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View Diary: Median U.S. household income fell 5% between 1999 and 2009. Globalization remains the core problem (201 comments)

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  •  Go ahead and call me names (0+ / 0-)

    but a completely open-door immigration policy is part of this problem. American wages are undercut by people right here.

    Let tyrants fear.-Queen Elizabeth I

    by Virginia mom on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 03:21:59 PM PDT

    •  Will not call you names... (5+ / 0-)

      I am not going to call anybody names or treat them disrespectful just becaue the have a different view..

      I haven't studied the issue of how much open ended immigration has depressed wages. I've viewed that more as conservatives trying to get people to direct their anger at something besides corporate greed...

      But if you have information on how this has depressed wages I'm open to reading it.

      "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" - Dorothy Day

      by joedemocrat on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 03:26:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's possible, but who knows? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Presumably, if they enforced immigration laws on all employers, they would all be at least paying minimum wage and there would be less of a race to the bottom.

        In fact, all things being equal, the employers would probably avoid hiring immigrants just because of the hassle, and because there'd be no financial incentive for doing so.

        Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

        by Bush Bites on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 03:37:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, at least you are somewhat consistent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      For my own part, I don't agree with you or MB.

      I am not better than any immigrant. And I have no more intrinsic right to work than any impoverished Mexican.

      Ok, so I read the polls.

      by andgarden on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 03:29:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As long as goods, services, capital... (9+ / 0-)

        ...and financial capital are allowed (encourage) to cross borders freely, but if people are stopped from doing so, the consequences will always result in unfair outcomes. The ultimate objective should be worldwide solidarity with working people (which is most people). But telling Americans (or Chinese when their new jobs are soon exported to Chad) that it's all about finding the cheapest labor market is not a solution to anybody's impoverishment.

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 03:38:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I believe that people should be free (0+ / 0-)

          to cross borders, just like my great grandparents did 100 years ago. Surely you don't believe that would solve the problem you identify in this diary?

          Ok, so I read the polls.

          by andgarden on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 03:41:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  absolutely. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          NAFTA and WTO have as their ultimate aim the elimination of economic borders, and that means that if jobs are free to cross borders, workers too must be free to follow the jobs. And of course national political borders are already utterly irrelevant to multinational corporations who have plants, offices and workers literally all over the world.

          It is inevitable that the very idea of a political border will disappear, as economic globalization inevitably leads to political globalization.  In the not-distant future, crossing the US-Mexico border or the China-Russia border will be no more a matter than crossing the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border.

          We no longer live in a world of nation-states. Inevitably, they will disappear.

    •  I don't think so. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat, shaharazade, fritzi56, Balto

      I don't think the jobs that immigrants do, from software writing all the way down to orange picking, would pay substantially more than they do already.

      What we have to do is get back to basics: making things and selling them for both domestic consumption and international markets.

      What we need to do is what every other nation does: practice economic nationalism.

    •  an excerpt from my diary series on that point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fritzi56, truong son traveler


      One of the most common refrains heard in the US—largely from rightwing nationalists but also from many labor unions—is that immigrants (particularly illegal immigrants) are flooding into the US and “taking our jobs”. In Arizona, draconian laws were passed targeting illegal immigrants, and several other states considered similar measures. The Coalition for the Future American Worker, a conglomeration of anti-immigration groups who advocate limiting both legal and illegal immigration, ran ads proclaiming, “With millions jobless, our government is still bringing in a million-and-a-half foreign workers a year to take American jobs.” Republican Senator Jim DeMint announced, “South Carolina has already passed laws to crack down on illegal immigrants. Many other states are also under a lot of pressure because of high unemployment to not let illegal immigrants come and take jobs,” while Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan opposed legal immigration as well as legal immigration, saying, “I don’t think you need a professor to understand that when you import substantial cheap labor, it displaces American workers.”  

      Most economic studies have rejected the hypothesis that immigration, whether legal or illegal, displaces American workers, raises unemployment, or hurts the economy. A study conducted by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think-tank funded by corporations, foundations and international organizations, concluded: “The impact of immigration remains small, for several reasons. Immigrants are not competitive in many types of jobs, and hence are not direct substitutes for natives. Local employers increase demand for low-skilled labor in areas that receive low-skilled immigrant inflows. Immigrants contribute to demand for goods and services that they consume, in turn increasing the demand for labor. And immigrants contribute to labor market efficiency and long-term economic growth.” A study carried out by the Bush White House found, “The foreign-born are associated with much of the employment growth in recent years. Between 1996 and 2003, when total employment grew by 11 million, 58 percent of the net increase was among foreign-born workers… Employment of natives as operators, fabricators, and laborers fell by 1.4 million between 1996 and 2002, while employment in such occupations grew by 930,000 among the foreign-born. This should not be taken as evidence that the foreign-born displace native workers; rather, it reflects the fact that immigrants have made up all of the growth in the low-skilled workforce.” Other studies have noted that the primary effect of immigration is to push down wages among low-wage jobs held by natives without high-school diplomas, by an average 7%—wages for higher-paying jobs were unaffected.

      When, during the Bush Administration, a law was introduced that would provide a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants which would allow them to stay in the US, the measure was opposed by the anti-immigrant American nationalists. It was also opposed by most American labor unions (the AFL-CIO, Teamsters, United Auto Workers and the construction worker unions), who clung to their traditional attitude of defending only “American” workers and treating “foreigners” as enemies. Only the Service Employees International Union, the United Farm Workers, and Unite Now (which represents hotel, restaurant and textile workers) supported the bill, arguing that if immigrants were going to be here anyway, it was better to make them legal so they could be organized, rather than forcing them to become a pool of cheap exploited labor without rights.

      To the corporations, the entire debate was irrelevant. National borders no longer mattered to them, and as they moved factories at will all across the globe, free trade agreements that allowed uninhibited movement of jobs across borders also guaranteed that workers too would follow the jobs across the borders, legally or not. In many cases, instead of exporting jobs to Mexico or China, it was easier and cheaper for American business to import the Mexican or Chinese workers here instead—a form of “internal outsourcing”. It simply doesn't matter to the corporations whether the cheap workers move here, or whether the jobs move there to the cheap workers. Either way, the corporations get to pay people low wages for unregulated work, and make boatloads of money. Which is of course all they care about.

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