Money Isn’t Everything

I received a comment on the “Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall “ song a while back.

March 3, 2018 at 12:14 PM


Well that is a fair question and it opens up a whole new subject. I didn’t put the song on for a political stance, I just like the song and see some truth to it. Many people in the US and Canada would rather pay someone else to do some jobs than do them ourselves. Construction and agricultural jobs being a big share of it.

Now to the question.

We have laws in this country. If someone breaks the law they are punished.(if caught)

Lots of people break the law if it’s inconvenient or they don’t think they will be caught. Lots of people break speed limit laws, and get upset when they get caught. Fact is you broke the law and got caught, you must pay the consequences. The folks coming from Mexico, are coming here because they can hopefully create a better lifestyle, and some don’t follow the law and rules.
If they get caught they suffer the consequences. They broke the law.

We went and visited my Grandmother in Idaho last week. I remember her telling me they were on a ranch near the Mexican border south of Marfa, Texas.
They worked Mojado’s or wetbacks as the slang word was. When the “Chotas”(border patrol) were there checking she would hang a towel over the kitchen window sill and the workers would hide. That was in the 1950’s so this is not new.


[Granny Alice and Wife Tammy-two women that have had to put up with Pate men]

I go to Canada and work a bunch. Crossing the border at customs is not much different going to Mexico or Canada. The big difference is the border fence. At Sweetgrass/Coutts it’s a four strand barbed wire and not even that good of one.

At Yuma/Algedones it’s a metal fence that even a goat couldn’t get through and armed border patrol watching from the ground and sky.

When I consulted for Zoetis at the feedlots in Mexico, the workers received the equivalent of $18.00 /day and worked 6 days a week. In the U.S. and Canada feedlot workers make considerable more in a day than they do in a week in Mexico.

So just like the people that drive faster than the speed limit, the Mexican is willing to chance breaking the law to get a head in life.

Now to the question of them taking my job for half the amount I would do it for.

I believe in supply and demand. If someone else can do it better than I for less money, the person looking for help has to make that decision. If he wants to break the law, that’s his decision. All I can do is try to be as good as I can so I can get the most for my skills.

In my job I never know if I will have work or not. I feel like I get paid very well for what I do, but because I don’t know what my income will be I am very careful about not overspending and don’t like to have debt as I don’t know how much I can repay. I feel like as long as I have the physical ability to work and think I can get by with very little and still be content with life as I enjoy the simple things, and like my Grandparents don’t need much to live.

If I had a lot of payments to make, and required lots of “stuff” to be happy I would be concerned. Luckily my wife is pretty much feels the same. (Maybe not so much in the vehicle department)

My Grandfathers work and lifestyles were very similar. My Dads Dad, Ed Pate worked for Livestock producers and made them lots of money, but was never paid very good wages, so he never had much extra, but he enjoyed work and people so he was happy. My Grandma didn’t always have it the easiest but she seemed ok with it too. I don’t think they worried much about money, but they just did without if they couldn’t afford it.

My Mother’s Father, Leonard Frank worked for himself and traded livestock and real estate and made lots of money. He was single all the time I knew him, so he lived as he wanted. He died with lots of money, but he probably live more frugal of a lifestyle than my other Grandparents. He didn’t worry about not having it but what to do with it.

I think they were both about equal when it came to quality of life. Grandpa Leonard always said you made money on the buy and not on the sell. I believe that is the same trading cattle as it is in living life.

So I’m not to worried if a Mexican fellow takes my job. I’ll just spend more time in Canada and take some Canooks job, or eat hamburger rather than steak.

I have been around people with money. I worked for a lady that was very rich. She was miserable and made everyone around her miserable. When you have lots of money and are miserable it just amplifies the misery.

I have a friend Tim Trabon. I get the impression he grew up kinda poor(he never really said or complained about it). He built a business and did very well.
He and his Wife Patty, live a very good life and from what I can see add to the lives of everyone they come in contact with. They live the same simple lifestyle my grandparents lived, they just have heated seats in their vehicles and a nicer barn than my grandparents home.

Tim and I have discussed living life right and being happy, and I know they would be just as happy with nothing as with everything (maybe not as content, maybe more).

That is what I like about the Mexican culture. They have very little, but they are happy, and appreciate what little they have.

That is what embarrases me about(the) U.S.. We have way more than we need and most of us are not happy, and think we need even more.

The ones who benefit from a society that has more than they need is the animals. The Trabon’s animals get very well taken care of, and they are able to share the wealth with not only the family, but the animals that are part of the family.

I feel that is how you can really tell the true character of a human. How they treat other humans and animals, money or no money.

I was having a discussion about money with Merle Edsel, a fellow I worked with some, and I said “Money isn’t everything” and he said “Say that when you don’t have any”.

I should have thought about that first and it would have saved a lot of reading and writing! That pretty much says it all.




7 thoughts on “Money Isn’t Everything

  1. Kevin Devine

    If there is someone who can do my job EXACTLY as well as I do it and charges less, then that is a no-brainer for an employer. However, I don’t believe such a person exists and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t in your case, either.

  2. Mike K. Orphey

    My grandparents started out has basically share cropers, down here in SW New Mexico. They ended up very successful business people. I’ve joked for years that they still lived like ” cotton farmers”. But they were content w/ the way they did things. I’ve picked up their frugality. And I’m content w/ a 20 yr. old pickup, 30 yr. old trailers. And my house ain’t fancy. But I keep it all up and I’m proud of my ranch. I’ve raised kids on cowboyin and truck drivin. When my buddy’s were runnin off to the mines and oil fields. No it’s not about the amount of money , it’s what you do w/ it. But you still need some.

  3. dennisranch

    Thank you for answering.. tho’ not really sure what your answer was. I have always told my children.. “Find out what you enjoy doing and figure out a way to make a living at it and you will be content.” Two are trying to ranch on a shoestring.. finding out it can be frustrating.. but it is what they enjoy doing… I have great empathy for people in Mexico and look across a tiny border yet are told they can’t come across and work and live as we do.. but I also haveempatehy for my fellow American’s who have to struggle to make a living at jobs that used to pay good and provide good life styles and wages… yes, competition is good for the whole, but painful at times for the part. Keep writing, I enjoy what you have to say.

  4. Ruth Coffey

    My sentiments exactly, Mr. Pate. I would only add the American work ethic is declining at a rapid rate. Few Americans would endure the types of jobs these workers perform daily. Sadly, US citizens are losing their sticktoativeness” when it comes to completing a job. If we don’t like the job, we quit and go find another one. We, in agriculture have to rely on these “Mexican or immigrants” to perform the dirtier, manual labor. The slaughtering facilities and food processing facilities are reliant on this same migrant work force as well. We would truly be in bad shape if these people were absent from the US work force. The watermelon farmers in Alabama discovered how vital these migrant workers were when the state rounded them up and hauled the families, etc. back to Mexico. They could not entice anyone, not even the state convicts to learn about or stay on to help harvest/process the watermelons. As I alluded to above, without these workers, our food industry could almost come to an immediate hault. This is a very scary scenario!

    On Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 11:04 AM Curt Pate Stockmanship wrote:

    > curtpate posted: “I received a comment on the “Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall > “ song a while back. dennisranch March 3, 2018 at 12:14 PM WHILE I AGREE > WITH YOUR SENTIMENT, WHAT ARE YOU GONG TO DO WHEN ALL THE PEOLE YOU WOR FOR > HIRE SOMEONE WHO WIL DO THE SAME WORK AT 50% OR ” >

    1. curtpate Post author

      We are really muddy down here and i had the boots you gave me in my tack room. I put them on and was thinking i should get in contact with you. I just came back to the house and here was this message. You are still the best neighbor i ever had, and I’ve had lots of good ones!

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