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The Secret — I Saw, Close-up, the Real Root of Global Economic Collapse

Want to know the root of the global economic crash? Go to Florida.

Yes, the state’s become infamous for its manic house “flipping,” but in a deeper sense the crash can best be understood by paying attention to other disturbing news from Florida. Just drive northwest from Miami to Immokalee. If you’ve bought tomatoes this winter, there’s a good chance they were harvested here. And there you’ll see it.

We all know that when a big tree is toppled in a storm, its roots get exposed. In today’s financial hurricane, big roots are sticking out of Immokalee’s sandy soils. There, this week, as part of a delegation sponsored by Just Harvest, suddenly abstract economic “forces” got very real for me — embodied in human lives, human faces. Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney General Doug Molloy described as “slavery, plain and simple”* some of what is happening here: For locking up, beating and threatening field workers— some for up to two years — seven prosecutions in a dozen years have sent men to prison. I got to see the “legal” parts of what’s going on. Twenty thousand farm workers live in Immokalee, and each day many gather at dawn hoping a grower will choose them to pick tomatoes till dusk.