Immigrants boost pay, not prison populations

by TKOEd • Wednesday, Feb 28, 2007 • no responses - be the first

Very interesting article in the LA Times today. As an immigrant and the child of immigrants its good to see that the facts show what i have always believed and known to be true. I grew up as an immigrant in NY with immigrants for friends. Now i can’t speak to the financial impact but as far as crimes goes the findings of these studies are representative of the lives of my family, my friends families and our other immigrant neighbors. our parents were and are just good hardworking people doing their best to make ends meet and give us, their children, a chance at a better life. They did the best they could with the knowledge and talents at their disposal. I think they have succeeded. I’m the purchasing manager for a large restaurant in NY; my closest friends all graduated from college. They work for Reuters, the city of NY, the US gov’t after serving proudly in the Iraq war and Columbia university respectively. I think we are making them proud and we and our parents are definitely contributing members of American society. I still think of Haiti as my country but America is my country and my home.

Here’s a piece from the aforementioned article:

A study released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California found that immigrants who arrived in the state between 1990 and 2004 increased wages for native workers by an average 4%.

UC Davis economist Giovanni Peri, who conducted the study, said the benefits were shared by all native-born workers, from high school dropouts to college graduates, because immigrants generally perform complementary rather than competitive work.

As immigrants filled lower-skilled jobs, they pushed natives up the economic ladder into employment that required more English or know-how of the U.S. system, he said.

“The big message is that there is no big loss from immigration,” Peri said. “There are gains, and these are enjoyed by a much bigger share of the population than is commonly believed.”

Another study released Monday by the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center showed that immigrant men ages 18 to 39 had an incarceration rate five times lower than native-born citizens in every ethnic group examined. Among men of Mexican descent, for instance, 0.7% of those foreign-born were incarcerated compared to 5.9% of native-born, according to the study, co-written by UC Irvine sociologist Ruben G. Rumbaut.

Both studies are based on U.S. census data, which includes both legal and illegal immigrants. They were released just days before the U.S. Congress is to restart debate on major immigration reform legislation and as numerous states, including Texas, consider harsh measures against illegal migrants.

The authors say their work shows that immigrants clearly benefit U.S. residents and are being unfairly scapegoated for problems they do not cause.

hip hop does not equal thug/gangsta

by TKOEd • Tuesday, Feb 27, 2007 • no responses - be the first

I’m getting really tired of reading news & opinion articles wherein the writer automatically links hip hop with criminal behavior or undesirable behavior. there have been a slew of stories about the happenings in Las Vegas during the NBA all-star weekend. the incident involving titans player “pacman” jones comes to mind. yes there is an element of hip hop that does involve the street and rapping about criminal acts but does this mean everyone who listens to it is a “thug” or “gangsta” ? NO!. does this mean that hip hop should immediately be associated with every criminal act involving brown people. NO!. is the thug/gangsta image frequently marketed by record companies, artists themselves and other corporations which is then proliferated in the media? absolutely. that does not mean the these images represent the hip hop nation at large. we have all heard the arguments for why the image exists; “I’m just rapping about my life”, “i rap about what i see”. whether or not you think these reasons are valid or not you can not deny the reality that is life in the hood or the ghetto. thugs don’t represent the people who love hip hop. thug or not if you grew up poor, lower class or working class you probably have seen or heard 1st hand about a lot of the things said on rap records. i can take criticism from people who know and love hip hop but when Oprah and Bill Cosby speak they aren’t talking to us. they are talking to there own generation and to people to hate hip hop to begin with. frequently people like them are talking down too us too. while they may have certain valid points they have no true insight. there are many problems with hip hop from the glorification of “thug life” to misogyny to homophobia and anti-intellectualism. these issues as with others affecting poor minorities in America we have to be the ones to stand up and fight them from the inside.

that guy (bush)

by TKOEd • Monday, Feb 26, 2007 • no responses - be the first

I’ve decided to start this blog on a light note. i don’t know if this has been written about anywhere else but I’ve noticed that joe biden always calls bush “that guy” or “this guy” in interviews. i personally think this is hilarious especially considering that bush has a nasty habit of calling dems the democrat party instead of the democratic party. i have read this supposedly goes back to nixon who started saying it like that to try and emphasize the “rat” syllable in the name. really just lowbrow stuff.