Monday, February 25, 2008

Acting White: Immigrants and Black Employment

I received an email from a fellow-blogger asking my thoughts on a Coalition of Future American Workers YouTube video making the rounds. The spot makes the point that immigrants are responsible for taking jobs away from black Americans, while also depressing wages. In one sense it is true, but more significantly it is disturbingly false.



The fact that global cost factors, driven largely by Chinese economic expansion, place downward pressure on US wages, should not be confused with the stagnant nature of black employment and wage growth. As many blacks accumulate the decades-old impact of discounting the critical link between education and success, they represent an obstacle for the US economy and more recent immigrant groups wishing to navigate up from the bottom.

New US immigrants willing to work for less represent a stop-gap competitive US response to globalization, at best. While real wages in China are going up, American consumers benefit greatly from their less expensive goods. In concert, America is relinquishing it technological lead by eroding, versus growing, its industry demand for science and engineering graduates, and this is what spells our long-term doom.

More to the point of black progress, working harder for reduced wages in America is an expedient, albeit inefficient, strategy to success for those with limited options. As a long-term strategy, dead-end jobs lead to disenfranchisement. However, if you work hard at that crappy job and mind your nickels, you can then invest in education to more efficiently lift yourself (particularly your children), before you burn out. Alternately, if you consume your precious nickels on ‘bling’, you will forever live on the bottom, alienated. With lessening help from racism, this is the behavior and resulting plight of too many blacks in the US.

So people must not be mislead by the Coalition. It is not immigrants that should worry them, but rather the low priority for going to school and getting good grades, compared to wasteful consumption of limited resources. This is not to say that the doors of this country should be wide open. Rather, the immigration debate should be about how incoming cheap labor (also uneducated) can be more expensive, via their infrastructure cost, relative to the value that their labor brings.

Blaming the plight of blacks on issues of immigration is fallacious, and does neither argument justice.

James C. Collier

READ MORE ACTING WHITE...

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13 comments:

Tom James said...

So who is really behind this campaign and how do they benefit by dividing blacks and immigrants?

James C. Collier said...

Tom: Organized labor in the US has a history of playing the race card when it suits them, and in either direction - to pull in blacks or repel them to suit an agenda.

Tom James said...

Is there a specific candidate for pres. that benefits more?

Sorry I'm so slow to pick this stuff up.

James C. Collier said...

Conservatives have historically been more tight-fisted on the border, but you would need to look for the candidates backed by Coalition organizations to deduce who the video producers believes will benefit. Otherwise, the capture of any sizable portion of black voters, by such an appeal, simply represents an attempt to grab a voting block that just may swing an election, or at least influence an agenda item.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]In one sense it is true, but more significantly it is disturbingly false.[/quote]

Mr. Collier:

Did you read the study that they linked to the page that you have posted?

I did. I spent a 2 hour flight with a red marker, reading every word and dissecting many of the formulas that they used to model the phenomena that they pointed out. They even had a component that factored in the impact of Crack Cocaine on Incarceration.

I must ask - you provided anecdotal evidence to justify your claim. The report that I am speaking of uses empirical data from the Census, Department of Labor, Department of Justice and other sources.

How do you so readily dismiss the finds of the research group. (To be clear - the video is not what I am talking about. If you click through to the link that they provide you can read the entire report for yourself.)

James C. Collier said...

Constructive Feedback: On the contrary, I do not dismiss the Coalition's findings at all, and I state this when I say that it is true that immigrants take jobs from blacks. What is disturbing is in not understanding that they take jobs that blacks should have 'graduated' from long ago, by virtue of educating themselves to grab the reins of their development, however that education was attained. How sad it is that blacks would ever claim ownership of bottom rung jobs that, when passed from generation to generation, only cement notions of inferiority. This is the future the Coalition seems to want for blacks, and I am not buying it.

Tom James said...

"How sad it is that blacks would ever claim ownership of bottom rung jobs that, when passed from generation to generation, only cement notions of inferiority."

Wonderful observations James.

I wish we could get you heard or read to a larger audience.

You are a great American!

I put your outlook on life on par with George Washington Carver a great role model we hear too little about, Red Skelton another of my hero's, John Wayne, Will Rogers, Mark Twain, etc....

Always hitting us between the eyes with truth!!!!!!!!!

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]What is disturbing is in not understanding that they take jobs that blacks should have 'graduated' from long ago, by virtue of educating themselves to grab the reins of their development, however that education was attained.[/quote]

I agree with you on this point.

In my analysis of the popular Black political ethos it is important evaluate the presence of a certain economic theories which serve to immobilize Black people who employ such thoughts in their own lives regarding pursuit of wealth and advanced knowledge which could be used to propel them out of these lower rung jobs. In addition they tend to channel other Black people toward this certain end by excusing behaviors that are counter-progressive (REAL "progression" rather than the leftwing label that is popular).

I am of the opinion that we as Black people need to REVERSE ENGINEER a solution.....if indeed we seek to have more of our own people rise up and not be victims of this phenomenon we need to detail a pathway by which they can arrive at these higher heights - one step at a time with these acts being repeated on a daily basis.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]What is disturbing is in not understanding that they take jobs that blacks should have 'graduated' from long ago, by virtue of educating themselves to grab the reins of their development, however that education was attained.[/quote]

I agree with you on this point.

In my analysis of the popular Black political ethos it is important evaluate the presence of a certain economic theories which serve to immobilize Black people who employ such thoughts in their own lives regarding pursuit of wealth and advanced knowledge which could be used to propel them out of these lower rung jobs. In addition they tend to channel other Black people toward this certain end by excusing behaviors that are counter-progressive (REAL "progression" rather than the leftwing label that is popular).

I am of the opinion that we as Black people need to REVERSE ENGINEER a solution.....if indeed we seek to have more of our own people rise up and not be victims of this phenomenon we need to detail a pathway by which they can arrive at these higher heights - one step at a time with these acts being repeated on a daily basis.

James C. Collier said...

Constructive Feedback: You sir, have landed squarely on the reason I am writing a book, and why I blog. I will consider your words encouragement, if you do not mind.

Eyesys said...

black vs brown...let there be no financial incentive to hire an immigrant over a "native", i like that.

Tom James said...

But aren't the Browns native to the southwest and west?

Hustla said...

if you're qualified youll get the job. black people need to go to school, so then they won't compete for jobs with immigrants

the don - http://www.anythingblack.wordpress.com