The Take Our Jobs website is starting to get some play in the mainstream media. The site has an application form where any person, citizen or non-citizen can apply for the UFW training program, which would lead to a job in America’s farm fields.
I came across the web site about a week ago and was impressed by the irony of it. What I believe is absent in all discussion from ultra conservative hardliners, be they a Governor Jan Brewer, a Sheriff Joe Arpaio, or just some Tea Partying Joe Schmoe is the hard fact that immigrants, whether documented or undocumented comprise many of the spokes in the wheels that are a part of the mechanism that produces the gross domestic product (GDP) of the American economy.
Not only are immigrants about the only people willing to work our fields, they are more likely than anyone else, to accept a job working the line in our meat and poultry processing plants, in the numerous sweatshops that support the garment industry, or in our restaurants washing the dishes and handling the garbage, or cleaning our offices and hotel rooms, or cleaning our homes and tending our families. You don’t see many average young Americans aspiring to these jobs.
Nor can anyone make the argument with me that if the jobs paid better, more average Joe’s would go after them. American business and industry and its moneyed class has never valued manual labor in terms of appreciating the labor or paying for it, this lack of respect for laborers goes as far back in American history as colonial times, when prosperous and even modest property owners were slave owners. The relative status of laborers has not changed in the modern day, whether a factory worker, office worker or retail or service worker, most of them would probably consider themselves “wage slaves”. People don’t do this kind of work for any emotional payback or intellectual stimulation, they do it first and foremost as a matter of survival, and as a way to provide a minimum level of sustenance (be it food, shelter or medical care) to their extended families.
What history has taught us though, is that in probably a majority of the cases, anyone who has started out on the lower rungs on such labor intensive jobs, has learned that quite often their entry level, labor intensive job has been a stepping stone to a higher standard of living for themselves and their families. Human beings who have the motivation and strength of character and fortitude to accept the worst can see the possibility of something better in the short term (i.e. basic life necessities) and quite often then recognize that drive, ambition, and a strong work ethic leads to more skillful and lucrative jobs in the longer term.
There is no shame in starting out in life on the bottom rungs of the ladder, but, in my opinion, a segment of our population that I term the Under-educated Disenfranchised Underclass (UDU’s) will never subject themselves to the indignity of taking a work position below their perception of their station in life. They may not feel that they are at the top of the power/wealth heap, but they have been indoctrinated in to thinking that they deserve many of the very same accouterments as members of a consuming society, but without being informed about the strength of character, intellect and labor effort necessary to achieve what they wish for. Their indoctrination teaches them to consume in the assumption that simply by acquiring objects, without any apparent effort of work or personal sacrifice, they will achieve higher status. To the UDU’s it is all about status in the pecking order, and while UDU’s will complain about immigrants, legal or otherwise, taking their jobs, the thought of doing many of those jobs is beneath their sense of status.
For the UDU’s, immigrants, and particularly undocumented immigrants are the crutch they use to prop up their argument that they are denied a level playing field. When the reality is, these people have neither the inclination nor moral spine to expend the necessary energy to achieve any goals of higher status in the pecking order by working for them. They would rather have it handed to them, than to humble themselves to begin at the bottom. They would rather scapegoat immigrants, than admit to their own lack of moral fiber.
Go ahead you jobless or under employed disenchanted members of the underclass, apply to the UFW Take Our Jobs website and lift yourselves up by your bootstraps, I dare you. Better that, than taking a dump on immigrants.
Hat tip to my friend Dusty over at Its My Right To Be Left Of Center.