Friday, March 23, 2007

The High Cost of Cheap Labor

A couple of hours ago I was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. In front of me was a couple with a baby. They spoke to each other in Spanish, and when they reached the front of the line and the woman handed the clerk a stack of WIC coupons it was apparent she could barely speak English.

The introduction of the WIC coupons slowed down the checkout process considerably, as it necessitated the clerk having to make notations on each coupon as various items were checked out. I estimate it added an extra 15 minutes to the process. I would not have minded this so much if these people had been US citizens, but it was apparent they were not.

At any rate, this is not about the loss of time. Far more serious is the loss of money represented by what I witnessed. After the WIC coupons were tabulated, these non-citizens paid $5.26 for what had to have been at least $50 worth of groceries. The federal government picked up the rest of the tab.

In 2002, the use of WIC and other food assistance programs by illegal aliens added $1.5 billion to the federal deficit. When that figure is added to their use of other federal programs, their total contribution to the 2002 deficit was $10 billion. (LINK)

We cannot afford to help these people. We cannot afford to give them jobs that rightly belong to Americans and we certainly cannot afford to feed them and take care of all their other needs. That is the responsibility of their country of origin. It is time—no, past time—for the buck to be passed back to Mexico, where it belongs.