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Homo sapiens have always been restless critters. Not content to remain in the natural environment where they evolved, they have wandered over the globe creating disruption and discontent. This flow of humanity has been channeled by forces both natural and human created. Globalization as an increasing movement and interaction of people in various parts of the world has been going on in waves for a very long time. The two world wars and the great depression were a major disruption of the great wave that took place during the 19th C. Since WWII there has been a new wave which has been strongly influenced by the neoliberal ideology of the Washington consensus.

We are concerned here with the mass flows of migrant labor which have been a part of this globalization and specifically with the flows from non-industrialized nations to industrial nations. That is not an entirely tidy characterization, but it will do as a jumping off point.

The primary data source for this diary is from the World Bank. The definition of a migrant worker being used here is someone who is working in a country of which he or she is not a citizen. The World Bank estimates that there are about 216 million people who fit this definition. There are subgroups of this population with which we are not concerned here. Some of them involve interesting stories, but they are different stories from the one that we want to look at.

The European Union has developed a fairly open labor market among its 27 member states. There are still transitional restrictions for some of the newer members. Bulgaria and Romania are still more like third world economies than advanced industrial states, but all workers in the EU do have some common rights and legal protections.

There is a special situation for the nations that were the constituent republics of the former USSR. The efforts to integrate the empire left people scattered far and wide when it fell apart. Russia for example shows about 12 M non-Russians working in Russia and about 12 M Russians working elsewhere. There is a similar pattern with the other neighboring states. The general pattern seems to be more one of people who are stuck someplace rather than moving around to seek opportunities.

There is labor flow between industrialized nations such as the US and Canada, the US and Germany, etc. that doesn't see to raise major points of conflict and controversy. There is usually not a lot of wage and skill arbitrage involved. I have weeded out these situations from the data and am focusing on labor flows that represent significant global imbalances.

There are various forms of terminology to describe the pronounced differences that exist between nations. First world/third world, developed/developing, industrial/non(pre)-industrial all are in common usage. None of them are entirely satisfactory. Global north and global south have more recently come into usage. We have one group of nations:

The US
The EU
New Zealand

that share common economic and cultural characteristics. They are the world's richest nations with complex industrial economies and urban societies. Added to these we have the special case of the oil rentier states of the Persian Gulf.

We have another group of nations that are poor to varying degrees with non-industrial economies and societies that are agrarian to some extent.

Most of Africa
Much of South America and the Caribbean nations
South Asia

The differences between these two groups are numerous and pronounced. In addition to the economic contrast the nations of the global north have populations with low birth rates and an increasing average age. The economies are showing slow rates of growth. The nations of the global south tend to have high birth rates and a much lower average age than the north.

These two sections have a heritage of colonialism. In some cases it was direct as with European nations and their formal colonies in Africa and South Asia. In other cases it was less direct as with the US and its historical dealings Latin America. The effects of these asymmetrical relationships have endured into the 21st C. Before exploring those relationships let us look at the picture of labor flows between these two blocs of nations.

First there are the nations where the migrant workers go to find jobs. This chart attempts to focus on the flow from global south to global north. For example with France migrant workers from other EU states, the US and Canada have been excluded.


There are essentially two different groups of countries on this list. First are small rentier states where a substantial majority of the workforce is made up of migrants from South Asian countries. All of these with the exception of Singapore are oil economies in the Persian Gulf region. The migrants are for the most part there on temporary labor contracts. However, in some cases these contracts have lasted for many years.

The migrant labor for Jordan represents the same sources of migrant labor as the gulf states but they form a smaller portion of the workforce. Israel is a particular situation. A large number of the non-citizen workers are from the countries of the former USSR and are likely in the process of becoming Israeli citizens. However, there has been a more recent trend of bringing in Asian labor.

Israel Grows Uneasy Over Reliance on Migrant Labor  

That leaves us with the world's advanced industrial economies. The migrants working there are present under a variety of arrangements. In Europe many of them are from former colonies of the receiving nation. Many of them in Europe and the US are there on undocumented status and subject to deportation. They represent people who are willing to work for lower wages than the prevailing wage for citizen workers or to take low skilled service jobs that are supposedly difficult to fill. This of course creates conflicts with citizen workers who feel that they are faced with unfair/illegal competition.

Most of the EU nations have about 15% of their workforce from migrants from the global south. The US has 25%. The notable exception is Japan with only 3%. Japan is notable for being the world's most homogeneous population. It also has the world's oldest population. There is great resistance to allowing non-Japanese into the country.

Now let us look at where these people are coming from.

We can see that there are a number of countries that have a substantial portion of their citizens working elsewhere because they are unable to provide work and sustenance for them. The absent workers often mean families left behind. It is not simply a matter of these workers going somewhere to support themselves. The portions of their wages that they return to their home countries as remittances constitute large financial flows and for some nations are a significant aspect of national GDP.

Behind these rather impersonal statistics there are real people with real lives. There are the migrant workers and their families. Few of the workers flowing from the global south to the global north have much in the way of legal rights and protections. In the cases where they are present without documented entry they are in complete legal limbo. However, many of those on officially recognized labor contracts have experienced a wide variety of abuse and exploitation. Human rights organizations have been issuing reports on the matter for a number of years.

For Asian and African migrant domestic workers, the Gulf is a golden cage

Fleeing extreme poverty and harsh living conditions, millions of migrant domestic workers from across Asia and Africa flock to the oil-rich Persian Gulf. Leaving underdeveloped countries such as Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Nepal and Ethiopia, the workers seek higher salaries which they send home as remittances. However, higher wages often come at a high cost in human rights abuses and labor violations.

ESRC Project: Migrants in the UK Sex Industry

In an environment of increasing labour migration, ever more restrictive immigration policy and an increasingly globalised capitalism that favours ‘flexible’, and low paid, workers, migrants have come to form the majority of those who sell sex. Debates on migration and the sex industry are often characterised by an ethnicist anti-migrant discourse, by an almost exclusive focus on women, as well as by a marked emphasis on trafficking and exploitation.

The list of documented abuses of various types goes on for many pages. For most of these people migrant work does not represent the fabled gateway to opportunity that is often portrayed for 19th C immigrants. Immigration is often not an available option, even if that were what they were looking for. It is a difficult and sometimes dangerous way to make a very modest living.

So, just how did this rather depressing state of affairs come about. One basic reality is that since WWII the world has for the first time basically reached it carrying capacity for homo sapiens, at least in terms of the way that we live or aspire to live. As a species we are out of ecological balance. We also have an economic history of arbitrary imperialism that has led to a very unequal distribution of resources. We have experienced a process of globalization and reallocation and redistribution of resources. It generally operates under an economic/political ideology that is termed neoliberalism. A set of international institutions was created at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 that were tailored to the specifications of the US. They are the International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, and what eventually developed into The World Trade Organization. They have been controlled by the governments and financial institutions of the US and EU. They have followed a consistent set of essentially integrated policies in dealing with the global economy. These policies are known as the Washington Consensus.

There is not space here to go into a detailed economic history of the post-war world. However, as far as the impact on much of the global south has been to perpetuate the imbalances of 19th and early 20th C colonialism and imperialism. Even as formal colonialism was at last brought to a close the dependent economic relationships were continued. Efforts by newly independent countries to nurture the development of more diversified economies that could provide better employment for their citizens were usually blocked by the international development agencies. Economies that remained predominantly agrarian were increasingly reoriented to agriculture for export, destroying the ability of traditional agricultural structures to provide food for existing populations.

There is of course another story of the impact of neoliberal globalization that is much better known. That is the shift of the manufacturing economy from the older industrialized nations of the US and EU to the newly industrializing nations of Asia. That has of course decreased the supply of manufacturing jobs in the nations where many of the migrant workers are headed. To some extent the shift of manufacturing jobs to countries such as India and Bangladesh provides employment opportunities for people who might otherwise have been forced to migrate. The reality for those countries is that they have such huge populations with limited ability to support them, that the flow of jobs coming in and workers going out really don't make much of a dent in the problem.

Now before everyone gets hopelessly depressed by this picture we should pause for a message from those nice people at The World Bank who provided the statistics.

This is a report focused on Europe and Middle East/North Africa but their rosy outlook would be similar elsewhere.

“SHAPING THE FUTURE”: A Long-Term Perspective of People and Job Mobility for the Middle East and North Africa

How does this globalizing trend impact industrial and developing countries?

Both industrial and developing countries stand to benefit from better-organized mobility schemes, more opportunities for labor migration, and better matching between skill demand and skill supply. This is very much the case for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Europe, where important migration links exist. Currently, migration is the main form of global integration for MENA countries, and is making an important contribution to household incomes and national economies in the region. Yet, the scope for improving migration outcomes is significant. And attracting outsourced jobs is becoming an important feature of employment creation in many MENA countries.

What is the global outlook for job mobility and migration?

The dynamics vary significantly by region, with some regions, notably Europe, facing the prospects of a rapid decline in population and labor force. In the absence of migration, and assuming that participation rates remain unchanged, Central Asia, the high-income countries in East Asia as well as China, Europe, and North America would collectively lose 216 million workers between now and 2050.  The European Union alone would experience a loss of 66 million workers; a decline of almost one-third, and by 2050, there will be about two retirees per every one active person.

This is a brief excerpt from the introduction, but it conveys the general tone .

As a long time certified left wing pinko (faggot too but that's another story) I can conceive of a world that attempts to make some equitable distribution of resources to the people living on the planet. That would doubtless involve moving people, jobs and things around a bit. However, I am entirely confident that as long as the neoliberal regime retains the upper hand, the net result of the movement will be less equality and equity instead of more. There are definitely constructive steps that could be taken to make countries and their economies more self sufficient. They have been obvious for a long time. The myth that has been promoted is that by indiscriminately shaking the jug we will all be better off.


Originally posted to Anti-Capitalist Meetup on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The numbers never cease to amaze....Globalization (5+ / 0-)

    during the good times and 'Papers Please' during the bad.....Methinks we're in a bad period.

  •  It is implausible that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, debedb

    95% of the Israeli workforce consists of non-citizens from non-industrial countries.  (Your definition of migrant: "The definition of a migrant worker being used here is someone who is working in a country of which he or she is not a citizen.")  Nor does your explanation, that many of these (supposed) migrants are in the process of becoming citizens work.  First, immigrants from the former Soviet Union who entered under the Law of Return gained immediate citizenship.  Second, mass immigration from these countries is now many years in the past.

    Could you, please, provide a working link?

    •  I provided a link to the World Bank data. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat, lams712, allie123

      You can go explore it there. Israel is fairly tangential the the global issues that I was interested in with this diary.

      •  The link doesn't work . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Oops! This link appears to be broken.
        Go to worldbank.­org
        Go to econ.­worldbank.­org
        Go to sitemap www.­worldbank.­org/­sitemap
        Search for WEBSITE EXTERNAL EXTDEC PROSPECTS 0 contentMDK 21352016~pa
        Search on Google:

          •  Thanks. But the data don't support the diary. (0+ / 0-)

            From the diary:

            2,940,494 migrants
            3,080.000 workforce
            95% percent of workforce

            From the World Bank page for Israel:

            Labor force (millions, 2008) 2.9 million

            IMMIGRATION, 2010

            ■ Stock of immigrants: 2,940.5 thousand

            ■ Stock of immigrants as percentage of population: 40.4

            In other words, the data are telling us that immigrants make up approximately 40% of the Israeli workforce.  But the data don't tell us how many of these immigrants were not citizens of Israel in 2010.  In 2008, the last year for which the Statistical Abstract of Israelprovides data, 5,569.2  thousand of Israel's total population of 7,374.0 thousand were Jews.  Presumably, virtually all of them were citizens.

            •  You're misreading it. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NY brit expat, annieli, lams712, tardis10

              First of all, it's obvious the numbers are odd, but the diarist noted that and offered a few reasonable explanations.  And the diarist is merely passing along the World Bank's numbers.

              You're misreading the data here:

              In other words, the data are telling us that immigrants make up approximately 40% of the Israeli workforce.

              The data tell us that immigrants make up half the population.  

              ■ Stock of immigrants as percentage of population: 40.4

              A decent rule of thumb is that only half the population is working age.  So that 40% number is in line with the diarist's figures.

      •  I was thinking about the same (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat

        Does the definition exclude people who have come as refugees ? (Link is broken, so I can´t check).

        In my country Norway most non-European immigrants come either as refugees or through family reunification.

        From the list of countries that are sending migrants mentoned in your diary, we have received most from Bosnia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

        But they have practically all come either as refugees or through family reunification (and will normally become citizens eventually).

        •  My understanding is that it includes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli, NY brit expat

          anyone who is working in a country of which they are not a citizen. Some of those people have intent to become citizens, others do not. Most places it is fairly difficult to qualify for refugee status.

          •  But regugees is a somewhat different issue (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat, denise b

            than migrant work.

            In Scandinavia at least, it´s a big problem that many of the regugees don´t have the qualifications/language skills that employers are requiring. They will often attend several years of paid qualification program before they can start working.  Even if most refugees eventually start working this kind of immigration is not necessarily economically beneficial for the receiving countries, and it´s not for economic profit that the refugees are accepted in the first place.

            (Few asylium seekers to Scandinavia qualify for refugee status, however many get to stay for humanitarian reasons, and they are normally referred to as refugees).

        •  migrant labour is different than those (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that formally enter a country as political refugees or immigrants. In some cases, they literally have no intention on staying in the country in which they work but work for a specific length of time often dictated by visas (if they are legal) or travel at specific times of the year if they are agricultural migrant labour; often they enter the country illegally without visas and are completely unprotected from extreme exploitation, have no access to health care, etc.

          History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

          by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:36:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The term gets used differently (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat

            in different contexts. In the US it often refers to agricultural workers who follow crops from one state to another.

            •  usually the term migrant labour does not (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Richard Lyon, tardis10

              refer to immigrants, these are people who go to work under specific visas (if legal) for a defined period of time. This was the case for Palestinians and Egyptians who went to work in the gulf states in the oil and construction industry; their remittances back home often provided the main source of income for their families back home. It caused massive changes in Egypt especially in the rural areas where women took control over the households as their husbands were gone also doing agricultural labour to add to household income. Mervat Hatem did a lot of research on this transformation in egypt. There are also workers that come legally but whom are hired for very low level work; they are subject to a massive amount of exploitation with their passports and documents seized upon arrival and dependent upon the good will of their employers and the host country.

              In the case of eastern and central european workers that move to other countries in the EU to work either temporarily (migrant labour) or permanently (immigrants). The thing about migrant labour is that they are not permanently settling overseas or are not necessarily planning to do so.

              In the case of illegal immigrants as we are seeing coming from Latin and Central America into the US or from Africa into Europe, they are also working illegally to send money home. Some try and settle in the countries in which they are working, but since they entered illegally they have no protection, no guaranteed wages, no benefits.

              These types of workers must be distinguished from immigrants, those who have migrated with families to work and do not plan to return to their native countries. They are also different from political refugees who have fled their countries of birth for political reasons.

              History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

              by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:59:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  The World Bank Data and the way it categorizes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NY brit expat

        migrants, "industrialized" nations, etc. seem somewhat confusing and generalized to me.  While it gives a good jumping off point for discussion, I am wondering about the internal migration within the EU, due to uneven development among the member states, how West Bank Palestinians are categorized who work in Israel, etc.

        Also, when it comes to the Middle eastern oil countries, what does it mean when a country has a small elite, one industry and almost all its citizens are migrant labor?

        While these may seem tangential to what you are trying to show, I'm not so sure a more specific and descriptive categorization of what industries (oil, agriculture, light manufacturing, etc.) are using migrant labor and what specific industries  are shedding laborers might not help us better understand the flow of migration than data which simple shows the country designations.

        •  This is only scratching the surface. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat

          I've been following labor issues in the EU for a number of years. It is not all sweetness and light. However, there is some sort of half way coherent framework that points in the direction of rationalization. It's better that most of the rest of the world.

          Here's were I explored the situation in the Persian Gulf in a bit more detail.

          There's much more to a full exploration of the matter.

    •  If you look at the American stat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat

      it is clearly including legal immigrants. Our illegal immigrant number is between 8 and 12 million depending on who you believe.  38 million sounds like a large portion of the foreign born population, regardless of long term status.

      To me someone who has legally immigrated to the US is not a "migrant" in the sense that they may migrate somewhere else eventually; they are fundamentally different than someone who is working in Saudi Arabia, for example, with no hope of becoming a citizen. And different than illegal immigrants, who could be forced to leave and don't have legal rights.

      A large % of Isreali citizens are immigrants, but only those who do not have access to citizenship should be considered "migrants" in my view. Otherwise you're comparing apples to oranges as these different groups have different access to institutions, recognition of rights, and prospects for the future.

  •  Humans are just inputs that can be shifted... (6+ / 0-)

    to serve profit.  That's the main attitude.  

    While I would never want to restrict anyone's ability to migrate if they want, as you've documented, most of these people migrate out of economic necessity and endure great hardship as a result.

    A more humane way of doing things, one that cared about something other than pumping up profits for the few, would distribute resources, infrastructure and opportunities so that no one would be forced to leave their home.

  •  Given international mobility of capital (5+ / 0-)

    we have become used to capital flowing to take advantage of low wages and lack of unionisation and labour law in 3rd world and emergent economies.

    This is a picture from the other side of the capital-labour relationship. Migrant labour desperate for income and unable to find jobs in underdeveloped economies to feed their families going overseas to be exploited in other countries where they have limited or no rights, no protections, are underpaid compared to natives in those countries and in most cases having no control over their jobs, their lives and completely dependent upon countries in which they are working.

    Thanks for this great effort Richard, diary tipped and rec'd.

    History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:21:04 PM PDT

    •  As I memtioned (4+ / 0-)

      the flow of capital isn't creating enough jobs even at the lower wages to eliminate the push for migration. To a large extent the same countries are involved in both streams.

      •  This is one major problem with capitalism (8+ / 0-)

        and it has been a problem throughout its history; even internationally and as a globalised system (even taking into account combined and uneven economic development) capital cannot provide sufficient jobs to employ everyone. There is always persistent and permanent unemployment that is available to be drawn into production if the MNCs and domestic capitalists need it, but for the most part, they use the threat of unemployment and starvation to keep wages low, to prevent unionisation, and to keep exploitation easily able to be implemented.

        History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:31:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I really think it is still part of the ability of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        goinsouth, NY brit expat, Justina

        big capital to freely move around the globe in search of more profits at lower wages. And here is where we need to see the specific industries, not a general description of the back and forth between two nations.  For example, the U.S.A. goes and starts an agribusiness in Brazil, kicking the farmer of his/her land. They move first to a maquiladora in their own country to try wage labor, then migrate to the USA to work at low wages in a US light manufacturing sweatshop (but better than they got in the maquilodora and better than no work and no way to grow food for themselves).  Pretty soon, the USA is moving most light manufacturing (which the Latin American worker came here for)back to Latin America because it is even cheaper there than the sweatshop here and they are also setting up agribusiness in the US again -  so the industries and workers go back and forth, but in response to specific industries profitability.  Then you can really see the pattern of what is happening and figure out better ways to combat it. (i.e., which industries should workers try to take over as worker-managed plants or cooperatives when the multinational is headed off to another country. Which type of produce will stabalize the food production of a country?)

        •  The IMF is the center (5+ / 0-)

          of all of this. It starts with the strings it attaches to its short term finding. Then the World Bank comes along with the same line. Other lenders and various industries follow the lead. It is the Washington Conspiracy.

          •  Absolutely. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Lyon, NY brit expat
          •  But (0+ / 0-)

            if you got rid of the IMF would the fundamental contours of the situation change?  it's a genuine question but my instinct is in the negative.  if not, then what would change the fundamental contours, and how does one approach it?

            •  International monetary institutions (0+ / 0-)

              are necessary. It is an issue of the objectives that they are pursuing. Those could be changed.

            •  The role of the IMF and World Bank in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Richard Lyon

              this concerns the forced economic policies of privatisation, elimination of subsidies, forced export-led growth economic policies. I agree, even eliminating the IMF and World Bank won't solve the problem as the IMF and World Bank are merely 2 rather powerful tools to force the demands of international capital, MNCs and financiers on the economies of 3rd world and emergent economies through economic "assistance" packages and loans.

              The problem is that of dependent economic "development" and specifically dependent capitalist economic development; this could be ameliorated through international regulations guaranteeing labour protections, health and safety protections, guaranteed levels of wages and the ability to form independent trade unions. But it is essentially a systemic problem in which 3rd world or underdeveloped economies serve a specific role in the international capitalist system initially as providers of raw materials and primary products, then as workers are guaranteed protections in the advanced capitalist world, they serve as cheap labour for industrial production internationally to provide goods for consumption in the advanced capitalist world. The question arises that with the destruction of the post-war/post-depression consensus and the attempted destruction of the social welfare state in the advanced capitalist world, what will international capital attempt to force on the 3rd world and emergent economies and how can they take control over their economic futures or change the structure of the situation? and what can we in the advanced capitalist world to support them and also protect ourselves?

              History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

              by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 04:52:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat

          though when i think about what might be a solution i have to think that one can't approach it as a matter of preventing capital in this way or that (and you don't approach it that way you just lay out the problem), but of have some positive response or alternative.  how one approaches that in a world where i need my coffee--literally need it, and it doesn't grow in california--the question of how to move ahead is a tough one.  food sovereignty seems a good starting point, but then no coffee for me.  i say that in all seriousness because i want my coffee at at some level a socialist alternative needs to be an immediate improvement for everyone involved over what we have.

          well, im definitely not going any further with that thought today.

          •  The possitive development (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat, poco

            is that the shifts in the global economy are forcing them to concede more voting power to China and Brazil. There's a very long way to go, but it is breaking up the cartel that was created at Bretton Woods.


            •  Modern colonialist racism (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NY brit expat

              is likely to be the first thing to go, though please, don't anybody mistake that i'm one of those post-racial america types.  I mean it in this sense, from personal experience: I lived 9 months in Senegal, and I saw Chinese and European (mostly Francais, obviously) investment, and bit from the US.  What was clear--and there was actually a sizable Chinese community in Dakar--is that China offered Senegal and Senegalese a subordinate position, but with this: "you'll get a bit more money than with Europe or North America, and we'll see you as barbarians rather than animals." In other words, a definite improvement.  China has baggage, but it's a different set of bags than those of the imperialist West.

              What I actually meant as a positive development was more on the capillary level.  I want my coffee, and the global market brings it to me.  I go to a store and purchase it as a commodity.  What kind of human experience can we put in the place of that exchange that is more genuinely human, in a positive sense?  Not about limiting capital, negating it, but replacing it with something concrete.

  •  Can someone go and rec the sign-post diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    In her own Voice

    in the anti-capitalist chat? thanks!! link:

    History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:27:18 PM PDT

  •  Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar got prollems.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat

    being in the zone of Rebellion and all.

  •  Ah, another "victory" of capitalism: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goinsouth, NY brit expat
    In an environment of increasing labour migration, ever more restrictive immigration policy and an increasingly globalised capitalism that favours ‘flexible’, and low paid, workers, migrants have come to form the majority of those who sell sex.

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine..."

    by lams712 on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:39:57 PM PDT

  •  Right on (6+ / 0-)

    The thing with bourgeois economics is that it approaches economy as a math problem rather than a social question.  of course i write of the more vulgar versions but those are the ones that make policy.

    i laugh when defenders of capitalism talk about rationality (Mises), because of the magical thinking involved.  people lose there jobs in this box on the table, and then magically we know that they can appear in this other box.  if they don't it's because they don't try hard enough...

    in reality mobility of labor is all about making it both necessary and difficult for labor to move, i.e., a form of labor discipline.

  •  Something is inconsistent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat
    The Census Bureau said 36.7 million U.S. residents were foreign-born... Nearly half of the foreign-born were from Latin America with nearly a third from Mexico, and more than half were non-citizens.

    The definition of a migrant worker being used here is someone who is working in a country of which he or she is not a citizen.

    Diary statistic: 38 million US migrants

    So more than 100% of the foreign-born in the United States are migrants according to one set of statistics, while according to another some fraction (more than 50%, but presumably not a lot more) of 36.7 million people are migrants.

    •  this is the total number (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat

      that the WB gives for the US.


      I pulled out those from other industrialized countries like Canada and UK and came up with the 38M.
      Certainly the two data sources appear to be in conflict. One would need to take a closer look at the census data which I have not done. Intuitively it sounds low to me.

  •  Terrific diary. I urge you to add ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ..."International" to your tag chain because it is a "Main Tag" and provide greater visibility.

    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 Mar 27, 2011 at 07:50:26 PM PDT

  •  Solutions? On Political Program (0+ / 0-)

    There's no need to be stuck between liberal calls for "freedom of movement" and populist calls for immigration controls.

    Call for matching the transnational mobility of labour with the establishment of a transnationally entrenched bill of workers’ political and economic rights, and with the realization of a globalized and upward equal standard of living for equal work based on real purchasing power parity, thus allowing real freedom of movement through instant legalization and open borders, and thereby precluding the extreme exploitation of immigrants.

    Call that the organization for enforcing this has at least the same teeth as the WTO if not stronger.

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