Letters to the Editor

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JOBS: Where are the American workers?

Letter by Paul F. Adan, Tacoma on Oct. 17, 2011 at 10:40 am with 6 Comments »
October 17, 2011 11:17 am

The literary classic, “The Grapes of Wrath,” is an enduring tribute to the unbreakable spirits of Depression-era Americans. Like thousands of others who lived during that time period, the members of the Joad family lived in abject poverty.

Though faced by seemingly insurmountable obstacles and crippling adversity brought on by the Depression, the Joads remained undeterred. After slaughtering a pig and eating a final home-cooked meal, they loaded up their truck and hit the road in search of a better life.

Throughout their journey, they struggled, and yet they persevered. Even when lured by the enticements of the government-run Weedpatch camp, the Joads eventually realized that the government could only keep them alive; it would never allow them to thrive. In the end, they felt they had no alternative but to leave the camp.

After reading the article (TNT, 10-15) about the labor shortage in the apple orchards, I was thoroughly disgusted. The shortage has nothing to do with immigrants, as described in the article, but it has everything to do with Americans.

Whatever happened to the indomitable American spirit of yesteryear? How is it that today Americans are so willing to stay on unemployment for more than a year, yet they are unwilling to pick apples for $120 to $150 a day?

Gov. Christine Gregoire, it was said, is looking for a solution to the labor shortage. Here’s a solution: Each day send about 30 buses to the unemployment offices in Tacoma and Seattle.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. Why should we the taxpayers pay for the transporting private workers to work on private farms?

  2. olympicmtn says:

    Like many of us did for years, kids don’t work in the summer anymore picking berries in the Puyallup Valley. That is because mom and dad pampered them so they can demand all of us who saved for retirement, now pay for their tuition free college education (pass/fail college at Evergreen) so they can camp out protesting wall street and those who grow jobs and actually saved and invested for the future. Imagine that.

  3. commoncents says:

    olympic – I’m sure you’ve taken your child/grandchild out of the school system in order to work the orchards, right? No? Oh wait, this article didn’t have anything to do with summer time employment of our youth. My bad…

  4. LarryFine says:

    Good letter Paul. It’s unusual to read very mnay non-partisan letters these days.

  5. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Common- the article was about the rewards of work vs a handout. Your partisan blinders prevented you from seeing a clear, well spoken message.

    It is not about taking kids out of school. It is about getting them away from their xbox, not giving them $10/day for lattes, and showing them that the things in life they desire are not ‘free’. That one can get ahead through hard work.

  6. Rollo_Tomassi says:

    xring –

    “Why should we the taxpayers pay for the transporting private workers to work on private farms?”

    Because it is cheaper (and more ethical) than having taxpayers pay for “free” unemployment.

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