Browsers of our metropolitan dailies are well aware of these papers’ attempt at rebranding our national holidays.  Thanksgiving has become Immigration Day, and so has the Fourth of July.  But, as we should have learned by now, it can get worse.  Readers of the editorial page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (founded in 1878 by Joe Pulitzer) might have spilled their coffee on the morning of June 21 to see that the editors have arrogated to themselves the authority to rebrand the Gateway Arch, a symbol of the westward expansion of the American people, as a welcoming sign for non-European, non-Western immigration.  The editorial cartoon (by Matson) features the Arch framing the Statue of Liberty (another stolen symbol originally signifying liberty and Franco-American friendship) with the words “Gateway to Prosperity” (instead of “Gateway to the West”), and “Send us your tireless, your ambitious, your hardworking masses, so our economy can grow a lot faster.”

It would be hard to satirize such crass boosterism and multicultural stupidity, but it is nothing new for the Post, which manages to combine a smug and self-righteous xenophilia with its water-carrying role for the chamber of commerce.

The occasion for this editorial poke in the eye is a study commissioned by St. Louis “economic development officials,” whose findings were given celebratory front-page coverage the previous day under the headline “RX FOR ST. LOUIS ECONOMY: MORE IMMIGRATION.”  The study, conducted by an economics professor at St. Louis University, concluded that immigrants stimulate the economy and create jobs for native St. Louisans.  In a congratulatory editorial, the editors called it “a persuasive piece of scholarship,” filled with “facts,” proving to all, except “narrow minded xenophobes,” that “immigrants don’t take away jobs, they create them.”

The article provides no evidence that immigrants create jobs for native St. Louisans.  Of the three supposed prosperity-bringing immigrants cited as examples, one is a researcher who employs no one, the second owns an Indian restaurant, and the third runs a staffing agency that provides workers on a contract basis to such companies as Monsanto, Ameren, and AT&T.  The article does not say whether the Indian immigrant employs any native-born Americans at his restaurant, but even if he does, such low-paying service jobs are hardly the kind Americans need.  Nor does it say whether the contract workers recruited by the third immigrant are native St. Louisans, native-born Americans, or H-1B visa holders.  Of course, contract work is an employer’s dream and an employee’s nightmare, because it is temporary and provides few benefits.

That immigrants bring prosperity and create jobs for Americans can be disproved by pointing to postmodern California’s deficits, dysfunction, and native exodus, to post-World War II America’s prosperity (with little immigration), or simply to the last 40 years of falling wages, stagnant salaries, and off-shoring.  Of course, the editors of the Post care even less for the plight of Americans than they do for journalistic balance, logic, or evidence.  Their real agenda was revealed a few weeks later when their business columnist published articles in support of the off-shoring and out-sourcing of American jobs (July 22), which he calls simple “common sense,” and the handing out of more H-1B visas to foreigners (July 24).

American prosperity was built on two factors in addition to freedom and internal peace: the low price of land and the high price of labor.  Third World immigration and refugee resettlement is destroying all four.  It is long past time to bring it to an end.  There can be no better jobs program.