A possie in Aussie

March 4, 2009

Reversing into a workers’ utopia?

Filed under: Immigrant workers — Nayano @ 7:37 am
Tags: ,

The reverse migration of workers that started once the world economic crisis began is interesting many reporters. For example, Thomas Fuller of the International Tribune recently said of Thailand:

“The number of workers returning to their villages, while difficult to measure because many do not report their working status to the government, appears to be accelerating. Here in Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand’s fourth largest, officials say 2,187 workers have returned from other provinces and registered as unemployed since November, half of those in February alone.” As jobs dry up in Southeast Asia, a return to the safety of the countryside

Amalia Feld writes about the economic crisis and Asia’s migrant worker population at The Swarthmore Project. She sees potential for decentralisation of economic power, because workers are returning to their agricultural subsistence communities with new skills:

“The same entrepreneurial spirit that drove people out of the countryside may now impel them to create opportunities at home, independent of what the urban economy once offered.”

Amalia refers to the word ‘deglobalisation’ first coined by Walden Bello in De-globalization: Ideas for a New World Economy, which talks about the coming decentralised economy and political power, and says:

“The true effects of the slowdown, however, will depend on its duration: the longer it lasts, the more assuredly “deglobalization” will occur, thus impacting Asia’s rural socio-economic development.”

I think she’s dreaming. How about you?


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