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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Why Don't We Treat Our Employers Like Baseball Teams

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Stuart Anderson writes at Forbes about the rise in the number of foreign-born Major League Baseball players and why the public is comfortable with this phenomenon. And he compares it to other fields that require talented workers:



The number of foreign-born players in the major leagues has more than doubled since 1990. In the general economy, the number of jobs rises and falls based on factors that include consumer spending, population growth, capital investment, labor laws, and startup businesses. New entrants to the labor market can create and fill new jobs, rather than replace a current jobholder. In contrast, a fixed number of jobs exists on active major league rosters, with only 25 baseball players permitted per team or 750 players total in the major leagues.


Still, it is noteworthy one never hears complaints about "immigrants taking away jobs" from Americans in the major leagues. Baseball players consider the competition for roster spots to be fair, a meritocracy. And, as Tom Hanks once said, "There's no crying in baseball."


Increased competition from foreign-born players has not resulted in lower salaries for native ballplayers. Since 1990 average major league player salaries more than quadrupled (in nominal dollars) from $578,930 to $2.87 million in 2006, while the proportion of foreign-born players in the league increased from 10 percent to 23 percent, according to a 2006 analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy. A sustained or increased quality of play, to which foreign-born players have contributed, may have helped increase revenues, as major league ballpark attendance rose from 55 million to 75 million between 1990 and 2005.



The bottom line:



The next time someone complains about immigrants "taking jobs" from Americans, tell them to try playing major league baseball, where, unlike the rest of the economy, the number of jobs are fixed and limited, yet no one ever complains about immigrants.


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Comments

  1. Jack's Avatar
    Still, it is noteworthy one never hears complaints about "immigrants taking away jobs" from Americans in the major leagues.

    ----

    Torii Hunter complained from that angle:

    Fans look down from their seats onto the baseball field, see dark-colored skin and might assume they are African-American players.
    But increasingly, the players instead hail from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico or Venezuela.

    "People see dark faces out there, and the perception is that they're African American," Los Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter says. "They're not us. They're impostors.

    "Even people I know come up and say, 'Hey, what color is Vladimir Guerrero? Is he a black player?' I say, 'Come on, he's Dominican. He's not black.' "

    Baseball's African-American population is 8%, compared with 28% for foreign players on last year's opening-day rosters.

    "As African-American players, we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us," Hunter says. "It's like they had to get some kind of dark faces, so they go to the Dominican or Venezuela because you can get them cheaper. It's like, 'Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?'

    "I'm telling you, it's sad."

  2. Another Voice's Avatar
    Great analogy Greg!!!
  3. Another Voice's Avatar
    There you go Jack put the Latino v African American that would get you the sympathy vote and some added haters to your cause. You may be able to pay the lower in their initial contract as you first sign them but once they get to the renewal or free agency they have to prove themselves if they want the big bucks!!! Just ask Alex Rodriguez(now is he Dominican or Dominican American??) Wait he has a double nationality.... Is he stealing a job then??? Or not...Do you think Albert Pujols after hitting 3 HR in WS and heading for free agency is stealing someone's job??? I guess just about any baseball player does what he did...maybe they are stealing jobs Jack some how the facts do not back up you BS!!! By the way Puerto Ricans do have the right to work and live freely in the US sooooo....no really stealing the job either. Baseball responds to the free market, capital and labor move freely across nations to have a more efficient use of the capital and better return on investment.
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