Farsighted conservatives have warned for decades that globalization was leading to wage stagnation in the United States. This was, for example, a major theme in Pat Buchanan's The Great Betrayal, published in 1997.
The less farsighted are beginning to catch up. Recently, David Frum published a chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on his website, which was then picked up by Yahoo News. The chart shows that labor's share of U. S. national income has been plummeting since 2001 and is now at an all-time low. The chart is hardly a surprise: both globalization and mass immigration drive down wages, and our leaders have stubbornly clung to both, even as tens of millions of Americans remain unemployed or underemployed. The question is: how bad do things have to get before our elites notice that globalization, as represented by both free trade and mass immigration, has failed?
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.