Monday, May 16, 2005

Racist or Realist?


From AP via Yahoo! News:
Mexico's Fox Defends Comment on Blacks

MEXICO CITY - President Vicente Fox refused to apologize Monday for saying Mexicans in the United States do the work that blacks won't....

Lisa Catanzarite, a sociologist at Washington State University, disputed Fox's assertion. She said there is intense competition for lucrative working class jobs like construction and that employers usually prefer to hire immigrants who don't know their rights.

"What Vicente Fox called a willingness to work ... translates into extreme exploitability," she said.

No, it translates into a willingness to work. No one forces Mexicans to cross the border to work -- and work hard -- for low wages.

Here's the acid test: Given a choice between hiring an anonymous group of Mexicans and an anonymous group of American blacks to do the same job at the same hourly rate, which group would you choose? I think most employers would choose the Mexicans.

That's not to say American blacks are lazy, but that they're less likely to perform well at low-wage work because the welfare system removes the incentive to perform well. Illegal immigrants, on the other hand, don't have full access to the welfare system. It's another example of the perverse consequences of the regulatory-welfare state, which destroys income and wealth.

UPDATE: So Fox has "regretted" his statement. But he hasn't withdrawn it.