Thursday, May 26, 2005


Lee Harris says a lot of sensible things but he seems to have forgotten his economics on this subject:

"Successful societies produce people who begin to despise hard labor as beneath their dignity. Yet since this kind of work has to be done in any society, such societies must figure out where to tap into a supply of laborers of an inferior social status, who were still willing to do such work. In all societies up until quite recently, these laborers either came from an established class of peons, whose lower status was rigidly enforced by law or custom, as in Russian serfdom or else they were imported from other lands, and were called either indentured servants or slaves.

Today we are drawing these people from across our borders. They come here quite freely, and not on slave transports. All of us reap the advantages of their cheap labor and their hard work, but many of us want to pretend that, somehow, they are not necessary to us and that we can get along without them. Our educated class has deluded itself into thinking that the problem of hard labor no longer exists, simply because they and their children don't have to do it anymore. But someone does, and always will. What President Fox was trying to tell us, in his awkward way, was that those who argue that we can get along without illegal immigrants are living in a fantasy world, and that the sooner they wake up, the sooner Americans can begin working out a realistic solution to a problem that faces both our nations."

What Harris overlooks is that the market deals with shortages by driving up prices. So all necessary jobs would in fact get done without immigrants but it would cost more. Otherwise how does Australia get by? Our immigration is controlled so we have nothing like the Hispanics. So who are the building workers in Australia? I ought to know as I have employed many of them over the years. They are people of British and European ancestry. And they may cost a lot per hour but because they know what they are doing they work fast. And housing in Australia is generally a lot cheaper than in America! Silly old Lee Harris!


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