The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Immigration – it’s the economy, stupid!

Over the last few days I’ve heard Phillipe Legrain speaking on Radio National about his recent book Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them. He argues that a freer approach to immigration is as essential to the free market global economy as the free exchange of goods and capital. To claim otherwise, is to be economically illiterate and hypocritical.

The work of journalist and economist Philippe Legrain looks beyond the sensationalism of the media, and the point scoring of interest groups and politicians, to evaluate international global migration, or immigration, in today’s global economy.

Legrain explains in plain language often complex socio-economic arguments, and provides a timely analysis of the issues globally and for Australia; the hidden costs of immigration controls; the economic benefits of diversity; and whether immigration threatens national identity. For globalisation to work there needs to be less restriction on immigration – more people will inevitably move across borders, Legrain says – and we should generally welcome them.

Sydney Ideas – Seymour Centre

Legrain is critical of politicians like John Howard, who exercise harsh policies towards asylum seekers on the one hand, and quietly allow other immigration to double on the other. Skilled migration programs are unnecessarily cumbersome and costly and consistently fail to anticipate shifts in skills demand. Migration is estimated globally to provide $800 billion of foreign aid annually. Official foreign aid is one tenth of that. Immigration will be essential to provide for Australia’s growing need for aged care workers, and other service industries that our economic demographic will struggle to otherwise sustain.

Catch Legrain if you can on ABC podcasts or read his book. People who believe that there are sufficient differences between races such that they should stick to their own kind will not like Legrain’s work, but they should read it to understand that it is an essential component of the global economy and will actually bring more benefit than problems.

If ABC provide a transcript, I’ll provide a more detailed summary.

Filed under: Australian values, Big Picture, Economics, Politics

5 Responses

  1. pjgoober says:

    yes we definately need more of this (from the research of Ruben Rumbaut of UC Irvine and Alejandro Portes of Princeton”:

    “While only 10 percent of second-generation immigrant males in the survey had been incarcerated, that figure jumped to 20 percent among West Indian and Mexican American youths.”

    “The researchers found that children of Laotian and Cambodian Americans as well as Haitian Americans had the lowest median annual household income at just over $25,000. They were followed closely by Mexican American families, which had a median annual household income of about $30,000. On the other end of the spectrum, children of upper-middle-class Cuban exiles in Southern Florida reported a household income of more than $70,000, and Filipino Americans in Southern California had more than $64,000, followed by Chinese immigrants.

    Furthermore, the study found that the most educationally and economically disadvantaged children of immigrants were most likely to have children of their own at a young age, compounding their difficulties at pursuing higher education. When surveyed at the average age of 24, none of the Chinese Americans had children, while in contrast 25 percent of Haitians, West Indians, Laotians and Cambodians did, as did 41 percent of Mexican American young adults.”

  2. pjgoober says:

    Pre 1965 we could have let in boat load of mexicans but I guess the people back then were too economically illiterate to know that vastly increasing the US crime rate was good for them.

  3. slim says:

    That there have been problems with immigration is not disputed, but a dispassionate analysis also indicates that the positives have outweighed the negative. Many of the negative consequences arise from inadequate policy and political leadership. The history of immigration generally is a positive one – Lady Liberty and all that.

    In contemporary times take a look at the Canadian or the Australian experience of immigration. I would argue that the greatest problems with immigration occur when right-wing governments pander to xenophobic sentiments instead of putting adequate support and policy measures in place. The problems with Muslim communities in France reflect their systematic treatment as second rate citizens under law more than any religious differences.

  4. Leelee says:

    Does Legrain look at the impact of immigration on our resources such as water and demand on infrastructure such as sewerage, roads and hospitals? Then there is the impact on property prices – good if you are a property developer, not so good if you are a first home buyer or renter.

    Is the important issue ‘where immigrants come from’ or is it ‘how many immigrants Australia can really afford’?

    We have a very tolerant mixed society – but history shows that when societies are placed under pressure for resources – such as water – communities can get ugly.

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

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