The Benefits of Immigration

OK:

"Our overall conclusion is that the economic benefits of net immigration to the resident population are small and close to zero in the long run," the report will say.

Let\’s say they\’re right.

The benefits to the immigrants are large, if not huge. It\’s thus a net addition to human happiness.

 

30 thoughts on “The Benefits of Immigration”

  1. Rubbish. The ‘benefits’ to immigrants are counterbalanced by the ‘losses’ felt by the natives.

    Every cheery Polish labourer here means a lazy, indolent benefit scrounger left at ease on the sofa instead of looking for work. And for that I’m a net lose in taxes.

    Tim adds: The actual comment from the report is that immigration provides no benefit (and no loss) to the resident population. Thus the things that you mention are already included in such figures.

  2. “… the things that you mention are already included in such figures.”

    Are they? That isn’t at all clear from the report. It speaks of economic effects only, including costs of crime, education and so on. Nothing about well-being.

    The overwhelming majority of people feel hugely alienated by immigration. How do you cost that, or compare it to emotional benefits in others? How do you measure such things?

  3. Do you have a link to the study showing a “net addition to human happiness”?
    It is a big leap from a study showing no economic benefit to immigration, which excludes social impacts, to it makes people happier.

  4. “The overwhelming majority of people feel hugely alienated by immigration.”

    The overwhelming majority of people are poorly-educated morons. It’s probably better to do something about that first.

  5. “The overwhelming majority of people are poorly-educated morons.”

    Well, I suppose I’m out on the loonie fringe that thinks people should have control over their own lives, full stop.

  6. You and two other people are having a pint in the pub. They decide that you should drink elsewhere. For you to do so would increase the sum of human happiness, but would that make it right?

  7. “The overwhelming majority of people are poorly-educated morons.”

    But:

    “White working-class pupils are the lowest-achieving group in English schools because they have low aspirations and do not do their homework, an official study shows.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/white-workingclass-pupils-are-lowest-achievers-801765.html

    It is becoming impossibility difficult for employers to recruit indigenous British workers to work at many unskilled manual jobs, which is why employers have become so dependent on migrant workers – as this recent BBC report shows:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7288430.stm

  8. You /could/ argue using that logic that being in the EU was a good thing. Sure it costs us £6 billion per year (*that they admit to) but hey those poor countries in Eastern Europe are sure better off aren’t they!

    I don’t buy either of these arguments I’m afraid.

  9. Using the Independent (snigger) and the BBC are like quoting the BNP on matters regarding immigration.

  10. Independent: “have low aspirations” – invaded and denigrated cultures (working-class especially feel the effects) have a habit of having an increasing proportion with low aspirations. It will continue until we as a nation allow ourselves to feel some sort of pride and look after our own.

  11. “Using the Independent (snigger) and the BBC are like quoting the BNP on matters regarding immigration.”

    Evidently, I could have cited the Daily Mail instead, if that makes you feel more comfortable and reassured:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=547548&in_page_id=1770

    And it was an OECD survey which reported that we had one of the highest drop-out rates at 16 from education and training among our peer group of affluent countries.

    The really sad thing is that in some places, social values and attitudes haven’t changed much since George Orwell wrote this in 1936:

    “The time was when I used to lament over quite imaginary pictures of lads of fourteen dragged protesting from their lessons and set to work at dismal jobs. It seemed to me dreadful that the doom of a ‘job’ should descend upon anyone at fourteen. Of course I know now that there is not one working-class boy in a thousand who does not pine for the day when he will leave school. He wants to be doing real work, not wasting his time on ridiculous rubbish like history and geography. To the working class, the notion of staying at school till you are nearly grown-up seems merely contemptible and unmanly.”
    http://www.george-orwell.org/The_Road_to_Wigan_Pier/6.html

  12. “Well, I suppose I’m out on the loonie fringe that thinks people should have control over their own lives, full stop.”

    Do you include immigrants in that definition of “people”?

    Having control of your life is a good thing. Pissing and whining to Government to save you from the consequences of your choices is not.

  13. “It will continue until we as a nation allow ourselves to feel some sort of pride and look after our own.”

    With the most sympathetic interpretation, I can appreciate the intended sentiment but by the latest estimates, published at the end of last year, almost 1 in 3 Londoners were born abroad – I trust the authority of the Rothermere press is acceptable:
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23417272-details/One+third+of+'Londoners'+born+abroad/article.do

    It emerged during President Sarkozy’s recent state visit that with 300,000 resident French citizens, London is currently the 6th largest French city, equivalent in size of population to Nice – which, incidentally, has a Promenade des Anglais along the Nice seafront.

    It also happens that London is one of the wealthiest cities in Europe in terms of per capita GDP at PPP exchange rates, so the number of resident foreigners is evidently not doing London much harm. Besides, from a heavyweight study by Oxford Economics, it turns out that the London and South East regions are bankrolling public spending in the rest of Britain – link available.

    For a map showing the extent of regional subsidies, try:
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23416323-details/The+REAL+north-south+divide:+South-East+is+'bankrolling'+Britain/article.do

    All in all, it rather looks like the resident foreigners in London are contributing to looking after the rest of us indigenous inhabitants (btw I was born in Lambeth before WW2). Disraeli, an illustrious previous PM and the grandson of immigrants, put it rather well in 1846 in describing London then as “the modern Babylon.”

    I’ll up and do the Lambeth Walk again:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcCLKn6W1xk

  14. You can always think of reasons for importing masses of foreigners if it doesn’t affect you much.
    Even though there are now masses of restrictive laws preventing protest at this. And laws giving priority to said foreigners.
    What would you all have said if the Wehrmacht had arranged such activity?
    But the selfish British obstructed them – Dear me such lack of diversity back then.

  15. “And laws giving priority to said foreigners.”

    Don’t forget the free houses and cars and plasma TVs.

  16. “Utilitarian or libertarian? Enquiring minds want to know.”

    The libertarians would disown me, I feel sure, and rather like JS Mill, I believe: “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.”
    http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/mill/john_stuart/m645u/util02.html

    I suppose I incline to utilitarianism but accepting that some personal satifactions are qualitatively better than others gets us into turbulent waters when applying the Benthamite prescription for public policy: Do whatever brings the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

    Besides, utilitarianism brings all sorts of other downstream problems, like explaining altruism or why anyone bothers to vote in elections when their individual action has only a minute effect on the eventual outcome.

    I’ve just started to read Dan Ariely: Predictably Irrational – The hidden forces that shape our decisions (HarperCollins, 2008), the effect of which is to challenge the fundamental assumption of rationality which underpins mainstream microeconomics. Alternatively, try the Google lecture on similar themes: The Paradox of Choice, by Barry Schwartz:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6127548813950043200


  17. “Our overall conclusion is that the economic benefits of net immigration to the resident population are small and close to zero in the long run,” the report will say.

    Let’s say they’re right.

    The benefits to the immigrants are large, if not huge. It’s thus a net addition to human happiness.”

    Er Timmy, you could say the same about burglary. The material benefits to the burglar roughly balance out the damage to the victim.

    There are lots of other activities which are very satisfying for one party, at the expense of another:

    Armed robbery

    Extortion

    Rape

    Arson

    Fraud

    Insider trading

    They all add to the sum of someones happiness, so long as they get away with it. But in every case, they cost much more than money to others.
    I thought we were individuals, not just units.

  18. I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for the chavs who can’t be bothered to find work. If they wanted to work they could do it right now, all over town employers are begging for people to work for them. And being something like a bartender or barista isn’t that bad. If being a bartender is below the saintly hands of the local workshy then I’m not impressed, and blaming happy Poles for their indolence makes me even less impressed. Easier to mutter about the “bloody immigrants” then stop lazing around on incapacity.

    Not like Poland is exporting its chavs to us is it.

  19. “Do you include immigrants in that definition of “people”?”

    Of course. Unctuous self-righteousness isn’t a prerequisite for an uncritically pro-unlimited immigration agenda but, it appears, it helps. You do not have a monopoly over human concern for migrants.

    What is less clear is that you have any concern for the ignorant chavs being shown such contempt in this thread.

    People are entitled to autonomy, whether or not you personally approve of them. This lofty disdain for ordinary people is the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from New Labour.

  20. Incidentally, the type of thinking that says it’s fine to ride roughshod over the wishes and property rights of a group of people, taking their money where possible to pay for it, in pursuit of a concept of greater good, is common enough politically. It is found in fascism and communism – and it is the opposite of the Classical Liberal ethic.

    The fact that there is a utilitarian justification in this case makes no difference. There always is a utilitarian justification.

  21. THanks, Bob, but my question was addressed to Tim, as I perhaps should have made clear.

    Tim adds: Not sure I actually understand the question. Take the statement as it is made. Immigration does not aid nor harm the resident population. I then point out that it certainly does aid the immigrant population.

    If we look at it s a utilitarian calculation, this is thus a good thing: a Pareto improvement even. If we look at it in a libertarian manner (or even classically liberal) then similarly it’s a good thing. You can do whatever you want as long as you are not restricting the rights of others nor causing them harm. As no harm is being done to the resident population then the immigrants have a right to arrive to better themselves.

  22. “It’s fine to ride roughshod over the wishes and property rights of a group of people”

    You’re right. It’s dreadful the way the bigots who drop in here treat all immigrants as a single homogenous group and advocate special mistreatment, taking away employment rights, access to public services, rights of residence, making them pay confiscatory fees for just-invented necessary permits, ceremonies, inspections, evaluations, etc.

  23. Government spending has not increased to cover the extra costs of public services for the increased population. If and when it does, the net cost of immigration will be impossible to hide.

    We have quantifiable adverse effects, such as expectant mothers turned away from maternity units, children left with no school place at all, budgets diverted to support interpreter and translation services, chief constables complaining about overstretch, and then we have the intangibles. There is a shanty town on the outskirts of Peterborough, try getting house and car insurance if you live near there. Gang related crime is still increasing. And we have had skilled tradesmen made redundant from their jobs, so immigrant labour can be taken on to replace them, at a lower hourly rate. The taxpayer is left to pick up the tab for the jobless brickies, and the developer picks up the enhanced margin. And the migrant labour are sleeping 4 to a room in some dive.

    What’s not to like?

  24. Sorry, I’m late to this discussion, but this is just complete shite:

    “Er Timmy, you could say the same about burglary. The material benefits to the burglar roughly balance out the damage to the victim. ”

    Absolute tripe.

    Burglar breaks into my house and steals my telly.
    As his benefit is always in the form of stolen goods, he always get significantly less than the second hand value, let alone the replacement value.

    My loss is the replacement value.

    Plus the cost of repairing the damage of his breaking and entering.

    Plus the time and effort claiming the insurance and replacing the items.

    Plus the increase in my insurance premiums going forward.

    Plus the increase to everyone else’s premiums because the risk in the local area is now judged higher.

    And that’s assuming he is the nice kind of burglar, not the sort of scrote than shits all over your carpet and spray paints all over the wall.

    So no. It doesn’t remotely balance.

  25. Sorry to spoil the party but is the Peter Risdon who comments above the same Peter Risdon as the notorious supergrass?

    See http://nobodylikesagrass.com

    If it’s the same guy, then who is he to comment about the shortcomings of the state for which he is a paid informer?

    Or is that a bit of a naive question?

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