Coronavirus

COVID-19 Immigration Restrictions Make Labor and Food Shortages a Real Possibility

We need to be careful, but we also need people to bring food from fields to our tables

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Farm groups are warning that immigration restrictions put in place this month by the Trump administration could lead to food shortages down the road, Reason contributor Sean Higgins reported this week in the Washington Examiner.

Last week, the U.S. closed consulates in Mexico, which halted processing of farmworker visas there under the H-2A visa program. Earlier reports had suggested H-2A visas "would continue to be processed."

The U.S. and Mexico also agreed last week to close the border temporarily to all but essential traffic, though commercial transport and workers with legal work permits are still free to traverse the border. The moves also come as protesters in Mexico blocked a border crossing this week to demand visitors from the United States be tested for the coronavirus before being allowed into Mexico.

The H-2A visa program lets U.S. farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers that anticipate labor shortages bring on foreign workers temporarily to fill the gaps. 

"Contrary to what some might assume, these visa holders aren't unskilled labor," Higgins writes. "Modern farming involves a lot of technology, including heavy equipment, that the workers must be familiar with, as well as other skills that ordinary people won't possess."

According to 2016 Labor Department data, more than 165,000 agricultural labor positions were certified that year under the H-2A program. More than half of those positions were based in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, and California. Leading crops harvested by H-2A workers include berries, apples, melons, sweet potatoes, lettuce, and corn. More than nine out of every 10 farmworkers holding an H-2A come from Mexico.

While workers who've applied for an H-2A visa in the past year are eligible to renew, Higgins cites agricultural sources who say such renewals typically account for only around half of annual applicants. Unless many more existing visa holders re-apply than normally do, then, or the Trump administration changes course, the U.S. could face crippling farm labor shortages. And those labor shortages could, in turn, translate to food shortages at U.S. grocery stores.

According to a primer from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation's largest farm lobby, Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act, which gave rise to the H-2 visa process, in the early 1950s. The H-2A program has grown dramatically in recent years, with some U.S. businesses that rely on H-2A applicants seeing their demand for guest workers double in recent years.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acknowledging the potential impact of a farm labor shortage, says the administration will "do everything we can to keep that part of our economic lifeblood working."

Meanwhile, many are downplaying the risk of any potential food shortages.

"Even if the COVID-19 pandemic stretches over months[,] there will be no big food shortages, especially on staples like milk, eggs, cheese, bread[,] and meat," CNBC reported last week. The New York Times also reported (as did Politico) that domestic food supplies and production are on solid ground. Rodney McMullen, CEO of Kroger, told the Motley Fool that food shortages are unlikely given that "there's plenty of food in the supply chain." 

But, as Forbes reported last week, producers and sellers are facing many challenges, including "a number of weak spots in the food transportation system that could be aggravated by the increased demand for food." And though some grocers are thriving right now, they're also struggling to keep up with consumer demand.

Predictably, the U.S. isn't the only country facing food-supply hurdles due to COVID-19. Europe, for example, is facing similar labor challenges, which are giving rise to fears of food shortages there, too.

COVID-19 has caused countries to take a variety of steps to reassess their food supplies. Some countries, for example, have begun to halt food exports. The Guardian reported this week that the United Nations warns that worker shortages, coupled with "protectionist policies"—including tariffs and export bans, including ones adopted in Kazakhstan, Vietnam, and Russia—could begin to cause food shortages around the globe "within weeks." Global supply chains, like those in the U.S., are also being tested

But these fears aren't universal. Thailand, for one, is downplaying fears of any food shortages in that country.

Ultimately, the U.S. could still avoid potential farm labor shortages if, say, the Trump administration reverses course or—less likely, given the need for skilled labor—if recently unemployed U.S. workers fill the available farm positions.

The Trump administration's odious stance against Mexico, Mexicans, and immigrants in general casts a cloud of suspicion over its immigration and border restrictions. Vox reported last week that some observers are concerned the Trump administration is "using the crisis as a potential excuse to further restrict travel across the southern border. " On the other hand, temporary border restrictions to battle COVID-19 make sense. They also apply at this point to people in every non-U.S. country—whether Canada, Mexico, China, England, or beyond—and vice versa.

As soon as those restrictions can be lifted safely and our borders can be reopened, they should be. American farmers and consumers depend on it.

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114 responses to “COVID-19 Immigration Restrictions Make Labor and Food Shortages a Real Possibility

  1. America used to have roving bands of Americans going from farm to farm helping with labor needs. Many of the rules and regulations and immense labor costs got rid of most of those people.

    Taxpayers paying for student loans instead of young healthy kids working in the fields to save money for school mostly ended that practice.

    Welfare and very generous unemployment benefits will mostly prevent all the city dwellers who fled the cities but dont have jobs from making extra money doing farm labor.

    Yeah, a farm labor shortage is mostly caused by immigration policies. This during hysteria spread by the media that travel spreads KungFlu and should be prohibited.

    1. Every summer, thousands of Midwestern kids as young as 13 load onto school buses early in the morning to do one of the hottest, dirtiest temporary jobs out there.

      In return, detasselers make good money. One detasseling company owner estimated the average 100 hours of work in a season comes out to $1,500 for 100 hours of work in a season. Beginners make less, usually minimum wage.

      Yep, to a teenager, $15 an hour does seem like “good money”, even if the work does involve working out in the hot sun in a dusty field all day doing manual labor. But I’d be curious to know how much the journalist who wrote this piece gets paid to sit at a desk in an air-conditioned office and write this stuff. Does she make “good money”, too?

      Not to mention which, last I saw, $15 dollars would be top pay, not an average. Average would be more like about 10-12 dollars an hour. Still beats the hell out of mowing lawns or babysitting for a temporary summer job if you’re too young to work at McDonald’s or just don’t want a real job to interfere with your plans for how you’re going to spend your summer vacation. But it still seems odd that the schools are actually involved in this project of supplying cheap labor to farmers under conditions it would be illegal for any other industry to use.

      Full disclosure: After one summer of signing up for the tasseling job I decided the next year to sign up for the alternative job of cleaning out chicken houses. There are worse jobs than tasseling corn. And I still don’t eat chicken after learning how filthy, nasty, disgusting chicken farming is. There’s a reason they’re called “fowl”.

      1. Not only is it good experience in hard work, it’s also not a job that takes up long periods of your life. You can work a few weeks, collect some decent money, and then move on to the next thing in your life.

        Butchering animals and processing them can be a tough job. Hard work and arm deep in animal guts.

        The biggest benefit is that college kids would not pay for all the bullshit wastes of time in college. It would be money that they earned via work, so many would want to get value out of those dollars.

        1. “Butchering animals and processing them can be a tough job. Hard work and arm deep in animal guts.”

          Isn’t that how Covid-19 came to be?

        2. The biggest benefit is that college kids would not pay for all the bullshit wastes of time in college. It would be money that they earned via work, so many would want to get value out of those dollars.

          There’s also the reverse motivation; get up at 0500 and decide between hot flannel and corn or hay rash, making sure you pack enough electrolytes to avoid cramping… or get up at 0800 and learn organic chemistry in your pajamas within 20 ft. of a refrigerator packed with food and beverage.

      2. When I was a teenager everyone still baled hay in idiot bales. Summer work was bucking bales (and other jobs around the farm during harvest). My coach always said he didn’t run a more robust weights program because all us football players were already getting plenty of workout throwing tons of 65 lb bales all day long 6 days a week.

        1. Siem got paid by the bale. A nickel a bale. I made $4.25 an hour because the farmer I worked for did less hay but used us for other chores as well (greasing the harvester each morning, painting seed trucks, maintaining farm trucks, mowing the farm yard etc.).

        2. Been there, done that. Worst job was picking rocks out of the farmer’s field. Though picking radishes in the rain was a pretty close second.

          Did a great job of convincing me I wanted a sit down job indoors!

        3. The job of tossing around 65 lb bales has been mostly eliminated by modern technology. Modern balers create large round bales that weigh up to 1000 lb. They are often just stored in place right where they are created. Lots of money for labor is eliminated.

  2. Funny, I thought it was Mexican protesters that shut down the southern border.

    At first this read like the typical Orange Man Bad crap, but I got really worried when I read this: “The New York Times also reported (as did Politico) that domestic food supplies and production are on solid ground.”
    If the NYT and Politico say something, we know it is wrong.
    So I will rush out and hold up a military convoy to get 2 year’s worth of MREs

    1. Lefties attacked our normal lives.
      Lefties attacked our economy.
      Lefties attacked our savings.
      Lefties attacked our civil freedoms.
      Lefties attacked our food prep and delivery systems.
      Lefties attacked our right to buy guns and ammo.
      Lefties attacked our food growing systems.

      Lefties are trying to distract Americans from Lefties being the enemy and not this cough due to cold.

      1. Are you parodying yourself? If so, great job!

        1. Fuck man do you do anything but cry?

          1. He claims to be neutral when not crying.

            1. His tears are deployed in defense of a single ideology, but neutrally.

            2. More projection. Jesus Christ you guys are easy.

              1. You cried three more times.

          2. Projection.

            1. Here Jeff, you and Baylen Linnekin can wipe your tears with this…

              https://imgur.com/gallery/H0b3vKW

              1. +1000

        2. Poor eric, a parody, looking for friends and cannot find any.

          1. Projection.

            1. Is this your word of the day? Get a better word calendar.

          2. Poor eric. He says other people are projecting when he’s the goober that he is.

  3. Cesar Chavez had some interesting thoughts about the nature of supply and demand. When a particular product is in short supply, raising the bid price of that particular product attracts more suppliers to the market. In the case of the supply of stoop labor, higher prices would not only attract more laborers but necessarily raise the price of the end product. Fortunately, avoiding paying higher prices for the end product is easily accomplished by simply not buying any food.

    /Damn I’m old if I’m the only one who remembers the table grape boycott.

    1. Resolved a decade before my birth.

    2. We ate plenty of grapes when we could get them at the time. F Chavez.

  4. After Caesar Chavez, tomato harvests in California are mostly done by machine. There is a vineyard off of Highway 12 between Napa and Sonoma that was trellised for machine harvesting of the wine grapes. When I was small, my dad’s olive grove was harvested by people using long poles to knock the olives onto a spread out tarp. Now there is a gadget on the tractor that grabs the tree and shakes the hell out of it.
    Much of the hand labor in agriculture is used because it is relatively cheap and the capital investment in machinery is not. If there is a shortage of cheap labor, farmers will invest in machinery, or someone else will and will rent out the machinery where needed, much as those huge wheat combines do now.

    1. I grew up near where there was a Heinz and a Campbell’s plant and some of the neighbors grew tomatoes and “pickles” ( pickling cucumbers) and used migrant labor for planting and harvesting. At some point, labor costs became high enough to switch to machine planting – instead of pulling a planter box across the field which dug a furrow and the Mexicans riding on the box stuck tomato plants one-by-one into the furrow, they used an injection system where a tank of this gel solution containing sprouted tomato seeds replaced the Mexicans.

      There was a migrant camp up the road from us, a collection of shacks reminiscent of pictures of slave quarters from the olden days but they did have running water and electricity. The migrants would come up as a family, some of them would have the wives and older children working in the fields while the husband would get hired on at one of the canneries for easier work and better pay. Some of them would make enough money that they could become permanent residents.

      The migrant camp was kinda funny, there were kids there that we could occasionally play with, but only on their days off. We had all of our days off, we were kids. But it was where I learned about these dogs they brought with them, they called them “Pete bulls” and those Pete bulls sure did love to fight, they had to keep them chained up in these cages they had built at the back of the camp. It was only later that we learned what a Pete bull actually was.

    2. The shortage of labor during WW-II led to the mechanization of the Maine potato harvest.

  5. Wait a minute. Isn’t it Mexico that is suddenly all about controlling the border? And with the unemployment numbers, talk of a labor shortage is counter-intuitive. I realize there are jobs Americans consider icky or beneath them, but damn, it makes no sense to import labor AND pay the natives to sit on their asses.

  6. “Ultimately, the U.S. could still avoid potential farm labor shortages if, say, the Trump administration reverses course or—less likely, given the need for skilled labor—if recently unemployed U.S. workers fill the available farm positions.”

    One of the things that will counteract this is the extension and increase in the amount people are paid for unemployment under the rescue package signed by President Trump yesterday.

    A large number of unemployed people won’t start looking for a job until their unemployment benefits run out, and by extending the length of time and the amount of money that unemployment pays, you are guaranteeing that those people won’t rejoin the workforce until the government stops paying them to do nothing.

    1. If no food production means saving even one death from coronavirus, then there are many politicians who will agree to keep this ban in place as long as it takes. Even Trump answered “none” when some sleazy reporter asked him how many deaths he was willing to accept in re-opening commerce.

      1. That’s what they say in public.

        In reality, people will start breaking the law out of necessity.

        That’s what happened in China and the Soviet Union. It’ll happen sooner rather than later, here, and when the public mood becomes such that the economy is more important than anything else, we won’t get those kinds of answers from politicians anymore. Reporters will probably stop asking those kinds of questions, too, and start blaming politicians like President Trump for not lifting whatever bans sooner.

        1. Right but you’re a known liar and censorious coward.

          1. And you’re a dick sucking piece of shit.

            1. Yes actually I LOVE sucking dick.

              What a strange thing for you to cry about.

          2. Ken’s all right.
            Save it for the real dishonest and crazy fucks like Kirkland, Sqrls, Tony, AmSoc, Chemleft, Buttplg and Hihn.

    1. Both China and Iran were close to a revolution before all of this.

      1. China? Are you sure about that?

      2. I think Iran is a lot closer than China… but China is certainly seeing some worrying trends

    2. Those rioters aren’t practicing social distancing. Better alert the authorities.

  7. While workers who’ve applied for an H-2A visa in the past year are eligible to renew, Higgins cites agricultural sources who say such renewals typically account for only around half of annual applicants.

    So much for the claim that these are highly-skilled persons possessing skills that ordinary people don’t have.

    Of course, if a shortage of workers raised the wages, perhaps the other half might be inclined to return as well…

    1. H-1B – H-2A yeah, same thing.

      Or did you think this was somehow about gun rights?

  8. Linnekin….scaremonger much? Pathetic.

    1. If one follows current trends it leads to hypothesis about future problems. Just because you don’t like the politics doesn’t make it not worth considering for those with open minds.

      1. God damn how are you STILL crying, it seems like its the only reason you come out of your hidey hole anymore.

        1. Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

          So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

          Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

          Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

          Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

          At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

          Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to ReasonNeedsBrilliantlyPersuasiveWriters@Reason.com .

          Thank You! -Reason Staff

          1. Stop spamming the thread up shit eater.

          2. “Dear Abby” is a personal friend of mine. She gets some VERY strange letters! For my amusement, she forwards some of them to me from time to time. Here is a relevant one:

            Dear Abby, Dear Abby,
            My life is a mess,
            Even Bill Clinton won’t stain my dress,
            I whinny seductively for the horses,
            They tell me my picnic is short a few courses,
            My real name is Mary Stack,
            NO ONE wants my hairy crack!
            On disability, I live all alone,
            Spend desperate nights by the phone,
            I found a man named Richard Decker,
            But he won’t give me his hairy pecker!
            Decker’s pecker is reserved for farm beasts,
            I am beastly, yes! But my crack’s full of yeasts!

            So Dear Abby, that’s just a poetic summary… You can read about the Love of my Life, Richard Decker, here:
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/11/farmers-kept-refusing-let-him-have-sex-with-their-animals-so-he-sought-revenge-authorities-say/#comments-wrapper
            Farmers kept refusing to let him have sex with their animals. So he sought revenge, authorities say.
            Decker the hairy pecker told me a summary of his story as below:
            Decker: “Can I have sex with your horse?”
            Farmer: “Lemme go ask the horse.”
            Pause…
            Farmer: “My horse says ‘neigh’!”
            And THAT was straight from the horse’s mouth! I’m not horsin’ around, here, no mare!

            So Decker the hairy pecker told me that, apparently never even realizing just HOW DEEPLY it hurt me, that he was all interested in farm beasts, while totally ignoring MEEE!!

            So I thought maybe I could at least liven up my lonely-heart social life, by refining my common interests that I share with Richard Decker… I, too, like to have sex with horses!

            But Dear Abby, the horses ALL keep on saying “neigh” to my whinnying sexual advances!
            Some tell me that my whinnying is too whiny… Abby, I don’t know how to fix it!

            Dear Abby, please don’t tell me “get therapy”… I can’t afford it on my disability check!

            Now, along with my crack full of yeasts… I am developing anorexia! Some are calling me a “quarter pounder with cheese”, but they are NOT interested at ALL, in eating me!!! They will NOT snack on my crack!

            What will I DO, Dear Abby?!?!?

            -Desperately Seeking Horses, Men, or ANYTHING, in Fort Worth,
            Yours Truly,
            Mary Stack / Tulpa / Mary’s Period / “.” / Satan

            1. You always lose your mind and spam up the thread when I remind people you told us you eat shit.

              Evdn better is how I’ve made you afraid to actually reply and you stole LC’s move.

              1. Biggest liar and threadshitter know to Reason.com lies and thread-shits! Then accuses other of ditto! Projectors gonna project! More news at 11:00!

                https://reason.com/2019/09/15/outgrowing-addiction/#comments
                SQRLSY One
                September.15.2019 at 4:21 pm
                Right along with my urges to eat shit and then barf. Fortunately, I strangle these thoughts in their crib. Too bad that no one thought of doing that with Tulpa… But that would be “pre-crime” punishment, which I generally do NOT subscribe to!
                End original quote.
                An attempt at humor. I don’t REALLY have urges to eat poop. And having an URGE to eat poop is NOT the same thing as eating poop, except in the eyes of total liars!
                Ever have an urge to kill some asshole? Then you are a MURDERER, according to your type of lying!

                1. Ahahahah and now I shamed your cowarsd ass into DROPPING LC’S MOVE AHAHAHAHA

                  DANCE SHIT EATER!!! AHAHAHAAHAH

                2. “SQRLSY One
                  March.20.2020 at 7:07 pm

                  At least I’m NOT pro-death!!”

                  https://reason.com/2019/09/15/outgrowing-addiction/#comment-7931066

                  “SQRLSY One
                  September.15.2019 at 4:21 pm
                  Right along with my urges to eat shit and then barf. Fortunately, I strangle these thoughts in their crib. Too bad that no one thought of doing that with Tulpa”

                  I caught you lying cause you’re a liar and a thread shitter uh uh uh

                  1. https://reason.com/2020/03/20/our-best-weapon-against-coronavirus-is-to-test-everybody/#comment-8176079

                    “SQRLSY One
                    March.21.2020 at 7:16 am

                    “Some of us (including me) do believe in capital punishment”

                    AHAHAHAAH SHIT EATER ADMITS HE WAS LYING IN THE SAME THREAD AHAHAHAHAHAHA

                  2. Tulpa-asshole, I am in favor of brushing my teeth (unlike you perhaps, stink-breath?), thereby mass-murdering my oral bacteria! I am in favor of killing carrots and lettuce, etc., to eat! So yes, I am pro-death!

                    You are pro-thread-shitting and pro-lying, out the wazzoo! AND your life depends on MURDERING plants, if nothing else, you hypocrite!

                    1. https://reason.com/2020/03/20/our-best-weapon-against-coronavirus-is-to-test-everybody/#comment-8176079

                      “SQRLSY One
                      March.21.2020 at 7:16 am

                      “Some of us (including me) do believe in capital punishment”

                      AHAHAHAAH SHIT EATER ADMITS HE WAS LYING IN THE SAME THREAD AHAHAHAHAHAHA

                    2. And now I shamed him BACK INTO STEALING LC’S MOVE AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

                      DANCE SHIT EATING LIAR!!!

                      https://reason.com/2020/03/20/our-best-weapon-against-coronavirus-is-to-test-everybody/#comment-8176079

                      “SQRLSY One
                      March.21.2020 at 7:16 am

                      “Some of us (including me) do believe in capital punishment”

                      AHAHAHAAH SHIT EATER ADMITS HE WAS LYING IN THE SAME THREAD AHAHAHAHAHAHA

                    3. That was Tulpa-Mary outing itself as an evil identity thief as usual! Tulpa-Mary has nothing useful to do, so Tulpa-Mary steals IDs.

                  3. “SQRLSY One
                    March.20.2020 at 7:07 pm

                    At least I’m NOT pro-death!!”

                    https://reason.com/2019/09/15/outgrowing-addiction/#comment-7931066

                    SQRLSY One
                    March.28.2020 at 11:50 am
                    So yes, I am pro-death

                    I win.

                    1. Vile-Troll Tulpa is morally superior, for NOT being pro-death perhaps? Do you have any evidence, by the way, that anyone anywhere, really cares, in any meaningful way, what my stance is, on the death penalty?

                      Why don’t you find something useful to do, instead of trolling? Like, maybe brushing your teeth for the 1st time in 85 years?

                      If You’re SOOO Superior for supposedly NOT being pro-death, then riddle me this: WHY does civil, factual, data-driven discourse DIE, everywhere that Tulpa the Vile Troll goes thread-shitting? WHY does Tulpa the Vile Troll mass-murder rational discourse, everywhere that Tulpa the Vile Troll spreads Tulpa-shit-stains?

                    2. “SQRLSY One
                      March.20.2020 at 7:07 pm

                      At least I’m NOT pro-death!!”

                      https://reason.com/2019/09/15/outgrowing-addiction/#comment-7931066

                      SQRLSY One
                      March.28.2020 at 11:50 am
                      …So yes, I am pro-death

                      I win.

                    3. “Vile-Troll Tulpa is morally superior, for NOT being pro-death perhaps”

                      Nah I’m morally superior because I caught you lying and you can’t stand it.

                    4. Á àß äẞç ãbÇđ âÞ¢Đæ ǎB€Ðëf ảhf
                      March.28.2020 at 12:21 pm
                      “SQRLSY One
                      March.20.2020 at 7:07 pm

                      At least I’m NOT pro-death!!”

                      https://reason.com/2019/09/15/outgrowing-addiction/#comment-7931066

                      SQRLSY One
                      March.28.2020 at 11:50 am
                      …So yes, I am pro-death

                      I win.

                      LOL WTF DID YOU FORGET WHICH SOCK YOU WERE USING AAHHHAAHAHHA

                    5. Why don’t you find something useful to do, instead of trolling?

                      Actually, you shat up the thread replying to him guy. Take your own advice.

                    6. Love the Scott Steiner reference, hated the gimmick

                      “Actually, you shat up the thread replying to him guy. Take your own advice.”

                      Meh, he’s desperate, I have him literally admitting he’s a liar, and then pathetically lying about that too.

                    7. Shit-starter crowing over having started shit!

                      Like Israelis are mostly civilized folks, in comparison to many barbaric Palestinians… So when there is fighting over there, the world asks for the Israelis (the relatively civilized ones) to back off… Because the whole world knows that is it a waste of time to ask the relative goat-fuckers, to stop goat-fucking!

                      So it is a waste of time to appeal to Tulpa the goat-fucker, in this case… We need to all appeal to the civilized folks, to stop fighting with the Uber-Troll!

                      On Tulpa’s tomb some day: Tulpa the Troll, Mass-Murderer of Civilized Discourse.

                      You PROUD of that, vile troll?

                    8. Right but all your words don’t change that I caught you lying, shit eater.

                    9. Vile Troll WINS at being a Vile Troll! Vile Troll’s GREATEST accomplishment in life, death, and Beyond the Beyond! Vile Troll trolls to Infinity and Beyond the Beyond! Bravo, well done, Vile Troll!!! What MORE vitriol and vile trolling might we expect next, from the Great Vile Troll?!?! Stay tuned! Same Vile Troll time, same Vile Troll station!

                    10. Right but all your words STILL don’t change that I caught you lying, shit eater.

                    11. Vile Troll is wrung dry of new vile trolling for today. What a crushing disappointment!

                      (Vile Troll’s 3 neurons are tired, overtaxed, and underpaid.)

                    12. Right, but you shit up the thread replying to me because I caught you lying, shit eater.

                    13. Hey Hihn you dumbfuck

                      You posted this

                      SQRLSY One
                      March.28.2020 at 11:09 am
                      Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

                      So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

                      Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

                      Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

                      Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

                      At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

                      Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to ReasonNeedsBrilliantlyPersuasiveWriters@Reason.com .

                      Thank You! -Reason Staff

                      It’s cut and paste spam. Your stupid ass is whining about thread shitting and repetition and your first post was thread shitting repetition.

                    14. In response to this:

                      $parcasmic, a love connection
                      March.28.2020 at 10:46 am
                      God damn how are you STILL crying, it seems like its the only reason you come out of your hidey hole anymore.

                      This is goat-fucking, from the goat-fucker in my analogy. It sure is not civilized discourse… Or facts… Or funny… Or logic… Or discussion… It is just plain old thread-shitting, from the worst thread-shitter in town! Go shit on the worst thread-shitter in town, not on me! Or, whenever there is conflict, do you automatically pick on the most civilized side, and ignore the goat-fuckers, like in the Middle East Israel-Palestinian conflict? Are you aspiring to be a Great Peacemaker-Diplomat, perhaps?

                    15. Yes, but you outed yourself as ABC against sqrsly.

          3. Geese, guys. Get a room.

      2. Seriously dude? We have 3MM people who just became available. We do not have a labor shortage, Einstein.

        There is plenty of food when I go to my local grocery store. Hell, stores throw it out. So food shortages don’t appear to be in the cards anytime soon, genius.

        How you make the leap of ‘follow the trend’ is really something to behold. What trend is that? The global pandemic trend?

        This article is nothing but mindless fear-mongering. Unreason never fails.

    2. unreason tried to get rid of Trump in all those laughable ways.

      Now unreason is fanning the flames of hysteria to get rid of Trump.

      1. It is pathetic. At a time we need to pull together, and have a unity of purpose, assholes like this author sow dissension, fear and strife. Readership deserves better from Unreason.

  9. Reason pimping for more immigrants with a false report of food shortages. Good job.

    1. Hey I’m sorry you got so butthurt about me pointing out that your boo Ken is a known liar and censorious coward.

      1. Hey I’m so sorry you’re a fucking shithead cock sucking bitch. I don’t care about you so feel free to off yourself.

    2. How could there be food shortages when WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE ?

  10. Somehow The Netherlands managed to become the second largest ag exporter in the world without importing third world stoop labor. Instead they mechanized.

    But of course the Libertarians on this board would rather have the farmers privatize the profits and socialize the costs of their immigrant labor.

    You’d think at least the Libertarians would realize that the path to higher standards of living is through productivity increases, not more and more stoop laborers.

    Still waiting for Baylen’s article advocating repealing of regulations that prohibit Chinese-style wet market in the US.

    1. Well, for the most part they already are banned. The Humane Slaughter Act of 1979 and several clean food regulations already severely restrict them. So not really an issue.

      1. Wait, you’re telling me that the great example of government efficiency that is China is 61yrs behind the backwater USA?

  11. If nothing else, if farmers are having a hard time finding labor due to their long-time socialist belief that they are entitled to an exemption from the laws of supply and demand, they can get Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act and ship them all the labor they want.

    Speaking of the DPA, as I recall, this is an act that needs re-authorizing every 10 years and the last time it was re-authorized was under Obama and there was a spate of “OMG! Obama’s going to declare himself a dictator!!!” stories followed by a spate of “Everybody relax, it’s just the same theoretical dictatorial powers every other president has had”. Now that Trump has invoked the DPA to order GM to start producing ventilators, I thought it might raise an interesting issue with the Act – since GM doesn’t presently have the capability of producing ventilators, can they be bound by the primary provision of the Act that companies must accept any contract offered by the government and make it their top priority? Could Trump invoke the DPA and order Apple to start manufacturing back doors on their phones? Could he order all the US companies with factories in Mexico to move all their production to the United States? Under a literal reading of the DPA it seems he can – but under a more “you know what we mean” reading, it’s hard to imagine that “accept any contract” means accepting a contract for stuff we don’t even make. I could see ordering GM to produce military vehicles rather than civilian vehicles, but ordering Red Lobster to produce shoes rather than seafood dinners seems a bit of a stretch.

    1. Mary Barra’s (CEO GM) behavior, and the behavior of her contracting team typifies what it is to be a complete and utter ingrate. I cannot believe GM, who we the people bailed out in 2009, is trying to hold us up over peanuts. Absolutely zero respect for the people who helped you in your hour of greatest need. And they hold us up during a national emergency.

      America should shun GM until Mary Barra and the GM Board of Directors resign in shame and disgrace. They turned their backs to us. Return the favor.

  12. 3 million people filed for unemployment last week and you are worried about labor shortages. Let’s risk it.

    1. Word. This is why I’ve become convinced that the only proper response to libertarians involves tar, feathers and a rail out of town.

      1. Well, except that libertarians are arguing your point, while Reason is arguing the other side, despite calling itself a libertarian magazine.

  13. Two weeks ago when Gov Fredo Senior put NY State into a panic the local grocery store was out of pretty much everything but fresh veggies (which is hilarious when u think about it). Went in this morning and the store is stuffed to the gills with meat, bread, veggies, frozen stuff of all sorts, paper towels, milk, eggs, and pretty much everthing (soup, pasta, sauce, tuna) cold cuts. Only TP was a little low. No we are fine…automation and good old American workers are all we need. And let’s not forget the NYT is a old world bolshevik eastern european POV rag…its world view is christians are bad, white christians worse, and American exists to get back at the czar and ensure globalism enriches their friends and relatives.

  14. O/T – AOC’s Childish Meltdown

    Behaves like she’s in a heated student council meeting.

    And the 2nd congresswoman is even worse.

    1. We really need to stop paying attention to that idiot.

      1. Put a nickel in her the tip jar on the bar and she’ll shut up.

  15. So there was a plan to make Mexico pay for the Wall after all: to keep dirty American Disease carriers out. Wow! Dear Leader is so smart!

    1. “Dear Leader is so smart!”

      Make you look like the fucking lefty ignoramus you are.

    2. So jeffrey… mexico is not spending resources to stop caravans domestically or to keep immigrants on their side of the border for wait and see policies? They havent taken on 3rd party claims of asylum instead of letting central americans get to the US border? Okay then.

  16. “Contrary to what some might assume, these visa holders aren’t unskilled labor,” Higgins writes. “Modern farming involves a lot of technology, including heavy equipment, that the workers must be familiar with, as well as other skills that ordinary people won’t possess.”
    Lol. I could train a 12yr old to properly use a backhoe or frontend loader in a few hrs. I seriously doubt the training time for plows or harvesting equipment to be much longer. It’s machinery that has been designed to be easily used.

    1. Plus non-American Hispanic labor always say “Yes”. They know how to do, build, and work anything.

      Then you can see if they really know.

      Most non-American Hispanics don’t want to lose out on a job just because they say “no”.

    2. Try again. Operating the equipment in modern agriculture is pretty intensive. Most harvesters have more computing power than your desktop at work.
      However, picking a lot fruits and vegetables is not technology heavy yet because we have relied on cheap foreign labor to do it. If that supply dries up more will move to mechanization. Grain farming, cotton farming, pulse crops, etc use very little foreign labor. The dairy industry does to a larger degree, but even that is moving towards more mechanization. Beef ranching it really depends on the area. Sheep farming uses more foreign workers then beef, but those are mostly the herders who spends months away from civilization minding the flock. Poultry and pork also use a lot. But again, the jobs done by migrants on sheep ranches, poultry farms and pork farms are not exactly skilled.

      1. However, picking a lot fruits and vegetables is not technology heavy yet because we have relied on cheap foreign labor to do it. If that supply dries up more will move to mechanization.

        And that’s one of the reasons we should stop importing cheap labor. It’s the availability of cheap, unskilled labor that keeps countries in poverty and interferes with economic progress.

        1. Exactly. Once the green revolution increased grain production and labor became harder to find, farmers were forced to mechanize.

    3. I’m aware of a few job in agriculture where immigrant specialized labor is much more efficient than trying to get general labor to perform it. In viticulture, vinifera plants have to be grafted to American rootstock. They can’t grow on their own roots, in the vast majority of cases, or an endemic louse in the soil will kill them. The process of grafting vines can be a PITA to do, and there are immigrants who specialize in this part of overall viticulture.

      The owner of, I want to say, Thomas Fogerty Wines, is a vascular surgeon. Somebody obviously used to making lots of painstaking knots under time pressure. He thought, “How hard can grafting plants be? I graft blood vessels all of the time…” Evidently he got humbled by just how fast and efficiently his Mexican vineyard guys could do the work. And had fewer plants die from bad grafts. I think he eventually picked up the skill, but there are harder jobs than others in ag to learn.

      1. There are always exceptions to every rule, albeit grapes aren’t exactly a staple crop.

      2. It’s not just grapes. Nearly all fruit trees are grafted to put a high-producing top onto hardy roots. I grew up on a farm that produced cherries, peaches, pears, and apples, and every one of those trees was a graft. However, we did not do grafting. We bought saplings for transplant that had been started and grafted by specialized farmers.

        The workers on such farms (and on Monsanto farms that supply hybrid corn seed, etc.) are a small part of the farm labor force. The migrants that we hired (before mechanized harvesting took over) picked the crops, which requires great willingness to climb ladders and to work quickly and steadily in the hot sun, but no skills that you can’t learn on the job in a day. They were greatly superior to the local labor we sometimes tried to hire, but it was hard work, not skill, that made the difference.

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