Thursday, June 23, 2011

So, who will pick the fruit? | Local news, sports, weather, blogs, opinion, crime, obituaries, business, directory, marketplace, education, high school, family, shopping, arts, entertainment, movies, books, cooking, auto, real estate, jobs, classifieds, photos, videos, comics, contests, and mountain pass webcams from Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Chelan, Leavenworth, Waterville, Cashmere, Quincy, Entiat, North Central Washington newspaper

So, who will pick the fruit? | Local news, sports, weather, blogs, opinion, crime, obituaries, business, directory, marketplace, education, high school, family, shopping, arts, entertainment, movies, books, cooking, auto, real estate, jobs, classifieds, photos, videos, comics, contests, and mountain pass webcams from Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Chelan, Leavenworth, Waterville, Cashmere, Quincy, Entiat, North Central Washington newspaper

The governor suggests farmers hire out-of-work criminal probationers, as there are several thousand sitting around. Advocates for the probationers (there are always advocates) say you can’t make them take those lousy jobs. Crops will be lost.

This should give us some idea of what happens when we pursue an enforcement-only approach to immigration, without regard to the consequences. If you kick out the immigrants and leave it at that, as many want us to do, you will find out why those people were here in the first place. They came to work, inhaled by the economic vacuum to do jobs the rest of us don’t need or want. A lot of those involve harvesting the food we eat.

Blaming farmers and “big agriculture” and telling them to keep raising wages until they attract workers is excruciatingly naive. Farmers don’t set the price for their product. Higher wages have to come out of their profits, such as they are. There are limits and most farmers are probably pretty close to the edge already. Not even in America can we pay workers more than the economic value their labor produces, not for long anyway.

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