Subject Areas


National Prosperity

Immigration can't be the solution to low wage workers

Who will do our Low wage Jobs?

Black Americans—those whose ancestors were brought here as slaves—and other Americans whose ancestors arrived with no special skills—performed most of the manual and low paid labor of our past centuries. Fortunately, America has been the land of opportunity that enabled most of us to develop knowledge and skills that negate the need for us to perform unskilled labor. In addition, the “welfare state” has further decreased the numbers of people willing to work for low wages. As a result, there is a shortage of workers willing take these less rewarding jobs.

But we have become accustomed to benefiting from the inexpensive products of cheap labor. Many of our manufacturing plants have moved overseas in search of ever cheaper labor. At home, we have condoned the immigration of laborers to fill the most onerous and least rewarding work. However, this tactic cannot continue to fill the need. These workers too, will eventually take advantage of opportunities and leave the cheap labor market. In addition, this apparently cheap labor will certainly prove to be very expensive in the long run. [families, etc.]

We don’t actually have to have cheap labor. More machinery, better technology, and changes in the way we live can eliminate some  of the need for manual labor. But, in some cases workers will simply  have to be paid better for the jobs they do. This higher pay and the attendant cost of some items, need not lower our standard of living. We can easily adjust our habits so as to lessen the wasteful acquisition of the latest technology or fashions, most of which have little to do with a comfortable standard of living. With a lessening of marginally useful  doodads, we could lower our cost of living well to compensate for the higher cost of labor.

In the beginning, immigration provides low wage workers. When immigrants become fully Americanized, they will no longer be willing to accept those jobs. Endless immigration would be required to fill this need into the future.