Posted On: Tuesday - April 2nd 2019 6:17PM MST
In Topics:   Immigration Stupidity  Economics
That's what the growers are "worried" about*. See if they can't get that cheap labor, if something were ever REALLY, SERIOUSLY done about the southern border, then it may cost them a dime or so per avocado. You think about it, reader - an American at $15/hour may pick at only the same rate as the illegals making $5. However, how long does it take to pick this fruit (yep, it's a fruit that tastes like a vegatable, or worse)? I'll get to that in a short while.
This "rotting in the fields" trope(?) is one that the immigration patriots at VDare, and I'm sure elsewhere, have been mocking for a long time. It's not just about any kind of vegetable for which automated picking has not benefited yet. One can extrapolate this canard (there, that's better .. than "trope") to any extraction process off the land for which the owners want to make that extra buck by paying less in labor and pawning all the externalized costs (welfare, schooling, healthcare) on the responsible taxpayers. It's a big lie, that nobody at all will be willing to do the work. Most Americans, however, have to make a real living and want to have some quality of life. Up the pay, and they will come.
As to the question of the labor costs per avocado, I'm not going to use rectal extraction today - I spent 20 minutes (MAX) looking into this and came up with ONE THIN DIME per piece addition in labor costs from increasing the pay by $10/hr, with an extremely conservative estimate. Look at the bottom, below the asterisk line.
Now, I know that buck a piece one may pay for avocados on sale is not the price the growers charge. However, even if they must raise their wholesale prices by that whole big dime, it's still only a 10% rise at the store. We wouldn't even notice.
Not only that, but if you were to go back by 3 decades, at least where I lived (not in California) you would find out that not 1 in 10 people had ever partaken of an avocado! Is guacamole that important to us now to where we'd rather ruin the country for our children to get it at a 10% discount?! Really?(as the kids say) What'll we hear about if the cheap imported labor for limes and garlic is not available either - guacamole itself will be rotting in the fields? I like the stuff, I'll admit, and made right, you'd figure at least the cardiologists would be on the side of the immigration patriots here (more expensive avocados = less guacamole eaten = less Omega-3 intake = more cardiovascular business)! Still, I could put up with it if the local Chipotle went back to subsituting e-coli for the guac - I've got a good stomach.
Quit trying to bullshit us all, big Ag. Some of us can read and do arithmetic.
The thing about this particular fruit is that it is expensive per unit, unlike apples for instance. How much labor cost is involved in picking avocados? This time-and-motion study from 1967! investigating the benefits of using what we now call a Snorklift, is pretty easy to read. I can only imagine picking rates have gone up since then, with various other improvements short of robotic automation. Just with 1967 data, though, tone can note a pick rate of ~ 18 piece per minute. This time accounts for moving from spot to spot and tree to tree, AND everything else involved (transport, sorting, stacking, everything). The study gives numbers all in boxes, which can vary from containing 20 to 80 pieces. Let's just get a real conservative number by using 20/box. In this time-study, with the use of the Snorklift (and things have only improved) and including all time involved, the observers came up with 6 minutes required to pick 20 pieces.
Now, you see, this is not just rectal extraction here. Just 3 pieces per minute still means that, even with rest breaks, a guy can pick 150 avocados in that hour in which he's making either $5 or $15, depending on whether we want to destroy the American nation or not. Call it 100/hour. I keep rounding down for ease and conservatism, so I come up with either 5 cents or 15 cents (NICE ROUND NUMBERS). That's a difference of ONE THIN DIME. If one did not round everything toward conservatism, and accounted for improvements in methods, well it's probably a nickle or LESS.
Ha, I started this post with a humerous one in mind but then got into this simple arithmetic of labor costs. I proceeded to stick it at the bottom for those who may just want the humor and mockery. Don't let these people lie their asses off to you. It's not hard to do the numbers, and I'm not in the business.
* I'll give the Daily Wire credit here for being pretty impartial, and for the humorous headline.