WSJ: ‘Addiction’ to Migration Cuts Americans’ Productivity

Chip Somodevilla/John Moore/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/John Moore/Getty Images

Corporate and government “addiction” to migration is damaging the productivity that raises personal incomes and overall national wealth, say economists cited in a report Monday by the Wall Street Journal.

“Increased reliance on low-skilled imported labor can lead to weaker productivity growth, which ultimately determines how fast economies can expand,” the newspaper wrote on March 4.

The article cited two dairy farmers in Wisconsin. One farmer favors cheap labor supplied by the government’s unofficial illegal migrant program. The second farmer, however, invested in robot cow-milking devices:

Onan Whitcomb … spent $800,000 on four Dutch-made milking robots. Milk production per cow has grown by 30% and the incidence of mastitis, an inflammatory disease, has declined by 80%, he says, meaning less spent on antibiotics. Whitcomb says he was able to cut 2.5 jobs, and the investment paid for itself in seven years.

“We were milking 300 cows and we went to 240, and we still made more” milk, Whitcomb said. “That’s hard to beat.”

Many dairies pay illegal migrant workers very little and require them to live in bad conditions.

The New York Times noted in November that a shortage of migrants forced local employers to raise their employees’ productivity with the help of additional training, planning, and machinery:

[Central Vermont Medical Center] has teamed up with two local colleges on a program enabling hospital employees to train as nurses while working full time … Lake Champlain Chocolates, a high-end chocolate maker outside Burlington, has revamped its production schedule to reduce its reliance on seasonal help … New equipment [at Cabot Creamery] will package cheese slices automatically.

Just north of Vermont,  Canada has been bringing in so many lower-skilled workers that it is lowering the country’s productivity overall, Mikal Skuterud, an economist at Waterloo University in Ontario, told the Wall Street Journal newspaper. The result is that per-person output has fallen since 2018, Skuterud added.

If the Canadian government wants to raise productivity, it should accept labor shortages, Beata Caranci, the Chief Economist at Canada’s TD Bank Group, said at a December 2023 event held by Canada’s top bank economists. “We took what we thought is a good thing [high immigration] and thought, “Well, if it’s a good thing, then more is a better thing, and now we’re realizing, no, that’s not the case.”

The Wall Street Journal article cited data from the OECD to show that agriculture productivity is growing in low-migration countries but is flat in high-migration countries where farmers prefer hire-and-fire cheap labor over a sustained investment in high-tech gear.

wsj addiction to migration cuts americans productivity

The Wall Street Journal article is headlined: “Rich Countries Are Becoming Addicted to Cheap Labor: Businesses are relying more on migrant workers as labor shortages persist, but economists warn of long-term dangers.”

The article is backed up by a February 7 report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which provides economic analysis to legislators. The office said President Joe Biden’s migration and labor bubble will reduce productivity gains to just 1.2 percent from 2024 to 2028 — far below the rate seen in the 1960s.

The report explained how migration skews the economy:

Increased net immigration is projected to affect average real wages through several channels. First, additional foreign nationals are expected to work in sectors of the economy that pay relatively low wages, thus putting downward pressure on average wages. Second, the projected increase in workers reduces the amount of capital (factories and machinery) per worker, which also puts downward pressure on [productivity and] average real wages … By 2034, CBO estimates, the three effects combined will cause average real wages to be slightly lower than they would have been otherwise.

“The injection of more labor into the economy—without a commensurate increase in capital—also tends to reduce the average worker’s productivity,” said a February 15 article in the Wall Street Journal.

“Think about it like this: Five accountants with five computers should each get more work done than six accountants with five computers.”
Skilled white-collar migration, the CBO report notes, can raise productivity. But very few of Biden’s roughly 7 million illegal migrants are deemed to be skilled enough to raise productivity, even when they work diligently.

However, the Wall Street Journal ignores two other huge reasons why many governments favor migration: It pleases real-estate investors by spiking housing values, and it pleases retail investors by importing millions of additional consumers.

The investors’ extra revenues from housing and consumer goods is also inflated by government spending programs. The spending is borrowed, so it creates profit for today’s investors by imposing a huge debt on the children who will pay future taxes.

RELATED: Camarota discussing declining workforce participation and immigration

For example, a recent report showed that the federal government helped almost 3 million migrants from 2005 to 2020 by spending $739 billion in aid programs. The deficit spending went to various businesses during the past 15 years — but must be paid off by younger taxpayers during the next 20 years.

The Wall Street Journal article also ignored how pro-migration laws create ideological and careerist demands for more enforced diversification of the nation’s pro-democracy, pro-innovation, pro-equality civic rules.

“We are welcoming [to migrants which is] a national characteristic rooted in our founders’ search for freedom from persecution and tyranny,” claimed a February article by Sasha Chanoff, the owner of an organization that helps employers move migrants into the United States. “We bolster the economy in vital ways … [and] hold up a moral torch for the world to follow.”

Extraction Migration

Since at least 1990, the federal government has relied on Extraction Migration to grow the economy after allowing investors to move the high-wage manufacturing sector to lower-wage countries.

The migration policy extracts vast amounts of human resources from needy countries. The additional workers, consumers, and renters push up stock values by shrinking Americans’ wages, subsidizing low-productivity companies, boosting rents, and spiking real estate prices.

The economic policy has pushed many native-born Americans out of careers in a wide variety of business sectors, reduced native-born Americans’ productivity and political clout, reduced high-tech innovation, crippled civic solidarity, and allowed government officials and progressives to ignore the rising death rate of discarded Americans.

The colonialism-like policy has killed hundreds of Americans and thousands of migrants, including many on the taxpayer-funded jungle trail through the Darien Gap in Panama.

Authored by Neil Munro via Breitbart March 4th 2024