BILOXIANS LOSE JOBS TO INDONESIANS
Being put out of work because of a hurricane is understandable. Being put out of work because of laziness is also understandable. But being put out of work because your job has been given to a foreign national might be a bit more difficult to understand -- the only difference perhaps is in the meaning it may hold for you in being able to heal and move on with your life.
A friend recently shared with me that earlier this year his 59 year old wife, a bookkeeper, along with 14 other workers in the Finance Department of the Biloxi Grand Casino, was instructed to train, via telecomputer and telephone, Indonesians in Bali in their jobs over a three month period. Then, after the training was completed, all of them were discharged, including the controller.
They were given six months severance pay.
I asked him how she felt about it and he said that while she was initially a little resentful over the betrayal, that she has now become outright bitter. She has not been able to find a full-time job. She considers the Grand’s current ad, apparently meant for local consumption, claiming to be of Biloxi, by Biloxi, and for Biloxi, to be a hilarious farce and outright lie.
Yes, I suppose losing your job to a foreign national carries a meaning that is quite different than it might be for any of the rest of us.
To them it probably changes the meaning of the phrase ‘create new jobs’, and is likely something different than what it means to a politician who promises to create new jobs. A meaning that beckons the question: New jobs for whom? Will they be for local taxpaying Mississippians or for foreign nationals?
Losing your job to a foreign national might make one wonder what the term ‘local jobs’ means to a city or county official who, while perhaps not being privy to this apparently common business practice, probably wouldn’t be able to do anything anyway about a new or existing job going to a foreign national.
And were it not for having read in the press and seen in the media these past several years the business phenomenon of transferring corporate jobs overseas, you would have difficulty in understanding why you were discharged because you happened to not be a resident of Indonesia this year -- a difficulty that will
perhaps be the cause of a lingering anxiety or depression.
Anxiety and depression can be partly eased with medication. But as anyone knows, medication does not treat the cause of a distressed emotion. It only treats troubled feelings.
No, medication does not change a business’s operating policy designed to send local jobs to foreign nationals.
Nor does it change the business philosophy that advances unfettered regulation and minimal taxes intended to foster more ‘new job’ creation, even if it is at the expense of the American worker.
Neither does medication change a conservative or liberal political philosophy that allows such a practice.
And no, it does not change a city or county’s policy, with ethics and morals in mind, that declares in one breath that strip joints and liquor stores cannot operate within a certain distance of a church or school, but in the next breath allows a Las Vegas-based corporation to set up business in our neighborhood and, with apparent impunity, send local jobs to foreign nationals.
As this practice continues, how should we counsel our students entering college and vocational schools? How should they plan for such a business environment? What careers and jobs are immune from a business’s inclination to favor foreign nationals? How can college and vocational school graduates be certain the job for which they’ve been educated and trained will not one day go to a foreign national?
Should we even bother to complain?
Should anyone bother to complain that Indonesians are not buying groceries from any of our stores, or shoes and clothes from any of our retailers, or meals from any of our restaurants, or automobiles off any of our lots? Or does it even matter? It was only 14 jobs anyway.
Should we even worry?
Should anyone even worry that our elected representatives may not be bigger than big business? That this business trend may one day find that on the local level that the big businesses among us have given the majority of jobs, if not all, to foreign nationals. Why worry? It’s probably not as pervasive as some might think.
Should we even desire to change?
And what would anyone change anyway? Would we change to a Democrat or to a Republican? To a conservative or to a liberal? Or would it matter? Or should we perhaps be promoting such a practice, no matter what, in the interest of continued tax revenues?
Like a laissez faire economy, should we just “let it be”?
Perhaps it’s not so serious of a problem after all. Perhaps not serious enough yet that it might otherwise happen one day, in the not too distant future, that we may find ourselves forced to ask of our neighborly big businesses, not that it would matter any longer, the same inquiries Scarlett made to Rhett? “If you go, where shall we go? What shall we do?
And of course, we all know Rhett’s infamous response.
Well, I suppose for the 14 who lost their jobs that things could’ve been worse. At least we made it through another year without a hurricane.