Last year, thousands of American companies won permission to bring a total of more than 150,000 people into the country as legal guest workers for unskilled jobs, under a federal program that grants them temporary work permits known as H-2 visas. Officially, the guest workers were invited here to fill positions no Americans want: The program is not supposed to deprive any American of a job, and before a company wins approval for a single H-2 visa, it must attest that it has already made every effort to hire domestically. Many companies abide by the law and make good-faith efforts to employ Americans.I know it's painful for the devotees of free trade, who love nothing better than to compare 21st century analyses to 18th century dogma, to admit, but the increasingly undeniable empirical reality is that free trade, and the free movement of labor, are about as Marxist, globalist, socially destructive, and economically harmful as Communism.
Yet a BuzzFeed News investigation, based on Labor Department records, court filings, more than 100 interviews, inspector general reports, and analyses of state and federal data, has found that many businesses go to extraordinary lengths to skirt the law, deliberately denying jobs to American workers so they can hire foreign workers on H-2 visas instead....
At the same time, companies across the country in a variety of industries have made it all but impossible for U.S. workers to learn about job openings that they are supposed to be given first crack at. When workers do find out, they are discouraged from applying. And if, against all odds, Americans actually get hired, they often are treated worse and paid less than foreign workers doing the same job, in order to drive the Americans to quit.
What’s more, companies often do this with the complicity of government officials, records show. State and federal authorities have allowed companies to violate the spirit — and often the letter — of the law with bogus recruitment efforts that are clearly designed to keep Americans off the payroll. And when regulators are alerted to potential problems, the response is often ineffectual.
I've read every single defense of free trade that I can find. None of them, not a single one of them, holds up. And as for those who babble childishly about a protectionist government picking winners, as if that suffices to make a rational case, what on Earth do they think is happening in the USA and in the EU now?
All that free trade accomplishes is that it allows governments to pick winners from around the world rather than from inside their own borders. And the winners are those who are willing to pay the most for the privilege, which is why the dominant figures in the U.S. media are a) an Australian and b) a Lebanese based in Mexico.
Update 1 - dc. sunsets comments on the original post:
I used to be a free trader. I now see that virtually any "good" will be inverted if not embedded in a larger cohesive social milieu.
Shared identity (culture, heritage, etc.) is a powerful system of disciplining naked self-interest. Cultural Marxism's and Blank Slate's first effect is to destroy shared identity, freeing people to undertake individually profitable actions that utterly destroy the commons on which their lives depend.
Multi-culturalism and totalitarian anti-racism/anti-sexism produce, in fact, a monstrous Tragedy of the Commons, where a common culture, common heritage, even common belief systems and common values are the essential connective tissue of a peaceful and prosperous society.
Maybe it makes me an aspie, but the inescapable conclusion from this logic train is that what "we" need more than anything is separatism.
My family and I will thrive best if we live our lives embedded in a homogeneous society, one where we share the same core values. Given the axioms of HBD, this means we would best live in a society of straight, culturally conservative (at least nominally Christian) people primarily of Northern European descent, and where all others would be encouraged to Go. Somewhere. Else. Such a cohesive community would embed powerful checks and balances on members' individual actions, most of them subtle and private rather than public and legalistic. Borders would be semi-permeable to goods, virtually impermeable to people.
As Hans Hermann Hoppe has noted, Job #1 would be ejecting anyone who tried to infect the Body Politic with the poisons with which it is saturated today.
@17 Leo, sadly I'm compelled to see that while permeability to people is THE most disastrous of free trade, there must certainly be instances where The Commons of a cohesive society is threatened by certain goods as well.
My lingering libertarian quickly asks, "Who is to decide what is socially good and what is not?" but when caught in the vise between "Authority Decides" and "Naked Self-Interest Rules," I'm now forced to side with Authority.
Until humans self-segregate and geographically separate into relatively homogeneous societies there will be too little social cohesion to subtly apply moral opprobrium in enough quantity to offset naked self-interest. A relatively free society cannot emerge from or even survive amidst heterogeneity, this should now be blatantly obvious.
Until then, the path ahead that does not lead into the Valley of Lord of the Flies must pass through a totalitarian autocracy. Since we're already living in a totalitarian democratic despotism, it's possible an autocracy will actually be an improvement for most of us.