Situational Unawareness

24 03 2008

Somewhere along the line some people seem to have forgotten that the problem isn’t with immigrants coming to America, but with the illegal immigrants that are streaming across our borders. We need the foreign influx of alien workers. They want the work, we’ve got the jobs. Amnesty isn’t the answer. Neither is citizenship.

Contrary to popular belief, these people aren’t coming here taking the jobs that would otherwise go to the American citizen. They’re here filling those jobs that employers have had a hard time filling. They are taking those low paying, unglamorous, physically demanding, entry level positions that otherwise go unfilled. And yes, employers around the country will tell you, they have the jobs available, but they have trouble filling them. They’re jobs that nobody really wants. Nobody except them, because those jobs are so much better then what they left behind.  We just need them to come legally. As temporary documented workers. Then maybe they can take what they learn and earn and go back and fix what and where they left. But if they continue to come as they are we’ll soon run out of those jobs they seek.

I guess you could count it as a sign of our blessing, that they look to us. That they come here to our great country. Our economy is strong and growing. Even with all the fussing and discontent that you read daily our present administration has created perhaps the strongest economy that this country has ever known. Joblessness is at an all time record low. Almost a full percentage point below what is considered full employment. So demand for low skilled, cheap labor is at an all time high. In fact, so many jobs are going unfulfilled that its holding growth back in some industries. Now that’s irony for you, things so good that its bad. And with our super economy we’ve found ourselves with a whole new set of problems, a lot of which stem from what I like to call – situation unawareness.

For years we struggled with employment situations that fluctuated between high unemployment and  relatively low unemployment. We always had a job market that had a fair amount of Americans seeking employment at the lower, entry level positions and we tried to provide and protect those jobs. That need always kept wages on the low/stable side, and in good times provided for rapid wage growth as workers became experienced and moved up the employment ladder. We viewed foreigners coming here as taking “our” jobs. And in some instances they were. There were only so many entry level positions available, and in a weak economy only the worst jobs, such a  farm laborer and unskilled construction work, went unfilled by an eager American workforce. But as the economy “globalized”,  the job market changed, which has caused areas of the country to see great change in the types and skill level of available jobs. Certain areas have suffered as jobs went oversees and  market vacuums occurred. People have had to relocate or retrain to obtain work. But at the same time many unskilled, entry level jobs went unfilled.

We may moan and groan about jobs going overseas, but  that’s what we’ve been asking for all the time. We moaned and groaned about foreign aid and all our tax dollars going overseas, asking why those countries didn’t create jobs and provide for there own. Now they are. We wanted them to become producers and better themselves and they have. We got what we asked for. We are consumers as well as producers after all. And they can’t buy our products unless they’re making money to spend.  That is, unless you want to go back to just sending them the money for nothing like before.

Those jobs that are going overseas are good, honest, upfront jobs. We’ve always opposed all those “sweatshops” that we were always hearing about. We didn’t like seeing  women and children  working long hours for low wages, and we threatened boycotts against companies that sold their products and such.  We held our heads high and thought that we were doing them and the world a favor opposing them. But we were situationally unaware that the alternative was no job at all. Women and children starving. And yes we’ve seen those pictures too. Kids crawling around a garbage dump looking for scraps to eat. Scraps to sell. Scraps to put together a home out of. Remember those ads “for just a few cents a day…” Those overseas jobs we moan and groan about now are helping to replace those sweatshops we so despise . And those jobs are allowing those people to fix their own problems. They give dignity to people that desperately desire it. Giving them a reason to stay home. And that is a good thing.

People still flock here because this is where its at. They come because of that light of Miss Liberties, shining out still unto the would. America is still the greatest place on Earth, even though we may moan and groan. America means hope for to vast numbers of people around the world. And we’ll always need someone to pick that pea, plant that tree, or dig that hole. And that’s a good thing, too.

Al

(reprint) 

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