THE FALLACY – ” ILLEGALS ARE GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY “

Studies over and over again offer empirical evidence that illegals and temporary workers are responsible for the lower wages of American farm workers and those in tech. Farmers who rely on illegals and temporary workers to do the dirty work are cheating Americans out of higher paying jobs. The contrary view is that Americans won’t do these backbreaking laborious jobs. How do they know? Have they done scientific studies to prove otherwise? Where are they.

We propose and put forward a challenge to those who deceive and constantly fabricate the truth.  Apple growers are the first to complain that Americans won’t pick apples, that the job is too hard for them.

From the Seattle Times:   At an orchard near Zillah in the Yakima Valley, a sign in Spanish reads, “pickers wanted.” A farm-labor shortage is leaving apples unpicked at the height of the harvest.

Growers mostly blame rising tensions around illegal immigration that have spooked migrant farm workers, the majority of whom are here illegally, while worker advocates say there’d be no shortage if growers were willing to pay workers more.

 “Truth be told, we’ve always had a labor shortage in this state; 75 percent of these workers aren’t authorized to be here,” said Dan Fazio, director of the Washington Farm Labor Association.

The crux of the matter is that farmers, apple, grape, nut or vegetable, who seek to hire labor for back-breaking work fail to understand the workings of the capitalistic system. Wages are set by the unconstrained demands of a free market; this means that they must operate according to our current system of laws. However, they don’t comply with them, therefore they are guilty of theft and federal and state labor laws.

Construction jobs are a good comparison. If a laborer with the minimal skill required to work in construction commands $25 per hour and is hired at that level, that then becomes the floor. If, then the grower has to compete in this market he must ante up $25 to meet the demand for a general laborer. If few people apply, then a higher starting rate has to be offered. Supply will eventually equal demand, but this is hard for the farmer to digest.

The farmer complains that their profits will suffer, workers will have to be laid off. Now that strikes us as an oxymoron. Businesses that face higher costs must adapt, if not, they have to face the consequences. The same should apply to farmers, instead of complaining perhaps they would be better off producing a different higher margin product. The apple grower is always touting that no one will buy apples at $4 or $5 a pound; have they tried it. The lettuce producer says that a market for $3 lettuce doesn’t exist – we disagree.  Of course less demand will persist,  but the farmer will find a way to eek out a profit. When temporary and illegal workers abound the end produc does not reflect market prices, but subsidized ones.

So when Trump says we will build a wall, this is good for wage growth in the farming community. Americans will apply for jobs in agriculture if the price to attract them to menial labor is high enough. Don’t fall for the farmer who is only out for his own good by hiring illegals while Americans with a desire to work lose the opportunity because the farmer will not pay what the market demands. Let their crops rot in the field, vine and tree. 

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