Does cheap mexican labor help or hurt an economy?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by RECESSION PROOF MOWING, Feb 20, 2011.

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    RECESSION PROOF MOWING LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    Depends on which side you're on, I suppose. But this has always been a fascinating topic for me because we all benefit and get hurt by cheap labor. The argument is akin to the "buy American only" debate. Is it better for society as a whole for me to buy a Samsung tv from overseas on the cheap? America doesn't even make tvs any more, or most things for that matter. If America added $150 to every set and I didn't buy, is that better than sending my money to Korea or wherever?

    Landscaping is similar. It's great if you own a subdivision and share expenses with others and that Mexican crew mows all your unbuilt lots on the cheap. Hey, the non-Mexican guys bid $500 more per cut! You save a ton of money over the season, don't you? Does society really benefit by your homes association paying cheaper dollars to get work accomplished or does it somehow come back to you paying more for American labor? Tough call.

    My mom lives in an upscale condo development in Leawood, KS, around 355 condos, and a Mexican labor, well known crew rolls in there and bids out $600 per cut. Yes, that's correct...$600. Next highest bid was about $1500 per cut. They've got the bid forever and my mom says they do a damned good job. I couldn't get out of bed for that money. Literally, couldn't even roll over and listen to $600. The condo group, my mom and her neighbors all win. Nobody else in the picture does...society loses. Decent wages loses. And the elephant in the room that nobody forsees...eventually...the Mexican labor in 15 years won't cut grass for that wage either. They'll wise up. All minority groups eventually get real and refuse to work for nothing.

    I don't see a solution to this problem. As I don't see how Detroit will ever compete with Toyota and Honda. Those days are long gone. The 1980's ruined 'em. While Toyota and Honda were raising quality and lowering prices, Detroit was putting out Dodge Aries and Plymouth Acclaims.

    So, answering the question...Mexican labor wins, Mexico wins, Americans who benefit from the low cost cutting win...and you guys on the front lose. That's just how I see it.

    IRRITECH LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    well, here's a thought. A job is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
  3. Lefet

    Lefet LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,887

    I agree it's lose, lose all the way. Your Mom may be winning at the moment but how long will that last? Or does she really call that "winning"?
    I mean does she sleep well knowing most of her hard earned money won't be staying here? Or that while the country is in debt beyond it's eyeballs, the people she's paying are not all helping?
    Yes it's great to get a bargain at times but when you weigh the REAL costs and aftermath, does it really amount to "a bargain"?
  4. IndyEarthScapes

    IndyEarthScapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    What we save on cheap labor we pay in health care and entitlements for "undocumented workers". And while saving that money we have taken revenue that would have stayed local and improved everyones economy locally. Ever wonder why 8 mexicans or more live in a single apt? It's so they can send their money "home". That being said they work harder than most nonmexican laborers I see. You have to admire their work ethic and motivation
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  5. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    i think using cheap mexican labor hurts our economy which hurts our country.

    any time money is sent elsewhere it hurts. i realize americans have a tendency to jack up the price of things but i don't see it as a necessary thing. if china and mexico can do things cheaper we should be able to as well. but us americans are a greedy bunch of people. all we want is money, money and more money.
  6. santafe

    santafe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    I don't have much of the problem of mexican labor. But what I do see around here is a lot of construction being done by Amish labor. (which doesn't really affect me directly) Do the amish buy cars from our car dealers, do they buy insurance from our agents, do they buy appliances, ect, do they pay taxes to help the rest of us pay for this govt that is going broke. oh well.
  7. santafe

    santafe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    People are all just out for themselves and just too short sighted. "What is best for me today?" We don't have the community mind we had 50 yrs ago.(i am not that old) when one farmer would go over to another farmer and help them put out a crop or get in a crop or butcher or put up a barn. that kind of stuff just doesn't happen any more. ironically it does happen in the amish community.
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    i see your point but the only thing on that list they don't do is buy vehicles.

    they get insurance, they have appliances and they pay taxes. actually the appliances they get or probably 100% made in america. not the appliances we get that are made overseas.
  9. SouthernRoots_Lawn&Garden

    SouthernRoots_Lawn&Garden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    honestly the first post is nothing but pure racism at its finest... if they're legal i have no issue with them. i hate to break it to everyone but when all these big ceo's and everyone else make a lot of money the first thing they do is buy things like foreign cars and clothes. also in our industry for instance what motor is 9 times out of 10 going to be on your wb or ztr? a kawasaki last time i check they they were japanese. you cant avoid sending money to another country because of all of the outsourcing that our country has done.
  10. santafe

    santafe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    Not around here. are you talking about menonites? i am talking about amish. they don't have appliances because they don't have electricity, they don't have insurance because it goes against their trust in God. (i am not saying anything against that. mabey I need more trust. but that is another debate.)Also, I think even in the amish religion there are some communities that allow more than other communities.
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