Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Illegal Immigration and "Magnets"

I guess it's becoming a conservative meme that the U.S. shouldn't be creating "magnets" that draw undocumented migrants to the labor force of the United States.  I'm pretty sure that these folks think of "magnets" as things like the DREAM Act or Comprehensive Immigration Form.  But these things are not magnets at all -- they're simply responses to the reality that undocumented immigrants are here in our country and that there are strong economic forces that draw them here.

And it's precisely these strong economic forces that are the true "magnet" -- the demand for skilled and unskilled cheaper labor.  And I wonder how these GOP candidates hope to eliminate that magnet! Because if they do succeed in making the U.S. economy a place that isn't the envy of every worker in the world, we'll be in a heap more trouble than we currently are!

This brings me to a comment on Michele Bachmann's absurd reference to that Steve Jobs comment on outsourcing jobs to China.  What makes the outsourcing of such jobs attractive is that these highly skilled workers are coerced by the Chinese government (and the corporate CEOs who have no problem with the Chinese government's authoritarian control over the labor market) to work for a pittance.  If Michele Bachmann gives a green card to all the highly-skilled Chinese software developers and programming engineers to come make their living in the US working for Apple, I promise you these Chinese green card holders are going to demand much higher salaries, which will propel Apple to go right on back to China for cheaper labor all the while we'll have more unemployed highly-skilled green card holders from China who will have to resort to washing dishes or picking grapes, if not waiting in the unemployment lines.

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