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(WRCB)   The Law of Unintended Consequences in action: Alabama farmers forced to plant fewer crops because they can't find enough Real 'Mericans to work the fields for the harvest   (wrcbtv.com) divider line 260
    More: Obvious, Alabama, unintended consequences, labor shortage, White House Rose Garden, North Alabama, crops, land areas, farmers  
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10089 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 May 2012 at 12:59 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-13 02:12:10 PM

ElBarto79: I'm fairly liberal but I don't really see this as the failure some are presenting it as. This is a good thing, it means the farmers and the government are going to have to address this issue of farm labor in a realistic and legal manner.

If farmers are planting less then it implies prices will rise, meaning they will have more money to pay legal workers, ta da. Or perhaps it will spur innovation of automated farming techniques, or maybe it will force the government to come up with a better temporary worker program which will allow immigrant laborers to come here and earn a fair wage in a safe manner instead of the current, exploitative situation. The point is they will actually have to come up with a real fix for this instead of allowing a system of virtual slave labor to operate as they look the other way. This is a good thing.


Well, I don't think this, in itself, is a failure, for the reasons you outline above. It is a necessary step 1 to truly fixing the system.

Unfortunately, here's how I see this actually playing out:

* ADM and its ilk eat the short-term pain of higher labor costs, but they immediately begin lobbying for ag workers to be totally exempted from OSHA laws, because that's something they can make sort-of plausible arguments for.

* Once they get that, the next time the political stars align, they lobby for ag workers to be exempted from minimum wage as well. They can get halfway there even without a change in the laws just by manipulating piecework rates and payment.

* And once they have all this, the last step is immigrant guest-worker "reform"! And no one will dare argue against it, not even our modern-day nativists, because all the other "reforms" will have "failed" and the industry will "need" those guest workers if the price of produce is to be kept from rising.

So the end result is, they get exactly the same system they have now, but it will all be 100% legal this time and they will be able to point to the "failure" of trying to do it the right way. The idea of letting wages and prices find their level will never even be considered.
 
2012-05-13 02:13:03 PM

Cagey B: Is there a "Law of Obvious and Predictable Consequences"?


Considering how obvious and predictable it is we didn't feel the need.
 
2012-05-13 02:13:44 PM

ranchguy: I am gonna say 100% of the farkers here if offered $50/hr to do this job would not last 2 weeks.

you're soft and fat.


Very much so. But for $50/hour, no funny business with asterisks and exceptions, I'd learn to deal with it and endure.
 
2012-05-13 02:13:44 PM

Bendal: Enigmamf: More of this backbreaking manual labor would likely have been automated at this point if it weren't for cheap, desperate labor.

Uhh, no. Inventors have tried for years to make a mechanical tomato picker, and have failed repeatedly. A ripe tomato is too tender to have a mechanical device pick them off the plant, and since tomato plants produce fruit repeatedly, somehow the device has to figure out which fruit is ripe and which one isn't. In fact, that's why most fruit are picked by hand; unless you've got a plant that ripens all its fruit simultaneously, only the Mark One Eyeball has the capability of choosing the ripe ones without stripping the entire plant.

Besides, ALEC isn't trying to get the unemployed working in the fields; they want to put convicted prisoners to work for pennies a day. That way they have an unending pool of workers that a lot of the public wants to "work for their cell", and they don't have to pay them hardly anything. That way everyone's happy; see how that all works out?


This. And prison labor. Slavery 2.0. Oh and of course it will all be legit. There won't be any persuasion at all to increase wrongful prosecution of able bodied criminals. After all, how else can we get these people back out in the fields that their great grandparents sharecropped?

I see what's happening to our country and it makes me sick.
 
2012-05-13 02:22:11 PM

wantingout: farmers just have to make the rows wider so all those disgustingly obese 'Real Merkans(tm)' can fit their scooters down the rows. And put a bag o' doritos and a television at the end of each row.


I just got an image of a fat toothless trailer trash wal-mart woman on a "jazzy" with off-road tires bumbling through a field. Haha!
 
2012-05-13 02:24:04 PM

Nadie_AZ: Weaver95: Nadie_AZ: Less people to feed?

Has anyone in the state begun to consider this might not have been the brilliant stroke of genius that ALEC told them it would be?

ALEC has a solution to that as well - fire office workers and outsource skilled labor to china and india. then hire the former office workers and tech people to work in the fields. and they'll do it because SOCIALISMS! plus, we can just rework the old serfdom rules and slap a modern shine on 'em. one or two slick advertising campaigns later and they'll LINE UP to join!

/this is what Republicans actually believe.

Huh. I thought Americans were inherently too smart for that kind of menial work. I read about it here:


Republicans believe whatever histronic logical fallacy we can think up, apparently.
 
2012-05-13 02:26:39 PM
Oh for the love of humanity, let them take all of our jobs.
 
2012-05-13 02:27:19 PM

brantgoose: Mexicans are working their way into Canada. Literally.

Quite some time ago I read an article about Mexican strawberries--instead of exporting the workers they've been growing the strawberries in Mexico and increasingly exporting them.

My sympathies as a liberal naturally go to the underdog, but if you're stupid enough to let prejudice stand between you and self-interest, I'll have a laugh at your expense as well.

All in all it's probably a good thing if Mexicans can find work in their own country at a wage that makes it worth their while to not travel. On the other hand, it's good (for Americans) to have cheap immigrant labour that will go home when the work runs out ("guest workers" they call them in Europe). And when these people send money home to their families they do the most good of all--remittances are bigger money than foreign aid. You ought to be glad that you are getting the work done for next to nothing and improving the world at the same time.

The only people who suffer are the workers and their families
--most of these jobs are just so hard and low-paying that even hard-working poor people who are ashamed to go on welfare won't do them because there's no margin--they have to pay directly or indirectly for transportation, work tools, clothing, shelter, food while making dick-all.


- Propping up a failed state by sending money from here to there doesn't improve the world. It just allows the failed state to foist its troubles and trash onto the Mark/Useful Idiot state. The Mark/Useful Idiot state acts as a pressure valve. Nothing is truly improved, and the Mark/Useful Idiot state is looked down upon by the residents of the failed state for being fools. Remittances are a band-aid, never a solution.

It has always been the way of the world, that if you were not self-sufficient, if you were dependent upon the largesse of someone else, you were unstable. So it is with the remittance game.

- The displaced workers who used to do those jobs, and now have no jobs, are also hurt. With the added bonus that they bear the brunt of the hatred on two fronts... of the upper class of their own country, for not having the education and contacts not to do manual/blue collar labor, and by the lower and upper clss of the Failed State for not succeeding. The Failed Staters see themselves as higher caste than the displaced workers. The upper class see the displaced workers as drains on society who need to be removed, a waste of money and resources.

You know what I mean?
 
2012-05-13 02:27:33 PM

RoyFokker'sGhost: Growing up in California's central valley, here's how the system works. Basically, since you're hiring illegal, undocumented workers, you can tell the government you're paying your workers whatever the Hell you want to tell them. There's no paper trial in terms of taxes. You have a couple of legal workers on the payroll, of course, but most of the migrant workers are hired as day labor. Day labor and 'independent contractors' don't have to be listed on a payroll, just the amount paid. If you claim, say $40,000 a year in payroll for farm workers who are 'contractors' and can be paid in cash, you can claim you've paid 4 people $10,000 each when you really paid 40 people $1,000 each. In the meantime, the few documented workers you have bump your hourly wage numbers and can be pointed to as 'proof'.


I grew up in farm country (not in California) and actually picked strawberries for a week because my mom thought it would teach me the value of money. No one is make $12/hr. The federal laws specifically exempt farm workers from minimum wage for a reason.

They might pay a supervisor $12/hr, or the guy who drives the tractor around (some of them made as much as $15/hr). But for pickers? Nope, you are paid on how much you can pick, and most of those people were lucky to hit $5/hr.

It also ignores that most farm work is only available for a few weeks, then you have to move to a new farm that planted later in the season, and then switch to a new crop which might me grown 30-40 miles away.

Most of the migrants end up living on farm providing housing, which normally has no running water and a shared out house.
 
2012-05-13 02:30:23 PM
So does this mean that people in places like Australia are starving to death from lack of illegal slave labor?
 
2012-05-13 02:31:01 PM
One thing you have to consider is are these available farm jobs close to the unemployed populations? If a person has to travel 30 or 40 miles to get to a job paying $12/hr or less that job isn't economically possible for them. So saying you have jobs available for the unemployed people doesn't mean a hill of beans if they are basically not accessible for people.
 
2012-05-13 02:31:16 PM

Man On A Mission: That said, a lot of the unemployed and "they takin' our jorbs!" folks could do with some honest work instead of wanting to be coddled by the very socialist government they are supposedly wanting to do away with.


THIS
 
2012-05-13 02:34:23 PM

david_gaithersburg: So does this mean that people in places like Australia are starving to death from lack of illegal slave labor?


No, they just tweak their immigration laws so they can have legal slave labor guest workers.

The only difference between an "illegal immigrant" and a "guest worker" is a piece of paper.
 
2012-05-13 02:37:49 PM

Tyranicle: Solution...

1) prisoners

2) enslave able body welfare recipients

3) robots

Problem solved.


I think it might be more likely that there will be no more farmers in Alabama.
 
2012-05-13 02:38:22 PM

9beers: Obama was going to fix the guest worker program but then Clooney called so he went to a party instead.


static.thereckoner.net

Hellooo...is this thing on??
 
2012-05-13 02:39:43 PM
Who knew so far people would want to work a job as "contractor" with no benefits, no job security and far below market value for their actual work? I'm shocked that the banning of slave labor has struck those poor farmers so harshly.

The same farmers who successfully lobbied to strike down a proposed law that would have banned children under the age of 16 from working heavy farm machinery and would have exempted the children of said farmers.

Who knew such people, those who thrive off the exploitation of child and slave labor, would be unable to see the consequences of their actions?

I certainly don't think all farmers can go fark themselves, as they suckle on the government teat for subsidiaries, while at the same time ravaging the most vulnerable.
 
2012-05-13 02:39:44 PM

jso2897: Wait until all the women, gays, young people and smart people start leaving the states that are passing all these morals laws. You'll see some state economies collapse completely.


*shakes hat*

Could be the cold meds, but I think my sarcasm cap is broken....
 
2012-05-13 02:44:59 PM

brantgoose: Be glad for the immigrants, even the illegals, because they do more good than harm. I've seen studies. They either show a net gain for American workers or a small loss for the worst paid workers. Either way, most of us First Worlders benefit from cheap prices and plentiful supply as long as we're not tomato pickers ourselves, in which case you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.



actually they are about a wash for society in the aggregate over the long term (no gain, no loss). I've seen the studies.
they lower many americans earning power and raise other peoples.
but what is most important is whose wages they lower and whose earnings this mass immigration raises.

mass immigration lowers median wages for the middle and lower classes (mainly males, since illegal immigrants are largely males) the while mainly increasing earnings for the capitalist class by increasing the labor supply to surplus and consequently lowering the bargaining power and earning potential of normal americans. the decrease in earning power for americans males, especially among the minority populations, then creates familial strain that helps to erode
the nuclear family and communities in general and create yet more social costs.

So by all means, keep shilling for the 1%ers and the u.s. chamber of commerce. The black community hasn't suffered enough at the hands of your ridiculous policies. You obviously believe the capitalist class hasn't extracted enough wealth from us yet. Please, keep arguing for American neoserfdom, it shows the rest of the country just what you liberals stand for.

median male wages
www.ssa.gov

foreign born population
www.migrationinformation.org


Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks
George J. Borjas, Jeffrey Grogger, Gordon H. Hanson


NBER Working Paper No. 12518
Issued in September 2006
NBER Program(s): ITI LS

The employment rate of black men, and particularly of low-skill black men, fell precipitously from 1960 to 2000. At the same time, the incarceration rate of black men rose markedly. This paper examines the relation between immigration and these trends in black employment and incarceration. Using data drawn from the 1960-2000 U.S. Censuses, we find a strong correlation between immigration, black wages, black employment rates, and black incarceration rates. As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, the wage of black workers in that group fell, the employment rate declined, and the incarceration rate rose. Our analysis suggests that a 10-percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a particular skill group reduced the black wage by 4.0 percent, lowered the employment rate of black men by 3.5 percentage points, and increased the incarceration rate of blacks by almost a full percentage point.
http://papers.nber.org/papers/w12518


We would have a shortage of labor in this country if it were not for these liberal policies that actually keep labor markets stuffed with excess workers. the greatest generation is now retiring and it is only these policies that keep us all from exploiting the situation to demand more wages. Does anyone remember the .com boom and how anyone could switch jobs and get a raise? That is what liberals and 1%ers are working hand in hand to prevent, labor equilibrium that favors the worker over the owner/operator.


behold, the awful real world consequences of a labor shortage that the democrats and u.s. chamber of commerce are fighting to prevent!


Nursing homes in staff crunch Worker shortage...
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Mar 21, 1999
Fighting to compete, homes are paying hire-on bonuses up to $1000, rewarding employees who bring in new help, hiring "utility aides" to do non-medical

St. Paul Pioneer Press : US MANUFACTURERS REVIVING AFTER ...
St. Paul Pioneer Press - May 6, 1999
... many parts of the country are experiencing labor shortages, the Fed said. ... are improving their benefits and offering hiring and retention bonuses.

St. Paul Pioneer Press : LOW UNEMPLOYMENT IN STATE CONTINUES...
St. Paul Pioneer Press - Dec 30, 1999
``The worker shortage is not something that is going away tomorrow. ... In addition, companies are using bonuses and unique benefits to lure workers

A developing teacher shortage prompts school...
Dallas Morning News - Apr 21, 1998
A looming teacher shortage that has been a topic of discussion at ... The Fort Worth school district is offering a $2000 bonus to teachers who sign a ...

Hospitals Facing Nursing Shortage. Offering Signing Bonuses, Lawn Service...
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Aug 4, 2000
Hospitals are offering nurses signing Demises, child care and even maid or lawn service as they confront a work force shortage that appears to be spreading ...
 
2012-05-13 02:47:21 PM

clyph: david_gaithersburg: So does this mean that people in places like Australia are starving to death from lack of illegal slave labor?

No, they just tweak their immigration laws so they can have legal slave labor guest workers.

The only difference between an "illegal immigrant" and a "guest worker" is a piece of paper.


While I can't comment on the immigration laws of other countries, there is a big difference in having that piece of paper: it establishes a framework for rules. Those rules can then be debated in a democratic fashion, even if the practices going on aren't ideal. The rule of law is a good thing, even if laws don't magically perfect society instantly. It brings things into the open, rather than having the "rules" be set under the table.
 
2012-05-13 02:48:25 PM

clyph: Man On A Mission: That said, a lot of the unemployed and "they takin' our jorbs!" folks could do with some honest work instead of wanting to be coddled by the very socialist government they are supposedly wanting to do away with.

THIS



ah, the true Social Darwinist emerges from his crypt.
 
2012-05-13 02:48:55 PM
This kills me when my tea bagger friends start ragging on about illegals in this country: OK, first of all, the agricultural industry, like it or not, kinda depends on illegals willing to do the fieldwork for less than optimum wages.

Oh, you want to keep cheap produce while keeping these bottom rung ag jobs out of the hands of illegals: Great! However, the 'Job Creator" ag folks don't have to pay the insurance, higher wages, etc., when they pay these undocumented workers wages equivalent to change found in couch cushions. So...they get to pass the tremendous cost savings gleaned from taking advantage of illegal labor onto the consumer. You want all your ag workers documented, guess what: You can kiss cheaper produce buh bye.

So, the moral of the story is that we've created a beast with the ag community in that it feeds off of migratory/undocumented workers. I'm not advocating one position or the other, but I am saying in that we've created an economic ecosystem that depends on an element we don't want to admit we secretly love.
 
2012-05-13 02:49:23 PM
boo farking hoo, you ignorant, racist assholes.
 
2012-05-13 02:50:00 PM

Nadie_AZ: Less people to feed?

Has anyone in the state begun to consider this might not have been the brilliant stroke of genius that ALEC told them it would be?




I believe what you may find if you examine the demographics of Alabama is that the economic class which would have filled those jobs has already been hired by Obama to sit on their asses and watch television. If you want the crops picked, you will have to cut off the higher pay for breathing which currently exists in the form of SSID, TANF, SNAP, HUD, etc.....

Also I believe that a medical professional will admit that working in a field 8 hours a day is better for your health than 8 hours of holding your couch down and herding empty Doritos bags into tidy piles behind the furniture. That is two problems solved.
 
2012-05-13 02:51:22 PM
Here's an idea:

Anyone found holding up a "will work for food" sign, in ANY US city, gets tossed in a van and shipped out to do migrant work. Those who refuse to participate in the program get their sign holding privileges removed.
 
2012-05-13 03:06:22 PM

BeatrixK: So...they get to pass the tremendous cost savings gleaned from taking advantage of illegal labor onto the consumer. You want all your ag workers documented, guess what: You can kiss cheaper produce buh bye.


Do you want to take a guess what % of the retail price of produce is made up of farm labor?
 
2012-05-13 03:07:04 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: BunkyBrewman: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Cagey B: Is there a "Law of Obvious and Predictable Consequences"?

It's more of a suggestion, really

It hasn't even made it to the Theory stage yet?

It used to be a law

/but that was before deregulation


sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net

True deregulation would probably STILL result in something like this, unless it also included free coming and going across those imaginary lines border thingys. Of course the farmer would probably be making more money since the lack of subsidies would drive up the cost of food to it's true price, which would then incentivise more farming driving the cost back down until it got too low, put a bunch of them out for a year or two until the price went back up and so on.

Yes, I firmly believe that would yield much better long term r4esults than stupid shiat like this law.
 
2012-05-13 03:08:19 PM
Man On A Mission: If your business plan depends of half-price labor, you need a new business plan.

Or at the very least you need to stop voting for a party that shoves a flag down their pants and pathologizes your source of half-price labor. Sometimes stupid does hurt those perpetuating it.
 
2012-05-13 03:08:26 PM

BeatrixK: This kills me when my tea bagger friends start ragging on about illegals in this country: OK, first of all, the agricultural industry, like it or not, kinda depends on illegals willing to do the fieldwork for less than optimum wages.


That's a common misconception. While they are allowed to pay under minimum wage, most ag work allows the person doing it to make over minimum wage by a fairly decent amount dependent on production. As far as unskilled jobs go you get out what you put in.
 
2012-05-13 03:08:31 PM

archichris: If you want the crops picked, you will have to cut off the higher pay for breathing which currently exists in the form of SSID, TANF, SNAP, HUD, etc.....


So you want disabled people out on the farm picking crops?

Well this sounds very reasonable.

/sarcasm
 
2012-05-13 03:11:25 PM

BeatrixK: This kills me when my tea bagger friends start ragging on about illegals in this country: OK, first of all, the agricultural industry, like it or not, kinda depends on illegals willing to do the fieldwork for less than optimum wages.

Oh, you want to keep cheap produce while keeping these bottom rung ag jobs out of the hands of illegals: Great! However, the 'Job Creator" ag folks don't have to pay the insurance, higher wages, etc., when they pay these undocumented workers wages equivalent to change found in couch cushions. So...they get to pass the tremendous cost savings gleaned from taking advantage of illegal labor onto the consumer. You want all your ag workers documented, guess what: You can kiss cheaper produce buh bye.

So, the moral of the story is that we've created a beast with the ag community in that it feeds off of migratory/undocumented workers. I'm not advocating one position or the other, but I am saying in that we've created an economic ecosystem that depends on an element we don't want to admit we secretly love.


And it's not just the ag workers. Think about how many undocumented workers are in the service industries as well. If there was a magic button to deport every undocumented worker instantly, this country would come to a screeching halt.
 
2012-05-13 03:12:52 PM

Omnivorous: Average pay for those jobs in Alabama was $12/hr according to one of the many articles we've greenlit around here on the subject.

Horse hockey: if you're an experienced picker that would be the case. Some Washington State students who decided to try these lucrative agricultural jobs found that it was more like $12 per week for them.


You are correct! I read a report about the wages paid by the tomato growers on Sand Mountain in Alabama. The going rate was 10 cents per 5 pound tray. After the migrant workers left the state because of the immigration law, some locals chipped in to help bring in the crops. They said they made $6 for the full days work.
 
2012-05-13 03:17:29 PM

Sick Old Farker: Omnivorous: Average pay for those jobs in Alabama was $12/hr according to one of the many articles we've greenlit around here on the subject.

Horse hockey: if you're an experienced picker that would be the case. Some Washington State students who decided to try these lucrative agricultural jobs found that it was more like $12 per week for them.

You are correct! I read a report about the wages paid by the tomato growers on Sand Mountain in Alabama. The going rate was 10 cents per 5 pound tray. After the migrant workers left the state because of the immigration law, some locals chipped in to help bring in the crops. They said they made $6 for the full days work.


fat lazy Americans
 
2012-05-13 03:18:53 PM
These farmers biatch about the lack of labor avalable, yet never once when I read these stories form Alabama, Georgia and Arizona does anyone ever mention the United Farm Workers.

backspace.com

If they REALLY needed labor, they'd contact the union, who have many people available and the ability to recruit many more. But what it's really about is that they have been built on a system of low wages, exploited workers and farm subsidies, all while biatching at the slightest farm safety measure.
 
2012-05-13 03:19:43 PM

ExperianScaresCthulhu: ranchguy: I am gonna say 100% of the farkers here if offered $50/hr to do this job would not last 2 weeks.

you're soft and fat.

Very much so. But for $50/hour, no funny business with asterisks and exceptions, I'd learn to deal with it and endure.


It's seasonal work though. $50/hour sounds great but if you're only able to do that for a short amount of time per year it's much less of an amazing gig. No benefits either, I'm sure.
 
2012-05-13 03:20:30 PM

Space_Poet: What? They couldn't get their prison slave labor bill passed already? I'm sure they're working on it.


Hey, an idiot other than Weaver appears. Forced labor is illegal, those prison programs are voluntary. Prisoners sign up for them to earn money and be outside. Shocking, I know.
 
2012-05-13 03:26:27 PM

Weaver95: Nadie_AZ: Less people to feed?

Has anyone in the state begun to consider this might not have been the brilliant stroke of genius that ALEC told them it would be?

ALEC has a solution to that as well - fire office workers and outsource skilled labor to china and india. then hire the former office workers and tech people to work in the fields. and they'll do it because SOCIALISMS! plus, we can just rework the old serfdom rules and slap a modern shine on 'em. one or two slick advertising campaigns later and they'll LINE UP to join!

/this is what Republicans actually believe.


But, liberal arts grads should just sit on the internet and whine about how they don't have jobs, and that's cool because they aren't Republicans, who are the only flawed people in this country.
 
2012-05-13 03:27:50 PM
I had a friend who's family owned a farm in south Texas (La Villa) for generations. He said in the old days, farmers would exploit mexicans by having them work on the farm and come payday, the land owner would call 'imigracion' to round them up and booted back to mex. True story...I think
 
2012-05-13 03:33:41 PM

flyinreallyhigh: So let me get this straight. Near slave wages are OK if they are Mexican?

Ps you. Don't need Mexicans for harvest. You need harvestors.


That's why I always build one extra for every refinery I build.

Because Tiberium doesn't harvest itself.
 
2012-05-13 03:35:47 PM

pecosdave: Here's an idea:

Anyone found holding up a "will work for food" sign, in ANY US city, gets tossed in a van and shipped out to do migrant work. Those who refuse to participate in the program get their sign holding privileges removed.


Make it against the law to refuse to hire someone because of a prior felony or because of prior drug use, at the same time... sure, why not. And add in all the tech folk and Masters degree holders who talk shiat about manual/blue collar laborers while holding out for jobs with benefits, yearly COLA increases and immediate advancement opportunities, as well, on that van trip. It has to be equal.
 
2012-05-13 03:36:00 PM
Farms are not needed

We should import from other countrys and save the money we would waste on social services for the illegal workers

No American benefits from these farms existing, I say close them down, if they only exist for illegal labor to operate then they do not benefit the currently unemployed, so who cares
 
2012-05-13 03:37:13 PM

GriffXX: BeatrixK: This kills me when my tea bagger friends start ragging on about illegals in this country: OK, first of all, the agricultural industry, like it or not, kinda depends on illegals willing to do the fieldwork for less than optimum wages.

Oh, you want to keep cheap produce while keeping these bottom rung ag jobs out of the hands of illegals: Great! However, the 'Job Creator" ag folks don't have to pay the insurance, higher wages, etc., when they pay these undocumented workers wages equivalent to change found in couch cushions. So...they get to pass the tremendous cost savings gleaned from taking advantage of illegal labor onto the consumer. You want all your ag workers documented, guess what: You can kiss cheaper produce buh bye.

So, the moral of the story is that we've created a beast with the ag community in that it feeds off of migratory/undocumented workers. I'm not advocating one position or the other, but I am saying in that we've created an economic ecosystem that depends on an element we don't want to admit we secretly love.

And it's not just the ag workers. Think about how many undocumented workers are in the service industries as well. If there was a magic button to deport every undocumented worker instantly, this country would come to a screeching halt.



I know, it would be devastating. construction companies in the DC area would have to raise wages paid to Americans by 70% in affected job categories to make up the difference and entice enough workers!
OH THE HUMANITY! LIVING WAGES FOR AMERICANS!

There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. Of this population, research shows that approximately 19% work in the construction industry, comprising around 14% of all construction workforces. The main objectives of this research are to (1) to predict possible effects of immigration and immigration reform legislation on worker wages and (2) to assess the likely wage increase due to decreased supply of immigrant labor. In the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region, the construction workforces for low-skilled trades such as concrete, masonry, drywall, painting, flooring, and roofing are comprised of approximately 55% illegal immigrant. Based on four factors evaluated in this research (1) prevailing wage provision in legislation; (2) forced tax compliance of the workforce; (3) market correction from currently depressed wages due to immigrant penetration into the workforce; and (4) a labor shortage resulting from a depleted supply of immigrant labor, proposed legislation could increase the cost of trade labor up to almost 70% in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Overall labor costs for projects could increase by almost 18%, and total project costs could rise almost 12% in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region.

http://ascelibrary.org/meo/resource/1/jmenea/v26/i4/p189_s1?isAuthori z ed=no
 
2012-05-13 03:38:12 PM
If only there were some incentive for them to offer as an inducement of employment.
 
2012-05-13 03:39:09 PM
Well, they COULD, but they're going to have to pay more than $2/hr.

/capitalism works both ways.
 
2012-05-13 03:40:27 PM

Mrtraveler01: archichris: If you want the crops picked, you will have to cut off the higher pay for breathing which currently exists in the form of SSID, TANF, SNAP, HUD, etc.....

So you want disabled people out on the farm picking crops?

Well this sounds very reasonable.

/sarcasm


DO you have any idea how SSID is used? When welfare reform went through in the 90's under clinton, there was a mad rush to find social services money for people who were in danger of losing their checks. It was referred to at the time as "get your kids THEIR SSI". The formula was simple, get your children diagnosed by a school nurse as ADHD, take that paper to your social worker, Get $515 per child per month in disability payments made payable to the custodian.

When the kids turn 18 there is a second stage which involves usually a diagnosis of mental health, developmental disability, or drug related infirmity. That can increase your monthly check to the 600-700 range and make it payable directly to the client.

This is only my understanding of the process from the point of view of renting low income housing to this demographic for many years. I have been told essentially the same story hundreds of times by tenants explaining when they will have their rent paid. It is not of course official policy, but it is how the program works at street level.

It is important to remember that these are essentially able bodied people. They are currently on public support because they are unable to find a job, unwilling to find a job, or are genuinely disabled.

The percentage of those who could not pick vegetables in a field is likely less than 10%.

You want to know why there are no americans willing to pick vegetables? Welfare pays better......

In my area total public spending per child can exceed $31,500 per year. But if your child at 16 or 17 goes out and gets a farm job, that penalizes your benefits. No one is going to let their children work before they lose custodial SSID at age 18.
 
2012-05-13 03:40:57 PM
think of all those out of work black men in D.C. that could maybe get a decent paying job if illegal jose and ivan weren't here!

A partially self-sufficient black community in the DC region that felt empowered by having a decent paying job and cared about their communities!
It's a god damn nightmare!
 
2012-05-13 03:41:01 PM

ranchguy: I am gonna say 100% of the farkers here if offered $50/hr to do this job would not last 2 weeks.


$50/hr? You're right, I probably wouldn't last 2 weeks... because that's how long it would take me to land something a lot more.
 
2012-05-13 03:43:54 PM

BeatrixK: So...they get to pass the tremendous cost savings gleaned from taking advantage of illegal labor onto the consumer. You want all your ag workers documented, guess what: You can kiss cheaper produce buh bye.


It kills me when bleeding heart liberals drag out this talking point that won't go away for some reason....

The average earnings of U.S. field workers were $10.07 an hour in 2009, according to a U.S.D.A. survey of farm employers. With a 40 percent wage increase, average hourly earnings would rise to $14.10. If this were passed on to consumers, the 10 cent farm labor cost of a pound of apples would rise to 14 cents, and the $1 retail price would rise to $1.04.
 
2012-05-13 03:45:30 PM

relcec: I know, it would be devastating. construction companies in the DC area would have to raise wages paid to Americans by 70% in affected job categories to make up the difference and entice enough workers!
OH THE HUMANITY! LIVING WAGES FOR AMERICANS!

There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. Of this population, research shows that approximately 19% work in the construction industry, comprising around 14% of all construction workforces. The main objectives of this research are to (1) to predict possible effects of immigration and immigration reform legislation on worker wages and (2) to assess the likely wage increase due to decreased supply of immigrant labor. In the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region, the construction workforces for low-skilled trades such as concrete, masonry, drywall, painting, flooring, and roofing are comprised of approximately 55% illegal immigrant. Based on four factors evaluated in this research (1) prevailing wage provision in legislation; (2) forced tax compliance of the workforce; (3) market correction from currently depressed wages due to immigrant penetration into the workforce; and (4) a labor shortage resulting from a depleted supply of immigrant labor, proposed legislation could increase the cost of trade labor up to almost 70% in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Overall labor costs for projects could increase by almost 18%, and total project costs could rise almost 12% in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region.


Good luck winning people over with that statistic.

I understand that you think that illegal immigrants are a big cause of unemployment and that if we got rid of all the (illegal) immigrants, everything would be sunshine and rose.

Which is incredibly simplistic IMO.

I mean it's fine that you want to get rid of all the illegal immigrants and it's an understandable point to make, but only a naive fool would think that it wouldn't come at a cost to the end consumer.

That and the question of if there are enough US citizens qualified to fill in the gaps in labor if illegal immigrants were gone.

You just make the immigration/labor issue way way too simplistic which is the absolute wrong way to treat issues like these.

/my two cents
 
2012-05-13 03:45:31 PM

Mrtraveler01: archichris: If you want the crops picked, you will have to cut off the higher pay for breathing which currently exists in the form of SSID, TANF, SNAP, HUD, etc.....

So you want disabled people out on the farm picking crops?

Well this sounds very reasonable.

/sarcasm


Oh! That would be fun to watch! I'd totally order the PPV of crazy people on SSDI/SSI fighting with tomatoes out in the fields.

"QUIT STARING AT ME!!! GRAAAARRRR!"
*attacks tomato plant*
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-05-13 03:46:18 PM

Mnemia: Bendal: Enigmamf: More of this backbreaking manual labor would likely have been automated at this point if it weren't for cheap, desperate labor.

Uhh, no. Inventors have tried for years to make a mechanical tomato picker, and have failed repeatedly. A ripe tomato is too tender to have a mechanical device pick them off the plant, and since tomato plants produce fruit repeatedly, somehow the device has to figure out which fruit is ripe and which one isn't. In fact, that's why most fruit are picked by hand; unless you've got a plant that ripens all its fruit simultaneously, only the Mark One Eyeball has the capability of choosing the ripe ones without stripping the entire plant.

Besides, ALEC isn't trying to get the unemployed working in the fields; they want to put convicted prisoners to work for pennies a day. That way they have an unending pool of workers that a lot of the public wants to "work for their cell", and they don't have to pay them hardly anything. That way everyone's happy; see how that all works out?

Mechanical tomato harvesters exist...they simply consume the whole plant and rely on varieties where most of the fruit is ripe all at once. There is some loss in productivity at the gain of less labor being needed. Depends where your costs are.

And given enough economic incentive, robots could be created to do almost any menial task. There just hasn't been that incentive yet for most fruits and vegetables.


One of the major arguments for minimum wages was that extremely cheap labor would stifle innovation.
 
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