If You Want Strawberry Fields Forever, You Need Migrant Labor

A Year-Round Supply of Low-Priced Food Demands Seasonal Workers Free to Cross Borders

Two hundred years ago this year, British economist David Ricardo published his monumental work “On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.” In it he outlined a theory of international trade based on the notion of comparative advantage. The idea is that each country does something, maybe many somethings, relatively well, and they can therefore specialize and trade with each other to their mutual benefit.

Economics has since gone well beyond Ricardo’s analysis. But it remains instructive when it comes to agricultural products. And that brings me to strawberries.

Everyone loves strawberries. …

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La La Land’s Debt to Ethnic Musicals of Yore

Its “Burst-Into-Song” Style Echoes the Intimacy of Early Black, Mexican, and Jewish Productions

“Without a nickel to my name/ Hopped a bus/ Here I came …” So sings a young woman at the start of La La Land, the original musical film by …

Chasing Holocaust Ghosts Down Route 66

Coping with Survival, My Father Took the Family for the Ride of Our Lives on America’s Mother Road

When I was 9 my father, Jacob, uprooted me from my magical boyhood in Detroit to chase ghosts down historic Route 66. We were bound for L.A.

Like Dust Bowl Okies, …

When Immigration Isn’t a One-Way Street

My Great-Grandfather Came to California from China to Work on the Railroads, and Our Family Has Gone Back and Forth Ever Since

When my great-grandfather made his way from China to the United States in the 1920s, I doubt he ever imagined his grandchildren and great-grandchildren would make their way back. California …