Too Cheap To Afford

Down in Georgia, they recently passed a tough new illegal alien law that mimics, in some way, the infamous Arizona law. And after passing said law, the state has seen an exodus of illegal aliens — that has led to some rather uncomfortable consequences.

(Hat tip: Doug Mataconis)

As I read the stories, something seemed oddly… familiar to the complaints. Southern farmers complaining that they can’t economically harvest their crops with regular farm laborers; they need them dark-skinned folks who don’t demand minimum wage and compliance with all those other labor regulations to get the crops in so we can all benefit from the cheap labor.

And once again, we see the Democrats are siding with the farmers’ rights to keep their cheap labor force and not have to bother with labor laws regarding wages, working conditions, safety, and the like.

Hey, folks, come on down to Dixie, where we’re gonna party like it’s 1859!

This case in Georgia illustrates one of the most insidious and contemptible aspects of the illegal alien issue, one that is often overlooked. The continuing tolerance and outright support of an illegal alien workforce is little more than a cleaned-up, updated, and sanitized version of slavery.

Oh, sure, the illegal aliens are treated better than slaves. They actually get paid. They can quit any time they like. But they certainly can’t demand the same rights enjoyed by real workers, legal workers — they can be exploited freely, because they know that if they report abuses to the authorities, they can be deported.

Yes, we Americans like our cheap products. But the same people who talk about the benefits of having this cheap labor force never mention that it comes at a price — one that most folks don’t want to see.

Every illegal alien working for, say, three bucks an hour is doing the work an unemployed American could do, for a minimum of $7.25 an hour.

And those cheap goods? They stay so cheap because they are the product of a conspiracy of lawbreakers. Illegal aliens, who flout our immigration laws. Employers, who flout our labor laws. And liberal activists, who treat those lawbreakers as heroes.

And here’s another cost: imagine you’re a farmer who actually does follow the laws and only employs Americans and legal aliens. You are competing with people who don’t play by the rules, and consequently have much lower overhead to produce their crops. What’s your incentive to not fire them all and bring in illegals, to level the playing field? Or, at least, threaten to do so and drive your workforce to work that much harder?

I don’t see any such incentives. In fact, any farmer who chooses to not use illegal labor is, in my eyes, a fool — it’s a huge financial gain for very little risk.

And every now and then, when enough people wake up for a moment and say “hey, these laws are on the books, and they’re there for a reason” and pass a law like Georgia did, then we see the full, true costs of the labor laws and minimum wage hikes when not countered by lawbreaking. Then we see just what the full costs of these well-intentioned bits of social engineering are — as we pay them, in full.

But back to Georgia. They need to repeal that law, posthaste. We need them darkies back in the fields, doin’ the work no honest white man (or real American of any color) would do for that kind of money. Because it just ain’t right that we should have to pay the full price of our idealism, as expressed in our laws.

We fought a war over that once before, and mebbe it’s time we did so agin.

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