Friday, December 09, 2005

What?--you mean it's really all about getting more MONEY?

[commenting on this article]

Study: Illegal Immigrants Not Drawn by Jobs
By Darryl Fears
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 7, 2005; Page A11


Okay, so here's how it goes -- U.S. corporations "legally" send their
factories (and jobs) south and overseas to not have to pay as much,
and Mexican illegal immigrants get themselves north so that they'll
get paid *more* (much of which they often send home to remaining
family in Mexico, effectively drawing on one national economy to
support another one)...thereby increasing competition in the U.S. for
a lessening number of labouring, factory and other semi-skilled
jobs. That part is true.

Which has led to, and will lead to more of, a decline in the general
working-class standard of living, aided and abetted by the higher
birthrates typical of people with less schooling, earlier ages of
marriage, and stronger religious/cultural mores. A 'positive' view
would be that this will help to equalize the economic conditions
between the U.S. and Mexico and the other 'Third World'/developing
nations it likes doing its business in -- but I doubt that that'll
happen peacefully, and I don't think that many people here would
consider it an improvement. [The current administration's proposal
(the "guest worker" program) of granting an effective amnesty to
people already here illegally seems to omit any clear requirements or
even polite requests/preferences (in contrast to official immigration
and visa standards, should anyone care to examine them) that the
persons thus admitted should be an asset and not a drain to the
nation's infrastructure and economy and overall productivity.
[dated; research in detail if desired] Which
makes me come off sounding pretty protectionist, I suppose....but
then, the best ways to make and keep a nation strong involve
maximizing the existing population's potential -- not waging a "race
to the bottom" via mutual economic exploitation.

If anything, American companies raising wages in their foreign-based
locations (and attending to human rights for their workers, too)
would be one of the best ways possible to encourage people to stay in
their own countries and take pride in them where they are, rather
than heading off to other lands for the sake of economic opportunity
without any intended allegiance to the host nation itself. Though,
that does require a certain illogical amount of national loyalty on the part of
the so-called "multinational" corporations, to realize that their own
home country/ies' best interests are served by not taking advantage
of others' homelands. It might even require a certain amount of
loophole-closing and honesty on a global scale -- but beginning with
national governments having some dignity and pride in their own
people, and refusing to let them be exploited and sold short for the
sake of illusory economic progress -- i.e., that kind that is
currently measured out on stringent terms of domestic de-
stabilization by the IMF, but whose benefits tend to either remain in
the hands of foreign investors, or never to trickle down through the
government agencies who have been dis-encouraged (subtly or not) from
taking care of their own people's needs. Governments do not and
should not exist for the sake of serving the government's needs but
those of the people, without whom they would not exist.

And whom do corporations serve, then, in these days of borderless
buying and trading and investing and maximizing profit margins? I'm
inclined to say they're largely guided by the interests of pirates.
By which of course I mean those who intend to take all they can via
their dealings in other people's labour and goods, with as little
restraint as possible.

Though, back in the good old days, pirates risked their own lives for
their plunder (gad, it's the least they could do!), and even had
governments out hunting for them, and stiff penalties--like death--
for their crimes. These days, they have the government so in their
pocket that they're not only going unpunished but rewarded for
squeezing the most they can get out of investments they never put in
a day's labour for. Capital gains and investment dividends don't
just come from nowhere....somewhere, somehow, someone is paying far
more than they should so that someone else is paying as little as
they can get away with. And a lot of people are working for
practically nothing so that others can get money for doing no work
atall. If the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, as
any supposed representative democracy would seem to recognize, then
why tolerate the assumption that any socioeconomic elite, no matter
how powerful or pampered from birth, is exempt from the laws that
govern the less-powerful, or somehow too important to ever suffer
full penalties for their deeds, no matter whom they injure, ruin, or
even kill through their choices.

A long way of rhetoric from illegal immigrants from Mexico...but
really, maybe not. After all, everyone's just trying to get ahead,
and we ought not to let the sheer convenience of "hating the
foreigner" get in the way of seeing the underlying reasons why people
do what they do, and what's really precipitating and enabling the
situation. Those caught in the middle at the borders and in the
cities aren't the ones in control, and perhaps they ought to look a
bit harder at those that are.

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