Migrant Worker’s Health in Our Fields

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Migrant Worker’s Health in our Fields

There are many hazards that go along with working in the farm fields as a migrant worker. The exposure to many agricultural chemicals poses a danger unlike any Americans face in their normal day to day jobs. Even the worst, and dirtiest, American job does not come close to the work-life as a migrant worker in the farm fields. In this paper I will first lay out the fundamentals of the culture of capitalism and concentrate on the laborer. Then I will move my focus mainly on one case study entitled “Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in the US: A review of health hazards, status, and policy” by Carol Sakala. In her paper she discusses the faults that the current health policy has. She also brings up four major occupational exposures – the pesticides used, the sun, injuries, and bad field sanitation. Sakala argues that the current health policies that deal with migrant farm workers need to change. Following the current programs and status of migrant workers in the U.S. will be an explanation of why it is important we change the current policies. By increasing awareness of the difficulty of America's migrant and seasonal farm workers, I hope to boost the development of a stronger public health setup and to improve the health status of these individuals.

In lecture the laborer was also defined as the workers. Along with the capitalist and the consumer, they are the group which is the laborer in the societal structure of capitalism. In class we gave an example of the structure of the nation state in terms of Santa Claus and the North Pole. In this example, Santa Claus is the fatherly man as the manager, the happy elves as the laborers and toys are the commodities. This is a good example to use because it highlights only the good and makes everything out to be a simple process in which the workers are singing and happy to be working. In reality, this is far from the case. Laborers such as migrant workers can be as young as eight years old and sometimes younger. This fact produces a much different picture – rather than a picturesque way of life with Jolly old St. Nick at the top, it is one of a dark warehouse or blindingly bright field instead. In this process of capitalism, the field or warehouse is the “black box” mentioned over and over in class. The “black box” is where money and commodities go in and produce goods to be sold and bought in the marketplace by way of the laborers (labor power) and means of production. The money that is then made goes back to the capitalist. This makes the process cyclical and never ending, as long as we continue to grow. This perpetual growth is important because if we did not have it, we would run out of things to sell. Everyone would save up enough money to buy the hottest thing on the market, such as a MacBook, and might stop seeing the need to produce money at all. Capitalism instead wants to produce more and more so that way consumerists have a never ending list of new things to buy.

A second example was shown in discussion to define the laborer. In our discussion we watched The Lorax. In this short film, the Onceler found trees with soft and colorful tufted tops and decided to produce “thneeds”. “Thneeds” could do many things and the Onceler thought these “thneeds” should be sold to all. He called up his aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings all to work (the laborers) to make these thneeds. Thneeds were made until all the softly tufted topped trees were cut down, down to the very last tree. Of course the actions of the Onceler had detrimental effects to the environment, just like capitalism does on ours. So the need to grow is important because if we did not do so capitalists would run out of things to sell, just as the Onceler did in The Lorax. In our economy, a capitalist would then most likely move on to the Brown bar-ba-loots and shave their fur for felted thneeds. Then once they were all used up move on to the birds for their feathers. In...
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