Sunday, 21 July 2024

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Trade Unionists Against Mass Immigration (Part 3)

THIS IS the third part of a series entitled Trade Unionists Against Mass Immigration. It should be read directly on from part 1–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-trade-unionists-against-mass-immigration-part-1 and part 2–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-trade-unionists-against-mass-immigration-part-2 Originally called The Left Case Against Open Borders –– it was written by Angela Nagle for American Affairs, a ‘quarterly journal of public policy and political thought.’ Angela Nagle is a graduate from Dublin City University (DCU) in Éire.

This part of the series examines the human cost of globalisation. Here, only a select few gain from a system which allows industry to ‘up sticks’ and chase – and exploit – the lowest wages across Europe and elsewhere. At the same time, poorly paid workers (in Europe it would be Eastern Europeans) understandably move to countries that pay a better wage. Such movement places enormous strains upon local services and has the potential to stir up trouble between indigenous and immigrant workers. Capitalists are more than happy with the resulting ‘race to the bottom’ as wages can be slashed and normal working practices shelved.

As National Liberal Trade Unionists our ideas go way beyond the ideological straightjackets of ‘left’ and ‘right’. Therefore, it comes as welcome news that Angela Nagle isn’t the only ‘leftist’ who realises the dangers posed by open borders. Dennis Skinner, Labour MP for Bolsover (Derbyshire), Frank Field, independent MP for Birkenhead and Paul Embery, Regional Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union in London, have all warned of its potential dangers.

The NLTU feels that Nagle, Skinner, Field and Embery all understand that globalism – with its open borders and mass immigration – has the capacity to slash wages and threaten hard earned terms and conditions of employment (including many important health and safety issues) brought about by years of hard collective bargaining. And as this report indicates – – criminal elements are getting in on the act, and are making serious money out of the desperation and misery of others.

The NLTU might not agree with everything Nagle writes. However, in the spirit of comradeship, free speech and open debate, we feature her article below. We invite our readers to share their thoughts when this article is reproduced of the NLTU Facebook site – – and the NLP Facebook site – It goes without saying that there are no official links between Angela Nagle, American Affairs, the NLTU and the National Liberal Party. Please note that the NLTU has kept the original US spelling and phrases as they are.

The Left Case Against Open Borders – By Angela Nagle (Part 3)

The Human Cost of Globalization

Angela Nagle (left) notes that one of the effects of globalisation is to ‘destroy a region’s economy, which in turn leads to mass emigration from that area, further eroding the potential of the origin country while depressing wages for the lowest paid workers in the destination country.’ Dennis Skinner (right) made a similar point - in a European context - when he noted “When I hear Tories and the purple-faced UKIP go on now about Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians coming to Britain to work, I think back and remember what Mrs Thatcher did. She signed the 1986 Single European Act to create the free market of people. She was championing the eastwards expansion of the European Union into the former Soviet satellites. She wanted the EU to embrace that part of the world to roll back the Iron Curtain, and stick it to Mikhail Gorbachev and Communists. The Single Market was designed deliberately to allow employees to transfer cheap labour across national borders. It wasn’t principally about letting workers decide where they’d look for jobs. That’s a by-product. The Single Market’s main aim was to supply cut-price workers to capitalism. A capitalism with an insatiable appetite for the dozen-a-penny workers she created by stripping away employment rights, by shackling trade unions. The problems we wrestle with today can be traced back to her door.”

Advocates of open borders often overlook the costs of mass migration for developing countries. Indeed, globalization often creates a vicious cycle: liberalized trade policies destroy a region’s economy, which in turn leads to mass emigration from that area, further eroding the potential of the origin country while depressing wages for the lowest paid workers in the destination country. One of the major causes of labor migration from Mexico to the United States has been the economic and social devastation caused by the North American Free Trade Agreement (nafta). Nafta forced Mexican farmers to compete with U.S. agriculture, with disastrous consequences for Mexico. Mexican imports doubled, and Mexico lost thousands of pig farms and corn growers to U.S. competition. When coffee prices fell below the cost of production, nafta prohibited state intervention to keep growers afloat. Additionally, U.S. companies were allowed to buy infrastructure in Mexico, including, for example, the country’s main north-south rail line. The railroad then discontinued passenger service, resulting in the decimation of the rail workforce after a wildcat strike was crushed. By 2002, Mexican wages had dropped by 22 percent, even though worker productivity increased by 45 percent (1). In regions like Oaxaca, emigration devastated local economies and communities, as men emigrated to work in America’s farm labor force and slaughterhouses, leaving behind women, children, and the elderly.

And what about the significant skilled and white-collar migrant workforce? Despite the rhetoric about “shithole countries” or nations “not sending their best,” the toll of the migration brain drain on developing economies has been enormous. According to the Census Bureau’s figures for 2017, about 45 percent of migrants who have arrived in the United States since 2010 are college educated (2). Developing countries are struggling to retain their skilled and professional citizens, often trained at great public cost, because the largest and wealthiest economies that dominate the global market have the wealth to snap them up. Today, Mexico also ranks as one of the world’s biggest exporters of educated professionals, and its economy consequently suffers from a persistent “qualified employment deficit.” This developmental injustice is certainly not limited to Mexico. According to Foreign Policy magazine, “There are more Ethiopian physicians practicing in Chicago today than in all of Ethiopia, a country of 80 million.” (3). It is not difficult to see why the political and economic elites of the world’s richest countries would want the world to “send their best,” regardless of the consequences for the rest of the world. But why is the moralizing, pro-open borders Left providing a humanitarian face for this naked self-interest?

According to the best analysis of capital flows and global wealth today, globalization is enriching the wealthiest people in the wealthiest countries at the expense of the poorest, not the other way around. Some have called it “aid in reverse.” Billions in debt interest payments move from Africa to the large banks in London and New York. Vast private wealth is generated in extractive commodity industries and through labor arbitrage every year, and repatriated back to the wealthy nations where the multinational corporations are based. Trillions of dollars in capital flight occurs because international corporations take advantage of tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions, made possible by the World Trade Organization’s liberalization of “trade inefficient” invoicing regulations and other policies (4).

Global wealth inequality is the primary push factor driving mass migration, and the globalization of capital cannot be separated from this matter. There is also the pull factor of exploitative employers in the United States who seek to profit from nonunionized, low-wage workers in sectors like agriculture as well as through the importation of a large white-collar workforce already trained in other countries. The net result is an estimated population of eleven million people living in the United States illegally.

1. David Bacon, “Globalization and nafta Caused Migration from Mexico,” People’s World, Oct. 15, 2014.

2. Gustavo López, Kristen Bialik, and Jynnah Radford, “Key Findings about U.S. Immigrants,” Pew Research Center, Sept. 14, 2018.
3. Kate Tulenko, “Countries without Doctors?,” Foreign Policy, June 11, 2010.
4. Jason Hickel, “Aid in Reverse: How Poor Countries Develop Rich Countries,” Guardian, Jan. 14, 2017.
• ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Angela Nagle writes for the Atlantic, Jacobin, the Irish Times and the Baffler. She is the author of Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right (Zero Books, 2017).

• CHECK OUT THE National Liberal Trade Unionists (NLTU) here:

• ALSO CHECK OUT the following from the NLTU series Words Of Wisdom

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Words Of Wisdom – Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-words-of-wisdom-–-eleanor-roosevelt-1884-–-1962

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Words Of Wisdom – Bob Crow (1961 – 2014)–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-words-of-wisdom-–-bob-crow-1961-–-2014

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Words Of Wisdom – Hilaire Belloc (1870 – 1953)–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-words-of-wisdom-–-hilaire-belloc

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Words Of Wisdom – Palmiro Togliatti (1893 – 1964)–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-words-of-wisdom-palmiro-togliatti
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