Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 38ME9047 (posted Jun. 26, 2000)"
June 26, 2000
The Christian Science Monitor
One Norway Street
Boston, MA 02115
To The Editor:
Jeff Johnson got it wrong in his letter published in today’s edition ("Border Solution Task Force," Sept. 24, 1999). The United States is experiencing a severe worker shortage and immigrants are part of the solution.
The Federal Reserve Board, in its monthly report on the economy issued Sept. 22, said: "The demand for labor continues to outstrip the readily available supply of labor in most areas." Businesses in such cities as Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, New York, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and St. Louis cannot find enough staff to fill vacancies.
These labor shortages are beginning to hurt the American economy. The Fed report notes that, due to the difficulty in hiring workers, wages are increasing at manufacturing companies, retail establishments, and at temporary firms. In other words: the shortage of workers is rekindling inflation. If that continues, the Fed may hike interest rates, thereby slowing or halting our booming economy.
That’s why Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, speaking before Congress this past July, said the U.S. “should be carefully focused on the contribution which skilled people from abroad, unskilled people from abroad, what they can contribute to this country as they have for generation after generation.” Addressing the issue of how to halt the worker shortage from rekindling inflation, Chairman Greenspan said, "If we can open up our immigrations rolls significantly, that will clearly make that less and less of a potential problem."
I couldn’t put it any better myself. Allowing more skilled and essential foreign workers into the U.S. will help our economy continue to grow without the threat of inflation.
Steven A. Clark
Mr. Clark is a partner in the Cambridge firm of Flynn & Clark.