The answer is in the strawberries

I am so excited and hopeful for the future of our country. We are just weeks away from unleashing a new majority Democratic party in the U.S. House of Representatives. The opportunity for us to see what their platforms and promises hold for moving our country forward now rests squarely in Democratic party leadership.

Having recently given a pass to immigration reform, with the opportunity to make permanent a path for citizenship to thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children (DACA), we can now expect to see a formal plan on this topic. Having stood in objection to border security, we can now finally see what the plan is to prevent sneaking in over porous borders.

The easiest way to examine the issue of border security is to look up and read what “MS-13” is. It will likely help you formulate your opinion on border security.

A question I have heard from Democrats is that if we restrict (illegal) immigration, “Who will pick our strawberries?” That was a real eye-opener for me, because I had always thought Democrats were the party of labor, and here they are supporting slave labor at below minimum wage so they can have affordable strawberries! I now realize this is just like Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny – “the answer is in the strawberries.” I guess if they don’t want to pay the cost for strawberries at minimum wage, they could have a committee investigate the skyrocketing costs, or eat their shortcake with just whipping cream.

I have tried to convince that $15 per hour is not a living wage. It will take at least $25 per hour, with both adults in the home earning that amount, to be able to afford to run a household. Except over and above that wage they will also need health insurance, so they either get that on the (Un)Affordable Care Markets, or the cost of business for their employers must absorb that, and pass it on to the customers who buy their products. Ummm, that would be you.

Now we can finally see the plan to get control over runaway costs for medical care and prescription drugs like we were promised the last time the Democrats were in charge. We now have several years of data showing the unaffordable insurance mandate didn’t quite work out as planned.

With unemployment at historic lows, a growing economy, interest rates at reasonable levels, record high stock markets that result in great returns for your investments and pensions, it seems these other priorities can now take center stage.

What could possibly be more important? Is immigration reform, minimum wage, health care costs, and crumbling infrastructure not more important than, “We hate Trump, so we are going to open multiple committee hearings and investigations”? I guess the rise of MS-13 gangs and affordable health care may not be that important after all.

The answer is in the strawberries.

Lester Shields,