The Hypocrisy of Cheap Labour

January 6, 2018

I was interested to read this morning the complaints from Solly’s Bagels that they were having difficulty with the bureaucratic red tape involved in bringing foreign workers to BC.  If it was up to me they wouldn’t ever have the option.

The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program is a perfect example of the kind of unnecessary government intervention that distorts free markets and underpins the capitalist economy.  With the negligible exception of a few highly skilled specialists, TFW exists ONLY to lower the costs of production for corporations below what the rational free market says they should be, and for no other reason.

It is both ridiculous and immoral to bring in foreign workers to perform low-wage low-skill work (flipping burgers, serving coffee or bagels, etc) that can be handled by any Canadian with a brain. Some of these employers claim that the unemployment rate is so low they cannot find local workers. Nonsense. Pay enough and workers will be there; maybe they will leave other employers to join them, but isn’t competition (for labour as well as anything else) a heavily promoted benefit of capitalism?

The Temporary Foreign Worker program exists for the sole purpose of lowering costs to corporations in order to increase profits for the few.

The hypocrisy comes because many of these same employers are far-right evangelists insistent in their demands for removing government regulation of industry — unless, of course, those regulations benefit their wallets.

I propose that the government announce a final end date for all TFW approvals, say two years, and oblige industry to work out whatever readjustments are required.  Current temporary foreign workers should be given an easy path to formal immigration if that is what they want; the rest should be sent home.


[Note: I write this as we live in a world of nation states. My personal preference would be to see completely free movement of people in a world without borders and, of course, without corporations. Until that glorious day … ]



Night Music: Smooth Operator

January 6, 2018