Benefits and drawbacks of Obama second term - The Packer

Benefits and drawbacks of Obama second term

11/12/2012 12:28:00 PM
Tom Karst

National Editor Tom KarstWhat are the benefits of a second term for President Obama? What are the drawbacks for the produce industry?

That's the question I asked the Fresh Produce Indsutry Discussion Group. One early comment on the question pointed to immigration reform. As one member said, finally winning immigration reform may be a double-edged sword.

From the comment:

Here is one question I have: if immigration reform passes, making 20 million illegals into US citizens with a stroke of the pen, will growers lose the advantage of employing (no longer) illegal immigrants? Will labor laws now require that the new citizens be paid wages and benefits that increase the costs to growers over the current arrangement? Then what?


Also, I'm curious about what reader think about "Obamacare." How significant is the impact of the health care law on industry costs and competitiveness?

Check out this National Review story called "The Obamacare layoffs begin" and chime in.

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Raleigh, NC  |  November, 12, 2012 at 02:05 PM

I think as Obamacare becomes fully implemented in 2013, the new employment paradigm will be the 30 hour work week. Employers are being forced to this model by the restrictions placed on all those businesses who have - or who are approaching - 50 employees or more. The stories you are hearing about a new round of layoffs across all industries is the story of employers fully absorbing the impact of the new regulations, the cost of complying, and the pressure to withdraw healthcare coverage for their employees. The big employers will pay the fine and drop out of the employee benefits business; the small ones will stop hiring full-time employees to avoid a similar fate. Thirty-hour-per-week employees will be much in demand. Since the government will now dispense free healthcare insurance, people will not care whether the employer offers it or not - their only concern will be how much they earn. The two-income family could soon become a four-income family as moms and dads are forced to each work two jobs to make ends meet.

Barry Thoele    
Staples, MN  |  November, 12, 2012 at 03:13 PM

For my part, if this make the industry pay a living wage to what was once an illegal labor force it moves my business plan forward at an excellerated rate. It makes local produce a viable business venture again and makes it cost effective to grow where we eat. Thes will create jobs in areas that have lost industries and closes a gap in the food production that is long overdue. Prices will likely increase but, this will create countless opportunities for local hubs and create 1000's if not 10's of thousands of jobs and incomes for our freinds and neighbors here at home. Technologies that have been burried for years can be used to grow year round even in the cold north. This is an opportunity we had best take in the wake of climate change, drought and freshwater shortages facing the fields of the southwest. Can we afford not to? As to Obamacare coming from someone that has been without insurance because of a pre existing condition I have doubts as to the significance of those layoffs as opposed to the consequence of not bailing out the auto insdutry. That would have been devastaing this will be a rearrangement and a shift of labor.

Brandt Hardin  |  November, 12, 2012 at 06:35 PM

Despite all odds, our President prevailed. He still has an uphill battle fighting a Red House which has blocked his every move in an attempt to squash his goals of bringing the Middle Class equal pay, women’s rights, gay rights and affordable healthcare. The Bush Administration drove our economy into a swift nose dive and Obama is still the patsy. Watch conservative hands paint him in Blackface with a visual commentary of how Barack has been bamboozled at

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