It’s a real “D’oh!” moment for those who demonize the wealthy and/or the investor class. My home state of Arizona, where housing prices have tanked dramatically over the last several years, is now experiencing a massive shortage of construction labor. Why? Because those big bad rich people that progressives love to demonize are buying property and creating demand for workers.
Cash-wielding investors are driving demand as they snap up properties, and Arizona’s builders are having trouble finding skilled crews. Building permits are at an almost four-year high, creating a dearth of framers, roofers, and masons, many of whom moved elsewhere when work dried up. Laws aimed at curbing illegal immigration added to the shortage by pushing seasoned hands out of state. After declining by more than half since 2006, construction jobs, a category that includes residential, commercial, and government projects, jumped 9.3 percent in May from a year earlier, to 120,300, according to Arizona’s employment statistics office. Nationally, construction employment rose 0.4 percent. The average hourly wage for construction workers in Arizona increased to $20.72 from $19.53 a year earlier.
Note to progressive anti-capitalists: private investors are good for the economy, whether they’re investing in property or businesses. I want MORE people to become wealthy and/or investors. That opportunity comes in a free society, not a nanny-state society.
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