The job pays minimum wage to cut up fish, but it got fifty applicants, presumably citizens or legal immigrants. If you pay bottom-of-the-barrel wages, you can’t really complain uch about the quality of your labor.

It makes pretty good sense that whether it’s picking tomatoes in Alabama or picking lettuce in Arizona: If you pay people enough, they’re going to do it.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.