By John Derbyshire
June 7, 2011 1:16 P.M.
If you’ve ever worked on a farm, said the late Ken Galbraith (who knew), nothing else ever seems like work.
Here’s a lady who obviously agrees. We’re in Georgia here, and the background to the story is:
[Governor Nathan] Deal is looking for ways to fill a farm worker gap after some areas lost more than 50 percent of their laborers, the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association said. Many workers left Georgia after the governor signed an Arizona-inspired immigration law allowing local police to identify and detain illegal immigrants, the group said.
Georgia has an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent, so Governor Deal is putting two and two together:
“We still have an unemployment level here that is unacceptably high, whether or not we can provide some way of transitioning some of those individuals,” Deal said last week.
You might think that unemployed Georgians would be quite capable of “transitioning” themselves, i.e. of taking up those farm laboring jobs that are now available, without Nanny State needing to “provide some way.” That’s certainly what our grandparents would have done, even if it meant trekking across several states for the work.
Well, that was then, when an American would do whatever he had to do to support himself and his family. This is now, when even American presidents use the phrase “jobs Americans won’t do” with no hint of shame:
For some unemployed Georgians, however, the idea is not so appealing.
This one, for example:
Marci Mosley, who lives in Atlanta, has been out of work for more than a year. She said she would only work on a farm as a last resort.
“I have a phobia of snakes,” Mosley said. “I hate spiders … You have to get up early in the morning, and it’s hot.”
Mosley, an African-American, said she used to work on her grandfather’s farm in Texas, where he stressed the importance of a good education to get off the farm. Mosley believes Deal’s plan would be a tough sell for many other African Americans, who saw their older relatives struggle farming.
I should have thought their struggles were pretty amply compensated by the Pigford scam settlement. That aside, just listen again to Ms. Mosley’s final rationale, if you can make out the words over the whine of entitlement:
You have to get up early in the morning, and it’s hot.
That sentence would fit nicely on a tombstone — the one beneath which we may as well inter the American work ethic.