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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Comments

Alice Cook

I read somewhere recently that back in 1997 that 5.7 million working age people received some form of benefit. By 2007, that number fell by just 400,000. Unfortunately, I don't know the net increase in employment over that period, but given the ten straight years of economic growth we have had, employment has grown significantly. This all suggests that the greater part of increased labour supply has been due to immigration.

It is an obvious point perhaps, but the implication is that immigration has placed a significant role in GDP growth; much greater than some of the comments you record might suggest(notably those of the TUC)

Alice,

http://ukhousebubble.blogspot.com

Peter Schaeffer

"The arrival of migrant workers has meant employers have not had to outbid each other for scarce labour. This has helped the Bank of England by delivering lower wage rises for a given rate of economic growth than would otherwise have been the case. Interest rates have thus been lower in recent years than they might have been."

So immigration is good because it holds down wages.

How crass can you get.

By the way, it is also not true. At least in the US, immigrants are inflationary. House prices go up considerably more than other prices go down. Check out California and New York. They combine low wages and a very high local cost of living.

Sadly, mass immigration brings poverty for the natives, not prosperity.

Jasper

At least in the US, immigrants are inflationary. House prices go up considerably more than other prices go down. Check out California and New York. They combine low wages and a very high local cost of living.

Peter Schaeffer: your comment is utter drivel. A cursory glance at the conditions of the US property market would reveal vast quantities of highly affordable housing (even before the current slump) in such immigrant magnets as Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Dallas, and Denver. It's pretty obvious that America's housing industry is capable of meeting the spike in demand created by population growth -- whether natural or brought about by immigration -- when local governments permit said industry to operate freely. It certainly is true that many municipalities in the large coastal metro areas place onerous restrictions on the construction of new housing; shockingly, such land use restrictions drive up the price of buying or renting shelter. But as the examples of numerous, cheaper cities demonstrate, this process has very little to do with immigration.

Londoner51

""Another is that the new immigrants are making more use of effective "informal" job-search methods -personal contacts and the grapevine - than unemployed Brits, many of whom are cut off entirely from the world of work""

I've seen first hand experience of this ... I should note that these are only 2 occasions and don't apply to everyone. In one case I asked a "probably Eastern European" leafleter who his employer was so I could get some leafleting jobs .. his response was to be very defensive and said he didn't know??!!! My feeling was that he was protecting jobs from the British..

The second was when I was in an internet cafe and saw the sign "staff needed". I asked the women if I could apply .. again the response was defensive .. and I felt that my British accent was the reason ..

Now if this happens to be true .. then this isn't good. You can look up and down the high street and often see shops run by groups of people of one nationality.. All these things are against the UK's equilty laws so its easy to see why British unemployed people get wound up.

The reality is that recent immigration trends makes feel like I'm in a foreigner country in London, thats largely because most of North London is largely foreigners .. The place has changed very fast in ten years .. Only 8 years again Ealing was one of the most English places in London, now you are more likely to hear a foreign language than English .. This makes me feel alienated ... I do actually like multiculturalism and multi-racial environments, but only really in the second generation ... when people are integrated into Britain, whilst retaining elements of the their parent/grandparents etc roots ... Just turning existing established population into straight minorities across London, for me is unjustified on a social level, whatever the economic arguments.. The only get out clause is that with an open movement EU, British people have the option of living anywhere in the EU.

Does anyone else have an opposing view on this .. I like to be challenged ..

Ed

I believe this talk about economic growth is misleading as here we are talking about absolute growth, not relative growth. It would be very difficult indeed to fail to cause economic growth by increasing the population. However the point is to increase the economy per capita, not simply to increase the absolute size of the economy. The difference is easily overlooked but essential. After all China has a bigger economy than the UK, but of course China is much poorer because of its hugely greater population. One could merge China into the UK and truly state that our economy had more than doubled. It would be true, but misleading as per capital income would plummet.

Studies show that the increase in the economy brought by immigration is balanced by the increase in population ie there is no significant per capita growth in income. That would suggest there is little or no benefit to the existing inhabitants of the country.

This is yet another case of "lies, lies and damned statistics" I feel, in which figures are taken out of context and are therefore misleading.

Arthur Eckart

Ed, a problem with empirical models on immigration is there are no data for future costs, or the true costs of immigration are understated. In California, which often leads the country, taxpayers aren't willing to pay more taxes, e.g. for the poor, including immigrant education, health care, and other government services. California has a huge budget deficit, in part, because taxes are too low, and has to cut costs. So, most economists believe Third World immigration is a net benefit to society.

Of course, many Third World immigrants are ambitious and hard workers, who not only keep wages low, in many industries, but also keep prices low, and maintain high profits. However, these immigrants also contribute to inequality, e.g. in income, education, health care, etc., particularly since they tend to have more children than the domestic population.

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