23 June 2003

Tancredo Speaks Out on Immigration and Unemployment

Tom Tancredo, U.S. Representative (COL) speaks the truth on an issue that has affected me, along with other friends and colleagues, personally. I've excerpted a portion of the comments on the displacement of U.S. high tech workers, but the speech context is immigration's impact on employment.
So this old canard about they only come into the jobs no American will take is just that, it is a falsehood. We employ these falsehoods in order to maintain open borders. Both parties support the concept. The Democrats support it because it adds to their potential pool of voters for the Democratic Party. The Republicans support it because it supports cheap labor.

I will tell my colleagues, Mr. Speaker, if that is the policy that our government is undertaking, then it is simply the policy we should tell our constituents about. We should explain it to them. When my colleagues get a letter like this, handwritten, three pages long, talking about what happened to them, how they were displaced by foreign workers, we should write back and say it is the policy of this government to displace you, to move you into a lower economic income category because we believe in cheap labor and we believe that the politics of open borders helps our party, in this case the Democrats, as I say. The Republicans, it is the cheap labor side of things.

That is what we tell people. That is what we should do. That is how we should respond because that is the truth of the matter; and I hope that when we have people bring bills to the floor designed to do something about jobs, which we hear over and over again, do something about jobs, I just hope that they will think about one thing they could do. There is something that we could do tomorrow to improve the quality of life for millions and millions of American citizens. There is something that we could do tomorrow that could actually add maybe 10 million jobs for American citizens, and that is to enforce our immigration laws. Stop people from coming in here illegally, deport the people who are here illegally today, and we would automatically create 10 million jobs for American citizens.

Audio available here.

You go Tom! Continue preaching the truth...
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22 June 2003

A Better NAFTA?

Corporate spin runs amok in today's Arizona Republic editorial. NAFTA is heralded for cheaper consumer goods, fatter company profit sheets and more job creation. The last claim is dubious , based on Enron-esque accounting. NAFTA's toll on U.S. employment has been heavy: from 1994 to 2000, growing trade deficits eliminated a net total of 3.0 million actual and potential jobs from the U.S. economy.
Yes, the United States has lost many of the blue-collar industrial jobs that were an economic path to the middle class for the less educated. But that employment would pack up for another country even without NAFTA.

Those manufacturing jobs that moved to Mexico? Now they're headed to India, where labor is even cheaper.

No, it's just not blue-collar jobs. White collar jobs are now migrating en masse to developing countries. A recent report estimated over 3 million white collar jobs will lost in the next 10 years. Nearly 500,000 computer jobs will move overseas according to Forrester Research.

The last few paragraphs of this diatribe are truly mind boggling. After arguing that NAFTA has opened up "markets and labor to the world" it is contended that a "a tide of undocumented workers has swept up from Mexico, pulled by the gravitational force of employment" is the "elephant in the living room".

Whoa, this mass influx of uneducated illegal immigrant workers qualifies mainly for blue collar work, yet simultaneously there was admittedly a significant exodus of manufacturing jobs that offered "an economic path to the middle class"? So, in another words, NAFTA was good because companies made more profits and consumers could buy cheaper goods, but the decline in the standard of living for working class Americans and Mexico is just proof that the agreement "needs tuning up" and "could be used more effectively". Huh? The higher cost of living and worsened employment prospects in Mexico resulting from NAFTA are noteworthy:

The cost of living in Mexico is now triple what it was in 1994, but wages are 27% lower than their 1994 level. The number of Mexicans living in poverty has increased by almost 20%, and the minimum wage in Mexico has lost nearly half of its purchasing power.

In my next article, I'll offer some potential solutions - for now, I'm astounded over the myopia in the AZ Republic's editor staff offices. Well, given the history of past editorial stances taken by them, maybe I should not be. I just can not fathom they actually believe the balderdash that was bellowed across the editorial page today.

18 June 2003

Intel holds job fairs for 'redeployed' employees, while hiring overseas

The article title says it all. Investing $100 - $200 million in India and hiring 1,000 - 3,000 engineers there while cutting thousands of jobs here in the state.

The Christian Science Monitor is also featuring an article on the exodus of higher-status white collar jobs to India. It's not just programmers and engineers - accountants, market researchers, and medical technicians, all working for "nickels on the dollar".

10 June 2003

Where did the Jobs Go?

It's dated, but still, this four part special TV local news report by WKMG CBS Channel 6 in Orlando, Florida gives an account of an underreported trend that is playing out in many Information Technology departments across the United States.

Local 6 News reported that two types of visas, the H1-B and L-1 visa programs, allow foreigners to come to the United States for employment and work in specialized fields like computer programming and software engineering.

H1-B visas allow U.S. companies, including federal contractors, to hire skilled foreign workers on a temporary basis to supply workers where they cannot find qualified Americans.

However, the technology workers, who are mostly from India, are not filling empty jobs but actually replacing qualified Americans, according to the report.

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8 June 2003

Globalisation who benefits?

Insightful article on globalization written by David Korten, Debi Barker, and Jerry Mander. David Korten is the author of When Corporations Rule the World.

So far, almost all evidence from the past several decades (1970-2000) ó the period of economic globalisationís most rapid ascendancy ó shows that it is bringing exactly the opposite outcome that its advocates claim.

A report by the United Nations (UNDP, 1999) found that inequalities between rich and poor within countries, and among countries, are quickly expanding, and that the global trading and finance system is one of the primary causes.

Economic globalisation policies as enforced by the World Bank, IMF, and the WTO actually have far more to do with creating poverty than solving it. There are dozens of examples, but letís look primarily at two: Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), and also the impact of export-oriented production on agriculture and livelihoods.