California politicians in their infinite liberal wisdom have just banned hand weeding on California’s non-“organic” farms – the vast majority. Agriculture is one of California’s top industries, supporting over one million jobs and contributing about $28 billion to the economy.
Those crops to which technology has not yet been able to provide automated weeding, including lettuce, carrots, celery and strawberries, no longer may be weeded by hand. I guess we want to ensure the increase of wealth in those countries and states that provide the same produce we provide currently, but will not be able to provide competitively after this rule is implemented, and ensure the decrease in wealth in California.
The organic farm waiver gives away the politics. Organic farms have been proven to transmit more disease and to provide produce less efficiently. Once you couple those with higher prices for hippies and trendies, you have a far lower degree of efficiency for producers.
Organics were exempted because they have more weeds due to not using chemicals.
As a representative of the Western Growers Association stated, “The same kind of crops we have here are grown in other nations, other states. The crops aren’t unique to California… [yet] we’re going to be the only place on the face of the Earth that has a regulation or law that outlaws hand-weeding.”
Is this an effort to help the third world compete by lowering our ability to be efficient? Doesn’t that require, umm – Free Trade?
It’s pretty clear that one of two things has just happened here: Either the wages of the third worlders staying in the third world have been decided to be more important than the wages of the workers in the California agriculture industry, including the secondary services markets supported by those workers, or, the Luddites have won in the CA ag sector.
Some questions naturally arise:
1. Does the exemption for “organic” farms mean that workers toiling there are not worthy of protection?
2. Does the exemption for “organic” farms mean CA wants to increase “organic” produce as a percent of all produce, hence consumer costs, making it even harder for all workers to feed their families?
3. Will this further drive up the costs of “organic” farms as pay increases to supply labor to what will become a seller’s market?
4. As smaller non-organics go under due to the increase in costs of implementing this rule, what will happen to those farmers and their families? To those supplying them services, from groceries to gasoline to clothing to cars?
5. Is this an anti-family farm agenda?
6. An anti-small-town agenda?
7. An anti-organics agenda?
8. Will it drive down the costs of non-organics by allowing those farmers to pay their crews less as it becomes a buyer’s market for these services, rather than the seller’s market for organic farms?
9. By how much, and how quickly, will the earnings of the workers in non-organic farms decrease? How will that affect their ability to provide for their families?
10. Will the need for illegal alien farm workers decline with these laws limiting the backbreaking labor they provide – putting out of work many already here and providing fewer jobs for those still coming?
11. If the unforeseen consequence is to throw out of work tens of thousands of farm workers, will that be better for them and their families than the work they perform voluntarily now?
12. When this legislation results in a decrease of available jobs for farm workers – what will be the political fallout of the decision, especially on the liberal CA legislature? To raise taxes to put them all on welfare?
13. How long until the increase in costs drives affordable automation, killing the rest of the low-skilled agriculture jobs in the state?
14. Is this an anti-illegal alien agenda from the Left?