[Marxism] Re: The "Reserve Army of the Unemployed": Immigrant Workers, Overtime, Etc.

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Mon Aug 1 08:53:09 MDT 2005


Louis Godena writes:

> I'll leave to the statisticians among us whether workers who would  
> rather earn a living than go on welfare have the same deleterious  
> effect on the labor market as several million immigrants.  My  
> visceral feeling is that such a comparison is untrue and utterly  
> ludicrous to boot.

You don't need to do any calculation to realize that workers who  
depend on overtime, workers who have more than two children, students  
who work while still in school, workers who work after retirement,  
workers who refuse to or don't know how to apply for public  
assistance for which they are qualified, men and women who work when  
their spouses' wages should suffice to provide for necessities, and  
so on constitute a larger proportion of the US workforce than  
immigrant workers.  That's common sense.  Take addiction to overtime,  
for instance.  Rare are US workers who refuse to do overtime as a  
matter of principle.  Many US students work -- especially those whose  
parents are rich enough to be able to support them.  Many men and  
women work, raising household incomes even on stagnant wages, rather  
than live on one family member's wages and moderate their living  
standards or (better yet) organizing to demand higher wages for the  
working member of the family.

> Nor,  do I  "prefer" "capitalists" of any stripe to workers.

You, just like the US government, don't have any argument against  
immigrant capitalists and petty producers, since they create jobs by  
their investment here.  An anti-immigrant argument that pretends to  
be pro-native-born workers is inevitably an anti-immigrant-worker and  
pro-immigrant capitalist argument, because it's based on a fallacy of  
a fixed number of jobs in a national economy: those who come here to  
work are bad because they take jobs that should go to native-born  
workers, and those who invest capital here are good because they  
create businesses that hire native-born workers.

> The whole point of the blog essay was to suggest ways to make  
> capitalists, not workers, foot the  bill for this very serious  
> national crisis.

Workers will of course continue to foot the bill of any capitalist  
crisis, as long as they don't create an alternative to capitalism.   
It's up to workers to decide to foot the bill or abolish the class  
system.

Yoshie Furuhashi
<http://montages.blogspot.com>
<http://monthlyreview.org>
<http://mrzine.org>
* Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: <http://montages.blogspot.com/2005/07/mahmoud- 
ahmadinejads-face.html>;  <http://montages.blogspot.com/2005/07/chvez- 
congratulates-ahmadinejad.html>; <http://montages.blogspot.com/ 
2005/06/iranian-working-class-rejects.html>






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