November 15, 2005

The feminization of "jobs Americans just won't do:"

One of the many vague misconceptions American elites hold about immigration is that "the jobs Americans just won't do" are primarily the kind for sweaty men with strong backs. The reality, though, is that an awful lot of the jobs where physical strength traditionally mattered the most, such as coal mining, have been heavily automated.

Why? The industries with the manliest work forces tended to unionize most effectively -- in part because of less competition from women workers, but also because the tough guy workforces were better at terrifying potential strikebreakers into not trying to cross picket lines if they wanted to keep their skulls unfractured. So, these jobs paid the highest premiums in wages due to union monopoly power, which meant that management had the most incentive to pay to replace men with machines.

Thus, the jobs available to poorly educated immigrants are increasingly services jobs, where being a man is not much of an advantage.

And that plays into a phenomenon seen in both America and France. Here, African-American women are doing much better economically than African-American men, and the same is true for Muslim women in France. About 40 years ago, black males, sick of being called "boy," started to opt out of servile jobs. The same appears to be true among Muslims in France, who don't want to do service work where a good attitude is important.

In contrast, Mexican men are still willing to take servile jobs. Think about the last black waiter you encountered. (You may have to throw you mind back several years to remember him.) He was probably gay, right?

Now, think about the last Latino male waiter you've had. He probably wasn't gay, right? In fact, I've had Mexican waiters who could have played the we-don't-need-no-steenking-badges bandito chieftain in "Treasure of the Sierra Madre." At present, Mexicans don't seem to find it a massive insult to their machismo to hold servile jobs, the way African-American men and, it appears, Muslim men in France do.

I don't know exactly why that is, but I doubt if it's genetic. It strike me as fairly likely that an upcoming generation of Latino-American males, who grow up heavily influenced by black rappers, will come to reject the kind of service jobs that black males have rejected, and turn instead to crime. In fact, judging from crime statistics, it's already happening.

And what will be the response of American elites to this fairly natural evolution of assimilating Hispanic males away from "the jobs Americans just won't do?" My guess is that they will just turn to importing new immigrants -- more Hispanics, or how about those 160 million Untouchables in India? They know their place! And the treadmill will go and on, filling up the country with unskilled immigrants to turn into a hip-hop lumpenproletariat.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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