Klobuchar: Unemployment Is Too Low, Government Should Import More Workers

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
NEIL MUNRO

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, says the federal government needs to provide Minnesota companies with more imported workers.

“We need workers,” Klobuchar told Fox News’ Bret Baier February 12. She said:

I think we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and I look at this is not just a moral issue. I actually look at it as an economic issue. When you look at, in my state, we need workers for some of the jobs, especially in rural areas. We have a 2.8 percent unemployment rate.

But voters in Minnesota got a record wage increase of 5.2 percent in 2018 precisely because the state has a very low unemployment rate of 2.8 percent. That low rate also forced companies to find and recruit sidelined Americans.

There is a shortage of workers in Minnesota partly because migrants have increased the workforce by only ten percent.

On February 10, Klobuchar announced she is running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

President Donald Trump has begun using similar language and is now saying that companies need immigrants to take new jobs in the United States. On February 11, for example, Trump predicted he will deliver more foreign workers to U.S. companies:

Speaking of jobs, we have to have more people coming into our country because our real [unemployment] number is about 3.6 [percent], 3.7 [percent] …  We need people.  So we want to have people come into our country, but we want to have them come in through a merit system, and we want to have them come in legally.  And that’s going to be happening.

 

If implemented, Trump’s promise of more foreign workers would reverse the popular “Hire American” policy he promised in his Inauguration Day speech.

Americans’ wages are rising because Trump’s “Hire American” policy forces companies to compete for the American and legal immigrants who are already in the United States. Pay rose 3 percent in the 12 months up to December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The biggest national gains were around Minneapolis, likely boosting Trump’s 202o support in the swing state.
Trump does not talk about how worker shortages force companies to compete for labor by offering higher wages, even though rising wages help politicians get reelected.

Many GOP and Democratic leaders are calling for more foreign workers. For example, Texas GOP Rep. Kevin Brady also called for more foreign workers in his February 12 appearance on Fox. Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, told Fox:

The workforce … is the number one challenge back home.  Businesses of every size and in every corner of the country are starved for more workers and it is holding our economy back.  So I think if Congress can address [that]… you will see more [economic] growth in the future.

Brady did not say greater immigration would help grow wages.

The federal government has already aided business by importing roughly 35 million legal immigrants, and by not deporting at least 12 million illegal migrants. Those arrivals help investors by lowering Americans’ average wages and expanding the total volume of wages spent on a wide variety of products, including food, autos, and apartments.

Klobuchar also urged a cheap labor policy.

She repeatedly told Fox News that she opposes the repatriation of illegal migrants and would like to revive the 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty. She said:

We don’t want to deport 12 million people … I would say look at people that have committed crimes … That should be of course your number one enforcement priority. My problem is that they’ve been going after a professor in Minnesota or someone who has been a doctor in Rochester, Minnesota, for years …

What I don’t like about what’s going on is that [enforcement agencies] seem to be targeting certain people that maybe even tried to apply for citizenship and do the right thing. The way you solve it is what we did in the Senate, bipartisan with comprehensive immigration reform.

The Gang of Eight amnesty — which was dubbed by business as “comprehensive immigration reform” — offered an amnesty to at least 12 million illegal migrants, and it doubled the annual inflow of legal immigrants from 1 million to 2 million.

Each year, that inflow would have provided one new immigrant to compete for jobs against every two Americans who turned eighteen.

The 2013 amnesty legislation also allowed universities to provide companies with an almost unlimited inflow of foreign college graduates to compete for white-collar jobs. The wave of college-graduate workers would have flatlined salaries for middle-class Americans in Minnesota and other states while spiking profits and stock market prices for CEOs and investors.

The huge inflow would also have shifted much income from employees to investors, according to a 2013 report by the Congressional Budget Office.

The amnesty push was blocked in 2014 by opposition from GOP voters. In 2016, those voters helped elect Trump and his “Hire American” policy.

Business lobbies back the federal governments’ economic policy of using legal and illegal migration to boost economic growth.

But that policy also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors by flooding the market with cheap white collar and blue collar foreign labor.

That annual flood of roughly one million legal immigrants — as well as visa workers and illegal immigrants — spikes profits and Wall Street values by shrinking salaries for 150 million blue-collar and white-collar employees, and especially wages for the four million young Americans who join the labor force each year.

The cheap labor policy widens wealth gaps, reduces high tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high tech careers, and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions.

Immigration also steers investment and wealth away from towns in Heartland states because coastal investors can more easily hire and supervise the large immigrant populations who prefer to live in coastal cities. In turn, that coastal investment flow drives up coastal real estate prices and pushes poor U.S. Americans, including Latinos and blacks, out of prosperous cities such as Berkeley and Oakland.

 

 

.