Nov 28 2011
01:20 pm

If you pushed for a law which raised the minimum wage for farm workers several dollars an hour, you'd be denounced as a lunatic socialist who is intent on destroying American agriculture.

But if you push for these laws, which essentially have the same economic impact on farmers, it's OK, because you're keeping away the brown people who don't speak English well.


Factchecker's picture

Republiconomics and compassionate conservatives

Georgia economists estimate that their state lost $75 million from its $578 million agriculture industry as berries, bell peppers, squash, cucumbers, watermelons and the state’s famed Vidalia onions were left to rot.

Alabama’s initial estimate is $40 million lost, and Sam Addy, an economist at the University of Alabama, said that figure likely understates the damage.

F*cking Republicans.

EricLykins's picture

Lessons from the Immigration

Lessons from the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
From the " fistfuls of dollars" link at the following link:

Scenario 1: Comprehensive immigration reform
The U.S. government in this scenario enacts immigration reform that allows unauthorized immigrants to come forward and register, pay an application fee and a fine, and—if they pass a criminal background check—earn legal status and eventually U.S. citizenship. Applicants would also be required to learn English and pay any back taxes owed. And future levels of permanent and temporary immigration to the United States would be based on the demand for labor.

All immigrant workers in this scenario have full labor rights, which results in higher wages—and higher worker productivity—for all workers in industries where large numbers of immigrants are employed. As wage and productivity levels rise, the U.S. economy’s demand for new immigrant workers actually declines over time as the market shrinks for easily exploited, low-wage, low-productivity workers.

This comprehensive immigration reform scenario generates an increase in U.S. gross domestic product of at least 0.84 percent. Summed, this amounts to a cumulative $1.5 trillion in additional GDP over 10 years (see Figure 7 and Appendix 2). And both native-born and newly legalized immigrant workers would see their wages rise.

This scenario uses the parameters of the IRCA experience to simulate the effect of the higher wages that newly legalized workers would earn, as well as the higher worker productivity that would result from the movement of workers into new occupations and from increased investment by workers in their own education and skills. This model does not, however, capture a range of other economic benefits that have been documented among IRCA beneficiaries, such as increased household investments in the education of family members and increased rates of home ownership and small-business formation. The results of our modeling should therefore be viewed as a conservative, baseline estimate of the actual economic benefits that would flow from comprehensive immigration reform

agrarianurbanite's picture


Brian, I have read your article, and thank you for the heads up. Right now, I am too angry at our 'reps' in Nashville to say anything constructive.

This is why we need to bring urban agriculture to the forefront. We need to grow our food in and around our cities. We need to strengthen our local food systems, and the laws/codes need to allow us to do this.

The Agrarian Urbanite has spoken.

Lisa Starbuck's picture

A Million Gardens

A Million Gardens

A little long, but I recommend reading in full because it has some interesting things to say about OWS, money and power before it gets to the nitty gritty about local, non-commercial food production on "orphaned properties."

Making Food

In the town where I live, with around 20,000 souls, we built a garden this year. A group of people built the first of several food donation gardens on what the city has called “orphaned properties.” The city owns them, but they have no particular use for them during this devolutionary contraction. Next Spring, we want to make two more gardens. A friend from church just offered the use of a portion of her country property for garden cultivation. We have around a million maples worth of leaf mulch and compost, mountains of chipped wood (from ice storm damage last year), and those long Northern summer days of sun. We have barely begun to learn how much food we can grow here… off the commercial food Grid.

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