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Less immigrant labor in US adds to price hikes
Posted by: pdq
Date: May 08, 2022 10:22AM
This is the first time I’ve seen an article recently which acknowledges the elephant in the current room of our reality.

Quote
AP

After immigration to the United States tapered off during the Trump administration – then ground to a near complete halt for 18 months during the coronavirus pandemic – the country is waking up to a labor shortage partly fueled by that slowdown.

The U.S. has, by some estimates, 2 million fewer immigrants than it would have if the pace had stayed the same, helping power a desperate scramble for workers in many sectors, from meatpacking to homebuilding, that is also contributing to supply shortages and price increases.

Latest data from Labor is two job openings for every unemployed worker. This leads to increased wages (a good thing) but wages won’t do it all:

Quote

[Farmer Mike] Helle, who raises onion, cabbage, melons and kale just outside the border town of McAllen, Texas, is also paying more to his workers, who are almost exclusively immigrants. People born in the U.S., he says, won’t work the fields regardless of the pay.

Before he could find farmworkers just in the region. Now he’s joined a federal program to bring agricultural workers across the border. It’s more expensive for him, but he said it’s the only way he can keep his crops from spoiling in the ground.

Helle, 60, has farmed the area for decades. “I live 10 miles from the Rio Grande river and I never in my life thought we’d be in this situation.”

We aren’t forcing these immigrants to come across the border at the point of a gun. They come, desperately, to seek any work they can get, because (like it has been throughout our history), this is better than where they came from.

What gets me is demagogues like Texas guv Abbott decry immigrants from one side of their mouth, yet out of the other, take credit for the population and economic growth they bring. Folks who acknowledge this irrefutable demographic truth seem few and far between:

Quote

“At some point we either decide to become older and smaller or we change our immigration policy,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist and former official in President George W. Bush’s administration who is president of the center-right American Action Forum. He acknowledged a change in immigration policy is unlikely: “The bases of both parties are so locked in.”

Oh, of course. Both-sides. RollingEyesSmiley5 (Well, as a Republican, he has to say that I suppose.)

Anyway, informative read, I think.
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Re: Less immigrant labor in US adds to price hikes
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: May 08, 2022 11:09AM
of course, if the Red Hats have their way, much cheaper slavery will blossom again after a few Supreme Court rulings.
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Re: Less immigrant labor in US adds to price hikes
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 08, 2022 11:14AM
I think the tightly closed Southern border is the single reason that many businesses can't find workers at the Federal minimum wage, and likely the reason companies are raising prices and spiking inflation. The average wage for farm laborers in WA is estimated at $16.59.



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Re: Less immigrant labor in US adds to price hikes
Posted by: RgrF
Date: May 08, 2022 01:13PM
The one component that effects prices across the board is energy. Shell just reported record $9.1 billion quarterly profit, adjusted earnings almost triple same period last year. Exxon/Mobile doubled their profit. Anyone doubt oil companies are price gouging?
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Re: Less immigrant labor in US adds to price hikes
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: May 08, 2022 01:28PM
Quote
RgrF
The one component that effects prices across the board is energy. Shell just reported record $9.1 billion quarterly profit, adjusted earnings almost triple same period last year. Exxon/Mobile doubled their profit. Anyone doubt oil companies are price gouging?

No defense of Exxon/Mobil intended, but that "statistic" is grossly misleading.

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Re: Less immigrant labor in US adds to price hikes
Posted by: Speedy
Date: May 08, 2022 01:42PM
Except that it would temporarily depress wages, I would be thrilled to see open borders in this hemisphere much like the Schengen Region in Europe. Of course, just as this would depress wages (and Republicans), it would cause wages to rise in the rest of the hemisphere. But over the long term it would be win-win.

First though, let’s legalize all currently illicit drugs. We don’t need to have all those drug gunners freely crossing into the USA.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Less immigrant labor in US adds to price hikes
Posted by: RgrF
Date: May 08, 2022 05:05PM
Quote
DeusxMac
Quote
RgrF
The one component that effects prices across the board is energy. Shell just reported record $9.1 billion quarterly profit, adjusted earnings almost triple same period last year. Exxon/Mobile doubled their profit. Anyone doubt oil companies are price gouging?

No defense of Exxon/Mobil intended, but that "statistic" is grossly

My oversight. I grabbed that stat from Robert Reich’s site and extrapolated Shell earnings with Exxon, probably why he.stopped at Shell.
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Re: Less immigrant labor in US adds to price hikes
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 08, 2022 06:33PM
Quote
DeusxMac
Quote
RgrF
The one component that effects prices across the board is energy. Shell just reported record $9.1 billion quarterly profit, adjusted earnings almost triple same period last year. Exxon/Mobile doubled their profit. Anyone doubt oil companies are price gouging?

No defense of Exxon/Mobil intended, but that "statistic" is grossly misleading.


That chart is also misleading. All the oil companies had a problem in 2020 and have recovered. Most are repurchasing their shares to boost stock prices.





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