Thing Are Not So Peachy In Georgia

From Jay Bookman at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

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.

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.

Barely a month ago, you might recall, Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed HB 87 into law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal ordered a hasty investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed, as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him.

softfruitOriginal movie poster

The results of that investigation have now been released. 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, Deal proposes that farmers try to hire the 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia.


According to the survey, more than 6,300 of the unclaimed jobs pay an hourly wage of just $7.25 to $8.99, or an average of roughly $8 an hour. Over a 40-hour work week in the South Georgia sun, that’s $320 a week, before taxes, although most workers probably put in considerably longer hours.


In addition, few of the jobs include benefits — only 7.7 percent offer health insurance, and barely a third are even covered by workers compensation. And the truth is that even if all 2,000 probationers in the region agreed to work at those rates and stuck it out — a highly unlikely event, to put it mildly — it wouldn’t fix the problem.


It’s hard to envision a way out of this. Georgia farmers could try to solve the manpower shortage by offering higher wages, but that would create an entirely different set of problems. If they raise wages by a third to a half, which is probably what it would take, they would drive up their operating costs and put themselves at a severe price disadvantage against competitors in states without such tough immigration laws. That’s one of the major disadvantages of trying to implement immigration reform state by state, rather than all at once.

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.


We’re going to reap what we have sown, even if the farmers can’t.


Filed under humor, Immigration, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

34 responses to “Thing Are Not So Peachy In Georgia

  1. I was thinking “cut off your nose to spite your face,” when I posted mine, but I was too lazy to think if that’s what I meant. 😆

    You know these a-holes are pining to see a bunch of black people in their fields picking away.

  2. jean-philippe

    I hope people of Georgia will do the math between electing a Republican governor and the upcoming economic disaster…

    People of Georgia are not always known for their good judgement.

    • there are some people who, if you gave them an iron-clad guarantee that things will get better if they vote for a dem, they won’t do it.

  3. jeb

    Rethug Policies: Kick some ass; we’re stuck in war! Lower the tax rate; the deficit is spiraling! Get rid of illegal immigrants; oops crops are rotting in the fields.

    Remind me again why anyone believes any of their bullshit?

  4. johncerickson

    So you’re saying the people of Georgia have gotten….. are you ready for this?
    A ROTTEN DEAL? (Boo, Hiss!) 😀
    The really galling part is, while the crops rot down there, the food pantry they run monthly at the church across the street has been attracting record breaking crowds. Folks line up in our little one horse town (seriously, there is one horse in town – lotsa goats, just one horse) an hour and a half before the church opens, in the summer sun, for the food handouts. They’d kill (some quite literally) for fresh fruits and vegetables, and the big fat hairy Deal is letting the stuff rot in situ. (Then again, most of these folk wouldn’t do the work for pay, but that’s another story.) And then you have guys with PhDs like RogueOperator trying to defend this crap. Any wonder I dropped the GOP during Bush 1st?

    • rotten deal! 😆 why didn’t that occur to me?

      the rethugs will learn that their bigotry and fear-mongering has real consequences. they love to spew the barbed rhetoric, but they never think about the long term.

    • oh no! you didn’t eat any of that fruit, did you fran? don’t trust anyone who looks like an evil carmen miranda.

      • No! Not eating whatever brand of garbage they are serving up.
        It was late & I was tired. A one grunt reply was the best I could do @ the time.

        Some kind of karma the haters have had come back to bite them in the ass.

        • deal deserves it, and so do the farmers who voted for him. however, there are a lot of other people who will suffer, too, not least of all, the immigrant workers.

  5. I posted this entry over on the Coffee Party’s Facebook page. Some twit (this isn’t a Coffee Party page, so I don’t have to be civil to people I disagree with) responded with, “”Why are you against the law of the land? Currently, we don’t like it when people enter the US without permission. You think this is wrong?” I thought this question was on a par with “When did you stop beating your wife?” and answered accordingly.

    “Your first question is both a leading one and has more than one bad assumption. For starters, do I regard the law of the United States to be the law of the land, or the laws of Georgia and Arizona? Hint, I live in Michigan. Second, do I think it’s the job of the states to enforce immigration law or the federal government? I think the constitution gives that right to the federal government. Third, do I think people should examine laws for unintended consequences and draft laws according to reality-based principles? Yes. Do I think this law stands up to those criteria? No, it doesn’t.

    As for your final question, I don’t think the general idea is wrong. I just want it done intelligently, competently, and humanely.”

    The kicker? The original question has been deleted. My answer remains. HAH!

    • you should have gone to law school, neon vincent. perfect answer. how funny that the guy scurried away, but that’s what the brainless flamethrowers usually do in the face of logic and thoughtfulness. glad you’re on our side. 🙂

      • “you should have gone to law school, neon vincent.”

        I’m seriously considering doing just that, even though I already have a Ph.D. I’ve had enough dealings with lawyers lately to find out that I’m smarter than a lot of them. I’m sure I could be at least as competent, if not more so.

        • johncerickson

          I don’t know if you have the makings of a lawyer. Since you deserted the GOPers, there’s proof you have a soul. You have to lack a soul to be a good lawyer. (My wife used to work for one, so I know.)
          And yes, glad to have you over as well. I was fading fast in the 90s as a rightie, then my life went to heck in 2001. I was pretty much fully converted in Jan of 2002 when my job fired me for lack of attendance, despite the fact I had over a week’s vacation left. Welcome to the common sense side of the force!

        • i took a business law course in community college. it was taught by a lawyer. we had a moot court, and i was the lawyer for the plaintiff. afterward, the teacher came over and told me that i’d be making a great mistake if i didn’t go to law school. later on, i was at work and having lunch with a coworker. he had majored in pre-law, and he wanted to go to law school. he had the lsat practice book with him, and just for fun, we each took a test. i beat the pants off him. i wish i had been able to afford to go to law school. when i was on jury duty, i was amazed at how dumb some of the attorneys were. hell, if they could get through, i could, too.

      • And, yes, I’m glad to be on our side, too. I was on the other side until 2000. I don’t belong over there. I belong here with people like you.

  6. Goper piety bites them in the ass again. Maybe they should get party members to go out in the heat and bright sun and work from sun up till down. Just tell them the profits will go to build the 900 foot tall Reagan statue.

    • some dems with money should make a bet with deal. they should tell him that they’ll donate a million dollars to his favorite charity if he can last an entire day out in the hot sun, bent over, and picking fruit. he wouldn’t last 15 minutes.

  7. Friend of the court

    those farmers should take some truckloads of those rotten crops and dump them on the Governor’s front lawn.

    • even better, he should be required to eat it. if he’s going to make prices higher for everyone else, then he needs to be suffer some kind of consequence for being a total asswipe.

  8. Wasn’t the GOP pretending to care about small businesses last week?