Fleisig's article "Slavery, the Supply of Agricultural Labor, and the Industrialization of the South" argues that it was the North that had to turn to industrialization because of the limited source of labor. He mentions the numerous attempts of the North to create another way of pulling labor sources without using slavery, as the South had done to avoid the problem. The South then continued to rely heavily on slavery, while the North began to industrialize.
Fleisig, Heywood. “Slavery, the Supply of Agricultural Labor, and the Industrialization of the South.” The Journal of Economic History 36.3 (1976): 572-597.
Immigrants Turn to Farm Work Amid Building Bust
Growers Regain A Source of Labor; Wage Gap Narrows
By MIRIAM JORDAN
June 13, 2008; Page A4
The building bust is turning out to be an unexpected boon for another industry, agriculture, as many Hispanic immigrants who lost construction jobs return to the fields in search of work.
In recent years, the ranks of farm workers had been thinned by a crackdown on illegal immigration coupled with the lure of better-paying construction jobs. That left farmers scrambling to find workers to harvest labor-intensive crops. Now, growers and labor contractors from Florida to California are reporting that former carpenters, dry wallers and painters are returning.
"We had seen the labor supply dwindling year after year," said Richard Quandt, president of the Grower-Shipper Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. This year, "we are surprised to have a lot of workers." The area grows strawberries, greens, broccoli, grapes and other vegetables and fruits.
Costly Program for Rural Businesses Yields Dubious Results
By Gilbert M. Gaul
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 5, 2007; A01
Under a program to create jobs in rural America, the U.S. Department of Agriculture guaranteed $1.6 million in loans to Aztec Environmental Inc., an asbestos-removal company in Panama City, Fla.
Aztec did create jobs -- for hundreds of workers from Guatemala. "Locals didn't want the work," said Debbie Livingston, one of the owners.
Three years later, in February, Aztec went out of business after a federal investigation into allegations of environmental abuses and the hiring of illegal immigrants. Now, the USDA could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars on the loan.
POLITICAL FORCES KEEP DREAMS OF ETHANOL ALIVE
By Gary D. Libecap
Ethanol is a politician's dream. It is supposed to reduce automobile emissions of carbon monoxide and other gases, promote energy independence, and assist midwestern corn farmers (not to mention large ethanol producers such as Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill). In April, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved a plan that, if enacted, would double ethanol production.
But ethanol fails to perform as promised. Its use appears to have no net positive air quality benefits; its production may entail other environmental costs such as soil and water degradation; and it probably does not contribute to energy independence. Only in helping corn growers and ethanol producers does ethanol pull through as advertised.
Ethanol's political history goes back to the Arab oil embargo of 1973 and the related oil price shocks, which made America's growing dependence on foreign oil a political issue. Ethanol, which is alcohol produced from renewable sources of biomass such as corn, looked like a way to stretch gasoline supplies.
Although the cost of producing ethanol was nearly twice that of gasoline in 1980, forecasts of gasoline prices issued by the U.S. National Alcohol Fuels Commission-as high as $4 per gallon by 1990-1991-made ethanol seem a reasonable supplement. The nineteen congressional members of the commission came mostly from agricultural states.
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