In a free society, consumers vote on marketplace options with their earnings. And they tend to patronize businesses that support their values. Accordingly, the bulk of corporate America generally tends to want the same thing as everyday Americans: peace, stability, prosperity.
But corporations exist to make money and when tempted by easy profits, their interests may diverge from those of society as a whole. One place where this happens is on the issue of migrant labor.
Labor is usually the biggest cost to any company. If you cut labor costs, you increase profits, making both stockholders and creditors happy. So, American companies love anyone who is willing to perform competent work for entry-level wages. The easiest way to recruit low-cost workers is through immigration programs.
The primary interest of foreign workers is getting to, and remaining in, the United States. If an Indian or Chinese tech worker can get an H-1B visa, he/she has a pathway to a green card and U.S. citizenship. Substandard wages are a small price to pay for that opportunity, so most foreign workers will gladly accept jobs at the low end of the pay-scale. It’s simply the price of admission to the U.S.
This is a dangerous mix. It leaves American workers sandwiched between two powerful lobbies, both driven by the desire for a return on their investments: U.S. companies addicted to cheap foreign labor and foreign workers eager to access the largest, most stable economy in the world.
So, who’s watching out for the American’s who want to make our nation great by driving its economy?
The working class thought its champion was President Donald J. Trump. And it had reason to believe the president. As the Washington Examiner put it, Mr. Trump tapped “into the idea of the forgotten man: working-class Americans who felt ignored by their political leaders and left behind by globalism.” And he backed his words up with actions: renegotiating bad trade deals, discouraging companies from shipping jobs overseas and firing up the American economy.
But is Mr. Trump still the one billionaire industrialist who’s holds the interests of those who work for a living firmly in mind? Maybe not. In his 2019 State of the Union address, he called for the admission of legal immigrants to the United States “in the largest numbers ever.” And during his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., he stated, “We need an immigration policy that’s going to be great for our corporations.” He also expressed his view that “we need workers to come in.”
Only time will tell if the president who convinced American workers that he could make their country a great industrial power again has abandoned them and jumped on the globalist band wagon. But one thing is certain, if he begins to champion foreign workers over the Americans, Mr. Trump will lose all credibility with the voters who put him in office.