Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It’s the Foreigner’s Fault!

Just wanted to share a funny conversation that transpired in my microeconomics class at 9:30 pm on Monday. What could be so funny in a 9:30 pm microeconomics class? Usually NOTHING, but this time the professor said something so profoundly true and with such libertarian gusto that upon thinking of it for a minute or two I burst out laughing!! Yes , I know I sound like a nerd (wish that I were one though!) and I am sure some students thought me weird but if only there knew Wonderland, they would see the humor.

So here goes:

Dr. C was pontification on how non-economists wrongly view the world through pessimistic eyes and how we economists being the wiser need to dispel the misconceptions. For example he says, most people are negatively biased towards immigration. They think it’s the worst thing that can happen to their country. They blame the foreigners. Everyone blames the foreigners. No jobs, it is the foreigners’ fault. High crime, it is the foreigners’ fault. Inflation, foreigners’ fault. Failing education and health systems’, yup you guess it, foreigners’ fault. Yet when you go around the world, I have yet to encounter one people that admit that they are the fault. Foreigners are always to blame yet who those foreigners are depends from one country to another. One thing the countries have in common: IT IS NEVER THE LOCALS’ FAULT! You never find a people that admit that they are to blame somehow. If only I acted different the world would be a better place!

In the USA, people are freaking about the influx of the Mexicans. The Mexicans meanwhile are going crazy trying to stop the Guatemalans from illegally entering Mexico! A Indian newspaper lamented the influx of Bangladeshi immigrants to India. Apparently they are lowering the standard of living in India and taking away all the jobs! Upon hearing the last statement I burst out laughing. How many times did I hear Wonderlandians complain about the Indians taking all the jobs and driving the wages down….aaaaah sweet justice! Lol I can just imagine what the Wonderlandian would say: Allah ma edeg eb 3a9a/ God doesn’t hit with a stick! (I on the other hand never harbored such a thought!)

And of course remembering the flood of immigration in Wonderland immediately wiped the smile off my face. How I long for the days of old when expat workers were the only kind of foreigners my country folk complained about. I lifted my hand to ask the professor his opinion of government driven illegal naturalization but the class ended.


Reeshiez said...

The situation in Bahrain is a complicated one. On one hand immigrants and expatriates are discriminated against both legally and socially. They are viewed by many people as the cause of all of Bahrains problems instead of human beings who are looking to make a decent living. On the other hand, the Bahraini governments immigration policies are arbitrary and have secetarian undertones. Husbands and children of Bahraini women have no right to become Bahraini citizens but entire tribes from other countries are given citizenship.
I am disguisted though by the racism of the anti-immigration movement in Bahrain. The forwards I get from people are shocking. I just wish people would seperate the government's immigration policies from the immigrants themselves.

Will E. said...

In Egypt we don't have that many foreigners so we don't have anyone to blame.. We'd like to import some just to blame them actually.