Armies of the Blight: Men Seeking Work. Anything Accepted. Cash Only. Illegal Not a Problem.

I think you are wrong about some of this. But I was thinking today about creeping socialism relative to the decline of western economies. I believe (but can't prove) that the underground cash economy will do just fine, and will become more popular as taxes increase. The welfare state will bloat and stagnate while the industrious will (as always) seek ways to maximize the money made per unit effort. When full cash works best, that's what it will be. Those with skills will thrive, bureaucrats and humanities majors, not so much. I look forward to this brave new world. Bring it on, motherfuckers.

Posted by dr kill at October 25, 2008 12:43 PM

You raise some very valid concerns. I think one element we will see in the not so distant future is a proliferation of cut rate, deep discount dope. Heroin, coke, meth, pharmecuticals galore. It stands to reason, that as the honest, hard working, find themselves with no way to earn for those large families south of the border, some or many, will turn to smuggling. Let's face it the two top earning occupations in Mexico are drugs and kidnapping for ransom. A good example is the recent drug related kidnapping of the child in, Vegas? What this country doesnt need is cheaper illicit drugs. Sadly, I think the whole illegal immigration thing is beyond repair or a reasonable solution.

Posted by midtown miscreant at October 25, 2008 12:51 PM


"Perhaps we'll discover that we'll have to pay a very large bill for our indolence. And that the bill will not be paid with cash. It will be paid, not for the first time, with the last thing we want to see - the Army in our cities. I don't think we are prepared for that. I don't think we want to find out. I pray we never have to."

The bill?

Northern Mexico. The crime, gangs, drug wars, etc.

Posted by memomachine at October 25, 2008 4:06 PM

I think dr kill is correct. The democrats want to take us back to the 70's and during the 70's a significant underground economy existed due to high taxes. IIRC, some estimates placed it as high as 10-15% of all economic activity.

Posted by Shannon Love at October 25, 2008 4:15 PM

When the Armies are in our cities, the cattle cars will be heading South.

Posted by JohnMc at October 25, 2008 4:30 PM

Actually, this topic did come up, when McCain hinted at something similar to the above in June 2007. I came up with a question that would have knocked him out of the race (see my name's link), but no one got off the couch long enough to go ask it or any of the other questions that could have prevented him from being the GOP nominee.

I also came up with various questions that BHO could have been asked that would have prevented him from being the Dem nominee, but no one got around to asking him anything remotely difficult.

Posts like this are useful, albeit a bit late. But, what's really needed are people to help push effective plans rather than just raise issues.

Posted by What McCain said at October 25, 2008 4:46 PM

I don't suppose expecting them to go home if there's no work is an acceptable answer? To ask them to go back to Mexico where they already speak the language and with some the same hard work they're willing to do here, they might be a part of creating a lively and successful country of their own?

Just remember that all of those unemployed Mexicans milling around that you're feeling sorry for are costing taxpayers MILLIONS in free education for their American-born bambino's, MILLIONS per month in free health-care for their emergency room visits, plus the wear and tear on the freeways, bridges and litter-pickup necessitated by their presence.

IF there's nothing for them to do here, then they should go home.

Posted by NahnCee at October 25, 2008 4:47 PM

I don't know much about California, but when I did the work at my house it was me - and my nephew and his friend, and my brother, and my friends. But mostly me.

I no longer own that house, but the brick sidewalk my brother and me put in still gives me a touch of pride. And my nephew and his friend helped me scrape that house before painting (painting which I did).

You know, there is a lot of pride in doing something like that. Like when dad refinished the upstairs of the old house, or finished off the basement at the new house.

Posted by Mikey NTH at October 25, 2008 4:54 PM

I am ready, and EAGER, to see the U.S. Army rounding up illegal aliens, packing them into freight cars, and guarding the trains that take the illegals back to Mexico.
I am ready, and EAGER, to see the wailing families on nightly television coverage.
I am ready, and EAGER, to hear the protests of the Mexican government.

Posted by L at October 25, 2008 4:58 PM

When it comes to that, most of the troublemakers will be US citizens - second or third-generation Americans. There won't be anywhere to ship them to, as this is their country, the only one they've ever known.

Add to this problem the fact that we've passed the point where most people get more from the government than they give in taxes. Interesting times are ahead.

Posted by Eric at October 25, 2008 5:27 PM

Many Mexican laborers do return to Mexico when work dries up in the U.S. That appears to be happening in many parts of California and the Southwest. The crowd at Home Depot may include legal workers who have turned to day labor because of the construction slowdown.

Posted by Joanne Jacobs at October 25, 2008 5:42 PM

Wow. We live on acreage on a scenic river, have a Sunset Magazine type lawn and garden, and we do everything ourselves. Try it. Fresh air, exercise, and don't put in more than you can take care of yourself.
And we are seniors, one retired. (We also clean our own toilets.)

Posted by Jean at October 25, 2008 5:51 PM

If Obama is elected none of this will happen. All of these laborers will be made U.S. citizens and registered to vote (Democratic party, naturally). Once the fully democratic congress and Obama start drafting the laws, katy bar the door...

They won't have to worry about winning a presidential election for the next 50 years with the additional 15 million newly minted voters. They'll get health insurance, social security and they won't have to make full payments on the Fanny Mae mortgage they got a couple of years ago. They'll immediately send for the rest of their extended family. You'd better brush up on your Spanish language'll be needing them.

Don't get me wrong, I've traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America and love the people. Those countries are a wreck because of the corruption and oppression of a single, powerful government and ruling class. We just need to have reciprocal laws with those countries. If I tried to live in Mexico without papers, I would have a very unpleasant time down there. Their citizens should receive similar treatment if they did the same in the U.S.

Posted by Concerned Citizen at October 25, 2008 6:05 PM

They'll go back home. I wouldn't worry too much about it...

Posted by Matteo at October 25, 2008 6:09 PM

A lot illegals have SS numbers and birth certificates. They work 60+ hours a week and have taxes deducted from their paychecks.

If the government wanted to crack down, it would be easy. But as it is, there is about $530 billion in Social Security funds that are unclaimed, and a lot of it probably comes from these guys.

Instead of trying to ship these people back I think we should fine them, and then use the funds to build great big prisons to hold the ones that misbehave. The big problems with illegals who commit crimes is they run back to their home countries and come right back when the coast is clear to commit more crimes. If we don't lock 'em up, they WON'T be locked up in Mexico.

And if they knew that they would be locked up for good (and not just sent back to Mexico) it would might deter them from being criminals in the first place.

Posted by Mama73 at October 25, 2008 6:13 PM

Your friend, and all those like him, caused the problem. People willing to abet a crime to save on labor cost. Why wouldn't they give that job to young black man, one of our own citizens? Who do you think these foreign lawbreakers will victimize when they get desparate? Those wealthy folks they are familiar with. You'll reap what you've sown.

Posted by Neshobanakni at October 25, 2008 6:32 PM

Nice rants above. I especially enjoyed the one from "L", which I take to be a cute attempt to discredit deportations. Whether "L" knows it or not, that's highly similar to something Chertoff said.

Anyway, when everyone's done crying, whining, moaning, and coming up with plans that won't work, consider doing something that would be incredibly successful: discrediting politicians over this issue. That's also incredibly easy, if you know what you're talking about.

If politicians know their careers are in danger if they don't enforce the laws, they'll start enforcing the laws. Yes, it really is that simple. Now, the problem is getting people to stop whining and start doing something effective. Unfortunately, those who get a lot of traffic haven't exactly been in the forefront of that effort, to say the least.

Posted by What McCain said at October 25, 2008 7:17 PM

Energy Corps?


Posted by Oldsmoblogger at October 25, 2008 8:24 PM

You write "But it's how we live now", but that 'we' is a subset of America (albeit a large one). I noticed all the "personal Mexicans" you mention when I was in California, but that's not something I see here in the Northeast. While I have no doubt we have illegals working here too, that vast pool of day-laborers that the average citizen can hire on a whim doesn't seem to exist here.

Posted by Ben at October 25, 2008 8:43 PM

Here is a recent piece that gives a little hope regarding enforcement of existing laws:

Someone here said something about immigrants who are citizens and I agree that therein lie some of the worst problems. The guys hanging out at Home Depot are not the drug dealers and murderers that plague our communities. The worst offenders are freely mobile and transnational, or they are part of the established hispanic community, or else reside in some nether region between the two. In Los Angeles it is estimated that about 10% OF THE OVERALL POPULATION is comprised of criminals and their cultural support (families, associates, etc)-- about 700,000 people give or take. In terms of livability LA is already doomed *because her citizens have accepted these terms of degradation*.

This is what drives my concern, above the issue of illegals per se (also a concern-- illegal entry means they should not be here). The transformation of neighborhoods into "barrios" of decay and "we don't give a damn about the rest of you" is sickening. Some vibe of violence or arrogance (witness window-rattling bass "music" that is a low level form of violence) is palpable in about 15% of hispanics where I live and I witness it every single day. At some point the difference between hostility and indifference from the Other becomes meaningless.

If our idea of a decent quality of life now requires hiding at the end of a narrow, winding road, our cities will be left to ruin-- with few of us having escaped to those bucolic sanctuaries. Fight or flight is all there is, but the planning part cannot come before enough of us are awake.

Posted by Hannon at October 25, 2008 9:04 PM

Here is a recent piece that gives a little hope regarding enforcement of existing laws:

Someone here said something about immigrants who are citizens and I agree that therein lie some of the worst problems. The guys hanging out at Home Depot are not the drug dealers and murderers that plague our communities. The worst offenders are freely mobile and transnational, or they are part of the established hispanic community, or else reside in some nether region between the two. In Los Angeles it is estimated that about 10% OF THE OVERALL POPULATION is comprised of criminals and their cultural support (families, associates, etc)-- about 700,000 people give or take. In terms of livability LA is already doomed *because her citizens have accepted these terms of degradation*. Per capita police in NYC is *five times* the force in LA, for example.

This is what drives my concern, above the issue of illegals per se (still a major concern-- illegal entry means they should be ejected). The transformation of neighborhoods into "barrios" of static decay and baseless ethnic pride is a breeding ground for endemic criminality. Some vibe of violence or arrogance (witness window-rattling bass "music" that is a low level form of violence) is palpable in about 20% of hispanics where I live and I witness it every single day. At some point the difference between hostility and indifference from the Other becomes meaningless. Culturally the effect is the same.

If our idea of a decent quality of life now requires hiding at the end of a narrow, winding road, our cities will be left to ruin-- with very few of us having escaped to those bucolic sanctuaries. Fight or flight is all there is, but the planning part cannot come before enough of us are awake.

Posted by Hannon at October 25, 2008 9:19 PM

"Home Depots are, among other big-box construction hardware stores, the default shape-up spot of pick-up Mexican labor in the US. We all know that."

Uh. No. We don't all know that. Out here in northern flyover country (Minnesota), there isn't a single Home Depot where illegal laborers hang out waiting for the chance to get perform illegal labor.

The author needs to get out of his, or her, enclave. Just because he and his neighbors are jaded enough to not care about hiring illegal day labor, doesn't mean the rest of the country isn't bothered.

It's not all over the country probably because in most other parts of the country there are enough folks who would have no compunction against calling the local police to chase away or round up the illegals, and the local police would do something without much guilt.

The rest of us all don't live the Marin County daze.

Posted by Curmudgeon Geographer at October 26, 2008 12:05 AM

At least the Mexican's work, unlike the native-born parasite class which grew under Bush II and will grow yet again under Obubba.

Posted by tim stevens at October 26, 2008 12:22 AM

Why, way back in early '08 before the end of the world was nigh, I read that demographics in Mexico were slowing to the point that in 10 years or so, there'd be far fewer young men to go north because there would be less competition for jobs at home. Of course, maybe I could paraphrase DeGaulle: "Mexico [Brazil in the original] is the country of the future, and it will always be."

I do believe that the formerly-known-as INS is a joke. Illegals arrested and convicted in my home state get referred to the INS, which effectively says to the county, "We don't want to hear about it. Let 'em go." As with most ethnic groups, illegals mostly prey on other illegals, but that doesn't make it proper. Comrade Obama will probably look to giving them the vote. Too bad I can't just as easily migrate south to Mexico where it's much cheaper to live; funny how their government requires documentation.

Glad to be in Japan where nobody can simply walk into the country and ethnic homogeneity means illegals stand out, although plenty overstay visas and disappear to staff factories, farms, and massage parlors.

Posted by CT at October 26, 2008 1:37 AM

Ben and Curmudgeon Geographer are right. The open-air day-labor markets are not common in most of the country. The only time I've ever seen them was while visiting my San Diego-based father-in-law.

I'd say that the incidence of illegal nannies, house cleaning staff, etc, are also much lower in my area. People here generally do the work themselves. If not, they use a neighbor for daycare, hire a landscaping service, or get the Merry Maids in once a week. While it's certainly possible that some of the guys on the landscaping crew have overstayed their visas, that's not the same thing as knowingly hiring an illegal nanny and then jumping through hoops to hide the fact.

So, I guess the question is: Why do so many middle-class people in SoCal have servants?

Posted by Dictyranger at October 26, 2008 5:07 AM

to the people who say they don't have that problem in their state or city, I say you don't know where to look. I live in Kansas City Missouri, a more mid western city you won't find. Day laborers don't wait at home depot, but they wait in other places. I worked in the lumber business, serving new home construction. The author was spot on correct, at least as far as major and medium sized cities are concerned. You don't see the problem in some areas simply because there isnt enough actual work and building progress to draw them there. As for the guy who cant wait to see them loaded in cattle cars "wailing" as they are hauled away, is the same type who will "wail" when his beloved Big Mac triples in price. The simple fact is Americans wont take minimum wage jobs, that is why there is a niche for the illegal immigrant. And FYI, this is America, we dont load people up in cattle cars, in america, we treat human beings like human beings, not livestock.

Posted by midtown miscreant at October 26, 2008 5:55 AM

I'm also a bit shocked by the cattle cars comment. That sounds a little too WWII for me. But Obama wants to make all these laborers U.S. citizens and award them health insurance and social security. That's a little too neighborly for me. Isn't there a middle ground between leftist illuminati handouts and herding them into a cattle car?

Posted by A.B. at October 26, 2008 6:41 AM

Don't you folks see? The whole plan here is to eventually make "American Citizen" meaningless. The 0 and the other zero's will be making the US into a nice third world country where being here illegally won't be much of a consideration. The Mexicans will just be another arm of the Democratic Party, like ACORN. As long as they are loyal to their Democrat Bolshevik masters the Mexicans will do nicely here.

Even the Soviet Union had a black market, run by those in power, of course.

Posted by JD at October 26, 2008 7:03 AM

The only Americans who benefit from illegal immigration are the ones who have a "personal Mexican". In other words, the left wing intellectual elite. Our "betters" have been feeding us sob stories, so they don't have to mow their own lawns, or pay those here legally a decent wage. A few dishonest businessmen who benefit may be on the right but a vast majority of apologists for the invasion are lefties.

If a depression arrives, there will be a giant backlash against the elite and their illegals. First the anchor baby concept will be found to be in error. Then those who used it to obtain residence and citizenship will be stripped of it. When that does not remove enough former illegals, the 1986 amnesty will be revoked and those who benefitted from it will be sent home. The Army won't be in the cities, it will be on the border. It will no longer be our goal to control the border, it will be closed.

The hundred year legacy of Mexican hostility to the US and Mexico's attempt to solve its overpopulation and chronic economic chaos will come home to roost. I do not desire this outcome, but I can see it coming. The elite, the professors, the lawyers, the executives and the like will try to sweep it under the rug so they can gaze out on their manicured lawns and geometrically trimmed hedges while enjoying white wine and brie with the like minded. And how in the world could anyone expect them to have enough to attend that conference on green living in Bali or take that needed jaunt to unwind in Paris if they had to pay Americans to maintain their properties. Can't you just feel the contempt of Mr Vanderleun's friend for those who mow their own lawns or scrimp and save to make house payments? It drips like acid on the American political landscape.

We can address the problem of an essentially open border now or we can see a catastrophic solution later. Neither McCain nor Obama is the slightest bit worried about it. Neither will do anything to control the situation. McCain will be unable to prevent and Obama will actively help a heavily Democratic Congress from make the economic crisis worse. I do not expect the next four years to very pretty.

Posted by Ken Hahn at October 26, 2008 7:08 AM

Cash accepted and appreciated. No tax, no bribes, no rules, no ID, no bullshit, no problem.

The term "black" market must have racial tinges for someone somewhere so let's call it the "free" market.

Posted by rexrs at October 26, 2008 7:28 AM

Yeah, rexrs-

Back in the '80's I worked for a Dutch woman who was in the US because she had married a citizen. She had a small clothing boutique. As we spent a lot of time together at work, I became aware that she was skimming profits (as they did in the Netherlands). Then I became aware that she was hiding expenses, too- (again, as they did in the Netherlands), because you couldn't have the expenses without the profits, could you?
My understanding & appreciation of the entirety of the Underground Economy in Europe was increased... The Socialist part was all that showed, but underground was/is a thriving, full-featured second level of economic activity unreachable & unrecordable by the governmet.

Susan Lee

Posted by Susan Lee at October 26, 2008 7:50 AM

Those that don't have anchor babies and can afford to get back to Mexico would probably go, but if these men have American born children, they will stay and live off taxpayers $$

Posted by Claire at October 26, 2008 8:38 AM

Great article, and a very welcome nod to Henry Miller in the pseudonym for your former employer!

Posted by thecobrasnose at October 27, 2008 11:32 AM

Ah, the kind of deeply-read reader one writes those little flourishes for.

Posted by vanderleun at October 27, 2008 12:34 PM

The two things that are most often overlooked in the debate about our Mexican work force are that the money they send home supports the Mexican economy and that being able to come here and work provides Mexico with a social safety valve of great value to the corrupt and greedy folks who run the show south of the border. If you think having 11 million illegals working here is a bad deal just let the Mexican economy collapse. California, southern Oregon, Nevada,, Arizona, New Mexico Southern Utah and Colorado and most of Texas would be overrun not by willing workers but by whole hungry families. And while we might like to think about the 101st Airborne defending our southern borders, shooting hungry grandmothers just isn't the American way.

Posted by glenn at October 28, 2008 7:36 AM

Obama already has plans for Army in the city:

"Loving your country shouldn't just mean watching fireworks on the 4th of July," he said. "Loving your country must mean accepting your responsibility to do your part to change it. If you do, your life will be richer, our country will be stronger."...

"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set," he said Wednesday. "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded."

Unfortunately for America, Barack Obama's security plan is already practiced.
Not in America but in Marxist regimes.
Gusano at Babalu grew up with a civilian national security force... in Cuba:

Basically, what Obama is talking about is creating a Committee for the Defense of Liberal Ideology and Political correctness funded by a half trillion taxpayer dollars. National Security for this crowd is not about stopping terrorists from killing our children. National Security means to teach our children to understand the terrorists and their motivations so that our children can learn how to live their lives submissively so as not to offend the sensitivities of the very sensitive America haters.

Their version of National Security is to force you to act for the common good of society and not in your own best interest. Since this goes against human nature, the half trillion dollar “Civilian National Security Force” will have to force Americans to change their nature and create a new citizen that is self sacrificing and collective in nature-an ant-like new man, like Che's and Fidel's new man.

This concept is eerily similar to the Castroite CDR block snitch network that I grew up with only better funded and more ideologically pure.

Posted by RJL at October 30, 2008 8:40 AM

Couple of anecdotes, FWIW:

In Southern Florida, the out-flux of illegals is approaching equilibrium with the influx. No one is sure where they're going, but some people I know who've recently lost help report that they're going home. Those that have been here a while have sent enough dollars home that they can now afford to take a few years off, until things "stabilize" here in the US and they can come back again.

In NJ, a PR gal I know hires crews of illegals on a regular basis. Cleaning lady, handyman, etc. Gets good deals because she can converse, has a lot of contacts in that "underworld" as well. A brother-in-law reports that his Jersey sheetrock crews have "castles" in their home countries, bought by day labor. 9 months work, 3 months at home, living like kings.

On the icky side, I've been in homes where the sleeping chart is posted on the kitchen wall - 24 people (men, women, children) in a 3 bedroom apartment, with time allocations for the shared beds.

Sometimes I think, "what a noble sacrifice". Sometimes I think, "what parasites." Sometimes I think, "I want to get off the grid, too. Stop paying taxes, work for cash, and live like a king somewhere, dammit."

Posted by rick at November 7, 2008 10:35 PM

Who cares? They're just millenial hoboes. They migrate to our communities, they work, the men are men, the women are women, they're Christian, they don't abort their offspring. They are the productive class and the productive class always eventually ends up voting conservative.

The only ones procreating these days are the Muslims, Latinos and Amish. Heaven knows there aren't enough Amish, although I wish there were. If it's between the Muslims and Latinos, I'll take Latinos any day.

Posted by edaddy at December 6, 2012 6:16 PM

"Your own...personal...Jesus..."

Posted by Rich Fader at December 6, 2012 7:34 PM

Ah yes, reminds me of when my ancestors wandered into Rome, illegally no doubt.

Even way up here in Alberta, Canada we get illegal Mexicans. They work like madmen, get used to the cold, are brilliant with concrete, father lotsa babies, nearly always in wedlock, and out-hustle our indolent youth.

I had one of them as a tenant. Rent in cash on the first, on the nail. Gave me notice, the bastard, to move to a nicer house. Last time I saw him he was standing in my yard watching his 3 kids play in the snow in early November wearing boxers and a T-shirt, with a housecoat for "warmth", drinking coffee and enjoying the crisp.

Our women approve of them. A Mexican man is reliable, he works hard, and turns the cash over to his woman, and wants sex rather than video games.

The race improves.

Posted by Fred Z at December 6, 2012 7:51 PM

Fred Z ... Never noticed, but it's true that our women approve of them. My daughter takes cello lessons from the spouse of a Latino. Manuel is his name. Nicest guy you ever met, but can't speak a lick of English. He works at the local factory while she teaches music. What the hell?!

Posted by edaddy at December 6, 2012 8:33 PM

If you think the illegal Mexicans are a problem in California just wait until the bondholders have taken their haircuts and the state workers have lost their unsustainable pay and pensions and the infrastructure has been terminally neglected and there still isn't enough money to fund the EBT cards. Then the fun begins.

Posted by glenn at December 7, 2012 9:47 AM

On the other hand you get Kate Del Castillo.

Posted by glenn at December 8, 2012 11:37 AM

And some really great food.

Posted by glenn at December 8, 2012 11:39 AM

Holy Mother of God, I googled "Kate Del Castillo".

Why wasn't I told?

Any chance she'll marry me? Or even say "Hello"?

Posted by Fred Z at December 8, 2012 8:20 PM

That future is already here in my area just 30 miles northwest of Chicago in lovely suburbia. Gangs, drugs, and prostitution have greatly increased, along with violent crime-strong arm robberies, home invasions, robberies of banks and gas stations in broad daylight. In one affluent community there was a beheading of a gang member in apartments across from a high end grocery store. A local jogging path near a neighborhood lake has become a place for women joggers to be attacked. All the local nicer national restaurants have weekly wallet and iphone thefts. Cars are regularly broken into. Our area is well known as a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Our teens and young adults trying to find first jobs are edged out by cheaper labor. But many businesses are closing and where will turn when the cash flow stops? They will prey on those who have homes, cars, and steady work.

Posted by Annie at August 20, 2015 12:44 PM

The battle is, and long has been, between the oligarchs skimming off the top of the economy with the help of their bought and paid for politicians and their media whores, for whom GDP growth is an unqualified good and the 90% of working, or want-to-be-working stiffs, for whom GDP per Capita is paramount.

Growing the economy by importing poorly educated low-skill immigrants may increase total GDP but decreases per capita GDP which is the determinant of living standards.

Switzerland's GDP is far less than the US's, the per capita GDP and standard of living higher.
Of course,Switzerland has a rational defense policy.

Posted by Bill Jones at August 20, 2015 7:36 PM