As a Socialist, should I oppose immigration or not?

June 2024 Forums General discussion As a Socialist, should I oppose immigration or not?

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 59 total)
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  • #95889
    wiscalatus
    Participant
    DJP wrote:
    Why are people employed in the first place? Only because someone can make a profit can be made from employing them. When there is a lack of profitable avenues, as is the situation now, workers are laid off since there is no money to be made from employing them.

    True, but what better way to make even more profit than lowering operation costs, ie: wages.Let's say a firm has attained maximum sales, then of course it can keep it's shareholders and owners even happier by reducing costs, and the more workers available to them, then the easier it is for them to do this.So although we can 'blame the system' of capitalism, what concrete steps can be made to rectify this, bearing in mind you all seem to be keen on increasing the labour supply, and thus giving the employers even more leverage?

    #95890
    wiscalatus
    Participant
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    Quote:
    Now, why would UK taxpayers be so willing to support these people if they are out of work, and why would a native working class local be so prepared to fight for the newcomer's rights, when they do not share a common history or culture?

    Because, they are human beings: that is the common heritage.  I have as much in common with a worker in Peru as I do with a worker from Liverpool.  That is, the worker in Liverpool is someone I have not met, will never meet, is not related to me, is not related to anyone I know.  I have more in common with a Peruvian worker than I ever will with a British capitalist: they are a worker, someone who has nothing but their ability to work in order to live.

     And do you really think this works the other way around?  I think not. How well do you think you would be recieved in a factory in Nigeria, Peru, Bangladesh or Paraguay – do you think they would all greet you with open arms as ' a working comrade' , or would it be more likely to be, ' rich gringo'?Pretty sure the latter would be more likely.And BTW, have you ever actually lived in a developing country?

    #95891
    wiscalatus
    Participant
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    Unemployment is caused by employers.  Put another way, levels of employment are a dependent variable, based on the amount of capital invested, and nothing to do with the numbers of workers available.

    The 2 are most definitely related.If wages are lowered, then employment increases.Ergo, if we can employ one Briish worker for £10/hr or 2 Polish at £5/hr – what's it going to be?Hardly rocket science.

    #95892
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Why wouldn't you seek to overthrow the capitalist system if this is the cause? Because its easier to blame immigrants? Because its easier to blame particular employers? Or if you want to divide workers, why stop at nations? Why not the north-south divide? Why not town and country? Why not capital cities from the rest?

    #95893

    I'm afraid you haven't refuted my proposition. If, as I suggest, wages could drop to zero and there still would be unemployment, that means it is the rate of investment that determines employment.  Yes, if wages fall, then certain production models that require lots of labour become options, and labour can be priced into the market, but there are limits to this.  Lets look at this from the other angle, if the rate of investment rises, i.e. profits are high, then labour becomes scarce, and employers will offer higher wages to encourage workers to work for them.  Both scenarios happen independent of population numbers.

    Quote:
    Ergo, if we can employ one Briish worker for £10/hr or 2 Polish at £5/hr – what's it going to be?

    That depends entirely on what the form of labour is.  Some jobs can't be split, and you might need to invest in more consumables/facilities if you want to take on the extra worker, it may be cheaper to employ one at £10 than two.  Again, it is the structure of capital that drives the labour market, not the population around it (which is only epiphenomenal, i.e. it only changes the surface of the deep structures).Now, to maintain your position, you need to refute the model I've outlined above, you cannot continue to just assert that migration affects wages.

    #95894
    Ed
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    Why wouldn't you seek to overthrow the capitalist system if this is the cause?

    I think this is the main point. There is only one solution to most of the problems workers face and that is the abolition of capitalism. I don't really think it's our place to be telling workers & or the ruling class how to make a better capitalism. The point is to end it. Yes human beings should not be constrained by arbitrary and artificial boundaries. But at the same time that does not critique how things are right now. Immigration under capitalism does produce many disadvantages for the working class at the moment for both those incoming or those already in the country receiving them. Migrants who migrate purely for economic reasons often don't want to do so. They leave behind their families, their friends, their communities. Who in turn all suffer as a result of their absence. Most often having to live in impoverished conditions in the country they arrive in. I think it would also be pretty silly to deny that there are no adverse effects for those in the country receiving migrants. YMS's argument of population numbers not effecting wages smells very fishy tro me. It's like saying that the amount of money in circulation does not affect inflation.

    Quote:
    Lets look at this from the other angle, if the rate of investment rises, i.e. profits are high, then labour becomes scarce, and employers will offer higher wages to encourage workers to work for them.  Both scenarios happen independent of population numbers.

    Correct, but what happens then is that immigration is encouraged to counter the rise in wages and redress the balance.

    Quote:
    That depends entirely on what the form of labour is.  Some jobs can't be split, and you might need to invest in more consumables/facilities if you want to take on the extra worker, it may be cheaper to employ one t £10 than two.  Again, it is the structure of capital that drives the labour market, not the population around it (which is only epiphenomenal, i.e. it only changes the surface of the deep structures).

    This is only true of the small capitalist. Not of the figurative "1 percent". This is precisely why the call for immigration controls usually comes from the petit bourgeois section of society. As it adds to their inability to compete with the bourgeois proper. It is precisely this inability to compete with the ruling class that brings their interests in line with those of the working class.In conclusion economic migration at the current time produces both benefits and detriments to the working class, it produces massive benefits to the large capitalists and mainly detriments to the small capitalist. There is only one solution to these detriments which is to abolish the causes of economic migration and thus end the concept entirely. The correct position, at least in my book is not to offer alternatives on how capitalism should or could be run. But to analyze it honestly and show the reasons why it's abolition is the only thing in the interests of the world's workers. To take the position of no immigration controls under capitalism is just as ludicrous as the position of immigration controls under capitalism, let us not forget it is also a utopian liberal wet dream. It's like the fly sitting on the windshield of a speeding car shouting we should take a left here. We as workers don't control legislation under capitalism and if we did we would only be taking part in it's management thereby removing ourselves from our class position. One solution revolution!

    #95895
    Quote:
    YMS's argument of population numbers not effecting wages smells very fishy tro me. It's like saying that the amount of money in circulation does not effect inflation.

    This actually would be the case if we still had a gold standard, the number of notes in circulation was irrelevent, as the price of gold determined inflation rates.  Look at it this way, in some countries surplus population does exist, and as the slums rise, the wages simply cannot go any lower, people aren't priced into the market. Imagine a world in which the supply of potatoes was unlimited, would you have an unlimited supply of chips?  No, that would depend entirely on how many friers there were, both in value terms, and in technical terms.

    #95896
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Ed wrote:
    To take the position of no immigration controls under capitalism is just as ludicrous as the position of immigration controls under capitalism, let us not forget it is also a utopian liberal wet dream.

    Quite. Those who take up this position don't believe it possible anyway and are only holding it out as bait to attract the support of migrant groups.On the other hand, I'd say that one of the few benefits of the EU for workers has been the posibility of free movement over a wider area and, in some parts, without even having to go through passport controls.

    #95897
    Ed
    Participant
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    Quote:
    YMS's argument of population numbers not effecting wages smells very fishy tro me. It's like saying that the amount of money in circulation does not affect inflation.

    This actually would be the case if we still had a gold standard, the number of notes in circulation was irrelevent, as the price of gold determined inflation rates.  Look at it this way, in some countries surplus population does exist, and as the slums rise, the wages simply cannot go any lower, people aren't priced into the market. Imagine a world in which the supply of potatoes was unlimited, would you have an unlimited supply of chips?  No, that would depend entirely on how many friers there were, both in value terms, and in technical terms.

    I suppose that's what I get for only reading 19th century economics. I'm so behind the times.

    #95898
    rodshaw
    Participant

    Well, capitalist Jamie Oliver has an answer of sorts to the immigrant worker issue:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23860811TV chef Jamie Oliver has said young British people are "wet behind the ears" and European immigrants are "tougher" workers.The presenter, whose restaurants include the Jamie's Italian chain, said they would all have to close if there were no migrants to staff them."There wouldn't be any Brits to replace them," he said in an interview with Good Housekeeping magazine.Young British people were not good at "long hours in hot kitchens", he said.Oliver said that when he was in his 20s, it was normal for him to work 80 to 100 hours a week in the restaurant trade.He added: "But the EU regulation now is 48 hours, which is half a week's work for me. And they still whinge about it!"British kids particularly, I have never seen anything so wet behind the ears!"I have mummies phoning up for 23-year-olds saying to me, 'My son is too tired.' On a 48-hour week! Are you having a laugh?"In other words, immigrant workers are easier to exploit. I wonder how many workers in the catering trade, British or immigrant alike, actually get away with the regulation 48 hours to keep the likes of Mr Oliver afloat!

    #95899
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Poor Jamie, he's only worth £150m. All through his own hard work too! Must be putting in 300 hour weeks.

    #95900
    ALB
    Keymaster
    #95901
    Ed
    Participant

    Just have to comment on the absolute hypocrisy of Jamie Oliver. He's 38 years old now and is a multi-multi-millionaire. In 1997 at the age of 22 he was given his own t.v. show the naked chef. Later that very same year he was cooking dinner for Tony Blair. He says in his 20's he worked 80-100 hours a week in the kitchen. This was presumably not while he was making TV shows, writing cook books, cooking for the prime minister and other assorted celebrities. Three years later he got a $2 million contract to be the face of Sainsbury's. Are we really to believe he was working 80-100 hours a week for any longer than the 2 years of his 20's that he worked before he was famous, or is it like most of what comes out of his mouth, bullshit.sorry I know it's not the point and is a bit off topic but that riled me a bit.

    #95902
    rodshaw
    Participant

    Rise above it Ed, he's just another local boy made good by the sweat of his brow. We can all do it, you know.The trouble is that his kind are touted as aspirational figures for the workers to emulate, British and immigrant alike.

    #95903
    LBird
    Participant
    rodshaw wrote:
    Rise above it Ed, he's just another local boy made good by the sweat of his brow. We can all do it, you know.The trouble is that his kind are touted as aspirational figures for the workers to emulate, British and immigrant alike.

    Yeah, some people survived Auschwitz, it's like one of them saying, 'I did it, so all 6 million could!'.No mention of structural factors, history, society, or contingency.The method of 'individualist anecdotal shite', it's scientifically called, Jamie.

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