Americans commonly repeat that immigrants and poor people take jobs other Americans won’t, implying immigration and poverty help the economy, as if filling those tough or dirty jobs is necessary. Saying something often doesn’t make it accurate or true.
They see the correlation but got the cause and effect backward. Immigration and poverty don’t fill positions empty or hard to fill. The existence of people with limited recourse to defend themselves enables people to create roles otherwise unacceptable and exploit defenseless people to fill those roles.
I’ve been thinking about such positions since before watching Dominion, but that documentary reminded me. It highlighted workers treating animals cruelly, but I’m not talking about them in particular. The whole processing plants and whole industries contain jobs nobody would want. Jobs like slaughtering animals on an assembly line or throwing thousands of baby chicks per day into an industrial chopper didn’t exist before. They don’t have to exist any more. As a society we could stop them or at least try, but we don’t, because immigrants do the job and we don’t know them. They lack power and authority so can’t helps themselves against well-funded corporations.
We don’t have to create dangerous jobs. We’ve created a culture and economic system that requires them, but we can change that system.
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