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John Galt
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When at the age of twelve, at the time of the Russian revolution, I first heard the Communist principle that Man must exist for the sake of the State, I perceived that this was the essential issue, that this principle was evil, regardless of any methods, details, decrees, policies, promises, and... More
  • New faces of day labor 0 comments
    Nov 16, 2009 10:51 AM
    Give Credit to Mish for finding this story  in the Las Vegas Sun.  I'd imagine that it's happening all over the country, but Las Vegas is especially hurting with their 13.9% unemployment rate.
    “It’s the equivalent of selling apples in the Great Depression,” said Harley Shaiken, chairman of the Center for Latin American studies at the University of California, Berkeley."
     In Vegas times are rough.  We read this story about a 50 year old US citizen who lost his job at a casino and now stands outside Home Depot with immigrants looking for day labor.  He worked in various hotels, restaurants and casinos for 30 years, but no tries to scrape by with 8 dollar an hour day labor.  In his best week he made 140 bucks.  Jobs that only immigrants would do?  Not for this guy.
    His sojourn got off to a rocky start. On one of his first days on the street outside Home Depot, another laborer told him he should move along because too many people were at the spot.

    “I told him, ‘I’m an American citizen and you’re trying to push me off American soil?’ ” The man walked away, and Buchanan says he hasn’t had another problem with his competitors since.

    Instead, Buchanan has found himself defending the rights of his fellow laborers on more than one occasion. One day, a man tried to hire a bunch of them for $5 an hour. Again, Buchanan pulled out the “citizen card.” But this time, he was telling the other person that he, a U.S. citizen, knew about minimum wage laws, and was going to make sure those laws were followed. “I said, ‘You want me to write down your license plate number?’ ” Buchanan recalled. The guy drove away.

    Now, he said, “I get along with everybody here.”

    This day labor seems to be learning the little tricks of the job.  He stands in smaller groups because he thinks it helps him get work.  He's more aggressive when cars come by ( he was to shy to get work early in his day labor career).  He also focuses on the end of the month when people tend to move in and out of housing. 

    This story seems to go along with the NY Times Walmart exec who points out a surge in food sales at the end of the month when payday hits. 

    "There are families not eating at the end of the month," said Stephen Quinn, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Wal-Mart Stores, and "literally lining up at midnight" at Wal-Mart stores waiting to buy food when paychecks or government checks land in their accounts."

    The economy might be "improving", but in a nominal GDP sense.

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