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Hire Me

I’m not acutally looking for a job. Thankfully, I’m not on the market. I do recall a time, not so long ago, that I was in need of work and ready to do anything for solid pay. I was finally able to find gainful employment, though only after months of unsuccessful attempts.

I was single then and had only few responsibilities. Now that I’m married, that responsibility has increased. I ask myself at least once a week, given this economy and job market, what if I were to lose my job tomorrow? What would I do? Where would I start? We do live in America after all, the gleaming land of opportunity and potential, right? Does that motto even ring true anymore? Does that beacon still shine like it once did or has the luster faded from the image of hard-working Americans, sweating and toiling to better themselves and, by de facto, their country?

I don’t know what would happen if I lost my job tomorrow, but I do know one thing; I will do whatever it takes to keep a roof over my family’s head and food on our table. I’m not speaking of unethical means, but I would take a job that most people in my position would consider below their standards. I would clean the rankest of sewers with a toothbrush and even write for the Huffington Post if it meant my family’s livelihood was at stake. Giving up is not an option.

When my ancestors came across the Great Pond, they passed beneath the arms of Liberty, and as they approached the shore they spent months, even years hoping to see, they readied themselves for the work ahead. My family did not sell everything they had in their homeland and travel into the unknown so they could settle for less or rely on the government to feed and clothe them. They were not looking for handouts and to that end, I doubt they were alone on that ship.

They worked odd jobs across the nation, hauled stone for another man’s building, picked cotton until their fingers bled, wrapped them up, and started another row. Where has that American spirit of earning your way gone? Why are we so quick to live off the work of others? When did we become an entitlement society? How do we reignite our republic into one filled with responsibility, ambition, and a readiness to work? Moral legislation via government mandate isn’t going to produce personal responsibility. I believe the answer to reviving this lost spirit lies in our unskilled immigrant labor force.

I have spent countless hours laboring in the non-skilled work arena, most often side-by-side with immigrant workers. Anyone who has done the same can tell you, immigrant workers can and will work circles around you; literally at times. They have the drive to do what needs to be done in order to finish the job, while others, often at a higher pay grade, take their union breaks or sit idly watching. Those are the people turning the knife in the gut of the American Dream and draining our economy, it’s not the immigrant worker.

There is little shortage of jobs in the unskilled labor sector. Many Americans are unwilling to work for less pay due to their sense of entitlement. This creates a void immigrants are all to happy to fill. However, if we do not change our ways, we are in danger of attracting a lazy immigrant population as well.

Were a stable minimum wage enforced across all areas of the job market, and a strong tax reform passed to ensure that everyone utilizing the American Dream are providing for the future, our base economy would become the solid foundation, upon which, we could start slowly recovering from our economic woes, and thereby, building a better job market.

The immigrant workers I advocate are what the Department of Homeland Security deems as “permanent resident aliens” or qualified immigrants. These are the immigrants who are in line to secure their American citizenship. However, there is still an 800-pound gorilla in the room.

The number of illegal immigrants that the Immigrant and Customs Enforcement agents deport every year continues to increase. In 2009, the U.S. government spent nearly $2,500,000 in detention and removal costs alone. That was almost half their projected budget for the I.C.E. division of Homeland Security. I’m not sure what the majority of these illegal immigrants were hoping to accomplish by their fraudulent behavior, but it seems that securing the American Dream for their own family was worth the risk.

I do advocate the enforcement of our current immigration and customs laws as I understand them, but there has got to be a better way to manage and even encourage legal entry of immigrant workers, while continuing to punish fraudulent crimes against the state.

We can no longer afford this propagation of a lazy, able-bodied society who refuse to take care of themselves, and further advertise this lifestyle to our immigrant labor sector; much less to our own American-born citizens.

We must remember our past, define our future, and take personal responsibility of our lives. If we don’t, it will become our greatest regret.

Update 3/8/2010:  Found this in the March 6 Wall Street Journal in an article about the recent political upheaval in New York.

Former NY governor George E. Pataki was quoted as saying, “when you become comfortable and complacent, it creates a sense of entitlement that can lead people to act unethically, and illegally.”

It had not dawned on me that the entitlement pendulum swings both ways. The consequences, while different, still exemplify how entitlement only leads to ruination.

Update 3/19/2010:  Found this in one of my older political blogs: “…Most Americans no longer take pride in themselves, their work, or their word. You get these same individuals en masse to run a business and you have failed ethics giving birth to corruption and greed. Government regulation cannot cure ethical failure. How do we arrive to this point of change everyone voted to create? We cannot give up, we need to get up.

…I too believe we are at a moment of great opportunity. I saw more interest in young voters this past election than ever recorded. We can change things, but we cannot depend on the other guy to do it for us. If it is to be, it’s up to me. You will have help, but that first step is yours to take.”

Thanks for reading,

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