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Latino families community model: Working or looking for work ALL THE TIME: even at minimum wage

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04/05/2006

Thanks Neiwert! Tween you and Limbaugh I got enough prompting to write before leaving for work.
Orcinus prompted a comment from me on his blog that went longer than I thought so I'm making it the basis for my post for today.

On his best day, especially when he was young and pushing 300 pounds, Rush might have gotten a 50-pound bag of potatoes waist high - but I doubt it.

As another old Idaho pipe-mover who also grew up in potato country, I want to echo Orcinus' observations about Latino laborers and their families.

The nature of my social work includes intensive involvement with most of the Hispanic families living and working in northern Pacific County.

I know them personally and they know me. I know the names of their kids, many of whom think I'm their grandfather because I told those kids that if they didn't have a grandpa close by they could use me. ("Only I'm not loaning you money nor the keys to my truck!"). And usually, I seem to be the only gringo who can speak Spanish with them when we encounter each other at the local grocery store.

Where I live, what it comes down to is that coastal canneries could not survive depending on lazy white folks to accept the kind of unlimited work available opening oysters, farming clams and processing crab and shrimp.

To be fair, there are lots of not-lazy white folks working in canneries, but I might assume that most of them are not Republicans since those working don't talk like Rush and the Republican congress persons.

Its those lazy ones that mimic Rush, Squawk Hannity and politicians desperately in need of alternative talking points that should be shamed by the contrast between working and talking about working. Fat-headed assumptions by blokes like Limbaugh and Rohrbacher reflect merely one single thing: their own ignorant assumptions based on no up-close experience or knowledge of what really goes on.

Even if, as Rep. Rohrbacher suggested, penal labor was available, you could not get quality production from a crew of the unwilling constantly stabbing themselves in the hand trying to pry open an oyster out of ineptitude or doing so deliberately to get out of having to work.

And among line workers in the largest local oyster cannery, there are more Hispanic workers buying homes than their gringo counterparts - for two reasons: pride of ownership and an absolute desire to be working or looking for work ALL THE TIME; even if it means taking a job at minimum wage.

Economically, this area is severely depressed. The housing market makes available homes in the 40k - 50k range that are buyable on less income. Once under possession, they are also repair-able and remodel-able - so long as the "laziness rheumatism" is not present.

You know the "laziness rheumatism" don't you? That's when the iron in your blood and soul turns to lead in your ass.

There's nothing dumber than the declaration that it's not worth giving up unemployment checks to work for minimum wage ($7.63 per hour) at a cannery.

There's nothing dumber than trying to imply you're a working stiff when you have no plan to look for work until your unemployment ends.

That's lazy white-boy talk-radio Republican economics stuff that has driven ignorant anger and outrage against liberal/progressive policies and personalities for decades now ...

.. that's why not many of those talk-show addicts  are buying homes.

There are citizens who were born here and make indignant speeches about how the Hispanics are taking all the jobs and acts as if they are dying for a job - but the Mexicans took them all.

This is nonsense from the native-born.

Their behavior suggests that the grasshopper ("the world owes me a living") is their role model.

The Latinos?

They model what the ants model.

Arthur Ruger 2006

Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.

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