民而获得的经济收益实际上是一种国家财政支出. 低技术的非法移民往往拖家带口,这会消耗更多的政府服务,比如像教育和医疗,这些费用比他们交纳的税要多得多.目前是否存在财政影响还是有争议的.联邦政府可能是赢家,但是在教育和紧急医疗方面支付更大份额的各州政府,却输了.现在的纳税人可能会遭遇这个情况:他们必须为非法移民的孩子们支付教育费用.但是明天他们就有可能获益,因为这些第一代美国人将来会比他们的父母亲赚得更多,带也必须付更多的税款.
You Not Thrifty你也不节约
In the short term the fiscal burden imposed by illegal immigrants may outweigh the economic gains they bring. In other words, the average native-born American has a higher pre-tax income thanks to the country's “broken” border, but his post-tax income may be slightly lower. All told, Mr Hanson thinks that illegal immigration might cost native-born residents some 0.07% of GDP.
在短期内,因为非法移民所带来的经济负担可能会超出他们能够带来的经济收益.换句话说, 由于国家边防不严,尽管本土美国人的平均税前收入较高,但他们的税后收入就可能要稍微低点儿.哈森先生认为,总的算起来,非法移民大概消耗了美国本地居民0.07%的GDP.
But that net cost, if it exists at all, is clearly less than the price of keeping illegal workers out. Since 2001 Congress has more than doubled the amount of money spent on securing the borders and enforcing immigration laws. Mr Bush's 2008 budget proposes spending $13 billion, or 0.1% of GDP. The senators' plans would be even more expensive. A needlessly cumbersome guest-worker plan and a costly war on gatecrashers are bad ideas—even if you don't give a fig for the welfare of would-be migrants.
但是即使这个代价存在,它也明显低于把非法移民排除在外的花费.从2001年起,国会花在保卫边境和贯彻移民法律执行上的费用已经翻了两番.布什总统2008年的预算更达到了130亿,相当于GDP的0.1%.议员们的计划可能会花得更多.一个没用的且难以执行的外来工人计划和不惜高额代价打压非法移民的策略都是愚蠢的-即使你不考虑这些未来移民的社会福利.
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