March 30, 2014

Shamelessness

It's not even April yet, but the 2014 Crops Rotting in the Fields public relations offensive is in motion. From the New York Times:
California Farmers Short of Labor, and Patience 
By JENNIFER MEDINA    MARCH 29, 2014

HURON, Calif. — When Chuck Herrin, who runs a large farm labor contracting company,

I.e., he's in the illegal alien procurement business, a pimp.
looks out at the hundreds of workers he hires each year to tend to the countless rows of asparagus, grapes, tomatoes, peaches and plums, he often seethes in frustration. 
It is not that he has any trouble with the laborers.

Thank God for that. We can't have stoop laborers getting uppity.
It is that he, like many others in agriculture here, is increasingly fed up with immigration laws that he says prevent him from fielding a steady, reliable work force. 
... In dozens of interviews, farmers and owners of related businesses said that even the current system of tacitly using illegal labor was failing to sustain them. A work force that arrived in the 1990s is aging out of heavy labor,

Indeed.
Americans do not want the jobs, and tightened security at the border is discouraging new immigrants from arriving, they say, leaving them to struggle amid the paralysis on immigration policy. No other region may be as eager to keep immigration legislation alive.

Assuming that "region" = "employers of illegal aliens."
... Like other employers interviewed, he acknowledged that he almost certainly had illegal immigrants in his work force. Would-be workers provide a Social Security number or a document purporting they are eligible to work; employers accept the documentation even if they doubt its veracity because they want to bring in their crops. ...
Roughly a third of Mr. Herrin’s workers are older than 50, a much higher proportion than even five years ago. He said they had earned the right to stay here. “If we keep them here and not do anything for them once they get old, that’s really extortion,” he said.

By "we," I don't mean "me," Chuck Herrin. I mean you taxpayers.
The region has relied on new arrivals to pick crops since the time of the Dust Bowl. For more than two decades after World War II, growers here depended on braceros, Mexican workers sent temporarily to the United States to work in agriculture.

Then there was this guy named Cesar Chavez who hated immigration. But that's Off-Message, so let's not think about it.
Today, many fieldworkers are indigenous people from southern Mexico who speak Mixtec and know little English or Spanish.

Nothing will alleviate America's Income Inequality and Social Immobility crises faster than bringing in a lot of Mixtec-speaking stoop laborers whose ancestors didn't learn Spanish in the last 493 years.
In recent years, farm owners have grown increasingly fearful of labor shortages. 
Last year, the diminished supply of workers led average farm wages in the region to increase by roughly $1 an hour, according to researchers at U.C. Davis who have tracked wages for years.

$1 an hour?!?
A report released this month by the Partnership for a New American Economy and the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, two business-oriented groups that are lobbying Congress, said foreign-grown produce consumed in the United States had increased by nearly 80 percent since the late 1990s.

In other words, it's possible for Mexicans to grow food in Mexico and sell it to Americans in return for money.
The report argues that the labor shortages make it impossible for American farmers to increase production and compete effectively with foreign importers. While the amount of fresh produce consumed by Americans has increased, domestic production has not kept pace, and the report attributes a $1.4 billion annual loss in farm income to the lack of labor.

In other words, the whole country needs to take on the burden of importing ever more Mixtec speakers and their descendants ad infinitum so growers can make an extra $1.4 billion per year? The current farm bill is supposed to hand out something like $940.0 billion over ten years. That's an absurdly small sum to bet the country over.
So even amid a record drought threatening to wipe out crops here,

You know, I keep reading about how what with the drought and climate change and all that, California can't come up with the water for all the farms and people. Now, we're supposed to have more?
A generation ago, he said, growers often pretended to have no idea that people working for them were not authorized to be in the United States. Now, there is a nearly universal recognition that the industry relies on immigrants who cross the border illegally.

Shamelessness is the most striking characteristic of contemporary discourse on immigration: greed and ethnic animus are praised, while patriotism and prudence are excoriated.

 

97 comments:

Bert said...

I guess we're all going to die then. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Anonymous said...

It all reminds me of the former Australian practice of 'black-birding'.

Years ago, plantation owners in Australia were often short of stoop labour to harvest sugar cane etc, so what they used to do was sail out a raiding party to the nearest 'black' settlement kidnap a few natives and then force thme to harvest the cane.

Anonymous said...

Another point. On and on incessantly for decades we've been lectured on how wonderful 'free trade' is how we should all embrace it, and how will it will all make us 'richer'.

now here we have a good, classic example of the essence of Ricardoan free trade. It is possible for the USA to import cheaper agricultural produce from Mexico rather than utilise scare resources growing it at home - just like Adam Smith pointed out over vines and hot-houses in England. So obviously free trade should run its course and enrich both Americans and Mexicans.

Only that this maxim only seems to apply to industrial workers and no one else. When an American industrial worker gets fired, the NYT will jump in the air, dance a little jig of victory and scream 'how good it is' to anyone who'll listen.

a_peraspera said...

"the diminished supply of workers led average farm wages in the region to increase by roughly $1 an hour..."


They don't seem to get the logical corollary, i.e. how about diminishing the supply of labor even further by deporting all illegals and securing the borders?

That should cause wages to increase even further amirite?

I'm amazed anything related to the economic laws of supply and demand found its way into the article.

DJF said...

Maybe if the government did not spend so much money on driverless cars and robot mules they could pay for research on something that can pick strawberries.

If we had the same policies in place in the 1950's that we have today we would not even have cotton picking combines, it was not until we had labor shortages after the war and Eisenhower's Operation Wetback that it became economical to buy such machines. These machines had actually been in development for decades but never could beat out cheap labor, it was only when cotton picking labor became scarce and expensive did the machines take over

Looking around the Web there are lots of small companies and college research projects but none of them appear to have much support from the US government

sykes.1 said...

And, of course, the US has cities full of unemployed young blacks.

leftist conservative said...

the liberal ideology blinds one to differences in race, while the conservative ideology blinds one to differences in wealth.

Both ideologies serve the rich. One helps the rich get cheaper labor, while the other helps the rich keep their wealth.

Aint America great?!

doombuggy said...

$940 billion over ten years

Keep in mind that 80% of this is for the food stamp program; and much of the rest goes for national forests and administration. Direct payments to farmers is around $6 billion a year.

Total farm revenues are around $400 billion a year. So think of farming as a large fortune 500 corporation. So our embrace of illegals keeps this one corporation in the chips.

Anonymous said...

its all just blah blah blah

they want to do it because they want to do it and fuck you

that's the whole story

if you had a megaphone, you could criticize their "rationale" but you don't

SFG said...

I loved the whole bit about how wages were rising a whole dollar an hour. Horrors! They might actually have to start paying Americans enough.

PaleRider1861 said...

Hey Mr Anonymous,
Yeah, kind of reminds me of the many New England ship owners who profited greatly by transporting laborers from the African Gold Coast via the Golden Triangle route in the 17th, 18th and 19th century.
Bet you can't top that!

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

He said they had earned the right to stay here. “If we keep them here and not do anything for them once they get old, that’s really extortion,” he said.

*We*

*extortion*

Chuck must be using Mixtec definitions, because they sure ain't English...

AMac said...

When it comes to crops rotting in the field and immigration, the laws of supply and demand don't exist.

> 'Americans do not want the jobs'
goes the refrain. At the wages on offer.

> Last year, the diminished supply of workers led average farm wages in the region to increase by roughly $1 an hour

Oh no! Bosses having to pay proles more?! Consumes products costing more so that workers are fairly compensated?! NYT-style leftists hate those notions, I guess.

By the way, here is the National Agricultural Statistics Service's December 2013 report, Farm Labor (PDF).

At the height of the 2013 summer (2nd week of July), USDA estimated there were 176,000 field workers in California, of whom 146,000 expected to work >150 days for the year. The field workers worked an average of 43 hours/week (page 8), for an average of $10.85/hour (page 9).

For the 2nd week of July 2012, the comparables are 176,000, 145,000, 35 hours/week (page 16), and $10.75/hour (page 17).

The methodology for this hatefact survey is described on pages 26-29.

Shouting Thomas said...

... greed and ethnic animus are praised ...

Our mandarin class extols greed and ethnic animus as a virtue in every facet of contemporary life, not just in respect of immigration.

Anonymous said...

"""A generation ago, he said, growers often pretended to have no idea that people working for them were not authorized to be in the United States. Now, there is a nearly universal recognition that the industry relies on immigrants who cross the border illegally.

Steve Sailer Observed: 'Shamelessness is the most striking characteristic of contemporary discourse on immigration: greed and ethnic animus are praised, while patriotism and prudence are excoriated.' """"



Also, another striking characteristic is the insult to middle class americana's intelligence, 'Why, gosh darnit, nobody ever ever had any idea until now how America's crops ever even GOT harvested? Who knew what the actual faces of the harvester stoop laborers even looked like?'

Of course, this is the NYT. Just how likely is it that the articles writer has had any personal farm experience? Has she ever worked on a private farm, much less an agro-conglomerate sized farm which would be more inclined to rely on mass labor? Or is the closest thing to actual stoop labor she's ever done is when she visits the produce isle at Whole Foods? After all, this is the New York Times we're talking about and she's not passing herself off as a farm expert.

Just an observation.

Ann said...

"Would-be workers provide a Social Security number or a document purporting they are eligible to work; employers accept the documentation even if they doubt its veracity because they want to bring in their crops."

And Mr. Herrin clearly doesn't give a shit about the people who had the SS numbers stolen by his indentured servants. Very rarely the media will talk about these victims, and the IRS coming after them for taxes and businesses coming after them for the actions of the ID thieves, but who cares about them.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't this piece in the op-ed section?

H said...

This is the kind of logic the Confederacy used. "If you free all the slaves, we won't have people to work our fields! We'll lose money!"

If you view immigration enthusiasts like Zuckerberg as plantation owners then their arguments start to make sense. Unfortunately for us, they are also making the same short-sighted mistake the peddlers of the Atlantic slave trade made: they brought over a different people who didn't fit in with the original ethnic Americans for cheap labor, but later on America was stuck with them.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Fucking Christ, you are pathetic piece of white shit. Why don't you put your goddamned children (do you have any? or do your chromosomes produce nothing but weak chinned rotten toothed crackers) to work. Its time you meet a Chechen on equal terms instead of picking on the weak.

Anonymous said...

Most illegal immigrants don't work in farming. La, New York Chicago and Houston have the most illegal immigrants so why talk about farming.

peterike said...

A work force that arrived in the 1990s is aging out of heavy labor...

I'm assuming the projections for Social Security solvency are not counting the millions of aging illegals who are one amnesty away from signing on for disability en masse, and then thirty years of living on the Soc Sec dole. To say nothing of the astonishing health care costs required to service millions of overweight smokers.

The party has never been more over.

Anonymous said...

There is only a labor shortage at the price they want to pay. Another example of privatizing profits and socializing costs.

David said...

>two business-oriented groups that are lobbying Congress, said foreign-grown produce consumed in the United States had increased by nearly 80 percent since the late 1990s<

Why are libertarians opposed to the principle of comparative advantage?

countenance said...

Mechanization.

Victor said...

It's funny, but if you change the wording slightly, the same article could be used to justify slavery.

Anonymous said...

There was a time in the 70s when the University of California was going to invest in agricultural robotics. Liberal (radical?) lawyers, under the cover of Cesar Chavez, shut this effort down. Old links:


"Cesar Chavez, the legendary leader of the United Farm Workers, began a campaign against mechanization back in 1978. ...

... Chavez was outraged that the federal government was funding research and development on agricultural machines, but not spending any money to aid the farm workers who would be displaced."
(Wired, "Farms Fund Robots to Replace Migrant Fruit Pickers", Eliza Strickland, June 21, 2007.)

From a Center for Immigration Studies article, regarding increasing farm productivity via mechanization:

"Harvest labor productivity must be greatly increased so that production costs can decrease and worker income can increase. This is a key factor that the U.S. Government has been neglecting since 1979, when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture of that time, Bob Bergland, stated, 'I will not put federal money into any project that reduces the need for farm labor.' This policy supported an anti-mechanization movement that had brought a lawsuit against the University of California for using public funds to conduct mechanization research." (CIS, "Alternatives to Immigrant Labor? The Status of Fruit and Vegetable Harvest Mechanization in the United States", Yoav Sarig, James F. Thompson, Galen K. Brown, December 2000.)


Isn't it grand we have a Dept. of Agriculture? They clearly are on the case!

California is progressive-enough that it should be able to throw off the shackles of a Luddite anti-mechanization movement. You can do it, California! (Or maybe not...)

Anonymous said...

Have they thought of hiring illegal space aliens?

http://www.ufodb.com/ufo_news/news_ufo_pictures/News46.jpg

Anonymous said...

We need Robots! More mechanizarion!

Anonymous said...

I really doubt though there would be a reliable supply of labor for California farms drawn from natives if even $20/hr was the wage.

The work is too hard and its in the sun all day.

Maybe then the agriculture industry should be downscaled for lack of labor/lack of complete automation solution.

But the idea promoted here that if only they paid enough to attract natives is nonsense when it comes to hard manual labor jobs like picking fruit.

Anonymous said...

Citizenship of a country should carry with it a minimum duty of care to fellow citizens and breaking that minimum duty should be explicitly classed as treason.

If that was the case pretty much the entire globalist class in business, media and politics would be on trial for treason against their fellow citizens.

.

"A work force that arrived in the 1990s is aging out of heavy labor,"

On a separate note there is so much evil buried in the implications of that statement.

Anonymous said...

"The report argues that the labor shortages make it impossible for American farmers to increase production and compete effectively with foreign importers."

Without the endless supply of cheap labor the farming industry would have become massively hi-tech with a lot of spin-off benefits from the research and lots of nice farm robot engineer jobs out in the sunshine.

C. Van Carter said...

Won't somebody think of the plums?

Anonymous said...

Well that's free enterprise Steve. Oh wait, importing illegal aliens to drive down market wages so we can unfairly compete with Foreign imports ISN'T the Free Market.

Good thing the Libertarians are all over this. Oh wait, they aren't.

Anonymous said...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/03/29/4027358/the-number-of-unaccompanied-minors.html

Add 'underaged' to Statue of Liberty plaque.

Anonymous said...

Big farmers just want to drive down wages for working class people. Don't believe the "social justice" b.s.

Zimm said...

"

It all reminds me of the former Australian practice of 'black-birding'.

Years ago, plantation owners in Australia were often short of stoop labour to harvest sugar cane etc, so what they used to do was sail out a raiding party to the nearest 'black' settlement kidnap a few natives and then force thme to harvest the cane."


Except that here, the 'blacks' (or browns, in this case) voluntarily come here, even willing to risk life and limb to do so, and are paid for their efforts, receive all sorts of benefits off the taxpayer, and their kids are treated as citizens if born here. So basically, nothing at all like black birding.

Anonymous said...

Friggin farmers would have plenty of labor but many have actually been paying as low as $5 hr for illegals and they are not ready to pay citizens a decent wage.

Anonymous said...

"When Chuck Herrin, who runs a large farm labor contracting company" - his chairs and auditoriums are rotting in the fields.

Mr. Anon said...

"Last year, the diminished supply of workers led average farm wages in the region to increase by roughly $1 an hour, according to researchers at U.C. Davis who have tracked wages for years."

Last time I got a $1 an hour wage increase it was called a "cost of living adjustment". I guess that mestizo peons don't even deserve that.

Why bother even paying these stoop-laborers at all? Why not simply enslave them: feed them nothing but cabbage soup and stale bread, and let them sleep in the fields under armed guard. Work them till they drop dead, and then get more. Is this what the New York Times and enlightened opinion thinks?

JWS said...

This part of California was the setting of several John Steinbeck novels about migrant farm laborers in the 1930s. In the most famous one, "The Grapes of Wrath," a family of poor migrants from Oklahoma are exploited by shady landowners. The lesser known "In Dubious Battle" is an explicitly Communist narrative of a farmworker strike.

In the 60's and 70's, Cesar Chavez became famous for organizing farm laborers in California and elsewhere.

So in the past 80 years, CA's farmers have moved from hiring English-speaking white workers to literate, Spanish-speaking farm workers to illiterate Mixtec-speaking workers.

Mixtec-speaking workers don't go on strike, don't join intimidating political movements, don't hire lawyers, and don't write novels, letters to the editor, or much of anything else.

They don't complain to reporters either. In this story Jennifer Medina violated the basic tenet of journalism to tell both sides of a story: she interviews Chuck Herrin, the contractor, Kevin Andrew, COO of a farm corporation, Congressman Jeff Denham, a lobbyist named Tom Nassif, and a farmer named Joe Del Bosque. No one actually bothered to go out to a field or camp and talk to the people working and living there.

The media of the 1930s and 1960s focused on the injustices against the workers. The media of 2014 tacitly encourages them.

Anthony said...

Maybe they can put Leland Yee and the other criminal legislators out picking crops in the fields. If the FBI could speed up their investigative processes, they could come up with hundreds of corrupt legislators to pick crops!

Anonymous said...

The report argues that the labor shortages make it impossible for American farmers to increase production and compete effectively with foreign importers.

I'm doing my part. Last week I bought oranges from Israel, grapes and strawberries from Mexico. Import the fruit, not the Mexicans.

Anonymous said...

NYT wasn't concerned about 55,000 US factories closing in the first decade of the 21st Century, why do they care so much about farms?

Anonymous said...

Refuse to visit NYT or any other Cultural Marxist Media(that's CMM, Cee Double Emm, or CM2 for short) outlet. Has anybody checked the comments section for this "Crops Rotting in the Fields" propaganda? Is it running the typical 2 to 1 angry at the Open Borders BS ratio?

Don't understand the persistence of the NYT readership. It it pure "hipsterism", just some a deep desire to signal that one is an aspiring member of the Upworthy.

Can not see how anyone who took an freshman course in Samuelson wage/price - supply vs demand economics could fall for this nonsense. It insults one's intelligence.

Can't see how anyone aspiring to be thought of as a critical thinker, even a liberal one, can proudly say they read the NYT. That is assuming there exists some conception of liberal that is not just synonymous with Cultural Marxist.

Hunsdon said...

Are Mixtec speakers Hispanic?

Anonymous said...

Buy Mexican and stick it to these Chamber of Commerce types.

Prof. Woland said...

This silliness about people "hiding in the shadows" is just that. These farmers are mortally afraid of E-Verify because they know this could be stopped in a nanosecond, literally. When these 50 year old stoop laborers and dishwashers turn 62, there is going to be a growing push to try and claim social security benefits on the taxes they have been paying. Unfortunately, a lot of those taxes have been sandbagged by family members who have lent out their names and social security numbers to pad their own retirements. This will end up like the Pigford scandal only 1,000 times worse.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous @2:40 AM Maybe I'm retarded. I don't know what you mean. Please elaborate on the similarities. I must be retarded because I can't sign in to WordPress. My ID is JohnDSee

Lorenzo said...

Nicely done, Mr. Sailer. Nicely done

Anonymous said...

It appears that farm labor is becoming a job that Hispanic-Americans will not do.

California has about 14.4 million Hispanics, of which about 11.9 million are here legally. And yet so few Hispanic Californians are willing to work the fields these days that the growers say they need to keep importing labor to meet their needs.

How about saying no to the growers, and force them to increase their pay until Hispanic, white and black Californians already here are willing to go out and work in the fields? This would help with our stubbornly high unemployment rates.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Mexican agriculture, Mennonite agriculture, and so on:

"...these fundamentalists now stand at the vanguard of a revolution in land management in Mexico's arid north. ...

Mennonite expansionism into new areas of Chihuahua has set off what could well be described as the first water wars of the climate-change era. The Mennonites are not alone in buying up abandoned rangeland ravaged by unprecedented drought and turning desert into lush farmland, but they account for an estimated 95% of the new agribusiness operations in Chihuahua. ...

For the past nine decades, the relations ... have been largely amicable ...in part due to awe of Mennonite productivity and their intense work ethic."



Perhaps the Mennonites know how to do ag work that neither Americans or Mexicans can do...

Anonymous said...

.. even the current system of tacitly using illegal labor was failing to sustain them.


Dear God! There's nothing else for it then .. we have to bring back slavery!

Khaled said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fishyrice said...

labor unions that lead to higher wages is good, labor constriction due to enforcement of laws that lead to higher wages is bad.

Anonymous said...

.. foreign-grown produce consumed in the United States had increased by nearly 80 percent since the late 1990s.


Wait .... we're supposed to think that this is a BAD thing? Because we consume all sorts of stuff produced in foreign countries, and for some reason the only time this is seen as a problem by TPTB is when the stuff in question is grown in soil rather than made in factories.

Our government has a position of hyper-free-trade in industrial goods and hyper-protectionism in agricultural goods. It's fine that we buy the computer chips for our fighter jets from China but damn it all, our lettuce HAS to be grown here in the US of A.

Anonymous said...

Roughly a third of Mr. Herrin’s workers are older than 50, a much higher proportion than even five years ago. He said they had earned the right to stay here. “If we keep them here and not do anything for them once they get old, that’s really extortion,” he said.

So somebody breaks our laws, imposes their progeny upon the public fisc, earns more than they would back home, and it's "extortion" if we don't give them the benefits that lawful citizens get?

"Extortion" would be, oh I dunno, reaping privatized profits from mutual exploitation of foreign lawbreakers and then attempting to morally blackmail taxpayers into accepting the attendant socialized costs: "Innocent little campesino I've got here. You wouldn't let him go without social security, would you?"

That's just, you know, a hypothetical example of what actual extortion might look like.

Anonymous said...

Afro-Americans killed stats in Houston and Dallas. Both Metro areas have higher poverty than El Paso and San Antinio which have alot of mexicans but few blacks. In fact Dallas is a crappy low income city according to a report before adjusting for cost of living the city has a whopping 23 percent poverty rate. One could have told conservatives if you have both Mexicans and Blacks you are not going to have low poverty even with unemployment below 6 percent.

Anonymous said...

I happen to know that many of these ag workers also speak Zapotec. They can't communicate well with Mixtec, Spanish or English speakers. This is balkanization on steroids.

On a related note, former U.S. Congresscritter from Arizona, John Shadegg, who was far from the worst Republican on immigration, recently spoke at the 2014 Southwest Ag Summit, Yuma, Arizona. He made some comments that were the equivalent of "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." He basically said we have to import foreigner workers to do jobs Americans won't do and calls this saving American jobs! Don't believe he said something that stupid? I barely believe it myself but you can read it here:

http://www.yumasun.com/news/ag-speaker-immigration-reform-may-not-be-dead/article_5fb0f5c8-a033-11e3-ae3d-0017a43b2370.html

But it’s a conversation this nation can’t afford to not have, said Shadegg, a long-time advocate of the need in this country for a workable guest worker program. “The one we have now is unworkable.”
Not only is a workable guest worker program vital to Yuma’s vegetable industry, it is critical to the nation’s production of food and to the nation’s supply of jobs, he said.
“We’re shipping agriculture production to other countries,” he said. “We cannot export jobs in the agriculture industry. We need to have a dollars and cents conversation.”

Joe

Anonymous said...

If we had the same policies in place in the 1950's that we have today we would not even have cotton picking combines, it was not until we had labor shortages after the war and Eisenhower's Operation Wetback that it became economical to buy such machines. These machines had actually been in development for decades but never could beat out cheap labor, it was only when cotton picking labor became scarce and expensive did the machines take over

Speaking of a 1950s labor saving invention that is ubiquitous today because of that labor shortage you mention, I direct your attention to this.

David said...

>Perhaps the Mennonites know how to do ag work that neither Americans or Mexicans can do...<

Not for $5/hour they don't.

Anonymous said...

But the idea promoted here that if only they paid enough to attract natives is nonsense when it comes to hard manual labor jobs like picking fruit.

The idea being promoted is that all people have a price. And the supply/demand curve of the labor market should be allowed to find equilibrium without government interference, whether that interference is in setting wage levels or ignoring its duty to control the borders.

Keep in mind people in America will do most anything if the price is right. You have guys who will build skyscrapers, change the light bulb on a giant tv tower, and girls that will have sex with near anyone or anything for the right price. Nothing is considered so beneath people that money couldn't change their opinion.

David said...

Mencken on farmers, 100 years ago:

"The Husbandman" (essay)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Mennonites know how to do ag work that neither Americans or Mexicans can do.

Since they work fields that they own, their wages are a lot higher than those of the Mexicans.

Svigor said...

Jesus Fucking Christ, you are pathetic piece of white shit. Why don't you put your goddamned children (do you have any? or do your chromosomes produce nothing but weak chinned rotten toothed crackers) to work. Its time you meet a Chechen on equal terms instead of picking on the weak.

It's good to know immigration enthusiasts love us and want what's best for us.

Anonymous said...

This is Cultural Marxism 101: you can be as selfish and irresponsible as you like, as long as you say it's for poor, colored foreigners.

Neat arrangement, really.

Anonymous said...

"""How about saying no to the growers, and force them to increase their pay until Hispanic, white and black Californians already here are willing to go out and work in the fields? This would help with our stubbornly high unemployment rates.""""


The US already has a sizable population in CA (and other states) that could be employed to do the migrant laborer work. They reside in Fulsom and San Quentin, to name a few.

If you were to replace about two-thirds of the illegal aliens with the native born incarcerated populations, that would: Satisfy the ag-com owners since they wouldn't have to pay wages let alone benefits; and also it would keep the prison populations busy in a constructive manner. If they can make license plates why can't they also be employed in agriculture?

Two birds with one stone. Near free wages to pay the labor force? The farm producers would jump at the chance cause you can't beat free.

furreal? said...

"...anyone aspiring to be thought of as a critical thinker ..."

Remember, "critical thinking" is itself a rad-left code word. It doesn't mean analytical, it means critical of western European institutions and norms. When Obama was at HLS, "the Crits" were professors intent on modifying existing notions of private property. If you wish, you can find a TNR article about them from around '87.

furreal? said...

"...anyone aspiring to be thought of as a critical thinker ..."

Remember, "critical thinking" is itself a rad-left code word. It doesn't mean analytical, it means critical of western European institutions and norms. When Obama was at HLS, "the Crits" were professors intent on modifying existing notions of private property. If you wish, you can find a TNR article about them from around '87.

Anonymous said...

This article begs for an info graphic that would illustrate to our innumerate masses that with a $17 trillion GDP, a couple of billion rounds to zero.

The typical American can't understand a sum of money that is larger than a lottery payout. An extra zero or 4 -- its all the same to them. Big.

Silver said...

"May your crops rot in the fields" could become an ironic way for American farmers to wish each other an auspicious growing season - a bit like "break a leg" in theater.

Cail Corishev said...

Our government has a position of hyper-free-trade in industrial goods and hyper-protectionism in agricultural goods.

Yes. It's an odd sort of protectionism, though. Once upon a time, the focus was on keeping farm prices up. The idea was that you keep your ag sector strong by making sure farmers can make money, even if that means import limits, quotas, set-asides (the programs everyone's heard of that pay you not to grow things), or other systems that other countries use. The general idea was to keep supply from exceeding demand and causing painful drops in prices.

But at some point (around 1980, I think) the focus shifted to market share: the Wal-Mart-style thinking that says the way to keep your ag sector strong is to dominate global sales and keep prices low enough that other countries won't try to compete with you -- and your buyers won't even try to become self-sufficient. But that won't work if your farmers are getting a good price, so you have to find other ways to get money to your farmers, like various price support programs.

But the old production-lowering programs still exist parallel to the production-increasing ones, so a farmer might be getting funding for putting a drainage system into a grassy hillside so he can plant it to exportable crops, while on the other side of the hill he's getting a subsidy check for taking a field out of crops and planting it back to grass.

US farm policy is completely insane. If anyone's interested in it, the documentary film "King Corn" is an entertaining introduction to the topic.

Hunsdon said...

Or are Mixtec speakers non-Hispanic White?

Anonymous said...

My favorite quote so far:

"Keep in mind people in America will do most anything if the price is right. You have guys who will build skyscrapers, change the light bulb on a giant tv tower, and girls that will have sex with near anyone or anything for the right price."

California, with its water shortages, should only be producing the highest value, most profitable crops. There has to be something that would still be profitable paying auto assembly type wages. People would damn near kill for those jobs. And mind you, working on the line isn't easy, and it is 50 weeks a year. I don't know how hard picking crops is, but there are a lot of bod factory jobs. A steel mill, for example. A lot of this stuff could be semi automated, using boom and lift platforms, for example, and doubling productivity.

Other factoids:

The US has a large balance of payments surplus for agriculture. This labor intensive stuff is more like textiles -- which belong in countries at the bottom of the development food chain instead of highly developed countries. We are the Saudi Arabia of Wheat. Maybe not quite, but we are the world's largest exporter.

The farmers belong in jail for hiring illegals. E Verify is fascinating, because the red states tend to mandate it while the blue states tend to forbid it.

Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act prohibited Illinois employers from using E-verify to verify the work authorization of their employees. In addition, even if companies want to rigorously comply, if they go beyond E Verify, they risk charges of discrimination.

The department of homeland security favors E Verify.

Average Joe said...

“If we keep them here and not do anything for them once they get old, that’s really extortion,” he said.

Since he was the one keeping them here, he should be the one responsible for providing for their economic and medical needs - not the rest of us who didn't even want them here in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Last year, the diminished supply of workers led average farm wages in the region to increase by roughly $1 an hour

Which translates, rhetorically, into: "SO YOU WANT HARD WORKING AMERICAN FAMILIES TO PAY $5 FOR AN APPLE? $5 FOR A CHILD'S APPLE?!?"

Average Joe said...

You know, I keep reading about how what with the drought and climate change and all that, California can't come up with the water for all the farms and people. Now, we're supposed to have more?

Steve, don't you know that only whites and Republicans are harmful to the environment?

Anonymous said...

There was a time in the 70s when the University of California was going to invest in agricultural robotics. Liberal (radical?) lawyers, under the cover of Cesar Chavez, shut this effort down.

How much influence did they have in Japan?

Anonymous said...

“If we keep them here and not do anything for them once they get old, that’s really extortion,” he said.

So he's effectively saying that unless people like him are able to extort other taxpayers after extorting the farm workers, it's extortion?

Anonymous said...

US farm policy is completely insane.

It's based on geopolitics.

For the last fifty years the mainstay of the U.S. balance of payments has been agriculture, not industry (except for arms sales, mainly to the oil-exporting dictatorships). The oil exporting countries are permitted to charge as much as they want for their oil, as long as they agree to spend it on American tanks and warplanes, and keep their savings in U.S. banks and securities.

The mainstay of the U.S. balance of payments is food. This promotion of foreign food dependency is the most constant element of U.S. foreign policy since World War II.

Anonymous said...

http://www.monarchiaborok.hu/hir.php?currlang=EN&h_id=2199&

It seems that Mexican grape (wine) grafting workers are world class.

"In the early days of May, a brigade of six Mexican specialists from California arrived in Eger [Hungary] to put their grafting knowledge to work"

There are mechanical grape pickers, but hand picking is necessary in some locations (hillsides) and also the highest quality wines.

100 years ago, farming was farming -- and it mostly sucked. It was back breaking for everyone. The only good thing you could say about it is that farmers ate good. Now, Midwestern grain farmers can farm 2 sections and up, and get record yields. They have these huge ass John Deere tractors and use GPS which is getting close to putting the tractor on auto pilot. This is ultra high productivity work and the right way to run an economy.

Except for services and boutique type of work, or highly skilled work, if it isn't automated, it shouldn't be done in the US.

The vineyard workers are producing a high value added product. The more commodity like, cheaper wines should be automated

One other approach to agriculture is to produced highly processed foods. Like Doritos. Or high-fructose corn syrup. Which does create manufacturing jobs.

Which brings me back to the article. The California produce growers are producing a low value added, commodity like product. And there is no or little little possible value added processing. One possible reason that people aren't thinking straight about this is that with modern logistics, produce once needed to be grown domestically. Now, it is simply another low value commodity.

As far as exporting our junkiest food ... we import their drugs. Thats what globalism is all about. And for people that want the freshest stuff -- lots of locivoires around

Anonymous said...

"There was a time in the 70s when the University of California was going to invest in agricultural robotics. Liberal (radical?) lawyers, under the cover of Cesar Chavez, shut this effort down."

How much influence did they have in Japan?



A marketing firm has a report, "Agricultural Robots Market Overview 2014: Industry Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2014 to 2020":

"Agricultural robot market size at $817 million in 2013 are anticipated to reach $16.3 billion by 2020, a hefty growth for a nascent market. Agricultural robots are but part of an overall trend toward more automated process for every type of human endeavor. ...

... Agricultural robots address automation of process for agribusiness. The challenge being addressed is to guide farmers towards a new economic model. ...

... Robots make the crops safer by eliminating or virtually eliminating herbicides. ...


According to Susan Eustis, principal author of the market research study, "Agricultural robotic projects are ongoing. The key to industrial farm robots is keeping costs down. Adapting existing commercial vehicles instead of building new ones is the best way to build viable agricultural robots."


And also (presumably in market size order):

"Market Leaders

Lely
Yaskawa / Motoman
Yamaha
Kuka"


So, two Japanese companies, a Dutch company (Lely), and a German company (Kuka). Looks like the Ludites had little influence on Japan. Lely makes those milking robots that allow cows to milk themselves, among other things.

Anonymous said...

Need to pick strawberries in the US? Check out Agrobot's strawberry harvester (a Spanish company).

Lettuce? Well, there's this: "Who Needs Farm Hands When You Can Have Agricultural Robots", AP, Gosia Wozniacka and Terence Chea, 07/14/2013:

"... in California's Salinas Valley, a tractor pulled a wheeled, metal contraption over rows of budding lettuce plants. Engineers from Silicon Valley tinkered with the software to ensure the machine was eliminating the right leafy buds.

The Lettuce Bot can "thin" a field of lettuce in the time it takes about 20 workers to do the job by hand.

...in this region known as America's Salad Bowl, ... the machines could prove revolutionary. ...

Research into fresh produce mechanization was dormant for years because of an over-abundance of workers and pressures from farmworker labor unions.

... "If you can put a man on the moon," Sandoval said, "you can figure out how to pick fruit with a machine.""

Anonymous said...

“We’re shipping agriculture production to other countries,” he said. “We cannot export jobs in the agriculture industry."


It's quite bizarre that "libertarians" like Shadegg would never say the same thing about the auto industry, or the computer industry, or ANY other industry. The only sector of the economy which they feel it is vital to keep in the US is the stoop labor sector.

ben tillman said...

But the idea promoted here that if only they paid enough to attract natives is nonsense when it comes to hard manual labor jobs like picking fruit.

The idea of paying the market rate is never "nonsense" in any context. If $20 is too low, then make it $30 or $50 or $100. If your business model requires the government to intervene and subsidize your labor costs, you need to go out of business.

Anonymous said...

Direct payments to farmers is around $6 billion a year.
CORRECTION:Direct payments to AGRIBUSINESS is around $6 billion a year. Your small farmer doesn't get this, only AGRIBUSINESS gets this $6 Billion.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at Mickey Kaus's latest post up, about this spokeshole from "America's Voice" (illegal alien lobby) named Frank Sharry--guy is really a piece of work; makes Chuck Schemer sound modest and genteel by comparison.

cap vandal said...

"Wages figure into the equation as well. “It would cost us a fortune if we hired a whole American workforce,” says Lance Rogers, superintendent at Colonia (N.J.) Country Club. “Everyone I know, their workforce is all immigrant.” American workers, he says, want at least $14 an hour, but as the membership of his club has dropped by half since the recession, he says the club can’t afford to pay that rate. So he goes with a crew from El Salvador, most of whom earn $9 to $10 an hour, which he estimates saves the club $70,000 a year. “Those guys are the best,” Rogers says, echoing a sentiment shared by many superintendents. “The day after Hurricane Irene hit they came out and worked through the night, no questions asked.”

Speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Since when did we decide that we need to create jobs for the Western Hemisphere?

If you create jobs that will only be filled with illegal immigrants -- then that is hardly creating US jobs.

Insourcing labor = outsourcing jobs.

DW Budd said...

Steve, I know you are a Southern Californian, but my ex-hometown of San Jose has recently been the subject of several not very flattering stories on the "dark side of the tech boom."

(http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/valley-their-valley)

The long and short is that "rich" communities (like Palo Alto) are benefitting from corporate and other taxes, and can thus provide 'services' at rates that bedroom communities (like San Jose) who carry a disproportionate burden of housing the workforce cannot.

It's all blamed rather directly on the usual bogeymen (Proposition 13, developers, greedy industrial tycoons).

Yet hidden in the series of articles (there are five, I think) the authors acknowledge:

"Then there is the bulging underclass, an increasingly stagnant group of low-wage, predominantly immigrant workers in the service sector. As Hancock described them: “The people who mow our lawns and clean our houses.” According to Working Partnerships, the number of households making less than $10,000 a year doubled in the first decade of the millennium. Unlike people in the middle range, these workers cannot afford a long commute, so they need to live somewhere in the Valley, but they also can’t afford the housing. “So how do you do that?” asked Benner. “Well, you double up, triple up, quadruple up.

Does anyone ever bother to ask what San Jose would look like if it had not imported tens of thousands of people not at all suited in any real way - or, if we are being honest, even fantastical one - to actually participate in a modern economy?

Who thinks someone with less than a high school education, who cannot read or write in his own language, or apparently, even speak the predominant tongue of the country of his birth, is remotely a candidate to work for Apple or Google?

Yet, we're told that the California economy cannot compete without an endless stream of such workers?

This is not even denial...

Anonymous said...

Put every non-violent offender in prison in the Cali system to work in the fields. Knock a year off their sentence for every season of picking.

Otis said...

"But it’s a conversation this nation can’t afford to not have, said Shadegg, a long-time advocate of the need in this country for a workable guest worker program. “The one we have now is unworkable.”"

Good grief how stupid is the GOP? There's a simple way they can appease their corporate owners without importing hordes of future tax-consuming democrats:

Why can't the pickers come, pick the crops, then leave? Why do they have to move to the U.S. and bring their 9 illiterate moron kids with them?

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps the Mennonites know how to do ag work that neither Americans or Mexicans can do..."

Not for $5/hour they don't.



I wonder about that. As a kid who worked full-time every summer really hard on that old family farm you always hear about, probably every year between age 13 and 18, I recall making a wage of $0. Never made any money at all. And it was pretty common. And it didn't bother me, never even occurred to me to even wonder about it. I guess people just considered it "learning to work".

So while I'm sure you can calculate Mennonite average hourly income based on the total sales of the colony and hours of labor, I'm not sure it means that much (and it might be surprisingly low), if their basic lifestyle is working on the farm because that's just what everyone does and if you do it you get by alright, everyone is happy, etc..

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I grew in Southern California, the Inland Empire and Orange county to be exact. The only black kid in majority hispanic school. The hispanic kids were the sons and daughters of migrant workers which became obvious because they always receive a free lunch. It was very common to see the school buses pick up kids in front of the mercados where their fathers stood to be picked up to go work on the farms. What I've learned from this experience beside spanish is, immigrants are here to stay. If America wanted to stick it to Mexico then we would export most of the agriculture businesses to Mexico. This would give Mexico a economic boost to employment but also an immigration problem on their southern borders too. It would make illegal drugs more expensive since farm land and laborers would be tied up harvesting alfalfa and brussel sprouts.It would keep more Mexicans in Mexico which in turn will save school districts money in providing breakfast and lunch to all the ninos. County and state welfare assistance would drop considerably along with gang participation. Its a win, win for both countries but growers are too afraid of buy Mexican politicians. We all know they come cheaper than American politicos.

Anonymous said...

grew in Southern California, the Inland Empire and Orange county to be exact.
The last time Mexicans were farm workers in the inland Empire and Orange County on a large scale was the 1960's, so you are talking about a long time ago. Most illegal immigrants in Orange County work in the resort district of Anaheim or service jobs and construction.

Anonymous said...

“Everyone I know, their workforce is all immigrant.” American workers, he says, want at least $14 an hour, but as the membership of his club has dropped by half since the recession, he says the club can’t afford to pay that rate. So he goes with a crew from El Salvador, most of whom earn $9 to $10 an hour, which he estimates saves the club $70,000 a year.

But, ultimately, isnt this cutting off the pipeline of future membership?

Who are all these Americans going to be who can afford to join?

Hunsdon said...

Speaking of shamelessness:

The language, which if successful would mark the first effort by House Republicans to provide any form of amnesty since the GOP took control of the House in 2010, has set off a panic among top immigration hawks that the effort could open an immigration Pandora’s box, paving the way for broader legislation.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/04/02/exclusive-house-republicans-secret-immigration-ploy

Anonymous said...

Is not rocket science here. Illegals work for cheap, they would take any job the longest it pays. In salinas california lettuce bowl of central Coast. Packaging companies like earth bound farm, dole, among others are notorious for hiring illegals. Ask juana gomez vice president of human resources at EBF. They dont follow E -verify, or keep regulations mandated from state and federal government. So who is at fault? The illegals working $10 an hour, or the corporations making profit. I invite anyone to inquire and make phone calls. To EBF. Or better yet let homeland security make a surprise inspection/audit.