imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Racism runs deep

by Drew Long Wednesday, May. 03, 2006 at 4:40 AM
mbatko@lycos.com

Immigration opponents hiding behind the myth of stolen jobs and lost wages.. The research shows that immigration only has a tiny negative impact on local wages.

Opinion



Racism runs deep

Immigration opponents hiding behind the myth of stolen jobs and lost wages

By Drew Long, Daily Vanguard, PSU

April 25, 2006



It’s time to put to rest an old myth about immigrants stealing U.S. citizens’ jobs.

Lately, it seems that many people are using pro-labor, nationalistic rhetoric to mask what basically amounts to racism. Here’s an example.

An Idaho newspaper recently reported that County Commissioner Robert Vasquez, shocked by 350 local students who skipped out of classes at 10:00 in the morning to attend recent protests over anti-immigration legislation, declared that they should all be expelled. Further, he stated that failure to expel them from school was “tacit approval of their activity.”

It should come as no surprise that Vasquez is seeking a Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District race.

When the Vanguard recently reported on this story, Mr. Vasquez’s comments received rah-rah support: “Mr. Vasquez is 100 percent correct … [illegal aliens] are a scourge for our entire society … our wages are being depressed by over 0 billion a year because of these scab laborers … ”

Or as another reader glibly put it, “Since most [of the immigrants] are from Mexico, they have no respect for law.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but these comments seem a little frothy and nationalistic to me. I have a feeling the authors of these comments are feeling a tad bit threatened, either by a perceived economic impact on their livelihoods, or simply by the sheer number of brown-skinned people who are willing to work hard for little money.

If these readers did some research, however, they would quickly realize that the threat isn’t economic. Quite coincidentally, I recently stumbled across research from individuals at Harvard, UC Berkley, UC Davis, and the University of Bologna that attempted to measure the actual economic impact on U.S. wages of legal and illegal immigration. The research done at these institutions actually shows that immigration only has a tiny negative impact on local wages, an impact that is essentially negligible when certain other factors are taken into account — such as an increase in capital prompted by cheap labor, the fact the immigrants are not perfect substitutes for native workers, and the fact that immigrant and native workers typically don’t compete directly with one another in the same sectors, for the same jobs.

Based on this research, it’s a little hard to see where that “0 billion a year” of lost wages figure is coming from.

As an enthusiastic student of economics, my hunch has always been that a ready supply of cheap labor has done more for the quality of life in the United States, as a result of capital investment and business profits, than it has hurt workers in the U.S. This research confirms my hunch.

Besides which, I’ve always taken the somewhat elitist view that if workers in the U.S. cannot compete with immigrant workers and outperform them — in whatever job they have decided to seek — then they do not deserve the jobs themselves. Whatever happened to that good old-fashioned can-do American work ethic? We’ve become a nation of whiners. I work closely with several people from south of the border, and I would venture to guess that the average person in the United States could stand to learn a lot from their work ethic and uncomplaining attitude.

But if the economic impact of illegal immigration on U.S. wages is nil, what is it that these detractors (including Mr. Vasquez) are so afraid of? My guess is skin color.

I do share a sneaking suspicion with Mr. Vasquez that many of the students who attended the rallies and marches were simply doing it to get out of class. But even if this is so, isn’t it better that they get out of school on a social justice campaign, rather than simply to smoke a bowl?

I do believe in the rule of law, and I’m by no means a proponent of illegal immigration — if for no other reason than the American businesses that profit from illegal immigration doing so inhumanely and unfairly. I have heard plenty of stories of families, already indebted to a coyote guide for getting them across the border undetected, becoming indebted to a farmer when a condition of employment is to purchase food and goods from the farm itself at arbitrarily inflated prices. The working family is thus cemented in a form of indebted serfdom that is chillingly reminiscent of our nation’s economic foundation in black slavery.

Immigrants into our country should be treated to a fair, efficient citizenship application process and granted temporary work visas if their financial situation requires it. And current U.S. citizens, from landscapers to county commissioners, need to lay to rest their antiquated myth of the scary-brown-people-pillaging-our-country — or at least stop using it as a mask for their own racism.

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

TheMilitary of Yemen IN In The 1990's A26 5:42PM

The Shortwave Report 04/27/18 Listen Globally! A26 4:03PM

Federal Bank Examiner FDIC recalls year long 1999 robbery in 2017 A26 3:24PM

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy