The Corner

Unemployment, Illegal Immigration, and Political Idiocy

We’re being led by idiots.

Now that we’ve dispensed with the obvious, consider today’s horrid employment numbers — the lowest increase in job creation (74,000) in three years. Even if the depressing employment figures are partially attributable to weather (bad weather in December? Who could’ve possibly predicted that?), the fact remains that fewer Americans are working today than a month ago. The drop in the transparently absurd ”official” unemployment rate to 6.7 percent is almost entirely a function of 347,000 people dropping out of the work force, resulting in the lowest labor-force-participation rate in 36 years.

Ninety-two million Americans are not working. If the labor-force-participation rate were the same today as it was one year ago, the unemployment rate would be 8 percent. If the labor-force-participation rate were the same today as it was in January, 2008, the unemployment rate would be nearly 12 percent.

And yet our political leaders are committed to doing everything in their power to make things even worse. The political elite of both parties have renewed their drive for immigration “reform,” a drive sure to send the employment numbers falling further down the cliff — especially the employment numbers for low-skilled Americans. As I testified last April before the Senate Judiciary Committee, any reform remotely resembling the Gang of Eight bill will harm low-skilled workers in particular, resulting in both lower employment and lower wage rates for this vulnerable cohort. The harm’s not minor: Evidence adduced before the U.S.Commission on Civil Rights shows that illegal immigration has displaced hundreds of thousands of black American workers alone. So sure, let’s embark on a policy with a demonstrated track record of throwing Americans onto the unemployment line. Perfect timing.

But why stop there? If you’re truly committed to radically expanding the dependency class, why not increase the minimum wage at the very same time you’re reducing the competitiveness of low-skilled American workers? Price them right out of the market. Genius.

Compounding all of the above is Obamacare’s hideous drag on the 2014 employment market. Add it all up and it’s a lost decade for the job market, particularly for low-skilled workers.

Some enterprising reporter may want to ask the president how all of this is going to reduce “income inequality.” Apparently, the idea is to eliminate everyone’s income. Presto: income equality!


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