2015 March 29 Sunday
Don't Give Us Your Tired And Your Poor Any More

Steven Camarota on whether "give me your tired and your poor" still makes sense in the early 21st century. The answer is clearly "No!".

Itís also worth adding that, in addition to a long-term decline or stagnation in wages for most American workers, the share of working-age natives who are actually working shows a long-term decline that began well before the Great Recession. As recently as January of 2000, 52 percent of native-born Americans ages 18 to 65 without a high-school education had a job. Today itís 40 percent. For natives with only high-school education, it was 74 percent in 2000; today itís 65 percent.

See my post Employment-Population Ratio By Education Level. The 30 point gap in employment rate between high school dropouts and those with at least bachelors degree strongly argues that the economy no longer has a use for most lower IQ people. I expect this problem to grow in the future at automated taxis and trucks and automated restaurants remove some of the remaining work for people with lower levels of ability.

A major trend in economic history of the last 35 years is that less educated and less skilled workers are doing worse. Another major trend: a huge surge in low skilled workers, especially from south of the border. Immigration advocates ignore this.

The fact that workers in general and less-educated natives in particular have not fared well in the last 35 years is not what we would expect if immigration improved the employment prospects and wages of natives across the board. After all, the immigrant share of the work force roughly tripled after 1980, so if Davidson is right, this should have been a boom time for wages and employment. In fact, the opposite happened.

Generals are known for trying to fight the last war in a new war. Immigration advocates are doing the same thing. We no longer have huge factories with growing demand for unskilled workers to do repetitive simple tasks. Robotic manufacturing equipment does that. Other jobs for the least skilled are getting demolished by automation as well.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 March 29 11:22 AM 

James Bowery said at March 29, 2015 3:58 PM:

"Give me your tired, your poor..." was the slogan of a slave-trading culture. It may as well have been emblazoned on every southern plantation's gates.

Once the US Constitution's preamble and its committment to "our posterity" became the supreme law of the land, population expansion by citizen fertility was the only legitimate means of economic development. All further importation of slaves and immigrants was treason that has merely expanded depth and breadth with a few decade slow-down between 1924 and 1965.

Mercer said at March 30, 2015 9:14 PM:

"Immigration advocates are doing the same thing. We no longer have huge factories"

I don't think they care about factories. They want cheap cooks, maids, lawn service, baby sitters, etc. Here is an example: Scroll down to number 6.


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