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Think Americans are willing to do those jobs now?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
One of the biggest arguments against cracking down on the illegal immigrants is that they do the jobs that Americans don't want to or won't do.

Now that the unemployment figure is this high, with over 5 million American citizens collecting unemployment (remember - you can only collect for a certain amount of time, I don't know if those people whose unemployment has expired are counted), do you think that those people who have no jobs would be willing to do some of those jobs that the illegals hold now?

Thought crossed my mind when I read this article: Adults crash teen job fair

They are willing to do seasonal and summer jobs that used to be only acceptable for teens to do. I think people are willing to do just about anything work-wise, as long as it's work.
post #2 of 27
Honestly, I don't think they will. They will consider those jobs beneath them. That's sort of what I was saying in the thread about unions - the auto industry workers were making big bucks and are still fighting for those big bucks even though it may mean shutting down the auto industry. What would they do if they had to take a lesser job and get paid the same as the rest of us?
post #3 of 27
A small city school system near hear got 800 applications for an afternoon (read: part time) janitorial position. A job fair up in Cleveland had thousands of people show up, some waiting over 7 hours to just get in and the police had to be called to direct traffic. I think people will do just about anything now a days in order to have a job
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
A small city school system near hear got 800 applications for an afternoon (read: part time) janitorial position. A job fair up in Cleveland had thousands of people show up, some waiting over 7 hours to just get in and the police had to be called to direct traffic. I think people will do just about anything now a days in order to have a job
I hope you are right. I know I would do whatever I needed to do to make enough money to pay for food and a roof over my head.

On the news this morning they were talking about the deal GM made with the Canadian Auto Workers' Union and how the membership made big concessions in order for GM to keep running. Chrysler has spoken up and said they would not make the kinds of concessions GM made and that they would take their business out of Canada before making those sorts of concessions. Lovely aren't they! If that's the case, I would urge every Canadian to NOT ever buy another Chrysler product.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Linda, I agree with you about the Unions, and especially the UAW. They really do seem to think that they are the ones who run the company, and maybe they do. After all, it's been made pretty clear that our government isn't going to let them fail, even if that means propping them up indefinitely. Coming from that perspective, why should they negotiate the sweet gig they already have? The problem is going to be when 2 of the 3 make the deals (Ford did, sounds like GM is going to) the odd man out is going to go by the wayside. Which is too bad because I really like Chrystler products. BTW, what concessions did GM have to make for the Union to come to the table? We don't get that news down here.

Katie, obviously from the article it's the same here, and we're overall in much better economic shape than a lot of places in this country. People are desperate to work, even if it is well below what they had made before, and even if they have to work a couple jobs to make up for it. Now more than ever it just peeves me to no end that people who aren't legally here to begin with hold these jobs, send the money they earn to Mexico instead of putting it back into the US economy, when so many US citizens would do anything to get those jobs.
post #6 of 27
I don't think it's a question of Americans unwilling to do those jobs, I think it's a case of Americans unwilling to do those jobs for what the employer is able/willing to pay. It's just not possible to survive on a minimum-wage and still have the things that Americans are accustomed to having. The illegal and migrant workers that take those jobs typically live in some pretty poor conditions.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I don't think it's a question of Americans unwilling to do those jobs, I think it's a case of Americans unwilling to do those jobs for what the employer is able/willing to pay. It's just not possible to survive on a minimum-wage and still have the things that Americans are accustomed to having. The illegal and migrant workers that take those jobs typically live in some pretty poor conditions.
Absolutely!!
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Linda, I agree with you about the Unions, and especially the UAW. They really do seem to think that they are the ones who run the company, and maybe they do. After all, it's been made pretty clear that our government isn't going to let them fail, even if that means propping them up indefinitely. Coming from that perspective, why should they negotiate the sweet gig they already have? The problem is going to be when 2 of the 3 make the deals (Ford did, sounds like GM is going to) the odd man out is going to go by the wayside. Which is too bad because I really like Chrystler products. BTW, what concessions did GM have to make for the Union to come to the table? We don't get that news down here.

Katie, obviously from the article it's the same here, and we're overall in much better economic shape than a lot of places in this country. People are desperate to work, even if it is well below what they had made before, and even if they have to work a couple jobs to make up for it. Now more than ever it just peeves me to no end that people who aren't legally here to begin with hold these jobs, send the money they earn to Mexico instead of putting it back into the US economy, when so many US citizens would do anything to get those jobs.
http://www.thestar.com/article/600786

This should help you check it out. The only unfortunate part was that retirees weren't able to vote and it will affect their pensions. But hopefully they were getting a good pension to begin with considering the high wages they would have made compared to the rest of us.

ETA: Here is a link to the Chrysler "blackmail" issue.

http://www.thestar.com/article/600947


Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I don't think it's a question of Americans unwilling to do those jobs, I think it's a case of Americans unwilling to do those jobs for what the employer is able/willing to pay. It's just not possible to survive on a minimum-wage and still have the things that Americans are accustomed to having. The illegal and migrant workers that take those jobs typically live in some pretty poor conditions.
It think you are spot on Tim. The illegal and migrant workers are just thankful for what little they get whereas we always want more and the newest gadgets, etc.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I don't think it's a question of Americans unwilling to do those jobs, I think it's a case of Americans unwilling to do those jobs for what the employer is able/willing to pay. It's just not possible to survive on a minimum-wage and still have the things that Americans are accustomed to having. The illegal and migrant workers that take those jobs typically live in some pretty poor conditions.
I would have totally agreed to this statement a few months ago, but I'm not sure anymore. My company is being bought out and most of my department is likely to lose their jobs. These are IT folks so they make a good wage. The hallway conversations go along these lines these days:

I was going to buy a new car but now I think I'll keep mine until it runs into the ground. I've gone home to figure out the minimum amount I need to pay my basic bills to see if I need to sell my home now. I'm kicking myself for paying someone to do the kitchen remodel last year - had I known, I wouldn't have done it. I'll fight against the kids to get a job bagging groceries. Just practice the phrase - want fries with that?

People are adopting depression era mentalities right now. These are people that are accustomed to having, and they are absolutely preparing themselves for when they don't have an income. And they will take minimum wage jobs if it means they can feed themselves. But they fear that they won't even be able to find a minimum wage job. These people will take any job they can find.
post #10 of 27
I think you're right. If this gets worse and lasts much longer, it's going to mark a turning point in many things.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I think you're right. If this gets worse and lasts much longer, it's going to mark a turning point in many things.
I'm witnessing a complete attitude shift. Turning the economy around isn't going to mean that we go back to where we were, but to something new that this generation hasn't experienced before. We have been very spoiled for a long time.

My mom grew up in the depression with no father, a sick mother and a mentally handicapped brother. At 9 years old, she fed her family by collecting empty pop bottles in the alleys and turning them in for money. What attracted her to my father was the fact that he worked in a grocery store and could feed them. And she fought every day so that her children could be completely comfortable and not go thru what she went thru. And we got spoiled. But I remember mom's stories.
post #12 of 27
The generation that grew up during the Great Depression turned into the wealthiest generation ever known. It was their children who turned into the charge it today and pay for it tomorrow generation. Maybe if today's children know a little deprivation the cycle will repeat for them.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
The generation that grew up during the Great Depression turned into the wealthiest generation ever known. It was their children who turned into the charge it today and pay for it tomorrow generation. Maybe if today's children know a little deprivation the cycle will repeat for them.
Yes, saving energy on heating & cooling saves the environment as well as money, yet people can be so dense about it. I was visiting in MI last week, and was amazed that despite the rainy weather, no one was layered in clothing, and all homes were very warm, using central heating
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
One of the biggest arguments against cracking down on the illegal immigrants is that they do the jobs that Americans don't want to or won't do.
The ones putting out that argument are the employers who want to hire the illegals for much less than they would have to pay citizens.

I wish I had a link to the article, but it was ages ago I read this - long before the recession - Apparently there was one company, I seem to remember that it was a slaughterhouse, that for some reason was forced to hire only American citizens. They said no one would apply, but they had hundreds of people standing in line for the few jobs they had.

It's not that American citizens won't do the jobs, or think certain jobs are beneath them, it's that they aren't even given a chance at those jobs.
post #15 of 27
Illegal immigration is way more than a job issue, its a security issue. We need to seal the borders and not let anyone in illegally. I'm all for issuing work passes, putting people through security clearance checks.
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I don't think it's a question of Americans unwilling to do those jobs, I think it's a case of Americans unwilling to do those jobs for what the employer is able/willing to pay. It's just not possible to survive on a minimum-wage and still have the things that Americans are accustomed to having. The illegal and migrant workers that take those jobs typically live in some pretty poor conditions.
You almost got there...but not quite! Here's how your sentence should read:

I think it's a case of Americans unwilling to do those jobs for what the employer is able/willing to pay when the employer has a good chance of finding an illegal to do it for less.

If that chance were eliminated, the pay would rise to what it takes to attract American workers. The hamburgers would get fried, the dishes would get washed, and the houses would get built, but with American labor.

I can give you a solid example. Tyson owns a chicken processing plant in the little town in Arkansas where I have a house. They had no trouble getting plenty of American employees; it was a tough job, but it paid pretty well for the area, and you didn't need much education.

Then, Tyson started bringing in illegals. They did it knowingly. In fact, one of Tyson's executives just barely missed going to jail for being taped on a phone tap saying, "The problem with our employee costs is we don't have enough Mexicans."

The pay at the plant has actually gone down over the last 10 years, and the illegals have caused all sorts of trouble in town, up to and including murder. If they were all shipped out tomorrow, the pay would have to go up about 40%, but at that rate, they again would have no trouble filling the positions.

There is some empirical evidence of this, too. Oklahoma, which passed a very strict pre-employment and pre-service ID bill that took effect last year, actually saw its unemployment rate decrease after the ID checks started. In fact, Greyhound had to put on extra buses for the month before and after the law took effect, to carry all the illegals leaving the state. (Their current unemployment rate is just over 5 percent, up a bit from last year at this time.)
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
You almost got there...but not quite! Here's how your sentence should read:

I think it's a case of Americans unwilling to do those jobs for what the employer is able/willing to pay when the employer has a good chance of finding an illegal to do it for less.

If that chance were eliminated, the pay would rise to what it takes to attract American workers. The hamburgers would get fried, the dishes would get washed, and the houses would get built, but with American labor.
I'll give ya this one.

'cuz I think you're right on target with that. I didn't take my comment far enough.
post #18 of 27
The great thing, economically, about immigrant labor is its flexibility. When there are jobs, people will come here for them. When there are not jobs here, people will not come here for them. This flexibility actually greatly reduces the strain of not having enough workers in boom times while also reducing the strain of not having enough jobs in bust times.

Yes, businesses can often reduce their costs by hiring illegal workers who won't complain to the government about unpaid overtime and other abuses and who will work for less money than people legally allowed to work in the United States. This actually results in an economic benefit for poor US citizens, who get cheaper goods and services because of the cheaper labor of illegal immigrants.

Also, illegal immigration does not raise violent or property crime rates. Two (old) news stories that cite research on the subject:
Immigrants don't raise crime rate
Immigration reduces crime rates

To respond to the OP's question: yes, US citizens will be more willing to do unpleasant jobs for low wages in this economic downturn.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
To respond to the OP's question: yes, US citizens will be more willing to do unpleasant jobs for low wages in this economic downturn.
But based on the posts made about employer's preference in hiring uneducated, illegal immigrants who will work for any wage offered to them, will the jobs actually be available to those citizens who actually need the jobs, who will spend the money locally that will spur the economy to recovery?
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
The great thing, economically, about immigrant labor is its flexibility.

Also, illegal immigration does not raise violent or property crime rates. Two (old) news stories that cite research on the subject:
Immigrants don't raise crime rate
Immigration reduces crime rates
To your first point, it's flexible only if you can deport the immigrants when you no longer need their labor. Switzerland, for example, has essentially zero unemployment. When their economy is booming, they issue work permits to non-citizens. When the economy slows down, they revoke the work permits.

If we could do that, your statement would be true. As it is, illegals are displacing American workers and depressing American wages.

As to your second point, that is patently untrue in the little Arkansas town I mentioned above. Crime has increased significantly, probably because the illegals don't have a long-term attachment to the town or its residents.
post #21 of 27
reply to valanhb
Unfortunately, there is also usually a large amount of anti-immigrant sentiment during economic bad times, and people pass laws and enforce existing laws more strictly to kick immigrants (legal and illegal) out. Employers are willing to hire legal workers when the legal workers are willing to work for any wage. And, in terrible economic times, people will work as long as they get more money than it takes to work (transportation, ect.). Also, one of the things that made the great depression as bad as it was was protectionism: I seriously doubt that remittances would make it more difficult for the global economy to get past the current global recession/depression.

reply to mrblanche
Immigrants in the US just to work often chose to go home in bad economic times. Sure, you could make this more complete by forcing them to go home (and I'm sure we're doing a bit of that), but you don't need force for it to happen.

I know that you believe that your little Arkansas town has increased crime because of illegal immigrants, but I'd need much more powerful evidence of this than just your statements that it is true. What studies does this evidence come from? What are the controls used in these studies? What is the crime rate among legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, and citizens born in the US in this little town?
post #22 of 27
Here's some research on illegal immigrant crime statistics:

http://www.cis.org/articles/2001/crime/toc.html

I think there may be two factors at work here: first is the perception of higher crime solely due to the high visibility of such crime. If an illegal immigrant is caught for a certain crime, it catches the attention of the public more readily. Second is a factor that I don't think the statistics have yet addressed, and which IS a real concern: the illegal drug trade. This is a more recent, and growing problem.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
reply to mrblanche
Immigrants in the US just to work often chose to go home in bad economic times. Sure, you could make this more complete by forcing them to go home (and I'm sure we're doing a bit of that), but you don't need force for it to happen.

I know that you believe that your little Arkansas town has increased crime because of illegal immigrants, but I'd need much more powerful evidence of this than just your statements that it is true. What studies does this evidence come from? What are the controls used in these studies? What is the crime rate among legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, and citizens born in the US in this little town?
You don't need a study. All you need to do is look in the town/county jails, read the police reports, and read the newspaper. Only one murder in the town in the last ten years...and that one by an illegal. What's the percentage rise from 0 to 1? Infinite %? Constant problems with no registration on their cars, no driver's license, no insurance. Robberies in stores and restaurants.
post #24 of 27
All one murder can tell you is that this individual illegal immigrant is a murderer. From a sample size of one, you can't generalize to say that "illegal immigrants increase the murder rate," just like you can't say that "posters on TheCateSite live in California" just from the existence of me. One event does not a trend make.

No car registration, no insurance and no driver's license are all a direct effect of being undocumented, and can be changed by changing the laws to allow illegal immigrants to register their cars and get driver's licenses (both prerequisites for insurance). This is totally irrelevant when you are talking about illegal immigrants contributing to high crime rates. This is highly relevant when you talk about policies that determine which people living in the United States can participate in the regulatory protections we have established.

When you say "robberies in stores and restaurants" that's what requires statistics, because you are stating that the rate of robberies has increased, and you are implying that there is not a different causal factor to blame. Just to prove that there is a correlation between more illegal immigrants and more robberies, you need a reasonably large sample size and you need statistics. Then, once you've established this correlation, then you need to do further research to establish that the correlation is causal in nature.
post #25 of 27
Do you know the meaning of the word "hooie?"

I'm telling you a calm little town of 3,000 suddenly has problems it never had before, and the illegals are involved in way more than their share of it. Like it or not, if the town had their way, every one of them would be sent back to the border. It's our country, and we have the right to insist on those who visit obeying the law.

You can't get "statistics" in such a small sample; all you can get are facts, and I've stated the facts. Let's just say the Tyson executives are not welcome in town.

But I have looked up some statistics.

In 2001, the violent crime rate was 255 per 100,000 people. That means 8 in a town of 3,000. In 2006 it had risen to 1,696 per 100k, or 51. It doesn't sound like much, but that's a rise of 700%. That's something that gets talked about, and it makes people angry.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Do you know the meaning of the word "hooie?"

I'm telling you a calm little town of 3,000 suddenly has problems it never had before, and the illegals are involved in way more than their share of it. Like it or not, if the town had their way, every one of them would be sent back to the border. It's our country, and we have the right to insist on those who visit obeying the law.

You can't get "statistics" in such a small sample; all you can get are facts, and I've stated the facts. Let's just say the Tyson executives are not welcome in town.

But I have looked up some statistics.

In 2001, the violent crime rate was 255 per 100,000 people. That means 8 in a town of 3,000. In 2006 it had risen to 1,696 per 100k, or 51. It doesn't sound like much, but that's a rise of 700%. That's something that gets talked about, and it makes people angry.
Some of the problem may well just be the residents' attitude toward the Mexicans. Do they keep a record of how many "illegals" are beaten up, demeaned, threatened, picked on by the locals? Those would be good statistics to add to the mix.

I drove through a small town on our way to a large shopping mall with my SIL and her daughter. As we drove through the town there was a black man walking down the street and their (SIL and daughter) conversation went like this:

SIL: Oh, there's that black guy.
Niece: I thought they would have run him out of town by now.
SIL: Yes, he's been here for a couple weeks.

My mom, my daughter and I could not believe our ears. That such bigotry and ignorance exist and that my brother and his wife are teaching that bigotry to their children who will in turn teach it to their children - how sad.
post #27 of 27
mrblanche, you say you are arguing facts, but if you don't tell me the name of the town you are talking about, I can't check your facts. It doesn't matter who is telling me facts (my sister, my spouse, a professor, Wikipedia, someone on the internet): before I believe them, I need to know the sources for those facts so I can look them up.

Sure, two points, by definition, make a line, but two points (crime rate in 2001 and 2006) don't make a trend. You need other points (annual crime rate over at least that period) in order to assess the amount of variation in the crime rate.

I believe you that the people in this town you've been talking about blame Tyson executives and illegal immigrants on what they perceive as a terrible change in their town, but that doesn't mean that the people in this town are correct. I also know that beliefs like this do result in changes in local law enforcement and local legislation, but, again, that doesn't mean that these changes lead to a better town.
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