Sunday, August 19, 2007


TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Josif Poro pats his new sofa, points with pride to his carpets and runs a wrinkled hand over a gleaming white refrigerator. He and his wife barely scrape by on their $220 monthly pension. They'd have to do without many of the items in their cramped apartment if their son, a factory worker in Greece, didn't faithfully send home part of his earnings.

"We call him our golden boy," said Poro, 83, a retired textile mill worker.

Around the world, millions of immigrants are sending billions of dollars back home. One sweaty wad of bills or $200 Western Union moneygram at a time, they form what could be called Immigration, Inc. — one of the biggest businesses on the planet. If these guest workers incorporated as a company, their migrant multinational would rank No. 3 on the Fortune 500 list, trailing only Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil in annual revenue.

And unlike the conventional economy, more cash tends to change hands in an economic downturn, political crisis, natural disaster, famine or war.

The U.S. lost $41.1 billion in 2005, according to the World Bank, while Switzerland watched $13.2 billion trickle out of the country that year. Meanwhile, from Poland to the Philippines, remittances are throwing lifelines to families combating poverty and helping to keep some national economies afloat:

Across Latin America, remittances hit $62 billion last year and are projected to top $100 billion by 2010, the Inter-American Development Bank says. Mexicans wire home the most cash — nearly $22 billion — most of it earned in the U.S.

India is the world leader in remittances, taking in $23.7 billion in 2005 and an estimated $26.9 billion last year, the World Bank says. Western Union, traditionally one of the most frequently tapped money transfer companies, says its share of Indian transactions has grown at least 90 percent over each of the past six quarters.

"Without the money we get from our son, who lives and works in Austria, my family and I would simply starve to death," said Jovana Acimovic, a housewife struggling to make ends meet in Belgrade, Serbia.

In impoverished Tajikistan, the National Bank says migrant laborers sent home $1.1 billion last year — more than the country's GDP. Filipinos working overseas sent home a record $13.6 billion in 2005. So much cash is flowing that mobile phone operators make it possible to transfer money over a cell phone.

In Albania, where the average monthly wage is only $250, a third of the population of 3.2 million have left for better jobs in the U.S., Britain, Greece, Italy and elsewhere.

Much of the world's migration is illegal, and although many immigrants work at menial jobs, some are doctors, engineers and other professionals. Their departure can mean a brain drain of highly trained personnel and create an immigration culture.

"Migration creates more migration," said Ilir Gedeshi, director of the Center for Economic and Social Studies in Albania, whose emigrants have stashed an estimated $14 billion in foreign banks. "It's a cycle. The next generation has to leave because there are no jobs being created for them here."

Elvin Meka, secretary-general of the Albanian Association of Banks, offers a blunt warning: "We export human beings, and they send us cash," he said. "Young people are addicted to the idea of leaving. That's the biggest crime in this country. The government is killing their dreams."

For Ismet and Safija Helja, retired in impoverished Bosnia, the cash their carpenter son, Nedzad, sends from America boils down to this: not having to eat at a soup kitchen. Like clockwork, it arrives every three months. "Sometimes $1,000, sometimes $500, depending how good he does," said Ismet Helja, 67. "If it wasn't for Nedzad's money," he said, "we would die."

----------The globalists gotta love it. Cheap transient labor, no messy unions or benefits to deal with; no lawsuits for wrongful deaths due to working conditions; no hungry masses storming the palace if Johnny keeps sending home cash. And doesn't "guest worker" sound so much better than "destitution by design."

Remember Third World White, I told you "That's where Johnny White America is headed, but with the American flare for things: Out to the shanty, with TV, prescriptions and foodstamps, to squat with the rest of the world, gaze at the party lights in the big house and wait for a few dollars from Johnny's allotment check."

America's all volunteer be all you can be army of "guest workers" around the globe, golden boys/girls to send home money. America's new sweaty wad of middle-class.

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