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I am married with two children, one young man and one preteen girl. I recently started substituting in two different districts. I have been exposed to various students in an array of academic situations. The opportunity for great ideas has been afforded to me through these experiences. My undergraduate certification is in Secondary English Education. My Master of Science is Computer Education. I enjoy combining Language Arts and Technology. My latest hobby is to constantly update and improve on my new website dbgarippo.org

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Of Mice and Men Blog

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Blog Archive

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Life in the thirties


The thirties brought with it The Great Depression. The Great Depression was an economic downturn which started in 1929 (although its effects were not fully felt until late 1930) and lasted through most of the 1930s. It centered in North America and Europe, but had devastating effects around the world, particularly in industrialized countries. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those based on heavy industry. Unemployment and homelessness soared. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farmers and rural areas suffered as prices for crops fell by 40–60%. [1] Mining and logging areas had perhaps the most striking blow because the demand fell sharply and there were hardly any other alternatives. The Great Depression ended at different times in different countries; for subsequent history see Home front during World War II. This time line suggests why gangsters were considered considered hero's.

It is very interesting to
recognize the developments of the thirties and how the American people survived. Hoover provided rhetoric to the public in order silence the people.

Introduction
After reading the novel, Of Mice and Men, I began researching the living conditions of migrant workers today. It is amazing that across the globe, there are many migrant workers still.
Living Conditions of Migrant Workers:
“In 1994-95, sixty one percent of farm workers lived in poverty….”(Farm Worker Conditions, 2000). Not only does this quote illustrate how many migrant workers live in poverty, it also indicates that poverty of migrant workers is on the rise. The conditions the majority of migrant workers have to deal with are appalling. Most migrant farm workers do not have enough money to supply themselves with tolerable living conditions. These workers, who work so hard to put food on our tables, are often not paid enough to put a roof over their head and food on their table. Although in many cases housing for migrant workers is worsening, there are efforts being made to try and improve the miserable conditions that they have to live and work in.

Living Conditions of Migrant Workers in the US today:
800,000 of the 2.5 million migrant workers in the U.S. do not have the proper living conditions that they should be entitled to. Often times, farm owners will greatly over price the ragged housing that they supply. For example, in the city of Immokalee it costs $950 to rent a trailer, this is equal to the price of a seaside apartment and two times that of a three-bedroom house. (Steven Greenhouse, New York Times, 1998). A study in 1980 found that most housing provided for migrant workers often times did not have heat, plumbing, and sanitation. More up to date investigations have shown that these problems are still occur today, such as in the study by CASA of Oregon, which discovered that just eight percent of housing for migrant workers in Oregon was in good condition. (Fitting the Pieces Together, 1996) “The housing shortage is so severe that in harvest-time visits to farming communities up and down both coasts over the last year, workers were found packed 10 or 12 into trailers and sleeping in garages, tool sheds, caves, fields and parking lots.” (Steven Greenhouse, New York Times, 1998).
The cause of the massive numbers of migrant workers living in poverty is simply due to the fact that migrant workers are not paid enough for the contributions they make to the farming industry. Many people believe that migrant workers do not deserve to be paid as much non-farming Americans because, although most are legal, they presume that they are illegal immigrants. Their work is also frequently taken for granted or viewed as insignificant compared to other occupations. This attitude about migrant workers couldn't’t be farther from the truth. “They are the hundreds of thousands of migrant and seasonal farm workers who do the hard work of planting, tending and harvesting many of the crops that Americans expect to find at their grocery stores reasonably priced and unblemished.” (Fitting the Pieces Together, 1996). Most of the time, the needs of migrant workers are not given much thought or completely ignored. This is often because they move around frequently, are commonly made up of minorities, and are poor. It is becoming harder and harder to ignore the fact that the number of migrant workers in poverty is on the rise, sixty one percent lived in poverty in 1995 weighed against fifty percent in 1990. This is in part due to the fact that throughout the past twenty years the income of migrant workers has not kept up with the rate of inflation, leaving it nearly impossible for migrant workers to pay for their basic needs. Their average hourly salary, of $6.17, is seven percent less than it was in 1977 and is half the average salary for all other Americans. (Farm Worker Conditions, 1996).
There are efforts being made to try and reduce the great number of migrant workers living in poverty. Some states require all farm owners to supply their workers with housing. This is a good attempt, but these laws are often ignored because of the fact that many farm owners do not take the time to register. A study in 1980 estimated that migrant farm workers were in need of 756,196 housing units. Since that time, no real improvements have been made, which implies that the need for housing has not gone down. (Fitting the Pieces Together, 1996).
The U.S. often prides itself in having some the cheapest food in the world, and although this may be true, it does not come without a price. The hard working migrant workers of America bear this price by being paid bare minimum wages. As a result of this, migrant workers are forced to live in worn out shacks or trailers, and sometimes without any kind of shelter at all. Some attempts are being made to try and improve the conditions in which these workers have to live in, but there still remain drastic improvements to be made and thousands of housing units to be built.

Here are two Interviews that I was able to dig up. They are with a 75 year old woman who discusses life in the 30's and 40's. Good Stuff!

This video sets found on YouTube, sets the appropriate mood of the times: Brother can you spare a dime?







Works Cited
1. "As U.S. Economy Booms, Housing for Migrant Workers Worsens." New York Times 31 May 1998. 5 Mar. 2002 .
2. Farm Worker Conditions. 18 Sept. 2000. Agricultural Missions Inc. National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. 5 Mar. 2002 .
3. Fitting The Pieces Together: An Examination of Sources Related to Farm worker Housing. 1996. Housing Assistance Council. 6 Mar. 2002 <
http://www.ruralhome.org/pubs/farmworker/pieces/fitting>.










































































1 comment:

MariaSL said...

Hi,
the link with the interviews doesn't work on my computer. It would be very nice if you could check it for me.