From the Associated Press:
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Former President George W. Bush said on Thursday that … “Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees (Fahrenheit), but there are people who want put food on their family’s tables and are willing to do that. We ought to say thank you and welcome them.”
What could possibly go wrong?
Anyway, haven’t there been cotton-picking machines since 1943? Do we really need all that many cotton-pickers?
After all, that was the starting point of Nicholas Lemann’s 1991 bestseller “The Great Migration” about how the introduction of a mechanical harvester to the cotton fields during the early 1940s drove five million Southern blacks north to cities like Detroit.
Update: Virginia Postrel has a timely new piece out on the history:
Cotton harvesting is now dominated by machines. But it took decades to happen.
By Virginia Postrel
February 9, 2018, 7:00 AM PST