Thursday, August 05, 2010

Right conclusion, but faulty logic

A man named Doug Bell sends in this letter:

Some recent letters by regular contributors recycle the myth that illegal immigrants pay taxes. Of course illegal immigrants pay taxes, but not in the same sense that U.S. taxpayers do, and the writers should know that.

At least that’s the view of Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman (emphasis added)who, in a 2006 column (“North of the border,” www.nytimes.com), wrote that “ ... serious, nonpartisan research reveals some uncomfortable facts about the economics of modern immigration. ...



I think Krugman and Bell are factually right in their conclusion. However, Mr. Bell's argument is still logically flawed. It is an appeal to authority, known as the ad verucundiam, and is not a good argument. Yes, Krugman is a Nobel Laureate, but brilliant economists disagree on immigration policy (and many other issues). Simply quoting Krugman does not prove Mr.Bell's contention.

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