Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dairy Cows: Who's Being Milked?

Today's Big Story in the J-S concerns dairy cows.

There are a few gaps in the story, so (with the assistance of a friend) I'll mention a few facts which the J-S reporter didn't ask about--or which didn't make it past editing.

1) $22Bn is spent every year in food-assistance (stamps, school lunches, WIC, etc.) for illegal aliens.

2) $2.5Bn is spent every year on Medicaid for illegals.

3) $12Bn is spent every year on schooling for illegals, many of whom cannot speak English.

4) $17Bn/year is spent educating "anchor babies."

(All of the above is documented in the links)

In the story given us by the J-S, dairy farmers testify that they cannot find US citizens who are willing to stay on the farm and work 10-hour days at $11.50/hour. Well, that's not surprising, is it? City folks get health insurance (unaddressed in the article), and are paid better wages. We're not told if overtime is paid; we're not told if health benefits are paid. Maybe that's not interesting to the J-S.

We're ALSO not told what happens to the price of milk/cwt if wages are raised to attract US workers.

I'll grant that this is a tough problem to resolve. I don't think the farmers here are Simon Legrees--not by a long-shot. And I know they're competing--on price--with California farms, which have an unlimited supply of illegals.

But who is really getting milked here? The cows? Or the taxpayers?


neomom said...

Confession - I didn't read the article, but does it also mention how WI farmers get screwed in comparison to CA farmers because the cwt price is set based on distance from.... Eau Claire?

One of the only thing Herbie Kohl tried doing worth a shit was getting rid of that ridiculous formula. He continuously got shot down - no surprise since nobody outside WI gives a shit about WI dairy farmers.

Sorry - dairy farming and milk hauling runs through the family.

Dad29 said...

No mention of the dairy compacts at all.

Frankly, the story was a blatant attempt to stop the E-Verify requirement which will soon be law of the land.

Beneath that agenda, of course, was the JS' adulation for unrestricted, uncontrolled immigration.

I happen to think that the current immigration law (written by Ted Kennedy) is asinine in many regards. It should be re-written.

But the JS' view is ridiculous.

neomom said...

Oh yeah - the whole immigration system is FUBAR. But somehow I believe our version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform is not the same as the intent of the JS editor.

(I did go read it - eye roll)

Anonymous said...

That $40b/yr spent subsidizing Big Oil definitely milks the taxpayers. They ought to get off the peoples' tit.

neomom said...

It is a $4B annual tax break - not $40B... If you are going to demagogue at least use the right numbers.

There are far bigger fish to fry in the federal budget. But how about changing those compacts so that WI isn't penalized for being WI. Or how about ending ethanol mandates and subsidies that make the feed for the cows more expensive (and everything else for that matter).