David Frum nails it on Labor Displacement in The Atlantic

work-384745_640MUST READ: “Does Immigration Harm Working Americans?” David Frum has published a refreshing article in the January edition of The Atlantic that takes a frank look at why American native-born labor force participation is plummeting. What’s surprising here isn’t that Frum is able to show how and why the mass-immigration propagandists for Wall Street are wrong, it’s that an article of this nature can appear at all anymore in a mainstream publication. Not since The Atlantic published a piece by Jack Miles in October 1992 (Black Versus Browns) has it ventured into this sort of candid analysis. Frum tackles the flawed assumptions and methodology of the economists who can bizarrely look at the wage stagnation and under-employment of today’s beleaguered American worker and not see the “supply shock” brought about by decades of unremitting immigration. Take a look at this worthwhile piece – it may not happen again for twenty years.

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to ImmigrationReform.com, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar

    Mass immigration of economists, lawyers and politicians should speed up the sudden reversal. As an American who spent 30 years in construction, I can tell you that mass immigration, especially the illegal variety, has a profound impact on native workers. Of course, I am no Ivy League economist who has dwelled in the house of academia my entire life, so what do I know. Not only are millions of jobs being filled by foreign nationals, many of whom are not paying taxes, but the wages of millions more are depressed by the glut in the labor market, law of supply and demand. Again, I am no snooty economist so it is all just a guess.

    • avatar

      In addition to flooding the labor market, Wall Street also pushes outsourcing under ridicilious Trade Agreements and have offshored about 5 million mid-level manufacturing jobs and corporate investment tax credits are used to pay for automation to displace even more American workers. Meanwhile, all productivity gains have gone to the top 1% while middle class working wages have flatlined or stagnated.

  2. avatar

    The amnesty lovers fail to acknowledge the epic difference when massive welfare
    is available to illegals. In the past periods of high immigration, NO benefits, NO
    free health care, and NO child and EIC tax credits were available. At present the
    costs will be close to $40 billion even before millions more invade with forged papers
    and “children” pretending to be under 17. The country has been surrendered to those
    who entered illegally. Interior enforcement has been suspended. We have no immigration laws. Border security assists illegals to housing and legal representation.
    No one is even thinking about the millions of mideastern Muslims and gays who will
    be applying for asylum. Immigration that focuses on education and high skills is an
    enormous benefit, whereas, importing peasants from across the globe and handing out welfare is SUICIDE.

    • avatar

      While there are brilliant scientists and engineers in other countries that we want to attract to the US because of their extraordinary level of talent, the large numbers of more highly educated foreign workers being brought into the US combined with outsourcing by supposedly “American” companies is having an adverse affect on US citizens’ employment prospects and wages. As Dan Stein says in the FAIR report linked to above “…..Better skilled Millennials — those who have invested significant money and time in training for what they were told were the ‘careers of the future’ — are confronted with the reality that employers can take advantage of guest workers and foreign graduates of U.S. universities to fill jobs. Increasingly, Millennials are finding that the doors to opportunity are closed to them,” said Stein.

    • avatar

      You should be happy if the illegals who get through are a
      ll gay. They don’t tend to have lots of kids. The whole purpose of being anti mass immigration is to improve the job market and the environment.

  3. avatar

    So all of these economists think mass immigration is so wonderful. How about we start an H-1B program for economists, and see how long it takes for them to change their tune?

  4. avatar

    Obviously wages for the lower and middle classes have eroded during the same time the mass immigration of the last thirty years has occurred. Spout all the nonsense you want to the contrary of what “should” happen, that is the actual fact.

    • avatar
      Michael Dale Smith on

      Excellent remark, Leland. But this was intentional. The Democrats want the cheap vote and the majority
      of Republicans want the cheap labor. As a result, illegal and legal immigration are destroying this country.
      And who is the culprit? The U.S. government and the “globalist” open-border types in the political elite.
      The media dare not talk about it. Michael Dale Smith, Statesboro, GA

      • avatar

        Mike and Leland nothing has changed since your ancestors came here…..I am sure your ancestors were persona non-grata in the US back then……………at least one thing is sure…the illegals are at no fault on this at 3% of the population and the GOV doing nothing on indian contracting comapnies taking away American jobs…….as one example…and Somalis and Cubans getting a free card////////////

        • avatar

          That is just not true… immigration policy has changed drastically in the last 40 years.

          • avatar

            It’s gone from what it used to be, skills based like many other countries, to a majority of immigration being “family reunification”. But most of the family types do not have high education levels. And we no longer need masses of unskilled labor. Family reunification is a social policy, not an economic policy.

        • avatar

          How Many Monthly Jobs Open Up for a New Candidate as a Ratio from the Total Labor Market?

          I’ll calculate an estimate for the “The Truth”:

          150,000/90,000,000= 0.2%

          Golly Gee that dinky 3% number you call insignificant now looks like the root cause of low wages to all of America’s new job applicants…legal citizen or not.

        • avatar
          Frank Mitchell on

          @The Truth Lies: Sorry to hear that you flunked basic math skills. Here is the actual data using the lower “official” numbers.
          The 8 million illegal aliens currently working represent about 6% of the total US workforce. It is of course a MUCH higher percentage of the lower skilled workforce. As a rough guess considering the education & skill level, I would guess that illegal aliens are about 18% of the lower skilled work force. THAT causes a MAJOR impact on competitive wages. Only 3% of illegal aliens work in agriculture. http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/reports/46.pdf (page 26)