Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the almost irresistible flow of migrants from these poor countries to Europe and North America in search of work and wealth--even in jobs requiring heavy physical labor and paying near minimum wage. Migrants save and borrow what is to them large sums of money only to spend it on human smugglers and often extremely dangerous transport across desert or sea to reach the place where the industrial revolution cultivated an opulence that these migrants feel they can achieve only by risking their homes, years away from their children and in some cases, their very lives.
Still, some friends of mine argue that there is no solid reason why this is going to happen. They believe that things will stay basically the same as they have throughout their (admittedly short) lifetimes. But I answer that what I call the "Third world-ization" of the U.S. is happening now. Consider the characteristics of what we traditionally call a Third World country:
- Enormous disparities in wealth and a very small middle-class
- Crumbling infrastructure (e.g. roads, bridges, public utilities)
- The export of raw materials and import of finished goods