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Thread: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

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    Re: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    Except if hiring illegals to do work no American wants to do keeps prices low so consumers can spend more money elsewhere
    Legal and illegal labor has little impact on prices. So the tomatoes will be 5 dollars a pounds is nothing more than fear mongering by pro-illegals.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...mprices19.html
    More than 7 million illegal immigrants work in the United States. They build houses, pick crops, slaughter cattle, stitch clothes, mow lawns, clean hotel rooms, cook restaurant meals and wash the dishes that come back.

    You might assume that the plentiful supply of low-wage illegal workers would translate into significantly lower prices for the goods and services they produce. In fact, their impact on consumer prices — call it the "illegal-worker discount" — is surprisingly small.

    The bag of Washington state apples you bought last weekend? Probably a few cents cheaper than it otherwise would have been, economists estimate. That steak dinner at a downtown restaurant? Maybe a buck off. Your new house in Subdivision Estates? Hard to say, but perhaps a few thousand dollars less expensive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A decade ago, two Iowa State University agricultural economists estimated that removing all illegal farmworkers would raise wages for seasonal farmworkers by 30 percent in the first couple of years, and 15 percent in the medium term.

    But supermarket prices of summer-fall fruits and vegetables, they concluded, would rise by just 6 percent in the short run — dropping to 3 percent over time, as imports took up some of the slack and some farmers mechanized their operations or shifted out of labor-intensive crops. (Winter-spring produce would be even less affected, they found, because so much already is imported.)

    If illegal workers disappeared from the apple harvest and wages for the remaining legal workers rose by 40 percent in response — and that entire wage increase were passed on to the consumer — that still would add less than 3 cents to the retail price of a pound of apples.
    and allows food to be produced in the United States and even forms part of your exports, then it would actually have the same effect as a... TAX CUT!

    This does no good if Americans are not making those goods.
    Last edited by jamesrage; 10-06-11 at 10:15 AM.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Actually, I agree with Tigger. We should make government assistance contingent on people doing stuff, even if the work is unpleasant. This sort of assistance should be a last ditch thing after other mitigation efforts for unemployment or underemployment have failed.
    I totally agree with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    However, we should also be educating these peoples in new trades as well.
    We need to be educating them more in the idea that there is no such thing as "A job I wouldn't do instead of taking government assistance."

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    Re: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

    Had a system been set up so that farmers could obtain visas for workers fairly easily and those hiring illegally had been facing prison time, this problem would not be occurring and immigrants would have been paying taxes while they were working here all along. They would have also had the protections that workers in the US are guaranteed.

    I saw a clip on FoxNews (one of the things in front of treadmills at my gym) that was trying to make this shortage the Democrats fault. Failing to put in a system to allow farmers easier access to workers' visas before passing laws like the Tea Party has managed to get passed in several states has caused this problem. This inability to see potential problems and plan for solutions to those problems before implementing their austerity and immigration plans is the biggest reason I do not want the Tea Party to determine how cuts are made.

    For those saying this is nothing more than lazy Americans not willing to work, go get a 40 pound (18.15 kg) kettle bell and lift it from the floor to a kitchen counter top for 12 hours then set it back on the floor and start over - and tell us how long you were actually able to do it.
    Last edited by Frolicking Dinosaurs; 10-06-11 at 10:29 AM. Reason: typo
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    Re: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Just checked the department of labor website, to see what they're offering in my state.
    So far it's $9.12 an hour, which is a hair more a week than unemployment (like $34 give or take).

    So who here wants to go plant and pull crops, in the heat and/or cold, getting filthy, all the while wearing your back out?
    That's soooo much more attractive, than sitting on your duff collecting a check from the state.
    You could probably find a job in the city that involves a lot less manual labor that pays close to $9.25 an hour.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

    Quote Originally Posted by Frolicking Dinosaurs View Post
    Had a system been set up so that farmers could obtain visas for workers fairly easily and those hiring illegally had been facing prison time, this problem would not be occurring and immigrants would have been paying taxes while they were working here all along. They would have also had the protections that workers in the US are guaranteed.
    Which would mostly end the reasons they were hired in the first place.

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    Re: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

    Quote Originally Posted by Frolicking Dinosaurs View Post
    Had a system been set up so that farmers could obtain visas for workers fairly easily and those hiring illegally had been facing prison time, this problem would not be occurring and immigrants would have been paying taxes while they were working here all along. They would have also had the protections that workers in the US are guaranteed.
    We don't need a system to bring in foreigners. We have plenty of people not doing anything right here in the United States.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frolicking Dinosaurs View Post
    For those saying this is nothing more than lazy Americans not willing to work, go get a 40 pound (18.15 kg) kettle bell and lift it from the floor to a kitchen counter top for 12 hours then set it back on the floor and start over - and tell us how long you were actually able to do it.
    If it meant the difference between starving to death and eating, I'd get through it. So would most Americans, given that set of options. Maybe it's time for Americans to toughen back up again. We've become the fat, lazy, worthless slobs for long enough. Time to either put up or shut up again.

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    Re: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Pay more, it's that simple.
    Is it? When the farmers pay more, they probably have to charge more. Which makes them less competitive with farmers in other states that use immigrant labor. An easy response to that (although a very difficult thing to actually achieve) is to pass similar legislation everywhere. But then you still have the problem of higher-priced farm goods. I guess if there are more people earning a fair wage that might not be a huge issue, but I certainly wouldn't describe the issue as "simple."
    (avatar by Thomas Nast)

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    Re: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Pay more, it's that simple.
    add in lower welfare payments and you'll see more assholes and elbows.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

    So... how many of y'all are capable of farm labor?

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    Re: Farmers Strain to Hire American in Place of Migrant Labor

    Quote Originally Posted by MKULTRABOY View Post
    So... how many of y'all are capable of farm labor?
    I'm retired, but I this woman has baled / put away hay, picked fruit & veggies and wrestled a front-tine tiller in her younger years.
    I don't want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was wedding between the religious fundamentalists and political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it. ~ Billy Graham in Parade magazine February 1, 1981.

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