November 14, 2012

What pundits really mean when they say Mexicans are "socially conservative"

Charles Krauthammer explains his conversion to amnesty since the election:
[Hispanics] should be a natural Republican constituency: striving immigrant community, religious, family-oriented and socially conservative. The principal reason they go Democratic is the issue of illegal immigrants.

Charles Krauthammer was born in New York City and raised in Montreal, then educated at McGill, Oxford, and Harvard Medical School, where he graduated with his class despite breaking his neck during his first year. He's been paralyzed for close to four decades and that takes its toll in all sorts of ways. Who knows how much else he would have been able to accomplish if he hadn't been in a wheelchair? In other words, he's an exceptional individual. 

One thing he clearly hasn't had time for in his remarkable life is getting to know much about Mexican-Americans. 

Now, we've been through before this "natural social conservative" meme. Nobody has ever shown how it translates into many Republican votes. 

So, what do affluent, sophisticated pundits mean when they say that Hispanics (of which approaching 70% are Mexican) are socially conservative? 

It finally occurs to me that the reason elites like Krauthammer say that (and even sort of believe that) is because, deep down, they equate "socially conservative" with "tacky."

And, indeed, Mexican-Americans, whether immigrant or born here, do not, generally, display refined taste. So, that makes them "socially conservative."

Now, I'm quite conscious that I don't have the best of taste, and even more so that I don't have the money to buy it either. I'm quite aware that my neighbors are saints for not complaining to my face about my dinged up cars and other failings at keeping up property values. I don't upgrade my landscaping to follow trends, I'm not always thinking about how to make things look better. I wish I had the money, energy, time, and talent to do that. But, I don't. 

Still, being perfectly open that I've not the right person to complain, I've got to say that, having spent much of my life living near Mexican-American neighborhoods, that Mexican tackiness just wears me down.

I can't believe that nobody else in America has the same reaction. I suspect Krauthammer does. But how many other pundits ever mention that immigration policy is directly related to the aesthetic wear-and-tear imposed by giant Mexican neighborhoods? It just doesn't seem to come up.

Maybe everybody else just assumes that it's all going to change for the better Real Soon Now. But, I can remember back about, say, 45 years, and not much has changed.

I've been trying to figure out why upper middle class white people in, say, Marin County, people who are extremely concerned about optimizing the aesthetics of their lifestyles, like it when illegal immigrants push out the indigenous working class from their region We've been through the cheap-labor aspects of this a million times, but I'm interested here in the pure psychology of why else you'd also support policies that drive out natives that speak your language and look like yourself.

Say you live on that lovely winding road in Marin County where George Lucas tried and failed for 15 years to get permission to convert 5% of his vast ranch into a movie studio. As a moderately wealthy homeowner, an average of three times per week you have male blue collar service workers come by to do work in your house and on your grounds.

Back in the Bad Old Days a couple of decades or so ago, the workers were third generation Californian Okies, real Grapes of Wrath types, or maybe some assimilated American-born Chicanos, or maybe some Okie-Chicano mixes. Now, they are all Mexicans or Central Americans, six inches shorter, and only the foreman speaks English.

Leaving aside the cost issue, why is that an improvement in your lifestyle?

I can imagine several reasons.

First, your workers now look poorer. That's reassuring. That suggests they aren't ripping you off by charging too much. In the old days, your workers were strapping big guys, and it gnawed away at you that you were paying them more than you had too. Sure, you could afford it, but, still ... it bothered you.

Second, the new guys don't speak English, so you can't understand them when they talk to each other, so they don't get on your nerves as much when they talk about whatever low class things yard workers talk to each other about.

Third, most of your new workers don't try to talk to you because they don't speak English. Remember the plumber with the biker sideburns who always wanted to talk to you about the Raiders? Well, he moved to Idaho. Good riddance.

Fourth, you can't understand the lyrics to their songs. Granted, the newcomers' musical tastes are pretty dire, but at least it's not Country, with all those Blue Collar Pride lyrics crafted in Nashville by Vanderbilt English majors to annoy people like you.

Fifth, their bumper stickers aren't as obnoxious as the American proles' bumper stickers were. Remember the pickup truck with all the NRA bumper stickers? It just drove you crazy. Well, maybe if you could read the Spanish bumperstickers you'd be offended, but you can't, so you're not.

Sixth, now you aren't worried anymore about your wife or daughter taking a shine to some guy with a tool belt. (Look what happened to Larry David. Let that be a lesson to us all.) But it's not going to happen if the guy with the tool belt is 5'2" and speaks Mixtec.

In summary, your service workers used to be real people to you, and that was a major hassle. Now, they are just The Other, and you like it like that.

144 comments:

Valladolid said...

Excellent article. Also reminds me of Paul Krugman's comment about his parents, that I think explains his life and his causes more than he realizes:
“I remember there was often a typical conversational thing about how well the plumbers —basically the unionized blue-collar occupations- were doing, as opposed to white-collar middle managers like my father.”

Anonymous said...

Nobody actually makes this choice though. People hire Mexican labor because that's all there is for this kind of work, and it's cheapest. If what you say is true, it would only apply to the people who first made the choice of hiring Mexican labor over blue-collar labor.

Podsnap said...

Certainly there is a whole social aspect to immigration.

Upper and middle class dweebs like to be around 'aspirational' immigrants because they don't feel threatened.

Of course when the immigrants aren't aspirational then they are not so much fun to be around.

Like a lot of things - it depends on where you live.

Immigration would end if the elite had to hang around low class prole immigrants who don't give a fuck. In Sydney Australia that would be the Muslim Lebanese. It would be great if Berala pub could be airlifted to Mosman.

Petey said...

I always thought "socially conservative" just meant "doesn't like gay people or abortions."

I think the tackniess factor is actually revealing in a very different way — so long as you hold the "correct" views on gay marriage and the "life" question, you can basically be any manner of slovenly white or brown trash and the GOP will still venerate you as morally upstanding exemplars of all that's right with America.

Anonymous said...

Someone once mentioned to me the analogy of the 'oompah-loompahs' in the excellent 1971 Mel Stuart version of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' (not the su-par Johnny Depp remake).
Not only do the very recent 'exotic' stratum of southern Mexican tribals and various other 'National Geographic' central America natives that is now being tapped as a lucrative stream of cheap labor, physically resemble oompah-loompahs in terms of facial features and stature, they more or less fulfill the same role.
Worker drones. Non complaining, silent,, grim faced, taciturn, almost factory-made little grotesque robots, who do precisely what you tell hem to do, without so much as a grudge ie the pefect worker.
If only the old-time planters had hit upon this hidden treasure chest of proletarian gold - just how happier would the history of the States be!
The term 'hot and cold running Mixtecs' springs to mind!

George McFly said...

Biff Tannen in real life would evoke pathos.

Ese? Hmm, not so much.

x said...

amren: hispanic family values

http://www.amren.com/ar/2004/03/index.html

DT said...

A while back John Derbyshire had a column entitled, "Talking to the Plumber." My experience in Northern & Southern California of monolingual whites from various walks of life who employ Spanish-speaking laborers is that cost may be king, but not having to get your hands dirty understanding them in a basic sense is a bonus. Some people I've known (baby-boom generation) like to imagine they're doing a swell favor by these Othery strivers, helping them up the American ladder so to speak. Betraying other native-born Californians, especially blacks, does not seem to be at forefront of their thinking.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most perceptive columns you've ever written, Steve, and that's saying something.

Anonymous said...

As discussed every which way at iSteve is the issue of what happens as The Other becomes, well, less of The Other. What happens as they start speaking english, going to school, living just down the street? The barriers are partially broken.

Rain And said...

(Look what happened to Larry David. Let that be a lesson to us all.

I have no idea what happened to Larry David. Did his wife sleep with the pool cleaner? Google isn't helping.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful satire Steve. It needs to be repeated that the well to do and powerful see only the UPSIDE of immigration. As for the Kraut, I'm reminded of Kristol's reaction to illegal immigration. BK stated it wasn't hurting anyone, he liked his cheap Nanny, "So, why all the fuss?"

Anonymous said...

My father was a contractor in a wealthy neighborhood and I was a laborer for many years, so, as an expert from the trenches, I can say your analysis on this issue is comprehensive and flawless.

John Craig said...

This post was genius, sounds as if it came straight out of a Tom Wolfe novel.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:47

"Nobody actually makes this choice though. People hire Mexican labor because that's all there is for this kind of work, and it's cheapest. If what you say is true, it would only apply to the people who first made the choice of hiring Mexican labor over blue-collar labor."
==================

But there *are* other people available. You can't tell me that there are no American born whites or blacks out there who can landscape and do construction, etc. You just have to pay them the market wage, and employers explicitly know, because of the shared language, that the workers won't be obsequious and grateful. Sure, neither will the Mexicans, but at least they'll nod and smile long enough for the employers to lie to themselves.

Let's face it, the people who choose to hire immigrants are making a decision, not being forced into it. The idea that, "well, the earliest ones made a choice, but now I have to because the Mexicans are the only ones left" is bull. It's the working class equivalent of saying that someone *has* to import cheap peons to work in the computer industry, because of the mythical shortage.

Cost and money issues are powerful motivators, but they're not all powerful. Rich and well off people will pay top dollar to live in the "good" (*cough*)neighbourhoods, send their kids to the "good" (*cough*) schools, drive nice cars, wear the nice clothes...

The issues isn't the money, per se. It's whether or not they think they're getting their money's worth. And, in their heart of hearts, they feel scammed when native born Americans get paid "that much" for, like, lower class and - ick! - manual labour. I always get the feeling that people are offended by this, because they really think that anyone could do it.

It just feels right, for a lot of people, that their servants and inferiors (let's call a spade a spade, here) are poor and Know Their Place. It's why you lot have been importing group after group after group, to keep the feeling of natural superiority going. The coming generations have a nasty tendency to get uppity, and it's a lot easier to import new servants than to deal with thorny labour and social issues.

Ab said...

I've hired for building and maintaince work regularly in Southern California and there are still people of all races doing the work. The new immigrants only really dominate back breaking low paid outdoor work, and certain dirty indoor work like stucco drywall and tiles.

Blue collar whites in the building trade are doing just fine here, and many of them are sitting on valuable property since that is their most likely mode of saving and they've lived here for a while.

Anonymous said...

"Socially conservative" just means sexist and homophobic, but too lazy to go to church every week.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sailer is really onto something here with this theory. The old 19th and 20th century robber barons seem to have had a similar preference for imported worker drones over hiring their more troublesome Yankee neighbours. The Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford and Morgan fortunes then went on to fund the universities and foundations that scold the rest of us for not celebrating this endless flow of cheap and exotic labour. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

Cail Corishev said...

What does it mean when they say Hispanics are socially conservative? It means their image of Mexico comes from movies made in the 1950s about Mexicans (or Iberians) in the 1800s. They're all riding around on burros, working hard in the fields, saying the rosary, and seeing apparitions of Mary. (Who wouldn't want St. Juan Diego living next door?) The 1900s, communism, the expulsion of priests and the suppression of the Catholic faith, and socialist one-party rule never happened as far as they seem to be aware.

'I always thought "socially conservative" just meant "doesn't like gay people or abortions."'

In California's homosexual marriage referendum a while back, only older, first generation Hispanic immigrants were against it. Their kids and grand-kids were for it. So at best, amnesty gives you one generation of mild conservatism on the issue, followed by many generations of liberal votes. They also get abortions at a higher rate than whites.

So "socially conservative" doesn't even mean that much. It's a total myth. In fact, in the ways that they actually are conservative (traditional would be a better word) -- their views on masculinity and femininity, for example -- mainstream American conservatives would want nothing to do with them.

bjdubbs said...

But did those landscapers or contractors want their kids to be plumbers? Maybe, but maybe they are better off as a straw boss or foreman standing around while the Mexicans are doing all the work. There's a sense among some people that immigration is great because whites don't have to do domestic service jobs.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Larry David? Did his wife or daughter get it on with a blue collar white?

Jerry said...

Perfect social pitch. Writing this from Hong Kong, within spitting distance of China, and where there are at least 200,000 maids (live-in servants) from the Philippines. The fact that these maids speak Tagalog and are more brown than the Chinese, and shorter, and far away from their national base of support--that's precisely the point! In fact, hardly anyone has Chinese maids. Even Indonesian maids are preferred, despite the now-and-then "she murdered the entire family" story.

Garland said...

Some of your points touch on this but I think it deserves a point all itself:

7) They're Morlocks. They're not bad people, or lacking in human rights (as long as you dont think about that, and what you're paying them, too hard). But they're effectively not people to the extent you have to deal with them. Or, to put it more gently, they're robots. They do the work and you interact with them, or at least their lead unit, in human-esque ways, but they're not that real.

Still, every time you or anyone else tries to come up with an insightful, cutting new reason why our elites are so bigotedly enthusiastic about this stuff, it always feels like it's over thinking and even letting them off easy in a way. It's hard to be persuaded that it's not, simply, as always:
1) cheap labor
2) they've internalized the egalitarian religion of our age while being largely unmolested by it

Anonymous said...

Very Tom Wolfe-ian.

Anonymous said...

What's the deal with Larry David?

Anonymous said...

"Remember the plumber with the biker sideburns who always wanted to talk to you about the Raiders? Well, he moved to Idaho."

This is exactly the right strategy for white working class people in California. South African whites had an expression about leaving when the ANC took over, "packing for Perth." I think it should be "packing for Boise" for LA whites.

Anonymous said...

Basically, they are Huxley's Deltas and Epsilons - squat, swarthy, non-people who fill an inferior caste. Unfortunately, a caste system doesn't really work in a democracy.

In terms of quality of life, I have often made the argument that the physical ugliness of 3rd world migrants should preclude them from being allowed to immigrate. I suspect that if the Mexicans looked like the Spanish, much of the objection to their presence would disappear.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

I knew Larry David's wife took a shine to Al Gore. Your post, however, references a guy in a "tool belt."

Is Al Gore also a master plumber?

Anonymous said...

It just hit me. You're likely not referring to Laurie David but to Curb, which I've only seen a handful of times.

Mea culpa.

Anonymous said...

In real life larry davids wife cheated on larry with a good looking founding stock american in marthas vinyard.

Carol said...

'Collar Pride lyrics crafted in Nashville by Vanderbilt English majors to annoy people like you.'

heh, ain't it the truth.

Anonymous said...

As a parent you face disaster when your daughter is impregnated by the guy who mows your lawn.

Fertile young teenage girls have been attracted to the men doing physical labor outside their house for hundreds of years. See numerous classic british novels including atonement

countenance said...

Steve,

Good analysis, but you're overthinking the answer to the question.

Elites think Hispanics are "socially conservative" (ergo "natural Republicans") because Hispanics are Catholic.

Anonymous said...

It seems quite logical to keep sons and daughers away from good looking young low class whites. The desire of homeowners in marin county to get rid of the lower class whites thus is pefeftly in keeping with some parts of traditionalist values

Anonymous said...

There is long history of the daughters of high iq men choosing to marry tall muscular low iq white prole workers. Obedient daughters will marry the type of young man with high iq that their fathers prefer. Disobedient daughters want the muscular prole

Anonymous said...

The low iq colonial stock lawnmower guy impregnating your daughter meme is well established. View the carly rae jepsen vido for call me maybee which was quite popular among girs aged 13 to 15

bjdubbs said...

It's the checkout lady problem. I don't want to buy this thing and have the checkout lady see what I'm buying (not that it's stopped me). But if the checkout lady is Hispanic, doesn't bother me, I'm not as self-conscious. The flip side is that altruistic punishment applies only to fellow whites. Carlos can put whatever he wants on his mud flaps because whites aren't going to get worked up over it, altruistic punishment doesn't apply. Hispanic cat callers? So what? No opportunity for altruistic punishment. As the SWPL guy says, whites are always looking for any opportunity to be offended, but only by other whites.

diana said...

Great novelistic eye but I think the truth is more prosaic: the children of Okies don't want to do that kind of labor. They have risen (a bit) in class. And the little brown men are cheap.

This is just an elaborate rationalization to blame progressive Democrats for a Republican debacle. Republican party has always stood for free labor. In the 19th century it meant anti-slavery, In the 20th it meant the free movement of labor over borders, because that is more "rational."

Anonymous said...

As charles murray says whites live in a meritioctacy. The highest iq whites in marin wound up with wealth and lower iq whites wound up roofing their houses.


Today the low iq whites are divorcing themselves by moving to utah and idaho.

What is wrong with letting groups separate from each other. Low iq whites are different from high iq whites. Let them live in separate states

Mr. Anon said...

Millions of people seem to think that Charles Krauthammer is a conservative - I suppose because he's on FOX News. In what substantive way has Charles Krauthammer ever been a conservative, or is one now? He isn't, as far as I can tell.

Anonymous said...

"Now, I'm quite conscious that I don't have the best of taste, and even more so that I don't have the money to buy it either."

LOTR and AVATAR.

snapperhead soup said...

triberals

Anonymous said...

"It finally occurs to me that the reason elites like Krauthammer say that (and even sort of believe that) is because, deep down, they equate 'socially conservative' with 'tacky.'"

They say blacks are sc too cuz they love their tacky preachers.

The tack attack.

Anonymous said...

Chinese are tacky too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_sng4eY8rs

Hapalong Cassidy said...

Is being "socially conservative" consistent with having large numbers of unwed teen mothers, as Hispanics do?

Also, my understanding is that the government of Mexico (as well as Mexican popular culture) is much more anti-clerical than in the U.S. I think Mexicans are about as devoutly Catholic as your average Massachussetts Irishman.

desert lady said...

I agree that upper class yuppies are fakeleftist hypocrites.

But you keep trying to pretend that these fakeleftist upper class yuppies are the driving force behind the multiculti, white-hating fakeleft. They are not. That culture was born of the elite colleges decades ago and has snowballed since then and has taken over academia, entertainment and media industries.

But that fakeLeftist culture was created by plutocrats who used donations by their foundations to create fakeleftism. Upper class yuppies are mere cogs in this machine.

Plutocrats are the real power in america. And you kiss their robe, dontcha?

Anonymous said...

"There is long history of the daughters of high iq men choosing to marry tall muscular low iq white prole workers. Obedient daughters will marry the type of young man with high iq that their fathers prefer. Disobedient daughters want the muscular prole"

Where? I sure don't see any.

Anonymous said...

"I don't want to buy this thing and have the checkout lady see what I'm buying (not that it's stopped me)."

ky jelly?

Anonymous said...

'good looking young low class whites'

rotfl.

women don't go for beer-bellied fat slobs.

Anonymous said...

"In real life larry davids wife cheated on larry with a good looking founding stock american in marthas vinyard. "

At least it wasn´t a black guy. That would be worse...

Galvani's Frog Dance Theatre's Orchestra Conductor said...

Sounds like you didn't read past the phrase you quote. Here is Krauthammer's plan:

So, promise amnesty right up front. Secure the border with guaranteed legalization to follow on the day the four border-state governors affirm that illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle.

Build the fence first, set up the employment enforcement first, etc. Then, presumably years later, when all four border-state governors certify that the illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle, give amnesty to those illegals who have enough smarts and future-time orientation not to self-deport in the meantime. If that's the deal, you should grab it. Face it, mass deportations you dream about are not going to happen. This is the best deal you are going to get.

As for all this "natural conservatives" stuff, what do you expect him to say? It's suicidal for mainstream conservatives to ever declare, "Group X is never going to vote for us." The liberal media will always twist it into "Republicans hate Group X." Just look at the effects of Romney's "47 percent" debacle.

Anonymous said...

In terms of quality of life, I have often made the argument that the physical ugliness of 3rd world migrants should preclude them from being allowed to immigrate. I suspect that if the Mexicans looked like the Spanish, much of the objection to their presence would disappear.

Fine, then bring in impoverished Estonians instead!

Chicago said...

Why do all these commentators whose lives are, in practice, completely secular always seem to be so eager to pat some other group on the head for being 'religious'? All the Hispanic gangbangers here have crucifix jewelry around their necks. Most of them, whether in or out of prison, sport tattoos with a religious motif. Yeah, real religious.

Auntie Analogue said...

Mexican "tackiness" looks pretty much like Moslem zones' dreariness. Mexicans and Moslems turn neighborhoods into drab anti-aesthetic zones that all look pretty much alike; though, I must say, the Mexican zones at least show a somewhat more exuberant palette, often in the Low Rent hispanic version of Soviet realism, with splashes of Frida Kahlo bizarro excresences, while Moslem areas just turn sub-Soviet factory bleak ugly from which the tall "Fuck You, America" middle fingers of minarets rise to stab the sky.

The present approbation and solicitousness of Western elites for Mohammedan art cracks me up (e.g., at the Louvre the French just opened a huge, tony-priced new wing devoted to Moslem art), since Islam's proscription of depictions of human and animal figures, Islamic art is really nothing more than elaborate, monotonous doodles of the sort that Westerners talking on the pre-smartphone telephone used to scribble idly on scrap paper or message pads - the kind of stuff produced more precisely by means of the old Spirograph toy. It's as if Moslems fixated on the Classical Greek motif of meander, got stuck in Spirograph Mode, and never looked back, or ahead, from it, as if their repetitive aesthetic got isolated in a bleak warp outside of time. (Yet when you watch Moslem mass funeral turnouts for one or another "shaheed," you see them holding up those dreary Soviet-like portraits of their latest newly minted martyr.)

But I suppose that Mexican and Moslem zones, although aesthetically as dull as dishwater, are a micro-shade pleasanter to behold than Negro urban blightscapes - parts of which sometimes feature the same sort of amateurish, "primitivist" graffiti and stilted murals depicting race heroes: as if body & fender shops' airbrush and "detailing" crews leaped at the chance to do their mostly stiff, and often over-embellished beyond-busy-ness cartoonish stuff on a larger "canvas." About the most aesthetic thing you see in urban Negro blightscapes is hi-stylin' rims on the few vehicles that sport them.

That said, it's not as if in what remains of Western Civilization the grace of the Western canon is still revered or applied - I mean, look at the hideous "creations" from architects such as Frank Gehry, buildings that look like they were spilled and piled onto their plots from jumbles of unsold yard sale leftovers. I think Lawrence Auster is dead-to-nuts right that we live now under a regime of the anti-aesthetic in which ugliness is celebrated purposely because it spurns grace and loveliness, order and purpose.

Then you have the white elites who reserve to themselves the recycled grace of the past in their 'This Old House' rejiggerings done under the stern restrictions of local historic commissions that dictate which color you're allowed to paint - or have painted by prole labor - your rehabbed Colonial or wedding cake house or what kind of front door you're allowed to hang - or have hung by prole labor - on your rehabbed brownstone.

You'll notice on 'This Old House' how the upscale rich owners of the rehabbed homes mostly walk past the actual workers as if they weren't there, in the same way that the old aristocracy ignored their domestic servant staff. So the well-heeled, aesthetically correct upscale owners converse engagedly only with their hired architect, decorators, landscape designer, local historic commission commissars; or,when it comes to manual workers, they talk with one of the 'This Old House' stars like Tom Silva, Norm Abram, and Rich the Plumber (or with Mister Hands-On-Hips...the partly-unctuous, partly-overbearing semi-snob of a host, Kevin whatsisname). It's like watching a lot of little Hearsts lording themselves over the proles, as Hearst must have been like as he oversaw the design, construction, and decoration of his California super-mansion.

Rohan Swee said...

I would add, as I have observed, the real pleasure these people get at playing the hidalgo, the patrón (for the men), or the "lady" (for the women), which only the very well-heeled got to experience in the bad old America. Most of these people with gardeners and maids and nannies come from backgrounds where just about nobody had any kind of domestic servants, beyond the "heavy cleaner" or the window-washer that the richest housewife in the neighborhood could afford to employ occasionally.

So there is the parvenu delight in acquiring these ancient markers of status - servants! And as you describe, it's not just a matter of affordability. Social status is a two-way street - a superior can't be superior if inferiors won't play ball in the status-signaling game. Joe and Darleen Redneck, even if they would work for the crap wages you're willing to pay, will still give themselves airs, won't they, acting like their relation to you is just that of an employment contract between equals? And what fun is that?

What always struck me as particularly funny is the way these people are in many ways reproducing the social dynamic that existed between the Southern ladies of my youth and their black maids. Of course they would be mortified to see themselves so analogized, but that's exactly what it is.

DT - "Othery". I like that.

Anonymous said...

"Family values?" Ha! That really means Mexicans like big families, which is true (especially with the immigration-fertility boost), but cuts the wrong way politically-- all the Mexicans I ever met thought the "rich" government (i.e., white taxpayers in America) should pay to feed and house their large families! So naturally those people swell the rolls of every welfare program and, to the extent they vote, vote for higher taxes and more welfare-- because of their "family values!"

Rex Little said...

I agree with those who have pointed out what "social conservative" actually means to the elite (religious, homophobic). Hispanics may well be social conservatives by this measure, but that doesn't translate to Republican votes because economic interests trump that every time. Same with blacks--there are plenty of religious ones, but you don't see them voting Republican either.

Let's! said...

Think how life is for Mediterranean Mexicans. Light-skinned, hairpiece-wearing northern Mexican comedian Adal Ramones hsa a long bit about his countrymen's horrible stewardship, short-term thinking and prolishness in a long bit titled "Inguesu."

They way Mediterranean Mexicans handle being 10% of their country is by ruling out any hint of well-meaning Yankee egalitarianism.

They are perfectly comfortable in their own skin as members of the higher caste.

They don't care about looking like fair niceguys to their proles and laugh as we get manipulated by their proles' tears into wasting billions upon billions on them.

Push 'em around and push 'em out - that's how the Mediterranean Mexicans try preserve enclaves of civilized culture.

"You mean all we have to do is push them across the border, and in that instant they and their descendants unto eternity become victims of American racism entitled to reparations, prizes, awards and permanent settlement?" If you knew someone who was that big of a sucker, wouldn't you exploit it?

Bill said...

This is a really good article. This is the reason I read this blog. Who knows if you are right, but these are wonderfully interesting ideas. And, yes, I gave you money.

Anonymous said...

Seventh, your hirelings are not the same as the lower-class low-IQ jocks and bullies forced upon you in compulsory government school. It's more than just a respect issue or a power trip. While there is some satisfaction having Biff Tannen work for your nerdy self, he also has the power to walk away and find another job, mess things up, overcharge, and the like. Not so with Carlos Montez who simply doesn't give a damn.

On the same token, I used in my college years, idolize Armenians and almost exclusively associate with them. They really are nice people who mind their own business, and all that. But if I grew up with Armenians, I'm sure my opinion of them would differ.

Anonymous said...

I think also that sweat and body hair are sexual turn-ons for women, especially young women. A class-conscious teenybopper would be attracted to the labourer outside the window for a fling or two, but definitely not marriage. I'm not sure how race fits into all this. Would Miss Priss be most attracted to a tall skinny blond WASP guy, a gold-chainer, an oompa-loompaish Mixatec, or a studly black?

Anonymous said...

It finally occurs to me that the reason elites like Krauthammer say that (and even sort of believe that) is because, deep down, they equate "socially conservative" with "tacky."

He is lying. He himself is not a real conservative.

Lie to me once, shame on you.
Lie to me twice, shame on me.


Anonymous said...

In California's homosexual marriage referendum a while back, only older, first generation Hispanic immigrants were against it. Their kids and grand-kids were for it.

So it really was all those Mormons who voted it down.

Anonymous said...

Here in NYC I know an electrician who works as a subcontractor on high-end construction jobs. He does very well for himself and has bought and rehabbed a number of buildings that he rents out. Certainly his net worth is north of seven figures, though he started with basically nothing.

He has a few workers, one of whom was a skilled Mexican guy who would fly back and forth between NY and Mexico. Recently, after a weekend trip to Mexico where he was helping his brother with some electrical work, he was stopped at JFK and asked what he was doing flying back and forth so much, if he was just a tourist as he claimed. When it came out that he was working they sent him home and restricted entry for five years.

I assume my friend was paying him around $200-300 a day, off the books, or the taxed equivalent of a six-figure salary. So this a higher level of illegal worker...he flies home, doesn't walk across, behaves like a professional. Not the image of the typical immigrant...in fact he isn't an immigrant at all, more like an international commuter.

Severn said...

The issues isn't the money, per se. It's whether or not they think they're getting their money's worth. And, in their heart of hearts, they feel scammed when native born Americans get paid "that much" for, like, lower class and - ick! - manual labour. I always get the feeling that people are offended by this, because they really think that anyone could do it.


I think that goes to the heart of the matter. The (largely white) upper-classes want people in lower-class occupations to be badly paid. Open borders are their tool to achieve this. The upper-classes are not worried about losing their own jobs because they tend to be employed in de facto guild positions.

It used to be the case that many doctors, lawyers and other "professionals" were the children and the siblings of blue collar workers - farmers, plumbers, factory workers and so on. Now that "professionals" are hardening into a hereditary caste, they look at those blue collar workers as "The Other".

Severn said...

every time you or anyone else tries to come up with an insightful, cutting new reason why our elites are so bigotedly enthusiastic about this stuff, it always feels like it's over thinking and even letting them off easy in a way. It's hard to be persuaded that it's not, simply, as always:
1) cheap labor
2) they've internalized the egalitarian religion of our age while being largely unmolested by it




The "elites" believe in egalitarianism (or free market capitalism, if you like) for the masses, and protectionism, elitism, and socialism for themselves.

Enoch Powell said...

Don't forget the "sanctimonious twit" factor. White elitists have always been fond, since the Victorian era, of bestowing their largesse on our little brown and black bothers.

The modern Leftists love of the lively and vibrant is really just the coward's version of "The White Man's Burden." The only difference is that instead of ruling the diverses and schooling them on being civilized, the modern White spoils them and tries to buy their love so that he can feel marvelous and fabulous.

The implication here is that Leftist Whites feel so completely superior to blacks and browns that they think they can give them everything and still preserve their privileged position. This is a symptom of a deep mental pathology that requires infinite powers of denial to maintain.

But really the modern White Leftist treat blacks and browns like animals who, if they are fed, will return love. It is insane.

Sheila said...

Interesting analysis. I've been able to tap into a network of blue collar White tradesmen/working men for various plumbing, electrical, and home repair jobs. Generally speaking, I've found them smart, capable, conservative, and friendly. As soon as I make my political and social beliefs clear, they all share "war stories" with me on their experiences in immigrant homes. Many of them have made the move out of the suburbs to the Whiter countryside (as I aspire to do) and own a number of rental properties as well. In short, they are financially well-off and living a traditional, White social life as much as is possible these days.

These are generally skilled tradesmen I'm referring to, of course. When it comes to lawn care or sprinkler repair or getting a roof replaced, you may deal with a White frontman, but the (contract) laborers are always illegal Mexicans. I don't know that it's possible to get around this in Texas - unless, perhaps, by advertising publicly for "documented, legal, English-speaking U.S. born citizens" only for any and every job. It's not a question of cost; there just aren't any alternatives available.

Dutch Boy said...

Mexicans are Catholics in the sense that they are baptized in the Church but that's about it. Church attendance in Latin America is abysmally low. Mexico in particular has a strong, secular anti-Catholic culture of long-standing.

Anonymous said...

A currently popular TV series is HBO"s "Boardwlak Empire". It's like an American "Upstairs, Downstairs" but set in New Jersey in the 1920's. One thing that strikes the modern eye is the common use of "domestic servants", who are all suitably obsequious towards their betters. It's hard to find obsequious white servants these days though.

I think Steve only does movie reviews but maybe he should branch out and look at "Broadwalk Empire".

Anonymous said...

But there *are* other people available. You can't tell me that there are no American born whites or blacks out there who can landscape and do construction, etc. You just have to pay them the market wage, and employers explicitly know, because of the shared language, that the workers won't be obsequious and grateful.

People don't hire people that are merely available or that could potentially do a certain job though. They hire people involved in an actual ongoing, currently operating concern. In many areas they tend to be Mexicans at a certain price level.

I don't think there's a very complicated explanation for this. The vast majority of people who purchase these types of services involving Mexicans do so because that's what's available and because of price.

A corollary of the alternative explanation is that people would hire Mexicans even if they charged more than whites, English speakers, etc. This seems incorrect.

Anonymous said...

This is a Steve classic. It needs to be worked up into a major article.

Anonymous said...

People make decisions at the margin.

A suburban homeowner seeking landscaping services is trying to minimize his marginal costs - time searching for services, price of services, how long it takes to complete the work on his yard, etc. - and is trying to maximize his marginal gain from the services.

For many suburban homeowners, this means hiring local services who are already used in your area and thus whose work you've seen, and whose services you're aware of. If these services are staffed by Mexicans at a certain price level, then seeking non-Mexicans at a higher price obviously raises the homeowner's marginal costs - price, additional time spent seeking services, risk, etc. - without necessarily resulting in a higher marginal gain - the lawn might not necessarily end up looking better, or even if it is, it might not be worth the additional marginal costs expended.

That's pretty much all there is to it for the vast majority of people that purchase such services.

Jehu said...

I agree that most white people have a real complex about the help they hire. They're mortified that someone who might be eligible to be in the same social circle that they are might clean their house.
Being the non-neurotypical that I am, I've got no issue with hiring my pastor's wife to clean my family's home. Frankly, hiring independent maids is usually cheaper than large agencies anyway and the maid makes more money as well.

Anonymous said...

Auntie Analogue said...

Mexican zones at least show a somewhat more exuberant palette, often in the Low Rent hispanic version of Soviet realism

Moldova?

Moslem areas just turn sub-Soviet factory bleak ugly from which the tall "Fuck You, America" middle fingers of minarets rise to stab the sky.

The Stans?
Except replace Moscow with America.

Anonymous said...

I can imagine several reasons.

If these reasons are true, then that means the people who hire Mexican labor over white labor would do so even if the Mexican labor were more expensive than white labor.

There doesn't seem to be any evidence for this, and it seems absurd on its face.

socially gummish said...

'Socially conservative' = more respectful of white authority.
In other words, easier to boss around short Mexicans than uppity Negroes and brash 'white trash'.

Anonymous said...

White conservatives are pretty tacky too.

Anonymous said...

Tacky Taco. Now there is a killer name for a Mexican food joint.

Anonymous said...

They way Mediterranean Mexicans handle being 10% of their country is by ruling out any hint of well-meaning Yankee egalitarianism.

They are perfectly comfortable in their own skin as members of the higher caste.

They don't care about looking like fair niceguys to their proles and laugh as we get manipulated by their proles' tears into wasting billions upon billions on them.

Push 'em around and push 'em out - that's how the Mediterranean Mexicans try preserve enclaves of civilized culture.


They're scummy slave drivers. And they're setting themselves up to be scummy slave drivers in the US, taking advantage of their "Hispanic" names and identity to play the rent-seeking game and centralize wealth. The subsistence peasants down there are more worthy of respect.

mel belli said...

I write from Marin. The Mexican service invasion was well under way by 1990, when most of today's homeowners were college kids. It could very well be, however, that the contractors, at least, are more comfortable with Mexican laborers than with the Santa Rosa Okie types they used formerly - easier to fire if they show up drunk. I think the Krauthammer mystery remains, though Mexican women are much classier visually than the stringy whites they replaced- no meth.

Jay Leeno said...

Larry David: "Well, [my ex-wife] thought that it would be nice to have sex with someone she liked. She wanted to try that. And I said it's not a good idea. Because you never wanna have sex with people you like. You can't have good sex with people you like. Doing those things. And then you're supposed to talk to them?"

So, I guess we can conclude that if the Mrs. didn't like Mexicans, this problem wouldn't have arisen, provided that the staff were all illegals.

as said...

It finally occurs to me that the reason elites like Krauthammer say that (and even sort of believe that) is because, deep down, they equate "socially conservative" with "tacky."

Aren't all post 1965 immigrants tacky to some degree?

Are there any who aren't? (Koreans maybe? Irish illegals? Persians? )

Anonymous said...

I'd say you guys watch too much porn. But then I doubt most porn casting agents care about founding/ colonial stock actors so Occam's Razor is that you guys must fantasize about being deflowered by a colonial stock yard man because this is in no way a "meme."

Anonymous said...

"But it's not going to happen if the guy with the tool belt is 5'2" and speaks Mixtec." - Less likely to happen, but it makes get back at daddy episodes more catastrophic when they do.

Dirty Harriet said...

Somewhat OT, but involves Krauthammer. If he just stuck to analyzing the facts he'd be a good commentator. He's the only guy who has said anything of value on the Petraeus affair. He points out correctly that the affair is of no consequence except insofar as it might touch upon Benghazi. He says that the WH was blackmailing Petraeus to make him toe the line about Benghazi.

But this only makes sense IF the White House knew in early September about the affair. Did they? Let's look at the facts.

When did Holder know? He's not telling. But I find it impossible to believe that low level munchkins were investigating the head of the CIA in July-August of 2012 and they didn't tell their boss.

So they tell Holder that head of CIA is screwing some dame, leaving emails in the draft folder of a Gmail account...he knows by September 2012....and he doesn't tell his friend the Prez?

Tell me another one.

What did the President know and when did he know it?

It's not the lie. It's the cover up.

ATBOTL said...

Krauthhammer probably does not know enough about Mexicans to know they are tacky.

We on the East Coast do not have Mexicans like in California. We have Indians from South America(some of whom are Mexican) who silently perform menial labor and are only else wise seen riding bicycles to work.

We don't have Mexican neighborhoods or Mexican Americans that one might converse with in English here.

Enoch the Ethiopian said...

1) R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Immigrants and 2nd/3rd generationers are politer and more respectful than white trash, jocks, and Joes. And as the bird said, it's easier to respect someone if you're half a foot shorter.

Respect has vanished from the low-IQ white types, replaced by high-school arrogance. The public schools have created this with their "self-esteem for thee but not for me" policy. And what to do if Joe the Plumber overcharges, or spits on your floor, or fags you under his breath? You can't horsewhip him in this day and age. Call him on it, and he'll just walk away, laughing all the way to the bank.

2) Cultural Gap

You're just another whitey to the non-white workers. They are not likely to single you out for your Devo records, your lisp, or the fact that your left earlobe is 1/16" lower than your right. And if they do, they'll just gossip about it to themselves in their language.

It's like that Star Trek episode about the super-telepath who's more comfortable with aliens than with humanoids. Some people are like that, for various reasons, and house-and-yard workers are not personal friends. You need that distance.

2) Impersonality

This is really a result of Point #2. You want the tradesmen to be respectful but in an impersonal way, like old-style butlers. It would be nice to have actual robots doing the work, and maybe that will happen in our lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

Mexicans: cheaper labor and higher taxes.

Victor said...

"Is Al Gore also a master plumber?"

Mrs. David probably asked him to lay down some pipe.

Mr Lomez said...

Yes. A hundred times, yes.

Not having to interact with "the help" on any kind of human level is exactly what these people want.

Anonymous said...

I had to search the web for a while to find out who the other guy was in the Larry David comment. Apparently the Davids had a place on Martha's Vineyard, and she had sex with a building contractor. Guessing not a lot of poor Latinos doing manual labor on Martha's Vineyard anymore than in Newport or the Hamptons. She may have also fooled around with Al Gore later according to accounts. No doubt the only woman who thought Mr. ManBearPig was handsome, I'm Super cereal.

Anonymous said...

Hey, aren't gays socially conservative since so many are now respectable corporate types?

Anonymous said...

"Socially conservative" just means sexist and homophobic, but too lazy to go to church every week.

Doesn't it bother you that even your mother thinks you're a scumbag?

DaveinHackensack said...

Isn't there a flip side to this though -- jobs where you do need to talk to people? The nearest McDonald's drive through near me is a constant challenge, because no one understands what you order the first two times you order it. But, an hour west of here, in much less-vibrant NJ farm country, the McDonald's drive through is manned by old stock American teens who understand even special orders (e.g., a few shots of espresso over ice) the first time you say them.

Anonymous said...

Koreans maybe?

Is that a joke? You're talking about the same Koreans with spoilers and ground effects kits on their tacky rice-burners? Those Koreans?

When Asians give up gold paint (and shoes, and chintz), they have a shot at not being tacky.

Baloo said...

Anon is right, this is extraordinarily perceptive, even for Steve. From Krauthammer's lofty perch, Hispanics are just a less-threatening variety of redneck. I blather further, and link to this over at Ex-Army, of all places.

Steve Sailer said...

Non-tacky immigrants?

I've got an anecdote:

I'm sitting around at the DMV or a car repair place or something like that (don't quite remember which), with lots of children running amok with boredom. Sitting across from me, however, is a six year old girl. She turns and asks her mother something in French. Her mother says "Oui," so the little French girl gets up and ... gracefully practices the five basic positions of ballet.

Anonymous said...

"Her mother says "Oui," so the little French girl gets up and ... gracefully practices the five basic positions of ballet."

I say it's tackois.

Anonymous said...

better tacky than blacky

dirk said...

You nailed this one. You reminded me of why I like having so many Mexican-Americans. I never felt comfortable with a black or white maid, but I'm quit comfortable with a Mexican one.

You've made a good case about how Hispanics have pushed up housing prices, by forcing whites into expensive neighborhoods with houses bigger than they need to keep out the Hipanics. It seems to me that most of the negative externalities caused by Mexican Americans could be resolved by school vouchers and IQ testing to get into the best public schools. Conservatives should focus on that battle instead of trying to get rid of evolution or critical thinking or sex education in the schools. Anyway, that's my $2. Sure nobody here will agree.

Severn said...

The vast majority of people who purchase these types of services involving Mexicans do so because that's what's available and because of price.


I'm not sure why you need to write the same comment several times. Perhaps you think it adds credibility if several different people appear to be saying the same thing.

Obviously Mexicans were not "available" prior to the Mexican invasion. And I know people who knowingly hire illegal labor - they don't do it because of the price (which is the same as that for legal labor) they do it because it gives them emotional satisfaction.

dirk said...

"Hey, aren't gays socially conservative since so many are now respectable corporate types?"

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if, once gay marriage passes in most states, white gays over 30 become Republicans. The gays I've known have been less afraid to be overtly racist than most people, because they feel they've earned the right to attack other groups. And once they are married homeowners, they will fit a strong conservative profile. Too bad for the GOP they are such a small % of the population.

Svigor said...

Dirk, is there any evidence that a large share of the tiny demographic you mention will become "married homeowners."

That strikes me as the "magic happens" part of your speculation.

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting around at the DMV or a car repair place or something like that (don't quite remember which), with lots of children running amok with boredom. Sitting across from me, however, is a six year old girl. She turns and asks her mother something in French. Her mother says "Oui," so the little French girl gets up and ... gracefully practices the five basic positions of ballet.

Oh come on. That's tacky as hell. That's like poor striver or nouveaux riches tacky.

Anonymous said...

It's funny, my wife and I are pretty stereotypical SWPL yuppies from Marin (living in L.A.) and we go out of our way not to do this. We've got a cranky old white guy plumber who does great work when he's not complaining about Persians and Armenians and their terrible taste in home decor, a white pool guy from Castaic who brings his teenage kids along on jobs during the summer, and a white college graduate aspiring Hollywood type doing supplemental childcare.

Basically, we both grew up blue collar and feel really guilty hiring people to do stuff we're either too busy or not competent to do ourselves, so it's worth it to us to pay more for people who feel more like social equals. Also, I like shooting the shit with blue collar white guys, they generally do a better job and you can communicate with them more precisely, and I like feeling like I'm interacting with fellow citizens I'm paying to do a job instead of serfs or helots.

Guilty Rich Liberal

dirk said...

"Dirk, is there any evidence that a large share of the tiny demographic you mention will become "married homeowners.""

They don't have to. The point is that their political cause will be over and won. Also, keep in mind that I said "once gay marriage passes in most states" so I am clearly talking about a time a long time in the future (when, say, Texas has gay marriage), a time when I suspect the GOP will win a much larger % of the white population than they are now, due to increasing racial tensions and identity politics.

gubster said...

'Koreans maybe?'


epic fail.

gangnam style.

soonyi previn.

marge cho

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why you need to write the same comment several times. Perhaps you think it adds credibility if several different people appear to be saying the same thing.

I'm not sure why you need to write obviously wrong claims. Perhaps you think if you just confidently assert them nobody will recognize they're incorrect.

Obviously Mexicans were not "available" prior to the Mexican invasion. And I know people who knowingly hire illegal labor - they don't do it because of the price (which is the same as that for legal labor) they do it because it gives them emotional satisfaction.

Prior to the Mexican invasion, hiring Mexican landscaping labor would have been much more expensive. Mexican labor would be less available in your locality. You would have to, say, go to Mexico and get some Mexicans to emigrate legally to the US. This would take lots of time and expense and there would be risk involved, such as the Mexicans being denied legal entry. Once in the US, if they hadn't had any landscaping training in Mexico, you'd have to get them some training or experience before finally having them perform landscaping services on your lawn. All of this would of course making hiring Mexican landscaping services much more expensive than the local non-Mexican landscaping services.

The legal menial labor tends to be staffed by Mexicans and other Latin Americans as well in many areas.

If people don't hire Mexican labor because of price, but because of the psychic benefits they uniquely derive from Mexican labor, then that means that even if the Mexican labor were more expensive than non-Mexican labor, they would hire the Mexican labor. In other words, the Mexicans should be jacking up their prices above everyone else's for their menial labor. This is absurd. It's not true for the vast majority of average homeowners who hire Mexican labor.

dirk said...

"Dirk, is there any evidence that a large share of the tiny demographic you mention will become "married homeowners.""

What I'm arguing is mostly a moot point due to the insignificance of the demographic, but since I've started the argument I feel the need to finish it. As I say above: "when Texas has gay marriage" white gays in Texas will be Republicans. Keep in mind the full scenario here. When Texas finally votes on and passes gay marriage, which large group of people in Texas will be AGAINST that referendum? I'll give you a hint: they have tacky taste and vote Democrat.

Severn said...

I'm not sure why you need to write obviously wrong claims.


I'd ask which "obviously wrong claims" you're referring to but to be honest, I really don't give a shit what you have to say on any topic, "Anonymous".

nene romanova said...

"Hispanics are just a less-threatening variety of redneck."

More like Asians without brains. A lot of Mexicans are emotionally similar to East Asians as they share common ancestry.
But since they aint too bright, they are docile without being intellectually or economically threatening.

Anonymous said...

How is it possible that Mexicans are cheaper labor than even white teenagers? 1. No bookeeping. 2. No taxes. 3. No insurance. 4. Free health care - just have another laborer drop him off at the hospital if he gets hurt. 5. All the various goodies(which are really wage subsidies) that go to minorities for being such a lovely shade of not-white.

Wealthy whites are more than happy to socialize the cost with people who mow their own lawns.

tangents said...

If these reasons are true, then that means the people who hire Mexican labor over white labor would do so even if the Mexican labor were more expensive than white labor

No, I don't think that's the case. If there were whites underbidding the Mexicans & central Americans, we probably wouldn't be going off on Sailer's weird Lady Chatterley/Bonfire of the Vanities angle. However, over time the economic decision to employ off-the-books servants spills over into other areas of social realm. In gardening/cleaning/minor-repair crews there's at least one who's fluent in business English, the negotiator, but it's not the same as dealing with native-born fellow citizens. I was commenting on suburban people vaguely resenting concrete interaction since it can be psychically taxing (see David Brooks's "Bobos In Paradise"). I used to go by one household where the cleaning duo was headed by a white German illegal immigrant, looked remarkably like the frontwoman of the Spice Girls in fact. Even for the baseline of a suspiciously happy kraut she was always too talkative and a bit over-hyper, in face of which behavior the woman of the house occasionally registered passive-aggro discontent. Conversational awkwardness may not be the driver of employing illegals out here but there's a kernel of truth in Sailer's speculation about How We Got Here, the evolving preferences, conformity, defining uprightness down, etc.

J-Lewis said...

Steve always has been really impressed by French people.

unix said...

"Anonymous said...
I think also that sweat and body hair are sexual turn-ons for women, especially young women. A class-conscious teenybopper would be attracted to the labourer outside the window for a fling or two, but definitely not marriage. I'm not sure how race fits into all this. Would Miss Priss be most attracted to a tall skinny blond WASP guy, a gold-chainer, an oompa-loompaish Mixatec, or a studly black?"

Some day when you grow up -- or get better -- they will let you out, and you can find out for yourself.

I think you will find that girls just want to have fun and prefer that grown ups wear deodorant.
And though they don't realize it, they also end up with guys very near them in IQ.

Anonymous said...

It is nice to have a nice brown person to treat like an appliance, but it might be a good idea to maybe be a little aware of his/her/its emotional state, and it is really important to agree on an explicit job description, or else.

Yoselyn had her little moment of fame, it has already faded. Now, nobody will ever forget this case even though the expert witness has reconsidered his testimony.

dcite said...

On Oct. 26, about 5:30 pm, a NYC Dominican nanny apprently murdered 6 yr old Lulu, and 2 yr old Leo, children of Kevin & Marina Krim. Afterwards, she is said to have cut her own throat which is almost unheard of as a suicide, except, v. rarely, by males with military training. If one wonders whether the brown "immigants' have feelings of resentment, this is an informative, if extreme, cautionary tale. This family was friendly towards her, and once accompanied the nanny home on vacation, paid for her ticket and stayed with her sister. Marina mostly took care of her 3 kids herself, the nanny was only occasionally needed. She complained about finances and the Krims offered more work, but she felt cleaning beneath her. Krim friends disliked her sourness and would not hire her. She is said to be unrepentant and said the Krims ordered her around.
Some of the comments to the murder story are so bizarre, and even relate to the plight of the white lib. And Republican for that matter. As long as they are brown, black, yellow...Love them more, give them more money, give give giv and they will love you; if not, you deserve to die a bloody death at their hands.
It is interesting though, that Mr. Krim had just published earlier that day, or the day before, an article on CNBC (it's still up on the WSJ Marketplace, or was until a couple days ago) about a $43 trillion lawsuit, naming hundreds of guilty parties to a massive ponzi scheme that includes Pres. B.O., many in his cabinet and any number of big wigs in business and politics.
Politicians of both parties find so many ways to use these "immigrants."

Mr Tall said...

Like Jerry up the thread, I live in Hong Kong, and have for over 20 years. The domestic helper situation he mentions involving Filipinas and Indonesians here is an excellent analogue/prequel to any thoughts of a ‘guest worker’ approach the USA might take with Mexicans and other central Americans.

A little background: Hong Kong has loads of middle and upper-middle class people who work long hours. Nearly all of them have domestic helpers (my wife and I have employed domestic helpers since the birth of our daughter over 10 years ago). These domestic helpers must live in their employers’ flats, which are often very small, so there is a very intimate day-to-day dynamic. Domestic helpers are expected to provide childcare, plus do all the cooking and cleaning, and often more (e.g. walk dogs, wash cars, you name it).

This program has existed for over 30 years now, and on the whole it works pretty well. Hong Kong people get cheap domestic help, and Filipinas and Indonesian women earn salaries that are small fortunes in their destitute homelands.

Perhaps most saliently in terms of potential analogies to the USA, none of these domestic helpers earns even one day’s worth of standing in terms of gaining the right to stay permanently in Hong Kong. That is, they can stay on a special domestic helper visa as long as they are employed (I know some who have been here around 30 years), but once their contracts are up, they have a couple of weeks to find a new employer, and if they don’t, they must leave, or they’re deported. It makes no difference how many years they’ve lived and worked here. Other expats in Hong Kong (like me) gain the right to stay here permanently after 7 years’ continuous work and residency.

This hard-core immigration enforcement is possible because of the very clear terms of employment for domestic helpers, with heavy penalties for violating them (e.g. a domestic helper who signs a sham contract and then goes and finds a different job, or who overstays her visa, may end up in jail, and she will certainly be deported and blacklisted), and because Hong Kong has a very sophisticated ID card system that makes it possible for police to check just about every important fact about your status, particularly your immigration details, almost instantaneously. Anyone can be stopped and ‘searched’ in this way at any time. There’s also no such thing as an ‘anchor baby’ here; if a helper has a kid in Hong Kong, that child has no right to citizenship.

Even with these safeguards, and even though most Hong Kong people are extremely uninterested in seeing hundreds of thousands of Filipinas and Indonesians gain the right to live here, there has been recent political turmoil over the ‘unfairness’ of the domestic helper system. In particular, helpers’ advocacy organizations are pushing a change to the immigration law that would allow helpers who have worked here long-term to gain the equivalent of a ‘path to citizenship’. We’ll see how it all sorts out.

The bottom line is that even in a small, homogeneous, hyper-organized place like Hong Kong that is generally very hostile to the idea of guest workers gaining residency, it takes a lot of political will and effort to maintain a guest worker system. Trying to do the same in the USA would be utterly, totally, hopelessly impossible.

dcite said...

But then there's the ideal immigrant story: My landlady hired a couple El Salvadorans to the drywall and painting. The one guy didn't speak much English, and wore a bandana on his head; he looked like a Mayan Indian but was rather tall. The head guy was also El Salvadoran, but I sensed something different, despite the dirty t-shirt and straw hat. He spoke good English and he explained he worked at a large bakery in the early hours of the morning and then went to another job. He was putting his 2 daughters through college. He was married for 20 plus yrs to the same woman. He had left El Salvador because he was threatened and had friends who had been killed. Political stuff. He had been a teacher. He owns a house in the same upscale neighorhood of overpriced gingerbread houses outside DC (1/2 million to a million; his is probably 400,000) that a lot of his clients live in. Very nice person, humble but noble. I have to say though, compared to his helper, he was not so "indigenous" looking and appeared to be more European than Indian, though he was certainly mestizo. I don't mean to get schmaltzy but he's someone who really does seem that way. They do exist. Just not as many as people like Krauthammer fantasize.

Anonymous said...

No, I don't think that's the case.

Yes it would be the case if what Steve asserts is true. It logically follows.

If people hire Mexican labor not because it's cheaper but for the reasons Steve mentions that are unique to Mexican labor relative to white labor, then that means that these people would hire the Mexican labor over the white labor for the same service even if the Mexican labor were more expensive, up to the point where the amount of the price of Mexican labor above white labor equals the value they place on the unique features of Mexican labor. The premium of the Mexican labor above the price of the white labor would be how much these people value those features unique to Mexican labor relative to white labor.

Mr Tall said...

I would also like to say a few words about why I think this is one of Steve’s most perceptive posts ever (I was the anon near the beginning of the thread who said this).

Having employed a domestic helper for many years, knowing many domestic helpers through my church, and also knowing lots of both Hong Kong Chinese people and other expats who employ domestic helpers, I think I’ve got some insight into the dynamics that typically develop.

Steve is so very, very right in perceiving how much more comfortable it is to have someone you can employ in your home but not need to pay too much intra-cultural attention to.

Never the less, it doesn't always work out that smoothly. Here in Hong Kong, most American expats (and indeed other westerners) have never employed domestic help, especially on a full-time basis, so you see very strong reactions in expats here who are doing so for the first time.

Some, perhaps most of these women (since expat wives usually end up dealing with the household arrangements), are immediately caught up in the ‘plight’ of their helpers. Their first emotional reactions are sympathetic, and they want to be ‘on the same side’ as their helpers, whom they almost automatically (after years of diversity indoctrination in school and college) label as Exploited, Oppressed, etc. So they try to make friends with their helpers, reduce the distance between them, give them stuff, go shopping with them, etc. ‘How well I treat my helper’ actually becomes a status-point-scoring gambit.

But troubles soon begin. The helper probably doesn’t really want to share any part of her rich boss lady’s emotional life. She may also try to take advantage of her closeness with her employer by asking for frequent salary advances, and then loans, usually to help with some tragic/urgent situation back home in the Philippines or Indonesia.

Also, unaccustomed to dealing with household staff, the expat boss has no idea how to give clear orders for how things should be done, how to set household rules, etc. The home descends into chaos, the helper ends up needing to be micromanaged because she has no clear idea of what the hell her employer wants, and she becomes a burden rather than a ‘help’.

Finally, the emotional bubble bursts, and the expat starts dining out on ‘my helper is impossible!’ stories, fires her, finds a new one, and starts the whole cycle again.

I can't imagine how intense this dynamic would be if there were less cultural distance between employer and helper. Or would an upper-middle class householder feel less empathy toward a prolish co-cultural helper than she does toward her easily-labeled foreign helper? I don't know.

So one thing that’s interesting to me is how people in Marin County manage to avoid falling into this trap, i.e. over-sympathizing with their helpers. I wonder how different the working relationships are between Marin Matrons and their housekeepers, and Marin Men and their gardeners . . . .

Glaivester said...

I agree with those who say Krauthammer is simply lying. He doesn't really believe that Hispanics are natural conservatives. He just doesn't care. Remember, Krauthammer wrote a column in 1996 advocating a ban on handgun ownership In reality, he is likely willing to countenance amnesty because he thinks he can get some neoconnish policy in return.

I think someone should respond to him by suggesting that Republicans woo the Arab-American vote by advocating a Palestinian Right of Return.

Anonymous said...

" dcite said...
But then there's the ideal immigrant story: "

That's the ideal? Ideal for him. Union job, cash side business with illegal labor, affirmative action for the girls, minority goody bag - what's not to like. Running away from a hostile country and landing in the First World is noble? More noble to stick it out in the homeland, isn't it? How exactly has his presence bettered America. Oh, I see, your landlady got a cheap drywall job.

fondatori said...

I'd guess that people assume that Mexicans for example are socially conservative because most Americans think of Mexico as being superstitious rural Catholics clutching their rosaries with everyone having at least one uncle who is a friar in the picturesque but dusty village mission church. Like in old westerns. They don't see that it is a secular country where the state has suppressed the Church for 100 years and priests have only been able to leave their homes in religious habits recently.

Anonymous said...

If people hire Mexican labor not because it's cheaper but for the reasons Steve mentions that are unique to Mexican labor relative to white labor, then that means that these people would hire the Mexican labor over the white labor for the same service even if the Mexican labor were more expensive, up to the point where the amount of the price of Mexican labor above white labor equals the value they place on the unique features of Mexican labor.


Ok. And you think that this doesn't happen, why?

Discard said...

Absolutely: A White electrician is far too likely to assume that he is your equal, that the two of you are partners in a business transaction. A Mexican will know his place.
I'm not just yea-saying, I've known this for years. As a self-educated tradesman, I noticed that my betters would accept my presumption of equality, most likely due to my vocabulary. I must be a fallen MFA. But their initial annoyed response showed the true attitude of the better sort of people towards the workingman. We're not good enough to look them in the eye. They love those humble Mexicans.

Truth said...

"Some day when you grow up -- or get better -- they will let you out, and you can find out for yourself."

LOL.

Mr Tall said...

By the way, a totemic example of an upper-middle class White Person convulsing with class consciousness in dealing with a workman who is his 'equal' is provided by Yale's William Deresiewicz in his essay The Disadvantages of an Elite Education. You have to read it to believe it.

I wrote a response to it here if anyone is interested.

Auntie Analogue said...

So, Mr. Sailer, which Mexican actor would you cast for the title role in an updated remaked of 'My Man Godfrey"?

Anonymous said...

I wish people would stop using this weasel word 'helper', when they really mean 'servant' - the perfectly good, historic and correct English term for this type of household employee.
'Helper' is just a silly little word and a euphemism for people who aren't strong enough to face up to the truth.
- Likewise the horrible modern tendency to use that utterly meaningless word 'escort' (which is in fact a military term)instead of the good,adequate, honest , historic English words 'prostitute' or 'whore'.

Jefferson said...

I am tired of these RINO Republicans like Bill O'Reilly and Charles Krauthammer claiming that Hispanics have such great family values.

If Hispanics have such great family values, wouldn't that make them model Minorities ?

Even though Hispanics make up only 16 percent of the U.S population, a whopping 50 percent of all gang members in the U.S are Hispanic.

http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/Survey-Analysis/Demographics

Do these Hispanics who glorify gang culture, come from households with great family values ?

Mr Tall said...

Anon at 12:10: I've got nothing against the term 'servant'. 'Domestic Helper' is the legal, and indeed colloquial, term for a household servant in Hong Kong. Reflecting common usage, even if of euphemisms, has nothing to do with being insufficiently 'strong' to see the truth as you define it.

Anonymous said...

Ok. And you think that this doesn't happen, why?

I don't think it happens because I don't think it's true that people hire Mexican labor for the alternative reasons. I think it's pretty much solely due to price for most purchasers of Mexican labor.

If Mexican menial labor were more expensive than an equivalent supply of white menial labor, then the Mexicans would be out of work.

Teddy Freddy said...

Did White Californians forget these little brown people vote?

Anonymous said...

I've read a lot of Krauthammer over the years, and I believe him to be one of the slimiest, most loathsome of all the neocons. I was not shocked at all over his "reversal" on immigration, largely because he's always been very dishonest.

The man has no loyalty to the U.S whatsoever; he's a war-monger who only cares about Israel. It's so transparent at times, it's amazing anyone takes him seriously when he writes about U.S domestic issues, which are often just a smokescreen to appear to be a regular conservative.

I'm tired of "hispanics", and I say this as a white person with a lot of Spanish ancestry. They are not natural conservatives, and I believe the best thing Republicans can do is to help dismantle this "hispanic" entity and do what they can to appeal to white hispanics(many of whom are conservative, maybe even a majority), forgetting about the mestizo-mixed race ones who will almost always vote Democrat.

Immigration restrictionists among Republicans should also do all they can to find allies among left-wing immigration restrictionists. These people exist, but their voices are drowned out by the loudest, most elite voices on the left, the same thing that is now happening with the Republicans, rendering Republican opinion as "pro-immigrant".

Anonymous said...

I wish people would stop using this weasel word 'helper', when they really mean 'servant' - the perfectly good, historic and correct English term for this type of household employee.

Or the slave-connotation-free neologism "server" rather than the older and more proper "servant"? Does anyone remember the term "civil servant" before it was replaced by "government employee"?

anon 5:23 said...

If people hire Mexican labor not because it's cheaper but for the reasons Steve mentions that are unique to Mexican labor relative to white labor, then that means that these people would hire the Mexican labor over the white labor for the same service even if the Mexican labor were more expensive, up to the point where the amount of the blah blah blah blah blah

You're just being obtuse about this. I also think you have no firsthand experience with the topic, but that isn't necessary to contradict you. The bargain price of Mexicans & the developing preference for meek non-English-speaking laborers are both conditional on a big supply of illegal Mexican workers. You might say the Sailer social critique is premised on an epiphenomenon, a secondary accelerant, whatever, but it isn't the mythical fundamental driver you keep stupidly returning to. Of course white & black unrealized-laborers collect gov't benefits which over the years sap their desire to do menial work, still they wouldn't compete at the level of the Mex wage. This is not a crude Marxist case of some needful project involving ripe capital that has to fall to someone. The Mexicans do try to get the BEST wage they can but it ain't ever gonna be Davis-Bacon. Ron Unz's idea about recruiting minimum wage lawyers for some anti-immigration jujitsu won't do much because these are not predominantly 9-to-5ers or even on the 4 hr shifts. Though illegals do participate in the gray market via illegally holding bricks & mortar jobs like food service their biggest impact is in their black market weight. They sustain a parallel economy that siphons off the tax-paying lawsuit-fearing legit businesses. Some of the black market exemplars aren't obvious--nannies have rarely constituted a standardized labor segment but every SWPL household wants a cheap live-in worker, just like the good old days recalled by the proud Southern readers at this blog. Howell Raines thinks that's the way to live.

theo the kraut said...

Bravissimo! Se non è vero, è ben trovato. Though I'm afraid it's all too true.

Sheila said...

I agree with Mr. Tall's perspective. I lived overseas for a number of years (two of them in Asia) and employed domestic help in each country. I paid a fair but not inflated wage, and felt no discomfort or embarrassment. While I treated the women courteously, this was a business transaction and they got paid to perform specific tasks. FWIW, I never had any problems. Of course, none of them lived in. We used the "maid's room" in our Singapore apartment as a tv room (it was actually quite large by Singapore standards, and with the door open reasonably cool with the apartment's air conditioners).

Too many DWLs are squeamish about having the money to hire any sort of domestic help, and as noted, get caught up in ensuring these people are honorary "family members," thereby ensuring dysfunction and resentment. I prefer White tradesmen to Mexicans precisely because of the presumed equality. These guys are smart and have skills and abilities my husband and I don't, and I'm happy to pay them a realistic wage for qualified work. We've spent a fortune having Joe White Guy fix the crap the Jose eyeballed or built contrary to code when he was contracted by the homebuilder. If there was any way to avoid it, I would never again buy a house built by Mexican laborers. Is there such a thing in Texas? I don't believe so.

Anonymous said...

Is Al Gore also a master plumber?

Not sure but he seems to be a master debater.

Svigor said...

"Dirk, is there any evidence that a large share of the tiny demographic you mention will become "married homeowners.""

They don't have to. The point is that their political cause will be over and won. Also, keep in mind that I said "once gay marriage passes in most states" so I am clearly talking about a time a long time in the future (when, say, Texas has gay marriage), a time when I suspect the GOP will win a much larger % of the white population than they are now, due to increasing racial tensions and identity politics.


Dirk, that makes no sense at all. You said homos will start voting like married people once they're all married. I said they don't seem to be interested in getting married, then you moved the goal post; now you're suggesting they'll act like married people when they're allowed to marry, but choose not to. That sounds a lot like saying single women vote like married people, which they don't.

Mark Mallarde said...

The "other" are usually louder and far more obnoxious than native workers -- who are almost always white. On top of it, the "other" tend to be remarkably sloppy in their work. Sometimes I believe they are sloppy on purpose as if leaving a mark where they were.

Anonymous said...

I have to concur about the Mexican tackiness thing. Ever try watching a Spanish-language TV channel? I can hardly stand a few minutes. Its like a mind enema. Even the news is awful - what kind of evening news program has an astrology segment and regularly has stories about stuff like a cactus that looks vaguely like Jesus?

And Mexican music makes me feel like killing myself.

Honestly if liberals can't stand the lack of sophistication of white rednecks it seems bizarre that they should celebrate our impending engulfment by this monstrous black hole of unsophistication.

Mexicans and to an even greater degree Central Americans do have a gratifyingly subservient attitude towards employers. Probably because most of their ancestors worked on plantations where people who got out of line mysteriously disappeared, and if "el patron" raped your daughter you just sighed and went back to harvesting henequen.