"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rush Limbaugh and Our Alan Reynolds

Alan, were your ears burning a little after noon today? Rush Limbaugh spent, I kid you not, about 10-15 minutes discussing your column in which you referred to his immigration analysis as "patently absurd."

Reform Clubbers can get the Alan Reynolds column here at Townhall.com. The gist of it is that Alan thinks Rush and other conservatives are pumping the numbers of future illegals way up with assumptions that mirror those of compound interest with money. Rush's response is:

a. It's realistic to think multiplication will occur as described.
b. If the numbers are too high, we are still talking about a ridiculously high number of illegal immigrants.

What interested me more than the debate itself was the amount of time Rush spent talking about Alan. Do you have any idea what an advertiser would have to pay for a quarter hour of Rush's national audience's undivided attention?!!! Alan, I have no idea what you get from Cato and Townhall.com, but influence-wise, you just became a millionaire.

There was also something provocative in Rush's treatment of Alan. As he went into the break, Rush suggested Alan was probably asked by someone to write the column. Rush, are you accusing our Alan of a Bandow-esque lapse? More important, are you suggesting our man Alan is doing the administration a solid?

If the answer is yes, then I want to get to know Alan better, because he's rubbing some premium elbows!

More seriously though, if Rush were to look a little deeper, he'd find Alan Reynolds has been writing about immigration for some time and that this latest column is a continuation of a pre-existing interest in the issue.

22 comments:

Jay D. Homnick said...

It should be noted that Rush identified Dr. Reynolds as a major economist and a serious scholar. The exact transcript will probably be available tonight on his website.

James Elliott said...

Little outbursts of internecine conservative warfare do give me delightful moments of Schadenfreude. Remember, Dr. Reynolds, dissent is not tolerated by fanatics and fundamentalists. Especially when it's right.

tbmbuzz said...

Alan is extremely astute and knowledgeable about economics, but clearly has a blind spot with regard to ongoing alien invasion of the U.S. A month or so ago he actually put forth the absurd proposition that the bulk of the illegal invasion occurs from aliens entering this country on legal temporary visas. As an economist Alan should be very familiar with economic principles with regard to human behavior. Simple economics states that rewarding behavior results in more of that behavior. This principle applies to CRIMINAL behavior too. 20 years ago, Reagan rewarded 3,000,000 illegals with amnesty. The result is 20,000,000 illegals now. One doesn't even have to apply the mathematical principles of compounding to the problem, as Alan seems to fixate on. A straight line projection suffices. Give 20,000,000 illegals amnesty today and in 20 years there will be 120,000,000 illegals demanding amnesty! The solutions are simple but will never be enacted by the corrupt and cowardly political class: shut down the border COMPLETELY, deny illegals all government and social services, and catch and deport them (the 1000 unused buses in New Orleans can be used to transport them). In other words, apply MEXICAN law to the problem!


James: Alan is very familiar with intolerance. He writes about liberals all the time. Disagreement, which is what Alan and Rush are engaging in, is not intolerance. Learn the difference.

James Elliott said...

"James: Alan is very familiar with intolerance. He writes about liberals all the time. Disagreement, which is what Alan and Rush are engaging in, is not intolerance. Learn the difference."

Et tu, Brute? Disagreement implies discussion. Devoting 15 minutes to a one-sided harangue is called trying to silence someone with a differing opinion.

"...but clearly has a blind spot with regard to ongoing alien invasion of the U.S."

Does anyone have an urge to watch "V" when they read stuff like that?

"A month or so ago he actually put forth the absurd proposition that the bulk of the illegal invasion occurs from aliens entering this country on legal temporary visas."

You mean the proposition that's essentially true? Dr. Reynolds seems fairly reasonable to me. Not to mention you're inflating the illegal alien figure by at least 8 million.

Tlaloc said...

"Does anyone have an urge to watch "V" when they read stuff like that?"

Mexicans eat hamsters?

Hunter Baker said...

I loved "V."

And if you can go by little Athens, GA, there are a heck of a lot of illegals in the U.S. right now.

In fact, I was sitting in a restaurant the other day listening to a white man instruct two Mexican men that Americans love Mexicans and that they will be able to make a better life for their family here if they can find a way to get them here. He went into detail about what sort of material situation they would probably be able to put together based on working "one and a half jobs."

I gotta believe this kind of recruiting from businessmen of various types is not an uncommon thing.

tbmbuzz said...

Devoting 15 minutes to a one-sided harangue is called trying to silence someone with a differing opinion.

Let's turn your statement around: devoting an entire column to a one-sided harangue is called trying to silence someone with a differing opinion. Doesn't this sound just a bit ridiculous?

Rush has a radio talk show, Alan writes a column. Neither is silencing the other, is he? Besides, Alan started this, and I'm sure he will continue it.

Does anyone have an urge to watch "V" when they read stuff like that?

It's called plain English, which as we all know, p.c. types get apoplectic over. An illegal alien is..... an illegal alien. When there are millions of them, many of whom are claiming U.S. territory belongs to Mexico, it's an invasion. When the numbers are increasing exponentially, as they have over the past decade, it's an invasion.


You mean the proposition that's essentially true? Dr. Reynolds seems fairly reasonable to me. Not to mention you're inflating the illegal alien figure by at least 8 million.

"Essentially" true?? But not quite, eh? I don't believe this absurd claim for one second!

You can believe the government's lowball numbers on the number of illegal aliens, I don't.

Agreed, Dr. Reynolds is very reasonable - on other issues.

James Elliott said...

"And if you can go by little Athens, GA, there are a heck of a lot of illegals in the U.S. right now. "

I live in San Jose, where one in 18 residents is an illegal alien. I know the issue as first-hand as can be without having crossed the Rio Grande in my skivvies (like my tax-paying, job-holding friend, Octavio). I just find the histrionics incredibly amusing.

Speaking of histrionics, I count a minimum of four logical fallacies in Buzz's response above. But then, passion tends to override reason, doesn't it.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Limbaugh's down to 90 million:

"By the way, I need to issue a correction. Senator Sessions' fix, the top is 90 million now, between 60 and 90. I said it was 30 and 60 million that the new amendment adjustments allow for. You know, it used to be a hundred, 217 million, somewhere between there, those two numbers, after Jeff Sessions did his magic, the range now is between 60 and 90 million, but, I mean, so what? I got it wrong by 30 million, ten million here, ten million there. What are we talking about anyway? These numbers are still ridiculous, they're still absurd. I mean, it's crazy when the top figure now gets reduced from 217 million to 90 million and you think, "A-ha! Victory!"

James Elliott said...

Someone's been hitting the Oxycontin a little too hard again.

Seal the borders! Fortress America! I call dibs on being the first person to graffiti "The Wall" with "Kilroy was here!"

James Elliott said...

Ooo. And Pink Floyd lyrics from "The Wall." That would, like, bend space and time, man.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I want to seal the borders. I'm fine with a Fortress America.

Hunter Baker said...

My next child will be conceived on top of the wall. We shall name him Tom Van Dyke Baker, which in Swahili means Beautiful Fortress.

James Elliott said...

"I want to seal the borders. I'm fine with a Fortress America."

Don't you find this idea even a little bit inimical to liberty? Freedom? Et cetera? I personally find the very idea grossly repugnant.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Not inimical to liberty as long as the gate freely swings out.

James Elliott said...

That's kind of taking Mills a little too seriously, isn't it?

Walls provoke insular thought patterns. The very existence of a wall on the borders provokes that "us vs. them" mentality.

Tom Van Dyke said...

James, altho there's a poetry to what you say, real life must interfere with abstractions at some point. Anything that can be learned from 30 or 90 million illegal immigrants can be learned from 12.

Alan Reynolds said...

I got the impression the Rush thought the White House put me up to it, and that I was part of some "inside the beltway" cabal of "blue bloods." Anyone who knows me must have been amused. Rush and I really ought to share an adult beverage some time.
I'm buying.

The idea that the immigration bill would permit the number of guest workers to become several times larger than the adult population of Mexico struck me a something that ought to raise a few doubts. It's just a statistical hoax -- not part of any bill.

I am a big fan of Rush (I called him brilliant and he reciprocated). And I'm usually a fan of his source (Robert Rector at Heritage). But I am never tolerant of fabricating bad numbers to support some good cause.

Read Mr. Rector's paper at Heritage and you'll find footnoted sources for some comments but not for this zany idea that a 20% increase in ceiling for 3-6 year work visas becomes the new base for another 20% increase and so on ad infinitum -- with everyone supposedly allowed to overstay the 6 year limit.

Rush (following Rector) said that even without the cheap trick, that still leaves the Senate compromise bill adding 60 million. That's wrong too (the number mostly consists of those already here plus the usual 1 million new legal immigrants). I suppose I'll have to write another column. Sigh.

Hunter Baker said...

Hope I happen to be tuned in for Rush's reaction to the next one. I think you're right that Rush thought you were doing "column by request" work.

Alan Reynolds said...

Hunter wrote, "Alan, I have no idea what you get from Cato and Townhall.com, but influence-wise, you just became a millionaire."

Syndicates get all the money from syndicated columns, leaving me without about $30 per column, or $10 an hour.

By mutual agreement, Cato pretends to pay me and I pretend to work. I once wrote a column about the best way to beat the income and payroll tax -- lower your income.

However, the stock market would have to fall 88 percent to reduce me to millionaire status. I long ago grew tired of wise guys asking, "If you're so smart why aren't you rich?"

Hunter Baker said...

Oh, I've always assumed you made a massive fortune on the gold run-up of the 1970's.

tbmbuzz said...

Don't you find this idea even a little bit inimical to liberty? Freedom? Et cetera? I personally find the very idea grossly repugnant.

No one, other than possibly Pat Buchanan types, advocates curtailing LEGAL immigration. How is taking steps to defend the integrity of national borders inimical to freedom? Talk about histrionics and irrationality! But then this comes from someone who believes the best response to terrorist attacks is to ignore them.