The United States is looking more like Saudi Arabia every day. Check out this week’s headlines:
Labor Participation Rate Drops To Lowest Since 1978
Natives accounted for most of the growth in population,
but all employment growth went to immigrants
So what, you say, does this have to do with Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia was a poor country until the 1930s when the world developed a thirst for oil and discovered that this desolate desert nation, barely more than a collection of loosely-related tribes, had a lot of it. In the years since, the demand for oil increased exponentially, and so did the wealth of the ruling families who controlled the land from which it is extracted.
It wasn’t long before these wealthy Saudis no longer needed to perform any physical work. There was so much money flowing into the country that the ruling families shared it liberally – first with anyone who could claim to be a blood relative, no matter how distant, and later (in smaller increments) to anyone who had family roots there. Eventually most native Saudis could choose whether or not they wished to work. Many didn’t, and those who did were far removed from anything that resembled physical labor.
There is, of course, physical labor to be done. For that the Saudis have imported legions of hungry, foreign workers from Africa and East Asia. An estimated 6.5 million foreign laborers toiled in Saudi Arabia a year ago, before rioting against inhumane treatment brought a government crackdown on illegal immigration and a slight reduction in their numbers. The few and vague immigration laws, however, are still not well-enforced.
In Saudi Arabia, the second-class immigrants do the work, enduring slave-wages, appalling conditions and all forms of abuse, while the native-born and well-connected enjoy a leisurely lifestyle. Children and women get the worst of it. But Saudi Arabia’s gravy-train won’t last forever. Their oil reserves are depleting, and other nations are learning to develop their own energy sources. Saudi Arabia will soon face some major challenges and changes – the current path is not tenable.
Does this sound familiar?
Go to any residential construction site in the United States. You will see few, if any, native-born Americans in the craft or labor jobs. Here In the Carolinas, most are illegal immigrants from Mexico. They are working hard, and some do high quality work (many don’t). They earn substantially less than American-born construction workers did ten years ago. Twenty years ago. Thirty years ago.
You see, native-born Americans, like the Saudis, can now choose whether or not they wish to work. Many don’t, and those that do are usually far removed from anything that resembles physical labor. Where the Saudis’ wealth comes exclusively from oil, our American wealth was built up by the sweat and skill of our parents and grandparents, and is further being borrowed from our children. We are racking up debt and printing fiat currency so that right now half of us no longer have to work. Like the Saudis, we are bringing in legions of hungry, foreign workers to do our labor.
At some point they, too, will tire of slave-wages and bad treatment, and will rebel. The United States, like the Saudis, will soon face major challenges and changes – the current path is not tenable. But fortunately, we have options the Saudis do not. We still have rich, untapped energy resources. And we have many other opportunities to create wealth, if our liberal government will allow it.
Our liberal friends, including our president, would love to erase the borders and bring in hordes of cheap immigrant laborers (and, they hope, future government-dependent Democrat voters). I hope they will look at Saudi Arabia’s predicament and get a grip on the immigrant labor situation before we completely forget how to work.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
Some days won’t ever end,
And some days pass on by
All be workin’ here forever
At least until I die
Workin’ For A Livin’ – Huey Lewis
A favorite from my very own set list – rockin’ live version by my man Huey!