More Misinformation from the Media:
Among the daily noise of a dysfunctional government, the immigration debate has dragged on in Washington for so long that we have forgotten what is really at stake. America needs immigrants to be great. U.S. economic growth is fueled by two key factors: productivity increases usually led by technology . . . and workforce expansion. Productivity has been slowing for decades. Economists don’t necessarily agree why that is the case, but innovation just isn’t delivering the economic boost it once did. So, that leaves workforce expansion. Unfortunately, America’s workforce is shrinking because (a) baby boomers are retiring en masse, (b) our birthrate is now half what it was 50 years ago. . . .
On balance, immigrants are great additions to the American workforce, growing the economy and wages for everyone. Though some accuse immigrants of stealing American jobs, an extensive study by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine found that immigration . . . had no negative effects on the hours of wages of any worker with less than a high school degree.
Immigrants don’t typically take American jobs and, in fact, they create jobs. And immigrants just might be the ones who will help save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. – America Needs Immigrants to Be Great, Andrew Tisch, Mary Skafidas, Fox News, 4/13/18 [Link]
Fact Check: Does America need immigrants to be great? A better question would be: Do we need the mass immigration we have today, the highest sustained level in our history, for national greatness? To get an idea, let’s look at the period of about 50 years before our current wave of immigration. It began in 1924 when legislation sharply restricted foreign arrivals and continued until around 1970 when the 1965 immigration act—the prelude to our current immigration policy—began to take effect.
During that 46 year interval, America became the leading industrial power of the world. Our manufacturing did much to ensure allied victory in World War II. After the war we developed an affluent, solidly middle-class society. Our innovation led the world and culminated in the Apollo manned moon landing. In light of this history, can anyone claim that we can’t be great without massive immigration?
Frankly, we are less great now than we were then, and excessive immigration has been one of the reasons. The “diversity” following in its wake has weakened national unity and morale. The authors of the Fox News article say that productivity has declined. Immigration may be one reason. Productivity largely consists of increasing economic output with mechanization. The flooding of our labor markets with immigrant workers has made it easier for employers to avoid the cost of mechanizing.
One example is agriculture where the availability of illegal alien workers has delayed application of crop harvesting technologies. Nevertheless, automation is proceeding in agriculture and throughout the economy. Within a couple of decades, a high percentage of jobs now being done by humans will be done by machines and computers. In that situation, we won’t need the workforce expansion that the Fox News authors claim we will.
An interesting contradiction in their article is their claim that immigration “raises wages for everyone” and then citing a study that it lowers wages for people with less than a high school degree. In their expansive enthusiasm for immigration, it seems that the harm done to America’s most vulnerable people is something beneath the notice of these well-heeled writers.
In any case, some evidence suggests that it isn’t just the poor who are being harmed by the large-scale influx of foreign workers. Tech companies claim that there is a shortage of American tech workers, which isn’t true. In any case, if there were a shortage, wages in tech fields would be rising, but they are not. The companies suppress wages by importing the foreigners and paying them less than Americans.
The belief that immigration will significantly lower our average age and renew Social Security is a vain hope. Immigrants, under current policies, will not be sufficiently numerous, young, or fertile to prevent an ageing society. At present, 66.6 percent of Americans are of working age. If immigration continues as it is now to the year 2050, 60.3 will be in that age bracket. With no immigration at all, the working age population would fall to 59.2 percent.
Again, this might not be a problem if we can increase productivity with applied technology. Mass immigration will slow down this process and burden American workers. Mass immigration is a great way to diminish our greatness.