In California, it's kill the goats, keep the union hogs happy
California has come up with a new absurdity, one that stands to raise the wildfire damage risk, even as insurers such as State Farm are already pulling out.
Goats. They're going after the goats, making it so expensive for goatherders to graze goats on the state's firetrap hillsides that their employing companies say they will go out of business. No more goats grazing on hillsides, wolfing down tons of dry tinder for this wildfire-prone state.
According to the Associated Press:
Targeted grazing is part of California’s strategy to reduce wildfire risk because goats can eat a wide variety of vegetation and graze in steep, rocky terrain that’s hard to access. Backers say they’re an eco-friendly alternative to chemical herbicides or weed-whacking machines that are make noise and pollution.
But new state labor regulations are making it more expensive to provide goat-grazing services, and herding companies say the rules threaten to put them out of business. The changes could raise the monthly salary of herders from about $3,730 to $14,000, according to the California Farm Bureau.Companies typically put about one herder in charge of 400 goats. Many of the herders in California are from Peru and live in employer-provided trailers near grazing sites. Labor advocates say the state should investigate the working and living conditions of goatherders before making changes to the law, especially since the state is funding goat-grazing to reduce wildfire risk.
Way to go, California, o model for the country.
Instead of letting goats graze weed-filled hillsides to their heart's content, managed by experienced Peruvian goatherds, all to prevent California wildfires from having anything at all to burn, the Peruvians will get laid off. What a fine deal that will be for the state, which will instead pay out unemployment benefits rather than allow these agricultural specialists to work gainfully. As for the goats, off to the slaughterhouse for them, no more hillside feasting. Where is PETA?
And as for the hillsides, time to burn, and too bad about the homes, or whole towns that get engulfed, as the city of Paradise has learned.
Maybe the state can clear the tinder on the hillsides through the miracle of toxic chemicals instead. Or maybe they can do targeted burns and hope nothing gets out of control, never mind the CO2 emissions and black-smoke air pollution. Maybe they can just cross their fingers and hope there aren't any bums or illegals to set up illegal campfires in the bone-dry brushland.
AP notes that the state has ramped up spending on fire protection, but obviously, it can't be for any solution that's easy or natural.
As for the goatherders, well, supposedly they are underpaid and must get $14,000 a month instead of the nearly $4,000 they are currently earning, according to the proposed new law
The creature behind this idiocy is a familiar face ... none other than Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, whose husband recently got thrown out of office for sex harassment in San Diego, and whose most famous line was "F*** Elon Musk" for his complaints about the impact of lockdowns to his Tesla manufacturing plant. Her foul mouth managed to get Musk to pack up and leave the state, leaving Gonzalez with egg all over her face, even though a little extra food on her didn't seem to bother her.
Gonzalez was a powerful state legislator when she drove out Musk. She swapped that job to be a union boss, running the California Labor Federation, and now harasses goatherding companies whose stock in trade is greenie-friendly fire protection. She's always been the face of the "California Model" that Gov. Gavin Newsom says he wants to impose on the rest of the country. AP explained what she claimed were her reasons for targeting the goat companies:
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, who heads the California Labor Federation, said goatherders are among the “most vulnerable workers in America” because they are on temporary work visas and can be fired and sent back to their home country anytime. Most of them work in isolation, speak minimal English and don’t have the same rights as Americans or green-card holders.
“We have a responsibility as a public to ensure that every worker who’s working in California is treated with dignity and respect, and that includes these goatherders,” said Gonzalez Fletcher, who sponsored the farmworker overtime bill when she was a state Assemblywoman representing San Diego.
Which is total garbage, such as always comes from her.
Goatherders are paid $3,730 a month, instead of a salary, because the job requires them to live on the land in mobile trailers in order to monitor and protect the animals at close range, moving with them as they graze. Gonzalez insists that the companies pay them $14,000 a month, accounting for every hour spent on call as a paid hour, which is to say, an hourly wage for 24 hours even if the herders are out watching the ball game on call. In addition to the $4,000 they do get, that's augmented by zero expenses for food, housing, and phone service, so they can stay in touch with their families in Peru while on work assignments abroad. The average monthly salary for all workers in Peru in all sectors -- the big cities, the countryside, the rainforest, the rich areas, the tourist sector, in tech, in the universities, and not just the poorly paid agricultural sector, is $391 a month in 2022, according to Statista. That means the $4,000 is likely a very good job for the Peruvian goatherders abroad, given that they have few expenses in the states, with a heck of a leap upward in cash inflow.
But who cares about that when you are a union official looking to impose the union agenda on the state a little harder? The now-union poohbah is actually content to let the state burn, the goats get eaten, and the Peruvian workers to lose their jobs, all for the sake of her out-of-control California "model."
Now the fires will burn, the homes will vanish, the insurance companies will flee, and the body count will pile up, all because the goats and their goatherders were not allowed to be there to perform their vital service to the state. Gonzalez doesn't care, of course. Goats? No, not goats. For Gonzalez, it's all about keeping the union hogs happy.
Image: Pixabay / Pixabay License