Bruce Bartlett, Ron Unz, And VDARE.com In The NEW YORK TIMES

Bruce Bartlett is a former conservative economist who, since the Bush years,  has either seen the light or gone over to the dark side, depending on your ideological bent. Let me put it this way: Paul Krugman did a column about Bartlett's conversion titled Bruce Bartlett Is A Mensch. [November 27, 2012]

As a result, Bartlett is permitted to blog in the New York Times.If you abandon conservatism hard enough, you can do that.

Here he is in the New York Times writing  about Ron Unz's minimum wage proposal, and he links to us. In fact, he links to me. All links are in the original, but I've just put in some high spots and emphasis added.

The Minimum-Wage Cure for Illegal Immigration By Bruce Bartlett, December 3, 2013

Last week, Ron Unz, a California businessman, submitted a ballot initiative to the California secretary of state that would raise the state minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2016 from the current $8. The federal minimum wage is $7.25...

What is curious about the Unz initiative is that he is a conservative who defends a higher minimum wage on conservative grounds. In an interview with The New York Times, he said it would reduce government spending on welfare. A recent study from the University of California, Berkeley, estimated that welfare benefits for low-wage workers amount to $7 billion a year.

More controversially, Mr. Unz also contends that a higher minimum wage would curb illegal immigration. He has made this argument for some years in a variety of liberal and conservative publications.

Cleverly, Mr. Unz has turned the principal conservative argument against a higher minimum wage – that it would reduce jobs by making employment more expensive – into a virtue....

[Stuff about eugenics, 1924 immigration act blah, blah, blah]

Consequently, it is not surprising that the Unz proposal has gotten strong support from those who strongly oppose immigration for racial reasons. The website VDARE.com (named for Virginia Dare, the first white child born in the New World) strongly supports it. A Feb. 20, 2013, commentary said a higher minimum wage would keep out “wetback labor.

Always glad to hear from the New York Times, Newspaper of Record. What Mr. Bartlett is linking to is Ron Unz’s Minimum Wage Proposal—Make Illegal Immigration Unprofitable!, by me.

What I said was

One problem is that people have been told for years that minimum wages are bad for minorities (especially black teenagers) who may not be able to do work worth more than whatever the minimum wage is. Milton Friedman used to say that what minimum wages did was “ensure that people whose skills do not justify that wage will be unemployed."

However, in the cause of fighting the use of what, just for the hell of it, I will refer to as wetback labor, that’s a feature, not a bug. If illegals can’t do work worth more than 12 dollars an hour, they’re a net loss to American society. Black teenagers, who are after all, American citizens, can be helped in other ways. Not having to compete with illegal Mexicans will help them a lot—as black labor union pioneer A. Philip Randolph could have told you.

So my point here is that what, just for the hell of it, I referred to as wetback labor is bad first of all for American minorities. The first man to have his job taken by a wetback is a Mexican-American farmworker (as Cesar Chavez would have told you.) The second man is a black (or Puerto Rican) worker in a city.

Whites, because they have better jobs, are displaced less—but their taxes go to support the first man, the second man, and the new immigrant.

Two more points:

  • It's not "first white child"—that would be Snorri Thorfinnsson. Virginia Dare, born 1587 was the first English child to be born in the New World, or the first white child of English parents.Snorri Thorfinnsson was born in 1005 in Vinland, and Martín de Argüelles, Jr. was born in St. Augustine, Florida. The point about Virginia Dare is that she was the beginning of America, specifically people like Bruce Bartlett, who may, for all I know be descended from Robert Bartlett of the Mayflower.
  • It's true that Ron Unz has made his argument about the minimum wage in "a variety of liberal and conservative publications". One of them is VDARE.com: Ron Unz Has A Modest Proposal For Mitt Romney: To Encourage Self-Deportation, Raise The Minimum Wage, By Ron Unz on January 25, 2012/