Flunk or sunk

America shouldn’t lock out immigrants to shield high school drop-outs from competition, argues a column in The Telegraph. The answer is education.

Instead of building an expensive, hideous and probably ineffective new Iron Curtain, why not use the money to get this simple message across to the kids in America’s high schools: If you flunk, you’re sunk. Yes, boys and girls, academic achievement is the only route to decent employment in an economy at the top of the technological food chain. Drop out of education without qualifications, and you’ll be lucky to get a job alongside the Mexicans picking fruit or stacking shelves.

Employers prefer uneducated, non-English-speaking immigrants, who will work hard for low wages, to native-born drop-outs, who are seen as lazy and unreliable.

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  1. Jason Bontrager says:

    Minor point, the Iron Curtain existed to keep people *in*, much like the Berlin Wall. A Border Fence/Wall would be there to keep trespassers *out*.

    If they’re so eager to come to the US, let them do so legally. If they’re such dedicated hard-workers, let them stay in Mexico and build it into a first world economy.

    We have no moral or legal obligation to be a safety valve for the corrupt and inept governments of the third world.

  2. Indigo Warrior says:

    Maybe Japan has the right idea: automation instead of immigration.

  3. Cardinal Fang says:

    “If they’re so eager to come to the US, let them do so legally.”

    They can’t. It’s essentially impossible for a poor unskilled Mexican to immigrate legally. That’s not a defense for undocumented workers, but it is a fact.

  4. it’s kind of interesting – they(businesses) have shipped almost all the jobs they can overseas and the ones they cannot do that for they import the workers

  5. John from OK says:

    BTW – unskilled workers are not allowed to immigrate INTO Mexico. They have strict immigration laws there.

  6. Indigo Warrior says:

    For the labor market to function, there must be both a pool of workers for the employers to choose, and a pool of employers (jobs) for the workers to choose.

    There are some worrying trends – such as the renewed emphasis on “professionalism”. I see that as getting the job done. Unfortunately, there are quite a few Mayflower WASP corporate bigwig types that see it as being a clean-cut phony in a suit (and with biceps bigger than your head.)

    Now, the market tends to correct such mistakes. I know; I’ve seen engineering companies that switched to a “professional” image, and run like an ad agency, go belly-up in a matter of weeks. The outsourcing fad in computer tech of the last five years had certain aspects of this.

    When politicians are more likely to base their edicts on immigration (or anything else) on bribes from elites, rather than the needs of the nation, I get really worried. The labor shortage in professional and technical careers is overhyped. OK, I can see we need more and better teachers, and burger-flippers, but not software engineers.

    And if you want better software engineers, fire the no-talent floozies and hire the geeks.

  7. It’s all well and good to say that, until you realize that half the children in the US are below average.

    What happens to the kids who just aren’t bright enough to actually retain a high-school education when they get out into the working world?

  8. Wayne Martin says:

    > Maybe Japan has the right idea: automation
    > instead of immigration.

    There is a lot to be said for the emergence of service robots to perform labor-intensive tasks.

    The following link provides a possible view of a service robot being developed for agricultural purposes –‘

    Agricultural Robotics:

  9. Jack Tanner says:

    ‘who are seen as lazy and unreliable’

    you can take ‘seen as’ out of there.