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The tough guy challenge

October 18, 2019
By David Kruse - Columnist , Farm News

DJT (Donald J. Trump) is airing campaign TV ads here in Iowa where the punch line is that he sells himself as "The Tough Guy." No doubt about it...he has a look (scowl), a swagger, a mouth, and a bad attitude where he will go to any length or depth to take on anybody he sees as a challenge, denigrating them in the meanest terms. He likes to portray himself as the tough guy on immigration, blowing off how he would like alligators and snakes along the wall, yet unbuilt, with Mexico and if they would shoot a few refuges trying to get into the country in the leg it would help slow the horde down (one of his many jokes of course). While his base thinks he is kidding, they like the tough talk and cheer it on. This approach of selling himself as the tough guy where rules, protocols, laws and the Constitution are just speed bumps blocking real progress toward MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN will prove quite popular in rural America.

Respect for Washington, the media and government institutions has fallen to new lows in my lifetime, led there by the "Tough Guy" in the White House. Separating children from parents who are refuges at the southern border and not doing anything about it after, is a "Tough Guy" act. Anyone who knows anything about child development realizes that we are really screwing these kids up. Not our fault, right?...it's the parents and home countries fault. That is how a tough guy sees it. He then reduces aid to the countries that are where conditions are producing the flood of refugees from. And he is sending the U.S. military to the southern border and threatening Mexico if they did not impede refugees from transiting their country to ours. When children show up at our border, tough guys tell them to go home.

Many now blame businesses for hiring illegal immigrants as the President has done in his. A majority of the farm sector workforce is undocumented. They would prefer a legal workforce and Congress could act to give them one. The Commerce Department said that unemployment in the U.S. hit 3.5 percent in September, a 50-year low. That is full employment and anyone wanting a job in this country can find one or more. There are more jobs available than there are workers to fill them. There is no one looking for a farm job that can't find several to choose from. There were just 136k new jobs created last month which is a slowing of jobs creation.

It is not that there are fewer jobs, there are fewer workers available to fill those jobs. It takes two to tango. You have to have a job opening and you have to hire an available worker to record a new job each month. I think the low jobs growth number reflected the tight workforce. Unemployment has hit a new low and immigration has not hurt a thing. In fact, immigration helps our economy grow. This economy could use higher immigration rather than a wall and reduced immigration. Contrary to the ideological BS, immigrants are hard workers, often highly skilled and ambitious, having a lower crime rate and higher business creation than the general population.

Here is a "Tough Guy" challenge: Remember recently when ICE raided poultry and food processing companies in Mississippi and picked out over 600 undocumented workers to deport for no good reason other than, in my opinion, to show that they were tough guys? These workers had families integrated into communities causing no trouble. Here is the challenge...do that in beef and pork packing plants in KS, NE and IA. I dare you!

The beef industry just experienced what taking out a beef packing plant by fire in Holcomb, KS did to the beef and cattle markets. It flung them upside down disrupting the U.S. beef supply chain. Consumer beef prices soared while cattle prices plunged. And that was just one packing plant with less than 5 percent of the beef industry kill capacity. Right now, we have record numbers of hogs coming to market and we need more kill capacity than what we have as the extremely tight labor workforce of packing industries is limiting the kill capacity as it is now.

Okay Tough GUY!... Raid the plants! Take all the illegal undocumented workers out of those meat packing plants and then watch what happens to the markets of the pork, hog, beef and cattle industries. An ICE raid in Midwest beef and pork plants would be like setting a dozen of these plants on fire burning them down. The pork, beef and poultry industry could not function and our meat supply chains would freeze up, if ICE did everywhere what they did in Mississippi.

I don't think that Mr. Tough Guy President has got the guts to do that. He always goes after where they are weak. No one gives a darn about Mississippi. Try that in IA or NE and KS. The whole system would come crashing down and show how phony and stupid that Trump's immigration policy really is. The farmers in this region may forgive him for shutting down 29 ethanol and biodiesel plants that he said that he would protect and instead sent US troops to Saudi Arabia to protect their oil. He lied about his ethanol/RFS policy and when it blew up from the RIN waivers that he authorized, he then sought to be the hero for fixing the mess that he has created. By the way, it is not fixed yet.

Undocumented workers are an integral part of the U.S. food supply chain. Well big talker...come and get them...and then we will see what happens when meat prices soar and livestock values collapse because of your immigration policy. Go ahead, implement it. Then everyone will be able to see how this president is not so much "The Tough Guy" as he is full of crap.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

 
 

 

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