I’ve been getting a lot of flack lately because some of my recent columns have been critical of lazy American citizens, and have seemed to champion the work ethic of our large and burgeoning Mexican immigrant population.
Additionally, the fact that some of my entry-level workers get minimum wage has provoked some to suggest I am a Slave Master , and it has been further suggested that Mexican immigrants have been taken advantage of by their American employers.
Evidently, paying the U.S. government’s mandated minimums to a people who might make a small fraction of that wage is slavery.
If you really think Americans treat Mexicans badly it might be instructive to hear how Mexicans treat Mexicans.
My tooling and molding supervisor is a Mexican born U.S. citizen who came here in the early 1980’s. His wife came shortly thereafter (they met here) aided by an illegal alien smuggler, affectionately referred to as a Coyote.
Even though this man charged the family thousands of dollars for the passage, the Coyote was quite perturbed when he found my worker’s future wife, who was wearing a sweat shirt and appeared to the Coyote as a young boy, remove her sweatshirt to reveal a t-shirt and the fact she was certainly not a young boy.
The Coyote benevolently stated she was lucky he had not known she was a she, and went on to tell her she would have been taken to a Mexican brothel and forced into prostitution if he had known better.
The next time you think about American manufacturers turning Mexican immigrants into slaves by paying them no less than the government mandated minimum, don’t forget about our friendly Coyote.
As for the assertion that I exhibit some sort of preference for illegal workers; my only preference is for workers who want to work. Seeking to employ illegal aliens is crazy, and it is exceedingly disconcerting to worry some government agency might slap you with fines when you are struggling to succeed to begin with.
Recognizing many illegal aliens demonstrate humility and desire to get ahead while some of America’s home grown citizens expect government handouts is only proven to be accurate analysis when you see how many Democrats we have in office. People who work hard to earn their money don’t vote for Democrats who promise to raise their taxes.
Many small manufacturers are in the unenviable position of drawing from a labor pool created by the government’s irresponsible and deliberate destruction of our border’s security. These policies may have been encouraged by large chicken farmers and by agricultural interests, but the little entrepreneur is certainly not encouraging, and in no way happy about illegal immigration.
The problem is, these small businesses are not just competing with China and India, they are competing with the guy down the street drawing from the same labor pool!
As one of these small manufacturers, I can tell you there is no one more agitated by this impossible situation, and understand fellow American citizens in their disdain for our government’s open-border policy.
My views are conservative across the board, whether in regard to immigration or free-markets. I abhor political correctness which is nothing more than a method used by leftists to completely unplug the brains of moron Americans who barely had them plugged in to begin with.
I think we should not only put up a border fence, I think we should send the U.S. Military down to Mexico, seize their oil fields, and confiscate the proceeds until the Mexican government changes its policy of encouraging their population to come here for work and send money home, all subsidized by American taxpayers.
Business exists to provide goods and services and acquire profit so it can continue to provide goods and services by employing people. It is not the job of business to enforce the border; that is what we pay taxes for.
If you believe business ought to be in charge of border security and document verification, you ought to try and call the Social Security Administration about their notice informing you names and numbers don’t match, and ask if these persons must be fired only to hear, Oh no, don’t do that.
Or perhaps endure the assaults by illegal immigrant advocates who threaten to sue your small business with very well organized and funded agencies when you threaten to suspend any person who takes part in the Mexican May Day protests.
If all that tends to dampen your spirit and discourage your entrepreneurial fantasies let me tell you how I became a Slave Master.
I started my business in 1994 with no capital (after failing repeated attempts previously). To make up for my lack of funds I invested my labor, twenty hours a day, seven days a week. Once a week I traveled 65 miles for a shower. I did that for five months until I made enough money to move the business closer to my home.
After taking twenty-five thousand dollars out of the business, my partner (I had only taken three thousand.) promptly quit and I was left wondering whether I could make it. I prevailed, doubling the company’s revenue each year for four years where I abruptly lost half my business overnight because Chinese competition had arrived in earnest.
I managed to hang on, earn enough to focus on the plastics side of the industry and move away from the tooling side. It was like starting over because I really didn’t know processing and again had to put in long hours to make up what I lacked in competence.
I was able to get enough business to keep going, but only by agreeing to run the plant twenty-four hours a day. This required me to sleep on a couch for a year and fix press issues when they came up. My operators would wake me up when a problem arose.
It took five years to make the transition from a tooling company to a processor and I still get phone calls at two or three in the morning.
Foreign competition maintains pressure on this industry and even though our P&L looks good, an uncertain future keeps us on the precarious edge.
Anticipating my industry’s possible failure I have invested every penny of profit into R&D in an effort to develop a product that might give me independence from this uncertain and fickle service industry. I still work over fourteen hours a day, six or seven days a week, and I’m not a kid anymore (it’s not as easy as it use to be).
Fifteen people have employment which hangs solely on my continued efforts.
Sound like fun? Try it and you can be a Slave Master too.
Copyright 2007 Jim Pontillo