A year ago, Aberdeen’s mini-Klan kicked off its campaign of fear and loathing with a presentation in which an out-of-state slideshow hoaxster railed falsely against local economic developer Mike Bockorny for stating in February 2015 the well-established economic fact that recruiting new workers and integrating newcomers and refugees in the community is good for jobs and GDP.
Now, as our local Islamophobes prepare to quake and froth again before another out-of-state anti-free-press traveling salesman flipping anti-immigrant slides for a buck, a Hindu Republican Federal Reserve Bank President comes to Sioux Falls not to hawk books but amplify Bockorny’s practical message about the connection between immigration and South Dakota’s economy:
“Just going to math, if a big source of economic growth is population growth, and your population growth slows, either because you restrict immigration or because you have fewer babies, your economic growth is going to slow,” Kashkari said at the Rotary Club of Downtown Sioux Falls, responding to a question about a Trump-backed bill to cut legal immigration by 50 percent over the next 10 years. “Do we want economic growth, or not? That’s what it comes down to” [Ann Saphir, “Check Your Math, Central Banker Says: Less Immigration Equals Less Growth,” Reuters, 2017.08.07].
Kashkari’s parents were immigrants. They and their son have contributed significantly to the American economy. Kashkari himself arguably saved the American economy from a new Depression by designing the $700-billion bank bailout in 2008.
Kashkari statement above followed up on a response to a question about how to stop rural communities from dying. Just as I told Aberdeen’s mini-Klan a year ago, Kashkari told the Sioux Falls Rotarians that if we want jobs and growth, we either have to welcome immigrants or make a lot more babies:
“You can either accept slower growth; you can spend a lot of money to subsidize fertility – child care etc, very expensive – or you can embrace immigration. That’s math,” Kashkari told the audience in Sioux Falls, where the foreign-born population grew by more than a third from 2010 to 2014, figures from the U.S. census show.
“You guys have done a pretty good job of embracing immigration and that is a source of economic growth vibrancy” [Saphir, 2017.08.07].
Most of the Aberdeen folks attending our sad Aberdeen anti-immigrant hate fests have aged out of the workforce, so they should sit down, get real, and listen to real experts like Neel Kashkari: welcome the immigrants we need to keep our economy humming.