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‘Homegrown workforce’ hobbled in global race for talent

RE “Immigration reforms are key to winning the global race for talent” (Op-ed, Jan. 8): Given his success in business, Paul Guzzi must have a strong grasp of the principle of supply and demand. As such, I was surprised to see him claim that there is a shortage of labor in science, technology, engineering, and math, or the STEM fields. Surely, if labor shortages existed in these sectors, we would see full employment in these fields, and would observe a clear price signal in the form of persistently rising wages. Neither circumstance holds, as demonstrated by recent research from Daniel Costa of the Economic Policy Institute.

As his opinion piece neared its end, I was heartened by Guzzi’s reference to the Bay State’s “outstanding homegrown workforce.” But I fear that the force of this compliment was blunted by its proximity to proposals that would worsen the economic distress of our workforce.

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As an alternative to Guzzi’s proposals, I suggest the following reform: a moratorium on all immigration, to be lifted only when unemployment falls below 4 percent.

More than 23 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. It is inhumane to compound their suffering by increasing the competition for scarce jobs.

Matthew Burwell

Cambridge

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