10/20/2007

Random Thought

Illegal immigration is an issue that our government is not quite sure of how to handle. If this is such a serious problem though, you think that our government would stop subsidizing one of the largest industries that harbors and employees these illegal immigrants then. Yes, I am talking about the agricultural industry. I think the government should stop subsidizing agricultural goods. It would not only do a great deal of good for that particular industry, but it would also result in less demand for the labor of illegal immigrants. Therefore, such a policy could end up killing two birds with one stone.

6 comments:

Logan said...

Farming is an interesting industry because it used to be what everyone did, but now people do it out of tradition. Most 'traditional' farms are sold to developers and subdivided into residential and commercial plots once 'dad dies.' The fact that the government insists on ‘saving the farm’ has artificially inflated the supply.

The product that comes from these small farms doesn't make a dent in the amount of agricultural product that is consumed. The bulk comes from corporate owned, technologically advanced, enormous agriculture zones. They use every known machine, tool, chemical, and method to produce the most product possible.

In many of them, few 'farm hands' are needed as most of it is done by machinery. What they really need is skilled heavy machinery operators. So why do we have so many illegal immigrants doing manual labor in America? Because they are cheap and expendable. It reminds me of the industrial revolution that Karl Marx witnessed where factory workers were given just enough to survive and the business owners were laughing all the way to the bank.

Frankly, If all manual labor that is currently performed in America could only be done by genuine, tax paying, law abiding citizens, farmers and other industry owners would find other efficient ways to deal with the cost offset (like utilize more heavy machinery). Combine that with lifting of legislative safety nets, less efficient firms would get out of the market and only the most efficient would continue to produce

The truth is, even though it seems like we pay them less to do the work that 'Americans won't do,' we are all paying for it with increased tax money and health care cost increases. Just because their wages are low doesn't mean they aren't being compensated. There is a terrible free-rider dilemma going on with the public school system (free education), health care system (free emergency health care), police, fire, national security, etc.

I don't have the answer of how to fix the problem, but they have a better lifestyle by being here than they did back home The majority of Americans seem to like having the cheaper products that are produced by these undocumented workers. Otherwise, we would take more action in legislation, boycotts, pickets, etc. Instead, we just pay more for public goods.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Logan for a grammatical mistake.

Gosh Sophie ... this makes so much ... sense.

That's probably while it will never happen.

Timothy said...

It seems that the government never makes decisions based on what would be the best course of action to take to protect the country, but always make decisions based on what will get them re-elected when the time rolls around. I think that this is why we will never do away with subsidies to farmers.

In the Mid-West that would be political suicide and a political career buster. If we limited politicians in the Senate and House as well as in the State governments, I think we would see better economic decisions made that would better serve the country. I fully agree with you.

William said...

Dr. Tufte,
I agree with both you and Sophie. I think that the government should not subsidize the farmers. I think the government is allowing inefficiencies in our system by helping them out. It's kind of like a 30 year old son still living at home. He will never leave the home until he is no longer helped out by his parents. I think it is time our farmers to grow up and have to compete against the rest of the world without the help of the government.

Trinity said...

Dr. Tufte- While Sophie's argument does make sense, there is a great reason why the government subsidizes agriculture. Food is a national security concern, especially for a country that has so many enemies. It is worth much more than the subsidy to the government to be able to grow its own wheat, corn, and soy if necessary. The government is paying for safety and security, not to save a dying industry.

Dr. Tufte said...

Food is a national security concern? Are you kidding me? Do you actually think all of those subsidies are going to help if, say, just about everyone dies in a biohazard attack?