Sunday, November 29, 2009

Unemployed Americans Won't Do AgJobs! Time for Immigration Reform!!

Over the past 20 years, the USA has lost Global and Domestic Agricultural Market Share to Foreign Competitors. Even though America has some of the richest farming lands in the world, America cannot staff sufficient number of Agjobs to harvest the crops grown in the USA. So instead, these agricultural markets and jobs are outsourced overseas.

The insufficient number of workers willing to perform AgJobs in America is continuing to dwindle. This is not an economic issue. American Workers simply DO NOT WANT to perform these jobs. The work is too hard. The wages too low.

Today, there are sufficient Latino Workers willing to immigrate, come as Guest Workers willing to do these jobs, the jobs they have performed for decades. But they WON'T COME! Why? Because of the Hate-Filled Era created by the AM Shock-Jocks like Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Hannity and Limbaugh.

Now, more than ever, it is important that we discuss and pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform in our Country. We should fix our broken processes, fix the backlog in the immigration courts, establish a path for legalization for those here felonious free, and most of all, end the era of Hate Crimes against Latinos and allow a Guest Worker program that works.

Guest Voz: Dick Joyce - owner - Sherwood -based Joyce Farms:
Dick Joyce's father started the family farm in 1910 and over the years sold everything from grain to dairy products, cattle and hazelnuts. During harvest, Joyce says, neighboring farmers would go from farm to farm with a community threshing machine to cut the grain.
When the Joyce farm grew to include cherry orchards, during harvest time the family bused in pickers from Portland's West Burnside Street, Joyce says. Most were "Anglos," he says, and a few were African Americans.
"Some people termed them as 'winos,' others as 'fruit tramps,'" Joyce says. "These guys would travel and follow the crops."
At other orchard, nursery and berry operations, women and children worked during summers to pick crops, Joyce says. When laws restricted children's work in agriculture, "the children didn't get training, they didn't get the incentive to work," he says.
And more Oregonians left the rural areas for city life, Joyce says. "Over time, as their economic situation improved, people were not interested in farm work."
In the 1980s, the state saw a rapid influx of Mexicans, who filled the hole in the labor market, Joyce says. "Nobody was displaced as a result of their coming."
Joyce, who has sold most of his land, now runs a 40-acre fruit tree nursery and a maintenance business. He employs about 20 permanent workers -- all Latinos. Many have worked for him for more than two decades, he says, and he now employs their children.
"Culturally, white Americans have moved away from agriculture, and it isn't a matter of money at all," Joyce says. "There's no amount of money that you can lay on the table to make them work."
Joyce hopes to see a change in immigration law that would tighten borders and allow farmworkers to gain legal status.
Monty Smith, former farmworker, Scio
Monty Smith has done farm work since he was 12. He has worked on horse ranches, dairy farms, berry farms, plus cattle, sheep and goat farms. His family, originally from Oklahoma, followed crops from state to state.
"I love farming; sometimes it's very rewarding," he says, "though it could be a real pain."
Smith, 38, says most of his family and neighbors have dropped out of agriculture. He lives in rural Linn County south of Salem, but none of his friends do farm work.
"Farming is just something the American people don't do anymore," he says.
Most of the time, Smith has worked with Latinos and was "the only white guy working." White, non-Latino Americans shy away from agriculture, he says, because of low pay.
"It seems to me like a lot of Oregon workers are looking for higher-pay jobs -- $11 to $12 an hour -- not minimum wage," Smith says. "It takes a lot for a person to raise their family, and farms don't pay that."
Farm work can mean eight- to 18-hour days, toiling in the scorching sun or cold rain, relocating and having little family time. And many farmers don't pay overtime.
Smith was a farmworker, he says, because he didn't have family obligations. (He separated from his wife eight years ago, and his two children live in Missouri.) But last spring he got a job as a heavy-equipment operator with Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, patching potholes and fixing water pipes. He doesn't plan to return to farm work.

Reference:
Stable farm labor seems elusive in global economy

25 comments:

ultima said...

aaI find this believable however the question is what is the right solution. It is clear that if one allows guest workers to become more than guests or more than temporary migrant workers, then they will ultimately have to be replaced with more guest workers as the originals also gravitate away from farm work in favor of construction or other higher paying jobs.

I say we grant temporary worker status to those already working in agriculture but to no others until a similar need is clearly demonstrated elsewhere after citizens have been offered a living wage and a hiring preference. Other illegals already here should be handled on a case by case basis after they and their employers have been identified using E-verify across the board for both current and new employees and for all employers public and private. We would soon get a grip on this problem.

In the meantime it might be wise to review
Roy Beck's illustration
of what has been our legal immigration tradition. It is not just the illegal aliens but the legal immigrants as well that are making our population swell beyond what is best for our country, our standard of living and our quality of life.

Dee said...

Ultima,
Let me get this straight. You would prefer that China and 3rd World Nations be the world's breadbasket vs the US because you do not want to increase the ratio of Latinos in America? That is wrong in so many ways.

The issue since the beginning of the world is, who will do the jobs the dominant class will not perform? From the times of the Romans (and before...) to now.

What has happened in America is we have found a group of people willing to come in, with the work ethic, willing to perform the job, then, with humane treatment, are willing to return home. In the 90's we changed that. We did not allow them to go home without causing penalty of no return. We did not establish a reasonable guest worker program.

I think we should reward them after xxx amount for them and their children to become citizens. It is all a matter of policy.

From my father's perspective, he wanted us to keep that work ethic. He did not want us to become lazy. He did not want us to take up and abuse drugs.

You know the feasibility of a reasonable plan is all possible if we first talk about it, agree upon it and pass it.

MMPete said...

Where is your proof of this?

"Today, there are sufficient Latino Workers willing to immigrate, come as Guest Workers willing to do these jobs, the jobs they have performed for decades. But they WON'T COME! Why? Because of the Hate-Filled Era created by the AM Shock-Jocks like Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Hannity and Limbaugh."

Ag workers only make up 2% of our workforce and there are endless visas for this type of work. We don't need to overhaul our entire immigration system and amnesty 20 million illegals for something there already is a solution for and for such a small portion of our workforce.

MMPete said...

I think you failed to understand Ultima's post. He didn't say that he objected only to population growth from Latinos. He said he objected to too much population growth in general. Why do you always make everything about Latinos? Sounds like you suffer from an unwarrented persecution complex. I don't understand this since you were born an American who has been successful in life.

pcorn54 said...

When he used Roy Beck's tainted statistics, NUMBERUSA being an off shoot of the John Tanton network of hate, he lost all credibility on the issue.

This article further explains the need for a common sense guest worker program

Obstructionists Divided over Proposed Migrant Workers Bill

American workers want to drive the tractors, but don't want to get their hands dirty

ultima said...

Dee wrote, "Let me get this straight. You would prefer that China and 3rd World Nations be the world's breadbasket vs the US because you do not want to increase the ratio of Latinos in America?"

It's funny no matter what the post actually says you are able to distort it so that it serves your purpose. I don't care what the ratio of Latinos is in the U.S. if they assimilate and sign on to the objective of a stable population. I prefer that the U.S. continue to be able to be its own breadbasket with enough arable land, water, fertilizer, machinery, etc. to feed its expanding population. That is quite different from your rendition. The ratio of Latinos is not important but the total population is. You see that objective as tinged with racism but in fact Latinos already here are becoming a larger and large proportion of our population so with or without a guest worker to citizen program, the ratio will continue to grow. I believe that flies in the face of your comment.

ultima said...

You might also be interested in this article which deals with a different segment of unemployed Americans but who are impacted.

ultima said...

You seemed to have missed my point entirely. My point deals with the question of population growth but I am also interested in providing a labor pool to meet the demonstrated needs of agriculture. The only way both objectives can be achieve is as I suggested: temporary migrant guest workers who return to their homeland when the harvest is in at the owners' expense with no chance for citizenship or permanent residency that would swell our population to a level none of us will like, a level that would require more workers to produce enough food to feed the rising population. There is or will be a natural limit to this process which one could call the "misery limit". That is when the population exceeds our ability to grow enough food, people will begin to say "why did we let this happen?" Isn't it better to say we don't want to even approach the "misery limit" and enact the correct policies now?

The problem is not related to who is the breadbasket of the world. We already import much of the food we eat: beef from Australia, fruit and vegetables from Latin America, etc. The problem is tax and immigration policies that permit us to husband our natural resources, maintain our standard of living and quality of life while honoring our historical tradition of admitting 200,000-250,000 new legal immigrants per year. How many guest workers can we permit vs. legal immigrants with higher level skills, e.g. a PhD student in engineering or science from Taiwan within that traditional quota?

ultima said...

I did not propose any limits on the legal and documented return of guest workers. If they are not here legally, then that is a different story. However, in that case we could provide them with credentials to enable their return if their ag employers can prove the need for their labor.

Vicente Duque said...

American Soils and People are the best producers of cereals and other foodstuffs, but America is losing the War of Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables.

California, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico are low rain areas - In some Areas of Latin America it never stops raining and labor is super cheap. Conclusion Markets triumph were conditions are better.

And White Americans don't want to pick up fruit ---- Is it the sun ??? ---- Is it Skin Cancer ??? --- Is it a biological or cultural difference ??? --- Why is it that Whites don't pick up fruit ??

And kicking out that 50% of "Illegal Aliens" ( or extragalactics ) will improve the American Agriculture or the American Economy ???, and the table of the average American will be better served with delicatessen from the garden ???


Youth, Minorities, Politics :

Milenials.com

Vicente Duque

MMPete said...

I stated pretty much the same thing Ultima but for some reason my comments weren't posted. You are correct that it doesn't matter what the ethnic makeup of our population is it is about the overall numbers of our population growth. You never said otherwise.

Why should we have an immigration reform based on our agricultural worker needs when there already is a generous and mostly unused visa program for that?

As for whites not wanting to be out in the sun picking fruit and veggies well yes skin color is one of the factors. I am very white and burn very easily. Even doctors will tell you it is not healthy to stay out in the sun for long periods of time especially if you are very light skinned. Skin cancer is nothing to scoff at. But the main reason that most white folk won't do agricultural work is because it doesn't pay enough to support a middle class lifestyle and as many other physical labor jobs the body can only last so many years doing that kind of work. Most whites today opt for an education and a good paying career in the cities. It has nothing to do with laziness which a couple of posters here are implying.

As I said, for Ag jobs there are nearly unlimited visas for those jobs to bring in legal immigrants for those jobs already. The farmers have bypassed the proper channels and laws for more profit.

As

ultima said...

El Duque wrote, "Why is it that Whites don't pick up fruit ??"

Do you pick fruit for a living? I have picked cherries in Utah, potatoes and cucumbers in Wisconsin. That kind of labor is hard; no one wants to do it unless they have to or not qualified to do anything else. I repeat, "Do you pick fruit for a living?"

ultima said...

El Duque wrote, "And kicking out that 50% of "Illegal Aliens" ( or extragalactics ) will improve the American Agriculture..."

I guess you didn't read my post. I suggested a guest worker program to accommodate our precise needs for agricultural labor. Several of my best friends were farmers.

ultima said...

El Duque wrote, "America is losing the War of Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables.

California, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico are low rain areas - In some Areas of Latin America it never stops raining and labor is super cheap. Conclusion Markets triumph were conditions are better."

So I guess we should bring all the world's population here because this is where the markets are. What will that do to the markets eventually when no one can afford imported produce?

ultima said...

pcorn wrote, "When he used Roy Beck's tainted statistics.."

I guess I missed something in your post. I don't see any evidence that Beck's stats are tainted. They are either correct or not. You didn't seem to deal with that simpler question. Don't shoot the messenger!

ultima said...

pcorn wrote, "This article further explains the need for a common sense guest worker program"

That is exactly what I proposed, a common sense guest worker program. I guess it depends on which sided of the border you come from.

ultima said...

pcorn wrote, "American workers want to drive the tractors, but don't want to get their hands dirty"

I suspect they are no different from you in that regard. As I wrote above, no body wants to do agricultural stoop labor if they are qualified to do something better. It has nothing to do with skin color or ethnicity.

ultima said...

pcorn wrote, "This article further explains the need for a common sense guest worker program"

Of course, we all can agree on that but your common sense may not be shared with millions of other Americans. Why not assuage the worries of farmers by making the foreign laborers elibible for agricultural jobs only not for construction, etc. that syphons away the laboe supply.

Vicente Duque said...

Keeping a watch on Racists and Right Wing Extremists :


Mike Huckabee commuted sentence of man tied to police slayings

By SCOTT GUTIERREZ, MICHELLE NICOLOSI and ERIC NALDER
SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
November 30, 2009

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/412737_suspect230.html

Some excerpts :

The suspect in the slaying of four police officers was released from an Arkansas prison nine years ago after a controversial decision by then-Gov. Mike Huckabee to commute his sentence.

Maurice Clemmons, 37, was identified late Sunday by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office as a man sought for questioning . Clemmons has pending charges in Pierce County Superior Court for second-degree child rape and third-degree assault for an attack on a police officer. He was released from custody in those cases after posting a $150,000 bond, according to the Lakewood Police Department.

Long before coming to Washington, Clemmons was serving a 35-year prison term in Arkansas for armed robbery but his sentence was commuted by then-Gov. Huckabee, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in his 2008 presidential bid, according to the Arkansas Times Web site.

Raciality.com

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

MMPete wrote, "But they WON'T COME! Why? Because of the Hate-Filled Era created by the AM Shock-Jocks like Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Hannity and Limbaugh."

These so-called shock jocks may use intemperate language where others would choose a more moderate expression of their views. Nevertheless, their point of view deserves expression and discussion because there is always a kernel of truth in even the most hyperbolic of statements.

Since a million illegals have been flooding into this country for years and all during that time the shock jocks were in full sway, it is hard to see how they can be held to blame for any labor shortage. Isn't more likely that the economy which has received plenty of publicity around the world and through the grapevine has convinced some that now is not the right time to be coming here?

The number of illegals in our population has increased from 1 million in 1986 at the time of that amnesty to 12 million in 2009, both numbers of which may be understated. The compound rate of increase during that 23 year period can be calculated as: ln(12/1)= t ln(1 + r) where t = 23 years. (ln(12/1))/23) = 2.48/23 = 0.108 = ln(1 + r) and Exp (0.108) = Exp (1 +r) = 1.1141 so r = an 11.41% per year compound rate of growth. ( Check: 1 million x 1.1141^23 = 12 million) What does that mean? Well, among other things if we allow this rate to continue, by 2050 there would be 12 million x 1.1141^41 or 1 billion illegal aliens in this country. Of course, we could sweep that under the carpet by granting amnesty every few years so those affected would not be counted as illegals. That number is so large that the number of legal immigrants arising from the basic quota and the related chain immigrations becomes almost meaningless. I don't think anyone is actually predicting that kind of growth by 2050 but it is possible, especially since the census bureau high series estmate for the end of the century is more like 1.3 billion rather than 0.6 billion. I really don't see how that kind of explosive growth will improve our standard of living or quality of life. More likely it will cause those two measures to be more like those in the donor countries, bringing us into equilibrium with those donor countries in terms of disease, poverty, joblessness, shortages of raw materials, minerals, food, arable land, and water. Not my cup of tea. Please feel free to check my math.

ultima said...

MMPete "there are endless visas for this type of work. We don't need to overhaul our entire immigration system and amnesty 20 million illegals".

Although I am not an expert on all types of visas, I believe MMPete is right about this. The farmers just don't want to be bothered with the rules which would be better for the guest workers. They would rather not have to bother with any rules or procedures or paperwork.

All those who want to help guest workers should be in favor of holding the feet of employers to fire so those workers are treated better than serfs.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

It is only a matter of time before all farming is mostly mechanized. The need for hand labor is going to diminish as it already has for almost every other type of work.

Furthermore, almost all immigrants want to make more money than they can earn in agriculture...just the same as U.S. citizens. They want jobs in government, such as at the post office, or jobs in construction, that pay well but don't require a high level of education. But, that class of worker is exactly the same as the U.S. citizen class of worker that is today begging for work. They are the middle class that is disappearing and to make matters worse, they have to compete with non-citizens, including millions of illegal immigrants.

Do you really believe the majority of Americans are ready to open their arms to millions of people who may be competing for their bread and butter?

Anonymous said...

Gee, Dee one of your "persons of color" heroes has gone bad! Tiger Woods is an adulter. Why no blogging about this story? Oh, that's right you never blog about any negativities about minorities, only white people and Republicans.

Vicente Duque said...

"I Travel for Jools" said :

"It is only a matter of time before all farming is mostly mechanized. The need for hand labor is going to diminish as it already has for almost every other type of work."

First, the article says that some Agribusiness can't pay for more mechanization. They have no capital or loans.

Second, This is not true for flowers, vegetable gardens, special foliages, nursery plants.

And there are some fruits that are special delicatessen and need a lot of labor.

In industries like mushrooms, truffes, champignons, etc .... you need a lot of labor and people. They work with a lot of horse manure and straw that has to be sprayed with horse urine, etc...

You always need the pick-up trucks and people loadig and unloading them.

In other words you need labor.

Racial Relations and Conflicts :

Raciality.com

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

We should be guided by the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson

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