Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Immigration Problem Is Solved

Here's an article that I found recently by accident. I'm glad that I found it because it brings up an interesting point. It's no secret that immigrants willingly perform low-wage, labor-intensive jobs. As I see it, America as two choices:

1. Consumers can pay more for services and goods, or
2. Consumers can keep paying less and less for services and goods

The consumer makes the decision. If a consumer perceives no transparent difference between a product or service, then price becomes the major purchasing factor. That's what they call a commodity.

It's my opinion that nothing has to become a commodity. A product or service can always provide something that a consumer perceives valuable. Some jobs are just downright dirty. You can't change that. But, you can change the perception of the product that your selling. Which means that you can charge more for your product or service. Which means that you can provide better wages for your workers. Which means that you can help control America's immigration problem.

Of course, it's much easier to be cheap. Being cheap means that your customers will tolerate mistakes and problems. Being cheap means that you don't need to improve your process. Being cheap means that you don't need to compete. You just price your stuff less than your neighbor's stuff.

To me, it's easier being good at something. Pick your niche and tell people why your stuff is worth more than your neighbor's stuff. We charge more for our services because we're worth more. We also pay our employees more because they're worth more.

Most experts place housekeeping in the commodity category. Yet, we get customers everyday that tell us that they chose us even though we were the most expensive option. They perceived a value in our services.

Consumers make the choice, but America's businesses have the opportunity to affect those choices. You don't have to be cheapest poultry plant and you don't have to be the cheapest maid service. Start offering more and you'll be able to start paying your employees more.

And that's how you can solve the immigration problem. No congressional acts needed. No legislation required. All we need is for business leaders to stand up and start providing something other than cheap services or products.

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