Red Alert

Something amiss

Posted by on July 27th, 2012

2000 workers have applied for 200 jobs in a Christchurch supermarket, most of them being paid minimum wage, or a dollar or two above if the supermarket is unionised.  200 workers will get a job and that’s a good thing.

But no New Zealanders will get a shot at 110 “Facade Installers” jobs paying a minimum of $18.33 an hour because Immigration New Zealand has granted an “approval in principle” for a company to bring the workers from China, on the basis that there are no New Zealanders easily able to do or be trained to do the work.

From the documents I’ve seen, the company appears to have inflated the pre requisites for the job, saying they require 3 years proven minimum experience in “commercial facade installation”, their advertising has been limited (a few ads on Trademe and Seek) and they’ve made no commitment to training Kiwi workers.  Insiders in the industry tell me that these are jobs that labourers can do, workers are easily trained and the work is pretty basic construction work.  The company has successfully tendered for a range of construction projects without having or training the workforce to perform the work, and they have now turned to the government to rescue them.

I believe Immigration NZ has been shoddy in going along with this.  I asked the Minister of Immigration yesterday in the House whether he was satisfied with the labour market testing requirements and he said he was.

He shouldn’t be.  From time to time we will need migrants to work in New Zealand – especially in areas of skills shortages and in times of high employment.

But this situation doesn’t cut it. It’s not the first I’ve seen, and it won’t be the last unless the government makes a real commitment to Kiwi jobs and training.

And that means the Minister of Immigration paying more attention.


49 Responses to “Something amiss”

  1. Paul B says:

    Something very very amiss indeed. This episode may be worse than the trashing of NZ jobs by contracting the rolling stock overseas! At least significant tooling-up and much very serious expertise was required for that contract, BUT facade fixers??
    It is amazing that 3 yrs experience is required to become proficient in facade installation, which is a relatively simple procedure. The need for 110 “Specialists” seems surprising. One has to suspect that they will be doing other work (labouring?), or sitting around a lot? NO? This seems a bold attempt to import a compliant workforce(often the case you if you cannot speak the language). Of course supervisors capable of communicating with the workers will be required too? The company will probably have to provide accomodation and other assistance for such a significant workforce force. Dare I suggest that many will rarely if ever even be used for ‘facade installation’.
    This seems to have the hallmarks of someones cunning scheme to avoid employing easily trained kiwis. Is this how we advance our expertise to employ our youth Mr Key?
    Surely some trade training school can quickly arrange a course? But I suspect we may find that the company does not really require so many actual installers anyway??
    Keep digging on this one Darien… I doubt it will be you lost in the hole

  2. Jack Ramaka says:

    I don’t think this Government really takes unemployment seriously when they are exporting jobs to China which operate on minimum wages alot less than NZ, and now replacing workers here with Chinese Labour.

    The housing market in Auckland is being ramped up by hot Asian money as Auckland is a very desirable city for Asian families with money to settle in, however it is cranking the price of Real Estate and no new housing is being built for first home buyers or lower socio economic members of society.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz says:

    Heres the ad they used in Seek:

    Formed in 2009, King Facade New Zealand is bringing innovative and world class facade solutions to the NZ market.

    There is an opportunity for experienced Facade Installers to join the team. To be successful you will require the following skills and experience;

    Minimum 3 years proven experience in commercial facade installation, including setting out, materials handling and product installation.
    Demonstrable knowledge of facade products and installation techniques for complex facade systems including rainscreen systems, unitised curtainwall, shopfronts, windows and engineered glass structures.
    Knowledge of primary weathering principles, and the ability to read and interpret complicated construction drawings are a necessity.

    Read complicated construction drawings – when they are from China ?

    I note that oneof the directors of King Facade NZ Ltd are resident in Shenzhen. It seems to me it was a setup to be a branch of a chinese company

  4. Paul B says:

    @ ghost,,, The instructions are already in Chinese?! It will be Kiwis who cannot read them! This smells like an employment jack up! Where are the NZ authorities allowing this?
    Coming soon to a Trademe near you – an ad for dairyfarm workers that precludes Kiwis! You can bet on it?

  5. Jack Ramaka says:

    The reality is we can not compete with China on the cost of manufactured products with their incredibly low labour rates even the Japanese have shifted alot of their production facilities to China.

    Government in NZ need to look where they can employ NZ’s unemployed and develop some plans to get the unemployed employed. This employment of the unemployed has a dual benefit as you are tapping into an underutilised resource and you are giving these people a sense of pride in the fact that they are actually doing something productive.

    The Government can not rely on the private sector to employ the unemployed.

  6. Jack Ramaka says:

    The Chinese are acquiring NZ by stealth, I am told 40% of Auckland’s population is now ethnic and alot of Auckland’s real estate is owned by Asian property investors many absentee landlords.

    Unfortunately National’s policies are playing into the hand’s of overseas investors and wealthy New Zealanders who already own property.

    The trickle down theory of National’s tax cuts has not worked and has put additional pressure on the lower classes with the increased housing costs, and GST on food and living costs.

  7. Jack Ramaka says:

    We have a National Government which is systemically breaking down the fabrics of our society, and creating a two tiered society of haves and have nots. It is called social engineering.

  8. Fortran says:

    Please what does a Facade Installer (Fixer) actually do ?

  9. Paul B says:

    Can someone detail the contracts that King Facades NZ Ltd have won in Chch. Ie.. the number and size/ nature of the buildings and the precise facades.. please
    We really need that Review of the Official Information Act Legislation .. yesterday.. Of course under the existing legislation, we will be told .. ‘commercially sensitive’ not in the interests of good governance… and on and on delays
    We will see no reform by the present administration!
    See Clare Curran`s “The right To Know”

  10. Darien Fenton says:

    @Paul B – I don’t have that information. I think most of the contracts are in Auckland. However, I will be digging further on this because it encourages a model of business growth based on bringing in unskilled migrants into insecure and temporary jobs at the expense of training and offering job opportunities to NZ residents. As I said, INZ have been sloppy and I suspect it’s not the only time.

  11. Bed Rater says:

    Rounding 1200 applicants up to 2000 is a bit of a stretch Darien, but the rest of your post doesn’t make a lot of sense either so at least you’re consistent.

  12. al1ens says:

    Using your figures makes 1200 going for 200 sh*t paid jobs less damning of nat politics in 2012 in what way?

    Likewise importing workers when the nats bang on about doing all they can to train and make work for the ‘idle’ unemployed.

    Bed rater, more like wed better :lol:

  13. Bed Rater says:

    I’m not here to defend the current government, just to point out that blatantly inflating a reported figure by >60% is a bit weak.

    Wed Better, BAZING! I retire to lick my substantial wound. You’re like an unfriendly Spud.

  14. al1ens says:

    There was a laugh at the end of it, to be fair, but then you can’t spell touche without getting really close to touchy ;)

    I prefer – The idiot savant, with more idiot than savant.
    Or – The older, fatter, geyer ricky gervais look-a-like, without the wit, the humour or the talent.

    But only from my friends ;) :lol:

  15. @bed rather .. Yes I got the figure wrong. Was thinking about all those other thousands who have lined up fr supermarket jobs. Doesnt change the story though ; people want to work and this facade fixer AIP has excluded them.

  16. Quoth the Raven says:

    Doesnt change the story though ; people want to work and this facade fixer AIP has excluded them.

    What an outrageous statement, Darien. Are these Chinese workers not people?

    There is something amiss here. What is amiss is the nationalist zeal and that makes an ostensibly Labour party begrudge people getting work based on the place of their birth, workers who are in all likelihood poorer than their New Zealand counterparts, and leads them to foment discord between peoples for their own political interest.

  17. Darien Fenton says:

    @QTR : If you support a model of economic growth based on bringing in poor migrants to work in insecure jobs I would suggest its you being outrageous. I’ve seen the employment agreement: you haven’t. You should be ashamed at your attempt to frame this as something it isn’t. There are many NZ residents from many countries here looking for work too. I don’t care where they are born; I do care how they are treated.

  18. Quoth the Raven says:

    Darien – I support an economic model where people are free to seek work where they wish. Where the poor can seek better opportunities in nations other than those of their birth, whether or not someone with status and power, on a salary greater than the vast majority of people in this world will ever get, thinks they know what is in their best interest better than they themselves. In your original post you didn’t even mention job security or how they will be treated. It was you who framed this in nationalist terms of pitting one group of workers (New Zealanders) against another (foreign migrants).

  19. Paul B says:

    @ Quoth… Are you an Ayn Rand/ Lindsay Perigo acolyte?
    Your philosophy is little short of anarchy. Your ‘laissez faire’ attitude is frankly absurd. New Zealand has a growing underclass without work. Bringing in unnecessary workers who must surely compound the problem will only lead to social breakdown and will certainly not help anyone, except perhaps, some greedy employers for a little while. Our government must strive to maintain a ‘happy’ standard of living here. The human individual is remarkable in that he/she feels ‘better’ if their lot is improving. We should give significant aid to help that purpose in struggling economies, but reversing our own standard of living to primarily increase the profitability of one employer, to the detriment of other ‘honest’ competition employing Kiwis, is only destructive, and very very foolish. That government agencies should assist that is intolerable
    The company in question should not quote ‘low’ for work it is unable to perform with NZ staff. Other companies should be given the work.
    The terrible tragedy in Christchuch seemed to at least have a slight silver lining in the form of some work opportunities. One company wishes to introduce an unnecessary dragon which will just burn us in the long run.
    But then National is increasingly revealing itself as in favour of short term gratification without much real planning beyond the next election!

  20. Quoth the Raven says:

    Paul B – I do not believe that migrant workers have a negative effect on the economy of the receiving nation. In fact I think it is probable that there is a net benefit.

    The Trade Unions Council (hardly Ayn Rand or Linsay Perigo is it?) in the UK issued a report on migrant workers: The Economics of Migration. They raise the same concerns that Darien raises with regards to the risks of precarious jobs and exploitation, but overall they believe it is positive for the receiving nation’s economy, and for the migrants themselves. From their conclusion:

    Firstly, host countries gain from migration. It is possible to debate the size of these gains, but the important point for British debates is that immigration does not have a negative impact: overall levels of employment and wages are slightly higher as a result of immigration, and migrant workers pay more in taxes than the value of the public services they receive. When studied at the level of the country as a whole, the old accusations of the extreme right, that immigrants take native workers’ jobs or are a drain on the welfare state, are as false as they have ever been.

    Secondly, the impact of migration on home countries is probably positive, but it could be even more so if a higher proportion of migrant workers sent money to their families.

    Thirdly, the impact on migrant workers themselves is generally positive, but individuals can face significant risks of exploitation and social exclusion, even though they may have higher incomes than they would have had if they had not migrated.

    I believe if one did the same work here they would get the same result.

    Furthermore, they make the point that “The rights and wrongs of migration should not be settled simply by determining its impact on efficiency or output”. I agree. Commonsense morality should imply a presumption in favor of free migration.

    If you want to help the poor of the world freeing up migration restrictions is single most effective policy wealthy nations can pursue.

  21. Paul B says:

    @ Quoth… You make some valid points, but you have seriously changed from your July 29 comment where you support freedom “for people to seek work wherever they wish”. That would surely be chaos. Australia is seeing a tiny piece of that potential action in respect of boat people – ‘what on earth’ do you think would happen if borders were legally open?
    Britain does NOT have open borders!
    As for us – we have ethnic and other responsibilities in the South Pacific, and are probably near sufficiently served for relatively unskilled immigration from those close neighbours
    I am not advocating no other immigration, but that companies should not see that as an easy option, and be permitted to chase contracts which they then claim that they cannot do without importing labour, when such can be easily trained in NZ. I cannot believe that we cannot quickly train Facade workers no matter how much impessive jargon is be used in the job description.
    High unemployment is a major social blight with far reaching and terrible long term and often irreversable consequence for many families.
    I must also say that China does worry me with its worldwide and quietly aggressive purchase of assets and export of migrants . Chinese are excellent workers, but it is the Chinese State that troubles. They annexed Tibet, and treat the indigenous population exceedingly badly; they are making the most amazing claims in the South China Sea almost within stones throw of other states. Their veto of any helpful action in Syria is a serious worry with respect to human rights . They are pretty soon to be THE world power, and I believe we should be very wary of a nondemocratic power who treats dissent amongst its own population so badly. The pathetic overuling by National of the investment regulations allowing overseas purchase of land, with virtually no regard to the stated rules(Crafar Farms), would seem to almost give a wealthy ‘power’ the right to buy as much rural real estate as they wish. If they were to then behave as in Tibet might they feel that they have justification for almost annexing us someday, if we decided to challenge their wishes? Seems ridiculous? Are we sure?
    Again I state I am wary of any nondemocratic power. It is surely foolish not to be. It is the nature of that beast to function very largely in arrogant self interest,and perhaps without much moral influence.
    Have strayed from the issue of the ‘Facade Installers’, but our government seems incapable of standing up to a ‘Draqon with Money’, and that may compromise our sovereignity sooner than we realise?
    Just trying to look to the future with the seemingly inevitable change of world power.

  22. SPC says:

    QtR, just one thing the Chinese workers are not migrants – they seem to be people favoured for (construction) jobs in foreign countries by companies that bid for contracts on their behalf.

  23. SPC says:

    QtR

    It would be more honest if you phrased your support as for, the right of capital to produce offshore if they wish, or to bring in foreign workers if they wish. Let’s not pretend that your capitalist international apologetic has anything to do with the well-being of workers – here or anywhere else.

    And your problem is not with nationalism – Chinese capital investor companies prefer Chinese workers – and you have no problem with this.

    That foreign workers have lowered the cost of labour and improved profit returns on capital is why you oppose policies that are in the interest of the nation state and its citizens.

    You are an apologist for capitalist imperialism – exploitation of labour and resources in the interests of capital.

  24. Tim G. says:

    QTR may not be a flag-waving Randian, but his politics are certainly at the extreme end of libertarian.

    He has also had a really good shot at trying to hijack this thread into a “Oooh because Labour don’t endorse Chinese being brought in temporarily for the Christchurch rebuild therefore they are racist and they think Chinese aren’t people.”

    Maybe we ought to all refer to the OP again (and GWWNZ’s response).

    The issue here is that work, well within the capabilities of unemployed or underemployed current New Zealand residents is being put out of their reach so that temporary workers can be brought in, paid for it, and leave. That is a million miles away from the situation the TUC was addressing with Eastern European workers in the UK in mid-2007.

  25. Quoth the Raven says:

    You make some valid points, but you have seriously changed from your July 29 comment where you support freedom “for people to seek work wherever they wish”.

    No, I have not. In fact I said “Commonsense morality should imply a presumption in favor of free migration”. I advocate open door immigration and I am unapologetic about it. The question is how we get from here to there. How we get from a world where the movement of labour is severely restricted to one where it is free. We don’t get there by switching a switch, and I’m not sure I would want to if we could, we get there by progressively dismantling restrictions to immigration globally. We certainly don’t get their by letting abhorrent expressions of nationalism from our politicians go without criticism.

    High unemployment is a blight, but immigrants and migrant workers are not the cause of high unemployment. Contrary to popular bromides about immigrants stealing jobs there simply isn’t the evidence to support that assertion. As it is argued here:

    It’s almost conceding too much to this raving xenophobia to pay it the courtesy of a factual refutation, but somebody’s got to do it.

    Though definitive evidence is hard to come by, because of less-than-perfect data, most studies of the effects of immigration on wages and employment for the native-born find little or no effect. Several economists have gotten around the data limitations by doing what are called “natural experiments,” which in this case are what happen when a sudden influx of immigrants lands in a specific region. David Card of Princeton studied the effects of the arrival of 125,000 Cubans in Miami during the Mariel boatlift in 1980; his conclusion was that there was no significant effect on either employment or earnings. Jennifer Hunt studied the effects of 900,000 people repatriated from Algeria to France in the early 1960s, and similarly found little effect. Ditto Rachel Friedberg’s work on the effects of Russian immigration to Israel in the early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. Interestingly, Card’s Cubans were mostly low-skilled, and Friedberg’s Russians mostly high-skilled—yet both sets of new arrivals had similarly minimal effects.

    Also, many economists have compared the wage structures (e.g., the gap between the earnings of college graduates vs. high-school dropouts) of cities and states with high and low shares of immigrants, and found the immigrants share of the population to be of little or no influence. Wage structures aside, it also looks like immigration has no effect on broad economic trends—in fact, immigrants are drawn to locations with strong economies, and shun those with weak ones.

    I also recommend to you this interview with economist Philippe Legrain on immigration whose sentiments I agree with.

    I think freedom of movement is one of the most basic human rights, as anyone who is denied it can confirm. It is abhorrent that the rich and the educated are allowed to circulate around the world more or less freely, while the poor are not — causing, in effect, a form of global apartheid. So I think the burden of proof lies with supporters of immigration controls to justify why they think letting people move freely would have such catastrophic consequences. And, frankly, I don’t think they can.

    I too am wary of the Chinese state, but not the Chinese people. However, I am optimistic about the future. China’s integration into the global economy to my mind can only be a tempering force. Globalization has and will continue to make the world a more peaceful place.

  26. Darien Fenton says:

    @QTR – so you are arguing for an open international labour market, where anyone can enter NZ without conditions and compete for jobs? How would this advance labour rights for all workers, regardless of whether they are NZ residents or migrants? To be clear, I have no problem with migrants and their contribution to the economy – and I’ve advocated for them on many occasions – and some of them are the staunchest unionists I’ve met yet; but I am definitely against flooding the labour market with people who are willing to work for a lot less – that will drive down wages and conditions – and surely we’ve got a big enough problem in that regard already.

  27. Quoth the Raven says:

    Darien – I most certainly am arguing for an open international labour market or in other words a world where labourers can enjoy the same freedom of movement as the wealthy and educated like yourself. You yourself have lived and worked in a number of countries, yet you wish to deny that freedom to others.

    You claim to have no problem with migrants, but then why did you write this post? Why do stand on the side of those who are anti-immigrant on this issue.

    You make the assertion that open immigration will drive down wages and conditions. But it is just a bare assertion. Like Philippe Legrain I think “the burden of proof lies with supporters of immigration controls to justify why they think letting people move freely would have such catastrophic consequences”. And like him I don’t think you and your ilk can. Where is your evidence?

    The TUC paper I linked to above asks the question “has migration driven down wages?” As well as citing the Card study on Cuban immigrants they cited a Home Office study which found “The main result of the empirical analysis is that there is no strong evidence of large adverse effects of immigration on employment or wages of existing workers. … Insofar as there is evidence of any effect on wages, it suggests that immigration enhances wage growth.” They cited another study in the UK which found “an increase in the number of unskilled migrants reduces the wages of unskilled domestic workers. However the quantitative impact of this increase is small. No discernible impact of migration is found for skilled native workers.” Philippe Legrain cites an NBER study in the US which “found that the influx of foreign workers between 1990 and 2004 raised the average wage of U.S.-born workers by 2 percent. Nine in ten American workers gained; only one in ten, (all high school dropouts), lost slightly, by 1 percent”.

    We should also think of this from the perspective of the immigrant. Their wages will be much higher as a result of their ability to migrate. For someone who is supposed to be on the side of labour that is something you should think about. The freedom to seek higher wages in developed countries will be of the greatest benefit to the poor of the world. It is no exaggeration to say that even small moves to ease immigration restrictions globally will do more for the poor of the world than any foreign aid program has done in history.

  28. @QTR I wrote the post because INZ and the Minister have done a sloppy job implementing current immigration rules. You and your ilk choose to misrepresent it as something it isn’t.

  29. SPC says:

    QtR – It’s interesting that there is a new apologetic for globalisation – how instead of transferring jobs to the lower paid developing world, a common labour market should emerge to allow workers to take up jobs to the first world. Presumably the objective is to allow capital/corporates to transfer workers around the world from factory to factory, construction site to construction site and drive down wages and conditions for production, construction and service sectors to the global average in the first world.

    No doubt this is taking the championing of gloalisation, as good for developing world workers to a new level – where they have access to jobs in the first world.

    However the record is that little of the productivity gain since global free trade emerged is passed onto workers in pay increases. The 1% has emerged in this time – the disparity in income and wealth is becoming unsustainable, so its little wonder that the democratic citizenship of nations states is becoming a political threat to the global order.

    And saying there is no adverse impact on local labour conditions from free movement of labour – when this can only really be tested in a market with no minimum wage – is only possible by measure of any increase in number of low paid jobs relative to the total number of jobs.

  30. SPC says:

    The goal clearly is for corporates to replace the need to train western workers to do jobs and outsource labour – in the domestic economy not just the former practice of transferring production offshore.

  31. Paul B says:

    @ QTR
    Seriously …You should understand that quoting selective statistics(or so called research) can be exceedingly misleading …”lies, damned lies, and statistics”
    Incidentally the ‘educated’ (and ‘wealthy’ if you like) are no more entitled to work freely worldwide than the less well off. It is just that they have a skill which is in demand. They must still normally obtain work permits. Immigration Rules are essential for a harmonious society
    Freedom to cross borders for employment can only work between countries with very similar standard of living and level of unemployment(many other factors – even, such as climate, or welfare, can cause distortions). If third world unskilled workers are allowed to cross borders into developed countries chaos will certainly ensure for all parties. Surely you must realise this? NZ is suffering something of that sort now- The exodus of our youth to Aus. is helping our unemployment statistics, BUT, is it also creating a real problem for our long term viability?
    For instance your example in the US, between 1990 and 2004, which you believe shows that immigrants caused an increase in the average wage of US born workers. Well there are so so many variables that we do not know were properly factored – BUT – if poorly paid immigrants take the lowest paid jobs then employed US workers will clearly have a higher average wage! But what are the other consequences? Perhaps US citizens are becoming unemployed. The underlying level of employment is critical for sensible analysis – besides much, much else…”lies , damned lies and statistics” Be careful what you quote, Quoth

  32. Quoth the Raven says:

    Paul B – I cited above the evidence that immigration has little effect on native employment. Darien and others here are free to quote evidence to the contrary of what I have. They have yet to do so. That they choose not to do so shows to me that they have little evidence to support their anti-immigrant beliefs.

    Freedom to cross borders for employment can only work between countries with very similar standard of living and level of unemployment(many other factors – even, such as climate, or welfare, can cause distortions).

    You need only to look to this nation’s past to see how wrongheaded this is. This country past is replete with immigrants from countries with different climates, cultures, and standards of living. English, Irish, Pacifica, Scandinavian, Chinese, and others. The early immigrants to this nation came to a place that was very different from their own.

    One can look to the history of the U.S. and see a nation that was the wealthiest nation on earth and had a policy as near to open door immigration as one might see until the progressive era. They accepted a million immigrants a year for decades. The vast majority of whom were poor. Wages and standards of living rose strongly throughout that era.

    However the record is that little of the productivity gain since global free trade emerged is passed onto workers in pay increases.

    SPC, the global poverty rate was cut in half in the 25 years to 2005 and it was cut in half again from 2005 to now. See: With Little Notice, Globalization Reduced Poverty. Never in history have so many people been lifted out of poverty in such a short period of time. Globalization was the biggest factor in this. We could make even more gains if we freed the movement of not just capital and goods across borders, but people as well.

    You should look at what has been happening to wages in China. For instance:

    In the period 2003 to 2008, the annual growth rate of monthly wages in real terms was 10.5 per cent in manufacturing, 9.8 per cent in construction, and 10.2 per cent for migrant workers. The real daily wages of paid agricultural workers in the same period rose even faster — 15.1 per cent in grains, 21.4 per cent in larger pig farms, and 11.7 per cent in cotton.

    Even during 2008 and 2009, when the Chinese economy was affected by the global financial crisis, the trend of growing wages did not stop. In 2010, the real wage of migrant workers increased by 19 per cent.

    You know I’m really quite bemused by this conversation. I wasn’t expecting this response at all. I had no idea of the strength of anti-immigrant feeling among Labour and its supporters (and I used to be one of them).

  33. @QTR you got away with that last cheap shot … Just. Please stick to the debate.

  34. SPC says:

    QtR, even in China there is growing income and wealth disparity from globalisation – and even in a one party state this will cause political problems.

    Yes third world workers gain in globalisation – because the comparative advantage they offer – lower wage demand, means a trasfer of jobs to them. But this means loss of jobs and unemployment in the first world (lowering of wage demands reducing wage levels). Exacerbating this by allowing corporations to transfer workers around the world would finish off national awards in the domestic first world economy – the remnant of well paid jobs created pre globalsiation.

    One suspects that the objective of advocates for this one labour market system want to smash the national awards, then dismantle the minimum wage in nation states and then finally impose the USA reform of time limited welfare (their minimum wage of $7.50 an hour is what one would expect in such a regimin).

    As for immigration – what has that got to do with corporates bringing in transient workers for jobs. Are you proposing that workers become citizens in the country they currently work in or last worked in? That employers determine citizenship status of their workers rather than nation states?

    The USA has millions of illegals working without access to welfare or the vote, Oz has hiundreds of thousands of Kiwis with the same status. Is that the sort of one labour market immigration you favour?

  35. Quoth the Raven says:

    SPC – Despite the truly colossal gains to the welfare of the people of the world, the unprecedented reductions in poverty globally, you persist in arguing that globalisation is some sort of evil and supporters of globalisation are part of some global corporate conspiracy. There really is no way I’m going to convince you us supporters of globalisation are sincere in our beliefs that globalisation is of net benefit to the peace and prosperity for all people of the world. Clearly whatever evidence I present you are going to ignore because even in the face of half a billion people lifted out poverty in little more than half a decade you seem unmoved. In the face of contrary evidence you have merely shifted your arguments from arguing generally about productivity gains and wages to arguing specifically about the west. Yet like the other interlocutors in this argument you provide absolutely no evidence to back up your claims. You just make unsupported assertions.

    There are more reasons to support globalisation than purely economic ones. The increased interconnectedness and interdependence of the peoples of the world that globalization engenders also raises the consciousness of individuals of humanity as a whole. It allows people to overcomes narrow parochialism (if only certain political parties would do the same). This is a positive for peace (in fact the last decade has seen saw fewer war deaths than any in the past century) and overcoming any problems we may face together. See this paper on the issue: Globalization and human cooperation.

    As for immigration – what has that got to do with corporates bringing in transient workers for jobs.

    This has become a wider debate about immigration, because of spurious and unsupported claims by others here that immigration lowers wages and employment among natives despite ample evidence to the contrary.

    The USA has millions of illegals working without access to welfare or the vote, Oz has hiundreds of thousands of Kiwis with the same status. Is that the sort of one labour market immigration you favour?

    They are illegal because of restrictive immigration policies. As proponent of open borders I think it should be clear that I do not support that. Do you side with those in the US who want to expel millions of Mexican and Latin American immigrants? Because they use the same anti-immigrant arguments I’m hearing here. Do you agree with those in Australia who are arguing that New Zealanders are stealing Australian jobs?

    It occurs to me that much of the erroneous thinking about the effects of immigration on wages and employment probably comes from labouring under the “lump of labour fallacy”. It is comes from the fallacious belief that there is some fixed lump of work. So one would falsely believe that increased productivity or immigration will lead to unemployment. Here is Paul Krugman on the fallacy if you are interested.

  36. Tim G says:

    @SPC – It’s OK, if you keep your head low, I’m pretty sure he’ll swoop on out again in a few days.

    I hear there are opportunities calling to contribute to the human/avian endeavour in Uganda. ;)

  37. SJW says:

    QTR

    “In fact the last decade has seen saw [sic] fewer war deaths than any in the past century”

    Do you think the researchers of your article included the babies being born and dying; deformed through the use of uranium depleted ammunition? Counted the generations that are yet to be born and suffer the same fate? Have they included the suicides occurring in disturbing numbers amongst the American Military too?

    ….somehow I don’t think so…

    http://thewe.cc/weplanet/news/depleted_uranium_iraq_afghanistan_balkans.html

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0330-02.htm

    More humane? What rot.

  38. Paul B says:

    The expression ‘global village’ is somehow quaint and even ‘warm fuzzy’, and in so far as it refers to the empowering nature of knowlege via the internet it is a huge advance for humanity. BUT when it extends to ‘globalisation’ it might better be refered to as ‘gobbling pillage’ Globalisation may be becoming the ‘new colonisation’ where ‘winner takes all’… well to a large extent.
    Small nations should be particularly wary of too much control from ‘outside’ It would be churlish to criticise much of the benefits of increasing trade (globalisation? in part) but we should equally celebrate our unique differences, and those are threatened by huge powers taking control.
    Britain, France and The Netherlands did this by means of the gun in the past and we can point to good and bad from that period. In the previous century the US used capital for its ‘control’ of others to some extent(and more recently its ‘waning’ wealth and immense firepower). Just like the previous colonial powers it has not received enduring admiration for many of its ‘achievments’. We should be very wary of powers wishing to exert any sort of economic or physical pressure, subtle or otherwise, on neighbours, particularly those who are small or weak.
    If we want a happy cooperative planet it must be by means of democratic process by way of the United Nations NOT powerful States, who quite frankly could ‘buy, sell, and abuse’ many of the minor nations. Perhaps interestingly the US, and now China, is often at odds with the one truely globalised agency (the UN)!
    On the lesser, local issue of import of labour (temporary or otherwise) NZ has clearcut rules to ensure our own social wellbeing, and which smart employers should not be allowed to bypass by devious means.
    QTR… I am not interested in further obscure wordplays

  39. Quoth the Raven says:

    SJW – We are talking orders of magnitude difference. Do you seriously think that what you cite changes that? Over 200 million people died in wars in the 20th century and even more were killed by their own governments. Think about the approximately 25,000 who civilians died in the fire bombing of Dresden, the 22,000 officers, police, and civilians methodically murdered in the Katyn massacre, the Wola massacre, the massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia, the Armenian genocide, I could go on and on. Do you seriously think, despite the work of numerous researchers, that the world is not a more peaceful now? I struggle to think whether your comment was a serious response or not.

    BUT when it extends to ‘globalisation’ it might better be refered to as ‘gobbling pillage’ Globalisation may be becoming the ‘new colonisation’ where ‘winner takes all’… well to a large extent.

    You say it would be churlish to criticise much of the benefits of increasing trade, but it is precisely trade liberalisation between nations and economic liberalisation within nations that has so dramatically reduced poverty globally. In the face of half a billion people lifted out of poverty in little more than half a decade, when poverty is declining even in sub-Saharan Africa where it was intractable for decades, when global inequality is declining, and the world becoming a more peaceful place, you still want to glibly refer to globalisation as “gobbling pillage”. You are being churlish.

    If we want a happy cooperative planet it must be by means of democratic process by way of the United Nations NOT powerful States, who quite frankly could ‘buy, sell, and abuse’ many of the minor nations. Perhaps interestingly the US, and now China, is often at odds with the one truely globalised agency (the UN)!

    Because of the economic interdependence of China and the US their interests are now more aligned than at any time in history.

    I agree if we want a happy cooperative planet we don’t want powerful states. That is why globalization in weakening nation states, in eroding their sovereignty, is such a powerful force for good in the world and why we should be glad that nation states are on the decline. We have seen all too vividly in the 20th century what powerful states can do. That is why we should desire power evermore dispersed and diminished instead of concentrated in an institution of mass coercion (the state).

  40. SJW says:

    My apologies, I thought that my comment was self evident: that uranium depleted weapons are being used in Libya and Iraq, etc leads the numbers of deaths cited at present to be most inaccurate, (and certainly describe the opposite of “humanitarian wars”, as if there are such a thing….) Numbers of deaths cited also don’t take into account that whole areas of countryside are being made redundant, thus adversely effecting livelihoods, thus leading to more lives destroyed than the numbers of casualties listed.

    One has to ask; who are most benefitting from such actions? Not American civilians, not military ground troops (who will also have been exposed to the toxicity too), not Governments and not us; I suggest those who benefit most from such travesties are corporate interests.

    In the event that you are not a minion being paid by some corporate interest to spread the misinformation that you do, I suggest that you read up on “Inverted Totalitarianism” on Wikipedia.

    And I leave you a link

    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/248534-The-New-Totalitarianism-How-American-Corporations-Have-Made-America-Like-the-Soviet

    The last three paragraphs summarize the article well. I suggest, like the article summarises, that you are looking in the wrong direction and perhaps you might rethink your outdated views on “Statism”?

  41. Quoth the Raven says:

    SJW – When you have a centralized institution of such great power as the state the unscrupulous will seek to capture that power for their own benefit. The state is the heart of the problem. When I argued with you earlier on what the state is I explained to you the uncontroversial definition of what the state functionally is; a territorial and institutional monopoly on ideologically legitimized (thus subsidized) mass coercion.

    When we look at something like the Iraq war we can see why it is statism that is the problem. It’s this ideological subsidization of the state which lowers the cost of war. Imagine if you will if people had to choose individually, deliberately and consciously to pay for the Iraq war. Instead of voting for representatives who decide on their behalf and get the money to pay for the war with an implicit threat of violence through taxation. I hope you could see immediately that it would be far less likely to occur.

    As to the numbers of war deaths. As I already said we are talking orders of magnitude differences even if the numbers the researchers cite are out by thousands and thousands (and I’m not going to dispute the popular conspiracy theories about DU) the world would still be a more peaceful place now than in the past.

    As to the nonsense about totalitarianism. This is what acutal totalitarianism looks like; Born in the Gulag: Why a North Korean Boy Sent His Own Mother to Her Death

    Interrogators tortured Shin for several days, grilling him about the attempted escape. What grudges did his mother harbor? What did he discuss with her? What were his brother’s intentions? They stripped Shin, tied ropes to his ankles and wrists, and suspended him from a hook in the ceiling. They lowered him over a fire. The sessions ended when Hong, Shin’s friend who had helped him inform, confirmed what had happened. The guards carried Shin, too weak to walk, to a cramped cell, his new home.

    After several months, the guards took Shin to the same room where, in early April, he had first been interrogated. Now, it was late November. Shin had just turned 14. He had not seen the sun for more than half a year.

    What he saw in the room startled him: his father knelt in front of two interrogators who sat at their desks. He seemed much older and more careworn than before. He had been brought into the underground prison at about the same time as Shin.

    His father’s right leg canted outward unnaturally. He had also been tortured. Below his knee, his leg bones had been broken, and they had knitted back together at an odd angle. The injury would end his relatively comfortable job as a camp mechanic and lathe operator. He would now have to hobble around as an unskilled laborer on a construction crew.

    They were handcuffed, blindfolded, and led outside to the elevator. Above ground, they were guided into the backseat of a small car and driven away. When the car stopped after about 30 minutes and his blindfold was removed, he panicked.

    A crowd had gathered at the empty wheat field near his mother’s house. This was the place where Shin had witnessed two or three executions a year since he was a toddler. A makeshift gallows had been constructed and a wooden pole had been driven into the ground.

    Totalitarianism is where even starving children can be shot for gleaning ears of grain (because it belongs to the state), where soldiers were imprisoned for merely being in another country (countries were they were sent by the state to fight anyway), where mere criticism of the government could get you forced to a labour camp where you might be worked to death or die of exposure. Glibly describing anything you disagree with as totalitarian diminishes the horrific reality of living under real totalitarian regimes.

  42. SJW says:

    QTR

    Curb the assumptions, please.

    Incorrect: There was no “glibness” involved.

    Incorrect: I referred to nothing as “totalitarian”, the concept was “inverted totalitarianism.

    Incorrect: It is illogical to state that the concept of “inverted totalitarianism” “diminishes the horrific reality of living under real totalitarian regimes” and is not my point of view at all.

    Please also remember that totalitarian regimes do NOT have the sole patent rights on inhumane treatment of their fellow human beings. I jog your memory:

    http://thewe.cc/weplanet/news/depleted_uranium_iraq_afghanistan_balkans.html

    I agree that centralized power is a serious problem, yet cannot see how you can’t acknowledge that the area where power is both most centralized and increasingly being so is in the corporate area/big money sectors of private enterprise; not governments at present.

  43. Quoth the Raven says:

    Of course totalitarian regimes do not have sole patent rights on inhuman treatment of their fellows. One could list a litany of brutal and inhuman acts committed by states that weren’t totalitarian. However, any attempt to draw some sort of moral equivalency between the U.S. for all its failings and totalitarian regimes like the Soviet Union is wholly unreasonable. That is certainly not to justify the crimes of the US government.

    I agree that centralized power is a serious problem, yet cannot see how you can’t acknowledge that the area where power is both most centralized and increasingly being so is in the corporate area/big money sectors of private enterprise; not governments at present.

    Where power is most centralised in society is the state. That is an incontrovertible fact. Here is why the problem is the state. A market economy is a decentralized, competitive system that relies on voluntary exchange. Politics is a zero sum game whereas the market is positive sum. The market is an aggregate of an array of interactions and exchanges that are undertaken voluntarily. Contrast that with the state; statism replaces individually voluntary human interaction with a monopoly institution’s implicit threat of violence. If I don’t want to pay for a war, if I don’t want to pay to imprison someone for possessing cannabis, if I don’t want to pay to imprison someone for helping a terminally ill person voluntarily bring about their own death, if I don’t want to pay to imprison a refugee, if I don’t want to pay for armed goons to raid a peaceful farmers property, or to raid an internet entrepreneurs home, I simply do not have a choice. In the market I have a choice. This is not to say that coercion isn’t sometimes necessary just that there should be a presumption of liberty.

  44. SJW says:

    QTR

    No “moral equivalency” arguments present in my comments.

    If you will recall, in the process of querying the statistics cited in the article you provided re war casualties, it appeared hard for you to accept the evidence I provided due to something akin to a moral equivalence type thought pattern from your own side. I guess attack is the only form of defence when your main arguments fall down.

    With regard to State power; I do not accept the statement that you refer to as incontrovertible. Are you reading any articles written in the last 20 years?

    http://www.thenation.com/article/166969/big-government-isnt-problem-big-money#

    It is foolhardy to allow concentration of power into the hands of private interests while such sectors place no value on nor consider anything other than their own profit margins. There is more involved in the organization of society than this aim.

  45. Quoth the Raven says:

    No “moral equivalency” arguments present in my comments.

    The moral equivalency was in the piece you linked to on ‘inverted totalitarianism’.

    If you will recall, in the process of querying the statistics cited in the article you provided re war casualties, it appeared hard for you to accept the evidence I provided due to something akin to a moral equivalence type thought pattern from your own side. I guess attack is the only form of defence when your main arguments fall down.

    It is hard to take your “evidence” seriously when all you cite is activist websites. I at least am citing the work of academics who are experts in this area (and I know that is an appeal to authority). You make these claims, but you do not cite anything in the data from the Oslo Peace Research Institute. I don’t have the knowledge or the time to judge claims from activists about depleted uranium, since you are so animated by this issue I’m sure you are aware of the controversy in this area and why I do not take such claims at face value. That the world has become a more peaceful place has been an argument made by many scholars including Steven Pinker who writes:

    On the scale of decades, comprehensive data again paint a shockingly happy picture: Global violence has fallen steadily since the middle of the twentieth century. According to the Human Security Brief 2006, the number of battle deaths in interstate wars has declined from more than 65,000 per year in the 1950s to less than 2,000 per year in this decade. In Western Europe and the Americas, the second half of the century saw a steep decline in the number of wars, military coups, and deadly ethnic riots.

    Zooming in by a further power of ten exposes yet another reduction. After the cold war, every part of the world saw a steep drop-off in state-based conflicts, and those that do occur are more likely to end in negotiated settlements rather than being fought to the bitter end. Meanwhile, according to political scientist Barbara Harff, between 1989 and 2005 the number of campaigns of mass killing of civilians decreased by 90 percent.

    With regard to State power; I do not accept the statement that you refer to as incontrovertible. Are you reading any articles written in the last 20 years?

    The state by its very nature in having a territorial monopoly on ideologically legitimized (thus subsidized) mass coercion is clearly the most powerful institution in society. It is this monopoly power, this monopoly on violence as Barack Obama calls it, that sets the state apart and is why the state is where power is most concentrated in society. It is no surprise to me that corporates would so strenuously lobby the state when they hold such power, and control between a third and half of the entire economy in most western nations.

    It is foolhardy to allow concentration of power into the hands of private interests while such sectors place no value on nor consider anything other than their own profit margins. There is more involved in the organization of society than this aim.

    Of course there is more involved in the organization of society than this aim, but why do presume that replacing individually voluntary human interaction with a monopoly institution’s implicit threat of violence is a superior organizing principle? As I argued in the last thread culture, language, law, private property, markets, all emerged spontaneously they did not need to be imposed from the top down. This concept of emergent order is perhaps the most critical concept in understanding the difference between how liberals and statists view society. Why do you think a monopolist coercive agency will create better outcomes than the emergent order of a free society? Why is political dominance of all by some the answer to you?

  46. SJW says:

    QTR

    With regard to providing evidence, I accept and agree that credible sources are necessary and on checking the links I provided, I found the site with the pictures questionable; it doesn’t disclose information about either its aims or who is behind it, in addition it appears conspiracy theory minded (to be blunt) and if this is the basis of your objection I both agree and apologize. This was an oversight.

    I note I didn’t question the website due to the pictures “tallying” with the ones I viewed on a documentary on NZ television about the high birth fatalities and deformities being reported by doctors working in Fallujah, occurrences of which they’ve had a serious increase since the big money interests have deemed their part of the world worthy of “attention”.

    When such a subject has been reported on our mainstream news, (if it gets onto our news, there is little doubt that it is obscure or independently minded /sourced), major newspapers around the world, addressed on this ‘Red Alert’ website (which I missed) and there is a British Inquiry currently being conducted, which I believe may be addressing this subject (amongst others) and when such information is easily accessed by a quick Google search; when the subject matter has, thus, been reported this widely I consider your appeal for less “activist” sources to be entirely disingenuous.

  47. SJW says:

    QTR

    Regarding your connecting governing organisations with violence:
    Violence is an emotive term and an unhelpful term to choose in reference to government acting to curb a person’s freedom to do what they want regardless of the negative effects such actions might have on others; an example of which, could be of an employer paying their employees less than a living wage.

    With regard to your implying my stance as being Statist. This is also a very unhelpful approach to take. There are many stances and approaches that can be taken with regard to how large groups of people living interdependently can be organized and is NOT a subject that involves an either/or position; simply because I do not believe in anarchy, or fundamentalist free market theory does NOT make me of the other extreme. And to suggest that this is the case is an unintelligent and a terribly un-insightful conclusion to draw.