Legal and Illegal Labor

I listened to Geraldo the other day  and–surprise, surprise–found myself more in agreement with him than with Tucker Carlson, who was the counter-point person.. The argument was about whether the illegals took jobs away from Americans–Geraldo said no, Tucker said yes.

Geraldo’s argument was that Americans, for the most part, will not work for $7 or $8 an hour doing back-breaking work when the government supplies benefits that match or exceed the value of the work (somewhat of a slam against the welfare state). Tucker claimed that an increase in the supply of labor, by definition lowers the price and raises the unemployment of the competing factions.

Tucker’s argument is a good one on basic economic theory, but I think Geraldo is more right in this–the lowest acceptable labor price for Americans is higher than what illegals will accept. In that sense, we have 2 very separate labor supplies: the illegals and the legals–the two compete for entirely different jobs.

But what Geraldo did not finish was the logical conclusion of his argument–that to have these willing, hard-working, low-priced workers, they need to STAY ILLEGAL.  Once them become legal and get access to those same benefits, they will tend to make the same, intelligent, economic decision. This will cause yet another cycle of illegal workers to fill that supply vacuum.

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