The images of children being separated from their asylum-seeking parents are too horrible to bear. In fact, there are so many things about the immigration debate that bring out our strongest feelings it seems almost impertinent to try to make a logical, less emotional argument, but that is part of the problem. The fact is, we need immigrants more than ever, and not just PhDs, but immigrants who can supplement our labor force in a variety of ways. It astonishes me that seemingly smart people don’t get this. GDP is essentially a factor of workforce and productivity so without workforce growth it is virtually impossible to achieve sustainable economic growth. Our population is growing at an anemic pace and more people are aging out of the workforce than aging into it. It’s basic math. Without a growing number of people to work and buy things, our economy will cease to grow — and all the tax cuts and deregulation in the world won’t change that. The good news is that the U.S. is a great place to live and work and people from all over the world still want to come here. This is a blessing and something most other countries simply do not have. An interesting story that most people don’t know is when Trump announced he was ending DACA, the State Department fielded calls from several industrialized nations who all expressed a similar message “if you don’t want them, we’ll take them”. Don’t get me wrong, illegal immigration is harmful on multiple levels, including how the immigrants themselves are frequently exploited, but those people come to this country for one reason – because there is work for them here. Otherwise they wouldn’t come, plain and simple. The solution to our workforce problem and our illegal immigration problem is the same, we need to substantially increase the number of legal immigrants into the country. It’s time the immigration debate moves from an emotional argument to an economic argument.
This week, in a brief to the judge of a major antitrust lawsuit known as Nosalek, the U.S. Department of Justice called for decoupling buyer and seller agent representation. If the DOJ gets what it wants, it would mean that listing agents would no longer be permitted to share their commissions with agents representing buyers, and buyers would have to pay out of pocket to have an agent represent them.
If you’re not familiar with the Sitzer class action lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors and several of the largest real estate brands, it centers on how real estate agents are compensated. The lawsuit claims that the practice of seller and buyer agent cooperation or sharing of commissions is an anti-trust violation and has resulted in inflated commissions paid by consumers. While a jury in Missouri has already sided with the plaintiffs, the judge has not rendered a final verdict.
If you have been following the news on the recent resignation of the President of Harvard over her unfortunate congressional testimony on antisemitism on college campuses, you might have read Bill Ackman’s post on X (formally known as Twitter) which essentially blamed everything on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies on college campuses. Ackman’s post was reposted by none other than Elon Musk, the owner of X, who wrote “DEI is just another word for racism. Shame on anyone who uses it”. Musk’s over-the-top response prompted Mark Cuban to jump into the conversation by defending DEI and calling it smart business. Cuban has since challenged Musk to a debate on the subject.