Here is the letter Wall Street Journal:
Walter Russell Mead rightly criticizes the Biden administration’s plan to restructure the American economy in a nostalgic image of the 1950s (“‘Progressives’ want to go back to the 1950s” May 2) This plan stems from ignorance of basic economic facts, among which there are many problems. The US economy today has higher real per capita income than ever before. Today, it is 236 percent higher than its peak in the 1950s (second quarter of 1959) and 30 percent higher than in 2001, when China joined the WTO..
The administration erred in falling for the conservative canard that low-wage foreign workers were better off than American workers. But low-wage foreign workers are paid low wages because they have less and worse capital than American workers, and these foreign workers are less productive than American workers. For example, the average hourly productivity of a worker in China is 19 percent lower than that of the average American.. If we properly call low-wage foreign workers “low-Productivity foreign workers” — and high-paid American workers “high-Productivity American workers” – Everyone will immediately see the wisdom of stating that low-productivity foreign workers have more benefits than high-productivity American workers.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair in the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
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