January 18, 2008
Time for a Commercial Break
We now interrupt our blogging for a short commercial break.
Posted by Buck Batard at January 18, 2008 10:17 AM
Thanks, Buck. This is the first one of these things I've seen that is both funny and well-produced.
Dean Swift would be proud. Except for the brief spate of anti-immigrant crap.
I'm not sure it was anti-immigrant crap, remember the reverse side said "Operation Enduring Servitude". Which is the basic state of undocumented immigrants in America today -- slaves, with no rights. In the end we have illegal immigration of the scale it is today because our elite want a new slave class that they can abuse without worry of repercussions (since if one of the new slaves dares complain, why, it's call Immigration on his rear and have him hauled back home). Thus "Operation Enduring Servitude".
Which, BTW, is also what caused the demise of the original bracero program after WWII. It tied immigration to a specific employer and thus was even more restrictive than being an illegal, where you can at least change employers if you don't like your current one. So Mexicans quit using the original bracero program, and eventually it was not renewed because nobody used it. In fact, there is currently a temporary work program for farm workers. But again, nobody uses it because it's so restrictive...
Some people in the H2A temporary work permit program have found it gives them even less bargaining power than undocumented status. For the same reason, some employers like H2A quite a lot.
Forgive the word "crap," but it's troubling that otherwise liberal commentators sometimes turn to the old resentful phrases about big business bringing in immigrants to take native-born residents' jobs for lower pay. That way lies Kearnyism.
But Martha, it's true. I can take you to a former drywaller's house. "Former" because he can't get hired anymore as a drywaller because he's not a Mexican illegal. So he now ekes out a living as a "handyman" doing odd jobs for homeowners. See, the employers prefer their new slave class, which cannot file OSHA complaints for unsafe working conditions, has no recourse to the courts if the employer fails to pay them all the money they're owed, and is easily cowed with threats of deportation.
Now, my preferred solution to that is to do away with the whole notion of a "work permit" and say that if you're on American soil and land a job, you're obviously a productive worker so you get the same status as an American citizen under law, regardless of whether you jumped through government BS or not. Call it an automatic work permit if you will, land a job, you automatically have a work visa and the same legal rights as an American. My friend the drywaller would still have a job if the illegal Mexicans working for his former employers had the same rights as Americans, because he was good at what he did and lives modestly so does not demand high wages. But he could not compete with slaves. That's a general problem -- a free man cannot compete with a slave. Because a free man has rights under the law and a slave does not, so even if the free man is willing to take the same wages offered to the slaves, the slaveowners still do not want his labor.