L.A. is Poor – But Immigration is Enriching

Published on January 26th, 2014

The Los Angeles 2020 Commission, convened by City Council president Herb Wesson, had some disturbing findings about the city. As reported by The Los Angeles Times, the panel found that “Los Angeles is a city in decline, strangled by traffic, weighted down by poverty and suffering from ‘a crisis of leadership and direction.’”

But how can this be? Approximately, 40 percent of the city’s residents are immigrants, and study after study by think tanks and academics have confirmed that immigration always leads to economic growth and enrichment. Why just the other day an article in The Wall Street Journal informed us that immigration is the sure cure for poverty and unemployment because foreign-born people have this near miraculous talent for starting businesses and creating jobs.

What is strange all the more is that before large-scale immigration began to impact Los Angeles in the 1970s, the city had a vibrant economy with abundant middle-class jobs that attracted Americans from all over the country. But in recent years, the middle class to a large extent has left the city.

Aside from economic reasons, many of the departing Americans have complained about overcrowding and terrible traffic congestion. The conclusion some thoughtless people have drawn is that admitting enough foreigners to make up nearly half of the city’s population might have something to do with overcrowding. But that can’t be, as all right-thinking people know, because immigration – no matter what the level – can never cause any problems. No doubt the wise editors of The Wall Street Journal and the think tank scholars can provide some explanation.

Another conclusion of unenlightened opinion is that poverty in L.A. has increased because many of the immigrants were poor people from poor countries. Yet again, we must have faith that when these folks entered America they changed in the twinkling of an eye into poverty-busting entrepreneurs. We can believe it because our think tankers have studies galore to prove it.

So with so many immigrants, why is Los Angeles becoming so poor? Oh don’t worry about it, say our pundits and scholarly prophets: “Enrichment by immigration will happen because it has to happen – some day, some way, somehow. Just trust us, and ignore your lying eyes when you see what you think are the facts.”

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