[Marxism] immigration issues

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 19 09:20:21 MDT 2006

George Borjas has been the economist most cited (including by Steven Steinberg) on why immigration is bad for low-wage workers, including Blacks. In a column yesterday in the Wall Street Journal he regurgitated some of his most common arguments, and ended thus:
"National wage trends confirm the common-sense notion that immigration has labor market consequences: A larger pool of competing workers lowers relative wages. This does not imply that immigration is a net loss for the economy. After all, the wage losses suffered by workers show up as higher profits to employers and, eventually, as lower prices to consumers. Immigration policy is just another redistribution program. In the short run, it transfers wealth from one group (workers) to another (employers). Whether or not such transfers are desirable is one of the central questions in the immigration debate."
  The last three sentences are worth quoting widely. Our formulation of the very last sentence of course would be different: The bosses not only benefit from splitting the working class into separate, competing groups, they foster these divisions, pitting immigrants against Blacks, Blacks against whites, unskilled against skilled, etc. They are not just passive recipients of the benefits from our class's division, but actively craft that division. 
  The path to uniting the class lies not in ignoring the real material differences created by the bosses but in fighting against them, in raising the material conditions and rights of the lowest while fighting also for guaranteed jobs, income, and services for all.

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