Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

I saw this article over at counterpunch when it first came up but did not find the time to post on it. So I'll do the "jobs" redux links post. I hate just posting links to other pieces but I wanted to get this stuff out.

Another Grim Jobs Report
How Safe is Your Job?

Is your job safe? Not if it can be done abroad. The only safe jobs are in domestic services that require a “hands-on” presence, such as barbers, hospital orderlies, and waitresses.
For a number of years the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly payroll jobs reports have been sending US policymakers dire warnings, only to be ignored. The March report repeats the message. Ninety-five percent of the new jobs created are in domestic services. The US economy no longer creates jobs in export or export-competitive sectors.

Wholesale and retail trade, waitresses and bartenders account for 46% of the new jobs. Education and health services, administrative and waste services, and financial activities account for another 46%. (Wholesale and retail trade jobs for March were 40,000. These jobs would be sales clerks ringing up sales on registers, people stocking the aisles at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc.

Leisure and hospitality (primarily waitresses and bartenders) accounted for 42,000 March jobs.) In contrast, computer system services accounted for 3,600 jobs.

The biggest item (half) in education and health services is "ambulatory health care services."

This has been the profile of US employment growth for a number of years, along with some construction jobs filled by legal and illegal immigrants. It is the job profile of a third world economy.

Click here for the rest.

While I don't always agree with Mr Hutchinson, his latest is relevant. He doesn't ask all the right questions but it is decent material:
Discrimination: The Root of the Black Job Crisis

In a comprehensive seven-month university study of the hiring practices of hundreds of Chicago-area employers (a few years before Pager's graduate study), many top company officials said they would not hire blacks. When asked to assess the work ethic of white, black and Latino employees by race, nearly forty percent of the employers ranked blacks dead last.

The employers routinely described blacks as "unskilled," "uneducated," "illiterate." "dishonest," "lacked initiative," "unmotivated," "involved with gangs and drugs," "did not understand work," "unstable," "lacked charm," "had no family values," and were "poor role models."

The consensus among these employers was that blacks brought their alleged pathologies to the work place, and were to be avoided at all costs. The researchers found that black business owners shared many of the same negative attitudes.

I will point out that 40 percent of employers ranked blacks dead last I could ask what the remainder was but Mr. Hutchinson does not provide a link to the study or at least the title of said study.

Next I'd like to point out the Center for Immigration Studies:

In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—then chaired by Eleanor Holmes Norton—filed a lawsuit against a Chicago manufacturing firm specifically to prevent blacks from being crowded out by immigrants. It was clear, at that point, that the affirmative-action apparatus recognized the threat immigration posed to the perceived interests of blacks. The EEOC lost the lawsuit, and a subsequent one along the same lines; this ended what Graham calls a “campaign to protect black workers from the surging tides of immigrant competition.” Since then, black leaders seem to have given up on their ostensible constituents...

If minority status is fungible—any kind of minority counts toward the “goals and timetables”—then business could avoid government and activist-group attention and avoid hiring blacks simply by hiring immigrants instead. The law, Graham says, “opened a window of opportunity for business, under the banner of diversity, to hire Hispanic and Asian immigrants in preference to native-born black workers.”

Without mass immigration, this would not have been possible, since in 1965 there weren’t enough of the other minorities to make a difference. But after the admission of more than 26 million new immigrants eligible for affirmative action, there are now more Hispanics than blacks, and one-third as many Asians as blacks. And business has shown a clear preference for immigrant workers—as confirmed by, for instance, William Julius Wilson’s surveys of Chicago-area employers in the late 1980s.

Looking at a critique oF Wilson's work we find the following:

WHILE WILSON'S EMPLOYERS DISPARAGED BLACK WORKERS, THEY EXTOLLED THE VIRTUES of immigrant workers. Wilson also takes these claims at face value, repeating the familiar argument that immigrants are willing to work harder for less money because the wages, however low, compare favorably to wages in their countries of origin. Once again, Wilson's data are not so accommodating. His survey of inner-city residents found that "jobless black men have a lower 'reservation wage' than the jobless men in the other ethnic groups." Unemployed black men were willing to settle for less than $6.00 an hour, whereas their Mexican and Puerto Rican counterparts demanded $6.20 and $7.20, respectively. Unemployed whites demanded over $9.00 an hour. Thus, Wilson's data do not support the conventional wisdom that blacks are unwilling to work at the same paltry wages as immigrants.

Now this comes as a surprise as I had even thought that blacks were objecting to low wages. It is entirely possible that wage depression accelerated between the time of the study and the now, but I think the above is particularly damning to the concept that blacks wouldn't (at one point) take lower wages than immigrants.

Lastly from another edition of New Politics I would like to point the reader to this piece:
Immigration, African Americans, and Race Discourse:

IN 1971, THE Amsterdam News, New York City's oldest African-American newspaper, published a cartoon by Melvin Tapley that gave vent to a uniquely black ambivalence toward immigration. The cartoon portrayed a downtrodden black figure crouched on the ground, labeled "US Folks," a double entendre for "us folks" and "U.S. folks." A chain of other figures, representing Spanish Americans and the foreign born, climb on the back of the crouched black figure, to pluck fruit off the tree of opportunity. Tapley had no illusions about the struggles of these immigrant minorities. Although he portrays them as getting ahead on the backs of blacks, immigrants too must climb over the wall of prejudice, and they reach only the lowest branches on the tree of opportunity.

The accompanying editorial read as follows:

News from the Census Bureau that Spanish-speaking Americans are now able to earn higher incomes than Blacks will not come as a surprise to many of us.

Since our arrival here in 1619 as slaves, Black Americans have watched millions of European immigrants arrive and within a short time hold jobs and reach levels of incomes Blacks were not allowed to attain.

In fact, during the early part of the century the hordes of Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, German, Scottish, Greek, Spanish, and other European immigrants frequently replaced Blacks as longshoremen, street-car motormen, construction workers, jockeys, blacksmiths, and able-bodied seamen. Outright, rank racism, and discrimination were the tools by which Blacks have been deprived of work over the decades.2

The cartoon and editorial reflect a long strand of black thought, which regards immigrants and immigration with an ambivalence verging on resentment and bitterness. This should come as no surprise. As Lawrence Fuchs reminds us: "In 1883, when Emma Lazarus, a daughter of immigrants, wrote the impassioned words ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,' the Supreme Court undermined the last of the civil rights laws passed by Congress following the Civil War."3 And 1965 -- the year these rights were finally restored -- also marked the beginning of a massive influx of immigrants from every part of the world who were thrust into competition with blacks for jobs and opportunity. The crowning irony is that most of these immigrants would not be here, but for the black protest movement that led to immigration reform abolishing the national origins quotas that had chocked off flow of immigrants from nations outside of northern and western Europe...

This is a must read article. Also read the current volume for Steinberg's rejoinder to responses to his article.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Peace! New Article on my BLog: