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June 05, 2006



"immigration is good for an economy": what, any old immigration? Just immigration per se, irrespective of the detail of who, and whom they are joining? Pull the other one. It's as implausible as "no immigration is good for an economy".


Yes, but whose economy ? It would be good for the British economy if we could send all the Brits to the States and replace them with the well-educated and hard working populations of Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Britian isn't there to be a good economy. A strong British economy is good because (inter alia) it's good for British people.

After all, it was extremely good for the economy of the former British Mandate when thousands of Jews moved there. It would be extremely good for the economies of the West Bank and Gaza Strip were Israel to annex them. (The same probably applies to Syria and Egypt). Yet in all these cases the locals have objected violently.


(1) The statistics that you quote above seem to indicate that immigration is slightly bad for native employment. I can't find anything to prove that its good for the economy.

(2) 0.024% of say 20 million working adults is not a small number. And that is for 1% increase in the number of immigrants. What would be a reasonable estimate for the actual % figure, given that the government no longer attempts to monitor individual cases.

(3) Wage depression needs to be added to the above unemployment impact

(4) The non-monetisable impact of immigration is not taken into account.

(5) Empirically,(a) if immigration was directly a force for good, citizens in countries with low immigration over a long time period would be doing very badly. In practice, this is not the case, as can be seen from Japan, Iceland, Norway and South Korea (b) Current net positive immigration countries like the UK and US have had periods of low immigration in the past which are not associated with economic failure. (c) People in high-immigration areas tend to move (or want to move) to low immigration areas.

(6) I agree with you that the economic benefits of migration should be distributed more widely. I also want a pony :-)

(7) How do you see the Citizen's Basic Income working with uncontrolled immigration


After all, it was extremely good for the economy of the former British Mandate when thousands of Jews moved there

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