In his latest Times op-ed entitled "The Easy Problem" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/opinion/brooks-the-easy-problem.html), Brooks persuasively makes the case for immigration:
"Increased immigration would boost the U.S. economy. Immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start new businesses than native-born Americans, according to a research summary by Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney of The Hamilton Project. They are more likely to earn patents. A quarter of new high-tech companies with more than $1 million in sales were also founded by the foreign-born.
. . . .
Immigrants, both legal and illegal, do not drain the federal budget. It’s true that states and localities have to spend money to educate them when they are children, but, over the course of their lives, they pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits. Furthermore, according to the Congressional Budget Office, giving the current illegals a path to citizenship would increase the taxes they pay by $48 billion and increase the cost of public services they use by $23 billion, thereby producing a surplus of $25 billion."
Could relaxed immigration laws reinvigorate the American economy, or is it already terminally ill? I would certainly give it the chance that it deserves.
Krugman, on the other hand, in his latest Times op-ed entitled "Looking for Mister Goodpain" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/opinion/krugman-looking-for-mister-goodpain.html), continues to demand (yawn) that the US spend its way out of the recession:
"So what do we learn from the rather pathetic search for austerity success stories? We learn that the doctrine that has dominated elite economic discourse for the past three years is wrong on all fronts."
Excuse me, but where do we find any economic success stories during this cold winter, premised upon either austerity or spending? Me? I believe in the words of Chance the Gardener in "Being There":
"In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again."
Yes, after the winter comes the spring, provided we don't spread too much fertilizer, i.e. spend, spend and spend, and kill all the roots.
Thank you, Paul, but I think I'll side with David on this one.