It is not money that renders the commodities commensurable. Quite the contrary. Because all commodities, as values, are objectified human labour, and therefore in themselves commensurable, their values can be communally measured in one and the same specific commodity, and this commodity can be converted into the common measure of their values, that is into money. Money as a measure of value is the necessary form of appearance of the measure of value which is immanent in commodities, namely labour-time.
Karl Marx Capital Vol. 1
As new migrants, we are accused of both stealing jobs and stealing welfare, we are told that we are health tourists and essential health workers. We reject being defined by those who seek to rule over us. We are thinkers and office cleaners, we are your hopes and your fears, we are lovers and agitators, we are greedy and self-sacrificing, we are the policed and the persecuted, we are the Other. Our children are likened to parasites and our acceptability is ranked according to our “usefulness” to the nation. We are criminalised and classified as “illegal”, and to become “legal” we must be loyal and obedient, we must bear heavy burdens but not become burdensome, we must know more statistics about Britain than the British Prime Minister. We are forced to justify our right to exist, work, live and procreate.
You will be subject to full conditionality and work search requirements and you’ll have to show you’re genuinely seeking employment. And if you fail that test, you will lose your benefit. And, as a migrant, we’re only going to give you six months to be a jobseeker. After that, benefits will be cut off unless you really can prove not just that you are genuinely seeking employment but also that you have a genuine chance of getting a job. We are going to make that assessment a real and robust one and, yes, it also will include whether your ability to speak English is a barrier to work.
And to migrants who are in work but then lose their jobs, the same rules will apply. Six months and then, if you can’t show you have a genuine chance of getting a job, benefits will be cut off. That means that EEA migrants who don’t have a genuine chance of getting work after six months will lose their right to access certain benefits. So, yes, of course they can still come and stay here if they want to, but the British taxpayer will not go endlessly paying for them anymore.
The second pro-slavery law of 1996 was the "welfare" law, the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act," which in effect eliminated the US government's guarantee to provide minimal benefits to every indigent person in the US. This law puts a limit of five years on the federally-funded welfare support they receive and in order to get it they must join a "workfare" program. "Workfare" requires that people receiving benefits report for work or training at assigned places (usually in government agencies) or they will be cut off. In effect, the welfare benefit is transformed into a wage. But again, this is a non-negotiable wage. Consequently, these women, who are not a small percentage of the adult female work force, are transformed into a quasi-slave condition, a form of debt bondage.
Finally, we come to the immigration law of 1996, the "Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsiblity Act." This law has many draconian penalties for documented and undocumented immigrants even though the US is a society that is largely peopled by immigrants. But most crucial for our theme are the provisions that make a transition from an "undocumented status" to a "documented status" next to impossible. This creates a permanent sector of workers in the US who have no rights nor even a possibility to petition for them. This stratum is immediately transformed into a slave-like status because people in this situation have great difficulty in negotiating a wage. For an employer of an undocumented worker faces a small fine if s/he is discovered, while an undocumented worker faces financial catastrophe or even death.
It found that the traditional view that the poor were seen sympathetically during recessions has disappeared, with support for welfare "largely confined (to) recipients of unemployment benefits". The report says there is a "general trend" where the public accepts that individual characteristics rather than societal issues cause poverty. Most striking was that this change over the past 30 years can be put down to the shifting opinions of Labour voters. Just 27% of the country's leading left-wing party voters cite social injustice as the main cause of poverty, down from 41% during the height of Thatcherism back in 1986. During the same time Labour supporters blaming the individual rose from 13% to 22%.
I am the wrist watch…
From the general down to the newly-arrived buck private, they all wear me, they all swear by me instead of at me.
On the wrist of every line officer in the front line trenches, I point to the hour, minute and second at which the waiting men spring from the trenches to the attack.
I … am the final arbiter as to when the barrage shall be laid down, when it shall be advanced, when it shall case, when it shall resume. I need but point with my tiny hands and the signal is given that means life or death to thousands upon thousands.
My phosphorous glow soothes and charms the chilled sentry, as he stands, waist deep in water amid the impenetrable blackness, and tells him how long he must watch there before his relief is due.
I mount guards, I dismiss guards. Everything that is done in the army itself, that is done for the army behind the lines, must be done according to my dictates. True to the Greenwich Observatory, I work over all men in khaki my rigid and imperious sway…
I am in all and of all, at the heart of every move in this man’s war. I am the witness of every action, the chronicler of every second that the war ticks on… I am, in this way, the indispensable, the always to- be-reckoned-with.
I am the wrist watch.
Stars and Stripes 15 February 1918