Monday, August 28, 2006

Maine's mexican Milk

Maine dairy farmers have recently decided that the only way they can make a profit is by using migrant labor.  Using the logic of the left many questions arise. Should the auto industry, retail businesses and state government be allowed to make wages so low only foreigners can afford to work in them? They are under pressure because there are those who could do those jobs more cheaply. We see here another excuse for paying sub-standard wages, Mainers have screamed and cried for a higher minimum wage yet we will allow certain industries to pay the lowest wage possible. If these industries do not provide good paying jobs to locals, why do they need to exist? Farmers have gotten tax and labor breaks repeatedly while industries with similar problems, such as textiles and shoes have been allowed to disappear. These farms should pay a living wage to local employees, if they cannot do that than I have no problem with them going out of business, if there is a market for the product someone will come along and make it work. We scream at Wal-Mart for paying low wages but forgive our neighbors if they do the same.

I lived in Texas for 10 years and when I first moved there migrant workers were mainly in agriculture and the hospitality industry, by the time I left they were in construction and production and had the effect of drastically lowering the wages in those traditionally well paying blue-collar professions. Folks in Maine will scream when Bush allows jobs to go overseas (although they were strangely quiet when Clinton did) but we will allow local industry to basically do the same thing.

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