It looks like I’ve been unfair to Dean Baker. Thanks to Chris Hayes, I see that he’s generally been quite good on promoting skilled immigration as a means of lower national inequality. For example:
If Leonhardt and the NYT were interested in free trade, we could ask hospitals what barriers prevent them from hiring Mexican doctors who would be happy to work for one-half of the wages of their U.S. counterparts. We could do the same for law firms, universities, and even newspapers. We could standardize education and professional standards so that Mexican kids could grow up and work as doctors in Los Angeles or lawyers in New York, just as easily as kids born in Chicago or Boston. This would lead to huge gains to the U.S. economy and greater equality in the United States instead of greater inequality.
That makes a lot more sense to me, and I’m glad to see it. All apologies, Dean Baker. That said, the post I dug into below is now even more confusing to me.
Of course, I think allowing in foreign skilled professionals in order to bring down national inequality is silly. The reason to do so is that they are people, they should be free to work where they like, and allowing them in makes both them and incumbent residents better off.