May 02, 2006

Thoughts On Monday's Festivities

Part rant, part stream of consciousness. Definitely not polished.

Overall, the event held in Denver went off rather peacefully. Aside from an African-American woman opposing the rally being told to "Go back to Africa"--which prompted the State Patrol to escort her from the scene to avoid confrontation--the rally itself was uneventful. It appears that the march that started two hours earlier had sapped the energy of the demonstrators, along with a wilting midday sun. After only 45 minutes or so, many began to leave, to make the return to their cars parked a few miles away. The rest who stayed huddled in the shade.

The most interesting and provocative posters/placards/signs were held by white activist agitators, whose varying agendas included pushing socialist platforms and decrying the war effort. The ubiquitous ¡Si, Se Puede! and ¡Un pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido! were joined by declarations in Spanish that immigrants were not criminals, and that they wanted to Americans too. Some even chanted USA! USA! Other than a few annoying but requisite Che Guevara paraphernalia, the march/rally proved to be merely a tame excuse to skip work, enjoy the beautiful day, and spend time with the kids (many families showed up together). Apart from the activists cajoling the crowd with slogans as well as a few agitators shouting about the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, many in the crowd seemed uninterested, as if they had been dragged along through peer pressure, or simply because it was the "thing" to do.

Economic impact? For a boycott to have any meaning, it must be sustained over a lengthy period of time for it to have any significant impact, especially in an economy of this scale. Like those who are angry at oil companies (incorrectly) and propose a temporary boycott of their products, these efforts will ultimately fail as the market adjusts or the purchases withheld yesterday will simply be made today. Didn't gas up or buy groceries on Monday? You'll still be needing those items on Tuesday! In fact, any dip in economic activity Monday will most likely be offset by a surge in activity Tuesday. Basic economics, folks!

On a more positive note, some immigrants decided to stay at work to show support for their employers, even as the employers acknowledge that perhaps the only economic impact of "a day without immigrants" would be an increase in the cost of service for various things, including the car wash seen in this video. What would Americans do if the cheap labor evaporated? The market would adjust to the new costs, but the engine of the economy would not stop. People unwilling to take jobs at or below minimum wage just might be enticed to show up to clean rooms, pick fruit, etc. Wal-Mart, which must of the left considers an exploitative monopolistic corporation, has turn away thousands for their jobs, because relative to other jobs available, Wal-Mart pays well enough to attract potential workers. It's not that Americans won't do the work, its that we won't do the work for the price offered. What the heck do you think happened in California in the 1930s, as the "Okies" made their way west as a result of the Dust Bowl? They took jobs for a low price, which pushed out those who preceded them. People from the Midwest took the jobs that Californians wouldn't do for such a low price.

Furthermore, has anyone considered that the reason they take such jobs is that Americans, even at a higher price, are simply too educated or proud to take such positions? I am working on an MBA--not exactly a prime candidate to take a few dollars an hour to wait tables. Is the job beneath me? Absolutely not. I worked in a movie theater in high school. But now, with an undergraduate degree and postgraduate work, I am simply too educated and too aware of my own value to take such a job--in other words, would you expect a lawyer, doctor or teacher to mow lawns as a primary source of income? No, and that is the point. Following the immigrant theme, my great-grandfather emigrated from Italy at the turn of the last century, and worked himself into an early grave through mining. My grandfather, son of immigrants, owned his own business. His children--my Mom and Uncle--became a teacher and doctor, respectively. Me? An MBA and MA. My sister is in college. Neither of us would be miners. But for many Americans, mining is a respectable and decent living. Just think of those in the Sago mines a few months back. Not all Americans are unwilling to "do those jobs". We just can't expect professionals to do them, or even willing Americans, for prices only illegal immigrants would accept.

Michelle Malkin has more of THE PICTURES YOU WON'T SEE


Anonymous Anonymous said...

great site .

Tue May 02, 07:15:00 PM  

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