How Immigration Benefits the Working Class

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We on the left have always been the voice of the working class, and of minorities, women and other victimized groups. Over the decades, we have shielded workers from capitalist exploitation, promoted collective bargaining rights for unions, and fought hard to raise the minimum wage. We have always understood that the working class is in a constant battle with capitalism, which seeks to pay workers as little as possible, while  overworking them and making them redundant when they are no longer needed. The primary goal of corporations and conservatives has always been profit – ours has always been human lives. But lately, the right seems to have successfully fostered a fake revolution of the working class, aimed at immigrants who are supposedly ‘taking their jobs’. This, like all ‘revolutions’ on the right, is completely fabricated and is simply designed to stoke resentment against the left.

Here are the facts on immigration:

  1. Immigrants contribute over $500 billion to the economy each year
  2. By boosting aggregate demand and starting small businesses, immigrants increase, not decrease, the number of jobs available to natives
  3. Undocumented immigrants do jobs that Americans don’t want to do anyway
  4. Immigrants provide skills that allow companies to grow and employ more blue collar workers, not less

It’s very devious of the right to plant fears of immigrants in the working class community, when really immigrants and the working class should be uniting against the exploits of modern capitalism. Both immigrants and the working class are victims of the same oppressive system, and the sooner they can unite behind the left and progress, the sooner we can overturn this system and replace it with something that works for everybody, not just the few at the top. The right have never been friends of the working man, and rallying behind far-right candidates like Donald Trump is only going to harm the economy and create a society based on hate, rather than love and understanding.

1 COMMENT

    • Immigration benefits everyone, because it leads to increased job oportunities, increased tax revenue to pay down the national debt, increased wages because of the extra economic activity, and a richer, more diverse culture which is more capable of dealing with today’s global challenges.

  1. Enough with this shit. Every fucking argument is silly!

    1/ Immigrants contribute over $500 billion to the economy each year
    They contribute to nothing.
    In fact they cost money to the nation.
    For each immigrant who find a job, there is a native who lose this job.
    This native will cost a lot of money.
    Without the immigrant, the same contribution would be made by the natives. In fact it would be a lot more because immigrant send money to theirs families abroad while natives spend it in the USA. Moreover, there would’nt be any social cost because no need to.
    Conclusion: immigrants impoverish the nation as a whole and natives in particular.
    It’s called opportunity costs and any child of ten can understand that. It’s a question on logics, not a question of economics.

    2/
    By boosting aggregate demand and starting small businesses, immigrants increase, not decrease, the number of jobs available to natives.
    This is true and false.
    True because those who create small businesses do effectively contribute positively to the creation of jobs. But they represent less than 3% of the total of immigrants. .
    But they compete with native entrepreneurs, and because those jobs would habe been created by thoses same native entrepreneurs nonetheless. So they take wealth from the native and in fine do not add anything in terms of job creation.

    3/
    Undocumented immigrants do jobs that Americans don’t want to do anyway

    They do jobs that americans don’t want to do… at thoses conditions!
    Because of that, social costs increase (native have to recieve some money to be able to feed their families) and the whole nation is impoverished : without immigration those jobs would be better payed, workers would spend more in the economy and there would’nt be any social cost (enemployment goes with precarity and criminality and more social costs).

    4/
    Immigrants provide skills that allow companies to grow and employ more blue collar workers, not less.
    They provide no skill at all.
    The united states of america have already everything in terms of educational training to get all the skills it needs from the natives. The only one who provide usefull skills are those who have connections to their native economy (they speak 2 or 3 linguages).
    The problem is: the USA are destroying their own countries by accaparing those brains that should be used to develop their native economies instead of our. This is imperialism, nothing less.

    • You are so deluded that I’m not even going to bother arguing with you. You need to learn economics and read some economic journals before you qualify to comment on this topic. Ecomomists have already calculated that immigrants contribute $500 billion dollars to our economy every year. That is a fact!

      • Actually, he appears far from deluded. He presents his arguments very clearly and coherently. Of course, mere logic is not sufficient when arguing about economics; in order to convince one also needs data. You offer some data, namely the $500.000.000.000 figure, which you call a “fact.” Taken in isolation this number, impressive though it sounds, doesn’t tell us much. We need to determine who benefits from this huge “contribution” and in what proportion. This is what truly matters.

        I refer you to the work of immigration economist Dr. Robert J. Borjas, whose exhaustive studies of the economic phenomena related to immigration are enlightening.

        Below you’ll find a link to a video in which Dr. Borjas succinctly explains the true costs and benefits of immigration.

        • There are always outlandish economists that contradict the consensus, but as laymen, we need to accept the consensus, without attempting to decipher the highly complex and specialized arguments of top economists. And the consensus from top accredited economists is that immigration is massively beneficial to all Americans. Besides, what right do we, a nation of immigrants, have to put up borders and say that no one else can come here to enjoy the opportunity and access that we are blessed with every day?

          • .Those loosers mainstream economists have lost any credibility they could have had since the subprime crisis. Your mainstream scholars only advocate the views that suit the elites best. Their not proper researchers and most of the time their opinion is of no scientific value.
            As a scholar myself (3 PHDs and not in small universities), I never gave a s… about consensus. I m’ only interested in truth. It’s ok to be pro-immigration, but your opinion has to be founded on an extensive comprehension of “facts” and not on “facts” isolated from the whole picture, because “facts” are meaningless and prove nothing by themselves.

            – If I invest 10 euros and make 500 billions, it sounds like a good deal. After all it is a fact that I made 500 billions. But if with 5 euros I could have made 1500 billions, it makes this deal look like shit. This fact has been excluded from the whole picture.
            Actually I will have LOST 1000 billions.
            SAME with your bullshit numbers which “forget” to take into account opportunity costs.
            Without immigrants we could’nt not have made at least those 500 billions, divided in less hands (the ones of the natives), with no social costs.
            No economist has ever succeeded to contest that truth.
            Even the video fails to take this crucial point into account.
            I know what opportunity costs are because I was forced to live in the real world (I own a business), not in your world of fantaisy numbers and appointed scholars.

            – Even if ratio was good, if it benefited to the US economy (which is not!), economics are by no means the alpha and omega of politics, and it can be more suited to be poorer BUT AT PEACE at home than to be richer and in the verge of civil war.
            In a developped world where jobs are quickly disappearing because of mindless technology, how adding more jobless guys on the market could actually be a brillant idea? You’ll get a civil war if native and immigrant decide to give advantage to the members of their respective communities (which is anavoidable, because of human nature, because competitive pressure on the markets will never affect the choice between two blue collars, and because no law will never be able to eradicate discrimination).
            Will you be happy when the USA, will be splitted in 3 or more parts? This is what technology + globalisation + massive immigration will get you: neo-nationalism or/and neo-slavery/feodalism.
            More boarders than ever.

            There are only “three” real arguments in favor of immigration: natality (and you have to wisely choose your immigrants); the “price to pay” to keep control of foreign natural ressources (which is not really a “good” reason); and an argument founded in the very idea that anybody has a natural right to go everywhere it pleases “to take his chance” (which never proves any inverse duty for the locals to give him that chance – you can read Kant or Nozick for that one…). Such a belief is of the kind of religious ones, founded on nothing else than a certain interpretation of the christian faith. Good luck to impose that to the rest of the world,a world which doesn’t care at all about this interpretation of chritianism (Soros has already failed).
            All the drama here is that if you succeed, this country will be destroyed, and you will be the one to have to flee to other countries to “take a new chance”. Ironically, it might be that you won’t be able to make it after all, and that you’ll be stuck in a country where your children will be enslaved. At that very moment, your children will maybe remember two ancient truths: “the nation is everything the poors have” and ” there is no citizenship in a country where the political community doesn’t give more to its own members than what it would also give to any non-member”. Then they’ll ask you: Mum/Dad…why?” And you will answer something like “because I thought that justice was more important than peace” or “because I hoped men were more concerned about justice than they actually are…”

            You should read more political philsophy and less maintream shitty economics.

      • some thoughts on your analysis, I won’t repeat the comments of Stampton, many of which I agree with.

        Immigrants contribute over $500 billion to the economy each year

        Where do you get this number? I note none of your claims are documented. I have heard of the $500 billion number, put forth by Harvard economist George Borjas, but he argues this is the cost of immigration to the domestic population in the form of subsidies paid.

        Obviously if you put more people in a country, the total GDP goes up. What’s relevant is whether the GDP per capita goes up. To take a simple example: if you have a population of 1 million producting $1 billion in goods, you have GDP per capital of $1,000. Now if you add 1 million illegal immigrants and end up with a GDP of $1.5 billion, yes, it is true, you have increased GDP by 50%, but, GDP per capital is now only $750, and everyone is poorer.

        As a famous man once said, there are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

        As to your argument in a later post, about some economist consensus, I haven’t seen such a consensus at all, but, as a general matter, economists are political hacks and they give the opinions their employers tell them to. And there is no doubt that the Establishment (the top 0.00001%) like illegal immigration for various reasons (not just the increased wealth it generates for them but other geo-political reasons as well).

        By boosting aggregate demand and starting small businesses, immigrants increase, not decrease, the number of jobs available to natives

        Any time you massively increase the population, you will increase number of jobs. Again, the important measure is jobs per capita (i.e., the employment rate), not the aggregate number of jobs.

        I would generally agree that immigration does not, ipso facto, increase unemployment. And legal immigration most likely would not be harmful. But illegal immigration is a huge liability, not only because it breeds lawlessness and contempt for the laws (as liberals constantly display for laws they don’t like, while using whatever force is necessary to force laws they do like down other peoples’ throats), but because illegals are extremely vulnerable and hence subject to extreme exploitation by their unethical employers. Since capitalism’s only ethic is the profit motive, I will put corporations generally in that category of “unethical employers”. So these corporations will hire illegals and not pay them enough to live a quality life, which means they require lots of social subsidites (health, education, streets and other infrastructure, police, fire, etc., etc.) nor pay taxes on their behalf. This all works because the entire transaction is illegal – and operates on the same principle of why a cocaine dealer does not charge sales tax. Capiche?

        Undocumented immigrants do jobs that Americans don’t want to do anyway

        Americans would do any job if it paid a corresponding wage. It is true, that most Americans do not want to work in a burning hot, humid, bug-infested farm bending over 12 hours per day for $60 per day. But again, these workers will, in the end, be paid much more – they will send their children to school, to the hospital, they will receive police protection, they will use the roads, etc., it’s just they won’t pay for it, other workers, who are taxed, will pay for it.

        Illegal immigration is, at its core, a wealth transfer from the hard-working middle class to the uppermost 0.00001%.

        Immigrants provide skills that allow companies to grow and employ more blue collar workers, not less

        This may be true for some illegals, foe example, H-1B visas, and this is a good visa program, when properly utilized (i.e., utilized because competent Americans are not available to do the job, rather than to drive down costs and increase the profits of the 0.00001% at the expense of the middle class). But the vast majority of illegal immigrants have no skills to speak of. They can’t even speak English!

      • Economics isn’t a real science. It is a social ‘science’ where the loudest and best funded win the arguments. Guess who funds them? Here’s a clue, it’s the people who want to take what you have and have academic cover for the theft. Economists will put out a paper in support of whatever their owners want. Their owners want to keep their near slave wage labor force that has no leverage in the marketplace to challenge unfair practices. Why do you think they never crack down on businesses that hire illegals? It’s because of lobbying (bribery).

    • Many of the most prosperous countries on earth; the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc. were created by immigrants which in itself proves immigration can be beneficial.
      Due to language and cultural issues, I agree first generation immigrants are, in general, not as productive as natives, however their children are. Recent immigrants also tend to come from very different cultural/religious backgrounds than previously but after a generation or two they blend in as well. As you indicte, current immigrants, when aggregated, may be a burden on society but their children will not.
      Given the western world’s low fertility rates immigration is required to carry our standard of living into the future; without it many will starve in their old age. The oldest baby boomers are now around 70 so it may already be too late. People in their fifties that haven’t done so already start saving, there will be no government pensions for you.

      • To answer your comment in one word: Japan.

        Japan has all the problems you list and its population is far older than ours. Yet Japan has not opened up to mass immigration. Will they starve? Will they collapse?

        Ditto for South Korea.

  2. Immigration is just another form of colonialism. In the past the rich nations would extract the natural resources of poorer nations. Today they extract their human resources.

  3. Immigrants contribute over $500 billion to the economy each year

    That’s sounds impressive. But given that US GDP is around $17 trillion, the $500 billion you cite is just 3 percent.

    If anything that $500 billion in economic activity would do much more good spread out in the developing world. If those immigrants where back home helping to generate that economic activity, more people would benefit due to the fact the GDP of developing nations is so much lower.