In a grim report detailing America’s severe economic decline, the Associated Press brushes off two crucial factors: Mass immigration and Obamacare’s grip on employers.
Pay is sluggish. Many part-timers can’t find full-time work. And a diminished share of Americans either have a job or are looking for one.
Yet in the face of global and demographic shifts, this may be what a nearly healthy U.S. job market now looks like.
An aging population is sending an outsize proportion of Americans into retirement. Many younger adults, bruised by the Great Recession, are postponing work to remain in school to try to become more marketable. Global competition and the increasing automation of many jobs are holding down pay.
“Global competition,” that is, bringing the globe’s population into the U.S. to fight Americans for jobs. AP announces there has been a revolution — a foreign-born population explosion that is purely a political phenomenon — then immediately declares it the new normal. Such language is never called out or questioned. The mainstream press practically dares its readers to come to the same conclusion that did: That an out-of-control U.S. immigration policy is hurting the country. It’s the definition of Orwellian to describe everything ailing the U.S. and then call it “healthy.” Do doctors tell patients they diagnose with cancer they’re entering another state of “health”?
A record 93,626,000 Americans have stopped looking for work in an economy that managed to create only one job for every two immigrants the government let in from 2000 to 2014. When all U.S. job growth goes to foreigners at the expense of Americans, while everyone in the labor force sees their wages suppressed year after year, it makes sense that some would throw in the towel — and other would tolerate less-than-ideal jobs to make ends meet. American workers used to be about to push for greater economic freedom and better working conditions, as the labor community might remember.
“You must not forget that if low wages, long hours of employment and unbearable working conditions are signs of prosperity China and India would be the greatest commercial and industrial countries in the world,”American Federation of Labor (AFL) president Samuel Gompers wrote in 1921. “They have no strikes in China.”
And it’s unlikely there will be any strikes in the H-1B visa underclass imported en masse by multinational corporations. AP notes that Americans are taking on more and more student loan debt in order to provide proof of more “education” to employers, who in the meantime merely hire older workers for part-time jobs. Should these younger Americans — 36 percent of whom by age 24 won’t be hired at all — land a job, they can be laid off and forced to train lower-skilled foreign replacements at a company’s whim. Southern California Edison saved $16 million annually by bringing in Indian workers that they decided to pay $40,000 less than 400 of their native workers. It’s a boon for them and India, who received $70.39 billion in remittances in 2014. Neither of them care about a middle class American who incurred massive student loan debt in order to better compete in the shrinking job market.
In another twist, AP praises Obamacare for killing full-time jobs. The enormous costs of providing Obama-approved health insurance to employees who cross the 30-hour mark deters companies from hiring more Americans full-time.
Many economists also point to the Obama administration’s health care reforms for increasing part-time employment. The law requires companies with more than 100 employees to provide health insurance to those who work more than 30 hours.
Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan Chase, says this could account for as much as one-third of the increase in part-time jobs.
Obamacare’s employer mandate forces at least 3.3 million Americans to work less than 30 hours per week for wages stagnating thanks to unchecked immigration. Had the Supreme Court sided against the Obama administration’s law in King v. Burwell, these workers would have allowed to earn more money, and roughly 1.27 million more would have entered the job market. Yet the Supreme Court upheld a mandate loathed by both the right and important constituencies on the left.
None of this is to mention automation replacing workers at a rapid pace, the new trade deal negotiated for Obama by congressional Republicans — the list goes on. But The Associated Press is here to make soothing noises at readers, and tell them the shrinking new economy is just as good as it was before.
Email Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.