What is Going Unsaid in the Globalization and Immigration "Debate"
Americans love the idea of "free-market" capitalism when it works in their
favor, but as soon as someone else starts competing then those "free markets"
don't look so good. We saw this with the Dubai Ports deal, the CNOOK oil deal
from China, and we see it with American attitudes on immigration as well.
Ironically, blocking China from legitimately purchasing Unocal, an American
company that primarily owns oil properties in Asia, only resulted in pushing
China more towards dealing with Iran, thereby weakening our national security,
not protecting it.
Here is the deal though, Western capital has been going into markets all
around the world and in developing countries for hundreds of years. Western
capitalists and the Western public have been praising "free-market" capitalism
for the past century precisely because the West had all of the natural
advantages, and "free-markets" at that point meant foreign countries opening up
their boarders and their markets so that the West could dominate them, own their
infrastructure, and control their labor markets.
Now that global competition is becoming more equitable, and some foreign
countries are now in a position to actually participate in the markets in a
capacity other than being taken advantage of, well, now Westerners don't like it
so much. It was never really "free-market" capitalism in the first place, it was
just imperialism under a false banner.
Look at the immigration issue. Why are so many Republicans, who claim to be
champions of "free-market" capitalism, opposing open boarders with Mexico and
Canada (and the Caribbean for that matter)? If these people truly believe in
free-markets then they should be supporting open labor markets.
The false debate taking over immigration policy in the media is about whether
we should "lock down the boarders" or "legalize all of the current illegal
This is completely bogus, and fails to address the real issue or even
recognize why we have illegal immigration in the first place.
There was an interesting phenomenon that took place when Imperial Japan
colonized Korea during the first half of the 20th century. Thousands of Koreans
fled Korea and illegally immigrated to Japan. The Japanese were killing and
enslaving the Koreans in Korea, so its not like the Koreans were going to Japan
because they loved the Japanese, they went to Japan because they could earn a
better living in Japan than they could in their home country, where they were
being exploited by Japan.
Enter NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, backed and signed by
the Republicans in the 1990s as a measure of "free-trade".
NAFTA was supposed to be a "win-win" for America, Canada, and Mexico, that
would "lift all boats", but since the signing of NAFTA Mexican immigration to
America to find decent paying jobs has skyrocketed.
The reason that we have immigration from "3rd world countries" into America
and Europe is because America and Europe are exploiting the 3rd world countries.
The West enriches itself by underpaying labor in third world countries and
essentially stealing their natural resources, so those countries have extremely
depressed economies. The depression of their economies is what enables the West
to enrich itself. The West is enriched at the expense of the 3rd world, so of
course people from 3rd world countries are better off moving here. By moving
here they remove themselves from the area of exploitation and go to the area
that is on the receiving end of the exchanges.
So, how do we solve the "immigration problem" with Mexico? Well, the first
thing to do would be to force American companies to start paying higher wages in
Mexico, but the problem that you have there is that we can't only do it in
Mexico, because then they will just move operations to Pakistan, or Vietnam, or
Indonesia, or China, or wherever, so really, the first step in solving the
immigration problem is a global minimum wage for Western countries. In other
words, American, European, Australian, Japanese, companies, etc. should be
forced into a pact where they have to pay workers in the 3rd world some minimum
For example, since 9/11 American business with Pakistan has increased dramatically due to changes in American import laws. The American government gives millions of dollars a year to the Pakistani government, under the banner of "foreign aid", yet American companies employ Pakistani workers for less than 37 cents an hour, or purchase goods from Pakistani contractors who pay less than 37 cents an hour. Why are we paying foreign aid to a country were we under-pay the workers?!?! Just pay the workers a decent wage and there will be no need for foreign aid, which in reality only goes to government officials and corrupt politicians who keep the people oppressed.
Secondly, to solve the problem with Mexico, instead of wasting money on
enforcement programs here, or on building absurd walls and fences, we should
spend that money helping Mexico develop its economy.
This should be completely obvious to any sane person.
Why waste resources on something non-productive, like building a wall or
getting more patrol officers, when those resources could be used to create more
capital? If we help make Mexico more productive then everyone will benefit,
mostly the Mexicans, who will then have no reason to immigrate to America in the
first place. Obviously Mexicans are hard workers, so there is no problem with
Mexican labor or desire. The Mexicans have a very strong desire to work hard and
get ahead, much stronger than most Americans, which is why they risk death to
come here and work their fingers to the bone.
The solution to the immigration "problem" is to stop calling it an
immigration problem and stop thinking about how we "protect ourselves" and
instead start thinking about how we can help others. We shouldn't help Mexico
just to help ourselves, but in the long run the objective of those people who
don't like immigrants will be achieved by helping Mexico.
Trying to "protect America" from globalization and immigration is a fools
game and what it really amounts to is trying to maintain an empire of
exploitation, but the world is not having it. We can't maintain what we had in
the past, because what we had in the past was exploitation.
It's like Whites in the South after the Civil War trying to figure out how
they could maintain the standard of living that they had before the Civil War.
Impossible. There was a fundamental shift of power. The Whites before the Civil
War had a way of life that was supported by the enslavement of over a
million Black people. Without that enslavement, without that exploitation, there
was no way to maintain the Plantations. There is no way to maintain the American
standard of living because the American standard of living is built on
exploitation. We better just face those facts and deal with it, because reality
After the Civil War Whites tried to oppress the Black and keep them down, and
what good did that do? For 100 years after slavery was ended Whites worked to
keep Black less productive, they didn't help them succeed. As a result the
Southern economy was depressed for over 100 years. After the Civil Rights
movement of the 1960s, however, once we started helping Blacks succeed or at
least removing some of the roadblocks, the Southern economy has exploded.
What good could possibly come by keeping a segment of the population
oppressed? None, it hurts everyone. Helping Blacks to succeed helps everyone to
The same with Mexico and with immigrants. We can keep playing this foolish
game of trying to keep labor depressed in foreign countries so that we can
exploit it, or we can engage in a "Civil Rights Movement" for the world and work
to improve wages, living conditions, and technology in Mexico and other
developing countries. We have to stop looking at foreign counties as a source of
"cheap labor" and start looking at them as partners.
That's the only way to actually solve the "immigration issue", but, of
course, none of the people in the media are talking about that...