Famously, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert is challenging Americans to jobs that Americans won't do. How frightfully clever! And yet I'm not entirely happy with the response here, in Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert Challenges Americans to Do Jobs Illegals Won’t. Free market capitalism does provide a long-term solution to the lettuce-versus-jobs debate, but it is somewhat incomplete. I would offer a few observations of my own:
- Construction jobs in the Southwest that pay upwards of $20/hour are dominated by Hispanic workers, a good many of whom are undocumented. This is not because Americans won't do those jobs. It's because construction unions priced Americans out of those jobs long ago. Union scale today would be closer to $25 an hour by my estimates.
- But it's irrelevant now. You can't get a job in construction now without being highly fluent in Spanish, which most Americans are not --and the ones who are can't be bothered with taking a blue-collar job. As I've always said, the people who are least nervous about immigration are the ones whose jobs are not at risk.
- I'm tired of "undocumented immigrant" --it implies a level of legality that simply is not there. But I also don't want the stink of being labeled a hater for using "illegal alien." I will now use "unauthorized worker" and have no qualms about it.
- I mow my own damn lawn.