Background checks for illegals too costly
January 13, 2013 12:00 AM | 970 views | 21 21 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

D.A. King’s latest op-ed for the MDJ (“Jobs, the Cobb GOP and a brewing scandal”) is an impassioned plea for the Cobb County Commission to pass a regulation designed to thwart the hiring of undocumented workers. Unfortunately, King’s commentary is also full of economic ignorance.

King proclaims the virtues of the “no-cost E-Verify system” and the “no-cost Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers program” and in doing so demonstrates the ignorance documented by Frederic Bastiat in his famous 1848 article “What is Seen and What is Not Seen.” King views these government bureaucracies and sees they can be accessed at no monetary cost to the user, but there are many real and significant costs which are not seen.

First, is the opportunity cost to an employer and employee of having to wait for the bureaucracy to process the background check. Second are the legal and administrative costs to employers and employees to correct the high percentage of errors in the database.

Third, is the cost of liberty and trade which are lost when citizens must obtain the permission of their government to earn a living.

Fourth, and most significant, is the cost to taxpayers to create and administer the bureaucracy and to investigate and adjudicate non-compliance.

It is possible these costs are outweighed by the benefits of stopping undocumented workers. (I doubt it.) It is also possible the worker verification bureaucracy will be unlike other government programs: efficient, effective, and valuable. (Again, I doubt it and there was a time when Republicans shared my distrust of bureaucracies.)

Still, an honest discussion of the virtues of a government takeover of the employment process would include what is not seen as well as what is seen.

Russ Wood

Powder Springs
Comments
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Economic this
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January 16, 2013
Wood, illegal aliens steal jobs, lower wages and suck up in excess of $2 billion a year just from Georgia. We have lost much of our own culture and rule of law not to mention our common language because druids like you always want to find a reason to not do everything we can to stop the invasion.

You are the type who would have been wringing his hands and screaming that the founders revolution was too hard and "too expensive", so we should sit back and do nothing.

I'll thank you to get out of the way so the rest of us can actually try to save the remainder of the USA.

Wood: Sit down and shut up, you arrogant coward.

Thank you D.A. King and great letter Dr. Hudson. More please!
Russ Wood
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January 21, 2013
Dear Economic this,

At least I put my name on all of my comments. It would appear you are the coward hiding behind an alias.

Thanks for your insighful advice to sit down and shut up. You should run for political office and share your intellectual power with everyone.
Bob Johnson
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January 16, 2013
Did you ever notice that you don't see Kevin Foley and Russ Wood together. They are the same person.
Russ Wood
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January 16, 2013
Dear Bob Johnson,

You are mistaken.
misterbill
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January 14, 2013
Mr Wood ,

Your attitude has prevailed in all negative or failing efforts in every aspect of life dealing with the common good an/or the government. I suggest that it is the same as Pelosi's , "Let's pass the bill to see what's in it".

The other famous liberal thought process is about drilling for oil. They argue constantly that it will take ten years to realize any gin. Well ten years has passed and we have no oil and they still say to is a bad move because it will take ten years.

My wife had to register with E-Verify to do some contracting work for a school district. It was a fairly easy process.

What is the cost to the wait by the employer? It cost us a couple of days and no money.

Second- high percentage of errors-- I do not believe that is anything but disingenuous.

Your third statement is but a ploy to prove a point. You did not include something about starving children as a final plea.

Fourth Why don't you set a figure on the cost to taxpayers to check out legitimacy versus the cost of 8 million jobs held by undocumented workers.

(which at 15K/year costs American workers $120 billion, plus SS, plus EBT =, plus plus.

Pull your head out of the sand. (Rich??)

Russ Wood
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January 15, 2013
misterbill,

You misread my letter. My claim is exactly opposite of Pelosi's. She had blind faith that a government program would solve a public problem. She advocated for large scale government action without any proof of effectiveness or estimation of the costs. I am claiming that those who are rushing to solve our very real issue of illegal immigration are hoping to solve it with more government bureaucracy without understanding the true costs.

I see no sensible connection between my letter and your frustration with liberal opposition to drilling for oil.

Regarding your wife's experience with E-verify, I have two questions. First you mention it cost her a couple of days but no money. Does your wife not charge for her work? Because if it cost her two days of potential work, it clearly cost her real money. This is called opportunity cost, and it is one of the costs I mentioned in my letter. Thank you for acknowledging it. Second, assuming she is a legal citizen, she should not have to seek the permission of her government to ply her trade. That, by definition, is slavery. How much of a price does she put on her freedom? Free citizens do not stand for having their government tell them whether or not they can take a job.

Based on your comments, it appears your wife successfully passed the E-verify hurdle. Which means she had a delay in working and she sacrificed her freedom, with no benefit. The benefit of the program is that it will stop illegals, which did not happen here. Like most regulation, the burden falls on the innocent, such as your wife, while the guilty ignore or circumvent the process.

So who really has their head in the sand?
Joe ICE retired
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January 14, 2013
Joe ICE says Russ Wood needs to get out more...

IMAGE places an emphasis on self-policing in a company’s hiring practices. By following the prescribed steps of IMAGE, a company could lessen the likelihood of being found in violation of employment laws. IMAGE participation may be considered a mitigating factor in the determination of civil penalty (fine) amounts should they be levied.

IMAGE is a partnership initiative between the federal government and employers. The initiative is designed to foster cooperative relationships and to strengthen overall hiring practices.

ICE has developed this initiative as a new concept for employer self-compliance within the worksite enforcement program, through which employers can achieve a lawful workforce through self-policing of their hiring practices.

Russ Wood
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January 15, 2013
Dear Joe ICE retired,

Thank you for comments. They are informative, but they do not address the concerns raised in my letter.

You describe the good intentions of IMAGE, to foster cooperation between employers and law enforcement. My claim is that a legal citizen should not need the permission of their government in order to offer their labor. While the number of illegals is high, the number of legal citizens seeking work is 10-50 times the number of illegals. IMAGE and E-verify subject legal citizens to unnecessary hurdles to obtain work. These hurdles impose significant costs on our legal citizens. My suggestion is that these costs out weight the benefits of stopping the relatively small number of illegals that the system might catch (because all such systems are inefficient).

I agree with the grand intentions of the program. But government bureaucracies are like proverbial roads paved with good intentions.
Gracias Russ Wood!
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January 14, 2013
No to racist IMAGE! In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage, but also of the brutal "Gringo" invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlán, from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility and our inevitable destiny.

We are free and sovereign to determine those tasks which are justly called for by our house, our land, the sweat of our brows and by our hearts. Aztlán belongs to those that plant the seeds, water the fields and gather the crops, and not to foreign Europeans. We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the Bronze Continent.

Brotherhood unites us, and love of our brothers makes us a people whose time has come and who struggles against the foreigner “Gabacho” who exploits our riches and destroys our culture. With our hearts in our hands and our hands in the soil, we declare the independence of our Mestizo nation. We are a Bronze People with a Bronze Culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before our brothers in the Bronze Continent, We are a Nation of free pueblos, we are Aztlán.

Free is costly to us
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January 15, 2013
Your freedom should require that you be independent - live by the sweat of your brow and support yourselves by the sweat of your brows. No freebies paid by the taxpayer - no welfare, no free healthcare, no food stamps, no Section 8, no Medicaid for anchor babies.

Pay your way for real freedom. The "Gabacho" is tired of supporting you and enduring your "culture". Lack of values seems to be a part of your culture - drinking and driving, hit and run, sex with children, smuggling of humans and drugs.
Russ Wood
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January 15, 2013
I've seen no evidence that IMAGE is racist. Only people can be racist, so this is not a justification for scrapping IMAGE.

If IMAGE is harming anyone, it is the legal, honest citizen, who must subject himself to the whims of his government in order to trade his work.
Hertie G Marietta
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January 14, 2013
Russ Wood must be against having Border Patrol? Social Security fraud enforcement? WHAT is this guy doing with this half a thought process saying he is a "conservative" if he thinks stopping illegals from taking jobs is too expensive? The entire reason the business lobby is against IMAGE is because it stops the employment of illegals by finding the stolen ID they use. Thereby cutting into their profit margins...wealth management huh?WHAT, WOOD?

This is a liberal argument framed out of ignorance and arrogance. Um... Wood, which other federal no-cost to use programs are too expensive and please tell us how much education you have in imigration and federal programs to attack the invasion?

Too funny. But too dangerous.

Russ Wood
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January 15, 2013
Hertie G Marietta,

Thank you for your well written comments.

I am not against having Border Patrol. But I would not support a border patrol program that costs millions but yet fails to seal the border.

True conservatives understand most of the problems our government tries to solve, they only make worse. IMAGE and E-verify are not "no-cost". Taxpayers have to pay for buildings, computers, and salaries and benefits for workers to operate these programs. Taxpayers pay for this and it is a real cost. True conservatives are searching for ways to cut spending and shrink government agencies, not expand them by creating impotent databases.

I have no special education in immigration. Merely an understanding of economics, which based on the responses to my letter, is sorely lacking around here.
facts scare author
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January 14, 2013
...Mr. Wood,..

I see you didn't respond to Pat H.

A few facts might get in the way of your

bedwetting ?

FYI, Mr. Wood, I work in construction. The business has all been but destroyed for honest, hard working Americans.

The illegals will lie their way into your country, your job,.. one day,.. watch your home,.. your daughters bedroom.
Russ Wood
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January 15, 2013
Dear Mr./Ms. facts scare author,

I did respond to Pat H.

Your insults were unoriginal. Did you have something of value to add to the discussion?

You seem fired up by the illegals. Did you notice my letter does not advocate for more illegals? I'm merely trying to steer us away from a bad solution so we can find a good one.

I'm not afraid of illegals or of the facts.
Pat H
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January 14, 2013
Mr. Wood, you need to find out how much illegals and their anchor babies are costing us, visit neighborhoods swarming with them that have been trashed, visit schools where ESL is required for most of the class, look at the cost where a large influx of people who do not value education and come here with their hands out for taxpayer freebies, visit an ER at the hospital and see the cost of people who cannot be billed for services because of false documentation, and visit with the far too many taxpayers and citizens who have lost their jobs and the pay for their jobs have been artificially compressed because of the invasion of Hispanics who work under the table for much less because they scam our taxpayer handouts system.

I suggest you look at the Medicaid cost just for dentist visits by anchor babies who drink sugar drinks in a bottle until way past preschool because the parents don't care about their overall health but just want them to keep quiet.
Russ Wood
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January 15, 2013
Thanks Pat H,

I have looked at those costs. They are very real. Have you looked at the long lists of costs I noted which are part of D.A. King's solution?

I prefer a solution that does not replace one large cost with another one.
Bob Johnson
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January 13, 2013
Mr Wood let me guess you own a construction company or a landscape company, right?
Russ Wood
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January 14, 2013
No Mr. Johnson,

I own a wealth management business. But my occupation is not relevant. If you read my letter closely you'll notice I am not arguing for looser immigration. I am arguing against a bigger, less efficient government, which would benefit everyone, not just landscaper and construction firms.

Russ
Gordo Meis
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January 13, 2013
This letter has nothing to do with IMAGE and is silly. Maybe Wood does not know he lost the E-Verify argument here in Georgia two years ago. Or that EVerify (not the topic of the debate) takes less than one minute to give an answer on whether an employee is OK to work and is now simply part of the hiring process in Georgia.

Wood may be trying to ride on Mr. King's name for attention, but he should try harder to find a fact or two before he writes such silly irrelevent myth.

He would make a grat co-author for Kevin Foley, the factless wonder. This is a fact-free letter and a plea for attention. Nothing new for Wood.
Russ Wood
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January 14, 2013
Gordo Meis,

I doubt the Editor of the MDJ would print a silly letter. They do not strike me as prone to printing a "silly irrelevent(sic) myth".

The only attention I seek is a desire for conservatives such as Mr. King to stop promoting new bureaucracies and bloated, inefficient government.

Russ
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