Yesterday marked a concerted effort across the nation to raise awareness of, among many things, the exploitation of illegal immigrants and immigrant rights. Peaceful marches across our nation could be seen on all news (and fake news) broadcasts. While watching I decided I would contribute my thoughts to the debate while it’s still fresh.
Let’s start with the most rediculous thing I’ve ever heard, “Round ’em all up and send ’em all back to where they came from”. While the stupidity of this comment is undeniable on so many levels (try googling “white supremist favorite argument”), I attempted to dive into the “what if’s”.
What if we somehow managed to round up and ship the afore mentioned illegal immigrants back to where they came from, that would create some major job openings for lots of unemployed Americans. BUT Americans don’t work cheaply. If you manage to find some Americans willing to work for minimum wage, they can only work 30 to 35 hours a week or you have to offer them benefits. So now you have to hire 1.5 times the workforce (well honestly probably more like 2 times because Americans are lazy) to do the same amount of work your illegal immigrants were doing. So your labor costs have now doubled and that effects EVERYONE’s bottom line. Now instead of having my lawn mowed for $35/wk, it’s gonna cost me $70/wk… or if I want a sprinkler system put in instead of $2k it’ll run me $4k. That OJ you like to get at the grocery store will now increase in price because guess who picks those oranges… all the veggies and fruits you enjoy would increase in price as well. What about those construction costs? Houses don’t build themselves you know. And what about Wal-Mart and Target? They don’t clean themselves. Not to mention the food at Chipotle doesn’t prep or cook itself. Plus, imagine all the money it would take to physically “round up” and “ship” the illegals back to their respective countries, the costs would be astronomical. Absolutely the most recockulous thing I’ve ever heard.
So if we don’t send them all back, what’s the alternative? Simple, have them file for social security numbers, fill out the documentation and learn english ;0) and treat them like everyone else. Pay them, tax them, hold them responsible, take half of their children’s inheritence away when they die, etc. But the bright side to it all is that when the “undocumented” workers become documented and get social security cards they also get to pay taxes and insurance. Public schools and public programs should see immediate benefits. More tax payers means more money and that should allow for federal, state and local governments to recieve more money to funnel back into schools (which have been underfunded because the illegal immigrants were sending their children to public school) and possibly even get teachers those pay raises they want (or more realistically congress and the senate will get pay raises). Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the IRS charged them for back taxes too.
The conclusion I have come to is that the cost of everything will now go up no matter what the outcome. If we ship them all home or if we pay them competitively and give them benefits, it’ll raise prices. Why? Companies in the US have been able to keep costs down by actively recruiting and exploiting illegal immigrants. Why would they employ such practices? Companies have gone to great lengths to shave some pennies off their cost to pass that onto the consumer. Just examine the Wal-Mart mentality for a second. Wal-Mart has learned to cut costs all the way across the board because they have found that most Americans will drive a little further, buy a little more, care a little less about quality if they can save a couple cents per item. (For example, if two gas stations are side by side and one station is a penny cheaper than the other, there will be more traffic at the cheaper station… even if it’s just 1 penny. If you have a 15 gallon tank, you save $0.15 per tank. At a tank a week that’s a whopping $7.80/year or $10.40/yr for 20 gallons). Our economy has always been driven by cheap labor (try googling “civil war” or “slavery”). Americans don’t like to haggle for price, they just want it cheap as possible. Companies will come up with creative “other” ways to cut costs to meet our demands. They’ll survive until they find a new species or race to exploit or until WE AS AMERICANS change.
I feel like I just gave a lecture.Â Any questions, comments or criticism?