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A Kingdom from Dust (2018) (californiasunday.com)
187 points by walterbell 43 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 119 comments

It is all fun and games until the last drop of water gets sucked up. Then they will (already are in some cases) bitch and complain that other states don't pipeline then hundreds of millions of gallons of water while disparaging those same states for not following the same short-sighted and unsustainable practices.

Basically like the states that want to take water from the great lakes. Texas is crying foul because of New Mexico's actions. Florida expects to be given access to the water resources of Georgia, (even though the Army Corps of Engineers has been clear that Georgia needs the resources for things like navigation and, crucially, flood control.) States like Nevada expect access to Great Lakes water. You even have really weird situations, like places that really are untenable even in the Great Lakes region, demanding water be diverted for their use. For instance, Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Water wars are really going to be a mess in the near future. Right now we just have some agitated tussling.

Just wait until the real arguments start, it's gonna be bad.

[1] https://www.greatlakeslaw.org/blog/2018/07/supreme_court_con...

[2] http://www.startribune.com/the-great-siphoning-drought-stric...

[3] https://www.petoskeynews.com/featured-pnr/opposition-mounts-...

The book ‘The Water Knife’ is a near future sci-fi about water wars - a good read!

> Florida expects to be given access to the water resources of Georgia, (even though the Army Corps of Engineers has been clear that Georgia needs the resources for things like navigation and, crucially, flood control.)

My dumb model says that adding a large drain to Georgia's water system (aqueducts to Florida) is a pretty strong flood control in itself. How does this damage Georgia's flood control capacity?

Aquifers aren't like plastic water bottles that can be refilled when empty. Depending on the soil, when it dries out the structure can collapse/compact, greatly reducing the amount of water it can hold in the future permanently.


I don't know about Georgia, but a problem that I've heard of is that dry land is worse at absorbing water than wet land, so if you dry land out too much and then it rains you are more prone to flooding.

Because the issue is flood control. Simply lowering Georgia's water table doesn't change the fact that there's variable input.

Also places with less water can still flood. See Arizona.

> Simply lowering Georgia's water table doesn't change the fact that there's variable input.

But that's not what I asked about. The idea was to massively increase Georgia's water output capacity. This would seem to make it easier to handle unexpectedly large input.

And Georgia wants part of the Tennessee. (https://www.wabe.org/georgia-lawmakers-revisit-tennessee-bor...)

  States like Nevada expect access to Great Lakes water. 
They're on opposite sides of the Continental divide.

I've lived a long time in Nevada and this has never been brought up. We do bitch about other states use (we use the least amount per person ), but I think it's somewhat justified.

California has long talked about draining Oregon's Klamath River basin, and even taking water from the Columbia via Vancouver B.C.

It's interesting to think of the state of California as one ginormous mining-town. Only instead of some rare mineral that will one day be exhausted, it's the groundwater in the aquifer that underlies the entire valley.

The concept of virtual water may help us to treat this vital resource with more care. I'm imagining something like a nutrition label, where there's an estimate of how many liters/gallons of water is needed to grow the food.

A quick search turned up a food/water required table: https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jan/10/how-mu...

Looks like we could do quite a bit to reduce our individual water usage by substituting a meal of cabbage and potatoes for a chicken dinner every so often...

The problem with that is that it's not water that's so valuable, it's water in California. Penalizing water use everywhere, even in rain-soaked places, would be counterproductive.

That's a good point. But I wouldn't classify the water usage label as "penalizing". It's more, um, informational. So if you're in CA, you might set an ideal "virtual water budget" for yourself (100 kl/mo for example), but if you're in VA, your ideal could be several times that.

But where you are located isn't what matters, it's where the water was consumed.

It does not matter where you are eating Californian almonds; those almonds still used Californian water.

That's another good point. Then the only way I could see it working universally is if you assign a price to the water consumed, where it's costlier in CA than VA.

Then you can say that a single almond grown in CA uses $.001 H2O, but in VA it's $.0001 H2O, or something like that.

It's just a thought experiment, of course. But it seems like a worthwhile one, if only to introduce the idea of accountability for the cost of water consumption in various foods.

The normal way to do this is to charge for the ingredient at source. It seems easier to change the California laws (constitution?) so that agriculture pays per gallon of water.

I don't know the specifics in California but property rights in water are complex, especially in the Western U.S. A mere change in regulations, even under a state constitution, might constitute a regulatory taking (i.e. a taking of property requiring just compensation under the 5th Amendment).

Because the issues are so complex, the legal terrain so unclear, and the consequences of an adverse court ruling so substantial, not to mention the politics, legislators are reticent to impose such strong measures.

Water laws are loose because they were written in a world where groundwater is almost as plentiful as air. Locations where this is still true should keep their simple laws (nobody wants a trillion detailed laws if there is no need), but places like California need to get more sophisticated.

Isn’t it really the more general water where things grow that’s valuable? If it’s grown and used water then it’s labeled. If water in CA is more scarce/expensive, then the market will balance around it.

People do not change their behavior until forced to by a major situation. Some labels aren't going to change anything.

Price labels likely will.

As in changing the actual price? Sure, but that seems different from add more info to the label.

> I'm imagining something like a nutrition label, where there's an estimate of how many liters/gallons of water is needed to grow the food.

We already have price labels.

> One day water will be more valuable than oil, and like oil it will start wars.

Is this true? Its true that natural sources of water might be scant, but what happens if we just build huge desal plants all along the CA coast and pipe in the water? And what if those desal plants are powered by cheap renewable energy?

Of course it's true, water scarcity has caused wars from the Late Bronze Age Collapse all the way to modern Syria. Other regions of the world too, like in the Mayan civ.

You get it though, solving energy problems solves all of the water problems. You still have environmental issues from the desalination plants, like where to put the hypersaline water without killing all the fish. But I'd love to see desal using peak capacity of renewables.

Not just hyperdsaline, but more toxix as well, as concentrations move from trace, to dabgerous. Desalination is a suprisingly dirty proccess at scale.

Before that happen, it will probably be cheaper to buy water from poorer countries, which will destabilize those regions (locals won't be able to buy their own water), and thus start war.

Water is heavy, and almost none of the water used in the world is used for human consumption. It will never make more economic sense to ship water long distances than to move the economic activities that require it to the source of the water. This is leaving aside the subject of aqueducts, but there's really only so long you can make an aqueduct, and most countries border countries in roughly similar economic situations. Siphoning water from "poorer countries" via aqueducts is not going to be a thing.

> there's really only so long you can make an aqueduct

This doesn't make any sense. Oil pipelines cross continents.

Good luck watering your fields with a 1m diam pipeline...

Or, to expand on this, a gallon of oil makes a car go dozens of miles, while a gallon of water won't even flush a toilet; volumetrically, the US uses about 50 times as much water as oil.

I would suggest two 1m diameter pipelines, but I feel like one 1.4m diameter pipeline would be even cheaper.

There's no limit on how long you can make an aqueduct. We don't have long aqueducts because water isn't very valuable.

Fiji for example?

Vox recently covered the history of their Fiji Water brand.


...owned by the Wonderful company, the same company that is the subject of the article...

They seem to believe there's a market at a particular price point for shipping water halfway around the world.

If only there was an example of something like this happening recently... [0].

[0]: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/10/2012109936...

It's already happened and is still happening. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_water_wars

From my understanding desalination plants create a lot of waste that is not being processed. More plants, more waste.

Yes. We've changed the URL to that from https://longreads.com/2018/02/05/the-couple-who-turned-a-cal...

There was also this thread last year: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16291845.

I would urge everybody to watch the National Geographic video on Netflix “Water & Power: A California Heist”. Gives a complete different view of this couple.


>Gives a complete different view of this couple.

The impression I got from the article wasn't one that wholly praised them.

The Dollop (comedy/history podcast) did an entertaining episode about these psychopaths. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38R-OOVfz7A

Came here to say this. I was amazed at just how deep that rabbit hole goes; an incredibly entertaining/depressing view.

https://vimeo.com/301508642 : A documentary on Pistachio Wars ... this story is well known and everyone from politicians in Sacramento and DC to Big Ag is complicit.

All the nuts exported during our ‘drought’ was really California Water that was being exported and that tax payers fund through bond measures every election.

The bit about water one day being more valuable than land seems to be half truth and half someone who has never lived on the otger side of the US where we have too much water.

Farmers in south central VA work to keep their land dry because it rains here everyday and we average about 4" a month.

You’re not gonna ship that water to California.

If the article is correct that water will become more valuable than oil, then of course you're gonna ship that water to California. The economics will mandate it.

Now whether the article is correct about that prediction is another question. It's an understatement to say I'm skeptical. Desalination plants produce expensive water, but not that expensive...

I'm skeptical that this "water more valuable than oil" prediction will come to pass.

Currently, a thousand gallons of freshwater from a desalination plant costs between $2.50 to $5 to the end consumer in the US. By contrast, a thousand gallons of West Texas Intermediate crude oil costs around $2500. And oil is becoming more scarce as we burn through it.


I would agree. Oil only exists in certain locations and is extremely difficult to get, so it necessarily has to be extracted by corporations and shipped around the world.

Water, on the other hand, covers a lot of the surface of the planet, and even if you're not standing by a lake or river almost anyone can dig straight down and with an hour or so of work you're likely to find water. The places where this is not true are fairly rare, and the easier solution is to move the people to where water is instead of moving water to where people are. Filtering water to be drinkable is just so much easier than getting crude oil out of the ground.

And worst case scenario, even if you have to move water from one place to another because the best farmland doesn't have water, basically anyone with a tanker truck and a hose can supply water pretty cheap. There's just not enough barriers to entry in the water business.

The only way I see water becoming more valuable than oil is if oil demand falls so far that it's practically worthless.

Perhaps a different way of looking at it, is to consider the cost relative to how much we use. For instance, I use one or two gallons of water every time I flush the toilet, and I could certainly look up my water bill to see how much I use overall. But I rarely go through a gallon of gasoline per day in my car.

The main cost of water is probably energy, so the two are probably tied together. Water is less dense in energy terms, thus harder to transport if it can't be obtained locally.

This makes me think that depleting local water sources will have more of an effect on geographic distribution of populations, than oil.

The assertion was never that water would become more valuable than oil on a per gallon basis, but on an aggregate basis.

People will start growing crops in more sensible places.

Central valley would still be more sensible than the rest of the USA even with more expensive water. There is a reason so much is grown there despite lack of water. So much less to worry about with good soil, temperatures, less pests, less disease. In fact the last two are partly because of the lack of water.

Water abundance is not the only reason to grow something. Sunlight humidity temp etc...

Or people will have the city of LA in a more sensible region.

Urban water usage is a rounding error compared to industrial and agricultural water usage. It will always make more economic sense to move water to cities than to move cities to water. The same is not true for agriculture and industry, and the two topics don't belong in the same discussion.

The economics of moving water aside, this argument assumes industry doesn't need cities.

The temperature itself already makes LA a pretty sensible location. It also takes resources dealing with weather and extremes of temperature it lacks. Doing the math an aquaduct pipeline from a wet region could ironically be the cheaper option compared to heavier use of heating and air conditioning.

Nothing ironic about it. Liquid water is rather easy and efficient to move in pipelines, it just expensive capital costs and the associated politics.

> If the article is correct that water will become more valuable than oil...

Yep, your skepticism is warranted. This is unlikely in the US for common infrastructures, in the large scale, over a long (next generation) period, for standard municipal water (still an under-recognized engineering achievement IMHO). Potable and crop/livestock waters (the kinds that civilizations rely upon) are to a first approximation a derivative of energy. Whether to purify it, or move it, water relies heavily upon energy to enter the market.

To postulate that a barrel of American-municipal-standard potable water will cost more than a barrel of oil is to hypothesize a situation where it takes more than a barrel of oil to create a barrel of that kind of water. Now note I put in the qualifier "for common infrastructures". That's key.

If you have a large enough logistical tail behind creating that barrel of potable water, then it absolutely will cost more than a barrel of oil. For example, that will easily be the case when comparing a barrel of WTI pulled from a stripper well against a barrel of potable water created on a US Navy ballistic missile submarine, including all decomm costs amortized in on both the well and the submarine.

On a slightly less fantastical plane, that qualifier can likely be breached (pun intended) if sea levels do actually rise faster than we can revamp our coastal infrastructures. Major metro water processing plants and the supply chains feeding them are complex beasts, and they are multi-year projects even when money is no object and working shifts 24x7. If, as I predict based upon human nature, politicians kick the can on the sea level rise problem until dikes catastrophically fail in major metro areas, then yes, municipal potable water's disaster relief equivalent may indeed cost more than an equivalent quantity of oil for at least a few years if only because it all has to be trucked in as bottles or tankers during a disaster relief operation.

Leaving on a couple articles about water becoming more expensive than petroleum or gasoline (note it is generally about retailed bottled water):

[1] https://phys.org/news/2018-03-worth-oil.html

[2] https://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/15/gas-cheaper-than-water-not-s...

It isn't looking great for pistachio cultivation in Iran either - https://phys.org/news/2016-09-iran-pistachio-farms-dying-thi...

We have more frequent droughts in many parts of the world as a result of climate change, and groundwater reserves are being depleted - this will have a large impact on where crops can be grown

So, is it me, or is their font choice obnoxiously hard to read? Why can't people just choose screen readable fonts.

This is their font: http://www.hoftype.com/sinanova

It is very obvious it was designed for printed text, not screens. It's like they wanted Garamond (ahem: https://designforhackers.com/blog/garamond/), but shot themselves in the foot with an even worse one.

Usually I can prove bad font choices happen because of web developers being obsessed with rare computers (Retina-equipped Macs, forgetting the rest of the universe uses normal-DPI Windows machines), but I just looked on my HiDPI screen... it's nearly unreadable there too.

Is anyone else having this problem?

Same here, the font is terrible for mobile devices telling from seeing it on iOS and Android. Strangely, the web version with an updated browser does not have this problem.

So, I tried it in other browsers (look, if I have to use other browsers to read things, the Internet has a problem), Edge is most readable in LoDPI, Chrome still is visually fatiguing but readable, Firefox has the most correct rendering but also the worst readability (I'm primarily a Firefox user).

On HiDPI (2x DPI on Apple Retina), its, eh, all of them are readable but fatiguing, no clear winner.

On my 3x dpi Android phone, its the least bad due to just the shear number of pixels. In Firefox and in Chrome, it still exhibits a lot of oddity. The stems are inconsistent in their width (being skinny and being at such high DPI makes it very noticeable), and the visual rhythm of the words is even worse.

I don't even want to read the article anymore, screw it.

Agreed. It's scientifically proven that sans-serif fonts are easier to read on digital screens because of pixel rendering, brightness and the vertical scrolling surface.

It's the fault of designers who think UX is just pretty UI.

If the owners of the almond orchards were, say, thousands of small farmers instead of a billionaire, I think I could put a really positive slant on this story:

* The amount of protein one gets from almonds per unit of water is far higher than the amount of protein one gets from raising livestock

* Almonds are considered a relatively healthy food with relatively high quantities of antioxidants (including vitamin e)

* Almond trees sequester carbon but livestock create additional methane -- one of the worst greenhouse gases

* Trees clean the air of other pollutants

* At least some of the water used to water almond trees soaks back into the ground without becoming fouled by animal waste products

* California water policies are helping the little guy -- the small farmer and poor immigrants

There was an article on HN some time back, which chronicled the life of a surveyor who presented evidence to the Congress early in the history of the United States. He basically said that state lines were being drawn all wrong and that conflict over water would be baked in.

Can't for the life of me remember his name or google it up, but it looks very apt for this discussion.

California is a special place. No where else in the USA/Canada do you have such a wonderful climate where you can have so many growing seasons (6?). It is the Bread Basket of NA.

It would be worth helping find a solution to provide this area of the country with water.

California has plenty of water.

It has a terribly wasteful system for distributing and paying for it.

Yeah, we will sell them water.... at a nice healthy profit.

sremani 43 days ago [flagged]

Unless North America is into eating Strawberry flavored Almond Bread, CA is not bread Basket of NA.

Garlic basket - Yes, Strawberry Basket - Yes,

Nut Basket - For sure (if you count hollywood celeb and eccentric world saviors of SV).

But bread basket .. nope. The people of CA think the sun rotates around them. The most arable land in 'Murica is the mid-west and Mississippi river system. America with out CA will happily feed itself without missing a beat, without Almond milk of course.

> The people of CA think the sun rotates around them.

Regional swipes like that break the site guidelines. Please make your substantive points without stooping to that.


(Doubly so for "Your smugness is nauseating!" below, even though you were provoked. I'm sure you already know that.)

Yeah, I just love the Mid-West and Mississippi fresh fruit and fresh vegetables in the middle of Winter. Who knew they had a harvest of Lettuce in January.

This comment breaks the site guidelines. Please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and follow the rules when posting here. They include "Don't be snarky."

Reading this I couldn't stop thinking about the Jack Nicholson movie Chinatown. It's a story of rich men fighting over water rights in the thirties. Apparently very little in California has changed over the years.

“Chinatown” was a simplified take on the water wars in California ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_water_wars ). The book “Cadillac Desert” is a somewhat depressing history of what happened. The whole thing, including the present day, is the story of how something beautiful to the beholder can be built upon a squalid mess from the get-go.

Help me out here. Why is using such vast quantities of water necessarily a bad thing? It evaporates right back into the atmosphere and then condenses and finds its way to the rivers again and again. It doesn't disappear. It doesn't get irretrievably ruined with industrial chemicals. Is this mostly about limited capacity?

In California, we're drawing down groundwater sources faster than we're replenishing them.

Is this irrigation water ground water though? That'd be pretty uncommon, no? Usually irrigation comes from nearby rivers. Again, I'm not at all an expert at this, just trying to understand the facts without the bias this article shows.

It absolutely is. That's how water rights in this state work. You own the land, you can tap the aquifer to your heart's content. If you're poor and can't afford to chase the water table down, then you no longer get water.

The ground is subsiding due to this[1]

See East Porterville[2] as an example

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Valley_land_subsidence

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porterville,_California#Enviro...

Thanks for the links, I got a much better understanding of the situation now. Now I don't get why this is allowed to continue.

It's a minefield of property rights and politics. Land owners have water rights. The state can't (or won't) just arbitrarily yank those rights without compensation. At this point, I think that compensation would be in the very high billions of dollars? I'm not sure what the value is.

Water in California is a complicated story. The right solution might be to take over the rights from the private owners and ration water in a systemic way. But politically that is still a non-starter.

If this had been foreseen way back when, with water being treated as a public resource to be auctioned to the highest bidder, we'd all be better off. But it's too late to easily switch to that. There are way too many rights-of-ownership to untangle.

Imagine if the FCC never existed, and spectrum rights were instead allocated based on who has the tallest and most powerful transmitter. That's loosely how water is currently apportioned. He who has the deepest well and thirstiest crops gets the water.

I don't think the derogatory slang was necessary here. Your sentence could have omitted it and been perfectly clear.

I've removed the slang, thanks for pushing back.

yes. in CA it's both river and ground water. all the wells have resulted in seriously depleted aquifers in the Central Valley and the ground has literally sunk in places.


The article clearly states the farmers are competing for groundwater using increasingly deep (expensive) wells for irrigation.

Water vapor doesn't just fall straight down where it evaporated.

You're depleting natural waterways and groundwater acquifers. Thats why its a bad thing.

Also...they're basically bypassing US labor laws by employing illegal immigrants en-massse. It seems like they've been smart enough to provide them with benefits like healthcare, 401(k)'s etc. But wait until the farms pass on to their kids, who will try to squeeze even more out of the unprotected laborers ...

I think it's safe to say the illegal immigrants be worse off without those jobs. It's not like mandating they provide high-paying jobs would result in the low-paying jobs eliminated being substituted one-for-one with high-paying jobs.

And they're presumably paying the market clearing price for the labor. Any higher price would mean economic deadweight losses, which translates to foregone quality of life gains, as is created by any mandatory price floor.

Most rainfall (77% according to this [0]) falls over the ocean. So we suck fresh water out of the ground and then turn it into salt water.

[0] https://earthscience.stackexchange.com/questions/233/what-is...

If you read the post you've linked to, you'll see that it then evaporates right back out of the ocean, and even though most of it falls back into the ocean again, 10% of that evaporation falls onto the land as well. 10% is not as little as you might think, since 96.5% of the water is in the ocean. TL;DR: it's also not a one-way situation.

>In the Wonderful fields, he tells me, at least 80 percent of the workers carry no documents or documents that are not real. U.S. immigration has little say-so here. Rather, it is the authority vested in Wonderful that counts.

Interesting to consider in this context how illegal immigration has facilitated a continuing and escalating cost to society by subsidizing labor and environmental externalities for inefficient (and ultimately ill-fated) industries.

The benefits of this labor go to the private business, while the economic and social costs (education, healthcare including pregnancies the workers don't earn enough to pay for, so the state pays for it) are borne by others.

And they scapegoat the workers who are powerless, instead of the employers, like Trump.

Cynically it appears to be several additional layers of fucked up misdirection. First off the immigration enforcement targeting by employee's effects seems to be geared actively at undermining worker power to say "give me a raise or I will head down the street" by suppression targetted at employees instead of demand while giving a deniable cudgel.

Many of the people complaining about illegal immigrants while benefiting are shocked when their shakedowns result in labor shortages because people actually take them at their word. Regardless of intentions it is worth condemning because nothing works for any valid stated purpose. The resulting system is a massive web of interblended malice and stupidity of actors who refuse to learn that characterizes much of legal policy like the war on drugs. It isn't an American thing or even a capitalism thing. The USSR had plenty of stupid-malicious systems. I suspect sociopaths are to blame in all cases - it bears their thumbprints of dysfunctional systems that benefit them personally and get people to act selfishly in a way that doesn't even benefit them.

Except, of course, Trump is trying to get them to hire workers who are not powerless, and can legally demand the minimum wage and protection under US law at least.

His policies are designed to selectively terrorize migrant labor and make it impossible for them to have recourse to the state. This keeps wages low because no private businesses are seriously penalized for employing migrant labor, but the laborers themselves are at risk of being brutalized by the immigration authorities if they attempt to seek redress for unfair treatment by their employers.

The way to actually resolve the issue would be to aggressively enforce labor laws without regard to the worker's immigration status, because they would remove the incentive for private business to use migrant labor in the first place.

It's not "migrant" labor. It's labor which consists of people who _have broken US law_, and it's hired by people who are also breaking US law. It's like that article a few weeks back which called an armed home invader an "unwanted house visitor". These people _can't legally work here_, like, at all. If this is something you don't like, have your congresspeople change the law. Selective enforcement of laws is an insanely slippery slope, you won't like where it ends.

I'm an immigrant myself. I didn't just come here and start working. I had to go through a lot of hoops so that the US would make sure I wasn't going to be a burden and my presence in the US could be good for the US.

The law is already selectively enforced, which is my point. It's selectively enforced to benefit private business owners at the expense of both migrant laborers (who are brutalized by both the state and extremely harsh and unfair working conditions) and domestic laborers. And the nature of the immigration laws means that non-selective enforcement is impossible, since attempting to do so will always favor the lawbreaking of private business.

The normative question of whether we should or should not harbor resentment or moral outrage against poverty-stricken migrant workers doing backbreaking labor for a pittance isn't really relevant to an analysis of how the government's immigration policies are enforced and who benefits from them.

What penalty (or penalties) do you think is fair for companies that hire "people who have broken US law?"

> It's labor which consists of people who _have broken US law_, and it's hired by people who are also breaking US law

Of which Trump himself is guilty of [0]. Why isn't Trump in jail for that specific crime already then? You see the parent's point now?

[0] - https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-trump-organization-emp...

Seems like you wanted to use the verb "was", at least according to the article. And I very much doubt Trump knowingly hired illegals as there are severe criminal punishments for knowingly hiring more than 10.

> And I very much doubt Trump knowingly hired illegals

I very much doubt any somewhat-savvy businessperson hires illegals "knowingly". In other words, it's just plausible deniability.

Farmers do.


His position in indefensible, so he's moved on to another thread.

Whilst employing cheaper undocumented labour at a number of his properties to set an example?

Keep in mind that the reason it is being done is for appearances and popularity, not the actual underlying issue.

Most of the things you hear politicians talking about they don't care about beyond how the issue -- and what they say about it -- effects their power and electability.

That's a cynical view to take, so no, I won't "keep in mind". There's nothing wrong about popularity. So far he's doing all right on the jobs front.

Yeah he's doing alright on the jobs front by hiring undocumented workers for his own companies at the same time he's sending ICE to rip them out of other companies.

Cynical or not, it's more true than false. You can't just believe things you like...

huh? he's making the undocumented folks not powerless and able to demand at least minimum wage?

I guess that would do a good job at making poor Americans more competitive against undocumented workers

He's trying to prop up the working poor by reducing labor supply. I mean it's either that or putting them on welfare. And I don't know about you but I'd rather they were able to take care of themselves. I'll pay a little more at the grocery store.

It isn't sub-minimum though - farm labor rates in CA are $14+ - twice to three times minimum. There still isn't enough labor.

Is that with or without full-time benefits? And how do you know the "under the table" labor rates illegals get? Labor will be there if price of labor goes up. Price of labor will go up if supply is constrained. Economics 101. This is not a high skill occupation where there can be a genuine shortage of labor. This is way more elastic.

He himself employs a ton of illegal immigrants and his companies were even forging documents for them.

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