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Where Are All the Teenage Workers in P-Town?

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by State, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. State

    State Rookie

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    Hi, I've been having a simply marvelous time this Wknd at P-town--I haven't had this much fun since Rehoboth in 1989 and seeing the fabulous musical "Saving Ryan's Privates"--and got to wondering: Where are all the surly, lazy, mathematically challenged local teenagers? Much of the wonderful behind-the-counter help seems to come from Central or Eastern Europe.

    Delicious-looking Romanians...yummy! I'm not complaining, just wondering why that is.

    And as I consider myself roving reporter at large for Patsfans.com, the answer that keeps coming back to me is--work ethic. American teenagers don't seem to have much of it.

    That also is the conclusion from an Atlantic piece, From Serbia to Cape Cod, written by a prominent young gay journalist from Mass, James Kirchick (and I think the source for the hit piece against Ron Paul several years ago that received prominent play here):
    How have American teenagers gotten lazy compared to internationals? Is it we've become too lazy, all of us, thanks in part to our own success (wealth) and the ability to survive by not working (the welfare state)? Rhetorical question.

    People start families without having the demonstrated ability to work even a year at McDonald's. What kind of lessons are they passing on to their children when they themselves are having the gubmit financially help them?

    It seems the mind set in other countries is gratitude for having work and personal responsibility for one's actions...exactly the mind set that got us our wealth in the first place.

    It seems, like the book I read a long time ago by Daniel Bell, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, that capitalism sows the seeds for its own destruction. The paradox is that by its success capitalism teaches people values that undermines the continuance of the system.
  2. PatsWSB47

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    I've personally noticed a steady shift in work ethic attitudes over the past 40 years in the work environments I've been a part of. Anecdotal yes but I believe it's probably common elsewhere.

    This phenomenon is not new though. Legal immigrants where allowed to, have flourished with their opportunity here. I think though this work ethic disease is spreading worldwide(striking in the streets over increasing work weeks to 40 hours and taking away time from umpteen weeks of vacation etc.)

    The attitude today is what, "be appreciative, a lot of people work hard for my money"?
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  3. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It does seem that since generation X, a lot of young people have the belief of staying at home living the middle class lifestyle well into their 20s. I bet for any of us over 40, we could not wait to get away from our parents and have economic independence. I look back fondly of those years of poverty, when I refused to asked my parents for any help. But, times have changed. I know people of all ages and all backgrounds with children who are living at home in their 20s. I think they're missing out on so much. My impoverished years were those of road trips, crappy jobs, meeting strange people, and have adventures that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
  4. chicowalker

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    Maybe foreign workers are simply more available than they once were?

    I'm skeptical of a lot of claims that young people are so much different (usually worse) than they were at some previous point in time -- doesn't that strike you as a generational cliche?

    I know when I was a teen many of my friends and I worked, but even the most responsible among us probably wasn't exactly "reliable."
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  5. PatsWSB47

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    No, there has been a decline in work ethic. An increase in the number of foreign workers supports this. They see "bad" jobs as opportunities and will take them and any other not so bad jobs while what State and the journalist observed with young Americans plays out.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  6. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    Does your own experience support this as well? I'd imagine that at least some of us have children in this age group.....are your own children lazy and refusing to take jobs?

    I don't see it in my own children or in their friends. I see a bunch of young kids/young adults who are working their way through college, working two jobs, working odd jobs, starting very small businesses, working overtime and generally working wherever and whenever they can.
  7. PatsWSB47

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    I see it at my work place absolutely and yes unfortunately my daughter hasn't seemed to have the drive of her parents. She is making some progress and that makes me very proud. I wonder sometimes if we didn't contribute by being so much of a safety net for her. We can talk a tough love game but when she puts herself in crisis and we always "bailed her out". Congrats to you and your kids, I envy you ;-).

    I've only worked for 4 different places in my life and over that time i have seen work ethics decline. I've been in my current job for seven years. One of the things we do every year is bring on computer programing interns from a college that that we work with(usually 2 at a time). Over the seven years we have probably had a 50-50 mix of american-foreign. I've yet to see an American intern live up to the performance and work ethics of the foreign ones. Some of the americans have been outright lazy.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  8. State

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    Are you around a lot of Asian kids?

    Most college students are too busy partying to work a job, let alone two. That's impressive. I have anecdotally noticed a much great work ethic among Asian students who would rather delay gratification than play now.

    And I know a big-time private sector employer who hasn't had good luck with college students in my neck of the woods. They too often don't show up.

    I do notice upper income kids working cushy internships to burnish their resumes, but these pay little or nothing.
  9. DarrylS

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    My Jersey:

    There are in general, less teenagers, and places like P Town as high costs do not allow middle class folks to spend as much time there as they have in the past, thus their children do not follow.

    Are there demographic shifts in teenagers in P-Town?? Many seaside towns have experienced gentrification by the folks from NYC. Places like Newport RI, have less kids there now then they did when I was in High School.

    Not sure you can deduce that teenagers are lazy, due to your anecdotal observations.. my grandson(16) is working five days a week, ergo all teenagers work hard. Most of his friends all seem to be working as well.. thus there is really no problem at all.
  10. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    I am, actually. My last job was working for an Asian doctor and his wife. They worked harder than anyone I've ever known - but their children and most of the children of our largely Asian patient load did not. They did work very hard at their schooling - my boss invested twice the salary he paid me in hiring private tutors for his teenaged daughter so that she could stay in honors classes. Half of my job duties consisted of editing (or just plain rewriting) her papers, I think. That and answering her frantic phone calls for help doing everything from finding her contacts to how to boil water. Their son, who was in his mid-twenties, had a job he hated that his dad had gotten for him and constantly was in trouble for drinking and driving. Many of the patient's children were doing the same sort of thing. The parents did not want their children to work while they were in school - unless it was at one of those "cushy internships" you talked about. Even then, they drove them there and back and ran interference constantly.

    That's just midwestern, I think. The kids my kids grew up with were mostly the children of blue collar workers - there wasn't enough money to put the kids thru school and let them party. Party money had to come from the kid himself - and once he found out how hard it was to earn it most of them decided that spending it on beer wasn't what they wanted to do any more.

    Everyone who's a member of an ethnic group is also an individual. There is always going to be a wide range of experiences with them because of that. That's why I find it really dangerous to stereotype.
  11. Harry Boy

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    Koreans:
    Never whine, never look for handouts, very few in jail, mind their business and they work their asses off, a lot like the old time LEGAL immigrants who came through Ellis Island and built many of the things we enjoy today.

    WELCOME KOREANS AND GOOD LUCK
  12. State

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    This ain't good. A majority of high school dropouts aren't working.

    ParaPundit: Less Than 40% Of High School Drop-Outs Working

    How can they get by? It reminds me of a speech I heard by Charles Murray talking about the desperation of fast food franchises in Boston during the late 1980s and yet certain minority groups in those neighborhoods still had a very high unemployment rate.

    What accounts for differing rates of employment? My siblings and I work our arses off. And yet I hear often of those who don't, those who game the system being on disability or something.

    I guess they weren't raised to have self respect and to try to get something for nothing.
  13. State

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    Remember Spike Lee's movie Do the Right Thing in which Koreans are working hard, opening storefronts, while their neighbors are literally sitting on their asses complaining about them?
  14. DarrylS

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    As I pointed out before, what are the demographics of P-Town?? Most of these towns, due to gentrification, do not have a lot of teenagers available. Also this town has a high rate of gay folks, who for the most part do not have children to work.

    Middleclass folks are being squeezed out along the coasts of this country..

    These facts may have something to do with it.. there are about 180 kids between birth and 18 years old, that may splain what is going on here..

    Provincetown, Massachusetts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  15. DarrylS

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    My Jersey:

    Here is another fact for you...

    There are only 92 students enrolled in grades 7 to 12 in Provincetown.. that might have something to do with it.

    So the students might be there, but there are not all that many.
  16. khayos

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    I'm a lifelong Cape Codder... two notes:

    1) we've always had a large foreign summer labor force. It used to mainly be Irish and Jamaicans but in recent years it has trended more to Eastern Europeans. My unscientific view was that it had to do with the cost of the dollar versus the value of the currencies of the originating country.

    2) the Cape's population in the aggregate has been declining... we built tons of schools here 15-20 years ago but now school systems are consolidating and buildings are closing. Most of the high schoolers aren't here anymore and subsequently the college age kids might come to party, but not to stay with their parents and work.
  17. State

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    So I guess what you're saying is that the 1970s environmental hysteria about world overpopulation has led to the opposite problem in most first world countries.

    There's a baby shortage. The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich turns out to be false.

    Probably like Global Warming.

    But what about other areas where there are more teenagers? And why can't someone from suburban Boston do what people are doing from across the Pond? Hmmm?

    And what about the link of a majority of high school dropouts not working at a hamburger flipping job, like the lobster joint in P-town that brings in a lot of Jamaicans?

    I think your point actually reinforces the idea I am providing: teenagers in this country leave a lot to be desired when it's time to buckle on the chin straps and enter the world of work.

    Kids from Somerville can't do what kids from the Carpathian Mountains in freakin Romania are doing. Give me a break!
  18. Harry Boy

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    My Jersey:

    America is rapidly changing, some good, mostly bad, I and people like me support the "good changes" most all liberals support what I think are the "bad changes" THE LIBERALS ARE WINNING and they will have to live with it, unfortunetly so will I.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  19. DarrylS

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    Kids from Somerville probably do not have a place to stay there, and it is a tough commute..

    In the RI seaside towns they always import foreign labor for the summer, particularly in the food service industry..

    FYI you have not proven anything about the quality of the teenage work force, at best you are using casual anecdotal evidence...

    You can draw whatever conclusions you want about Paul Ehrlich, but in the US the birth rates are down.. in many countries they are up.. once again that anecdotal evidence argument you make is torn apart.
  20. Harry Boy

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    Illegal immigration is up
  21. khayos

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    Trying to use the Cape as a sample for America is folly at best.. the mix of demographics (95% white), old vs young, seasonality... it just doesn't work.
  22. scout

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    #15 Jersey
    Get a haircut, when I was your age I walked 10 miles thru the snow yada, yada, yada..
    Good point, Chico.
  23. chicowalker

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    Well, if you say so, I guess it must be the case.
  24. chicowalker

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    and state yet again tries to make this about "certain minority groups"... guess you realized that your initial blanket statement about teens in P-town would apply equally, if not moreso, to whites?
  25. sdaniels7114

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    'These kids today..." type statements are one of the strongest indicators of being old.

    TBH this thread says more about the demographics of the PF political board than it does about P-town.
  26. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    Holy crap what a non-thread.

    One thing is for sure: the OP is no "roving reporter" whatsoever, as he lacks any semblance of journalistic foundation.

    If he was any kind of "reporter," he would have done a bit of research and known that P-town no longer has a high school due to state budget cuts and school zone consolidation.

    He would also know that young people are leaving the Cape in droves, and have been for decades, as the largely CONSERVATIVE Cape Cod Commission does all it can to drive them away. There is no night life there, no commercial zoning, ... and most towns have a hard-enforced business curfew.
  27. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    Response from an Internet board regarding the chances and logistics of landing a summer job in Cape Cod.

    The people who work at the restaurants and retail stores in resort communities usually can't afford to live there. As a result, many operators have bought houses and cram them with foreign workers who will live in such cramped conditions.

    There are plenty of jobs that average $10 an hour but a studio apartment will often cost $1,000+ a month and often more - if you can even find one.

    I lived in Provincetown for many years and finally had to move when the building that had my apartment was sold and the rent doubled. Even as the owner of the retail store, I couldn't afford to live there.


    Read more: Cape Cod Seasonal Employment??? Is it worth it? PLEASE HELP (Boston: apartment, rentals) - City-Data Forum
  28. chicowalker

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    This part of the thread actually could be interesting.

    What values are those that theoretically would undermine the long-term success of capitalism?
  29. Harry Boy

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    I did that............:D
  30. State

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    I guess Titus Pullo, who emotes rather than thinks, didn't get my more recent point that it makes sense for a native-born teenager from 40 miles away to do the work that someone on a J-1 or H-2B visa from Bulgaria, some thousands of miles away, is currently doing.

    Aren't there thousands of students attending university in the Boston area? The construction industry isn't what it used to be. If one is willing to work very hard, even in retail, one can make decent money.

    An area's newspaper, the Cape Cod Times, doesn't even list jobs. Businesses would rather pay low-wages to foreigners who don't kvetch and work hard, than roll the dice on native young people.

    VDARE.com: 03/19/04 - Abolishing New England: Cheap Labor vs. College Kids
    If Titus knew English a little better he'd be ready to do a job I once did. Drum roll. I worked as an honest-to-goodness newspaper reporter!

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