Who's the most scornful of American labor - the Right or the Left?

Given the current multi-state brouhaha over rolling back union negotiating rights for public workers, it should be a slam dunk that the right wing is most hostile to labor.

But damn if Utah isn’t giving us a fine example of how the Right and Left can share common cause in sticking it to American workers. Utah has a new state pact that’ll make it easier for businesses to hire more poorly paid immigrant employees, and everyone from business to the Mormon Church to liberal voices is hailing a “free-market labor philosophy” as a wonderful thing.

*'What a big-hearted “howdy” for newcomers from foreign lands! And I thought the compact’s backers were mainly fat cats trying to push through a cheap-labor deal.

Observe their application of “a free-market philosophy” to the workforce. As it happens, the United States does not have a free market in labor — free market, as in letting anyone from any country walk in and take a job without proper documents. That’s why we have laws forbidding employers to hire illegal immigrants. If the plan is to turn America’s labor market into a global free-for-all, I think we need a conversation first.

Guest-worker advocates, writes an approving editorialist for The Wall Street Journal, believe that “the most responsible way to shrink the illegal alien population without hurting the local economy is by giving foreign nationals wider access to the state’s labor markets.” He calls the law’s opponents “immigration restrictionists.”

Gosh, Utah is now setting up a formal partnership with the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon to grease the pipeline of foreign laborers.

Native-born and otherwise documented workers, hold your tongues. You don’t want to be called a “restrictionist,” do you?

Over on the left, The New York Times gushes over the “welcome contrast” Utah draws with the “xenophobic radicalism” of Arizona. Utah does avoid the serious flaw in Arizona’s law — letting police demand immigration papers from those merely suspected of being in the country illegally.

But the Times also likes this end-run around federal laws that limit the number of immigrants that may enter this country legally — laws designed to protect the wages and benefits of U.S. workers. How nice to treat the long-suffering low-skilled American as invisible and shroud that neglect in pious humanitarian sentiments."*

The Washington Post also loves the new Utah “reforms”.

Isn’t it nice that in a time when there’s so much political backbiting and lack of compromise, that conservatives and liberals can agree on one thing at least - screw the American worker.

Uh uh, you can produce cites that shows that the people of Utah did look more at the labor situation and not the human side of it? Even looking at it from the point of view of labor the majority of the people in Utah (And that includes workers in case you miss it) were still more in favor of a reform like this, as a recent poll showed, people do care if the immigrants are not contributing or involved in crime, you don’t contribute? Then you have no reason to be here and should be kicked out, You do contribute? Then you can stay.

Your last word needed an adjective in front of it: US. Because it’s a great boon for those workers who are undocumented.

I’ve long maintained that the main problem with NAFTA et al is that capital is far more fluid than labor. A company can move operations overseas simply by overcoming the logistical hurdles to such a move; an individual can sell her labor to another country only be uprooting her familial and friendship ties to the local community. Immigration restrictions make this situation even worse: a company can go where the labor is cheapest, but a worker can’t go where the wages are best. It makes a profoundly unequal relationship even more unequal, and it stifles competition among companies to pay the best wages, while exacerbating competition among workers to accept the smallest wages.

So no, I don’t see this law as a problem, despite my firm support of workers. I support workers no matter what country they’re from.

I see a correlation between lack of concern on the Dope over this issue, and the job demographic of Dopers.

We’ve got lots of white-collar workers and professional types. Service industry (i.e. hotel and motel workers, gardeners etc.) and manufacturing employees, not so much. The former tend to face much less impact from the importing of illegals (excuse me, “guest workers”). In fact, they benefit from cheaper goods, easy scorn about “nativism” and the prospect of more voters who they think will go Democratic. Win-win.

A noble sentiment.

There’s a certain amount of irony here, given LHOD’s new thread expressing concern about better job security and good wages for teachers. What if school districts decide that with the influx of immigrants from Mexico, their children’s classroom needs can better be served by importing “guest teachers” from Mexico with an abbreviated path to legal residency? Probably a goodly number of these teachers can speak decent English. Why not simplify getting teaching certificates for them and bring them to America in large numbers, while dumping those “restrictionist” union rules that promote unnecessary job security and living wages for American teachers? Education costs will drop and there’ll be more opportunities for the newcomers, who’ll be grateful for the new, lower wages.

You wouldn’t want to stand in the way of progress and justice, would you LHOD?

There’s no irony here whatsoever, and it’s kind of sad that you think there would be. [edit: also, if you read my new thread carefully, you’ll see that I’m advocating less job security for teachers, from a purely self-interest perspective.]

My second-graders just finished a major project, wherein they read books about and wrote and acted in a play about Jackie Robinson. During a key scene, the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers told the current short-stop, Pee Wee Reese, that Jackie Robinson would be joining the team, and that there was a chance he’d take Pee Wee Reese’s position. Reese’s response in the play: “I don’t care. If he’s good enough to take my job, he deserves it.”

My sentiments exactly. If my teaching is so low-quality that someone with little education from Mexico and with limited English proficiency can do it better, then by all means let them do it. I don’t base my career plans on labor protectionism; I base them on being awesome at my job.

And just to be clear, I know that there are plenty of educated teachers in Mexico as well. I’m talking about the mainstream of undocumented immigrants from Mexico, who to the best of my knowledge mostly lack a college degree or clear fluency in English.

No. No, I won’t excuse. You are trying to imply what you cannot support, that the terms are virtually identical save for some bogus “political correctness” that a direct and candid person, such as yourself, may sneer upon.

But obvious to the meanest intelligence, “guest worker” status suggests something entirely different in every meaningful respect to “illegal”. For starters, legality.

Bad Jackmannii! Bad! Now go lay down by your water dish.

The OP seems to be under the impression that the category “American labor” is exclusive of those Americans who happen to have been born elsewhere, or who hold different citizenship.

Yeah, if you live and work in America, you’re an American in my book.

Are you advocating less pay for you and your fellow teachers as well? I must have missed that one. Importing a flood of immigrant teachers would mean less pay and less job security for you.

Gotta love the contempt for other workers that the last statement expresses. Lose your job or a living wage because it got exported abroad or taken by an illegal immigrant willing to work far more cheaply? You just weren’t “awesome” enough. :rolleyes:

Measuring “awesomeness” has gotten a bit tricky in the teaching profession, given the controversy over tying achievement to students’ test scores. Maybe Mexican teachers could do as good or better a job at this, maybe not. Given high and continually rising education costs, it wouldn’t surprise me if states encouraged this experiment somewhere down the line. What would surprise me is seeing LHOD and unionized teachers placidly standing by and saying “let them replace me, I support all workers.”

It is enjoyable (if predictable) to see others in this thread holding hands with big business and other non-blue collar worker interests in Utah, for reasons outlined previously.