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What Would The American Economy Look Like Without Undocumented Workers?: Left of Center View

No matter what spin you attempt to put on it, the truth is the truth. And the truth is that without undocumented workers, or their equivalent, the current American economy would cease to exist. They are a necessary part of our economy and one of the keys to its long-term health.

First of all there is very little manufacturing still being done on American soil. Almost everything these days is produced in the Far East. Factories in China, Korea, Vietnam and countless other countries with few or no environmental restrictions and an almost limitless supply of cheap labor supply the vast majority of America’s needs. So complete is the dominance of the factories of the Far East, even Mexico is starting to feel the pinch. Factories in North America to remain competitive have one of two choices, produce a far superior product and hope that you can get the higher price for it, or find a way to cut costs, often illegally to compete with your overseas counterparts.

Part of the counter for this lopsided equation requires the government to become involved. Tariffs and other import restrictions to level the playing field must be put in place. Other countries offer their corporations more than just tax breaks and incentives; they actually inhibit competition by levying a huge tariff on goods coming into their nations, essentially pricing them out of reach for their local economies, ensuring that local goods are purchased in bulk, at home. The basic principal of an open market is that the consumer makes the choice, not the government. To successfully do away with undocumented workers in this country, we will have to do what so many of our competitors have already done, give our labor force a little home field advantage. Tax incoming products to offset the savings garnered from overseas manufacturing and pay the locals enough that so they can actually procure the products they produce.

So why hasn’t something been done. The simple answer is that while the nation’s blue collar workers are finding less and less opportunity and even middle managers are finding themselves unable to make their mortgage payments; those at the top are doing better than ever. The rich have gotten richer, largely because by out-sourcing, hiring undocumented workers and using every tax and incentive loophole their friends in office have created for them. America’s largest employer saves hundreds of millions every year by treating their lower echelons like undocumented workers, by only employing the majority of their rank and file for 38 hours per week, they don’t have to offer them health or other benefits given to their “full time” employees.

By screwing the little guy, obscene amounts of money are generated, which in theory should benefit the economy, even if only a little. But with years of trickle down practice since the Regan era, none of this money ever actually makes it onto the company ledger for the stockholders or government to see; instead most of it is given to executives in the shape of incentives, retention and other bogus bonuses.

John McCain put the annual income of the American Middle Class family at roughly five million per year. Let me say this again, John McCain put the annual income of the American Middle Class family at roughly five million per year. Of course McCain also doesn’t have any idea of how many homes he owns, so maybe his “Middle Class” friends really do only make five million a year. Maybe in that world it makes perfect sense to raid the corporate pension fund to pay the exiting CEO who led the company to bankruptcy a Five hundred million “exit bonus”, a loophole that in his acceptance speech Barack Obama promised to close. For those of us well below the five million annual middle class wage, perhaps instead of ostracizing the undocumented workers around us, we should befriend them. Ask them to share with us their survival secrets so that if President McCain becomes a reality we can improve our way of life by finding work, in Canada.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

Got a liberal viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: How Should American Immigration Policy Be Reformed?

Send in your view from the Left to be our featured Left of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Left:
Can International Trade Save American Jobs?

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
Would Harsher Sentences for Undocumented Criminals Lower Crime?
Will There Ever Be Comprehensive Immigration Reform in America?
Do Undocumented Immigrants Pose a Health Risk for Americans?
How Will the Oil Crisis Impact Foreign Policy?
What is a Fair Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Workers?
Which of the Presidential Candidates Will Bring the Best Immigration Policy Into Office?
Outsourcing, Bad Trade Policy and Recessions
Is America Capable of Breaking Free from Foreign Oil Dependency?
What Does the Globalization of Big Business Mean for America?
Are American Car Makers Ready for the Oil Crisis or Will Japan Reign Supreme Once Again?
Does Dependency on Foreign Oil Endanger America?
What is a "Real" American?
Racial Profiling - Is It Ever OK?
Who Wins When Undocumented Workers Come to America?
NAFTA and the Election
How Can We Curb Illegal Immigration?
Fear Mongering and Illegal Immigration
Border Security and the War on Drugs
Outsourcing or Undocumented Workers: Which Hurts American Workers More?
Sierra Club vs. Border Fence
Who Owns America?
Redefining Immigration
Racism and the Immigration Debate
Free Trade vs. Fair Trade
Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries
What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Archives by Date




What Would The American Economy Look Like Without Undocumented Workers?: Right of Center View

For a minute here, let’s put aside all of the arguments about legality and moral issues around the subject of immigration. Let’s look at just the fiscal impact of approximately twelve million people leaving our economy all at once. The quick hit is that it would be disastrous.

The upside is that after the likely ensuing temporary collapse of our economy there would be a rise in employment and a rethinking of how we do business in America. We might even see a reexamination of the minimum wage laws that have made it extremely difficult for American businesses to compete on a global scale. While other countries have businesses being supported by government American business is second only to Japan in the tax rates imposed upon them by their government. American business also has to contend with the imposed salary rates not dictated by the market but by an artificial floor imposed by Washington making business have to resort to criminal behavior in the form of hiring illegal aliens who will work for a lower wage to survive.

We might find that after a mass exodus of undocumented workers that our economy would be stronger in the long term. There is no doubt that it would be a short-term negative impact but that is to be expected any time there is a major upheaval in any economic system. When the Great Depression hit, tens of thousands of Americans lost their jobs and many died but in the years following the Depression there was a lot of innovation and eventually the seeds planted during the Depression grew into the prosperity that has blessed America since the end of the 2nd World War.

It may be that America is due for another great economic revolution that will hurt in the short-term but will also allow for us to find prosperity for the next few generations. It may be that Americans have gotten too far away from the values that came out of the Depression and allowed us to become the dominant economic power in the world and need to find our way back to them in order to ensure our continued success in the future. While nobody wants to go through hard times it is sometimes those hard times that forge the change that is needed to bring about greatness. Our nation was not founded on easy times but on hardship and the overcoming of adversity.

Some may take my outlook as an attack on people wanting to find a better life in America. There is nothing that could be further from the truth. I welcome people from all around the world to our nation provided they respect our laws and want to contribute to the betterment of our nation. It is in fact the influence of immigrants in many cases that has led to the growth of America and the good fortune we have come to expect from being Americans. We most certainly cannot survive with America being isolated in the world. The reality of modern life is a global economy and international markets. We cannot afford to think that America-only solutions will keep us competitive in the future.

What we do need to remember though is that as long as we have the laws on the books that require wages be set at certain levels and that companies have to base their decisions on legislative decisions rather than market forces there will be a demand for undocumented workers. They are a survival tool for business and without them we are overly vulnerable to being pushed out of the market by competitors from other nations. Many can wax poetic about how wonderful it would be without illegal aliens but until we get our lawmakers under control and make global competition a priority we will need at least some of them to work for less than overly-inflated federally mandated wages. Guest worker programs could replace undocumented workers but we need inexpensive labor or we will surely perish as an economic force in the world.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: How Should American Immigration Policy Be Reformed?

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Right:
Can International Trade Save American Jobs?

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
How Much Impact Will Our Faltering Economy Have on Illegal Immigration?
Would Harsher Sentences for Undocumented Criminals Lower Crime?
Will There Ever Be Comprehensive Immigration Reform in America?
Do Undocumented Immigrants Pose a Health Risk for Americans?
How Will the Oil Crisis Impact Foreign Policy?
What is a Fair Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Workers?
Which of the Presidential Candidates Will Bring the Best Immigration Policy Into Office?
Outsourcing, Bad Trade Policy and Recessions
Is America Capable of Breaking Free from Foreign Oil Dependency?
What Does the Globalization of Big Business Mean for America?
Are American Car Makers Ready for the Oil Crisis or Will Japan Reign Supreme Once Again?
Does Dependency on Foreign Oil Endanger America?
What is a "Real" American?
Racial Profiling - Is It Ever OK?
Who Wins When Undocumented Workers Come to America?
NAFTA and the Election
How Can We Curb Illegal Immigration?
Fear Mongering and Illegal Immigration
Border Security and the War on Drugs
Outsourcing or Undocumented Workers: Which Hurts American Workers More?
Sierra Club vs. Border Fence
Who Owns America?
Redefining Immigration
Racism and the Immigration Debate
Free Trade vs. Fair Trade
Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries
What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Archives by Date

A Legal Immigrant’s Perspective

If you are not a Native American, you are an immigrant, so am I. I came legally to this country at the age of five with my parents who worked hard, paid taxes (even Jesus paid taxes), lived by the rules of this great nation and never took or accepted a penny from the government. We came seeking FREEDOM from a communist country. It was months before we were able to enter the US legally. I remember us getting medical exams, shots (small pox), background check, references, and going through numerous interviews once we arrived. I also remembered people coming to the US from all over the world who waited years since it was based on "Quotas". Read more...

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally “The Race” in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isn’t really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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