Georgia has achieved something conservatives have long dreamed of - they've chased their illegal immigrants away! How's that working out, Georgia?
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.I'm always leary of editorials used as reportage, so you might want to check this story with other sources. Still let's assume the facts are accurate - farmers complain of a labor shortage, Governor suggests that farmers hire ex-cons. What about the other 10,000 or so workers? Assuming they can find enough of them, it's an employee's market and they can negotiate higher than minimum wage for their services. Therefore, expect the price of sugar beets and peanuts to really shoot up next year. And whatever else they grow in Georgia. Coca Cola? I can't wikipedia everything for you people!
...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.
...According to survey of 230 Georgia farmers conducted by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, farmers expect to need more than 11,000 workers at some point over the rest of the season, a number that probably underestimates the real need, since not every farmer in the state responded to the survey.
In response, (Gov. Nathan) Deal proposes that farmers try to hire the 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia.
On the other hand, this could result in an influx of desperate unemployed from other states, which would bring down the general per capita income in GA but on the whole benefit the economy. I'm no psychic. Most likely the whole thing will bring on bad results and good, with a net result of less miserable immigrant farm workers and more miserable white trash farm workers. And higher grocery bills for all.
Keep an eye on sugar beet futures.