Saturday, June 25, 2011

This is what happens when the government decides to get tough on the Mexican onion-pickers who are taking American jobs

Are you irritated by people who were born outside of the lines of latitude and longitude that you think of as your own? 
If someone was born on the oppositite side of an insignificant river from you, do you support laws to keep them from working on "your" side of the river? 
Do you want to get tough on our nation's onion-pickers, blueberry harvesters (and my forklift drivers) because their mothers birthed them in places that maps paint in a different color from your place? 
Do you want to keep Mexicans from doing jobs that you personally would try to avoid? 
In short, are you an asshole? 

I believe that the governor of Georgia can answer "yes" to all of these questions.

Here's Jay Bookman:
After enactment of House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.

It might almost be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
The resulting manpower shortage has forced state farmers to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.
Barely a month ago, you might recall, Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed HB 87 into law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal was forced to order a hasty investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed, as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him.
Well, if the Massey-Ferguson, Case, Kubota and Ford tractor dealers ever convince some government bureaucrat to outlaw John Deere tractors, we're going to have a tractor shortage.  If the bureaucrat is surprised by the "unexpected" shortage, you shouldn't be surprised - they generally have the density of cinderblocks.

(Go here for a glorious compilation of headlines using the word "unexpected" bureaucratic misunderstandings of cause and effect.)

So what solution did Governor Deal propose for those having to deal with his crisis? 
“The agriculture industry is the number one economic engine in Georgia and it is my sincere hope to find viable and law-abiding solutions to the current problem our farmers face,” Deal said in announcing the findings. In the meantime, Deal proposes that farmers try to hire the 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia.

I propose that Governor Deal try out a few of those 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers in his own workforce, and let us all know how that works out for him.  1,500 of them were probably locked up because of his anti-marijuana laws.  Trying to solve the farmers' labor problem with the victims of his Drug War problem is nothing but a recipe for another problem. 
If you're going to harvest crops like onions and blueberries, you have to be in incredibly good shape. 

Governor Deal would probably get better result by putting the ex-cons to work in the Georgia Department Of Motor Vehicles or the Georgia Highway Patrol.  Ex-cons, at least the ones who work for me, are usually very polite. 
Here's where Jay Bookman goes off the rails:
It’s hard to envision a way out of this. Georgia farmers could try to solve the manpower shortage by offering higher wages, but that would create an entirely different set of problems. If they raise wages by a third to a half, which is probably what it would take, they would drive up their operating costs and put themselves at a severe price disadvantage against competitors in states without such tough immigration laws. That’s one of the major disadvantages of trying to implement immigration reform state by state, rather than all at once.

Bookman is deeply and profoundly wrong.  That's not a bug, it's a feature. 

New York legalized gay'n'lesbian marriage yesterday.  Because of its Southern Baptist infestation, Georgia is unlikely to do so anytime soon.  New York companies wanting to hire talented workers who just happen to be born gay or lesbian now have an advantage over Georgia companies.  The solution is for Georgia to get rid of its handicaps, not inflict similar disadvantages over New York. 

Texas doesn't have immigration laws as "tough" as those in Georgia.  Texans wanting to hire talented Canadians or Albanians now have an advantage over their Georgia counterparts.
Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, seems to be mentally stable.  Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, doesn't.  Indiana now has that advantage over Texas. 

Giving states the ability to try things out and experiment with different policies is a good thing.  When voters see that their policies have unintended consequences, they can change those policies. But without a "control group" in another state, they can't see the differences. 

Bookman gets back on track in his last few paragraphs.  His last sentence is brilliant:
The pain this is causing is real. People are going to lose their crops, and in some cases their farms. The small-town businesses that supply those farms with goods and services are going to suffer as well. For economically embattled rural Georgia, this could be a major blow.

In fact, with a federal court challenge filed last week, you have to wonder whether state officials aren’t secretly hoping to be rescued from this mess by the intervention of a judge. But given how the Georgia law is drafted and how the Supreme Court ruled in a recent case out of Arizona, I don’t think that’s likely.

We’re going to reap what we have sown, even if the farmers can’t.
Ok, that's all for today.  I have a crew of 30 bad-assed Mexicans to keep busy.  They are great, great people.  Georgia's loss is my gain. 

The picture of the Mexican migrant workers stealing American cucumber-picking jobs came from here.   The map showing the arbitrary lines and coastal borders where immigrants aren't welcome came from here.   The "No Deal" pic came from this Facebook page.   My boss who wants me to work on this beautiful Saturday morning came from Juarez Mexico. 


Hot Sam said...

Who picked the crops before the illegal aliens came?

Something tells me they were people who are currently wards of the state.

Convicted felons released from prison need jobs.

Those lines are not at all arbitrary. On one side of those lines, people pay taxes and are endowed with the rights of citizenship. The people on the other side of that line do not.

EVERY country on the planet enforces their immigration laws, including Mexico. It seems there are only two countries on the face of the planet that are criticized for doing so: Israel and the US.

Very few otherwise law-abiding citizens of the US would even consider moving to a foreign country, taking a job, and demanding rights and entitlements of citizens of that nation. Very few of us would demand that Sweden, France, Japan, or Albania have their ATMs, their hospitals, their DMVs, etc. provide English translation for everything.

No American would ever reasonably expect to be caught living, working, or driving illegally in ANY foreign country and NOT be punished and deported.

I'm not saying that the human rights acknowledged in the US Constitution are not deserved by every Homo Sapiens on the planet. They deserve those rights on the patch of dirt upon which their mother dropped their screaming naked butts.

As a nation, we have the right, power, and privilege to control movement across our border, and to regulate commerce - including who is lawfully entitled to work in this nation. Regulation of commerce and immigration are actually two of the specified powers we DID give our Congress.

I don't bear any hatred for people who want to come here to work hard, but they have an obligation to do so legally, just like we would if we chose to go to a foreign country to work. They are criminals - not the worst of criminals, but criminals nonetheless. I'd love to trade slovenly Americans to Mexico for hard-working Mexicans. But hasn't it occurred to you that Mexico and their socialist welfare state are encouraging these people to come here? Some towns in Mexico rely almost entirely on money sent home from America.

If we didn't have a 10% unemployment rate and millions more who have dropped out of the labor force, perhaps I wouldn't mind "importing" more cheap labor.

If they don't pay taxes, they are thieves of public goods and services. If they do pay taxes, then they are identity thieves of US citizens.

The IRS receives only 6 million ITIN returns. I'll wager that almost all of them are from LEGAL residents.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

My main point here is that every law, every political act, every regulation has intended consequences and unintended consequences. Legislators better be prepared for both.

My second point is that the main determinant of a life of relative pleasure vs. total misery is the lines of latitude and longitude where you are born.

That ain't right.

Hope you're doing well !!!