Sunday, March 5, 2017

What Do ICE Raids Mean for the Rest of Us?


By David L. Wilson, MR Online
March 2, 2017 

The national sweeps by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in the second week of February drew a great deal of media attention. Some of the coverage was devoted to analyzing whether the arrests of about 680 immigrants marked the start of a massive deportation campaign by the Trump administration. Some focused on the impact the raids had on the immigrants themselves and on their families, which often include U.S. citizens and green card holders. But there wasn’t much discussion about the impact of the raids on other working people—on citizens without immigrant friends or relatives.

For example, how much did these raids cost taxpayers?[...]

Read the full article:
https://mronline.org/2017/03/02/what-do-ice-raids-mean-for-the-rest-of-us/

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Marx on Immigration: Workers, Wages, and Legal Status

Marx wrote about immigrant workers nearly 150 years ago, and he was certainly not infallible, but a great deal of his analysis sounds remarkably contemporary.… Among his insights, largely ignored by economists and activists alike, is the one Marx considered “most important of all”: the way immigration can be used to create “a working class divided into two hostile camps.”

Photo credit: Values & Capitalism.
By David L. Wilson, Monthly Review
February 2017

On April 9, 1870, Karl Marx wrote a long letter to Sigfrid Meyer and August Vogt, two of his collaborators in the United States. In it Marx touched on a number of subjects, but his main focus was the “Irish question,” including the effects of Irish immigration in England. This discussion seems to have been Marx’s most extensive treatment of immigration, and while it hardly represents a comprehensive analysis, it remains interesting as a sample of Marx’s thinking on the subject—at least on one day in 1870.

Given the intense and often bitter debates over immigration now taking place in the United States and Europe, the letter to Meyer and Vogt has received surprisingly little attention from the modern left. Immigrant rights advocates in particular have ignored Marx’s thoughts on the issue, especially his remark—which reflects his assessment of how the capitalist system operates—that the influx of low-paid Irish immigrants to England forced wages down for native-born English workers. In fact, many present-day supporters of immigrants’ rights have taken the side of liberal economists who insist that immigration actually boosts wages for native-born workers.[...]

Read the full article:
https://monthlyreview.org/2017/02/01/marx-on-immigration/

Monday, January 23, 2017

Labor Organizing in 2017: Looking Beyond Trump's Lies on Jobs

If we think of manufacturing as a source of good jobs now, it's only because working people made it that way -- angry, militant working people who united to fight the bosses and the politicians.

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
January 22, 2017

Donald Trump's well-publicized deal with the Carrier Corporation last fall was "wildly popular" with US voters, according to Politico. A survey by Politico/Morning Consult on December 1 and 2, 2016, found 60 percent of respondents viewing Trump more favorably because of the November 30 agreement, which the real estate mogul claimed would save 1,100 jobs that the air-conditioner manufacturer had been planning to move from Indiana to a facility in Mexico.

As so often is the case, reality didn't match up with the president's assertions. The actual number of jobs saved turned out to be more like 730, and the deal involved a $7 million tax break for Carrier, a brand of United Technologies Corporation. Chuck Jones, the president of the Steelworkers local at the affected plant, told The Washington Post that Trump "lied his ass off." More recent claims that Trump has already started saving US jobs are equally questionable. But Trump's duplicity is nothing new; there's a more important problem with the popularity of Trump's Carrier deal. The focus on trade and offshored jobs is distracting us from the main issue: the jobs we still have.[...]

Read the full article:
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/39102-labor-organizing-in-2017-looking-beyond-trump-s-lies-on-jobs