Whenever the subject of poverty and the economy come up, Republicans often like to blame the poor for being lazy and unwilling to better themselves. At the same time, they like to complain (as Donald Trump is doing right now) that American jobs are being lost to foreign workers. Oh yeah, and on top of all of it, there are the conservatives who also love to stereotype immigrants as lazy, especially Mexicans.
Combine all of these contradictions together, and you’ll get the usual range of talking points from conservatives about how Americans are lazy – as well as the lazy immigrants who just come here to get welfare handouts, but somehow are taking our jobs at the same time. Now Rand Paul is jumping on the bandwagon by blaming Americans for lacking a work ethic.
In an interview last week on EWTN (the world’s largest religious broadcasting company), Rand Paul stated that not only are immigrant workers a problem, but American workers are at fault.
Via Right Watch:
When EWTN anchor Raymond Arroyo asked the Kentucky Republican about the 250 Disney employees who were let go after training their replacements who came to the U.S. on temporary visas, Paul said the U.S. must “look very carefully at how many people we need.”
But he added that immigration is a “two-fold problem” because “we’re rotting from the inside” thanks to unspecified “people” who lack a work ethic.
“We also have almost defeated the work ethic in our country,” he said. “And so, for like picking crops, hard work, if we didn’t bring in migrant labor, we’re rotting from the inside. We have people who really — we’ve destroyed the ethic of work in so much of our population.” (Source)
While many Catholics are welcoming to immigrants from Mexico and Central America, in part due to their shared religious beliefs, far-right Catholics like the people who tune into EWTN are more than willing to put aside the teachings of their church when it is politically convenient. Rand Paul is not a Catholic, but other candidates in the Republican primary race like Bobby Jindal are, and they ignore their own scriptures to score points with the xenophobic wing of the GOP.
Here’s the deal, the United States has not raised the minimum wage since 2009, and it hasn’t kept up with the rate of inflation for decades. Due to the difference in the cost of living here versus the countries these workers come from, it is no wonder that people make the dangerous journey north every year to work in American farms and factories.
During the two decades I’ve been in the workforce, I’ve had the pleasure of working with people from a variety of countries. Many of these people came here to make a better life for their families, some spending months or even years away from their loved ones. They have made great personal sacrifices in the hopes that their children could get an education and a future better than the one they inherited.
Rand Paul and the Republican Party want Americans to work for as little as possible, and then tell them that they’re lazy when someone from another country agrees to do a job that won’t pay the bills. Their answer? Work more, get a second or even third job, and don’t even dare ask for public assistance when those paltry wages don’t cover the cost of living.
Telling working class Americans to blame themselves and immigrants for low wages and a lack of jobs is the class warfare agenda of the Republican Party, even as candidates like Donald Trump have built their fortunes on the backs of immigrant labor. The American worker’s enemy isn’t the day laborer from Mexico or Guatemala, it is the corporate interests in the eternal hunt for the cheapest labor possible that fund the GOP.
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