I’m watching Rep Lou Barletta (R) PA lie to the American public. He is on CNN trying to drum up support for building a wall. Barletta is a Trump supporter and he is explaining to Wolf Blitzer that illegal immigration is the cause for low wages in America. The annoying thing is that many will believe him, and with that belief they will feel justified to hate immigrants in general and Mexicans in particular. It is sad, but important to acknowledge that this is a continuing theme of the Republican party…and it only leads to false information and increased prejudice.
So now there are two issues to address. The first is to really examine the effect of Mexican labor in the U.S., whether legal or not, and the second is to critically examine why wages are depressed.
A complete examination of the work most Mexicans have shows they are largely in jobs that Americans simply can’t do or don’t want. These include farm work and animal processing. Both are backbreaking jobs and according to a recent interview of a Georgia farmer, not a single American has lasted for more than one day working on his farm in the last decade. Others are drawn to restaurant, landscaping, house cleaning and child caring work. In these instances average Americans are begging for such a workforce because it allows them to focus their efforts and money elsewhere. Imagine if Mexican child care givers charged $20 an hour…who could afford to go to work? There are two other areas, construction and textile manufacturing, that are legitimate areas of contention. In both cases Americans are available to work, but the owners of the businesses…Americans… choose Mexicans because of their work ethic and because they work cheaper. This does not make the cost of a house cheaper, but it does allow the contractor to pocket more money.
In the big picture it is important to know that illegal immigrants take an estimated 2 to 3 percent of all U.S. jobs and if we limit our search to only the construction and manufacturing trades that estimate is less than 1 percent. Certainly not worth all the hoopla if we take prejudice out of the equation.
The second issue to examine is why U.S. wages are depressed. There is no legitimate disagreement here. Wages are depressed because U.S. companies are moving out of our country in record numbers. They find cheap labor abroad and leave Americans out of work without remorse. Even Americans with jobs are worried because many employers successfully threaten workers by telling them that asking for a raise will result in their moving their business overseas as well.
It is interesting to note that while candidate Trump rails against the practice of outsourcing jobs, businessman Trump does it all the time. It was recently revealed that his signature clothing line uses workers in the poorest countries on earth…paying worker 30 cents an hour in Bangladesh. This is the nature of the problem; even the filthy rich are willing to screw the average Joe…why settle for 10 billion when you can go for 11 billion?
So back to Representative Barletta. If he truly wants to raise wages for average Americans he needs to restrict the ability of companies to outsource their jobs. If he needs help with this all he needs to do is read our earlier posts on the tenets of the Pro American Party…we have created a blueprint for him to follow.
Our next post will examine the positive role rich Americans could play if they were only willing.