March 02, 2016
As a teenager I worked at a theme park for $5.85 an hour. This was 2003, with the economy still recovering from the dot-com recession. As the years went by, I took on more roles and responsibilities. I was in charge of managing employees, counting cash, and making sure guests who paid $40 a pop to get into the park got their meal in reasonable time. But I also had to do a ton of dirty jobs, including cleaning Dumpsters, emptying grease pans, and sweeping up garbage in the hot sun. It was sucky work, no doubt. Yet it taught me discipline and the value of bettering myself for more remunerative employment.
When guys like Stan Eury rig the system and bring busloads of Mexicans for low-skilled, physically demanding drudgery, it denies that opportunity for natives to earn cash and improve their skills.
Paying migrant workers the most minimal of wages might be great for profit margins. But the elitist assumption baked into the “good for business” equation doesn”t take into account why illegal aliens can accept second-rate pay. Is it because they are that desperate for jobs? Or is it because they can afford to live in squalid conditions and work long hours for lousy pay as they don”t require permanent residence and plan on returning home eventually?
Maximizing profit on the backs of illegals is often done at the cost of turning away the native-born. It disrupts what Edmund Burke called the “little platoons” of society. That is, it sows discord into communities where members feel less valued than outsiders.
Now, I don”t mean to wax on romantically about the steadfast resolve of the American worker. It’s true that the lower working class has been rendered indolent and lazy with a combination of government welfare, easy availability of drugs, affordable, calorie-rich food, and cheap thrills. But the nation’s economic and political elite like having the masses placated by McDonald’s and Netflix. The less riffraff from the proles, the better.
The only way to get the lower and middle classes out of their stupor is to stop the flow of cheap migrant labor. There is nothing demeaning about grunt work. Labor is dignifying. Nature’s benevolence doesn”t put food on the table. Man has to work for his rewards. Like St. Paul said, if you don”t work, you don”t eat. Americans should rid themselves of the notion that tedious, dirty work is below them.
The sooner that happens, the sooner we start having a country again, and not an economic free-for-all.