Neocon Bill Kristol Promises Tiny Wage Gain in Swap for Giant Amnesty

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Gage Skidmore CC

Americans will get a wage increase in 2031 if they accept the Democrats’ wage-cutting, rent-boosting, job-shifting amnesty, according to promises from progressives and their new neo-conservative ally, Bill Kristol.

But the promised wage gain is “trivial, and it’s not clear that it exists,” responded Steven Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies. “It’s like you’re being offered $25 by a used car salesman [but] 10 years from now,” if you immediately buy the car, he added.

“The long-term economic benefits (including increased wages for all workers across the country) … [ensure the amnesty] is essential to long-term economic growth,” Kristol wrote in a July 26 pro-amnesty op-ed with the president of Unidos, the Latino ethnic lobby that used to called itself La Raza.

The promised wage gain is just an extra $700 in 2031, according to a June report by the Center for American Progress (CAP): “Providing a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants in the United States …  [ensures] American workers would see their annual wages increase by $700.”

The $700 check-in-the-2031-mail claim is built on a prediction by a few pro-migration economists that U.S. employees will gain because amnestied illegals will be made more productive by the promise of citizenship, rather than by just work permits, says the footnote in the CAP report:

Wage effects for all other [American] workers are tied to increases in productivity resulting from a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Because of that, these gains only appear in the long run of five years to 10 years.

A $700 gain would be a 2 percent wage gain for median-income working Americans.

“There’s zero possibility” of Americans getting the promised wage gain from an amnesty, added Rosemary Jenks, the director of government relations at NumbersUSA. She continued:

You can’t increase the labor supply and expect wages to go up. But you can expect GDP to go up, and of course, that’s what Republicans talk about all the time, “Well, we’re expanding growth, blah blah blah.” But that has nothing to do with per capita [income] which is the only thing that the average American gives a damn about.

“We’re going through inflation right now … Will you be able to buy anything with that money in 10 years?” Jenks added. The current inflation rate is 5 percent — up from roughly 2 percent for each year from 2016 to 2020. If inflation continues at just 2 percent during the next decade, the promised $700 gain in 2013 would be swamped by an inflation-caused $7,000 loss in purchasing power for median wage-earners.

But the purpose of the implausible $700 wage claim, Jenks said, is to provide pro-amnesty groups with a token talking point so they can wave away the wage-cutting impact of migration and amnesty:

Nobody is going to use this talking point to a working American. No politician is going to go out into the fields or into the factory and say, “Oh, but you should be happy about amnesty because you’re going to get your wages increased by $700 ten years from now. Nobody’s going to do that. The whole point of all these ridiculous studies is for the elites to convince themselves … that supply and demand has no impact on the economy.

“The other really important reason for [Kristol] to do this right now is the [lobbyists’] attempt to sway the [Senate] parliamentarian,” said Jenks.

Amnesty advocates are now trying to pass an amnesty via the budget reconciliation process, which would bypass the Senate’s normal 60-vote threshold for legislation. So the amnesty advocates need to persuade the parliamentarian that the amnesty is actually a budget plan, not a policy proposal.

“You know that this $700 will show up in the Democrats’ talking points to the parliamentarian as to why this is perfectly reasonable to put in a budget reconciliation,” Jenks said.

“The worst thing is that it’s coming from someone [Bill Kristol] who will face no competition for jobs, will face no problem with wages, doesn’t have to wouldn’t even notice $700 in his paycheck right now or 10 years from now,” Jenks added. “It’s an elitist lie … [and] it just shows their disdain for working Americans, just utter disdain.”

In February 2017, Kristol, then the editor-at-large of the now-defunct Weekly Standard magazine, deemed Americans to be disposable and declared that population replacement would be best for the elite’s exercise of national power around the globe:

Look, to be totally honest, if things are so bad as you say with the white working class, don’t you want to get new Americans in?  [I hope] this thing isn’t being videotaped or ever shown anywhere. Whatever tiny, pathetic future I have is going to totally collapse. You can make a case that America has been great because every — I think John Adams said this — basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two or three generations of hard work everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled — whatever. Then, luckily, you have these waves of people coming in from Italy, Ireland, Russia, and now Mexico.

In November 2018, Kristol posted a cheap labor plan from his New Center think tank. The Kristol plan mimicked President George W. Bush’s “Any Willing Worker” plan by forcing Americans to compete for U.S. jobs against millions of poor migrants. The plan would have used government power to slash Americans’ wages because the migrants would rationally take U.S. jobs at very, very low wages in exchange for the government’s offer to let them move their families from Central Africa or South Asia into Americans’ more prosperous society.

Breitbart has extensively covered the deep damage to wages caused by the federal government’s use of immigrant labor to inflate the labor supply. In general, hired lobbyists and progressives try to deny the damage caused by labor inflation, but the investors and politicians admit the damage.

The link between wages and labor supply is also acknowledged by independent academics, the Congressional Budget Office, executivesThe Economist, more academics, the New York Times, the New York Times again, state officialsunionsmore business executives, lobbyists, the Wall Street Journalfederal economists, Goldman Sachsoil drillers, the Bank of Ireland, Wall Street analystsfired professionals, legislators, more economists, more academic economists, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the 2015 Bernie Sanders, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, construction workers, New York Times subscribers, a former Treasury secretary, a New York Times columnist, a Bloomberg columnist, author Barack Obama, President Barack Obama, the Business Roundtable, and President Joe Biden.

In 2016, a pro-migration panel picked by the government-backed National Academies acknowledged “immigration imposes a tax on Americans” wages in both white-collar and blue-collar jobs. “Immigrant labor accounts for 16.5 percent of the total number of hours worked in the United States, which … implies that the current stock of immigrants lowered [Americans’] wages by 5.2 percent,” the group reported on page 171 of its September 2016 report.

The chief author of the CAP report, Giovanni Peri, also admitted the damage during a March 2020 interview on BBC. The BBC interviewer asked, “It may lead to wage growth, but this could be an overall economic problem for the United States?” Peri answered, “Indeed, indeed,” before arguing that the higher wages would curb investors’ ability to launch new projects.

Many reporters also downplay the central role of money in the immigration debate, often because their editors want them to sympathetically report on migrants’ pleas. For example, Vox.com’s Nicole Narea wrote in June that “Immigrants have little to no effect on native-born workers’ wages.”

President Donald Trump’s lower-migration economic policies dramatically showed that wages can rise rapidly when employers face a labor shortage and are forced to compete for Americans. In September 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau reported:

The 2019 real median incomes of family households and nonfamily households increased 7.3 percent and 6.2 percent from their respective 2018 estimates (Figure 1 and Table A-1). This is the fifth consecutive annual increase in median household income for family households, and the second consecutive increase for nonfamily households.

If Trump’s low-migration policy helped push wages rates up by 4 percent a year, they would provide a 48 percent pay increase by 2031. That would be 24 times as much as the $700 promised by amnesty advocates.

Trump’s policies have also helped Americans in 2021. The Wall Street Journal reported June 20:

Kyle Mathews, 27 years old, is among the workers benefiting. He had worked at a large grocery store in Grand Rapids, Mich., for about four years in various positions. He said he was frustrated by the pay of about $14 an hour, the top of the store’s pay scale, and the long hours. Plus, Mr. Mathews said he felt uncomfortable last year serving the public during a pandemic.

His new job pays $16 an hour, plus overtime, and he is training for a role as a higher-skill machine operator that would pay an additional $2 an hour. “The company is growing, and I’m excited to see where it takes me,” he said. With the extra earnings, Mr. Mathews was able to take a vacation to Utah and is saving to buy a house with his girlfriend.

Trump’s successful policy followed decades of minimal wage gains after GOP and Democratic leaders pushed through the 1990 immigration law. That law effectively doubled the annual inflow to roughly 1 million migrants or roughly 1 migrant for every four American births. Once the 1990 law was in place to deliver waves of new revenue-boosting consumers and renters, plus wage-cutting workers, to the U.S. economy, the stock market surged past records set in the 1960s. The market rose five-fold from 1990 to 2020, while — and because — wages stalled during the same decades.

“If you’re concerned about wages, then you should enforce the law, encourage illegal immigrants to return home, create a tight labor market, and drive up wages,” said Camarota.

An amnesty would create multiple new economic pressures on less-educated Americans, he said:

You can assume that the immigrants will now compete with natives across a broader spectrum of jobs. A classic example in cities across America is that most places have a security guard in the lobby. [The guard is usually] not a high-skilled person, but is very often an African-American man making a moderate to lower wage. But it’s the kind of job that it’s hard to get if you’re an illegal immigrant. You have to at least have legal status for that kind of job because they do background checks. Now that job will be open to them in a big way.

A second example would be various forms of delivery jobs, like driver’s helpers for UPS. It is a low-wage job, but it’s the kind of job, like when I worked as a driver, where they take your fingerprints. They do a background check, and you have to list all your addresses. So right now there aren’t as many illegal immigrants in those [delivery] occupations,  There are similar kinds of jobs in certain sensitive areas …  being a janitor in a public school. Public school systems do background checks on people to make sure they’re not hiring child molesters for jobs that work around children, or support staff in schools. All of these jobs now become open to the illegals, and that could definitely drive down wages for Americans in these jobs.

The wage damage will also be compounded by increased competition for government aid. “Every American worker is going to have to pay [more] taxes to support these illegal aliens, they’re gonna have to pay even more taxes as they become eligible for welfare benefits,” said Jenks.

Once legalized, migrants will get roughly $140,000 in Social Security per person, Camarota noted.

“One type of welfare that is rationed is public housing,” Camarota said. “There’s never enough, there’s always more people who qualify that can get it.”

Any amnesty will increase competition for private housing, so pushing up rents for Americans, especially in New York and California. If the amnesty encourages more illegal migration, rents and home prices will rise even further, according to numerous studies.

The inflow of international migrants also tends to force up the cost of high-end suburban housing, partly because wealthy Americans — including many Democratic voters — tend to migrate into neighborhoods with good schools and low diversity. Middle-value housing, however, is increasingly being bought up by the Wall Street investment firms that advocate for more migration.

Overall, legal and illegal migration moves wealth from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to investors, from technology to stoop labor. Immigration also moves wealth from heartland red states to the coastal blue states. Within each state, the extraction policy also helps move wealth and status from GOP rural districts to Democrat cities.

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