“At a time when the American economy could use more people, restrictions on immigration continue to trap a lot of unused talent in low-productivity countries. To unleash it, the United States could simply let these immigrants in and let them work. They’d become a productive part of the system that makes this country so wealthy. But politicians are getting in the way.”
“Today, many U.S. industries are having a hard time finding workers, leaving production lower than it should be. That means fewer goods and services to raise our living standards. It’s so bad that unfilled jobs in the manufacturing sector could cost the U.S. economy $1 trillion annually.
This highlights that our problem isn’t too many immigrants. Instead, we admit too few people who want to come here to work, often leaving them with no good choice but to try anyway.
I understand that some Americans feel uneasy about allowing in more immigrants who are less educated than most of our population. But you don’t have to be a highly educated engineer, surgeon, or entrepreneur of the caliber of Elon Musk to add net value to the U.S. economy. In fact, so much of our country is functioning so well precisely because of so-called low-skilled workers.
Think back to the many months of the pandemic when the economy was closed except for those businesses labeled “essential.” Who do you think kept supermarkets open by stocking shelves and driving supplies from warehouses to stores? Who collected garbage, planted vegetables, and raised chickens? Who prepared the takeout meals you ordered on Uber Eats or other platforms? Who cleaned your home or renovated your patio? Who worked in elder care facilities? It was the workers we dismissively call “low-skilled.””