* Productivity in house construction should by now have leapt up considerably due to improvements in modular design.
I know there are a lot of retrograde republicans here who sniff at “double-wides” and the like, but as someone who has actually worked on stick-built homes I can say that there’s a lot that could be gained from going modular like the Japanese and Europeans have been for the last couple decades.
As for the losses in productivity, what the hell would one expect when you’re hiring illiterate Mexicans who don’t even know English measurements? the loss of efficiency could only be made up for by drastically lower wages, which are a proven fact in the construction industry.
I know that your typical UMC baby-boomer looks down on anyone who would buy anything but a house crafted by a master Norwegian carpenter (one of my first bosses, BTW), but the fact of the matter is that the rest of us would rather just have a well-designed, energy-efficient house with a yard and reliable plumbing and wiring at a decent price.
That kind of house can be manufactured regionally in a factory and then tuned up on site without the need for an overcompensated contractor with a gang of illegal laborers to do the grunt work and frequently f*** up the measurements leading to massive future expenses.
* Since this increase in construction margins is due to high immigration and union breaking, I’d assume the construction industry will continue to support high immigration levels and anti-union policies.
Remember, business interests tend to donate very generously to our politicians. When our politicians retire, they often get cushy executive jobs with the companies that donated to their campaigns. So I doubt any political leaders are going to want to upset the status quo. If immigration was restricted and construction profit margins declined, the political donations and cushy post-political exec jobs would dry up quickly.
* Let’s say you’re a Congressman/Senator/Governor/President.
You have 2 options.
1. Pursue strict immigration policies that hurt construction industry profit margins. Get no political contributions or post-political exec job.
2. Pursue loose immigration policies that help construction industry profit margins. Get substantial political constructions a well-paid post-political exec job.
Which would you choose?
This isn’t a complicated decision.
Let’s even say you get defeated in a election by an anti-immigration candidate. So what? You can retire from politics and become some type of exec or industry lobbyist. Just look at Congressman Eric Cantor, who was defeated by Brat. He’s now some sort of Wall Street exec (despite having no executive experience).
There is no deterrent.
Politicians have to have fear put into them. They need to understand that if they vote against the public interest, they will be punished. By punished, I don’t mean defeated. As I pointed out above (with Cantor), being defeated is not necessarily a negative outcome for them.
By punished, I mean that our politicians need to understand that there could severe harm to them if they vote the wrong way. Severe harm could include jail time. It could also include more severe punishments for particularly egregious offenders.
Bill Clinton deregulated Wall Street (Glass-Steagal repeal in 1999). Then he (and his wife) went on to make tens of millions in “speaking fees” (kickbacks) from Wall Street firms.