Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mild Clarification

Yesterdy I wrote:

I'm all for allowing people to come into our country to work, provided it's done on the up-and-up.

But, assuming these "guest workers" will be required to report their income to the government for the purposes of paying their "fair share" of taxes on said income, can we then assume that these workers will (theoretically) not be paid "under the table", and that their wages will be the same as those of an American citizen doing the same work?

Seems to me this will result in an increase to the operating costs of the produce farmers hiring the immigrants, which would then be passed on to the consumer.

Am I missing something here? Because the Open Borders Brigade has been trying to convince me for years that we need immigrant labor to keep the price of lettuce down.

Well, it turns out, the situation is not quite as dire as I had originally thought.

It's worse.

The Senate’s handiwork this week deserves far more attention than it has received, and if President Bush intends to contribute to the final product, his engagement is already overdue. Among the little-noticed provisions in the Senate bill is one that shatters [hereby nominated for Understatement of the Year: Verb Category - ed.] the economic rationale for millions of new unskilled, affordable foreign workers. When a bill depends on Democratic votes for passage, the unions are empowered to transform the business community’s demand for “cheap labor” into a guarantee that guest-workers will be among the most costly labor in the workforce.

The bill extends Davis-Bacon “prevailing wage” provisions—typically the area’s union wage that applies only to construction on federal projects under current law—to all occupations (e.g. roofers, carpenters, electricians, etc.) covered by Davis-Bacon. So guest-workers (but not citizen workers) must be paid Davis-Bacon wage rates for jobs in the private sector if their occupation is covered by Davis-Bacon. Presumably because Senate Democrats’ union bosses thought this provision too modest, an amendment by Senator Barack Obama, approved by voice vote, extended Davis-Bacon wages rates to all private work performed by guest workers, even if their occupations are not covered by Davis-Bacon.

Again, if I'm missing something here, can someone please explain to me how this can be portrayed as something intended to have a positive impact on our nation's economy?

And, then explain to me how the whole "jobs Americans won't do" talking point hasn't now officially been reduced to a dried-up streak of slug slime.

I'll give you 30 seconds. Otherwise, I'm applying the surefire "If It Looks, Smells, and Feels Like Bullshit Theory" here.

And packing the range bag.

(NRO link via Claire at