Dan Tortorice may be a fine attorney; however, he is not much of an economist. In his column of Nov. 20, he posits that more unskilled immigrants will help the labor market. He does not understand the basic principles of supply and demand.
The arrival of more unskilled immigrant workers will only serve to drive down wages for those who are currently employed. If you have more of something, in this case unskilled labor, the price (in this case hourly wages) will go down.
One of the principal factors in the lack of wage growth in the U.S., and disparity of incomes (over which much concern has been exhibited by the presidential candidates), has been the unlimited supply of labor from illegal immigration. This has seriously hurt hard-working citizens who have regularly seen their jobs disappear to illegal immigrants, who are willing to work for less.
Put another way, if half of the employed illegal workers were no longer in the labor force, businesses would be compelled to raise wages in order to fill jobs and keep operating. Wage growth for ordinary citizens would resume. People who are not willing to work in landscaping, home care or at McDonald’s for $10 an hour might be more than willing at $20 an hour.
The unlimited supply of illegal immigrants, willing to work at low wages, has been a principal cause (along with globalization) of the decline of wage rates, and the declining standard of living of ordinary working folks.
Illegal immigration may help businesses by keeping wages low, but it hurts average working people.
Lawrence Burnat, Pinehurst
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