NewGuy's comments

  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 7:11am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

It was a serious question. Why the downvote? If you downvoted would you please explain what you don't like about a merit based immigration system like I described?
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 7:51am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

anonymous says
Is this going to be a bi-partisan determined list of pre-determined criteria ?

Will the public get to comment? Not that it matters much since no one votes for the interests of their constituents anyway...

Who is going to enforce the merit based system ?

How many loopholes and special circumstances are going to be allowed and given out for large financial campaign contributions ?

Is this a take off on the Jack Welch scheme at G.E. ?

More importantly how will the Dotard be compensated for the loss of his visa workers at Mar-A-Lago ? You may want to run this by him first since I don't think large employers are gong to go along.

1. Assume the list of criteria is based on objective measures of achievement that share wide bi-partisan support. Assume we have some scientists perform regression tests on the current immigrant population to determine factors that determine the likelihood of an immigrant being a benefit to US society. Benefit could be objectively measured by tax dollars paid over lifetime - benefits received.

2. Of course public can comment and vote to change the system if we don't like it. For instance in the event of a large humanitarian disaster the public might demand we increase the number of refugee visas. But generally assume that the goal of the policy makers is to bring in the best possible immigrant mix based on objective measures that share wide bi-partisan support.

3. By enforce do you mean administer the system or catch illegals that circumvent it? Administration would be done by the State Department. They would be responsible for gathering and verifying applicant info. Info would be plugged into a program, then at the end of the year we stack rank and send out the green cards. Catching illegals would be the responsibility of ICE, although since we have established an objectively fair bi-partisan immigration system, cooperation would be fully expected. Sanctuary cities would be banned, mandatory E-Verify, jail time for employers, etc.

4. Ideally there would be no loopholes, but I did leave a small number of visas available for refugees. Since you can't objectively determine degree of hardship, this program would be exploitable somewhat, although there would be the normal laws in place for bribery and such. The number of refugee visas is small though, enough so that America does it's duty as a responsible member of the world community, but not enough so that we could be hurt, even if it was completely exploited.

5. Not familiar with the Jack Welch scheme

6. Donald Trump and other large employers would likely need to raise salaries and hire more americans. I'm sure powerful interest groups wouldn't like such a simple immigration plan as it leaves little they can exploit, but if the American people would stop calling each other names and get behind a simple commonsense merit based immigration system like this one I don't think there's much they could do.

So, any objections?
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 8:05am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

FortWayne says
Don’t like it personally. I think that kind of system would not be very American.

Just don’t accept people from countries that hate us and commit acts of terrorism.

Thanks for posting the first serious objection! I disagree that it isn't very american. For me, the most defining characteristic of Americanism is egalitarianism. It doesn't matter where you are born or who your parents are, if you are smart and work hard you can achieve your dreams.

That's what a merit based immigration system is. We are extending the American opportunity to the rest of the world. Anyone from any country would have the opportunity to achieve their dream of american citizenship if they work hard enough.

Of course you have to factor into your decision making the country of origin of the applicant, but ideally we would be able to come up with ways to weed out potential terrorists from good people, even those from the worst countries. (Not saying this is possible, but it should be the ideal, obviously without this ability we'd have to strongly discriminate against applicants from certain countries).

I would argue any other immigration system except open borders is anti-american since it is basing your visa application on factors that you did not earn (skin color, country of origin, how much money you have to pay for lawyers). Open borders is more fair, but it can't work for other obvious reasons which I won't go into unless anyone wants to seriously propose that as a better alternative.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 8:25am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

zzyzzx says
We have too many foreigners now. Don't let in any until the ones that we have are full assimilated.

So you are proposing we ban all immigration until fully 100% of the population speaks perfect English and watches football? So even if some dude in China invents a cure for cancer and then wants to move here, we would not let him in because Jose still has a little bit of an accent? Doesn't seem like a better system. Next.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 8:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

anonymous says
"You say that like it’s a bad thing"

If your state and or cities depend on tourism etc. - might be something to ponder...same with people flying on domestic air carriers to come here

We'd still allow tourist visas.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 8:34am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

anon_57cc2 says
NewGuy says
Disabled parents could be brought in on non work visas if the kid is a family type that wants to watch out for them.

No disabled parents unless the sponsors put up a $500,000 bond. They sell workbooks in Taiwan on how to sponsor your elderly (grand)parents, how to get the ICE forms that promise you'll take care of them, then what forms to file that they've "Left in a huff" so they can collect Soc Sec and Medicare they've never paid one dime into.

Also, H1-Bs to cost $10,000 each, must be employed directly by the company, not "consulting" firms like Tata. AT&T would have to hire H1Bs directly. Furthermore, they'd have to pay 10% over the BLS average salary for the position.

Finally, no H1Bs are permitted in office buildings that handle ANY defense/security contracts and absolutely no aerospace or defense contractor employment. Lockheed or Boeing could not have a single H1B anywhere in it's...

I'm proposing getting rid of H1B. It's the worst possible immigration system you could design for a ton of reasons. Companies could offer employment to applicants and the $ value of their salary would be taken into account by the stack rank, but the salary would have to still put them in the top X% of applicants in order for them to get in.

Once in they'd have green cards so they can leave their employer. This prevents the incentives employers have to hire H1Bs because they work harder because they will literally be deported if they are fired.

Good call on the disabled scam. Parents would have to leave if their kids could / would no longer support them. They would never qualify for any benefits in the US. The kids could take out life insurance policies on themselves to care for their parents in case the kid dies. But if the money runs out the parent has got to leave.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 9:11am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

anonymous says
So, any objections?


A lot of the things you are considering are already on the books and not being enforced. Lets just try enforcing what we already have before moving on to the next activity.

We have "selective" enforcement in most everything in this country based on race, religion, socio-economic status, political affiliation..

Right now we can not even keep track of who enters and subsequently leaves this country despite numerous attempts and excuses

How much will this cost ? Is there going to be yet another new government entity created to oversee all of this ?

Doing just a tiny bit of fast research on this countries that already have a merit based system in place are continually amending and updating their policies and the overall effectiveness lies in the hands of the bureaucrats.

From what I've seen in my lifetime here where bureaucrats are involved as well as my tax dollars - I'll pass. Prove to me your serious and rai...

Is what's on the books worth enforcing? Why is a visa lottery better then what I'm proposing? Why is H1B? Why is chain migration?

I 100% agree with you, we need to do a better job of enforcement. What's your position on sanctuary cities? What's your position on E-Verify? I support both and would probably support any measure you would want to take to enforce whatever visa system we end up having. If Donald Trump is knowingly employing illegals at Mar a Largo, let's lock him up. Of course this is hard to prove without E-Verify, but let's get that in place and then prosecute when he violates.

But I'd really just like to focus on talking about what the ideal visa system would be. I've asked the question about what is wrong with a merit based system. Criticism of the implementation is valid, but there's plenty to criticize about the implementation of our current system.

In fact, a merit based system could easily save us money over our current system. For instance, we could make it a requirement that potential applicants pay a large fee to cover state department application processing costs. Ability to pay this fee would be a good indicator of immigrant quality. Not to mention, a merit based system that is explicitly designed to optimize immigrant quality for taxes paid is going to almost certainly result in more revenue then the current random + chain migration system.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 9:43am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

My first objection is that the refugee number ought to depend on the need (number of refugees out there) rather than a fixed number per year. Some years, there are more refugees than others.
My second objection is practical. We already bicker over how to measure achievement for people who grow up in this country. How do we extend that to people from all countries around the world? It seems like a tall order. I don't mind people trying, but there would be a lot of details to work through.
My final objection is that you have to define what you are looking for. Is it material wealth that they are bringing in? Is it achievement, or is it some measure of skill?

The H1b program already addresses one goal that you are trying to achieve. It purports to allow immigration based on immediate hiring needs. Now, you might say that it fails, but that is an implementation problem as much as a goal problem.

1. I agree on #1, although I would put some max reasonable cap on it like 50K. I wouldn't want some later administration to come in and just declare a fake emergency to circumvent the system.

2. I agree it would be hard to do, but I think it's a lot easier to do this for visa applicants then US citizens. Mostly when measuring achievement of US citizens we are in the realm of education. The government has the duty to educate our children to the best of its ability and in addition, people's kids are very personal important subjects, so achievement measurement is controversial. Yet we do it. For immigrants, lets first all agree that the goal is to get the best possible group of immigrants in here. Then it's just a matter of setting some objective standards. Not all standards need to be purely financial. For instance, if we went purely based on IQ, just due to it's massive population sizes China and India would dominate. We could factor in a country of origin like we do for the visa lottery. I think it would be too hard to go into every possible variable we might consider on a forum, but I'd just like to see if anyone thinks it would be nearly impossible to come of with a pretty good set of metrics that would get us a good immigrant mix that most people support.

3. I'm mostly looking to maximize tax dollars paid by immigrants because that is an objective measure that is super easy to calculate. But I'm not ruling out other factors like special skills or diversity. But I would say 80% of the weight would be for tax dollars.

And I strongly disagree that H1B does anything good. It is the worst possible visa system you could design. Sure, it's tied to an offer of employment, but the salary requirements are below prevailing wages and workers cannot leave the employer. Spouses can work! If we're supposed to be bringing in people to fill very specific needs that can't be met otherwise, WTF does that have to do with letting spouses work? "Oh, it's a hardship asking these people to live on a single income"... Well I guess the fucking employer that needs these skills so desperately because no american can do the job should pay more!
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 10:19am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

anon_65b28 says
New guy - I appreciate the attempt at serious discourse.

I don't necessarily have an objection to merit based but you can argue it is against early American principals vis-a-Vis the mantra of the Statue of Liberty "give me your tired your poor"... that sorta shit.

In that vein, maybe I am a softie in my old age but I really do sympathize with people seeking asylum due to some regime change in their forlorn country such that if they stay, they will be killed. Point being I would like to allow SOME immigration based more on humanitarian desires vs straight merit (perhaps the most meritorious of the asylum seekers).

Agree with you 100% on the refugee thing that's why I put into the proposal a refugee visa quota. Not sure I would even have it be merit based, seems to me you should do it based on amount of oppression, if that is possible to even rank.

And it does go against the statue of liberty, but I think times have changed since the 1800s. Government provides social services (badly) and that costs money. We need to be selective who we let in otherwise the feeble safety net we have will collapse.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 10:20am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

anon_1fe2e says
NewGuy says
It doesn't matter where you are born or who your parents are, if you are smart and work hard you can achieve your dreams.

That would be lovely if it were true. It clearly isn't.

Well at least lets make our immigration system be that way.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 11:09am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Quigley says
TwoScoopsPlissken says
Immigration should be merit based AND relative to the unemployment level AND national home ownership. A small reserve for the true political refugees, but diverse and not all from one country like the disaster that was the Somali settlement in Minnesota.


Your proposal is fairly close, but keep this statement from TwoScoops in mind.

I agree with this. I didn't go into specifics on how we determine the % of the top immigrants we take. It would all be based on need, however that is determined. For the purpose of this discussion I don't really care. All I wanted to see was if anyone could come up with a good argument for why we shouldn't move towards a more merit based immigration system. I have literally never heard a good argument against it. Other then implementation concerns I have yet to hear one in this thread yet either.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 12:16pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I'm not sure if (some) liberals oppose merit based immigration because of job competition or if it's just because they don't think it through. Hillary wanted to give every college grad a green card which would have been a terrible idea. I don't hear much concern from liberals about H1B which is suppressing wages for them according to studies.

I think a lot of liberals are opposed to immigration because Trump wants to curb it and Trump == Bad. Bernie wasn't a fan of H1B, although I think he was extremely hypocritical in being opposed to that program while wanting to grant amnesty to illegals. Maybe it is what you say Patrick, it seems extremely self interested to oppose H1B but support amnesty, especially as a white collar worker. At least open border folks are consistent.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 1:27pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I wish this blog had a wiki post option that could be edited by any user. I edited the original post to include objections that I have heard so far, but it would be better if people could edit the list of objections themselves so I accurately state their position.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 12, 8:41pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I’m sure given the proper UI a wiki would be easy to manage. The question is if the users here are actually interested in learning anything anymore or if they just want to argue.

There’s probably a ton of topics on this board where a sticky wiki page updated with the best info from the thread would be useful. The question would be how big of an issue the vandalism would be.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 19, 2:37pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   flag        

CA peak was 2009. The housing crash got all the assholes out. Things were affordable and you could get to work in a reasonable amount of time.

Now it’s just traffic and homeless and illegals and a bunch of liberal idiots who don’t know how to fix it. So glad I got out.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 19, 3:05pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Republican voters, outside the military, don’t work for the government, so we get paid either way. And the military will get paid, so Republican voters are good to go.

It sucks to be a Park Ranger, but if there was ever a solid Democratic Constituency it is park rangers.

There’s no upside to a shutdown for Democrats. The best case for them is their voters don’t wake up and blame them for it. But there’s a high likelihood some of these morons might be pissed enough by their missing paychecks to actually look into the illegal immigrants to see what their sacrifices are going for, and then the shit is really going to hit the fan.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 22, 6:00am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

joshuatrio says
I paid $250k cash for my house last year. If I wanted to sell, it's now worth around $300-310k. That's a little better than 2.2% dontcha think? (and if I were to sell, I'd use a flat fee realtor).

I think you are missing the point. I'll use your own numbers and ignore all the fees you aren't talking about like property taxes, HOA, maintenance, insurance, realtor commission, etc.

You paid 250K cash and now the investment is worth 310, so 24% return in one year, nice work. If you had however instead only put 50K (20%) down on the house, your 50K investment would have made 60K, so that's a 120% return - 3% interest.

You could have then taken the 200K you didn't put into your house and instead have put it into the stock market, where it would have made 20% easily last year. So you are talking about how it's a good thing you paid all cash for a house, but people who know what they are doing are laughing at you because you lost 40K last year.

I do agree with all your points about CA sucking though.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 22, 7:23am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Well, we have different investment strategies, but our hatred of CA brings us together. So glad I got out. You forget how interesting and nice other people can be when you live there. 90% of all conversations I had with people in CA was either real estate or tech companies, that gets old fast. Plus everyone hates each other. I remember walking around the streets of SF just thinking in my head "We need a new plague", such dark thoughts, I think a lot of people over there would agree with that though.

There ought to be a way to make money off of people like you who want to buy their house cash and make no payments. Something like:

1. You take a loan out and give the money to me
2. I make the payments and invest the money
3. I pay you a few thousand bucks a year for the privilege
4. You agree not to sell the house for a term (like 7 years). After 7 years, if you sell the house I will repay the loan. If you sell before 7 years, you have to repay the loan and wait until 7 years to be re-imbursed.
5. I buy an insurance policy in case I loose money and cannot repay. Should be a pretty cheap policy, especially with a large enough pool of houses.

I'd be surprised if there wasn't a product like this out there already. Sorta like a reverse mortgage, but doesn't tap the equity of the house.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 22, 7:44am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

anon_603ec says
Monday morning quarterback. nobody knew in 2016 what the stock market would do in 2017. if it had followed the pattern of the two previous years, the return would have been only a few points, at best. at 3% mortgage interest, it would have been a break even, if the market crashed, like all the Dems predicted in 2016, he would have LOST money.

Which is why you don't try to time the market. Any money you have that you do not require in the next 5 years should be in a diversified portfolio. And probably the money you won't be needing in the next 1 year should be in a more conservative diversified portfolio. Long term return on US equities is ~10%. If you leave your money in long enough, you will make 10%, it's like a law of physics almost.

You can get 15 year mortgages at 3%. The worst the S&P 500 has ever done over a 15 year period is 3.7%. If you buy at the absolute worst time possible and sell at the absolute worst time possible you will still make money over ANY 15 year period. If you stretch out to 20 years, the worst you could have possibly done is 6.4%.

And these numbers aren't assuming a diversified portfolio, which would reduce volatility and make it even less likely that you are buying and selling at the absolute worst time (the odds of you buying and selling 10 different asset classes at all exactly the wrong times would be remarkable), so the numbers are even better then what is stated here:
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 22, 8:19am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

South Carolina. If you are in California reading this, please do not move here. I like living in a community where people give a shit about each other, sending my kids to public school, and being able to get in the ocean without a wet suit. No offense but you guys tend to ruin things. Not sure how you'd screw up the warm ocean water, but I'm sure you'd find a way. Also, it's too hot here, like you have to wear shorts sometimes, you wouldn't like it.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 22, 6:24pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Because if you live in CA probably 45% of you identity is what kind of housing you can afford and another 45% is what tech company you work at and every conversation devolves into 1 of these two topics.

It’s exhausting. I love living in a state where people just buy a house to live in and don’t constantly have to talk about it.

Also, this was a fun thread making fun of how crappy CA is until you CA people showed up and ruined it as usual.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 22, 7:48pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Is he still doing that? Jeez, I feel bad. Patrick, save yourself! Get out while you still can!
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 22, 9:20pm   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

I lived there 10 years. Bought a nice house in San Mateo. Was so glad when my transfer got approved. Now I live in a much nicer house, in a much nicer area and am much happier. No jealousy here friend.

I do have to say, it is certainly true that different people like different things. I am sure there are some people that might actually like CA.

But I also know numerous people that have left the state like myself and are happier. I guess if anything I’m mad that California especially the Bay Area became what it is, because there is a lot to like about it, but a lot has been ruined.

When housing costs ridiculous and you have to send your kids to private school and taxes are out of control yet you don’t see much benefit and you feel intimidated to even mention such wild conservative ideas like “maybe we shouldn’t let homeless people shit on the street” (non CA people are going to find this hard to believe but I literally had arguments with multiple people for voicing such a hateful opinion)... It just got old for me, especially once I had kids.

But yeah, the weather is okay, and I miss the burritos. Also it was cool being the first to get the latest tech. You also felt kind of plugged into something special being around so many smart engineers. Now all my neighbors are doctors and lawyers and over all I prefer this mix but they don’t know how to configure their routers and you can’t talk to them about the Meltdown vulnerability. Yet I am like a tech god to them.

I think it’s all the smart people and that feeling that you’re in the middle of something important that keeps people there. But it wasn’t enough for me anymore.

I don’t think the Bay Area will get back to what it was. I don’t think the new people there even know it used to be better. They just live with their roommates and work in their shared workspaces and hope they can save up enough to put a down payment on a house in Gillroy. But that’s good enough for some I guess.
  NewGuy   ignore (0)   2018 Jan 23, 1:41pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

A few people on this thread have made comments about the housing appreciation in the Bay Area being a good thing and a good reason to invest in housing there and the lack of housing appreciation in other places a bad thing.

The price of housing is either governed by fundamentals (the rent it generates, the value of the shelter it provides) or it is governed by expectations of future value gains.

The second way of thinking is a bubble mentality. I’m surprised so many people have fallen for this again so soon after the last crash. Be careful. There’s only so much people can afford to pay for your house, don’t be left holding the bag.
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