Post by Burp Post by Bob G
Not that this bothers me. The way I see it, if somebody doesn't want
to do the job, that's their problem. Heck with it, let someone else
take the job, who doesn't mind the work, even if it's hard and yah get
dirty doing it, and is perfectly willing to make a nice paycheck doing
Are you a communist? Our economic system is based upon supply and demand. If
the supply is short and the demand is there then a balance is reached via
the money and benefits offered. Using illegal aliens destroys the
Geez, guy, have you a reading comprehension problem? Or are you doing
as all too many others do. Watching something or reading something
and picking out only the bits and pieces you agree with. Or only the
bits and pieces you disagree with, so you have an excuse to be angry.
You might benefit from actually paying attention to all the facts and
points presented, before jumping to conclusions.
First off. What have yah been smoking? What did I write that even
hinted that I might be a communist? I know modern communism does not
work worth a damn, for long. To start with, it violates the normal
human tendencies and psychology. Many humans are perfectly willing to
"share" equally with close family and close friends. The reason that
a communal/communist system has worked reasonably well in many parts
of the world at the small village/small extended family clan level
since the dawn of mankind. For say ... 20 to 100 people or so. Who
feel close ties and bonds with the others. And remain in that group
voluntarily. But I don't personally believe that real communism can
ever work outside of that context.
A far different thing from some "government" demanding and forcing me
to "share" with people I do not know; will never meet; of unknown
quality of character and morals to me; who will most likely never do
one damn thing for me in return for what I do for them, etc.
I am not an evil and selfish man. I work hard and get paid well for
what I do because I do it well enough to be worth every friggin penny
my employer pays me. And it doesn't bother me to work hard and share
my good fortune with family and special, close friends. I also
volunteer both my time, sweat, and cash to particular (of my choosing)
people in need, charities, etc. Nor do I mind the money deducted from
my pay to aid the truly handicapped, disabled, and so forth.
But a communist, as that term is known and used by most people ... Me?
Not a chance. I work hard for MINE ... my extended family clan. Try
to force me to work and redistribute more of my income than I'm
willing to part with to others ... and I'll either quite working, or
work a whole lot less hard and well. You'd get my minimum effort.
And it's likely I'd do exactly like many did in the old USSR. Do the
minimum at my regular job, and on the side and off the books do other
things to bring in more money or needed items for my family and close
Post by Burp
I KNOW that the elites use supply/demand to their benefit constantly. Is
there something immoral or illegal for the laboring class to benefit from
supply/demand? The elites have used propaganda to convince many of the
masses that it is.
I haven't a friggin clue what you're talking about here. What friggin
elites? I don't know any elites. I acknowledge no elites.
Any man I know or know of, is not any better than I am, not in any way
more elite than I am, puts on his pants one leg at a time just as I
do, etc. I kow-tow, and bow to no one.
In my world, elites do not exist.
At my work, which is a company of some success, a partnership owned by
a family and some related to that family by blood or long freindship
and mutual cooperation. I don't act towards the president of that
company as if he's some sort of elite or royalty. He's just a friggin
man, like I am. Some things he does better than I, some things he
knows which I don't. But the vice-versa is also true.
Okay, he's worth many millions. So what? It's his money, not mine.
He's never cheated me. I would not allow it. I am hired because he
needs me and the things I do well. And is willing to pay me what I
figure my labor is worth. If he did not, I'd be saying "Bye."
Because I know that I can go elsewhere and get the pay I want for my
work. I quite deliberately choose what I do.
Not enough pay on the going market for my particular skills? Hmmm,
must be time to either upgrade my skills into some area which pays
more. Or make a decision. Decide I like the work which I do enough
to continue doing it despite the fact I could make more doing
something else. Or strike out on my own and start my own business, to
see if I can make more money doing what I do in my own business. Or
There is nothing, in this country, that prevents me from doing any of
those things. NOTHING. If I'm capable of doing it, and put forth the
suitable effort, and have enough brains to carry it off (am as smart
as I think I am), I can do whatever of those choices I damn well
please. The only thing stopping me would be ... myself.
As it is, I don't wanna be a full time business man. Especially a big
business type. I don't wanna spend all my time with spreadsheets,
analyzing the bottom line, smoozing with prospective customers.
Worrying about minute details and wording of this or that contract,
legal repercussions and exposures. Dealing with endless volumes,
representing entire forests cut down to print, of local municipal,
county, state, and federal rules and regulations. More time smoozing
with politicians and people holding key positions in this or that
regulatory body. And so forth. Have done some of that. HATE it.
The big boss can have it. And he can have the money he earned by
dealing with such crap. Me, I like my work. I like what I do. I
want to do what I do, not what he does. I do what I do because I
found it interesting. It pays well enough so that I figure it's
"enough", I can live with the figures. I am paid well enough, more
than the average person, but am far from being rich. A long, long way
I and my family are comfortable. Have our home, and have a little
cabin on a lake which is not much, not big, not fancy ... but we're
happy with it. I can't afford a new Mercedes, but didn't want one,
anyway. Ain't me. By preference I'd rather have a pickup or regular
SUV, without all the fancy gadgets. I've had them before, didn't use
em. Just something extra to break down and need repairing or
replacement. And I could care less about impressing people.
My tastes and preferences are not expensive or fancy. Mostly my wife
and I enjoy most staying home and gardening, or doing a number of
crafts hobbies we have at home, good home cooking, canning our own
stuff done to our tastes, having friends visit our home or us visiting
theirs, going fishing, etc. If we go out at all, it's to what are
mostly smallish restaurants we enjoy, where we know most of the staff,
and most of the patrons. Or maybe buzz up to a small Indian Casino
that's remote from any big cities. Often taking close friends along.
And the atmosphere of said casino is slower paced and more laid back
than those most people are familiar with. And we know many of the
staff there and are friends with them. We go as much to chat and
socialize as anything else. It's entertainment, with a little
friendly gambling thrown in.
So I make enough, for my purposes. Plus some. Could make more, but
am not really interested. I like what I do. Actually enjoy it, even
on those days I'm cursing the job because things have gone wrong or
whatever. Fact is, I know how to make more money, and have no doubt I
could do it. But like what I do, and any extra time I have I'd rather
go fishing than to do the extra time, work, and effort to get rich.
<Shrug> I don't envy the big guy, the Boss. He can have what he does
and what he earns from doing it, I don't want it. One day when he was
harried he grumbled, "Want my job? You can have it." I just laughed
at him and said, "No way. You're stuck with it. I'd as soon have a
lobotomy. For all the money you've got, you haven't enough to get me
to take your job. Sorry, go find some other sucker." In our
interaction, I call him "Joe" and he calls me "Bob". We talk as
equals, I pay due repect to him, he does the same to me. I don't kiss
his ass and he doesn't expect me to do so. In fact he has reason to
know that if he tried to get me to do so, he'd get a kick instead of a
kiss. Piss me off, treat me in a way I think to be unfair, and I take
a walk. Simple as that.
Now, does he have a right to demand certains things from me, does he
have a right to certain expectations of me? Of course, he signs my
check. By accepting it, I have agreed to his demands and expectations.
He has a perfect right to demand I earn my check, at the rate he pays
me. If I don't like those demands and expectations, I'm free to walk.
And he's free to try to find someone else who is qualified and capable
of doing what I do. For the same or less money.
Obviously, he thinks that'd be hard to do. He keeps me around, and
keeps signing the checks.
Post by Burp
Using illegal labor and usurping the supply/demand equation is communistic
Was I not clear?
I quite purposely put in that line about the one union pipefitter's
comment for a reason. Because it was true. He and others were turning
a blind eye towards those construction cleanup people because they
KNEW ... no one else wanted that job. Not enough legals to fulfill
the demand, anyway.
And that's FACT, get over it.
I have no clue where yah live or what the economic conditions are
aroud where yah live.
Around here, however, while unemployment is higher than usual, it is
not high. By any means. And among many of those recently umemployed,
none of those jobs they held are coming back nor are they being given
to illegals. They're eliminated, gone, finis, obsolete, etc.
i.e. A one time network engineer I know. Who held a high paying job,
better paying than mine. His old job? It's simply gone. His
previous specialty is simply no longer needed. Not in the numbers it
used to be. Modern computer systems and networks have become easier
to use, more plug and play. A lot of things that used to require
calling upon a highly paid specialist to accomplish, are now done
automatically by machine. Or accomplished simply and easily by a user
following a simple set of instructions on his or her screen. Or it
requires one highly paid specialist instead of 10.
Of the sort of things which require a superior knowledge and skill in
his field, for which there was still jobs available, he'd not stayed
up with and current upon the latest and greatest. His knowledge set,
for which he could command high dollars ... is obsolete. Simple as
These days he's a general purpose repairer of desk top computers, and
simple network administrator for a small school district. Making less
than half of what he used to make. But it is all his skills are worth
on the current market. There are bunches of folks who could do the
work of the level he's at now. It ain't rocket science when dealing
with modern systems. He's lucky he got that job. At least the
bennies are good. And his workload light during summer breaks.
Other unemployed folks I know.
Hmmm. Mostly it's people who had jobs where modern systems eliminated
the need for the job. Secretaries and clerks who used to do typing
and filing. Back when using a word processor was difficult and
required a steeper learning curve. Modern office applications are for
the most part so easy that it's quite common place for me to see
managers, lawyers, businessmen, salesmen, etc doing their own
paperwork. Or the bulk of it.
i.e. I was in the offices of a firm which maintains and sells access
and use of a sizeable fiber optic network loop, to business customers,
in a downtown area of a city. In one office area for that firm, there
are a lot of vacant cubicles, desks, etc. Curious, I asked one guy
about it. He was a senior salesman for the company. I wondered if
business was bad. He answered that No, it was quite good, actually.
The vacant desks and cubicles? Used to belong to staff who simply
weren't needed any more. Modern office systems had so simplified
things, made them easier and faster to do, that they had no need of a
large number of paper pushers, typists, file clerks, and so forth any
longer. No work for em to do. Now they had the 8 sales people who
could easily do most of the paperwork themselves. plus one gal who
handled overflow paperwork.
I knew what he was saying. Hell, the other day I made up a bid
proposal for a job myself. Which included the engineering drawings,
schematics, proposed sequence of operation to meet building owner's
specs and desires, proposed bill of materials, copies of description
and spec sheets from manufacturer of the materials I was proposing to
use, etc. A professional level proposal. Everything done neat and
exact, detailed items listed and/or drawn, of final print quality.
Took me about 2 days.
It's not a huge job, pretty mediocre. I'm bidding just short of
$100,000. Fact is that 10 or 12 years ago, I myself would have spent
much more than 2 days planning the project, and would have needed a
staff of several people to complete that bid package (it's a book in
final form) and would have taken a week at least to do all the details
I did alone in 2 days. 1 week if I pushed them double time and
expected em, and myself, to do some overtime.
Get my point?
Now can that computer, or any computer within the foreseeable future
replace Pete, a pipefitter who works for me, who is also a building
automation tech? Not even close. His job isn't in jeopardy nor
anything even close to being obsolete. Same story with his controls
electrician running mate. But I sure don't have the office staff I
would've had 12 years ago. Nor do I need them. If I get backed up a
bit, no sweat. I might well call Pete, or Mark from the field if
either has some extra time on their hands. Both are proficient in the
use of the CAD program, word processing, and spreadsheets. Have to
be, I require it. One of the reasons they got the jobs they have and
someone else didn't. I'm doing the preliminary work and planning and
layout. But if we get the bid, and do the work, there will be field
changes. There always are. It's inevitable and unavoidable, tho it
can be minimalized by good planning. Pete may look like a hairy
gorilla in a hard hat. And he certainly talks like the stereotypical
construction worker. But he has a good brain. And besides being a
top notch pipefitter, HVAC tech, and controls expert. He is more than
moderately proficient at CAD work, a pretty fair hand at programming
digital controllers, and is certified in using the MS Office
applications. Can even set up a small network for yah if need be.
Write up a nice batch file to do repetitive tasks. Etc.
He is a somewhat slow typist tho. I'd guess he's not better than
perhaps 30 WPM. And not so nice to look at as a pretty secretary.
But I don't need a pretty secretary who types fast. Will consider
hiring any ladies, however, who can weld or braze or thread pipe,
program a PLC or DDC controller, knows how to take a temperature and
humidity and calculate enthalphy, etc. If she's pretty, I'll consider
that a bonus for me. But it's more important that she be able to do
the aforementioned things. Simply a pretty face is easy to find, a
dime a dozen, and I won't pay much for someone who is simply pretty.
Gotta be able to do the job.
Hmmm. I know a guy who's a stamping press operator who is out of a
job. Now, his job did go south. After a fashion. At least the
machines he used to operate went south. Were bought up by some
company in Mexico.
Fact is, his employer was going out of business. The work they did
wasn't rocket science. Pretty basic parts making. Others making same
type of simple parts were making and selling em for less. The parts
just as good. No difference. Were not inferior in any way. But
others were making them cheaper than this guy's company.
How? Well, for one the equipment in this place was old, simple stuff.
Manpower intensive. And other US shops of the same sort had better,
more efficient, in terms of manpower needed, stuff. They could punch
out the parts faster, dip em, paint em, pack em, and ship em faster,
with fewer people. Then there was the "foreigners". Similar shops to
his in Indonesia, or Columbia, or whereever. Which had machines like
he used. But their labor costs were less.
This particular guy is no skilled machinest, or tin bender who could
be given a custom job to make. i.e. Hand such a drawing, or a spec
and he could figure out the mathematics needed, materials needed, etc
in order to make the item.
20 some-odd years on the job but the fellow I'm speaking of never
learned anything more than to operate that punch machine, following
instructions for a specific part made up by someone else who knew how
to figure out the best way to make that part using that machinery. In
fact, the guy can barely read. And his math skills are pretty much
limited to simple addition and subtraction. I know. Unfortunately he
asked me if the company I work for could use him, as we have a branch
which makes duct work for commercial HVAC systems. I asked him some
questions, simple ones, which he could not begin to answer. Problem
is our tin benders make custom ducting at each job. It's never the
same between two jobs. Workers have to know their stuff. Be able to
figure out the math and geometry, on the fly in the field, to make
things fit properly, do the right bend radius, and still maintain
rated flow called for by the specs with a head pressure set at
designed set point.
Nothing I could do for him.
He has a line on a new job. But it pays less than the $24 a hour he
made at the last job. Nor does it have the large number of vacation
days and paid holidays, very generous benefits, and so forth which his
last job had. A union job. And they went out on strike asking for
even more. Even tho the company was already having problems staying
in business and competing on the open market place. Thus, the company
folded. Closed the doors.
Last I talked to the fellow, he was thinking about the new job offer,
but as it paid less for people of his skill level (he was offered
about $16 a hr) and the bennies were not as good, he was planning to
just live on his unemployment for as long as it held out before really
trying to get another job.
His last task at the old company was to pack up and crate his old
press machines. Not worth much in the US at going prices. Not much
market for them. They'd been sold to some Mexican firm.
Hmmm. Just talked to a fellow yesterday who just got laid off. A
pitch layer. He gets laid off every winter when the pitch plants shut
down up this way, because it's too cold. He's not looking for
anything else. Said so. In fact he's been looking forward to the
seasonal layoff. Says that he now will have more time for the
important things. Beer drinking and watching the ball games. Lives
in Section 8 housing. The unemployment comp he gets is enough, for
him and his wife. Tho he says from time to time during the cold
season when he's laid off, when he feels like it, he'll do some
drywall work for a guy he knows. To earn some extra beer money. The
guy pays him cash, so he doesn't have to report it as extra income.
Otherwise he wouldn't bother. He was very talkative at the time. But
then, he was fairly drunk. I ran into him as I was helping out some
of his neighbors. An older couple on limited income, both partially
disabled. She's mostly disabled. The hubby works but at a low paying
job. Best he can get with his disability and skills. But he's proud
that he is still working. He doesn't like that fellow next door very
much. Can't figure out why the guy is drunk at 11 a.m. instead of
working since he's able.
Hmmm. I know a nurse's aid who is unemployed. But that is usual for
her. She intentionally plans her life that way. She works only until
she's earned unemployment again, then will deliberately do something
that'll get her fired while still letting her make a claim that it was
of no fault of her own. She's good at it, and knows 1001 tricks to
pull it off.
Frankly, I can't say I know much of anyone who is unemployed, for
long, if they really want to work. Except the truly disabled. Most
of the competent, willing to work for their money people I know don't
stay out of work very long.
Chuckle, a week or so back I did listen in on a conversation between a
couple low voltage electricians. The company for whom they worked had
a slow period coming up. Was gonna lay off the one guy, who was
junior for a couple months. Other fellow, a more experienced fellow,
a journeyman, said "Screw that. I want to get the layoff." Grabbed
his Nextel and called the boss. Said he wanted laid off instead of
younger fellow. When he hung up he told other guy, "It's a done
deal." And explained to younger fellow that now he, the older guy,
could do more hunting, fishing, etc as it was the season. And he
could get some things done around the house which he'd been putting
off. Heck, if someone got to go home and take some time off, he
In the meantime, I regularly hear guys who do business in various
trades, where the work can be tough, yah gotta be willing to sweat
like hell one day, freeze yer nuts the next, have GOOD skills with
hand tools, know the knowledge related to your trade well, and sport a
set of calouses on your hands ... who are looking for people willing
and able to do such work. Guys, or gals, who'll enter the field and
actually stay on the job, even when it gets miserable and hard.
Because that is part of the job. The jobs pay well, but if you're
gonna be a pussy about getting dirty, or developing blisters, or
getting sore muscles, or being hot one time and cold the next ... stay
home. The guys running such businesses will look elsewhere to find
those who are willing to do such work. And pay them. Decently, too.
Talking to them what I hear is that they are seeing fewer and fewer
young folks each year ... young, American born, white kids ...
applying for such jobs and sticking with it. So, more and more they
are turning to people like the immigrant community.
Post by Burp
Of course, if you DO want to destroy the supply/demand system then we MUST
import foreign CEOs that will work ofr $100,000 yearly vice $50,000,000 and
all the professions such as doctors, lawyers, CPAs, etc. will have to have
their wages brought down by the importaion of millions of aliens with those
And you're calling me a communist?
Buddy, you sound like one, did you know that?
Me, I'm not bitching. I can and will stand on my own two feet and
compete fairly against anyone in my field of work. Show myself his or
her equal or better. If not, will shut my durn mouth. Because my
failure has nothing to do with that other person. If he or she is
better than I at something, that's simple fact. Blaming them for my
lacks makes no sense to me. Let the better man, or woman win.
Where in our Constitution does it guarantee equality of outcome?
Where does it guarantee one a nice, fat paycheck even if yah can't do
your job as well as the other person? Or simply won't, because you'd
rather goof off.
Where does it guarantee that your job is safe, will never change, will
never become obsolete, will never be unneeded ... or taken over by a
I do believe, at least it is my understanding, that the Constitution
and Bill of Rights are simply documents that say you have the right of
equality of opportunity and freedoms to do what you can and are
willing to do.
The rest is up to you.
Want that better paying job? Think you're worth it?
What's holding you back? Stop talking and bitching. And prove you're
as good as you think you are. Prove you can do what those you are
envious of and angry at are doing as well or better than they can. Or
at least stop whining.
Talk about un-American. You would seem, if I understand you right, to
fit that image.
Our system is one originally built on the concept that you have the
right and freedom to go as far as you are capable of achieving and
have the desire for. Or doing as little as you wish. Up to you.
But you talk like a fellow who wants the government to step in and
MAKE employers pay you a certain amount, protect you from competition,
and so forth.
Hmmm. Sounds pretty Commie to me.
FWIW, the company for whom I work is a union company. But we aren't
whining. We think we're good at what we do, better than the
competition, and are willing to prove it. And do. Business-wise we
are doing well. Our strongest competitor, FWIW, is a non-union shop.
But the owner of it is sharp, pays his people well, and demands their
best. And they are good. The rest, union and non-union, <Shrug> Had
better shape up or one of the two of us are gonna take their work away
from em. The competitor I mentioned above is our only real
competitior in this area. And he's good, his men are good. He's got
my respect. Keeps us on our toes and sharp. The rest of the folks in
this area in our biz, are either wannabes, or has-beens.
Such is life. Some of those others have gotten out of the biz
altogether. Or have turned to residential work. Which we don't do.
Homeowners and such, 95% or better, don't know the difference between
good work and craftsmanship or bad. Mostly interested in the
cheapest. We're not interested in such business.
Those bad boys you allude to, the big guys, the bigger companies,
organizations, and corporations, however are usually willing to pay
extra for quality. They can be a pain in the ass, and very demanding,
but they'll pay well if you meet their demands and expectations.
They'll pay us what we think we're worth. And when we show we're
worth what they paid, we get repeat business from em.
It has been my observation that the most folks who demand the absolute
bottom line cheapest of whatever available ... are the average
individual homeowners. And small businesses hanging on by a nail, or
just starting up. Or the many fly by night businesses. Where guy
starts up business with no idea to stick around for the long haul.
He's out to make as much money as he can in the shortest possible
time. And will cut every corner, save every penny he can in the
process. Grow fast, make money fast ... then take money and run.
Either let biz go into bankruptancy or sell it to a sucker. What's he
care? He's got his.
Places like the above are were I see most of what are probably
300 illegals caught working for subcontractors of Walmart? Gad, a
friggin pittance, a drop in the bucket. Nothing.
Most are working for people like you, or you neighbor, doing your
yardwork or painting your house for cheap. Because that's all you're
willing to pay.
Or they're taking jobs no one else is applying for, not in the numbers
needed. Often enough, making same wage as a legal would get. But the
legal doesn't want the job.
i.e. I happen to know that the employer I mentioned with the
questionable cleaning crew, pays them them same as he'd pay anyone
else. He simply can't find enough legal folk who want the job, who
are also willing to work at night, when most of the cleanup is done so
that cleaning crews are not in the way of the construction crews.
Knowing the firm in question, I'm betting they aren't asking just a
lot of questions about the employees of said subcontractor. Probably
asked, "Are they legal?" Guy said "Yep, each showed me a piece of
paper which I dutifully copied and filed. Each signed a piece of
paper swearing he or she was telling the truth. But that's all I did.
I didn't try to investigate more. I don't wanna know more than that."
General contractor probably replied, "Neither do I. I need the people
who'll do that job. That's all I am interested in. As long as they
swore to us they're legal, and showed us papers that say so. The rest
is between them and the INS, and not my problem. They'll work, that's
all I need to know."
As concerns some sizeable firms which pay cash. <Shrug> I know some
who will, upon request. i.e. I know a plastics place which makes
parts, moldings, trims, etc out of plastic. Perfectly legite firm.
Know the folks. Would bet there isn't a single illegal in the place.
But a number of their lower level employees (who all make better than
$10 an hour) don't even have a bank account. Perfectly legite people,
they just don't have a bank account. They want cash because otherwise
they have to go to one of those places where they charge to cash your
paycheck. Still others have a bank account, but prefer cash. i.e. I
know a wife who works at the place. She and hubby have an
arrangement. She puts part of her paycheck into the house account to
run and maintain house. The rest is hers. She likes cash, plus
figures it's none of his business how much she keeps. She works more
tha she has to to hold up her end of home expenses, that extra is her
money. And no one else's business. He knows she does this, fine with
him. Agrees, if she wishes to work the extra, her business, her
money. Works for them, so while the way my wife and I work things is
different, I have no adverse comment to make about that couple. If it
works for them, sounds good to me.