The news liberals, possibly with some vague memory of the days when liberals cared about workers, are responsible for writing into today’s remarkable Page One article on Northwest Arkansas [Uneven Boom Wal-Mart Fosters A Region’s Rise, But Not All Benefit, by Kemba J. Dunham and Kortney Stringer, February 10, 2005—access requires subscription; free version] the crucial fact that blue collar workers are being deprived of their share of the booming region’s prosperity because of immigration:
“Dale Baughman, who has lived in Northwest Arkansas all his life, has had a different experience. Three years ago…he lost an $18.50-an-hour tool-making job. "It's hard to find a job and the ones you can find don't pay anything," says the 52-year-old, who has a high-school diploma. He looked for machine-maintenance jobs…but found only ones paying $12 to $13 an hour. He partly blames a rise in immigration, which he says is keeping wages low for less-skilled labor.
Other workers agree that immigrants from Latin America are helping employers push wages down in jobs such as construction, where some native-born workers say they earn less now than they did 10 years ago. According to the Census Bureau, 6.9% of the area's population was foreign-born in 2000, up from 1.5% in 1990…many of whom work in local factories and poultry plants.
“James Bisop and Lisa Broadwell are longtime residents of Northwest Arkansas… both are underemployed. ‘Hispanics are taking over the jobs in the poultry industry — jobs that used to go to people who live here, and as a result, those people that used to be in the poultry industry are taking over our jobs,’ Ms. Broadwell said.”
Of course, this is exactly what George Borjas has been arguing and Ed Rubenstein documenting on VDARE.COM..
But as with Time’s excellent cover story last year, truth on this subject does not come from the “conservative” Establishment Media.
Commiserate with Mss. Dunham and Stringer on sacrificing their chance to make it to the WSJ Edit Page.
Tell them it was in a good cause!