Colbert Testifies Before Congress (updated)

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[Edited to add video]  ~Zooey

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4 thoughts on “Colbert Testifies Before Congress (updated)

  1. Comedic presentation aside, he made some good, valid points.

    He’s right. “Americans” don’t want those jobs. That is just another GOP talking point to scare Americans (“Illegal immigrants are taking all our jobs”). I worked the fields for several years when I was a teenager—picking grapes, tying vines, rolling trays, packing peaches in the field.. HARD work!! Dirty work, under almost intolerable conditions. And the heat.. The wasps and hornets, black widow spiders.. LONG hours, and then the pay checks are not nearly enough which is why the entire family would come and work. No benefits. Taxes are taken out, but if you aren’t a legal citizen, you will never enjoy the benefits of receiving Social Security or Medicare at the end of your life. That’s only one of things they won’t realize from their taxes that they pay.
    I always thought I made a lot of money working every summer, but I made enough to pay for my school clothes (as long as I didn’t spend it on anything else). That was working every day of every week through the summer. Just clothes..

    I would never take those jobs again. They (Congress) must find a way to make this work for farmers here and for the workers who come to work in their fields. They (the workers) need to stop being vilified. They are a necessity or farmers will go under. Nobody else is going to do the work. THAT work.

  2. I did outside work on a farm as a teenager, too. I painted fence, unloaded hay when the wagon came in (before the real big round bales they use a tractor to move), pulled balloon vine in seed soybean fields, and mowed grass. It wasn’t as hot thirty five years ago, not even in Alabama.

    The only people acclimated for outdoor summer work now have lived in it all their lives, in humid climates.

    • My experience was Central Valley California. HOT all summer long. Humid to boot in August.
      In my twenties I lived outside of town, down a dirt road in the middle of a vineyard in a small place. Further down that road was a run down house, barn, and chicken houses. Vans with darkened windows would drive in and out in the middle of the night (like 2 or 3 in the morning). They would be bringing in workers illegally and housing them (cramming them is more like it) in the barn and chicken houses under horrible conditions to do somebody’s field work. They were charged a high rent for the privilege of living in that barn or chicken house so they could get to work those jobs.. I talked with one of them one day. That person spoke a little broken English. I don’t think this was an isolated experience..

      The farmers didn’t ask a lot of questions then. They needed the crews to pick their crops. Timing is everything for a farmer. Timing and how cheap of labor you can find..
      They’ve got to find a way to make this more humane, and legal for the people seeking the work. It is seasonal. They should be able to come up with a system of legal seasonal passes so farmers are happy and workers aren’t victimized and taken advantage of.

  3. Not only are these workers underpaid and overworked, they are constantly exposed to dangerous and poisonous chemicals. This is wrong. The farmers would have a greater profit if they switched to organic methods. It takes 4 to 5 years of organic farming before the farmer begins to make a profit. This is because it takes that long for the soil to change back to a healthy soil. Our Government should be subsidizing these farmers to convert instead of throwing billions of dollars at Monsanto.

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