California Farm Labor Shortage - Worst Ever

From CNBC:

The Western Growers Association told CNBC its members are reporting a 20 percent drop in laborers this year. Stronger border controls are keeping workers from crossing into the U.S. illegally, and the current guest worker program is not providing enough bodies.


When asked if any local residents have come out to apply to work in the fields, Craig Underwood replied, "None. Absolutely none." He is even having trouble finding truck drivers and other semi-skilled labor for jobs that pay $12-$18 an hour.

I thought immigrants were "stealing Americans' jobs"?

Comments (6)

If the locals aren't willing to work it is because the welfare state subsidiises unemployment.


Well, that's part of the problem, I agree! The welfare state is awful and ought to end! The other issue, which wouldn't be a problem in a capitalist society, is that most Americans have moved beyond farm work. They're educated, they've advanced to better paying, higher skilled jobs, etc. They don't want to do difficult farm work. This is why we need an open immigration policy. We need lower skilled, lower paid workers (which are typically immigrants, students and those just entering the work force) to work the jobs that skilled, established Americans won't.

My question at the end of the post was directed to the anti-immigrant types that complain about immigrants stealing Americans' jobs. For one thing, no one has a right to a job. An employer has (or should have) property rights, and the right to hire and fire whom they please. For another, most Americans don't want most of the jobs that immigrants work.

But people aren't getting any smarter. You'll always have a fair amount of people who are going to be stuck in manual jobs.

I agree with you that immigrants don't steal jobs
A free market in labor without government policies that discourage work would result in all our basic needs provided at a reasonable cost.


Sure, there are always going to be people who either aren't smart enough, aren't educated enough, or aren't motivated enough to do any better than what they're currently doing. But as a culture and in general, Americans are more educated and have more highly skilled jobs than a generation or two ago. (That's why immigrants want to come better their lot and provide a better opportunity for their children.) And "AMEN" to your last sentence! =)

If the USA ended immigration we would be paying high prices for food? We wouldn't have anyone to water our lawns? With respect food at least we could get it cheaply from poor countries.

People may be getting more educated because the government encourages the not so bright to go to college. But it doesn't make them any smarter or more qualified for white collar jobs.

I don't necessarily oppose a guest worker program but with our current view of citizenship law it would be a disaster.

If the government were able to end immigration, yes, we would pay more for many products and services, and many businesses would cease to exist. Unemployment for Americans would also increase.

It's obvious that more Americans than ever are working white collar, higher skilled jobs. I'm not sure why you can't see that obvious data all around you, but I'm sure it's online if you care to search for it. Everyone I know personally, that I can think of, is better off than their parents were, and certainly their grandparents, and usually work a less labor-intensive job. But I don't really care to argue this point with you anymore. It's beside the point.

I do not advocate making all immigrants citizens. In fact, I think we ought to redefine what it means to be a citizen, then determine who is eligible for it and how. I do advocate open immigration and allowing peaceful people to come here, work, and make a better life for themselves.

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