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(The Atlantic Wire)   The End of Welfare: Alabama can't Find Anyone to Fill Illegal Immigrants' Old Jobs   (theatlanticwire.com) divider line 407
    More: Obvious, Alabama, illegal immigrants, Deputy Commissioner, labourers, benefits, new immigration  
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21462 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Dec 2011 at 11:50 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-12-11 07:24:46 PM
ftfaThe latest idea: Hire prisoners.

read slaves


aah the south.
Won't you ever change?
 
2011-12-11 07:42:07 PM

sithon: ftfaThe latest idea: Hire prisoners.

read slaves


aah the south.
Won't you ever change?


Spitting on the sidewalk would soon be a grade three felony.
 
2011-12-11 07:56:56 PM
If I was a person of color living in Alabama I think I would take that as my cue to move elsewhere.
 
2011-12-11 08:05:33 PM
Building your business model on illegal labor.

Assuming that people would want to work for you.

Both very, very stupid .
 
2011-12-11 09:11:50 PM

quickdraw: If I was a person of color living in Alabama I think I would take that as my cue to move elsewhere.


or get a job
 
2011-12-11 09:13:14 PM
God forbid you pay a living wage employers and god forbid you pay more for your groceries people.
 
2011-12-11 09:13:17 PM
If only Alabama farmers could have a really cheap labor force around to pick their crops...
 
2011-12-11 09:20:21 PM
But we thought America was experiencing an economic downturn, leaving many Americans out of work. A quick Google search reveals that Alabama is actually worse off than the rest of the country, with a 9.3 percent rate of unemployment. What's wrong with helping out on a farm? Is the pay crappy? That's actually not it:

Farmers have complained of a lack of field hands since parts of the law took effect in late September. Many have said legal residents aren't physically able or mentally tough enough to perform the work, and others won't do so because it doesn't pay enough.

Hall said the agriculture positions pay well above minimum wage, but many Americans find them too "physically taxing" to perform.


And yet no one says how much they are actually paying. It could be anything from "Well we actually pay $.10 a bushel picked and if they pick fast enough the sky is the limit" or "We are willing to pay $12 an hour to crawl on your hands and knees and transplant plant baby (whatever)"
 
2011-12-11 09:21:08 PM

vudukungfu: quickdraw: If I was a person of color living in Alabama I think I would take that as my cue to move elsewhere.

or get a job


So.... people of color don't have jobs in Alabama? All they have to do is find a reason to arrest you and then they can pay you under min wage. Nope. I would get the hell out of there and find another state without such a desperate need to imprison able-bodied workers. Especially if I had a job.
 
2011-12-11 09:24:48 PM
We found that crop workers make about $9.18 an hour. Vegetable and melon workers were near $7.78. Blueberry workers made about $6.70 an hour. The soybean rate is $16.65, but that is for workers operating complex farm machinery, a relatively small number of workers.

Ok this is kinda the same thing but in GeorgiaLink (new window)
 
2011-12-11 09:25:28 PM

quickdraw: Especially if I had a job


Well, if you cose to live in a stat legislated by inbred crackers, then you deserve what you get, I guess,
 
2011-12-11 09:33:56 PM
If you can't find someone willing to do the job for what you're offering maybe try raising the pay until people are willing to do it.

Of course, that would raise prices making Alabama unable to compete with produce from other states. But maybe that's more of a marketing problem. Make "American Picked" the next "Organic" and some people will be willing to pay for it.
 
2011-12-11 09:34:45 PM

sithon: ftfaThe latest idea: Hire prisoners.

read slaves


pretty much, yeah. explains why the authoritarians don't want to legalize cannabis - we need the cheap labor to stay well fed. if we can't get the illegals to do it, then we need to enslave a certain percentage of the lower classes to fill in the gaps.
 
2011-12-11 09:43:36 PM
Alabama agriculture officials are stumped over how to keep farms operating now that the state's draconian new immigration law chased away all of the low paid (however illegal) labor.

Um...pay citizens more?
Seriously, this was the argument against slavery, people.
 
2011-12-11 09:49:28 PM
A quick Google search reveals that Alabama is actually worse off than the rest of the country

That goes for most things, not just employment
 
2011-12-11 09:57:42 PM
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory, Hallelujah
 
2011-12-11 10:08:05 PM

shanrick: Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory, Hallelujah


Swing low, sweet pickup truck...
 
2011-12-11 10:19:33 PM
The main problem is that students are being told that they wont make a living doing manual labor so they don't tend to consider something as a viable job. It's surprising how much work actually is out there that isn't being filled because it's a job college recruiter point to and say your quality of life wont be good if you take it so you're better off going to college.

Quick example.
CNC programmers. Every time I look in the Classifieds I see a demand for these guys. I talked to one guy looking for a programmer and he says that he'll offer the first qualified person a job on the spot because he needs one so badly. It pays $25/hr (a lot out in the country where I live).

Most kids today don't want to do anything that sounds vaguely like factory work or manual labor.

/Considering switching careers to CNC programmer since construction is in the shiatter.
 
2011-12-11 10:37:19 PM
...aren't there international treaties on prison labor?

pizen: But maybe that's more of a marketing problem. Make "American Picked" the next "Organic" and some people will be willing to pay for it.


You should be in marketing. Or politics; whichever.
 
2011-12-11 10:39:52 PM

Winning:
/Considering switching careers to CNC programmer since construction is in the shiatter.


/yeah, because those are comparable jobs with similar skill-sets.
 
2011-12-11 10:40:10 PM
Everything is all just f*cked. Illegal labor at slave wages is wrong, Americans are too damn lazy to work and the rent is too damn high. Healthy fruits and vegetable prices will go way up while we subsidize bullsh*t crops, and the poor just get fatter from it, making them even less willing to pick produce.


It is time to put in a garden.
 
2011-12-11 10:50:30 PM

sithon: /yeah, because those are comparable jobs with similar skill-sets.


I know, I'd go back to school. The community college nearby has classes.
I already looked into the curriculum and what the job entails, I have a good idea of what I would be getting into.
 
2011-12-11 10:53:30 PM

violentsalvation: It is time to put in a garden.


Check your local laws to make sure it is not illegal to have a garden. Some communities consider veggie gardens unattractive and others outlaw them for health & safety reasons.

Michigan Law Forbids Vegetable Gardens (new window)

Another illegal kitchen garden (new window)
 
2011-12-11 11:03:44 PM

But we thought America was experiencing an economic downturn, leaving many Americans out of work. A quick Google search reveals that Alabama is actually worse off than the rest of the country, with a 9.3 percent rate of unemployment. What's wrong with helping out on a farm? Is the pay crappy? That's actually not it:

Farmers have complained of a lack of field hands since parts of the law took effect in late September. Many have said legal residents aren't physically able or mentally tough enough to perform the work, and others won't do so because it doesn't pay enough.
Hall said the agriculture positions pay well above minimum wage, but many Americans find them too "physically taxing" to perform.


Wheres the stats? Wheres the proof?

I've posted this before
The underlying reason, economists say, is that for most goods the labor - whether legal or illegal, native- or foreign-born - represents only a sliver of the retail price.

Consider those apples - Washington's signature contribution to the American food basket.

At a local QFC, Red Delicious apples go for about 99 cents a pound. Of that, only about 7 cents represents the cost of labor, said Tom Schotzko, a recently retired extension economist at Washington State University. The rest represents the grower's other expenses, warehousing and shipping fees, and the retailer's markup.

And that's for one of the most labor-intensive crops in the state: It takes 150 to 190 hours of labor to grow and harvest an acre of apples, Schotzko said, compared to four hours for an acre of potatoes and 1 ½ hours for an acre of wheat.

The labor-intensive nature of many crops is a key reason agriculture continues to rely on illegal workers. A report by Jeffrey Passel, a demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center who has long studied immigration trends, estimates that 247,000 illegal immigrants were employed as "miscellaneous agricultural workers" last year - only 3.4 percent of the nation's 7.2 million illegal workers, according to Pew statistics, but 29 percent of all workers in that job category.

Eliminating illegal farmworkers, by shrinking the pool of available labor, likely would raise wages for those who remain. Philip Martin, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of California, Davis, noted that two years after the old bracero program ended in 1964, the United Farm Workers union won a 40 percent increase for grape harvesters.

A decade ago, two Iowa State University agricultural economists estimated that removing all illegal farmworkers would raise wages for seasonal farmworkers by 30 percent in the first couple of years, and 15 percent in the medium term.
But supermarket prices of summer-fall fruits and vegetables, they concluded, would rise by just 6 percent in the short run - dropping to 3 percent over time, as imports took up some of the slack and some farmers mechanized their operations or shifted out of labor-intensive crops. (Winter-spring produce would be even less affected, they found, because so much already is imported.)

If illegal workers disappeared from the apple harvest and wages for the remaining legal workers rose by 40 percent in response - and that entire wage increase were passed on to the consumer - that still would add less than 3 cents to the retail price of a pound of apples.

The people who benefit from this are, really, the top wealth percentages, who can reap the bulk savings.

It hurts the US poor worker in direct competition. Benefits the US rich.

i.imgur.com


Where's the proof. You have a low pay job. Can they arrive to work? What about compensation fot housing? Need people to live 10 deep in a house?

The figures on this are weak at best. Do better work and provide it, otherwise, iuts sloppy as hell.
 
2011-12-11 11:08:18 PM

Party Boy: iuts... fotr


Doesn't the weak support for argument slap anyone else in the face?

We have a massive underclass thats exploited by in large at the benefit of a small few. Most of us wouldn't see but a few pennies of difference in even a very labor intensive food like apples.

Down the road, this is going to be an ugly chapter in our history. And guess what, its the rich getting the profits off of it.
 
2011-12-11 11:18:25 PM

Gwendolyn: And yet no one says how much they are actually paying.


IIRC it's about $12.50/hr for a seasonal farm hand in Alabama. Not bad for a temp job that doesn't have any educational requirements.

In Georgia it's around $17/hr but they still can't find people to do the work.
 
2011-12-11 11:25:35 PM

jbuist: In Georgia it's around $17/hr but they still can't find people to do the work.


a) Seasonal work?
b) how far to people have to drive to get it?
c) How long is the employment for?


It isn't all about dollars per hour.
 
2011-12-11 11:27:58 PM
I've done heavy labor work.

You have till about your 40's in that job till you are used up. Done. Better have some awesome retirement saved up.

That's the other unspoken element of that job that people who have never done that work or business owners tend to forget.
 
2011-12-11 11:43:16 PM

Party Boy: I've done heavy labor work.

You have till about your 40's in that job till you are used up. Done. Better have some awesome retirement saved up.


I know what you mean. My great grandfather set out as a share cropper when he was 18. Didn't have any money, and he borrowed a shovel to till his first field by hand. When he got married they went to size his wedding ring finger and it didn't fit any standard size. His hands were huge from working his fields for so long.

He retired when farm work got to be too much for him at the age of 75. He died at the age of 91.

That hard labor just sucked the life right out of him.
 
2011-12-11 11:49:15 PM

jbuist: He retired when farm work got to be too much for him at the age of 75.


Theres only so much you can do past 40, really - especially if its really labor intensive, like apples. By his 60's, he really must have been limited in what he could do. At least we have farm machinery now.

Abusing human labor is slowing our advancements in mechanized production techniques as well.
 
2011-12-11 11:50:40 PM

jbuist: hard labor just sucked the life right out of him.


What did he do, anyway? What was farmed?
 
2011-12-11 11:52:33 PM
What's an "illegal" immigrant? Is this some sort of neocon weirdness?
 
2011-12-11 11:53:53 PM

Party Boy: jbuist: hard labor just sucked the life right out of him.

What did he do, anyway?


lets just say his son is looking for a six fingered man and studying swordplay and fencing.
 
2011-12-11 11:55:16 PM

Gwendolyn: "We are willing to pay $12 an hour to crawl on your hands and knees and transplant plant baby (whatever)"


Transplanting field crops doesn't involve crawling around on your hands and knees. It hasn't for decades. I was just looking at new gear at the Great Lakes fruit/veggie/greenhouse grower expo, and my father, who used to work on a farm as a kid, commented that the gear is better but mostly the same as he used back in the 60's. The tractor drags a cart, the people ride the cart, they drop plugs into the transplanter and it sticks them in the soil.

Aside from being in the sun all day it's not much different than any other routine job where you put thing A into slot B over and over again.
 
2011-12-11 11:56:43 PM
Well they can always put them furrin car executives to work pickin cotton.
 
2011-12-11 11:57:23 PM
looks like Drew just picked up some more money from the US Chamber of Commerce and or some other business lobby, judging from the recent greenlights of corporate pro-immigration propaganda.

Save that blood money, Drew!
 
2011-12-11 11:58:33 PM
Huh. You mean Americans don't want to do grueling, back-breaking labor in the hot sun in a field throughout the day, or suffer from carpal-tunnel syndrome in poultry processing plants? Who on earth could ever have predicted that?
 
2011-12-11 11:59:14 PM

jbuist: The tractor drags a cart, the people ride the cart, they drop plugs into the transplanter and it sticks them in the soil.


I did this one summer, it's not so bad as long as the seat is comfortable and the field is relatively smooth.
 
2011-12-11 11:59:29 PM
Alabama: the lead traitor state: first in 1861 and first 160 years later.

/And it couldn't even enforce its own citizens rights when I was young.
 
2011-12-11 11:59:46 PM
I'm for illegal immigration because I want cheap lettuce and house cleaning.
 
2011-12-12 12:00:14 AM

Weaver95: lets just say his son is looking for a six fingered man and studying swordplay and fencing.


Really depends greatly on the crop here. Also depends on the equipment.

This image of high paying jobs that are relatively easy but just hot and are seemingly unstaffed is nearly as insane as the "overpaid teachers" meme that was passed around earlier.

The problems of the laborer whos body breaks down, who has to drive around catching seasonal and sporadic work, lives 10 deep in a house is often glossed over with a "dollar per hour" discussion that seems to come from an employer complaining about a labor shortage and pressure to raise wages.
 
2011-12-12 12:01:20 AM

jbuist: I know what you mean. My great grandfather set out as a share cropper when he was 18. Didn't have any money, and he borrowed a shovel to till his first field by hand. When he got married they went to size his wedding ring finger and it didn't fit any standard size. His hands were huge from working his fields for so long.


My grandfather and I were the same height and build and he spent his life farming than later woodworking when he retired. When he died my mother gave his wedding ring and the width of the thing is three times the size of any finger i have. Its insane.

/thinking of having it remade into two rings for when my bf and I get married
 
2011-12-12 12:01:52 AM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: I'm for illegal immigration because I want cheap lettuce and house cleaning.


How much cheaper for you?

How much more expensive is your food if the workers are paid better or more investment in mechanized production is made?
 
2011-12-12 12:03:02 AM
I am really getting a kick out of subby and all the ignorant ass replies that assume because someone (or even two working people) receiving welfare assistance, doesn't already have a job.

But hey, I guess it's so much better being a smug asshole.
 
2011-12-12 12:03:43 AM
Can't they just get a bunch of Canadians to fill the positions?
 
2011-12-12 12:04:27 AM

abb3w: ...aren't there international treaties on prison labor?

pizen: But maybe that's more of a marketing problem. Make "American Picked" the next "Organic" and some people will be willing to pay for it.

You should be in marketing. Or politics; whichever.


There's a difference?
 
2011-12-12 12:05:28 AM

2wolves: sithon: ftfaThe latest idea: Hire prisoners.

read slaves


aah the south.
Won't you ever change?

Spitting on the sidewalk would soon be a grade three felony.


Especially for black people. Whites will be allowed to pay a large fine instead if they can afford to, by copping to a lesser charge: Expectorating Upon The Pavement.
 
2011-12-12 12:07:49 AM

Party Boy: jbuist: In Georgia it's around $17/hr but they still can't find people to do the work.

a) Seasonal work?
b) how far to people have to drive to get it?
c) How long is the employment for?


It isn't all about dollars per hour.


Don't know about Georgia, but up here in Illinois it's not all that long. The people who work at the orchards around here live like they're still in a 3rd-world country, send most of the money back home, and can live relatively comfortably on that back home.
 
2011-12-12 12:08:30 AM

cowgirl toffee: Can't they just get a bunch of Canadians to fill the positions?


You'd need socialized medicine to get us down there.

And hockey.

And better beer.

:P
 
2011-12-12 12:08:56 AM
I'm real interested in future harvesting technologies and future crops.
It's easier to breed plants that can withstand mechanical harvesting so I have little doubt that the future holds different fruits and veggies than what we have now, like grapes with thicker skins.
 
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