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October 25, 2016


Miguel Madeira

I imagine that what happens is that most people (and specially the people who wants to limit immigration) thinks that reducing immigration will have a net benefit, not costs (probably it is exactly because this that they want to limit immigration)


Agree with Miguel, the problem is that people think limiting immigration is a net benefit to the economy because of the household model (extra mouth to feed). Immigration into the country is seen as a luxury for the metropolitan elite to feel good about themselves and enjoy some exotic food.

The household model of the economy could be seen as a fetish in the marxist sense. It is a way part of the world works that is taken to explain all of it. People have experience managing their own finances and assume it is the same for the government, even though it isn't.

Luis Enrique

I think the examining magistrate could make for good telly.


I'm unsurprised. The optimum immigration policy would be a public good, so there would be no cost to be apportioned to anyone within the UK. Any policy that doesn't meet that criterion is flawed, so the electorate should rightly reject it.

Restricting low-skilled immigration would force employers to up-skill existing workers and the un- and under-employed; it would also inflate their wages. But there would be progressively less restriction on migration further up the economic scale, ultimately resulting in positive steps to encourage migration by those whose skills match rent-seeking professions in which greater supply would bid down wages, creating a smoother pre-distribution income curve and rendering more affordable the services provided by those occupations.

It's true that limiting low-skilled migration (the Brexit argument) threatens negative externalities for the individuals who might otherwise have improved their lot in the UK, and possibly (though many would argue otherwise) for their home nations. But within the UK, it has the potential to be beneficial.

Patrick Kirk

This formulation is like telling a child "brocolli is good for you." The child may take the brocolli but they will never like it. Sililiarly telling people immigrants are useful for the economy may convince them to allow immigration but they will never like it.

I prefer the "immigrants make life better" approach myself but it fails when the entirity of UK politics seems dead set against providng affordable housing.


Is it easy to find an agenda-free examining magistrate with no preconceptions?

John King

I think this failed version of thesis-antithesis-synthesis is a trickle down influence of a failed political model in which we only get the first two in the Commons. PR might lead to more synthesis in the form of compromise. Currently politics is more like a team sport, where the winner tries to implement their often one-sided and narrow policy.

Ralph Musgrave

So people who oppose immigration suddenly get less enthusiastic about immigration control when confronted with the costs. Hardly surprising! I imagine same applies to most other government policies or potential policies.


"Rather than have a prosecutor-defender model, discussion programmes could have an examining magistrate model in which examining the evidence is more important than having a ding-dong."

And of course on the BBC there would be no shortage of magistrate figures who could come at things from a rightist or libertarian attitude wouldn't there?

Do me a favour - remember who the BBC's economics editor was? Paul Mason, the man who is now shilling for Jeremy Corbyn. I'm sure he would have examined economic matters with a even hand between ideas of the right and left..........


Are the findings so curious?

If 47% of remainers and 91% of leavers want less immigration, the data could equally generate a headline of: "Around half of those who want less immigration are willing to pay for it".

Or alternatively: "70% of brexit voters are willing to pay to reduce immigration; probably around same % who voted on immigration grounds".

As you sort of infer with the pro/anti model, I'd guess many (most) community policies would give similar stats.



If the journalism is fair and evidenced, I don't really care abour the political position of the journalist. If anything, I'm wary of those I agree with - in case I pile-up beliefs into a fictional world.

I don't like this trope of "that reporter is with the other team! Bias! Boo!"


I think most Brexiteers would dispute the basic premise of your question. As far as they are concerned reducing or stopping immigration would obviously - just obviously, I mean basically we'd get their jobs, doctors appointments and houses instead of them - have massive net financial benefits to them personally, and any talk to the contrary is clearly an attempt to bamboozle by open borders lefties with some kind of nefarious anti-British agenda.

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