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Jobs and Immigration circa 1888

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  • Jobs and Immigration circa 1888

    I have been pondering this subject for a long time and thinking of a way to discuss it without getting into some modern political issues. Recent news article posts about the "Weeds of Whitechapel" refreshed my thoughts. It was said the down and out people of the slums needed to find ways to improve themselves. Meanwhile, there weren't enough jobs to go around.

    Specifically, why were the Dutch Morgenstern brothers working as gas stokers when Joe Barnett and many more like him had little or no work? Why, when the sugar bakers were going, were the workers primarily Hanoverian Germans? (The Royal Family had close connections to Germany. Does that explain it?) The sugar factories seem to be a thing of the past in 1888 but why weren't Englishmen taught the craft when it was going?

    I am sure there are other examples similar to these.

    What were the immigration laws at the time? To what extent did immigrants take jobs from British citizens? (I look at the Jewish influx a little different since they seemed to form their own economies. Second, this aspect gets into politics that are best to avoid.)

    We see a similar situation in the western U.S. with, specifically, Mexicans filling a lot of jobs while citizens are unemployed, on welfare, food stamps, etc. We aren't making big slums because folks can stay home and be poor. Maybe our situation is different because Mexicans work long hours for little pay so some of the reasons behind this are pretty simple.

    Back to 1888, the Morgenstern brothers were doing fine while the likes of Joe Barnett were doing without. Editorials said the poor needed to help themselves but how could they when there were not enough jobs?
    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript
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