Posted by | May 14, 2012 00:22 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

The latest from Alabama:

Some Alabama farmers say they are planting less produce rather than risk having tomatoes and other crops rot in the fields a second straight year because of labor shortages linked to the state’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

Keith Dickie said he and other growers in the heart of Alabama’s tomato country didn’t have any choice but to reduce acreage amid fears there won’t be enough workers to pick the delicate fruit.

Look, the economics is simple: you decrease the supply of labor, then you increase its cost.  Either farmers cut back production or raise wages and prices.  If the market won’t bear the increase in prices, then less fruit and vegetables.  You can be pro immigration (like me) or anti-immigration but either way you can’t be naive and expect restrictions in immigration to not result in either higher prices or lower production.

By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.