Trump’s declaration of a ‘full’ country undermines his goals for continued economic growth
WASHINGTON – President Trump is 100 percent correct that there is a crisis on our southern border. And he is absolutely right when he says some migrants are abusing our asylum laws. But he is dead wrong when he declares, in what has become his favorite refrain, that “Our country is FULL.”
Sorry, our country is not full. Not by a long shot. The opposite is true. We need more immigrants, lots of them. In fact, no one needs immigrants more than Trump.
Today, thanks to Trump’s leadership, the U.S. economy is strong. Unemployment recently reached its lowest level in 49 years. U.S. manufacturing employment is growing at the fastest pace in nearly a quarter-century. On Trump’s watch, the unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanics and Americans without a high school diploma have all reached the lowest points ever recorded.
The Wall Street Journal recently called this “the hottest job market in half a century,” declaring that “Workers are so scarce that, in many parts of the country, low-skill jobs are being handed out to pretty much anyone willing to take them -- and high-skilled workers are in even shorter supply. All sorts of people who have previously had trouble landing a job are now finding work. Racial minorities, those with less education and people working in the lowest-paying jobs are getting bigger pay raises and, in many cases, experiencing the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for their groups.”
In some places, unemployment is so low that employers can’t find workers to fill the jobs. There are now a record 6.5 million job openings in the United States. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, 39 percent of small businesses say they have a job opening they can’t fill, and 90 percent of business owners who hired or tried to hire workers reported few or no qualified applicants for the position. Nearly a quarter of all small-business owners report that finding qualified workers is their “single most important business problem.” And the demand for seasonal workers is so big that, when the application window for H-2B visas opened up on Jan. 1, the Labor Department’s electronic filing system for the visas crashed due to overwhelming demand. Employers requested three times as many visas as were available.
To quote my American Enterprise Institute colleague Michael R. Strain, “this is a good problem to have.” But it is a problem. If Trump wants to keep this strong economy going, and achieve his stated goal of sustained 3 percent growth throughout his presidency, he needs more workers.
The trouble is, the United States is not producing enough native-born workers. According to the Economic Innovation Group, 80 percent of U.S. counties lost prime working-age adults from 2007 through 2017. And the situation is not improving. According to Census Bureau data, our population growth rate for fiscal year 2017-2018 was 0.62% – the lowest since 1937, during the Great Depression. The U.S. population is now growing at less than replacement levels.
The decline is driven in large part by millennials, who are marrying and having children at much lower rates than previous generations. It’s ironic. Many millennials want socialism, but they are not producing the future workers and taxpayers needed to pay for it.
The only thing stopping us from overall population decline is the arrival of immigrants, who account for about 48 percent of U.S. population growth. And immigration “is projected to be the primary contributor to national population growth after 2030,” the Brookings Institution reported.
So, we need more immigrants. Americans understand this. Eighty-four percent say legal immigration is good for the country, and only 29 percent believe it should be decreased – the lowest level since 1965. Unfortunately, Sens. Tom Cotton, R.-Ark., David Perdue, R.-Ga., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., have introduced legislation that would reduce legal immigration by 50 percent over 10 years. No doubt, our immigration system is in need of sensible reforms, such as eliminating the visa lottery system, ending chain migration and imposing a mandatory EVerify process. But an overall reduction in immigration would be disastrous for the country. We need immigrants to stop population decline. We need immigrants to work and pay taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare for our aging population. And we need immigrants to provide the human capital for continued economic growth and prosperity. If the president wants to keep this economic boom going, he needs more people coming to the United States, not fewer.
So, yes, our shining city on a hill needs walls – because the world is a dangerous place, and we are a nation of laws. But, as President Ronald Reagan put in it his farewell address, those walls must also have doors. And the sign above those doors should read “Welcome to America” – not “Sorry, we’re full.”
Marc Thiessen Where did his love go? Oats kicked Bulls to curb
Nate Oats kicks University at Buffalo to the curb, for a fling with “sweet home” Alabama.
What is this other than a classic example of a marriage encounter shrouded in duplicity, double-dealing and disingenuously speaking out of both sides of his mouth?
First, talk up the soon-to-be ex. Buffalo is “energetic,” the basketball Bulls are a team packed with potential on a national stage, Oats’ family is enthralled with the Buffalo area, and on and on. Boy, Nate, this love affair of yours took a precipitous dive in just the short period of two weeks, starting with you signing an extension of your marital contract with UB, and ending with your announcement of the breakup of your Buffalo marriage.
Second, say and do all this at the very same time that you are in the dance of desire with a new suitor, with money to boot, then your current life partner, the Bulls. Boy, Nate, you really know how to honorably fall out of love!
Don’t even think about the baggage the newly engaged brings to the relationship: programs the likes of Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana State University, Auburn, etc.
Not exactly the three lesser “Michigans,” Ohio University, Kentucky State, Toledo, etc., of the MAC, eh?
We here in Western New York will be watching to see if you were better off sticking with what you knew, and shunning what looks like too much competition, too much talent, in Alabama’s Southeastern Conference. Boy, Nate, I really think you made a big mistake!
Anyway, it seems to me, Mr. Oats, you learned more than X’s and O’s from your marriage-mentor and fellow-divorcee of the UB Bulls, Bobby Hurley. But then again, it appears that we never learn when it comes to affairs of the heart. Just look at Hurley’s record, regular season and March Madness, since he left the Bulls.
Truly a “no-fault” divorce, on the part of UB. You tell me, reader, though where, and with whom, the “fault” lies.
Donald Weyer point. The USPS in the Buffalo area had an on-time delivery score with Amazon parcels of well over 95 percent.
If you are unhappy with the new Flex delivery service for any reason please contact Amazon and let them know. Amazon is offering USPS delivery only to some of its customers and even giving refunds due to poor Flex delivery service.
Remember unionized professional letter carriers that delivered Amazon packages for over half a decade are vetted with government background checks to ensure the general public can be confident these employees handling mail/packages are safe, trustworthy delivery personnel for your goods.
David J Grosskopf Jr.
Mulching isn’t the only issue on the topic of lawn mowing
In response to the March 9 letter, “Stop clipping grass and start mulching,” what about the people who don’t bag but blow all the clippings into the street and clog all the water receptacles … they should be fined, fined, fined both residential and commercial.
Recent news about violence is an example of society’s lows
There is an argument to be made that society is actually too passive on how we handle violent crime.
Just a few recent examples: Two Buffalo teens enter the dorms at Buffalo State College with guns to rob and intimidate; a taxi driver robbed by two men with knives; an 18-year-old attacks two Buffalo police officers at Burgard High School; a young student attacked by a group of teens at a bus stop (during the day) and the one that maybe is most disgusting, a 36-year-old man “Rocco” arrested for punching out a 66-year-old woman at Seneca Niagara Casino.
These are just miniscule reflections of the recent violence in our community.
This is all about criminals profiting and tormenting. They prey on people with threats, intimidation and physical assault simply because they can get away with it.
We hear about parents having “the talk” with their young sons about the threat the police pose. What about the talk that encourages respect for fellow human beings?
Where is the community or larger society coming to the aide of vulnerable citizens who are simply trying to get along?
The News has published some good articles about community policing which rather than harassing folks helps promote safety. Respect for law is what enables vast numbers of people to live together.
Rationalize all you want but it is a privilege and a blessing to live in a society where freedom, opportunity and peace are a way of life.
We want to nurture and protect our culture and all are welcome. Violent people forfeit that privilege.