Michael Lind: Migration Is All About Cutting Americans’ Wages

by NEIL MUNRO 16 Feb 2022

“So-called ‘immigration reform’ is all about profits,” says Michael Lind, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Yale-educated author

… do low-wage immigrants—regardless of whether they are legal or illegal—actually suppress wages and/or take away jobs? This brings us to what I think of as the borscht belt theory of immigration. The best-known joke identified with the borscht belt—the region of hotels and resorts in the Catskill Mountains that once served a heavily Jewish immigrant clientele—involves a typical patron who complains that “The food in this place is really terrible, and the portions are so small!”

The borscht belt theory of immigration goes like this: “Immigrants do not suppress wages—and without more immigrants, wages will go up and everything will be more expensive!”…

Both statements cannot be true. It cannot be the case that immigrant competition does not suppress wages in a particular occupation, and at the same time also [be] true that employers in the absence of immigration would be forced to raise wages to attract workers and pass the costs along to consumers.

Lind is the author of
The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite, which “debunks the idea that the [populist] insurgencies are primarily the result of bigotry.” The book:

… traces how the breakdown of mid-century class compromises between business and labor led to the conflict, and reveals the real battle lines.

On one side is the managerial overclass—the university-credentialed elite that clusters in high-income hubs and dominates government, the economy and the culture. On the other side is the working class of the low-density heartlands—mostly, but not exclusively, native and white.

The two classes clash over immigration, trade, the environment, and social values, and the managerial class has had the upper hand. As a result of the half-century decline of the institutions that once empowered the working class, power has shifted to the institutions the overclass controls: corporations, executive and judicial branches, universities, and the media.

Lind’s new article in Tablet magazine emphasizes how migration is used to sneak wages out of employees’ pay packets, and then sent to Wall Street where it inflates stock investors’ wealth:

When the intellectual apologists for cheap-labor immigration policies in journalism, the academy, and libertarian and progressive think tanks claim that there are entire categories of jobs that American citizens and legal immigrants already here refuse to do, they really mean that workers refuse to do those jobs in bad conditions for low wages.

Scholars have documented many industries and occupations in which employers have used low-wage legal or illegal immigrants or guest workers to break unions and keep wages low, from janitorial services to meat-packing. In tight labor markets, like the one caused by the tech bubble in the late 1990s, the recovery just before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the present period of supply disruptions, employers find that they have to raise wages and lower requirements to attract employees. That’s good for workers, even if it’s painful for employers and some consumers.

Breitbart News has extensively covered the role of money, wages, and stock values in migration politics. Journalists at corporate media outlets only cover the family dramas of struggling migrants.


Democrats are parroting the Chamber of Commerce — urging Congress to cut inflation by driving up immigration levels.

Democrats: Fix Inflation with Amnesty for Illegal Aliens, More Immigration
Democrats are parroting U.S. Chamber of Commerce talking points as their latest fix to President Joe Biden's record inflation.

11:43 AM · Feb 14, 2022

Michael Lind: Migration Is All About Cutting Americans' Wages (breitbart.com)