Placing the Worker Before the Job
I have to admit to being a bit confused by David’s comments to my post about Rhode Island’s lost jobs.
- I pointed out that Rhode Island hadn’t gained jobs, as expected, over the last year, but lost them, including in the construction industry. With a slate of laws in mind that would attract low-end and illegal immigrants to Rhode Island, I quipped acerbically that such workers are precisely whom a state with our economy ought to be wooing.
- David asserted that the construction jobs being lost are those that such immigrants would claim (driving down construction prices and pay across the board) and that Anchor Rising surely hasn’t a care for such people.
- Ignoring the baseless attack, I questioned the extent to which illegals are captured in jobless numbers and noted that the several men who’ve stopped by my jobsite desperate for work have all been middle-aged locals.
- David made an East Bay/West Bay distinction and explained, “My point is that while I am affected much more than you, I refuse to vent anger on the low wage people who have for the most part been used. Instead of a legitimate quest worker program (that
Bush wanted and I would oppose) we got the illegitimate version. But I do not want to oppose the people working – who came here to work.”
The compounding of bad decisions is enough to induce headaches. Ill considered and inadequately enforced immigration policy at the national and state levels creates an environment in which companies can exploit illegal immigrant workers and drive down wages for citizens, and the solution is to make it easier for illegals to stay and more attractive for them to come to Rhode Island specifically of all the states?
The only healthy (sane) approach for a geographically defined political entity to take is to establish and deploy policies designed to create jobs and then to expand the workforce as necessary. Businesses create jobs, and they will go where conditions are advantageous in order to produce goods for sale elsewhere or (especially with services) where customers are plentiful. In other words, if Rhode Island wishes to attract businesses to create jobs, its policies should focus on bringing in highly skilled workers and potential clients.
Of course, attracting potential clients is precisely what politicians and public sector organizations are doing by marketing the state to other nations’ poor.