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Senior Contributor

Re: Good Question Wehav

How do you propose to force companies to pay a living wage to its workers?   increase minimum wage, your party will not let that happen.  your comments sound extremely liberal BA, are you becoming a switch hitter?

Senior Contributor

Somethings aren`t liberal or conservative

They`re common sense, Tom. I think it`s within the powers of the Constitution to protect the workers.  This is one of the things that has to be done by the government, seeing how labor unions got greedy and dropped the ball big time. I favor raising the minimum wage, but immigration has to be fixed first or you`ll just have richer Mexicans Smiley Happy Also a high school kid`s first job bagging groceries or sweeping a movie theater shouldn`t be a living wage those places couldn`t afford it and would just eliminate those jobs altogether. See Tom, in the olden days if you worked at a packing plant you were basically sacrificing your life for your family.Your family had food,clothes, nice house and you could pay your kid`s college so they`d never have the hell that you went through. Today those packing jobs aren`t even a bare living wage, the taxpayers have to chip in to support those families. You guys that rail about farm subsidies should really be appalled at this cheap wages the taxpayer gives to businesses. The Democrats like that, because it creates a dependency class beholding to the government. A  permanent Democrat voting block, if you will. 

Veteran Advisor

Re: Good Question Wehav

Exactly!!!  We are a nation of "it's my money and I want it now!"  The young have learned that lesson VERY well.  We are doing the Dave Ramsey  Financial Peace University and the things he talks about on the "I want it now" syndrome are really eye openers.  Unfortunately, a lot of what he talks about, I don't have time left to fully benefit from but for the younger people in the class, they should really pay attention and get out and stay out of debt and build their "golden years".

Veteran Advisor

Re: Good Question Wehav

Maybe, but....

 

"According to data from the Department of Defense, more than 65,000 immigrants (non-US citizens and naturalized citizens) were serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces as of February 2008. Since September 2001, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has naturalized more than 37,250 foreign-born members of the US Armed Forces and granted posthumous citizenship to 111 service members. 

The current presence of immigrants in the military has a number of historical precedents. According to USCIS, the foreign born composed half of all military recruits by the 1840s and 20 percent of the 1.5 million service members in the Union Army during the Civil War. "

 

Plus, one of the problems we have in the intel services both civilian and military is the fact that there are so few good Middle East speakers in the military, CIA or FBI.  They aren't all terrorists so we should welcome them with open arms but verify.  We can't run very many agents inside the Middle East because of obvious reasons, one being very few native speakers and blond, blue eyes don't cut it.

Senior Contributor

Re: Good Question Wehav

I think it woiuld be relatively easy to solve this problem and get employers to raise their wages.  Start handing out hefty fines to all employers and hiring agencies that are caught hiring illegal immigrants.  First off make sure the government provides a quick and simple way for employers to check the status of all prospective new employees.   This will force all employers to start to raise their wages and begin hiring U.S. citizens.

 

I still don't fully buy into the line of "jobs we won't do."  Yes, I agree that todays kids are less eager to take certain manual labor jobs but there will always be a certain group of kids that are not college material who will have to compete for some of the less desirable blue collar jobs to make a living.  That is if the parents and the governmnet don't support them while they sit on their butts and play video games.  First thing we need to do is end or limit some of the out of control entitlement programs that gives slackers money, food stamps, heating assistance, cell phones, unemployement benefits that now last over a year......  I see where the U.K. and other countries are now starting to do what I have suggested for years and force unemployement recipients to to work for the state or county for a few hours each week, say 10 or 20 hours in order to earn their unemployement check.  This would still allow them plenty of time to be looking for a job while at the same to forcing the slackers in the bunch to get off the lazy butts.  I would make some exceptions for those caring for small children or attending school.

 

I have told all my kids they need to get a job while in college to help support themselves.   I have a daughter who has worked in nursing homes both  while in high school and in college plus a son who  works with disabled people.   These are jobs many folks wouldn't want to do but I know several young people that are doing them.  One of my sons best friends who was a B+ student in high school decided college was not for him after one year.  He has since moved back home and took a job with a local tiler.  He is down in in the hole doing the grunt work while his boss runs the the tiling machine or backhoe.  Not exactly an easy job most people would want to do but this young man has choosen to.  I think you find that with many of these less desirable jobs people do not make a career out of them but like working for McDonalds it is a temporary job they hold before they move on to better jobs as the gain work experience and maturity.  No doubt we parents have to accept part of the blame.  Saddly many farm kids have now gotten about as bad as city kids when it comes to a poor work ethic.  Not sure employers would still prefer to hire a farm kid like it was while I was in college.

 

If you come to the conclusion that we now have many jobs that we will no longer do then we need to adjust our immigration laws and limits to adequately provide a sufficient number of immigrants to legally come here and do those jobs as opposed to have 10 million illegals in country that we know little about their true identity, health issues or criminal record.  However I think you start down a slippery slope when you start using the excuse that there are simply jobs we won't do to justify allowing millions of illegal to be in country.  We better all learn to speak Spanish so when we grow old and are in nursing homes we can communicate with our care takers.

 

I'm curious if being a doctor is another one of those jobs we won't do?  Seems about half of the new doctors in the hospitals in the cities are immigrants these days.  Is there that big of shortage of new doctors or is this a way for large for profit hospitals to pay less for doctors?

Veteran Contributor

Re: Good Question Wehav

The young have learned that lesson very well and too many parents did a really good job of teaching it.  Too many kids have no idea how to do anything basic to take care of themselves as adults because their parents did it for them.  Simple things too.  Things that were just a given that we would do for ourselves.  Manual labor for a young person who grew up playing video games and playing on the internet while having everything of importance taken care of for them by their parents is a foreign concept and a very rude awakening for those who attempt it.  Getting rid of migrant labor in this country for now would be a disaster for those businesses that utilize manual laborers.   

Veteran Advisor

Re: Good Question Wehav

  Dagwud, you've pegged most of the problem in your post. But, look at what illegal immigrants have done for the lawnmower, trailer, and all the landscaping businesses that supply mulch and plants too. But, they have to spend all their income, and they do because it's a relatively small amount but also because they can't open bank accounts. Everything they buy has to be in cash, from cars to even homes that the owner finances. Whenever I see a white guy working for a landscape company it usually means work release or recently released from the county B&B. Since the housing boom took off and there was demand for abundant cheap labor, it has spread into other areas like you mentioned. There are a lot of households that don't even own a lawnmower because they can hire illegal immigrants to mow their yard pretty cheap, and house cleaning too. It used to be that a homeowner would spread their own dirt and seed their yard, and landscaping was usually minimal and done over a longer time frame. The 2 income households don't spend their off time or weekends wasting their time pushing a mower when they have Biff and Buffy's soccer game to go to, and they keep up that routine for many years, because extracurricular sports and activities always leads to a great career in.........

  But, look at the roofing industry for example. The various trade groups and such had their lobbyists write and get legislation passed to tighten the various licensing standards, which of course included loopholes for them to legitimately escape previous restrictions. Now, in Illinois the roofing license requires a test and must have a responsible party and also work comp. and liability insurance. So, they all sub-contract their labor to "independent contractors" which means one illegal immigrant with a tax ID number that receives the check. I recently helped out an elderly neighbor that is on Social Security by roofing her garage, and the guy down the street from her had a roofing "company" where he hires illegals to roof for him. He said that a 2 car garage with tear-off and disposal and to roof was $400, and when he did the lady across the street from my neighbor(she lives behind us on another street) there were 6 illegals for that $400. So, the going rate for landfill disposal of shingles is $20 p/square. There was 6 squares for that amount, and 6 people, so $280 was split between 6 people with the main guy paying all the taxes(unless he took them out of the other's share) which comes to $46.67 per/person, and it took them 6 hours to finish it. So, the total per/person per/hour comes out to $7.77 per/hour cash. Who the hell can compete with that rate and do it legitimately, but who really wants to??? With the start of the housing boom came those regulations by the groups that represent the same people that are affected by those regulations, where before they didn't have an out especially if they were caught or there was an accident and they went after the homeowner's insurance. If you ask any insurance agent that provides work comp coverage to roofing companies, they'll tell you that all roofing companies only have 2 employees(which actually don't do ANY roofing work) and the reportable accidents are nil.

  I don't even have a roofing license any more and sub out all my roofing, which is a higher skill level because it's all done in metal. If you notice though, all those industries that couldn't mechanize and have to rely upon human labor, they are also old or outdated technology, like roofing shingles. Myself and others have got on the city to enforce permits and also to hold the permit holder to answer for shingles showing up in everybody's dumpsters instead of the landfill. If I have a roll off dumpster dropped and it sits for a day or even a weekend, it's half full of junk from everybody within a 1 block radius, but also shingles from who knows how many houses or garages. I've probably "acquired" 25-30 push mowers in the last few years alone. Now, if you factor in the cost of the license, hauling, and all the insurance, along with getting gouged on the wholesale prices because they don't get the install, it's far cheaper to sub it out.

  It runs across the board with the labor and now numerous sub-contractors. Just one generation ago, the builder did ALL the labor on a house, from concrete work to shingles. Now, there are numerous subs and the obvious profit margins(although small), but illegal immigrant labor to boot. So, it costs a lot more to get substandard quality, and the majority if not all of the profits are pushed up to the top entity.

  But, does it really matter since it's all borrowed money anyway?????

Senior Contributor

Re: Good Question Wehav

Tom, my daughter's boyfreind who was honor roll student in high school worked for a local landscaping business for the last two years of high school while out for four sports and is working for another land scaping firm while in college.  This city boy grew up mowing lawns for his neighbors to earn spending cash and to save up money for his first car.  The local landscaping business is run by a white gal who works just as hard doing the physical labor as her male employees and she can not weigh more then 130 pounds soaking wet.  People will do the work its just a problem of spoiled lazy people not wanting to do it much like some folks would prefer to sit at home collecting unemployment then taking a job that is available. 

 

We have a large amount of Hispanics in our area and assume many are illegal.  Most started coming here after DeCoster started building hog and chicken factory farms in our county.  Yes we have our fair share of troubles with them but most of it is minor problems such as no driver's license or car insurance.  There is a fair amount of drunk driving charges associated with them as well.  However I think most of these people are hard working folks who pay their bills and admire their willingness to relocate themselves and their families in order to make things better for their loved ones when I see many white folks to lazy to even look for a job as long as they are still getting an unemployment check.  The trouble is where does it all stop?  Today we willingly assume it is alright for illegal immigrants to do lanscaping, all forms of construction, agricultural jobs and work at packing plants.   What next?  Surrender manufacturing jobs that are slightly more dirty or noisier then others or plants that are not air conditioned?  How long before we Americans no longer want to empty bed pans or bathe and take care of the elderly?  Looks to me like a pretty slippery slope we are heading towards.

 

I think most folks are in favor of allowing seasonal migrant workers and having set quotas on legal immigration but we simply can not continue as we have the past few decades.  If we allow these various businesses to take advantage of illegals who are often afraid to report abuses and employers that do not properly pay them or screw them on overtime then we are simply creating a whole new class of under privileged people with jobs that used to pay a decent living wage.   That's the part that confuses me about liberals that believe we should welcome any and all illegal immigrants.  The liberal rightfully complains and worries now about the poor in our country yet they seem willing to create a whole new class of poverty stricken people that is even more at risk at not getting a fair shake from society.  We simply need to adrress this issue and enforce the laws we have on the books and quit turning a blind eye towards this problem and kicking the can down the road for another day.

Veteran Advisor

Re: Good Question Wehav

How long do you reckon it will be before we hit the bottom of that "slippery slope"?  I figure we have had illegals here doing landscaping and "dirty" jobs since around 1776 and we haven't hit that bottom yet.  I don't say it isn't a problem because dirtbags are a problem no matter what race they are.  White citizen dirtbags are probably more of a problem because we can't ship them back to the country they came from.

Veteran Advisor

Re: Good Question Wehav

Been enjoying this good rational discussion. Only real question I have is where are these liberals who want unrestricted and unlimited immigration, as your refer to a couple of times in your posts? I've  really not seen any advocacy (by anyone...govt., non-profits, churches etc)) kick in until there are problems with basic human rights.

 

You don't directly address who it most likely is that favors an unlimited supply of cheap immigrant labor and that would be those who are the largest employers of them (SEE: Postville) and the massive discount retail empires who covet their individually menial yet collectively significant shopping and consumption power.

 

Just a note here, and not argument over anything that you or brian or tom has said.....I come from people who employed Hispanic seasonal laborers....some from Mexico but also many from Texas.. we did in fact refer to all of them genericly as "Mexicans"....from the 1940s through the early 1960s.  Came up and thinned and weeded sugar beets and weeded some of the first soybeans grown in the areaa, collected their pay here and at the other regions that they went to to do similar work more than they probably made where they lived the rest of the year. And kept coming back. Essentially the same people. Even had babies...I have no idea of those babies are citizens today or not. Now they come and buy and rent homes. Many school classes in any number of midwestern towns with food processing in them are at half filled with hispanics or other ethnic groups.  Thos eschools become an entirely different sts of genuine problems if all of a sudden they were to leave. It's all alot more complex than passing a few laws and sending a bunch of people.