Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution has a very interesting Post on immigration and David Card's findings.The Comments of the Post should be read as well. The only thing I doubt is the exact orientation of both Card's evaluation and Cowen's reaction. Both start from the supposition that American Business has an essential need for immigrant labor. I wonder if this stands as the exact impetus for Business support of immigration.
American Business may be greater concerned with Retail opportunity, than it finds need for labor, even for labor at suppressed Wage levels. Many Americans hold the image of aged vehicles carrying hordes of only semi-educated immigrants, who cannot even converse in English. Perhaps too many of Us have read The Grapes of Wrath. The world of Immigration has changed, and likely the Change did not come from the Immigrants themselves; though the image of inability to speak English may remain.
Where did the change in Immigration come from? First We should define the Change: the Immigrants today as well-fed, well-clothed, well-housed, and driving a relatively new vehicle. Many Economists and all Liberals suggest the rationale for Immigration is to suppress Wages. In truth, the functional reason for Immigration is Immigrant capacity for Consumption. The piddling Business profits from low Wages amount to Millions, while the Business profits from Immigrant consumption totals Billions of Dollars. This is the real need of American Business: Generation of Retail consumption, in order to keep the Profits flowing. lgl