Minimum Wage vs. Immigration: The Left’s Contradiction

An astute reader points out this piece by the ever-clueless Bob Reich in the Huffington Post. Reich, defending a $15 minimum wage, concedes that imposing such a minimum would cause jobs to be lost, but argues that “such jobs [i.e., jobs that can’t command $15] aren’t worth keeping.” Tell that, I guess, to the guy who was all set to go to work for $12 an hour until you made it illegal.

But our reader makes a more insightful point:

Leaving aside the fatuous economic claims, it turns out that arguments for a minimum wage imply that some jobs are not worth doing!…..which certainly entails that some businesses and business models — some economic activity, some potential GDP — is not worth having!

It would be interesting to hear how this conclusion affects the left’s arguments for immigration–the “jobs Americans won’t do” claims, specifically. If there are, indeed, some “jobs Americans won’t do,” at the market wages necessary to attract them, then quite simply that is economic activity that we do not want. If a business model requires for viability a wage level that only a tremendous and unprecedented level of immigration-driven population growth, the mass importation of 3rd world labor, can provide, then that is ECONOMIC ACTIVITY THAT WE DO NOT WANT.

We do not want or need economic growth to come from the lowest value-added activities made economically feasible only because of an unwanted huge population increase from legal and, even worse, illegal immigration. Population levels and thus immigration are constraints that business activity must contend with, not a factor they get to determine, especially surreptitiously as with illegal immigration.

For the more artificial constraint of a minimum wage, Reich is arguing that if lower wages are required for economic growth, then that is not the economic growth we are looking for. The dirty little secret is that this logic exposes a huge contradiction on the left. It is exactly the same with immigration, which destroys wages at the low end, incontrovertibly. The other dirty little secret is that some on the left—Bernie Sanders, for example—are well aware of this contradiction and have taken a position against immigration.

Let’s heighten this contradiction as much as possible.