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paul beard
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Lifelong learner and teacher
Lifelong learner and teacher

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Alas, another thread outbust of monomania…

Ran an errand on foot — the best way to see a city — and I noted more business closings along a major highway inside the Seattle city limits. More open spaces/brownfields/derelict buildings to show off, I guess.

So what's the cause? High taxes/costs of doing business? Given that property taxes along that stretch are about 1% of property values, is that reasonable?

The parcel I noticed is valued at $610,000 for about 12,197 ft^2. Call me Kreskin but my guess was that the taxes would be about $6,000 (1%) and they are in fact $6,895.20.

Another recently vacated parcel 2 blocks away (22,079 ft^2) is valued at $1,966,000: taxes are $21,296.97 — 1.1% of assessed value. So what's happening here?

Recall an earlier example where my favorite local tool store is complaining about paying $30,000 in taxes on real estate valued at $3,000,000 that they have held for almost 100 years.

Can they not make enough to cover those taxes? If some other cost — say, wholesale costs, due to tariffs(!) — went up, would we be expected to feel sorry for them? No. No one is owed a living, as we heard for 40 years now.

If the taxes are too high to cover the costs, maybe it does make sense to move. But perhaps the taxes are actually too low for the value of that land, given its location. The last thing we need is another low-rise or street level retail location with required parking.

What if commercial property tax rates along a busy corridor or in a highly-trafficked were higher, maybe 5 or 10% of the assessed value? We make land more expensive to keep and less expensive to acquire, as speculators cash out in favor of developers and commercial enterprise.

The net effect should put more land into productive use, as the costs of holding it go up. And it should make the developments more dense, as developers need to find ways to make those costs pencil out.

Instead of a retail store or low-rise apartments, a retail store, office space above, and several floors of flats. All of those properties would contribute to paying the higher land tax. We get the density we need with lower housing costs.

If that $2 million parcel was turned into a street level retail, with some other business (professional services) above and then 20 or more residential units, and the taxes were doubled, could that mixed tax base cover it?

The old retail location paid $21k: maybe a new retailer would pay half that, with the floor above paying the same with the residential units paying the balance. $42,000 in taxes, $22k paid by business, $20k by homeowners/tenants: more revenue, higher density, lower rents.

Do that for the other vacant parcels — I count 4 of them in a few blocks — and then look at rezoning/up-rating the car dealer lots and other low-rise businesses that benefit from Seattle's modern growth at rates that are out of date.

A 41,595 ft^2 parcel — almost an acre, largely undeveloped — just up the street is valued at $2,288,700. Almost twice the size of one cited above and taxed at $27,506.41. Another vacant parcel, 30,289 ft^2, valued at $1,514,400, assessed $18,576.29 in taxes.

How about a retail storage facility, aka hoarders den? How many jobs does a place like that create? How much local revenue is generated from one of those?

Here's one valued at $8,743,500 for 55,418 ft^2 — 1.27 acres — paying $88,354.11, with an out of state owner. The rents and other charges go out of state: Seattle gets the property taxes and the wages paid into the local economy.

We are not going to get the density and development we need by making it easy to hoard and speculate in land at the expense of working people. If this city is so desirable a place to live and work, the land values should reflect that.

Land should be taxed based on its productive use, not hoarded for its extractive value, and the prices lowered to get it into the hands of those who will put it to use. We need a productive economy, not an extractive one.

Location, location, location, they tell us. Time for cities to take that into account, not just realtors. Cities should lead the way with rezoning/up-rating specific areas that are underdeveloped/undervalued, then roll it out across the city and urge King County to follow suit.

CC: @mayorjenny, @nickhanauer, @kcdems, @KingCountyWA, @byrosenberg, @nikkitaoliver, @nwprogressive #landvaluetax #LVT
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Alas, a thread…

>>>>

What is land value tax? How does it work? It requires some changes in how we think about land: no individuals or entity besides the state (county/municipality) can own land — that land is owned or held in common. You buy the right to use it, no more.

What you really get when you buy land is a title, the exclusive right to use a parcel of land defined by a set of map coordinates. But the land itself belongs to everyone, like a natural resource. If you think you own land, try to move it. Or look up Eminent Domain.

Think of the nations that use Sovereign Wealth Funds that use resource extraction taxes to repay their citizens when those resources are sold. Oil and coal are not renewable: some nations realized this and recoup money from their sale in the national interest.

Those resources — renewable, like timber, or not, like coal — belong to the people and should only be sold on their behalf. Land is a similar resource: not renewable but not consumable either. So it can only be rented, not sold.

The only reason to own land, as we do now, is to remove it from the commons and extract rents, as in feudal times or The Enclosures Acts in the UK. This creates artificial scarcity on behalf of rentiers at the expense of everyone else — working people and productive business.

In a land value tax system, you buy the title to a parcel and then pay an annual rent to use it, in lieu of property taxes. Only the land would be assessed a rent, not the improvements, like buildings. You can do what you like, within the zoning regs.

So instead of underutilized parcels that are being held as part of an investment strategy, often at property tax rates as low as 1% of their appraised value, a land rent would be a multiple of that, enough to discourage vacant or underdeveloped lots in high value locations.

Surface parking lots, storage warehouses, big box stores — all of these are just real estate plays, part of a portfolio, rather than investments in the local economy. There aren't many jobs or much local revenue associated with them.

The value of a piece of land is its location. A parcel located on a highway or busy comm'l hwy is valuable because of its location.

Its increased value, relative to a parcel out in the country, is a result of nearby development and investment by the state — roads, residential development (customers/employees), utilities. Those investments are paid for by the local government — the people who live there.

It's in the interest of the local authority to make the land work, to charge a high enough rent to drive development and discourage hoarding and put the land into productive use.

For example, a vacant parcel near me is, that way for years, is valued at USD700k but is only levied about USD7k in property taxes — 1%. What if the land rent was 10% — USD70K? Would it still be vacant?

Or would the owner be motivated to develop the land to help cover his land rents or sell to get out from under that obligation? Someone wants that land but not at that price. So how to fix that?

This should push the price to use that parcel down, as there is now a penalty to hold onto it as undeveloped land. A $700k parcel with 1% tax might be offered at half that if the land rental was 10% or $70k.

And it is just one of several parcels that are either vacant or have disused buildings on them. How does a local government get those parcels back into use, earning money for the city through commerce or as housing? By making them too expensive to keep vacant.

The benefits to this would be increased development, as investors/developers felt some pressure to extract their rents from the land, by building on it. Since the improvements aren't taxed, they are free to build whatever will make them the most money.

Rather than paying USD1 million for a parcel with a 1% tax rate, imagine paying USD100,000 with a 10% rate, payable annually. Lowering the cost to acquire land for development lowers the price of what gets build on that land. No more luxe townhouses, more affordable homes.

You would no longer need to develop expensive homes/apartments to recoup your investment in land, making it possible to build affordable housing. Mixed developments (zoning permitted) would allow retail/commercial with residential development.

We should see increased construction that reflects what people want and can afford, once we reduce the initial cost of getting the land to build on.

Increased construction/housing supply drives down rents while spurring construction/competition within a built-up metro area with underused or disused parcels.

if you have to finance a million dollars for the land, you aren't going to build affordable homes. You're building high-end properties. You need to get your money back. And that's where many cities are stuck. High land prices, restrictive zoning = unaffordable, scarce inventory.

Those housing markets are full of well-appointed properties that are out of reach of working people but that make great investments/money-laundering vehicles/short-term rentals (AirBnB) for those who can afford them.

The end result is a dearth of affordable properties for working people and reduced economic activity in the local economy, as shelter costs consume more of worker wages. When properties are held by non-local investors, those rent payments are siphoned out of the local economy.

This — the notion of opportunity cost — seems to be ignored. Every $ I spend on rent is a dollar I can't spend at some new business. Local businesses should be very concerned about this but I never see any mention of it.

Seattle could really use this as way to get more land into productive use, lower rents and raise needed revenue. It could be tested in areas with clusters of disused but valuable parcels (Lake City Way at 105th? Where else?).

Taxing income or revenue depresses both — maybe not immediately but jobs are portable where land is not. Who knows, maybe we could get rid of B&O tax with something that works for everyone?
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Time to retire the word "Luddite" from its customary uses…

This Day in Labor History: February 11, 1811. The Luddite movement began in Arnold, Nottingham, England, when textile workers destroyed the machines. Let's talk about how who these people were and the pejorative myth of today that defames them.

The story goes that an apprentice named Ned Ludd smashed two stocking frames in a protest against the conditions of his life in 1779. This is apocryphal and Ludd never existed.

He’s a Robin Hood character created by actual Luddites in 1811, who even wrote documents placing his office in Sherwood Forest. But the British army and industrialists believed he was real for awhile, leading shady armies drilling at night for revolution.

The Industrial Revolution began in England in the mid-18th century and completely transformed life in that nation. Small towns became enormous filthy cities of degraded workers. People, impoverished but used to hard work on the farms, entered an entirely new era of hard labor.

But once the textile economy was established, there were few other options for these workers. Conditions were literally Dickensian, but what else were you going to do?

By the early 19th century, the growth in class consciousness combined with growing hard times for workers during the Napoleonic Wars and technological advancements to threaten the few skilled workers making decent money.

Workers had significant control over their work lives and leisure and this was being stripped by employers after 1800. It wasn’t so much that workers were opposed to machines as that they felt they were being turned into machines.

They worked 14-hour days while facing merchants seeking to cut costs through automation. Those machines produced shoddy stockings, but as stockings losing fashion, workers feared that people would stop buying their products period if the overall quality of stockings went down.

The attacks on machinery were not about being anti-technology. Many of the participants in this movement in fact were fluent in the most advanced industrial technologies which with they worked.

I repeat, LUDDITES WERE NOT ANTI-TECHNOLOGY

As historians have argued, the machines were just something owned by employers that could be targeted. Workers didn’t have unions yet and the notions of working-class solidarity was in its nascent state.

he better analogy to Luddites are perhaps late 19th and early 20th century miners who blew up the mines in their labor actions than people who oppose technology. In fact, being anti-technology had little or nothing to do with the Luddites at all.

These were acts about declining livelihoods of already poor people. Yes, they attacked some technological innovations, but they made a sharp line between reasonable innovations and employers who used them in “a fraudulent and deceitful manner” to undermine workers.

In fact, according to Luddite scholar Kevin Binfield, “They just wanted machines that made high-quality goods and they wanted these machines to be run by workers who had gone through an apprenticeship and got paid decent wages. Those were their only concerns.”

The first acts of machine breaking seem to have been in the late 18th century, leading to Parliament passing the Protection of Stocking Frames Act in 1788. But from 1811-1817, there were several actions, beginning on this date in 1811.

They spread around industrial England, not just with machinists destroying their frames but hand weavers burning their looms. They didn’t have a broader political agenda but these actions were still seen as treason against the state by the British elite.

Moreover, they were effective, as at their peak, they broke about 200 machines a week at a cost of about $2 million in today’s money, as best as that can be calculated for such a long time ago.

Thus, the military was sent out against them and there were at least two battles in Lancashire. There were definitely acts of real violence by Luddites, including the murder of mill owner William Horsfall.

But even this was in response to two Luddites being killed at his mill. Moreover, Horsfall had bragged that he would “ride up to his britches in Luddite blood.” Sometimes, you get what you ask for.

In April 1812, a mill owner near Manchester ordered the security forces he put together to open fire on 2,000 workers threatening his factory. They killed at least 3 and injured 18. Soldiers killed five more the next day.

Lord Byron said of the working conditions, “I have been in some of the most oppressed provinces of Turkey; but never, under the most despotic of infidel governments, did I behold such squalid wretchedness as I have seen since my return, in the very heart of a Christian country.”

But the government commenced a mass trial of Luddites in 1813, when around 60 men were charged with crimes. Some were actual Luddites, such as Horsfall’s killers. Others were workers who had nothing to do with the movement.

They were show trials, intended to dissuade other workers from rising up. But the trials were also a farce and lacked evidence. About half had all charges dismissed.

But others were executed and others sent to penal colonies such as Australia. Parliament made machine breaking, or “industrial sabotage” as it was called, a capital crime in 1812. Overall, 24 Luddites were publicly hanged.

This effectively ended the active Luddite movement. It also went far to create the triumph of the free market economy in Britain, where workers had no rights to speak of, particularly when they competed with their employers’ privileges.
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I'm sure teachers unions are excited about these questions, as are school boards and the legal experts they retain.

Which teachers get guns?
Where will the guns be stored?
Who decides when guns can be brandished?
What penalties will apply if teachers mishandle a weapon?
Will teachers volunteer for gun duty?
Can teachers refuse it?
Who will audit their adherence to regulations?

Will students know which teachers have weapons?
Who will be liable if the teacher with the gun becomes the shooter?
What will be the consequences when students are accidentally shot by a teacher?
How will armed teachers communicate in a tactical situation?

Will teachers with a history of mental illness be allowed to use weapons?
Will teachers be required to disclose any history of mental illness?
Will teachers be issued a weapon? Reimbursed for purchase? For ammunition?

How will administrators conduct non-weapon-related discipline against a teacher? Will there be armed assistance available to deter workplace shootings?
Who will shepherd the armed teacher’s classroom while the teacher is attempting to locate the active shooter?

What happens when a teacher misidentifies a student as a threat in good faith?
Will teachers who do not carry lethal weapons be offered non lethal alternatives?
If an armed teacher is shot, can another teacher employ his or her weapon?

How will armed teachers identify themselves to arriving first responders?
Will armed teachers be required to learn how to give first-response medicine?
Will armed teachers be required to attempt an arrest before using lethal force? Under what circumstances?

Will proficiency training on weapons count for teachers’ continuing education and professional development?
How will insurers adjust health and other rates to account for the presence of armed employees?
Will teachers receive additional pay for being armed?

how often will armed teachers be re-evaluated for licensing purposes?
Will armed teachers leading field trips deposit their weapons in a personally owned vehicle or school-owned transport?
Will one teacher per wing of a school building receive weapons? Two? Three?

Exactly which standards will count for proficiency—greater than a big-city police department, State Police, FBI, hobbyist, marksman?
In training scenarios, how will using force against innocents be penalized?
Will racial sensitivity courses be required?

Do parents have a right to refuse to send their kids to schools with guns?
Will students have to sign waivers? Will parents? What if a parent signs a waiver for a minor student who, when that student turns 18, refuses to abide by its provisions?

Will teachers on probation be allowed to carry weapons?
What about teachers with active union grievances? Complaints about sexual harassment? Anger management? Divorce proceedings?

Will armed teachers wear holsters? Will they be stationed strategically during pep rallies or other gatherings? Will they participate in lockdown drills as if they were armed or unarmed?

Will funding for the policies outlined above be distributed according to local budgets, statewide formulas, or national formulas?
Will schools in high-risk neighborhoods receive more or less funding? Suburban schools?

What is the right ratio of armed:unarmed teachers by grade level?
What is the procedure for debriefing and assessing armed teachers’ performance during a crisis?
Can an armed teacher who flinches be fired? Can an armed teacher who breaks protocol be rewarded?

Will preschool teachers have guns?
Will teachers in “juvie” (high risk) schools have guns?
Will the teacher or the school be liable if their gun is stolen?
Can administrators carry weapons? Can they do so in disciplinary situations?
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Cool how Google News and Translate no longer work in Safari. I can use openssl to access them (so it's not my ISP or my networking stack or my OS or anything else but the browser which is not preferred). I guess this is what you do when people don't like your product: you break the competitor's product. I'm old enough to recall the Browser Wars that predate the birth of Google. I don't miss that. Miss me with this nonsense.
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Here's a long read for your weekend…follow the twitter thread to see the exhibits/screenshots. I thought I was calling it "anti-social media" as a joke. Half the things we say in jest are true, the trick is knowing which half.
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Yes, it does, tied with Wyoming. I'm sure the costs of living are so comparable as to make no difference…

But this…
Georgia’s state law sets the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour, but the federal Fair Labor Standards Act still applies, meaning most employees are covered under the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

This is the reveal…$5.15 is what you would earn if not for the meddling federal gummint. $10,030 a year, $835/month. As +Nick Hanauer pointed out in a recent video, the bosses will pay you as little as they can, no matter how good business is.
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One for +Edward Morbius' "Data are liability" file.

>>>
This is a thread for those of you who say coders and developers should take no role in politics. Those of you who watched my #WCLDN talk last year already heard this story. You can hear it again.

This was Rene Carmille, and that is a punch card. Image of Rene Carmille
Rene Carmille was the comptroller general of the French army. He eventually headed up the French census. Census data - innocuous, straightforward facts about people - was tabulated on IBM punch cards. Then the Nazis came.

Rene Carmille had all the data about all the people. He saw what the Nazis wanted to do with that data. So he made a decision about what to do with it. He did his job, externally, for the Nazis, of course.

In the background, he sifted through the data to find recruits for the French Resistance. He and his team went further than that. They did things like leave boxes of census records - thousands of people's data - in a back room, unprocessed.

Then he and his team engaged in - if not invented - ethical hacking. They physically hacked their IBM punch card machines so that nothing could be entered into column 11: religion. That data, for those thousands of people, was missing.

He and his team were caught, and interrogated, and tortured. Rene Carmille died at Dachau. I have been there. There is a smell of burning flesh in the air. It is still there.

As is his legacy. In the Netherlands, 73% of Dutch Jews were found, deported, and executed. In France, that figure was 25%. It was that much lower because they couldn't find them.

They couldn't find them because Rene Carmille and his team got political and hacked the data.

On #HolocaustMemorialDay , as the people in the data we collect and store and share face threats we never thought we would see again, you need to be prepared to go that far when the day comes when it is you handling the data.

You can, and you will.

And in reply: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/957722588641419266.html

This seems like a good place to mention that the US Bureau of the Census likes to talk about how strict they are about privacy, even once turning away FBI agents who arrived at the Colorado Springs BOC office with a warrant for confidential Census data. But...

...during WWII the BOC provided block-by-block data on people of Japanese ancestry for the purpose of sending them to concentration camps, something that was officially denied or simply ignored until records research confirmed it in 2000. And...

...in 1943, the BOC provided specific names and addresses of all persons of Japanese ancestry in the Washington DC area, on the request of the US Treasury Secretary, which was also denied until further research confirmed it in 2007.

And the specifics of the request and response indicate that other requests may have been made and fulfilled prior to the one now documented, to the extent that this was then a routine transaction.

What especially disturbs me personally about this is that I worked on a federal contract for BOC from 2007-2008 and again from 2012-2014. Our mandatory data-confidentiality training included the Colorado Springs story...

...but no acknowledgement that the Census Bureau had ever been less than perfect and morally upright in its protection of the confidentiality of respondents’ data.

has officially apologized for the WWII block-level data disclosures, but this is far from just ancient history: in 2004 records requests revealed the previous year, BOC supplied ZIP-code-level data on residents of Arab ancestry broken down by nationality to DHS...

...only apparently later requesting the required statement justifying the need for such data.

When popular fervor or official policy turns against a group, we must not assume that things we always thought were bulwarks against abuse actually were or will continue to be — in fact they are often turned into tools of the very oppression they are supposed to protect against.

Sources: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/confirmed-the-us-census-b/
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A thread that ties together some things you may have known with some you may not (did you know the value per acre of farmland in the Central Valley in 1940? I thought not) in ways you may not have considered.

In light of what's going on with #Dreamers, it's time to talk about Japanese internment. Because the #DACA showdown is Japanese internment 2.0.
Japanese immigrants in the 19th & early 20th centuries came to the US in large part for manual farm labor in California.

Sound familiar?

Japan had much more advanced horticulture than the US at that time, so these immigrants weren't just bringing brute labor. They were bringing a lot of basic how-to's of commercial farming that built the foundation for California's success as an agricultural powerhouse today.

Japanese immigrant farm laborers American Dream'd so hard, many families were able to save money to buy their own land and start farming for themselves.

"The California Farm Bureau was quoted by The News, saying that Japanese farmers were responsible for 40 percent of all vegetables grown in the state, including nearly 100 percent of all tomatoes, celery, strawberries and peppers."

The Central Valley used to be peppered with Japanese family farms. Not anymore. What happened to them?

WW2's Japanese internment.

Japanese internment was a land grab by white farmers. Full stop.

The initial call for Japanese internment came mere hours after the Pearl Harbor bombing, from the Salinas Valley Vegetable Grower-Shipper Association.

AKA, Japanese internment was initiated by the California farm lobby.

"The average value/acre of all West Coast farms in 1940 was $37.94, whereas that of Japanese farms was $279.96... 3/4 acres of Japanese farm lands were devoted to actual crop production, whereas only 1/4 acres of all farm land in the areas was planted in crops."

Check out those numbers. Japan's farm traditions were based on maximizing use of space, so they made more $ per acre. That tends to drive up land prices. And rising land prices tend to make people whose farming skills can't keep up feel very nervous.

So. Japanese farmers' success came from having tight management skills, and that threatened their white neighbors.

White farmers had a choice: level up their game, or play dirty.

Let me reiterate: given a choice between being good at their job and lobbying the gov't to make their problems go away, US farmers chose the second option.

This is a classic move that those in the farm industry will still recognize.

"We're charged with wanting to get rid of the Japs for selfish reasons. We might as well be honest. We do." — Austin E. Anson, Salinas Vegetable Grower-Shipper Association

They weren't even trying to hide it. Japanese internment was about white good ol' boys being jealous of successful immigrants.

There was a downside though. Remember how Japanese American farmers were growing nearly half the country's produce? And the US war strategy was "an army marches on its stomach, so we need super solid supply chains for food"?

It turns out putting most of the country's skilled farmers in jail ... didn't help with making food.

Once internment started, food shortages quickly followed.

How did the US handle that misstep? Victory gardens!

“Victory Gardens were the propagandistic answer to the chaos created by FDR’s roundup and imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans in early 1942.”

So yeah, victory gardens were less "plucky nation pitches in with the war effort" and more "oh wow we systematic racism-ed so hard that we punched a hole in the economy. Do we admit we the mistake and fix it? Nahhhh, let's foist the consequences off on civilians."

What does this have to do with #DREAMers? _

_Like Japanese families in the early 20th century, a lot of US immigrant population today is families that came to work on farms. And they've been here just long enough to actually get established and really start building a life.
The US was kind of ok with immigration as long as it was get in, work for really cheap, get out.

But we're at a demographic turning point where a critical mass of farm immigrant families have reached some upward mobility and established themselves en masse.

And here's the part that most people don't know, unless they work in some really specific parts of the farm economy. _

_Most of the US thinks of "immigrant farm workers" as grunt labor. And yes, most of the brute force work on farms is done by Latinx immigrants.

But 1st and 2nd generation Latinx immigrants are also the knowledge base in modern US agriculture. _

_I'm gonna tell you guys a secret. A lot US farmers don't actually know that much about farming. They know a lot about writing checks to Latinx contractors, who know how to farm.

The US farm industry isn't just dependent on Latinx immigrants for labor. They're dependent on Latinx immigrants for knowing HOW to farm. How to manage a harvest, how to run a packinghouse, how to keep a fleet of farm vehicles running.

And I bet you money that scares the hell out of a lot of white people.

Not the farmers, funnily enough. The actual farmers tend to be a lot more at peace with it than the rest of the rural/suburban white population.

(Don't get me wrong, they still mostly voted for Trump. Even though they knew his immigration policies are deadly for farms. They vote for conservatives and just expect things to magically turn out immigration-friendly anyway.)

The thing is, farmers aren't the influential voting bloc they used to be. The new wrinkle entering the immigration debate right now, IMO, is private prisons.

Prison labor's been used in the US for manufacturing for quite some time. But it's making significant new inroads into farm labor. Especially now that it's becoming harder for immigrants to work in the US, farms are turning to inmate contracts.

Prisoners working on a farm is a little different from manufacturing. In manufacturing, folks are locked down in a building. It's pretty easy to control your workers.

But farming is outdoors and, nowadays, super mechanized. _

_That means to get anything done, you have to be able to give someone tools or a tractor and have a reasonable expectation that they'll use them for work. Instead of, say, murdering the foreman and running off.

You also need people with farm work experience. Farm work is an art. You just don't get productive labor out of stoners.

I say this as someone who's personally supervised convict farm crews made of people in for minor drug charges. It's... just a mess all around.

So say you're a private prisoner contractor who's looking at farm labor deals. To keep those clients happy, you need a steady stream of nonviolent criminals who are also have farm work experience.

Talkin out the side of my mouth here, but if I were them, I'd see crackdowns on migrant laborers as a fantastic business move. I might even press my congressmen to write & sponsor bills like this one.

https://judiciary.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Securing-Americas-Future-Act.pdf

Immigrants don't even have to commit crimes to become part of my workforce, I mean go to jail. Just be poor. Or not have their green card in their pocket during a traffic stop.

Anyway, that's my best guess as to why the GOP can't get itself together to support a bill that most Americans want. There are a lot of primary voters, and a lot of donors, who have a vested interest in criminalizing immigrants.

To connect this back to Japanese internment. Internment was pushed through by a small farm lobby that wanted the land under Japanese American family farms, sure. But they couldn't have pulled it off w/o the rest of the country's xenophobia.

Today we have private prisons whose business models look like they just kinda might depend on everyone being ok with jailing immigrants for being immigrants. _

_And there's enough butthurt white people with "economic anxiety" to make that happen. Maybe.

It's really encouraging how many people support #DACA. We still have the same ugly dynamics that brought Japanese internment to life. But we also have a lot of people today who know better.

Keep those calls to your reps coming, folks.
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