Donald Trump, Anthony Bourdain, and the Plight of Their (Indentured) Mexicans

Off the keyboard of Allan Stromfeldt Christensen

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Like us on Facebook

Published on From Filmers to Farmers on June 10th, 2016

Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner

 

(photo by Gage Skidmore)

No doubt you've heard of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's infamous wall, the one ostensibly meant to keep out all those alleged Mexican "criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.," as well as to keep all those 8.1 million undocumented workers Trump intends to (somehow) deport from getting back in. On top of all that, while 3,200 km walls don't just pay for themselves, Trump had nonetheless promised to (again, somehow) make sure that the Mexican government ends up footing the bill for said wall.

After months of the now routine mockery and scorn laid upon Trump, Trump finally came clean with the method of how it was that he was supposedly going to force Mexico to cover the $8 billion tab for his pet wall – by halting money transfers from the nearly $25 billion that (underpaid, overworked) Mexican labourers send back home as remittances every year (a total that actually equates to about 2% of Mexico's GDP). As should go without saying, the vast majority of those 8.1 million undocumented workers are employed in the service industry as maids, cooks, and groundskeepers, as well as in the farming and construction sectors, earning some of the lowest wages in the country to send home to family members in need. In other words, Trump plans on paying for his infamous wall by extorting money from the Mexican government under the threat of confiscating money from the poorest of the poor. As would come as little surprise to many, that Trump "love[s] the poorly educated" was, and is, of course, nothing but a ruse.

Not only then did this zany fiasco to "Make America Great Again" attract its share of derision, but it inherently comes with the threat of "Making Mexico Even Worse": cut out that 2% from Mexico's books, and Mexico could very well be headed for recession, which would probably only stoke antagonism towards the United States. Irrespective of any of this, Trump went ahead and made an offer that Mexico couldn't refuse: "Make a one-time payment of $5-$10bn to ensure that $24bn continues to flow into their country year after year."

(photo by Lwp Kommunikáció)

It turns out though that while pulling all that money out of the Mexican economy would likely be a disaster for Mexico (and particularly for poor Mexicans), pulling out all those Mexican labourers out of the United States' (service) economy would also be a disaster – of sorts – for the United States. As American chef, author, and television personality Anthony Bourdain explained it, "If Mr. Trump deports 11 million people or whatever he's talking about right now, every restaurant in America would shut down." Perhaps Bourdain is overstating it a bit, but his point comes through. In my rough translation, Bourdain seems to be saying that "Mexicans hold the American restaurant industry upon their shoulders – or perhaps better yet, upon their stooped backs," with a side of "Are we really going to let Mr. Trump put our restaurant-hopping lifestyles at risk?"

In case you're like me and don't know your celebrity chef from your celebrity online gamer, here's another statement Bourdain gave while critiquing Trump's shenanigans, conveying a bit of his history and outlook:

I rolled out of a prestigious culinary institute and went to work in real restaurants. I walked into restaurants and always, the person who had been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it was done, was always Mexican or Central American. The backbone of the industry — meaning most of the people in my experience cooking, preparing your food. Twenty of those years in this business I was an employer, I was a manager employer. Never, in any of those years, not once, did anyone walk into my restaurant — any American-born kid — walk into my restaurant and say I’d like a job as a night porter or a dishwasher. Even a prep cook — few and far between. Just not willing to start at the bottom like that.

(Oops. I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to work that dishwasher job back in my university days.)

In other words, count yourself lucky non-Mexican Americans (and you token Mexicans who non-Mexican Americans can refer to as their "but I have a Mexican friend" friend "who isn't an underpaid labourer," or who can be pointed to as having TV shows), because you (like, say, non-Mexican Canadians) get to live the high(ish)-life while Mexicans (and a few others) do the menial work in perpetuity that makes that high(ish)-life possible in the first place.

That raises an even larger point: putting aside the lifestyle crimping notion that the United States' one million restaurants would supposedly shut down upon the deportation of all its undocumented Mexicans, who would be out in the fields planting and harvesting all the food if it weren't for said wage slaves? Who would be working the vines to cultivate and harvest the grapes to make the wine with? Who would be scrubbing those things where the effluents of all that food and wine are deposited into? Surely, one would guess, not the ones living it up(ish).

Hustling and bustling for Trump, Bourdain, and all the acolytes! (photo by Americanspirit)

(Or living it down. In the southern Ontario town next to the one I grew up in, Bradford, a "reclaimed" swamp was drained and turned into Canada's "vegetable basket" some hundred years or so ago. Migrant Mexican workers can be seen working those "fields," and it's not a generally regarded fact (but nor a secret either) that many natively born Canadians would much rather go on the dole than work those "fields," be it alongside (documented) Mexican migrants or not. And with the example that the more well-off Canadians give of avoiding the land like the plague, it isn't exactly easy to blame them either.)

It should go without saying then that without those documented and undocumented Mexican workers, not only would many of the United States' restaurants supposedly shut down, but the United Statesian way of life itself would likely be put at serious risk. Moreover, since fractional-reserve banking and interest bearing debt means that the American economy (like any other) must keep growing (or at least give that impression) in order to avoid imploding in on itself, this requires not only a static supply of Mexicans to keep the pyramid propped up, but an ever-expanding base of Mexicans (and/or equivalents) to do the scoffed at jobs that non-Mexicans generally don't want to do themselves. (That is, until Google's AI department comes up with a fossil-fueled alternative, or Elon Musk bestows upon us an army of benevolent replicas of the Jetsons' Rosie, running, of course, on (ahem) fossil-fueled "renewable energy.")

In other words, whatever would the United States (and Canada) do without their cross-border supply of malleable and readily replaceable Mexicans? Senator John McCain, as was said, suggested an answer to this: "Couldn't the children of illegal immigrants do those jobs?"

Awk-ward.

Fortunately, somebody did respond to that erstwhile comment of McCain's, none other than born-to-immigrant-parents Marco Rubio, a recent member of the Donald Trump love-in and now flop-flipper in that ongoing GOP love-hate relationship. As he was said to have put it, "Pardon me, Senator, but I have to say that the children of those illegal immigrants will be doctors and lawyers." Although there is at least a smidgen of truth to that statement (take Rubio himself as an example), it's mostly a cute sentiment offered by one of the fortunate/lucky few, since many if not most of those children will become burger flippers and, if they have enough pizazz and edgy enough haircuts, perhaps even baristas.

(photo by Eli Christman)

But supposing that said upward mobility were to a rather large extent actually true, that poses a serious problem: If the children of indentured service workers are able to escape the fate of their parents and climb that spiral staircase of the American Dream, who would raise and feed their kids while they're at the office and on all their restaurant jaunts? Who would work the fields harvesting all their food? Who would scrub all those unmentionables? Answer: more Mexicans (and their equivalents), documented or not.

So regardless of what some politicians may say in order to win votes, and what some chefs may say in order to win a larger following from armchair cooks, the United States – the United Statesian way of life – can't do without a steady supply of cheap labour to prop up the lifestyle of its Trumps, Bourdains, and all their acolytes. And when Bourdain states that United Statesians are "just not willing to start at the bottom like that," that "bottom" should refer to the fields, not simply dishwasher jobs at restaurants, and nor should such "bottoms" be something to scoff at as somewhere to merely "start," but a place to dig in and become familiar with, a place to build an affinity with.

Another post will be required to elaborate on that, recognizing the fact that this kerfuffle we face is ultimately an issue of ceilings and floors.

5 Responses to Donald Trump, Anthony Bourdain, and the Plight of Their (Indentured) Mexicans

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner
Search the Diner
Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D
Archives
Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

This should seal up the Minority and Wimmen votes.REhttps://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/11/joe-biden-vp-pick-sen-kamala-harris.htmlJoe Biden picks Sen. Kamala...

This sustainable technique can create nearly 40 gallons of clean drinking water per cycle.CLEAN DRINKING WATER is one of life's essentials. However, safe drinking water isn't a reality for over 2 billion people across the world. These individua...

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move Moscow likened to its success in the Cold War-er...

"To me, honestly, it feels like putting a bunch of planes up and then not having air traffic control."Amazon was approved by the Federal Communications Commission to launch 3,326 satellites as part of its planned Kuiper constellation. That’s ro...

Big Pharma is the nickname given to the world’s pharmaceutical industry. It also includes the trade group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Big Pharma and medical device companies make billions of dollars every year. They’v...

Recent Facebook Posts

No recent Facebook posts to show

Diner Twitter feed

Knarf’s Knewz

This sustainable technique can create nearly 40 ga [...]

Big Pharma is the nickname given to the world’s ph [...]

Diner Newz Feeds
  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

Doomstead Diner Daily July 17The Diner Daily is av [...]

Doomstead Diner Daily July 16The Diner Daily is av [...]

The point being to wear down the "precariat [...]

Quote from: UnhingedBecauseLucid on March 18, 2019 [...]

CleanTechnicaSupport CleanTechnica’s work via dona [...]

QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

This sustainable technique can create nearly 40 ga [...]

Big Pharma is the nickname given to the world’s ph [...]

Quote from: K-Dog on February 24, 2020, 06:23:52 P [...]

I wonder how much these coins have been debased? [...]

Precious tip of the day.....Buy silver NOW  She [...]

Scientists have unlocked the power of gold atoms b [...]

Quote from: azozeo on August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM [...]

I am OUT of Jury Service!  I got summoned to be a [...]

Quote from: Eddie on May 16, 2020, 10:30:30 AMQuot [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 08:20:06 AMQuote f [...]

Quote from: RE on May 16, 2020, 08:20:06 AMQuote f [...]

Alternate Perspectives
  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

The Flim-Flam Men by Cognitive Dissonance   I suspect if average Joe or Jane were asked to identify [...]

The Coming War With China Re-posted from CaitlinJohnstone.com   (Have you noticed that (suddenly) Ch [...]

Papers Please! By Cognitive Dissonance     For those who may not know, Mrs. Cog and I live in the mo [...]

Lies, Damn Lies and Coronavirus Statistics By Cognitive Dissonance     “Never believe anything in po [...]

The Decline and Fall of Civil Society Chapter One By Cognitive Dissonance     From my perspective at [...]

Event Update For 2020-08-09http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-08-08http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-08-07http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-08-06http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2020-08-05http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

In other words, treat COVID-19 like a dry-run for the upcoming "big one" [...]

However don't expect strikes and yellow vests to fix underlying problems [...]

So how many more times are we going to hear that this is our last chance to take action in order to [...]

This is definitely not a bona fide post [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability
  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

The Great Pause Week 21: Coronation Part II"How do you undo in a short time what has been inculcated into a culture over half a century? [...]

The Great Pause Week 20: Coronation Part I"With the number of Covid patients closing in on 20 million, epidemiologists hope the virus has [...]

"Your future is a story you were told, like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy."Thirty years a [...]

The Great Pause Week 18: Midwinter Down Under"Our objectives are low-tech, anti-fragile, and human-centered. By using tools of permaculture [...]

The Great Pause Week 17: Toppling Mount Rushmore"We are being schooled in the deficiencies of human neurobiology."President Cobblepot and [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

The success of Apollo 11 flipped the American public from skeptics to fans. The climate movement nee [...]

Today's movement to abolish fossil fuels can learn from two different paths that the British an [...]

Top Commentariats
  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

thanks for confirming what I already suspected a steady state economy will finish our way of life of [...]

As the population was rising, we have started to think that there is no way some pandemic like Spani [...]

In reply to Kim. 2020 is surely Peak Obesity in the world. [...]

In reply to Dennis L.. Some people people who contracted Legionnaires caught it by merely walking pa [...]

In reply to Duncan Idaho. Hint: Theoretically, we can reduce infectious disease deaths to close to z [...]

Reante learns at the overripe age of 44 that he doesn't have a working crystal ball, just a dea [...]

Nothing to see here. Move along! Lol. https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/biden-vice-president-pick-dith [...]

Steve seeing as how this is reante's fourth in a row, lemme know if I'm posting up too muc [...]

Hey Steve what do you think if the idea that the 1K/mo digital UBI for US citizens 18 and older (plu [...]

Who was it who used to argue here years ago about how much fat could be cut from the system? Was it [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction
Useful Links
Technical Journals

It is imperative to know the spatial distribution of vegetation trends in India and its responses to [...]

Air pollution continues to be a serious issue for plant health and terrestrial ecosystems. In this i [...]

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) burnt area products are widely used to assess [...]

This study was designed to identify trends in maximum, minimum, and average air temperatures in the [...]

Follow on our http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/