The post Katrina world was a fascinating one to watch in respects as the myriad of personality types that make up our mostly socially cooperative communities manifested themselves in spades in the weeks after the disaster struck. One of the emergency programs that was a true double-edged sword was disaster unemployment, meant to help those whose jobs had literally been blown and washed away. My shop is not a large one but the glimpse of what it did to the workforces of my clients that did not get blown away spoke volumes about modern-day work ethic in the southern US and my anecdotal experience surprised me at the number of folks with jobs took the opportunity to apply for disaster unemployment and take it to the house. For example my own personal Doc lost a couple of LPNs and clerical help to disaster unemployment. A small speciality contractor well out of the flood zone that will remain nameless lost their entire field workforce save a couple of superintendents to the same cause and this despite the fact all received advances on pay and some days off to get their houses in order.
I mention all this because when good the ol’ american redneck gringos were taking the opportunity to sit their asses and ride the unexpected government largesse the area was being flooded with hispanic workers eager to bust their asses for a reasonable wage. And that was a good thing too because fast food chains were paying upwards of $15/hour and longevity bonuses to attract crack head quality employees back in those days and were still having a hard time attracting and retaining enough workers. Imagine what it was like at a typical construction company where the work is hard and performed outdoors. Simply put it was next to impossible to find any hired help let alone decent variety, that is except for migrant Hispanics, mainly Mexicans, who showed up everyday, put in an honest days work and was more than happy to work weekends.
So now we have massive tornadoes rip towns in neighboring Alabama to pieces in the spring of this year. Towns like Tuscaloosa were devastated and thanks to Alabama’s new immigration law will have a much harder time rebuilding. For you ideological freaks that just can’t stand Hispanics you gotta understand these are not the rantings of a liberal do-gooder in this post but rather the musings of a guy from the real world of small business. And it is not just me as this Bloomberg story on the topic straight from tornado ravaged Tuscaloosa indicates: Continue reading “The problems with race based public policy: Sweet home Alabama not.”