Oppressed Migrant Workers are Good for Democrats

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 26th, 2010

Farm Labor is Hard

Ever drive through the Midwest during a harvest season?  See the acres of wheat, corn and soybeans?  And the migrant workers to harvest those crops?  Well, no.  You don’t.  What you typically see is a mechanical harvester (such as a combine that cuts, threshes and cleans grain) and a mechanical collection bin (like a dump truck).  Instead of an army of migrant workers, you typically see two pieces of equipment and two drivers.

We call it advancement.  Modern farmers invest capital into machinery to mechanize their farms.  Sure, some don’t like it.  Modernization.  It reminds me of an anecdote an old friend of mine told me once.  He was operating a ditch-digging machine (like a big chain saw with wide blades that slices a narrow trench into the ground).  He was working at a municipal facility.  An older union employee was watching him with disgust.  Eventually, he spoke up.  He said, “You know how many men you and that machine are putting out of work?”

You ever dig a ditch?  It’s back-breaking work.  Manual ditch diggers would agree.  They would join a union for higher pay to do something no man should have to do.  And when we free men everywhere from doing something no man should do, a disgruntled union employee will go and cut your hydraulic lines.

Congress Gets Serious about Migrant Workers…with a Comedian

Comedian Stephen Colbert recently testified before Congress.  In character.  (You can read about it and see some highlights -or lowlights, depending on how you feel about a comedian taking his shtick to Capitol Hill- in Rachel Rose Hartman’s Stephen Colbert draws attention to self, then farmworkers during Hill appearance on The Upshot, a Yahoo! News Blog.)  So he could testify about migrant workers in California.  He did a skit on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report about migrant workers in California.  He spent a day trying to work like they did.  Alongside other migrant workers.  Many who were there illegally (and are the subject of ‘comprehensive’ immigration reform).  Colbert said it was back-breaking work in unbearably hot weather.  He hated it.  He then closed on a serious note saying we exploit these illegal aliens.  As being in the country illegally doesn’t really give them the full protection of the law.

My question is, why aren’t these farmers mechanizing their farms?  Wheat, corn and soybeans are NOT the only crops harvested mechanically.  There are mechanical harvesters for oranges, grapes, cucumbers, peppers.  Even tomatoes.  And, of course, green beans, which Colbert was picking.  So why are there still so many migrant pickers crossing our borders?

The Economics of Farming

Generally, there is as tradeoff between capital and labor costs.  When labor costs are high, we invest capital into machinery.  When capital costs are high, we invest in labor.  It would appear the California farmers are using labor instead of machinery because illegal aliens are cheap and plentiful.  But they’re not indispensable.  If they were not so plentiful, labor costs would go up (basic economic rule of supply and demand).  Which would lead these farmers to make capital investments into machinery.  Problem solved.  No more illegal immigration.  No more exploitation of illegal aliens.  And no more back-breaking labor.  The kind a person shouldn’t have to do.

But they’re still there.  Because our border is so porous.  Why?  Are we reluctant to take a job away from an oppressed migrant worker?  Afraid he may become disgruntled and…cut a hydraulic line?  It makes you scratch your head.  Why won’t we seal that border?  Make the illegal immigrants less plentiful and more expensive.  So farmers use machinery instead.  I mean, sure, the illegal aliens have friends in Washington who care about their plight.  But they don’t have a labor union protecting their low-paying, god-awful jobs by lobbying against the mechanization of those farms.  It would appear that the rich farmers are not the only ones exploiting these migrant workers.

The Democrats Need Voters

The government could seal that border.  But they won’t.  And the government makes repeated attempts to grant amnesty.  (And downplay the horrific drug violence near the border.)  A shortcut to citizenship for these illegal aliens.  You put these together and it means only one thing.  The government wants these illegal aliens there.  And they want those farmers to exploit them.  Because that makes good political fodder.  To help them pass amnesty.  And get a boatload of grateful new citizens who will remember them in the voting booth.

As the electorate continually rejects the Democrats and their policies, they are constantly looking to add new voters to the rolls who haven’t rejected them yet.  They ‘get out the vote’ to as many young (and naive) voters as possible once they reach voting age.  They get as many people as possible dependent on government and tell them those benefits will be cut by Republicans if given the chance.  And now, the greatest Democrat voter-registration drive of all time.  Granting citizenship to millions of illegal aliens.  And the Democrats will probably tell them that the Republicans will revoke that citizenship if given the chance.  Fear does work well for them.

Of course, the Left has to depend on deceit.  Because no one knowingly votes for higher taxes, a weakened economy and a more dangerous world.

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