Submitted by Oxnardian
California is a basket case but if you make big money, you can live in a luxurious bubble. People ask me why I stay, and I count down to retirement. I’m trapped, but I can look back and see the big steps the business community and government took to transform the state. It was a sell out where each step built on the prior creating a staircase to a banana republic.
The first step was Prop 13. This saved taxpayers money, but sales taxes picked up the slack. It was a handout to old homeowners and big business. All the real estate owned by corporations was locked in for future costs. This created an advantage for California businesses as all we had to do was cap labor costs. With home costs helped a little, this should have helped with the sunshine effect on wages.
Not exactly. What this gave businesses was an incentive to use illegal labor. This undercut normal labor inputs. Reagan’s amnesty gave the green light, and throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s the immigration wave kept wages suppressed. This didn’t stop there. NAFTA destroyed the agricultural sector in Mexico, sending new waves of low skill immigrants to California to work.
Our leaders didn’t stop there. Right after NAFTA, Mexico experienced how money inflows, a peso crisis and then a bailout orchestrated by the Clinton administration. This didn’t stop the flow as the devaluation and devastation of the Mexican economy sent even more low skilled labor to California. That bailout was meant to prevent a humanitarian exodus from Mexico, but the economic exodus still happened.
The last chance to stop this was Prop 187 as all our infrastructure and social services were strained beyond belief. California’s referendum process served us well but a Carter appointee sat on her decision for years until saying it was a federal matter. We were cooked, and continuous tax hikes were in our future.
This doesn’t absolve Californians, especially our businesses. Illegal labor, paid in cash, saved employers from federal tax regulations and onerous California regulations. Each social program like CASDI layer more costs and a greater differential between legal and illegal workers. These were unskilled or low skilled laborers so how did the illegal work corrupt us all? Say you run a scrap metal brokerage (glorified junk yard). For decades you had land and warehouses. A firm like that needs some skilled employees but not many. Disassembling industrial plants does take teams of technically savvy men. That firm has a core team and finds guys when needed for big projects.
The land and buildings are already set costs with low maintenance. Labor is the issue. The next time you have to hire someone, you don’t make the decision. Management gets a message that labor will be sourced elsewhere. Illegals show up but with proper paperwork to pass minimum requirements. It’s about plausible deniability to protect ownership and your paycheck. The entire illegal worker infrastructure for unskilled and low skilled workers has been built up enough to meet your skilled needs. That’s what decades of unlimited unskilled immigration did.
No one argues. No one cares. If someone does care, they get a talking to or told they can leave if they don’t like it. Those Golden State handcuffs fit snugly. You’re not moving the wife and teenagers to Texas, even Bakersfield is out of the question. This was an early 2000s thing. Ownership eventually tells you that this labor will be phased out and the land sold because a new model is being applied.
Get with the times! Stop holding the inventory and just find buyers & sellers. We don’t need to be involved except as middlemen, and our paychecks can climb without the yard boys. Pink slips for the illegals in the yard doesn’t bother anyone because no one cares about the labor force. Make the market match and just arrange transportation to the port.
It’s all going to China anyway. Then you look around your neighborhood in Irvine (a beautiful bubble for your fellow high earners) and realize China is coming here.