Friday, October 12, 2007

Turning Good New into Bad

I try to keep concentrate on gun issues, but every now and again, I have to expand the blog's horizons. I'm here at work and I was doing some morning news reading (don't tell the boss).

I read an article in the New York Times that discussed the affect more immigration enforcement was having on a large meatpacking plant in North Carolina. The author is Stephen Greenhouse and he laments the impact this enforcement has had on the employer and the illegal immigrants.

Greenhouse tells us sob-stories about Hispanic themed stores having less business, about a woman whose husband is facing deportation, about how illegal aliens may have helped formed unions, and about how they were harder workers than Americans who replaced them.

I don't know about the work ethic part of it, but the article mentions a lot of good news couched as bad news. Here's an example, "Some companies have reluctantly raised wages to attract new workers following raids at their plants." The key words here are "reluctantly" and "following raids." The good news is that companies raised their wages. I thought this was a good thing.

Greenhouse goes on to complain about a woman who now works at the meatpacker and faces a long commute in a company van (she pays a weekly amount to ride it). I don't like my long commute, but this woman more than doubled her hourly wage. That's not a bad thing. Further, Greenhouse had to admit that the plant has hired more black people to replace the illegal immigrants.

The plant has a high turnover rate and new employees complain of sore muscles. But, there's no guarantee that work will be easy or even rewarding. Someone must do the mind-numbing hard work and we all can't get paid to discuss Jacobean poetry.

I am amazed that a New York Times writer could try to turn good news into bad (that's called sarcasm people).

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