Friday, November 13, 2015

Cruz Mugs Trump, Hugs Lump

According to the Wall Street Urinal:
Immigration was also a flashpoint, with Ted Cruz slip-streaming Mr. Trump as an ardent restrictionist. He even embraced the lump of labor fallacy that the supply of jobs is so fixed that immigrants “drive down the wages for millions of hardworking men and women.” 
Not so. In a 2013 analysis, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill that passed the Senate that year would have raised average wages by 0.5% by 2033. CBO also found that among the poorest workers, new immigrants tend to lower the wages of other immigrants, not native-born workers. That’s because they work in industries like hospitality and agriculture that are dominated by newcomers. Mr. Cruz is positioning himself to pick up nativist voters who now support Mr. Trump if the businessman fades.
Translation: immigrants working in hospitality and agriculture are not hardworking men and women. Gee, that's news to me. Is that why they call the WSJ a "news"paper?


Denis Drew said...

Immigrants do make it possible to lower wages below what the native born will work for. The minimum wage likely could not have dropped several dollars below LBJ's $11 -- DOUBLE THE AVERAGE INCOME LATER -- if Mexico and India did not exist. (Why don't we always make min wage comparisons peak-to-peak?)

Chicago could not have a taxi meter 50 cents below 1981 after adding 40% more cabs plus subways to both airports and opening up unlimited livery -- dropping the pay for a 60 hour week from $750 to $500 (if that!) if all those other countries did not exist. 50% greater average income since 1981 (when I showed up here) -- and we serviced mostly the top 10%. Add a dollar a mile and American born drivers can work again -- not much to ask.

Chicago has 100,000 gang members out of my guesstimate 200,000 gang-age, minority males because the minimum wage is not $600 a week and the typical follow on wage (e.g., retail clerk) isn't $800. Some high labor use businesses like fast food might get stuck at $600. About 5% shift of Chicago GDP to about 500,000 (very shaky guesstimate) could make these jobs SUBJECTIVELY PALATABLE for those who wont work now and subjectively livable for those who are working now.

I am working on a -- or working out -- a socio-economic market theory (theory may be too grand a word) that high union density automatically leads everyone to feel SUBJECTIVELY satisfied and successful about their economic level -- regardless of their ABSOLUTE level.

IOW, in 1956 workers earning the $8.75 minimum wage thought they were doing okay -- and were willing to work at it w/o the excuse that they were making a better life for their immigrant children or whatever (think today's taxi drivers). In the movie Bye, Bye Braverman we see upper middle class Manhattanites living in their small upper West Side apartments -- happily -- no thought of more space or up-to-date kitchens (whatever the latter might be). Ditto in 1956 for $500 a week cab drivers. Subjectively content because they are doing alright for their economic era.

Collective bargaining, by definition, brings all three sides -- labor, owners and consumers -- together on an even power plane where they all tend to receive something like equal human satisfaction. Subsistence-plus wages (plus an increment or more depending on how much we want from employees) by definition leads to endless squeezing of more for less (especially as employees gradually get used to getting less -- or are even undercut by immigrants who will take less to start with): AUTOMATICALLY resulting in subjective unhappiness with your economic level in your economic era -- whatever your absolute level might be.

In the 50s and 60s white happiness ran on auto-pilot (on political power balance too) on high union density. Density or doom -- that's the struggle.

blissex said...

Oh no mister sandswichman the WSJ is making a very valid point: immigrants usually can't or don't vote, and therefore their interests are irrelevant in an election,

They may be relevant in other contexts, but the article was about an election, and people standing for election target potential voters, That's a hard enough task without them starting to worry about the interests of non-voters.

It would be marvellous if candidates were wise philosopher-kings who care about everybody, but democratic elections are by construction about the interests of the majority of voters and nobody else. The winners win and the losers and those who don't take part lose.

Sandwichman said...

"...the WSJ is making a very valid point..."

I understand what you're trying to say here, blissex, the lump of labor reference is gratuitous noise and IGNORING what they actually say, the point they mean to get across is valid. Well, sometimes I'll do that when marking a student paper -- I see what they are trying to get across here. I hold public discourse to a higher standard, though. If the Wall Street Journal has to rely on bullshit boilerplate to "make a valid point" then their writers are incompetent. On the other hand, if they are using the occasion to get a kick in at one of their standard scapegoats, they are shameless propagandists. One way or the other, the Journal is a Urinal.