Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Western immigration policies strip-mine poor countries of their productivity

Janet Daley has written a must-read article on the absolute need to have an honest discussion about immigration in the wake of Brexit.  As she points out so masterfully in her piece, the actual effects of mass immigration -- on both the countries supplying immigrants and those taking them in -- are so completely contrary to the stated aims of the elites who've set EU policy on immigration (and, to a lesser extent, US policy as well).

About the latter point -- the impact of millions of immigrants from poor countries coming into the West -- much has been written at length.  About the former point, however -- that Liberal immigration policies made in the name of empowering the global poor have, in effect, been strip-mining poor countries for their most productive citizens -- comparatively little has been written.  It seems to be the more nefarious impact, though.

Here is an excerpt from Daley's article:
Let’s look properly at what the EU commissioners call the sacred “four freedoms”: the free movement of goods, capital, services and people. Do you notice something slightly jarring about that list? Goods are things, capital is money, services are transactions, but people are of a different category, are they not? Sentient beings with cultural ties, feelings, attitudes, patterns of behaviour, social assumptions and… add all the other obvious words you can think of.

Not only does their free movement in unlimited numbers present a much more complex and potentially delicate prospect, but surely it seems quite wrong to lump people in with manufactured goods and commercial services. Is this the liberal dream of Europe: to build an economic and political system that shunts people around a continent to fill whatever quotas big business requires at any given moment?

In fact ... this is what Marx called the “commodification of labour” – treating workers as if they were just one more resource for international capital to import and export, or to use as leverage in keeping wage levels down.

But even if you are not a Marxist, you should appreciate that what the free movement of people amounts to is the stripping of poorer countries’ greatest asset – their most able and ambitious people. If the rich states of western and northern Europe can plunder the populations of the poor southern and eastern states indefinitely, then those less fortunate countries will never emerge into secure, functioning prosperity. They will, in effect, become like colonial protectorates, providing an endless breeding ground of cheap labour to serve their wealthy dominant EU “partners”.

What is idealistic about that? It is a pretty neat example of exploitation in the true sense of the word – which is what the Left-wing leadership of the Labour Party might have been saying in support of its own grass roots if it hadn’t had its head up its own fundament.

If pro-EU protagonists wanted to be truly benevolent, they would be urging (rather than lamenting) the relocation of businesses to the struggling eastern countries where they could provide people with employment and opportunity at home instead of forcing them to become wandering tribes travelling thousands of miles in search of decent life chances. The consequences of the dislocation in these itinerant lives are at least as great as the disruption to the communities which they come to inhabit here. Young eastern Europeans who migrate west in search of work leave families and communities – and countries – behind who might have benefited from their determination and their skills.

Ah yes, there’s another crucial term in this dialogue of the deaf: skills. It is often said with glib insouciance, that migrants are particularly useful for the economy – and no real problem for the indigenous population – because they are prepared to take the unskilled and low-skilled jobs that British people are no longer willing to do.

So what precisely is it that is being proposed with such complacency: that this country should accept a permanent underclass of benefit-dependent work-refuseniks who will lead pointless under-achieving lives supported by the productivity of imported cheap labour? Not my idea of an edifying future. The poor countries are denuded of their brightest and best while the richer countries harbour a resentful, defeatist subculture of hopelessness which no one pretends will ever disappear. Wonderful. What a recipe for civil unrest and persistent disillusion that will be.
You should really read the whole thing.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Flexibility of the Dead Constitution

The late Justice Antonin Scalia, in his 1997 lecture on interpreting the Constitution:
“I ask you to consider, do the people who want to bring us a Living Constitution want to bring us flexibility? My Constitution is flexible. My Constitution, which is; I will accept the condemnation, which is a minimalist Constitution. It means what it meant when it was written. But it is a flexible Constitution. In my Constitution you want the death penalty, pass a law. You don’t want the death penalty, pass a law the other way. How more flexible could you be? …

“And those people who would insert one after another new right into the document are not eager to bring us flexibility. They are eager to have us do it their way from Coast to Coast without the possibility of democratic change….

“That an intelligent society should debate these issues, even these important issues. Persuade one another and govern themselves. That was what 1789 was about. The Bill of Rights was a very small exception. Just a few things we will take out of this democratic process and guarantee absolutely, unless you can amend The Constitution. A very few things.

“Every time you add something to that list you diminish democracy. Whether it’s something added on behalf of liberals or on behalf of conservatives….

“Come along with me and admire the Dead Constitution. I have to get a new term for it. That one; maybe the Enduring Constitution. That’s a little better. Packaging is everything.

“It is less cosmic. It does not do all those wonderful things that maybe you think a Constitution should do. But it happens to be the way that a democracy ought to govern itself.”
Great stuff.  Classic Scalia.  Just classic.