Our work ethic: A disturbing question
A new study showing that all U.S. employment gains since 2000 have benefited immigrants, legal and illegal, while native-born workers' employment has fallen undercuts the Senate-passed immigration bill's “the nation needs more workers” rationale — and begs a disturbing question about nonworking Americans.
Based on U.S. Census Bureau information, the Center for Immigration Studies ( cis.org) reports that 22.4 million immigrants of working age held jobs as 2013 began, up 5.3 million from the start of 2000. Meanwhile, jobs held by native-born workers dropped by 1.3 million and the ranks of Americans entirely out of the labor force grew by almost 13 million.
Conventional wisdom credits immigrants seeking a foothold toward achieving the American dream for willingness to work hard in menial, dirty, even dangerous jobs that the native-born don't want to do. The new CIS study suggests more Americans than ever see such jobs as beneath them, begging this question:
What's wrong with the American worker?
The likely answer: That “beneath me” attitude has become all the more prevalent among Americans as their government has reduced incentives to work, thereby increasing incentives to rely on taxpayer-funded entitlements.
America doesn't need more immigrant workers. It needs more Americans who are willing to work as hard as immigrants — and prefer individual initiative, self-reliance and holding any job over dependency on the public dole.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The EPA: Mop, please
- U.N. Watch: Elect a reformer
- Another holiday dump: The regulations parade
- Charter school pablum: Hillary Clinton misleads on education
- Sunday pops
- The Box
- Valley Laurels & Lances
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- U.N. Watch: Iranian showdown
- Saturday essay: Thanking Dad