Over the last couple weeks a sizeable crew of workers has been placing underground flexible piping that will carry new TV access for our neighborhood. Curious about what these folks were doing, I engaged the foreman in a conversation about who he was, where he was from and what he was doing. He explained that he and the entire crew were from central Mexico. He emphasized that all men were here on work permits while their families remained in Mexico.

He mentioned that they are fortunate to be here because the US has so many unemployed who will not do this work. The work is hard and the biggest guy in the crew may have weighed 150 pounds. The men all worked without stopping with shovels, picks and rakes. I never saw one taking a break and when lunchtime came, the workers simply stretched out on the grass and rested in the sun.

This brings me to my question: Why aren’t these jobs being filled by US workers? Are our entitlements so generous that an unemployed person can select only certain jobs that he or she considers acceptable to their narrow field of choice? It is estimated that there are 12 million or more illegal aliens working in the US. Is it really true that while our unemployment stands at 9.7% nationally, unemployed citizens refuse to fill these jobs? The February unemployment in Virginia rose to 7.2% as a result of the loss of 32,600 jobs in the state. Are our taxes supporting unemployed people that feel it is below them to work with a pick and shovel or accept other available jobs?

Are we abandoning our self-respect and transferring our personal responsibility to Richmond and Washington D.C.? Are we gaming the system so that if a person prefers not to work, we can simply live perpetually off government handouts?

– Dick Baynton, Cloverdale