by NEIL MUNRO
President Donald Trump’s merit immigration reform will raise Americans’ income— so a large swath of the elite U.S. media is distorting a prestigious report to conceal the economic benefit from their readers.
“The merit reform’s central premise — that it would help American workers — is false,” insisted the editorial board of the New York Times, likely Lawrence Downes, adding:
It’s true that an influx of workers can cause short-term disruptions to the labor market, but the impact on the wages of native workers over a period of 10 years or more is “very small,” according to a comprehensive National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report published last year.
“The National Academy of Sciences looked at the effect of immigration on the wages and employment of American workers,” says the Akron Beacon Journal. “ It found the impact slight or zero.”
“Overall, the [National Academies’] study found that immigration had no negative effects on wages in the long run,” said TheHill.com.
But the National Academies’ study was very clear on page 171 of its September 22 report, titled “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration“:
Immigrant labor accounts for 16.5 percent of the total number of hours worked in the United States, which . . . implies that the current stock of immigrants lowered [Americans’] wages by 5.2 percent.
That 5.2 percent “immigration tax” caused by legal and illegal immigration adds up to $500 billion per year lost by employees because of the cheap-labor competition. The tax is the flip-side of what pro-immigration groups tout as the roughly $50 billion extra “immigration surplus” which is created by the extra immigrant workers.
The immigration tax is quietly slipped from employees’ pay-packets because workers compete wages down to get jobs in an economy where millions of Americans and immigrants — both legal and illegal — are either unemployed, underemployed or underpaid. The “tax” profits from cheap-labor are then redistributed upwards to employers and investors on Wall Street.
The merit reform’s boost to wages justifies its title, “Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment,” or the RAISE act.
The NAS report also noted that governments transfer a huge amount of taxpayers’ funds to support poor immigrants. The aid payments are made because immigration has lowered full-time wages, and because companies can low-ball wages because they know government will also provide aid programs, such as food stamps. The taxpayers’ “fiscal costs,” according to data in the NAS report, range from $43 billion to $300 billion.
One of the report’s co-authors, Harvard professor George Borjas, summarized the NAS report:
If we then take the report’s estimates of the surplus and the fiscal burden at face value, it is self-evident that the impact of immigration on the aggregate wealth of natives is, at best, a wash. Instead, the impact of immigration is distributional. Those who compete with immigrants are effectively sending billions and billions of dollars annually to those who use immigrants.
But the NAS report hides this huge poor-to-rich immigration-tax redistribution under verbiage about an academic theory. full story