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Next Wave Of Economic Migration To Come From The Us?
by Paul Wallis

The big job losses in the US could create an economic event unlike anything seen before. This isn’t 1929. The mass of workers don’t have to sit around waiting for the world to end to get a job. They can get up and leave.

In a country full of double degrees, business majors, and the rest of the dictionary of academic achievements, mobility isn’t something new. Professionals are by definition people who know their industries. They also know their options.

The real problem in US employment is lack of capital, not lack of work.

A lot of new business has been shelved, avoiding big capital outlays, understandably enough. Employers aren’t likely to be spending until they know where they stand, and how to deal with their own issues.

This is pure business, and for the record, it’s also the right way to approach a set of unknown potential problems.

However- it’s also costing them money. They’re not growing. They’re going to be looking for ways around the domestic problems. Meaning, they can go where the capital situation works in their favor. Businesses might relocate, to get out of the massive squeeze on credit.

So might their employees.

They don’t have to just sit there and take it, like 1929. American graduates aren’t as existentially illiterate/geriatric as their industries seem to be. There are plenty of opportunities outside the US, and they’re qualified. So are the many professionals watching the demolition derby in American commerce.

The logic says Go where the money is. Just coincidentally, that’s how economic history works. History goes where the capital is.

That means there could be millions of Americans staging what is effectively a third wave of economic migration. This would the first movement beyond the original New World migrations, which are still going on now. It was the original economic wave. The second was the big move of people from the Third World.

Now this. The global market may well have an economic it was accused of destroying, creating jobs for people in the developed countries.

It’s a bit early to say, but it looks as if the next wave is going to be very big. Sooner or later this rationale for employment is going to be a natural option, but now it’s necessity doing the driving.

If nothing else it will be the best informed economic migration in history. It could also change whole societies, bringing a concept of standards of living and democratic rights with it. All motivated migrants affect their new countries, usually for the better, historically, despite some situations.

They also generate a lot of capital for their new countries in the process. A lot of the whining in the West about economic illegal immigrants overlooks the fact that they generate business and jobs.

(The US, in particular, has a perfectly good Green Card system, and people employers want who should have Green Cards and don’t have them. It’s laziness and cheapskate business ethics, not business or economics, which isn’t recognizing the value of the work these people do. It’s also unbelievably unrealistic economic policy.)

If this third wave hits, you can expect to see some big changes in the way the world does business. Generation Y isn’t playing by the old rules. It doesn’t live in a museum, like America’s hopelessly antiquated business paradigms.

After this hideous, unnecessary mess finally cleans itself up, you can expect to see a real global economy, run by people who’ve seen what stupidity can do.

Not all bad.

Published: Dec 5,2008 19:49
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