Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Job is a job?

My girlfriend participated in writing this article about the difficulty of the Alabama immigration law.  In looking at immigration, sustainable farming, and economic growth and development, I come back to an old jazz song I love, "The Old Country".   In talking about class warfare in America, there is another warfare going on against illegal immigration.  This article points out that farming, while a job is a job, is BACKBREAKING, HIGHLY SKILLED, work.  My family are farmers and I know of what I speak.  The joke in my family is that when my uncle met my aunt, he thought it didn't make any sense for a young woman to have a six pack at her young age.  That same aunt could crop tobacco at five, FIVE, at the same rate as an adult and expected her father to pay her the same as an adult.

In this time of joblessness, some people think that a job is a job.  But not just anyone can pick fruits and vegetables.  In picking blueberries at a "you pick it yourself" farm, everybody was gone in an hour, because it was too hot, buggy, and folks were just plain tired.  Not just anyone can write code on a computer, and while there is certainly a higher learning curve for technology, skilled is skilled, and it takes time to learn a new skill set.  

With technology abounding, just who is going to pick our food? Will we have robots to eventually do that too? Times are changing. Do we really want to pay more for our food?  After reading Bill McKibben's book, Deep Economy, there is a definitive argument  that we should, for the good of our local communities and job growth.  However, it's really hard for me to pay $1-$2 more for organic meat or vegetables, when right next to it is a cheaper, and not necessarily bad product, because my pockets are not flush...

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