Sep 06

We Don’t Need More Workers

The Quote Below: More Misinformation from the Media

“Experts say a sustained reduction in immigration could dampen growth over time as more baby boomers retire, leaving huge gaps in the job market. . . . The Business Roundtable, a group of corporate leaders, recently challenged the Trump Administration over changes that it says threaten the livelihoods of thousands of skilled foreign workers, and economic growth and competitiveness. The H-1B program, which was created to bring in foreigners with skills that business leaders argued would strengthen the economy, has long been a target for some politicians. The visa program has been criticized because corporations have exploited it to replace American workers. . . . Still, many economists say H-1B holders are valuable.” – Companies Say Trump Is Hurting Business by Limiting Legal Immigration, The New York Times, Nelson Schwartz and Steve Lohr, 9/2/18 [Link]

Fact Check of Quote: Once again we hear the tireless refrain from immigration advocates that we’re facing a labor shortage, one that will leave “huge gaps in the job market.” Evidently, the writers don’t know, or don’t care to reveal, that we’re are on the brink of a great shift toward automation in the economy. Within the next 15 years, studies confirm, as almost 40 percent (or more) of American jobs now done by people will be done by robots and computers. With this change looming before us, it is absurd to claim that we’ll be needing mass immigration to meet an alleged shortage of workers.

The article cites “economists” who claim that we currently need lots of temporary foreign workers on H-1B visas to do jobs in tech fields, specifically those involving STEM (science, technology, engineering,  math.) The reason commonly offered is that there are not enough Americans with training in these fields.

This claim isn’t true. For proof, one needs only to notice that most American graduates with STEM degrees are not working in STEM fields. U.S. companies aren’t hiring them because in a great many instances they can hire foreign workers for lower wages than they would pay Americans and also make them put up with working conditions that Americans wouldn’t tolerate.

The H-1B visa program is indeed valuable to the companies that profit from it. That benefit does not extend to working Americans.

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