Work Americans Won’t Do

See, this is why I think you create a guest worker program before you kick people out of the country:

After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.

It might be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.

Georgia needs about 11,000 low-skill low-wage workers to harvest its crops. They can now find only a fraction of the hands they need, thanks to illegals leaving the state. The governor — being a politician — is unable to admit that they fucked up and is suggesting that they hire convicted criminals (seriously). Georgia farmers could raise wages to hire Americans, but that would make their crops more expensive than neighboring states.

In short, they’re fucked.

First thought: this just shows how badly our system of unemployment and food stamps and other aide needs to be overhauled. Many people who are out of work won’t take these jobs because the pay would not make up for the loss of governments benefits. I’m in favor of keeping people from starving when they’re out of work but it should be child’s play to taper those benefits so that work, any work, always pays. And work is work. If someone is out of work, they should be willing to take any job they can find. I know picking onions isn’t on anyone’s career path. I would be miserable doing unskilled labor. But if I were hiring and heard someone had made ends meet by working a farm in the hot Georgia sun, I’d be more impressed.

(I’m under no delusion that this attitude is common. Our country has come to prize career path and “relevant experience” over fortitude, commitment, responsibility and a good work ethic.)

Second, it’s worth re-iterating what I’ve said before on the subject of immigration. Rather than just restate it, I’ll just quote myself:

When it comes to immigration, most people’s priority is to “seal the border”. Whether this is wise or not, I’m dubious that it’s even possible. Penn and Teller demonstrated that it takes minutes for illegals to tunnel under, cut through or climb over a border fence. We have a very very long border with Mexico and our attempts to seal the border are always and must be reactive—responding to new ways people find to get in after they’re already here.

No, the first step in fixing our immigration problem has to be the creation of a guest worker program—a way for people to easily, cheaply and legally come into this country for temporary or seasonal work. Such a system would work the problem, producing gigantic immediate benefits:

1) It would stem the flow of illegals across our border by shunting the otherwise law-abiding into the guest worker system. This would make it much easier to seal the borders. Think of it as diverting the river before you damn it.

2) It would shift millions of immigrants from violent coyotes to safe border guards and immigration officials, depriving drug gangs and other thugs of money, victims and smugglers.

3) It would make it easier for people to leave their families in Mexico, since they know they will be going back. This would alleviate the mythical “anchor baby” problem while giving Mexicans an incentive to improve their own country.

4) It could raise revenue. If people are willing to pay coyotes $1700 to smuggle them into this country, will they not be willing to pay $1000 to come in legally? Or $500? We could be talking about a few billion in revenue, enough to help fund the border patrol and pay for the necessary bureaucracy.

5) Call it the Law of iTunes: when you make it relatively easy to obey the law, people will obey it rather than break it. When businesses can hire immigrants above board, when immigrants can work without fear, that creates a massive incentive to obey the law. Illegal immigration will never completely vanish. But this would reduce it dramatically and allow us to concentrate our efforts on people we really really don’t want in this country—like violent psychotic criminals.

6) Part (5) will have the side effect of sending illegals currently in this country back to Mexico. Once there is an easy legal way to hire immigrants for temporary work, the labor market for illegals will dry up. Without work, many will head back to Mexico to get in line.

7) With workers properly documented, this will make it much harder for them to vote in our elections or collect social benefits.

Part (6) is appealing to me personally. As the husband of a legal immigrant, I don’t want illegals jumping the line.

Our current immigration law makes it almost impossible for our country to get the low-wage workers it needs and makes it almost impossible for people to come here legally for low-wage work. The line for visas in Mexico is over a million names long. That’s not because of Mexican bureaucracy; that’s because of our insanely complicated and arbitrary immigration laws.

Georgia has now clearly demonstrated why we need to fix the immigration law before we enforce anti-illegal statutes. They have crippled their agricultural industry and political stubbornness prevents them from going back on their bad decision. Let’s not follow their example. Let’s fix the law first.

Comments are closed.

  1. Rann

    The guest worker program wouldn’t solve the problem of a fuckton of our money instead heading back across the border to be spent and used there and become part of Mexico’s economy rather than ours. If anything it would just exacerbate the problem.

    Frankly I’ve thought for awhile now that the best way to solve a lot of the illegal immigration problem would be to crack down on two businesses… check cashers and money transfers. Some regulations and harsh punishments for catering to illegals (cashing paychecks for illegals and helping them send the money back home) would force the employers to either pay them in cash (making employers using illegal help much easier to track) or to pay them a lot less, making the prospect less attractive (or at least less of a drain on our economy).

    I think the focus of this needs to be on the thing of making unemployment less attractive. Maybe what the unemployment office needs to do is be able to say “Look, our state has the need for 11,000 workers. Could you even possibly pay your bills on this salary they’re offering? You could, but you don’t want to? Alright, we’ll be cutting off your unemployment then, since you’re not interested in work.”

    Of course there’s also the issue of how clearly some industries have become reliant on illegal labor to make their business model work. That’s kind of a problem, and the solution is not “let’s bring in more underpaid labor that’s now technically legal”.

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  2. Hal_10000 *

    I disagree on the problem of money going o Mexico. That money doesn’t vanish. Mexico is one of our largest trading partners. Furthermore, their wages enable multi-billion dollar industries to thrive. Think of what Georgia is facing. 11,000 workers x $8 an hour x let’s say six months == about $90 million going to Mexico (although a lot will be spent here). However, that buys them billions of dollars in agricultural productivity, keeps food prices low and, if our economy were functioning, would free up Americans to do more high-skill work.

    In this situation, I agree that we should be changing the laws so that Americans do take those jobs — this being essentially what Germany has done. but the money going to Mexico argument doesn’t carry much weight with me.

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  3. Rann

    Also, I’ve gotta call bullshit on #5:

    Call it the Law of iTunes: when you make it relatively easy to obey the law, people will obey it rather than break it. When businesses can hire immigrants above board, when immigrants can work without fear, that creates a massive incentive to obey the law. Illegal immigration will never completely vanish. But this would reduce it dramatically and allow us to concentrate our efforts on people we really really don’t want in this country—like violent psychotic criminals.

    Would the guest worker program shift a lot of people over to law-abiding? Ignoring all the various other problems this might cause, yes, it probably would. Would it shift most of them? Well, I don’t know. Would it shift all of them? I’ll resist the urge to actually type out a derisive snort.

    First, even if we put relatively minor restrictions on the guest worker program, such as “You can’t currently be wanted by Mexican law enforcement for a crime”, those people who are weeded out are still going to sneak over. While this is a number of debatable size, it already starts putting the hole in the idea that by making it easy and legal the crime disappears, just like music piracy hasn’t magically disappeared with the advent of iTunes.

    Second, if we put any sort of tax on the labor done by the guest workers… and we’d be batfuck insane not to, may as well just start airdropping cash into Mexico otherwise… then chock up another bunch of people that will sneak in illegally to avoid paying the taxes. Again, not all, maybe not most, but there would be plenty who’d be willing to risk their lives to sneak across the border for an extra fifty cents an hour… considering that’s essentially what they’re already doing.

    Third, there is going to be a group of people that feel that any restriction on doing what they please is wrong. You could make the restriction “You just have to slow down to the speed limit and wave at the border guards as you go by” and people would still break it because fuck the po-lice, that’s why. And you’d have groups over here encouraging them to do so and saying it’s their right because what kind of fascist empire secures its own borders with guards that demand the soul-crushing tithe of being waved at?

    The iTunes comparison actually shows most of the flaws with the idea, because piracy thrives as much or more than it did before it, because it’s just the way things are. What you’re talking about is a slight mitigation of some amount of the problem, not solving it. That’s what iTunes and other services like it do… they don’t solve the piracy problem, they just alleviate it somewhat and keep it from growing even faster.

    Would such a plan lessen illegal immigration? To some extent, almost certainly. Would it solve it? No. Would it wind up being abused by the workers, employers, and government officials alike? Absolutely. Thus you’re not really proposing a solution so much as sort of shifting bits and pieces of the problem around to different places where they could fester just as much.

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  4. Seattle Outcast

    The country runs off of cheap, illegal labor: landscaping, construction, food service, warehouses, child care, and agriculture.

    Accept it, work with it….

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  5. Rann

    You’re making a variation of the “Too big to fail” argument though, herein being “Too big to not be allowed to have ridiculously cheap foreign labor”. If they simply can’t find those 11,000 workers, I’d have to wonder how hard they’re actually trying. Part of that problem is obviously the whole unemployment/welfare issue, but part of it is that they let themselves become dependent on illegal labor in the first place. Are we then to reward them for their reliance on criminality by just rolling over and making what they were doing legal? They could have been learning to get in touch with the lower-income sector of America and cultivating the necessary hiring practices and methods that would get them relatively cheap legal labor, but instead found it easier and cheaper to just use illegal labor.

    They got themselves into the situation. If they have to take a tough year where their prices are higher and the profit margin slimmer because of paying more for legal labor, and come at it from a different angle next year to hire legal labor at lower cost, I’m fine with that. I would rather pay more for anything that’s got vegetables in it or on it for awhile than to make it easier for businesses to become reliant on a workforce that will ultimately do nothing for our economy.

    That it’s so easy to buy into the concept of “Let them do our manual labor while we’re freed up for skilled work” is a sign that this is a bad road to go down. In fact, that attitude is probably a large part of why our economy isn’t functioning.

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  6. FPrefect89

    Hal, do you know how many H-2A visa’s are available for immigrants?

    UNLIMITED

    The problem then is that then the farmer has to pay minimum wage AND insurance for them. I do not berate the illegals that are entering, I do want to berate the employers of said labor. As you said with agreeing with number 6, there is already in place what you asked for. Just nobody uses it because the illegals are here to work. Crack down on the illegal workforce and they can get in line for a H-2A.

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  7. Hal_10000 *

    The number of H2A visa is not the problem. The process of getting them is. And they are only good for three years.

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  8. Jim

    I think one of my biggest problems with a lot of these arguments is they sound somewhat familiar to those put forth as a reason/excuse for keeping slavery legal. We are basically saying “Yeah, we know this is bad, but Americans won’t work so cheap, so let’s just deal with it.” There’s a moral component at work here. I understand some jobs aren’t worth minimum wage, but don’t you find it odd that the party that usually screams “racism” and “slavery” are perfectly ok with continuing policies that put people to work for long hours, illegally, and for sub-standard pay? What’s up with that?

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  9. Mississippi Yankee

    Accept it, work with it….

    Why SO?
    What part of Rann’s plan don’t you think will work? Why must we always strive for Meh?
    Perfection is the enemy of good but still, Meh?

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  10. FPrefect89

    And I will agree with you. But there is going to be a royal pita process no matter what.

    I forgot to add one thing as well, a few years ago here in Oregon the farmers started to get mad when the enforcement was being done and they started saying that they would not hire anyone but an illegal. One of the biggest problems right there.

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  11. FPrefect89

    Nail hit on head. Hell when I was growing up one of the problems was having to fight illegals for work in the town I grew up in. They would work under the table for half to a quarter of what minimum wage was at the time, a whole $3.15 per hour. They could afford to do it as well because there were some “motels” in the town that would let 10 to 15 of them rent a room.

    I’ll work cheap, I just will not work for slave wages as I said above.

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  12. loserlame

    Lets think about Mexico. Okay, so a mere $90 mio go home with guest workers, and they buy locally, but does any of this fix Mexico in any way? Whats to stop them from having to pay more for stuff at home?

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  13. insite

    i live in georgia. most of us would gladly pay more for food & reduce the state’s outlay that supports the illegals.

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  14. Hal_10000 *

    The outlay to suppor illegals is not very large, actually. On balance, the economy in states benefits from them. They have lower rates of criminal activity than US citizens and are less likely to be collecting any social insurance (which is pretty easy to deny tot illegals if you make any effort whatsoever).

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  15. Hal_10000 *

    Not comfortable with that comparison since a) the jobs we’re talking about pay more in the $7-8 range; b) slavery as involuntary servitude.

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  16. Hal_10000 *

    I’ve look up more on this law. Here’s an op-ed by a conservative Georgia mayor. This law is a huge problem. People could be fined or jailed just for housing someone.

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  17. Rann

    They have lower rates of criminal activity than US citizens

    Actually, I’d say the rate of criminal activity among illegal immigrants is 100%.

    If you’re going to nitpick and try to claim that you’re talking about theft or murder or whatnot, I’d first say that any numbers you could produce to support this are worthless, considering that it’s effectively impossible to know how many illegals there actually are, how many unsolved crimes were performed by illegals, and how to properly measure the “percentage” of crime against other factors. Not to mention that such studies are usually published by pro-illegal groups who are more interested in painting illegals as being better than “regular” Americans anyway. Also not to mention that considering they’re not supposed to be in the country anyway, any amount of crime from them is unacceptable, no matter how it’s matched up against “native” crime. Well, I guess I mentioned, but hey.

    Anyway, Hal, lemme ask you something. I forget if you’ve mentioned in any post I’ve read, where you live and what you do for a living? But I’m just going to take a guess and say that you probably don’t live in a border state and you probably don’t work in an occupation where you deal with illegals much. Because I’ve noticed that arguing for allowing groups to do as they like and making excuses for them is much more prevalent in those that don’t actually have to deal with the consequences of their “compassion”.

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  18. Rann

    Also, he may be registered a Republican, but he sure does emote… I mean, write… like a Democrat. Referring to illegals as “undocumented”, melodramatic handwringing over the relatives of criminals being deprived of the company of said criminals, crocodile tears over the hardships of people that are fully aware they’re breaking the law and, rather than remedying that situation, just don’t want to be caught at it.

    Found this one bit particularly eyeroll worthy:

    One Latino father, who was born in Texas, explained to me last week that his family lives in fear of what happens if he is arrested and charged with transporting an illegal alien — his wife. He said that his family cannot call 911 if an emergency occurs at their home. His extended family members are affected, too. These are real people in anguish.

    To which my response is this.

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  19. Rann

    By the way, while I’m on a roll and multiposting anyway, let’s just shoot this whole “It’s work Americans won’t do” in the head, shall we? Because the work got done long before the market became saturated with unskilled Mexican labor. The imagery of teenagers working in fast food restaurants and a neighborhood kid with his dad’s lawnmower offering to mow your lawn, and a bunch of white guys standing around construction sites making lewd catcalls at women, did not spring from nowhere out of some fever dream our cultural consciousness had. (Though interestingly, this last image persists in media that want to use the gag, even as construction has more and more become viewed as one of those jobs that Americans “won’t do”. Wouldn’t want to offend anybody by showing someone with a high melanin content acting like a pig.)

    The thing about the argument of “Americans won’t do these jobs” is that not only is it either a sneery, thinly-veiled “Americans think they’re too good to do these jobs and hard work would probably kill them anyway”, or an arrogant and condescending “Americans are too good for these jobs”, but it’s also ignoring the whole matter of cause and effect.

    Americans didn’t just suddenly decide they wouldn’t do these jobs out of the blue, en masse quitting and causing a void that could only be filled by illegal labor. Illegal labor pushed Americans out of these jobs bit by bit, until it’s not that Americans were no longer willing to do it, but rather that they stopped bothering to apply, since they knew the employer was far more likely to hire someone that would either be paid half of what an American had done the job for (and under the table), or could hire someone at minimum wage and this someone would never protest bad conditions, abusive behavior, or any myriad of other workplace behavior that the Left insists we need unions to keep from happening, because they can’t speak English to protest to anyone and are worried that they’d be kicked out of the country if they did complain.

    This 11,000 worker void is created by the sudden absence of illegals, and by the fact that some people have become so complacent about illegal labor that they just don’t understand how to get by without it. If anything it should be seen as an opportunity to reverse this type of thinking, not to further indulge it. Nevermind that with unemployment among American citizens as high as it is, talking about setting up a program to bring in thousands of workers from a foreign country and different economy is one of the most ridiculous and irresponsible things you could possibly put on the table, and it only isn’t THE most ridiculous and irresponsible because it’s still pretty clear that Obama would like another stimulus.

    Americans did that work. Americans will do that work. If they won’t, then we need to teach them that they damn well better, if they want to keep paying their bills, not enable another few generations of limousine liberals and SUV environmentalists sitting around Starbucks sighing over how they just can’t find anything to do.

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  20. Kimpost

    And with that post you have just rendered all further discussion pointless. You have basically invalidated all statistical analysis by pre-judging it as either biased or flawed. Wouldn’t it be more fruitful to judge each statistics based on its own merits?

    It’s not nitpicking to exclude the crime of illegal entry, while discussing the criminal rates of illegal aliens. It’s instrumental. You must to do it, if you want to have a meaningful discussion.

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  21. Rann

    I agree, I doubt there will be any meaningful discussion with you on the subject.

    Especially since all you saw was “He’s not going to accept the studies! GASP!” and then went grousing, without paying attention to why I was dismissing the statistics… in that it’s like saying “The majority of people who grow marijuana do not engage in other crimes”. Because first you’d have to be able to get a sufficiently large group of people who admit to growing marijuana, and then to trust people who are already breaking the law to be honest about any other laws they may be breaking.

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  22. CM

    Why not just determine the percentage of people in jail that are illegal aliens and compare that to the likely number of illegal aliens. The compare that percentage to the general population percentage. How does bias enter into it?

    Obviously those in the country have a far greater incentive not to commit crime (even for minor offenses—since such contact with authority islikely to increase the chances that
    their illegal status will be revealed).

    However because immigrants tend to be young, male and less educated, there would be reason to expect a higher level of criminal activity, not a lower one. However the foreign-born accounted for 35 percent of California’s adult population and 17 percent of the adult prison population.

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  23. Rann

    Why not just determine the percentage of people in jail that are illegal aliens and compare that to the likely number of illegal aliens.

    Your very first line in working on this includes a longwinded rewording of a single word: “Guess.” You then quickly move along to the rest of your idea and throw a link on the end, trying to sound logical all throughout, and hoping desperately that no one notices that the first step of your little math equation is “Make some shit up. Then compare to actual numbers. Continue this until you get a number you like.” No, not biased at all.

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  24. Hal_10000 *

    On this, I agree quite a bit. One of the weird things about our society is that while we are increasingly mobile, we are increasingly less willing to move to find work. I was talking to my wife about this after reading that mayor’ op-ed. Think about what’s he saying. For 40 hours of working in the field, you get: $7-8 an hour and a community that will house your, transport you and look out for you. That doesn’t sound that bad to me. So what the fuck? If we had full employment in this country, than sure, I can see see fobbing those jobs off on illegals. But we don’t.

    I was talking about this at work with a bunch of people who have lots of letters after their names. And we all, as teenagers, as undergraduate students took crap jobs that didn’t pay much. For most of us, it was just to get a little walking around money. Why has this ethic apparently vanished?

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  25. Rann

    Well, again, my theory is that at least part of it is exactly because of illegals saturating the work market. When the teenagers have to compete with a workforce that won’t talk back, won’t expect raises, will be there until they get kicked out of the country, will work all the overtime you ask them to, and will possibly take less than minimum wage, the teenagers don’t have much of a chance. So they never get hired and never learn that “crap job” work ethic.

    However, so as not to make a single issue thing out of it, I think a large part is also that many baby boomers that saw and heard so much of what their parents went through, and went through plenty of it themselves, and thereby wanted to spare their children from that and thusly spoiled them. The baby boomers did herald a societal shift, but I don’t think it would have gotten as bad as it did (has) without other contributing factors… a steady influx of illegal workers, a building culture of entitlement, and to some extent a feeling that “I’m young, I’m passionate about the issues, I don’t have time for anything else.”

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  26. JimK

    When I was 11 I got a paper route. True to form, I threw myself into it with great fervor. When the kid on the street next to mine quit, my distributor asked if I wanted it. Hell yes! This happened 5 or 6 more times until I had the largest route of any kid under 18 in the city. And I did it with a bag or on Sundays an old shopping cart. Took me FIVE HOURS on Sundays. My route was so big that I had to get the furthest customers to sign a letter for the newspaper telling the bosses it was okay that I didn’t get to them until 8-9am on Sundays. I did that route until I left home at 16. Every day, delivering, collecting, delivering, collecting. At the end I started delivering the afternoon paper as well, but just on my block.

    And when I was a kid, in my shitty neighborhood, EVERY kid had a thing like this. Some washed cars, some mowed lawns/shoveled snow, some worked in horrible industrial settings off the books…one kid I knew wormed. He got up every morning before sunrise and went on a round of the local golf courses to collect worms, then road his bike to a bait shop that paid him by the pound.

    I cannot imagine any kid I know today doing that. Except maybe the kid next door. He’s a smart, industrious kid who works pretty hard at everything he does. So there’s the exception.

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  27. InsipiD

    Along those same lines, I’ve heard of current HR managers being so picky that they won’t hire the unemployed. Under the premise that cream rises to the top, so therefore anyone who is good was able to keep their job, HR folks are quietly using current employment status as a filter for hiring. There’s no way really to fix that, but it pisses me off just as bad as hearing that someone would only hire illegals.

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  28. CM

    Sorry Rann but that just makes no logical sense. It’s not even remotely a ‘guess’. Neither is it “making shit up”. And it’s rich attacking for me including a link when you’ve provided no emprical evidence (or logical argument) of your own to support your initial contention. As Kimpost said, all you’ve done is confirmed that anything that suggests you’re wrong won’t be accepted. So you’re even admitting that you cannot engage in an honest discussion.

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  29. Rann

    I’m aware that your argument made no logical sense. And I’m aware that it’s impossible to engage in honest debate with you. You’ve proven that you’re incapable of it again and again.

    Cue you pretending to be the long-suffering mature one suffering the slings and arrows of insult and depredation, because of course you have never instigated or been dismissive or unfair or insulting in your honest and pure liiiiiiiiiiiiiiife.

    If you think I’m not going to engage in honest debate with you, I encourage you to prove it by not replying to my comments. Because while I bear some measure of respect for Kimpost, I have nothing for disdain for you and think your comments are detrimental. Feel free to put your action where your pontificating is… that or just fuck off, either works for me.

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  30. drunkkus

    I’m just going to go ahead and throw the bullshit flag on your link there CM. First of all, the Bureau Justice statistics has record of the number of people who have been charged and/or prosecuted for immigration crimes, not record of the number of illegal immigrants in prison. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (the people who have the most information about the federal prison population), 34 percent of federal inmates are Hispanic (compared to 16 percent Hispanics in the total US populations from the US Census Bureau). 26.9 percent of federal prison inmates are not US citizens. That’s right. Over a quarter of federal inmates are not US citizens. That 26.9 percent includes both legal and illegal immigrants from all countries of origin, so the amount of illegals in federal prison would have to be 26.9 percent or lower. However, considering that the Federal Bureau of Prisons does not distinguish between legal non-US citizens and illegal non-US citizens in their statistics there is no way of numbering the amount of illegals in federal prison short of just pulling a number out of one’s ass. It might be 26.8 percent. It might be 2 percent. The FBP has only recently begun to attempt to check immigration status of incoming prisoners (not those already serving time) so there’s no way of knowing.

    FBP does publish the country of citizenship of non-citizen inmates, though. 18.4 percent are Mexican. That’s right. 18.4 percent out of 26.9 percent of non-citizen federal prisoners are Mexican citizens. There is a higher percentage of Mexicans alone in federal prisons then the percentage of all hispanics in the total population of the US. I would be interested in knowing how many of the 34 percent of Hispanics in federal prison are citizens but children of illegal immigrants. In my mind, the children of illegals who end up in prison should not be overlooked when talking immigration and crime.

    State and local prisons have not historically confirmed immigration status upon intake of prisoners. There has been a recent effort to attempt to verify status on intake in conjunction with the INS, but not for the total population. To my knowledge, no numbers have been released yet.

    Your link was just an op-ed, devoid of anthing other than made up bullshit. The author didn’t even get the agency right and mistook the amount of people in prison for immigration violations for the total number of illegal immigrants in prison. And don’t even get me started on the author quoting the Immigration Policy Center. The IPC “is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council.” The AIC is an advocacy group for illegals for fuck’s sake.

    If throwing up a link like that is your idea of “engaging in honest debate,” I don’t blame Rann for ignoring you.

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  31. Kimpost

    I’ll try to elaborate on what I meant. Hear me out, because this isn’t an attack. The problem I’m having with you on this issue is not necessarily related to your opinion, but more so to your attitude – or perhaps even my perception of it.

    It’s as if your frustration with an occurrence (illegal immigration), has spilled over to the illegal immigrants themselves. In short, it seems personal.

    You don’t think illegal aliens can be trusted, you don’t think studies on the subject can be trusted, and statistics are flawed because they aren’t exact enough. You don’t want to hear terms like “immigration reform”, because it comes across as amnesty. You don’t even want to hear about guest worker programs, because that too has to do with illegal immigration. You seem doubled down.

    Note again that I’m only voicing my impressions here. I’m not saying that your positions are set in stone, or that you are clouded by frustration. But it is how I see it-

    It’s like trying to discuss prison reform with a rape victim, if you get what I mean. How is a person supposed to be able to discuss a subject rationally, if he can’t get over the fact that he thinks that he’s talking to a “criminal with no respect for my country”?

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  32. CM

    Hi drunkkus – thanks for those stats. Can I ask where you got them from? As mentioned, it’s a bit strange to hassle me for a link when those doing the hassling don’t even provide one to support what they are saying.

    You state that “34 percent of federal inmates are Hispanic” however the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, published June 2010 have that figure at only 20.6%. Whereas:

    According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) non-Hispanic blacks accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population in 2009.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_prison_population#Ethnicity

    Also:

    • Black non-Hispanic males, with an incarceration rate of 4,749 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents, were incarcerated
    at a rate more than 6 times higher than white non-Hispanic males (708 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents) and 2.6 times higher than Hispanic males (1,822 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents) (table 18).

    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/pim09st.pdf

    Perhaps the difference is explained as you specifically mention federal prison whereas these stats are about incarceration in general. However as you didn’t provide a link it’s difficult to know.

    If throwing up a link like that is your idea of “engaging in honest debate,” I don’t blame Rann for ignoring you.

    I did nothing dishonest – I didn’t throw up a link I knew to be wrong. I certainly didn’t dismiss anything on the grounds that everything that doesn’t agree with me is biased and therefore can be immediately dismissed. So I’ll throw your bullshit flag right back at you on that accusation.

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  33. CM

    drunkkus, you also said:

    26.9 percent of federal prison inmates are not US citizens. That’s right. Over a quarter of federal inmates are not US citizens.

    However, and again this is for all prisons:

    Non-U.S. citizens made up 4.1% (94,498 inmates) of the state and federal custody population.

    Page 2

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  34. Miguelito

    For most of us, it was just to get a little walking around money. Why has this ethic apparently vanished?

    I would bet a lot of it has to do with the fact that for the last several decades, many have been brainwashed into believing that those born in the US were automatically owed housing, food, full healthcare, etc. Why would anyone take a “menial” job when big daddy gov’t will take care of you while you sit on your ass?

    You know the whole demographic has changed regarding teens working fast food vs most being illegals now, when even George Lopez did a whole bit about how most fast food employees barely speak english several years ago.

    Jim: Yeah, I mowed lawns, washed cars, etc. I started my first job at 16 for money of my own, even when my parents said they would give me some money when needed. I wanted to earn my own and build experience. My sister’s kids are mostly lazy, but the older nephew is starting to really show a good work ethic. He’s found a niche talent in mixing music and doing video editing for people and making a few bucks doing that for friends and his school. He’s got a chance.

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  35. CM

    Here is the full quote from the ICP report:

    But anecdotal impression cannot substitute for scientific evidence. In fact, data from the census and other sources show that for every ethnic group, without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants, even those who are the least educated and the least acculturated. This holds true especially for the Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans who make up the bulk of the undocumented population. What is more, these patterns have been observed consistently over the last three decennial censuses, a period that spans the current era of mass immigration and mass imprisonment, and recall similar national-level findings reported by three major government commissions during the first three decades of the 20th century.

    http://borderbattles.ssrc.org/Rumbault_Ewing/index4.html

    What does it matter that it comes from a group seeking assist immigrants so long as it’s accurate? The report is fully referenced. They also reference other studies, which have found the same thing (check out the section called “Similar Results From Other Studies” on pg 4)

    But if you don’t like the Immigration Policy Center as a source, how about the libertarian Cato Institute?

    The crime rate in Arizona in 2008 was the lowest it has been in four decades. In the past decade, as the number of illegal immigrants in the state grew rapidly, the violent crime rate dropped by 23 percent, the property crime rate by 28 percent. (You can check out the DoJ figures here.)

    Census data show that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than their native-born counterparts, as I unpacked a few months ago in an article for Commentary magazine titled, “Higher Immigration, Lower Crime.”

    From that Commentary magazine article:

    Across all ethnicities and educational levels, immigrants are less prone to commit crimes and land behind bars than their native-born counterparts. In congressional testimony in 2007, Anne Morrison Piehl of Rutgers University told the House Judiciary Committee that “immigrants have much lower institutionalization rates than the native-born—on the order of one-fifth the rate of natives. More recently arrived immigrants had the lowest relative institutionalization rates, and the gap with natives increased from 1980 to 2000.” Piehl found no evidence that the immigrant incarceration rate was lower because of the deportation of illegal immigrants who might otherwise serve time.

    Crime rates are even lower than average among the poorly educated and Hispanic immigrants—those who arouse the most concern from skeptics of immigration reform. The scholar Rubén Rumbaut analyzed census data from the year 2000 and found that incarceration rates among legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala were less than half the rate of U.S.-born whites. Immigrants without a high-school diploma had an incarceration rate that was only one-seventh that of native-born high-school dropouts.

    The reasons are several. Applicants for legal immigration are screened for criminal records, increasing the odds that those admitted will be the law abiding. Illegal immigrants have the incentive to avoid committing crimes to minimize the risk of deportation. Legal or illegal, immigrants come to America for the opportunity to work in a more open and prosperous free-market economy. Running afoul of the law puts that opportunity in jeopardy. As a rule, low-skilled Hispanic immigrants get down to the business of earning money, sending remittances to their home countries, and staying out of trouble. In comparison, 15 years ago, a member of today’s underclass standing on a street corner is more likely waiting for a day’s work than for a drug deal.

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  36. InsipiD

    I doubt there will be any meaningful discussion with you on the subject.

    CM’s exact routine is fully on display on this thread in exactly the same tricks as on AGW threads:

    1: Ask for sources for absolutely everything, allowing him to ignore and not have to answer for much of the argument. Counter arguments are full of unsourced “facts,” and what is sourced comes from very political sources.

    2: Question any sources of anything backing up conservative views while presenting politically-sourced info ask indisputable facts.

    3: Flood the thread with the same stuff over and over.

    It’s boring and obnoxious on this thread, too. CM, settle down. It’s rapidly becoming difficult to ignore.

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  37. drunkkus

    Ok. This thread was getting too long and skinny, so I moved a level or two over…..

    Hi drunkkus – thanks for those stats. Can I ask where you got them from? As mentioned, it’s a bit strange to hassle me for a link when those doing the hassling don’t even provide one to support what they are saying.

    I said it was from the Bureau of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It seems like you comment on here 24/7. Surely you could find statistics for the Bureau of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Prisons since I found them in about 2 seconds with google. ….anyhow….

    You state that “34 percent of federal inmates are Hispanic” however the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, published June 2010 have that figure at only 20.6%. Whereas

    First off, the last time I checked, 20.6 percent was higher than 16 percent. 20.6 percent would still mean that Hispanics (including illegals) are over-represented in the prison population compared to the census numbers on Hispanics in the US. Also, that 20.6 percent number from the Wikipedia is just fucking made up.

    According to the US Bureau of Justice, “the most recent estimates for age, gender, and race of sentenced prisoners” was from the Prisoners in 2009 survey, which was released on December 21, 2010, not June, 2010. Here’s a quote from it:

    Federal prisoner data used to calculate race and offense distributions are obtained from BJS’ Federal Justice Statistics Program (FJSP). The FJSP obtains its data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. These data include individual-level records of prisoners in federal facilities as of September 30. Specifically, the FJSP provides counts of sentenced federal inmates by sex, race, Hispanic origin, and offense.

    The FBP is where the 34 percent number for Hispanics in federal prison came from.

    From the FBJ report, of all prisoners, federal and state, there were 303,500 Hispanic male inmates and 17,500 Hispanic female inmates out of 1,443,500 total inmates in federal and state prisons. (303,500 + 17,500)/1,443,500 ~ 22.2 percent. 22.2 percent is higher than 16 percent. Hispanics (illegals included) are over-represented compared to the percentage of Hispanics in the census. Either legal resident Hispanics are just prone to being criminals or illegal Hispanics are adding a significant percentage to the total population of Hispanics in prison.

    Other interesting tidbits: 127,800 out of the 254,700 Hispanics (54.1 percent) in state custody were there for violent crimes as compared to 54.1 percent for blacks and 49.8 percent for whites. As far as state offenses go, Hispanics (including illegals) commit violent crimes as often as blacks and less than whites. I didn’t see any numbers on type of crime for federal prisons because I only glanced at everything, but I will admit that the 34 percent FBP number of Hispanics in federal prison is skewed due to immigration crimes since almost all immigration-related crimes are federal. If I had to guess, probably about 13 percent of Hispanics in federal prison are there for immigration crimes.

    However, and again this is for all prisons:

    Non-U.S. citizens made up 4.1% (94,498 inmates) of the state and federal custody population.

    There are all kinds of problems with this number. From your own link there are footnotes on 14 of the states (most are in the more heavily prison populated states) because there are issues with the way the numbers are collected. At the state level most prisoners were simply asked if they were citizens, and the states do not have an easy way to verify whether the answers were correct or not. Illegal immigrants may be criminals, but they can’t all be stupid. Why would they admit another crime to the state in addition to what they’re locked up for in the first place? I seriously doubt that if you asked an illegal locked up for robbery about the murders he committed and never got caught for that he would freely admit to them.

    Anyhow, because no reliable statistics are kept on the number of illegals in prisons, the point I am making is that:

    1. There are no factual numbers to back up the claim that illegals are incarcerated at lower rates than anyone else
    2. There are no factual numbers to back up the claim that illegals committ less crime than citizens or legal non-citizens
    3. The link you put up and the information from the ICP claiming 1 and 2 are flawed
    4. If you base your position on illegal immigrants and crime on information in that link or from the ICP, your position is based on flawed information.

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  38. InsipiD

    Right on.

    1. There are no factual numbers to back up the claim that illegals are incarcerated at lower rates than anyone else

    And reliable info to say the opposite.

    2. There are no factual numbers to back up the claim that illegals committ less crime than citizens or legal non-citizens

    It only makes sense that someone who decides that immigration laws don’t apply is more likely to simply disobey any law they don’t like. A person who is generally a scofflaw. Perhaps they’re harder to catch, since there aren’t records of them. Since they’re less likely to be caught, neither their immigration status nor the other crime is ever attached to that individual and the immigration status is not tied to the crime itself. Without doing some liberal type monkeying with numbers, it’s impossible to know how many unsolved crimes were done by illegals, but the solved crimes paint a more sinister picture than saying illegals are less likely to be criminals than citizens.

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  39. CM

    CM’s exact routine is fully on display on this thread in exactly the same tricks as on AGW threads:

    1: Ask for sources for absolutely everything, allowing him to ignore and not have to answer for much of the argument. Counter arguments are full of unsourced “facts,” and what is sourced comes from very political sources.

    2: Question any sources of anything backing up conservative views while presenting politically-sourced info ask indisputable facts.

    3: Flood the thread with the same stuff over and over.

    It’s boring and obnoxious on this thread, too. CM, settle down. It’s rapidly becoming difficult to ignore.

    Steaming pile of horseshit.

    1. I don’t request sources for everything, just when claims are made (as ‘fact’) that are at best arguable. Sometimes the argument rlies on the ‘fact’ so therefore if the ‘fact’ is wrong or shown to simply be opinion that undermines the argument. Or I might actually agree with the argument but have an issue with the specifics. How can “counter arguments” be full of unsourced “facts,” when I always provide a link?

    2. In order for me to “question any sources of anything backing up conservative views” there would actually have to be a source. Invariably there doesn’t seem to be one. Or the person refuses to provide it. If there is an issue with the ‘facts’ or argument at the sources I provide, then response by pointing out why. However all I’ve heard is people attacking the man and not the ball.

    3. What so because I’m not conservative I need to just accept inaccurate information and work with that? WTF?

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  40. CM

    First off, the last time I checked, 20.6 percent was higher than 16 percent. 20.6 percent would still mean that Hispanics (including illegals) are over-represented in the prison population compared to the census numbers on Hispanics in the US.

    Yes but that’s not the point. The relevant subset is immigrant Hispanics. Not all Hispanics as that includes native born Hispanics. We’re not looking at whether Hispanics in general commit more crime. If you’re only looking at Hispanics then that tells you nothing about whether illegall immigrants commit more crime than legal immigrants and native born people.

    Also, that 20.6 percent number from the Wikipedia is just fucking made up.

    Actually I think it’s wrong. The actual numbers are provided in the table just below that part of the entry. And they come directly from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. According to the June 2010 report there were 474,300 Hispanics in prisons out of a total prison population of 2,096,300. Which is 22.6%. Which is a little higher (no idea where 20.6% comes from). So that’s my mistake relying on that. 22.6% is the correct number.

    Your next part seems to be consistent with the 22.6% figure (the difference in the numbers is just because the stats I used include all those in custody as well, whereas yours are only for sentenced prisoners – but doesn’t matter, other than people are probably more likely to be held in custody if there are also questions over immigration status). The stats are 6 months later (end of 2009 as opposed to mid 2009). But I still can’t see how 22% then becomes 34%? I’m also still confused over your “26.9 percent of federal prison inmates are not US citizens” stat.
    And, again, that Hispanics are slightly over-represented in prison says nothing about whether illegal-immigrants are. You can’t say that this means that illegal immigrants are over-represented.

    There are all kinds of problems with this number. From your own link there are footnotes on 14 of the states (most are in the more heavily prison populated states) because there are issues with the way the numbers are collected.

    Although only 7 of those 14 have footnotes relating to a different way of determing their status. From NY they simply take ‘foreign born’. Which means they could be US citizens. So that might indicate that the figure is actually higher than it would otherwise be.

    At the state level most prisoners were simply asked if they were citizens,

    Only in Hawaii (with only 99 prisoners) did they rely on inmates who reported their citizenship (footnote ‘d’). Unless I’m missing something?

    1. There are no factual numbers to back up the claim that illegals are incarcerated at lower rates than anyone else

    We know that, particularly in border states, that foreign-born (which includes illegals) are under-represented in prison. And we know that even as the number of illegals soared in places like Arizona, crime dropped. And we know that crime rates are lower among poorly educated and Hispanic immigrants.
    I guess the most accurate thing we can say (based on raw available stats) that there is no evidence that illegal immigrants commit more crime than any other group. The stats (and the research) would indicate the opposite is the case. In reality, as the illegal immigrant population has grown, crime has, well, gone south.

    2. There are no factual numbers to back up the claim that illegals committ less crime than citizens or legal non-citizens

    Is there any reason to believe that unreported crime is higher when illegal immigrants are involved? If not, then we can take incarceration levels and assume that unreported crime won’t skew things.

    3. The link you put up and the information from the ICP claiming 1 and 2 are flawed

    I’m not only relying on the ICP report. But even then, can you demonstrate which ICP numbers are wrong?

    4. If you base your position on illegal immigrants and crime on information in that link or from the ICP, your position is based on flawed information.

    The position that I based my position on one ICP report is flawed. (Aside from the fact that nobody has shown how the ICP report is flawed because the stats are wrong). Even the ‘American Conservative’ magazine reported that “in the five most heavily Hispanic cities in the country, violent crime is “10 percent below the national urban average and the homicide rate 40 percent lower.” In Los Angeles, which is half Hispanic and easily accessible to those sneaking over the southern border, the murder rate has plummeted to levels unseen since the tranquil years of the early 1960s.”

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  41. CM

    And reliable info to say the opposite.

    Where is this reliable information?

    It only makes sense that someone who decides that immigration laws don’t apply is more likely to simply disobey any law they don’t like.

    As the Reason magazine piece says, that’s just ‘surface logic’.
    It make MUCH more sense that if people are going to go risk entering and living in America illegally, they’re going to try and stay under the radar.

    This is not really hard to understand. Today, as ever, most foreigners who make the sacrifice of leaving home and starting over in a strange land do so not to mug grandmothers or molest children, but to find work that will give them a better life. Coming here illegally does not alter that basic motivation.

    That’s not to say there aren’t illegal immigrants that do commit crime. Of course there are.

    A person who is generally a scofflaw.

    How do you reach this conclusion? Sure, crime is crime, but living in a country illegally doesn’t inherently mean that a person is more likely to commit, say, a violent or theft crime.
    I overstayed in the UK for about 2 months. I committed no more crimes in those 2 months than I did over any other 2 month period that I lived there.

    …..it’s impossible to know how many unsolved crimes were done by illegals,

    Agreed.

    but the solved crimes paint a more sinister picture than saying illegals are less likely to be criminals than citizens.

    Where has this picture been painted?

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  42. Hal_10000 *

    I think it’s also that we’ve come to expect that we are “owed” a great job. The Left, in particular, will denounce, say, jobs at Walmart as demeaning or unworthy. Work is work.

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  43. Manwhore

    A post near and dear to my heart. I am going to go all in with Rann and call “bullshit” on the idea that this is the work Americans won’t do. I’d like to call it “this is the work Americans won’t pay for.” Living here in Los Angeles over the last 13 years I’ve seen a complete transformation of the illegals taking over.

    It starts with some shady Liquor Store, a restaurant, a contractor who decides they can shave a few bucks off a bid with illegal help, serve a cheaper meal, or the “do it yourselfer” who doesn’t really want to do it themselves. So in come the Mexicans with zero job skills, no requests for worker benefits, and an open ended idea about what they get paid.

    Then the guy next to the first business sees that he’s losing customers to the cheaper alternative so he does it too. Pretty soon even the kid schlepping papers finds out that per OSHA requirements he’s out of a job, but Pedro does it for a dollar an hour anyway.

    I do ultimately put the blame on Us for cutting corners and flaunting the rules. I also put the blame on foreigners who start businesses here who do the same. Because the perception of quality is so diminished here, people have allowed the idea of this to permeate all aspects of business.

    In summary, I would be willing to wager that the crops in Georgia are dying on the vine not because the Mexicans are gone, not because no one else would do the work, but because it’s simply cheaper to allow it to happen this way than to hire Americans to do the work. Same goes for construction, food industry et cetera.

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  44. loserlame

    .Aye, People of Walmart = salt of the earth /dumbshit Americans, depending on the thread, eh

    There are plenty of good people who talk endlessly about free health care, but then ignore all and any poor folks asking the wealthy lefteous feeling our pain or money to pay for medical bills, because our minimum wage income simply won’t let us do that and buy food, too.

    “We feel your pain, money isn’t everything, now fuck off”

    And despite our voting for saviour Obama.

    Still not good enough. If we made, say, illegal immigrants legal and offered them free health care, then the thinkers with money would maybe open their wallets and in turn give to the undeserving……

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  45. loserlame

    When i was working construction in Germany, throughout the 80s, they were offering “guest worker” programs to Turks, Greeks, inviting “qualified” craftsmen to fly in and help us do the jobs most Germans were simply too smart to do. Only idiots didn’t get better-paying office jobs, with more paid leave and lower retirement age, haharhar .
    Turk painters asked for less, weren’t as skilled, patient and detail-obsessed i.e. “qualified” as Krauts, who typically spent 3 years in $200/per MONTH, supposedly “free education” apprenticeships. 3 years @ $200 per month.
    Resentment grew over Turks messing up jobs – customers griped over the high hourly cost (free healthcare) and low return. In the end, painters were all deemed overpaid hacks. Fuck em, said customers, and went to the hardware store to buy DIY.

    Nobody took to liking the Turks off the clock, either, and many Turks stuck to their own kind, in ghettos. Berlin had a huge ghetto population.
    But of course, this is all ‘different”; and “regal” because Euros did it for peace and love, never profit.

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  46. CM

    Miguelito:

    …based on my own experiences at Wal-Mart, most of their employees are morons anyway that don’t deserve any kind of managerial power.

    http://right-thinking.com/2011/06/20/scotus-in-session/

    No idea of Miguelito’s politics.

    Anyway, I’ll go on record (as a liberal) and completely agree that low paying jobs (e.g. those at Wal-mart) shouldn’t be demeaned or considered unworthy. They’re absolutely vital. And anyone with a job that can work should absolutely be doing these sorts of jobs. Even if it’s while they’re looking to get their previous career back on track. People with the attitude that a job isn’t worthy of them piss me off.

    I delivered newspapers 6 days a week for the 5 years of high school (12 until 17). I also worked a factory job in the holidays (which definitely gave me the incentive to go on to University and apply myself more than I might otherwise). If I hadn’t done well at school I would have probably gone into the cops or armed forces I think.

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