Daniel Gross in Slate re-casts the trope of “jobs that Americans won’t do” as “jobs that Americans won’t do for those wages”:
It’s not so much that Americans aren’t willing to pick fruit and become computer programmers. Rather, they aren’t willing to do those jobs for the prevailing wages and benefits. The Army may need foreign nationals to help fill its ranks, but the private security firms that pay six-figure salaries to ex-military types for security work don’t.
Same goes for translators, interpreters, and other language workers, Domna Stanton.
The failure here isn’t in the work ethic of Americans. Rather, it lies with the CEOs, business owners, university and hospital administrators, and government officials—and ultimately, with all of us who benefit from cheap labor—to offer the wages and benefits necessary to attract sufficient numbers of legal workers. There’s a reason they call the labor market a market.