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Despite Drought, Crops Rotting in the Field Right on Schedule
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An annual autumnal tradition here at iSteve is the crops-rotting-in-the-field stories about why we’re all going to die unless farmers get to import more peasants from Latin America to work cheap for them from such agriculture-savvy outlets as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. In 2015, it’s still summer, but from today’s WSJ:

On U.S. Farms, Fewer Hands for the Harvest
Producers raise wages, enhance benefits, but a worker shortage grows with tighter border
By ILAN BRAT
Updated Aug. 12, 2015 9:03 a.m. ET

Last year, about a quarter of Biringer Farm’s strawberries and raspberries rotted in the field because it couldn’t find enough workers.

You might think that, what with the well-known water shortage in California idling part of the country’s most labor-intensive farmlands, that we could skip the crops-rotting-in-the-fields ritual this year, but PR firms need to generate billings whether or not the hysteria makes even less sense than usual.

 
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  1. “Last year, about a quarter of Biringer Farm’s strawberries and raspberries rotted in the field because it couldn’t find enough workers.” – why did they overplant, and how common is that?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @AnAnon

    It's real common in farming. For example, the weather turns out to be ideal for growing strawberries, you get a huge crop, but then so does everybody else and the price of strawberries drops while demand for strawberry pickers during the short window of the harvest goes through the roof. So it's economically sensible to just leave your most marginal strawberries that will get the lowest prices relative to the cost of labor.

    Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country, @athEIst, @Olorin

  2. If a quarter of the crop is rotting in the field, why don’t they buy a couple of these automated strawberry harvesters?

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    @Barnard

    Don't you know?. Nobody can pick strawberries like a Mexican. It's something in their genes. They would win the strawberry picking Olympics gold medal every time.

    Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome

  3. @AnAnon
    "Last year, about a quarter of Biringer Farm’s strawberries and raspberries rotted in the field because it couldn’t find enough workers." - why did they overplant, and how common is that?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    It’s real common in farming. For example, the weather turns out to be ideal for growing strawberries, you get a huge crop, but then so does everybody else and the price of strawberries drops while demand for strawberry pickers during the short window of the harvest goes through the roof. So it’s economically sensible to just leave your most marginal strawberries that will get the lowest prices relative to the cost of labor.

    • Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve,

    I grew up in a farming region, and I remember well the constant laments of farmers:

    1. Not enough rain - bad crop.
    2. Too much rain - bad crop.
    3. Hail - destroyed part of crop.
    4. Perfect weather - prices collapse.

    All of the farmers always seemed on the brink of bankruptcy, yet they never went under. (Actually, some did go under, but that was caused by them taking out loans to expand in the mid-80s when land prices went through the rough only to deflate a few years later.)

    Replies: @nativist, @Jim Don Bob, @Buffalo Joe, @Anonymous

    , @athEIst
    @Steve Sailer

    The government could buy the excess strawberries. It works for raisins.

    , @Olorin
    @Steve Sailer

    Today's global food and fiber system ensures and encourages overplanting in the hopes of wrangling a new market somewhere at a point where your competitors' markets have dried up.

    Good lord, aren't these the same media outlets who bash on about the fact that of every food dollar spent, only about 16 cents now goes to the farmer, and the rest is all value add? (Marketing, transportation, packaging, processing, advertising, etc.)

    http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/131096/err114_reportsummary.pdf

    I mean, it's not like the berry growers know that they need 5.2753 million pounds of strawberries but glory be could only find pickers for 4.7652 million pounds out behind Home Depot or crossing the river or whatever. Crops go unharvested because there simply isn't a forward market for them. This is why, if you shop at Grocery Outlet stores in the West, suddenly from about December to March all sorts of pumpkin spice and cranberry specialty foods show up. The growers' groups look for product opportunities and sometimes make them.

    But "food crops" are just raw ingredients in a vast and globalized industrial system. And "the farmer" is a big player in all those other sectors as well...including profiting on markup of labor.

    The other piece of this from an ag economics perspective is that the C-R-I-T-F genre demands importation of more crop pickers/packers for work that lasts a few weeks at best...but the hands never go away. They become the first links in chain migration. But after awhile, they start expecting higher wages, and that cuts into "the farmer's" markups on that.

    It's absolutely anathema to get the discussion down to that level of detail in the Big Ten or other aggie colleges, or the USDA departments, or the guys n dolls who stake their political or media careers on pandering to ag. They are largely liberal leaning on the matter of full life cycle accounting of immigrant labor and will try to escape any more reasoned discussion by a quick lick of the RACISM lollipop. Even (especially) the so called conservatives and free marketeers can't think beyond this. It's all about marking up prices, concentrating profits, and socializing costs.

    I've noted for two decades now in ag circles that the "farmer share of the consumer food dollar" figures are absolute lies. The checkout line price of produce/food may be at historic lows in the US, but consumers are paying for it dearly elsewhere.

  4. { / } —:: <–world's tiniest violin.

    • Replies: @EriK
    @Auntie Analogue

    Good one

  5. So I guess the Japanese have had this problem for centuries, and plan to keep having forever!!
    It would be one studly wetback who could make it across the Sea of Japan!!

    • Agree: Travis
    • Replies: @Busby
    @Farenheit

    Japanese farms are small. Often times more of a hobby than a full time job. It's not unusual for middle class city dwellers to spend weekends on the old family farm. Back to nature and all that.
    Plus, Japanese political parties play heavily to the rural population with intricate regulations and restrictions. I also seem to recall they have a type of "Rotten Burroughs" in the Diet.

  6. “…the weather turns out to be ideal for growing strawberries, you get a huge crop, but then so does everybody else and the price of strawberries drops while demand for strawberry pickers during the short window of the harvest goes through the roof. So it’s economically sensible to just leave your most marginal strawberries that will get the lowest prices relative to the cost of labor.”

    Yeah, there’s that. Or we could just have a fake panic, and use these mundane facts of agricultural life as a justification for the treason we planned to engage in, anyway. Oh, wait…

  7. How about government incentives to automate? We could just buy off the industry by giving them a more profitable, less labor intensive model; one they would be investing in themselves if it didn’t, apparently, make more sense just to keep paying depressed wages.

    • Replies: @Bill P
    @Dennis Dale


    How about government incentives to automate? We could just buy off the industry by giving them a more profitable, less labor intensive model; one they would be investing in themselves if it didn’t, apparently, make more sense just to keep paying depressed wages.
     
    What gets me is that they're really pushing automated trucks, but nobody seems to care about automating where it's both feasible and safer.

    If an automated fruit/berry picker goes haywire, you just get a bunch of macerated berries and a few disturbed furrows. But if the software in a car (not to mention a truck) crashes, you get mangled and charred people.

    Seems to me that stoop labor is exactly where you want to start with robotic workers. But no, it has to be industries that hire American citizens...

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Hippopotamusdrome, @Busby

    , @Luke Lea
    @Dennis Dale

    How about government incentives to automate?

    How about market incentives? I.e., high wages.

  8. They should have a USA Today-style sidebar to the Ilan Brat story with an “explainer” by the Honorable Dave Brat, U.S. Congressman; sort of punch up the prestige of their news section this way, you know.

  9. Japan has a worker shortage too, but the government won’t let in large numbers of foreign workers. Consequently, the Japanese economy collapsed and most of the population starved to death.

    We need to avoid letting anything like that happening in America.

    Lindsey! 4 president.

    • Replies: @tbraton
    @JohnnyWalker123

    "Lindsey! 4 president."

    Wait a second, bub. I believe that exclamation point ("!") is copyrighted by Jeb!. Better cease and desist. Or else. I believe Jeb! has an army of illegal aliens lined up who are so in love with America that they are willing to kill anyone who dares trample on our beloved copyright laws. And they can recognize a copyright violation when they see it.

    , @Bill Jones
    @JohnnyWalker123

    "most of the population starved to death, of old age..."

    , @24AheadDotCom
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Lindsey! 4 president

    I prefer Blerta.

    But, seriously, for all his many faults, during the kid's debate Lindsey did push back slightly when the Fox News host in effect called tens of millions of Americans moochers. He didn't do all that, say, Sanders or @MLP_Officiel would have done, but he didn't sign on to the Fox host's anti-Americanism.

    As for the post, this site is linking to the WSJ and thereby helping them. If you want to hurt those who write such articles, then look at my Crops Rotting coverage and then link the name of the reporter to an individual post where I discuss how that reporter isn't credible. Rather than helping the WSJ rise even more in search results, help negative coverage of bad reporters rise in search results.

    Also, the author is at @ilanbrat. If you search Twitter for his name you'll see who he talks to. Choose one of them and try to convince them that Brat isn't credible. If enough people do that, he'll get the message. Work his colleagues like @jacobbunge into it too, to send a message to them.

  10. By the way, black women like Trump.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @JohnnyWalker123

    That's because Trump is like an African Big Man. Black women know when when they see one.

    , @njguy73
    @JohnnyWalker123

    You sure this isn't satire?

  11. The oligarchs and captains of industry look at the same maps that I do, and they see the same thing: India, Somalia, Phillipines, and Iraq pumping 500,000 immigrants per year into the country. And that’s just on top of the illegal Central American immigration.

    Don’t they feel the same horror I do? Don’t they have grandchildren too?

    • Replies: @Power Child
    @PA


    Don’t they feel the same horror I do? Don’t they have grandchildren too?
     
    They can be reasonably confident that it isn't them or their grandchildren who'll have to deal with the fallout of those immigrants. They live behind high walls and sturdy gates. Their children attend prestigious private schools--also with high walls and gates--and graduate to the same bubbled lives as their parents, only with even higher tech conveniences. Intellectually they may understand this horror, but on a gut level they can't. They're too far removed from reality. Not only that, but they know they're clever enough to continually manipulate the political machinery to ensure that they'll win either way.
    , @Jim Sweeney
    @PA

    I wish we were adding Filipinos ar a high rate but we are not. If you look at the income earned by immigrant goups, Filipinos come in second, after the Indians. And they all speak English plus their country's basic rules are very similar to ours even after they became independent of the US. It's where McArthur learned how to run a country so he could be ready when he was tapped to run Japan post WWII.

    It's a miserable place to live but the people are incipient Americans and conservative as well.

    Replies: @BurplesonAFB, @Foreign Expert, @The Anti-Gnostic

  12. @Dennis Dale
    How about government incentives to automate? We could just buy off the industry by giving them a more profitable, less labor intensive model; one they would be investing in themselves if it didn't, apparently, make more sense just to keep paying depressed wages.

    Replies: @Bill P, @Luke Lea

    How about government incentives to automate? We could just buy off the industry by giving them a more profitable, less labor intensive model; one they would be investing in themselves if it didn’t, apparently, make more sense just to keep paying depressed wages.

    What gets me is that they’re really pushing automated trucks, but nobody seems to care about automating where it’s both feasible and safer.

    If an automated fruit/berry picker goes haywire, you just get a bunch of macerated berries and a few disturbed furrows. But if the software in a car (not to mention a truck) crashes, you get mangled and charred people.

    Seems to me that stoop labor is exactly where you want to start with robotic workers. But no, it has to be industries that hire American citizens…

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Bill P

    The driverless trucks will be far safer than those with drivers.
    The insurance companies are shitting bricks.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2013/03/28/will-auto-insurers-survive-their-collision-with-driverless-cars-part-6/

    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    @Bill P



    If an automated fruit/berry picker goes haywire, you just get a bunch of macerated berries and a few disturbed furrows.

     

    You could have a federal police agency that specializes in stopping the runaway robots that will become common in the near future.
    , @Busby
    @Bill P

    It's a harder problem. I think the most success so far is with things like nuts where the machines don't need to be very dexterous. My cousin the farmer says they are probably 10 years away from machines that can pick fruit satisfactorily. He grows grapes in CA.

    Replies: @5371, @Buffalo Joe

  13. @Auntie Analogue
    { / } ---:: <--world's tiniest violin.

    Replies: @EriK

    Good one

  14. @JohnnyWalker123
    Japan has a worker shortage too, but the government won't let in large numbers of foreign workers. Consequently, the Japanese economy collapsed and most of the population starved to death.

    We need to avoid letting anything like that happening in America.

    Lindsey! 4 president.

    Replies: @tbraton, @Bill Jones, @24AheadDotCom

    “Lindsey! 4 president.”

    Wait a second, bub. I believe that exclamation point (“!”) is copyrighted by Jeb!. Better cease and desist. Or else. I believe Jeb! has an army of illegal aliens lined up who are so in love with America that they are willing to kill anyone who dares trample on our beloved copyright laws. And they can recognize a copyright violation when they see it.

  15. I grew up in a peach-growing part of a rural state. Every year the orchard owners told the newspapers an endless litany of disasters that had befallen their trees: late frosts, insects, droughts, windstorms, etc… etc… etc… But every year, the peaches ripened & got picked and the orchards kept going for another year.

    I just don’t think farmers are capable of saying anything positive about their crops.

  16. @JohnnyWalker123
    Japan has a worker shortage too, but the government won't let in large numbers of foreign workers. Consequently, the Japanese economy collapsed and most of the population starved to death.

    We need to avoid letting anything like that happening in America.

    Lindsey! 4 president.

    Replies: @tbraton, @Bill Jones, @24AheadDotCom

    “most of the population starved to death, of old age…”

  17. I think it’s important to note that when they talk about “farmers” they’re not talking about country folk smoking corncob pipes and diligently working hard on the land their grandpappies bought. No, they’re talking about college-educated businessmen owning land that is sometimes larger than Antebellum cotton plantations. These people are often millionaires and sometimes don’t even live on the land they own. Every year they drive more and more actual family farms out of business by dumping crops thereby depressing the price.

    So screw them.

    • Replies: @WillBest
    @Bert

    My great-great-grandpappy didn't buy nothing. He staked a claim to is before the state even existed. To this day I reserve the right to secede from IL with it. Though I suspect I will have to go to war if I try to enforce my right.

    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    @Bert

    Anyone who has a cursory interest in this topic should scan the top farm subsidy recipients list. Some interesting entities listed. A bit of a surprise for me, beyond Ducks Unlimited and a couple of Indian tribes, was that I grew up with several of the people on this list.

  18. @Dennis Dale
    How about government incentives to automate? We could just buy off the industry by giving them a more profitable, less labor intensive model; one they would be investing in themselves if it didn't, apparently, make more sense just to keep paying depressed wages.

    Replies: @Bill P, @Luke Lea

    How about government incentives to automate?

    How about market incentives? I.e., high wages.

  19. I just don’t think farmers are capable of saying anything positive about their crops.

    A+

    GMO crops I predict are going to start being amazing in 10 years. We are still in the infancy, and focused on making mass production cheap crops like corn and soy resistant to ag chemicals and pests.

    Once that gets worked out, produce crops, which individually are worth a lot less than corn or soy or wheat, will start getting the GMO treatment. Making their harvesting less labor intensive, plus robotics, will greatly reduce the demand for stoop labor. Amnesty/”path to citizenship” means these people will all apply and get disability after a couple decades of exploitation by California farmers (the worst people in America next to Wall Street). A family of 5, with Mom and Dad on regular disability from their bad backs, plus the kids with various learning disabilities, or perhaps ag chemical induced birth defects, can easily cost taxpayers $30,000 a year in cash disabilities. Forever. That’s on top of the extremely expensive public education, medicaid, etc.

    Makes an extra 30 cents for a pint of strawberries quite a deal.

    • Replies: @Power Child
    @Lot


    GMO crops I predict are going to start being amazing in 10 years. We are still in the infancy
     
    Huh? "Corn" as we know it didn't grow in nature, people created it by breeding wild grasses with traits they liked, a long time ago. Same goes for lettuce, apples, and just about anything else you're likely to find at the grocery store. Sorry to nitpick, but it bugs me when people act as though GMOs are some brand new thing that's only become possible with computers.

    Replies: @AnAnon

  20. @JohnnyWalker123
    Japan has a worker shortage too, but the government won't let in large numbers of foreign workers. Consequently, the Japanese economy collapsed and most of the population starved to death.

    We need to avoid letting anything like that happening in America.

    Lindsey! 4 president.

    Replies: @tbraton, @Bill Jones, @24AheadDotCom

    Lindsey! 4 president

    I prefer Blerta.

    But, seriously, for all his many faults, during the kid’s debate Lindsey did push back slightly when the Fox News host in effect called tens of millions of Americans moochers. He didn’t do all that, say, Sanders or @MLP_Officiel would have done, but he didn’t sign on to the Fox host’s anti-Americanism.

    As for the post, this site is linking to the WSJ and thereby helping them. If you want to hurt those who write such articles, then look at my Crops Rotting coverage and then link the name of the reporter to an individual post where I discuss how that reporter isn’t credible. Rather than helping the WSJ rise even more in search results, help negative coverage of bad reporters rise in search results.

    Also, the author is at @ilanbrat. If you search Twitter for his name you’ll see who he talks to. Choose one of them and try to convince them that Brat isn’t credible. If enough people do that, he’ll get the message. Work his colleagues like @jacobbunge into it too, to send a message to them.

  21. @PA
    The oligarchs and captains of industry look at the same maps that I do, and they see the same thing: India, Somalia, Phillipines, and Iraq pumping 500,000 immigrants per year into the country. And that's just on top of the illegal Central American immigration.

    Don't they feel the same horror I do? Don't they have grandchildren too?

    Replies: @Power Child, @Jim Sweeney

    Don’t they feel the same horror I do? Don’t they have grandchildren too?

    They can be reasonably confident that it isn’t them or their grandchildren who’ll have to deal with the fallout of those immigrants. They live behind high walls and sturdy gates. Their children attend prestigious private schools–also with high walls and gates–and graduate to the same bubbled lives as their parents, only with even higher tech conveniences. Intellectually they may understand this horror, but on a gut level they can’t. They’re too far removed from reality. Not only that, but they know they’re clever enough to continually manipulate the political machinery to ensure that they’ll win either way.

  22. @Bill P
    @Dennis Dale


    How about government incentives to automate? We could just buy off the industry by giving them a more profitable, less labor intensive model; one they would be investing in themselves if it didn’t, apparently, make more sense just to keep paying depressed wages.
     
    What gets me is that they're really pushing automated trucks, but nobody seems to care about automating where it's both feasible and safer.

    If an automated fruit/berry picker goes haywire, you just get a bunch of macerated berries and a few disturbed furrows. But if the software in a car (not to mention a truck) crashes, you get mangled and charred people.

    Seems to me that stoop labor is exactly where you want to start with robotic workers. But no, it has to be industries that hire American citizens...

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Hippopotamusdrome, @Busby

    The driverless trucks will be far safer than those with drivers.
    The insurance companies are shitting bricks.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2013/03/28/will-auto-insurers-survive-their-collision-with-driverless-cars-part-6/

  23. @Lot

    I just don’t think farmers are capable of saying anything positive about their crops.
     
    A+

    GMO crops I predict are going to start being amazing in 10 years. We are still in the infancy, and focused on making mass production cheap crops like corn and soy resistant to ag chemicals and pests.

    Once that gets worked out, produce crops, which individually are worth a lot less than corn or soy or wheat, will start getting the GMO treatment. Making their harvesting less labor intensive, plus robotics, will greatly reduce the demand for stoop labor. Amnesty/"path to citizenship" means these people will all apply and get disability after a couple decades of exploitation by California farmers (the worst people in America next to Wall Street). A family of 5, with Mom and Dad on regular disability from their bad backs, plus the kids with various learning disabilities, or perhaps ag chemical induced birth defects, can easily cost taxpayers $30,000 a year in cash disabilities. Forever. That's on top of the extremely expensive public education, medicaid, etc.

    Makes an extra 30 cents for a pint of strawberries quite a deal.

    Replies: @Power Child

    GMO crops I predict are going to start being amazing in 10 years. We are still in the infancy

    Huh? “Corn” as we know it didn’t grow in nature, people created it by breeding wild grasses with traits they liked, a long time ago. Same goes for lettuce, apples, and just about anything else you’re likely to find at the grocery store. Sorry to nitpick, but it bugs me when people act as though GMOs are some brand new thing that’s only become possible with computers.

    • Replies: @AnAnon
    @Power Child

    GMOs are basically just there to enable patenting the food supply. There hasn't been any rise in yield relative to Europe, for example, which bans GMO.

  24. @Bert
    I think it's important to note that when they talk about "farmers" they're not talking about country folk smoking corncob pipes and diligently working hard on the land their grandpappies bought. No, they're talking about college-educated businessmen owning land that is sometimes larger than Antebellum cotton plantations. These people are often millionaires and sometimes don't even live on the land they own. Every year they drive more and more actual family farms out of business by dumping crops thereby depressing the price.

    So screw them.

    Replies: @WillBest, @yaqub the mad scientist

    My great-great-grandpappy didn’t buy nothing. He staked a claim to is before the state even existed. To this day I reserve the right to secede from IL with it. Though I suspect I will have to go to war if I try to enforce my right.

  25. If you don’t take Trump seriously as an intellectual, here’s something from his book from 2011:

    The root cause of all the welfare payments to illegal aliens is the so-called “anchor baby” phenomenon, which is when illegal immigrant mothers have a baby on American soil. The child automatically becomes an American citizen, Though this was NEVER the intention of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states, “All citizens born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside.” The clear purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War, was to guarantee full citizenship rights to now emancipated former slaves. It was not intended to guarantee untrammeled immigration to the United States.

    He’s now surged even further into first place after the debate. Only a couple months ago it looked like immigration patriots would have to either vote for dweeby loser Santorum or amnesty flip-flopper Walker. Walker, who at least flip-flopped the right way after he started to run for president, is completely untrustworthy on the issue. His campaign has had a single-minded focus on only two goals: (1) Win Iowa (2) Win the support of the pro-amnesty Koch Brothers. He was winning Iowa in more than ten straight polls between April and late July. Now he’s fallen to third and 13 points behind Trump. Bush, who was on top of a couple polls before Walker, is tied for 7th place at 5% in both of the most recent Iowa polls.

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson
    @Lot

    F__k the Koch Brothers. Their screw-the-country-to-get-my-next-billion-dollars attitude is just what incited that damnable French Revolution. Thanks, but no thanks, Davey and Chuckie.

    , @Charles Erwin Wilson
    @Lot

    Santorum wants to stop illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration by 25%. Anyone else taking such a practical stance?

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

  26. I love Trump. He’s got kids, grandkids, and real estate in the Game. He feels or seems to the horror of unbridled mass third world immigration the way Bill Gates doesn’t.

    What is interesting is the case study of West Africa. The source of most of the world’s cocoa beans and thus chocolate. I know, most are saying, “Wait a minute, isn’t cocoa native to Central America and MEXICO?” Why yes it is. But the LABOR was cheaper in West Africa hence lots and lots of cocoa trees.

    WAS cheaper. Turns out the FT reports that most farmers in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo etc. are older, over 65. West Africa provides about 75% of world cocoa production. But the children of West African cocoa farmers don’t want to farm. They’d rather move to the cities. Nestle and other chocolate companies are investing in programs to make farming more attractive, good luck with that!

    People don’t like awful, hard, manual labor in the boonies where there are few social opportunities particularly for the opposite sex. People like living in cities and move there whenever possible. Machines are always cheaper than people, and the long-term prospect even in places like Africa is replacing farm labor with machines. Or, more likely, automated cocoa farms in places like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. All of which are corrupt but don’t reach General Butt Naked / Boko Haram levels of stupid violence.

    Cheap labor is always hideously expensive. Expect to pay more for that chocolate bar soon.

  27. It is interesting to see how quickly Democrats have become nearly 100% in favor of amnesty now, compared to 2007, when about 28% of Senate Democrats voted against the Bush-McCain amnesty bill. Indeed, without this opposition from the Democrats, there were so many pro amnesty Republicans that the McCain amnesty would have passed.

    Here’s the Senate roll call:

    http://morewhat.com/wordpress/s1639-cloture-roll-call-vote-details/

    Of the 16 anti-amnesty Senate democrats, Bernie Sanders was part of a more hard-core group of ten that also opposed it in an earlier procedural vote.

    He also co-sponsored an anti-H1B amendment to the stimulus bill in 2009:

    https://www.numbersusa.com/content/news/february-6-2009/senate-passes-grassleysanders-amendment-protect-american-workers.html

    At some point in the last four or so years, Sanders has changed his tune for the worse, probably because he did want to make himself conspicuous as the only Democrat opposing Obama’s various attempts at amnesty.

  28. @PA
    The oligarchs and captains of industry look at the same maps that I do, and they see the same thing: India, Somalia, Phillipines, and Iraq pumping 500,000 immigrants per year into the country. And that's just on top of the illegal Central American immigration.

    Don't they feel the same horror I do? Don't they have grandchildren too?

    Replies: @Power Child, @Jim Sweeney

    I wish we were adding Filipinos ar a high rate but we are not. If you look at the income earned by immigrant goups, Filipinos come in second, after the Indians. And they all speak English plus their country’s basic rules are very similar to ours even after they became independent of the US. It’s where McArthur learned how to run a country so he could be ready when he was tapped to run Japan post WWII.

    It’s a miserable place to live but the people are incipient Americans and conservative as well.

    • Replies: @BurplesonAFB
    @Jim Sweeney

    We've got plenty of Filipino migration in Canada. They're like brighter, more docile mexicans, basically, but they're still... not us.

    Replies: @EdwardM, @Jim Sweeney

    , @Foreign Expert
    @Jim Sweeney

    I'm writing this in a Starbucks in the PI. The economy is booming and the people are cheerful.

    Replies: @Bill B., @Mr. Anon, @Jim Sweeney

    , @The Anti-Gnostic
    @Jim Sweeney

    What problem are we having that only the importation of Filipinos will solve?

    If Filipinos are so great, why is their country such a "miserable place to live?"

    I guess I'm too parochial/provincial, but I've never understood the mania for immigration. Is it an extrovert thing?

    Replies: @Jim Sweeney, @Jesse

  29. @Lot
    If you don't take Trump seriously as an intellectual, here's something from his book from 2011:

    The root cause of all the welfare payments to illegal aliens is the so-called "anchor baby" phenomenon, which is when illegal immigrant mothers have a baby on American soil. The child automatically becomes an American citizen, Though this was NEVER the intention of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states, "All citizens born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside." The clear purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War, was to guarantee full citizenship rights to now emancipated former slaves. It was not intended to guarantee untrammeled immigration to the United States.
     
    He's now surged even further into first place after the debate. Only a couple months ago it looked like immigration patriots would have to either vote for dweeby loser Santorum or amnesty flip-flopper Walker. Walker, who at least flip-flopped the right way after he started to run for president, is completely untrustworthy on the issue. His campaign has had a single-minded focus on only two goals: (1) Win Iowa (2) Win the support of the pro-amnesty Koch Brothers. He was winning Iowa in more than ten straight polls between April and late July. Now he's fallen to third and 13 points behind Trump. Bush, who was on top of a couple polls before Walker, is tied for 7th place at 5% in both of the most recent Iowa polls.

    Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson, @Charles Erwin Wilson

    F__k the Koch Brothers. Their screw-the-country-to-get-my-next-billion-dollars attitude is just what incited that damnable French Revolution. Thanks, but no thanks, Davey and Chuckie.

  30. @Lot
    If you don't take Trump seriously as an intellectual, here's something from his book from 2011:

    The root cause of all the welfare payments to illegal aliens is the so-called "anchor baby" phenomenon, which is when illegal immigrant mothers have a baby on American soil. The child automatically becomes an American citizen, Though this was NEVER the intention of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states, "All citizens born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside." The clear purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War, was to guarantee full citizenship rights to now emancipated former slaves. It was not intended to guarantee untrammeled immigration to the United States.
     
    He's now surged even further into first place after the debate. Only a couple months ago it looked like immigration patriots would have to either vote for dweeby loser Santorum or amnesty flip-flopper Walker. Walker, who at least flip-flopped the right way after he started to run for president, is completely untrustworthy on the issue. His campaign has had a single-minded focus on only two goals: (1) Win Iowa (2) Win the support of the pro-amnesty Koch Brothers. He was winning Iowa in more than ten straight polls between April and late July. Now he's fallen to third and 13 points behind Trump. Bush, who was on top of a couple polls before Walker, is tied for 7th place at 5% in both of the most recent Iowa polls.

    Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson, @Charles Erwin Wilson

    Santorum wants to stop illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration by 25%. Anyone else taking such a practical stance?

    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    @Charles Erwin Wilson

    Governor Walker.

    Replies: @Lot

  31. @JohnnyWalker123
    By the way, black women like Trump.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhQfUiDhjQg

    Replies: @Anonymous, @njguy73

    That’s because Trump is like an African Big Man. Black women know when when they see one.

  32. @Charles Erwin Wilson
    @Lot

    Santorum wants to stop illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration by 25%. Anyone else taking such a practical stance?

    Replies: @JohnnyWalker123

    Governor Walker.

    • Replies: @Lot
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Walker is not to be trusted. He supported amnesty for years, flip flopped, then told people privately he still supports amnesty.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/03/26/scott-walker-endorses-path-to-citizenship-for-illegal-immigrants-at-private-gop-dinner/

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

  33. @JohnnyWalker123
    @Charles Erwin Wilson

    Governor Walker.

    Replies: @Lot

    Walker is not to be trusted. He supported amnesty for years, flip flopped, then told people privately he still supports amnesty.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/03/26/scott-walker-endorses-path-to-citizenship-for-illegal-immigrants-at-private-gop-dinner/

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Lot

    I agree. I don't trust Walker at all.

  34. @Jim Sweeney
    @PA

    I wish we were adding Filipinos ar a high rate but we are not. If you look at the income earned by immigrant goups, Filipinos come in second, after the Indians. And they all speak English plus their country's basic rules are very similar to ours even after they became independent of the US. It's where McArthur learned how to run a country so he could be ready when he was tapped to run Japan post WWII.

    It's a miserable place to live but the people are incipient Americans and conservative as well.

    Replies: @BurplesonAFB, @Foreign Expert, @The Anti-Gnostic

    We’ve got plenty of Filipino migration in Canada. They’re like brighter, more docile mexicans, basically, but they’re still… not us.

    • Replies: @EdwardM
    @BurplesonAFB

    They're like more docile Mexicans -- who breed even more and who come from a society with about the same level of social trust. Not sure that they're brighter, though I suppose that one has to be more motivated to immigrate from the Philippines than from Mexico.

    Still, I agree that they are preferable to the Mexicans. Even Filipino should thank God every day that they were under U.S. control for awhile, and hence speak English, giving them job opportunities in the U.S. and Gulf countries, as well as call centers in their home country.

    Replies: @athEIst

    , @Jim Sweeney
    @BurplesonAFB

    Filipinos place significant emphasis on education. They're Asians after all; they are definitely not Mexican.

    Replies: @Romanian

  35. Talk about bullshit! The fact is the H2A has no quotas. A farmer can hire as many H2A workers as they want, provided they comply with all the regulations, including paying for travel and paying “prevailing wages.” Either these “wage increases” by the farmers are not at or above prevailing wages or migrants are not interested in working for the current prevailing wages, costs included.

  36. @Jim Sweeney
    @PA

    I wish we were adding Filipinos ar a high rate but we are not. If you look at the income earned by immigrant goups, Filipinos come in second, after the Indians. And they all speak English plus their country's basic rules are very similar to ours even after they became independent of the US. It's where McArthur learned how to run a country so he could be ready when he was tapped to run Japan post WWII.

    It's a miserable place to live but the people are incipient Americans and conservative as well.

    Replies: @BurplesonAFB, @Foreign Expert, @The Anti-Gnostic

    I’m writing this in a Starbucks in the PI. The economy is booming and the people are cheerful.

    • Replies: @Bill B.
    @Foreign Expert

    Sorry you are delusional. The Philippines is the same corrupt dump more or less that I knew in the 1980s.

    True there are some useless new malls and heavily guarded gated estates sitting like colonial outpost in a pullulating sea of poverty.

    But thinking that because they speak English they must be bright and Western is the oldest mistake to make in the development game.

    The people individualy are ok but inclined to the mediocre. Even the use of English is declining.

    A nation often gets the government it deserves - in the case of the Philippines I fear this is true.

    Replies: @Foreign Expert, @JSM

    , @Mr. Anon
    @Foreign Expert

    "I’m writing this in a Starbucks in the PI. The economy is booming and the people are cheerful."

    The economy is always booming in a Starbucks. How is it a block or two down the street?

    , @Jim Sweeney
    @Foreign Expert

    The economy is doing well but I wouldn't say booming. The problem is that wages are very low and, except for housing, living-cost prices are US comparable. People live in sub-standard places, especially out of Makati or the few similar 1st world enclaves.

    $300 a month is a decent wage in PI.

  37. This is a link to the wages they were paying at that berry farm in the WSJ article for this season.

    http://www.biringerfarm.com/index.php/employment/berry-pickers-14-or-over

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
    @The Practical Conservative


    **We have all the staff we will need for the 2015 harvest season. Mark your calendar to apply next April/May for the 2016 season!*** - See more at: http://www.biringerfarm.com/index.php/employment/berry-pickers-14-or-over#sthash.K2UjgpDF.dpuf
     
    There are so many berries rotting in the field that this corporation isn't hiring any more berry pickers.

    I wonder if 20% raises from last year had any thing to do with it?

    "Early this year, Ms. Bond, human resources manager for the 35-acre farm in Arlington, Wash., offered 20% raises to the most productive workers from the last harvest. "

    They are having to pay $12-16/hr instead of $10-14/hr. Oh no! That "farmer" might have to drive a 2015 truck for two years instead of buying a new 2016.
  38. @BurplesonAFB
    @Jim Sweeney

    We've got plenty of Filipino migration in Canada. They're like brighter, more docile mexicans, basically, but they're still... not us.

    Replies: @EdwardM, @Jim Sweeney

    They’re like more docile Mexicans — who breed even more and who come from a society with about the same level of social trust. Not sure that they’re brighter, though I suppose that one has to be more motivated to immigrate from the Philippines than from Mexico.

    Still, I agree that they are preferable to the Mexicans. Even Filipino should thank God every day that they were under U.S. control for awhile, and hence speak English, giving them job opportunities in the U.S. and Gulf countries, as well as call centers in their home country.

    • Replies: @athEIst
    @EdwardM

    Ya, they are more docile. That's how the Spanish got them. They were claimed for Spain by Magellan. They were conquered by the Spanish with an army from Mexico. Until their loss they were ruled as part of New Spain.

  39. @Lot
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Walker is not to be trusted. He supported amnesty for years, flip flopped, then told people privately he still supports amnesty.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/03/26/scott-walker-endorses-path-to-citizenship-for-illegal-immigrants-at-private-gop-dinner/

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    I agree. I don’t trust Walker at all.

  40. Eliminate government funded welfare and there would be plenty of workers.

  41. “I wish we were adding Filipinos ar a high rate but we are not.”

    Yeah, there’s a huge shortage of LBFMs who could be ‘harvesting’ cream of sum no-so-yung gai if only they had ‘access’.

  42. And yet, the only major strawberry fields left in coastal SoCal are slated for development.

    https://www.facebook.com/OpenSpaceTheRightWay

    • Replies: @Alsatian
    @M_Young

    I seem to remember Ventura county having a lot of strawberry fields. But maybe that's not considered coastal SoCal anymore. Besides, Ventura Co.'s berry crop is only worth about 1/2 billion annually, about half that of Monterey County, so probably not a big deal...

    Replies: @M_Young

  43. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I have seen several solution suggestions above. I will give another below. But the prerequisite for all these suggestions is that no more profitable alternative is presented to these farmers, the one that is dependably presented every year.

    Food price futures are already traded in commodity futures markets. Farmers could buy them such that they would cushion some of the effect of falling prices and get a little more of the produce picked. Farmers could further be induced to insure against fallen by government, or by lending banks if they’d borrowed their operating capital.

    Also in more extreme bumper crops; and if those farmers had real political clout, instead of being propaganda material for ideological immigrationists; govt could buy the excess production, get it turned into strawberry marmalade and shipped to some poor country as aid. Supposedly strong farmers sold their produce, no fruits rotten in the fields, US govt did PR, some poor foreigners who did not emigrate got a little appreciation.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    @Anonymous

    There is no way to avoid crops rotting in the field. There is always a significant amount of spoilage - especially for crops like fruits and vegetables. They just pile it all in one place and it looks big.

    Lets not forget why fruits evolved - so that some animal would eat it and crap out the seeds some distance away.

  44. “Huh? “Corn” as we know it didn’t grow in nature, people created it by breeding wild grasses with traits they liked, a long time ago”

    To give the Mexican indians credit, they did this. I’m a WN to the core, but give credit where credit is due. Corn, chocolate, tomatoes, most squashes and beans, all meso-American (with human intervention) . Here’s a nice view of what they had to work with, teosinte

    https://www.learner.org/courses/essential/life/session5/closer1.html

    Granted, wheat, rye, oats, peas, ‘cilantro’ aka coriander, onions, ‘spear-leakes’ aka garlic, radish, cabbage, lettuce where all old world crops, and Mexican cuisine would be even drearier without them.

  45. @Foreign Expert
    @Jim Sweeney

    I'm writing this in a Starbucks in the PI. The economy is booming and the people are cheerful.

    Replies: @Bill B., @Mr. Anon, @Jim Sweeney

    Sorry you are delusional. The Philippines is the same corrupt dump more or less that I knew in the 1980s.

    True there are some useless new malls and heavily guarded gated estates sitting like colonial outpost in a pullulating sea of poverty.

    But thinking that because they speak English they must be bright and Western is the oldest mistake to make in the development game.

    The people individualy are ok but inclined to the mediocre. Even the use of English is declining.

    A nation often gets the government it deserves – in the case of the Philippines I fear this is true.

    • Replies: @Foreign Expert
    @Bill B.

    There are new condominiums going up left and right here in the Phils. Corruption is no barrier to economic development.

    Replies: @notsaying

    , @JSM
    @Bill B.

    The people individualy are ok but inclined to the mediocre

    Just came back from a cruise. The Filipino workers were very pleasant and willing to work. What's great is, they *live* on the cruise ship. The accomodations they get are modest, but adequate. They go home to Phillipines where their children and families are, when their tour of duty is over.

    Because the cruise ships provide for basic necessities, and the Filipinos *don't* get to live in America, I think it's a win-win deal. Us passengers get treated nicely, the cruise lines make money and the Filipinos can save money while working for seedcorn to start a better life *in Phillipines.*

    Contrast that to the American strawberry farmers whose workers live in the towns, make trouble for the local residents, sponge off American social welfare programs because they don't get paid enough to pay their own living expenses, and, being here, have a chance to knockup a gal and gain an anchor baby.

    Short version:
    American produce farmers are socializing the costs of doing business (providing their workers with the essentials of life) and privatizing the costs.

    The cruise lines are doing right by everybody.

    Replies: @Jesse

  46. “Rain on the scarecrow, blood on the plow”

  47. @Bill B.
    @Foreign Expert

    Sorry you are delusional. The Philippines is the same corrupt dump more or less that I knew in the 1980s.

    True there are some useless new malls and heavily guarded gated estates sitting like colonial outpost in a pullulating sea of poverty.

    But thinking that because they speak English they must be bright and Western is the oldest mistake to make in the development game.

    The people individualy are ok but inclined to the mediocre. Even the use of English is declining.

    A nation often gets the government it deserves - in the case of the Philippines I fear this is true.

    Replies: @Foreign Expert, @JSM

    There are new condominiums going up left and right here in the Phils. Corruption is no barrier to economic development.

    • Replies: @notsaying
    @Foreign Expert

    This is what you said above: "I’m writing this in a Starbucks in the PI. The economy is booming and the people are cheerful."

    Like the others who have commented, I interpreted your statement as claiming that the Filipino people were doing much better.

    Now you seem to be saying that you meant to say just like in America, their .01% and .001% are thriving and the fact that everybody else is kind of still in the same place they always were doesn't matter.

    How much "economic development" can any country have when most of the new money never reaches below the top rungs?

    I expect the Filipino people about as happy to see the same ones who've been running the country to suit themselves for decades now have much more money and power than they did 10 or 20 years ago as most Americans are to see the same thing in the US.

  48. @Bert
    I think it's important to note that when they talk about "farmers" they're not talking about country folk smoking corncob pipes and diligently working hard on the land their grandpappies bought. No, they're talking about college-educated businessmen owning land that is sometimes larger than Antebellum cotton plantations. These people are often millionaires and sometimes don't even live on the land they own. Every year they drive more and more actual family farms out of business by dumping crops thereby depressing the price.

    So screw them.

    Replies: @WillBest, @yaqub the mad scientist

    Anyone who has a cursory interest in this topic should scan the top farm subsidy recipients list. Some interesting entities listed. A bit of a surprise for me, beyond Ducks Unlimited and a couple of Indian tribes, was that I grew up with several of the people on this list.

  49. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Muck Fexico!

    There are actually laws preventing certain automation of crop farming at either CA state or the fed level dating from the Cesar Chavez era, I believe.

    I remember learning about automation in the Aussie wine industry and wondered why we can’t have that here and it turns out there are very good reasons why we can’t have that here: laws have been crafted to suppress automation and protect the migrant labor force.

    This ancien regime is now butting up against the new revolution in robot manufacturing — but just watch as magically the dullard human third world stoop labor flows continue no matter how sophisticated the automation becomes.

    This is all possible due to media control which provides the cloaking of the various and sundry attacks on our society. America has been transmogrified through a giant orchestrated attack of its demography.

  50. @The Practical Conservative
    This is a link to the wages they were paying at that berry farm in the WSJ article for this season.

    http://www.biringerfarm.com/index.php/employment/berry-pickers-14-or-over

    Replies: @Chris Mallory

    **We have all the staff we will need for the 2015 harvest season. Mark your calendar to apply next April/May for the 2016 season!*** – See more at: http://www.biringerfarm.com/index.php/employment/berry-pickers-14-or-over#sthash.K2UjgpDF.dpuf

    There are so many berries rotting in the field that this corporation isn’t hiring any more berry pickers.

    I wonder if 20% raises from last year had any thing to do with it?

    “Early this year, Ms. Bond, human resources manager for the 35-acre farm in Arlington, Wash., offered 20% raises to the most productive workers from the last harvest. ”

    They are having to pay $12-16/hr instead of $10-14/hr. Oh no! That “farmer” might have to drive a 2015 truck for two years instead of buying a new 2016.

  51. @M_Young
    And yet, the only major strawberry fields left in coastal SoCal are slated for development.

    https://www.facebook.com/OpenSpaceTheRightWay

    Replies: @Alsatian

    I seem to remember Ventura county having a lot of strawberry fields. But maybe that’s not considered coastal SoCal anymore. Besides, Ventura Co.’s berry crop is only worth about 1/2 billion annually, about half that of Monterey County, so probably not a big deal…

    • Replies: @M_Young
    @Alsatian

    Yeah, I don't consider Ventura to be SoCal, but I guess it could be.

    The point is that number of immigrants pretty much is inversely proportional to the number of acres in production, at least in urbanized areas. There are, I am pretty sure, no more orange groves (commercial ones) left in OC for example.

  52. @Bill P
    @Dennis Dale


    How about government incentives to automate? We could just buy off the industry by giving them a more profitable, less labor intensive model; one they would be investing in themselves if it didn’t, apparently, make more sense just to keep paying depressed wages.
     
    What gets me is that they're really pushing automated trucks, but nobody seems to care about automating where it's both feasible and safer.

    If an automated fruit/berry picker goes haywire, you just get a bunch of macerated berries and a few disturbed furrows. But if the software in a car (not to mention a truck) crashes, you get mangled and charred people.

    Seems to me that stoop labor is exactly where you want to start with robotic workers. But no, it has to be industries that hire American citizens...

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Hippopotamusdrome, @Busby

    If an automated fruit/berry picker goes haywire, you just get a bunch of macerated berries and a few disturbed furrows.

    You could have a federal police agency that specializes in stopping the runaway robots that will become common in the near future.

  53. @Jim Sweeney
    @PA

    I wish we were adding Filipinos ar a high rate but we are not. If you look at the income earned by immigrant goups, Filipinos come in second, after the Indians. And they all speak English plus their country's basic rules are very similar to ours even after they became independent of the US. It's where McArthur learned how to run a country so he could be ready when he was tapped to run Japan post WWII.

    It's a miserable place to live but the people are incipient Americans and conservative as well.

    Replies: @BurplesonAFB, @Foreign Expert, @The Anti-Gnostic

    What problem are we having that only the importation of Filipinos will solve?

    If Filipinos are so great, why is their country such a “miserable place to live?”

    I guess I’m too parochial/provincial, but I’ve never understood the mania for immigration. Is it an extrovert thing?

    • Replies: @Jim Sweeney
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    It was a comment on my preferences for a better grade of immigrant to the extent we have immigration. I'm with Anne and would place an instant moratorium on all immigration, put the Marines on the border with shoot to kill rules of engagement and then hunt down and deport every single illegal alien of any type or age, including their progeny.

    , @Jesse
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    "I guess I’m too parochial/provincial, but I’ve never understood the mania for immigration. Is it an extrovert thing?"

    NO! I'm as extraverted as they come, and oppose this. When you get lots of Filipinos, you get the Philippines. Not even Filipinos want to live there.

    Replies: @Romanian

  54. How about using the H2-A visa program, that lets employers bring in an UNLIMITED number of seasonal agricultural guest workers? Or, does that require too much planning? Reality is, even when employers can bring in an unlimited number of LEGAL workers, they still prefer to hire illegal ones because they’ll work cheaper and the employer won’t have to deal with paperwork or legal requirements.

  55. @Steve Sailer
    @AnAnon

    It's real common in farming. For example, the weather turns out to be ideal for growing strawberries, you get a huge crop, but then so does everybody else and the price of strawberries drops while demand for strawberry pickers during the short window of the harvest goes through the roof. So it's economically sensible to just leave your most marginal strawberries that will get the lowest prices relative to the cost of labor.

    Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country, @athEIst, @Olorin

    Steve,

    I grew up in a farming region, and I remember well the constant laments of farmers:

    1. Not enough rain – bad crop.
    2. Too much rain – bad crop.
    3. Hail – destroyed part of crop.
    4. Perfect weather – prices collapse.

    All of the farmers always seemed on the brink of bankruptcy, yet they never went under. (Actually, some did go under, but that was caused by them taking out loans to expand in the mid-80s when land prices went through the rough only to deflate a few years later.)

    • Replies: @nativist
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Old Spokane joke:

    How can you tell the difference between a jet engine and a Palouse ( wheat growing district) farmer?

    When the jet engine lands on Maui it stops whining.

    , @Jim Don Bob
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Do you know why they bury farmers only 3 feet deep?

    So they can still hold their hand out. Ba-dump-bump!

    , @Buffalo Joe
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    Citizen of silly country, When I was young we used to visit farmer friends in Cambria, NY. They had a "truck" farm and grew just about everything you could grow in WNY. We used to pick plum tomatoes that my mother canned as sauce and tomato paste. I would say that there was always at least one quarter or more of the tomatoes left in the field. Some ripened too soon, some, low on the vine, lay in the dirt and rotted and some ripened after a need to market them. The farmer either plowed those under to fertilize the soil, or raked them into piles ( rake behind the tractor) to feed his pigs. Same with all the crops, peppers, squash, beans, cukes... what didn't get picked for market became food for the pigs. I never met a happy farmer, your lists describes them perfectly.

    , @Anonymous
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    "The only thing worse than a bad year is a good year."

  56. @Barnard
    If a quarter of the crop is rotting in the field, why don't they buy a couple of these automated strawberry harvesters?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKT351pQHfI

    Replies: @MarkinLA

    Don’t you know?. Nobody can pick strawberries like a Mexican. It’s something in their genes. They would win the strawberry picking Olympics gold medal every time.

    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
    @MarkinLA



    mulberrylanefarm.com
    ...
    U-Pick Strawberries 2015
    ...
    There will be no U-Pick Strawberries in 2015. The already picked strawberries are all reserved and sold out! We are planting several more sections for next year to handle the increased demand. We are expecting a bumper crop in 2016!
    ...
    Can I Just Come Over Anytime and Pick Strawberries?
    Yes! But call first to check on picking conditions.
    ...
    What are the Prices This Year?
    $2.99 per lb U-Pick (prices may drop as the season progresses)
    A minimum 4 lb purchase per picker is required.

     

  57. @Anonymous
    I have seen several solution suggestions above. I will give another below. But the prerequisite for all these suggestions is that no more profitable alternative is presented to these farmers, the one that is dependably presented every year.

    Food price futures are already traded in commodity futures markets. Farmers could buy them such that they would cushion some of the effect of falling prices and get a little more of the produce picked. Farmers could further be induced to insure against fallen by government, or by lending banks if they'd borrowed their operating capital.

    Also in more extreme bumper crops; and if those farmers had real political clout, instead of being propaganda material for ideological immigrationists; govt could buy the excess production, get it turned into strawberry marmalade and shipped to some poor country as aid. Supposedly strong farmers sold their produce, no fruits rotten in the fields, US govt did PR, some poor foreigners who did not emigrate got a little appreciation.

    Replies: @MarkinLA

    There is no way to avoid crops rotting in the field. There is always a significant amount of spoilage – especially for crops like fruits and vegetables. They just pile it all in one place and it looks big.

    Lets not forget why fruits evolved – so that some animal would eat it and crap out the seeds some distance away.

  58. @Foreign Expert
    @Jim Sweeney

    I'm writing this in a Starbucks in the PI. The economy is booming and the people are cheerful.

    Replies: @Bill B., @Mr. Anon, @Jim Sweeney

    “I’m writing this in a Starbucks in the PI. The economy is booming and the people are cheerful.”

    The economy is always booming in a Starbucks. How is it a block or two down the street?

    • Agree: International Jew
  59. @BurplesonAFB
    @Jim Sweeney

    We've got plenty of Filipino migration in Canada. They're like brighter, more docile mexicans, basically, but they're still... not us.

    Replies: @EdwardM, @Jim Sweeney

    Filipinos place significant emphasis on education. They’re Asians after all; they are definitely not Mexican.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    @Jim Sweeney

    All Arabs, except those in North Africa, are technically Asians. So are Pakistanis, Pashtuns, low caste Indians and other ethnicities one would not associate with a love of non-religious education.

    Perhaps you meant to say East Asian. These Asian and Hispanic categories are too large to express anything meaningful.

    I haven't had experience with Filipinos, but other Asians I've met have confided that they're like the Mexicans of Asia. They even have significant Spanish cultural and genetic heritages.

    Replies: @5371

  60. @Foreign Expert
    @Jim Sweeney

    I'm writing this in a Starbucks in the PI. The economy is booming and the people are cheerful.

    Replies: @Bill B., @Mr. Anon, @Jim Sweeney

    The economy is doing well but I wouldn’t say booming. The problem is that wages are very low and, except for housing, living-cost prices are US comparable. People live in sub-standard places, especially out of Makati or the few similar 1st world enclaves.

    $300 a month is a decent wage in PI.

  61. @The Anti-Gnostic
    @Jim Sweeney

    What problem are we having that only the importation of Filipinos will solve?

    If Filipinos are so great, why is their country such a "miserable place to live?"

    I guess I'm too parochial/provincial, but I've never understood the mania for immigration. Is it an extrovert thing?

    Replies: @Jim Sweeney, @Jesse

    It was a comment on my preferences for a better grade of immigrant to the extent we have immigration. I’m with Anne and would place an instant moratorium on all immigration, put the Marines on the border with shoot to kill rules of engagement and then hunt down and deport every single illegal alien of any type or age, including their progeny.

  62. @Bill B.
    @Foreign Expert

    Sorry you are delusional. The Philippines is the same corrupt dump more or less that I knew in the 1980s.

    True there are some useless new malls and heavily guarded gated estates sitting like colonial outpost in a pullulating sea of poverty.

    But thinking that because they speak English they must be bright and Western is the oldest mistake to make in the development game.

    The people individualy are ok but inclined to the mediocre. Even the use of English is declining.

    A nation often gets the government it deserves - in the case of the Philippines I fear this is true.

    Replies: @Foreign Expert, @JSM

    The people individualy are ok but inclined to the mediocre

    Just came back from a cruise. The Filipino workers were very pleasant and willing to work. What’s great is, they *live* on the cruise ship. The accomodations they get are modest, but adequate. They go home to Phillipines where their children and families are, when their tour of duty is over.

    Because the cruise ships provide for basic necessities, and the Filipinos *don’t* get to live in America, I think it’s a win-win deal. Us passengers get treated nicely, the cruise lines make money and the Filipinos can save money while working for seedcorn to start a better life *in Phillipines.*

    Contrast that to the American strawberry farmers whose workers live in the towns, make trouble for the local residents, sponge off American social welfare programs because they don’t get paid enough to pay their own living expenses, and, being here, have a chance to knockup a gal and gain an anchor baby.

    Short version:
    American produce farmers are socializing the costs of doing business (providing their workers with the essentials of life) and privatizing the costs.

    The cruise lines are doing right by everybody.

    • Replies: @Jesse
    @JSM

    "The cruise lines are doing right by everybody."

    Uh, no. They could hire Americans.

    Replies: @JSM

  63. Meanwhile the state of Washington’s apple harvest will be the third largest in history.

    This was reported in the Spokesman Review, the same paper that in May ran it’s usual
    “crops rotting in the fields because Americans won’t do this kind of work even though
    orchardists will pay them $250 a day” story.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    @Nativist

    Nativist, NY has a huge apple crop and some of America's favorite apples were developed here ( Cornell) In 2004 the state passed legislation that required cider processors to pasteurize or treat their cider with UV rays to prevent E Coli contamination . The price of needed equipment ran into tens of thousands of dollars so some smaller cider mills simply shut down their plants. The legislation ended the practice of using "drops", that is, apples that fell from the tree, in the making of cider. These apples were deemed to be a possible source of contamination. Now, when you pass orchards, and the Niagara region is loaded with them, you see lots of apples "rotting in the field." This has nothing to do with a lack of farm hands. I have a friend on the nearby Reservation who makes his own cider, for family and friends. There is a world of difference between the taste of fresh cider and pasteurized cider. Many orchards around here feature dwarf apple trees. These trees rarely exceed 6 foot in height and have a slimmer profile. These are high yield trees and produce per acre about the same yield as the old trees that required a ladder to pick. More trees per acre and higher yield, less labor. The answers are out there if some one develops them.

  64. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve,

    I grew up in a farming region, and I remember well the constant laments of farmers:

    1. Not enough rain - bad crop.
    2. Too much rain - bad crop.
    3. Hail - destroyed part of crop.
    4. Perfect weather - prices collapse.

    All of the farmers always seemed on the brink of bankruptcy, yet they never went under. (Actually, some did go under, but that was caused by them taking out loans to expand in the mid-80s when land prices went through the rough only to deflate a few years later.)

    Replies: @nativist, @Jim Don Bob, @Buffalo Joe, @Anonymous

    Old Spokane joke:

    How can you tell the difference between a jet engine and a Palouse ( wheat growing district) farmer?

    When the jet engine lands on Maui it stops whining.

  65. @Power Child
    @Lot


    GMO crops I predict are going to start being amazing in 10 years. We are still in the infancy
     
    Huh? "Corn" as we know it didn't grow in nature, people created it by breeding wild grasses with traits they liked, a long time ago. Same goes for lettuce, apples, and just about anything else you're likely to find at the grocery store. Sorry to nitpick, but it bugs me when people act as though GMOs are some brand new thing that's only become possible with computers.

    Replies: @AnAnon

    GMOs are basically just there to enable patenting the food supply. There hasn’t been any rise in yield relative to Europe, for example, which bans GMO.

  66. @Steve Sailer
    @AnAnon

    It's real common in farming. For example, the weather turns out to be ideal for growing strawberries, you get a huge crop, but then so does everybody else and the price of strawberries drops while demand for strawberry pickers during the short window of the harvest goes through the roof. So it's economically sensible to just leave your most marginal strawberries that will get the lowest prices relative to the cost of labor.

    Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country, @athEIst, @Olorin

    The government could buy the excess strawberries. It works for raisins.

  67. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve,

    I grew up in a farming region, and I remember well the constant laments of farmers:

    1. Not enough rain - bad crop.
    2. Too much rain - bad crop.
    3. Hail - destroyed part of crop.
    4. Perfect weather - prices collapse.

    All of the farmers always seemed on the brink of bankruptcy, yet they never went under. (Actually, some did go under, but that was caused by them taking out loans to expand in the mid-80s when land prices went through the rough only to deflate a few years later.)

    Replies: @nativist, @Jim Don Bob, @Buffalo Joe, @Anonymous

    Do you know why they bury farmers only 3 feet deep?

    So they can still hold their hand out. Ba-dump-bump!

  68. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve,

    I grew up in a farming region, and I remember well the constant laments of farmers:

    1. Not enough rain - bad crop.
    2. Too much rain - bad crop.
    3. Hail - destroyed part of crop.
    4. Perfect weather - prices collapse.

    All of the farmers always seemed on the brink of bankruptcy, yet they never went under. (Actually, some did go under, but that was caused by them taking out loans to expand in the mid-80s when land prices went through the rough only to deflate a few years later.)

    Replies: @nativist, @Jim Don Bob, @Buffalo Joe, @Anonymous

    Citizen of silly country, When I was young we used to visit farmer friends in Cambria, NY. They had a “truck” farm and grew just about everything you could grow in WNY. We used to pick plum tomatoes that my mother canned as sauce and tomato paste. I would say that there was always at least one quarter or more of the tomatoes left in the field. Some ripened too soon, some, low on the vine, lay in the dirt and rotted and some ripened after a need to market them. The farmer either plowed those under to fertilize the soil, or raked them into piles ( rake behind the tractor) to feed his pigs. Same with all the crops, peppers, squash, beans, cukes… what didn’t get picked for market became food for the pigs. I never met a happy farmer, your lists describes them perfectly.

  69. @Alsatian
    @M_Young

    I seem to remember Ventura county having a lot of strawberry fields. But maybe that's not considered coastal SoCal anymore. Besides, Ventura Co.'s berry crop is only worth about 1/2 billion annually, about half that of Monterey County, so probably not a big deal...

    Replies: @M_Young

    Yeah, I don’t consider Ventura to be SoCal, but I guess it could be.

    The point is that number of immigrants pretty much is inversely proportional to the number of acres in production, at least in urbanized areas. There are, I am pretty sure, no more orange groves (commercial ones) left in OC for example.

  70. @Jim Sweeney
    @BurplesonAFB

    Filipinos place significant emphasis on education. They're Asians after all; they are definitely not Mexican.

    Replies: @Romanian

    All Arabs, except those in North Africa, are technically Asians. So are Pakistanis, Pashtuns, low caste Indians and other ethnicities one would not associate with a love of non-religious education.

    Perhaps you meant to say East Asian. These Asian and Hispanic categories are too large to express anything meaningful.

    I haven’t had experience with Filipinos, but other Asians I’ve met have confided that they’re like the Mexicans of Asia. They even have significant Spanish cultural and genetic heritages.

    • Replies: @5371
    @Romanian

    No, according to the US Census classification, all Arabs, along with Iranians and Turks, are white.

    Replies: @Romanian

  71. Last year, about a quarter of Biringer Farm’s strawberries and raspberries rotted in the field…

    Yet my wife was able to buy her beloved strawberries at the grocery store, at reasonable prices, as always.

    …such agriculture-savvy outlets as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

    I love this. This is one of the many reasons I read Steve.

  72. @Nativist
    Meanwhile the state of Washington's apple harvest will be the third largest in history.

    This was reported in the Spokesman Review, the same paper that in May ran it's usual
    "crops rotting in the fields because Americans won't do this kind of work even though
    orchardists will pay them $250 a day" story.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe

    Nativist, NY has a huge apple crop and some of America’s favorite apples were developed here ( Cornell) In 2004 the state passed legislation that required cider processors to pasteurize or treat their cider with UV rays to prevent E Coli contamination . The price of needed equipment ran into tens of thousands of dollars so some smaller cider mills simply shut down their plants. The legislation ended the practice of using “drops”, that is, apples that fell from the tree, in the making of cider. These apples were deemed to be a possible source of contamination. Now, when you pass orchards, and the Niagara region is loaded with them, you see lots of apples “rotting in the field.” This has nothing to do with a lack of farm hands. I have a friend on the nearby Reservation who makes his own cider, for family and friends. There is a world of difference between the taste of fresh cider and pasteurized cider. Many orchards around here feature dwarf apple trees. These trees rarely exceed 6 foot in height and have a slimmer profile. These are high yield trees and produce per acre about the same yield as the old trees that required a ladder to pick. More trees per acre and higher yield, less labor. The answers are out there if some one develops them.

  73. @Romanian
    @Jim Sweeney

    All Arabs, except those in North Africa, are technically Asians. So are Pakistanis, Pashtuns, low caste Indians and other ethnicities one would not associate with a love of non-religious education.

    Perhaps you meant to say East Asian. These Asian and Hispanic categories are too large to express anything meaningful.

    I haven't had experience with Filipinos, but other Asians I've met have confided that they're like the Mexicans of Asia. They even have significant Spanish cultural and genetic heritages.

    Replies: @5371

    No, according to the US Census classification, all Arabs, along with Iranians and Turks, are white.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    @5371

    Most taxonomies of human populations are arbitrary and are, in a sense, "social constructs", but the US census must be so full of excrement that it beggars belief. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Exhibit A are the Hispanics. The thing with the Census position on Arabs, Persians and Turks is that it follows the letter of whatever racial construct it uses, but fails in the spirit of it. The whole point of taking this census in a racialized society is to clearly define who the protected classes are in relation to the White majority. How can traditionally Muslim populations be White, under these circumstances? And how can East Asians not eventually become White, or Lily White? Back in the day, in the XIXth century, the French had a definition of whiteness that included Persians, Levantines, Afghans, Caucasians (including the famous Circassian beauties). But if we're looking for a definition of Whites today that reflects the politics of the world, even the great Indo-Aryan nation of Iran (notice the similarity) should be outside of it.

    Then again, and this is the first time in my life I've uttered a Jewish conspiracy theory, I think the reason for this inclusion is that the Jews would not have wanted, back then, when they still cared about being singled out and dual loyalties, to be classified as a Semitic group. If Arabs, Lebanese and others would have been classified differently, they would have been Semitic (which is not a racial designation, but a traditional Bible-influenced taxonomy - sons of Shem, as opposed to Africans, who are the cursed sons of Ham, who had seen his father naked on the Ark or something). But Jewish apartness is based on a Semitic ancestry, no matter how diluted by European mixtures in the Ashkenazim. Sephardi Jews, Mizrahi Jews would have been straight up Semites. So the Jews stayed White, and so did the Middle Easterners.

    PS I definitely disagree with Turanic populations, like the Turks, being considered White, looking at where they come from. But the distinction is only academic, because Turks today are a very diverse population, because of the assimilation of groups from among conquered peoples. A colleague of mine married one and moved to Turkey. The dude is a bit tanned, but he has blue eyes and would not look out of place in the Balkans.

  74. @The Anti-Gnostic
    @Jim Sweeney

    What problem are we having that only the importation of Filipinos will solve?

    If Filipinos are so great, why is their country such a "miserable place to live?"

    I guess I'm too parochial/provincial, but I've never understood the mania for immigration. Is it an extrovert thing?

    Replies: @Jim Sweeney, @Jesse

    “I guess I’m too parochial/provincial, but I’ve never understood the mania for immigration. Is it an extrovert thing?”

    NO! I’m as extraverted as they come, and oppose this. When you get lots of Filipinos, you get the Philippines. Not even Filipinos want to live there.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    @Jesse

    This blog, by expats and disgruntled Pinoys, is hilarious

    http://philippinefailblog.com/

  75. @JSM
    @Bill B.

    The people individualy are ok but inclined to the mediocre

    Just came back from a cruise. The Filipino workers were very pleasant and willing to work. What's great is, they *live* on the cruise ship. The accomodations they get are modest, but adequate. They go home to Phillipines where their children and families are, when their tour of duty is over.

    Because the cruise ships provide for basic necessities, and the Filipinos *don't* get to live in America, I think it's a win-win deal. Us passengers get treated nicely, the cruise lines make money and the Filipinos can save money while working for seedcorn to start a better life *in Phillipines.*

    Contrast that to the American strawberry farmers whose workers live in the towns, make trouble for the local residents, sponge off American social welfare programs because they don't get paid enough to pay their own living expenses, and, being here, have a chance to knockup a gal and gain an anchor baby.

    Short version:
    American produce farmers are socializing the costs of doing business (providing their workers with the essentials of life) and privatizing the costs.

    The cruise lines are doing right by everybody.

    Replies: @Jesse

    “The cruise lines are doing right by everybody.”

    Uh, no. They could hire Americans.

    • Replies: @JSM
    @Jesse

    Sure. Or, Norwegian Cruise Lines could hire Norwegians. But, the point is, they're not importing Filipinos into Norway, nor into U.S., etc.

    The point is, they provide for their workers instead of dumping them into towns that don't want them or onto the social welfare system meant for a country's own people.

    ---and, they actually DO hire just Americans in their Pride of America ship, which solely cruises the Hawaiian Islands (and is the only cruise ship I know of which is registered in U.S.)

  76. @MarkinLA
    @Barnard

    Don't you know?. Nobody can pick strawberries like a Mexican. It's something in their genes. They would win the strawberry picking Olympics gold medal every time.

    Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome

    mulberrylanefarm.com

    U-Pick Strawberries 2015

    There will be no U-Pick Strawberries in 2015. The already picked strawberries are all reserved and sold out! We are planting several more sections for next year to handle the increased demand. We are expecting a bumper crop in 2016!

    Can I Just Come Over Anytime and Pick Strawberries?
    Yes! But call first to check on picking conditions.

    What are the Prices This Year?
    $2.99 per lb U-Pick (prices may drop as the season progresses)
    A minimum 4 lb purchase per picker is required.

  77. @5371
    @Romanian

    No, according to the US Census classification, all Arabs, along with Iranians and Turks, are white.

    Replies: @Romanian

    Most taxonomies of human populations are arbitrary and are, in a sense, “social constructs”, but the US census must be so full of excrement that it beggars belief. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Exhibit A are the Hispanics. The thing with the Census position on Arabs, Persians and Turks is that it follows the letter of whatever racial construct it uses, but fails in the spirit of it. The whole point of taking this census in a racialized society is to clearly define who the protected classes are in relation to the White majority. How can traditionally Muslim populations be White, under these circumstances? And how can East Asians not eventually become White, or Lily White? Back in the day, in the XIXth century, the French had a definition of whiteness that included Persians, Levantines, Afghans, Caucasians (including the famous Circassian beauties). But if we’re looking for a definition of Whites today that reflects the politics of the world, even the great Indo-Aryan nation of Iran (notice the similarity) should be outside of it.

    Then again, and this is the first time in my life I’ve uttered a Jewish conspiracy theory, I think the reason for this inclusion is that the Jews would not have wanted, back then, when they still cared about being singled out and dual loyalties, to be classified as a Semitic group. If Arabs, Lebanese and others would have been classified differently, they would have been Semitic (which is not a racial designation, but a traditional Bible-influenced taxonomy – sons of Shem, as opposed to Africans, who are the cursed sons of Ham, who had seen his father naked on the Ark or something). But Jewish apartness is based on a Semitic ancestry, no matter how diluted by European mixtures in the Ashkenazim. Sephardi Jews, Mizrahi Jews would have been straight up Semites. So the Jews stayed White, and so did the Middle Easterners.

    PS I definitely disagree with Turanic populations, like the Turks, being considered White, looking at where they come from. But the distinction is only academic, because Turks today are a very diverse population, because of the assimilation of groups from among conquered peoples. A colleague of mine married one and moved to Turkey. The dude is a bit tanned, but he has blue eyes and would not look out of place in the Balkans.

  78. @Jesse
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    "I guess I’m too parochial/provincial, but I’ve never understood the mania for immigration. Is it an extrovert thing?"

    NO! I'm as extraverted as they come, and oppose this. When you get lots of Filipinos, you get the Philippines. Not even Filipinos want to live there.

    Replies: @Romanian

    This blog, by expats and disgruntled Pinoys, is hilarious

    http://philippinefailblog.com/

  79. Crops that shouldn’t have been planted and never developed nor are useful in any sense are rotting in the fields. Easy headline to write.

  80. @Foreign Expert
    @Bill B.

    There are new condominiums going up left and right here in the Phils. Corruption is no barrier to economic development.

    Replies: @notsaying

    This is what you said above: “I’m writing this in a Starbucks in the PI. The economy is booming and the people are cheerful.”

    Like the others who have commented, I interpreted your statement as claiming that the Filipino people were doing much better.

    Now you seem to be saying that you meant to say just like in America, their .01% and .001% are thriving and the fact that everybody else is kind of still in the same place they always were doesn’t matter.

    How much “economic development” can any country have when most of the new money never reaches below the top rungs?

    I expect the Filipino people about as happy to see the same ones who’ve been running the country to suit themselves for decades now have much more money and power than they did 10 or 20 years ago as most Americans are to see the same thing in the US.

  81. @Citizen of a Silly Country
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve,

    I grew up in a farming region, and I remember well the constant laments of farmers:

    1. Not enough rain - bad crop.
    2. Too much rain - bad crop.
    3. Hail - destroyed part of crop.
    4. Perfect weather - prices collapse.

    All of the farmers always seemed on the brink of bankruptcy, yet they never went under. (Actually, some did go under, but that was caused by them taking out loans to expand in the mid-80s when land prices went through the rough only to deflate a few years later.)

    Replies: @nativist, @Jim Don Bob, @Buffalo Joe, @Anonymous

    “The only thing worse than a bad year is a good year.”

  82. @Steve Sailer
    @AnAnon

    It's real common in farming. For example, the weather turns out to be ideal for growing strawberries, you get a huge crop, but then so does everybody else and the price of strawberries drops while demand for strawberry pickers during the short window of the harvest goes through the roof. So it's economically sensible to just leave your most marginal strawberries that will get the lowest prices relative to the cost of labor.

    Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country, @athEIst, @Olorin

    Today’s global food and fiber system ensures and encourages overplanting in the hopes of wrangling a new market somewhere at a point where your competitors’ markets have dried up.

    Good lord, aren’t these the same media outlets who bash on about the fact that of every food dollar spent, only about 16 cents now goes to the farmer, and the rest is all value add? (Marketing, transportation, packaging, processing, advertising, etc.)

    http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/131096/err114_reportsummary.pdf

    I mean, it’s not like the berry growers know that they need 5.2753 million pounds of strawberries but glory be could only find pickers for 4.7652 million pounds out behind Home Depot or crossing the river or whatever. Crops go unharvested because there simply isn’t a forward market for them. This is why, if you shop at Grocery Outlet stores in the West, suddenly from about December to March all sorts of pumpkin spice and cranberry specialty foods show up. The growers’ groups look for product opportunities and sometimes make them.

    But “food crops” are just raw ingredients in a vast and globalized industrial system. And “the farmer” is a big player in all those other sectors as well…including profiting on markup of labor.

    The other piece of this from an ag economics perspective is that the C-R-I-T-F genre demands importation of more crop pickers/packers for work that lasts a few weeks at best…but the hands never go away. They become the first links in chain migration. But after awhile, they start expecting higher wages, and that cuts into “the farmer’s” markups on that.

    It’s absolutely anathema to get the discussion down to that level of detail in the Big Ten or other aggie colleges, or the USDA departments, or the guys n dolls who stake their political or media careers on pandering to ag. They are largely liberal leaning on the matter of full life cycle accounting of immigrant labor and will try to escape any more reasoned discussion by a quick lick of the RACISM lollipop. Even (especially) the so called conservatives and free marketeers can’t think beyond this. It’s all about marking up prices, concentrating profits, and socializing costs.

    I’ve noted for two decades now in ag circles that the “farmer share of the consumer food dollar” figures are absolute lies. The checkout line price of produce/food may be at historic lows in the US, but consumers are paying for it dearly elsewhere.

  83. @Jesse
    @JSM

    "The cruise lines are doing right by everybody."

    Uh, no. They could hire Americans.

    Replies: @JSM

    Sure. Or, Norwegian Cruise Lines could hire Norwegians. But, the point is, they’re not importing Filipinos into Norway, nor into U.S., etc.

    The point is, they provide for their workers instead of dumping them into towns that don’t want them or onto the social welfare system meant for a country’s own people.

    —and, they actually DO hire just Americans in their Pride of America ship, which solely cruises the Hawaiian Islands (and is the only cruise ship I know of which is registered in U.S.)

  84. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s astonishing that after we abolished slavery, which was known most famously as a way to get our crops picked for free, now the liberals believe that it’s our moral obligation to import illegal labor for plantation owners to use to pick our crops.

    It’s just our modern day slavery really, an imported class of people who cost less than legitimate labor and are amenable to being forced to work in horrible conditions. Except this group just receives enough cash to pay rent somewhere and can be fired whenever.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    @Anonymous

    Hipster, yes, free slave labor if you don't count the cost of purchasing, feeding, clothing and housing to be an expense. You also provide medical care and tools. An excellent book on the economics of slavery, which should be required reading in all African American studies classes, is "Time on the Cross." Forgot the authors' names but a good factual read (look it up). And, another thing for you to consider...we have plenty of Amish in Western New York and the Niagara Region. Drive into Amish country and you see whole families working the fields "in horrible" conditions, no tractors, just horses. And, often you see them working side by side with their brown skinned helpers at planting and harvesting time. The Canadians have a guest farm worker program where the workers, almost all males don't get to bring their family with them. They are provided housing and food or an allowance. There pay goes into an account that is retrieval upon exit from Canada. Sounds good to me.

    Replies: @Ivy

  85. @Farenheit
    So I guess the Japanese have had this problem for centuries, and plan to keep having forever!!
    It would be one studly wetback who could make it across the Sea of Japan!!

    Replies: @Busby

    Japanese farms are small. Often times more of a hobby than a full time job. It’s not unusual for middle class city dwellers to spend weekends on the old family farm. Back to nature and all that.
    Plus, Japanese political parties play heavily to the rural population with intricate regulations and restrictions. I also seem to recall they have a type of “Rotten Burroughs” in the Diet.

  86. @Bill P
    @Dennis Dale


    How about government incentives to automate? We could just buy off the industry by giving them a more profitable, less labor intensive model; one they would be investing in themselves if it didn’t, apparently, make more sense just to keep paying depressed wages.
     
    What gets me is that they're really pushing automated trucks, but nobody seems to care about automating where it's both feasible and safer.

    If an automated fruit/berry picker goes haywire, you just get a bunch of macerated berries and a few disturbed furrows. But if the software in a car (not to mention a truck) crashes, you get mangled and charred people.

    Seems to me that stoop labor is exactly where you want to start with robotic workers. But no, it has to be industries that hire American citizens...

    Replies: @Bill Jones, @Hippopotamusdrome, @Busby

    It’s a harder problem. I think the most success so far is with things like nuts where the machines don’t need to be very dexterous. My cousin the farmer says they are probably 10 years away from machines that can pick fruit satisfactorily. He grows grapes in CA.

    • Replies: @5371
    @Busby

    Those ten years are very like the twenty years we are always away from artificial general intelligence or the forty years we are always away from economically viable fusion reactors.

    Replies: @MarkinLA, @Reg Cæsar

    , @Buffalo Joe
    @Busby

    Busby, The area south of Buffalo and adjacent to Lake Erie to past Erie, Pa is prime grape country. There is a co-op called Welch's that processes mostly Concord grapes into jam, jelly and juice. There are picking machines that harvest these grape, for this usage, in existence. These vineyards are on mostly level acreage. The area, in Central NY around the Finger Lakes is home to many fine vineyards that produce wine grapes and wine. These vineyards are on hillsides that are harder to pick with a machine. There already exists "tree shakers" that dislodge fruits and nuts by vigorously shaking the trees. The fruit or nuts fall into fabric catcher troughs, and are then dumped into trucks. The nuts are too hard to damage by dropping them to the ground or trough. The fruit bruises so these apples are used for apple sauce ,cider, juice or vinegar.

  87. Wall Streetwalker Journal is not liberal, it is neocon.

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
    @Stan

    Six of one......

  88. @Busby
    @Bill P

    It's a harder problem. I think the most success so far is with things like nuts where the machines don't need to be very dexterous. My cousin the farmer says they are probably 10 years away from machines that can pick fruit satisfactorily. He grows grapes in CA.

    Replies: @5371, @Buffalo Joe

    Those ten years are very like the twenty years we are always away from artificial general intelligence or the forty years we are always away from economically viable fusion reactors.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    @5371

    You don't need total and complete automation. You can do a lot with helping technology. Instead of having Paco run up and down a tree with a big sack and risk falling off the ladder, you have cherry pickers and the farmhand places the fruit directly into the boxes while up there. This alone save time and is safer. A lot of the backbreaking part of stoop labor can be avoided. The field hand aims the picker at the strawberry and the much simpler robot arm picks it. Later on the AI imaging system can be attached that determines which strawberries are ripe can be attached to the robotic arm.

    Of course this intermediate step will never be done as long as there are illegal alien farm workers.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @5371



    Those ten years are very like the twenty years we are always away from artificial general intelligence or the forty years we are always away from economically viable fusion reactors.

     

    And the 250,000 years we are always away from racial equity.

    So what you're saying is, it's campesinos all the way down.
  89. @5371
    @Busby

    Those ten years are very like the twenty years we are always away from artificial general intelligence or the forty years we are always away from economically viable fusion reactors.

    Replies: @MarkinLA, @Reg Cæsar

    You don’t need total and complete automation. You can do a lot with helping technology. Instead of having Paco run up and down a tree with a big sack and risk falling off the ladder, you have cherry pickers and the farmhand places the fruit directly into the boxes while up there. This alone save time and is safer. A lot of the backbreaking part of stoop labor can be avoided. The field hand aims the picker at the strawberry and the much simpler robot arm picks it. Later on the AI imaging system can be attached that determines which strawberries are ripe can be attached to the robotic arm.

    Of course this intermediate step will never be done as long as there are illegal alien farm workers.

  90. @5371
    @Busby

    Those ten years are very like the twenty years we are always away from artificial general intelligence or the forty years we are always away from economically viable fusion reactors.

    Replies: @MarkinLA, @Reg Cæsar

    Those ten years are very like the twenty years we are always away from artificial general intelligence or the forty years we are always away from economically viable fusion reactors.

    And the 250,000 years we are always away from racial equity.

    So what you’re saying is, it’s campesinos all the way down.

  91. @Busby
    @Bill P

    It's a harder problem. I think the most success so far is with things like nuts where the machines don't need to be very dexterous. My cousin the farmer says they are probably 10 years away from machines that can pick fruit satisfactorily. He grows grapes in CA.

    Replies: @5371, @Buffalo Joe

    Busby, The area south of Buffalo and adjacent to Lake Erie to past Erie, Pa is prime grape country. There is a co-op called Welch’s that processes mostly Concord grapes into jam, jelly and juice. There are picking machines that harvest these grape, for this usage, in existence. These vineyards are on mostly level acreage. The area, in Central NY around the Finger Lakes is home to many fine vineyards that produce wine grapes and wine. These vineyards are on hillsides that are harder to pick with a machine. There already exists “tree shakers” that dislodge fruits and nuts by vigorously shaking the trees. The fruit or nuts fall into fabric catcher troughs, and are then dumped into trucks. The nuts are too hard to damage by dropping them to the ground or trough. The fruit bruises so these apples are used for apple sauce ,cider, juice or vinegar.

  92. @Stan
    Wall Streetwalker Journal is not liberal, it is neocon.

    Replies: @Chris Mallory

    Six of one……

  93. @Anonymous
    It's astonishing that after we abolished slavery, which was known most famously as a way to get our crops picked for free, now the liberals believe that it's our moral obligation to import illegal labor for plantation owners to use to pick our crops.

    It's just our modern day slavery really, an imported class of people who cost less than legitimate labor and are amenable to being forced to work in horrible conditions. Except this group just receives enough cash to pay rent somewhere and can be fired whenever.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe

    Hipster, yes, free slave labor if you don’t count the cost of purchasing, feeding, clothing and housing to be an expense. You also provide medical care and tools. An excellent book on the economics of slavery, which should be required reading in all African American studies classes, is “Time on the Cross.” Forgot the authors’ names but a good factual read (look it up). And, another thing for you to consider…we have plenty of Amish in Western New York and the Niagara Region. Drive into Amish country and you see whole families working the fields “in horrible” conditions, no tractors, just horses. And, often you see them working side by side with their brown skinned helpers at planting and harvesting time. The Canadians have a guest farm worker program where the workers, almost all males don’t get to bring their family with them. They are provided housing and food or an allowance. There pay goes into an account that is retrieval upon exit from Canada. Sounds good to me.

    • Replies: @Ivy
    @Buffalo Joe

    Farm work can help strengthen character and does provide many opportunities to see the results of one's handiwork after a job well (or sometimes just passably) done. It isn't easy, but it is rewarding. Some say that if it were easy, anyone could do it, and they all should at least try. That would likely help bring down to earth many people that deal only in TV and sound bite concepts.

    The rhythm of farm life follows the seasons and the birth-growth-death cycles of livestock. You plant, fertilize, water, tend and harvest, or you help animals give birth and then raise the ones you want or sell or eat the rest. Life goes on as it has for centuries.

    Those simple impacts help provide a more timeless perspective on the aspects of life that would be otherwise ignored in the suburbs or the city. How many city kids have never seen a cow that provides them the milk for their cereal (doesn't it come from the store?), or the hens that lay eggs, or any number of other poignant examples?

    Farm work is often humbling, such as when one is trying to get recalcitrant sows into a farrowing barn or shoveling the seemingly endless tonnage of excrement. There is plenty of danger to avoid, like building a barbed wire fence and keeping from nicking the wire to make a weak spot that will break when the line is stretched for nailing to the corner post. Our group called that broken wire a yellow jacket, named after the myriad stings that the flying wire would inflict.

    Sometimes society seems like a lot of nicked wires, and awaiting voters get stung as they try to pen in recalcitrant representatives. Maybe electric fences are the way to go.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe

  94. Now crops are rotting in the kitchens:

    “I would be surprised if the slowdown in Mexican immigration isn’t responsible for more of the problem than many people realize,” said Tyler Cowen, an economics professor at George Mason University who has written extensively about the economics of restaurants. “This sector is, as anyone in it will tell you, kept afloat by immigrants, especially Latinos. They’re essential to its health.”

    Cowen believes that the improving economy is also hurting the restaurant industry. As other sectors pick up, service jobs suddenly become less appealing, he says.

    “Improving economy, declining immigration, and higher rents — those are the three main things creating the shortage of cooks,” Cowen said.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/08/12/the-crippling-problem-people-who-eat-at-restaurants-havent-noticed-but-chefs-are-freaking-out-about/?tid=pm_pop_b

  95. @Buffalo Joe
    @Anonymous

    Hipster, yes, free slave labor if you don't count the cost of purchasing, feeding, clothing and housing to be an expense. You also provide medical care and tools. An excellent book on the economics of slavery, which should be required reading in all African American studies classes, is "Time on the Cross." Forgot the authors' names but a good factual read (look it up). And, another thing for you to consider...we have plenty of Amish in Western New York and the Niagara Region. Drive into Amish country and you see whole families working the fields "in horrible" conditions, no tractors, just horses. And, often you see them working side by side with their brown skinned helpers at planting and harvesting time. The Canadians have a guest farm worker program where the workers, almost all males don't get to bring their family with them. They are provided housing and food or an allowance. There pay goes into an account that is retrieval upon exit from Canada. Sounds good to me.

    Replies: @Ivy

    Farm work can help strengthen character and does provide many opportunities to see the results of one’s handiwork after a job well (or sometimes just passably) done. It isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. Some say that if it were easy, anyone could do it, and they all should at least try. That would likely help bring down to earth many people that deal only in TV and sound bite concepts.

    The rhythm of farm life follows the seasons and the birth-growth-death cycles of livestock. You plant, fertilize, water, tend and harvest, or you help animals give birth and then raise the ones you want or sell or eat the rest. Life goes on as it has for centuries.

    Those simple impacts help provide a more timeless perspective on the aspects of life that would be otherwise ignored in the suburbs or the city. How many city kids have never seen a cow that provides them the milk for their cereal (doesn’t it come from the store?), or the hens that lay eggs, or any number of other poignant examples?

    Farm work is often humbling, such as when one is trying to get recalcitrant sows into a farrowing barn or shoveling the seemingly endless tonnage of excrement. There is plenty of danger to avoid, like building a barbed wire fence and keeping from nicking the wire to make a weak spot that will break when the line is stretched for nailing to the corner post. Our group called that broken wire a yellow jacket, named after the myriad stings that the flying wire would inflict.

    Sometimes society seems like a lot of nicked wires, and awaiting voters get stung as they try to pen in recalcitrant representatives. Maybe electric fences are the way to go.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    @Ivy

    Ivy , if I could I would award you the Golden Border for your excellent post. I loved my time spent on our friend's farm. I often drive to Amish country simply to observe their life style.

    Replies: @Ivy

  96. @JohnnyWalker123
    By the way, black women like Trump.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhQfUiDhjQg

    Replies: @Anonymous, @njguy73

    You sure this isn’t satire?

  97. @Ivy
    @Buffalo Joe

    Farm work can help strengthen character and does provide many opportunities to see the results of one's handiwork after a job well (or sometimes just passably) done. It isn't easy, but it is rewarding. Some say that if it were easy, anyone could do it, and they all should at least try. That would likely help bring down to earth many people that deal only in TV and sound bite concepts.

    The rhythm of farm life follows the seasons and the birth-growth-death cycles of livestock. You plant, fertilize, water, tend and harvest, or you help animals give birth and then raise the ones you want or sell or eat the rest. Life goes on as it has for centuries.

    Those simple impacts help provide a more timeless perspective on the aspects of life that would be otherwise ignored in the suburbs or the city. How many city kids have never seen a cow that provides them the milk for their cereal (doesn't it come from the store?), or the hens that lay eggs, or any number of other poignant examples?

    Farm work is often humbling, such as when one is trying to get recalcitrant sows into a farrowing barn or shoveling the seemingly endless tonnage of excrement. There is plenty of danger to avoid, like building a barbed wire fence and keeping from nicking the wire to make a weak spot that will break when the line is stretched for nailing to the corner post. Our group called that broken wire a yellow jacket, named after the myriad stings that the flying wire would inflict.

    Sometimes society seems like a lot of nicked wires, and awaiting voters get stung as they try to pen in recalcitrant representatives. Maybe electric fences are the way to go.

    Replies: @Buffalo Joe

    Ivy , if I could I would award you the Golden Border for your excellent post. I loved my time spent on our friend’s farm. I often drive to Amish country simply to observe their life style.

    • Replies: @Ivy
    @Buffalo Joe

    Thank you. Time spent in rural environments can be so enriching.

  98. @EdwardM
    @BurplesonAFB

    They're like more docile Mexicans -- who breed even more and who come from a society with about the same level of social trust. Not sure that they're brighter, though I suppose that one has to be more motivated to immigrate from the Philippines than from Mexico.

    Still, I agree that they are preferable to the Mexicans. Even Filipino should thank God every day that they were under U.S. control for awhile, and hence speak English, giving them job opportunities in the U.S. and Gulf countries, as well as call centers in their home country.

    Replies: @athEIst

    Ya, they are more docile. That’s how the Spanish got them. They were claimed for Spain by Magellan. They were conquered by the Spanish with an army from Mexico. Until their loss they were ruled as part of New Spain.

  99. @Buffalo Joe
    @Ivy

    Ivy , if I could I would award you the Golden Border for your excellent post. I loved my time spent on our friend's farm. I often drive to Amish country simply to observe their life style.

    Replies: @Ivy

    Thank you. Time spent in rural environments can be so enriching.

  100. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “I’m writing this in a Starbucks in the PI. The economy is booming and the people are cheerful.”

    My recent experience with Filipinos is that they are reasonably hard working and many are smart enough to participate effectively in a modern economy, though by and large not in a bookish sort of way, except for the ethnic Chinese minority (Michele Malkin is one of these). Don’t Filipinos now supply most of the sailors to the shipping companies of the world? Operating those big cloud data centers in the US must not seem too different, they can do that just fine.

    A lot of people got excited about doing business in the Philippines, doing startups in the Philippines, that sort of thing. What they’ve found out is the corruption is pervasive. Even getting the simplest things done, like installing a phone or an internet link, seems to becomes a big adventure. It seems to be one of these places (perhaps India and the Arab world are others) where the “friction” associated with doing business just wears you down to where people often give up. Maybe it doesn’t happen if you have the right connections, but I suppose that’s basically the point.

  101. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Bellow is a repost of an old isteve post. It is getting harder for California ag to ignore robotics, what with farmers starting to use UAVs to monitor crops and farm workers (not the stoop labor) starting to wonder why they couldn’t use robots:

    There was a time in the 70s when the University of California was going to invest in agricultural robotics. Liberal (radical?) lawyers, under the cover of Cesar Chavez, shut this effort down. Old links:

    “Cesar Chavez, the legendary leader of the United Farm Workers, began a campaign against mechanization back in 1978. …

    … Chavez was outraged that the federal government was funding research and development on agricultural machines, but not spending any money to aid the farm workers who would be displaced.” (Wired, “Farms Fund Robots to Replace Migrant Fruit Pickers”, Eliza Strickland, June 21, 2007.)

    From a Center for Immigration Studies article, regarding increasing farm productivity via mechanization:

    “Harvest labor productivity must be greatly increased so that production costs can decrease and worker income can increase. This is a key factor that the U.S. Government has been neglecting since 1979, when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture of that time, Bob Bergland, stated, ‘I will not put federal money into any project that reduces the need for farm labor.’ This policy supported an anti-mechanization movement that had brought a lawsuit against the University of California for using public funds to conduct mechanization research.” (CIS, “Alternatives to Immigrant Labor? The Status of Fruit and Vegetable Harvest Mechanization in the United States”, Yoav Sarig, James F. Thompson, Galen K. Brown, December 2000.)

    Isn’t it grand we have a Dept. of Agriculture? They clearly are on the case!

    California is progressive-enough that it should be able to throw off the shackles of a Luddite anti-mechanization movement. You can do it, California! (Or maybe not…)

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