COLUMBIA — South Carolina farmers say the state’s plans to clamp down on illegal immigration will only cause confusion and hurt the economy but will not solve the problem. The South Carolina House is expected on Wednesday to debate legislation that would severely punish employers who knowingly hire illegal workers.
The proposal, as passed last week by the Senate, would require that employers verify their workers through a federal electronic database — a new paper-based system to be created by the state — or a South Carolina driver’slicense.
Farmers worry they won’t be able to continue farming because Americans don’t want the backbreaking jobs. Critics say Americans would take the jobs if employers paid more. Billy Ledford, a Greenville County vegetable farmer for four decades, says he’s grown increasingly reliant over the past 15 years on Hispanic workers, who willingly work up to 12 hours a day in the summer for $10 an hour.
Locals won’t take the jobs, he said.
We’ve discussed the immigration issue here plenty, and will be doing more of it, of course. But in this case, what strikes me is this simple observation: a big part of what’s driving this whole contretemps is wealth, not poverty. We have reached a level of affluence in this country where our poor are objectively wealthy compared to much of the rest of the world. As such, they can afford to reject work that’s “too hard” for their delicate sensibilities and leave it to the new slave-labor class.
Which just makes Michelle Obama’s bitter whining all the more contemptible, if you ask me. And ironically enough, the only conclusion reachable by liberals is that the solution to the problem is reining in the capitalist engine that has cranked out this wealth, bogging it down with more taxation, regulation, and socialism.