Occidentalism
Duc, sequere, aut de via decede!

“Migrant cash is world economic giant”

August 18th, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

The following article made me realize how important the salaries of migrant workers are to their families back in their home countries. I think people need to show more compassion to migrant workers, even to the illegal ones. Afterall, most are just trying to survive, and migrant workers could possibly be the most economic way to fight poverty around the world. Not only do they send money back to their impoverished countries, they also send new ideas and ways of thinking that may eventually help make their own countries net importers of migrant workers rather than exporters, similar to what has happened in South Korea.

Migrant workers may also have a possible influence on the people of their host countries. For example, I think migrant workers in Korea have helped Koreans become more understanding of other cultures. In the United States, I think migrant workers help bring Americans back down to economic reality and help remind them of such old values as, “If you want something, you have to work for it.”

“Migrant cash is world economic giant”


10 Responses to ““Migrant cash is world economic giant””

  1. comment number 1 by: eli

    You’re in fantasy land. ‘Migrant workers’, aka illegal immigrants, have made Americans *lazier*, not shown that they should work harder. After all, why should Americans do physically difficult or menial labor when they can pay an invisible underclass (who won’t call the cops if you mistreat them) less than minimum wage to do it for them? THAT is the lesson migrant workers are bringing.

    Here in Japan one can work hard at a blue-collar job and still maintain a nice middle-class quality of life. Illegal immigration has destroyed that possibility for Americans.

    Anyway, it’s nice that remittances help people in shit countries, but it’s not the host country’s responsibility to help those people, especially if allowing the migrants lowers quality of life in the host country, as has happened in the USA.

  2. comment number 2 by: GarlicBreath

    I sympathize with migrant workers. It breaks my heart to think of how Koreas treat them. One of the first things they learn in Korean is “please don’t beat me”. But its not just in Korea that workers are treated horribly. In many Asian countries, Koreans have a really bad reputation for how terrible they treat their workers. It makes me sick to my stomach when I think about how bad these Koreans are.
    .

  3. comment number 3 by: GarlicBreath

    Related to migrant workers are the women that Koream men “buy” as wives from desperate rural farmers in places like Vietnam.

    Stories of Vietnamese women falling prey to domestic violence and even murder are far from rare in South Korea where their marriages to Korean men are usually arranged by brokers, Thanh Nien has discovered

    Yes even murder.
    .
    Somehow I dont expect that the Korean Japanese writer Norimitsu Onishi, to cover the negative side of Korean mail order brides.
    .
    I hope someday these women can get some rights too.

  4. comment number 4 by: kjeff

    Gerry,

    Not only do they send money back to their impoverished countries, they also send new ideas and ways of thinking that may eventually help make their own countries net importers of migrant workers rather than exporters, similar to what has happened in South Korea.

    Hmmm…I won’t get all paranoid like some had in the previous thread, but personally, I detect a little sarcasm in your comment. I don’t have any data to back it up, but my personal observations tell me many of the Korean immigrants here in the U.S. won’t fit the category of “migrant workers.” More often than not, they are migrant investors and employers.

  5. comment number 5 by: kjeff

    Eli,

    You’re in fantasy land. ‘Migrant workers’, aka illegal immigrants, have made Americans *lazier*, not shown that they should work harder. After all, why should Americans do physically difficult or menial labor when they can pay an invisible underclass (who won’t call the cops if you mistreat them) less than minimum wage to do it for them? THAT is the lesson migrant workers are bringing.

    I’m afraid you’re wrong here. I think migrant workers are bringing back ‘work’ in an archaic term, “working class.” It amazes me sometime to see how long union workers’ ‘lunch’ is, and soon or later they’ll realize that the jobs may not be there for them tomorrow.

    Here in Japan one can work hard at a blue-collar job and still maintain a nice middle-class quality of life. Illegal immigration has destroyed that possibility for Americans.

    If you’ve seen the ubiquity of satellite dishes in poorer neighborhoods here in the U.S., you’ll see that if you are American citizen, don’t graduate from high school, and merely lucky enough to be among the employed, you too can have a 42′ plasma in your living room with 200+ channels. A few years ago, I was invited to my friend’s parents’ house for a dinner, who were migrant workers from Cuba, and I was amazed by how humble they’re still living, which put shame to my extravagant lifestyle, even after managing to raise two doctors and a future college professor. Maybe when you have a “blue collar” job, you should live a “blue collar” life until you manage otherwise. I’ve seen many migrant workers lead respectable quality of lives. No, that doesn’t mean new sneakers every other month, no new video games system every time they come out, no 100+ channel to watch every night, and no custom rims.

    Anyway, it’s nice that remittances help people in shit countries, but it’s not the host country’s responsibility to help those people, especially if allowing the migrants lowers quality of life in the host country, as has happened in the USA.

    Hmmm…Eli, if anything, they are responsible for our excesses. Because of them, we can afford a bucket of KFC chickens even when we tipped 200 pounds this morning. Because of them, we won’t have to feel guilty about the rotting oranges we have on our fridge, because they’re so damn cheap. Because of them, we live in a mini mansion, instead of a crammed two bedroom house, so please don’t tell me that they “lowers the quality of life.”
    BTW, I just realize something…either we’re talking about different kinds of “quality of life,” or you’re contradicting yourself.

    After all, why should Americans do physically difficult or menial labor when they can pay an invisible underclass (who won’t call the cops if you mistreat them) less than minimum wage to do it for them?

    Maybe, you’re talking about quality of life in the ‘zen’ sort of way?

  6. comment number 6 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Kjeff wrote:

    Hmmm…I won’t get all paranoid like some had in the previous thread, but personally, I detect a little sarcasm in your comment. I don’t have any data to back it up, but my personal observations tell me many of the Korean immigrants here in the U.S. won’t fit the category of “migrant workers.” More often than not, they are migrant investors and employers.

    Well, you need to get your sarcasm detector fixed, Kjeff. In regard to Korean migrant workers, I was referring to Korean nurses and miners who when to Germany in the 1960s and to all the Korean contruction workers who went to the Middle East in the 1970s. Of course, I think the hard-working Korean immigrants who came to the US have had a positive influence on Americans as well, though I would not really classify them as migrant workers.

    As for your reply to Eli, I agree with you.

  7. comment number 7 by: kjeff

    Gerry,
    My mistake. I think I misread your post. When I read, “similar to what has happened in South Korea,” I assumed that you’re talking about something ongoing. I’m sorry to say that given all the hostilities, by some here, about Korean immigrants, I guess I got a little paranoid.

    Migrant workers may also have a possible influence on the people of their host countries. For example, I think migrant workers in Korea have helped Koreans become more understanding of other cultures.

    I’m somewhat pessimistic if the mix of migrant workers remain mostly ‘labor’ workers as they are right now.
    I was seating next to an Indonesian worker heading to South Korea last year, and had the chance to talk to him a little bit, and it was simply fascinating. Actually, half the plane was filled with them. He paid US $2000(a lot of money in Indonesia) to be in the program, part ‘grease’ money, part training fees(He can speak a little Korean), part “homesick” insurance, and his first six months wages has already been garnished to pay for travel expenses. But, as he talked, he just couldn’t hide his excitement, and it was just amazing, nothing but respect.

  8. comment number 8 by: tocchin

    Before allowing more migrant workers to work in rich countries, we have many other options to help poverty-stricken countries and its people.
    Rich countries should eliminate subsidies to farm products and slash import taxes on what they produce in the developing countries so that their products can compete on a fair basis. Then, they do not have to work away from their families.

  9. comment number 9 by: GarlicBreath

    Here is the story of a migrant that bacame a corean.

    was eating dinner recently with his family when their waitress asked his wife a question.
    “Why is a beautiful girl like you married to a foreign man instead of a Korean man?” she said, in front of their 3-year-old daughter, at a seafood restaurant in Wolmido, Incheon.
    Cho, 39, is a migrant worker from Bangladesh who became a Korean citizen two years ago. The family quickly left the restaurant, barely finishing their noodles.
    They walked outside. A middle-aged man spotted the couple. He said to Cho’s wife, “What’s wrong with your eyes? Why did you marry a ―,” using an obscene Korean word that refers to a person with dark skin

  10. comment number 10 by: HanComplex

    Interesting article. I feel sorry for those migrant workers who only want to send money home to their families yet have to endure all kinds of abuse from Koreans. There’s another story in the same link:

    On July 4, in Cheonan, South Chungcheong, Huynh Mai, a 19-year-old Vietnamese woman, was found dead with 18 broken ribs. According to police, her 46-year-old Korean husband beat her to death because she said she wanted to go back to her country.
    Her body was found eight days after she was killed.
    In a letter she wrote to her husband just a day before she died, Mai wrote in Vietnamese, “I am so sad now. I tried hard to be a good mother and wife. I wanted to be nice to you. But you do not care. I will forgive you if I go back to Vietnam.”

    I think Cho pretty much sums it up:

    “Migrant workers say Korea is a developed country, but its people are not developed,” Cho said.