Thursday, April 05, 2007

Jobs--Or I'll Shoot!

There's an interesting pathology here in Boston that goes something like this: If teenagers are shooting each other, it's because they're not picking up trash for the city Parks Department. If we create more make-work government jobs, shootings will go down.

There are some interesting assumptions behind this argument, not least of which is that random street violence is a rational reaction to being unemployed. Which explains why there was much street violence and so many murders during the Great Depression and its 25% unemployment.

Wait--there weren't? Never mind.

The other assumption is that the reason there aren't enough jobs is because the government isn't putting enough low-skill, young workers on the public's dime. This will certainly come as news to Boston-area employers desperately looking for American workers to fill entry-level jobs during this period of full employment.

Not that these jobs aren't getting done. They are. Illegal immigrants are doing them.

Want more young people working, and earning higher wages for that work? Then enforce immigration laws. Want low-skill workers sitting at home watching Judge Judy because they either can't find jobs or the wages are so low they discourage work? Then do what Gov. Patrick and Mayor Menino do: Welcome illegals into your community.

And because low-skill immigrants cost society more than they generate in taxes (assuming they're PAYING any taxes), you will also be raising the cost of doing business here in Boston, which means higher taxes on employers, which means lower profits available for hiring new workers, which means fewer jobs, which means....more knuckleheads shooting up the streets of Dorchester.

How dumb do you have to be to simultaneously demand more low-skill jobs AND encourage illegal immigration?

Dumb enough to be governor of Massachusetts.