The rich and powerful keep telling us we need more foreign workers to hold down wages to check inflation. This, when labor-force participation is at a near-record low, wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, and the pay of the working class is almost certainly not what’s driving inflation.
The latest to sing the we-need-more-foreign-workers song is former Walmart CEO Bill Simon. The “problem is,” he told Fox Business, “wage inflation”: “Walmart announced they’re raising their minimum wage” to “$14 an hour,” he said. “We need workers, but we need workers we can employ that are in the country legally.”
Chamber of Commerce CEO Suzanne Clark, who represents the nation’s richest companies, thinks the same thing: “We need more workers,” she said, arguing allowing more immigrants “would be anti-inflationary.”
Those calling for immigration to lower wages and stem inflation are completely out of touch with the reality of the US labor force. First, Simon claims the millions of illegal immigrants who have slipped past Border Patrol or been released by the administration cannot work. The reality is lack of work authorization is not a serious impediment to working, as the law barring the employment of illegal immigrants has been unenforced for decades.