Via TPM, John McCain, trying to make a point, apparently thinks people won't pick lettuce for ten times the amount that actual lettuce-pickers get paid:
Now, my friends, I'll offer anybody here $50 an hour if you'll go pick lettuce in Yuma this season and pick for the whole season. So -- OK? Sign up. OK. You sign up. You sign up, and you'll be there for the whole season, the whole season. OK? Not just one day. Because you can't do it, my friend.
Fifty bucks an hour? Ten to twelve hours a day? That's not bad coin. Only trouble is, lettuce-pickers actually only get about $8 an hour, and they only work for a few weeks a year.
As Josh Marshall points out,
Who thinks you couldn't find Americans willing to work in lettuce fields if it paid over $100,000 a year? US labor statistics say the actual wage for this work is about $10,000 per year. And at that wage -- which, let's be honest, we all reap a benefit from in the form of cheap lettuce prices -- no wonder Americans are unwilling to do it.
At least McCain didn't mention cotton picking, unlike Lou Dobbs. But that's a different issue.