Tag Archives: Farming

Georgia’s Harsh Immigration Law Costs Millions in Unharvested Crops

God forbid, a White Person pick a crop in Georgia!  That’s unheard of!  What were the Republicans in the Georgia Legislature thinking?

Oh, I should know by now not to use the words “thinking” and “Republican” in the same sentence…

Still, It’s really scary to see the results when the GOP actually gets to put their plans in action…

People really should realize by now that “Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote Republican.”

That is, if they want a job and a home tomorrow and don’t want to eat cat food in their old age…

Or now, if they want food in the Grocery Store….

From Megan McArdle in The Atlantic:

Jay Bookman provides some unsurprising news about Georgia’s illegal immigration crackdown: there are unintended, negative consequences.

After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia…

Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry….

The results of that investigation have now been released. According to survey of 230 Georgia farmers conducted by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, farmers expect to need more than 11,000 workers at some point over the rest of the season, a number that probably underestimates the real need, since not every farmer in the state responded to the survey.

The economics here aren’t particularly complicated, and I’m sure they won’t be new to the sophisticated readers of the Atlantic, but they are useful to look at and consider explicitly when thinking about issues like this.

It goes like this. If you’re not going to let illegal immigrants do the jobs they are currently being hired to do, then farmers will have to raise wages to replace them. Since farmers are taking a risk in hiring immigrant workers, you can bet they were getting a significant deal on wage costs relative to “market wages”. I put market wages here in quotations, because it’s quite possible that the wages required to get workers to do the job are so high that it’s no longer profitable for farmers to plant the crops in the first place.

via Georgia’s Harsh Immigration Law Costs Millions in Unharvested Crops – Megan McArdle – Business – The Atlantic.

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