Living Standards, Scarce Resources and Immigration: An Interview With Labor Economist Vernon M. Briggs, Jr.


[Excerpt] Immigration reformers are drawn to the issue by myriad paths. Some arrive with a burning concern over the prospect of a billion person nation in a lifetime. The wildlife and natural heritage of the nation will be irretrievably altered by this expansive footprint. Others are motivated by present concerns over dwindling water reserves, energy, pauperized soils, solid waste, urban sprawl, congestion, and maybe just because our national parks are being loved to death. Vernon Briggs, Ph.D., a liberal Democrat, comes to immigration reform through an interest in labor economics. He responds to an interest in the underprivileged American citizen. His compassion runs deep. As revealed in this interview, exposure to John F. Kennedy during college days placed a claim upon his conscience. He has not escaped from this claim during the past 4.5 decades. His support of the underprivileged citizenry has found prolific expression in countless academic journals. His interest in conferring dignity upon labor is more than academic. It is a passion. And his passion endures. In this issue, The Social Contract honors the integrity, compassion, resourcefulness, and genius of Professor Briggs of Cornell University

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