Economics

What I don’t get about the immigration debate

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Jim cites a Cato blog post arguing for “dynamic scoring” of the economic effects of immigration. The post cites some ideas for how the Heritage Foundation should improve its forthcoming study of the fiscal costs of immigration. But leaving aside the specifics — some of which have merit, others I suspect are BS — here’s the crux of what I don’t get:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, “In 2009, 29 percent of the foreign-born population between the ages of 25 and 64 had not completed high school or received a GED, compared with about 8 percent of the native-born population.” At the same time, the federal government, states, and localities spend billions each year trying to prevent US schools from graduating students with precisely these low levels of educational attainment.

So the types of workers we don’t want US schools to produce are precisely the type the American economy needs more of? I can see how we could use more highly-educated workers, but more people with 8th grade educations?

Look, if you’re philosophically in favor of open borders, as Cato is, that’s fine. Or, if you think the political realities are such that Republicans must acquiesce to amnesty for illegal aliens, that’s ok too. But I’ve yet to see the compelling case for more low-skilled workers in an economy that needs fewer of them each year.

29 thoughts on “What I don’t get about the immigration debate

  1. I believe the idea is to import low-skilled labor from abroad so that current Americans with low skills don’t have to do those jobs and can go on unemployment, food stamps, disability etc.

  2. Wow, thank you AEI for allowing some diversity of views on this topic, and thank you Mr. Biggs!

    The article on the mainpage argues that “Immigrants who do not have a high school diploma are more likely to be working than Americans who have not graduated from high school. These low-skilled immigrants fill an important niche in the labor force, taking dirty, dangerous and dull jobs that few Americans are willing to do, especially when there are myriad welfare programs they can turn to instead.”

    The author is obviously well-informed and writes well, but this argument worries me. What about the Americans who have not graduated from high school? What niche can they fill? Shouldn’t we worry about them (our compatriots) before we worry about people who don’t even live here yet?

    • Americans have reused those jobs. And if you are a plumber you may not need a general education or a HS degree that means nothing. Let customers, employers, and employees make their own decisions.

      • Americans have refused those jobs at those low wages. Why not allow customers, employers, and employees to make their own decisions, while exercising our right as a sovereign nation to decide who gets to live and work here?

        • Americans have refused those jobs at those low wages. Why not allow customers, employers, and employees to make their own decisions, while exercising our right as a sovereign nation to decide who gets to live and work here?

          Because customers, employers, and employees have to reach voluntary agreement and cannot use a monopoly on force to coerce. As for the wages, they are not low. They are what the market determines and when you set them higher than the market rate you get unemployment. And as I pointed out, skilled workers do not have to take unskilled jobs because they can qualify for higher paying ones.

      • “***Americans have reused those jobs.”**
        ————————————-

        Then why are most of the so-called “jobs that Americans won’t do” being done primarily by Americans? And what happens when illegals become Americans? Does that mean they won’t do those “jobs that Americans won’t do” either?
        —————————————–
        ***And if you are a plumber you may not need a general education or a HS degree that means nothing.***
        ———————————————-

        So now plumbing has been elevated to being “a job Americans won’t do” as well, lol.

        • Then why are most of the so-called “jobs that Americans won’t do” being done primarily by Americans? And what happens when illegals become Americans? Does that mean they won’t do those “jobs that Americans won’t do” either?

          The data shows that there aren’t enough Americans to work the fields at a wage that allows American farmers to compete with imported fruits and vegetables. Those wages are not low and anyone willing to work hard can earn a few bucks for the duration of the job. Canadian ag companies import workers from the Caribbean and flies them home after they are done. Higher skilled Canadian workers fly or ride to Northern Alberta where they get far more cash than the field workers do.

  3. It looks like my comment didn’t make it. A large percentage of the 11 million illegal immigrants who may become eligible for amnesty are unskilled. So why do we need a permanent guest worker program on top of amnesty? Is there any limit to American employers’ appetite for low-wage unskilled labor?

    What about the Americans with less education? Don’t they deserve work? And don’t they deserve our concern, since they are our compatriots? Or should we counsel our fellow Americans to lose hope, eschew employment, abandon moral virtue, sign up for “myriad” welfare benefits, and be grateful for society’s generosity?

  4. Andrew Biggs — You’re spot on and you can also frame this issue this way: If we need more high school dropouts, we can get the same supposed benefit by encouraging American students currently in high school to simply stop going to class. We don’t need an immigration bill for that. Why won’t these amnesty supporters simply start a “Drop Out of School” campaign? Why isn’t Schumer going around from high school to high school encouraging students to drop out?

    And you can apply this to the poverty issue as well. There are so many anti-poverty campaigns in the U.S. yet our immigration policies — and this amnesty — are designed to actively increase poverty. Why?

  5. But U.S. school ARE producing an ample supply of that type of worker, who are disproportionately the children of those low-education immigrants, who are disproportionately here illegally. That has been going on for decades now. That reality has been almost the obsessional focus of education policy discussions, detracting attention and resources from education of other children and their educational outcomes.

    This particular contradiction is hardly an exception with the mass illegal immigration lobbying industry. It’s more like the norm. But since anything resembling an honest debate about immigration has been relegated to obscure corners of the web where few citizens will hear the arguments, and the media is engaged in a full-court, propaganda press to promote amnesty, the anti-democratic elites will likely prevail in their agenda.

  6. If the economy doesn’t need low-skilled workers, then foreign low-skilled workers wouldn’t come here to work for the same reason refrigerator salesmen don’t visit Eskimo villages.

    • Many “poorly paid” foreign workers live in multiple person dwellings (6 to an apartment) & send money back to much cheaper countries where those low-wages can support their family. Low-wage US workers have to pay high American prices to survive or have a family. They cannot possibly compete with people getting paid American wages but paying much lower prices. (Rents are about half price in Mexico compared to the US). Migrant or guest workers from low-wage countries who send money home are are effectively paid much higher real wages than us US workers who have to try to support a family on US prices.

      • Many “poorly paid” foreign workers live in multiple person dwellings (6 to an apartment) & send money back to much cheaper countries where those low-wages can support their family.

        That makes a lot of sense. If you do not make a lot of money you need to save as much as you can by sharing costs.

        Low-wage US workers have to pay high American prices to survive or have a family.

        They can live in exactly the same way as the immigrants choose to live. Young men and women do not need much more than a bed and a place to sit and eat. That can be obtained at a very low cost if rents and utilities are shared.

        They cannot possibly compete with people getting paid American wages but paying much lower prices. (Rents are about half price in Mexico compared to the US).

        There is no reason why a worker can’t compete with a worker that lives in the same city or state. The costs to live where you work has nothing to do with the cost of living in another country. And there is no reason why someone who has a great deal of experience and skill sets to compete with unskilled workers.

        Migrant or guest workers from low-wage countries who send money home are are effectively paid much higher real wages than us US workers who have to try to support a family on US prices.

        This is false. They are both paying the rent and living costs that they choose for themselves. As for supporting a family, why would anyone who actually has experience and skills have to even consider unskilled work? You are supposed to start working early where your parents pay most of your expenses while you show that you are DEPENDABLE and build up MARKETABLE SKILL SETS. By the time you grow up, get married, and have kids you should not be working as an unskilled labourer unless you chose not to learn marketable skills or are not dependable enough to hold a higher paying job.

        • Obviously you can’t read. I said that many US workers cannot survive AND SUPPORT A FAMILY on current wages because their family lives in the US, as compared to a guest worker who sends money back to his FAMILY in a much cheaper country. You said “they can live in exactly the same way as the immigrants choose to live. Young men and women do not need much more than a bed and a place to sit and eat.” Wrong. Those with US families can’t live “exactly” as the guest worker because their spouse & child/ren need more than a bed and a place to sit! Do you really expect a US worker with two kids, or a married couple with same, to sleep together in one bed in an apartment shared with eight adult guest workers? The guest worker, in contrast, can live in such housing and send money back to his spouse & children in the much cheaper country, where they can afford private housing. We can’t live exactly like the guest worker because our child/ren and/or spouses do not have access to family housing in a far cheaper country. There is a reason why a subsistance wage is defined as a wage that allows a worker to not only survive but reproduce himself (i.e. raise, on average, two children).

          “you should not be working as an unskilled labourer unless you chose not to learn marketable skills.” Who said I was an unskilled laborer? I called myself a low-wage worker: like many other low-wage US workers nowadays I have plenty of skills & multiple college degrees, which my now-retired parents depleted their life-savings on, in the mistaken hope that college would allow their kids to get a job that paid a living wage. Since I was never paid enough in adjuncting, teaching, admin or retail work to acquire any savings (paid $6000-11000/yr. for such jobs, I needed income supports just to survive) I could not pay for a teaching credential out of pocket, and California did not offer me enough financial aid to cover it (at the same time that they subsized in-state tuition for illegal immigrants getting BA’s). I would have had to quit my job and borrow at exorbitant interest rates just to cover living expenses while getting such a credential.
          The labor-market effect applies to the educated and high skilled too: depresses real wages and raises costs, especially of housing and post-secondary education. Flood an occupational group with plenty of competition, and wages will stay low, regardless of how high their skills are. Recently, so many Americans went into law-school that many grads were unable to get work at a living wages, including debt repayment. But the elites in charge of law schools know quite well how supply and demand works, even though they pretend there’s no such thing when it comes to amnestying the many low-skilled “undocumented,” and so have moved to curtail law-school admissions.

          • Obviously you can’t read. I said that many US workers cannot survive AND SUPPORT A FAMILY on current wages because their family lives in the US, as compared to a guest worker who sends money back to his FAMILY in a much cheaper country.

            Most unskilled people, who get paid the low wages, do not have families. The idea in a great country like the US is to get marketable skills BEFORE you go get married and have a few kids.

            You said “they can live in exactly the same way as the immigrants choose to live. Young men and women do not need much more than a bed and a place to sit and eat.” Wrong. Those with US families can’t live “exactly” as the guest worker because their spouse & child/ren need more than a bed and a place to sit! Do you really expect a US worker with two kids, or a married couple with same, to sleep together in one bed in an apartment shared with eight adult guest workers?

            Hell no. I expect anyone with marketable skills to get a minimum wage job. Like I said, why would anyone with a family in the suburbs be looking to be a migrant worker?

            The guest worker, in contrast, can live in such housing and send money back to his spouse & children in the much cheaper country, where they can afford private housing.

            You are missing the point. You can’t force consumers to pay more for apples because you want to pay people who have families more money to pick them. The consumer decides what the price is and producers have to hire people accordingly. The problem for domestic workers is not the pay but the lack of skills.

            We can’t live exactly like the guest worker because our child/ren and/or spouses do not have access to family housing in a far cheaper country. There is a reason why a subsistance wage is defined as a wage that allows a worker to not only survive but reproduce himself (i.e. raise, on average, two children).

            The guest worker comes to the US because he has no skills and can find employment that pays a decent enough wage to support him and his family back home. Unskilled Americans cannot expect to get a wage that is higher unless American consumers are willing to pay more for the same products. They don’t.

          • “Most unskilled people, who get paid the low wages, do not have families.”
            This is simply false. Most unskilled workers in the US and elsewhere DO have children.
            (If “most” unskilled workers had no children, the population would be shrinking quite rapidly since to simply keep the population at its current level most people (most of whom are unskilled workers) have to have at least two children. Neither the world nor US population is shrinking. Have you noticed that the average American, including the low-skilled, has about 2 children, the average human has about 3? What an ignoramus you are.

            “You are missing the point. You can’t force consumers to pay more for apples because you want to pay people who have families more money to pick them.”

            No, you are missing the point. Labor supply is an important factor in prevailing wages; to call a tighter labor market, which leads to higher real wages, “forcing” a consumer to pay higher wages is a dubious use of the word. It shows that you either don’t believe in the laws of supply and demand or want to obfuscate them so US workers don’t figure out that guest worker programs lower their real wages. Wage-earners are consumers too: if you pay them so little that they cannot survive without welfare their consumer position is not improved on net. Importing a lot a low-skilled farm laborers does indeed lower the price of labor-intensive crops like vegetables and the like. But it also pushes the cost of rental housing way up, which is not a net benefit to low-income workers for whom cheap housing (usually over a half of their budget) is a far, far more important factor in their standard of living than cheap veggies (a miniscule part of their budget). As a matter of fact when American labor markets were tight and immigration was the lowest it had ever been in the period from 1945-1975, not only did American consumers do just fine, but that was the only period when we had a large middle class and the real wages of the working class rose, allowing them to afford something beyond subsistance. Why? Because they were paid enough to buy what they needed and then some. Now the bottom third of the income ladder is paid so poorly that few can survive without welfare. And unlike what you assume many of those in the bottom third are not unskilled or uneducated: they have spent their families’ entire savings and gone into massive debt to get skills and education, yet their jobs are poorly paid because the labor market for most occupations in the US is flooded.

          • This is simply false. Most unskilled workers in the US and elsewhere DO have children.
            (If “most” unskilled workers had no children, the population would be shrinking quite rapidly since to simply keep the population at its current level most people (most of whom are unskilled workers) have to have at least two children. Neither the world nor US population is shrinking. Have you noticed that the average American, including the low-skilled, has about 2 children, the average human has about 3? What an ignoramus you are.

            How can people remain unskilled after working for a few years? Are you telling me that most Americans are only good for picking fruits and vegetables like immigrants because they no skills? What you are describing are third world conditions where people have no education, are not very literate, and very few marketable skills. That does not describe the typical worker in the US.

            And if someone managed not to pick up marketable skills after being in the labour force why should we overpay him/her? Most people start young, show that they are capable and dependable and move on to jobs that pay much more than minimum wage. There should be nobody with kids and families who is on minimum wage.

            No, you are missing the point. Labor supply is an important factor in prevailing wages; to call a tighter labor market, which leads to higher real wages, “forcing” a consumer to pay higher wages is a dubious use of the word.

            It isn’t. I can buy tomatoes from Mexico and do not have to import them from the US. Or I can look to local growers when they provide me with a cheaper option. I certainly do not have to pay more if I choose not to because someone pays higher than market rates.

            It shows that you either don’t believe in the laws of supply and demand or want to obfuscate them so US workers don’t figure out that guest worker programs lower their real wages.

            I am pointing to economic reality. People have choices and prefer to pay as little as possible for the goods that they purchase. If I can get the identical quality banana I do not care if it comes from Costa Rica or Panama. I will choose the lowest price for the same quality.

            Wage-earners are consumers too: if you pay them so little that they cannot survive without welfare their consumer position is not improved on net.

            What you miss is the fact that people have a limited amount of money. If you have to pay more for bread or tomatoes because they are protected by government you will have less money to pay for hookers and alcohol. While the field hands might be better off temporarily the brewers, bars, and hookers will do worse.

            You seem to forget the fact that central planning does not work very well. The EU, USSR, Yugoslavia, China, and other countries tried what you propose but ultimately failed because planners cannot maximize returns for society and make people generally worse. Good intentions aren’t worth anything when they produce misery and poverty.

          • Importing a lot a low-skilled farm laborers does indeed lower the price of labor-intensive crops like vegetables and the like. But it also pushes the cost of rental housing way up, which is not a net benefit to low-income workers for whom cheap housing (usually over a half of their budget) is a far, far more important factor in their standard of living than cheap veggies (a miniscule part of their budget).

            If demand for houses goes up and the government gets out of the way the market will provide all the units that are required. The last time I looked seasonal workers did not compete for housing with your typical poor people. They work in the fields and live close to where they work. The native poor tend to live in public housing in urban areas. It is only when the skill lever requirements rise that there may be some competition but those types of jobs tend to pay much more than minimum wage.

            As a matter of fact when American labor markets were tight and immigration was the lowest it had ever been in the period from 1945-1975, not only did American consumers do just fine, but that was the only period when we had a large middle class and the real wages of the working class rose, allowing them to afford something beyond subsistance.

            Funny how you look kindly during an era when there was little competition because the rest of the world was in the hands of socialists or rebuilding its industries after a terrible war. But I see much more than subsistence today. Your poor tend to be obese, not emaciated. They don’t have to work and get to sit at home watching Oprah on big screen TVs. Unlike the 1950s they have access to the best entertainment in what is essentially real time and are connected to people all around the globe. In the 1950s poor people stayed near the places where they lived. Today they get to take $150 four-day discounted cruises and wear $200 running shoes. While working people have suffered that comes down to taxes and regulatory burdens, not wage declines. As Johnny Cash sings, on October 15, 1951, “A coke an burger cost you thirty cents…” Pay did not go down; the government money did. The problem is not industry or workers but the fact that government regulations and meddling in the economy have made things worse. Instead of calling for that nonsense to end, economically illiterate fools call for even more meddling and even more money printing. And instead of looking in the mirror they blame foreigners.

    • “If the economy doesn’t need low-skilled workers, then foreign low-skilled workers wouldn’t come here to work for the same reason refrigerator salesmen don’t visit Eskimo villages.”

      If the economy didn’t need bank robbers and rapists, then no one would rob banks or commit rape.

      There is a difference between “need” and “want”. Employers don’t need unskilled foreign workers, they want them.

      • Employers don’t need unskilled foreign workers, they want them.

        Farmers need unskilled workers. They don’t care where they come from as long as they are willing and able to do the job. When there aren’t enough local workers who want to do the jobs there is nothing wrong with the employers bringing in labour according to their need.

  7. If illegal immigrants were the sort of people who voted majority Republican the Democrats would have built a 100 foot armed wall on the Southern border by now. There would be stories in the press about illegal workers taking the jobs of low income citizens. That much I do know.

    What open borders proponents seem to be claiming is that it is a GOOD thing we have a bunch of failed states at and beyond our Southern border because they can export some of their poor people to us. They will do all of these wonderful things Americans “won’t do”.

    Well that is BS. Americans can and will do everything, including automate harvesting of produce if need be. Americans dominate every trade now, even agriculture. We don’t need more poor, uneducated people in this country. There use of public welfare programs is high and their tax contributions are low. Their illegitimacy rates are higher as well, again a main driver of being poor and on welfare.

    Not to mention there are millions of people who have come in that are not “hard-working”. Many are just criminals on the run from their home countries looking for more criminal opportunities. The prisons in the Southwest are chock full of them.

  8. The truth is, there will always be a need for low-skill labor. When all Americans have gone to grad school and gotten fancy jobs, you don’t expect them to mow their own lawns and wipe their own children’s bottoms, do you? Don’t blame the immigrants for coming here and doing those jobs. Instead you should thank them!

    • “When all Americans have gone to grad school and gotten fancy jobs, you don’t expect them to mow their own lawns and wipe their own children’s bottoms, do you?”

      Tell you what….when ALL Americans have gone to grad school and have fancy jobs, we’ll talk. Since it’s never happened anywhere ever in the history of the world, I suspect it will be a long wait.

      In the meantime, I have an advanced degree and I mow my own lawn. Most of the professional lawn services in town employ mostly young white guys, whereas most of the smaller, often one man services are mostly middle-aged black guys and older white men. I guess they didn’t get the memo that they weren’t supposed to mow lawns. At any rate, I don’t think exchanging the sovereignty and prosperity of the nation for cheap lawn care is a good idea.

      • Tell you what….when ALL Americans have gone to grad school and have fancy jobs, we’ll talk.

        Why? Some people do not want to go to grad school and are incapable of holding down jobs because they are not reliable. There is no reason for the rest of society to wait for them.

        Since it’s never happened anywhere ever in the history of the world, I suspect it will be a long wait.

        That is why it is irrational to even think about it in the first place. We do not have a utopian society where free lunches are handed out according to need.

      • In the meantime, I have an advanced degree and I mow my own lawn. Most of the professional lawn services in town employ mostly young white guys, whereas most of the smaller, often one man services are mostly middle-aged black guys and older white men. I guess they didn’t get the memo that they weren’t supposed to mow lawns. At any rate, I don’t think exchanging the sovereignty and prosperity of the nation for cheap lawn care is a good idea.

        If young white guys can get the jobs why the complaint that those jobs that are not being filled by young white guys can be filled by young Mexicans?

  9. I’m afraid I see a parallel with the later period of the Roman Empire. The masses of lower-class citizens were provided with support and entertainment (bread and circuses), while most labor was performed by slaves.

    To be supported by the state was considered a citizen’s right. At the same time, physical labor was beneath the dignity of a citizen. More and more slaves were acquired, even as citizens were idle.

    I’m sure the system was advantageous for those who needed to have labor done – citizens would no doubt have been much more expensive and troublesome to employ. As for the plebeians, they were discontented, but the alternative of hard physical labor was unthinkable.

    In Rome, over time, more and more types of work came to be done by slaves and labor of any type was not for citizens. The citizens’ options were pretty much confined to army, small-scale business, and idleness.

    (Note that I’m not saying illegal immigrants are just like slaves. The parallel is between the systems for filling needs for lower skilled labor – not between the statuses of the laborers in the two systems.)

    • I’m afraid I see a parallel with the later period of the Roman Empire. The masses of lower-class citizens were provided with support and entertainment (bread and circuses), while most labor was performed by slaves.

      You forgot the massive spending on military adventurism and empire building.

  10. I’ve been asking a similar question and initially struggled to understand the push for free contraception by liberals. I have concluded that the liberal elite want to limit the number of poor and undesirables by offering free contraception. So, consistent with your point, I don’t believe that the liberals see poor unskilled immigrants as desirable. I believe that the true goal is a guest voter program. The liberals want the illegals/guest workers to do the dirty work and vote but they’d prefer that they didn’t stay or reproduce.

  11. “No, you are missing the point. Labor supply is an important factor in prevailing wages; to call a tighter labor market, which leads to higher real wages, “forcing” a consumer to pay higher wages is a dubious use of the word.–”It isn’t. I can buy tomatoes from Mexico and do not have to import them from the US. Or I can look to local growers when they provide me with a cheaper option. I certainly do not have to pay more if I choose not to because someone pays higher than market rates.”

    Overall prices and wages are not determined simply by one individual’s market actions. You clearly never absorbed the basics of macroeconomics. Of course individuals generally try to get cheapest prices & highest wages, but many factors, including overall labor supply, population increase, weather, and other factors beyond an individual’s control will cause an individual to get lower wages & higher prices than they would like. Your response is therefore a non sequitur, and does not invalidate my basic point about the mechanism of aggregate labor supply: tighter labor supplies lead to higher wages and slacker ones to lower wages. Or as I put it earlier: “you either don’t believe in the laws of supply and demand or want to obfuscate them so US workers don’t figure out that guest worker programs lower their real wages.” ”

    “I am pointing to economic reality. People have choices and prefer to pay as little as possible for the goods that they purchase. If I can get the identical quality banana I do not care if it comes from Costa Rica or Panama. I will choose the lowest price for the same quality.”

    Irrelevant. Again you’re confusing what an individual tries to do in the marketplace with the overall supply (including labor supply) & demand that influences prices and wages, and much of which is determined by factors beyond an individual’s control.

    “Wage-earners are consumers too: if you pay them so little that they cannot survive without welfare their consumer position is not improved on net.”– “What you miss is the fact that people have a limited amount of money.”

    Bull. I don’t miss this at all, it’s part of my point. Again the comment shows you have poor reading comprehension skills. The basics of macroeconomics, including overall supply & demand, whose mechanism you are trying to obfuscate, already starts from the assumption that people have a “limited” about of money. (What some economists call “scarcity.”)

    “If you have to pay more for bread or tomatoes because they are protected by government you will have less money to pay for hookers and alcohol. While the field hands might be better off temporarily the brewers, bars, and hookers will do worse….You seem to forget the fact that central planning does not work very well.”

    Who is advocating “central planning?” Not I, or anyone else I know of in American political life. I am advocating that the US, like other mature economies, meaning countries where uneducated laborers earn relatively little in real wages, and where the native population has long had replacement or below-replacement fertility, not continue to take unlimited numbers of low-skill immigrants, whose low wages end up being supplemented in one of several ways: various government supports and/or sending money back to support families in much cheaper countries. Controlling immigration is not “central planning.” All societies, except the one you evidently advocate, is run by folks who accept the need for controls on who enters their country. And it does not serve those in the bottom half of the income ladder to pursue effective open borders, although some of those most vocal for open borders pretend that such people are their constituents.

    “In the 1950s poor people stayed near the places where they lived. Today they get to take $150 four-day discounted cruises and wear $200 running shoes.:

    Complete BS, unsupported by anything other than anecdotes. Anecdotally, I don’t know any poor people taking $150 cruises. I do see poor people wearing clothes that may have been expensive in first time retail, but, aside from stealing, which does happen, many people can get such overpriced goods for much cheaper at second-hand stores or as relatives/friends’ hand me downs. When in poverty myself, I got nice DONATED clothing for myself and my kid. Nice, but it did nothing to help me pay rent, which almost the entirety of my income.
    “While working people have suffered that comes down to taxes and regulatory burdens, not wage declines…”

    More BS. Numerous studies have shown stagnant or, for some occupations at the bottom, declining real wages for the bottom half.
    Pay did not go down; the government money did. The problem is not industry or workers but the fact that government regulations and meddling in the economy have made things worse. Instead of calling for that nonsense to end, economically illiterate fools call for even more meddling and even more money printing.

    Who’s advocating “even more money printing?” Not I. Regulations are not significantly more than they were in 1965: some were added, but others were removed. in “they blame foreigners.”
    Who’s blaming foreigners? I blame an irrational immigration policy pursued as a sop to various domestic constituencies (immigration lawyers; the ethnic advocate lobby; Big Ag, etc.)

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