OPINION

Why Heritage’s Rector and Richwine Are Very, Very Wrong 

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 30:  A woman embraces her child as they watch the group "Youth United For Justice" protest Arizona's new immigration law April 30, 2010 in Oakland, California. Dozens of people marched in protest of Arizona state bill 1070 which was signed into law this past week and gives law enforcement officials unprecedented authority to stop and question  suspected illegal immigrants.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 30: A woman embraces her child as they watch the group "Youth United For Justice" protest Arizona's new immigration law April 30, 2010 in Oakland, California. Dozens of people marched in protest of Arizona state bill 1070 which was signed into law this past week and gives law enforcement officials unprecedented authority to stop and question suspected illegal immigrants. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

One of the first things a wide-eyed college freshman must learn is the difference between “macro” and “micro;” then, if this naïve college freshman’s metamorphosis produces a learned person, the world benefits.

Case in point: The Heritage Foundation report that alleges comprehensive immigration reform (SB 744) will cost the American taxpayer over $6 trillion dollars in the next 50 years. It maintains that the instant-legalized immigrants will only pay in $3 plus trillion in taxes in the next 50 years but will draw over $9 trillion in benefits. Thus, immigration reform will cost us $6 trillion dollars.

[Heritage Foundation authors] project that below-average annual incomes of the instant-legalized people will continue for 50 years. They claim these people are not educated now and never will be, and that their children will never be educated.

- Raoul Lowery Contreras

The Heritage authors, Robert Rector (John Hopkins University Masters degree) and Jason Richwine, pride of the Harvard Phd. program, have authored a laughable, defective fictional “macro” study.

They project that below average annual incomes of the instant-legalized people will continue for 50 years. They claim these people are not educated now and never will be, and that their children will never be educated. The most egregious deficiency, however, is Richwine’s, who believes that people from Latin America (read Mexicans) are of low intelligence (based on his “studies” of IQ test results) and that they can never improve because they lack white Northern European genetics.

This study is bogus for two reasons: Richwine’s defective analysis based on his race intelligence theory and Rector’s static numbers that have little basis in history or experience.

If one believes a group can never improve its IQ, one can posit they will never improve their economics and education. Rector believes in Richwine’s race-based theories thus his projections are defective to begin with.

Rector/Richwine and their “macro” theory logically produce the numbers they do because they do not take into account historical experience.

For example: Do Hispanic immigrants create businesses? In the process of creating business, do immigrants create new jobs? Do immigrants and/or their children accomplish better education as a group? Do immigrants spend money in the local economy from their job earnings? Do immigrants pay any taxes, local state and federal at all?

If the answer were no to these questions, Rector/Richwine’s theory and numbers might be “spot on.” The answer to these questions, however, is YES, YES, and YES… Readers of the Heritage report would not know that the answers are YES because Rector/Richwine avoid these questions.

Education: The famous RAND Corporation reports that in 1900 Mexican male immigrants had a 4th grade education level. Their grandchildren doubled that. In 1950, conservative scholar Thomas Sowell writes, the California Mexican American averaged an 8th grade education — double that of their grandfathers.

The Pew Hispanic survey this week issued the greatest educational news of the new century, to wit: 69 percent of Hispanic 2012 high school graduates entered college in the fall of the same year. That does not include future college matriculation of those men and women who joined the military.

2012 Hispanic high school graduate college matriculation increased to 69 percent in contrast to 67 percent non-Hispanic White 2012 college enrollment.

Will these people earn more annually than the $10,000-a-year Rector/Richwine attribute to those who will be legalized by immigration reform? Of course they will. How about the children of these 2012 graduates? Will they go to college? Will they have better employment and earn more money than their grandparents? Of course they will, just like their great-grandparents who had a 4th grade education and whose descendents steadily rose through education and better jobs and employment.

Rector and Richwine have constructed a “macro” study that makes sense if one believes their assumptions. Their macro study falls apart though when one uses RAND Corp studies to offset their cute macro theories.

Micro story: Though my mother was born in San Diego, she was taken to Mexico City at 2-years-of-age and raised and schooled there through the 8th grade. She birthed me at age 15; we came to America when she was 17, for all practical purposes like Mexican immigrants: no high school, no English and no experience. Working in tuna processing plants for $25 a week was the job de jour.

She raised four boys, with one earning a community college two-year degree, two with bachelor degrees and one with a Masters degree. Two worked in law enforcement and retired with combined pensions of over $70,000 yearly and one (me) retired as a bank executive; one is still working at $400,000 a year. As to mom, she learned English, worked in restaurants until she passed a civil service test and worked at a career in public service that saw her retire as a Senior Clerk which is as high as one can go in county service without college. Two grandsons have graduated from the University of California and one granddaughter is at Harvard. Another grand-daughter is a working political lobbyist in the 9th largest city in the USA earning a six-figure income.

Multiply this “micro” story by millions of legal people and one can easily see that Heritage’s Rector and Richwine are very, very wrong. 

Raoul Lowery Contreras is a political consultant. He was formerly with the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate. Contreras's books are available at Amazon.com

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram

TRENDING IN OPINION