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Does the Economy Need Migrants?
Peter St Onge

Do immigrants solve labor shortages?

This is a standard argument of the left, one they use to import millions of unskilled migrants into the US and Europe.

With immigration becoming a top voter concern in both America and Europe -- to the point it's driving millions of voters to populist candidates -0- the left-wing media is laying out the gaslight, trying to convince people that we need millions of unvetted quasi-educated foreigners to avert a demographic crisis.

The claim is we have a severe labor shortage, and only immigration can solve it. A well-funded pro-immigrant push-poll last year phrased it this way, asking if it was important to increase immigration to "address labor shortages and inflation."

By the way, the inflation bit is basically saying that without workers wages go up. More on that.

So let's take it head-on: Do immigrants solve labor shortages. 

In short, no. Because immigrants bring their own labor shortage with them. They go to the dentist, they fix their cars, they go to McDonald's, and especially illegals certainly consume social workers and police. 

This is pretty obvious, logically. After all, if America annexed, say, the country of France -- population 65 million -- we wouldn't suddenly have 65 million extra workers lying around unused. Because the good people of France are already quite busy -- they hire each other as dentists, mechanics, fast food workers, and everything in between. They brought their own jobs with them.

In fact, that's pretty close to a constant, worldwide: a new immigrant uses almost as much labor as they contribute.

So where does the notion come from? Well, at that point we get into the composition of immigrants. Who exactly is being admitted. 

So if, say, you admit 10,000 dentist, then sure you'll have a worse shortage of car mechanics and fast food workers, but you'll have cheap dentists. 

And if, instead, you import 10 million unskilled workers, you'll have very, very cheap unskilled workers. You'll have to wait 3 months to see a dentist and car mechanics will charge double, but by gum you'll have cheap fruit pickers.

So you actually worsen the shortage of skilled workers — from dentists to mechanics. While you cause a glut of unskilled workers that drives your own unskilled workers to poverty-level wages.

Indeed, that’s why the corporations push the labor shortage argument in the first place — they quite like poverty wages, however they get it and whether or not it turns the country into California.

Incidentally, this is why even Donald Trump was advocating more immigration, but more skilled immigration. More dentists and doctors and engineers -- people we actually do have a shortage of. And fewer semi-literate manual laborers.


The labor shortage argument is the left's main go-to, but voters aren't buying it. Because they see the problems -- the welfare, the crime, and plunging wages for manual labor or factory jobs. 

A recent poll in France, which is suffering its own left-driven migrant flood, found that 7 in 10 reject the argument. Notably, more women than men reject it, and of course French blue-collars reject it strongly since they know the unskilled immigrants in question will undercut their wages to poverty level.

Note that some countries in Europe already have 40% youth unemployment — youth are relatively unskilled. Even in the US it’s almost 8%. Suggesting the low-skill workers we have already can’t find jobs.

Of course, none of this will stop the globalists who've infiltrated western governments -- they see voters are an obstacle, not a constituency to serve. But being clear on the facts can help sway the undecided

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Articles about Economics and Freedom. I’m an economist at the Heritage Foundation, a Fellow at the Mises Institute, and a former professor at Taiwan’s Feng Chia University.


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