Many people decry, rightly, the low paying wages which illegal immigrants and foreign factory workers earn. Granted it’s not very much, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone willing to accept the alternative. Understand that I’m not suggesting that anyone be forced into what we might call slave-wage jobs — which is not the same as minimum wage jobs.
I am referring to hard labor jobs $2-3 per hour which exploit the illegal status of the workers picking fruits and vegetables. Or perhaps the pennies per hour of foreign factory workers who assemble our highly coveted smart phones, tablets, running shoes, etc.
Of course we object to these conditions, but are we also willing to accept what would naturally follow? If you think $120 for Nikes or $600 for iPhones and iPads is steep, try paying $1200. Do you like $1.29 per pound peaches and apples, what about if they were $8 per pound?
Economics for Morons makes the same point succinctly that I’ve been making for years.
Have you ever heard speak of those who are “doing work that American’s won’t do”? This usually refers to migrant farm workers… kind of like cotton pickers on old plantations…. Hearing those words for the first time made my head cock like a sheep dog seeing a three-headed man for the first time. What an odd statement.
Would you pick lettuce for two hundred grand a year… with benefits? I would… and I’m an American. So the question isn’t whether or not Americans will do that job, but rather can illegals, read the modern equivalent of slaves, be imported to do it for a price that makes Americans happy with their salad… and their “compassion”?
The next question, that even the economic moron understands is: “What would paying lettuce-pickers $200,000 a year do to the price of lettuce?” But buried in that question is an assertion, which is: “I want my salad for the price I’m use to paying, and I’m willing to enslave the less fortunate to get it”, or, put differently, “we might as well face it, the world needs slavery”.
Know that I’m not trying to put anyone on the spot, but have you considered what would happen if these workers were paid comparable wages, or *gasp* union wages? Imagine what would happen to the price of commodities and electronics. Could you afford the increased prices?
We unfortunately live in a world where our standard of living has been built on exploited workers earning “slave wages”. Is there a feasible alternative, or are we stuck?