Explain to Me Again Why We Need More Unskilled Labor
There can be little doubt that the elite media constitute a cheering squad for amnesty and mass immigration. But one outlet in particular, National Public Radio – perhaps the ne plus ultra of these pro-amnesty elites – can’t seem to get out of its own way. A month ago, NPR reporting on the dismal July unemployment numbers noted that “there [are] essentially too many people looking for work,” and that we have a long-term “oversupply of labor.”NPR ended August where they began, by torpedoing the labor shortage justification for amnesty and more immigration – especially low-skilled immigration. Reporting on a nationwide effort to demand $15 an hour wages for fast food workers, Chris Arnold interviewed Kyle King, a 40-something Burger King employee in Boston, who started out at $8 an hour nine years ago and now rakes in $8.15 an hour. An average annual pay raise of 1.66 cents per hour ought to be a clue that we’re not in any danger of running out of burger flippers.And it is not just fast food workers that the free market is telling us there is an ample supply. As Lawrence Katz, a Harvard labor economists, notes in the report, “80 percent of U.S. workers have not seen much of a raised in the 2000s.”But NPR is not the only elite media outlet stepping all over the low-skill labor shortage justification for immigration increases. John Carney, a senior editor at CNBC, which specializes in reporting on business and economics, argues that the business lobby’s implausible claim that flooding the labor market with low-skilled immigrants is beneficial to low-skilled native workers is just that: implausible.In a column on the CNBC website, Carney details how some economists are distorting a unique situation in Denmark to advocate for more cheap labor in the United States. Quoting economist Tyler Cowan, who observed that, “In a society of Einsteins, Einsteins take out the garbage, wash floors and scrub dishes,” Carney notes that an infusion of low-skilled labor frees up these geniuses to carry out their full potential. However, in the real world, the number of Einsteins swinging mops or working at Burger King instead of altering our understanding of the universe is pretty limited.In the real world, flooding the labor market with immigrants who swing mops or flip burgers results in natives who swing mops or flip burgers being unemployed, or being forced to spend their adult lives working for $8 an hour.
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