Saturday, April 28, 2007

Where Are The Workers???

A friend of mine whose business
Requires a crew of laborers
To harvest turf for people's lawns
Constantly has difficulty
Finding anybody that wants to work.
The work is difficult and dirty
And the hours are often long
Especially in the spring and fall.
He said he gets quite frustrated
With all the folks complaining
About the immigration issue
Because he needs some help.
He tried to work college students
Because he figured they were
Always needing money but
They often left after only half a day
And never even came back
For their paycheck. They all
Wanted easy jobs that didn't
Take long hours and so they
Left without even saying goodbye.
They're spoiled, he said, and
Didn't even have the decency
To say, hey, this is harder than I thought,
I think I'll go find something else.
My friend said that with the
Unemployment rate as low as it is
Our country is basically at
Full employment, so why is
Everyone complaining about
Illegal immigrants taking all
The jobs when he can't even find
Someone to work the jobs he has?
Let's get 'em a "green card."

So, I got to wondering about his comment on the unemployment rate. Having been trained in economics, I was taught that anything below about 5% unemployment is considered full employment because there are a certain percentage of the populace that is either unemployable, or chooses to remain unemployed. As of January 1, 2007, our national unemployment rate stood at 4.6%. Click on this link to a table of the Unemployment Rate by State as of Dec. 31, 2006. I understand the "illegal" part of the argument; what I don't understand is the resistance to a work permit program. The jobs are here and a lot of them are going unfilled because it is "beneath the dignity" of our spoiled welfare class to take them.


Incognito said...

You're friend is right.. it is extremely difficult to find people to help with yard work etc.
People are too lazy to work hard.. that's why we have so much indentity theft, crime etc. because it's an easy buck. No-one wants to work for a living. I think I'd go for a work permit programme as well... our 'welfare' class is not going to be willing to work in the fields etc. and someone has to do that work!

Blazing Cat Fur said...

The counter argument is that illegal immigrants in fact depress wages. In the abscense of an illegal workforce it is argued that supply & demand would force wages for these "undesirable" jobs up to a more attractive level- ideally to a level that would lure the welfare class. However given that the majority of welfare recipients are urban residents I am not certain rural/agricultural jobs would be filled. I notice in my research that the most organized lobbyists for a guest worker solution are in fact involved in agri-business.

Panhandle Poet said...

There is certainly merit to the argument that illegal immigrants may in some instances depress wages, however, there are equally strong arguments that their contribution to the workforce in low paying jobs in fact contributes to economic stimulation which ultimately results in more higher paying jobs in service sectors. Perhaps we should implement forced busing between areas of high unemployment and areas in need of workers. There are certainly those who are unemployed not by their choice, however, many of those who do not currently work, would not accept a job if offered to them.

Maybe the old chain-gang system is another solution (to 2 problems simultaneously). We could put the prison population to work in the fields. It would help with the agricultural labor situation and probably help a few criminals straighten their life out as well. They wouldn't want to go to prison because they might have to work for a living. Oh, well, the PC's wouldn't let that happen would they?

Incognito said...

Your prison idea is least with the less hardcore types... but they do it, already, to a certain extent.. I see them, once in a while, doing work on the sides of highways...

but you're right... most of the welfare types would rather stay on welfare then work.. and if they were forced to work... the PC crowd would balk.