Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Push/Pull Immigration

Illegal immigration is a push product not a pull product. We should be harvesting Christmas trees and strawberries with robots run by technicians, designed by engineers, programmed by SW and GIS scientists from technology developed at UC Davis and Texas A&M and controlled by satellite. Why should farmers invest in technology like every other industry has when there's huge publically subsidized exploitable labor class available?

Supposedly this is going to mean our housekeepers and gardeners and even bookkeepers are going to be "lost" and we idle rich will be helpless. Quite the opposite. Instead we will buy Roombas, Rainbirds and Quicken thereby employing robotocists, Landscape Architects, electrical engineers and software programmers who can afford to live here. This IMHO is "A Good Thing."

Let's not mistake a push market where the jobs attract illegals for the actual case of a pull market where a pool of exploitable workers preserves an otherwise antiquated system. One need only ask why we still grow strawberries the same way we did 100 years ago but we wouldn't dream of making cars by hand as we did that same 100 years ago. The only reason there are still crummy jobs in the workplace is BECAUSE there are potential workers available for exploitation.

Please try to remain focused on the illegal part of illegal immigration. This is not an immigration issue any more than bank robbery is about financial regulation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Exactly the point I have been trying to make to friends who dont understand economics. The availability of $6-8 an hour labor creates its own demand, by encouraging more marginal businesses to start up and expand. That is why there are so many franchise burger joints on every corner, and way too much retail in the US. If they all had to pay a living wage to citizens ($12-15 an hour), there would be fewer of these businesses, but the remainder would have more volume and be more profitable. And endless strip malls might disappear.

That is also the reason the corporations will fight reform to the death, because it would be their demise. Many of their entire business plans are dependent on very cheap labor available forever.