Illegal Immigration and Capitalism

November 15, 2011

Political Theory


Here in the United States, a heated debate has been going on for some time now is illegal immigration. Many Americans have become upset with high amount if illegal immigrants for a number of reasons. One includes the fact that illegal immigrants do not pay taxes but send their children to public school, thus exploiting other peoples tax dollars. Another reason many Americans are fed up with illegal immigrants is that they work for very little and take jobs away from Americans.

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From what we learned to day in lecture, wouldn’t capitalists support this to a certain extent? The capitalist wants to decrease wages in order to make more profit and if they can find an illegal immigrant who will work for way less than an American are they so wrong in hiring the American over the illegal immigrant? I can see where workers and laborers might want to take issue with this, they want to secure their job and cover their costs to come back and be able to do that job. Will capitalism always cause a scenario like this?

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Another subject many Americans are upset about is job outsourcing. Companies are constantly moving their production factories to other countries where they know they can pay very little for labor and make much more profit than they would if they were to keep their factories in America. Who wants to pay workers $7.25/hour when they could pay $2/hour? The capitalist looks to make profit, it does not seem to care about the worker.

Now would socialism change all of this? Would it keep illegal immigrants from ‘stealing’ our jobs or would it keep companies from outsourcing jobs? Is anything above actually true of the capitalist or is it an over exaggeration of what Marx thinks about capitalists?

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3 Comments on “Illegal Immigration and Capitalism”

  1. euriosti Says:

    I think that outsourcing presents a larger problem than illegal immigration. I’m not sure that you can say immigrants “steal” jobs from Americans. Many of these immigrants work for jobs that have the highest demand. Since few Americans fill the tough labor job market, a lot of immigrants end up taking these jobs. Outsourcing is what makes competing tougher for Americans. This is especially evident in the engineering field. Many companies have buildings all over the world. Projects are being worked on 24/7 because of the time difference in different parts of the world. Many of the computer science jobs are being outsourced to India. Labor is cheaper there, so paying programmers there is much less expensive. Also, many American companies build fabrication labs in other countries to reduce cost. Outsourcing is inevitable when it comes to capitalism. Big companies want work to be done around the clock. Plus, many people across the world are qualified for the jobs that need to be done. Illegal immigrants usually fulfill the jobs that aren’t desired by Americans. Although the work is done for a cheaper price, I don’t think capitalism is the reason so many illegal immigrants have jobs in the US.

  2. elotis Says:

    I think the contradictions of the capitalist is very interesting, and you raise a good point. Why haven’t we curbed illegal immigration and outsourcing to a greater extent if we are so concerned about losing jobs? I believe there are a lot of Americans that want to “have their cake and eat it too.” We complain about illegal immigrants taking American jobs however, we are willing to let them work for us regardless. I believe that Marx’s Manifesto is a very simple model that can be manipulated to whatever you want it to be, for example, Lenin and Stalin molded it to create the Soviet Union, and America has molded capitalism to fit our interests. We have our own brand of “American” capitalism that champions jobs for Americans, yet is willing to sacrifice their jobs for the sake of profits and keeping costs down.

    As for socialism, if America were a socialist country I believe it would curb immigration since all programs and jobs would be under state control and only those who are legal citizens could utilize these resources and work these jobs. Whether or not it would stop companies from outsourcing is hard to say. If America were to base itself off a pure, strict socialist model, they would not. However, as I mentioned before, in America we have our own way of doing things. To keep American economic dominance, companies may continue to outsource out of fear of rising prices and wages in America; an “American” brand of socialism, you could say.

  3. hoeylue Says:

    Capitalist actions reflect the point of view of entrepreneurs or the bourgeoisie, as Marx would say, which means that everything is acceptable to ensure that the profit rate remains positive. I’m sure that this even encompasses some illegal actions as employing illegal immigrants if necessary.
    Cheaper labor enables entrepreneurs to increase their surplus per labor unit, as the wage necessary to pay the worker is smaller while the output of the worker remains the same.
    This type of capitalistic behavior is even more enforced in times of higher competition among entrepreneurs, as it is the case today. Open markets and free trade across the word increases the competitive pressure on companies, forcing them to reinvest their surplus and not just to use it for their own pleasure. If they want to keep their current pleasure on the same level, they are forced to look for workers who are ready to do the same work for less money.

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