Let Immigrants Take the Jobs American Workers Don't Want

The H-2B visa allows foreign workers to fill jobs that native-born Americans aren't interested in.


The country's latest jobs report, released Friday, suggests that about 5.75 million more workers are sitting out of the workforce than before the pandemic. That's in spite of a record 8.1 million job openings recorded at the end of March.

American workers have not been quick to take these jobs for a variety of reasons, including child care considerations, concerns about disease risk, and a reluctance to give up unemployment benefits. But there are plenty of other people who could fill those positions—if only they were here.

David J. Bier, an immigration research fellow at the Cato Institute, suggested that foreign workers be allowed to fill available roles and ease the labor shortage. The government can use the H-2B visa, he argues, to bring willing workers to the U.S.

The H-2B program grants visas to temporary, non-agricultural laborers "if unemployed persons capable of performing such service or labor cannot be found" in the U.S. Around 40 percent of H-2B workers are landscapers or groundskeepers, followed by forestry laborers at 8 percent. Smaller shares perform recreation, housekeeping, construction, and restaurant jobs. These workers can be employed in the U.S. for up to nine months, with possible extensions of up to three years.

The jobs often taken by H-2B workers overlap heavily with the jobs that are now unfilled. March data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the largest increase in openings in the accommodation and food services sector, at 185,000 new jobs. Arts, entertainment, and recreation, another major H-2B sector, saw an increase of 81,000 positions.

"Unemployed Americans don't want to take seasonal manual labor jobs that H-2B workers are hired for," Bier says. "Unemployed Americans want permanent jobs with good working conditions." Though Americans on unemployment are often referred to H-2B-relevant jobs by state agencies, Bier says that workers who "might apply or show up for a day and then quit" are a persistent problem. Employers could save time and resources by hiring H-2B workers.

Many argue that the unwillingness to return to work stems from low wages. But pay is rising across the understaffed sectors (and in the private sector more generally). In the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurant, hotel, and bar jobs, wages are up nearly 9 percent over the past year. Nonmanagerial workers in those fields now earn an average of $15.87 an hour. People in all nonsupervisory private-sector jobs are making $25.60 an hour on average, up from $25.01 a year ago.

Those wage increases haven't been sufficient to lure Americans back into the labor market, but gains from H-2B employment could. According to Bier, H-2B workers help create better-paying jobs for native-born workers. "Economic research has repeatedly found that when immigrant workers come into an industry, U.S. workers shift to jobs with either better pay, better working conditions, or both," he says.

This comes in the form of complementary employment. Bier explored that idea in a February Cato policy analysis, which found that "H-2B workers increase firms' productivity" and subsequently increase the demand for U.S. workers in more desirable positions. By filling lower-skilled roles with H-2B workers, firms can then create supervisory and administrative positions—jobs Americans might be more willing to take.

Harnessing the program won't require drastic changes to our immigration system, given that we've been bringing H-2B workers here since 1952. But political roadblocks may limit its potential. Though Congress has set the annual H-2B visa cap at 66,000, applications far exceed that number. For example, 98,000 workers sought the 33,000 visas allocated for the first half of 2021. The Department of Homeland Security released an additional 22,000 visas on May 25; by June 3, it had received enough petitions to reach the cap (excluding applicants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, who count toward a different limit).

After the disappointing April jobs report, Biden said that the economy's comeback "wouldn't be a sprint, it'd be a marathon." Having campaigned on both immigration reform and economic recovery, the president should think about combining the two. A reluctance to raise the visa cap will keep recovery slow—and keep willing workers away from unfilled jobs.

"It's inexcusable with record job openings and a border crisis" to keep the visa cap low, says Bier. "Forcibly keeping H-2B jobs unfilled doesn't create jobs for Americans who don't want to do them. It does the opposite."

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  1. How about we do that….next year = open up H-2B.

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  2. How interested would those Americans be without the welfare state?

    1. Immigrants will be magically immune from the siren song of the welfare state.

      1. They’re so noble!

    2. Seriously. I’m not interested in calls for immigration until we have cut welfare 90% and still have a hiring shortage.

  3. There are no jobs Americans don’t want. There are only jobs Americans don’t want at the offered wage.

    1. How about before we use it as a justification for open borders, just stop government from competing with employers by offering welfare for not working? Let the markets work as they are supposed to without government meddling. There are industries that need to retool and others that need to go away, just as it has always been. Business models lose their economic value and disappear over time. I can’t remember the last time I bought encyclopedias or had my shoe soles replaced. The market took care of these professions.

  4. At least be honest. What you mean is “Use immigrants to drive down wages of Americans.”

    There are no jobs Americans won’t do. There are jobs Americans won’t do for 3rd world wages. Supply and demand works, so we need to close the borders and start mass deportations of everyone who has immigrated here in the past 50 years and their descendants.

    1. I don’t think that’s it. Most construction firms, like me, can’t find general laborers for 15-17/hr, which is where I start. And that’s very good for jobs that require no education and only a basic understanding of how to use hand tools and a wheelbarrow.

      Typically I’d fill a lot of my positions with college kids in my neighborhood who came home for summer. But finding anyone under 30 willing to actually do physical labor has been nearly impossible the past 2-3 years.

      It clearly seems to be a work ethic and laziness issue. As these jobs reports keep showing, there’s more job openings than unemployed. At some point you hope people would take pride in themselves and want to be self reliant and earn a living like the old days. While also realizing not every job is supposed to be a career. But it seems pride and self esteem are easily bought with stimulus checks.

      Also, we wouldn’t need to increase wages if bidens policies weren’t jacking up the cost of living, energy, and doing business. Sucking up expendable income from citizens and corporations.

      1. Wrong! These people who make up your employee demographic eat, wear clothes, have kids, and buy cars and beer, right? So if they aren’t working for you, how the hell are they surviving? What you’re not realizing is that hard work is driven by necessity, but government has taken the necessity out of life. Yes they are lazy, but it’s because they can afford to be that way.

        1. Bingo: The ugly truth it, most people will only work hard if they have to, and the government has put too many people on the dole.

          Deliberately, I think.

          1. The whole transfer of wealth to Lefty college staff from indebted college students is diabolical.

            Kids used to pay cash for college after saving up from low wage starter jobs.

        2. So your first word is “wrong” even though you agree with my entire post. Makes sense.

          They’re surviving on government stimulus or their (or their parents) savings. Pride and creativity exist regardless of necessity. Some people build shelter for necessity. others create a home filled with art and iconography from their culture, developed architecture, and landscaping. I’d argue not only have the democrats destroyed work ethic with their stimulus and free rides, but they’ve also destroyed creativity with their regulations, lock downs, social restrictions, smearing and white washing of American culture, smearing and white washing any multitude of fields of study, and promoting a group think, hive mind, kind of politics that deems all dissent as violence or oppression.

          If necessity was all that drove us we’d still be living in huts, killing our own game, and cooking on campfires.

      2. Why would a college student work over the summer when Student loans pay all their bills?

        1. +100000000000000000000

          Kids used to do that summer work to save money for college. Kids paying cash for college would bring tuition prices down and make college more competitive since they could only teach what students are willing to pay for.

          Lefties tie all this taxpayer money into schemes to shift debt burdens onto young people and give their money to supporters of Lefty policies.

          1. And the student loan system drives tuition price up, as do all 3rd-party payor schemes, so you can’t afford tuition with summer-job money alone anymore.

        2. It pays for college. But not for beer, girls, or weed over the summer. Let alone a car.

      3. “Most construction firms, like me, can’t find general laborers for 15-17/hr, which is where I start.”

        The sentence, as it is written, does not make clear whether you are:

        1. a construction firm, or
        2. a general laborer who starts at 15-17/hr at construction firms.

        Of course, neither one makes sense. “A construction firm” doesn’t generally refer to itself in the first-person singular even in corporate statements. And it is unlikely that you yourself would be concurring as you do in this post with Chamber of Commerce talking points if you actually had to get by on 15-17/hr.

        I’m thinking that what you meant to convey is that you head a construction firm and the entry-level wage you offer is 15-17/hr.

        I’m picking on you, but your post could have been [mis]written by any number of denizens these days. Fewer and fewer people these days seem committed to clarity of semantics or dealing with the subject at hand in these sorts of discussions, and that’s why so many arguments or responses miss the point entirely and leat to bat-s***-crazy politics.

        For instance, your assumption that 15-17/hr is a “very good wage” is obviously not true if the market cannot provide adequate labor at that price. The answer to your objection is baked into the cake. If you can’t make your activity profitable given the costs you need to change sectors.


        Anecdote: when I was in college the minimum wage in the state I lived in/attended school in was $6.00/hr. Full tuition at my private school (I had a scholarship or else I certainly would not have attended) was over $25,000/year, not including room and board. The school offered various work-study programs for students to offset some of the tuition by working in the library or back-office staffs, their wages defiscalized and counted against tuition. At 15 hours of work a week, and 15 weeks per semester give or take, you’d get a $2700 discount per year. (Woo-hoo.) So that’s a $10,800 discount over four years. Okay, but…

        Most undergradutate degrees (outside architecture, engineering, nursing, etc.) required 120 credit hours for graduation, so 15 credit hours per semester over 8 semesters. If you packed 18 credit hours per semester instead, you could lob off an entire semester, or $12,500 worth of tuition. (Again, not even counting the room-and-board racket.) Minimum wage has increased since that time, but tuition has increased even faster.

        It doesn’t take a genius to realize these kinds of jobs are not worth a student’s time. It is true that work-study jobs and college tuitions are directly and indirectly federally-subsidized and therefore disconnected from market fundamentals, but so are housing costs, both from easy cash/low interest rates and refusal to enforce immigration laws (or even pass sensible ones) which jacks up demand and prompts sprawl.

        This of course reveals the circularity of your argument. Your construction business likely wouldn’t need to exist if the asset-price-inflation prevaricators weren’t pushing an economic model which results in increased sprawl and a general decline in the American quality of life. One can hardly blame you for making a living on a fait accompli, and you are of course entitled to the contrary opinions to what I have presented.

        But let no one think you are speaking as a disinterested party in the ongoing disintegration of what was not too long ago one of the most successful societies in the world.

        1. Maybe you should have worked more hours?

          1. To clarify: *I* myself was not in a work-study program.

            But my 15-hour benchmark was not arbitrary: it was pretty typical of student workers. Admittedly, though the “official” recommendation was “no more than 20 weeks,” I did know some people who worked 30+ off-campus and came out fine, but they weren’t in the most rigorous programs. It would be more difficult, for example, to complete an architecture or engineering undergraduate degree in under 5 or 6 years while the subject is working nearly full-time.

            And that’s really point: time is a valuable commodity and when it’s a question of opportunity cost it can be monetized. A typical Bachelor of Arts or Sciences program often looks like this: each class is in session 3 hours a week, each student takes 5 classes per semester and each class is said to require 2 to 3 hours of home study per classroom hour. (A lot of them end up requiring much less: not a good reflection on American institutions of higher education, but it is also true that “students are the only consumers who don’t want their money’s worth,” as my contract law intro prof said.) So that’s 45 to 60 hours of work per week. If you add one class in per semester you’re up by 9 to 12 to account for classroom plus study, and you’ll finish your degree a semester earlier and save more money in that one saved semester than if you had worked 15 hours per week.

            9 to 12 extra hours for $12,500, or 15 hours for $10,800. Which would you choose?

        2. My assumption that 15/17 an hour is a good wage is based on the cost of living in western Pennsylvania.

          But it’s not a good wage when the government pays you more to produce nothing. And you’ve been raised by a generation of boomer parents who think opening more credit cards is how you build more wealth.

          You basically used a lot of words to say you’re too stupid to understand that business like mine are in wage competition with unemployment compensation/stimulus, not market forces. Which is then compounded with the piss poor work ethic, aversion to physical activity, and lack of tangible real world skills that don’t require a keyboard. And we now know you were a lazy piece of shit in college.

          1. “My assumption that 15/17 an hour is a good wage is based on the cost of living in western Pennsylvania.”

            If you define a “good wage” as one with a favorable wage/cost-of-living index ratio then you may indeed pay a “good wage.” The question is whether it is good enough to overcome the opportunity costs of, admittedly, government pensions but that is not the full story. Even if we got rid of welfare, many potential recruits might prefer to live closer to the Northeast Corridor, for example, or the Bay Area than in Western Pennsylvania. Others may have offers for higher-paying jobs. If the wages you offer can’t overcome the opportunity costs of living in Western Pennsylvania rather than somewhere else, or of working for you rather than someone else, they aren’t high enough for the market, regardless of how “good” they may be by this standard.

            “And we now know you were a lazy piece of shit in college.”

            Better a lazy piece of shit in college than an illiterate boob in the workforce as you have revealed yourself to be: at no point in my post did I indicate how many credit hours I took or how many hours I worked for wages or what my wages, if I had any, were. (Not that I see any incentive to prove anything to the likes of you, whose opinion I do not value and who is in all probability like every other immigration apologist I have met immune to reality.)

            Also, for a businessman you have absolutely no notion of time-as-money. Watch your precious construction gig go up in smoke as the indirect subventions disappear when hyperinflation, demographics and general mismanagement make the U.S. economy so bad Mexico will be building a wall to keep Americans out.

      4. “American construction workers today make $5 an hour less than they did in the early 1970s, after adjusting for inflation.” (LA Times, “Immigrants flooded California construction. Worker pay sank.” 4/22/17)

        Most kids can get a $15 an hour at Target, Best Buy, or an Amazon warehouse. They don’t get sunburned in the summer, frozen in the winter, and rarely are subjected to the kind of on-the-job injuries common to construction. Construction SHOULD be a higher wage industry because of the physical challenges, higher risks, and frequent gaps in steady employment.

        Instead, people like you depress wages by hiring desperate workers from other countries while whining about the reality that most Americans have better judgement than to work for you. BTW, I don’t know about you but a lot of your peers hire illegal aliens and then steal their wages while subjecting them to unsafe conditions.

        Yes, Biden is making it worse but if you paid another $5 an hour to your entry level workers, you would have plenty and many would use the time on the job to learn additional skills and move up the ladder, I am so sick of bullshit from people like you and the author of this incredibly stupid article blaming Americans for being too smart to be exploited.

      5. For $16/HR they can fold tshirts in a mall.

        You’re not paying enough for someone to break a sweat. No wonder you have trouble getting quality workers.

      6. I worked landscaping right out of high school and made about $12/hr – in the early 90s. Your pay is shit. You want someone to do a job that is more difficult than working in an Amazon warehouse and subject to weather, you need to pay more than Amazon does. Some of the guys I worked with did crab fishing once a year – most of them only did it once even though it paid well because it was extremely hard work, there was little sleep, and it just plain sucked.

        1. So a 25-40% increase in starting wages for basic labor in a 15 year period isn’t appropriate? You do realize 15$ is 25% more than 12$ right?

          Also what you stupid twats don’t understand is that Amazon, target, etc ARE ALSO NOW IN COMPETITION WITH GOVERNMENT STIMULUS FOR EMPLOYEES AS WELL. So they’re all paying more, great. They’re Mega corporations who can absorb those costs much easier.

          And lastly what you stupid twats don’t understand is sure, I can raise my wages to out compete Amazon, target, and unemployment compensation. But that means the next time you want something paved, it’s going to cost you a lot more, not based on market forces, but on government forces. That means each purchase consumes more of your disposable income than it would if the costs relied purely on a free market. Which means now you need a higher wage to maintain your standard of living and absorb higher costs for everything you buy and every project you contract, or you let your standard of living fall. Can you just instantly get a raise? Can your neighbors? Or your entire city, state, country?

          That’s called inflation since you retards don’t seem to get it. you know, that economic force were seeing in the cost of nearly every commodity rising right now.

          So why not just admit youre in favor of government forces dictating prices instead of market ones, and admit you’re not libertarians?

          1. “If you’re not raising wages, then it just sounds like whining“- Neel Kashkari

            You’re complaining that nobody wants to work for you at the advertised wage, you say it’s good pay and they’re lazy for not taking it. There’s one solution to your problem that’s in your control and apparently refuse to do.

            Inflation has been going on for a long time look at food prices, housing, education, gasoline over the past 30 years. In the USs case, wages have failed to keep up, now they’re catching up. Maybe it’ll lead to even higher prices, maybe it won’t. But crying that nobody will work for you, then getting angry when people propose the obvious solution isn’t gonna help you out.

          2. I missed your response, but apparently you suck at math. The early 90s was not 15 years ago (which was 2006). It hasn’t been 15 years, it has been 30. $100 dollars in 1991 (when I was making $12/hr) is the equivalent of $195 today. If you are paying less than $23.4/hr, you are paying your workers less than I made in real terms. Which completely misses the main point that you need to pay more for a job that is unpleasant than similar qualified potential employees can make for a more pleasant job. Amazon pays what you pay, is currently screaming for people to apply, and the job is much easier.

            You can bitch and whine about not finding employees or you can offer more. Supply and demand is a bitch, isn’t it?

    2. The author explains that increasing labor pool also increases productivity through increases division of labor. The wage depression effect does not take into account productivity gains. So immigration actually solves the problem the welfare benefits are supposed to address ie the fact that these jobs are low paying and not very attractive. If we let poor unskilled immigrants take them, the businesses that employ them save on labor costs and have more to invest in higher paying and less arduous managerial and administrative jobs that Americans would be willing to take.

      1. The author is an idiot. Nothing about bringing new low skill workers into the country helps the economy. In their absence, employers will respond to labor shortages by adopting more efficient practices, using technology to increase productivity, and paying more competitive wages.

        BTW, whatever minimal productivity benefits may be eked out by exploiting foreign workers is easily offset by the economic and social costs of leaving US workers unemployed.

        1. well as the added drain by low-skilled new welfare and social safety net benefit recipients.

  5. Let Immigrants Take the Jobs American Workers Don’t Want at the Price Required by Law.

    1. Let Illegal Immigrants Do Jobs Under-the-Table Jobs For Wage Amounts That Are Also Illegal

      …would be a more honest title.

      1. Or, Let’s import slaves.

        The foreign worker programs are just modified slavery. The wages offered would be an insult to any citizen.

        1. Democrats do love slavery.

  6. David J. Bier, an immigration research fellow at the Cato Institute, suggested that foreign workers be allowed to fill available roles and ease the labor shortage. The government can use the H-2B visa, he argues, to bring willing workers to the U.S.

    You know… I don’t really care what your position on immigration is, but this is just about the dumbest argument for immigration I’ve ever heard.

    If we have created systems and/or barriers for Americans to return to work– or work at all, the response should never be “leave those systems in place, but bring in millions of Irish to fill the unfilled jobs!” you’re really going off in the wrong direction.

    1. exactly DR(P) instead of not resolving the problem created by the government this libertarian magazine wants to leave that alone instead of fixing it like a true libertarian would.

      1. Reason is not a libertarian publication.

  7. Thought this was Shrike but alas. I know Reason is open borders .

    Immigration is good. Illegal is bad – beside bringing in more than you can handle to assimilate, it drives down wages.

    1. Commies at unreason want slaves. Period.

  8. Not for slavery or indentured servitude at any price. Having seen how companies abuse these visas and the people in the program, I’d rather not.

    1. She really doesn’t have any clue how racist her position actually is. In other words, ‘we’ll just let the Mexicans do the shit work cuz they like it’.

      1. The left is always seeking o cement a slave class. This is how they see illegals. Someone who they can exploit and abuse. As leftist always see themselves as plantation owners and overseers. Look at everything people like Tony and the other lefties here say, they all see themselves as having a seat at the table with their commie masters in charge. Not the drones in the collective.

        It’s part of their delusion.

        1. Same thing with drugs. The commies at unreason dont support repealing the controlled substances act because that would eliminate all state and federal power relating to “controlled substances”.

          Unreason wants state managed “legalization” of certain drugs so they can be taxed and manipulated differently than typical consumer products.

  9. Lets bring in immigrants to work to be taxed to pay Americans not to work.

    Christ Reason is run by idiots.

    1. If you have a systemic problem that is creating a class of perennially unemployed… or underemployed people, the one thing you DON’T want to do is leave that system in place, and scream for more foreign labor to fill that gap– until they’re integrated into the system and themselves become un or underemployed, rinse repeat.

      1. You do if your the CCP.

  10. What could possibly go wrong paying natives not to work and importing an underclass of workers who fund the programs to keep native people goofing off on the internet for twelve hours a day.

    And when those imported workers get mouthy or start talking about a union, you can just fire them and deport them home and take in a new batch of replacements.

    Obviously, this works best for jobs that require absolutely no skills whatsoever. Are those the jobs our over educated American working class don’t want? Maybe it’s because unlike the immigrant, they have massive student loans to pay off.

    Hell, this is one reason why those ‘American workers’ want student loans forgiven. They realized after the fact that a degree, or at least a lot of degrees, are actually not worth the paper they are printed on but still cost tens of thousands of dollars at least.

    Essentially, there is a massive disconnect between what children are told about the job market before they graduate high school and what the job market actually looks like. They are told to go to college, or they are a failure, when objectively that is not actually true at all.

    1. What could possibly go wrong paying natives not to work and importing an underclass of workers who fund the programs to keep native people goofing off on the internet for twelve hours a day.

      Like those “non natives”, once integrated into the system won’t themselves fall into the warm, comforting womb of being paid not to work.

      1. Don’t worry, we can always find more where those came from.

  11. Just had some tree work done. Contractor brought in three guys originally from El Salvador. It included taking down an enormous 100 year old poplar hanging too close to my house.

    It was nowhere near cheap labor. Highly skilled. One of the guys has been here awhile. Has a house in the suburb near me. Makes a very good living.

    I don’t really care where you were born. Fact is the American economy needs workers at all levels.

    1. I’m assuming they’re legal. If so then they are immigrants, so they’re ok. It’s the illegals that are the problem. And made into a far bigger problem by democrat slavers who seek to exploit them and keep them down as part of their dream of Marxist hegemony.

    2. If his workers are genuinely well paid (not just he charged you a lot) then I assure you there are plenty of native Americans willing to do the same work. BTW, if his workers are LEGAL immigrants, I see no reason to favor those natives – just don’t kid yourself that we had to go outside the country to fill good jobs.

  12. This is not necessarily a bad idea. What we hear is that many of the people not working are thinking about their future and if they want to go back to the same job or go for a different one. It might do well to let them know we appreciate that they are thinking about this but they might have to think faster.

    1. You know what stops people from “thinking about their future and if they want to go back to the same job or go for a different one”? Running out of money. You make up your mind very quickly.

      Of course if you’re into paying people to naval gaze, let me know and I’ll send you an invoice. I’m not too proud to take your money for sitting on my ass, thinking about what I want to do so long as you’re stupid enough to fall for it.

      1. He expects someone ELSE to lay for that. Not him. Leftist never want to lay the bill. That’s why they give less to charity than any other group.

        Proven fact.

    2. We don’t want to pay you (or them) to think, but are enslaved via taxes to do so. Kinda obvious libertarian point.

  13. Americans would be interested in those jobs if they pay enough.

  14. I wonder how many have found better jobs already. I know of one but thats not a big enough sample are there more and how many are working but collecting money unreported?

    1. Very few, and the one you know likely would have done so in the normal course of life, as we all have. The reason I say few is that people have been sitting on their ass for a year and not even maintaining their net value let alone increasing it. About the last guy I want to hire is the one who has gotten comfortable not sweating and has forgotten what it’s like to show up to a job. This can’t end well.

    2. Which is why all the mongoloids above saying I don’t pay enough are retards.

      Wages are increasing across the board right now, and were through most of trumps presidency outside of last year, without neededing competition with unemployment compensation/stimulus to do so.

      Yet the employment numbers show that even with increased wages, and many firms offering perks, fringe benefits, and sign in bonuses they never did before, people still aren’t choosing to work.

      So it’s not just about the pay/compensation to do work. It’s about having to do something to get paid, or being able to sit around at home and get paid. Aka, people today are far lazier than they used to be. Especially young people.

  15. Or you know… make the argument that government really has no role in defining how employers and employees should associate. Freedom of association is a natural right, not an American right.

    If people are willing to agree to certain terms to perform labor we’re all better off. Minimum wages, government restrictions on employment eligibility (among consenting adults obviously), paying people not to work through welfare, all are evils of the same form… government distorting the labor market. We as libertarians should be against these.

    1. Yes. Let’s just ignore the entirety of economics and price and pretend all of these actions are done in isolation. That way we don’t have to ever actually think about anything more complicated than a shiny object.

      1. Would you say the same thing of minimum wage? Both are government introduced market distortions intended to artifiicially prop up wages.

        Whether you like the results or not, libertarians *used* to be in favor of free markets. That’s what having principles is about. That of course includes labor as well.

        1. I think he was sarcastically agreeing with you. But your first post is correct.

          These idiots don’t understand all companies are currently in wage competition with the government. But the bigger corporations can increase their wages and absorb additional costs much easier than most privately owned small businesses. And all this government force on wages does is artificially increase the cost of goods, which artificially increases inflation, which means more of all of our expendable income gets tied up in inflation.

    2. Nice to see you Leo.

    3. And yet the only thing “we as libertarians” advance as a policy solution is increasing immigration whilst completely and totally ignoring all of the labor market distortions, and in fact blaming the labor market distortions on lazy Americans who don’t want to work.

      1. Reason has been pretty consistently against the recent drive to increase minimum wage. Repealing the current (previous) minimum wage laws, while ideal, really was a non-starter because I don’t think you’ll get too many Republicans on board.

        Immigration reform is one of the topics being discussed regularly in mainstream politics. So it stands that Reason spend more time on it than say, welfare/unemployment reform, which isn’t being discussed in any mainstream way that I’m aware of.

        The rhetoric of “lazy Americans” is wrong. That I will grant you. I see it more as Americans making informed decisions in the face of a distorted labor market.

      2. I think it’s both. Younger Americans are definitely lazier. But businesses are also in competition with government forces/stimulus/unemployment.

        It’s really the combination of those fucking the labor market up. Not an either or.

  16. if we legitimize a bunch of people to work won’t they then be eligible for the funds currently being handed out to not work?

    1. Yes. Creating a special class of worker who is not eligible for benefits has already been challenged and lost in court. Another Reason blind spot.

  17. Ceuta and Milella are two Spanish cities that are physically located next to Morocco. Because these cities are Spanish, and because Spain is in the EU, those cities are magnets for migrants who want a better life in the EU. So, the Spanish government built walls to keep out the illegal migrants. Now, the walls separating Ceuta and Milella, from the rest of Morocco, are relatively short. And they are manned 24/7 by Spanish soldiers and video surveillance. There are very few legal points of entry into the cities. And *nevertheless*, migrants still find their way in.

    MADRID (AP) — Around 3,000 Moroccans, a third of whom were presumed to be minors according to Spanish authorities, swam and used inflatable boats Monday to cross into Ceuta, the largest number of migrant arrivals in a single day into Spain’s enclave in northern Africa.

    And it’s not like the Spanish government hasn’t been trying to keep them out. They arrest illegal migrants all the time. In the past, Spanish soldiers would burn down migrant camps *in Morocco* that were near the two cities. Imagine if the US military went in to Tijuana and burned down migrant camps there. There would be outrage like you wouldn’t believe. And that is the type of thing that Spain does to try to keep the migrants out. And it *still* isn’t enough.

    At some point, we have to realize that trying to build bigger walls and taller fences and hiring more guards with more guns exerting more force against people whose only ‘crime’ is seeking a better life for themselves and their family, is a battle that cannot be won. It would require extreme levels of force and enormous expenditures to build a huge wall as well as to maintain it 24/7 that just won’t be tolerated by the public at large. If Spain cannot keep out illegal migrants from two small cities that are heavily guarded by relatively short walls, what hope do we have of trying to keep out everyone to the south of us from crossing a far larger border?

    1. All is hopeless. Let everyone migrate to the welfare state.

      Did I sum that up for you?

      Weird how illegal crossings were down the last 2 years and yet skyrocketed in the last few months. Surely this proves policies have zero effect on migration.

      1. The president of Guatemala called out the Biden administration for encouraging all this illegal immigration. Said that right after Biden talked about reuniting kids and families, the Coyotes started recruiting for kids to smuggle.

        1. There would be no need for coyotes or smuggling if the legal immigration system allowed for work permits for migrants passing a simple background check and health screening. The presence of coyotes is entirely a result of the laws and restrictions created by the immigration system itself, just like gang violence associated with the drug trade is entirely a result of the laws and restrictions created by criminalizing drugs. Make migration easier, and the coyotes go away.

          1. I agree that our Immigration system is crap, but, look into who is preventing the fix. Legal Immigration has become big business. You can’t do it without spending thousands on lawyers. The same lawyers who lobby to keep the system unchanged. The same lawyers who make campaign contributions and form PACs for Democrat politicians.

            1. The lawyers don’t care.

              “Are you for it or against it congressman? Don’t matter to me. I got lobbyists either way.”

          2. By your logic, we might as well just legalize human trafficking because that would disincentivize the kidnappers and coyotes. There’s a difference between decrimalizing personal vice that doesn’t require heavy handed enforcement and descending into lawless anarchy.

            Let’s assume for a minute that it’s logistically possible for the government to perform 20 million background checks on applicants (don’t laugh, that many people may want to seek work here) a year. Do you think most applicants in south america will wait 8 months to 3 years to hear back? And if they get rejected, they’ll say “oh well, I struck out”? You think Guatamela is going to assist with background checks on their end?

            Why haven’t migrants simply applied for asylum at embassies at home, or closer to home? Why do half of them reject asylum offers from Mexico? The point of the migration surge is to SKIP proper channels to force our hands with numbers. The coyotes were only happy to meet the demand they created. If your job application scheme works, then they’ll adjust prices on rejected applicants who still want to sneak in.

          3. The existence of coyotes is strictly a result of evil people willing to exploit and even murder their fellow citizens.

            America has a right to protect its borders and the presence of anywhere between 11 and 22 million illegal aliens in our country should not cause a rational person to think our immigration system is too strict. Remove those millions and we can afford to bring in skilled immigrants who will contribute far more to our country.

    2. If Spain cannot keep out illegal migrants from two small cities that are heavily guarded by relatively short walls, what hope do we have of trying to keep out everyone to the south of us from crossing a far larger border?

      Same way Canada keeps control of their southern border?

      1. I would imagine the reason why there aren’t hordes of Canadians trying to sneak over the border into the US is because there is not this extreme economic inequality between Canada and America broadly speaking, as there is between America and nations further south. So I don’t think that is a good example to use.

        1. “Well this kinda ruins the simplistic sophistry I was trying to peddle, so that doesn’t count OK?”

          1. I see you’ve met Jeff before.

        2. But if Canada was an economic craphole like South America, it would be ok for them to rush our borders? America should be the only country that crafts immigration policy according to the needs of foreign nationals?

          Look at all the empty land in Canada. That country is what Minnesota or Alaska would look like if it became its own nation. If they imported 100 million immigrants they would still have less people than America. Why don’t they let them in, so they can pay for their nationalized healthcare and bring boom to their economy?

          Real life isn’t a story book. In real life, there is downside and cost to every upside. “Yay, they contribute to the economy” ignores the real cost of massive immigration seen in states like CA that are ignored by the media. The 1% that makes the money in CA aren’t tied down to the state.

        3. Apparently the post you are responding to went completely over your head. It posits that Canada protects it borders with greater zeal against Americans (certainly their economic equals) than the US does against its Southern borders.

          Canada, a generally far more “liberal’ country than the US, aggressively protects its borders and its workforce up to and including prison for illegal aliens. How we have come to our disastrously stupid complacency about 11-22 million people in our country without permission escapes me but we might want to talk to our northern neighbors and get a little advice.

    3. Walls work pretty well. In spite of your inane protestations to the contrary. But this contradicts your open borders fever dream. So you desperately scramble to justify the aforementioned inanity.

    4. It was working pretty well from 2017-2020.

  18. Let Immigrants Take the Jobs American Workers Don’t Want

    You mean like honest journalism? Yeah I’m up with that.

  19. This is especially timely when half the fucking country is still on lockdown and labor force participation is 60%.

  20. I wonder how many generations it takes for that new immigrant smell to wear off and they turn into lazy pieces of shit like ordinary Americans.

    1. 1. It only takes one….

  21. Maybe apathy is a newly discovered side effect of Keynesian economics?

    This all started after Obama’s 900 billion stimulus in which people wondered why we were spending on absurd earmarks when people could just get their money back, and consumer spending would, in theory, stimulate the economy just the same. The problem with brining in cheap labor is nobody learns anything and wash, rinse, repeat.

  22. I dare say that if the government would make it harder to get and keep entitlements there would be more people taking those jobs that Americans don’t want now. For instance if a person is on entitlements for a certain length time and was not bed fast that person would have to show up at a designated place and if nothing else have to sit in a chair (no phone allow) for so many hours a day. Each person would have a 15 minute bread mid morning and mid afternoon and a 30 minute lunch break during which they could use their phone. I would bet you that after a few weeks of this they would be willing to get a job. depending on the circumstance a part of their “entitlements” could continued to supplement their work income if they stayed regular on the job.

  23. The guest workers are nothing more than set-asides for criminals. Dr. Thomas Sowell pointed this out in his book “Dismantling America.”

  24. The commies are unreason are going to shit themselves soon after the unanimous SCoTUS decision that illegals are not to be granted special exceptions for immigration programs as if they were in the USA legally.

    1. I’m looking forward to the reaction.

  25. LOL… Some of commie garbage I have to read now-days..

    — Correction —
    Let the Welfare recipients take the jobs they don’t want or starve to death as nature intended.


    NEW: Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei says the Biden administration is at fault for border crisis, Harris blames climate change

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  29. So we let in 5 mil foreigners to take jobs Americans temporarily riding out the pandemic and benefits.

    How are we going to find housing for that many people entering the country? Do you expect small, barely profitable mom and pop stores looking for waiters across the nation to sponsor millions of these people long term, or even stay in business long enough give them a constant paycheck? Work permits are tied to the job, and you’re supposed to leave when the job is over. Yeah, good luck enforcing that.

    What happens when those lazy Americans, including many Latinos who typically dominate the service sector, find out that all their jobs have been taken by foreigners? Seriously, think about a nation that fill EVERY job shortage with foreign guest workers. Do you think citizens of that country will be kosher with that? We’re talking about millions of people coming in every year in the job market.

  30. This H-2B visa too Allow Foriegn people to steal American ???????? Jobs sounds similar too the 457-VISA in Australia ???????? Along With the whole attitude Of “They Just done wanna Work” “Their too Rich to Work” etc etc the ???????? Commonwealth Government’s Dept of Employment pays AU$1.25BN p.a too a Human Resource enterprise (subcontracted companies) called JobActive to filter out unemployed /welfare recipient(s) & instead coax /coach frictional-workers how to get out of their current job get registered for welfare (the jobactive can’t get paid otherwise for the referral) so they send them to those Job(s) instead. And they fill in a bunch of fake reason(s) the Unemployed refuse to work and they -JobActive Companies- also paid higher amounts too push them too Work4theDole! Another lerk is companies receiving money from foreign companies/ foreign Governments etc to make room for their Nationals to have those jobs and again fake reasons why locals aren’t taking up / getting the job(s)!
    The Employer(s) R in on it too frequently getting a commission of the agencies fee from the Government I heard it on a legal (Payscale/ wageline lawyers) podcast.
    Don’t be fooled people want Jobs! Of Course people want jobs!!

    Trust but VERIFY❗️

  31. End pogie, why does anyone expect folks to go back to work when the jobs they lost due to the panic-demonic pay less than da gummit dole does now? End pogie then see how many folks would rather work than go hungry.
    Wage is that number at which an employer will find the desired labour to be performed. When the price of the labour exceeds the value added by virtue of the time/energy spent, then the wage is too high, or the labourer too lazy/incompetent. Drop the wage until the numbers work again.
    Trouble is, gummit meddling has “fixed” wage at too high a number for many tasks, so employers cannot afford to may the rpemium and not get their investment back. If a given service is not attracting sufficient numbers to perform it, the wage must go up. Provided the value added at the higher wage results in continued profit, it willwork. But when gummit demands a seven dollar tsk is compensated at fifteen dollars, the equation does not compute. Gummit ARE the problem, with their silly mandates based in fantasy and feel-good-ism.But ignoring basic economics altogether.

  32. Pay Americans enough money, and odds are they will be willing to do the jobs.

    Does nobody at Reason understand basic economics? And why are you shilling for the Chamber of Commerce?

    1. It’s hard to pay Americans ‘enough’ money when 75% of profit goes to the self-entitled NOT willing to do jobs (anything of value) by the *force*/threat of gov-guns.

      It’s the game-plan story of every commie socialist society in history.
      How the Gov-Guns took all the ‘wealth’ from the people until there wasn’t any ‘wealth’ left to *EARN*.

      1. The Nazi (def; National Socialist) conquer and consume mentality.

    2. The government pays most people capable of work to NOT work. What do you liberals imagine that does to the price someone is willing to accept in order to work?

  33. OBL, where are you?!?!?!?! Is this one just too easy?

  34. The correct title for worker visa programs and immigration in general is reward the undeserving at the expense of the deserving aka give jobs to foreigners who don’t deserve them ahead of citizens who do……

  35. How about before we conclude which jobs Americans are unwilling to work in, the government stop paying most people capable of work to NOT work?

  36. ,It clearly seems to be a work ethic and laziness issue. As these jobs reports keep showing, there’s more job openings than unemployed. At some point you hope people would take pride in themselves and want to be self reliant and earn a living like the old days. While also realizing not every job is supposed to be a career. But it seems pride and self esteem are easily bought with stimulus checks.

    Also, we wouldn’t need to increase wages if bidens policies weren’t jacking up the cost of living, energy, and doing business. Sucking up expendable income from citizens and corporations.

  37. That’s a valid point in the article. If someone doesn’t want the job then let the immigrants do that at least someone is getting the job and a way to earn the bread for his/her family. <a href=""AppWrk is totally agreed with the point.

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