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View Full Version : Georgia governor suggests ex-convicts replace immigrants as farm workers



megimoo
06-15-2011, 08:28 PM
"Bring Back The 'Chain Gangs' !"

On Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal released the results of a survey that he had requested from the state agriculture commissioner on farm labor shortages in Georgia. The survey found that there are approximately 11,080 unfilled farm jobs in the state.

In response to the report, Deal suggested that people who are on criminal probation could fill the job openings: “There are 100,000 probationers statewide, 8,000 of which are in the Southwest region of the state and 25 percent of which are unemployed.” According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, although probationers in Georgia are required to find employment if possible, state officials cannot compel them to take one particular job over another.

The director of the American Probation and Parole Association told Bloomberg that the temporary nature of agricultural work makes it unsuitable for people on criminal probation who need to rebuild their lives in a more permanent job. He compared Deal’s suggestion to the “work farms” of the past, when convicts could be sentenced to hard labor in the fields.

As the American Independent reported last week, an earlier survey of farmers from a private association made at least one cause of the labor shortages in Georgia explicitly clear: the recently passed House Bill 87, the immigration enforcement law set to take effect on July 1. Many immigrant workers are apparently leaving the state in anticipation of the law’s provisions, which include requirements that employers verify the legal status of their workers or face penalties.


http://washingtonindependent.com/111157/georgia-governor-suggests-ex-convicts-replace-immigrants-as-farm-workers

fettpett
06-15-2011, 09:54 PM
sounds like a good job for them

Rockntractor
06-15-2011, 09:57 PM
The director of the American Probation and Parole Association told Bloomberg that the temporary nature of agricultural work makes it unsuitable for people on criminal probation who need to rebuild their lives in a more permanent job. He compared Deal’s suggestion to the “work farms” of the past, when convicts could be sentenced to hard labor in the fields.
Words fail.

Novaheart
06-15-2011, 10:36 PM
He compared Deal’s suggestion to the “work farms” of the past, when convicts could be sentenced to hard labor in the fields.

I have heard ex-cons complain that they can't get any job, because they are required to disclose their status. Since all of my yard men were felons and I had a tenant with a degree from Northwestern who was working as a zoo worker (cage keeper) I know that hard work is not beneath these men.

Honestly, it seems like Ag and their lobby really want to hire the illegals. They make no effort at all to attract, recruit, transport, or keep workers any more. When I was a kid, migrant workers rode in busses, and lived in migrant worker housing. Yes, they were exploited by our standards and I'm not saying we should do it the same way. But this crap farmer pull of whining because they can't get slave labor, when they don't even try to use the nearest labor pools pisses me off.

Hell, I might even give it a shot to go out and pick if the farmers would put out a call for a community effort to bring in the crops. Sound kind of Chinese, but that's who we're competing with. Check your grocery shelves to see where your food is coming from. For God's sake, I saw "Organic black beans" in the health food store labelled "Imported From China". I'm sick of this, and I'm sick of wondering what weird chemical or poison is on my Chinese origin foods.

Arroyo_Doble
06-16-2011, 08:23 AM
They could try offering more money and benefits to compete with other employers.

Just a thought.

Rebel Yell
06-16-2011, 09:28 AM
What the farmers are saying is that they can't get any work out of them when they get there.

noonwitch
06-16-2011, 10:10 AM
They get them jobs here sorting fruit and veggies at the produce terminal in the port, or out by the airport. I don't see farming as a big stretch from that.

The seasonal nature of farming is a good point, though, when the goal is for them to get full time employment. It's a better argument in Michigan than in Georgia. It seems I can get Vidalia onions any time of the year at the store.:)

Novaheart
06-16-2011, 09:15 PM
They could try offering more money and benefits to compete with other employers.

Just a thought.


What the farmers are saying is that they can't get any work out of them when they get there.

The solution to that is simple- Give farmers an exemption for seasonal workers which allows the to pay cash by the load, with the stipulation that the load price must exceed minwage and the load design must be sufficiently low that a hard worker can easily generate a wage 150% of minimum.

So you use e-verify to "hire" but you don't have to 1099 or 1040 the workers.

Novaheart
06-16-2011, 09:16 PM
What the farmers are saying is that they can't get any work out of them when they get there.

How would they know?

Adam Wood
06-16-2011, 09:52 PM
The solution to that is simple- Give farmers an exemption for seasonal workers which allows the to pay cash by the load, with the stipulation that the load price must exceed minwage and the load design must be sufficiently low that a hard worker can easily generate a wage 150% of minimum.

So you use e-verify to "hire" but you don't have to 1099 or 1040 the workers.Simpler still: just lift the restrictions on piece-work pay. Let people pay what the actual value added to a product is to the worker instead of a contrived hourly rate. Pay, I dunno, a buck a pound for strawberries picked. I guarandamntee you that people will be crawling out of the woodwork to pick strawberry fields clean. I don't know what portion of the present cost of a pound of strawberries that you get in your grocery store is the cost of picking; maybe it's only 50˘ per pound, but either way it can be good money for those who master a trade, even a simple trade like picking strawberries. There are tradesmen who pick grapes in California for wineries who earn good money; there are tradesmen who pick pecans and almonds and pistachios and whatnot who earn reasonably good money. It is possible to have people doing what many consider "menial" work who can earn a good wage doing something very well that others don't know shit about. I can re-roof a house, but I guarantee you that I'm nowhere near as good at it as a professional roofer.

Use E-Verify on those people, and offer ex-cons transportation vouchers to get there, let the farm owners put them in dormitories for the season like they used to do with seasonal workers that they imported on buses, and you'll get those convicts working and get your farms picked before things wither on the vine.

There are easy solutions to this problem if we just get the damned interference out of the way.



With that having been said, I am still all for chain gangs. They were used with great effect here when I was a kid, and it meant simultaneously learning a trade, teaching convicts the value of a hard day's work, and getting public projects done. Convicts used to come and pave our streets, but they would do so with modern paving equipment, and they would work with and learn from engineers in the field as to how to properly build a road or a bridge or whatever. When they got out of prison, they could walk into a job with a paving company, usually at or near a supervisory level, and earn a decent wage while they were at it, greatly lowering recidivism.

Novaheart
06-16-2011, 11:24 PM
Simpler still: just lift the restrictions on piece-work pay. Let people pay what the actual value added to a product is to the worker instead of a contrived hourly rate. Pay, I dunno, a buck a pound for strawberries picked. I guarandamntee you that people will be crawling out of the woodwork to pick strawberry fields clean. I don't know what portion of the present cost of a pound of strawberries that you get in your grocery store is the cost of picking; maybe it's only 50˘ per pound, but either way it can be good money for those who master a trade, even a simple trade like picking strawberries. There are tradesmen who pick grapes in California for wineries who earn good money; there are tradesmen who pick pecans and almonds and pistachios and whatnot who earn reasonably good money. It is possible to have people doing what many consider "menial" work who can earn a good wage doing something very well that others don't know shit about. I can re-roof a house, but I guarantee you that I'm nowhere near as good at it as a professional roofer.

Use E-Verify on those people, and offer ex-cons transportation vouchers to get there, let the farm owners put them in dormitories for the season like they used to do with seasonal workers that they imported on buses, and you'll get those convicts working and get your farms picked before things wither on the vine.

There are easy solutions to this problem if we just get the damned interference out of the way.



With that having been said, I am still all for chain gangs. They were used with great effect here when I was a kid, and it meant simultaneously learning a trade, teaching convicts the value of a hard day's work, and getting public projects done. Convicts used to come and pave our streets, but they would do so with modern paving equipment, and they would work with and learn from engineers in the field as to how to properly build a road or a bridge or whatever. When they got out of prison, they could walk into a job with a paving company, usually at or near a supervisory level, and earn a decent wage while they were at it, greatly lowering recidivism.

The wholesale price of west Florida tomatoes varies between 24˘/lb in a bumper year to $1/lb after sever damage. The lowest retail price I have seen in the last 10 years is 79˘/lb and the highest was $2.49 in produce stands. The price in grocery stores is always higher and seems to bear little relation to actual conditions and be affect a lot by hype. I have seen Publix pump prices to close to $4/lb.

According to the Immokalee communist party and illegal immigration society, the pickers are paid 51˘ for a 32 lb bucket. They want 60˘. That would generate about $84 for 6 hours actual work in an 8 hour day.

http://www.mindwafers.com/uploads/2/6/5/2/2652351/207071137.jpg?209

Articulate_Ape
06-17-2011, 12:01 AM
The wholesale price of west Florida tomatoes varies between 24˘/lb in a bumper year to $1/lb after sever damage. The lowest retail price I have seen in the last 10 years is 79˘/lb and the highest was $2.49 in produce stands. The price in grocery stores is always higher and seems to bear little relation to actual conditions and be affect a lot by hype. I have seen Publix pump prices to close to $4/lb.

According to the Immokalee communist party and illegal immigration society, the pickers are paid 51˘ for a 32 lb bucket. They want 60˘. That would generate about $84 for 6 hours actual work in an 8 hour day.

http://www.mindwafers.com/uploads/2/6/5/2/2652351/207071137.jpg?209

Are you aware of the term "shrinkage" in the produce industry? Obviously your sources aren't. Look it up.

Novaheart
06-17-2011, 12:10 AM
Are you aware of the term "shrinkage" in the produce industry? Obviously your sources aren't. Look it up.

What is your complaint with the numbers?

Articulate_Ape
06-17-2011, 12:36 AM
What is your complaint with the numbers?

See those shitty unripened green tomatoes that poor bastard is carrying? From the time they are bought by the store chain or distributor, those things will be transported hundreds of miles in refrigerated trucks (once a tomato, even a ripe one, is cooled below 57 F the flavor is gone for good).

Then they get to almost where they are going and are manhandled (that's why they're picked green) into the warehouse banana compartments where they like some of the bananas ( you know the yellow ones) are gassed with ethylene gas which accelerates the semblance of ripening; ergo yellow bananas that taste like green bananas and red tomatoes that basically taste like wet cardboard.

Anyhoo, throughout this journey this "paid for" fruit odyssey has casualties along the way, from getting ripped unripened from the vine at piece-rate to the produce department shelf where old ladies molest them into unappealing relics, that kilo of harvested tomatoes becomes .6 kilos or even less.

Produce departments target a 50-60% margin on their offerings because of shrinkage. A whole lot goes on once that worker dumps his 30 lbs of green tomatoes into the hopper.

I'm just sayin'.

Novaheart
06-17-2011, 11:48 AM
See those shitty unripened green tomatoes that poor bastard is carrying? From the time they are bought by the store chain or distributor, those things will be transported hundreds of miles in refrigerated trucks (once a tomato, even a ripe one, is cooled below 57 F the flavor is gone for good).

Then they get to almost where they are going and are manhandled (that's why they're picked green) into the warehouse banana compartments where they like some of the bananas ( you know the yellow ones) are gassed with ethylene gas which accelerates the semblance of ripening; ergo yellow bananas that taste like green bananas and red tomatoes that basically taste like wet cardboard.

Anyhoo, throughout this journey this "paid for" fruit odyssey has casualties along the way, from getting ripped unripened from the vine at piece-rate to the produce department shelf where old ladies molest them into unappealing relics, that kilo of harvested tomatoes becomes .6 kilos or even less.

Produce departments target a 50-60% margin on their offerings because of shrinkage. A whole lot goes on once that worker dumps his 30 lbs of green tomatoes into the hopper.

I'm just sayin'.

I understand that, though I think your estimates are high from what I have read.

Be that as it may, when you consider that the labor in picking a pound of regular tomatoes is 1.5˘/lb and 2˘ for Roma tomatoes, even if loss is 50% from field to can or grocery bag (and it isn't nearly that much according the Texas Extension Service which places retail shrinkage at 6%) then you are still talking about picking costing no more than 4˘/lb of the price of tomatoes.

Odysseus
06-17-2011, 12:48 PM
They could try offering more money and benefits to compete with other employers.

Just a thought.

How much are you willing to pay for a salad?

Novaheart
06-17-2011, 10:30 PM
How much are you willing to pay for a salad?

Doubling the pay for pickers would increase the price of one whole tomato about 2˘. I'm not saying it's a must do, just that increasing the pay isn't going to kill us.

Of course, part of the problem is that whether you are talking about ConAgra or Exxon, they won't simply pass an increase along, they'll double it a couple of times along the way.

fettpett
06-18-2011, 01:23 PM
frankly i don't have an issue with them paying pickers a decent pay, and they should, there are a lot of problems with wages that are paid especially down from Florida through the Carolina's, which is why i buy locally as much as possible