The Immigrant Dilemma (#99)

Photo by Paul Weaver on Unsplash

Seems like immigration, nationalism and xenophobia are one of the hottest issues right now. They’ve been big issues for a while, and the 2016 elections in the US, and the Brexit vote in the UK made it clear that the average person does not like immigrants and outsiders right now.

“Immigrants are taking our jobs”

While that statement may be misguided, you should really pay attention to what’s happening here. It’s important, because it points to the real problem, the job market isn’t so great. For the Average Joe, all they really want is to get a stable job, provide for their family, and live a good life. They currently can’t do that for whatever reason, and someone convinced them that this was the immigrants fault.

I mean, it makes some kind of sense, if more people are in the country and jobs are limited, then there must be less jobs available for me. Supply and demand, or something. So if we get rid of all the immigrants, more jobs will be available, and maybe I won’t be unemployed.

Let us at least empathize and try to understand the anti-immigrant Average Joe, then perhaps we can change their mind.

Where they go wrong is that immigrants probably don’t affect supply and demand in the job market that much. Hiring an immigrant legally is a lot harder than hiring an equally capable citizen, so there’s not much point in a company doing that, unless they legitimately could not find a qualified citizen.

“Legal immigration is fine, it’s the illegal immigrants that come in and take jobs for less money that ruin everything!”

Well, here’s the problem with that statement Joe. If the illegal immigrants are taking primarily low paying jobs to begin with, then what difference does that make to the average person? I assume the average person wants to work a job that pays a decent salary. And if that is the case, they are most certainly not competing with illegal immigrants.

So why can’t Average Joe find a decent paying job?

Automation * Globalization

And it’s only going downhill from here Joe.

Originally published at on June 24, 2019.

Dmitri Kyle Brereton

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