Zuckerberg’s Investor Lobby Promises Wage Raises with Amnesty

Life-sized cutouts depicting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wearing "Fix Fakebook" T-shirts are displayed by advocacy group, Avaaz, on the South East Lawn of the Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018, ahead of Zuckerberg's appearance before a Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees joint hearing. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

A lobbyist in Mark Zuckerberg’s investors’ group is promising cautious legislators in Congress — and conflicted journalists — that an amnesty for millions of illegals will actually raise wages for Americans.

The promise of wage gains for Americans — a $600 extra in 2031! — was pushed Thursday by Susan Rice, the far-left director of President Joe Biden’s Domestic Policy Council.

In turn, that $600 promise was retweeted by Alida Garcia, a senior lobbyist for Zuckerberg’s FWD.us advocacy group:

It “stretches credulity” for investors to claim they support a policy that would raise wages, responded Steve Camarota, the research director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “In general, [investors] want lower wages,” he said. Lower wages spike stock market values by offering higher profits.

But investors do support the amnesty policy because it will provide them with cheaper labor and more consumers, he said, “It will spur more illegal immigration and more family-based immigration …  It’s a win-win for them [by] spurring [consumer] demand and holding down wages [with an] increased supply of workers,” he said.

This push is led by Zuckerberg’s FWD.us network of coastal investors who stand to gain from more cheap labor, government-aided consumers, and room-sharing renters. The network has funded many astroturf campaigns, urged Democrats not to talk about the economic impact of migration, and manipulated coverage by the TV networks and the print media.

The breadth of investors who founded and funded FWD.us was hidden from casual visitors to the group’s website sometime in the last few months. But copies exist at the other sites.

FWD.us allies have produced multiple reports claiming very small wage gains for Americans. Those claims are cited in the “50 economists” letter and were debunked by Breitbart News in April.

The September 9 “higher wages” pitch comes as Zuckerberg’s FWD.us investor group and its progressive subordinates are lobbying and pressuring the Senate’s debate referee — the parliamentarian — to include multiple amnesties in the so-called “reconciliation” budget bill.

As part of that pressure campaign, Garcia also retweeted a tweet from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.

Haberman had shared a pro-amnesty tweet from Brian Deese, the chairman of Biden’s National Economic Council of advisers. But the Deese tweet ignored the claim by “50 economists” of wage gains for ordinary Americans:

Instead, Deese only used his Twitter account on September 9 to restate the unverifiable and uncontroversial prediction that an amnesty would slightly expand the economy and slightly expand the number of jobs by 400,000 — or 0.25 percent — over the next 10 years.

Yet a week earlier, on August 31, Deese had retweeted news about confirmed and dramatic pay raises that are being caused by a nationwide shortage of workers:

Walgreen’s new $15 per hour starting wage is a 50 percent increase for new employees from the current starting wage of $10 an hour. Walgreen’s 5o percent raise is many, many times more valuable to its employers than a promised slow rise to a $600 wage in 10 years.

Moreover, the wage gains for Walgreen’s employees may be blocked by the amnesty pushed by Lake, Garcia, and the FWD.us investors because they are caused by labor shortages amid widespread worries about the coronavirus disease — and also by President Donald Trump’s 2020 curbs on legal and illegal migration:

Supermarketnnews.com reported on August 31 the shortage-driven wage gains are widespread:

Walgreens projects the total investment for the wage increase at approximately $450 million over the next three years and said a third of the amount already is budgeted for fiscal 2022. The company added that it will partially absorb the wage investment through its normal course of business.

Earlier this month, rival CVS Health unveiled a plan to gradually raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour by July 2022. The nation’s largest pharmacy operator, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS noted that the shift to $15 an hour next year will represent a more than 60% gain in its minimum enterprise hourly wage over a four-year period.

In the grocery sector, retailers that have raised or plan to increase their starting hourly wage to $15 or more include Amazon/Whole Foods MarketTarget and Costco WholesaleWalmart said in mid-February that wage investments will elevate its average hourly pay to over $15, while Kroger reported in its fiscal 2020 earnings call that its average hourly wage climbed to $15.50 from $15 last year and, including full benefits, exceeds $20. Lidl US also has raised its hourly wage to $15 or more in some markets.

Each wage raise is a loss for investors, such as those in FWD.us. For example, the $150 million per year cost of Walgreen’s wages are taken from profits that would otherwise have added roughly $2.8 billion to the value of the company’s shares that are held by Wall Street investors.

Labor scarcity also promotes wealth-boosting productivity, as well as wage gains, according to a New York Times op-ed by David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “The labor scarcity we’re experiencing is real … this is an opportunity, not a crisis,” he wrote on September 4.

Moreover, jobs for Americans are more popular than amnesties, according to a September 1-2 survey of 1,299 Americans for NPR.

Ipsos asked: “Would you support or oppose creating a legal way for the following groups of immigrants, who meet certain qualifications, to become U.S. citizens? … All of the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S.?”

Just 19 percent of adults declared strong support, while 44 percent strongly opposed. Democrats split 29 percent strong support, 9 percent strong opposition.

Ipsos also asked: “When jobs are scarce, employers should prioritize hiring people of this country over immigrants?”

Twenty-eight percent strongly agreed, and just 6 percent strongly disagreed. Democrat “strongly” responses split 17 percent to 9 percent.

Many polls show that labor migration is deeply unpopular because it damages ordinary Americans’ career opportunities, cuts their wages, and raises their rents. Migration also curbs their productivity, shrinks their political clout, widens regional wealth gaps, and wrecks their democratic, compromise-promoting civic culture.

For many years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates. This pocketbook opposition is multiracialcross-sexnon-racistclass-basedbipartisan,  rationalpersistent, and recognizes the solidarity Americans owe to each other.

However, donor-funded GOP leaders have downplayed the pocketbook impact of migration on Americans’ communities. Instead, they try to steer voters’ concerns towards subsidiary non-economic issues, such as migrant crime, the border wall, border chaos, and drug smuggling.

The “50 economists” letter was signed by a variety of academics and advocates, including roughly 24 sociologists, health experts, and advocates in progressive groups:

Eileen Appelbaum, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Leah Boustan, Professor of Economics, Princeton University
Clair Brown, Professor; Director, Center for Work, Technology and Society, UC Berkeley
Paul Brown, Professor of Health Economics, UC Merced
Brian Callaci, Postdoctoral Scholar and Economist, Data & Society Research Institute
Stephanie L. Canizales, Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Merced
Katharine Donato, Professor of International Migration, Georgetown University
Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Co-Executive Director, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality
David Dyssegaard Kallick, Director of Immigration Research Initiative, Fiscal Policy Institute
Charlie Eaton, Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC Merced
Ryan D. Edwards, Associate Adjunct Professor, Health Economist, UCSF
Edward Orozco Flores, Associate Professor of Sociology, UC Merced
Jason Furman, Professor of Practice, Harvard University
Fabio Ghironi, Paul F. Glaser Professor of Economics, University of Washington
Shannon Gleeson, Associate Professor, Department of Labor Relations, Cornell University,
Clark Goldenrod, Deputy Director, Minnesota Budget Project
Laura Goren, Research Director, The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis
Matt Hall, Associate Professor of Policy Analysis & Management, Cornell University
Stephen Herzenberg, Executive Director, Keystone Research Center
Gilda Z. Jacobs, President & CEO, Michigan League for Public Policy
Sarah Jacobson, Associate Professor of Economics, Williams College
Vineeta Kapahi, Policy Analyst, New Jersey Policy Perspective
Haider A. Khan, Professor of Economics, University of Denver
Sadaf Knight, CEO, Florida Policy Institute
Sherrie Kossoudji, The University of Michigan
Adriana Kugler, Georgetown University
Charles Levenstein, University of Massachusets, Lowell
Margaret Levenstein, Research Professor; University of Michigan
Robert G. Lynch, Professor of Economics, Washington College
Gabriel Mathy, Assistant Professor of Economics, American University
Darryl McLeod, Associate Professor of Economics, Fordham University
Joseph McMurray, Associate Professor of Economics, Brigham Young University
Edwin Melendez, Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, Hunter College-CUNY
May Mgbolu, Assistant Director of Policy and Advocacy, Arizona Center for Economic Progress
Ruth Milkman, CUNY Graduate Center; Former President, American Sociological Association
Tracy Mott, Professor of Economics, University of Denver
Francesc Ortega, Professor in Economics, City University of New York
Ana Padilla, Executive Director, Community and Labor Center, UC Merced
Lenore Palladino, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Manuel Pastor, Director, Equity Research Institute, University of Southern California
Mark Paul, Assistant Professor of Economics, New College of Florida
Giovanni Peri, Professor of Economics, UC Davis
Diana Polson, Senior Policy Analyst, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
Steven Raphael, UC Berkeley professor
Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, UCLA
Martha W. Rees, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, Agnes Scott College
Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology, Boston College
Heidi Shierholz, President, Economic Policy Institute
Taifa Smith Butler, President & CEO, Georgia Budget & Policy Institute
Dr. Ashley Spalding, Research Director, Kentucky Center for Economic Policy
Anna Stansbury, Economics Ph.D. Candidate; Harvard University
Marc Stier, Director, PA Budget and Policy Center
Edward Telles, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, UC Irvine
Esther Turcios, Legislative Policy Manager, Colorado Fiscal Institute
Eric Verhoogen, Professor of Economics, Columbia University
Christian Weller, Professor of Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Meg Wiehe, Deputy Executive Director, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy
Barbara Wolfe, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Yavuz Yasar, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Denver
Marjorie S. Zatz, Professor of Sociology, UC Merced
Naomi Zewde, Assistant Professor of Public Health, City University of New York

The letter was also signed by a left-wing advocate who argues that migrants “take jobs Americans won’t do” — as if Americans cannot use their clout in a national labor market to seek better pay and conditions.

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