The truth about immigration and wages
A pernicious distraction from the need for fiscal & monetary policy to generate full employment
Happy New Year!
Two issues that I am passionate about are the merits of immigration to building American prosperity and national power, and the importance of full employment to building worker power and driving economic progress. Oren Cass, a former Mitt Romney aid who is perhaps the leading light of ongoing efforts to construct some kind of actual coherent policy framework around the vague impulses of Donald Trump, says that these two goals are in massive tension and you can’t have tight labor markets and loose borders at the same time.
When I saw his headline my first instinct was to reach for the truckload of academic research disputing this and showing that immigration has either zero or benign impacts on the wages of native workers.
If you read the article, though, you’ll see that Cass is aware this literature exists and just doesn’t care:
The empirical case for the “nothing to see here” approach to immigration economics is paper thin; one can typically guess where the hyperlinks …