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Americans are losing their work ethic


The argument of policy analysts for reducing immigration to the United States is always the same: If there was no supply of cheap labor, they argued, employers would have the obligation to raise wages for low-skilled native-born workers. This would prove that the assertion that some jobs are “just won’t be done by Americans” is a fiction.

This hypothesis has been tested in a real-world setting. Beginning with the restrictionist presidency of Donald Trump in 2017, and then supercharging through the effective 2020–21 border-closure triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. took in about 1.7 million fewer working-age immigrants than would have come at the prior intake rate, according to a recent analysis by Giovanni Peri, economics professor at University of California at Davis.

Meanwhile, absent those immigrants the domestic economy experienced a post-vaccine hiring explosion, with the unemployment rate—which measures the percentage of people actively looking for but failing to find a job—hitting 50-year lows. The inflation-adjusted average wages grew by at least 4 per cent annually for 12 consecutive months.

This ought to have been. The Moment when the shockingly high number prime-aged Americans…

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