Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jobs Americans won't do

Rich Lowry says:

.......Take agriculture. Phillip Martin, an economist at the University of California, Davis, has demolished the argument that a crackdown on illegals would ruin it, or be a hardship to consumers. Most farming — livestock, grains, etc. — doesn't heavily rely on hired workers. Only about 20 percent of the farm sector does, chiefly those areas involving fresh fruit and vegetables.

The average "consumer unit" in the U.S. spends $7 a week on fresh fruit and vegetables, less than is spent on alcohol, according to Martin. On a $1 head of lettuce, the farm worker gets about 6 or 7 cents, roughly 1/15th of the retail price. Even a big run-up in the cost of labor can't hit the consumer very hard.

Martin recalls that the end of the bracero guest-worker program in the mid-1960s caused a one-year 40 percent wage increase for the United Farm Workers Union. A similar wage increase for legal farm workers today would work out to about a 10-dollar-a-year increase in the average family's bill for fruit and vegetables. Another thing happened with the end of the bracero program: The processed-tomato industry, which was heavily dependent on guest workers and was supposed to be devastated by their absence, learned how to mechanize and became more productive.

So the market will manage with fewer illegal aliens. In agriculture, Martin speculates that will mean technological innovation in some sectors (peaches), and perhaps a shifting to production abroad in others (strawberries). There is indeed a niche for low-skill labor in America. The question is simply whether it should be filled by illegal or temporary Mexicans workers, or instead by legal immigrants and Americans, who can command slightly higher wages. The guest-worker lobby prefers the former option.

3 Comments:

Blogger Randy said...

Jobs americans woln't do ?

The big Bush statement!

I got one answer for that, who did the jobs before illegals did them, American citizens that's who....

The reason for the illegals is a much lower pay rate and a larger profit for the farmer.

This is what Bush supports. Big business, not the worker.

I say start shipping the illegals back all of them. Increase the border guards now, not in the next 10 years a thousand a year.

I worked as a guard on the border. We were told not to stop the people comming across by foot but to look for the trucks and vans where people were making money for bringing them across. Again money is the issue not the illegals.

Mony is always the issue with this government.

Our society is money based. What a shame !!!!

12:12 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Millan said...

Money is always it with all of us, Randy. We are never going to ship 12 million back. But we do need to control the border. Until we do that, everything else is a waste of time.

1:02 PM  

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