Jobs Americans Won’t Do, and the Economics of Mass Low-Skilled Immigration | Power Line

Jobs Americans Won’t Do, and the Economics of Mass Low-Skilled Immigration | Power Line.

When I was a kid, “potatoes”  meant russet– big, rough-skinned, brown baker type potatoes.  Red potatoes were special, and kinda spendy.  (A childhood treat were “neighbor potatoes”– red potatoes cut into 8ths long-wise, then drenched in a mixture of garlic and olive oil with a dash of Dijon mustard and baked until crispy at 350 degrees.)

Now, red potatoes are only slightly more expensive than brown (outside of the really big bulk, which red doesn’t offer) and there are yellow potatoes that roughly fill the role of red potatoes when I was a kid.

As far as how long they keep/how tough they are, brown is highly tough and yellow goes a bit less quickly than fruit.

That’s the kind of “grow a different crop” that happens.


11 thoughts on “Jobs Americans Won’t Do, and the Economics of Mass Low-Skilled Immigration | Power Line”

  1. keeping in mind: if US farmers stop growing the labor intensive crops, foreign farmers can export to the US these same crops that they can grow with their lower wage and living standards, thereby increasing there own ability to acquire capital and improve their own lots and those of their workers in their own nations wihout these workers being subjected to a serf like condition is the USA.
    what the ag interests want is a continuation of antebellum slavery by another means: they live in the Big House, while the workers are happy to be allowed to live in shacks.

  2. Meant to say more in response to last discussion on Embers, but RL has has me very busy and fried. Embers is up, again on the fourth week, and I’m suspecting I missed a note somewhere to that effect now.

      1. AN at the end of this one seems to explain it. I can easily understand that getting to a person. That said, the allowances I’ve made for the Fire Nation’s heavy land equipment in my mind covered any reservations I might have about their Airships.

        That said, if I switch off those allowances, and look at the fix, I dunno if I buy it. I’m thinking large pressure vessels, and that I haven’t seen what I’d expect to see for quality production of those. They must have some of it, but I don’t know about all of it. That said, a) I can’t really speak to what is required for production of same in RL b) I haven’t really thought about mystical or inherited lore substitutes in the process.

        I have an account, which I haven’t touched in a while. Looks like an interesting place. Probably not going to have the writing ‘ration’ to spare for it in the near term. Maybe the story will end before I can spare some. :)

      2. I seem to remember that once you know it’s possible, the airships aren’t that hard– ESPECIALLY if you add magic kung fu for technology gaps.

      3. I’m not contesting the airships themselves. Nor do I have enough familiarity with gases for lift for my intuition to much care about that side without having it pointed out.

        Mainly I have concerns about storage and transport of Helium on the strategic scale.

        Yes, they need some of that level of tech to have the steam ships work. I’m not enough of a naval steam guy to know what they need for the speeds they are getting. Well, I haven’t even been following the ship speed side of things. So I may have been seriously low balling their boilers.

        It just seems like it would need a serious amount of very leak tight pressure vessel capacity to support limited operations on that scale, much less sustain it for a long period of time. It feels like a higher tech level than the rest of the story leads me to expect.

        At least, that much high quality steel manufactured to very high quality tolerances should be very expensive by the standards of what we see of the Earth and Water economies.

        That said, Fire Nation tanks. If I accept those, it only makes sense for me to accept the significantly tamer and more plausible Airships, and the even more plausible steam boats.

        Also, I don’t have any experience manufacturing pressure vessels, nor have I done anything in the way of R&D on tanks, ships, and airships, so I don’t really know what it takes to get things done on the one hand, and don’t know the technical limits on the other.

        Or maybe the Fire Nation really is that much more economically and technically powerful than the other powers.

      4. I kind of figure they take the gas that has “sun damp” in it, and burn that to heat ’em– and have the blimps sealed with rubber or something similar.

        IIRC, a big problem with making good quality steel is the fire.
        Kinda right up their alley. (Betting Toph’s future students are awesome, though.)

  3. Combustion produces, often as gases, water and CO2. Both are significantly heavier than helium. They’d need to separate those out, and Vathara’s description makes me think that the process in her head is done on the ground, not on board the airship.

    How the lift gas is sealed in the gas bags is less important if they have good high pressure tanks on hand to top things off. (I’ve been assuming, given Avatar zoology, that I have no clue what the options are for natural products, hence no clue on the properties.)

    The two issues with steel production, and with producing different varieties of steel for different purposes, are chemistry, which maybe could be brute forced with enough ancestral knowledge, and thermodynamics, which is where Firebending is most useful. I’m not quibbling over the steel so much, the Fire Nation seems to have loads of production.

    A trustworthy pressure vessel is not something I could slap together in my local machine ship, no matter what kind of steel I have. My gut took what little I knew about the manufacturing, engineering and certification of pressure vessels, and said “Why don’t they have firearms?”

    Well, the ultimate answer is some combination of ‘genre’, ‘look at the tech differences between big city and country, or between Europe and China in the late nineteenth early twentieth centuries’, ‘media creators often do not have an extensive manufacturing background’, ‘thinking about it, the Fire Nation will have needed better machine shops and manufacturing than I was giving them credit for anyway’, and ‘I watched Pacific Rim without thinking about ground pressure and bearing strength because I had decided to ignore those from the beginning’.

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter how I think about it in my head, because the technical issues are not the center of gravity of the story. (If this were a Raj Whitehall crossover…) The most significant part of the issue was that Vathara was hung up over it. Even that doesn’t make it all that important to me, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, six weeks, it doesn’t matter, as long as Vathara is satisfied with production.

    I’m just a wordy, pedantic person with an interest in technical matters. Hence why I enjoy rambling at such great length.

    1. Correction: I am far from the best fabricator in the world. However, there may have been some things I’ve seen made, or otherwise been involved in, that may make my statement incorrect, even if I was not solely responsible for them. My statement was intended to refer to high volume, high pressure, helium tight pressure vessels that I could sell to someone without significant liability issues.

    2. If it snaps you out of suspension of disbelief, nothing to put yourself down about– about the only military themed show I can watch is NCIS, and that’s just from a few years in the Navy.

      1. I don’t have WSoD issues on this, partly because I ruthlessly suppress them for certain genres.

        I cultivate very strict standards of judgement where technical feasibility is concerned for RL purposes. This combined with my love of details and argument, means that it is very easy for me to wander into long involved side discussions over trivial things in discussions of fiction.

        When I remember to, I attempt to practice some measure of discipline. Is it important to the story?* Is the noise level on this preventing discussion of more important things? What standards are we going by anyway, hard science fiction is different from school fighting magically?

        Vathara had reservations that were important to her for writing her story, and she has resolved them. The data provided wouldn’t have resolved all of my reservations, if I was in a mood to have them, but I was not and am not. I might’ve noticed the thing about hot air, and air ships when I was watching part of Fire, but if I did I decided to ignore it so quickly that I’m not sure if I did or didn’t. Vathara is continuing to do a fairly good level of due diligence for scientific plausibility, especially considering the genre.

        *As a reader, I say no. It may be important for Vathara as the writer, but the story she is writing seems to have a very low weight on the technical details. Compare two stories, written in the same setting, one involving, say, business intrigue and the other involving modifying and racing cars. One may revolve entirely around technical details that are entirely irrelevant to the other.

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