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The Youth Unemployment problem

Posted By: Marty

The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/05/07 12:36 AM

by Ray Auxillou

The fixed percentage of unemployed is becoming larger. If experience in other countries is any indication, it should eventually settle permanently at the 9% of population mark, for various reasons. Since most of the communications media is produced in this country by West African Creoles, the emphasis in newspaper articles tends to emphasize the problems of youth problems in the old port city, the largest town in the country.
What is interesting; is that Central Americans are coming to Belize and finding work. Their expectations are less, mostly being the need to send money home to support their families in the countries that they come from. Most of them would be content with a $100 Bz a week, especially if it included one meal a day and a place to sleep. The lowest paid ‘Born In Belize’ worker out in Western Cayo earns about $125 a week doing catch and kill, day jobs, or $25 a day. Most of them prefer to hustle contract jobs, in which they get paid more, if they do it fast. Most of them still will only work if they need the money for something, otherwise they prefer to be choosy, or not work until they need more money.
For example; the cost of living in Honduras is less than half of what it is in Belize. Currently the exchange rate is 17 Lempiras for a Belize dollar. As an economic barometer, the price of a 2 liter Coca Cola in Honduras is half that of in Belize. At 22 Lempiras for a 2 liter bottle of Coca Cola, versus $3.50 Bz ( $77 Lempiras ) for the same bottle of Coca Cola in Belize. This is a good economic cost of living indicator when traveling to different countries, as Coca Cola is produced world wide.
Right now, local waitresses from Belize earn about $150 Bz a week and work six days and long hours besides. This usually includes at least one meal a day. Your average Born in Belize civil service worker starts usually around $300 Bz a week. Twice the cost of any Central American worker coming into Belize.
We in Belize face the same problem as the EU and USA when it comes to workers. All the LOW PAID jobs are going to Central American immigrants in Belize, while the percentage of ‘Born in Belize’ unskilled workers refuse to do the work at the pay scales available. Those that get educated are gradating to civil service jobs, which are severely limited and will be for the next 25 years.
The cost of government bookkeeping and utilities, also play large parts in what businesses remain viable at the local cottage industry level. Many businesses that would not be viable in the USA, or the EU can be done in Belize, if you do them out of your own home, or do not have to pay rent. The very nature of otherwise unprofitable businesses and jobs exists, because of the ability to pay casual day workers, or do it yourself with family help, as a home business. These type of operations help keep the cost of living down and viable, or the nation would be in a lot bigger trouble with services and unemployment. Such small businesses, casual as they are, provide support for many family members.
Manufacturing jobs that require only skills learned on an assembly line would be great for our unskilled youths. The trouble is; that living in a tropical country is much easier than trying to live in the cold northern hemisphere countries. Most males would not be able to tolerate the mental drudgery and monotony of assembly line work. It is usually the single females with children, who accept the need to do repetitive work that kills the soul. The females do it, because of the maternal drive. The survival of their children are more important than their own lives. The males simply refuse, and join gangs, hustling, stealing, or persue catch and kill jobs. All they need is a meal in our climate to survive. The unskilled ‘Born in Belize’ male finds it difficult when faced with working, for what he considers insufficient money to support himself in the desired life style, or doing nothing at all. It is easier to do nothing. Some of this may be cultural influences? Most of the studies available are based on coastal West African Creole populations in Belize, who seem for whatever reason, to actually be following the common cultural behavior of countries and males in West Africa. Even though they are ‘ Born in Belize’. One can only wonder if it is a genetic memory trait? The Spanish, Mestizo, Mayan and Chinese ethnic ‘Born in Belize’ young males do not behave in the same cultural manner.
One can only conclude from studies in other countries, that the West African Creole male will increase in the unemployed statistics as a percentage, and as they migrate to other countries seeking greener pastures in metropolitan environments, the demographics of Belizean ethnic populations will continue to slant toward Mestizos and Caucasians who will work at anything, if there are no other choices.



Posted By: M-A Gaffney

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/07/07 01:01 AM

VERY thought-provoking post. Thanks Marty. While Ray cites "cultural influences", I wonder how much North American influences (bling-bling) play into the mix.

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/08/07 02:10 PM

But does anyone know WHY?
Posted By: seashell

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/09/07 08:02 PM

What I found interesting is that the exchange between Lemp and BZ dollars is 17 Lemps to the BZ. Is this an error? If so, the discussion of economic cost of living comparison is also in error.

Current exchange between Lempira and US dollar is 19 Lemps to the dollar.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/09/07 08:50 PM

Belize Dollar is worth 9.45 lempira
Posted By: seashell

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/09/07 08:56 PM

So we've established AT LEAST one glaring error in the article.
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/10/07 05:32 PM

Caucasians who will work at anything? Like chopping bush for less than minimum wage? Glaring Error #2 and I only read the last line of the post.
Posted By: M-A Gaffney

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/13/07 12:40 AM

OK then - economic errors aside - what's the point of Mr. A's article? It smacks of racism. ???
Posted By: seashell

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/13/07 02:47 AM

I found the article offensive in the extreme. Struck me like some KKK literature. All reasonable and getting you nodding at first and then, sneak in the racist stuff while you are nodding. frown

By the way, for anyone that couldn't figure out where I was going from my first post . . I was trying to get you all nodding that there might have been some errors in the article . . .ergo, it was all a load of . . .
Posted By: elbert

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/13/07 03:58 PM

New term for me'West African Creoles'.
Race can become ugly and insulting quick when discussed in this light, but also is something that can't be ignored.
Discussions about race are difficult, but discussions are needed to understand one another.
Posted By: elbert

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/13/07 10:08 PM

Originally Posted by seashell
All reasonable and getting you nodding at first and then, sneak in the racist stuff while you are nodding. frown

What your describing is called a 'Yes Set'. Hypnotist use it and so do Encyclopedia Salesmen.
I learned a lot about race from the study of birds,but when I try to use it as analogy with humans but it doesn't fly.
Posted By: weile

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/13/07 11:24 PM

Didn't see this piece af babble until today. What exactly qualifies this individual to draw such conclusions?

I have had Creole people working for me; and I am being approached at least once a day by all kinds of people (including creole) who are asking for jobs, and who are willing to work hard. Also do not recognize the slavery pay mentioned in the "article".

"Caucasians who will work at anything, if there are no other choices" Bite me! that has to qualify for the dumbest remark of the year. Who the f#@*% are sitting on their asses bitching or claiming benefits while i.e. blacks and latinos are doing all the dirty work?

Shame on you!
Posted By: catdance62

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/14/07 01:43 PM

Ok, I know this started as commentary on Belizean unemployment, but has quickly turned into something else.
I think one of the main points of the article is that what usually happens in many countries: The US, Belize, the EU and others is that the newest wave of immigrants who are willing to do "the jobs no one wants" are just replacing those who came before them and are now affluent enough, or manipulating the system enough, to be picky about how they procure their income. It has happened in this country (US) many times since the middle of the 19th century (think: the Irish, Polish, Italians etc.)
Modern case in point: the rebuilding of New Orleans. I have been to Nola many times (it's only about 5 hours drive time from here)and on my visit last year I was surprised by the number of Latinos on Bourbon St. for the Halloween festivites. In fact, this year there are so many in the city they are going to have a "Latino Festival" this month or next (i forget which). Well, they live there now, working on the rebuilding of the city. And no, they are not getting paid "slave wages". The State of LA Employment office has seen to that (they knew it might be an issue after the Hurricane). THe deal is that many of the people who lived there before would not come back to work even though lodging is provided for those who do not have a house/apt. anymore and there were many many companies looking for workers with ads on the radio, newspapers etc. even in ours and the surrounding areas (we had a lot of evacuees here). If you know the demographics of Nola, you know what I am talking about.
The point being that in any ecological system, whether it be human beings or animals, if there is an empty niche, the individuals who can occupy that niche fastest and most efficiently are the most successful.
Posted By: iluvbelize

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/14/07 02:53 PM

Everyone has a different experience with the subject matter, and being that Mr. Auxilloux is a Belizean and has seen and lived in many different places in the country, he has drawn his conclusions based on his perspective. Other posters here have also drawn their's based on their own experiences. I don't read his article as racist but rather his take on the issues as he sees them from his personal outlook as a citizen who is concerned with the trends he observes. His article has certainly opened a dialogue.
Posted By: seashell

Re: The Youth Unemployment problem - 09/14/07 06:03 PM

People often see what they want to see and then will try to make a case to support it.

I don't disagree that many countries have an influx of immigrants that are willing to do the jobs that many of us don't want to do. I consider that a positive in the growth of a country, especially one with a low population like ours. Their children will be educated here and hopefully, step up into better jobs, which will help our economy even more.


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