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April 23, 2005



Rather more striking that Toni's govt is orders of magnitude less.


lemme guess - you're a member of the austrian cult. You worship markets, have blind faith in adam smith's invisible hand.

and look! a link to the homo-obsessed eric rasmusen (ever notice how economics is a hotbed for repressed homosexuals?)


Ignore that rude boy, Mr S & M, I think that you and your chum Blimpish have been in spanking (oops) form lately.

Scott Campbell at Blithering Bunny

>less intellectual and humane than even Thatcher.

Why the cheap shot at Thatcher?


Ah, Scott - remember that despite his sound economics, our host here's an Eeeeeevil Leftist.

(I've had an absolutely brilliant day, so I won't bother to labour the observation that opposing free immigration is hardly cretinous, although I accept that simple quotas, rather than using (say) price-setting or auction mechanisms, are a relatively cretinous way of achieving them.)


he never said that opposing unlimited immigration was cretinous. most of the country accept that the level of immigration should be tailored to meet economic needs but the last thing we need is another government body full of "experts" deciding how many people we need to let in for each industry. Surely it's far better to let employers in that industry approach the home office. After all, nobody knows labour market needs better than the employers ...


Jacob: Your argument's the one for unlimited immigration in the only meaningful sense - i.e., that if a foreign worker can strike an employment deal here, then there should be no limit on them.

If 'economic needs' are the sole criterion in immigration policy, then this is correct. You won't get any argument from me about the epistemic joys of market processes. But to make 'economic needs' the sole criterion is the epitome of Managerialism. Some of us think there's more to life than economic needs...


I'm inclined to believe that employers will only import workers if the recruitment of local workers at a reasonable market level isn't possible. certainly that's the reflection i've drawn from my own experiences.

what are your other criteria, then?


The two criteria for me, closely connected:

1. Cultural. The importation of large number of often transient residents, who have only a monetary tie to our country, its customs, its language, and its institutions, runs the risk of depleting long-accumulated social capital for the sake of a quick buck today. Moving from 10% to 20% minority population in a generation makes this a high likelihood. I'm against it because (a) I know of no culture unambiguously better than ours, and so I want to keep it; and (b) it is the deep roots of that culture that allows a competitive market to flourish - we run it down at our peril. Integrating migrants could help, but no Government would have the guts to impose it.

2. Political. Throughout periods of high immigration, a clear majority of the British people have always been opposed. This is for a variety of reasons, some less noble than others (i.e., racial bigotry). But this is the only country we've got - it seems madness (not to mention wholly undemocratic) to go against the deep-seated feelings of the majority, simply for marginal economic gain. This doesn't require us to like the reasons for those feelings - if 70% of British people liked to beat up black people, it wouldn't seem a wise plan to invite more black people here.

There are others - you might, for example, say that the country is already densely populated, and so a rapid growth in population will come at a significant environmental cost in terms of lost green-belt.

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