Immigrant workers are easier to exploit and only benefit the 1%? Watch

natureartpeace
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Following on from a debate on Question Time tonight, do you think immigrant workers are easier to exploit and are they creating a race to the bottom for local workers' wages, living standards and jobs?

There was a story of a farm employing foreign workers to pick cabages and taking jobs away from local workers. Now, the issue here is that the workers were being paid cash (thereby avoiding tax, NI etc) and monitoring of minimum wage, and were also sleeping on park benches in the local town centre, where their fellow unemployed natives spent their days drinking and making a mess.

Obviously this benefits the businesses hugely and makes massive profits for the top 1% but is it ethical? and is it not unfair on local workers to expect them to work and live in a similar manner?
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Heidihi7894
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I doubt the owner of that cabbage farm is one of the "1%", but I agree with what you are saying. Many migrant workers who come to the UK for menial work are willing to work for much lower wages, so even if they have not taken work away from the local population, they are still helping to keep wages low for everybody. Tax avoidance is also a big issue as they will no doubt be benefiting from tax payers. During this recession and high unemployment it would probably make sense to limit the number of migrant workers to ensure that there are more jobs for local populations. But the government can't do that because it is overruled by the EU.
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py0alb
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(Original post by Heidihi7894)
I doubt the owner of that cabbage farm is one of the "1%", but I agree with what you are saying. Many migrant workers who come to the UK for menial work are willing to work for much lower wages, so even if they have not taken work away from the local population, they are still helping to keep wages low for everybody. Tax avoidance is also a big issue as they will no doubt be benefiting from tax payers. During this recession and high unemployment it would probably make sense to limit the number of migrant workers to ensure that there are more jobs for local populations. But the government can't do that because it is overruled by the EU.
...Or they could just crack down on tax evasion and illegal working practices and incentivize homegrown workers to take jobs even on minimum wage.

The reason immigrant labourers are willing to work for less that our labourers is
a) a poorly incentivized welfare system
b) their country is poorer than ours. Free movement of labour like this is designed to promote economic convergence.
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Aspiringlawstudent
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Unless you are a slave, you are not being 'exploited'.

Rational people do not choose to be exploited - if you choose to take a job, whatever the conditions, and whatever your position, it is because you expect to prefer it to your alternative circumstances.

If you're made better off, in whatever regard, you're not being exploited.
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py0alb
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(Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
Unless you are a slave, you are not being 'exploited'.
This is such nonsense in every regard. Exploitation takes many forms, of which slavery is only one. Paying someone significantly less than their MPL because you know they have no other option but to take the job anyway is exploitation.
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Aspiringlawstudent
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(Original post by py0alb)
This is such nonsense in every regard. Exploitation takes many forms, of which slavery is only one. Paying someone significantly less than their MPL because you know they have no other option but to take the job anyway is exploitation.
People need to get it out of their head that they have the absolute right to a good standard of living.

If you want something, you need to work for it.

At any rate, the nature of competition in a free market ensures people are paid close to their level of production.
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py0alb
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(Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
People need to get it out of their head that they have the absolute right to a good standard of living.

If you want something, you need to work for it.

At any rate, the nature of competition in a free market ensures people are paid close to their level of production.
Labour exploitation occurs when the free market is distorted via monopsony power. By definition, we're not talking about a free market.
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Barksy
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(Original post by py0alb)
This is such nonsense in every regard. Exploitation takes many forms, of which slavery is only one. Paying someone significantly less than their MPL because you know they have no other option but to take the job anyway is exploitation.
It isn't nonsense. No-one forced the person to take that wage. Workers wouldn't accept a job and firms wouldn't hire at the going wage rate if it wasn't mutually beneficial. 'Exploitation' is such an overused word by the left.
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kombu
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yes, they are being exploited. i am surprised the BBC allowed the comments to air as question time is not live. hopefully now it will make people think a bit more rationally about the situation.

mass immigration is by its definition an exploitative policy -- it exists because big business and government want a ready supply of poor, cheap labour.

the rubbish about multiculturalism and diversity is the scraps us plebs are given to argue over.
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Snagprophet
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Is 'the 1%' a term bandied at anyone who owns anything implying they're hogging whatever wealth they have?
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py0alb
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(Original post by Barksy)
It isn't nonsense. No-one forced the person to take that wage. Workers wouldn't accept a job and firms wouldn't hire at the going wage rate if it wasn't mutually beneficial. 'Exploitation' is such an overused word by the left.
If I held a gun to your head and said "Give me £20 or I will blow your head off", it would be mutually beneficial for you to give me £20.

Doesn't stop it being exploitation.

Argument dismissed. Let me know if you think of another one.
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Barksy
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(Original post by py0alb)
If I held a gun to your head and said "Give me £20 or I will blow your head off", it would be mutually beneficial for you to give me £20.

Doesn't stop it being exploitation.

Argument dismissed. Let me know if you think of another one.
What a ridiculous example.
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Martyn*
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(Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
Unless you are a slave, you are not being 'exploited'.

Rational people do not choose to be exploited - if you choose to take a job, whatever the conditions, and whatever your position, it is because you expect to prefer it to your alternative circumstances.

If you're made better off, in whatever regard, you're not being exploited.
What if a rational person is on the work programme and has no choice but to take any job given to him?
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Martyn*
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(Original post by py0alb)
Labour exploitation occurs when the free market is distorted via monopsony power. By definition, we're not talking about a free market.
Labour exploitation is when you pay an employee minimum wage and expect him/her to work at maximum, and to go the extra mile.
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Rakas21
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Of course its not exploitation, where do people take this idea that you are forced to pick cabbages.

When i was 16 my first job was as a trolley pusher at ToysRus, i was paid just £4 per hour and worked around 15 hours per week (i think). Quite frankly it was the most boring job that i have ever done however they were not exploiting my labour (and pushing lots of trolleys around for several hours is as strenuous as picking cabagges), the fact is that i knew the wage was low and i knew i could get a different job (this was 05 so there were plenty of menial positions) but i accepted the job for whatever reason because i placed a greater value on the money i earned than i did a few hours where i would have done very little.

Accepting a crappy job for low pay is not exploitation, the notion that you cannot get a different menial job is one that is only true if you choose to live in rurality. I've never had difficulty finding a menial job and i'm not exactly an Oxbridge candidate.
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A Mysterious Lord
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The problem is due to the cost of living, British workers are more likely to demand a fair living wage and full employment rights and representation, whereas immigrant workers are more likely to keep quiet and accept what they're given, as there's an almost limitless supply of migrants to replace them.
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A Mysterious Lord
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(Original post by py0alb)
If I held a gun to your head and said "Give me £20 or I will blow your head off", it would be mutually beneficial for you to give me £20.

Doesn't stop it being exploitation.

Argument dismissed. Let me know if you think of another one.
No, that's armed robbery. Learn the difference.

Argument dismissed.
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tengentoppa
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I'd heard that jobs like this were often offered to local people first, but they deemed it beneath them and so the immigrants took them. anyway, a tougher enforcement of the minimum wage would solve this problem.
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Aspiringlawstudent
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(Original post by Martyn*)
What if a rational person is on the work programme and has no choice but to take any job given to him?
He does have a choice. He can say no, and in doing so lose his benefits.
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Martyn*
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(Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
He does have a choice. He can say no, and in doing so lose his benefits.
What rational person would choose that?
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