April 3, 2011

The Cash Value of American Citizenship

In my new VDARE column, I return to the subject of pregnant foreign tourists holing up in America to acquire birthright citizenship for their babies.
Unfortunately, the New York Times' reporter Jennifer Medina couldn’t get much of a grasp on why foreigners would go to all this expense and trouble. It seems to her, to have something to do with passports:
"Immigration experts say they can only guess why well-to-do Chinese women are so eager to get United States passports for their babies, but they suspect it is largely as a kind of insurance policy should they need to move."

... To help the NYT’s puzzlement in case it should ever want to return to this subject, let’s find out what the Chinese themselves say are the reasons. An enterprising reader of mine went to the trouble of looking up a Chinese birth tourism website—the extremely pink Chinese Baby Care. He then had Google Translate render the Chinese characters into approximate English.

And figuring out the motives behind birth tourism is well worth doing. It’s a hugely significant phenomenon—because it makes explicit a topic that is almost never discussed in the American media, but is feverishly analyzed abroad: the scarcity value of the right to live in America.

Read the whole thing there.


61 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's just one problem here Steve. The number of Chinese women who partake in this kind of birth tourism is negligible relative to the overall population of Chinese Americans. For instance, I remember an old blog post of yours describing how a prominent birthing center helped 500-600 Chinese women over the past 5+ years give birth to children in the US. How many total births of this kind have taken place in the United States? How many of these children are there? I'd be surprised if the number significantly exceeded 10,000 for Chinese. Perhaps it's more. I don't know. But compare that estimate to the total Chinese American population of 3.8 million.

Bottom line, this phenomenon almost certainly has a negligible effect on Americans.

Anonymous said...

Let me expand on my previous post. These Chinese, which I've estimated to be not significantly more than 10,000 total, though perhaps others will want to quibble with my estimate here, are almost certainly from the upper portions of the Chinese IQ distribution, given that their parents can afford the birthing tourism fees. Bottom line, America gains according to whatever relevant metric of value one wants to employ here.

The problem with Steve is that he often seems to be innumerate. For instance, he deals with the vastly larger numbers of illegal Hispanic immigrants in much the same manner as he seems to tackle the phenomenon of Chinese birthing tourism. In other words, he has no sense of relative scale or proportion.

anony-mouse said...

1/ A lot of Americans think that China will surpass the US in all things in the next few decades.

Isn't it interesting that so many Chinese aren't so sure?

2/ Three of the reasons listed relate to education and only one to welfare.

If some people will legally work the system to become citizens it would be worse if those figures were reversed.

Reg C├Žsar said...

In China, the government runs the schools, but the parents must pay tuition.

Oh, my... Steve, Steve, Steve! One doesn't "pay tuition", one "pays for tuition."

Like calling men "blonde", or sex "gender", or Anglo-Saxons (or anyone else) "Anglo", this is more than a simple wordcrime. It's a window into the continuing degradation of Christendom.

For penance, please go listen to "Wrapped Around My Finger" 100 times. Yes, it's awful, but they do manage to use the word in its proper sense.

SF said...

Seems like a while back you said the local zoning and code enforcement people ought to get really picky when the fundamentalist mormons want to build a big settlement. I hope the same principle was operating when they shut down the center for illegal building modifications.

Bill said...

7. Your child's future with the U.S. Social Security card, to enjoy various social welfare measures, the United States and medical equipment

Heh. You'd have to have lived in China, land of the "menggu daifu" (Mongolian doctor -- means quack in Chinese), to truly appreciate this one.

I remember Chinese extolling the virtues of Chinese medicine to me, and in response I'd ask them "so, if you needed your appendix out, would you go to a Chinese or Western hospital?" They'd unanimously choose the latter.

Anonymous said...

You use the term "fraud" which I presume you meant morally but it's obviously not legal fraud--because that would be illegal.

For as long as something is legal and advantageous people will and should take advantage of it as they see fit.

So go ahead and lobby congress to close the loop-hole.

Michael Farris said...

It's not ignorance, it's willful disbelief (with a heaping helping of condescension thrown in).

Ms Medina could have perfect translations of a dozen or more baby tourism sites and she still wouldn't understand. That would entail assuming that Chinese people are self-aware and interested in aggressively bettering their lot in life at the expense of anyone who gets in their way. This will never do in the immigration as magic fairy dust narrative that Medina is probably addicted to.

Partly (most interestingly I think) because those of her class refuse to believe that people could have different motivations. You get this at yglesia's excuse for a blog all the time: if it doesn't fit within (or can't be easily shoe-horned into) his pre-existing world view then it doesn't exist or is wrong.

Who are mere Chinese to know about their own motivations? That's for pundits to figure out....

Anonymous said...

The google translations are hilarious and very apt.

Anonymous said...

What should birthright citizenship be called? Counterfeit citizenship?
Piracy citizenship? Or Piracitizenship?

Anonymous said...

Battle Hymn of the Rabbit Mothers.

Anonymous said...

Now we know storks don't bring babies. Chinese airlines do.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese ad basically says: "Americans generous and stupid. We smart and ruthless."

Anonymous said...

What's with the Chinese? They build ghost towns inhabited by no one and send their babies to be born over here. What a crazy people.
Ah, maybe that is the grand plan. Chinese build the ghost town but not enough chinese rich enough live there. So, Chinese send children to US to make money so they one day be able to afford live in ghost town.

Anonymous said...

America is like a giant supermart with signs on the window: Losing OUr Sanity Sale! Take Wwhatever You Want!

Well, who wouldn't?

Anonymous said...

Funny how history works. At one time, America and Europe had anti-Chinese immigration laws while China had no choice to open itself to foreign businessmen, colonialists, etc.

Today, Chinese don't allow non-Chinese to enter China to do as they please, but US and the West is wide open to invasion from all sides.

The thing is Chinese were forced by outside forces to open up and forgo its sovereignty while America seems committed to hurting itself. But then, in a way, US has been colonized by an alien elite. Guess who they be?

Anonymous said...

Jews won the Hope-ium or Hopium War, and we've all been drugged on this fix called Diversity. And if we say NO to it, we are condemned as 'racist' and our lives are ruined.

Anonymous said...

In your essay you write, "... deigned to notice the existence of the birth tourism fraud..."

Why do you call it "fraud"? What are the women claiming that's fraudulent?

It isn't like when they get their tourist visas, they promise that they'll never enter the USA partly for the purpose of giving birth.

The pathetic thing is that our laws are so screwed right now, no one can accuse the women or the organizers of the birthing center of breaking any immigration rules; it is as if our country has no immune system.

This whole phenomenon got me thinking:

1) What if someone made a charity whose purpose was to provide free birthing center services to white people. Any pregnant women of European (not semitic!) origin would be welcome to come to the USA and drop their babies. You could explain that the philanthropists behind the scheme were sick and tired of watching America go brown (via illegal and legal methods), and they were taking these perfectly legal steps to keep America white. Even if you only put up a spoof website, it would be hilarious; the heads of the media would explode.

2) Why don't down-on-their-luck hotels switch and become birth centers. It seems so obvious now, doesn't it?

3) Why don't island countries, theoretically threatened with complete flooding via global warming initiate organized program to get entire cohorts of their island American citizenship. In the future, they can move over in a group and take over a town, ensuring their survival and relative autonomy in the USA. E.g. they'd make sure that USA citizens only married non-citizens. E.g. the government of the Maldives could start by buying up some hotels in rural Oregon. That area would eventually become New Maldives.

eh said...

OT (but not entirely)

Until recently I had avoided reading D H Lawrence. But I decided to read 'Women in Love', and lo and behold in the second chapter there is a rather interesting discussion about race and nationality, which I was suprised to see.

`Do you think race corresponds with nationality?' she asked musingly, with expressionless indecision.

Anonymous said...

A Chinese chauvinist speaks!

Bottom line, America gains according to whatever relevant metric of value one wants to employ here.

Anonymous said...

In a rare display of ministerial competence, the United Kingdom abandoned jus solis in 1981 and moved to jus sanguis - the system that Germany always had.That is, citizenship is determined by blood and not by dint of birth on British soil.
Undoubtedly this saved Britain a massive and unquantifiable subcontinental Indian immigration wave.
But, alas, to no avail.Tony Blair's f*cking New Labour Party more or leass abolished all immigration conrols in the days of its pomp around about 2000 (they thought they were unassailable, and that the anti-immigration public had either died off or were looking the other way)Those were the high-noon days of Blairite bullsh*t - all mega casinos, 'regeneration', bloated public sector and property bubble, all paid for by those frightfully smart chaps in the City.
Be a good,'smart' little boy, Tony Blair did just what the clever peope at 'The Economist' told him to do, and abolished any sembalnce of immigration control by stealth (google Andrew Neather).
'Boosts the economy' you know.Strangely enough in Blair's aftermath Britain has suffered the biggest decline in living standards since 1920.
And while I'm at it, isn't 'dual nationality' an absurdity and the essence of treachery and disloyalty? ('one cannot serve two masters').
Nations with a sembalnce of love of fatherland (eg Turkey) ban the practice.

SFG said...

"Jews won the Hope-ium or Hopium War, and we've all been drugged on this fix called Diversity. And if we say NO to it, we are condemned as 'racist' and our lives are ruined."

It's so we can marry Chinese women. They're smart but not as annoying as the Jewish women, so we're importing them so we can replace them. ;)

I do wonder if we could just tax this out of existence once a Republican gets into office. Figure out how much American citizenship is actually worth and charge them the value. A few upper-middle-class Chinese might actually be worth having; they're usually productive citizens, and maybe they can dilute out the Mexicans. C'mon Steve, if your son takes after you at all, you could use a couple of Chinese in your school so he's not the biggest nerd in the class. ;)

Anonymous said...

How much is thirteen years of free schooling worth, in the better sort of San Gabriel Valley public school districts? The minimum estimate of annual expenditures per student runs from $8,000 to over $10,000. Multiplied by 13 years, that’s $104,000-$135,000 in American taxpayer dollars. But that badly underestimates total taxpayer expenditures because it leaves much out, especially capital investments.


$100,000+ to fuck with your children's minds and have them come out with less skills than they would in China?

I don't see that as a benefit.

Anonymous said...

"Bottom line, this phenomenon almost certainly has a negligible effect on Americans."

Beside the point. This phenomenon exposes foreigners astute assessment of the value of being an American citizen. That's why they have been trying to get into our country anyway they can. That's why UCLA and Berkeley now enroll more smiling Asiatic "citizens" than real American kids. That's why whole middle class communities in the East Bay have turned from white to yellow in the past twenty years, as whites flee the diversity armageddon.

Real Americans want to live in America, not Chinese or Hispanic America - which is why 150,000 white children where disappeared from the Bay area in the last decade. Of course, Chinese don't care where they live, just so long as they can get a good deal and make money.

The saying which is true for Mexicans is also true for Chinese -- where there are Chinese, there is China.

Chicago said...

Many people will gush that they are all super-high IQ and all that, but the bottom line is that they will be looking out for themselves as their first priority. Being non-white they are unlikely to see things our way further down the road. People are crowding into the USA any which way they can, front door, back door, through the windows, it seems to be endless. And what happened to the "virtual" border fence? Pretty soon we'll just be a virtual country.

Anonymous said...

Most of time and in most places citizenship hasn't been all that important. But there are some creepy parallels from history.

In the first century BC Drusus tried to rise by giving Roman citizenship to his clients. He was quickly assassinated but the Social War followed anyway.

Julius Caesar benefited from the confusion. He passed the Lex Julia which was one of the steps that led toward his destruction of The Republic.

You don't want to read too much into this sort of parallel but it does make you think. Our political structure was modeled on the long lasting Roman Republic and one of the factors that led to the original's overthrow was the corruption of the citizenship process.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Dude we are talking about the richest people in China, why the hell wouldn't we want them to be American citizens?

beowulf said...

So auction off citizenship and visas already, the proceeds could be used to resettle political refugees (in low cost of living countries).

Anonymous said...

"Oh, my... Steve, Steve, Steve! One doesn't "pay tuition", one "pays for tuition.""

I guess Steve says by intuition. Maybe wrong in this case.

Anonymous said...

Why so much outrage (you seem to really enjoy being outraged) over something so seemingly trivial? How many Chinese are here due to birth tourism? A very negligible number, I bet!

I guess it's not the actual effect of this thing it's the symbolism of it.

Anonymous said...

"There's just one problem here Steve. The number of Chinese women who partake in this kind of birth tourism is negligible relative to the overall population of Chinese Americans."

This is true enough when we count only the Chinese. Also, they seem to be doing it legally--though our laws are crazy on this.

What's really troublesome is illegal women from south of the border doing this in the 100,000s or even millions. Pregnant Mexicans and Central Americans crossing the border and having babies.

Anonymous said...

But then, in a way, US has been colonized by an alien elite. Guess who they be?

Arabs?

Anonymous said...

Bill:
I remember Chinese extolling the virtues of Chinese medicine to me, and in response I'd ask them "so, if you needed your appendix out, would you go to a Chinese or Western hospital?" They'd unanimously choose the latter.

"We took your appendix out, and found you are an uncircumcized heathen, so we circumcized you too, and gave you a western haircut and shave, a fluoride treatment for your rotting teeth, all the mercury-filled vaccinations that you missed in China, plus a blood transfusion (taken from a druggy street bum) just for the hell of it."

"Your bill for all this? $92,000."

Anonymous said...

"There's just one problem here Steve. The number of Chinese women who partake in this kind of birth tourism is negligible relative to the overall population of Chinese Americans."

In this age of air travel, imagine pregnant women from all over the world doing this(and they are doing it!!). They add up, year after year. Thousand babies here, thousand babies there, and pretty soon, we're talking about a lot of babies.

Another good thing about issues like this--even if Chinese women involved are negligible--is it's the kind of story to fire people up.
Americans may be generous to the huddled unwashed masses looking for a chance in America, but they don't like to be taken for a ride.
It's like the issue of welfare. Americans do like to help out those truly in need, but many got spitting mad about welfare cuz they found out so many welfare moms are cheats. They drop out of school and just have babies to get free money from the gubment. Legal yes, but infuriating to hardworking tax paying Americans. This was a key issue that drove so many white folks to the GOP.
Under the New Deal, welfare had been designed to help out widows and orphans and permanently disabled. But with Great Society and Nixon's neo-liberalism, it turned into a bonanza for every lazy ho. Nixon was a funny guy. He both expanded welfare benefits and milked white resentment of it, but then he played both the anti-communist and make-peace-with-China card. Great politician or two-faced rat?

Of course, the difference between welfare moms and rabbit moms--chinese women who do this stuff--is that welfare moms are just plain lazy whereas rabbit moms are quite ambitious and well-organized about what they're doing--they are thinking long-term.

But both are taking advantage of something that was supposed to be generous. The whole birthright law started with helping out runaway slaves or something like that, or helping with immigrants on ships who had babies, etc. But now, it's been turned into a business. So, even if chinese women doing this are small in number, this story is emblematic of the problems of immigration and immigration laws as a whole.

Also, this story shows the distance and discrepancy between OUR idealistic view of immigration and the Chinese(or any foreign nation's)MATERIALISTIC view of immigration.

It's not a case of TAKING A CHANCE IN AMERICA but taking advantage of America.
Some stories crystallize what is wrong with the world. During the Civil Right's era, it was stories of KKK bombing black churches. For Jews everywhere, it was Kristallnacht.

This is one of those stories. And this story also exposes the absurdity of our responses, both legal and media-related. Though we are losing whole swathes of US territory to invaders, we focus on zoning laws than the turf itself. It's like complaining, after someone broke into your house and stole everything, that he hadn't wiped his shoes on the mat. And Steven is right that the media is willfully clueless on this.

Anonymous said...

You know, this story kinda reminds me of PLANET OF THE APES and ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES.
Both are about baby politics.
Dr. Zaius the orangutan in POTA is fearful about Taylor having children with Nova, thus producing intelligent humans who might challenge the apes.
EFTPOTA tells pretty much the same story, except the situation is reversed. This time, humans try to sterilize the apes lest they have apelets whose descendants shall take over the world. (To be sure, humans initially treat the apes a lot better than the apes treated the humans in POTA.)

Of course, Steve's article is not about Chinese taking over the world, but some people do have this yellow peril fear, and this story could be useful in that way. We might find a way to oppose out-of-control immigration by using the China Card. Besides, it's less politically incorrect to bash Chinese(or Muslims)than Mexicans. But if we make this an issue via the 'yellow peril' card, we can then use it to highlight much bigger abuse of birthright citizenship among Mexicans.

What's fascinating about POTA and EFTPOTA is the moral ambiguity. Though we identify with Taylor in POTA and see Zaius as one son of a bitch, we can't help but think he's right on some level. Humans could indeed a threat to the apekind.
And though the villain in EFTPOTA is a cross between WFB and Dirty Harry, we can't help feel that, ruthless as he is, he's trying to save mankind.
And though the liberals--chimps in POTA and compassionate humans in EFTPOTA--are likable, their minds are mush when it comes to power politics. Though intelligent, they are carried away by their guilt-ridden emotions than by hard facts.

Peter A said...

Of course the joke is on the Chinese. By the time these babies are old enough to go to high school or college, the US will just be Mexico North. Most of these kids will probably end up renouncing their US passports by the time they turn 18.

Anonymous said...

EFTPOTA has a strange effect on me. I always get teary-eyed when Zera gets shot and throws her baby(wrong baby it turns out)into the water but I can't help feeling the human guy did the right thing.

Svigor said...

A Chinese chauvinist speaks!

Yeah, see, the "Cognitively Elite" Chinese are altruists, giving up life in the Chinese paradise to bring light to the benighted Yankee masses...

SF said...

O/T I was going through the magazine of my alma mater, Humboldt State. There were 106 pictures of students, faculty and involved community members. Only three were African-American, including two on the football team. Only four looked like other NAM's. I guess this school just doesn't have much diversity. Parents should take notice.

Anonymous said...

"Dude we are talking about the richest people in China, why the hell wouldn't we want them to be American citizens?"

Dual loyalty is not a good thing; we've seen enough of that with Jews and AIPAC. If China is gonna be a major power(and potential enemy) in the future, we don't want dual-loyalty chitizens or citichens.

If Chinese wanna line up for immigration, take a chance on America, and become good Americans, no problem. But if they are gonna it both ways, living and prospering in Ameica but maintaining their loyalty to China, it may be good for them, but it aint good for us.

Anonymous said...

"Why do you call it 'fraud'? What are the women claiming that's fraudulent?"

It is ethically if not legally fraudulent. The understanding behind birthright citizenship is IT'S OKAY IF IT HAPPENS BY ACCIDENT OR CHANCE. Suppose a French woman is visiting the US but suddenly goes into labor. We can accept that. But suppose someone comes here when she's pregnant for the sole purpose of having a child. That is foul.

Suppose some guy in a college dorm tells others, "it's cool if you eat some of my stuff in the fridge." The understanding is 'you can if you're really hungry and don't have any food', NOT 'eat all my stuff'. Even if he didn't spell it out that way, that's what he meant. He wants to be generous, not to be taken advantage of.

The implicit meaning of our immigration is generosity and humanity. But this has to be mutual. Goodwill on our side requires goodwill on the other side. But Chinese and Mexicans--and others--are milking our generosity for all it's worth.

Because it's ethically fraudulent, it should be made legally fraudulent.

Anonymous said...

"In a rare display of ministerial competence, the United Kingdom abandoned jus solis in 1981 and moved to jus sanguis - the system that Germany always had."

Jus sanguis or not, it didn't do Germany much good either. Germany is overrun with Muslims.
It's really jus cheapus laborius for shorttermius and hellius with the futurius.

Anonymous said...

given that America may well become highly inhospitable to both Chinese and its own citizens (regardless of ethnic background) fairly soon, maybe these birthing tourists can be thought of as clueless and behind the times. Many Chinese (just like many Americans) expect America as we now know it to end, but then in a large population you will always find enough optimists. The way I see it, they are investing money (not all that much of it, maybe) into an enterprise that's about to fall apart. Well, it's their problem and we have bigger issues to worry about.

Anonymous said...

"Dude we are talking about the richest people in China, why the hell wouldn't we want them to be American citizens?"

Being ruled by an alien hostile elite is not a good thing, and encouraging more of this sort of thing is insane. Even if the alien elite weren't hostile, its lack of common identity with the rest of the nation invariably brings problems. But this is a point that is lost on those who only think in purely materialist terms - ie, high IQ-fetishists, high-income fetishists, etc.

Sword said...

For comparison, a little snippet of the Swedish Citizenship law as of 2002. I do not think that it has changed since then. My translation:
--------
Loss of Citizenship
A Swedish Citizen loses his citizenship when he reaches 22 years of age if he:
1. was born outside Sweden,
2. Never has had long-term residence in Sweden,
3. Never has been in Sweden under circumstances which suggest a material connection to Sweden.

A person facing such a citizenship loss may though apply to retain his citizenship. (He is free to apply, but it is not forgone that the application will be accepted.)

When a person loses his citizenship in such a manner, then his children also lose their Swedish citizenships, if any, if their sole reason to have one was through the parent about to lose his citizenship.

However, a person will not lose his Swedish citizenship if that would cause him to become stateless.
-------

There, a citizenship law enacted in old Europe, in a country which at that time was governed by a labor party.

Said labor party is to a great deal funded by the blue-collar union (upwards of 90% of the workers are members, voluntarily) which does not want to have its members compete with cheap immigrant labor.

Non-working immigration is another thing though.

Svigor said...

"Dude we are talking about the richest people in China, why the hell wouldn't we want them to be American citizens?"

Dual loyalty is not a good thing; we've seen enough of that with Jews and AIPAC. If China is gonna be a major power(and potential enemy) in the future, we don't want dual-loyalty chitizens or citichens.

If Chinese wanna line up for immigration, take a chance on America, and become good Americans, no problem. But if they are gonna it both ways, living and prospering in Ameica but maintaining their loyalty to China, it may be good for them, but it aint good for us.


Why isn't reciprocity an expected part of these arguments?

The Chinese won't reciprocate.
The Chinese CAN'T reciprocate, even if they wanted to, which they don't

Why doesn't this kill the conversation?

Anonymous said...

Germany is not overrun with Muslims. 4-5 percent of the population is Muslim. Including other non-Western immigrants, it might be in the range of 6-7 percent. Currently, the country has about zero net migration.

Britain was locked down pretty well against immigration until Blair took power in 1997 and opened up the floodgates. Under Labor, net migration was 5 times (yeah, 5) higher than under the Tories. Tories were pretty good on the immigration issue and once again seem to be taking some reasonable steps toward closing the door.

Compared to our own Republicans, Tories are much better. Even Labor are better than our Republicans. Lib Dem might be the equivalent of American Republicans. There is no equivalent of the US Democratic party. Even Euro weenies wouldn't buy the crap that comes out of mouths of Obama, Reid, and Clinton.

The problem with birth tourism is that it's not 500 births a year. It's 500 a births a year... at one center. When you include all the foreign Chinese giving birth, it's that much larger. When you include all immigrants total, I bet we're dealing with at least a few percent of all births in the U.S.

The Chinese are shrewed and materialistic, but they couldn't have exploited our system if not for the disloyalty and imbecility of our political class. The Kennedys, Clintons, Bushs, and Obamas support this system and will block any change to it. Don't forget that.

Anonymous said...

The best research suggests that on pure g, Chinese and whites are about the same. Chinese are only stronger on the visuospatial component.

The problem the Chinese have is that their society squelches individuality, which hampers innovation and creative thinking. They produce superb worker drones, but not nearly enough dynamic thinkers. When they move to the U.S., the Chinese get to live under a system devised by people with more and better ideas.

Anonymous said...

Texas is already Mexico North.

Anonymous said...

The best research suggests that on pure g, Chinese and whites are about the same. Chinese are only stronger on the visuospatial component.

Perhaps you should recheck your sources.

Only one
study to date has examined East Asian–White difference on psychometric tests as
a function of their g loadings; it confirmed the hypothesis for 15 cognitive tests
administered to two generations of Americans of Japanese, Chinese, and European
ancestry. In this case, the more g-loaded the test, the greater the mean East
Asian–White group difference favoring East Asians (Nagoshi, Johnson, DeFries,
Wilson, & Vandenberg, 1984).
Studies in Southern Africa


http://psychology.uwo.ca/faculty/rushtonpdfs/pppl1.pdf

Anonymous said...

Stanley Anne Dunham was one calculating Marxist.
Gilbert Pinfold.

Anonymous said...

The problem the Chinese have is that their society squelches individuality, which hampers innovation and creative thinking. They produce superb worker drones, but not nearly enough dynamic thinkers.

Oh, not this tired old saw again.

The real problem is that the Chinese lack the elaborate Byzantine carrot-and-stick treatment of individuality and creative thinking that exploits the fruits of such for society.

Contrary to hoary propaganda, Asian societies strongly encourage creative thinking, and in many ways without mind-numbing Western regimentation. Asian creative people are under no real pressure to prove themselves useful to society.

Hail said...

This "Birth Tourism" phenomenon really deflates lingring pride in the USA, I'd think, among us inconvenient "pre-1965ers" whose lines have been insufficiently Diversified.

This is the kind of story that strips away all the romanticist pretenses we like to tell ourselves about our country. What is the USA in this article? An economic zone, to be exploited by any and all comers. A multiculti economic zone.

Hail said...

Cold-Equations posted about this story a few days ago.

Summary of his points:
1.) It feels like these are illegal operations but there is no US law against it (certainly not the way the Feds "interpret" immigration laws.)
2.) The story mentions this Chinese Lebensraum center was shut down. Typical corporate media spin, "everything is OK now".

Hail said...

Anon-#1 wrote:
"These Chinese ... are almost certainly from the upper portions of the Chinese IQ distribution ... America gains according to whatever relevant metric of value one wants to employ"

I've got another idea to "make America gain" using your logic, Anon. Have all women of European descent in the USA sterilized. If any desire a child, provide them with an adoptive East-Asian child.

The future generation will have a slightly higher-IQ! Perfect!

Anonymous said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ap_on_re_us/us_far_east_to_down_east

Birth tourism and now school tourism.

Leonard said...

Steve, you probably don't recall it but we corresponded a bit about this back in 2006. You asked me, "How much would a U.S. Green Card (i.e., permanent residency) be worth on the world market?"

I think the article you need to read here is this one: http://www.reason.com/rb/rb121605.shtml
It's a discussion of a study from the World Bank, "Where is the Wealth of Nations?: Measuring Capital for the 21st Century", which makes estimates of the contribution of natural, produced, and "intangible" capital to the aggregate wealth nations.

The findings are interesting: most of the value of living in the first world is not due to natural resources (good farmland, timber, oil, metal ore, etc.), or even already-produced capital (factories, etc). It's "intangible" capital, that is, living under the rule of law in a stable economic system with freedom of contract.

Contrast the net capital computed per-capita for the US ($513,000), to that for Mexico ($62,000). The difference is $451,000. Moving here for the average Mexican thus tends to increase his income, since the wages that workers make is proportionate to the capital they employ. Whatever a Mexican is making in Mexico, if his fraction of capital ownership does not change upon immigration to the US, his income should rise by a factor of about 8. (Note that many immigrants will lose capital when moving, but most of them won't since they have zero in both places.)

How much is that worth in one-off terms? Well, let's assume that the average hourly wage in Mexico for immigrants is $2, and they can make $16/hr (8x as much) here. (They don't, now, in part because they are illegal - no green card.) Their income rises by $14/hr, or about $28,000/year. Of course their costs go up too; living here is not as cheap as living in Mexico. So, the net increase might be "only" 20,000/year.

If we take that single-year figure, then project it out into the future, we can guestimate a value of the green card - assuming there's no other way of getting in. Say that we assume a working career of 40 years, and zero time preference. Then we calculate the value of the green card for a Mexican at $800,000. It's probably more realistic to compute a value using an interest-like rate of time preference, but extending it indefinitely (since your kids will be Americans too). Say a rather steep 10% interest rate - this gives a value of just $200,000.

Note that I don't expect a lot of would-be immigrants can actually raise even $200,000, by themselves. To get that much on average, they'd have to make some sort of credit arrangements. We might leave this to the free market, like a real-estate mortgage (though we'd want the bank to be here, not there). Or we might set up a system so an immigrant would pay a higher Federal income tax rate until they pay it off.

Leonard said...

(cont.)


Now again, note the factors weighing the other way. One is, if illegal immigration is at all viable, the ability to cheat the system would draw down demand. Would you rather mortgage your future to the IRS to get in, or get your back wet? Hmm.

Second, if there are other ways of working here other than a green card, you can get most of the benefits that way. So they'd also cut demand.

Finally, more dangerous problem would be "dilution" of the intangible capital. The other kinds of capital will dilute, no question: if America lets in 100M immigrants, the per-capita values of them would drop to about 2/3 of what they are. But this would hardly reduce the value of being here, since the vast majority of the value is intangible. (Also more factories would be built.) It's not clear that immigrants do dilute the intangible capital. To some extent it is imposed on them. But with enough of them, they might vote for more socialist programs, and more regulation, etc, which probably would reduce it.

Now, there's one more thing to discuss here. I've kicked out a few numbers for the net present value of a green card for a poor Mexican, making lots of assumptions. But that's not the best case. The best case would be a person with a lot of capital (perhaps one who is educated, like a doctor), which he can bring here, and who is currently embedded in a state with very low intangible capital. This sort of person might be able to afford a very high value for a green card.

If we set up a worldwide bidding system for green cards, provided some way to get credit, and kept the numbers down, we might fetch $1m per. Note that a rational way to do immigration would be to set the number of green cards ahead of time, then conduct a dutch auction to determine the price and who gets them. You never have to set a price; let the market find it for you.

Anonymous said...

"The problem the Chinese have is that their society squelches individuality, which hampers innovation and creative thinking. They produce superb worker drones, but not nearly enough dynamic thinkers."

"Oh, not this tired old saw again.
The real problem is that the Chinese lack the elaborate Byzantine carrot-and-stick treatment of individuality and creative thinking that exploits the fruits of such for society.
Contrary to hoary propaganda, Asian societies strongly encourage creative thinking, and in many ways without mind-numbing Western regimentation. Asian creative people are under no real pressure to prove themselves useful to society."

I agree and disagree. One of the reason why Asia lacks an 'elaborate system of carrots and sticks' is because of lack of individuality or the will/courage to stick one's neck out to do the right thing.
Social form counts a lot in Asia, and sometimes doing the right thing means doing the wrong thing IF it preserves the social form. In Kurosawa's BAD SLEEP WELL, lower-level guys take the blame and commit suicide. And even though much of society knows what REALLY happened, they let it pass cuz it's all about maintaining social form.
I heard it's common for Japanese schoolgirls to be fondled in trains, but most say nothing cuz making a scene would be upsetting the form. Society would frown upon her more than on the fondler if she made a scene.
In the movie TAMPOPO, an underling who knows something about French cooking upsets the social order/form by showing off his superior knowledge. The culture tells people to 'keep your head down'. And in the book and movie(book is much better)of FEAR AND TREMBLING, we see the repressive workings of a Japanese company. But this insane system is maintained by both superiors and inferiors. Since superiority is defined more by age and seniority than by merit, superiors heavily rely on form to maintain their authority. As for inferiors, since most of them are cowards and sheep, they might feel resentment against those with the courage to rock to boat. Cowards feel more comfortable with fellow cowards. If one guy steps forth and rebels, even if in the name of his oppressed brethren, he's not only upsetting the social form/order but exposing others as cowards without the courage and balls like himself. He may be standing up for the people, but he's also standing above the people who've cravenly accepted their lot in life.
This is why, when the guy in SEVEN SAMURAI says they should fight the bandits, bunch of other guys are none too happy. Not only because they fear losing but because his courage contrasts with their cowardice. Cowardice has been institutionalized as a comfort zone in Asia. Fearing-and-trembling is part of Japanese Culture.
I think it's much the same in Korean culture, but there's another element which sets Koreans apart. One might say Japanese social forms/manners are more developed and coordinated to maintain the social hierarchy whereas Koreans, though equally hierarchy-oriented, are culturally less fine-tuned, which means they're less likely to control their emotions. If Japanese have perfected the art of fear-and-trembling, the less finely tuned Koreans often go from fear-and-trembling to fear-and-erupting.
There's a lot of violence in Japanese films but they tend to be fantastic and unrealistic. But the violence in Korean films seem a genuine expression of Korean rage and social tensions. This makes them far less pleasant.

Anonymous said...

I remember a Japanese girl in highschool in the 80s who followed her parents working for a Japanese firm in America. She was a straight A student but quiet as a lamb. She was book-smart but 'dumb' socially. Almost mute in fact. We felt cheated by the likes of her cuz they would go to good colleges but amount to nothing special cuz no matter how high her grades, she would never lead any project. She was a smart sheep, not a smart wolf. And if Japan were ruled by militarists again, she would just bow to them than stand up and shout for liberty.

I think Chinese are more free-thinking than Koreans and Japanese, especially in Hong Kong. Also, Chinese history went through so much craziness--even more so than Japanese and Korean history--in the 20th century that all the institutions were shaken up. There was stablity with communist takeover in 49 but then Mao unleashed GLF and CR. Horrible, but the Chinese might have less hiearchical-thinking as a result.

To be sure, we have a form-mania(formania?)in the US too. Mary Lefkowitz wrote that all her colleagues knew that Afrocentric history was bosh but kept mum not only out of cowardice but respect for politically correct progressivism. Many white liberals don't rock the boat despite all the PC lies cuz they are so committed to the Moral Form of 'fighting racism'.

Anonymous said...

One of the reason why Asia lacks an 'elaborate system of carrots and sticks' is because of lack of individuality or the will/courage to stick one's neck out to do the right thing.

"Lack of individuality" and "will/courage to ... do the right thing" are two different things.

Individuality is basically something someone (or at least some someones) is born with and struggles to censor in order to fit into society.

As for will/courage, it is always rarer than it should be. You may be right that going against the flow, particularly for moral reasons, is uncommon in Asia.

Social form counts a lot in Asia,

And in North America.

On my visits to Asia, I have noticed a lot more behavioral diversity than in America, especially among young children. Asian children are freer, opener, more expressive, less concerned about political and religious taboos than their American peers. Asians seem to have more of an inner moral compass, in that they are less likely to hurt anyone in their free-spiritedness than Americans obsessed with political correctness, Law & Order, and "mental health".

Asian children tend to ask embarassing questions of elders, but in a society that values intelligence more than cool, such questions are not embarassing, and are usually answered honestly.

And rules, laws, and orders in Asia tend to refreshingly straightforward rather than Byzantine. It's more "don't cheat" than "don't get caught".

Asians are not persecuted for being "different" (or smart) to the same extent as Americans. Some may say that "Asians are autistic noble savages" but they're not, they lack the flat emotions of true autistics.

Many of the personality quirks that will get an American beaten (physically assaulted often by cowardly gangs), bullied, ostracized, niggerized, and the like are simply below-the-radar and not noticed by anyone.

As for the "carrots and sticks", Asia simply lacks them. In classical China, anyone who was smart passed what would now be called objective IQ tests for a cushy job in the civil service. No grueling job interview by some smarmy jock asking dumb personal questions. You passed the test, you're hired, you spend the rest of your life shuffling papers but live like a nobleman and be treated like a hero.

Because of that, creative Asians are essentially dilletantes, doodling their art and inventions on the back sides of government papers. They aren't made to feel guilty for being creative, nor do they have to prove themselves.

It is pretty much that inner guilt over creativity that drives Western creative people to prove themelves socially worthy and not "crazy nerdy faggots", to market their inventions, and enrich themselves and society.

And even though much of society knows what REALLY happened, they let it pass cuz it's all about maintaining social form.

Yeah, and America is paradise for whistleblowers.

I heard it's common for Japanese schoolgirls to be fondled in trains,

Anti-Asian propaganda, no doubt spread by feminist organizations and abetted by bigots opposed to Asia and its culture.

but most say nothing cuz making a scene would be upsetting the form. Society would frown upon her more than on the fondler if she made a scene.

Maybe in 1910 but not now.

To be sure, we have a form-mania(formania?)in the US too. Mary Lefkowitz wrote that all her colleagues ... kept mum not only out of cowardice but respect for politically correct progressivism.

Damn right.

Many white liberals don't rock the boat despite all the PC lies cuz they are so committed to the Moral Form of 'fighting racism'.

Or there are many people who want to stop school and workplace bullying, but don't want to rock the boat because the bullies and social bigots are so ultra-powerful.