The Atlantic Magazine: The Feds Use Migration to Cut Wages

Migrants wait for U.S. authorities, between a barbed-wire barrier and the border fence at the US-Mexico border, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Wednesday, May 10, 2023. The U.S. on May 11 began to deny asylum to migrants who show up at the U.S.-Mexico border without first applying online or …
AP Photo/Christian Chavez

The federal government uses immigration to suppress Americans’ salaries and wages, according to an article in the Atlantic, which is a very pro-migration and establishment magazine.

The federal policymakers believe that “labor is just another commodity, like wood or oil, and Americans are best off when it is plentiful and cheap,” the June 2 article says.

Author Oren Cass, the founder of the mainstream American Compass think-tank, wrote:

American public policy has largely managed to keep things that way. Over the past 50 years, as both parties supported the entry of millions of unskilled immigrants and the offshoring of entire industries, America’s per capita gross domestic product more than doubled after adjusting for inflation. Productivity of labor rose by a similar amount, and corporate profits per capita nearly tripled. Yet over the same time period, the average inflation-adjusted hourly earnings of the typical worker rose by less than 1 percent.

The massive distortion is revealed by the declining share of new wealth that goes to employees since about 1970.

Amid migration, technological centralization, and outsourcing to China, U.S. employees’ share of new wealth dropped 10 points from 1970 to 2014 — from 51.6 percent to 41.9 percent — according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Employees’ share jumped 1 point up under President Donald Trump’s lower-migration policy. But their share seems to be declining again under President Joe Biden’s easy migration rules.

A May 4 report from Cass’ American Compass showed how migration allows investors to minimize pay to workers:

From 1972 to 2022, real corporate profits per capita rose 185%. GDP per capita rose 141%. Productivity rose 135%. The average hourly wage for production and nonsupervisory workers rose 1%. How is that even possible?

It is possible because employers will tend to raise wages under one, and only one, condition: when they cannot hire the workers they need at the existing wage. All of labor economics turns on that simple fact.

This post-1970 economic shift has moved many trillions of dollars from wage earners to investors from 1970 to 2023, thrilling investors and their allies.

The establishment’s cheap-labor bubble burst in 2020 when the coronavirus crash blocked the supply of new migrant workers. The resulting shortfall allowed many Americans to change jobs in search of higher wages.

Cass wrote:

In the coronavirus pandemic’s aftermath, for the first time in a long time, many employers are discovering that they can’t fill jobs at the low wages they’re accustomed to offering. “We hear from businesses every day that the worker shortage is their top challenge,” Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said last May. This is the precise circumstance under which wages might finally rise. Instead, the business community is looking to government to get them out of a jam, and leaders on both sides of the aisle seem only too eager to help.

The article carried an online headline, “A Labor Shortage is a Great Problem to Have.”

WATCH: Rep. Lee: “No Border Security Bill Until GOP OKs Even More Migrants”:

@USHouseJudiciaryGOP / YouTube

But now President Joe Biden and his deputies are dramatically opening the inflow of foreign workers via legal, quasi-legal, and illegal migration routes.

“Immigration is a [policy] lever,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told in December 2022.  “We’re down a million immigrants a year — that’s a workforce that we need.”

“There are businesses around this country that are desperate for workers [and] there are … desperate workers in foreign countries that are looking for jobs in the United States, ” Biden’s border chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, said on May 11.

“We’re working with the State Department on and DHS [Department of Homeland Security] … to make it easier for [college-graduate migrants] that have these skill sets that we think can really contribute to implementing these new policies, that we can bring them in faster,” White House official Katie Tobin said on May 15.

Cass continued:

This is a grave mistake—politically, economically, and morally. If employers are struggling to find workers, they should offer better pay and conditions. If that comes at the expense of some profits, or requires some prices to rise, well, that’s how markets are supposed to work. In most other contexts, capitalism’s proponents celebrate how the market creates incentives for businesses to solve problems. In that respect, a labor shortage is a great problem to have. Only by challenging employers to improve job quality and boost productivity will we find out what the market’s awesome power can achieve for American workers and their families.

Cass, however, did not offer a term to describe the federal government’s policy of lowering wages via migration.

WATCH: GOP Rep. Hunt — Democrats’ Migration Pushes Americans into Poverty:

@USHouseJudiciaryGOP / YouTube

Extraction Migration

The federal government has long operated an unpopular economic policy of Extraction Migration. This colonialism-like policy extracts vast amounts of human resources from needy countries, reduces beneficial trade, and uses the imported workers, renters, and consumers to grow Wall Street and the economy.

The migrant inflow has successfully forced down Americans’ wages and also boosted rents and housing prices. The inflow has also pushed many native-born Americans out of careers in a wide variety of business sectors and contributed to the rising death rate of poor Americans.

The lethal policy also sucks jobs and wealth from heartland states by subsidizing coastal investors with a flood of low-wage workers, high-occupancy renters, and government-aided consumers.

The population inflow also reduces the political clout of native-born Americans, because the population replacement allows elites to divorce themselves from the needs and interests of ordinary Americans.

Migration — and especially, labor migration — is unpopular among swing voters. A 54 percent majority of Americans say Biden is allowing a southern border invasion, according to an August 2022 poll commissioned by the left-of-center National Public Radio (NPR). The 54 percent “Invasion” majority included 76 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents, and even 40 percent of Democrats.


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