Showing posts with label Alabama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alabama. Show all posts

Friday, November 08, 2013

Business Wins

Tuesday's election saw GOP establishment candidate Bradley Byrne beat Tea Party fave Dean Young in Alabama's 1st Congressional District. In what clearly is a sign for the ugly war that will be waged over the next year in the GOP, the business community has clearly had enough of the psychosis and adolescent behavior of the Tea Party and like minded people.

CNN has another story on this as does Politico. This would be why I'm not too worried about the mistakes made by the president and the Democrats in terms of the ACA. We don't have to beat the conservatives. They are beating themselves.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reality Meets Fantasy

This Thanksgiving, Jerry Danford doesn't have a lot to be thankful for and it's due to Alabama's new immigration policy.

“People are not informed about what it takes to do these special crops. Now a lot of people aren’t interested. The lawmakers that passed this law, they didn't come out here and interview people. If they had done their homework, they would have realized,” he says.

Spoken like a true socialist who wants to the skirt the law and not have to deal with the consequences. Except....

Danford is a lifelong Republican. He admits he did once vote for a Democrat for governor. But in every other race, at every level, he’s always been for the GOP. When I ask if he’s ever voted a Democrat into the White House he scoffs, making a face that says “you have to be kidding.” He voted for Alabama’s current governor, Robert Bentley, a Republican. But he now says he regrets that decision.

“It was an honest mistake,” Danford says, “but, you know, I feel bad over it.”

Danford, like many folks in business in Alabama, are now seeing what happens when lawmakers don't think about immigration and simply act with dogmatic impunity: it hurts the economy. Of course, Republican lawmakers in the state say it will actually help the state's unemployment record. So far, it's having the opposite effect.

“The people that you could get locally, they wouldn't -- regardless of what you offered them, within reason -- they wouldn't put in the long hours. It'd take probably three (of them) to do what two of the immigrant workers do,” he says.“They'd want to be on break all the time, going to the bathroom, going to get a drink, or, you know, something. They just don't have the initiative to work, just plain and simple,” Danford says.

That's a pretty sad statement considering I thought that folks from this part of the country, being the fine and upstanding conservatives that they are, knew how to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get to work. Ah, these must be the small portion of stinkin' liberals who leech off the government. So what does Danford want?

“I would like for these lawmakers to go out and get me a pool of labor,” he says.

Millions of dollars are on the line, not just for the farmers but for everyone in the supply chain. When Danford planted watermelons last year, he estimates he paid a trucking company close to $10 million to transport them. A new forecast from the University of Alabama estimates the law will cost the state economy at least $40 million in lost revenue overall.

This whole debacle is a great example of how reality has smacked fantasy in the face hard with a shovel. The people who take a hard line position on this have to realize that thumping your chest and screaming, "It's illegal so fuck 'em" solves absolutely nothing. We have to look at this from the point of view that human capital means a better economy. Danford needs a pool of labor which means we need to embrace the people that are already here, legalize their status and make it easier for talent at all levels to immigrate to this country.

In other words, have some fucking common sense. I used to think that money would trump theology at all times on the right. Now, with the party moving more to the right, it's simply not the case. Meanwhile, our sole superpower status continues to erode...keep it up, folks. Your dreams of "less" government may soon come true!