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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 382 of the late Wesleyan University economic historian Stanley Lebergott’s phenomenal 1984 book, The Americans: An Economic Record:

We do have some evidence, albeit suggestive, of how what the U.S. labor market offered 1790-1980 compared with that of many European nations. For year after year thousands of people from every continent on earth sought to move to the United States. Many entered illegally even though they ended up with “working conditions” worse than those of the typical U.S. citizen. Newspapers, letters, returning immigrants beamed these findings back to almost every nation. That the flow continued suggests how that comparison was seen by millions of actual workers.

DBx: Squaring the above-reported reality with claims that capitalism is an especially heinous oppressor of workers is nearly impossible. If capitalism were, as its detractors assert, among the vilest enemies of workers, why for two centuries did so very many workers from across the globe immigrate the United States? Why do they continue to immigrate to the United States?

A similar lesson applies to claims that liberal, capitalist modernity creates such unrootededness, such change, and such alienation that ordinary people yearn for a pre- or post-capitalist existence of the sort peddled by intellectuals such as Patrick Deneen and Sohrab Ahmari.

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