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Do we “need” more immigrants for jobs Americans won’t do?

June 12, 2013

With regards to the current and ongoing debates about immigration (legal and otherwise), here is a thought provoking excerpt from Dr. Thomas Sowell. Dr. Sowell is a renowned economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author.

thereformedmind

From Dr. Thomas Sowell:

One of the most common arguments for allowing more immigration is that there is a “need” for foreign workers to do “jobs that Americans won’t do,” especially in agriculture.

One of my most vivid memories of the late Armen Alchian, an internationally renowned economist at UCLA, involved a lunch at which one of the younger members of the economics department got up to go get some more coffee. Being a considerate sort, the young man asked, “Does anyone else need more coffee?”

“Need?” Alchian said loudly, in a cutting tone that clearly conveyed his dismay and disgust at hearing an economist using such a word.

A recent editorial on immigration in the Wall Street Journal brought back the memory of Alchian’s response, when I read the editorial’s statement about “the needs of an industry in which labor shortages can run as high as 20 percent” —…

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