How the State have us all fooled on illegal work

What do legal and illegal workers have in common? They both create valuable goods and services helping grow the overall economic pie. If a poor Burmese man named Sai makes his way to Bangkok, sew together a shirt and trades it for a sack of rice, he has created value.

Does the usefulness of his product depend on his immigration status? The answer should be obvious. The economy is larger than if he hadn’t been in Thailand. No Thai is poorer off because Sai has left Yangoon for Bangkok. Nor can he be a drain on resources or living standards in his new city as he can only consume commensurate to what he produces.

The more value he produces, the more he can trade and consume. The more he can grow his living standards the more value available in the economy as a whole. This puts downward pressure on prices and everyone’s purchasing power is raised, i.e. your money stretches further than it once did. Real wages have in effect gone up. Society not only benefits from the goods he produces but the lower prices his labour brought about. Everyone’s happy.

If Rick leaves Leeds to teach English legally or illegally in Chiang Mai he is also creating value. Since someone is willing to pay him for his teaching services there is a demand in the economy for his skills. He supplies those skills, in effect creating value.

 

The State’s Take On Illegal Work

So why the distinction between illegal and legal worker? Our feudal overlords known as the State does not get what it considers it’s fair share from the former in the shape of taxes. Never mind that you, I and everyone else benefits.

The state wants a cut for doing absolutely nothing or it will outlaw the creation of said value

So although the whole idea of illegal labor is an absurdly contradictory term, (as creating value should hardly be against the law!) it’s generally the law of the land worldwide that if the State does not permit your work, license it, approve it or whatever, it is thus illegal, should not take place and must be punished.

Similarly illegal migrant workers don’t vote, but the legal citizen who wrongly believes that the foreigner is stealing his job do. On top of that, and particularly in third world countries, powerful immigration ministries are not able to force-sell (as the buyer obviously isn’t acting voluntarily) highly inflated and redundant visas to the illegals as they are, well strictly speaking, either not officially in the country or on a cheaper option.

Powerful pockets are thus not being lined and the non-productive, non-value adding, taxpayer-wasting job of the immigration official (which in essence is to approve or deny value creation!) would not exist.

So can workers be illegal? Yes, as the State has the ability to outlaw any activity it does not agree with. Now, whether an action is illegal or not shouldn’t be our benchmark for it’s morality. Outlawing value creation is clearly immoral. So people should, and often rightly do, ignore the state’s concerns over ‘illegal work’.

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