A Day Without Latinos
Nine percent of Utah’s population is Latino or Hipic. And, at least thirty percent of the households of Utah have a Latino or Hipic individual present, regardless of whether the immigrant is living as a relative or working as a maid in the household (Overview, 2004). Indeed, the Latinos are very hard working people.
They are studying with other racial groups in schools and colleges, and although many of them feel that they are discriminated against, they have already proved themselves to be “a growing and developing economic power base” (Warner, 2004). This means that the Latinos are rather important to the economy of Utah today.
They are especially represented in the service industry. Hotels, restaurants, the agricultural industry, construction and reconstruction – a variety of businesses are using the help of Latinos. What is more, Latinos are paid less than the other workers are on average. For every 72 cents given to a Latino for his or her work, a person from another racial group gets a dollar (Media).
Now if all Latinos were to leave Utah for a day, the economy would most definitely slow down and experience loss. There would be countless absentees in the workplace, school attendance would fall, and those that discriminate against the Latinos would breathe a sigh of relief. Still, the economy would bear the brunt of the departure of the Latinos.
In order to produce the goods and provide the services that the Latinos were previously helping businesses to produce and to provide, businesses would have to hire for a day workers that would charge more than the Latinos do. Budgets would have to be changed, as businesses face a rise in their expenditures.
Moreover, businesses might decide to cut the supply of their products because of the increase in expenditures. It may also be that businesses would not find replacements for the Latinos through the day. Hence, businesses would have to slow down if not close down for the day. In the long run, the economy of Utah would be seen to have been affected by the departure of the Latinos for a day.
Utah, like all other states of America, thrives on diversity. As a matter of fact, there is no state in America where diversity does not hold a very special place in the societal structure.
People who are living with the Latinos, and those that study with young Latinos in schools and colleges would testify that Latinos do add value to their particular groups.
When Latino maids in the home have to leave for a day, the mothers of the children for whom they had hired Latino maids, would also have to leave their workplaces in order to care for their children without maids. This, too, would have an affect on the economy. What is more, the value that Latinos add as family members is known only to the members of the households that Latinos occupy.
A Latino wife or husband leaving home for a day might turn out to be a problem for the spouse. And, when the effects of the losses are accumulated taking into consideration the entire society, it may become obvious that Latinos are indeed an interwoven part of the societal fabric that cannot be torn apart without negative consequences.
Those that discriminate against the Latinos of Utah might breathe a sigh of relief in the absence of the Latinos. Still, when the effects on the economy are brought into full view, the people that discriminated against the Latinos would also be seen to have been affected by the loss.
Latinos are today akin to an engine in a factory that cannot be done away with although there are many other engines in the same factory performing the same kinds of tasks in a different way. Seeing that the first engine is present is evidence enough that the engine is important to the factory. Similarly, Utah cannot imagine itself without Latinos at present.
This racial group has become an indispensable part of the lives of people who occupy Utah, in addition to their livelihood. Gladys Gonzales, the editor and publisher of Mundo Hipo, explains this indispensability thus: “We are bringing synergy to this state… We are hard workers with an entrepreneurial spirit. We want to contribute positively to this state and this country” (Warner).
It is this positive attitude that has allowed the Latinos to be fairly successful in Utah, despite the problems that they might face in their personal or public lives. Furthermore, the Latinos are expected to continue adding value to the society and the economy of the state. Indeed, if the Latinos were to leave Utah for a day, they will be missed by their friends, employers, and customers in Utah.
Even those that were displeased with the presence of the Latinos in Utah would face a loss as their favorite restaurants are closed down, and their businesses face an increase in expenditures. Perhaps for such people, a day without Latinos would serve as a wake up call. The Latinos would be anxiously awaited back in Utah.
Media Contacts. “U of U Researcher Reports Latino Immigrants’ Experience in Utah to be Mixed.” University of Utah. Retrieved from http://www.utah.edu/unews/releases/05/jun/immigrants.html. (4 April 2007).
Overview of Utah’s Hipic/Latino Demographics. (2004). State Office of Ethnic Affairs. Retrieved from http://ethnicoffice.utah.gov/public_policy_and_research/documents/oea.his.lat.0505.pdf. (4 April 2007).
Warner, Laura. (2004, March 27). “Bias exists, but Utah Latinos optimistic.” Deseret Morning News. Retrieved from http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,595052024,00.html. (4 April 2007).