Monday, December 26, 2011

Emigration the new foreign legionaries !

There are many ways in which the migration of skilled labour may aid poorer countries. Many skilled personnel may have been jobless had they stayed in their own countries. The wage disparity between rich and poor countries is a major magnet for emigration. The emotional cost of leaving ones home town though heavy is now offset to a certain extent thanks to technological innovation like skype and mobile phones.

When a Bangladeshi man goes to work on a construction site in the Middle East his wife typically moves into the husbands family. This creates a sort of larger joint family support system, than the nuclear family situation that was prevailing. Migration is an effective tool against poverty and reduces the global imbalance also. The number of migrants has doubled from 100 M to 200 million in one decade. Increased mobility with cheaper communication means that in the future, the global community will be connected in a manner never dreamt before, since our small world evolutionary origins.

Immigration is unpopular in certain European countries, because people overestimate its costs while understanding its benefits. The main fear is that an influx of unskilled workers from other countries may drag down the prevailing market sates of the original natives. Labour shortage in rich countries can only be solved by migration.

The other side of the coin is that “brain drain” of skilled people may hurt the economy of developing nations as much of their education has been subsidized by the government. This logic might seem true, but fails to take into account the huge remittances which can offset the subsidies. The flip side is that these early emigrants to Silicon Valley also enabled Indian software companies break into the lucrative American market in the early days. Finally in a flat globalized village educated and skilled people will go wherever they want to go and will lead to a more productive pairing of peoples skills in a mutually beneficial manner. In the wild savannahs of Africa the wild beest and animals migrate in search of greener pastures while birds migrate in summer and winter. It is the way of nature.

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