Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ainda as detenções de crianças imigrantes nos EUA

Uma série de tweets por "Boz":

Every parent in the US needs to understand that ICE can detain your child, label them an "unaccompanied minor," and throw them in a cage. Nothing is stopping that from happening today.

Can your two year old explain where he’s from? Is your eight year old carrying documents proving she’s a US citizen or here legally? No. They’re undocumented and can be detained by ICE, even right in front of you.

Most white Americans don’t think it will happen to their kids. They think it will only happen to people crossing the border illegally. But that’s not true. It’s a statistical near certainty that some of those children in detention are legally in the US and have been misidentified

Don't tell me it can't happen. ICE has detained over 1,000 US citizens and people legally in the US in recent years (and that's just the cases we know of). They are given few chances to prove they are actually citizens. It's harder if they're children. [ICE held an American man in custody for 1,273 days. He’s not the only one who had to prove his citizenship]

Não sei até que ponto as mudanças anunciadas por Trump (no sentido de pais e filhos serem presos em conjunto) alterará este ponto, mas não me admirava que não.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A "jaula" (ou o "canil")

The "Cages", por Adam Isaacson:

We were some of the first to be let into the Ursula facility, which had just opened to deal with the wave of unaccompanied Central American children that made national headlines in May-June 2014. It was meant to be a place where unaccompanied kids would stay for a maximum of 72 hours while the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, located relatives or other shelters for each child to stay with.

Migrants who’ve been through there call the “Ursula” facility “la Perrera” because it looks like a dog kennel. And Sen. Merkley is right: kids were, and are, being kept in chain-link enclosures in what was once a warehouse. This was true even in 2014, when Barack Obama was president. (...)

Media outlets and social-media users have come under fire for using 2014 photos of the Ursula facility to attack the new Trump policies. And the critics have a point—the conditions in the “kennel” are an artifact of the Obama years, nothing new.

But the critics are also wrong. Under the Trump administration, this facility has become a far darker place. Until this April, Ursula was where kids would spend a couple of days while awaiting family reunification and the beginning of an asylum process. Now, it’s the last place where they see their parents.

Friday, June 15, 2018

As empresas de mercenários e detenção de crianças imigrantes nos EUA

Defense Contractors Cashing In On Immigrant Kids’ Detention (Daily Best):

Separating refugee and immigrant children from their parents isn’t just an emotionally wrenching policy. It’s an enterprise that is benefitting intelligence and defense contractors.

Those contractors—including one with a history of scandals—have advertised a flurry of jobs in recent weeks to support the infrastructure surrounding undocumented children whom the Trump administration has taken from their families.

One of them, from Virginia-based MVM Inc., seeks a compliance coordinator to help in San Antonio with the “rapid deployment of an Emergency Influx Shelter for unaccompanied children.” As billed, the coordinator would ensure the children’s shelter met “policies and procedures” set by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. MVM posted the job on its website this week.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Revolução Industrial e a desqualificação do trabalho



[SMBC (versão ponto grande)]

Sobre os vistos gold

Mesmo a propósito disto e disto - imagino muitos argumentos contra os (e outros a favor dos) vistos gold, mas o argumento "apenas 9 foram para criar emprego" parece-me muito fraquinho, nomeadamente quando vem do BE ou do PS (tenho a ideia que já há uns anos, na Quadratura do Círculo, o António Costa ter feito uma crítica do mesmo tipo aos vistos gold).

Porquê? Porque normalmente a esquerda considera que as crises e expansões económicas são um problema de procura, e que a oferta é largamente a variável dependente (isto é, se houver muita gente a querer comprar coisas, isso vai estimular o desenvolvimento da capacidade produtivo, ou no mínimo pôr em uso capacidade já existente mas que não está a ser utilizada); já a direita tende a acreditar no contrário (que o fundamental para o crescimento económico é fazer aumentar a capacidade produtivo, via abertura de novas empresas ou ampliação das existentes, e a procura aumentará por si). Mas do ponto de vista de quem acha que o que interessa é aumentar a procura, essa conversa de o investimento associado aos vistos golds não criar emprego não faz sentido - se essas pessoas estão a comprar coisas em Portugal e dinheiro está a entrar no país, então a procura está a aumentar e assim estão fazendo crescer a economia (e criando postos de trabalho algures); a tal conversa de que poucos dos vistos gold têm a ver com investimento produtivo diretamente criador de postos de trabalho (ou seja, em empresas com atividade real, em vez de simplesmente comprar casas) só faria sentido do ponto de vista de quem acha que o principal é aumentar a capacidade produtiva.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Como os imigrantes poderiam pagar o muro de Trump

There is a way to make illegal immigrants pay for Trump's wall, por Steven Kopits (The Hill):

The president, and the Republicans in general, continue to twist in the wind on DACA and illegal immigration. Mexico still refuses to pay for the president’s Wall. In its absence, he has been forced to alternative ideas like raising visa fees as funding source. Properly implemented, that idea could be a winner.

Illegal immigration across the Mexican border is really a black market labor problem. Border jumpers can triple their net wages compared to Mexico, and earn almost ten times as much as they would in Guatemala. They come for the money.

Black markets are always created by government. They arise when government tries to keep willing sellers from willing buyers, ostensibly for our own good. (...)

According to the Center for Migration Studies, 42 percent of all illegal residents over-stayed their visas rather than coming undocumented over the border. For those who came on visas, the wall is irrelevant. Almost 19 million people entered the U.S. from Mexico last year on tourist visas. Even if every illegal Mexican were deported and the wall built a mile high, the entire undocumented Mexican population of 6.7 million could be reconstituted from visa overstays, theoretically, in as little as four months. If there is work and a material wage differential to Mexico, workers will come, on foot, with tourist visas, by water or air. But they will come.

As with tobacco, legalizing the migrant market and taxing it would make more sense. Here’s how it might work. In a market-based approach, an eligible Central American – one with a clean criminal record — could purchase a work visa at a market rate in return for on-demand access to the U.S. labor market. This visa would provide no rights to any social programs in the U.S., but would allow the conduct of daily business, for example, opening bank and mobile phone accounts, renting property and allowing holders to obtain U.S. driver’s licenses. Our estimates put the value of such a permit around $10 per day, representing an effective tax rate of 13 percent for the typical unskilled Central American worker. Fees from such visas would net the federal budget more than $30 billion annually.

The market would be managed by matching the price to the volumes of visas issued. If the price goes down, the number of visas could be reduced. If the value goes up, more visas could be issued.

A cimeira Trump-Kim

Se não tivesse havido um acordo, a esquerda e mesmo certas franjas anti-intervencionistas da direita iriam dizer que Trump é um louco que está a levar o mundo para a beira da III Guerra Mundial.

Havendo um acordo, os neoconservadores diriam sempre que tinha sido uma rendição e "Munique".

Já os "moderados" e o centro-esquerda (a ala clintoniana nos EUA e a generalidade do establishment mediático na Europa) diria sempre uma destas coisas, conforme o resultado (neste momento muitos estão a dfizer variantes da segunda opção, mas provavelmente estariam a dizer variantes da primeira se o encontro tivesse corrido de maneira diferente).

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

O "Pós-Capitalismo" de Paul Mason

Will there be postcapitalism? Review of Paul Mason’s “Postcapitalism: A Guide to our Future”, por Branko Milanovic:

I will not do any of this since this review is relatively short. I will discuss Mason’s view of the current state of capitalism and of the objective forces that, he argues, lead it to postcapitalism. The gist of Mason’s argument is that the ICT revolution is characterized by enormous economies of scale which make the marginal cost of production of knowledge goods close to zero, with both the quantities of capital and labor embodied in such products tending to zero. Imagine an electronic blueprint of whatever needed for 3D printing or a software directing the work of machines: once such investments have been made there is hardly any need for additional live labor, and since the capital (software) has a quasi infinite life, the share of capital “embodied” in each unit of output is minimal  (...)

When the marginal cost of production goes to zero, the price system no longer functions, nor can standard capitalism exist: if profits are zero, we do not have a capitalist class, nor surplus value, nor positive marginal product of capital, nor wage labor. We are approaching the world of mass abundance where the usual rules of capitalism no longer apply. It is a bit like the world of absolute zero temperature, or the world where time and energy become one. It is in other words a world very far from the one that we inhabit now but it is where, according to Mason, we are going.

What are the ways capitalists can offset driving themselves out of existence? There are three ways, and to those who have read Marxist literature of the early 1910s, they would be familiar because similar issues were discussed then. The first is to create monopolies. This is exactly what Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft are doing now. The economy can become monopolized and cartelized as it did in the last decades of the 19th and the first decades of the 20th century.

The second response is to reinforce protection of intellectual property. This is again what the just mentioned companies, or song producers and Disney are trying to do ever more aggressively using the power of the state. (The reader would realize that protection of property rights increases capital unit costs and thus prevents the marginal cost of production dropping to zero.)

The third response is to continually expand capitalism’s “field of action”: if profits in one area threaten to drop to zero move to another area, “skating [forever] to the edge of chaos” between expanding supply and falling prices, or …find new things that can be commercialized and commodified.

Readers of Rosa Luxemburg would recognize here a very similar idea, namely that the existence of capitalism depends on its continued interaction with non-capitalist modes of production and once these are exhausted capitalism will be driven to the world of zero profits. These concerns have an even older pedigree, going back to Ricardo’s view that, without the repeal of the Corn Laws, all capitalists’ profits will be eaten up by landlords’ rents and development stifled, and to Marx’s “law of tendencial fall of the rate of profit” caused by ever greater capital intensity of production.

So Mason’s points in this respect are not new, but situating them at the current stage of capitalism and ITC revolution is new.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Cooperativas: uma nova economia?

How Cooperatives Are Driving the New Economy, por EricMichael Johnson (Evonomics):

What does this mean for the different forms of business today? Corporate workplaces probably aren’t in sync with our evolutionary roots and may not be good for our long-term success as humans. Corporate culture imposes uniformity, mandated from the top down, throughout the organization. But the cooperative—the financial model in which a group of members owns a business and makes the rules about how to run it—is a modern institution that has much in common with the collective tribal heritage of our species. Worker-owned cooperatives are regionally distinct and organized around their constituent members. As a result, worker co-ops develop unique cultures that, following Tomasello’s theory, would be expected to better promote a shared identity among all members of the group. This shared identity would give rise to greater trust and collaboration without the need for centralized control.