U.S. investors cannot safely invest in many poor countries, so the countries’ populations should migrate to the United States, a Republican-aligned economist said.
Throughout the 1990s, economists expected investors in wealthy countries to move job-creating investments to the developing world and, thereby, raise billions of people out of poverty, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the GOP-linked American Action Forum, said.
However, “for any number of reasons — inability to enforce contracts, political problems — the capital [in wealthy countries] really didn’t flow that way. It stayed in these [wealthy] countries,” he said during an October 26 online talk organized by far-left public publication DemocracyJournal.org.
“But economics does abhor a vacuum, and so now the [poor] labor is coming for the capital,” via international migration, according to Holtz-Eakin, a pro-migration economist who formerly worked for Sen. John McCain and for President George W. Bush when he was pushing the open-borders “any willing worker” claim.
If the U.S. is going to be a place where people want to migrate for economic reasons, let’s have an immigration system that recognizes and takes advantage of that. And that, I think, is something that will be true five years now, 10 years from now, 15 years from now
Holtz-Eakin’s emphasis on migration over foreign investment is bad news for some developing countries, Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, responded
“It’s going to be a lot harder for them to attract the capital they need to develop, which in turn, means migration pressures will continue to remain high,” Krikorian told Breitbart News on November 8. Of Holtz-Eakin’s plan, he said:
It’s the opposite of the Vice President Harris’s “root causes” call for directing money and attention to developed countries. [In his] way, we just ignore [investment for development] and bring the relatively more productive parts of their workforce [and consumers] to the United States and Europe instead.
But Holtz-Eakin’s claim is false, responded Joseph Chamie, a former director of the United Nations Population Division.
Huge capital flows from wealthy countries have dramatically raised the wealth of billions of people in once-poor countries, such as China, India, Mexico, the Persian Gulf, and South America, he said.
Still, Chamie added, some U.S. investors cannot export their businesses to the developing world: “Real estate and housing construction, home care, social services have to be done here. You can’t go to India to get a haircut. To pick up the crops in California, you know, you need labor.”
Those U.S. investors “want more customers,” he said. So “they want more and more migrants — [to whom] they want to sell houses, they want to sell cars, they want more and more and more because it increases their bottom line.”
“If your business model requires growth through population growth, then you’re going to push for importing more people,” Krikorian said. It is “an anti-trade approach where we import the people instead of [trading] the goods.”
Global Population Growth
The United States now has a population of roughly 330 million people, and 3.6 million Americans were born in 2020. That is a shrinking share of the global population.
India’s population of consumers is expected to hit 1.7 billion in 2060, according to the bureau. And almost four million Indians have already moved to the United States, often as supposedly temporary visa workers for Fortune 500 companies. The Democrats’ pending Build Back Better bill will supercharge the inflow of legal and illegal Indian workers and consumers.
Afghanistan’s population will reach 63 million by 2050, and Biden is importing at least 100,000 Afghans, creating a future chain-migrant inflow. Mexico will have 157 million people in 2050.
Brazil’s population will reach 236 million in 2050, and Africa’s population is expected to reach approximately 2.5 billion by 2050 — although a small share is now trying to move into Europe. The population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will hit 374 million by 2070, and the population of Nigeria will soar past 600 million by 2070.
The smaller African country of Cameroon has a population of 28 million, and it is expected to hit 57 million by 2050. Few Americans can pinpoint that country, but thousands of Cameroonians are using asylum claims to move into the United States. That flow rises every time the federal government releases migrants into the United States, in part, because the successful migrants use their cellphones to display their new homes and jobs in the United States to their left-behind, lower-status friends.
Roughly three million people have migrated from Central America into the United States over the last decade. In March 2021, Jim Clifton, the chairman and CEO of the Gallup polling company, posted a warning to President Joe Biden that another 42 million people in Central America would like to migrate into the United States. “What is the 10-year plan? 330 million U.S. citizens are wondering. So are 42 million Latin Americans,” he wrote.
Holtz-Eakin’s pro-migration views are important because he is a leading voice in the advocacy groups entwined in the GOP’s very influential donor apparatus.
He is the president of the American Action Forum, a pro-business advocacy group. His organization has a campaign-focused “sister organization,” the American Action Network. The two groups share leaders and staff. For example, former Sen. Norm Coleman is chairman of the network’s board and is a leader in Holtz-Eakin’s forum.
In turn, the network reportedly shares ties with a political action committee named the Congressional Leadership Fund. The secretive PAC does not reveal its staff but is a leading donor to the GOP’s House election campaigns, and spent roughly $160 million in 2020. This economic clout gives it much influence over what campaign promises the GOP leaders make prior to each election campaign. Much of the group’s funding goes to pro-migration Republicans, including Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
The group includes investors and CEOs who cannot easily create profitable businesses in developing countries or who own extensive U.S. properties. For example, one of the cofounders owned shares in a series of hotels around the United States.
And Holtz-Eakin’s welcome for many migrants from the developing world was echoed by Todd Schulte, the president of Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us advocacy group for West Coast investors. He told the October 29 event with Holtz-Eakin:
I think it is a very reasonable expectation for the future to say, 20 years from now, in the way that we’ve seen this huge increase in employment and immigration from India, [that] “You know over the last 20 years it is Nigeria where there’s a huge number of people coming — lots of English speakers, highly educated. There’s a growing population here now.” But that could be totally wrong.
In 2050, Nigeria’s population is expected to hit 428 million, according to the Census Bureau. It is expected to reach 800 million by the mid-2090s.
The U.S. government is trying to welcome roughly one million legal immigrants in 2021 and has also allowed at least one million migrants — both illegals and conditionally legal — across the southern border. But that current inflow of workers and consumers is not enough for Schulte. He told the group:
Whether they are someone who is going to move to Pittsburgh and is going to be able to work as a hospital administrator or in the back of the hospital … These are people we want, and we want to fight for those families and their parents because it’s the right thing to do. That benefits us.
Zuckerberg’s FWD.us network of coastal investors stands to gain from more government-provided cheap labor, consumers, and urban renters. The investor group is backing legislation that would accelerate the inflow of consumers, unskilled workers, and skilled workers into the U.S. economy, where they can help bump up the overall value of the stock market.
The consumers sought by these investors include unproductive, sick, and old consumers of medical care, consumers who rely on federal welfare, and children who consume without working. In early 2020, FWD.us joined a lawsuit that argued the federal exclusion of poor or unskilled migrants would be bad for the consumption of corporate goods and services:
Because [the green-card applicants] will receive fewer public benefits under the Rule, they will cut back their consumption of goods and services, depressing demand throughout the economy.
The New American Economy Research Fund calculates that, on top of the $48 billion in income that is earned by individuals who will be affected by the Rule—and that will likely be removed from the U.S. economy—the Rule will cause an indirect economic loss of more than $33.9 billion … Indeed, the Fiscal Policy Institute has estimated that the decrease in SNAP and Medicaid enrollment under the Rule could, by itself, lead to economic ripple effects of anywhere between $14.5 and $33.8 billion, with between approximately 100,000 and 230,000 jobs lost … Health centers alone would be forced to drop as many as 6,100 full-time medical staff.
The FWD.us investor network has funded many astroturf campaigns, and it “supported” the DemocracyJournal.org event with Holtz-Eakin. It has urged Democrats not to talk about the economic impact of migration and manipulated coverage by the television networks and the print media.
This month, FWD.us is lobbying the Senate to pass a bill that would allow at least three million extra chain migrants to arrive during the next few years. The skills or productivity of the chain-migration migrants is a subordinate issue — because the migrants will certainly increase consumption of retail goods, groceries, and fast food, also inflating the cost of real estate.
FWD.us and other advocates usually justify their demands for more migration by claiming they need more labor migration — even though they live in an age of increasing automation, free trade, global outsourcing, Internet-linked multinationals, proliferating robots, (almost) self-driving autos, and declining U.S. workforce participation and dropping wages.
But the advocates do quietly push the claim that immigrants grow consumption. For example, Google is an advertising company, and in 2015, its chairman at the time, Eric Schmidt — an FWD.us funder — called for more immigration to offset slowing births in the United States. He said:
Most stock markets assume modest growth, right? So how are you going to over a couple of decades deal with the fact that one third of your customers are going to go away? Well, one is produce more customers through immigration or, you know, greater reproductive performance.
Zuckerberg’s pro-migration ally, Mike Bloomberg, uses his New American Economy advocacy group to tout migrants’ consumer spending:
The contributions immigrants make as both taxpayers and consumers are indispensable to the U.S. economy. Nationally, immigrants earned $1.3 trillion in 2014 … [giving them] nearly $927 billion in spending power, which they frequently used to purchase goods and services, stimulate local business activity, and create jobs in the broader U.S. economy.
If just ten percent of that claimed spending power ends up as profit for public companies, it adds roughly $2 trillion to Wall Street values.
The Economic Innovation Group shares leadership with FWD.us and touts immigration as a way to boost housing prices. That strategy is good for real estate investors but is bad for American families, especially in California and New York.
In 2019, U.S. automaker Elon Musk and Chinese online retailer Jack Ma shared a podium, where Musk warned “the biggest issue in 20 years will be population collapse. Not explosion. Collapse.”
“I absolutely agree with that,” responded Ma. “The population problem is going to be facing a huge challenge. 1.4 billion people in China sounds a lot, but I think next 20 years, we will see this [declining population] will bring big trouble to China.”
As more Wall Street investors rely on imported consumption, there will be less political corporate and investor pressure in Congress’s logjam to boost Americans’ productivity, science, wealth, living standards, civic society, and health.
Today’s corporate demands for consumer migration are a sharp contrast from the 1972 Commission on Population Growth and the American Future. The report was known as the Rockefeller Report because the chairman was John Rockefeller, a pillar of the industrial-era establishment. In his cover letter, Rockefeller wrote:
After two years of concentrated effort, we have concluded that, in the long run, no substantial benefits will result from further growth of the nation’s population, rather that the gradual stabilization of our population through voluntary means would contribute significantly to the nation’s ability to solve its problems.
The Costs of Consumer Migration
Immigration does inflate the U.S. economy by adding more consumers and more workers. That is good for CEOs, employers, and investors, partly because Wall Street can expand by roughly $20 billion for every billion in extra profits from the imported consumers and workers.
It is also good for people in government because the extra taxes can be used to hire more employers, influence more companies, expand into new roles, and influence more business leaders.
For example, housing prices are spiking in California because state legislators tried to cut housing costs by ending the key feature of suburbia — single-family zoning. The price-spike was described in a New York Times article about a Californian who buys, remodels, and flips single-family suburban houses into multi-family dwellings:
[Spicer’s] company bought 5120 Baxter Street for $700,000. He estimates the house would rent for $3,300 a month with a few renovations. Instead he spent about $400,000 building the new units and splitting the house, and believes he will get between $9,000 and $10,000 a month in rent [from multiple renters] across the property.
That return would increase the property’s value to about $1.7 million. The price would be galling to an aspiring homeowner who might have outbid another family before losing to Mr. Spicer and now feels cheated out of the American dream.
Migration also curbs Americans’ productivity, shrinks their political clout, and widens regional wealth gaps. It radicalizes their democratic, compromise-promoting civic culture, and allows elites to ignore despairing Americans at the bottom of society.
Moreover, the U.S. government’s welcome for many kinds of economic migrants also imposes a huge cost on small countries that lose many people to the U.S. economy. Haiti, for example, has lost most of its better-educated workers, so leaving the home with few resources to create a modern economy. The situation is similar for Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, from which at least one million young people have been extracted by the federal government’s long-standing tolerance for a huge illegal-migrant workforce.
But for investors, Chamie said, “It is about the Benjamins, baby. … [They] don’t care about what the consequences are for the public.”