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Are Legal Immigrants the Biggest Victims?

One of the most frequent refrains you will hear in discussions of immigration policy is that the real victims of efforts to 'legalize' undocumented immigrants are legal immigrants, in other words, the folks who went to the trouble to follow the rules and gain residency legitimately. Everybody is entitled to their opinion of course. But a new poll suggests that legal immigrants themselves do not agree.

A poll out this morning shows that 89% of Hispanic voters support the President's actions. That number itself is eye-popping. 76% of Hispanic Republicans support the President's move. The number is 95% for Hispanic Democrats. That's about as close as you ever get in polling to just saying a particular group is essentially unanimous.

But when I saw these numbers it made me think about that question above - how do legal immigrants feel about this?

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Team Hagel Speaks Up

Steve Clemons is close to out-going Sec Def Hagel and played a significant role in the background politicking that led to Hagel's nomination two years ago. (Full disclosure: he's also a long time personal friend.) We reached out to Steve to get his sense of what's behind this morning's surprising announcement and perhaps some of Hagel's too. He didn't hold back.

Watch Out

This is rather unfortunate. A review has shown that police shooting is the most common form of homicide in Utah over the last 5 years. More common than killings by drug dealers, gang members, from child abuse and anything else. But in some ways, even more eye-popping than that was this response from the spokesman for the Utah state police union. Asked about the report, Ian Adams said "The onus is on the person being arrested to stop trying to assault and kill police officers and the innocent public. ... Why do some in society continue to insist the problem lies with police officers?"


A short while ago we moved reports that Chuck Hagel was stepping down as Defense Secretary. Not terribly surprising. Cabinet secretaries step down. He's President Obama's third Defense Secretary. But reports are following quickly on this news saying that Hagel was essentially fired from the job. White House officials and apparently Pentagon officials as well are more or less openly telling reporters that Hagel was told to resign because they simply did not think he was up to the job.

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Understanding the Economics of Uber

Tonight I got TPM Reader HH's deep, deep dive into the economics of Uber and some interesting questions about whether it's current valuation makes sense in anything that looks like established transportation economics. There's a lot here that gave me food for thought. One point I'll add first is to say that a basic question I've long had about Uber (and its competitors, for that matter) is that the one thing that seems really new and different about it is the addition of geolocation and ride ordering made possible by the app. That's a big thing, especially if you're outside of the pretty small number of highly concentrated urban areas where taxis are ubiquitous. But it's something local cab companies or whole industries could duplicate if they set their minds to it. In any case, over to TPM Reader HH ...

Longtime reader and early Prime member. You seemed to be looking for some help understanding the Uber debate, so I thought some background notes might be useful. I have no relationship with Uber or any Uber competitors, but have spent a lifetime in transportation (aviation mostly, also railroads and transit) and think I have a pretty solid grounding in the economics and competitive dynamics at play here. The thoughts here are based on Uber debates on an airline listserv, that quickly degenerated into partisan/ideological flamethrowing that overwhelmed all efforts to apply basic MBA-type analysis to actual industry evidence. I don’t think you (or most other Uber observers) are all that interested in detailed discussions of taxicab economics. But I think there are hugely important questions that you and your readers would consider important. How did a new entrant in a small industry manage to generate such enormous, mostly favorable press coverage? Why is it that this huge public discussion of taxi industry competition never includes any information that might actually be helpful to one’s understanding of taxi industry competition? (are current companies wasteful or inefficient? Would Uber actually be significantly more efficient? What is the economic basis for capital markets thinking Uber could achieve $18 billion in an industry where no one else has ever made much money?)

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