We Can't Ignore Agriculture, feat. Critique of AmerDaugh
Joe: thanks for keeping track of all these
now, we cannot leave US agriculture out of a discussion about Mexican immigrants and the American economy.
US agriculture has never operated according to the free market. It was quick to become addicted to slave labor, and if that was it's heroine, than Latin America's cheap labor is it's methadone. This has been the case for at least 100 years, and regardless of the on-again-off-again nature of US policy, generations of people have come here and spend time here working the land.
On the other hand (and maybe I wasn't clear before) in most cases, farmers work on very tight profit margins. They CAN't pay more. If they paid higher rates, the cost of producing a crop would exceed its market value.
The only way to increase wages in these sorts of jobs would be to increase government subsidies even more (make tax payers pay for the wage increases), or let food prices shoot up (make consumers pay)
both of these options seem untenable. In the later case, the negative economic consequences could be more severe than anything brought on by the recent influx of immigrants. What happens to US agriculture when imported food is cheaper than the domestic stuff? (hint: it's happening to Mexico right now)
now, with regards to American Daughter, all of the above is implicit in the statement, "Immigrants take jobs that Americans will not do." What AD calls a myth is in reality an uncomfortable economic fact. She mentions developing new technology to perform the same tasks, but that wouldn't open up jobs for Americans, it'd just replace immigrants with robots! Unfortunately, most of the rest of her post consists of a tirade about perceived liberal bias in the media:
the reporter uses a passive verb form, saying that they have been loaded onto the buses. This conjures the impression, not proven, that they were treated like cargo rather than humans.
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