American Mosaic: Chinese Street Vendor

American Mosaic: Chinese Street Vendor

Since it's founding, the United States has been both a "melting pot", and a "cultural mosaic". The American Mosaic series of posts attempt to capture the interweave of American society.

Freezing cold, a makeshift vending table and two bags of nuts for sale. The immigrant experience for many first generation immigrants is a tough one. Cultural differences and language barriers commonly translate into difficult financial situations, hard work and self-sacrifice for foreign born immigrants. Consequently, many second generation immigrants are driven to do better than their peers in the general population. For example, immigrants are over 1.5 times more likely to take on entrepreneurial activities than natives.

Most economist agree that immigration is positive for the economy. In fact, a number of studies indicate that legalization of low-skilled unauthorized immigrants would contribute billions to the US GDP. This however does not fit well with native residents who are threatened that their jobs will be taken immigrant workers. As a result, politicians play a tightrope on immigration issues; while promising tough measures against immigration to the domestic population, they look the other way in implementing them.

Nearly one third of all scientists and engineers in the U.S. are foreign born, a rate double that of the native born population. The real threat to jobs in the United States are not immigrants, but greedy corporations and bad government policies that incentivize the shipping of jobs overseas. This Chinese woman selling nuts in Chinatown is a threat to nobody!

Song of the Day: Sympathique (Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler) - Pink Martini (1997)
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