30 May 2007

What should we think about immigration?  Whatever the answer may be, the West should make up its mind pronto - if Mark Steyn is to be believed things could get very nasty very quickly.

Let’s start with the existing system.  The UK is the one I know something about but I suspect it’s not that different from those elsewhere in the West.  If you are rich or European it is easy to live and work legally.  If you’re not it’s not.  Not that that stops people.  There have been few news stories that have given me pause for thought but the deaths of 58 illegal Chinese immigrants in the back of truck at Dover was one of them.  It made me wonder how many other trucks were getting through and marvel at the lengths people will go to live and work in this country.  Conclusion: you can’t stop ‘em.

But then again why should you?  Why should people be condemned to live in one place due to an accident of birth? 

What if, when it came to immigration laws, we just scrapped the lot?

Oh, but we’d be flooded.

What does that actually mean?  Lots of people would show up?  Yeah, I guess lots of people would show up.  So what?

Well they’d take all the jobs and they’d push up house prices and we’d all have to live in rabbit hutches and they’d demand free houses on the welfare state and exhaust the NHS and form ghettoes and vote in blocks and some of them would be terrorists and democracy would collapse.  It would be like what it is now but worse.

Well, lets deal with the easy stuff first.  I am a libertarian so in my ideal libertarian world there wouldn’t be any council housing, a welfare state or an NHS. So immigrants would not be able to sponge.  There wouldn’t be any planning either so housing supply would be able to keep up with demand.

The idea that there is only a fixed number of jobs sounds awfully similar to the fixed quantity of wealth fallacy - which I ought to write something about some day.  Suffice to say more people is better.

When it comes to ghettoes, I think there is a point here.  But then we have ghettoes already.  The assumption is that people want to stay.  But it is not true.  By and large people from the Third World - and just about everywhere else - want to earn money and leave.  Of course, they want to go back. They can build a house of their own - something much more luxurious than what they could afford here - and beer and fags are much cheaper and they are surrounded by people they understand.  And as for the weather…  The only reason they stay is, paradoxically, the immigration laws.  Immigration laws provide a massive incentive to stay because if you leave you lose your right to residency.  So you stay until you qualify for citizenship.  But then you want your children to have the same rights.  So, you stay for even longer.

There will be ghettoes - probably rather nice ones - because people of a similar ilk like to congregate together.  But my guess is that they’d be smaller than the ones we already have.

Terrorism.  This is another article that needs to get written.  But essentially, it will say that there is nothing particularly difficult about dealing with terrorism.  The old treason law had a lot going for it.

The final problem is the one to do with voting.  If the Welfare State is to be abolished then action has to be taken to ensure it doesn’t come back.  But on the other hand there is a hell of a close correlation between democracy and freedom.  The answer probably lies in either restricting the franchise to net tax payers or making the franchise tradeable.

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  1. The idea that there is only a fixed number of jobs sounds awfully similar to the fixed quantity of wealth fallacy…

    It’s called the lump of labour fallacy.

    Posted by Andy Wood on 30 May 2007 at 01:10pm

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