As a Commodity trader it is easy to see labor as a commodity. We are all Commodities when it comes down to our value
in the marketplace. Whether your picking apples or operating on a heart or owning your own business you have a certain value
to the Market which is reflected in your earnings. A truly free market will pay you what you are worth just as it will value
any other item such as a diamond or a gallon of gas. The ultimate worker commodity is the Union worker who is told exactly
what he is worth depending on an agreed upon value for a certain scale. The rarer your skill set the more precious a commodity
you become to the Market
Like the old saying goes, if you don’t want to become a millionaire, join a Union. If
you want to become a Union millionaire, run one. This represents two truths of worker value, one is a strictly negotiated
value and the latter isn’t. The Union boss not only is a rare commodity, he enjoys the hidden benefits of corruption
The Market will reward any commodity that is rare which brings a positive cash flow to the capitalistic society.
Whether the person is picking lettuce or making cars the market determines the value of that worker. A Mexican speaking illegal
alien who can only do manual labor has no leverage in the marketplace and is valued at $20-$30 per day since there are millions
of equally unskilled Mexicans to keep his price down. At the other end of the spectrum is Rush who there is only one in the
entire World which means zero competition. There are lots of copies, but only one America’s Anchorman who can make wonderfully
obscene profit margins from the marketplace. This allows him unlimited leverage. The less the competition the greater the
profit margin and higher the wages.
Within the Mexican labor pool there are levels of skill which is reflected in wages.
Basic labor such as hoeing a field or picking lettuce is going to pay a lower wage than someone who can bring certain skills
or talents to the market. Anyone who has picked apples or cherries knows that there is definite skill in reading trees and
racing up and down ladders. This will garner a higher wage well into the $100 per day range. The fact that this only lasts
for a week or two before migrating to the next farm eliminates this as a career for most Americans.
Mexicans are a necessary
commodity and problem that has been ignored due to convenience. Nobody should fault the farmer because he is using this readily
available labor to keep his expenses at a level that is required by the marketplace. Finding dependable hard workers for low
wages is a difficult hole to fill for a labor intensive employer. If his costs are too high the buyers will buy from a farmer
who can meet their demands or buy off shore. The margins for farming are so small it is required that farmers maximize every
acre and cut every penny to continue their God given livelihood.
This example is farming however the same is true for
every labor intensive industry. Until we address all the issues of Mexican labor and the cheap commodity that it brings to
the workplace we are never going to solve this issue. In a full employment red hot economy, employers need this valuable asset
to meet market demands.
Likewise a Mexican who is living in Mexico earning $50 a month looks at the Shining City on
the Hill and realizes he can make 10 times that and is motivated to cross the border. To us it is below a living wage but
to Manuel Mexical this is the promised land. No matter what we put in place including a fence, Manuel will find a way across
to earn a living he cannot make in Mexico just as Rush will move to Florida to avoid oppressive income taxes. Both should
be legal and managed. Until we have an enforceable guest worker program anything we put up will be just trying to empty the
ocean with a holey bucket.
There is no simple solution and anyone who is honest will admit the same thing. To ignore
the forces of supply and demand is to ignore basic economics. To try to form a bill that ignores these forces will be as worthless
as SSI for those under 40. We can reach the point where we can talk about this issue in a respectful manner to get to a point
where there is a solution. Using thuggish tactics will only cause people run away from it making the situation worse. This
is the most important issue in the Country and until we can get the Mexicans to come across in an organized and secure manner
we will never have control of our borders. One answer would be a guest worker program with no chance of citizenship.
President Bush credit for addressing this issue rather than crucifying him, since it is a net loser to anyone making that
attempt. No matter how strict the guest worker program is the demagogues are going to call it amnesty regardless of the truth.
Mexico has a commodity besides Oil that we need to exploit for our economy. Closing the border is the goal which all sides
must be pointed while name calling only widens the divide to eliminate free exchange of ideas.
Pray for W and Our Freedom