The few mainstream conservatives who genuinely oppose open borders immigration always emphasize its impact on unskilled, minimum wage workers.
The clever strategy here is plausible deniability regarding “racism.” Their rhetorical chess move is to counter arguments that immigration control is “racist” by implying that non-white workers are the biggest economic casualty of the free movement of labor, which is somewhat true but doesn’t paint the entire picture.
Mass immigration reduces wages in almost every sector for the simple reason that people from countries with very low standards of living are comfortable doing a lot more for a lot less. This is why market economics and national sovereignty can never co-exist if you want your native population to have a comfortable standard of living.
Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang’s 2011 book 23 Things they Don’t Tell You About Capitalism debunks the myth of a “free market.” According to his research, the number of immigrants allowed in a country is the most reliable predictor for living standard changes for workers in first world countries, more than even legislation mandating minimum wage increases.
Thus, when politicians and capitalists open the borders, they are making a conscious decision to depress wages across the board and increase profits for the 1 (or 2) percent.
One example cited in the book is a comparison between a bus driver in Sweden and one in India. Due to massive inequalities in infrastructure and general labor conditions, the Swedish bus driver’s job is much easier than the Indian one, yet the former is far wealthier than the latter. If the Indian bus driver migrates to Sweden, he will be content with doing the native worker’s job for 10 or 20 Euros less per hour, as it will still be a relative upgrade in his lifestyle.
Immigrants in the globalized liberal economy today have little interest in labor organizing and collective bargaining (another predictor of an industrial nation’s middle class) compared to natives for this reason, and those that do can be easily replaced if they grumble too loudly anyway. While not an economic argument, the breakdown of social cohesion in multicultural societies makes worker’s solidarity needed to beat back capital very difficult.
This principle can be translated to every field, from construction to engineering. Chang states that in a scenario with truly open borders – an idea quickly gaining traction among America’s elites – 80-90% of native workers would be forced to compete for significantly lower wages or outright replaced.
Tech and H1-B Visas
6% of all private sector workers in America are employed in the tech industry. With a median salary in the six-figures range, workers in this field can enjoy among the best standards of living offered by any profession.
But a 2017 study by Bound, Khanna, and Morales found that the H1-B program has been disastrous for tech workers. In 2001, the number of American workers displaced by foreign labor approaches 11% (the number is probably much higher today). In the same year, they calculated that wages would’ve been 5% higher that year if the H1-B visa program did not exist.
Anecdotally speaking, these are likely low and outdated estimates, the damage is absolutely higher in the past decade. The neo-liberals conducting the study conclude that while individual workers suffer, consumers gain by saving 1-2% on the price of computer products, a paltry sum viz-a-viz the social cost. What does saving 10 bucks on a piece of technology matter for STEM graduates locked out, inundated with debt and forced to work at Starbucks?
The big winners are actually corporations delivering abnormally high profits to shareholders and speculators.
Construction was once a field where a man without a college education could provide a middle class lifestyle to his family.
In many parts of the country, this is a figment of the past. Approximately 7 million Americans are employed in this sector. In just a few decades, the construction industry in Los Angeles went from being two-thirds white and unionized to now overwhelmingly non-white, non-union, and reliant on illegal labor.
As a comparison, a typical construction worker in California made $31.84 an hour in real wages in 1973. Today, workers make $25.97 an hour. This does not account for the additional lifestyle costs non-union members have, like healthcare coverage for their families. Californian cities lead the nation in inflation , with the median cost of a house rising by $120,000 dollars in the last three years alone. A similar dynamic is repeated across the country where there is a lot of immigration and usurers run amok.
The hard fought battles organized labor has won over the last century, sometimes with men giving their lives and freedom for the ideal of a decent living wage, have been done away with.
The supposed law of supply and demand have had no impact on worker’s wages in the care sector. Even though demand for home care has risen 20%, mass immigration and corporate graft (Medicare outsources this work to private companies) has ensured that this difficult job remains one of the lowest paying in the country.
Male care worker wages have actually decreased a whopping 16.5% from 2005-2015. This correlates with an influx of immigrant labor in the field, estimated to be 20%.
22 million people are employed in the agricultural sector. Here, exploitation of illegal labor is rife. Academics have referred to immigration as a “subsidy” to agribusiness.
In the meatpacking industry, the Ronald Reagan regime used illegal immigrants to bust unions. Wages across the industry collapsed by 50% afterwards in a field that paid enough to live decently.
A 1997 report from the New York Times found that Reagan’s neo-liberal policies led to a decline of 20% percent in inflation-adjusted wages for agricultural workers. From 2002-2015, wages in this work have only increased by a shocking 0.6%. 9 out of 10 workers in the industry are immigrants.
There is of course a much larger impact, beyond just individual indignity and transforming middle class jobs into destitute ones. This is collapsing the US welfare state and placing additional burdens on tax payers. Immigrants contribute $19 billion in taxes, but cost $116 billion a year in state services.
Almost everyone who works in the mainstream media supports mass immigration, if not open borders. This is ideological signaling intended to climb the rungs of corporate media. The Columbia Journalism Review, which publishes all kinds of extreme-leftists, recently published an attack on Newsweek, in part for hiring Filipinos to churn out clickbait for very cheap.
This is more of a question of outsourcing, which has had an equally devastating effect on industries such as customer service and virtually anything else you can do over a phone or on a computer. The type of digital nomad and urban cosmopolitan that pays lip service to globalization may be in for a disappointment when they get faced with the reality of changing media business models. By the time they learn to code, they will be competing for $20 dollar an hour jobs with H1-Bs.
Increasing numbers of the Judeo-Left have been slapping back socialist critiques of outsourcing. They see it as something that increases the living standards of worker’s in foreign lands even if millions at home get the shaft.
Where Is the Third Position?
Neither conservatives, who are in the pocket of business and only begrudgingly pretend to oppose immigration for votes, or leftists, who are bought off by liberal money in order to provide a human-rights case for 21st century slavery that impoverishes everyone, can address this issue, even in purely economic terms.
The expectation from market liberals is that we all collectively sacrifice, for what? So some CEO’s bratty kid can live in Brooklyn and blow his trust fund up his nose? The hostility right-wingers have towards worker’s rights in conjunction with the left’s obsessive hatred of white people and borders has created an America with the greatest wealth inequality in modern history.
Immigration policy is set exclusively by capitalist greed and a corrupt demo-plutocracy that ignores the interests of the people they are meant to serve.
Regardless of your opinion on race, culture, and national sovereignty, if you are a member of the 80-90% of workers that can be replaced on the spot for half the price, the virtual lack of immigration enforcement across industrialized Western nations will personally impact you or your children’s standard of living.
Trump, who according to Constitutional lawyer Ann Coulter has all the powers he needs to put a moratorium on immigration and won’t use them, may go down as the president who sealed America’s looming third world fate.