Earlier today I came across a blog about immigration written by an economist, and knowing the typical economist’s position on immigration my first reaction was, “here we go again.” But, I was pleasantly surprised to read this entry by Mark Thoma from the University of Oregon and he actually has something intelligent and rational to say.
Professor Thoma is rebutting an article that appeared on the Atlantic site (which itself is relying on the economic doom and gloom spin by Alabama businesses). About halfway down the post Mr. Thoma begins his rebuttal which plainly reminds employers complaining that they can’t find workers that they aren’t immune from the free market. Employers always have the option of raising wages to attract more workers, something they seem to have forgotten. Mr. Thoma very eloquently says that:
[B]usiness owners will complain, of course, that if they pay the wages needed to attract Americans to these jobs — basically to keep them out of soup kitchens — then they won’t be able to make a profit. That may or may not be true, but assume it is. What does it really mean? It means that the product they are selling is not viable unless people are forced by their circumstances to work at wages below what would be acceptable if even the barest of social services were available.
You can read the rest of this excellent blog at Economist’s View, and it’s well worth the time.