>Although never one to underestimate the xenophobia codified in U.S.
You must be referring to the long held policy of the US of keeping its
doors closed to immigrants. Am I correct?
>I most respectfully differ with the opinions of my
>san-comrades expressed in the messages included at the end of this
I must likewise respectfully dispute most of what has been said in this
>one. The agricultural migrant labor issue exists in my opinion due to
>universally LOW wages found in the farm labor economy.
>If farm workers started making $10, $15, or $20 dollars an hour you
>damn sure a whole lot of U.S. citizens of all stripes would suddenly
>develop a powerful hankering for country life!! Furthermore, these
>would be jealously guarded by their occupants and attempts to employ
>discount labor from Mexico or elsewhere would be quickly reported to
Your assumption that these jobs would be so guarded is only
The secret of hiring discount labor would be guarded by both the
employers and the workers they hire.
In any case, the fact is that much of migrant farm work is on a pay per
unit basis which commomly allows the workers to make the high wages you
describe. This may attract a variety of people to these jobs, but the
largely migrant workers still do compete for these jobs. In fact, many
migrants are dicovering higher paid work, in northern areas especially,
and are now competing with the locals. The work is available to
comes first, and the migrants are not shy about competing. When the
employers realize that the jobs are in demand, they will adjust the pay
to whatever the market will bear, which would be beyond the control of
the workers unless they are willing to go on strike, which would only
happen if the workers are desperate or feel they can afford the
loss of income.
> Does this sound fantastic and absurdist? It is of course
>unrealistic to imagine that people actually involved in feeding the
>nation should receive anything above poverty wages in the U.S., 'the
>richest nation on earth' and seat of a global empire. Naturally, only
>those who toil on soft seats in air-conditioned offices adjusting
>insurance claims or other serious and productive tasks deserve such
>compensation. These hardworking persons generate shareholder value,
It isn't a matter of what someone deserves, but the simple reality of
economics works. I'm sure you are aware that the market is based upon
supply and demand. Everyone makes choices based upon this principle.
Employers are not going to offer more money than they are required to
law or by the demand of the market. If they are required by law to pay
high wages, the costs will be passed on at every level. This is
with regard to food, because it is low income people who will be most
affected. In general, higher food prices would be likely to influence
people to buy less and to choose those foods that are least expensive,
even if the quality is lower. The farmer, too, will be looking for
ways to cut costs, including reducing their work force, possibly
resulting in poorer quality product. The interplay of supply and
is complex, and attempts to tamper with it artificially are bound to
affect the economy in ways you wouldn't choose.
>see, unlike lazy and firvolous manual laborors who would most likely
>squander their earnings on drink and imported electronics.
I hope you won't deny that there is a large percentage of low income
people who do squander their earnings just as you suggest.
>Second: My thesis is briefly as follows:
>FIRST-WORLDERS SHOULD BE PAYING FIRST-WORLD WAGES FOR THEIR
>TEXTILE, SERVICE AND FARM LABOR, not just their software and banking
>'services.' Unfortuantely we have become a nation of parasites, slaves
>and slavers, overworked though we may be. Imperialists, like the
>yore, but more subtle and much more effective. The US cheap food
>is as I see it, one half the our modern 'bread and circuses' approach
>anaesthesizing otherwise rowdy populations. The migrant labor
>is not a problem at all for the monied interests who make government
>policy, and who relentlessly work to maintain the largest and therefore
>cheapest posssible labor pool through manipulation of welfare policies,
>the federal reserve (note their terror of 'wage inflation'), and
>immigaration, both legal and otherwise.
>Third: The poverty and instability in 'our' hemisphere which drives
>illegal and legal migrant workers exists not so much despite, but
>BECAUSE of the best efforts of US imperialst antics, the World Bank and
>the IMF (may they sink into the earth). But let's debate this point
>elsewhere! My point here is that legalization is in my opinion at best
>band aid approach.
I think the above comments require quite a bit more explanation, which
does not mean that I necessarily disagree with all of it. I do detect
Marxist tone here, and a previous use of the word "comrads" might imply
your political leanings. I suspect that you support a planned economy
and distribution of wealth, but I will reserve judgement until you have
further commented. I will only remind you of the terrible abuses and
failures of such systems when they have been tried elsewhere. No thank
you if you wish to subject us to that, however idealistic your
>Fourth: In hopes of avoiding lots of mail from farmers educating me on
>realpolitik of the nightmarish federal labor bureaucracy, let me say I
>not against you. I'm against cheap food, cheap labor, and absurd
>concentrations of wealth.
Again, the inflation of food prices will put low income people at an
greater disadvantage than they already are. A large portion of their
income will have to be spent on food, which will make it even more
difficult for them to get ahead in other areas, including education and
Ultimately, concentrations of wealth are the combined results of the
spending choices of every member of society. Raising minimum wages
therefore cost of living) will not change this.
>Who was it said "Those who work not shall
>not eat?" I say: A good days work for a good day's pay. This
>entails prosperous farmers.
As I recall it, the statement was "He who will not work, neither shall
>And yes, I know I can't spell. Any advice on operating the Pine spell
>checker is welcome!
When you finish writing, with the cursor still in the writing field,
Ctrl and press t. The first found misspelling will appear in a line at
the bottom of the screen. Correct it, and press enter. The next
misspelled word will appear, etc, until there are no more found, in
case you will be prompted that the spell check is finished.
>On Thu, 31 Dec 1998, Diane Cooner wrote:
>> Hear, Hear!!!
>> Fear perpetuates the whole mess.
There is such a thing as an intelligent "fear." Is rampant
overpopulation of no concern to you? See below.
>> Alex McGregor wrote:
>> > The migrant farm worker issue exists for 2 reasons: Prejudice and
>> > (although the 2nd is a subset of the 1st).
>> > There has always been a prejudice against Latinos- especially in
>> > Southwestern part of the US. We just don't want "their kind"
>> > our lilly white, god fearing country and subverting our values and
>> > marrying our daughters. Hell, they even don't speak English!
America is now far from being lily white, even apart from Latinos, many
of whom are white. Do you think it must only be white Americans who
concerned about the vast numbers of Mexicans pouring into the country?
am quite sick of issues being boiled down to racism. It is simply a
that a large portion of the incoming Latino population has a different
culture and set of values from those of most Americans - and I'm not
talking about imperialism, world bank, IMF, or any of that.
Need I point out that most Latinos are "god fearing" Catholics? They
so God fearing that they are willing to overpopulate any country they
in as long as the pope will not condone birth control. They are
doing the the same to this country, to the point where it is already
predicted that the Latino population will be the largest group in
in not too many years. Don't bother to call Jose Silvino Navarez a
xenophbic racist for saying so. It would be the same if India were
located where Mexico is and they were the ones moving into the US.
How many other countries would tolerate large numbers of foreigners
their country and even cater to their refusal or failure to learn that
country's language? I would not move to another country and then
that all public and commercial communications be offered in the
of my country of origin to spare me the necessity of learning the
language commonly spoken in the country I chose to enter. Would you?
Would Mexico, where my family originated, be so tolerant?
Why should this country be forced into bilingualism? With the
Spanish-only population growing as it is, we will soon find ourselves
polarized into separate language communities, within cities, even
neighborhoods. In order to prevent this, perhaps we should mandate
Spanish be taught to all American children, because it would be wrong
expect Latinos to learn English. Then we can make Spanish the primary
language in America. Right?
Furthermore, although there may be racial pejudice among some white
Americans, this is not the basis for most objections to the growing
Latino population. Americans rightly perceive the combined population
legal and illegal Latino immigrants as being largely poor and
people who are competing for jobs and willing to accept low wages, and
putting a strain on the welfare rolls. They perceive that the reason
most of them are here is not their love of this country, but their
for more money than they could find where they came from. They
that if this population grows at the current rate, this country will
change for the worse, not because they are Latinos, but due to the
>> > The fear is a hold-over from the days when Americans would work in
>> > factories, mills and on farms. The (fill in the blank with Poles,
>> > Chinese...) immigrants competed for these jobs years ago. The
>> > is that no Americans are willing to work in low paying, menial
If no Amerians are willing to work in low paying menial jobs, then
employers would be forced by lack of workers to either raise their
or find cheap foreign labor. By legalizing the latter, you would only
keeping wages down for everyone. By disallowing it, we would be
encouraging the former choice: raising wages. This would be within the
law of supply and demand, which is a much more stable basis for the
economy than any planned or regulated system.
>> > Mexicans are- the minimum wage per hour here is a 10 hour day's
>> > Mexico. That would be like paying $40 per hour for factory jobs
Yes, they want to be here because they see that they can get more money
than they ever saw beore in their lives. Your comments on this are
>> > To think that there's anything else driving the migrant farm labor
>> > "problem is ridiculous. There's a shortage of workers in our
>> > and on our farms because not many of us are willing to be laborers
>> > farm workers and the Mexicans are willing to work at any kind of
>> > here to feed their families.
I must point out that if you want to talk about racism, consider the
racist implications of relegating the "undesirable" labor required to
support American lifestyle to Mexicans and other poor nationalities.
Shall we have them as our serfs? I support the idea of Americans doing
their own "dirty work."
>> > I like Dale's idea of legitimizing migrant workers:
>> > "Wouldn't an easy solution to the illegal migrant labor
>> > problem be to legalize it? The government could make it easier to
>> > temporary work visas."
The population of poor Mexicans who would like to earn money in America
is vast and growing. If you think giving a certain number of them
will reduce the numbers of illegals, I think you are deluding yourself.
There will be more and more others who then feel safe to come where
can get lost in the crowd.
>> > We can't stop the influx of hungry, desperate people wanting jobs
>> > don't. So what's our problem with coming up with some way to
>> > workers and the business and farm owners? I refer you to reason #1
>> > above.
>> > Alex
You are suggesting that because it is hard to stop the influx of
opportunity seekers that we should therefore encourage it? I have
why I feel that this would be detrimental, but let me add, as a Latino
American, that I do not believe this is the solution to the problems of
Mexicans (or people of other poverty ridden countries). These
need to find their own sustainable solutions.
Jose Silvino Navarez
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