Immigration: Supply & Demand and Rampant Greed
Published on May 6th, 2015
There is an expression that it makes no sense to bring sand to the beach. In other words, you don’t look to acquire more of a commodity when you have a surplus.
Today every politician running for office promises to help create jobs. Whether that politician is running for a minor county position or for the Presidency, the promise is the same: “If elected, I will help create jobs.”
In the wake of the Baltimore riots, Mr. Obama identified poverty as being a huge issue and a component of the problem. The thoroughly massaged unemployment rates spewed by the Department of Labor ignore the plight of tens of millions of unemployed and underemployed American workers in general and the even higher unemployment rates to be found in America’s minority communities.
Yet no administration has done more that the Obama administration to create unfair competition for struggling American workers and their families. The administration has done this by providing massive numbers of illegal aliens with lawful status and employment authorization.
Think of those huge numbers of unemployed Americans metaphorically as the sand on that beach. Thus far, every candidate for President has supported legalizing unknown millions of illegal aliens. Those who want to “sound tough” say that they won’t give those illegal aliens who have lived in the United States for a specified period of years a pathway to U.S. citizenship but “only” authorization to work in the country. This would give those tens of millions of aliens a right to work in the U.S. equal to those of unemployed and underemployed Americans.
“Dumping” is a term used by economists to describe a situation wherein a foreign company exports large quantities of a product to another country to be sold at a lower price than the comparable product manufactured in the country receiving that product. This is consistent with the economic concept of “supply & demand.” If the demand for a commodity remains constant, as the supply of that product increases, the value of that commodity will drop.
Today labor is being “dumped” on the U.S. from countries around the world with the aid and encouragement of our own government. This makes as much sense as bringing sand to the beach and raises an obvious question: Why would our own government do this?
Indeed, during the Great Depression, then President Franklin D. Roosevelt cut immigration into the U.S. drastically to make certain that all available jobs went to American workers.
Today, the mega-wealthy want to force down the cost of labor. So we now have a situation I have come to think of as “demand & supply.” Under demand & supply, the CEOs of major corporations, in concert with other immigration profiteers, demand an ever-increasing supply of labor to drive down wages.
These foes of working American families are succeeding in getting what they want. Wages are in decline for middle-class workers, and today there are record numbers of American families living below the poverty line.
Furthermore, even without legalizing millions of illegal aliens, the U.S. admits more foreign workers who are authorized to work here than the number of new jobs that are created. According to labor statistics released monthly by the Department of Labor, for the first three months of 2015 fewer than 200,000 jobs were created.
The DHS report, “Nonimmigrant Admissions to the United States: 2013,” contains important statistics about just how many authorized foreign workers are admitted into the U.S. annually. Table 1 (found on pages 3 and 4 of the document) indicates that in 2013 a total of 2,996,743 temporary (nonimmigrant) foreign workers and their family members were admitted into the U.S.
These statistics do not include the approximately 1 million lawful immigrants admitted into the U. S. each year who are immediately granted employment authorization. This report also does not address the hundreds of thousands of other aliens who are granted employment authorization under the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program and other similar programs, such as political asylum.
The claims that somehow bringing in even more workers will revitalize the economy are baseless and contradict reason and common sense. Furthermore, wage suppression drags down the economy. As consumers lose disposable income they are less able to purchase consumer products. There may be some ironic poetic justice that the greedy CEOs will ultimately destroy their own consumer base.
However, there is no satisfaction to be had in the downward spiral that is this race to the bottom. Such a scenario will lead not only to a decline in corporate profits, but to more jobs lost, as the downward spiral accelerates.
The title of my January 23, 2015, article for CAPS, “For America to Do Well, Americans Must Do Well” is the message our nation’s leaders need to understand.