Thursday, October 13, 2011

Law of Unintended Consequences

The main difference between Carl and I is that Carl is a neo-conservative, and I am a libertarian.

Carl might even agree with me on this one though...

From the law of unintended consequences: the strict illegal immigration laws recently passed in Alabama mean fruit rotting on the vine, a whole harvest is in jeopardy. (Yes I'm quoting the democratic there.) Well, how can this be true?  Don't we have 9% unemployment in the country?  In Alabama, its closer to 10%.  That is 170,000 people out of work.    By the way, all Alabama is doing is enforcing existing immigration laws.  And, Enforcement Works as The Corner is quick to tell you.

But those 170,000 Alabama unemployed don't want the work:
“It didn’t take me six hours to realize I’d made a heck of a mistake,” ... Six hours was enough, between the 6 a.m. start time and noon lunch break, for the first wave of local workers to quit. Some simply never came back and gave no reason. Twenty-five of them said specifically, according to farm records, that the work was too hard. On the Harold farm, pickers walk the rows alongside a huge harvest vehicle called a mule train, plucking ears of corn and handing them up to workers on the mule who box them and lift the crates, each weighing 45 to 50 pounds.
So, what to do?  First of all, I agree with the Libertarian position -- the Government should not be a barrier, if anyone wants to pick produce for $1 a box, then we should let them.  Its hard work, and not anyone can do it.  Yet, they are willing to work without benefits, without Social Security, without health care.  They just want to work.  Who are we to say no?  Our system doesn't offer a solution:
Yet our system offers no legal channel for anywhere near a sufficient number of peaceful, hardworking immigrants to legally enter the United States even temporarily to fill this growing gap. The predictable result is illegal immigration.
Another alternative, let prisoners gather the produce.

How about the Alabama National Guard?  Aren't they for state emergencies? Should we alert the 167th Bean Pickers? If we can't put them to picking, then at least they could round up homeless, or unemployed and offer them work.  Get the point?

Here's another idea:  Anyone without a job, on public assistance that refuses to gather produce, how about eliminate their benefit?  That ought to motivate them.  Welfare reform works.  Or conversely, perhaps our 170,000 unemployed Alabamans are just to comfortable getting a government check to pick produce.  Folks, if Mexico had half the 'social justice' the United States has, lettuce would be $12 a head.  The immigrant exodus from Alabama is the perfect excuse to put all the Alabama lay-a-bouts to useful purpose.   Got that,

Get a job!


KitWistar said...

I was thinking along these lines the other day when I was cycling in a local park and found the National Park Service restrooms locked and foul smelling. Yet here are the demonstrators in my home town, sitting on their behinds, while the Park Service cannot find folks or funds to keep public restrooms clean and therefore open. I want to know why, when it is all the rage to volunteer in say, Uganda, it is not occurring to the demonstrators to actually WORK----volunteer, help , DO something except demonstrate and get fed by sympathetic local restaurants.
( I'd pick up a mop for the Park Service..)
Something's wrong with this picture, Bob.

suek said...

>>it is not occurring to the demonstrators to actually WORK----volunteer, help, Do something >>

Take a look at the laws that might restrict this(at one time my son applied for a job with the Park Service. It took about 3 months for them to hire him); look at the possibilities for lawsuits if the various organizations permitted volunteers. I'd guarantee that _someone_ would get injured - or claim to be injured - and sue for enough big bucks that they'd never have to work again.

As for the farm's manual labor, in tough environmental conditions. They need to be conditioned to be able to tolerate those conditions. My first answer would be to limit workers to 3 or 4 hours per day for at least the first week they were employed. And probably supply them with _lots_ of sunscreen. Maybe make some items of clothing like big hats available to them.

Some TV show recently did a report of the development of the South and its synchronicity with the development of air conditioning. I'd never thought about it that way...just assumed that cities in the south got big just as other cities did. Their position was that the big southern cities would be uninhabitable as they are (type of construction) without air conditioning.

Most of us aren't used to the heat - and certainly not doing physical labor in the heat. You have to get conditioned to it.

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

Work for welfare?


If I ran the country, an able-bodied person would *HAVE* to work (at whatever the state wanted to assign him/her to do) in order to keep receiving welfare. (and we might just wind up teaching somebody a trade that way, besides.)

Makes perfect sense.

wv= "buminter"
Bummer. I'll have to bury my hopes for free public money while I'm unemployed and protesting.

OBloodyHell said...

ANM: The SCotUS found this to be unConstitutional, I believe. It was part of the whole raft of New Deal era programs passed at the time. In reprisal, Roosevelt attempted the stupid move of attempting to pack the SCotUS by changing its size, thereby giving him the power to appoint more than his share of judges to fill the new positions.

The simple fact is, if you're going to be a true libertarian, then anyone able-bodied ought to be out finding work, not expecting the government to find it for them, and unemployment should be an actual insurance/pension system and not another just another new deal era government ponzi scheme, which is the true problem with it, as-is.

As suek points out, though, working under those conditions is hardly trivial, and there IS a reason Mexicans do better at it than most Americans.

The real fact is, we've got to many @%$#@% regulations about this, that, and the other thing. PERIOD.

I personally don't care if anyone comes into this country on a temporary basis with a job in hand, if the system made an effort to make sure they left the moment they did not have a job.

If you're an temporary immigrant worker then they should be required to put you on a bus back to Mexico the minute they fire you.

suek said...


You might want to check out the Bracero Program. It was close to what you're describing, and included a responsibility of the employer to care for the workers. As you might expect, there was abuse - which is why the program ended.

It was another situation where "when it was good, it was very very good, and when it bad, it was horrid".

Bob in LA said...

Kit, and all, what's wrong with the picture is people born with a sense of 'entitlement' and 'complacency'. It's easier to get the government to send you a check than it is to actually work for one.

See afterburner :

OBloodyHell said...

>> Bracero Program

refers to:
> comes into this country on a temporary basis with a job in hand

I just said it isn't something I'd object to. I didn't say I really thought it would be made to work, I just think it's likely to be an improvement over the current situation that is more politically palatable than doing it RIGHT in the first place.

I think that it'd be easier to push to tighten the borders with that kind of plan in-place, and then, after it is shown that it's being abused, either tighten down on it still more or get rid of it altogether and keep the border sealed THEN.

But the real fact is, there is a type of work that Americans don't want to do. And it's actually rather ludicrous to BE doing it with Americans. So a workforce of aliens, one way or another, is appropriate to the task.

Saying that unemployed Americans can do the job, so they should, is, well, silly, if there is a better alternative -- which there is: Make more freakin' jobs of the kind Americans are better than anyone else at. It's the principle of Competitive Advantage.

The problem with illegal aliens isn't that they are illegal, it's
a) sheer numbers. We are allowing too many in, many of whom do not provide needed function to society.

Here's the Innigration Explorer
1 - Move the slider back to 1880.
2 - Change "all countries" to some other option, excluding (for the moment) any "latino" countries. Note that there are a number of options which lack data, so one of the more "common" ones, like italian, chinese, japanese, and so forth is best.
3) Now slowly advance the slider through to modern time. Watch how the bubbles build.
4) Slide back to 1880 and do for another non-Latino. See the pattern?
5) Now slide it back to 1880 and pick, oh, Mexico. Slide it forward.

I believe you will begin to see that there is a qualitative difference between the "current" immigration, over the past 20 years, and past influxes,

b) In addition to that vast influx, we basically have the cancerous postmodern leftist meme that denies American Exceptionalism and denigrates not only the existing American culture but the entire basis of European thought on which it stands, all the way back to the destruction of its legacy of Greek though on rationality and Truth. It also attacks the moral precepts that are founded in Christianity, which are actually in line with what modern Game Theory identifies as the correct way to treat others (see "Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma")

So instead of melting into America, as previous generations have, this influx is dominated by a perception of entitlement and cultural egalitarianism that destroys the forces which have led each former generation towards becoming Americans first and (nation of origin) a distant second. Hence idiocy like "La Raza" (I want to see the reaction by the media if a bunch of WASPs got together and behaved EXACTLY the same as La Raza, making the same statements, the same claims, the same kind of demands. methinks the response would be flabbergasted horror, then foaming-mouthed attack)

The above are the REAL problems with immigration. The first thing that needs to be done is to seal the borders. Then to start tossing a percentage of illegals without jobs back over it every year, until we get to an equilibrium between the illegals and the actual jobs we have for them. And then we begin a process of promoting some kind of guest-card worker amnesty -- that is, they register, and we provide some measure of benefit for the ones that do, and serious consequences for those who don't.

OBloodyHell said...

"legacy of Greek though" == "legacy of Greek thoughT"

Bob in LA said...

Thanks for the Immigration Explorer.

"The first thing that needs to be done is to seal the borders."

I take issue with this -- rather than 'seal the border' we should 'seal the benefits' in two ways:

1. Return to the pre-1970 definition of citizen, which will eliminate the 'anchor baby'. Stop giving away citizenship to anyone sneaking into the country to be delivered. Well that sounds awkward but you get the point.
2 Stop devaluing citizenship by giving benefits to anyone that holds a hand out. Require proof of legal status for everything. Jobs, food, clothing, shelter, and refuse to provide illegals anything but a bus ticket home.

Forget about the expense of border enforcement... its not practical or realizeable. In fact, let anyone that wants to come here to work, to do so. As long as they have a job, they can stay here -- and cut the red tape to get 'legal residence' -- if someone worked full time this week picking lettuce or whatever, they get legal status.

I mean to make it easy as pie for anyone that wants to pick tomato for $1 a box to do so... if they are willing to do the work, they should get the work.

No taxation without representation either... if they are here temporarily... no benefits and no taxes either.

OBloodyHell said...

Bob, we're kinda on the same page, but I disagree with you about both the desirability to seal the border and the practicality of it.

I'm not saying we don't let people in to do the kind of menial jobs that Americans don't want to do (though we do need to push people to grasp TANSTAAFL rules the world -- if you're an American without a marketable skill, tough. We'll do things to help you develop one, but you'll have to bust your ass to do it)

We are probably the only nation in the world that polices its borders as lightly as we do. The length doesn't matter as much, as there are electronic means of supervising things that can assist at the job quite a bit, and it's not good to have porous borders when there are terrorists running around.

I seem to recall that "open borders" is a Libertarian staple... which is one reason I'm a small-"l" libertarian and not a big-"L" Libertarian. It's possible to take ANY good idea and run it into the ground.

Bob in LA said...

OBH If you implement platforms 1 and 2 on my note, why would you need to enforce the borders? You wouldn't, except to keep out terrorists and other radicals. It becomes a defense job, not an immigration job. With workers free to come and go, we can have predators blast the crap out of anyone else.

Your move braniac.