Towards A Good Samaritan World

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Robert Samuelson writes:

[L]iberals and others who support lax immigration policies across our Southern border should understand that these policies deepen U.S. inequality.

Yet he also writes:

From 1995 to 2005, the rise in the number of Hispanics in poverty -- by 794,000 -- more than accounted for the entire increase in the U.S. poverty population. Poverty among blacks, though still high, declined. Among non-Hispanic whites, it held roughly steady. Health-insurance coverage has also been affected. Since 1995, Hispanics account for about 78 percent of the increase in the uninsured.

It's not clear from this that Hispanic immigration is contributing to inequality among the native-born. Samuelson seems to assume that for an individual Mexican to be poorer than most Americans on American soil is a social problem, but for him to be poorer than most Americans in Mexico is not.

It is wrong to believe that U.S. inequality matters more than global inequality.


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