July 20, 2007

Lawlessness and Labor Shortages

My AmSpec column today deals with the silly illegal immigrant-friendly policies that politicians seem to prefer to a straightforward increase in immigration quotas.

Posted by John Tabin at July 20, 2007 12:34 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Sorry John, I just don't buy the cries from some industries of a "labor shortage". They are a textbook example of the boy who cried wolf.

Every business whines about the cost of labor and they have an inherent desire to lower their labor costs and complaining to the government through lobbyists is the preferred technique these days.

If we have crops that are going un-picked, then I suggest we are planting too many crops. And furthermore, if crops are going up-picked, why in the world are we then importing more and more crops and food from overseas? Ask anyone who shops for groceries - more and more of our food is imported.

Furthermore, only a small fraction of illegals are actually picking crops; most have flooded into construction, restaurants, lawn-care, janitorial services, etc., jobs that really should go to lower-skilled and younger Americans but as long as firms have a never-ending supply of low-skill labor from south of the border, firms will not increase wages a little to attract Americans nor will they invest in machines/automation that can replace some jobs.

It's all a scam - labor shortages. And it's all about LIBERALISM; our politicians worrying about raising the standard of living in chronically corrupt Mexico by letting in tens of millions of Mexicans.

The USA needs fewer immigrants for a period of 10-20 years, which is consistent with US immigration history. A time-out period would increase wages for Americans, help high school and college kids gain some entry job experience, act as an incentive for innovation instead of lowering the bar and turning the USA into a non-industrial, non-technological, peasant labor "economic region" instead of a nation.

It would also keep our sovereignty. Say "no" to the SPP and the North American Union.

Posted by: RG at July 20, 2007 08:41 AM

RG -- the reason that so many vegetables are imported is that there are no economically sensible options except to either import the vegetables or import the labor.

It's fallacious to suggest that businesses can simply "increase wages a little." Higher wages = higher prices = lower sales. Lots of businesses -- particularly those with very narrow margins, like restaurants -- would simply fail in the face of rising labor costs.

You're flat wrong about the economic effects of an immigration "pause," which would be negative for about 91% of the population -- pretty much everyone except for high school drop-outs.

If you want to argue that we need a moratorium to assimilate the current population of immigrants (and/or to benefit the very poor), and that the economic consequences are small enough to be worth the trade-off, well, I'll still disagree, but at least that would be an edifying conversation. But claiming that restrictionism would actually help the economy as a whole just doesn't hold water.

Posted by: John Tabin at July 20, 2007 10:36 AM
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