Many who support illegal aliens in this country tout their super human work ethic and productivity. From the corrupt businesses that hire them to the politicians that pander to them to the groups with ulterior motives who exploit them for racial purposes (i.e. La Raza, MALDEF).
It's funny though that when this myth is put to the test and a business from America moves to Mexico and hires Mexicans there, the myth goes out the window. Take for instance the case of VegPacker, a California and Guanajuato-based company that grows lettuce, celery, cauliflower and other vegetables. VegPacker invested millions of dollars in moving its business to Mexico to cut costs and avoid the issue of hiring illegal aliens in the United States.
Since moving there VegPacker has seen productivity go down by 40% and also faces the problem of ensuring that U.S. food-safety standards are met.
The Mexican "Super Worker"?
As the United States heads into a recession, more native-born workers might consider agricultural work if wages were high enough, said Harley Shaiken, director of the University of California at Berkeley's Center for Latin American Studies.
"Labor shortage always is a question of at what pay rate," Shaiken said. "Very often, if the wages are artificially low, it will be very difficult to find a work force."
But Steve Scaroni said he did offer higher wages and still couldn't find a steady work force in the U.S. Scaroni owns VegPacker, a California and Guanajuato-based company that grows lettuce, celery, cauliflower and other vegetables. VegPacker has struggled after forking out millions of dollars to launch its Mexico division two years ago.
The problem is that cheaper labor in Mexico often is offset by lower productivity and high training costs, especially when it comes to enforcing U.S. food-safety standards.
"The only thing that's cheaper down here is diesel fuel and the labor per day," Scaroni said. "My productivity is down 40 percent" from U.S. levels.
Something tells me that Scaroni didn't offer a good enough pay package to attract US workers and legal workers. I find it simply impossible to believe that he could not find workers here if he offered good pay and benefits. The mindset of most of these businesses is to wring ever profitable dollar out of their business even if that takes exploiting illegal labor and breaking the law.
Scaroni thought he'd beat the system by just taking his business south, Scaroni bet wrong. When you have to play on a legal and equal playing field with other businesses - something many of these businesses have not done in decades through the hiring of illegal aliens - miraculously these business men aren't as good as they think they are. And that is exactly why they donate millions every year to lobbying groups to continue to fight against enforcing our immigration laws
Tipped by: Freedom Folks
This does bring up an interesting subject. The Cato Institute identifies one characteristic of immigrants as risk takers and hard workers. Think about it. What are the characteristics of someone who leaves their home, goes to a strange land to do hard work and send most of their savings to their family? Then what are the characteristics of the guy who doesn't have the courage to make the journey?
It's one of the things that made this country great. There were thousands of people who didn't risk the life threatening journey and hardship that went along with coming to America. Only the bravest came.
So it's really no surprise that Mexican immigrants have earned the reputation of being "super workers" while the productivity of those that stayed behind is unremarkable.
Posted by: Ralph on May 28, 2008 07:17 PM
I am pleased to read your article on the myth of the super illegal worker. I am so sick and tired about hearing what HARD workers the illegal’s are. That is such a crock of poop. What about HARD working Americans? I realize there are groups especially with in the unions that have become soft, lazy and less productive, but even illegal’s, who have gotten in the unions with stolen ids, as you see in many hotels, hospitals and etc have became far lazier then American once they learn how to work the system but that is a exception. What about us HARD working Americans that even in the early days of unions we busted our humps 12 and 16 hour days. I am 54 years old I started working as a golf caddie at 15 handling 2 bags that were almost as tall as me. It was hard work, I was exhausted and every muscle ached every day, but I went back to work every day working at least 45 holes + 2 ½ rounds, because I took pride in what I was doing and grateful that I earned a few dollars. I went into the steel fabrication industry and milling machine work and again busted my hump and every American young and old busted their humps, with out exception. We had pride and honor and families that needed us. I have worked many different jobs and every one of them I busted hump as did my fellow Americans. I watch how illegal work here in California and many do work as hard as us OLDER AMERICANS had worked but what I notice most is the quality of the work of these illegal’s in most cases is of poor quality. I don’t care if its washing windows, cooking food, cutting grass, cleaning offices, especially construction and iron working type structural work, I can at most times recognize when an illegal did the work as opposed to an American. What about safety issues with iron work, and construction? How many times I have seen in my area workers redoing over and over again a job trying to get it right by illegal alien non union workers. It takes a lot of skill and training and experience to be an iron worker; why do you think so many building collapsed in China. Americans who hire illegals have no pride in the quality or the safety of the work they provide for their unsuspecting customers. I am sick and tired of hearing how illegals are such hard workers. What about us Americans that are hard worker AND conscientious about the quality of the work WE do? This myth of the illegal super worker is just that – a MYTH !
Posted by: ken mallen on May 29, 2008 04:13 PM