I wanted to write a little bit more about my position on immigration, because I think it's an issue that doesn't receive enough attention.
One commenter on my post wrote:
But I have been surprised that many of the people that are vehemently against corporations outsourcing jobs to India and China have no problem with domestic outsourcing to illegal immigrants driving down wages for many Americans.This sort of rhetoric on immigration is really dangerous, because it drives a wedge between those with work permits and illegal immigrants, and it's wrong. The reason illegal immigration can drive down wages and conditions has nothing to do with the fact that people come from some country with bornwer skin, in fact it has nothing to do with the immigrants at all, it's because the employers use the power they have over illegal immigrants. If all illegal immigrants were allowed to work legally then their wages and conditions would go up, because they could utilise labour legislation, and it would be easier to organise.
I don't actually care about American jobs any more than New Zealand jobs, or Chinese jobs and Indian jobs. No borders isn't just rhetoric about immigration - it has to be a commitment not to priviledge one group of workers above another.
I also oppose tarriff reduction regimes for different reasons than this commenters. While the arguments about relationships between tarriff changes in the first world and job losses (and not just in the first world, but that's a longer post) are important. The real reason I oppose tarriff reductions is that they give companies more power. The more free companies are to move around, the more they can leverage from different localities to move where they are. Improved transport has meant that manufacturing can reasonably easily be moved from one location to another. This has given manufacturers the power to leverage zones where no labour legislation, or most other forms of legislation, apply to them. It's this power, not the job losses, that I object to.
I don't actually believe that 'no borders' could be achieved under capitalism, neither could women's liberation, but steps in that direction are worth fighting for.
Also posted on Alas