Effect Measure

The hardest and most dangerous agricultural work in the United States is not done by people who are citizens. It is done by immigrants. Some don’t have proper documents but many do. Documents don’t protect workers from dying. And agricultural workers die of heat stroke at 20 times the rate of other workers:

In mid-July 2005, a male Hispanic worker with an H-2A work visa (i.e., a temporary, nonimmigrant foreign worker hired under contract to perform farm work) aged 56 years was hand-harvesting ripe tobacco leaves on a North Carolina farm. He had arrived from Mexico 4 days earlier and was on his third day on the job. The man began work at approximately 6:00 a.m. and took a short mid-morning break and a 90-minute lunch break. At approximately 2:45 p.m., the employer’s son observed the man working slowly and reportedly instructed him to rest, but the man continued working. Shortly thereafter, the man’s coworkers noticed that he appeared confused. Although the man was combative, his coworkers carried him to the shade and tried unsuccessfully to get him to drink water. At approximately 3:50 p.m., coworkers notified the employer of the man’s condition. At 4:25 p.m., the man was taken by ambulance to an emergency department, where his core body temperature was recorded at 108°F (42°C) and, despite treatment, he died. The cause of death was heat stroke. On the day of the incident, the local high temperature was approximately 93°F (34°C) with 44% relative humidity and clear skies. The heat index was in the range of 86°–101°F (30°–38°C) at mid-morning and 97°–112°F (36°–44°C) at mid-afternoon. Similar conditions had occurred during the preceding 2 days. (CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports)

We complain about immigrants but we’re content to let them do our dirty and dangerous work. It’s not new. Woody Guthrie wrote this in 1941:

Little has changed. The worker who died in our pastures of plenty, at the relatively young age of 56, was neither legal nor illegal. He was a human being that quite literally worked himself to death [corrected]. I think it’s fair to say that most Americans don’t really care that this happens.

Comments

  1. #1 Edmund
    June 22, 2008

    Revere, I didn’t see anything about his son, although there was something about the employer’s son. Of course that’s irrelevant to the point anyway.

    I live in the Carolinas. Rumor has it that if you need any kind of work to be done, you can simply drive a pickup truck to the front of one of the big home improvement stores during certain morning hours, and hold up your fingers for how many immigrant workers you need. They’ll pile in the back and you’re on your way.

  2. #2 dreikin
    June 22, 2008

    From what I read, it wasn’t the worker’s son, but the employer’s son. Horrible all the same.

  3. #3 revere
    June 22, 2008

    Edmund, drelkin: You are both correct. I misread the CDC report. I have struck out that section in the post. Thanks for noticing it.

  4. #4 pft
    June 22, 2008

    When cheap labour is not available, companies innovate. Immigration has inhibited innovation in certain industries.

    For harvetsing tobacco, there are mechanical harvesters and aids that are quite expensive since they are not sold in great quantities. This is because they compete with cheap manual labour. They do not harvest significantly more tobacco than an efficient conventional work crew. A grower considering a mechanical harvester would need large acreage, would have to accept considerable leaf breakage and would have to make a high capital investment. But immigrant labour, legal and especially illegal, is cheap, so there is no economic incentive to invest in expensive equipment.

    Now consider the illegal immigrant worker and compare it to slavery, even though this article referred a legal immigrant worker. The slave owner invests his capital in purchasing a slave which was shipped from Africa. Not cheap. To avoid losing his capital, he must maintain the slave to keep him in good working condition. That means he must feed it, clothe it, house it, take care of it when sick, and since breeding his slaves is a way of creating capital, he must do the same for his children until they are ready to work.

    The illegal immigrant on the other hand receives cash and meals while working. No work, no pay. When not working, he is on his own. He must pay to own or rent a home (a number of sub-primes went to illegals BTW). If he gets sick at home, he doesnt work, and is on his own. If he gets sick while working, he goes home to fend for himself, and no pay. Slavery is way too expensive, thats why the Europeans stopped it, and America would have done so peacefully if not for the civil war, which was only about slavery after the war started.

    Today we are all debt slaves. Wages are not increasing with real inflation, and more workers are underemployed, credit was cheap, and so many assumed more debt to maintain their living standards. If you are out of work, you are out of health insurance, or you pay 4 times more than what you paid when working. So many dare not protest unsafe or unfair working conditions, or leave and then look for another job. Your savings get eaten up by inflation that exceeds interest earned (because the lie that is CPI is lower than real inflation to reduce ss payments), so paying off mortgages and credit card debt become difficult, especially for those not working or on fixed income.

    Illegal and even legal immigration suppreses wages by preventing industries that use low cost labour from innovating, which would increase higher paying jobs to make do with less labour. Since they are cheap and easily replaced, they get treated like slaves, and perhaps even worse than slaves. The average low wage American worker does not get treated much better.

    And you are right, the average American does not care, as long they are doing fine. Not sure why this stuff bothers me, perhaps because I see the train coming for those of us who are better off. The fleas have done bit the middle and lower class dogs to death, and must move up the ladder to feed on some of the higher classes (not the top 1 pct though).

  5. #5 speedwell
    June 22, 2008

    Ag workers die of heat stroke 20 times more often than other workers. OK. Outside laborers, or all workers? How do they stack up against, say, construction workers or steel workers? How do outside workers in general compare with “other workers?” I’m not implying you’re trying to lie with statistics or anything. I just think as it stands it’s not very useful, and it would be good to clarify this.

    More seriously, what do you think about the assertion that the worker who died was “repeatedly” urged to take a break, yet he kept on working anyway, and even got belligerent when they tried to remove him from the field? What else was the employer supposed to do? (If the worker had reason to believe his pay would get docked for the time away, or for the pieces he missed picking, or something like that, or if there was some draconian limit on the number of times a worker could go for water, for example, I could understand that.)

  6. #6 Lea
    June 22, 2008

    “We” complain about immigrants? You don’t revere, so why in the world would you put “we” in there? Geez, total bait if I ever read one.

    With all due respect agnostic Edmund the “rumor” that you typed about is old news. This very thing has been happening in western states for many a years.

    Only thing about it is most are not here legally.
    Not only are they here illegally but they also have no where to live and therefore find themselves living in the canyons where they set up camps. (willingly living in the canyons by the way). Once their work is done or they find a house to live in, they leave behind incredible amounts of garbage and human waste. And this is something to ignore I suspect many who are sympathetic would say?
    You’ve got to see it first hand and then perhaps you’d change your mind a tad-bit.

    There’s no denying that ‘migrant workers’ play a key role in our economy and what they contribute. The bottom line is that our government is nonfunctional and incapable of dealing with this issue. It’s a state issue and the federal government really does need to keep the heck out.

  7. #7 speedwell
    June 22, 2008

    I’m sorry, that said “reportedly,” not “repeatedly”. The question still stands.

  8. #8 revere
    June 22, 2008

    speedwell: The methods are described in detail in the link I provided, including the limitations. The behavior described as “belligerant” is typical of heat stroke, as any ER doc will tell you. The point of the post was not to task the employer but all of us. We don’t care that we benefit from the poorest and most vulnerable die to feed us. Yes, Lea, it’s an editorial “we.” I care and so do a lot of other people. But it continues to happen and it isn’t an accident that it happens to immigrants, whom we then vilify. Again, an editorial “we.” They are willing to do the work. The states are allowing it to happen because their businesses depend on the labor. So that should be OK with you.

  9. #9 Lea
    June 22, 2008

    It’s really not o.k. with me revere. If I truly had my way teenagers would be the ones working the fields, not a small majority of migrant farmers.

    And yes, you’re right I’d suppose, I tend to vilify the migrant workers, the illegal ones anyway. That is in part because I’ve seen the utter destruction that done to the lands and even the communities.

  10. #10 Becca
    June 22, 2008

    Aside from not villifying illegals (or migrant laborors or Mexicans, or whoever is being steryotyped today), and aside from objecting when people do, and aside from singing the old Guthrie songs, what can I do?

    Is it that people don’t care, or that they aren’t presented with meaningful ways to help?

  11. #11 wenchacha
    June 23, 2008

    Why teenagers, Lea? Inner-city kids would need transportation to and from the farms each day. There may or may not be a willing and able group of suburban or rural teens to do the work, which happens to occur during the school season in some areas.

    Harvesting crops is hard work! It’s also costly to the grower if the workers don’t properly pick the fruit off trees: the next season’s harvest can be ruined. Workers often migrate with the crop, which is not easy for people (of any age) with permanent homes.

    If growers use migrant workers, legal or not, they should make sure there is affordable, clean housing for the workers who help them harvest their crops.

    I suppose there are other ways to get in a harvest, but my guess is that it would involve all of us paying much higher prices for fruits and vegetables. This is the basic problem we have not yet faced in our country.

    Farmwork is hard work, the conditions are frequently very unpleasant, and workers can find themselves a long distance from drinkable water or lavatories. The work is seasonal, so most people with mortgages or other ties to one community are not willing or able to wait for the next job or follow the crop to another state.

    It is true that most of us who live away from large farming communities rarely see the migrant populations as they settle in for some weeks or months. Their impact is felt mostly in the rural areas where there may already be lots of people with little income. It can be a difficult situation unless everyone works together to keep the peace.

    It really requires a better social infrastructure than many rural areas can maintain. Unfortunately, this issue is really not big on most Americans’ radar. Maybe that will change when we start paying 5 bucks for a head of lettuce at the grocery store.

  12. #12 Luna_the_cat
    June 23, 2008

    speedwell — I did a season of migrant labor harvesting crops in order to help raise money for my next semester of university, back in 1990. The standard model for all migrant labor/harvest work is you get paid for what you pick, not for time. If you pick slowly or don’t pick for long, you don’t get paid much at all. Harvest work is not subject to any form of minimum wage law, and the standard price is very low for what is harvested — for example, the Maine harvest of blueberries where I worked paid about $1.10 per 30-pound crate, and it is worth noting that this price offered had (I was told) last been raised in 1972.

    If the man had debt or family to feed, sheer desperation for the money would have been an effective motivator.

  13. #13 Anon
    June 23, 2008

    Speedwell,

    Irrationality, confusion, and irritibility are a few symptoms of heat exaustion (a precurser to heat stroke). That the man refused suggestions to stop should not have suprised a person trained in first aid (or even a first year high school lifeguard).

  14. #14 peggy
    June 23, 2008

    Sometimes when people say they are against illegal immigration, what they really mean is that they are against worker exploitation. That is the real problem. The greedy corporations have us all divided and arguing, and while we suffer declining wages, the top one percenters laugh all the way to the bank.

  15. #15 Lea
    June 23, 2008

    wenchacha:
    Teenagers working the fields would allow them an opportunity to learn valuable lessons in what it takes to get food on the table. Many would also learn that life is not one hand out after another and more exists than a car, t.v., computer, or the mall.
    It’s a difficult task ensuring most children grow into responsible adults and the discipline that would be gained from this experience, in my eye, would be priceless. It’s obviously something they wouldn’t do for their entire life.
    It’s like most everything in life that changes, there are adjustment periods and ‘fine tuning’ that must be addressed.

    I realize that the crops must be handled properly, this could be a cash incentive type of program where those who were more careful were appropriately rewarded. It’s all in the training.

    Luna_the_cat: The pay scale you described is also applied to the fish processing vessels that are out a sea. A close friend did this for five years and worked very hard at it. Cold, actually freezing, wet conditions in order to bring fish to the market.

    In truth I don’t see any progressive changes happening on our globe if the top 1% are continually allowed to manipulate the willing sheep.

  16. #16 Teenager
    June 23, 2008

    Let us caring parents put our teenagers to work in our fields and gradually phase out working immigrants, legal or illegal. In order to prepare our teenagers for a drastic transition from lifestyles centered around handouts (such as TV’s, cars, and shopping malls) our society must first instill in our children from a young age that adults may use these things but they may not. It is imperative to the development of our teenagers that they be taught valuable life lessons that only toiling in the dirt for twelve hours a day can teach.

    Secondly, a standard for a division of labor should be established. Clearly it is observed that girls are not as strong as boys during their teenage years so let us not abuse our children by placing unnecessary burdens on them! Let us wise adults say that a thirteen year old girl can plant the seeds in the soil and that a fifteen year old boy can plow the fields. Divide the labor according to sex and age to maximize production.

    Education must be played down because it is an obvious time constraint that an eight hour school day leaves little or no time for milking the cows; school should be taught seasonally and infrequently to account for weather conditions and harvest times. It is doubtful that sports programs will be of any use given that hours of farm work should, if taken seriously, leave underdeveloped adolescent muscles fatigued and exhausted. After-school activities should include ample amounts of sleep.

    Obviously farming would not be something that our teenagers will do for their entire lives. They will turn into adults, like us, after their eighteenth birthday and after a maximum of 5 years of production. We must acknowledge, however, that new teenagers must be recruited as the old ones become adults or else we will all starve to death. Fortunately, the human body allows for childbearing at the same age that our children would be allowed to pick their first fruits, so to say, from ample orchards. We can estimate that there would only be a ten year gap between recruitment if we assume that a thirteen year old farmer is impregnated upon her admission into the workforce, delivers nine months later (assuming that her body retains enough hormones from hard labor), and leaves the farming profession at 18; her child would be about 4 years old. If we encourage our adolescents to work hard enough, our nation’s food silos would be well stocked to weather out the ten year work shortage.

    Some teenagers will not be amendable to farm work; they will complain only if they are aware of something grander than brute work. Some mothers will undoubtedly object to their children working long hours in the sun; we will reassure moms that such work is only temporary and will cease upon the lawful maturation of their daughters and sons. If the farm owners and generous adult employers cannot coerce American teenagers away from their handouts, then an alternate source of teenagers must be found immediately lest we perish from famine. Fortunately, our neighboring countries have ample birthrates to fill any chasms in our adolescent workforce. We could recruit fresh, hardworking teenagers not accustomed to handouts from our neighbors and allow them to tend to our fields.

    Teenagers are an excellent replacement for adult immigrants. They are still developing mentally and physically and thus can be more easily controlled by caring mothers and fathers. They are completely financially dependent on their caretakers and so have no recourse for complaint. Teenagers are not as mature as adults and will often try to rebel against authority; but clearly little fight will be left in weary bodies after a week’s work of shucking corn husks and driving the combines. In time, the teenagers will tear down the anachronistic shopping malls, TV ratings will plummet without MTV viewers, and parents will no longer have to suffer the heartache of watching their children grow up and leave for college, buy their first car, or become doctors or engineers. We can watch over our teenagers from the safety of our porches as they feed the chickens and plow the orchards.

  17. #17 Lea
    June 23, 2008

    That’s not what I was suggesting teenager, go ahead and distort the original idea. It’s what adults do so well.
    Keep teaching that pleasure must be pursued at all costs, after all we certainly want to avoid pain at all costs!

  18. #18 Tasha
    June 23, 2008

    One of the things that I have learned recently is how cultural differences will affect safety in the workplace. For example, a worker that comes from a primarily male-dominated culture will be less likely to take orders from a female supervisor, etc. In the seminar that I attended, it was said that hispanic cultures are more likely to only take orders from the “main boss,” while the authority of mid-level supervisors, if not explicitly established, may be questioned. After all, who wants to get yelled at for listening to the wrong person?

    In this case it says that the employer’s son told the worker to take a break. However, it is possible, especially for a worker so new to the job, that the worker didn’t believe that the son had the authority to tell him to take a break, and perhaps he believed that if he did take a break he’d get in trouble with the employer. Perhaps the employer himself should have told the worker to take a break, or the employer should have taken the time to establish the authority of lesser supervisors.

    This is certainly not an accusation on any account, but these are the types of things that employers need to be thinking about.

  19. #19 wenchacha
    June 23, 2008

    Maria was a teenager.

    http://www.ufw.org/_board.php?mode=view&b_code=hotissue&b_no=4304

    Maria’s Story
    05/30/2008

    “Maria�s Story

    On May 14, the official temperature was 95 degrees; it was even hotter inside the wine grape vineyard owned by West Coast Grape Farming, east of Stockton, where Maria and her fiance, Florentino Bautista, worked. Maria had been working for nine hours.

    At 3:40 p.m. Maria became dizzy. She didn�t know where she was and didn’t recognize Florentino. Maria passed out. Florentino helplessly held her in his arms.

    There was no water for the workers from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. When water arrived, it was a 10-minute walk from where Maria was working, too far to access. There was no shade or training for foremen and workers about what to do if someone became ill from the heat�as required by law.

    The foreman came over and stood four or five feet away, staring at the couple for about five minutes. He said, “Oh, that’s what happens to people, but don’t worry. If you apply some rubbing alcohol to her, it will go away.” It didn’t.

    After a number of delays Maria was taken to a clinic. On the in Lodi, the foreman called on the driver�s cell phone and spoke to Florentino. “If you take her to a clinic,” the foreman said, “don’t say she was working [for the contractor]. Say she became sick because she was jogging to get exercise. Since she’s underage, it will create big problems for us.”

    They arrived at the clinic at 5:15 p.m., more than an hour and a half after Maria was stricken. She was so sick an ambulance took her to the hospital. Doctors said her temperature upon arrival was 108.4 degrees, far beyond what the human body can take.

    Maria’s heart stopped six times in the next two days before she passed away on Friday.

    Doctors said if emergency medical help had been summoned or she had been taken to the hospital sooner, she might have survived.

    It is hard for Maria’s family and her fiance, Florentino, to accept her death, knowing it could have been prevented.

    Florentino, said, “There should be justice for what happened. It wasn’t just. It wasn’t fair what they did.”

    The grief that fills our hearts today inspires our work tomorrow.”

    Lea, my husband picked apples and strawberries in his teens. In my hometown, lots of kids picked cabbage and sorted potatoes. Still, in each of these cases, it wasn’t giant corporate farming and I don’t think there was as much of a migrant journey to those areas.

    Perhaps if more suburban white kids perished doing farm work, there would be more attention paid. Still, there are many hazards in agricultural work, and the work sites are more remote from prying eyes than at a grocery store or ice cream hut.

    Children under 18 who work have more fatal injuries from farm-related work. I knew of at least two boys who died in tractor flips in my hometown; one in his late teens, one a toddler on grampa’s lap. My own father got blood-poisoning as a result of injuries he sustained while doing heavy farm work at twelve. Luckily, it was caught in time.

    Dad was a dirt-poor kid, his older sister was working as a maid in this farm, so my dad was sent there to earn some money. His Dad was in another town looking for work, and his three other older siblings were also trying to raise money while his mom stayed home with the youngest. He turned out okay, and I am pretty much in awe of all he has done in his 80-plus years, but I don’t think that his experiences demonstrate the best way to bring up our children to be responsible. My own children are good responsible citizens in spite of not enduring such hardships as my dad.

  20. #20 Lea
    June 23, 2008

    wenchacha: Again, my heart does go out to people who die needlessly.
    My great grandparents had a dairy farm in Wisconsin and all the children worked when they weren’t studying, not much different than dairy farms today.

    As a society there are many wrongs that need to be righted, I’m not debating that. What I would debate though is it’s not happening, when “it” should happen overnight. (if you catch my drift).

    Peggy, thanks for what you posted, it does make sense. Tasha, thanks for sharing your insight, valuable indeed.

    I am laughing out loud though because I’ve made a good case in favor of the migrant worker’s and that wasn’t the intention. Interesting … LOL :)

  21. #21 M. Randolph Kruger
    June 23, 2008

    Oh I care alright Revere. The assertion is that Americans dont care. Well that aint the case. We sure as Hell care because we keep on trying to keep the Mexicans out of our country and no one gives one big shit what the citizenry think. Now this is one where I diverge with GWB on all counts and he is out of touch with the people on this. Defend the country from all enemies foreign and domestic.

    We feed them, we clothe them, we have our emergency rooms loaded up with them and personally I would like for them to take themselves back to Mexico. Not many Canadians invading the US as of late, so thats one we dont have to worry about. Me, I look at the costs of taking care of these people in our schools and hospitals. Our own Med here is now 32 million in the hole and cant get the feds to pick up the tab so now its likely going to close. Then its all private care hospitals so our own indigents are going to be sucking wind pretty quick.

    They will never make it thru the door if that happens so we are looking at the future of the end of healthcare on all fronts. Private and/or UHC isnt going to be able to take care of the people here and all of Mexico too. Something will give and for me I would start on that wall pretty quick. Its not to keep our people in, its to keep them out.

    All things considered, I would think about mining the border and if we did I would advertise that fact in a loud and vociferous way. Your 56 year old is nothing compared to the numbers that keel over and are just taken out and dumped around the fruit harvest times.

    I wonder if Vincente Fox’s how to cross into the US illegally handbook will show them how to disarm mines.Call me crazy but this is something thats about to get out of hand and its not cheap labor after a certain point. Its an invasion.

    Mining? Its been done before and may have to be again. Key areas during WWII were mined in NM, AZ, TX, CA. Why might we have to? There is nearly a full blown civil war going on down there between the police, the army and the drug lords. If we get a sudden surge into the SW states of refugees if the drug lords win then it may get down to some grisly decisions. There is no way we could begin to take care of a couple of million of them. Our system is straining now.

    War? It might be in our national interests to knock the drug lords off and use the military to do it. Maybe a regime change in Mexico City too.

  22. #22 revere
    June 24, 2008

    Randy: It is they who are feeding you, not the other way around. They pay taxes and social security which they don’t get the benefit of and I’ve been in more emergency rooms than you have and they are not the problem. Without them we are in economic difficulty. We don’t have Canadians streaming across our border because there is little to attract Canadians to the US (they and US citizens won’t do the jobs immigrants from the south do). As we have for decades, we just exploit them, vilify them and deport them when they have served their purpose. They aren’t illegal. I person can’t be illegal. They are human beings that work harder than anyone else for less. We aren’t any better than our parents and grandparents in our treatment of these folks.

  23. #23 Emund
    June 24, 2008

    Lea,

    Workers dying from heat stroke is, as you say, “old news” too. Lots of things that are still problems today are old news. Bird flu is old news. It’s been going on for years. Does that make it any less important?

  24. #24 M. Randolph Kruger
    June 24, 2008

    Wouldnt you agree Revere that if they were in Mexico that they would be working there? Or not. I dont see this as a health problem at all. I see it as an invasion that is slowly and inexorably sapping the strength from the US for all of the services the they tap also illegally.

    If they werent here then someone would indeed pick the fruit, or we would outsource it legally. The latest outbreak of Salmonella is beginning to for many to look like a terrorist attack. If they are growing the produce in Mexico then so be it, but that is on their side of the border. It goes back to the first case of screwing up and this guy legal or illegal if he had a job in his own country would have been their problem and not ours.

    The hand out machine is about to come to a screeching halt in the US. Its not there to give and the tax and spend people cant get it this time. Spending our way to prosperity just raises the national debt and it constantly keeps growing. The people above may pay SS taxes Revere, but they dont pay anything else. Income taxes? They illegally pay it in and then file to get it back.The IRS has no right to keep their money, so they simply give it back. Same with the SS and all they do is file to have it returned. The government under US law cant keep the money even though its gained illegally. Its one of those class warfare things that everyone keeps biting the big white mint on. They get it all back, and we get to pay for their healthcare and their kids to go to school.

    My property taxes have gone up every other year for the last 20. Might it be that the number of illegals that are in school here have blown it out? Might it be that the Med will have to close because they have used up the last bit of available money? Yeah, deport them. Its actually cheaper in the short and long run.

    When someone invades your country I generally dont sit back and welcome them in. It may not be a problem for you, its a major one here.

  25. #25 pft
    June 24, 2008

    “They pay taxes and social security which they don’t get the benefit of”

    Actually, I believe we have a Totalitization agreement pending with Mexico where they will get the benefit of ss payments, retroactively, having only to work 18 months as opposed to Americans having to work 40 quarters to qualify. The taxes they pay cover the additional infrastructure that they use. The Federal government also provides subisidies to states to reimburse hospitals who treat patients likely to be illegal immigrants and for which hospitals treat without getting paid in those locations with large immigrant populations.

    About 22% of legal immigrants are on Medicaid and the average value received was $2,200 a year in 2001. Households headed by illegal aliens receive welfare, primarily Medicaid, on behalf of their U.S.- born children.
    These children also get educated in our school systems and driving up costs for education, especially since many do not speak english in the early years.

    The population increase from the US of 200 million to 300 million is entirely immigrant related since fertility rates have been at or below replacement levels in this period (growth from, legal and illegal immigrants and their children). Meanwhile, jobs are being shipped to out.

  26. #26 Speedwell
    June 25, 2008

    Luna, I appreciate the information. I suspected, but did not know, that such a thing might have been the case.

    Also, thanks, Anon, for the description of heatstroke. I guess people in charge of people working in fields in the sun should be prepared for such a thing happening, if it’s not only common but actually symptomatic. I’m kind of surprised it’s not common knowledge here in Houston, even though we’re in the city where it’s almost always possible to just go inside.

    Revere, I’ll tell you to your face and in public that although I have the utmost respect for you as a reporter on bird flu, I don’t appreciate your juvenile, petulant put-downs. Of course suffering is not “OK” with me, business or no business. All I asked was what a foreman is supposed to do with a new guy succumbing to the heat, who ignored advice to sit down and even fought off the people trying to help him. I even pointed out a bunch of reasons why the worker might have felt motivated to do it, and none of them were particularly complimentary to the business. If you knee-jerk attack whatever I say based on the fact that we have occasionally been on opposite sides of a question in the past, then I’m glad I don’t have to trust you to listen to me in a diagnostic setting.

  27. #27 revere
    June 25, 2008

    speedwell: I was much taken aback by your comment above. Since I replied directly and factually to your questions I am at a loss to know what you considered a petulant putdown. I did reply to Lea (perhaps the lack of paragraphing was unclear) and not you about the editorial “we” and maybe that is what confused you. If not, I would be glad to know what you considered a petulant put down. I am quite serious. I have no idea what you are referring to in any reply I made to you.

  28. #28 M. Randolph Kruger
    June 30, 2008

    Actually Revere I have been documenting along with others how many illegals are entering Tennessee emergency rooms daily. They only account for a mere 23% to date for this year. Yep, once a month we request with a FOIA information on how many. Its bad enough that the entrances to the facilities are going to be redone and that we might see that Hippo Oath being metered out to only emergency cases. The hospital paid for by Tennessee and US taxpayers is going to have to close because those people have no insurance and even by raising the rates to the others that do, its not a viable operation any longer. Vanderbilt is the same way along with the for profit Humana hospitals. Baptist has moved from downtown to avoid them as has Methodist.

    Those illegals may pay some taxes Revere, but what they take out of the system is far more than what is put in. Think not, take a look at the forced participation of California…the state is already broke for its health budget and its not but June. Good luck Arnie! Cant raise taxes in a recession if you want to be reelected. Good healthy dose of reality.

    This state is considering a lawsuit against the US government because these people who you assert pay taxes dont pay shit on their medical costs. Thats a simple and direct fact. The outstanding budget for last year topped 20 mill. So who gets that bill? I do, you do and UHC isnt going to do anything but ENSURE that you will pay more and more for less and less. Might be the reason the Brits are now pushing for a basic care package rather than the full monty?

    “Everything is free in America” – West Side Story

    Speedy-Take it easy ole son. Revere tries to keep his comments short and to the point. Many times I have taken what he has said a bit wrong and I have learnt not to jump too quickly. He makes good points, some bad ones. Never in a mean way though. He as we all do might choose the wrong words in an attempt for brevity is all. I didnt react the way you did to it… If he has facts that can pound you down then okay, I have been under that hammer before. But…its a two way street on that one. .

  29. #29 revere
    June 30, 2008

    Randy: How do your ERs know if someone has papers or not? That’s not info our ERs have. As for whether the taxes cover the expenses, net, that’s a matter of debate. What’s the evidence they don’t?

Current ye@r *