Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Bad Economics of John Schindler

There is a curious character who has managed to get himself embedded in the online newspaper of Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

John Schindler, who is a "former"  National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer and has also taught at the Naval War College, writes essays for the Kushner-owned Observer.

His Observer essays often reek of Russian-hate and unquestioned support for the U.S. intelligence community. Such was the focus of his recent column, The West Must Prevent Cold War 2.0.

The subtitle of the column: If we don’t resist Russian political warfare, very soon, Putin will win.

I'm sure you get the drift.

But what I want to comment on in this post is something I have a decided advantage in discussing, economics.

In the above mentioned Schindler column, he wrote:
 [I]n Germany...beleaguered Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a country furious at her opening the floodgates in 2015 to millions of migrants, mainly Muslim and unskilled, who have little to contribute to Germany’s very modern economy.
I can certainly understand the German fury at Merkel for her opening the immigration gates and allowing a massive influx of foreigners into the country that is allowed on to the dole, however, Schindler gets it very wrong when he writes that the migrants are "mainly Muslim and unskilled, who have little to contribute to Germany’s very modern economy."

Just who the hell is Schindler to proclaim that Germany doesn't need unskilled workers?

He is displaying the same ignorance of comparative advanatge that his boss' father-in-law does.

Let us think about this for a moment. Suppose that all Germans are sharp, diligent and far above average workers, especially when it comes to complex detailed and technical work. Do we really want these kinds of workers mowing lawns and digging ditches?

The law of comparative advantage teaches that even if Germans are more efficient in mowing lawns and digging ditches, it is best to leave this type of menial labor to less efficient workers such as unskilled Muslims if there is more advanced work for Germans to do.

I want to repeat. I in no way stand with the crazed Merkel immigration program of letting in refugees who end up on the dole but it is just as wrong to think that unskilled workers may not have a valuable place in Germany.

As I say, in the case of Germany, unskilled workers could free up sharper, more educated workers, the Germans, from having to do more menial work.

This is very basic economics that Schindler doesn't get and that the incoming President doesn't get.

Sad.

This is the end of my riff on the subject but call me when Schindler and Trump decide to quit their current jobs and join a landscape company, then I will reopen the comparative advantage question.

-RW


2 comments:

  1. The real issue isn't the immigrants, but Germany's business and employment regulations which are both strict and tailored toward the more affluent native population. In effect it's a national labor union that makes it very difficult for less-skilled to establish businesses and find employment. This prevents them from breaking free of their old support systems and achieving the supposed holy grail of "assimilation."

    A freer market would be able to make much better economic use of these people.

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  2. Schindler is a neocon nutjob, as I pointed out before (please stop posting his stuff), but these Muslim migrants aren't workers, and in the quote you have from him he doesn't claim that they are. If they were workers it would be better than what they actually are - welfare parasites in Germany at the behest of the German government to destroy German peoplehood.

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