Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu's Impact

Swine flu is all over the news. The impact of a pandemic will be widespread. The agricultural sector is no exception. Not pork producers either. In North America we have relied on cheap, migrant labor to the work on farms. Many of those migrants are from Mexico and Central America. If those people are not allowed to travel who will do the work? What will the price of produce be? Obviously migrant labor in agriculture is part of many other policy issues, like immigration, but we need to realize that we rely on cheap labor at industrial farms to supply our food. Can we do something to change that or will it take a border shutdown to temporary workers to make us realize? Growing your own is the superior solution despite the arguments against it from economists regarding specialization (generally you can spend your time doing something more valuable in dollar terms). Locally grown may be a solution as well but it depends on the people doing the work. Read this article and see what the impact might be.

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