Low wages, immigration

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    June 23, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    Rolland, I take issue with your basic economic argument. You say that immigration reform will lead to a "collapse in the price of labor" and that means that "you and I will have to work for less.

    Your argument is nothing more than a rank red herring scare tactic.

    Point one, the new immigration law will legalize people who are already here and working, so it will not result in any significant increase in the supply of labor. Point two, once these immigrants are legalized they will gain political power and will be in a better political position to push for higher wages. And when that happens, it will push wages up for many of us.

    What the Republican party is really afraid of is just that. There wealthy oligarch supporters do not want to be put in a position to pay a fair wage. They want to keep the slaves down on the farm.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    Who is cutting your lawn?

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    June 20, 2013 11:11 p.m.

    @prelax: "The CBO doesn't include local costs, just Federal."

    I doubt the CBO included dramatically increased unemployment benefits which will have to be paid the laid-off American workers when illegals will get green cards and the right to work legally.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    Harvard Economist George Borjas once stated, "In dragging down wages,
    immigration currently shifts about $160 billion per year from workers to
    employers." The Rich get richer and the Poor get poorer.

    A slight increase to our economy, at a huge cost to state and local services. The CBO doesn't include local costs, just Federal.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    June 20, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    The Congressional budget office claims they will add 17 billion a year. (with 8 million working), that's $2125 per worker. Since they are already here and working, that's a raise of $2125.

    We could do the same thing by having business pay 8 million American citizens the same amount.

    The answer to spur the economy is not to allow people to come here illegally and give them citizenship, it to make business pay 8 million Americans $2125

  • sg newhall, CA
    June 20, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    Frank Moss has risen from the grave. It took more than 30 years, but Frank Moss has been reincarnated as Orrin Hatch. Hatch's actions or lack thereof speaks volumes of the once champion for the common man who has become a career politician more concerned about his monetary legacy. Hatch no longer cares for this country. He begged the constituents to send him back to Congress for one last hurrah because "he would do so much with the power he accumulated over the last 30 years". Right. This man remains silent and does NOTHING but collect his paycheck. I haven't heard him speak up against illegals and the need to deport them all

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    "So granting them amnesty would have a very small impact on the employment situation."

    It's not that simple.

    One, it's having a devastating impact right now, which is one reason they should be required to return home, not be given Amnesty.

    Two, The primary objective of the Gang of Eight is maintaining the status quo of no enforcement to speak of, either at the border or in the nation's interior. Also amnesty would signify that the law means nothing. Millions more therefore will be encouraged to illegally invade the land -- thus not only will the problem not be solved; it also will be severely exacerbated.

    Yes 4word thinker, you have the right idea. But it seems the Democrats have a power, control and domination over people problem severe enough that they are willing to sell out their country for it.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    June 20, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    Once business has to pay an equal wage, they will lay them off and hire the next wave of people here illegally. That's what happened in 1986. That's why we face this problem again, we are not enforcing our laws.

    We can stop people from coming here illegally, at the border, e-verify, and in the interior. Deportation when first discovered removes the profit of coming here illegally. We just need honest leaders.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    June 20, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    @Roland Kayser:
    "I agree that our immigration system is broken and that we need to change it."

    Tell us just how the immigration system is broken. Be specific.

  • 4word thinker Murray, UT
    June 20, 2013 2:10 p.m.

    So if most the illegals here have jobs, (per atl134), and there are about 11 million of them here, making them vacate those jobs would sure help the 11.9 million unemployed American citizens.

    That seems to me like enforcing the laws would have an enormous positive impact on employment situation in America. It would help wages too, as the workers are in higher demand with the reduced supply.

    Sounds like just what all Americans, including democrats and republicans, would want.

    So why are the democrats against enforcing our laws?

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 1:32 p.m.

    @atl134 Or will those who are now employing illegal aliens simply fire them and hire a "new" illegal alien? Especially since, soon, the employer will be responsible to pay at least a part of their healthcare. The illegal aliens currently employed MAY very possibly find themselves waiting in an unemployment line and taking advantage of the social safety net we have.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    In case you all haven't noticed, the illegal immigrants who are here already have jobs. That's how they can afford to be here. So granting them amnesty would have a very small impact on the employment situation. One thing it would do though is take all the illegal immigrants who are currently working under the table for less than minimum wage, and bring their wages up.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    "and Democrats that low wages equal good economics. "

    Nonsense. Every time Democrats talk about raising the minimum wage Republicans attack them as being job killers.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    To Irony Guy: The United States of 2013 bears no resemblance to the U.S. of the 1800's. Back then most people made their living farming, and we had an essentially unlimited frontier where all the new arrivals could go. That is obviously no longer the case. Economists are convinced that the maximum growth rate for a mature economy like ours is around 3-4% a year. That being the case, their is a limit to how many immigrants we can absorb in a short period of time without dragging wages down.

    I agree that our immigration system is broken and that we need to change it. I am also not opposed to immigration per se. But we have to do it in a way that won't harm American workers, who have been getting hammered for 30-40 years now.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    I wish folks would stop thinking this is an "R" or "D" issue.

    Fact is; if smarmy employers get another 20 million workers added to the labor pool, wages will be restricted/reduced. The biggest damage to the working poor, all the way to lower-middle incomes have come from illegal alien employers.

    Advocates for illegal alien trespassers have used every argument under the sun to excuse the behavior of employers who hire illegal trespassers. I think MOST people are beginning to see that the lobbyists (they come in various forms)will stop at absolutely nothing to make sure they get a consistent and constant supply of workers who will be taken advantage of and, consequently also, suppress wages of LEGAL American citizens.
    Regardless of "political" affilliation, law enforcement should never have become politicized. But, thats where we are, and BOTH sides of the aisle are complicit; mainly because the lobbyists for small business are FUNDING both sides of the aisle.

    Democrats and Republicans alike SHOULD care that jobs for the "working poor" are being taken by illegal trespassers.

    BOTH parties should just push for enforcement of current laws.

  • Another neighbor North Salt Lake, UT
    June 20, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    The full scope of immigration cannot be captured in a newspaper editorial. History clearly reveals the magnitude and duration of the struggle in America. One of my favorite books is T. Sowell’s 1981 book titled Ethnic America in which he describes the struggles of 9 ethnic groups. I am not a big fan of much of Sowell’s editorial writing, but I do value this book. However, this book does not address many of the issues in today’s immigration debate such as the proposed expansion of the so-called high-skilled labor visas. This is a major problem in the proposed legislation that gets too little press. Moreover, the struggles of black Americans are especially unique in any discussion of the history of immigration. President Jefferson outlawed importation of slaves in 1807. The 13th amendment ended slavery in 1865. But things were not settled, and a series of the civil rights have been passed up to recent times. Several states apparently attempted to disenfranchise black voters in the recent elections. So I suggest that we, as citizens, fully appreciate the struggles before us, and we must continue to work hard to secure a just and prosperous future.

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    June 20, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    I wonder if hatch is for it because the Tea Party is against the wholesale granting of amnesty for people who have violated our laws.
    Of course this is going to kill our economy and many more people will be out of work or working for minimum just to keep their jobs.
    Hatch will not be running again for office (at least this is what he has said) and so he can let his mask slip and leave office with the worst bill (just like 0care) that this congress will leave us with.
    The dems on the "gang of eight" are saying there will be no borders. So Sen Hatch, say goodbye to our country as we know it!
    BTW, I voted for him hoping that he would do the right thing. No I don't think this bill is the right thing.
    I am all for going after business who hire illegals, they should be fined heavily.
    And, I was a legal alien! So I'm not speaking about something I don't know about!

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    June 20, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    So let me see if I can follow the supposed logic here. If we give people a path to citizenship which means they no longer are working under the table for below minimum wage which will lead to current citizens no longer having to compete for jobs with people that companies can pay less then minimum wage its somehow going to lower wages?

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    June 20, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    So now it's the Democrats who favor low wages? As I recall, it was the Republicans who vehemently opposed raising the minimum wage. Which party is really in the pocket of large corporations and their determination to drive wages to the lowest level possible? Well, both are. But the Republicans have done far more to entrench corporate power and encourage the widening gap between the rich and the rest. So of course Orrin favors lowering wages in any way possible.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 20, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    Economics can be complex. History shows that vast waves of immigration to this country stimulated the economy rather than depressing it, as markets expanded and people built houses, got schooled, started families, etc. The same arguments were used in the 1800s against the tidal wave of European immigrants. But the influx of Italians, Slavs, etc., buoyed the economy. The same will be true of our current wave.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 20, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    think that most employers take care of the illegal workers. The workers are honored as much as every one. But I don't like the big employers that bus them in sell them homes and cars then bust them for being illegal, steel their stuff and ship them home and bus in more to do the same.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 20, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    Roland is right and it's not just economics that teaches us his point. Life teaches us the same thing. Want to lose weight permanently, figure out how to cut your demand for weight gaining food. If you retain your desires and simply reduce your supply, you'll eventually fail.

    Immigration is the same thing. As long as we have a demand for low wage workers there will be a supply, and of course the Richie rich's of this country know that. They are well aware that you can't "secure" the boarder and stop the supply. So once again the ignorant and hateful are being used by the powerful to do their bidding. It will be an interesting day when the typical tea partier becomes aware of who is really pulling the strings of their misery and anger.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 20, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    If Democrats claim they want higher wages for workers why are they always in favor of amnesty and open immigration for illegals?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2013 12:47 a.m.

    Anyone who has taken even the most basic introduction to economics class can tell you that supply and demand is the most fundamental law of economics. At a time when demand for labor is low, we're contemplating a law that will greatly increase the supply. The obvious result of this change will be collapse in the price of labor. That means that you and I will have to work for less.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 20, 2013 12:12 a.m.

    Right. Because republicans are against keeping wages low. Because repubs have a long history of fighting for the worker and not richie CEOs. Because the GOP plan totally fixes immigration...

    What's hilarious is how the GOP excuses businesses for hiring illegally. Why not punish the businesses who break our laws?