Wednesday, May 24, 2006

NY Times anti-capitalist bias

Clearly, there is a NY Times anti-capitalist bias in this article 'U.S. Plan to Lure Nurses May Hurt Poor Nations' by Celia W. Dugger about a provision in the immigration bill proposed by the US Senate that removes the limit on the number of nurses who can immigrate.
Removing the immigration cap, they said, would particularly hit the Philippines, which sends more nurses to the United States than any other country, at least several thousand a year. Health care has deteriorated there in recent years as tens of thousands of nurses have moved abroad. Thousands of ill-paid doctors have even abandoned their profession to become migrant-ready nurses themselves, Filipino researchers say.
"The Filipino people will suffer because the U.S. will get all our trained nurses," said George Cordero, president of the Philippine Nurse Association. "But what can we do?"

How dare NY Times' Ms. Celia W. Dugger insinuate that individual Filipino nurses are responsible for the deterioration of health care in the Philippines! Unload the burden of guilt for the suffering of Filipino people on the shoulders of hard working Filipino nurses.
If Filipino nurses hadn't work in US hospitals as exchange students before the 1965immigration reform, health care institutions in the Philippines would have been worst.
The principal and assistant principal of my nursing school trained as exchange student in Chicago and Jersey City hospital. My school of nursing closed and merge with universities for BSN program in mid 1980. They both immigrated to the US after that for their self interest.
These 'ill-paid doctors' who 'become migrant-ready nurses' did it for their individual selves, their families and in the end, the nation. That's classic capitalism according to Adam Smith.
A nursing degree, like any professional degree is a capitalist business endeavor. There's profit at the end of the endeavor. Any control toward that profit is another deduction of economic freedom for all Filipinos.
Filipino MD's becoming RN's, RN's migrating to US hospitals and nursing homes for better wages than those earned in the Philippines is a capitalistic endeavor. Their self interest for their passion will reward them with financial profit in the long run. Beneficial for themselves and the Philippines as a nation for their acquired knowledge, skills, American assimilated culture and economic profit.
Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations that 'division of labor arises from a propensity in human nature to exchange.'
Filipino nurses as overseas foreign worker (OFW) is a capitalistic endeavor of supply and demand, exchanging the excess human capital of the Philippines somewhere there's demand. It is privately owned profit from a capitalistic endeavor of hard work, currency exchange at world market price and self interest with minimal government intrusion.
Someday, when these nurses are comfortable and fairly satisfied with how their lives evolved in America, will give back to the Philippines in some way or another by capitalistic means.
Today, these nurses are generous money remitters, sending siblings and relatives to school, financing a business, never forget a holiday and birthday cash gift.
Capitalism, Filipino Style.
God Bless all Filipinos!
God Bless the Philippines!


Marcelo said...

"Today, these nurses are generous money remitters, sending siblings and relatives to school, financing a business, never forget a holiday and birthday cash gift."

But those remittances will cease very soon since the Senate provisions allow not only the nurses to leave the Philippines, but for them to take their families with them. With no (or little) family back home, there's no longer motivation to send remittances. So the Philippines gets screwed 3 times over-- 1. trains these nurses and doctors but loses them and loses all the money sunk into training them, 2. loses desperately needed nursing and doctor talent to treat people back home (I've seen people die slowly in front of me in Manila due to the lack of healthcare staff and they cannot be retrained-- never, ever downplay the severity of the problem), and 3. doesn't even have the benefit of remittances.

It's a stupid, murderous plan, plain and simple. The solutions have to come from both sides. The Philippines should actually work a little harder to pay the Filipino nurses a fair wage, which would obviously lead more of them stay and help their countrymen and countrywomen. But the US should get off its rich fat ass and actually train the nurses it needs to take care of its patients, rather than poaching from already poor countries. The US should also, at the very least, compensate the Philippines for the training costs, which are very expensive. Even better, maybe we should set up a system so that nurses in the Philippines work for a few years in the US, then come back-- better trained, giving benefit to the US, but ultimately helping others within their homeland.

I'm an ardent Pinoy capitalist and agree with you on most points, but not on this one. You're dead wrong here and rather naive.

Ate Mely said...

Most Filipinos, including hubbby I love & nursing colleagues have same train of thought as you.
Restriction on nurse's ability to accumulate capital is restriction on their freedom.
I lived the life of graduate nurse class '67, nurse immigrant '69 and a practicing capitalist today.
These I attribute as grace from God, generosity of America and genuis of Adam Smith.