Sunday, May 1, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found

Found: Female dog with dark brown and tan highlights, on Hwy. 87, Adkins. Call Andrea at 623-512-8099.

VideoLost: Pitbull mix, brindle male, answers to Jake, since April 7 on I-37 between 536 and Hardy Rd. No questions, help Jake come home to his family, 361-765-7373.
Lost: Border Collie, black and white male, one eye, microchipped, C.R. 319/F.M. 775 area. 210-382-2167.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Shuttle Bus drivers needed, full-time and part-time, no experience needed. Good job tenure, clear criminal background/driving record required, $11.50-$12 DOE. Email sunny.myers@lkjordan.com. L.K. Jordan & Associates.
Full-time bartender needed at Olmos Country Corner Store, 9071 FM 467. Call Rick at 210-687-0108.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
RE/MAX homeTNMCRichardson Chevrolet home
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Section A: General News


Editorial: Economics versus ‘need’




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Thomas Sowell
June 19, 2013 | 1,228 views | 2 comments

One of the most common arguments for allowing more immigration is that there is a “need” for foreign workers to do “jobs that Americans won’t do,” especially in agriculture.

One of my most vivid memories of the late Armen Alchian, an internationally renowned economist at UCLA, involved a lunch at which one of the younger members of the economics department got up to go get some more coffee. Being a considerate sort, the young man asked, “Does anyone else need more coffee?”

“Need?” Alchian said loudly, in a cutting tone that clearly conveyed his dismay and disgust at hearing an economist using such a word.

A recent editorial on immigration in the Wall Street Journal brought back the memory of Alchian’s response, when I read the editorial’s statement about “the needs of an industry in which labor shortages can run as high as 20 percent” -- namely agriculture.

Although “need” is a word often used in politics and in the media, from an economic standpoint there is no such thing as an objective and quantifiable “need.”

You might think that we all obviously need food to live. But however urgent it may be to have some food, nevertheless beyond some point food becomes not only unnecessary but even counterproductive and dangerous. Widespread obesity among Americans shows that many have already gone too far with food.

This is not just a matter of semantics, but of economics. In the real world, employers compete for workers, just as they compete for customers for their output. And workers go where there is more demand for them, as expressed by what employers offer to pay.

Farmers may wish for more farm workers, just as any of us may wish for anything we would like to have. But that is wholly different from thinking that some third party should define what we desire as a “need,” much less expect government policy to meet that “need.”

In a market economy, when farmers are seeking more farm workers, the most obvious way to get them is to raise the wage rate until they attract enough people away from alternative occupations -- or from unemployment.

With the higher labor costs that this would entail, the number of workers that farmers “need” would undoubtedly be less than what it would have been if there were more workers available at lower wage rates, such as immigrants from Mexico.

It is no doubt more convenient and profitable to the farmers to import workers at lower pay than to pay American workers more. But bringing in more immigrants is not without costs to other Americans, including both financial costs in a welfare state and social costs, of which increased crime rates are just one.

Some advocates of increased immigration have raised the specter of higher food prices without foreign farm workers. But the price that farmers receive for their produce is usually a fraction of what the consumers pay at the supermarket. And what the farmers pay the farm workers is a fraction of what the farmer gets for the produce.

In other words, even if labor costs doubled, the rise in prices at the supermarket might be barely noticeable.

What are called “jobs that Americans will not do” are in fact jobs at which not enough Americans will work at the current wage rate that some employers are offering. This is not an uncommon situation. That is why labor “shortages” lead to higher wage rates. A “shortage” is no more quantifiable than a “need,” when you ignore prices, which are crucial in a market economy. To discuss “need” and “shortage” while ignoring prices -- in this case, wages -- is especially remarkable in a usually market-savvy publication like the Wall Street Journal.

Often shortages have been predicted in various occupations -- and yet never materialized. Why? Because the pay in those occupations rose, causing more people to go into those occupations and causing employers to reduce how many people they “need” at the higher pay rates.

Virtually every kind of “work that Americans will not do” is in fact work that Americans have done for generations. In many cases, most of the people doing that work today are Americans. And there are certainly many unemployed Americans available today, without bringing in more foreign workers to meet farmers’ “needs.”

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His website is http://www.tsowell.com.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
June 19, 2013 1:20pm
 
Once again Thomas, way too much logic and thought. Neither you nor the Muse will be invited to the Hispanic caucus luncheon

 
The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
June 19, 2013 1:15pm
 
The main "crop" in the current "immigration reform" seems to be Democrat voters.

Share your comment or opinion on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Section A: General News Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Appraisal district board votes to resume construction (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Baylor University awards Cody Soto (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Behind the lens: Swan lake (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Budget Blinds of La Vernia receives national award (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Celebrate hospital’s Grand Opening (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Children’s Alliance plans ribbon-cutting (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. County judge breaks tie vote (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cowboy Fellowship celebrates 13 years in Jourdanton (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Earth Day plant sale April 30 (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: It’s time to get out and vote for the best for our city (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Quit whining and play by the party rules (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Emergency-services area may expand to cover City View (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville chamber is on the move (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville Event Center’s no-BYOB policy here to stay (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville man honored with service award (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free ‘Shred Day’ in San Antonio (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Get outside and connect with nature (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Help CASA during the Big Give (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hospital receives audit report, notes record month (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia EMS: Four decades of care (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Learn about hosting a foreign exchange student (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Anyone listening? (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Clarity around FEDC contributions (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Unreliable weather forecasts (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Life Line Screening available (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Loan converts to a scholarship (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Master Gardener orientation (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Falls City ISD (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Floresville Planning & Zoning Commission (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Parks plan is still ‘wish list’ (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Ramirez promoted to Colonel (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Scammers target CPS Energy customers (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Support children through Big Give (April 27, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ACTS skeet shoot May 7 in Marion (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Annexation for La Vernia EMS? (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Brahma Happenings: Jackson’s Journey, HOPE fund-raisers, more (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Challenger Water Solutions set to close deal in Stockdale (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Coach to take on athletics for his alma mater (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Community Resource Fair (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Crisis Center plans fund-raising events (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. District 3 considers substation in Sutherland Springs (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Early voting begins on Tuesday in (another) election (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: The ‘voice of the people’ fallacy (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Elmendorf wades into developing its own municipal water system (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Emergency service, via helicopter (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Entertainment lineup for the Jubilee (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FEDC OKs July 3 ‘Freedom Fest’ (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville parks plan: an analysis (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hail pounds ‘like a thousand hammers' (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Housing seminar set (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia: New home for Wilson County’s performing arts? (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: A word of caution to advertisers (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Eating sustainably (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Obama’s executive ‘lawlessness’ rears its ugly head (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Wilson County lacks animal control (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meet the Floresville candidates, ask questions April 21! (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Poth ISD (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Stockdale ISD (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Missions to include Floresville’s Rancho (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth VFW Post 8555 honors students, teachers, guests (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Small-business training webinars (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Special meeting April 21 for Floresville parks master plan (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Talk about boundaries (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Walk to end child abuse (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Wilson County’s unemployment rises (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Yanta: Prosper the work of our hands (April 20, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Apply now for Baptist Health Foundation community grants (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Authorities arrest cattle rustler (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Behind the lens: Screams, spins, speed (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Christian counseling comes to Wilson County (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Doctor will close Floresville office (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Before you reject the system, understand it (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Football great Will Smith and mental illness in America (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: White House needs a mature president — not ‘The Donald’ (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Federal funding for community projects (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free senior exercise classes at OKMH (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Kicaster Cemetery meeting April 21 (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia UMC to hold blood drive (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Extra effort (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: The importance of no Supreme Court hearing (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mayor recaps infrastructure projects (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: China Grove City Council (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: La Vernia ISD (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Commissioners Court (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. National Lineman Appreciation Day (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pair face felony charges for graffiti on Enchanted Rock (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pair lead police on high-speed chase (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth cemetery plans cleanup (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pray to end child abuse on April 24 (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rainbow Play Systems recalls trapeze rings (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Registration for Alzheimer’s, dementia care training is open (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Save the date for Bike Rodeo, Bike-A-Thon (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Scammers hijack smartphones in new ransomware scam (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Selling sentimental stuff (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Start Smart your business April 28 (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale city limits expand (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale library seeks donations (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale officials approve open carry gun ordinance (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Truck strikes man on highway (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Vets service offers online links (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Workshop energizes teachers to educate about energy (April 13, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Adventure Run set for April 16 (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Authorities search for cattle rustler (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Behind the lens: Riveting reptile (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Donate blood April 8 (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DWI crackdown targets Poteet area for weekend (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Political parties display hypocrisy over Supreme Court nominee (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: We are window-shopping for the next president (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Falls City Council seeks partner for sewer upgrades (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS addresses cost price hike as fuel costs decline (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS payment scam victimizes restaurant owner (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FISD plans Wellness Fair and 5K (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville plans community Independence Day celebration (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Injury accident (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Just be honest (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Learning opportunity for teachers June 6-9 (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: La Vernia ideal home for YMCA (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Leave political correctness out of Jaguar name (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: We are the stooges (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Little League Night in Floresville (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. LV Greater Chamber plans April 6 meeting (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. One-Act Play shines at District (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Online control system detects faulty switch, saves FELPS $750K (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Opry Jam Night April 7 (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Participate in Candidates’ Forum (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. State test glitches heighten exam anxiety for students (April 6, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Sutherland Springs woman: Snakes alive! (April 6, 2016)