An Ode to You Closed Border Whiners Out There

Michael Lamoureux, the Nova Scotian who calls himself "The Doctor", has far more song writing and rhyming talent than I'll ever have. Given this, I'm eternally grateful not only for his pick-up of my anti-dumping and free trade rants on Spend Matters in the above-linked post, but also his lyrical ode to free trade and open markets titled. To quote Michael, "To the whiners so full of strife / Go suck it in, it's free trade life / We don't live in a dome / I dedicate this poem / To the whiners so full of strife." If you're curious, Michael is referring to the whiners who question the merits of free trade on Spend Matters and other sites.

On a related free trade and labor topic, Michael sent me this story on CNN that showcases what happens when countries like the US close their borders. Apparently, due to a lack of available migrant labor, "Pennsylvania's largest grower of fresh-to-market tomatoes announced he will no longer produce the crop because he can't find enough workers to harvest it." This grower, "who planted 2.2 million tomato plants last year, said he also will stop growing pumpkins and will plant half as much sweet corn as usual, resulting in a loss of nearly 175 jobs." The irony of this, of course, is that I believe the EU (and certainly the UK), regions and a country not exactly known for their embrace of everything foreign, have established models in place that enable foreign nationals to participate in economy by coming in for the harvest season.

The sad irony of the situation in Pennsylvanian is that even if the farmer offered up free buses to get the hundreds of thousands out-of-work or underemployed inner city laborers to his fields from West and North Philadelphia, I doubt that there would be many takers. After all, it's easier to collect an entitlement check than it is to work in the fields. I question when as a country, we'll ever realize that we should be welcoming and encouraging immigrants -- permanent or temporary -- willing to relocate to take on the manual labor that our poor are unwilling to touch. Perhaps this is one labor situation where we really could learn from our neighbors across the pond.

- Jason Busch

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