While walking down the street in Wildwood yesterday I noticed something that most people would find highly unusual. There was a gang of teenagers coming towards me and I wasn’t scared. It was because they were all Asian and dressed in blue Morey’s Piers work shirts. They were headed to their jobs on the boardwalk. I had previously passed a gaggle of Eastern Europeans in blue Morey’s work shirts while riding my bike on the boardwalk. This is not a recent development. Morey’s has been employing foreign students for years to man their rides and concession booths.
The Morey family essentially runs the Wildwood Boardwalk. They operate the three amusement piers and many of the game and food booths. They have been model citizens and have done many good things for the town and the people. They have been the major player in Wildwood for decades.
They employ 1,500 people every summer and half of them are foreign students. They come from China, Thailand, Bulgaria, Egypt, Ireland and other Eastern European countries. This fact has always had me scratching my head. Morey’s pays them $7.50 to $8.00 per hour. They provide housing and transportation. They feed them lunch and dinner. The foreign workers are pleasant, efficient, and competent. They are clean cut and show up every day for work. They appear to be loving the experience.
You might be wondering how foreigners can come to the U.S. over the summer and get jobs when our real unemployment rate is north of 20%. It seems there is a Federal government program called the Summer Work Travel Program, run by the State Department. It was created in 1961 to bolster diplomatic ties with other countries by way of cultural exchange. As a reminder, Federal programs NEVER die. They just get bigger. The primary purpose of the program is to acquaint foreign students with the culture and life of modern America and the distribution of other cultures among its inhabitants. I guess taking ride tickets and selling fried oreos to obese tattooed Americans is really acquainting them with our culture. Approximately 120,000 foreign university students are shipped over for three or four months every year to work low level tourist industry jobs.
The foreign students actually end up paying $2,000 to just get over here to work. Would-be participants typically first make contact with a recruiter in their home country. From there, they are connected with one of dozens of private “sponsors,” who are tasked by the State Department with overseeing the visa program. The sponsors acquire visas for students and connect them with employers or, at times, another company before they are granted entrance into the United States. Those who gain entry into the program typically spend more than $2,000 in travel expenses and fees to recruiters and sponsors, but some pay much, much more. “With recruiters, you don’t know how much they might be charging. We found someone who was charging $10,000,” said Allan Smith, chief executive officer at American Camp And Work Experience, the sole New Jersey-based Summer Work Travel sponsor. “On the other side,” Smith said, “you have employers who house kids, charging them over $100 a week. At the end of the summer, they end up owing the company money. When you get stuff like that, it hurts everybody.”
Morey’s does not treat their employees badly. But this program is not really a cultural immersion program. It’s a cheap labor program for American companies. Federal taxes are waived for participants in the program. That means Morey’s does not have to pay their 7.65% portion into the Social Security fund. But at the end of the day, I believe Morey’s when they say they can’t fill the positions locally. I do not believe Morey’s are racists, but there are very few African American or Hispanic workers on their piers. This is interesting since 31% of the local population is Hispanic and 12% is African American. The total local population is only 5,500, with only 500 or so residents between 18 and 24 years old. It makes sense that they would need teenagers from outside of Wildwood to fill their needs.
This brings me to West Philly and how the welfare state policies of this country are the reason the Morey family has to seek out good teenage workers from across the globe. My Section 8 neighbors have a 17 year old son living in the condo. He lives 50 yards from the Wildwood boardwalk between two Morey’s amusement piers. He does not work. Morey’s is going through a lot of effort to ship in teenagers from foreign countries. The people living next door have not interest in working. If they earned money working at a real job, they would lose some of their free shit. That kid has no interest in working on the Boardwalk. He has learned already that not working is easier and more profitable than working.
This entitlement attitude extends into West Philly. Philadelphia is 90 miles from Wildwood. There are 205,000 18 to 24 year olds living in Philadelphia. The true youth unemployment rate in Philadelphia is in excess of 50%. The black unemployment rate is north of 70%. How screwed up is our country that Morey’s couldn’t find 750 teenagers in Philadelphia to collect ride tickets and sell funnel cake? Any normal teenager would love to spend the summer at a shore house with an easy night time job. I blame the 45 years of welfare state policies for this ridiculous situation. The teenagers in West Philly have been raised with an entitlement mindset. Working would reduce their government freebies. Most of these teenagers have never had an example of two parents working hard at jobs. Many don’t even know their fathers. They have no concept of personal responsibility or getting ahead in life. They know their family EBT cards will be recharged on the 1st of the month. They aren’t capable of adding, subtracting, using correct grammar or dressing like a normal human being. The kids from China have a better grasp of the English language than kids in West Philly.
It is a sad reflection on our government run educational system, entitlement plantation mentality instilled by liberal do-gooder politicians, and complete lack of parental responsibility within the urban ghettos, that employers have to seek workers from 7,000 miles away when there are 200,000 teenagers only ninety miles away. Do you blame Morey’s for not hiring these Philadelphia teenagers?