Sunday, April 17, 2005

Long term low income earners and housing

Phil Greenspun write about the impact of immigration on minimal wages in the US.
There are plenty of people from poor countries who think that working 60-70 hours per week for $7.50/hour is acceptable, especially if there are opportunities for their children to do better. As long as the immigrants are streaming into the U.S. it seems unlikely that wages for the unskilled will rise.

He also offers some practical views on the long term implications, and how to tackle the problems:
With wages for low-skill workers set according to wages in India and China the living styles of many unskilled workers in America will have to be more like those in India and China.

Low-wage workers in America won't be able to afford housing constructed with currently prevailing methods.

If the Chinese can make a sleeping van for $10,000 (new) a low-wage worker could have transportation and minimal shelter at the same time.


Blogger jerseycityjoan said...

I've often wondered how the U.S. electorate would respond if they realized all the effects and implications of our immigration policies.

What if it were spelled out in the stark terms you've quoted here?

How many Americans would be willing to pay a $1 or $2 more at MacDonalds or Walmart so that our unskilled workers could continue to live "like Americans"? I wonder, I really do.

9:08 am  

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