Essay about exploitation of immagrants

Submitted By chill213
Words: 1093
Pages: 5

The economic divide between the working class and big business’/corporations have always had a conflict because of the unjust treatment towards workers and the means that corporations use to obtain their wealth. The working class has low pay and horrific working and living conditions. There were no child labor laws. A lot of people took advantage of the immigrant’s lack of knowledge of how the country worked and their overall niceness towards other people. The employees of the big companies were happy just to have a job though the conditions were grisly and stressful they were getting underpaid. In the book The Jungle Upton Sinclair talks about a character jurgis who works for a slaughterhouse sweeping the entrails (animal’s intestines or internal organs) for 12 hours and gets paid $2.00 today that would equal $53.34 which is less than minimum wage. Even at that working for 12 hours is getting paid for 6 to 7 hours of labor. The living conditions for the working class were horrific, small room apartments, little or no food. Since most were immigrants they would live in communities of the same language and these communities were not well taken care of because of the overall income. In the movie the godfather part II, it shows the one of the characters, Vito coming to America and going through Ellis Island which is horrible. Later it shows little Italy which I imagine any immigrant community looks like more or less during this time frame; apartments, mom and pop shops, fruit stands all lined up on a street. With low income communities there is a higher crime rate which leads to gangs and violence. The reason people came to America was because of the propaganda spread throughout Europe, saying that there were jobs waiting when they arrived and that the streets were made of gold. Though in reality this was the opposite. The corporations thrived on immigrant labor because it was cheap and no unions existed at this time. The companies were always profiting and screwing over the working class. Though the working class truly believed in the American dream it was not becoming a reality because of the corporation owners holding them down and causing a sense of fear by their loss of jobs and abuse at the workplace. The jobs at the meatpacking corporations were dangerous also the meat they used was from baby cows and cows that have died from diseases. They packed this along with the meat that was fit to eat. The employees were not at safe working conditions; Jonas obtained his job after his predecessor died as a result of the unsafe. Also because of the lack of unions employees could be fired for any reason or to prove a point to other workers. Marija was applying for a job which she got; she later learned that she replaced an employee that worked there for fifteen years. Also you were looked down upon if you did not have a job and help support your family. Some felt that they were a burden on their family id they did not have a job also. Dede Antanas in The Jungle “Dede Antanas has no luck finding a job because of his advanced age, and he begins to worry that he is a burden.” it was not only corporations that screwed the working class the local businesses like realtors would swindle them. The jungle talks about how a family sees an advertisement for a house for fifteen hundred dollars and the realtor says that the houses are going quickly so the family checks if they can afford it. They can so they go to see the house and it looks nothing like it did in the advertisement the attic and the basement was incomplete. Tamoszius’s explanation of “graft” to jurgis portrays capitalism as a machine that encourages and values corruption anyone hoping to get ahead must become corrupt. Therefore, capitalism attacks the fundamental moral idea behind the American dream, mainly that hard, honest work earns it’s just reward, within capitalist economics, one cannot advance by means of hard work and a strong commitment to good social values.