These days, if you wanted
to guess what someone’s income was and were only
allowed to ask one question, that question would be: “What
country do you live in?” The reason for this is
the huge differences in the average incomes of different
countries. In twenty years you will have to ask a different
question in order to guess someone’s wages: “What
is your training and education?”
Bill Gates, Business@ the Speed of
This prophecy of Bill Gates’ is on its way
to becoming true. The worth of a human in the employment
world depends on his or her skills and on the state of
the market; Humans are becoming easily replaceable labor
capital. This ’capital’ can be moved from
one company to another; from one continent to another.
This migration of workers has created a new industry:
private recruitment agencies.
Changing one’s job and often even one’s
country of residence means exchanging a new world for an
old one. This can be very difficult on a personal level.
This’human capital’ is, after all, simply people.
Columbia, Sri Lanka: CHAMILA ALVIS doesn’t
know how she can support her three small children, now that
her husband has died in an accident. There is no work for
her in Sri Lanka. She gets up the courage to go to an interview
with an agency that arranges to send cheap female labor
to Europe. She plans to start as a housemaid in Cypress.
Two of the hundreds of unemployed construction workers from
East Germany, VOLKER NEBELUNG
and DIRK WAGNER learn about
jobs in foreign countries at the job exchange. An attractive
Dutch woman promises them very well-paid work in London.
They will help to construct Terminal 5 of the London Heathrow
airport. But first they must pass a two-month English course.
contents part 2