To try to combat the personal experiences of so many county residents who see that the Rule of Law Resolution has made a dramatic positive difference in their communities, the illegal alien lobby has managed to round up some folks willing to trout out another round of dire predictions of inevitable economic collapse, should we stick with what is clearly working. Hoping that local elected officials might somehow trust liberal academics who don’t even live in the county, or long-time political opponents of Chairman Corey Stewart instead of county residents, the illegal alien lobby didn’t think to check beforehand whether these folks would be credible or not. To liberal illegal alien apologists, just having a title is apparently enough to be credible, even if the person has a somewhat dubious history that isn’t all that hard to dig up.
The first “big gun” the illegal alien tried to trot out was Mark Granville-Smith, who leads the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association, who told attendees at a Chamber of Commerce meeting that Corey Stewart and the immigration resolution was harming the effort to get business to locate in Prince William County, as reported in the DC Examiner.
Image task force member Mark Granville-Smith, a home builder and leader of the county’s chapter of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association, blamed Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart for the county’s image hurdles, saying his often brusque political style has been to harp on one negative issue after another.
The problem with having Mark Granville-Smith be the point man for the business community here is that the NVBIA and other developer interests gave heavily to Sharon Pandak when she was running against Stewart in the last election because of Stewart’s strong stand on controlling the insane amount of residential construction that was threatening the county. Stewart was an advocate for halting rezonings, increasing proffers, and introducing zoning reforms that would reduce housing density and increase the contribution by developers to offset the burdens that development places on the transportation infrastructure, public safety resources and other public amenities. These folks absolutely hate Corey Stewart for derailing the developer gravy train, and the Rule of Law Resolution not only gives them an opportunity to try to throw rocks at Corey Stewart, but try to defend their efforts to maintain a steady supply of cheap illegal alien labor to bolster their profit margins.
Business leaders who are not tied to developers have a different take, that the key issues to improve the county’s attractiveness for business are to streamline the licensing and permitting process, keep taxes low, and market the county as a place to do business.
The other major propagandist for the illegal alien lobby lately is Dr. Steven Fuller, an economist at George Mason University. He’s come out with some unusual arguments claiming that diversity is important for business, and that amnesty for illegal aliens would help the local economy, although he doesn’t provide any academic or statistical basis for these claims. Never mind the workplace accidents that happen as a result of communication problems on a jobsite, the impact of wage distortions in building and service industry trades on minorities and citizens without college degrees, or even the economic impact of flooding residential communities with overcrowded homes, criminal gang activity and rampant identity fraud and theft. Dr. Fuller seems to think there’s no way to build a healthy economy without illegal aliens, so the best way to promote economic growth is to simply encourage them.
One problem with all of this is that Dr. Fuller has somewhat of a spotty track record. Just a little less than one year ago, and long after the residential real estate bubble had burst, Fuller was telling the press that residential property values were going to continue to rise and Northern Virginia was rapidly becoming unaffordable:
If current trends continue, by 2057, the average home in the D.C. area is likely to cost more than $14 million, says Stephen Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy.
Even more frightening is the fact that the numbers are based on the current market, taking into account the trend of home prices generally doubling every 10 years and growing by about 7.2 percent annually.
“It will take more than 11 times the average annual income to afford a home,” Fuller says. “This will be a totally unaffordable region.”
This was two full years after the inventory of unsold houses began to dramatically rise, and between May 2006 and 2007 the median price of a single family residence in Northern Virginia had actually fallen by 4%. But here is Fuller saying the exact opposite of the truth, and contending that if people don’t buy a house now, they’re never going to be able to afford one in Northern Virginia. Now Fuller is saying we need to encourage ten million more illegal aliens to enter the country and fill low-wage jobs, otherwise our economy is going to collapse. I’m not going to wait a year before declaring bullshit, I think we can do that right now, especially in that Fuller, after being paid by the American Electronics Association, gave a glowing report about Northern Virginia’s technology industry just two weeks ago. I’m sorry Dr. Fuller, you can’t be credible with these predictions when you can’t even keep your story consistent from week-to-week, and have a history of making such absurd statements about the local economy in the past.
If the illegal alien lobby is going to try to assemble arguments favoring amnesty for illegal aliens and saying that we need more, not less of these lawbreakers, they’re going to have to do a better job of finding credible spokesmen.
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