Yesterday I blather on about how dumb we are en masse. Governments and individuals are often completely wracked by the effects of unintended consequences of laws/decisions.
Take Arizona for example. According to either side in the immigration debate, large groups of Latinos are leaving the state for Mexico or other US states. It is happening.
But what will the kong term effects be?
Arizona certainly will feel a dramatic change in both it's tax revenues, and also expenditures. Arizona's business and personal income tax will take a hit on the taxpaying Latinos moving from the state. Obviously, convention businesses disappearing will also impact their state coffers, but only if this remains such a contentious issue in the next few years. The disappearance of potential property owner/renters will continue to soften the Phoenix/Tucson housing market and cause property values to decrease.
Not a good thing, considering Arizona is basically broke at this point (yeah, but who ain't?).
On the other hand, there will be a corresponding drop-off in liabilities/payments by the state. Although I don't buy the whole "immigrants create all of the crime" arguments you hear from the Right, there are many social services and health care considerations that illegal aliens and first-generation immigrants (who are also leaving out of fear/revoltion) create. The decreased use of hospital emergency rooms as a "free doctor visit" will certainly lower State and hospital overhead. The need for K-12 teachers will slow, as retirees again start to outnumber "families with kids".
Of course, as the joke goes, all of the hedges and trees in Phoenix will soon be overgrown from the lack of yard keeping. The "going rate" of many services including landscaping but also childcare/nannies, housekeeping and hundreds of other graymarket jobs will certainly rise, as licensed (and legal) non-immigrants fill in the missing spots. This might eventually cause a higher cost of living in Arizona, currently at 70% of US average, and eventually slow an influx of new residents to the state. Of course, there might be an influx of small contractors/daycare/landscapers to fill in those gaps vacated by the fleeing Latinos. I've have no idea.
How will wash out? That's a good question.
In politics, perception is more important than reality and since this is already a political football interpretation of the results of the Arizona law will be as contentious as the potential ramifications are being debated now.
The real result of the law I figure, will be that Arizona will slide even more to the right, more than any state in the nation. Even Texas. They will define themselves as the Ayn Rand conservative Wonderland, and will probably continue with other "controversial" legislation in short order. In fact, I have a feeling they're just getting started. And when they introduce legislation that bans all forms of taxes, all environmental laws and renames the Phoenix airport as "Rush Limbaugh Freedom Field", George Orwell will rise from his grave and run for governor of America's most dystopic state.
They'll also probably change the name of the state to Freedonia.
Groucho Marx will rise from the dead, and demand royalty payments.