August 30, 2006

YOU MEAN THE MINUTEMEN WON'T TAKE THE JOBS?:

Growers say fruit's ready, but workers are scarce (Joe Mullin, 8/30/06, Seattle Times)

Heinz Humann was late this year. Later than he's ever been.

His workers finished thinning out apple and pear trees to prepare for the harvest in mid-August. But they should have been finished a month earlier. The past few months, it's been tough for Humann to find enough workers for what he can afford to pay. He's had plenty of work, he says. But it seems there's no one willing to do it.

Add to that the other issues that hurt his bottom line, such as taxes and environmental regulations, and "I can see the writing on the wall," he says.

"We're doomed."

Like Humann, apple growers all over Washington this summer are complaining that a heated immigration debate in the U.S. has combined with a late cherry harvest to create a shortage of agricultural workers, perhaps the worst they've seen.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 30, 2006 7:38 AM
Comments

If it doesn't make sense for the US to produce its own cars, it makes even less sense to grow its own fruit.

Posted by: Daran at August 30, 2006 8:46 AM

You could produce cheap cars too if you hired immigrants.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2006 9:01 AM

"it's been tough for Humann to find enough workers for what he can afford to pay."

Translation: "Now that we're here we're not working. We're the new American Negro and we too have been misused and abused. You will pay and pay dearly."

Posted by: NC3 at August 30, 2006 9:26 AM

Why hasn't anyone developed a machine?

Posted by: Sandy P at August 30, 2006 11:41 AM

You could produce cheap cars too if you hired immigrants.

You must have been the guy who bought the Yugo.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 30, 2006 12:20 PM

Daran: Remember your ancient Roman history. Once they began to depend on the provinces for food the republic was doomed.

Posted by: Bartman at August 30, 2006 2:28 PM

Sloppy thinking. The minutemen, or someone else will take the jobs, but not at that wage. Looking the other way while certain industries operate outside the law amounts to a subsidy of those industries. Thus the true cost of, say, fresh fruit, is transferred from consumers of that fruit to rest of the economy.

The persistent refusal of both the open-borders gang and the nativists to submit this issue to economic analysis betrays the dishonesty of both sides. Everyone just stands around shouting slogans at one other without simply saying that the fruit is too cheap.

Posted by: Lou Gots at August 30, 2006 2:34 PM

The immigrants supply the labor at its true cost.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2006 2:42 PM

The immigrants supply the labor at its true cost.

John C. Calhoun and Nathan B. Forrest and their buddies thought the same sort of thing about their source of labor, too, while neglecting to take into account the long-term costs, let alone the costs to their society as a whole. But it's nice to see that their mindset is alive and well, ain't it?

What's especially amusing is when the people who normally have no problem with micromanaging businesses through regulation and taxation and lawsuits team up with the open borders crowd who want cheap, unregulated labor, but only for certain ethnicities. I'm still wondering as to why the AFL-CIO and Teamsters have avoided learning Spanish, 'cause when they finally do, we'll find out that the "true cost" of that labor ain't that cheap. (And not just in terms of money.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 30, 2006 3:20 PM

Lou: Sloppy thinking? Me? Mea culpa...

Posted by: Bartman at August 30, 2006 3:33 PM

What did they pay for the labor?

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2006 3:45 PM
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