Here is a post from the BoingBoing blog:
Georgia's anti-immigrant law leaves millions in crops rotting in the fieldsCory Doctorow left out this bit from Jay Bookman's original post that, for me, is even more poignant:
by Cory Doctorow
Georgia's tough anti-illegal-immigrant law drove a sizable fraction of the migrant labor pool out of the state, and as a result, "millions of dollars' worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops [are] unharvested and rotting in the fields." The jobs the migrants did paid an average of $8/hour, without benefits, a wage that is so low that the state's probationed prisoners have turned it down. Guest-writing in the Atlantic's economics section, Adam Ozimek doesn't believe that the farms would be viable if they paid wages that legal American workers would take: "it's quite possible that the wages required to get workers to do the job are so high that it's no longer profitable for farmers to plant the crops in the first place."After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.Ga's farm-labor crisis playing out as planned.
It might be funny if it wasn't so sad.
Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars' worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they've done to Georgia's largest industry.
The pain this is causing is real. People are going to lose their crops, and in some cases their farms. The small-town businesses that supply those farms with goods and services are going to suffer as well. For economically embattled rural Georgia, this could be a major blow.This modern story of misguided right wing politics reminds me of bigger "lesson" from recent history: Right wing nationalists gathered to support Hitler because they liked his "tough line" on reparations, his glorification of patriotism, his obvious good sense wanting some "lebensraum" in the east, and his policy of punishing the class of people that lots and lots blamed for losing WWI, the Jews. They got a big surprise. Hitler really did plan to carry through with his policies. He plunged Germany into WWII and reduced their beloved nation to a pile of rubble with starving "patriots" running from this pile of rubble to that pile trying to find shelter and digging around hoping to find some food that some other starving group hadn't already spotted. Hitler turned a proud people into the pariah of nations because of his racist policies that very nearly exterminated an innocent people, the Jews. The Germans who survived this disaster paid a very high price for all those ignorant dreams of right wing political types. The lesson to be learned? If you preach political hate, you may -- unintentionally -- reap hate.
In fact, with a federal court challenge filed last week, you have to wonder whether state officials aren’t secretly hoping to be rescued from this mess by the intervention of a judge. But given how the Georgia law is drafted and how the Supreme Court ruled in a recent case out of Arizona, I don’t think that’s likely.
We’re going to reap what we have sown, even if the farmers can’t.
I always wonder how much of these "lessons of history" that the right wing "patriots" in the US have really absorbed from history.