Posted in economy, politics, tagged barriers to migrants, compete, conservatives, cost of living, Democrat, discrimination, documented, domestic help, economic insecurity, economic stratification, employment, entrepreneur, exploited, FOX News, gardeners, Great Recession, handout, Hispanic, illegal, immigration reform, informal sector, jardineros, job loss, job seeker, labor, landscaping, latino, lawn, lazy, legal, lesser pay, lesser work, liberals, low wage, manual labor, Mexican, minorities, myth, occupational roles, perceptions, poor, prejudice, profiling, racist, Republican, rich, service sector, shadow economy, society, stereotypes, stereotypical beliefs, subjugated service workers, subordinate roles, typecast, under the table, underemployed, underground economy, undocumented, upward mobility, white, workforce on August 10, 2013|
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How often have we heard it said by conservative pundits and talk radio personalities that unemployed Americans are inclined to refuse menial work, apparently content to accept government handouts? The list of supposed “shall nots” are numerous: Americans won’t bus tables, clean hotel rooms, harvest crops and, in general, bust our chops. On the flip side, how many times have liberals argued that undocumented labor has little to no adverse impact on American job prospects?
In one key respect, the two sides seemingly agree: American-born workers won’t take “those jobs” anyhow, whereas the undocumented workforce contributes to cheaper goods and services — such are the hands that infuse America with entrepreneurial spirit, after all.
Never mind the reality: The bulk of today’s job growth takes place in the service sector — precisely where the legal and undocumented alike mingle.
But what does one make of it when “reality” is beholden to stereotypes — perceptions so routine, we scarcely question them? (more…)
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Posted in economy, tagged American, antitrust, bubble, bust, campaign finance, change, China, class, common ground, conflict, consumer, corporate personhood, corporatism, corruption, crony capitalism, demand, double-dip, economy, education, employment, export, free trade, free trade agreements, globalized, goods, government, Great Recession, growth, industry, jobs, labor, law, localism, middle class, movements, objectives, occupy wall street, outlook, personal responsibility, pragmatic, private, protectionist scares, protests, public, public accountability, Reform, relocalize, services, solutions, special interests, tea party, the real threat, US, worker on November 9, 2011|
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If the headline-grabbing Occupy Wall Street movement proves anything, it is that Americans are gravely concerned about the state of our union.
Just as the Tea Party was regarded with suspicion in their initial rallies to reduce government bloat, throngs of leaderless Occupy Wall Street protesters have been derided for their all-over-the-map set of gripes: Wall Street traders who have funneled investors’ money not into the real economy but speculative gambles that have led to questionable lending practices, volatile commodities pricing and taxpayer bailouts; a higher education system that has become a financial albatross to indebted students; legislative favors aimed at Big Business, and widespread unemployment even among the young and the educated.
Arguably, Occupy Wall Street is to Big Business and Banks what the Tea Party is to Big Government and Waste — two sides of the same coin. Both groups — which for the purpose of this discussion are defined as principled participants not to be confused with their salacious or lawless detractors — grasp a large chunk of the problem.
To cure what ails us, Americans must reach for broader and more inclusive views and bigger and bolder solutions.
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