Immigrant Symptom

Do we really have an immigration problem? Are some 12 million illegal aliens presently participating in our economy in legitimate ways? Are high tech firms filling up the H1B visa slots just because they seek political correct “diversity”? Do businesses turn a blind eye to bogus documentation and hire illegals just because they work cheap? What we really have here is an immigrant symptom to an American problem.

Our immigrant situation is brought on and propelled by recent generations of native born Americans and not the fault of businesses, greedy CEOs, or consumers demanding the cheapest products available produced by sweat shop labor paid by the piece.  These immigrants are here for one main reason – Americans either cannot perform or refuse to do the work required. 

We as a nation have been breeding the work ethic out of our younger generations.  What we end up with are 20 somethings with no skills, no work ethic, and little motivation, coupled with a warped sense of entitlement.  Many get out of college with no work experience, never having been tested under the mild demands of a workplace or the more structured discipline of military service.  A 22 year old young adult who has been provided with every luxury at no personal cost can be a real drag on productivity when expected to show up on time, work for a minimum of 8 hours, and go the extra mile under pressure when required.

Our K-12 educational system has shed the concept that some students might be better off learning metal shop and instead emphasize that everyone should go to college.  Grade inflation and mindless hours dedicated to instruction in everything from diversity awareness to sex education have deemphasized preparation for true college level studies.  Teachers are forced to tolerate disruptive and/or slow learner types and are often threatened with lawsuits by helicopter parents if “Little Johnny” does not get good grades.  Spineless administrators fear the lawyers and the NEA and buckle under the least pressure; refusing to back a teacher who tries to do the right thing.  This is a complete disservice to any student able and willing to learn, and sets bad examples for the entire student body. 

Laws setting minimum wages and regulating the hours and kinds of work that can be done by younger people choke off any chance of gaining valuable experience at an early and impressionable age.  At 14, this writer worked in a newspaper shop running cutters, folders, and melting lead for linotype machines from after school till after midnight.  The minimum wage was $1.00 and I was proud to have a real job at $.75 per hour.  After 2 years, I got fired for being a borderline employee.  It hurt badly at the time, but I am still in debt for the marvelous character building experience and lesson in life that taught. 

The jobs kids held in the ‘60s are now done by low skilled immigrants.  These people are to be admired, not condemned, for working hard in menial jobs in hopes to propel their children onto bigger and better futures.  If American young people would take these entry level jobs, the need for low skilled immigrants would be far less than it is today. 

Who shovels up dairy barns, delivers newspapers, mows lawns, parks cars, cleans gutters, sweeps warehouses, installs roofing, plants landscaping, digs post holes, or picks produce? “Not me” said the little American boy.  It is much easier to get fat playing computer games, watching the tube, hanging around the mall, or experimenting with drugs than pushing carts at the local grocery.  Who has any true motivation to find hard work at low wages when; if daddy did not save up for college, an easily obtainable student loan will pay the freight.  This allows “Little Johnny” to avoid useful employment experience for four additional years, maybe learning, and most likely partying.   

Talented immigrants have always filled a need in our robust economy and it is the dearth of motivated, able American graduates that forces Bill Gates to cull the globe for code writers and executives to run Microsoft.  Unskilled immigrants are filling the needs formerly satisfied by eager American teens saving for a first car or a higher education.  It is time to reexamine the way our young people are being raised, educated, and supported.

Most American kids enter the world like hatchery salmon, unequipped to best the competition from other countries that worked their way up since childhood and landed a job in America.  We owe our children a disciplined rigorous education and the opportunity to find and experience the work environment.  The quicker they are forced and allowed to take the first steps toward true independence and personal responsibility, the better off they and America will become.


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