October 4, 2006

Pearapundit Debunks Pearanoia

Last week, I started looking into the Great Pear Picking Crisis of 2006 -- CNN had picked up an NYT sob story about how pear growers were saying there weren't enough illegal aliens to pick the pear crop this year no matter how much money they offered. Then, Senators Feinstein and Craig tried to use the Pear Crisis to wedge a Guest Peasant program into the Senate's border fence bill. Fortunately, that amendment went nowhere, so I dropped the issue.

Now, Parapundit has followed it up and finds about what you'd expect based on the fact that a good year for crops tends to be a bad year for farmers. When the harvest is abundant, prices go down and the cost of hiring enough labor to pick all the extra fruit goes up. Growers argue that whenever one of these years occurs, they should be allowed to import a bunch of extra peasants to pick their surplus crops. Of course, the peasants won't go home when the harvest is over, and after a few years won't do harvesting anymore, so then the farmers want to be allowed to bring in more peasants. Exactly why our 21st Century economy as a whole needs these injections of peasants is never explained.

This is just like the Great Nurse Shortage that I've been reading about in the newspapers since I started reading newspapers about in 1970. Funny, isn't it, how all the claims in those articles that we need to import more nurses come from doctors and hospital administrators rather than from American nurses?

Libertarian economist Arnold Kling of George Mason falls for Pearanoia hook, line, and sinker. (Don't miss the comments.) Don't economics professors teach in Econ 101 that shortages can't occur in a market economy? Oh, yeah, I forgot, the principles of economics mysteriously don't apply to immigration.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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