The truth about visas
December 19, 2002
What the Aspen Skiing Co. really means when they say they can’t find enough workers is that they can’t find enough workers willing to accept below natural market wages.
About $9 hourly for a ski lift operator or about $13 hourly for a ski instructor isn’t adequate compensation, considering the high cost of living in Aspen and seasonal nature of the jobs.
The Skico should be ashamed that they’re importing foreign H-2B labor, given the state of the American job market. They should be offering the competitive wages necessary to attract enough domestic workers.
To quote Harvard economist Eric Weinstein, labor shortages don’t occur in natural labor markets because additional workers will be attracted to employers and professions that offer higher wages.
The H-1B and H-2B visa programs, on the other hand, constitute government tampering on behalf of businesses that are afraid to compete at the natural wage.
Earlier this year, Colorado’s Rep. Tom Tancredo sponsored much-needed legislation to reduce H-1B visas issued and tie the number of visas to the unemployment rate.
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It is ridiculous that a record 163,000 H-1B visas were issued during 2001 while U.S. workers were being laid off and unable to find work.