Sunday, 1 May 2011

Immigrants Add to GDP?? I Think I Need a Huge Pinch of Salt With That.

The BBC has a cosy report that Eastern Eruropean EU migrants have added £5bn to the GDP of the UK.

However, reading on, the rpeort says that at the same time as we were receiving those immigrants from the EU, GDP went up. But there is no direct correlation, only an assumption that because GDP went up while they were arriving, they made a net contribution to GDP. Its a lot like the man made global warming argument, based on a loose correlation between statistics. The fact that there are two sets of statistics in the same time frame does not prove a link. In the same vein I could say the increase in summer temperatures is caused by increased ice cream sales. I know thats a lie, but the statistics can be used to tell any story you want, especially if you aren't held to prove the actual link.

Besides, there's no mention of whether we would have had a higher rise in GDP had we had immigration restrictions in place. No mention of the net drain to the economy of the influx from the EU of benefit scroungers, the alcoholics and career criminals that see the UK as a cushy number.

No mention either of the effect the supression of wages has on the economy overall, where low wages means that people on benefits have a better standard of living than if they took a job and the drain of keeping those people on the dole. No mention of the drain of providing benefit for children of EU immigrants that are not even in this country. No mention of the effect of EU immigrants migrating back to their countries of origin once they'd saved up enough to live comfortably back home, or the effect of exporting money back to their families.

Even if you take it at face value and agree the influx of cheap labour was good for the economy. Ok, but who really benefits from that?
Business owners? Shareholders?
Certainly not the man in the street, the ordinary worker. I'm sure they don't see the benefit as any increased tax take is gobbled up by the inefficiencies of government.

Nope, not even this report can convince me that unfettered immigration is ever a good thing.

2 comments:

  1. GDP is a pointless statistic. Sure it will go up if more people come to the country. The true figure we need to be concerned with though is per capita income, and I believe that the beneficial effect on this is much lower...and, in truth, is probably negative.

    In other words, economically we'd be better off without immigration...and then there are all the resultant negative social effects to be taken into account.

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  2. Absolutely. Common sense says the influx of immigrants although boosting profit margins through lower wage costs doesn't neccessarily result in increased GDP.

    The health tourists, the dross and the deadlegs of Europe attracted here by easy benefit money and the movement of money back to Eastern Europe and keeping people already here on the dole all contribute to reduce the boost immigants have on the economy.

    Its more statistics being manipulated to provide propaganda for the great EU project.

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