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Japan Follows America’s Lead in Importing Millions To Do Low-Paying, Unskilled Jobs

Japan Follows America’s Lead in Importing Millions To Do Low-Paying, Unskilled Jobs

May 3, 2024

Japan Follows America’s Lead in Importing Millions To Do Low-Paying, Unskilled Jobs

The America First movement is gaining new momentum, in part because of the Biden administration’s blatant importation of new workers—and voters—across an open southern border. Ironically, after seeing how disastrous and unpopular this policy has been, Japan is about to implement its own version.

After years of putting its own people first, the government of Japan is embracing mass immigration, allegedly to solve a labor shortage. That excuse doesn’t square with the facts, however, since 10 million working-age Japanese are sitting on the labor market sidelines.

All the while, the number of foreign workers in Japan recently hit a record 2 million, which would be about 6 million in the U.S. if adjusted for population differences. And just like in the U.S., these workers are mostly taking low-paying jobs doing unskilled labor.

Wage suppression is the real reason why Japanese politicians are set to import 800,000 foreign workers. A flood of unskilled labor into a country reduces labor costs in the target industries, which reduces upward pressure on prices. That blunts the impact of inflation, but it’s only temporary.

Japan seems to have been listening to bureaucrats like Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell—and they’ve been taking notes. Mr. Powell recently explicitly said that the importation of low-paid unskilled workers has helped keep costs down, which reduces headline inflation numbers.

The problem with this Band-Aid is twofold. First, cutting wages is a rather inhumane solution to the problem of government spending and borrowing, and creating too much money.

Second, the apparent cost savings are only temporary since immigrants create just as many labor shortages as they solve. While unskilled immigrants provide labor for low-paying jobs, they increase shortages in other, often skilled jobs. Consider that immigrants also go to the dentist, their children need teachers, they use electricians, barbers, even police.

Thus, mass immigration of unskilled workers doesn’t solve an economy-wide labor shortage—but it certainly helps those businesses that employ lots of cheap labor.

Those are precisely the special interests who support mass immigration both here and in Japan, regardless of the fact that it is hollowing out the native-born working class in both places.

Virtually all native-born Americans and Japanese begin their careers as low-skilled workers, and they use entry-level jobs as the first rung on the ladder of success. But the flood of unskilled labor has driven down wages in those jobs to the point that the work is too unattractive for natives.

In Japan, 1 in 8 people in their 20s and 30s aren’t working, which is about 5 million people. About 1 in 4 people in their 50s also aren’t working, which is another 5 million people. But entry-level jobs in Japan, like working at a convenience store, now pay less than $5.75 an hour.

The working poor in Japan are barely able to get by, with dreams like homeownership being exactly that: a dream, not a possibility. And their wages are going to stay low as the Japanese government imports 7 million more unskilled workers by 2040.

Worse yet, both the Japanese and American governments are not properly vetting the hordes of people they shepherd across their respective borders, allowing violent criminals in along with actual workers. That’s causing crime to rise in both countries. For Japan, it has caused the first increase in crime in 20 years.

That’s just one example of social costs imposed by mass migration—costs that politicians and big business don’t bother to consider when pushing open-border policies.

Japanese voters, however, understand this. A recent survey showed just 23% of them want more immigration. Most want cuts.

What Japanese people do want is for their government to stop the exodus of native Japanese who leave the country because wages have been driven so low. That brain drain will do far more economic damage to the country than any supposed gains from importing cheap, unskilled labor.

If the U.S. doesn’t stop the flood of illegal aliens across its own border, the same will happen here. Native-born Americans already have fewer jobs than they did before the pandemic, as all the net job growth over the last four years has gone to foreigners.

If the trend continues, skilled American labor will start fleeing in just a matter of years. We will have tossed Americans out of their own home, replaced by cheap labor.

Originally Published by The Washington Times


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