WASHINGTON: Unemployment rate hits highest level in 9 years
The nation's unemployment rate climbed to a nine-year high of 6.1 percent in May, but a slowing in the rate of job losses raised hopes that the weak economy is starting to recharge.
Businesses cut just 17,000 jobs last month, following a revision in April in which no jobs were lost, the Labor Department reported Friday. The annual revisions showed that job losses this year were not nearly as steep as initially reported.
Unemployment: Time To Talk About The Immigration Dimension
On May 5th, Roy Beck, Executive Director of NumbersUSA.com, read the lead editorial in the Washington Post, “Jobs and the Jobless”
Roy pondered all the dreary statistics so familiar to us: 8.8 million unemployed, 2 million out of work for 47 weeks or more, 4.4 million Americans out of the work force because they can’t find jobs and 4.8 million employed part time because they cannot find full time work.
Then Roy picked up and pencil and, after some quick addition and division, calculated that the number of people who cannot find full time jobs in America averages 41,000 per Congressional District!
Roy’s formula: "the overall total of 8.8 million unemployed," plus "an additional 4.4 million Americans [who] have dropped out of the labor force," plus "4.8 million [who] are employed part time-- not by choice" totals 18 million.
By dividing 18 million unemployed/underemployed by 435 Congressional districts, Roy got 41,000.
With those kinds of staggering numbers starring every American in the face, the issue for 2004 is clear: jobs.
But while the Post had such a clear understanding of America’s greatest problem on May 5th, by last Sunday, June 1, its editorial “Dangerous Crossing” showed that it had forgotten everything it knew only three weeks earlier.
“Dangerous Crossing” called for a guest worker program to create visas so that Mexicans can work temporarily and legally in the US.
Let’s repeat that more slowly: On May 5th, the Post is wringing its hands over the 9 million unemployed - but on June 1st, it’s promoting a guest worker program!
The recent deaths of 19 migrants in Texas prompted the Post’s editorial. And the Post further observed that nearly 2,000 border crossers have died in the last five years “following their dreams.”
This, Mexican President Vicente Fox told Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan is “very sad.”
Oh yeah? Let’s get something clear.
Mexico—and Mexico alone—is to blame for the death of each of those lost souls.
Mexico—and only Mexico--is responsible for the fate of its citizens.
If Fox thinks it “sad” that Mexican migrants die fleeing economic duress, then his first priority is to provide for his people--not lean on the U.S. for guest-worker programs and amnesty.
According to a Copley News Service story appearing the same day, [Analysts say Mexico falls short in resolving illegal immigration, By Jerry Kammer, June 1, 2003] even a prominent Mexican political analyst agrees with me!
Luis Rubio, president of Mexico City’s Center for Research Development was quoted as saying:
"Mexico has been totally incapable of resolving its own problems and is finding a convenient scapegoat in the United States,"
And Professor George Grayson, a specialist in Mexican affairs at the College of William and Mary, said the Fox domestic agenda has been a complete bust:
“So he (Fox) is hoping the skies will open and there will be sunshine beaming from the United States in the form of an immigration accord.”
In a telephone interview, Professor Grayson reiterated that Mexico has ample resources to solve its own problems:
“Mexico is an enormously wealthy country: oil, gold, silver, natural gas, fishing, to name but a few. But the elites are just not interested in the plight of the common man.”
Even the most casual observer of Mexican-American relations can recognize two glaring flaws in a guest worker program without even mentioning the impact on American wages.
In the first place, before a guest worker program could be implemented, all illegal aliens currently in the US would have to be deported. Otherwise we would have the existing 10 million illegal aliens plus those who would come (but never leave.)
And secondly, the U.S. has shown no ability to administrate any type of immigration policy. How do you think we got to 10 million illegal aliens?
Let Mexico worry about Mexico. Instead of day dreaming about “migratory accords” with Mexico, U.S. leaders must immediately focus on getting jobs back to America.
A guest worker program would open the floodgates. And not just for agriculture workers but all types of blue-collar jobs in manufacturing, trade and retail.
Alan Tonelson is a research fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Business and Industrial Council Education Foundation and author of “Race to the Bottom,” essential reading for Americans concerned about wage erosion.
Tonelson has strong opinions about guest worker programs. He told me:
“All guest worker programs drive down wages. There is no such thing as a chronic worker shortage. Everything is related to wages.”
To compound America’s job problem, guest worker legislation, if enacted, would come at a time when white-collar jobs are being sent abroad.
The U.S. has been sold a bogus bill of goods called “globalization.” And now the chit is due.
In his June 2 U.S. News and World Report column titled “Save the Workers,” CNN financial guru Lou Dobbs confessed to having second thoughts about free trade.
“According to the Economic Policy Institute, our rising trade deficits cost 3 million actual and potential jobs in the United States between 1994 and 2000. And the jobs being lost include high-tech, ‘knowledge’ jobs. A report by Forrester Research predicts that nearly 500,000 information-technology jobs will be moved overseas in the next 13 years.”
Attention George W. Bush and Congressional sell-outs: Americans are disgusted!
While opposition to lost jobs has mostly been expressed in Internet chat rooms and in irate e-mails to Congress from the unemployed, the battle is moving to the streets.
On June 26th in New York, The Organization for the Rights of American Workers () is planning a massive demonstration.
TORAW’s mission is to:
“challenge the current law with all its flaws and loopholes and work to promote new legislation that will protect the American worker. We will bring those employers to task that either outsource work to other countries or hire non-immigrant foreign workers to take our jobs here at home. We will be visible and vocal, and we will succeed!”
An angry American electorate is the first step toward keeping jobs at home.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult
School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This
column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.
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