Photo © 2008 by Viña Caliterra [CC BY-SA 2.0]
While reading a Los Angeles Times article this past week, I couldn’t help but not feel as bad for some of these large landowners as I maybe should have. This is because they really seemed to not be facing reality and instead looking to find a scapegoat to blame all of their hardships on. They blame Donald Trump’s ascension to the oval office as the reason they’re experiencing a labor shortage. Well, let me just be frank, it is 100% their fault if they think that they can hire all these illegal immigrants and just pay them dirt wages to take advantage of their desperate situations. If we just take a look back to the Great Depression, just as it is described in the Grapes of Wrath, the same thing was happening but to fellow Americans migrating from the Dust Bowl in the Midwest. Anyone who reads the book can sympathize with the Joad family, who are moving to California simply to survive, but are faced with these absolutely unsustainable wages.
However, here’s the difference between then and now. Back then, the influx of workers was so massive, that the large landowners had the option to lower the wages. Now I’m not endorsing this practice by any means, in fact I abhor the fact that you can exploit workers in this way. The problem is that these landowners still think they have the freedom to pay these low wages even though the supply of workers has clearly dwindled. Not only that, but many of these landowners are clearly living in the past. Look around, it’s the age of technology. Once labor started to trail off, they should have had the business sense to immediately switch over the machines – a decision that would have saved them tons in the long run. In addition, they complain that people are not willing to work for these jobs even thought they ‘increased’ the wages. While this is true to some extend due to today’s incredible entitled millennial generation, it is also because of their own bias when looking for workers. The article specifically mentions how they would target those who look the most desperate like the homeless. While I do think this should yield the best results, they could also, again adapt to technology, and post offerings online or maybe target those who do not look so desperate, thus widening their pool of possible workers.
Sure, they can argue that somebody needs to pick our crops, but when it all boils down, who would want to work these jobs just to get ripped off?