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Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries: Left of Center View

Migrant Farm Workers, finally we get to the real heart of the immigration issue. These folks are the stereotypical illegal immigrants. These are the people that strike the fear into Ben Davis covered hearts across the land. Which is funny because if you think about it for a moment these folks are on the very bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder. These are the people that aspire to dishwashing positions at Denny’s, perhaps if they dare to dream *gasp* busboy.

Migrant farm workers are a fantastic political speaking point, but let’s be honest here cracking down on illegal immigration by targeting migrant farm workers is like trying to end gang warfare by putting one more cop in a doughnut shop nine blocks away. Sure it might do a little something, but it’s not really going to fix the problem.

So what is the problem? Well in laymen’s terms the problem is that for most of these folks, Life pretty much sucks. They are willing to allow themselves to be exploited, willing to live in conditions that frankly we hold telethons to combat when they happen in other countries, all for the chance at a better life.

Because, as long as there are Republicans and televisions, there always has to be a direct tie-in as to why this particular issue should both scare and outrage you into doing whatever will make them and their friends the most money or give them the most power over the rest of us, we have to worry about how this will effect the cost of produce.

First and foremost our entire agricultural system needs a complete overhaul. The some of the nation’s richest “farmers” are being paid NOT to grow anything. Think about that for a minute. And yes I’m sure there are various reasons for this, like it’s easier. But come on, if we can justify attacking other nations on the basis of “Democracy” and “Free trade”, then we can sure as hell practice a bit of that principal at home. You want to get paid – do something. Let’s end welfare for corporations and wealthy individuals before we start attacking their employees.

As for the price of produce, well that’s going up whether or not you increase the wages we pay migrant workers. Gas prices alone will cause produce costs to rise. But here’s a little dose of reality for you, Corporations will always charge as much as they can possibly get away with for whatever it is they are trying to sell, while at the same time trying to spend as little in the process. As long as corporate executives are allowed to reward themselves without restriction, prices and profits will be increased at all costs. Ok so not really profits since CEO’s who pay themselves $30 million in “retention incentives” partially do so to ensure that the company doesn’t actually show a profit and have to pay taxes on said profit. But you get the point, prices will rise. That is reality, so why not spread the wealth around a bit so that a migrant worker can actually afford to eat the fruits of their labor.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column.

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Next week's subject: Free Trade vs. Fair Trade

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Last Week's View from the Left:
What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Multiculturalism and the Holidays
Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?
Amnesty and Elections
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Terrorists at the Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Diplomacy And Immigration
Gangs; Importing Criminals
Archives by Date




Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries: Right of Center View

We need migrant farm workers. Like it or not our agriculture industry depends on migrant farm workers to keep our food affordable. Some within the amnesty ranks would have you believe that this means we need to let them just come and go in and out of America as they please. While we do need them, we don’t need them that way. There is a way to have them here without giving them carte blanche to come and go in and out of America as they please.

President Bush and other like-minded folks in Washington have proposed a plan that would address the issue in a way that makes sense for both our farmers and the workers. They have proposed a guest worker program that would allow these people to come into the country to work and earn money while not granting them permanent status. Our government can then keep track of them and they can pursue work here in America to help them to feed and clothe their families. This should be acceptable to all parties but it seems there are some who just don’t get it.

Arguments against the plan range from the liberals talking about unfair working conditions and lower than minimum wage pay to conservatives calling this an invasion of immigrants bent on forcing their presence upon the American people. Wake up folks! George W. Bush may have made some pretty big mistakes over the last seven years but this plan was not one of them. The plan is the right idea for dealing with the needs of the workers looking for jobs in America, the farmers looking for reasonably priced labor and the consumers who don’t want to pay ten dollars a basket for strawberries because the farmers had to pay unskilled workers seven to ten dollars an hour to pick fruit in addition to paying the outrageous prices at the pump to get their wares to market.

We don’t need to have a flood of undocumented immigrants across our borders but we do need some people coming in to perform work that our own citizens are not interested in doing. The cost of living in Mexico makes it not unfair at all to pay the migrant workers less than minimum wage and I challenge you to find more than a handful of Americans willing to work all day picking fruit in the summer heat of California’s central valley. By regulating the flow of immigrants and coordinating with the employers who want to hire them the government keeps us safer and makes sure that we have the things we eat and drink at a reasonable price.

So if you want to fight the guest worker program don’t come crying to me when you’re paying five bucks for an orange because the farmer had to pay some kid eight bucks an hour, give him health insurance and a 401k plan to pick them. Don’t complain when potatoes cost as much as a good steak because they got more expensive to harvest. Heaven knows we just couldn’t have those darned Mexicans in our fields picking fruits and vegetables (that none of us want to pick) posing some phantom threat to our way of life. God forbid we do something that makes sense in America.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Free Trade vs. Fair Trade

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

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Last Week's View from the Right:
What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Multiculturalism and the Holidays
Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?
Amnesty and Elections
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Enemies At The Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Diplomacy and Immigration
Gangs; Importing Criminals
Archives by Date

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally “The Race” in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isn’t really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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