Immigration Etc.

By GotDesign
It seems that the discussion about immigration is all the rage lately. While I have generally held back from "pop politics," I feel there may be a new dimension that I can add.

First, I think we must secure our borders. This should not be a surprise coming from someone with an intelligence and security background. There is a definite problem with illegal immigration and we need to stem the tide before we can do anything about serious about it. I think it would be a good idea to put up a fence/wall similar to that employed by the Israelis. Turn off the leak before it becomes a torrent.

Being a business school graduate, I initially thought that the debate over illegal immigrants was so much hubbub. I mean, after all, illegals do fill certain unattractive jobs and help keep prices lower. But after examining the effects of illegal immigration in the medium to long term, I begin to put some more serious thought into the issue. You should too.

The massive influx of illegal immigrants will have a serious impact on our economy. As most people know, illegal immigrants are willing to accept lower wages here in the U.S. This has the effect of lowering the payroll costs for those employ the illegals. As payrolls -- or "labor costs" -- are a significant portion of the cost of goods and services, hiring illegals either increases the profit margin of the employer or lowers prices of goods and services or -- more frequently -- both. While it is a boon in the short run, it bites you in the butt in the long run. The lower labor costs effectively put a cap on wages for everyone else. Because, let's face it, if an illegal is happy to pick lettuce for lower wages that same illegal will also happily build your house or landscape your pool for lower wages. What won't an illegal happily do for lower wages? If an illegal has a degree, why wouldn't he be able to take someone else's well paid job by offering to accept less in pay?

So illegals cap wages at an artificially low level. This is not just an isolated effect. Lower wages hamper buying power throughout an economy. And while lower labor costs will keep prices low, it also thwarts the expectations of ordinary citizens. Your garden variety employee has a general expectation that his/her wages will increase with the change in the cost of living. Well, if the economy grows but wages don't grow with it, it causes frustration for the legal workforce. Frustration that usually shows up at the ballot box or in incidents of road rage and maybe...violence against immigrants -- legal or otherwise? Who knows how such frustrations will manifest themselves. In addition, it will cause people to stop spending money. And this leads to economic depression which would be disastrous for the U.S. coming in the middle of a fabulous growth in the economy.

If you disagree, I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you think.

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