T Nation

"They Took Our Jobs"


i wasn’t sure if i should post this in the off topic section or the politics section. so i played Eeny meeny miney mo and landed on off topic.

at my old job i always wondered why were there older Hispanics working at my restaurant. when i asked my managers about their ages he told me that each of them were close to the age of 50. working at my old restaurant sucked,especially the pay. it was minimum wage which is $7.25 in texas. with the benefits and pay raises you could get up to $8.50 as a member of the staff, excludimg managers. When i worked there i hated the place and i always wanted to leave. the older Hispanics worked there butts off all the time and were still getting paid the same amount as i was. i recently quit that job and i now work at dfw airport as a baggage handler. one of the first things i noticed was that their are a lot of immigrants working there, and especially for the company i work for. my coworkers are pretty old, in fact i work with some people who went to high school with my dad in Somalia(my dad is like in his 60s).i knew some of them as a child growing up and i always assumed they were making money but i just found out they are working two minimum wage jobs just to support themselves and their families.

When people complain about immigrants stealing jobs from us americans. are the talking about the minimum wage jobs that no one wants or are they talking about the children of immigrants who in the future can get a degree and enter the job market.

background knowledge of me
parents are both from somalia and i am the first one in my familiy born in the united states. my dad came here on a student visa back in the 70s and ended up becoming a citizen after staying here for a while. my mother came here when she was 11 with her adopted family.


Before this closes I’ll say Trump is a fascist pig.


damn the post is going to deleted. why


Yes to both.


This has been called the new gig economy. More people working two part-time jobs.

"Many have been impressed yet puzzled by the dramatic improvement in our unemployment figures in the last two years. Here’s an article from a liberal economist in the Obama administration that explains that most of the improvement in the “employed” numbers are people getting only part-time jobs. Think Uber and temp agency work. Remember, the government classifies anyone working at least one hour a week as "employed.“
Couple that with fewer people LOOKING for work, and you get an unjustifiably rosy picture of our nation’s employment picture.” - Richard Rider.


This doesn’t really address your question, but it’s related to the minimum wage job issue.

To give you an idea of why restaurant jobs tend to have low pay. The answer is profit margins. New laws trying to raise the minimum wage in CA hit these low profit margin businesses hardest. In places like San Diego, CA restaurants have been passing the new higher minimum wage on to consumers. This has really outraged a lot of progressives who want those “fat cat” business owners to take it out of their big profits.

The math of this.

"With all the new California higher minimum wage requirements kicking with the start of the New Year, many Democrats are outraged that restaurants are passing those costs on to customers, sometimes tacking on a 3% labor charge on the bill – a charge that is rapidly catching on in the city of San Diego, to pay the city’s new higher city minimum wage. San Diego now has a $11.50 minimum wage – the minimum in the Golden State is now at least $10.50. More such mandatory raises are scheduled in coming years…
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/…/sd-fi-restaurants-min… ).

Liberals insist that owners should pay these higher costs out of their huge business profits.
So I have a question for my readers…:
“On a dollar’s worth of sales in a full service restaurant, what percent of a restaurant bill (ignoring the sales tax) is profit to the greedy owners?”

Silly question, of course…I’ll provide the answer: Less than 4% is profit – ignoring the 60% of restaurants that fail within 3 years.

To be specific from the article below: “Full-Service Restaurants at all levels spent about 32 percent of each dollar on the cost of food and beverages, 33 percent on salaries and wages, and from 5 percent to 6 percent on restaurant occupancy costs. Profit margins, however, varied according to the cost of the average check per person. Those with checks under $15 showed a profit of 3 percent. Those with checks from $15 to $24.99 boasted the highest profit margin at 3.5 percent. Finally, those with checks of $25 and over had the lowest profits, at 1.8 percent.”

FOLLOW UP QUESTION: “If the 3% wage increase is NOT cranked into the customer’s bill, how much profit will the owners get then?” (Wait patiently for their answer. Could be a long wait, I admit.)

EXTRA CREDIT QUESTION: “If the higher labor cost is not passed through to customers – or the workers are not replaced by automation – and given that the owners would thus no longer make ANY profit --how long will the restaurants remain in business?” - Quote from Richard Rider


There are two opposing forces you need to consider to answer this question. First, yes, many Americans are complaining about the lack of minimum wage jobs for the sheer reason that it’s easier to blame someone else than it is to accept responsibility. Blame entitlements and a victimhood culture for this.

The counterpoint is one of economics. In many areas the influx of immigrants has been large enough that it has overwhelmed the supply-demand curve for jobs and subsequently driven wages down. Jobs that paid decently years ago no longer do. Americans making $15 an hour weren’t qualified for something higher paying and unwilling to take something lower paying.

The dirty little secret that nobody wants to talk about is the effect the upper middle class has had one the lower middle class. The number of two-income families is at an all time. In a rush to blame immigrants, the economy, etc., few seem to realize that two-income families are doing better and better. Families with two incomes that can easily get by on one have probably done more harm to the bottom quartile of middle class earners than anything else.


A little bit off topic, but you can also think of marriage as a huge positive force in combating poverty. When couples get married before they have children, and stay married, poverty drops into single digits. That’s true for black families as well. But yeah, two-income families have certainly effected things like home affordability. Everything resets to a new normal in terms of what people can pay for a house.

I was just thinking of the tile contractor in a place like Phoenix. Let’s say he’s bonded, insured, has a book keeper to keep up with costs like payroll, unemployment and disability insurance, and so forth. Then there are guys standing on the corner at Home Depot who can lay tile without any of that overhead. Of course, the legal contractor who’s playing by the rules might float your tile and the guy at Home Depot might do some lick 'em and stick 'em job, but depending on the market, that doesn’t matter much to the consumer. Of course he’s threatened if the new immigrant isn’t playing by the same rules. Some sectors will be far more effected by this sort of thing than others.