The right approach

The right approach

In the example given earlier, imagine that companies downtown make an agreement. They can borrow employees from each other when they need. There are periods where companies are slow and have excess employees. They may even have to lay off some. At the same time other companies down town may be experiencing a boom in their business and need employees. That would work just fine from an organizational point of view. Actually, having such an agreement would make things better. Instead of companies laying off employees and others trying to hire them, they could call each other and exchange employees as needed.

There are two simple questions and the answer to these determines the position on people movement and immigration.

  • 1) Is it right that a person can come from anywhere in the world and take the job from a citizen of a country?
  • 2) Is it right if there are vacant job positions to be filled by citizens from other countries that will migrate legally?


There is a simple solution to filling jobs, legal immigration. Governments decide how many, with what skills and from which countries they will bring in. Legal immigrants will get a temporary working permit. When they reside enough time in a country, they should get permanent residency. How much this time is depends. It could be from 5 to 20 years.

Countries should first know the vacancies. With the advancement of the technology this is easy. The vacancies will determine the skills required. Then they will choose from which places of the world legal immigrants would come. They may choose them to be from all over the world, from nearby countries or a combination.

Immigrants from nearby countries keep close ties with their homeland. They visit very often their country once they obtain some documents. Sometimes they go several times in a year. In the case of an economic downturn, it is easier for them to leave and come back later when the economy improves. Those from faraway places visit their homeland rarely because it is too far and too expensive. During a downturn it is difficult for them to leave and come back later.

Having immigrants from all over the world gives more diversity and is a lot more interesting. A combination of both would be having immigrants from all over the world with a higher percentage from nearby countries. If the country is in an economic block with preferential economic relations it may choose to bring immigrants from other countries in the same block.

A reasonable approach is that immigrants should cover only job vacancies. However, governments can bring in legally as many immigrants as they want, more or less than those required to fill vacant spots. The number is up to them.  It is up to them to do whatever they want. They should be honest about it to the public and take the political cost, if there is any. Immigrants have an effect on labor supply, unemployment and level of wages. If governments can’t control how many and in what positions come in, they can’t implement policies. There may be other reasons than economic to bring in immigrants like humanitarian, cultural diversity etc.

At the same time, more attention should be given so that less advanced countries can progress. The economic prowess of poorer countries should not be at the expense of the richer ones. Advanced nations should help less advanced increase their standard of living without decreasing theirs. Instead of a pull approach, a push should be applied. This way people should not have to leave their countries and that is exactly what they want. Nobody wants to abandon his homeland unless he has no other option. Instead of having mostly movement from poorer to richer countries, it should be the other way around.

Businessmen, executives, economists, scientists from advanced countries should assist less advanced countries to move ahead. The ones that are more sensitive and sympathetic to immigrants should be the first to go to poorer countries and help them advance. Immigrants that have lived in an advanced country for many years, know the systems and ways that have made these countries advanced. They should be persuaded and motivated to go back to their homeland and transfer that knowledge. Also an immigration system should be set that will allow citizens from poorer nations to live legally for a few years in an advanced country and then go back to their homeland and transfer knowledge.

African Americans should become more sensitized to Africa and Latin Americans to Central and South America. Some should go to the land of their ancestors and assist locals in their economic progress and at the same time make some money.  The same applies for people who originate from other poor parts of the world in advanced countries like USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England etc. An African in Africa can relate better with an African American than an American from Scandinavian descent. This is not racism or discrimination which are concepts with a negative denotation. It has to do with how comfortable someone feels which has a positive denotation. This is a fact. Whether it is right or wrong for people to feel this way and if it should change is a different issue.

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