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View Diary: THREE times as many Science degrees as there are Science jobs! (298 comments)

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  •  Not much different than the building trades (15+ / 0-)

    I've watched 6 new houses being built in the neighborhood over the past 2 years.  From foundation work, to framing, to plumbing, to electricians, flooring, roofing...you name it.  Virtually the entire construction crew is Spanish speaking.

    _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

    by Keith930 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:46:44 AM PDT

    •  those used to be descent paying blue collar jobs (5+ / 0-)

      but if you can hire one subcontractor at X dollars per foot, and another comes in on his bid at half that, they hire the company that costs less.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:31:58 AM PDT

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      •  Which is actually usually a bad idea (5+ / 0-)

        But for some reason people think the whole "You get what you pay for" doesn't apply to construction. You hire a cheap contractor, who uses cheap labor, expect things to take a lot longer than claimed, and for things to not be done right. People who opt for the cheap tend to end up spending more in the end, just to fix everything the cheap contractor did wrong.

        If they're not using members of a trade union, chances are they don't know what the fuck they're doing.

        First they came for the farm workers, and I said nothing.

        by Hannibal on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:15:11 AM PDT

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    •  Are you sure they're immigrants? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ignacio Magaloni, Dianna

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:51:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most are (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geenius at Wrok, Keith930, Alumbrados

        There'll be a few who aren't, those are the ones in charge. You really can't run a construction business without having a spanish speaking foreman. Not that I have any faith in the sturdiness of any new buildings. Built by the lowest bidder, with wiring and plumbing put in by people who aren't electricians and plumbers.

        First they came for the farm workers, and I said nothing.

        by Hannibal on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:20:36 AM PDT

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        •  Yikes (0+ / 0-)
          with wiring and plumbing put in by people who aren't electricians and plumbers
          It's pretty scary that construction companies can get away with that.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:14:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. So a Chicano or other Latino citizen will be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Loge, Dianna

          the foreman, and the rest undocumented workers. And, yes, I assume you are not talking about caucasian foremen who know a little Spanish--though there a plenty out there.

          Bull: many of those workers under the foreman will be citizens as well.
            I know, especially before the current economic crash, the lowest bidders were often using exploited labor, taking advantage of their undocumented status, but the regional variations are quite significant--and the workers will still be speaking Spanish!
           I think Satya1 was asking the right question: you are not likely to be sure they are immigrants, especially if you are like some of the people that only assume their "foreman" is the only Spanish-speaker that is a citizen--where I live. But with ten million undocumented workers in the country, most of them Spanish-speaking, one can also expect that such work crews will still be exploited today.
           So you may be right with your experience of construction, Hannibal, but don't buy into the overgeneralization of Spanish speakers=non-citizens, which Keith930 kicked off, and that you are not questioning sufficiently. And if you have not lunched and talked sufficiently with the work crews--do it. You'll see what I am talking about, especially in Texas, California and Florida.
          That's the thing about blogs: sometimes it's hard to communicate without overgeneralizing. But what Keith930 did above is unacceptable, especially nowadays.

          The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

          by Ignacio Magaloni on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:59:45 AM PDT

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          •  Can't agree. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alumbrados

            I don't think what Keith930 did was unacceptable.  If I see a collection of construction workers, and I hear them consistently speaking Spanish, it's pretty reasonable to assume they're immigrants.  It would be a pretty remarkable coincidence otherwise.  Citizens tend to have a pretty good grasp of English - like yourself.

            And it is pretty remarkable that Spanish-speaking Hispanics seem to dominate the workforce in the building trades.  It certainly looks as if everyone else has been priced out of the market.

            The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

            by TheOrchid on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:11:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I am here to inform you that you are wrong (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dianna

              about this. While there are many multigenerational citizen Latinos that do not speak Spanish--though the often understand it when spoken--there are an awful lot of Mexican-Americans and other Latinos that do indeed speak Spanish at their workplace, especially in trades like construction where Spanish-only speakers do concentrate in numbers.

              Yo se: yo hablo con ellos--migrantes y ciudadanos--en lugares de mucha historia (como en ciudades dentro del cuadro "top ten," como San Antonio y Houston) donde trabajan juntos, y que hablan con gente que no habla ingles sin pensar ni por un segundo que al mismo tiempo no sean tambien hijos del Tio Sam: lo que dices simplemente ignora la realidad.

              On battlefields, we probably died and won our Congressional Medals of honor with words in Spanish dedicated to our loved ones.

              And I say this as your compatriot.

              The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

              by Ignacio Magaloni on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:29:10 PM PDT

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            •  That's a fallacy of the inverse. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nchristine
              If I see a collection of construction workers, and I hear them consistently speaking Spanish, it's pretty reasonable to assume they're immigrants.
              Lots of Americans speak only English, and lots of immigrants speak some other language as their primary language; but there are far more citizens here than immigrants, so if you see someone speaking another language, that does not imply that person is an immigrant.

              My mother grew up in a german-speaking ethnic enclave of Chicago in the 40s and 50s.  The kids spoke German at home, and spoke English with a German accent, even though they were Chicago natives.  The adults spoke German to each other, and even their local newspaper, the Abendpost, was in German.  If you saw a bunch of them working on a car, would you assume they were foreigners?

              Now I live in Binghamton, NY.   I just took my kid to the park, and there were kids speaking Chinese and Russian.  I was speaking to my kid in Portuguese.  It never occurred to me to assume that any of these kids were immigrants.

              At the university where I work, we are warned that a substantial number of incoming students come from households where English is not the first language spoken, and many of them gravitate into ethnic enclaves and speak to one another in non-English languages.  

              America has always pretty much always been like this.

              Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

              by Caj on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 10:02:13 AM PDT

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    •  Yes, yes, but the Democratic party doesn't care... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal, Hockeyray, milkbone, Keith930

      ...about you.

      I've watched 6 new houses being built in the neighborhood over the past 2 years.  From foundation work, to framing, to plumbing, to electricians, flooring, roofing...you name it.  Virtually the entire construction crew is Spanish speaking.
      Sorry, foreign workers taking your job is only an issue if they have immigration papers.   Some people on this site wonder why blue-collar Americans don't vote Democratic anymore...
      •  You think many people here wonder why? (0+ / 0-)

        I think they simply ascribe their own motives to Blue-collar Americans who don't vote Dem.

        Usually it comes down to either bigotry or stupidity.  If you aren't blue-collar, and don't have friends who are, it's quite easy to just "fill in the blank."

        _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

        by Keith930 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:42:06 AM PDT

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    •  How many of those are legal residents, spanish- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IT Professional, Dianna

      speaking Americans (they have skin as dark as any other relative from across the border)--just because Latinos often do labor of that type, does not mean the work crews are all "imported" at lower wages: if you live in California, or Florida, or Texas, or Illinois, you are probably making an ignorant comment.
       Now, there are pockets of construction work with subcontractors that exploit undocumented workers--often Spanish-speaking workers from across the Americas--but your comment sounds very condescending to someone like me, whose students fit your description quite often, and are Americans to the core, and often work in the building trades--where their bilingual abilities are quite handy.
      Many of the trades you listed require licenses--and these trade workers will speak Spanish, and do plumbing and electrical work that most of the people that recommended your comment would simply screw up.
      Yeah, your generalization smacks of ignorance: "Spanish-speaking" is not good shorthand for what you might legitimately be  talking about, and you should either apologize, or expand your comment into a decent description about an exploited group that is being used to undermine the wages of those Spanish-speakers in the building and hospitality trades--those citizens, those legal residents, and my other neighbors, those undocumented workers.
      Good heavens, what will we do with these Chinese-speaking/German-speaking/italian-speaking workers! Capish?
      Disgusting.

      The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

      by Ignacio Magaloni on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:43:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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