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Unformatted text preview: University of California, Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ARE 150 Fall 2009 Philip Martin Dist 10/1/09 [email protected] Due 10/13/09 Answers to Review Questions 2 Please type or write neatly, and put your discussion section, 4-5 or 5-6, on your answers. Each answer is worth one point. 1. A. US immigration restrictions in the 1920s aimed to “freeze” the ethnic composition of the US by imposing a quota on each Eastern Hemisphere country that reflected the number of persons from that country in the US in 1890 (later 1910). With migration from Asia largely blocked except for the Philippines (a US territory) and immigration from Europe restricted (and not the source of many seasonal farm workers in any event), California farmers turned to Mexico for workers, even though the WWI Bracero program of 1917-21 had ended. Illegal entry was easy (there was no Border Patrol until 1923), and farmers (1) hired Mexicans who arrived and (2) recruited Filipinos for e.g. grape harvesting (keys—US legislation did not apply to Mexico and W Hemisphere, and there was no effective way to keep out illegal Mexicans; Filipinos recruited). B. As farm workers got more mobile in the 1920s, farmers formed organizations to set “standard wages” to discourage workers from migrating from farm to farm to seek “one cent more” in wages. These employer monoposonies helped to hold down labor costs as FVH agriculture expanded. With all farmers paying the same wage, there was no incentive for workers to migrate in search of higher wages. Some farmers began to hire workers via FLCs who organized workers into crews and profited from the wedge or difference between what farmers paid to have work done and what was paid to workers. FLCs prompted labor disputes, as in the Imperial Valley in the late 1920s when workers went on strike to protest a farmer requirement that all workers be hired via FLCs. 2. A. The background for the 1930s farm labor reform proposals were (1) numerous strikes, peaking in 1933, that required government intervention to resolve (answers can mention that the strikes were prompted in part by farm prices raised by government policies in 1933, but many farmers did not raise wages despite rising farm prices), (2) the organizing activities of communists and radicals among farm workers, (3) the “unfairness” of federal farm policies that helped farmers while federal labor policies excluded farm workers, and (4) the very visible poverty of white Midwestern farm families in labor camps around the state. B. Major 1930s farm labor reformers included (1) UCB economist Paul Taylor (married to photographer Dorthea Lange), who wanted to create an Iowa in CA by breaking up big CA farms and turning hired workers into family farmers; (2) lawyer Carey McWilliams, who coined the term factories in the fields and wanted to apply factory labor laws to workers employed on large farms to protect them; (3) Senator Lafollette’s Subcommittee, which documented the...
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This note was uploaded on 01/13/2012 for the course ARE 150 taught by Professor Martin during the Fall '08 term at UC Davis.

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are150-review-questions-2-answers - University of...

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