Unhappy Labor (Investor/Taxpayer) Day?


For our fellow Americans who
actually are

laborers
, it`s no longer such a happy day—or year,
or career for that matter—because the Immigration Tax
falls most severely on their wages.

I`m not the most sophisticated
political philosopher (as

last week`s column
no doubt showed). But somehow I
don`t think any philosophy could justify sticking your
fellow citizens at the

bottom of the ladder
with the biggest bill.

UCLA`s

Chicano Studies Research Center,
of all places,
recently attempted to estimate how much heavy
immigration costs

American workingmen
. (Click

here
to download their 184k PDF file). Sociologist
Lisa Catanzarite looked at many different occupations
across 38 major metropolitan areas. She found that the
higher the percentage of "recent immigrant Latino men" [RILM]
in each local job, the lower the wages paid to citizens
and established immigrants.

She writes:

"The pay penalty in occupation-MAs [Metropolitan
Areas] with 25% RILM [recent immigrant Latino
men] amounts to $2,369 per year; at 15% RILM, the
penalty is $1,421, and at 5% RILM, $474. These are
substantial wage discounts, given that annual earnings
average $21,590. In other words, in occupations with 25%
RILM, workers earn only 89% as much as workers in
comparable fields without RILM."

In other words: all else being
equal, if the makeup of your occupation`s local labor
pool changes from 0% new immigrant to 25%, your income
shrinks 11%.

Of
course, it could drop even further—because percentages
of RILMs are often much higher than 25%. Catanzarite
notes:

"… many
metropolitan areas… have witnessed the emergence of

“brown-collar”
occupations. That is, occupations
where immigrant Latinos are over-represented, largely in
low-level service, construction, agriculture, and
manufacturing jobs, including

waiters` assistants
, gardeners and
groundskeepers, cooks, farm workers, and
painters,
in MAs such as Anaheim-Santa Ana, Chicago,
Fresno, Jersey City, Los Angeles, New York City, and San
Diego. Immigrant Latinos constitute as much as 40-71% of
workers in many of these fields."

That mass unskilled immigration
drives down the wages of the unskilled will not come as
a surprise to anyone who has ever heard of the

Law of Supply and Demand.
But apparently
doesn`t include Dr. Catanzarite. She blames instead
"the devaluation of
work performed by low-status groups."

I mentioned Catanzarite`s
explanation to my wife. She replied: "That`s just
childish thinking. Grasping the concept of supply and
demand is part of growing up."

Still, Dr. Catanzarite is a
sociologist at a Chicano Studies program, so you
shouldn`t expect too much. I feel more inclined to
congratulate her on the half-full glass-ness of her
analysis.

In contrast, I`m much less
forgiving of the staffers of the Wall Street Journal
Editorial Page, who routinely assure us, in violation of
everything taught on the first day of Econ 101, that
immigrants

take jobs
that Americans just won`t do—no
matter

how much we`re paid.

Of course, investors less blinded
by ideology than the WSJ Edit Pagers have to
worry about immigration, too—especially if they hold
state government bonds. Standard & Poor`s downgraded


California`s bonds
to BBB on July 26, only
two levels above junk. And immigrant-magnet

New York
has the second worst credit rating.

In fact, an interesting new


study
has found that the proportion of
foreign born in a state`s population in the 1990 Census
correlates quite strongly with how badly a state`s
long-term bonds are rated in 2003.

It`s not hard to understand why
importing cheap labor eventually produces a budget mess
like California`s. Initially, high wages attract young
foreign men. They bring strong backs and are too scared
of the government to demand much in services. But they
drive up the percentage of the economy that`s kept off
the books and

untaxed
.

As these young men get settled,
they send for their women. Their


big families
begin flooding the

public schools
,
emergency rooms,
and

prisons
. Then the young men turn into
middle-aged men whose backs aren`t so strong anymore. So
they start going on worker`s comp and


disability
.

Due to the "rotten
borough
" problem – the

paradox
that voters in immigrant districts have

more impact
than voters in the rest of the state,
because non-citizens are counted for

apportionment
purposes – the immigrants who are
eligible to vote (or who vote


fraudulently
) elect a disproportionate number
of legislators. Thus California`s Hispanic Democrats
cast only 8% of the votes in 2002, but elected 20% of
the

legislators
.

Almost all of these legislators are

liberal Democrats.
They do what liberal Democrats
do: vote for more spending.

So current mass immigration means
not just an unhappy Labor Day, but an unhappy
investor/taxpayer fiscal year.

However, mass immigration
apparently still makes the WSJ

boys
(and

girls
) happy. How very odd.


[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and


movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website


www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]