Good work, Legislature.

Mr. Fitchette’s most recent post uses “sustainable” differently than I do, but that’s fine.  I want to make a different point.

The argument that ‘Farming cannot continue to exist if society forces us to internalize our externalities’ is not an argument in favor of farming.  It is an argument against farming.  What these farmers are saying here:

this brings me to the recent passage of a bill that eliminates the exemptions to overtime rules for farm workers. Farm groups called this the “death nail” for agriculture. …

Immediately after the bill was passed in Sacramento a couple dairy producers I know took to social media to say “that’s it!” They’re done.

means: our business model depends on people who are in general poorer than landowning farmers donating part of their labor to the business.

That is bullshit.  I am very proud of California for eliminating the farmworker exemption.

 

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Good work, Legislature.

  1. An investment banker friend of mine once characterized the low bid of a competitor for a company we were trying to acquire thusly: “Don’t worry, it’s just a stocking horse.” The sock puppets were not amused.

  2. Mark Jackson

    This all boils down to how we value people in general. That a certain sector believe they should be exempt from laws pertaining to everyone else is ludicrous. That they got away with it for so long is amazing. We should value every person the same period. This says a lot about how farmers value the workers that sustain their businesses.

  3. Larry

    Well said. Perhaps food should cost more so those of us able to afford it can pay a fair cost and we can provide more assistance to the very poor. Underpricing any resource results in waste – and no resource is wasted more than food.

  4. Jorge

    Taken to he extreme, farming in California will need slaves to prosper. Greediness has not limit.

  5. WatergrlJD

    What jumped out immediately at me from that story (other than the “death nail,” ugh) was the fact that it was a dairy getting “nailed.” Because dairies kind of are price takers, not price makers.
    (See, e.g., http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/dairy/Milk_Pricing_Works.html).
    Not anti-labor, just observing that it makes sense that systems with less built-in give will fail first, if failure happens. And anyone who says they’ll just pay a few more cents for broccoli or what have you is a bit missing the point.