Long before there was a Republican Party, the idea that free trade and immigration foster economic growth was a staple among many Americans. Even today, there are few on the right side of the political spectrum who have bothered to review this centuries-old logic or examine the considerable amount of empirical evidence that has been gathered from decades of quasi-free trade or 47 years of mass foreign immigration.
Last month’s unemployment report was not good. While the U3 unemployment rate was only 8.1 percent, which is bad but not disastrous, the number of Americans not working was actually much higher than it would appear due to the statistical games being played by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since the unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed people by the total number of people in the labor force, the BLS keeps the rate down by reducing the size of the labor force. For example, in the April unemployment report, it was reported that the size of the civilian labor force shrank from 154.7 million to 154.5 million.