Saturday, March 03, 2007

Movement

I have one nascent, quixotic mission.

I own one belief, out of all the beliefs beings hawked around by snake oil merchants of various creeds and colours.

I believe that the freedom of movement should be a human right.

A human should be allowed to work or live wherever she chooses. Working and living peacefully should never be seen as wrong or illegal in any context.

5 comments:

spew-it-all said...

Just read a review of Philippe Legrain's Immigrants Your country needs them. He suggest a globalised migration. Very confronting and this will make him unpopular, i suppose.

triesti said...

I agree with you John.

johnorford said...

I haven't heard of Philippe Legrain or his new book before. Sounds like an interesting book, will have to investigate more.

Scott said...

gA very utopian ideal... But can the practical aspects be worked out?

If borders are completely opened, I imagine hundreds of millions of poor, uneducated Indonesians crossing the seas into Malaysia and Singapore (and Mexicans into the US, Africans into Europe, North Koreans into South Korea, Arabs into Israel, etcetera).

The laws of capitalism dictate that an influx of such cheap labor will drive local workers to unemployment. There is also a matter of who gets taxed to pay for the utilities/amenities that the hundred million are using. Whatever laws are in place that favor the locals will easily be overturned by the hundred million new voters. Massive crowding and dirt-pay will result in squalid living conditions.

In time, the socio-economic collapse will cause the educated locals to migrate to other lands (perhaps a now much emptier Indonesia, where they will build a strong economy... One that awaits the influx of job-seekers from the poor and underdeveloped Malaysia.

Btw, this lesson was covered in an issue of Groo the Wanderer :)

johnorford said...

"But can the practical aspects be worked out?"

Yes, altho I admit it will be difficult.

"Africans into Europe, North Koreans into South Korea, Arabs into Israel"

true, and the problems that afflict those people could very likely disappear!

1) Europe will take Africa seriously for once and force better governance in Africa, by hook or by crook.

2) The North Korean state could well crumble overnight, I suspect the border guards and their families would be the first to jump ship (ala E Germany).

3) It may well be in Israel's interests (for once) to improve things in Palestine.

"The laws of capitalism dictate that an influx of such cheap labor will drive local workers to unemployment."

No, only the uneducated local workers with no capital will be worse off, those educated better than the majority of the immigrants or with some capital will be better off. As the educated are human capitalists.

"Massive crowding and dirt-pay will result in squalid living conditions."

i've discussed this before, the poor are the best judges of where they live and how they work.

if you can see their bad conditions in singapore and malaysia, then you are closer to imagining the worse conditions from where they come from.

in fact if you look at some of the most vibrant economies in the world (New York, California, Hong Kong, Ireland) they all have one thing in common, LOTS of poor unskilled immigrants.