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Are Our Immigration “Policies” Basically Affirmative Action for Lazy People?

 

This is not a post about illegal immigration (so calm down. lol). This is a gripe about the limitations imposed by the nonsense that is our current immigration system. I have always thought that as an employer I should hire the most qualified people available, regardless of race, gender, or whatever. That is the smart as well as correct thing to do.

One of the best ways to differentiate your company from others that provide similar services is by having the best people working for you. This is getting harder and harder to do because we are all hiring out of the same limited labor pool. I fundamentally oppose affirmative action in the workplace or in education and it’s starting to feel to me that our convoluted immigration system is pretty much an affirmative action program for the country at large, specifically unqualified and/or lazy people.

When I have commented in the past about the difficulties of hiring qualified people that are willing to work manual labor jobs, regardless of pay, there are many good-intentioned suggestions that we should check into hiring paroled criminals, people living in halfway houses and rehab centers, busing in and housing people from other parts of the country, etc., etc.

So, basically instead of hiring qualified, hardworking, skilled, ambitious immigrants, I should bend over backward to hire people whose only qualification may be their citizenship. In my view that seems more like stupidity than patriotism.

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Members have made 56 comments.

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  1. Member

    Everyone believes in meritocracy when they think they have a monopoly on merit.

    • #1
    • July 17, 2017 at 11:34 am
    • 10 likes
  2. Thatcher

    It’s a shame how many people don’t want to work for a living. I think @majestyk has mentioned how many unfilled high-paying, blue-collar jobs there are in the petrochemical industry, even in a region where there is a fair amount of unemployment. With a lot of industrial jobs you have to pass a drug test to get a job and a lot of young men won’t take a good job if it means giving up drugs. It doesn’t help that it’s easier to get a social security disability claim than it used to be.

    • #2
    • July 17, 2017 at 11:51 am
    • 11 likes
  3. Member

    @concretevol , I feel your pain. As a consumer of contracting services, I can’t tell how much I wish I could find people to show up on time, do the job correctly and clean up after themselves. I can’t believe how tough it is to get a small contractor just to show up much less on time.

    I had a steel, 2-car garage put up. A contractor friend from church poured the pad. Did a good job. I hired a contractor to erect the building. He showed up 2 days late with a crew of 8 Mexicans. Very little English. (Here in New Mexico it’s normal.) He got them started and after a couple of hours left to run some “errands.” They worked until about 6:30 and finished the garage. He NEVER came back and picked them up. I ended up loaning them my phone so they could call for rides home. He had done this to them before. I ended up cleaning up the mess myself.

    The guys doing the work were hardworking. The got the garage up in a day. They didn’t take a lot of breaks. The contractor? Never again.

    • #3
    • July 17, 2017 at 11:58 am
    • 8 likes
  4. Thatcher

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    It’s a shame how many people don’t want to work for a living. I think majestyk has mentioned how many unfilled high-paying, blue-collar jobs there are in the petrochemical industry, even in a region where there is a fair amount of unemployment. With a lot of industrial jobs you have to pass a drug test to get a job and a lot of young men won’t take a good job if it means giving up drugs. It doesn’t help that it’s easier to get a social security disability claim than it used to be.

    In the chemical industry by-and-large as well. The limiting factor is a person’s desire to give up drugs because working in those environments is zero-tolerance for that activity out of the appropriate concern for safety.

    • #4
    • July 17, 2017 at 11:58 am
    • 7 likes
  5. Thatcher

    Our lax immigration policy is a band-aid that covers up demand for labor. It works hand-in-glove with the fact that we subsidize people to stay in place in a failed/dying community rather than pulling up stakes and heading down the road to where the opportunities are at.

    If we were to condition welfare and other social programs upon people moving to new environs, a lot of this problem would dry up and vanish.

    • #5
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm
    • 13 likes
  6. Thatcher
    Concretevol Post author

    Pilli (View Comment):
    @concretevol , I feel your pain. As a consumer of contracting services, I can’t tell how much I wish I could find people to show up on time, do the job correctly and clean up after themselves. I can’t believe how tough it is to get a small contractor just to show up much less on time.

    I had a steel, 2-car garage put up. A contractor friend from church poured the pad. Did a good job. I hired a contractor to erect the building. He showed up 2 days late with a crew of 8 Mexicans. Very little English. (Here in New Mexico it’s normal.) He got them started and after a couple of hours left to run some “errands.” They worked until about 6:30 and finished the garage. He NEVER came back and picked them up. I ended up loaning them my phone so they could call for rides home. He had done this to them before. I ended up cleaning up the mess myself.

    The guys doing the work were hardworking. The got the garage up in a day. They didn’t take a lot of breaks. The contractor? Never again.

    I’m not even griping about the pour quality of workers available as much as the fact that I’m forced to hire them over more qualified people.

    • #6
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm
    • 1 like
  7. Thatcher

    Concretevol, in what technical sense is this not a post about illegal immigration? Your point is simply that your recruitment of work crews from outside the US should be legal and relatively unrestrained. You are playing with words, in my opinion. What is now illegal but unenforced should be legal and hence even more widespread.

    No doubt, if we can drive wages of roofers to $8 per hour we’ll soon have South African roofers in Telluride.

    I don’t know your market. If the wages are set by widespread illegal and faux legal work crews you have little choice. About hiring those crews. If you want to work your market predicament up into a false dichotomy between foreign workers and criminals and drug addicts as an inevitable fact of life, that’s a choice you don’t have to make.

    Of course, we all like to frame what we gotta do as the right thing to do.

    I know I do.

    • #7
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:07 pm
    • 8 likes
  8. Member

    Concretevol (View Comment):
    I’m not even griping about the pour quality of workers available as much as the fact that I’m forced to hire them over more qualified people.

    Wait, you mix the workers into the concrete?

    Well, there’s your problem! :P

    • #8
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    • 18 likes
  9. Thatcher

    Pilli (View Comment):
    @concretevol , I feel your pain. As a consumer of contracting services, I can’t tell how much I wish I could find people to show up on time, do the job correctly and clean up after themselves. I can’t believe how tough it is to get a small contractor just to show up much less on time.

    I had a steel, 2-car garage put up. A contractor friend from church poured the pad. Did a good job. I hired a contractor to erect the building. He showed up 2 days late with a crew of 8 Mexicans. Very little English. (Here in New Mexico it’s normal.) He got them started and after a couple of hours left to run some “errands.” They worked until about 6:30 and finished the garage. He NEVER came back and picked them up. I ended up loaning them my phone so they could call for rides home. He had done this to them before. I ended up cleaning up the mess myself.

    The guys doing the work were hardworking. The got the garage up in a day. They didn’t take a lot of breaks. The contractor? Never again.

    Yeah, sometimes the actual workers are decent, it’s the boss who has the problem.

    • #9
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm
    • 4 likes
  10. Thatcher
    Concretevol Post author

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    Our lax immigration policy is a band-aid that covers up demand for labor. It works hand-in-glove with the fact that we subsidize people to stay in place in a failed/dying community rather than pulling up stakes and heading down the road to where the opportunities are at.

    If we were to condition welfare and other social programs upon people moving to new environs, a lot of this problem would dry up and vanish.

    I’m not sure I totally agree with you but it’s true that in the past people would move to where the work is and that doesn’t happen nearly as often now.

    • #10
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm
    • 2 likes
  11. Thatcher
    Concretevol Post author

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    Concretevol (View Comment):
    I’m not even griping about the pour quality of workers available as much as the fact that I’m forced to hire them over more qualified people.

    Wait, you mix the workers into the concrete?

    Well, there’s your problem! ?

    GAH! Always an english teacher in the bunch! lol

    • #11
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:12 pm
    • 9 likes
  12. Thatcher

    Concretevol (View Comment):
    I’m not sure I totally agree with you but it’s true that in the past people would move to where the work is and that doesn’t happen nearly as often now.

    When we tell people in rural Kentucky that they’re eligible for several hundred dollars per month of food stamps, section 8 housing and various other benefits, is it any surprise that they stay put when the cost of living in that area is equal to or less than the benefits?

    • #12
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:24 pm
    • 6 likes
  13. Thatcher
    Concretevol Post author

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Concretevol, in what technical sense is this not a post about illegal immigration? Your point is simply that your recruitment of work crews from outside the US should be legal and relatively unrestrained. You are playing with words, in my opinion. What is now illegal but unenforced should be legal and hence even more widespread.

    Because I don’t want a discussion about deportation, building a wall, etc etc… I don’t think it is semantics because I’m not arguing I should be able to hire illegals, I’m saying there should be some method to hire the best people regardless of where they are from. Maybe I’m getting more libertarian on this question…..

    No doubt, if we can drive wages of roofers to $8 per hour we’ll soon have South African roofers in Telluride.

    It’s not a wage issue, it’s a manpower one. Triple that number if you want to hire a concrete finisher. Is that still too low for the noble American worker?

    I don’t know your market. If the wages are set by widespread illegal and faux legal work crews you have little choice. About hiring those crews. If you want to work your market predicament up into a false dichotomy between foreign workers and criminals and drug addicts as an inevitable fact of life, that’s a choice you don’t have to make.

    Again, wages are set by supply and demand. I think in other industries (possibly landscaping for example) competition from crews of illegals may deflate wages/prices but definitely not in mine.

    I’m not saying that the only choices are addicts or foreign workers but many times that is exactly the choice, at least short term. My point was those options have been suggested previously as a viable labor pool instead of immigrant labor.

    Of course, we all like to frame what we gotta do as the right thing to do

    I know I do.

    I’m doing the right thing if that is framed as following the law, doesn’t mean I have to agree with the law. 

    • #13
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:37 pm
    • 5 likes
  14. Coolidge

    I also wonder if our education system exacerbates this problem. I have nephews who have had a disadvantaged upbringing, and high school has been extremely difficult for them. What they could use is a craft or trade apprenticeship starting in ninth grade because the large public school factory has ground them up and spit them out. Instead, they are failing up through the grades, still pursuing the elusive high school diploma years after they should have graduated. One nephew in particular is gifted at design and wants to be a carpenter. Without the diploma, however, that is unavailable to him.

    While this isn’t about immigration, per se, it is about finding qualified, hardworking employees. For too many kids, public high school is a launchpad into culture’s cesspool. It’s really hard to climb out once you fall in.

    • #14
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:37 pm
    • 5 likes
  15. Thatcher
    Concretevol Post author

    Majestyk (View Comment):

    Concretevol (View Comment):
    I’m not sure I totally agree with you but it’s true that in the past people would move to where the work is and that doesn’t happen nearly as often now.

    When we tell people in rural Kentucky that they’re eligible for several hundred dollars per month of food stamps, section 8 housing and various other benefits, is it any surprise that they stay put when the cost of living in that area is equal to or less than the benefits?

    Oh I am in total agreement on that. I’m just not sure if encouraging relocation would totally solve the problem. Unfortunately I think that train has left the station. Welfare benefits are easily given but very difficult to reduce.

    • #15
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm
    • Like
  16. Thatcher
    Concretevol Post author

    Anthea (View Comment):
    I also wonder if our education system exacerbates this problem. I have nephews who have had a disadvantaged upbringing, and high school has been extremely difficult for them. What they could use is a craft or trade apprenticeship starting in ninth grade because the large public school factory has ground them up and spit them out. Instead, they are failing up through the grades, still pursuing the elusive high school diploma years after they should have graduated. One nephew in particular is gifted at design and wants to be a carpenter. Without the diploma, however, that is unavailable to him.

    While this isn’t about immigration, per se, it is about finding qualified, hardworking employees. For too many kids, public high school is a launchpad into culture’s cesspool. It’s really hard to climb out once you fall in.

    @anthea, I agree and one thing we are doing to try and expand the hiring pool is work with local high schools through their job fairs and things like that to expose the kids to other options besides just going to college because that’s what you’re supposed to do. I think many times kids are only aware college or fast food as post high school options.

    • #16
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm
    • 4 likes
  17. Member

    Totally agree.

    Good post!

    • #17
    • July 17, 2017 at 12:57 pm
    • 1 like
  18. Thatcher

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    When we tell people in rural Kentucky that they’re eligible for several hundred dollars per month of food stamps, section 8 housing and various other benefits, is it any surprise that they stay put when the cost of living in that area is equal to or less than the benefits?

    It has been said before that we cannot have open borders and a welfare state. It appears that we also cannot have closed borders and a welfare state, if we want to get work done.

    • #18
    • July 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm
    • 9 likes
  19. Thatcher

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Anthea (View Comment):
    I also wonder if our education system exacerbates this problem. I have nephews who have had a disadvantaged upbringing, and high school has been extremely difficult for them. What they could use is a craft or trade apprenticeship starting in ninth grade because the large public school factory has ground them up and spit them out. Instead, they are failing up through the grades, still pursuing the elusive high school diploma years after they should have graduated. One nephew in particular is gifted at design and wants to be a carpenter. Without the diploma, however, that is unavailable to him.

    While this isn’t about immigration, per se, it is about finding qualified, hardworking employees. For too many kids, public high school is a launchpad into culture’s cesspool. It’s really hard to climb out once you fall in.

    @anthea, I agree and one thing we are doing to try and expand the hiring pool is work with local high schools through their job fairs and things like that to expose the kids to other options besides just going to college because that’s what you’re supposed to do. I think many times kids are only aware college or fast food as post high school options.

    Concretevol, do you suppose I’m too old to be @randywebster‘s apprentice?

    • #19
    • July 17, 2017 at 1:02 pm
    • 1 like
  20. Reagan

    I experience the same problem for white collar jobs in software development although I posses an advantage in that I can just offshore my labor to other countries when I can’t find local labor qualified for the job.

    • #20
    • July 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm
    • 1 like
  21. Reagan

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    When we tell people in rural Kentucky that they’re eligible for several hundred dollars per month of food stamps, section 8 housing and various other benefits, is it any surprise that they stay put when the cost of living in that area is equal to or less than the benefits?

    It has been said before that we cannot have open borders and a welfare state. It appears that we also cannot have closed borders and a welfare state, if we want to get work done.

    I have a better formulation:

    We cannot have a welfare state.

    • #21
    • July 17, 2017 at 1:20 pm
    • 9 likes
  22. Thatcher

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    When we tell people in rural Kentucky that they’re eligible for several hundred dollars per month of food stamps, section 8 housing and various other benefits, is it any surprise that they stay put when the cost of living in that area is equal to or less than the benefits?

    It has been said before that we cannot have open borders and a welfare state. It appears that we also cannot have closed borders and a welfare state, if we want to get work done.

    I have a better formulation:

    We cannot have a welfare state.

    Well, we can, but it sure wastes a lot of potential.

    • #22
    • July 17, 2017 at 1:22 pm
    • 1 like
  23. Thatcher
    Concretevol Post author

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    When we tell people in rural Kentucky that they’re eligible for several hundred dollars per month of food stamps, section 8 housing and various other benefits, is it any surprise that they stay put when the cost of living in that area is equal to or less than the benefits?

    It has been said before that we cannot have open borders and a welfare state. It appears that we also cannot have closed borders and a welfare state, if we want to get work done.

    I’m really not an “open borders” guy and I appreciate the political realities those of us on the right have to consider regarding the dem’s desire of a voting block. On the other hand it really wouldn’t be that hard to make things work better in a practical sense, have people show proof of employment before entering legally and then to keep track of them while they are here. I don’t have any confidence that any of that will happen though.

    • #23
    • July 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm
    • 4 likes
  24. Thatcher
    Concretevol Post author

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Anthea (View Comment):
    I also wonder if our education system exacerbates this problem. I have nephews who have had a disadvantaged upbringing, and high school has been extremely difficult for them. What they could use is a craft or trade apprenticeship starting in ninth grade because the large public school factory has ground them up and spit them out. Instead, they are failing up through the grades, still pursuing the elusive high school diploma years after they should have graduated. One nephew in particular is gifted at design and wants to be a carpenter. Without the diploma, however, that is unavailable to him.

    While this isn’t about immigration, per se, it is about finding qualified, hardworking employees. For too many kids, public high school is a launchpad into culture’s cesspool. It’s really hard to climb out once you fall in.

    @anthea, I agree and one thing we are doing to try and expand the hiring pool is work with local high schools through their job fairs and things like that to expose the kids to other options besides just going to college because that’s what you’re supposed to do. I think many times kids are only aware college or fast food as post high school options.

    Concretevol, do you suppose I’m too old to be @randywebster‘s apprentice?

    LOL well you ain’t as old as he is!

    • #24
    • July 17, 2017 at 4:05 pm
    • Like
  25. Member

    Concretevol (View Comment):
    LOL well you ain’t as old as he is!

    Careful!

    • #25
    • July 17, 2017 at 4:49 pm
    • Like
  26. Moderator

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    Our lax immigration policy is a band-aid that covers up demand for labor. It works hand-in-glove with the fact that we subsidize people to stay in place in a failed/dying community rather than pulling up stakes and heading down the road to where the opportunities are at.

    If we were to condition welfare and other social programs upon people moving to new environs, a lot of this problem would dry up and vanish.

    Kevin Williamson made the same point last year but was raked over the coals for it. Still, it’s true. There are lots of rust belt coal and steel towns that would long have vanished were it not for the government money paying people to stay put.

    • #26
    • July 18, 2017 at 8:02 am
    • 6 likes
  27. Member
    BD1

    So that’s why construction supervisors pick up guys from outside Home Depot. Not because they will work for cheap, but just because they look like really hard workers. Good to know.

    • #27
    • July 18, 2017 at 11:33 am
    • Like
  28. Member
    BD1

    And Silicon Valley wants all those H-1B Visas because American programmers are lazy crackheads!

    • #28
    • July 18, 2017 at 11:39 am
    • Like
  29. Member

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    With a lot of industrial jobs you have to pass a drug test to get a job and a lot of young men won’t take a good job if it means giving up drugs.

    Does this include pot? If so, it is a wonder they can hire anybody…

    • #29
    • July 18, 2017 at 11:46 am
    • 2 likes
  30. Thatcher

    Concretevol (View Comment):
    Because I don’t want a discussion about deportation, building a wall, etc etc… I don’t think it is semantics because I’m not arguing I should be able to hire illegals, I’m saying there should be some method to hire the best people regardless of where they are from

    I’m sorry Concretevol, you are still just playing with words. You’d like to be able to hire crews regardless of where they are from but would prefer that not to be evaluated through the lens of illegal immigration or advocacy of open borders.

    I’d like to enjoy all the fun of spring break in Fort Lauderdale once again, but I don’t think my wife should view this through the lens of infidelity.

    If you want to take this in the Majestyk/Jamie/Williamson direction, removing the welfare and social work (and crybaby sentiments from supposed conservatives) that keeps our labor markets so clogged and sclerotic, great.

    If you want to hire cheap crews from Mexico, pay them half the market rate, and throw a sizable percentage of the total social cost of your maneuver on my already 50% tax bill (taken altogether), no sympathy at all.

    Concretevol (View Comment):
    Is that still too low for the noble American worker?

    Nice patriotic attitude towards the American worker there. (My next ironic sneer will not be my first, but it’s still kind of snotty.)

    • #30
    • July 18, 2017 at 12:06 pm
    • 1 like
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