HBD-Nationalism Conundrum

Let’s assume you hold a ‘populist’ view on immigration and nationalism (border control, ethno-states, etc.) but an ‘elite’ view on IQ and HBD (IQ is important, a measure of individual ‘worth’, is reliably testable, and varies between races/groups/nations, etc.). Although both of these individually may be correct, to hold both simultaneously may be logically inconsistent. How much precedence should one take over the other? If entirely the latter, then IQ and competence, not race, should be the deciding factor for inclusion. Or maybe a mix of both, choosing only high-IQ foreigners, for example, as part of a ‘guest worker’ program that proscribes any pathway for citizenship and allows only limited use of ‘pubic goods’, but then the ethnic makeup of the country still becomes altered in the process. This is a conundrum I have grappled with since writing this blog.

Consider a hypothetical company, Photon Corp, that needs 20 programmers. After an exhaustive search, it is only able to find 12 White, America-born programmers to do the job. Here are some options for filling the remaining eight spots:

1. It can hire eight of the most competent programmers, regardless of race, that meet the job description (probably the best option). This may mean hiring foreign guest workers as well as possibly outsourcing programming jobs.

2. Raises wages to spur demand such that it is able to fill the eight spots with only native-born programmers. Raising wages from $80/hour to $500/hour may encourage more people to learn programming, but the problem is Photon Corp is highly unprofitable if wages are that high, so it will eventually have to fire the programmers if it goes out of business.

3. Lowering standards by hiring workers that aren’t as competent. This will hurt business because the software is full of errors and the production is slowed, and eventually Photon Corp is displaced by its competitors that aren’t encumbered by labor restrictions, and all of Photon Corp’s 20 programmers are eventually fired.

4. Makes do with only 12 programmers and leaves the eight spots unfilled. This may inhibit Photon Corp’s ability to expand its business. Due to the shortage of programmers, Photon Corp finds it very difficult to complete its projects on time, costing it clients, and eventually Photon Corp overtaken by its competitors.

5. Government subsidies. Photon Corp petitions the government for subsidies as an incentive to not use foreign labor. If an American programmer costs $100/hour and a foreign programmer costs $50/hour, the US government will cover the $50 difference, plus a $200 bonus for cooperating and ‘keeping jobs in America’. The problem here is that tax payers pay for this, and it raises the national debt, and it create a perverse incentive for companies to threaten to move jobs overseas, to collect the $200 bonus.

6. Collusion. Photon Corp and its competitors all agree to the same hiring practices and will raise prices and wages at the same times, so that no one company is worse-off. These costs are passed to their clients, who then pass the costs to consumers in the form of higher prices. This raises inflation, lowers competitiveness, and lowers living standards (because certain products become more expensive relative to wages).

Of course, it’s not that simple. The problem may not be a skills shortage but rather that companies are replacing existing American workers with foreign workers to save money. It’s not a skill shortage but rather a shortage of American workers that are willing to work for a sufficiently low wage. (Related: How the H-1B Visa System
Can Hurt American Workers
) In a free market, restricting labor options puts individual companies at a major disadvantage provided they are unable to collude or receive subsidies. It’s rational and to be expected for companies to exhaust all options in minimizing labor costs. A pure meritocracy and free market combined with an ethno-state seems incompatible. We exalt the virtues of merit, but then this bumps into ethno-interests if some of the most meritorious aren’t of the desired race and ethnicity. This is one of those issues that is hard to resolve.