Limit visa program,
save jobs for locals
The Feb. 9 editorial, "Foreign summer workers/Keep J-1 visas," raised my concern when I compared it to the Feb. 9 news story, "Region among worst in nation for jobs/Officials: We must be more than tourism-based economy."
The Cape May region is among the worst in the nation for jobs. Shouldn't we be attempting to provide these summer jobs to residents of the county? Why bring in so many foreign students when our own people need the work to survive?
The foreign exchange students program is a good one when used properly, but it is also abused by many who just seek cheap labor. I have been involved in the past with an international camp-counselor exchange program that did contain a cultural as well as an educational component. The students were great employees and were required to spend two weeks living with an American family after the camp season was over. This was a meaningful experience for both the student and the host family. We both learned a lot.
The J-1 visa program does have value and should be kept, but on a limited basis so that we do not take these summer jobs away from our high school and college students and those adults who are also seeking employment. There needs to be a better balance.
We need to get angry
about local economy
The Feb. 9 story, "Region among worst in nation for jobs/Officials: We must be more than tourism-based economy," was very disturbing but not surprising. Our economy in South Jersey has been languishing for years. But does this stimulate our collective anger or action? Does the despair of unemployment mean anything whatsoever to our elected officials? Why, for example, in this bleeding job market are illegal workers being permitted to work jobs in construction and heavy industry, or any jobs, while taxpayers have to work to pay for the unemployment insurance of the jobless?
Also, why is it permissible for foreign students to do seasonal labor in our resort towns while local citizens struggle on public assistance and remain demoralized and possibly vulnerable to drugs and other problems? Why are Walmart and other retailers generously welcomed into a community with perks and tax breaks and at the same time being allowed to pay below-poverty wages to their employees?
Something needs to be done. How can we expect our fellow citizens, our South Jersey economy, culture and society to prosper under these kind of social injustices and conditions?
Report on new jobs
didn't give full story
The Feb. 15 story, "Jobless rate plunges in Atlantic County," made a good point about the people who left the job market. But it failed to tell you that the increasing number of new jobs are mainly part-time jobs, a small technicality but misleading just the same.
It just means that the average person trying to support his/her family has to work two to three part-time jobs to do it.
And let's not forget Obamacare. To avoid paying so much, employers moved some full-time positions to part time so they don't have to give the same benefits. If you're going to put a story in the paper, give the full story.
PATRICK M. MATTHEWS