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The Immoral Argument: Illegals Improve Our Economy

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posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 04:21 PM
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Immigration is a hot button issue in the election this year. It is such a complex issue that it is hard to have a focused discussion about it. Questions such as the number of illegals here, the morality of deporting, the amount of crime caused, and the economic impact are just a few of the directions that this discussion can take.

I wanted to focus on one aspect of this debate, the economic issue. I know there are numbers all over the place about rather or not illegals hurt or help the economy, but I am not interested in the answer to that question at this time. Instead, I would like to focus on the nature of the argument that illegals improve the economy.

The Argument

The argument seems to go something like this, illegals do a lot of jobs that other people are unwilling to do, and as a result two things would happen if they were removed; first many businesses such as agricultural businesses would collapse, because businesses that employ them wouldn’t be able to find people to do the difficult labor illegals do, and secondly, the fact that they work cheap drives down the price of goods and allows consumers to save money on these products.

It is my contention that this argument is in fact immoral. The reason for this is that none of these arguments take the consideration of the illegals into mind, they focus on how their labor benefits us. This is counter to the morality argument that is made by the people who are against deporting illegals. Now I know people will say that the economic argument is just a supplement to the morality argument and not the number one factor, and they will argue that illegals have it better off here than in their home countries, but I will answer that argument later.

Jobs Americans Won’t Take

So what is this argument really saying. Let’s take a look at the initial premise, the idea that these jobs are too horrible or labor intensive for Americans to take. People love to tout how hard working many of these illegals are, and I am intended to agree with them. Much of the agricultural work they do sounds brutal, hot days of physically intensive mind numbing labor. Yet people want to say it’s good that these people do these jobs, because it benefits them as a consumer. These people don’t care who has to do these horrible dangerous job, as long as it is not them. Instead of business owners having to make the job more palatable by increasing safety measures or improving the job in other ways, they know they can hire illegals to do the work and be able to skirt any safety measures that would be required for a legal employee.
Yet the people making the economic argument seem more than happy to have these poor illegals work this horrible jobs.

Collapse of Businesses

The next part of the argument is some of these businesses would collapse if illegals left. First off, this is not true. These businesses would be forced to meet safety standards, and pay competitive wages. If a business could not turn a profit after this, a competitor would come in that could. If that couldn’t happen, then perhaps that particular business would collapse. But is that a bad thing. Do we want businesses that can only exist on the blood and sweat of abused people? I think as a society we could learn to live without these businesses. But it is a moot point, because almost every one of these businesses would survive, they may have to make changes and raise prices, but it would work.

Wages

That brings us to the wage argument. Legal residents do take dangerous, difficult jobs. The market has found a way to make people accept these jobs; they pay well. Many people work difficult oil rigs, trucks, boats, and countless other dangerous difficult jobs. They are willing to do these because these jobs pay well. They have to, or people would be unwilling to take them. It is not that Americans are unwilling to take the jobs the illegals do, it is that these employers are unwilling to pay Americans what they feel the job is worth. Instead, they know they can skip the cost of safety regulations and high wages by hiring illegals.

This is fine with the people making this economic argument though. As long as their products cost less, they are all for it. How callous is this? Ironically, the same people against any discussion of deportation of illegals are the very same people that demand higher minimum wages! Go figure, higher wages for US workers, but screw the illegals! Also, doesn’t it strike people as odd that the leftists that are making this economic argument are on the same side as the evil businesses they are normally protesting against, because these businesses love paying low wages?

Slavery?

If the benefit of lower costs of products is so important, why don’t all businesses hire illegals? Take the trucking industry. This is a dangerous job that has brutal hours. Right now, companies have to pay truckers decent wages to ship their products, thereby raising the price for everyone. Why not just bring in illegals to fill these jobs? They could be payed ¼ the wage and would probably still accept that, and this would dramatically lower the cost of almost every product. Sure, the American trucker is out of a job, and the illegal will never make it out of poverty and will be forced to work an ever increasingly dangerous job as safety regulations are done away with (after all they aren’t legal employees), but your widgets will cost less!

In fact, this economic argument was made in the exact same manner for another employment practice; slavery. People argued that we couldn’t end slavery, because farms would go out of business, and prices would sky rocket. Think of how great our economy would be if we only still had slaves.

Better Than Their Home Countries

As mentioned above, people will say that these illegals still have it better than they would in their home countries. There are several problems with this. First, this is the same argument racists make about slavery. Look at how much better the slaves had it here than at home. The have access to food, shelter, medical care, and all sorts of amenities and technologies they didn’t have at home. Also, their countries were probably war torn, so they are safe from that here. This is the exact argument for allowing illegals to work these dangerous jobs and artificially low wages.

The next problem is that we don’t know if they would be better in the US. Many illegals come to the US with dreams of economic success, only to find out when they get here that they are stuck in a cycle of poverty that is worse than where they came from. Also, it is very arrogant, and arguably exceptionalism (something progressives hate) to assume we know they are better off here than they would be at home. People may say if they would be better at home they would just leave and this is proof, but maybe they are still holding out hope for citizenship or better wages, etc.

Also, by allowing the illegals, it decreases the chances that things will ever be made better in these home countries. If these people could not come to the United States, perhaps they would force change in their countries to make the entire country more equitable.

...continued below...



+6 more 
posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 04:25 PM
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..continued from above...

Correlation With Legal Immigration

Lastly, by allowing this illegal immigration, the number of legal immigrants that the US allows is dramatically reduced. If the millions of illegals that are here are necessary to the economy, and suddenly they disappeared, the US would be forced to import legal immigrants to fill their roles. These legals would then be part of the system, and would be much better off than the illegals because they would be guaranteed certain rights as legal workers. Because the illegal immigration problem is so massive and has gone on for so long, the US does not need legal immigrants as much, and as a result not many are allowed in. These legal people then suffer unfairly because of the illegals.

People try to reverse this argument and say “Well these people have to come in illegally, because the US doesn’t let enough in legally” but as I have explained, every illegal immigrant makes it less likely that a legal one would be accepted. Again, if the work that these illegals do is so necessary to the country, legal immigrants would be let in to replace them.

Pay Them More

Now people may say, “A ha, I got you ! We will just pay these workers more and make sure the businesses keep up with safety regulations!” But that doesn’t really solve anything. First, that destroys the entire economic argument, because now all of the costs of these businesses increase.

Secondly, if these businesses do survive then, this proves they could have paid American workers a competitive wage and they could have had the, which means the economy would have been even better without the illegals.

Thirdly, this would be a sign to the rest of the world to massively illegally immigrate to the US, because there is no more border. And even if you could get passed all of that, the fact is these new highly paid illegals would still have unfairly passed up people that tried to do things the right way and come here legally, and make it far less likely that those people could get in.

Conclusion

In the end, I think the economic argument for illegals is self-centered, and immoral. I don’t think that all people who make this argument realize how immoral it is, but it still needs to be rebuked. If nothing else, his shows that there are moral arguments on all sides of the issue, and by no means does the left have the monopoly on moral arguments. If people want to make arguments for their personal gain based off of the abused labor of poor people, that is fine, but do not pretend to have the moral high ground.



NOTE...

This is not intended as a personal attack on anyone. I can see how someone can have the economic and still be a good person. I am just criticizing the argument.


(post by JaMeDoIt removed for political trolling and baiting)
+16 more 
posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 04:27 PM
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Umm.....it's not a complex issue if you live in a border state...

The amount of economic destruction they bring to local economies through their exploitation of our hospitals in incalculable and horrifying....

That's to say nothing of their welfare fraud and criminal predilection....

Don't believe me???
Go walk down the street have any border town in South Texas after midnight and get back to me on how safe you feel…
If you're still alive that is...

The wall can't come soon enough and can't be high enough…bring it on...

-Christosterone



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 04:32 PM
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Like a lot of leftist positions, it's about feeling first and actual logic second so there are a lot of real contradictions baked in.



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 04:33 PM
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a reply to: Grambler

Very in formative. The system is based off the use/exploitation of others for more $. There is money to be made using well paid help, goto the farmers markets, the prices are comparable to the stores. Just the middleman/grocery stores need their cut, putting pressure on the farmer to use this predatory style business plan.

Could have saved a lot of key strokes and just said money.
edit on 1-9-2016 by seasonal because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 04:44 PM
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Here are some hard cold facts (morality/immorality not part of the equation):

1. People coming across the border illegally are doing so of their own free will. They are not forcibly brought here as slaves.

2. Employers hiring these people at lower wages are not forcing them to work there.

3. If their lives were so much worse here than where they came from, they would leave and go back there.

4. These people can leave anytime they want (unlike slaves).

I'm all for paying fair wages for these types of crappy jobs as long as we all understand that everyone will pay the price.
And if we try to build this stupid wall, WE will definitely pay a very high price. Being a liberal, I'm not against higher taxes. Having a husband that makes a very good living, I can also afford to pay much higher prices for goods and services that will no longer use undocumented immigrants at low wages to produce. But will the conservatives of this country be happy with that? Something tells me - no.



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 04:46 PM
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a reply to: Grambler

Sadly, you're not going to get the quality responses deserving of your post. I want to point out though that you missed one part of the economic argument. Many illegals come here and send money home taking advantage of the difference in the value of currencies. This is true of South/Central Americans that work the fields, and it's true of the Asians (an even bigger demographic) who are sending money to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and so on.

What would cost a farmer $25/hour to give to a citizen (and in fact, people have proven that $25/hour is not enough to get substantial numbers into working agriculture), an illegal can live humbly in a 1 bedroom apartment with a couple other illegals in the US, send enough home to give their families a $75/hour lifestyle, and even visit home from time to time in the off season... while costing the farmer just $7/hour. In some countries the advantage from converting currencies between different economic zones is even larger.

This is the problem with the economic argument. Sure we could kick out the illegals, give our citizens $30/hour jobs (maybe even higher), and raise the cost of food to compensate but we also import food and that imported food doesn't have our labor costs attached to it. We could fix this with tariff's but that's only part of the issue. We also export food... a lot of food, and we would have to attach our labor costs to that as well which is an issue that we can't tariff our way out of, people simply won't buy the product.

So in the end, if we kick out the illegals we also have to be willing to be willing to give up our second most valuable export (next to oil), we have to destroy a whole bunch of trade deals (and the attached benefits we get for those deals), and we have to be willing to accept much higher food prices.

That is a lot to ask. How are our farmers going to react when they're only able to produce half as much produce per year because the government refuses to sign trade deals that open the doors to them producing at full capacity? How would you feel if the government imposed rules on your industry that halved the amount of product your company can sell?

Lastly, if you did the math on this, it means we create a bunch of $60k/year agriculture jobs but our median wage if $52k. That means there's going to be a lot of people bringing in $15k-$40k per year who will suddenly have to absorb exorbitant increases on the price of food. That will lead to a lot of instability, and ultimately backdoor more government farm subsidies in the form of food stamps. This is already a problem where we're effectively paying farmers to not grow food, such a change would multiply this problem by several times, both directly (because we're reducing what farmers can grow and sell) and indirectly in giving people money to buy food.
edit on 1-9-2016 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-9-2016 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 04:56 PM
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As someone who lives in a foreign country (Japan), illegally staying in this country can land you in jail and almost immediate deportation. Although recently because of the decline in labor, Japan is starting to relax its enforcement, not entirely though. So one nation has a different problem from the other nation. The problem when let to slide along slowly, people get adjusted to it (employers included), but these employers are mostly (yakuza based), in the States, it varies, but seems like the farming industry is fair game. Here, this year, one apple cost nearly 2 bucks, peaches can run as high as 3 bucks, watermelons as high as 35 bucks. And yes, wages aren't exactly low, but the people and farmers still make a living. It comes down to maybe just being "just" and "fair". I'm saying this because at the moment I'm looking into picking apples, and yes, I want about 12 to 15 USD an hour. Because then I can afford the high cost of an apple, watermelon and other seasonal fruits.

The last time I was in the States, I saw mushmellons for 69 cents at HyVee grocery store in Illinois. They were grown in Guatamala, they must have been picked about a week to early because I bought one and they weren't exactly ripe.

Anyway, as a past employer in the construction industry in California, I know about paying a "little cheaper wage" to the people that waited on Santa Monica Blvd. looking for work in the morning at 5 am. I understand things have changed since them days of the past and now the people on the them blvds are asking for a livable wage. Am I right about this?



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: kaylaluv

Clearly, they should be making $15/hr



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 05:01 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer


Direct benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Means-tested welfare benefits. There are over 80 of these programs which, at a cost of nearly $900 billion per year, provide cash, food, housing, medical, and other services to roughly 100 million low-income Americans. Major programs include Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Public education. At a cost of $12,300 per pupil per year, these services are largely free or heavily subsidized for low-income parents. Population-based services. Police, fire, highways, parks, and similar services, as the National Academy of Sciences determined in its study of the fiscal costs of immigration, generally have to expand as new immigrants enter a community; someone has to bear the cost of that expansion.


There is no such thing as a free lunch, you get 99 cent tomatoes and the tax payer gets to pay for his (illigal migrant undocumented) tonsils to come out, or some other emergency medical situation.

The true cost of tomatoes is a lie, and that lie allows a slight discount to consumers at the store but a high tax bill. Mean while a few people make lots of money.

www.heritage.org... search/reports/2013/05/the-fiscal-cost-of-unlawful-immigrants-and-amnesty-to-the-us-taxpayer



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 05:02 PM
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Humans have migrated since before we have written words, there will never be a stop to people moving to a different part of the world, people act like they invented this illegal immigration crap, the more walls we build between each other the more people will break them down.



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 05:03 PM
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a reply to: musicismagic

Ah, the arbitrarily "fair" wage! When I got out of college I got a customer service job paying $14.50/hr. So, if the minimum wage was $15, they'd probably have to pay $15/hr to stay in that job. But guess what?!?!? That's what my manager made! Then they'd want $0-$50/hr! And so on.... So, after some time, the minimum wage goes right back to where it was essentially. Well, except everyone is making more money, and things cost a lot more in order to pay everyone. Somehow this common sense argument escapes pretty much every single person I've ever heard make an argument for a $15/hr wage. But the hypocrisy is hilarious. "It's okay to exploit illegals financially because they choose to be exploited."



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 05:04 PM
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originally posted by: seasonal
a reply to: Aazadan

The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer


Direct benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Means-tested welfare benefits. There are over 80 of these programs which, at a cost of nearly $900 billion per year, provide cash, food, housing, medical, and other services to roughly 100 million low-income Americans. Major programs include Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Public education. At a cost of $12,300 per pupil per year, these services are largely free or heavily subsidized for low-income parents. Population-based services. Police, fire, highways, parks, and similar services, as the National Academy of Sciences determined in its study of the fiscal costs of immigration, generally have to expand as new immigrants enter a community; someone has to bear the cost of that expansion.


There is no such thing as a free lunch, you get 99 cent tomatoes and the tax payer gets to pay for his (illigal migrant undocumented) tonsils to come out, or some other emergency medical situation.

The true cost of tomatoes is a lie, and that lie allows a slight discount to consumers at the store but a high tax bill. Mean while a few people make lots of money.

www.heritage.org... search/reports/2013/05/the-fiscal-cost-of-unlawful-immigrants-and-amnesty-to-the-us-taxpayer



Well said. The true cost, but people rather keep their head in the sand, at least people making over 52k  year.



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 05:07 PM
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Another important economic and environmental aspect is always overlooked.

Both legal and illegal Immigrants from developing nations have a much smaller carbon footprint in their homeland. They also have a higher infant mortality rate in their homeland.

When they come to America they have many more children than the average american and their carbon consumption grows exponentially.

They increase their carbon footprint 100x by adopting the American lifestyle. Multiply this by millions and the impact is devastating.

Any real environmentalist should be firmly against mass migration from developing countries, especially illegal immigration.

edit on 1-9-2016 by Deny Arrogance because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 05:08 PM
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originally posted by: kaylaluv
Here are some hard cold facts (morality/immorality not part of the equation):

1. People coming across the border illegally are doing so of their own free will. They are not forcibly brought here as slaves.

2. Employers hiring these people at lower wages are not forcing them to work there.


Wow, you sound like a capitalist! These two arguments are the same made by capitalist against a minimum wage, but liberals (I don't know if you do or not) say that it is still inhumane to pay these low wages. So at the very least, this puts liberals in a bind with two of the favorite "moral" positions, keeping illegals and raising minimum wage.

On the specifics here.

These workers are unique in that they do not have the bargaining power of an average legal worker. A legal worker can say if I don't like the wage, I will go else where. Illegals can't really say that, because the businesses own the monopoly of where the can work. This destroys free market principals, and forces these illegals to live in poverty. So in a way they are forced to take these jobs, or starve or leave.




3. If their lives were so much worse here than where they came from, they would leave and go back there.

4. These people can leave anytime they want (unlike slaves).


This was answered in my first post, but here is the short version. One, maybe they used all of their resources to get here, so they can't leave. Second, many of them may still be holding out hope for becoming citizens or their wage increasing.

Also, many find that the can't get back into the country of their choice. By facilitating this deportation, the US could circumvent all of these problems, and make sure that no more people had to go through it. This would also lead to an increase in the amount of legal immigration (perhaps some of the same illegals that were deported) that are is just as much need of wanting a better life, and they would actually be able to achieve that higher standard of living.

All of your points here prove the selfish nature of of the economic argument. They aren't forced to work, they can leave if they want. Again, you are inadvertently legitimizing several arguments that the liberals hate.

Woman in an abusive relationship? She could leave if she wanted.

Poor person living in a ghetto? You could leave if you wanted.

The truth is it is not that simple.


I'm all for paying fair wages for these types of crappy jobs as long as we all understand that everyone will pay the price.
And if we try to build this stupid wall, WE will definitely pay a very high price. Being a liberal, I'm not against higher taxes. Having a husband that makes a very good living, I can also afford to pay much higher prices for goods and services that will no longer use undocumented immigrants at low wages to produce. But will the conservatives of this country be happy with that? Something tells me - no.


But that was answered above, paying these illegals a fair wage proves that Americans would be willing to do the job and could, is unfair to people waiting to be legal immigrants, and would lead to an incredible increase in the amount of illegals trying to get here and get those benefits. It also eliminates any argument you could make as to why illegals benefit the economy.

Don't try to turn this on conservatives, liberal ones are the ones making the argument that illegals are good for the economy, and claiming to have the moral high ground.



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 05:09 PM
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originally posted by: neveroddoreven99
a reply to: musicismagic

Ah, the arbitrarily "fair" wage! When I got out of college I got a customer service job paying $14.50/hr. So, if the minimum wage was $15, they'd probably have to pay $15/hr to stay in that job. But guess what?!?!? That's what my manager made! Then they'd want $0-$50/hr! And so on.... So, after some time, the minimum wage goes right back to where it was essentially. Well, except everyone is making more money, and things cost a lot more in order to pay everyone. Somehow this common sense argument escapes pretty much every single person I've ever heard make an argument for a $15/hr wage. But the hypocrisy is hilarious. "It's okay to exploit illegals financially because they choose to be exploited."



As a past employer, I can use the words "fair wage", and that's because I was a "fair" and "just" employer. Did I hire the illegals in the morning at cheap or even very cheap wages, no because I hired people who were here legally and paid them a "fair" wage that they would show up the following Monday at work.



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: Grambler

How is it immoral? I feel they should be making far more. More than minimum wage for such grueling work, yet the farm lobby will not stand for it. The farm lobby will not stand for this change. Paying Amerians a living wage to work in the sun 12 hours a day? Ya, right.

If you think this is immoral, fight for the farm workers wages to to go up. More than 2.85 for a HUGE bin of oranges or 1.85 for a huge box of strawberries.

They work * hard. Like past immigrants came to America to work, send money home and eventually send for their families.

They travelled here often on 'steerage tickets', see: rats, disease and crowded. Now the come packed in vans dehydrating to death or on rafts not fit for the sea. For a better life.

My great aunt came over on the Edmund Fitzgerald as a Chamber Maid. She was lucky, she was pretty.
I only have this picture of her with me as a child, though:



She came with nothing and married wealthy. She was so smart, I think she would have been wealthy without marrying.
Much of my childhood was like a fairy tale because of her, I had only the best. I spent more time in department Store tea rooms and being fitted for clothes than is normal.

But, she was an immigrant and came to live better. I hope the immigrant farm workers get paid more and bring their families to live better.

edit on 1-9-2016 by reldra because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-9-2016 by reldra because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 05:12 PM
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originally posted by: neveroddoreven99
a reply to: musicismagic

Ah, the arbitrarily "fair" wage! When I got out of college I got a customer service job paying $14.50/hr. So, if the minimum wage was $15, they'd probably have to pay $15/hr to stay in that job. But guess what?!?!? That's what my manager made! Then they'd want $0-$50/hr! And so on.... So, after some time, the minimum wage goes right back to where it was essentially. Well, except everyone is making more money, and things cost a lot more in order to pay everyone. Somehow this common sense argument escapes pretty much every single person I've ever heard make an argument for a $15/hr wage. But the hypocrisy is hilarious. "It's okay to exploit illegals financially because they choose to be exploited."



Because it's flawed logic. The point of minimum wage increases is to shrink wealth gaps. The person at the bottom gets $7/hour more, a 100% increase while the person in the middle goes from say $14 to $18, a 29% increase. Everyone doesn't get the same proportional increase. By definition a minimum wage increase, results in those previously making wages above the new minimum having less purchasing power. That's the whole point of a wage increase.



posted on Sep, 1 2016 @ 05:12 PM
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a reply to: neveroddoreven99
As productivity goes up so did workers wages, well til 1979. The problem is the massive productivity gains since have been diverted to the 1%. Do 5 minutes of research, this may very well be one major reason we are where we are.






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