The economics of immigration.

According to today’s Guardian, the head of the OBR, Robert Chote thinks immigration is desirable because immigrants tend to be people who have recently entered the labour force. That is immigrants tend to be in their 20s or 30s. And people of that age tend to pay taxes rather than be a burden on the state, as are pensioners or those still at school.

There is of course a whapping great flaw in that argument, namely that immigrants grow old! I.e. the “Chote” argument is not one that works in the long term.

Moreover, the Chote argument does not work for the World as a whole. That is, if one country gains someone in their 20s, then another country loses someone in their 20s. Amazing that I need to spell out this blindingly obvious stuff isn’t it? And since Guardian journalists are all good socialists, you’d think they’d mention something about the interests of the world as a whole, rather than referring simply to what benefits one relatively well-off country.

Indeed, on the same day as the above Guardian article, an article appeared in the Financial Times entitled “Romanians despair that wealthy Britain is taking all their doctors”.

The above articles, along with other articles on immigration, lead me to conclude that about 90% of the arguments for and against immigration have been trotted out dozens of times before and demolished dozens of times before. Another conclusion is that an ability to think is not a requirement for anyone applying for a job at the OBR.

 

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