Saturday, January 12, 2019

To Lower Its Rents, San Francisco Needs More Illegal Aliens

This should be obvious but the immigrant haters will come up with something to distort the obvious.

Derek Thompson writes:

Donald Trump is right that the United States desperately needs more walls. He’s just wrong about their ideal dimension, purpose, and location. The U.S. need not spend tens of billions of dollars on a single barrier extending along the southern border between the United States and Mexico. Rather, what the suddenly wobbly U.S. economy could really use is millions of walls at 90-degree angles. I mean lots and lots of housing...

Housing is mostly a local issue. Construction is funneled through local zoning rules, demand is shaped by local jobs and local wealth, and local transportation routes determine the best location for new units.

But one nationwide impediment to more housing is a shortage of construction labor; young Americans don’t seem remotely interested in becoming cement masons or carpenters. That means the housing industry would vastly benefit from an influx of immigrants—precisely the thing Trump wants to stop at all costs with a giant border wall.

Immigrants already account for roughly 25 percent of construction jobs nationwide. They’ve pitched in to relieve construction shortages in some of America’s most housing-desperate areas. In California, the share of foreign-born workers in construction rose from 13 percent in 1980 to more than 40 percent today, according to a UCLA analysis. The construction trades with the highest labor shortages—brickmasons, roofers, and drywall installers—also tend to have the highest concentration of immigrant workers.

“It’s blatantly obvious that we have to find a labor supply to meet demand, or everybody is gonna pay a price,” said Phil Crone, the executive officer of the Dallas Builders Association. But trends are moving in the wrong direction. The number of immigrants entering the construction industry annually has fallen by more than 50 percent from its 2005 peak, according to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders.



  1. You dont need illegal immigration to fill jobs. Ever hear of the bracero program? Work permits work just fine. "Illegal" is not a race, if you can't understand this, you are as race obsessed as the intersectionalists.

  2. You can't build anything in San Francisco to begin with due to endless rules and regulations. Bringing in more workers won't help at the present. Why can't so-called "libertarians" call for fixing the government first, before opening the borders?

  3. Why would american youth want to do hard jobs in the weather when there is welfare? A big part of the problem is the welfare state. Then there's the college loan debacle. Instead of a solid career in the trades kids go into college and become debt slaves for a degree that is often economically useless.

    Another problem is that the construction business is often not exactly free market. This poses a barrier of entry to people whom the government can effectively punish. In other words people who are US citizens from birth and always resided in the USA.

    Even just removing the barriers to entry does a lot to get people to go out and do the hard work. It also only attracts the kind of immigrants that are desired, productive people. People who produce more than they consume.

    But we don't consider getting rid of the welfare and regulatory states that make entire industries a poor rational choice for americans.

    What San Francisco needs is less government. Simply more illegal aliens will only result in more political agitators that stop development. See:

  4. Illegal or legal immigrants? Will these immigrants receive free medical care, welfare or other state subsidies?

    I remember one surf trip to Baja soon after Obama care was passed. In Tijuana there was a massive banner near the boarder that said in spanish something to the effect of come to the US there is now free health care. Yes, some immigrants come to work and if our current immigration system is allowing US employers to fill vacancies then it needs to be changed. It doesn't mean we should allow anyone to come into the country and go on the government dole. I agree a wall is not the answer, but the argument in this article leaves out so much to the equation that it boarders on deception.