In response to last week’s columns, all of the facts I learned came from Minnesota newspaper articles.
I relied on the following:
• AGCO is simply unable to find employees for its new expansion in Jackson, Minn.
• There is no housing available for potential employees to move into, anywhere in Jackson or the surrounding area.
• The lack of potential employees is so dire that the company is expending huge sums to buy robots to do some of the work.
• Each robot replaces three existing or potential employees. I didn’t see anything in last week’s responses of Pete Abler, the Jackson mayor and economic development president and writer Moe to refute any of the above facts.
The Jackson mayor and economic development president expectably tout their town. They acknowledge they don’t have housing to accommodate the needed expansions in employees. They “will work through the challenges” to ensure housing and amenities.
They say they got city, county, state and federal support to locate there. I wonder how many government dollars were expended to provide what the Brainerd area already has?
They say, “AGCO entertained offers from across the nation to manufacture its most advanced machines.” I said simply that it would have been opportune, and I wish they had taken a comparative look at Brainerd.
As to writer Moe and her two questions: I didn’t know I was writing an “accusatory” article, and I most certainly was not planning a thesis. I thought it was just another opinion for our local newspaper. The obvious answer to the second question is “no.”
Again, I just write opinion columns on the limited knowledge I have at the moment. I try hard to stay with the accuracy of facts that cause the opinion. I am not an investigative journalist. I am not a journalist.
However, if I were to set out on any “investigative” effort of a large complex operation in Jackson, Minn., I’d need a lot more than 10 minutes on the phone, and base such effort on a great deal more than contacting a few city officials and the Chamber of Commerce.
As to Mr. Abler, I challenge that facts I used are more accurate than the non-existent ones used to assert that communities are helpless at accepting illegal immigrants as “they are excoriated or bullied into submission by our own federal government” ... ”with President Obama at the helm has ignored or circumvented the Constitution seemingly countless occasions to force cities and states to ‘suck it up’ when confronted with the very same problem pointed out by Mr. Bye.”
Has he talked to Bigfork or Willmar lately? Aren’t most illegals drawn in by corporate employers looking for cheap sources of labor?