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Archive for September 28th, 2010

Not even the invisible hand

Stephen Colbert, of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” testified before a House subcommittee on the rights of migrant workers.

[photo: Drew Angerer/The New York Times]

After spending a day picking vegetables on a New York farm, Stephen Colbert testified on Capitol Hill as part of a panel on legalizing undocumented workers. Colbert made a case for the worker in his characteristically satirical style. NPR provides a neat summary of highlights, which includes his reason for testifying:

Mr. COLBERT: I like talking about people who dont have any power. And this seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come and do our work but dont have any rights as a result. And yet, we still invite them to come here. And at the same time, ask them to leave. And thats an interesting contradiction to me.

…and a jab at the “invisible hand”:

Mr. COLBERT: Normally, I would leave this to the invisible hand of the market. But the invisible had of the market has already moved over 84,000 acres of production and over 22,000 farm jobs to Mexico, and shutdown over a million acres of U.S. farmland due to lack of available labor, because apparently even the invisible hand doesnt want to pick beans.

Watch the entire testimony here.  (It is well worth the five minutes.)

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