Hi-Tech Colonialism

At the start of the industrial revolution, lots of people got rich by getting around existing rules that governed other the world. That’s the nature of technology. The guy who invented the first plow found a way to get around the limitations of the hoe. The next guy who added a draft animal to the mix got around the limits of the human body. The Industrial Revolution, at the simplest level, was the application of science to the physical limits of the human being.

That’s the romantic view. The more realistic view is that great technological leaps are accompanied by, and maybe spurred by, a desire to get around laws, customs and moral codes. Web development in the 1990’s, for instance, was driven by the pornography business. The technology to display images and video on-line was primarily due to pornographers. Jeff Bezos became a billionaire avoiding sales taxes by selling on-line and gaming local tax laws. Uber right now is gaming the laws to undermine taxi cartels.

The push for open borders by Silicon Valley, for example, is about getting around labor laws and nothing more. Mark Zuckerburglar loves the idea of paying the rates they pay in Tamil Nadu India for technical work. He just hates the idea of having to go to Tamil Nadu India to get them. Instead, he would like to import those people to live in camps here and work at rates otherwise against the law here. He’s even willing to let them use indoor toilets, thus showing he is a warm and generous man!

The Robber Barons can’t put it that way so they lie about shortages of labor in their industry. Here’s a good example.

President Obama’s legislation on immigration has been one of the most hotly contested political reforms for a generation. The Immigration Order, along with Ron Paul’s subsequent bill attempting to overturn the reform, put immigration firmly at the forefront of the political agenda.

The outcry in the US reflects a similar sentiment sweeping across Europe. The rise of numerous right wing parties of varying extremes across European countries has led to immigration being actively curtailed. Anti-EU sentiment also is fueling a desire for homegrown talent in business in this highly charged atmosphere.

You see what’s happening? Those who oppose mass immigration are Nazis. They are bad people that can be dismissed, or worse, because they are not really human. They are extremists!

However, as arguments on both sides escalate, the technology sector has emerged as one of the few voices of reason. Digital companies are used to operating globally, and innovation is driven by attracting and retaining the best talent from around the world.

In San Francisco, the battle for talent has seen tech companies doing everything they can to win the best recruits. Hairdressers, free food and doctors are all expected as competition continues to soar. The distance between this environment and the national debate around restricting immigration is extraordinary.

The “everything they can” also includes colluding with one another to depress wages and prevent employees from jumping companies. For people allegedly trying everything to attract talent, they seem oddly willing to engage in what should result in lengthy prison terms in order to not attract talent.

The fact is there’s no shortage of technology workers in America or Europe. There’s a shortage of owners willing to abide by the laws and pay market rates. Instead they seek to game the system to enrich themselves at the expense of their countrymen. It’s a form of colonialism, except this time the colonists are exploiting their own ethnic group. I’d call it feudalism, except feudal lords provided a service in exchange for food rents.

The argument from libertarians in these matters is that the market will sort it all out. Tyler Cowen’s flunky always says it is unfair to punish people because of the accident of birth. National borders are immoral. That’s insane, but let’s think it through. No borders means no country. No country means no citizens and that means no government, at least no legitimate government. Order will simply be imposed by those with force to do so.

In such a world, the entire economics department of George Mason would be on a chain gang somewhere as chattel labor in a few weeks after the new system is in place.

The hard cold truth is that much of the tech sector is just another ruling class scam these days. Credentialed grifters get a license from the state to rip-off the public. The costs are socialized so they are not as obvious, while the profits are privatized. Flooding the country with cheap labor from abroad, living here as indentured servants, has a cost. Silicon Valley thinks you should bear that cost so they can enjoy the profits.

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grey enlightenment
5 years ago

People say that more immigration is an affront to government, but the weird thing is, more immigration doesn’t preclude enforcement of non-immigration laws. Police presence is as strong as ever and the jails are full of people, so it’s not like we have anything close to anarchy despite lots of immigration.

rick
rick
5 years ago

How cool would it be for a main stream news outlet to do a report on this, complete with interviews of the “imported ones” in their camps, telling the story of the wages they’re paid and the hours they work. Juxtaposed with interviews of the hapless college graduates who spent so much to get the tech degree they were told was the key to wealth and success in the 21st century, and can’t find a full-time job.
Sunlight, the best disinfectant, blocked by the clouds of collusion. Hmm, Clouds Of Collusion. Cool band name.

Tripletap
Member
5 years ago

So we can thank porn for the internet? Wow, that’s a twofer.

guest
guest
5 years ago

I’d call it slavery, except slave owners were legally liable: “The Obama administration has ordered federal agents responsible for protecting one of the nation’s busiest and most crime-infested regions near Mexico to stop apprehending drunk drivers, according to an internal government memo that also concedes an officer that elects to detain them is “acting within the course and scope of his employment.” Obtained by Judicial Watch this week, the notice is titled “Enforcement Options With Alcohol-Impaired Drivers” and directs the 4,000-plus U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson, Arizona sector to “release” individuals under the influence and “allow them to… Read more »

Duck Enlightment
Duck Enlightment
5 years ago

Facebook or Google aren’t the first In their business but they’re promoted to a virtual monopoly because their owners are “Tribesmen”.

Repair_Man_Jack
Repair_Man_Jack
5 years ago

>>>>It’s an overstatement to say porn built the internet, but it was a joke in the 90’s because it was mostly true

No wonder Al Gore put so much time and effort into its invention.

Bunker Brown
Bunker Brown
5 years ago

I am ethnic Indian and I completely agree with you. ‘Real Wages’ have been dropping in the tech field for quite some time now. The whole problem is exacerbated by the importation of my fellow brown brothers-who happily undercut me, and each other, for jobs.

It’s race to the bottom!