‘Menial’ Work and Immigration

Crony capitalists favour cheap labour, left-wing politicians see future voters, and moist-eyed globalists imagine a happy-clappy melting pot. Carpet-baggers and utopians will never grasp the truth, which is this: mature economies don’t need imported labour for run-of-the-mill tasks.

It is often heard from academia and from the popular press. Workers can’t be found in rich Western countries to do so-called menial work. Here is a headline from the Daily Telegraph (January 28, 2012): “Lucky country becomes lazy: Migrant workers to do ‘dirty’ jobs.” It plays out particularly strongly in the United States when the issue of illegal immigration is raised. It is the argument in waiting whenever and wherever questions are raised about large-scale immigration. It goes something like this.

Western societies have become so rich that native-born populations refuse to do “menial” work. Accordingly, in order to prevent the whole economic system from gumming up, people need to be brought in who are willing to get down and dirty for a few dollars. The alternative is a dystopian nightmare: rubbish piling up in the streets, dirty hospitals, unsanitary public toilets, untended parks and gardens, unpicked fruit and vegetables and, alas, rich people having to clean their own mansions.

Is there any substance at all to this argument? No, there is not. It is, in a word, nonsensical. It has no proper basis in economics. It also represents a failure of both imagination and collective self-belief. Only by admitting masses of low-skilled arrivals can prosperous and mature Western societies thrive? It is ridiculous on its face. Yet it is widely supported.

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  • simus1

    What seems to be missing from the equation is the understanding by our elites is that many of our “latest imports” are not bundles of energy who can barely sit still when there is manual labour to be done, far from it.

    • Liberal Progressive

      These necomers are absolutely essential to prevent inflationly trends in wages.

      I know both my gardener and nanny have been making completely unreasonable demands to be paid minimum wage!

      • Watchman

        Did you tell them that they make trouble you’ll denounce them as not using ‘Ze’ nor ‘Zer’ pronouns: the threat of deportation as an illegal migrant working for undeclared cash has lost almost all of its power in Canada?

    • Watchman

      The burst of energy comes every few year when the ‘latest imports’ need to vote after evaluating the party that is least likely to ever make them work for the Welfare payments and also allow then to start or continue the ongoing chain migration. And that is likely good enough for Justine.

  • Drunk by Noon ✓

    Cheap imported labor is the camel’s nose under the tent.

    • Watchman

      Better than the toe.

  • Drunk by Noon ✓

    What none of these jackasses take into account, or more likely deliberately ignored, is that the wages are suppressed to unlivable level by the immigrants.
    They are your enemy and the vehicles of your displacement.
    Hate them all.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Meanwhile the elites demand someone else pay them 15 or 20 dollars an hour. When companies can’t or won’t the same elites pressure the local government to either hire them or hand out contracts to sketchy firms who employee them with the requisite kickbacks. End result illegal aliens working on the taxpayer bill, increased graft and…..the work they’re hired to do rarely gets done