Immigration Lobby’s New Inflation Spiel Sticks It to U.S. Workers, Again
In a head-spinning twist, business executives and economists who previously claimed immigration had little or no impact on Americans’ paychecks are now calling for more immigration in order to reduce wages.
Among the converts is retired Walmart CEO Bill Simon. Complaining that the company now has to pay workers $14 an hour (gasp!), Simon says higher levels of immigration will tamp down inflation by reining in salaries.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which heretofore cavalierly dismissed the idea that immigrant workers depress wages, now says doubling immigration “might be the fastest thing to do to impact inflation.”
Most recently, The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy article toeing the conventional line that the U.S. – and every other developed nation — must import evermore low-wage workers. But one Journal source broke ranks, asserting that mass immigration slows economies in the long run.
“Labor shortages are very healthy,” said Mikal Skuterud, an economics professor at University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. “They force employers to use existing workers more efficiently and invest in technology, that’s all good stuff.”
Unfortunately, that logic is lost on Joe Biden & Co. FAIR reported this month that, to the detriment of American workers, the open-borders White House is slavishly following a Goldman Sachs playbook, which advocates for U.S. wage reductions via higher rates of immigration. (Goldman is mute on whether businesses would or should pass along any savings to consumers.)
“Apparently, what was once a negligible impact on wages is now a large and desirable one,” observes Steve Camarota, of the Center for Immigration Reform.
The argument that expanding the foreign labor pool lowers inflation is a thin and contradictory one, as evidenced by an article posted at Fwd.us, an immigration advocacy group. There, a George Mason University professor recites the newly approved mantra that more immigration is essential to curbing wages and stemming inflation. Yet Fwd.us explicitly states elsewhere on its website that it is a “myth” that immigration “drives down wages.” So which is it?
Globally focused business executives, corporate-endowed think tanks and compliant media acolytes with short memories conveniently gloss over inconvenient facts, even common sense, in dogged pursuit of their overriding objective: More immigration. If the old inflation-immigration narrative needs to be turned upside down, so be it. American workers are a dispensable detail in their shifty equations.