Thursday, March 30, 2006

There are no jobs Americans won’t do. There are only wages Americans won’t work for...

Selwyn Duke at The Conservative Voice:

"What Jobs Won’t Americans Do?"

...And this relates to a fact of contemporary American life: immigrants, illegal or otherwise, depress wages. Oh, some would dispute this? Well, they’re wrong and I intend to prove it.

There’s another universal, unchangeable law of economics called “supply and demand,” and most of us understand it. Regardless of what product or service is at issue, if demand increases relative to supply, prices increase; if supply increases relative to demand, prices drop. And this phenomenon is relevant here. Why?

Quite simply because, like it or not, within the context of a free market system, workers are commodities whose value is determined by supply and demand. For example, a skilled neurosurgeon doesn’t make a half a million dollars a year because what he does is so important. If that were the case, he’d earn more than people who hit, kick and throw balls around and sign autographs. No, his income is a function of his rarity; create 100 million more just like him and his salary will become relatively paltry.

Thus, increase the supply of workers relative to the jobs available and the value of workers decreases. This is not opinion, my friends, but hard, cold fact. Immigrants swell the worker pool, thereby increasing competition for jobs, allowing employers to pay less for the same employees. We’ve all heard of a “buyer’s market” and a “seller’s market”; well, high levels of immigration transform us from a worker’s market into an employer’s market. Big business loves it.

increase the supply of workers
relative to the jobs available
and the value of workers decreases

Of course, the immigration lobby has an answer at the ready when this truth becomes inconvenient. “How much do you want to pay for a head of lettuce?!” they exclaim.

What’s so ironic about this argument is that its proponents are generally the very same people who’ll zealously campaign for increases in the minimum wage, an action that can also increase the cost of doing business and, therefore, retail prices. But since they say they want to help poor Americans, let’s discuss that.

The natural, free market way to help low income Americans is to increase their value by making them rarer commodities. How do you do this? You guessed it, by severely curtailing (a moratorium would be ideal) immigration. Do that and America becomes more of a worker’s market, forcing businesses to offer more money to attract applicants.

Would goods become more expensive? Perhaps, but while this isn’t the focus of this piece, that may be more than offset by the elimination of the social consequences (e.g., hospital, welfare and education costs) of absorbing millions of often illiterate (some can’t even read and write their own languages) Third World immigrants into our nation. Regardless, this is the traditional, healthy, free market way of spreading the wealth around. And I’d rather redistribute wealth through the market than through socialism.

I’d rather redistribute wealth
through the market
than through socialism

Lastly, there’s another irony here. Cesar Chavez, the head of the United Farm Workers Union during its heyday, is a hero of Americans of Mexican descent. So much so, in fact, that his name is often associated with the dual cause of promoting immigration and the re-conquest of California and the American southwest, known as La Reconquista. Conveniently forgotten, though, is a very inconvenient fact: when Chavez enjoyed the peak of his power, he was a fervid – bordering on venomous – opponent of illegal immigration. And he not only railed against it but often actually reported Mexican illegals to the INS so they could be deported. He also protested illegal immigration on the border in 1969 and had civilian border guards who were sufficiently heavy-handed to make today’s Minutemen seem milquetoasty.

What motivated him? Quite simply, he was charged with the responsibility of keeping his union members’ wages as high as possible. And he understood the law of supply and demand.

We have a union called the United States. I just wonder if membership therein means anything anymore.

Of course, there’s always cheap lettuce.

A co-worker told me a story a few months ago about a friend of his who wanted his high school graduate son to spend the summer learning the benefits of hard labor...working outside for a landscaper, carpenter, painter, etc...

His son wasn't able to find work in any of these areas largely because of the abundant supply of cheap, under-the-table, illegal labor. The man felt so strongly that this was an important learning experience for his son, however, that he ended up paying the owner of a landscaping company for his son to have the priveledge of working for him.

Let's stick with the free market, not promote the illegal market. I don't want to have to pay for my boys to paint houses.



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