Latinomics, Good or Bad?
By Paula England
What are the effects of the Latino and Hispanic population on the economics of Kentucky? According to Olsen if the Hispanic population were a city, it would be the third-largest and fastest growing city in the state. The U. S. Census Bureau reports that the Hispanic population of Kentucky was 21,984 in 1990 and almost 60,000 in the year of 2000. These figures do not take into account the undocumented immigrants which are estimated by the government at over 100,000. Based on these figures, the estimates seem low. I would venture to say that in the state of Kentucky there could be as many as 140,000 to 160,000 Latinos and Hispanics combined. Just look at the number of Hispanic children being born in the local hospitals. The article states that twenty-nine percent of the births last year at Jewish Hospital in Shelbyville were Hispanic babies. Just imagine what the figures must be in the Lexington hospitals. Some of the benefits of this new immigrant population are workers with an honest work ethic and they are not afraid of a hard day's work for a fair wage. As the article states, they are not taking jobs away from locals, they are filling a void that cannot be met by the local labor force due to the lack of persons willing to perform the jobs. The agriculture and horse industries have benefited immensely from the labor of these immigrant workers, both male and female. It takes a lot of manual labor to harvest the crops and make all the farms look so pristine. In central Kentucky we are experiencing a major housing boom and the immigrant population has stepped up to plate by providing the manpower and specific skills needed to build houses at the rate of demand that we expect. Along with this comes the satisfaction that they are helping to build the future of the community. They take pride in the fact that in fifty or one hundred years, the houses that they helped to build will still be standing for the next...
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