Many people write or speak to tell us what we should think. Some want to be believed because they are experts, or think they are. Some want to be believed because they claim to speak for us. Some have had revelations. Others want us to trust them because they communicate through prominent media outlets. Many tell us what we should think. I write to encourage my readers to think for themselves. I write to ask you to inquire. Question me. Have fun.

  
Comment of the Day
More parenting is needed

Aug 01, 2019

Peter Gray in Psychology Today advises for less parenting. The problem is exactly the opposite: There is not enough parenting. In the past, when most of our ancestors lived in self-supporting households, often a farm, out of necessity, children were an integral part of whatever adults needed to do during their daily life, and they learned that way. Now, we do not need to do as much at home. Work is outside the home, food is brought in, heat is turned on and off, and mysteriously magical, colorful screens are the center of most activities. If we leave children free to explore what they find the most attractive, they will play video games. There might be some educational value in it, but one needs to learn much more. Hence, we need more effort in parenting, with parents doing more in the home than is otherwise required, and spending more time with children outside in order to introduce them to the real world. This realization hit home after I witnessed the surprise of a 7-year old seeing apples on my apple tree.

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Roy Beck, the Master of Deception

In 2006 I offered $200 reward for the best report on immigration that supports policies of sealing the border, rejecting amnesty for illegal aliens, and limiting immigration afterwards. Mr. Tom Narum an Executive Director of CitizensForASecureBorder.org, one of many grass root anti-illegal immigration organizations, submitted a video “Immigration by the Numbers” by Roy Beck. Below is my reply top this submission. After the death of Mr. Narum in 2007, Citizens for Secure Borders ceased to exists.

My comments to Mr. Beck’s video
Mr. Beck can easily sell sand to Bedouins. The video is a masterpiece of propaganda. As with every propaganda material, the purpose of it is not to find the facts and understand the circumstances. The purpose is to arm wrestle the facts to show that a number of immigrants need to be cut.

As I write in “Migration to the future”, “The Immigration Act of 1924 was structured to limit immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe, and in the view of many was intended to prevent the immigration of three million Polish Jews. Until 1965, essentially all immigration of Asians was banned. Plainly, racism was the undertone of all of the immigration laws until 1965.” For Mr. Beck, this was the golden era of immigration. During those years, with some fluctuations, for every one thousand Americans, an average of one immigrant was admitted to the country every year. If we can imagine a community with a population of 1000, that would be the equivalent of one person moving in per year. Would it even be noticed in the life of the community? Could we even call it immigration? In the years 1925-65, immigration was in such low numbers that it did not affect this nation nor the outside world. For practical reasons, we may say that during those four decades, there was no immigration at all.

Mr. Beck clearly stated that he wants to return immigration to the level before 1965. Mr. Beck’s twisted argument is that he claims that he is pro-immigration but with limited numbers. On his website he asks to be called an “immigration-reduction organization.” He does not dot the “i” and he does not tell us that he wants to reduce the immigration to zero, as it practically was before 1965.

In my writings about immigration, I intentionally state that some people are for immigration, some against it. Tom Narum corrected me in his e-mail that: “It is over ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION or ILLEGAL ALIENS and not a fight of immigration that is legal.” After making this statement, Mr. Narum submitted the video by Mr. Beck, which calls for legal immigration to be practically nonexistent. Like most of opponents of immigration in general, Mr. Narum purposely avoids acknowledgment that the simplest way to eliminate illegal immigration is by allowing more people to come here legally. From my e-mail exchange with immigration opponents, I concluded that most of them – similar to Mr. Narum – honestly believe that they are for legal immigration and against illegal immigration. With the video submission, Mr. Narum was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, lying to himself.

Could it be that Mr. Beck is right? Maybe we really need to cut immigration to almost zero, as it was in 1965. Arguing against immigration, Mr. Beck complains that to accommodate a population increase, we needed to build new roads, new schools, and new sewer plants. He sees it as a burden; I see it as an asset. Thanks to the work of immigrants, our infrastructure is more developed than it would be without them. We have more roads, more schools, and more sewer plants. More people live here, but the country is richer too.

Telling us that with a larger population we would have more polluted lakes and rivers is demagogy big time. Most Western European countries have a population density much higher than here in the U.S. – do they have an environmental catastrophe?

With a sweet smile, Mr. Beck is poisoning the minds of his listeners with the thought that a tight labor market is the best friend any worker ever had. What he does not say is that this is not sustainable. For Mr. Beck, the world has not changed since 1925. At that time the economy was mostly a local affair; most goods were consumed within the same country in which they were manufactured. At about that time, the first airplanes took off for commercial flights. The first radio transatlantic telephone service was established in 1927 and it cost $16 for a three-minute conversation. People who invented computers were just born.

In 1965, the first transatlantic telephone cables were already in service, as were the first transoceanic airline flights. Television was still mostly local; however, the first satellite transmissions were taking place which evolved into commercial applications in the early 1970’s. The year 1965 can be seen as marking the end of the world’s rebuilding after the WWII. Western Europe was in full swing with economic prosperity, followed closely by Japan. “Global village” was the term of the season. People around the world realized that the economy was getting global. The leaders of the U.S. recognized that the era of splendid isolation was over. Those were the circumstances behind the changing of the immigration law that allowed more people in. Mr. Beck even today cannot comprehend the importance of the changes that took place between 1925 and 1965.

It is not surprising that it is beyond Mr. Beck’s intellectual capabilities to understand the technological changes that happened in the world since 1965. He did not notice mass transportation systems that can affordably move people and goods around the globe. He posts his views on the internet but he has not gotten it yet that thanks to the internet, employees of a company in Iowa can have their desks in India. I had in mind people like Mr. Beck when I wrote in “Will desperation prevail?”: “They do not want to recognize that today an American worker already competes directly with workers in China or Mexico, and this cannot be changed. We can only decide if this foreign worker works, spending his money and paying taxes, here or abroad.“ People like Mr. Beck “turn around and walk away when facing this dilemma. It is meaningful that none of my critics even touched this pivotal aspect of the immigration issue.” In other words, Mr. Beck is pulling the wool over people’s eyes when he says that with fewer immigrants there will be more better paid jobs for Americans. Immigrants give the U.S. economy a momentum that benefits both immigrants and Americans. If the immigrants go, prosperity would follow. It would not take long before Silicon Valley would be somewhere in Malaysia and Wall Street in Shanghai.

Mr. Beck reached the peak of arrogance when stating that the purpose behind immigration to the U.S. is in “rescuing people from the Third World poverty”. Some people sometimes may act out of compassion and against their basic economic interest. However, it is human that most people most of the time follow their basic economic interest. It is particularly true in the case of illegal immigration. In this case, Mr. Beck states – falsely – that the anger for this situation should be put “on public officials who have set immigration numbers without regards to the effect on American people”. The falsehood of this statement is two-fold. First, public officials set legal immigration numbers far below actual immigration, which partially is illegal. Second, for every illegal immigrant working here there is one American business giving employment. In other words, the truth is quite opposite to what Mr. Beck is saying – American people have regarded immigration as beneficial to them and have given employment to foreigners. They acted in their best economical interest, and did it in opposition to what public officials told them to do. We have so many immigrants, many of them undocumented not because of the actions of public officials but due to decisions that millions of Americans have made out of their free will, and in their best economic interest. Fortunately, the government has not had enough police power to circumvent the freedom of Americans that hire foreigners.

Playing with colorful gumballs, Mr. Beck is trying to scare Americans that with a pro-immigration policy, billions of poor people would come and “destroy the social fabric of this country.” It is a straight lie, as nobody ever suggested that we should open the borders and let everybody in. The question is very simple. If John Smith, an American, wants to hire Juan Gonzales from Mexico, should Mr. Beck have a right to stop him from doing so? Some public officials believe that yes, and as a result, we have immigration laws not adhering to reality, and not respected by most parties concerned.

Mr. Beck points out that in some communities, Americans are suffering due to the negative side effects of increased immigration. This is a dirty propaganda trick as Mr. Beck is taking the negative effects of present laws ridiculously limiting legal immigration and turning them around in order to advocate for even more bizarre laws practically eliminating immigration. Due to the current faulty laws, we have about 12 million people living outside our legal structure or, using Mr. Beck term, outside “the social fabric of this country”. We know very little about who they are and what they are doing. Traditionally, many Mexicans were coming back and forth to the U.S. taking some seasonal jobs, as they were available, and were staying with their families in Mexico when there was less work here. With increased difficulty in crossing the border, many of these migrant workers brought their families here. Now they stay here, regardless of whether there is work or not, adding to the burden that some communities have. The solution that Mr. Beck advocates is in making currently ridiculous laws even more ridiculous and believing that in some magic way problems would disappear.

As I write in the “Migration to the future”, if an American wants to hire a foreigner, he or she should be able to do it legally without bureaucratic hassles. However, such a foreigner from Day One should be woven into “the social fabric of this country”. If such a person would break our laws, we should send that person back home, knowing that a replacement would be easy to find. With such simple rules, any criminal activity related to immigration would be marginal, no bigger that in any other areas of the economy, as only individuals of clearly criminal intentions would be benefiting from breaking the law.

Chicago is doing well now and is a very prosperous city. Detroit is not doing equally well, neither is St. Louis. There are no borders between Chicago and Detroit, or many other places of poverty in our country. Nevertheless, not all the poor from the whole country come to Chicago, only those who can find a job here and are willing to bear all the risks and inconveniences of relocating.

Similar market mechanisms will work on a global scale if we would relax immigration laws and let in those foreigners that can find work here. This is obvious for someone who understands how the economy works. Unfortunately, Mr. Beck does not; any more than many other supporters of restricted immigration. In solving the immigration issue, one more time we have to bow to Ronald Reagan, who said, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”.

Immigrants accelerated America’s economic growth and through this, some of the problems of our society became more visible and bothersome. In particular, about 47 million Americans do not have health insurance and about 16 million more are underinsured. Every day more and more Americans lose their health insurance. Immigrants add to this problem. However, even if all of them would leave, the crisis of the American health care system would stay. In the same way, American children learn less in school than children in most other developed countries do. No doubt, immigrants add to this problem. However, even if all of them would leave, would our schools suddenly teach math as well as in Germany or Japan? The viciousness of Mr. Beck’s video is in sneaking the message that by cutting the number of immigrants we would have all our problems solved.

Statistics show that the middle class is being squeezed within the last two decades. As expected, Mr. Beck has only one explanation – too many immigrants. The truth is that the government has too much control over the economy and only big business has enough money to lobby for favorable regulations. That would not change even if all immigrants would leave.

Our country has many problems. Increased immigration did not cause these problems. Mexicans and all other illegal immigrants are as much a cause of the problems of our nation as Jews were the cause of the problems in Germany in 1930’s. The issue is in what kind of nation we want to be; ergo, what kind of government we want. Throwing immigrants out of the country or blocking new ones from coming in will not mend our political system.

In response to my posting about immigration, my opponents sent me many messages full of anger and frustration. Most of my opponents feel offended when told that racism motivates them. Only very few would identify themselves with Mr. B who wrote to me: “If we are termed “Racist” to be pro American, then so be it; we will wear it proudly.” The perfidy of Mr. Beck video is in fact that under the illusion of an academic lecture he plays on hidden racist emotions and tries to justify and rationalize them. Mr. Beck gives to a xenophobe an illusion of rational argument. This is exactly how Nazism poisoned the minds of Germans.

In the light of the above deliberation, obviously the video by Mr. Beck does not qualify as presenting arguments effectively contradicting my views, and Mr. Narum cannot get the $200.00 award for proving me wrong. Mr. Beck is getting the title of the Master of Deception and nothing else.

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COMMENTS:
15 thoughts on “Roy Beck, the Master of Deception

  1. Albert MacMeda

    Funny you call Roy Beck dishonest then you lie and lie and lie again about him. Yes, he does call for significant reduction in immigration, but it is nothing like your claim he wants to reduce it to zero, or even near zero. Other than lying about what he says in the video, do you actually address any of the valid points he makes? You falsely claim “the simplest way to eliminate illegal immigration is by allowing more people to come here legally” yet a certain percentage of those allowed to come here legally wind up staying illegally, so your own argument is proven false, yet another lie. Further, you fail to address the valid point that many who come here illegally wind up either victims or perpetrators of criminal acts, or both. And you also completely misstate the infrastructure argument – the point is first that our ability to build the required infrastructure is strained to the breaking point by massive legal and illegal immigration. Living in a border town as I do, I see this firsthand. Nobody is saying we shouldn’t build more roads, sewer plants, etc. – well, nobody but liberals/progressives who are also, curiously, the ones most loudly promoting things that encourage more illegal immigration. Instead of actually giving us facts, you attack Mr. Beck. This is typical of those who have no factual arguments, no truth to present. If you could you would attack his claims – since you cannot you attack him personally. Generally I find it is he who attempts to call the intellectual capacity of another into question that could stand to learn a few things. But let me stop pointing out the weakness of your strategy of merely revealing your hate of Mr. Beck and deal with another of your points: You claim, “If the immigrants go, prosperity would follow.” Funny, prosperity came to this nation, and we spread it worldwide, without those illegal immigrants, many of whom take what they earn and send it to other countries where it has positive economic impact, not here. It is no surprise you made a $200 wager you clearly had no intent of ever paying off. I could spend days here pointing out what’s wrong with your claims and arguments as well as they way you present them, but it probably would do no good – will you even let this comment appear and stay on your site? I’m almost willing to wager you won’t. So I’ll close with a challenge to you – A key point Mr. Beck makes is that we cannot solve world poverty by importing it. You claim he’s a liar – on this specific point, PROVE HIM WRONG, IF YOU CAN. PROVE THAT WE CAN SOLVE WORLD POVERTY BY IMPORTING IT. I won’t hold my breath waiting for your proof because there is none.

    1. Aaron Mile

      I think I have some points that address this.

      The CRUCIAL oversight Beck makes is although the majority can’t migrate, he neglects to say that they in fact gain from the ones who do.

      Yes the numbers are small relative to the global population that is in poverty, but the people who do emigrate stand to gain up to 37 times the wage in a developed country. So whilst the numbers that migrate are small, the amount of money they send home is huge (as you yourself complained about).

      For example in 2014:
      Global Totals of International Aid sent by countries = $135bn

      Remittances sent to developing world by foreign workers = $430bn and that’s only official estimates that doesn’t account for back channels.

      A lot of the time, contrary to what Beck suggests is suggesting, that does make a difference in developing countries as it gives families enough money to save, keep children in education and sometimes have money to start small businesses.

      This starts to have a larger effect on poverty in those countries and was a strategy the Philippines, in particular, used. It’s not always a bad thing for poor countries to have emigration. Often it’s less of a “brain drain” and more a “brain in a drain” being wasted because there aren’t the job areas to fulfil their skills.

      Through emigration, they can utilise these skills, send money home and maybe one day return when they have enough money to start their own business etc. This is what happened in Taiwan contributing to the bridge that now exists between Silicon Valley and the latter in the tech industry to the benefit of both.

      Unlike international aid, remittances are less likely to go through corrupt governments and actually go to the people who need the money. I’m not saying it’s the fully fledged solution to global poverty but the impact isn’t as small as Beck makes out. Yes more needs to be done in getting developing countries to utilise their skilled workers but in the absence of this, emigration out of these countries can help more significantly than he suggests.

      Without immigration, some countries would really suffer. If you take a country where these remittances account for a large share of the domestic economy at 11% of GDP, the World Bank (who Beck loved to cite) estimates that if those remittances were stopped, the share of the population living on less than a dollar a day would rise by 50%. It’s even worse if the poverty rate in those countries is high where in these countries the World Bank estimates the remittances reduce poverty by up to a third.

      In a lot of cases these countries need all the help they can get and to suggest immigration should be curtailed in favour of other means is a bit of a false dichotomy. He hasn’t given anything that helps similarly to remittances to justify other means as a replacement.

      Finally, he failed to mention that whilst developing countries birth rates are “overflowing”; developed countries are experiencing a slowdown in birth rates where populations are set to decline. Richer countries could stand to gain from young driven workers to help sustain the pensions and welfare of the increasing elderly demographic. Indeed, more infrastructure has to be built but it has been achieved in the bygone years of huge birth rate surges. In fact the technological capacity to do so now is much greater. The number of jobs, nor the capital in an economy is fixed. Richer countries with good governance are more suited to utilise immigration than is made out, whilst emigration can make a significant difference in some cases through remittances. The argument is much more nuanced than Beck suggests and should be treated more on a case by case basis for particular countries.

      In response to the argument that sending money home means there is no benefit to the country they are working in this is simply bad economics. If they are skilled immigrants they are adding to the society through innovation in the industries whereby their employers benefit from their productivity and this gets included in the GDP. If low skilled they may do jobs in greater numbers than locals do, filling gaps in the job market where for example affordable childcare allows a parent to go back to work and contribute to the econony. Also they pay taxes and do spend money to live. Thus your claim that no economic prosperity is gained from hosting countries isn’t true. Further you say America became great without illegal immigration though I’d argue that the US was massively helped by immigration in the late 19th and early 20th century when there were more open door policies. Finally, illegal immigrants pay in but can’t take out of the system easily so are usually a net fiscal gain. But the immigration that Beck talked about in the initial video wasn’t resigned to just illegal immigration.

    2. Luciano Hill

      It seems ironic that you “try” to argue his points but at the same time prove yourself to be wrong. You questioned, early in your rant, if the more dense countries in Europe have environment problems. Good try at forgetting Asia, but there are more dense countries there. China has reported two years ago that their environmental issues far exceed anything we could have imagined. So to your point more population can force situations that you do your best to forget. Finally, in the video Mr. Beck makes great points that the immigrants that come to America are the best of the country that they leave. So how can you argue against the assertion that those leaving have in turn weakened their own country because they are no longer there to provide?

  2. Robert Bregman

    Henryk, thanks for your article. It’s nuts like Roy Beck, who never get exposed, that give our country a bad name. And the #1 commenter is as bad, defending Mr. Beck. Who ever said that “WE CAN SOLVE WORLD POVERTY BY IMPORTING IT.” Beck accused unknown people of saying that in order to make some ignorant point.
    Good luck to you. Now that I’ve found you, I look forward to reading more of your work.
    Bob Bregman

  3. Susan Spracher Macaluso

    What about the most obvious, which is Beck’s argumentum ad misericordium? He’s basically appealing to his audience’s sense of pity by telling us we should turn away immigrants for their own good. After all, if we take “their best”, how would whole, poor nations survive without them? Sheesh.

  4. Pete Holzmann

    Hmmm… seems to me you too are leaving a few important items out:

    – Quite often, economic migrants are fathers leaving behind a family. My sources in Honduras say that over 3/4 there are doing so, and NOT sending back funds, NOT ever returning. Thus, our “compassionate” encouragement of economic migration is destroying families. (You’ve not broken down your “amounts sent” data by nation or in any other way… think about it: the poorest places hardly have the infrastructure for impoverished families to *receive* funds from abroad.)

    – Allowing more or less unfettered economic migration, or even unfettered global competition, ultimately means that your own job is subject to being replaced by someone from far away who is willing to do your job for 1/8 of what you earn, or less.

    Thus, his ultimate argument, which makes sense to me: far better to lift them up, help transform their economic, social, political and spiritual reality, than to simply bring them here.

  5. Wilhelm Guggisberg

    Mr Beck presented only numeric incontrovertible facts, you are using slander, ad-hominem attacks, convoluted rhetoric, half truths, like saying we need to increase the offer on the labor market, which is totally the contrary, inasmuch when globalization and automation/robotization is just starting to be on the rise…

  6. Darius Jamil Greene

    Sadly, many of those who come here on H1-B visas do not want to go back and enrich their own countries of origin. Many stay here, resisting our cultures and mores’, they do not become “America” as many create alien villages and want to institute their own sets of laws to govern themselves. They do not understand or want our Constitution. It is these people who will destroy our language and culture, and it is the Congress that is destroying our borders. I say to Mr. Kowalczyk, maybe you should go back to Danzig.

  7. Mikey Burgan

    if you cant obey the law then stay in your own country. arabs asians and rveryone but no good dirty illegal mexicans are the only ones doin this shit. damn right build the wall. most you dumb assholes dont even know that mexico buit a wall around guatemalla .to keep them out of mexico. all i can say is hows it feel charmas a bitch. and when the race war finaly breaks out thell stop comin then for sure

    1. admin Post author

      It is up to the reader to decide if my arguments stand up to scrutiny. I wrote many more texts about immigration, readers are welcome to explore. Also, the comments section is not the best suitable for debates. I work on a separate forum dedicated solely to debates.

About me

I was born in 1951 in Gdansk, Poland.
Since my high school years, I have interest in politics and love for writing. During my college years, I started writing to student papers and soon became freelance author to major Polish political magazines.

In 1980 I wrote a book “Czy w Polsce może być lepiej?” (“Could it be better in Poland?” – this book is available only in Polish) analyzing major problems in Poland at the time and outlining possible solutions.

I was among those Polish political writers who by their writings contributed to the peaceful system transformation that finally took place in 1989. Since 1985, I live in the Chicago area. I went through the hard times typical of many immigrants. Working in service business, I have seen the best and the worst places, I met the poorest and the richest. I have seen and experienced America not known to most of politicians, business people, and other political writers. For eleven years, I ran my own company. Presently, I am an independent consultant.

My political writing comes out of necessity. I write when I see that the prevailing voices on the political arena are misleading or erroneous. Abstract mathematics and control theory (of complex technological processes) strongly influenced my understanding of social phenomena. In the past, my opponents rebuked my mathematical mind as cold, soulless, and inhuman. On a few occasions I was prized for my engineer’s precision and logic.

I have a master’s degree in electronic engineering with a specialization in mathematical machines from Politechnika Gdańska (Technical University of Gdansk).

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