Jobs Americans WILL do when there are no immigrants around

by Skip

H-2B VisaGood things coming from our neighbors to our East in Maine – workers actually lobbying for a LOWER minimum wage because it is in their own self-interest (go read it as I’m not going to comment on it other than this line which I’ve blogged about in other areas where Governments that have sent the minimum wage arbitrarily sky high: ” first, that it would force employers to raise prices on their menu items, which could affect their current tips; and second, and perhaps more importantly, that employers might be forced to cut servers’ shifts as a result.”).

The second? What happens when there is only the native population left? What happens to that horrible saw that goes “[Illegal] immigrants doing the jobs that Americans won’t do?”

Americans take those jobs (emphasis mine, reformatted)

Maine Town Resorts To Hiring Americans As Visas Run Out

Businesses in Bar Harbor, Maine are turning to locals to make up for a shortage of foreign guest workers that normally fill summer jobs in the bustling seaside resort town. Because the H-2B visa program has already reached its annual quota, Bar Harbor’s hotels, restaurants, and shops can’t bring in any more foreign workers for the rest of the busy summer tourist season. Like hundreds of similar coastal resort towns, Bar Harbor has for many years depended on the H-2B visas for temporary workers. The program allows non-agricultural companies to bring in foreign labor if they are unable to find suitable employees domestically.

Now they are coming up with creative ways to attract local labor, reports the Bangor Daily News…The shortage is so acute that companies are sweetening incentives for local workers. Searchfield says some businesses are offering flexible schedules that might appeal to older workers who might be interested in working only a day or two each week. And other companies have gone so far as to offer higher wages to entice locals.

You don’t say!

All we keep hearing is that the presence of immigrants (legal or illegal) does nothing about lowering wages yet there is the story of the Swift meat packing plants that when they were raided by ICE and the illegals either ran or were carted away, LEGAL Americans were hired – at higher wages.  And here we go again – when you STOP inflating the labor pool, wages go up.  Wages for American workers have stagnated for years and in a lot of areas (like construction and restaurant jobs), that has happened because of low skilled workers working at wages that Americans wouldn’t.  RedState adds this pearl:

…Still, in a capitalist society, it rings a bit of a sour note when you see a system which is actively built on using foreign workers before exhausting all possible hires of citizens. If your business is booming all summer to the degree that you can’t hire enough workers to meet the demand, then in a normal capitalist system the demand for labor would drive up the cost. Higher wages attract more and better workers… it’s really that simple.

And then the dirk to the heart”

And if that enhanced compensation package is attracting more employees locally, why are you relying on the H-2B program to begin with? Remember that one of the requirements for a business to qualify to use H-2B workers is as follows:

Employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

If you can make your business model work during the busiest season by offering a better compensation package but you’re bringing in foreign workers who will do the job for less, isn’t that sort of undermining the purported reason for the program’s existence?

Undermining?  No – GAMING that system; obviously the use of H-2B visas has adversely affected the wages of the local populace.  I know that in my area, a resort area in NH, the same thing is going on.  We’ve all written here about taking out the first few rungs of the economic ladder for those just starting out – like high school teenagers. I haven’t researched it but I’m betting this is a boom time for teenagers and college kids.

They could bring in more young people from outside the area who are looking for such work in a nice vacation destination if they banded together and offered some sort of subsidized housing options that temporary workers could afford for the summer on the wages being offered.

Remember, the general principle at play here is that OUR OWN GOVERNMENT picked foreign winners over native (now) losers arbitrarily.  It is Government (with no small amount of pushing) that created yet again a distortion in the Free Market – in this case, the labor component.  Now we are seeing that local market coming back into a normal equilibrium based solely on local conditions without interference from the Feds in faraway DC.

Hey, they’re doing it for foreign workers – why not for Americans?  In this, I do agree with Trump on this part of “American First” – else why bother to have a country?

Leave a Comment

  • Radical Moderate

    This is the point I have been making ad nausium against unbridled Capitalism. It’s impossible to have a successful free market Randian style Libertarian economy AND have an influx of cheap foreign labor OR open borders, it will end up destroying our country as we have seen, Hence the rise of Donald Trump. This is why Constitutional Conservatives must seize back control from these Globalist Corporate Establishment Republican dirt bags and the traitorous US Chamber of Commerce. Send them to prison or kick them out of our country, either way we must be rid of them if we are to survive.
    Death to Globalism.
    Economic Nationalism is the only solution.

    • granitegrok

      Unbridled Capitalism? No – Crony Capitalism (but just a nit as this is Capitalism Rent Seeking from Government for its own benefit). But I do agree with you in the writ large sense.

  • As always…

    There seems to be some confusion between “processed” immigrants, and illegal aliens. Much like the disingenuous term reverse racism, there’s no such thing as an illegal immigrant.
    In Texas, there is a clear distinction between Yankees, and DAMNED Yankees.
    (The latter being the ones that stayed, uninvited)
    In NH, there’s a clear distinction between tourists in our friends from the neighboring States, and the folks who stay, yet “forget” to stop carrying their baggage.
    Oh sure, there’s a sobriquet for ’em….depends where they’re originally from though.

    • granitegrok

      While illegal alien is the proper term of art in the legal sense, most of us use that and illegal immigrant to signify someone from another country that has not followed our procedure to come to the US. They have committed an illegal act to cross our borders to the point where the Feds are now charging those that cross our borders illegal with criminal crimes.

  • KAMGlosta

    Actually, this just isn’t true. The federal government sets the prevailing wages so H-2B workers are NOT underpaid or paid lower than American workers would be.

    High school and college kids can’t work the entire season needed and in Maine there even more strict rules about where high school kids can even work and what they can do.

    These employers, by LAW, are required to hire Americans and PROVE they tried before ever even applying for the H-2B visas. I literally know several employers from Maine who were so desperate to find workers they searched all over the country, including Puerto Rico for AMERICAN workers.

    Everyone keeps saying Americans will do these jobs except there aren’t Americans to be found to actually do the jobs. These H-2B workers also help keep the American workers who ARE already working for these small businesses employed.

    • granitegrok

      I see this in my NH area which is also a resort area – there are a ton of H-2B workers that are here and the local teenagers get locked out of the traditional summer time jobs. The fact that biz owners are admitting they are now having to pay higher wages to attract American workers does not bolster your argument, KAM. They said the same tired things about the Swift meatpacking plants – as soon as the illegals were hauled off / ran away, wages went up and Americans returned to work.

      “The federal government sets the prevailing wages so H-2B workers are NOT underpaid or paid lower than American workers would be.”

      Let’s slide sideways, shall we – to the H-1B visas. Which, by LAW are supposed to also take Americans first and at “the prevailing wage”. I’ve seen friends in my company let go after training their much cheaper replacements. And now it has happened to me.

      Never underestimate the power of Rent Seeking.

      • KAMGlosta

        These places are already paying higher wages. Teens aren’t allowed to work in certain places thanks to government rules, at least in Maine.

        H-1B visas are an entirely different ballgame.

        The government sets the prevailing wages for H-2B workers, not the employer.

        • granitegrok

          I know that you lean towards the Free Market – don’t you feel that GOVERNMENT setting wages is rather abhorrent?

          • KAMGlosta

            I do but it blows away the argument that these seasonal workers are getting paid less. It’s simply not true.

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