It is easy to see that the decline in newspaper subscriptions at The Miami Herald can be attributed to factors other than the availability of alternate media and the population's diminished comprehension and its waning ability to concentrate on anything for very long. Nor are declining subscriptions due to the fact that a larger portion of the Miami Dade community - the Cuban exile community - refuse to speak English: The Herald is bilingual, meaning it speaks Spanish/English: it is the el Nuevo Herald/The Miami Herald.
One does not have to speak English to get ahead in Miami, so why speak Florida's official language? Seventy percent of Mariel exiles, for example, recently reported to pollster Bendixen & Associates that they either do not speak English at all or do not speak it well; yet ninety-two percent of them felt accepted in Florida. Only six percent elected to be interviewed in English. Eighty-six percent said they got their news from Spanish-language media. But they do favor radio media, so that might be cutting into The Herald's subscription numbers.
To put incomes in perspective, the average individual income for all Cuban exiles is $37,440. The average individual income in Miami-Dade is only $21,947. The Mariel refugees earn less than the average for all exiles: $32,210 per person. We recall that The Herald launched a defamation campaign for the power elite against the Mariel refugees when the immigrants first arrived in Miami. And when the exile community at large circled the wagons against other immigrants and non-hispanics, and seized even more power over Miami, The Herald reporters, like the priests editing the oracles of the hysterical pythias at Delphi, yet again rendered their articles in favor of the probable winner.
Intellectuals as well as people of common sense have fled The Herald in droves over the years, undoubtedly because its publishers and editors have continuously disgraced their rag with their hypocrisy, rendering it incredible. Its liberals are wolves in sheep's clothing: the private interests of the right-wing faction of the exile community dominate the paper. Those interests are identical with Corporate and its right-wing national government presiding over the neoconservative political-economic devolution; hence the local clique and its newspaper has extraordinary power and influence over South Florida, and especially over Miami Dade County.
Corporate is the money-stuffed god served by Knight Ridder's The Herald, and not the "market needs" of the various "ethnic and racial characteristics", identified by Tom Fiedler, its executive editor, as the criteria for choosing journalists. "Market needs" have priority over the truth, clear thinking, and quality, wherefore advertising, speculative analysis and arbitrary opinion often pose as news in The Herald. Money, not truth, rules the "free" press, wherefore the hysterical reaction to any sort of governmental intervention with the insatiable monetary needs of Corporate. Fortunately, that provides independent thinkers, truly independent journalists, and certain Latin American presidents with plenty to complain about.
Not that Miami Herald journalists and editors are incapable of writing and running what appears to be a relatively well balanced article. Yet a careful scrutiny of the balances reveal that the scales are rigged in favor of the "market needs" not of the favored "ethnic or racial group", but in favor of Corporate and its god mONEy. Take, for instance, the article by Gregg Fields, appearing on May 23, 2005, under the rubric, 'TEMPS, is this the workforce of the future?'
Temporary staffing firms, we read, are doing a booming business in this great nation of ours, and especially so along the corridor from Miami to Palm Beach, where 227,000 persons or 1/10 of the labor force have some work thanks to employers who outsource their labor responsibilities to temporary staffing firms such as Robert Half International, one of the largest such firms in the country.
Employers outsource their human resource responsibilities to surrogate employers, their temporary employment agencies, to cut costs. In return, Robert Half International's Accountemps, for instance, gets a billion dollars in revenue and profits greatly. The revenue of Robert Half International, by the way, is rising rapidly because RHI is in the responsibility business, the business of providing accounting and legal staff to protect business from crooks: the demand for that protection accelerated because several crooks running large corporations were caught red-handed, and national laws were passed to protect the public from being robbed that way again.
While the surrogate employers get windfall profits, temporary employees get less rights, more expensive health insurance; and, since bull walks and money talks, they also get lower status - money is virtually the sole measure of personal worth today, and the amount of money one makes is determined by job or professional status.
Mr. Fields reports that the temp firms get their income by charging the business less than what the client would pay but more than the amount the temp firm pays to the employee. What he does not indicate, is how much more. The business may be paying the temp agency $16 per hour, and the temp agency might turn around and pay the temp employee $10 per hour. The lower a temp worker is on the totem pole, and the more desperate he is for work, the bigger the cut: the temp agency might then get half of the total paid for his services. And he has fewer labor rights, no job security, and no health insurance. But Mr. Fields does not elaborate such specifics; if he did elaborate that truth in his original draft, that portion would have been edited out due to the bias of the publisher and editors who are, along with highly paid journalists, members of the power elite; they have small sympathy for labor when serving the "market needs" of their advertising customers.
Instead, the reporter reports the claims of experts that certain temporary workers' "salaries are comparable to what they'd earn with a permanent position," and then he refers to "100,000" salaries of engineers, and to dazzling hourly wages of financial wizards of $150 to $200 per hour. Well, every American is free to try to get filthy rich, and might wind up being a red-blooded Corporate CEO, who earns, on the average, $ 8,000,000 per annum now. Dazzled by that prospect, we might ignore the absurd logic implied by the legerdemain of our reporter: lets see, the employer pays less to the middleman and the employee gets a comparable salary to what he'd get with a permanent position. Either two minus one is two, or someone is trying to fool us.
Well, yes, $10 per hour is also quoted for the rung next to the bottom rung. But Mr. Fields focuses on only one feature on the down side, a factor that might present a big problem for the staffing vampires in the future: the high cost of their health insurance. Never mind that the blood is being sucked out of labor. He says that mature workers are earning the $10 per hour, but he does not mention that they are paid less because of the blatant age discrimination condoned not only by the neoconservative political-economic regime but by his own silence and that of his editors - and his publisher who pays a pittance to the bilingual mature persons used to solicit subscriptions.
Temporary staffing companies such as Robert Half International prey on the poor in the impoverished areas of the corridor from Miami to Palm Beach. The temporary agencies or surrogate employers are doing the dirty work for employers, aggravating the exploitation of the most exploited working people in the United States. Miami is the poorest city with a population over 250,000 in this great nation of ours. One third of its population lives in poverty. Miami is teeming with immigrants willing to work for extremely low wages, even below the minimum wage. Miami, the most egregious example of economic inequality outside of South America, is being held up as the model for the future of the United States, a process a Latin American researcher called the miamizacion of the United States. Miami is host to a large and every growing population of immigrants subject to an exile power elite who fled socialism with their antisocial propensity to exploit labor. If the gap between the rich and poor continues to widen apace, they will face the same revolutions they fled from back home.
Not that Cubans or any other group are to be blamed for this tendency. Race and ethnicity are losing their relevancy as the population is leveled to the point that everyone but the power elite will be gray and earning $10 per hour or less. So I would not, simply because they happen to have power, stereotype Cubans, who are of all sorts. One of my favorite heroes of the Mariel immigration wave, Eduardo Padron, president of Miami Dade College, has fittingly warned us of the "writing on the wall," and he has advised us to start imagining a better Miami than the towering one now being erected by the money laundries. He has asked the media to help us with the Imagine Miami initiative.
The Miami Herald gives us plenty of things to complain about, and that is a good thing, because there is no real progress with out the critical process. But The Herald should do a much better job providing us with a better image of Miami than presently presented in its business and real estate "news" sections. It must do so before it is too late, before the cult of gilded individualism loses its glitter and people run riot. If this were a democracy of old, many Corporate heads would already be on pikes, and several political heads would be nailed to the rostrum.