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AN ECONOMIC ASSAULT ON AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND OTHERS IN THE US
Dennis Cuddy Ph.D.
February 7, 2004
On January 7, the Bush administration announced a proposal allowing even more guest workers from other countries to come to the U.S. to fill jobs for which American workers aren’t available (more than 8 million undocumented workers are already here). Obviously, if high enough wages are offered, an employer can find American workers to do any job. So the critical point will be whether employers can designate salary levels for which they can’t find American workers.
Most guest workers have and will come from Mexico and other Latin American countries. While Mexicans and other Hispanics are fine, hard-working people, guest worker programs are already resulting in hardships for lower income Americans, a disproportionate number of whom are African-Americans. And these programs impact industries in cities and even small towns all across America.
As a result of my being on national radio talk shows, I received a call from a man in a Midwestern state who said he was being economically undermined in his carpet cleaning business. To illustrate the point he was making, let’s take the grass cutting business in the city where I am located in a mid-Atlantic state.
Condominiums contract for grass cutting, which had been done largely by lower income African-Americans. Now their jobs are gone! Why? After years of loyal work in order to fulfill the American dream by perhaps purchasing a small home (mortgaged) for their family, they may be told they’re no longer needed unless they take a drastic pay cut. This is because the business owner can obtain guest workers who will work for minimum wage. The African-American worker could not meet all his financial obligations being paid a minimum wage, but the guest workers living perhaps 10 to a dwelling can live on a minimum wage, because they each pay only one-tenth of what the African-American worker would pay for housing, transportation, and other expenses. In addition, a lot of money is taken out of American towns and cities when the guest workers send a large amount of their earnings to their families outside the U.S.
Globally, transnational corporate leaders have expected there will be a leveling of wages around the world. Of course, this means as wages in the third world nations rise, American workers’ wages will be driven down. If African-Americans and others here are coerced into working for lower wages because of the challenge from guest worker programs, then both parents will have to work to make ends meet. This, in turn, will lead to an increased demand for government subsidized daycare, and increasing numbers of toddlers becoming latchkey children as they get older. And don’t statistics show more juvenile crime committed by latchkey children rather than other youth?
In case you think this all cannot effect you and your business, just remember that all it takes is for one of your competitors to obtain guest workers, and then in order for you to remain competitive in bidding for contracts, you will have to obtain guest workers as well. The guest worker program threatens all service industry jobs of U.S. citizens of every race and ethnicity from hotel, construction and farm workers to those in the fast food sector.
With the loss of many American manufacturing jobs already, and now this assault upon service industry jobs, the lesson of “Joe Smith” is instructive:
Joe started another day having his alarm clock (made in Germany) set for 6 a.m., while his coffee pot (made in Indonesia) is perking. He puts on his shirt (made in Bangladesh), and sits down at his calculator (made in Mexico) to figure out how much he can spend today. He goes out the door listening to his radio (made in China) and looking, as he has been for a long time, for employment. At the end of another discouraging and fruitless day, Joe sits down and watches his TV (made in Japan), and once more ponders why he can’t find a good-paying American job. Unfortunately, many Americans could eventually suffer Joe’s fate!
What’s really going on is the triumph of the Southern elite’s attitude prior to the Civil War. Regarding these white elitists, in the 1863 book, Pictorial National Records: Embracing Descriptions of Europeans and Asiatic Nations: A Statistic View of the United States of America; and a History of the Great Rebellion, one reads: “The ultimate object of the conspirators seems to have been, in the language of the historian Motley, in his able letter to The London Times, ‘To establish a Gulf Empire, including Mexico, Central America, Cuba, and other islands, with unlimited cotton fields and unlimited Negroes. This is the golden vision in pursuit of which the Great Republic has been sacrificed, the beneficient Constitution subverted.’” And what do we have today? We have rule by an elite which cares little for the constitutional preservation of national sovereignty. And in NAFTA and the guest worker program, they have their unlimited cheap labor producing unlimited cheap products and services.
© 2004 Dennis Cuddy Ph.D. - All Rights Reserved
Dennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (major in American History, minor in political science). Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education.
Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuddy has authored or edited seventeen books and booklets, and has written hundreds of articles appearing in newspapers around the nation, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been a guest on numerous radio talk shows in various parts of the country, such as ABC Radio in New York City, and he has also been a guest on the national television programs USA Today and CBS's Nightwatch.
"Globally, transnational corporate leaders have expected there will be a leveling of wages around the world. Of course, this means as wages in the third world nations rise, American workers’ wages will be driven down."