Employment and legal immigration

Liberals are also for ever higher levels of immigration.  They insist that immigrants do not take jobs that American workers would do and that immigrants do not put downward pressure on wages for existing workers.  David Brooks tried to make this point in his N.Y. Times column by citing a "comprehensive study in Denmark."  It’s a never-ending job reminding liberals that we do not live in Scandinavia. 

One way we are not like Denmark is that we have a large under- and unemployed black community.  Black unemployment is at 9%, which is twice the national level.  Black teenage unemployment bounces between 25 and 27%, which is tragic.   

The specific point of Brooks's column is opposition to a Senate bill that would cut legal immigration from one million people per year to 500,000.  His reason is that there are 200,000 open jobs in the construction industry.  There are, in fact, between 300 and 400 thousand open high-paying jobs in manufacturing.  In the overall economy, there 5.8 million job openings, and there are huge projected shortfalls in many high-paying job categories like nursing and truck driving.  It's one thing to use these numbers to oppose mass deportations.  For Brooks and other liberals to use them to insist we need continued high levels of immigration is a very different thing and is in conflict with their often stated social justice goals.

Isn't it wishful thinking to believe that a 500,000-person incremental reduction in next year's rate would make an appreciable difference?  The major disconnect in our immigration policy is that for the most part, it skews toward low-skilled workers.  We all have a good idea of the sort of jobs our current immigrants initially fill.  They are not generally a good fit for the higher-skilled jobs, which go begging.  That includes jobs in construction.  We're  no longer in the era of hod carriers.

Brooks points out all the economic value to be gained by filling available jobs.  He gets no argument from me.  The argument is on the claim by him and other pro-immigration hardliners that we have to import people to fill them.  If we take that approach, and if, in fact, new arrivals do fill these jobs, the practical effect will be to suppress wages of Americans by denying access to the jobs that pay higher wages.

Part of making America great again is putting our own people back to work.  That means teenagers, and it means helping all our people move into available higher-paying jobs.

The pro-immigration folks shouldn't lose heart.  If Trump's total package of pro-business policies works as well as I expect, we'll have many more jobs – likely enough more that even restrictionists will see a need for more immigration.  That's just another reason liberals should pray for Trump's success.  He can reconcile their conflicting goals.

Why import people who need training when black unemployment is twice the national average at 9%?  Black teenage unemployment is at 50%.

There is a blind spot in most liberal thinking.  They do not see that over time, price corresponds with value.

Liberals are also for ever higher levels of immigration.  They insist that immigrants do not take jobs that American workers would do and that immigrants do not put downward pressure on wages for existing workers.  David Brooks tried to make this point in his N.Y. Times column by citing a "comprehensive study in Denmark."  It’s a never-ending job reminding liberals that we do not live in Scandinavia. 

One way we are not like Denmark is that we have a large under- and unemployed black community.  Black unemployment is at 9%, which is twice the national level.  Black teenage unemployment bounces between 25 and 27%, which is tragic.   

The specific point of Brooks's column is opposition to a Senate bill that would cut legal immigration from one million people per year to 500,000.  His reason is that there are 200,000 open jobs in the construction industry.  There are, in fact, between 300 and 400 thousand open high-paying jobs in manufacturing.  In the overall economy, there 5.8 million job openings, and there are huge projected shortfalls in many high-paying job categories like nursing and truck driving.  It's one thing to use these numbers to oppose mass deportations.  For Brooks and other liberals to use them to insist we need continued high levels of immigration is a very different thing and is in conflict with their often stated social justice goals.

Isn't it wishful thinking to believe that a 500,000-person incremental reduction in next year's rate would make an appreciable difference?  The major disconnect in our immigration policy is that for the most part, it skews toward low-skilled workers.  We all have a good idea of the sort of jobs our current immigrants initially fill.  They are not generally a good fit for the higher-skilled jobs, which go begging.  That includes jobs in construction.  We're  no longer in the era of hod carriers.

Brooks points out all the economic value to be gained by filling available jobs.  He gets no argument from me.  The argument is on the claim by him and other pro-immigration hardliners that we have to import people to fill them.  If we take that approach, and if, in fact, new arrivals do fill these jobs, the practical effect will be to suppress wages of Americans by denying access to the jobs that pay higher wages.

Part of making America great again is putting our own people back to work.  That means teenagers, and it means helping all our people move into available higher-paying jobs.

The pro-immigration folks shouldn't lose heart.  If Trump's total package of pro-business policies works as well as I expect, we'll have many more jobs – likely enough more that even restrictionists will see a need for more immigration.  That's just another reason liberals should pray for Trump's success.  He can reconcile their conflicting goals.

Why import people who need training when black unemployment is twice the national average at 9%?  Black teenage unemployment is at 50%.

There is a blind spot in most liberal thinking.  They do not see that over time, price corresponds with value.