Saturday, April 08, 2006

Another point on immigration

Doesn’t the immigration debate also illustrate the fallacy of any argument for a legally mandated minimum wage? If you happen to live in a state with a minimum wage law—like Virginia, my home state, where the minimum wage is $5.15—and with illegals making up a good part of the lower echelons of the labor force, what then is the real minimum wage? It’s whatever you'll settle for, if you're looking for work. If you pick up three hombres from the 7-11 in Herndon and they agree to shovel that mulch for you today, all day, rain or shine, for five bucks each, cash, haven’t you effectively punctured the minimum wage? Forget the legality of it for a minute (believe me, your landscaper has). Let’s just talk economics. If those three dudes score their five bucks’ wage and do a good ten hour day, they pocket 50 bucks. No taxes, no stupid FICA or FISA. 50 good hard bucks, not the 35 or whatever it would work out to be under a legal arrangement. And what if you can find another three who'll do it for four bucks an hour? Sounds to me like you've got a deal. Map that argument back to the underemployed segments of the population most often seen in large cities. I’d say that quite a few native born citizens are being priced out of the entry-level market in this economy. I would think that the unions and some other groups would be going apeshit about that.


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