Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 12, 2020

Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2020 (virtual cinema)

Filed under: Counterpunch,Film — louisproyect @ 4:20 pm


While Hollywood remains moribund because of the pandemic, the noncommercial film world plows ahead. This year the Human Rights Watch Film Festival will be available to everybody through VOD. Starting on June 11 and ending on June 20, it offers documentaries on topics that go to the heart of the current crisis, ranging from immigration to the rights of indigenous peoples. I have seen five of the films and could easily nominate any one of them as best documentary of 2020 for the New York Film Critics Online awards meeting in December. We still don’t have word on whether this will happen or not in light of Hollywood’s shutdown. Unlike most of my colleagues, I review films that are as doggedly uncommercial as my politics. In this batch, you will meet real supermen and women far more compelling than any fictional character.

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  1. Why do you feel, and rightly so, outraged by the breach of every possible law in the case of Maxima while absolving illegal immigrants who come to other countries by breaching the law?
    Is this not a perfect example of double standard? Sometimes breaching the law is good while others is not? And who decides?

    Comment by Riccardo Pusceddu — June 17, 2020 @ 12:29 pm

  2. As long as capital can flow across borders, so should labor. The mining company that poisoned Peruvians had an open door in Peru, so should Peruvians throttled by foreign capital should have an open door into the USA.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 17, 2020 @ 12:40 pm

  3. That mining company is a private enterprise, a criminal one (by the way, could you please give me their email address so I can compliment them for their crimes too?), while the US is a country founded and financed not only by that company (although I doubt that they are so diligent in paying taxes) but by all American citizens, the ones who loose more by supporting illegals and having to compete with them in the labour market.

    Comment by Riccardo Pusceddu — June 18, 2020 @ 10:27 pm

  4. You have no fucking idea what you are talking about. The least you could do is cite some statistics to accompany your nativist propaganda.

    Economists have different conclusions regarding the impact on wages from immigration, both legal and illegal. It is challenging to separate the impact of illegal immigration (generally workers with lower educational attainment) from immigration overall. Studies generally conclude there is a small adverse impact on the wages of lower-skilled workers from immigration and some benefit for higher-skilled workers:

    Research by economist David Card (University of California-Berkeley) indicated the effect of immigration on native born workers without high school degrees is limited, perhaps reducing the wages of high school dropouts by 5.1% over 20 years.[31]

    Harvard economist George Borjas wrote in 2007 that: “Economic theory implies that immigration should lower the wage of competing workers and increase the wage of complementary workers. For example, an influx of foreign-born laborers reduces the economic opportunities for laborers — all laborers now face stiffer competition in the labor market. At the same time, high-skill natives may gain substantially. They pay less for the services that laborers provide, such as painting the house and mowing the lawn, and natives who hire these laborers can now specialize in producing the goods and services that better suit their skills.” Borjas’ other research also indicated that “high-school dropouts experience a substantial wage loss from immigration of 6.3% in the short run and 3.1% over the long haul as labor markets adjust to the increased number of workers.”[32]

    A 2015 National Academy of Sciences report concluded that native-born workers who are substitutes for immigrants (e.g., lower-skilled workers in the case of illegal immigrants) “will experience negative wage effects.” The report continues: “In summary, the immigration surplus [overall net benefit from immigration] stems from the increase in the return to capital that results from the increased supply of labor and the subsequent fall in wages. Natives who own more capital will receive more income from the immigration surplus than natives who own less capital, who can consequently be adversely affected.”[32]

    The Brookings Institution reported in 2012 that: “[T]he most recent economic evidence suggests that, on average, immigrant workers increase the opportunities and incomes of Americans. Based on a survey of the academic literature, economists do not tend to find that immigrants cause any sizeable decrease in wages and employment of U.S.-born citizens, and instead may raise wages and lower prices in the aggregate.” However, certain groups may be adversely affected. Brookings pointed to two studies at the opposite ends of the impact spectrum, one (Borjas-Katz 2007) indicating a 4.5% reduction in the wages of native workers that were high-school dropouts and a roughly 1.6% reduction for native college graduates, with another (Ottaviano-Peri 2008) indicating a small positive for all education levels.[33]

    In 2008, Gordon H. Hanson at University of California–San Diego and National Bureau of Economic Research performed a study to see if illegal immigration affects native workers employment. From the study was concluded that unauthorized immigrants provide a source of manpower in agriculture, construction, food processing, building cleaning and maintenance, and other low-end jobs.[34] Cities with a high percentage of illegal immigration were examined in this study and data showed that illegal immigrants overall impact on the US economy is small. On the other hand, US employers gain from lower labor costs and the ability to use their land, capital, and technology more productively.

    Health care

    Comment by louisproyect — June 18, 2020 @ 10:37 pm

  5. I wasn’t speaking only about illegal immigrants in the US. And it’s not only competition with native workers for wages but also the fact that illegals cost more in welfare. Here’s a study about immigrants in the UK that showed how third word immigrants to the UK go on benefits more often than EU citizens:

    Click to access The_Fiscal_Impact_of_Immigration_on_the_UK.pdf

    As for the US, I don’t trust Wikipedia too much because of the bias to the left (even one of its founders admitted that) and I don’t take a note on the sources that depose negatively on the economic and social impact of third world immigrants in the US. I just read articles at random from both side of the political spectrum and most of those that make a positive case for third world immigrants omit facts that will make it negative.
    I’m very busy at the moment to browse for those and even to read again the Wikipedia article but next time that I’ll find a result that corroborate my views I’m gonna send you a link to it in here.
    Have you forgotten to write down the email address of those criminals or you just don’t want to share that with me?

    Comment by Riccardo Pusceddu — June 21, 2020 @ 1:05 pm

  6. Illegals cost more in welfare? What the fuck? Riccardo, why is a piece of shit nativist like you trolling this blog? Can’t you find some other blog to haunt, one that is more in touch with your racist phobias?

    Comment by louisproyect — June 21, 2020 @ 2:32 pm

  7. I’m not trolling. I want to confront my positions with someone who’s got different ones.

    Comment by Riccardo Pusceddu — June 22, 2020 @ 1:09 pm

  8. I just reviewed your recent comments, Riccardo. In addition to your nativism, you state that blacks are genetically inferior and that “Everybody condemns Americans for it but nobody dare to condemn an African woman who makes 7 children.” It is abundantly clear that you are a fascist even though you try to appear reasonable. I simply can’t allow a fascist to use this blog for his ruminations on immigration, genetically inferior black people, etc. So that’s it for you.

    Comment by louisproyect — June 22, 2020 @ 1:17 pm

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