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Roxana Hegeman/AP: the $5 Swift sausage scare

Roxana Hegeman of the Associated Press offers "Immigration raids may affect meat prices". Per her, the only way to keep prices low is to allow companies to flagrantly violate the law:
When hordes of police and immigration officials stormed meatpacking plants in six states this week, the illegal workers arrested may not have been the only victims.

Consumers and the industry itself may be feeling the repercussions in a shortage of meatpackers, higher wage costs and, ultimately, higher prices for the beef that lands on America's tables at home and in restaurants...
Oh heavens no. I guess if I want to avoid the coming twenty dollar hamburgers (together with a ten dollar salad), I'll have to go to a Chinese restaurant or something. And, of course, one might think that in this case the victims are those who had their identity stolen, as well as those who were forced to subsidize Swift's labor, as well as every other U.S. citizen that's been forced to put up with our government's failure to enforce our laws. Hegeman thinks different: it's the government that's guilty, with the illegal laborers being the "victims".

Continuing on, she features the thoughts of guest worker program hack Mark Reed "former immigration regional director who now runs his own consulting business, Border Management Strategies, in Tucson, Ariz":
"The meatpacking industry has become dependent on an unauthorized labor force, and it is not good government to destroy an entire industry. In some way, there is going to be a meeting of the minds..." Every labor-intensive industry -- the hotel industry, the construction industry, agriculture -- will be similarly impacted, he said.
If the meatpacking business can't do business within our laws, then they should go out of business. Supporting our laws - and avoiding government corruption - is far, far more important.
Other tags: swift foods

Immigration · Thu, 12/14/2006 - 21:14 · Importance: 4

Mon, 12/18/2006 - 10:49
Smitty

Translation-our inflation numbers are bogus and don't include the funded & unfunded costs of illegal immigration-which could add up to well over $100 billion a year.

So the real inflation rate is 8 or 10% per year (or more).

Sun, 12/17/2006 - 09:27
Fred Dawes

Horace has a point! "its all about the meat", and we all now know why the office boys at Swift like mexicans!

Sat, 12/16/2006 - 19:44
Craig

I'd like to keep my costs low, too. Can I not pay my taxes so I can do that? Hey, if thousands of employers can get away with it, why can't I?

Fri, 12/15/2006 - 12:17
Horace

Remember the movie Soylant Green? Don't tell anyone, but the real reason that the Swift likes illegal aliens is that they make great sausage.

Fri, 12/15/2006 - 12:13
George

Americans are said to be overweight and to eat too much meat, so cutting back may actually save prove beneficial in the long run. I'll chance it.

Fri, 12/15/2006 - 08:44
eh

When hordes of police and immigration officials stormed meatpacking plants...

The loaded language in these stories is just too funny; I guess there is no such thing as "hordes" of illegal workers, and I imagine rather than 'storming' the plants they just drove up, probably in unmarked vehicles, took a little care to watch the exits, and then walked inside.

Fri, 12/15/2006 - 08:41
Fred Dawes

D.Flinchum is dead on the money and the boys at swift are all about money and hate us as a nation of people who can think, ask how much money has swift taken from mexico city and how much drug money has it got?

Fri, 12/15/2006 - 00:00
dchamil
dchamil7.blogspot.com

This whole story about immigrant labor in the meatpacking industry is a rerun of the novel The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, written around 1906. At that time the meatpacking industry kept costs down by exploiting immigrant labor from Europe, and the book describes the experiences of one of them.
The recent expose book Fast Food Nation has a lot of similar material, although it's not exclusively about the meat packing end of it.

Thu, 12/14/2006 - 22:41
D Flinchum

And what did we do a scant 20 years or so ago before the meatpacking industry got swamped with illegal alien labor? I seem to recall that we did just fine - and that we were usually paying union wages at that.

Face it. US businesses scream that they are being forced out of business when any attempt is made to enforce laws regarding environmental impact, health and safety, or other employment laws.

Businesses and comsumers both would be better off if the various levels of government would cooperate and crack down on employing illegal aliens consistently instead of sporadically and seemingly on whim. Everybody would know that violation of employment laws will not be tolerated and get with the program. Most businesses - even those that may not mind breaking the law per se - don't want the bad publicity of actually getting caught. Attrition doesn't just work on illegal aliens.