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What Will It Take To Turn The American Economy Around?: Left of Center View

Itís interesting that this is on a webpage about immigration because immigration is at the heart of the future prosperity of America. More specifically illegal immigration is at the heart of the issue. What might surprise you is that in some ways our economy needs some illegal immigrants to promote prosperity for the rest of us.

One thing that most people donít know is that many of the foods we eat every day are only affordable because they are produced using undocumented workers. An example of this is strawberries. Most of us at some point or another have eaten strawberries picked by undocumented migrant farm workers. The way we can get baskets of strawberries for $1-3 is that they do not cost a lot to pick and pack. That is because conservatively speaking at least three quarters of all strawberries picked in the U.S. have been picked by people making far less than minimum wage. In California where the state minimum wage is $8/hr. pickers often earn $4.75/hr and $0.99/box to work 10 hour days with no overtime pay picking strawberries. As the primary producer of strawberries in the nation California strawberries represent approximately 80% of all strawberries produced in the U.S. So, if you eat strawberries, youíve likely supported undocumented workers and theyíve kept your food bills lower.

Whenever companies can keep costs lower they can offer lower prices to their customers. Undocumented workers represent lower labor costs and lower prices for most Americans. In many cases these are also people doing jobs that most of us donít want to do. You would be hard pressed to find 100-200 Americans in a town like Salinas that would want to stand out in the hot sun 10 hours a day picking strawberries for $4.75/hr. to cover one field let alone hundreds of fields. If you had to hire Americans you would have to pay more and then the cost of strawberries would have to go up. So long inexpensive strawberries...

Itís very easy to point to isolated incidents and scream that some group is responsible for all the ills of a society. The problem is that itís not realistic. If you actually look at things logically we need cheap labor in America to maintain our standard of living. In a way undocumented labor is essential to our economic prosperity. As for what will turn this economy around; that is a much more complicated question. I would say that it will take rich people spending some of their money to get people working again. The rest of us are pretty much broke so it isnít likely to start with Average Joes opening their wallets.


LJ Finstermore - World Citizen | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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The Economy and Racism - Does Economic Decline Inevitably Lead to Tension Between Ethnic Groups?

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What Will It Take To Turn The American Economy Around?: Right of Center View

Jobs. Plain and simple it will take jobs to fix this economy and that means Americans get preference over people coming over the border illegally. If we want to turn things around we need to round up every non-taxpaying, under-the-table, illegal immigrant, job taker and send them back to wherever they came from. We simply canít afford them anymore.

The American economy is in shambles and our unemployment rate is sky high. We desperately need jobs for our citizens so they can feed their families and pay their bills. We can never turn things around while our workers have to compete with people earning less than minimum wage. While some claim that they are doing jobs Americans donít want the truth is that Americans would do the jobs if there was nobody else to do them. We are not going to let our food go unpicked or our floors un-mopped simply because the illegal immigrants are gone. Yes, costs would go up but so would wages so it would balance out.

We can no longer find excuses to keep letting Americans go without work while foreigners come in and take our jobs. We need to end H1B and shelve any talk of guest workers until we reach full employment for Americans. Our Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents need to be allowed to do their jobs and get the people out of here that are not supposed to be here. We need to crack down on employers that hire undocumented workers and start putting people in jail for selling out American jobs to illegal immigrants.

For the American economy to improve we need as close to 100% employment of our citizens as possible. Our people need jobs to earn money so they can spend that money and support more jobs creation. Companies need to invest in American workers and the future of our nation. As long as they continue to hire illegal immigrants on the cheap Americans will suffer for it. Profits are all well and good but there is also just plain right and wrong in how you do things. Selling out Americans by hiring illegal immigrants to make a bigger profit is just wrong.

For our country to find its way back to prosperity we need to work together for the good of all Americans. Everyone needs to do their part and for employers that part is rejecting illegal immigrants and hiring Americans. If they canít do it on their own they need to be encouraged to do it by the powers that be. If our leaders canít take care of business and clamp down on illegal immigrants and their employers perhaps we need new leaders that actually care about American jobs and the American people.

Tony M. - California | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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The Economy and Racism - Does Economic Decline Inevitably Lead to Tension Between Ethnic Groups?

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