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USDA at Odds with Immigrants’ Work Ethic

Thursday September 18th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 2:39pm PDT   •  

USDA_logo_200Alvaro Vargas Llosa, a native of Peru, notes in his book Global Crossings that workers from many nations tend to migrate in search of employment opportunities and prosperity. In the new book A Race for the Future, Cuban native Mike Gonzalez shows how, from the 1940s into the 1960s, the Bracero program allowed Mexican nationals to work legally in the United States. Then American labor unions pressed Congress to kill the program. The jobs remained, forcing workers to cross the border illegally to fill them. Instead of making it easier for workers to migrate legally, U.S. government agencies operate at odds with their work ethic. Take, for example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which operates food stamp programs.

As Gonzalez shows, the USDA has crafted radio soap operas in Spanish to get immigrants to drop their natural resistance to being a public burden and accept food stamps. And the USDA even collaborates with foreign governments in that regard. The long-term goal, as Gonzalez sees it, is to co-opt the growing number of immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and other Latin American countries into the Great Society welfare programs created by the administration of Lyndon Johnson. That does not help the immigrants themselves and fails to serve the U.S. economy. It does, however, increase the power of federal bureaucracies. In effect, they are importing new clients to justify their positions and expand their power.

Weakening the work ethic of immigrants is hardly the only harm perpetrated by the USDA, which has paid more than $34 million to grow soybeans in Afghanistan since 2009. According to a report by a special inspector general, this was a multi-million-dollar waste of time, money, and resources. The USDA has also turned its the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion into a promotional agency for “save the planet” zealotry. The CNPP is now headed by “green food” activist Angie Tagtow, who believes that government policy “dictates everything.” In Big Government, bad policies work together for the detriment of all, even those who seek to work in the United States.

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September 2014