Friday, August 19, 2005

Blouin Wind: or why this candidate -- who supports corporate welfare for companies that hire illegal immigrant labor -- will never be governor

The Mike Blouin out your @#$ fund -- or you can call it the Iowa Values Fund -- yesterday announced the next round of corporate support payments and one just seemed really nuts. From today’s DMR

• A $77 million expansion of Farmland Industries in Denison that will double the pork plant's production and add 218 jobs that pay an average hourly wage of $13.97 . The plant produces cooked hams, hot dogs and smoked sausages.

In late December of 2003 the Omaha World-Herald published a series of articles entitled Help Wanted: the unspoken demand for illegal immigrants. The articles addressed multiple issues related to illegal immigration in Nebraska and the surrounding region. The paper condensed the articles into a cheat sheet summary that includes some of the following points.

…  A burden, a benefit: Whether you win or lose from low-skill, immigrant laborers depends on your status within the U.S. economy. Employers and the affluent win. Poor, low-skill workers can lose. The rest are in a murky middle. We win as immigrants hold down consumer prices and help our economy grow. We lose as they and their families burden schools and public assistance programs. …

and

…  Worst job in America: Nightly while Nebraska sleeps, work crews sanitize meatpacking plants caked with the blood and guts of butchered cattle. Although meatpacking is widely known as the nation's most injury-prone industry, The World-Herald discovered that packinghouse cleaners are equally at risk. But minimal OSHA oversight let workplace hazards persist while fear of deportation muted the undocumented workers' complaints.

Uncle Sam's wink: For four years, the federal government has had evidence that up to 100 major U.S. employers were flouting wage-reporting laws in ways often linked to the widespread use of illegal immigrant labor. Yet nothing has been done to impose up to $65 million in potential fines against the employers. It's an example of how Uncle Sam winks at ordinary illegal immigrants once they cross the U.S. border and join the working class.

What the hell are we doing?

Let’s take money out of the pockets of hard working taxpayers, some of whom may indirectly already subsidize Farmland Foods’ labor pool through their employment in hospitals and social service non-profits, and give it to a company known to skirt the illegal immigration question & labor laws .

Do we have to state the obvious that doling out taxpayer money to companies that shift their costs to other taxpayers and other employers is just @#$% nuts?

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