This article is trivialistic, and depends a good deal on reader unfamiliarity with basic economics to make it’s points. Let’s sharpen the pencil a bit.
There is precisely nothing wrong with this diagram as far as predicting labor and wage is concerned. The labor market sets wages based on supply and demand of workers who have the requisite education and experience to do a particular job. If a business suddenly sees an influx of candidates who have that requisite experience and education (or lack thereof), then the business can offer less money in order to fill its job positions.
Pretty simple, that. And it exists unrefuted, and is one of the primary objections to unfettered immigration, particularly at the low-experience levels.
That said, the author is correct that at times, people take simplistic Econ 101 principles and apply them incorrectly to more complex matters. However, the above is not an example of that error.
“Undocumented Immigrants don’t pay taxes!”
Hm. We’ve suddenly jumped from “immigration” to “illegal immigration” which is an entirely different matter. Obviously, anyone who is documented is paying the proper amount of taxes. If you’re illegal, you’re not paying income taxes, but you’re paying sales taxes and property taxes, either directly or indirectly.
(Everyone who opposes illegal immigration understands this, btw. Again, pretty simple. )
Gee, Gardner, & Wiehe (2016) actually found that undocumented immigrants paid an average of 8% of their incomes to taxes compared to the average nationwide tax rate of only 5.4 percent paid by the top one percent of taxpayers.
OK. The author is conflating very different things (state/local taxes and federal taxes) in order to create a compelling, pro-immigration narrative. Let’s clean things up a bit.
The Gee report cited above is *only* referring to state and local taxes. Now, where do states (in most cases) get their money from? Income and sales taxes. Illegals do not pay income taxes; they generally work on a cash basis under the radar. Further, their incomes are much lower than the top 1% of taxpayers. So, it is not surprising at all that they are paying a greater % of their income in taxes than the rich person; after all, sales taxes are regressive by nature, and the rich obviously pay less in sales taxes relative to income than a poorer person does.
However, the larger question relates to federal taxation and federal benefits. Many social welfare programs that illegals benefit from are funded by the federal government, who pays for them from federal income taxes, which illegals don’t pay. So yes, while illegals are indeed paying taxes (and a lot of them), often the bucket they are paying into is different from the bucket they are drinking water from, so to speak.
In 2013, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that immigration reform (specifically that of S.744) would decrease our budget deficit by $135 billion over 10 years, and by $820 billion over the course of 20 years. To clarify, this is not an argument specifically in favor for S.744, but to show that immigration reform would allow for undocumented immigrants to become documented, pay taxes, increase their access to the economy, and increase revenues for our country.
Again, unsurprising. However, taxation is only one of the considerations a nation makes in determining immigration policy.
This is one of the most prominent anti-immigrant arguments I hear. Those wielding it have an oversimplified view of our economy. To them, if an immigrant gets a job, then a native-born American is therefore denied from a job. They view the economy as a zero-sum game where you either win or lose, when reality is much more complicated.
Sure. But you’re making an argument based on national macroeconomics, while the impact of immigration is very local. It’s entirely possible that illegal immigrants ARE taking jobs away from US workers in certain regions and in certain job sectors (construction come to mind) whilst in other areas, they are providing value and not putting anyone out of a job. So, situations like seasonal farm labor may skew the national statistics and make illegal immigration look economically rosy, people in urban areas might be having a totally different experience with illegal immigrant job competition.
Now, does that mean that immigrants don’t cause any negative effects on employment? No. Every action has its pros and cons. But the cons for immigrant workers is very small.
Well, if you’re the guy who lost your job, you might see the matter differently.
Key Point: The takeaway lesson here is that you can’t use macroeconomics to tell individual people how they should feel about a local issue.
Immigrants have shown that they benefit our country. I can continue to list reason after reason as to how they benefit us, but it will do little for a person who blindly and stubbornly opposes the immigrant on xenophobic grounds.
There are reasons to oppose illegal immigration that have nothing to do with xenophobia, sorry.
For people like this, it is difficult to reason with them because bigotry is by definition unreasonable.
Works both ways. When it comes to the immigration debate, there is little reason on either side, at times.
I can convince you to leave behind money as a reason to justify a person’s existence and instead adopt a worldview that places value in ourselves, and our fellow human beings.
That’s an odd way to end an article which entirely used money as a reason to justify the immigrant’s existence.