Economics, Security, Top Stories, World Affairs

What We Talk About When We Talk About Immigration

My father moved to the UK from Iran in the 1970s to study engineering when he met and married my mother, who is from a small town in the Welsh valleys. Many people from that town would not have met a non-white person before they met my father. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, my parents made the eminently sensible decision that they would build their life together in Wales and not Iran.

Homayoun Parvini

To this day my father remains the hardest working person I know. He always worked two jobs, became a successful engineer and I recall watching him take part in publicity photos in the 1990s as the first non-white retained fireman in Wales, which he went on to do for 25 years.

He is by any measure a credit to his community and can easily be held up as a model for “integration.” However, he is just one person. I sometimes wonder how different things might have been if there had been even one or two other Iranian families living on our street.

My father was born more than 3,700 miles from where I was born. By the age of three I’d already lived in four different countries. I grew up in a small town in Wales. By the time I was 15, I couldn’t wait to move to London. I’m writing this column in a hotel room in Japan. When it is finished I’ll send it to my editor in Australia and by the time you read it I’ll likely be back home in London. As an internationally minded academic, I have what Talcott Parsons called an “achieved identity” based on education and career success.

In truth, the interiors of hotel rooms, conference halls, or restaurants are largely interchangeable. The changes of location become little more than changes of backdrop and scenery because ideas do not know borders. David Goodhart distinguished between “somewhere people” and “anywhere people,” and by any measure I am an “anywhere person.” Spun positively this means I am “a citizen of the world,” or more negatively “a citizen of nowhere.”

Here I am looking at the same screen as people thousands of miles from me, and the people closest to me are never more than an instant message away. As Roger Scruton puts it, “Networks connect people by disconnecting them from space … Networked people may view with indifference the fact that they live in no particular place, or a place that belongs to anonymous others at the far end of the world.” And the networked people who inhabit these “anywhere” spaces – regardless of where they come from originally – are likely to be somewhat like me.

Much like an airport, the university campus is also an “anywhere” space, where you will meet people from all around the world who are somewhat like you. For those cocooned in their relative safety, and whose experience of people from different cultures and backgrounds has only ever come in such safe spaces, suggestions that some people might not want to live with other people who come from elsewhere seem xenophobic, small-minded, and racist. But how representative of most people and places are these anywhere spaces? Can the elite “anywhere people” begin to understand why the “somewhere people” stayed at home, let alone why they now don’t want the streets in which they grew up inhabited by people who don’t share their culture or language?

Last year Douglas Murray wrote a well-researched and erudite book called The Strange Death of Europe, which seemed to sum up what a lot of people were thinking, but the anywhere-person newspaper The Guardian’s only response was to call it “gentrified xenophobia.” We recently saw a cruder version of this same debate in the USA, when Jim Acosta asked Donald Trump why he called the migrant caravan an “invasion” which in turn led Trump to call him a “rude, terrible person.” The clashes between these two perspectives have too often created animosity and deadlock rather than honest dialogue. It has been difficult to discuss the issue of immigration sensibly, which I’m going to try to do here.

First, let’s be serious here: virtually no one when they are talking about their concerns about immigration in the current climate are talking about people who are skilled and highly educated like my father. This has been one of the more disingenuous moves made by those seeking to make an economic case for immigration: highlighting a specific top tier as the norm that can be applied to all.

Many of those who leave their countries of origin and do well already come from elite classes. For example, Brahmin from India’s highest caste represent only 3% of people in India, but 45% of Indians living in the United States (Source: Reihan Salam, Melting Pot or Civil War?, p. 40).

Meanwhile, India’s most disadvantaged groups, which account for more than a third of the total population account for only 1.5% of Indians living in the United States. Can it really be a surprise that the median household income of Indian Americans ($122,034, the highest of any ethnic group) is more than double that of white Americans ($57,617)? This is selection at work, and it would be dishonest to present these immigrants as being in any way typical of immigration as a whole.

Plainly, the immigration crisis in Europe and in America concerns poor and low-skilled immigrants, many of whom are either illegal (have not completed necessary paperwork and procedures) or refugees seeking political asylum. In the United States, there are estimated to be around 12 million illegal immigrants, which is around 4% of the population. The UK currently sees up to 70,000 illegal immigrants enter the country every year.

Focusing on immigration policy through the lens of political allegiance is both dangerous and often ahistorical. As a classical liberal, or libertarian, I am not generally disposed to supporting government controls including restrictions or “protections” on trade, which includes people as well as goods and services. In fact, historically, it has been the political left, and especially trade unions who have pushed for these things. In the 1970s, after a period of immigration restrictions in the United States during the post-war consensus, it was Milton Friedman who argued for immigration against a protectionist left.

If you go back and watch Friedman’s pioneering PBS Telecast Free to Choose, his opponents are most often trade union bosses. Here in the UK, Tony Benn and other voices of the hard left opposed joining the European Union. The trade unions traditionally supported strong immigration controls fearing the downward pressure that increased competition for low-skilled jobs might have on wages. They recognised and openly articulated that the special interests of the working class were diametrically opposed to those of poor immigrants coming from abroad.

For Friedman, uncontrolled immigration was only desirable in the free market and is fundamentally incompatible with the welfare state. The issue is that welfare is “sticky,” it takes away the incentives for people to move out. This is not only true of immigrants who fail to achieve their dreams (in the past many thousands of unsuccessful US immigrants moved back to their homelands), but also of native populations. Probably the banner example is the valleys of Wales where my mother grew up: once thriving coal-mining towns have now been destitute for almost forty years.

After the 1970s, there were migratory outflows from former coal-mining towns in the valleys of Wales, and likewise many moved from the Rust Belt that propelled Donald Trump to the White House. But in both places welfarism kept a core of people from moving away – providing just enough to block the natural migration that might have taken place, and equally just enough to curb innovation and new industries from taking the place of the old ones which in many of those places died in the 1970s.

In the past, before the welfare state, areas recovering from creative destruction were able to bounce back much more quickly. But since the welfare state has become so strong, the natural incentives to adapt to change are no longer there, which in turn can lock in endemic multigenerational poverty.

Abandoned automobile factory in Detroit

Some might point out that both the US and the UK currently have historic low unemployment numbers: both at 4 percent. But these numbers obscure the labour force participation rate, which is currently 62.9 percent in the US and 78.8 percent in the UK. In other words, 37.1 percent of working-age adults in the United States are not in work, while 21.2 percent of British working-age adults are not in work.

While not all of these people will be receiving welfare benefits, surely a good number of them will be. Also, many of those who receive benefits are in work. In the US, the total number of people on welfare is estimated to be around 59.1 million including children. In UK, 57 percent of family units receive some type of state support.

Now add immigration to the mix. Many of the people who move to Europe and America take the lowest paying jobs and live in unimaginable poverty. There are few genuine opportunities for upwards mobility for most of these people: how can they realistically compete with the native educated middle-class professionals for whom they perform menial labour?

The situation is perhaps most marked in California, which has an increasingly hollowed out economy with these low-skilled immigrants at the bottom, a small clutch of elites working for Silicon Valley firms at the top and very few people in between. In that state—sold to the rest of the world as a progressive utopia—28 percent of black people live below the poverty line, and one third of native Latinos, for those who entered the country illegally that number rises to two thirds. Household median income for Latinos in California is $47,500 compared with $69,606 for non-Latinos. The benefit of cheap labour does not come without its costs, as Reihan Salam notes:

It is generally accepted that it is more expensive to provide the same quality of education to disadvantaged kids than to those from better off families. For one, high-poverty schools often have a hard time attracting and retaining the best teachers, and poor children are more likely to need social services. Among immigrant families, only 70 percent of children live with someone who has a high school diploma or better. It is less likely that the children in immigrant families who don’t will complete college. Meanwhile, only 8 percent of fourth graders [i.e. children of 9-10 years old] in immigrant families are proficient in reading. Only 5 percent of eighth graders [i.e. children of 13-14 years old] are proficient in math. (Melting Pot or Civil War?, p. 35)

When you replace market mechanisms with central command and control planning, every decision becomes a zero-sum game. And in this case, every penny spent on a child living in poverty born to immigrant parents is a penny not spent on a child in a similar position born to native parents. This produces strong incentives for political struggle since the levers of power categorically allocate resources to this group or that group. Polarization becomes inevitable.

Welfarism also forces us to think in the utilitarian terms of net benefits and costs. In the US, the average immigrant with less than a high-school diploma will cost the taxpayer $115,000 over seventy-five years while the average descendent of an immigrant will cost $70,000. It is estimated that only 71 percent of foreign-born US citizens have high school diplomas. To put this in perspective, the tax payer cost over seventy-five years would be approximately $1.5 trillion. Here in the UK, the estimated cost of immigration from outside the European Economic Area over a decade is estimated at £118 billion.

In 2017, the Office of National Statistics reported that 50.5 percent of all households received more in benefits (including in kind benefits such as education) than they paid in taxes. Given these facts, there is a serious question: can we afford mass low-skilled immigration? Since there is a net cost in terms of taxation, what are the real benefits? Who benefits? It is those in the reasonably well-off middle classes who can afford cleaners for their homes, help to look after their children, and so on—increasingly common luxuries unimaginable to most people even a decade ago. As ever, the benefits are concentrated while the costs are dispersed and socialised. Make no mistake: you are subsidizing cheap home help for the most well off.

Immigrants then pay with their dignity, not only by living away from their home countries but doing so while entering the bottom rungs of western societies, doing the worst jobs. Meanwhile, the costs for natives is not simply higher taxes: it is school places, it is seeing the character of the childhood homes irrevocably changed not simply in terms of the ethnic mix, but in terms of culture, religion, and language. It is in many cases the cost of giving up that childhood home for pastures new—a choice for which they are often condemned by those lookers on who have not had to pay such costs themselves.

The English town of Smethwick is an instructive case. In 1964, it was the home of what has since been dubbed “the most racist election in British history,” which even saw a visit from Malcom X. Fifty years later, Smethwick would be unrecognisable to those who once lived there. According to the 2011 Census, 27.1 percent of the population were born outside the UK, and 20.5 percent predominantly speak languages other than English. Only 43.4 percent of the population list their religion as Christian; 17.9 percent are Sikh, 13.8 percent are Muslim while 2.2 percent are Hindu.

In 2016, Smethwick voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, which I am admittedly using here as a proxy for opposition to immigration (one of many principal reasons people cited for voting Leave). When analysing voting data, champions of mass immigration are often quick to point out that more diverse areas tend to vote in a more pro-migration direction: but they never seem to think about tracing the people who moved out of such areas, where they moved to, and how those people tend to vote. For example, the vast majority of white residents from East London, an area that became “majority minority” some time ago moved to Essex, which, like Smethwick, overwhelmingly voted for Brexit. In fact, it is estimated that over 600,000 white British people have moved out of London since 2001.

The same effects can be seen in the USA. Despite California’s image as the nation’s most progressive state, most ethnic groups in California have retreated into silos—while the virtue signalling progressives often tout their “inclusivity” from within their mostly-white gated communities, set apart from ethnic populations in non-gated but still ethnically segregated areas. In 2017, activists protested in the Latino enclave of Boyle Heights in LA against “hipsters.” They did not want the area to become gentrified and lose its Latino character—think about that for a moment.

As Democrat Michael Shellinger put it earlier this year “California is our most racist state.” But Shellinger doesn’t arrive at this conclusion with the typical kneejerk stance, as most progressives would expect when calling out racism. Instead he identifies the problem from looking at the facts rather than progressive dogma. He states, “California’s tragic poverty and widening inequality aren’t the result of racist policies imposed from without but rather progressive policies embraced from within.”


Neema Parvini is senior lecturer in English at the University of Surrey. He also presents a podcast series called Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory.


      • Giselle P. says

        Yes, nuanced. The author has a strong grasp of the complexities here, it seems to me. I’m glad I read this.

        Quillette falls into a pattern for me: I read about four garbage articles in a row, decide I’m done checking back, and remove it from my bookmarks; then one like this comes along. I guess it’s just the way of it. *adds bookmark again*

        Immigration is much like genetics or nutrition: many people mistake it for simple matter, and everyone has big opinions; but it’s really very hard to think through critically, requiring a great deal of information and abstraction ability.

        The native human mind doesn’t seem well suited to think through issues regarding groups and statistical groups, quickly confusing individuals, stereotypes, real racism and xenophobia, demographic trends, genuine cultural disability, etc.

        Perhaps this stems from 98% of our evolution being spent in groups of maybe 25-100 people that one didn’t choose or need to evaluate, since one didn’t have any choice. Your group and culture just WAS.

        Our inability to think this through may be our undoing, like having too much sugar and calories available.

        • Johan says

          @ Giselle P…I agree. I fear that mankind overestimate our ability to accept change. Ethnic/tribe conflicts has been part of human existence from the start. Look at American prisons. White gangs vs Blacks vs Latinos etc. The threat of violence/conflict make people group by ethnicity. The break-up of Yoguslavia forced people to choose…They stayed with their own.
          I’m 58 living in Stockholm, Sweden. I’m quite certain I will experiance some kind of horrible ethnic conflict before I die.
          Danish author, Kaspar Colling Nielsen, just published a Novel, “The European Spring”, that describes ethnic conflict in Denmark in a not so distant future.
          If something happens I’m forced to side with the ethnic Swedes. No alternative…

        • ga gamba says

          Since you enjoy articles such as Dr Parvini’s you ought to give,,, and a crack. If you’re into policy, then at George Mason University.

    • TarsTarkas says

      My one objection (and it’s a mild one) to this otherwise well-written article is the following sentence:

      ‘Immigrants then pay with their dignity, not only by living away from their home countries but doing so while entering the bottom rungs of western societies, doing the worst jobs.’

      What is describing are the conditions innumerable immigrants coming to the USA, Canada, and Australis endured for hundreds of years, which didn’t prevent many of them from climbing from the bottom runs of the ladder to economic success (or if they didn’t their children did). Dignity be damned, you worked or you starved, there were no government welfare programs to support you until you found a job that suited your psyche, only scattered private charities and political machines (who helped the masses out of self-interest, in exchange for votes). Not until government assistance became commonplace did the idea of dignity fall out of step from work amongst the poor. Refusing to do work beneath one’s own self-opinion was a luxury only the well-off could afford to indulge in until the New Deal took hold.

    • Karma says

      I have made comments to my (progressive/shallow-thinking) brother before about how some government policies, despite their intentions, trap people in poverty and subsidize the rich, and that outcomes can be achieved with less gov’t intervention. He called it bullsh!t. Some people can’t think past the first consequence of policies.

      • @Karma
        the law of unintended consequences. Too often the feelings/empathy crowd just can’t grasp the seminal lessons of tough love because they can’t get past that first tear.

  1. concurious says

    There are other issues related to mass immigration:

    1. “High-skill” H-1B immigration to the U.S. has decimated non-Silicon Valley tech jobs for natives and even naturalized Americans.

    2. Certain classes of immigrants are neither willing nor capable of assimilating (unlike the author’s father). For example, Pakistani families in the U.K. who continue to arrange marriages of UK-born sons with Pakistani brides, thus retaining a conservative mindset and a grievance or under-siege perspective for generations.

    3. During earlier waves of immigration to the US, the lack of digital connectivity (whatsapp, internet, television) and the lack of affordable air travel meant that people who immigrated were forced to leave their cocoons. Now, not so much. Also, the massive numbers of people of each subculture encourages people of that subculture to self-segregate. This is extremely unhealthy and worrisome for our societies 20-30-40 years hence.

    Even if milk is considered healthy, having it force-fed would be an extremely unpleasant experience. The scale and rate of immigration needs to be dialed way down. The mix of high/low skill immigration needs to be fine-tuned based on a) the would-be immigrant’s ability and willingness to assimilate and b) consideration of what is good for the citizens of the host country.

    Needless to say, immigrants should be ineligible for government assistance, and children born to people who are not permanent residents should not get automatic citizenship. This is only fair.

    • Andrew Leonard says


      Good words.

      Also, the massive numbers of people of each subculture encourages people of that subculture to self-segregate.

      Is this part of the multiculturalist vision? Where should I go to find the answer? There are rows and rows of books outlining Marxism and Critical Theory. In contrast multiculturalist theory doesn’t warrant capitalization. Given the impact of and importance placed on multiculturalism over the last half-century, this situation demands an explanation.

      Even if milk is considered healthy, having it force-fed would be an extremely unpleasant experience.

      Why is our concept of “good”, tied to things and not outcomes?

    • Jason says

      Precisely! The author uses Indians as examples of “high earners”, but just because you’re a high earner doesn’t entitle you to immigrate in the masses. Furthermore, what exactly is the author comparing the Indians’ salaries to? Fast food workers? The H1B visa program has given these Indian workers high salaries at the expense of firing American workers who were paid even greater salaries. A $120,000 salary may seem like a high wage job, but what location is this job exactly in? For example, a $120,000 salary job in San Francisco is considered low wage. A lot of these Indians on H1Bs in the SF Bay Area are making anywhere between $70k to $150k. That’s cheap labor!
      Lastly, if you keep incentivizing the so-called “high skilled” foreigners to leave their home countries and immigrate to the West, what you see is brain-drain for these home countries whereby they can’t compete economically because their talented pool left.

      • @Jason
        I don’t know… India has a population of over a billion people. There are laws there that prohibit people from changing jobs for months – they have like a mandatory six month notice policy. This is because opportunities abound there for skilled workers to improve their pay. The laws are to protect the employers from skills draining. Point is I don’t think they are diluting their high skill labor pool if even 10,000 come to the West in one fell swoop.

        And were I come from 120,000K is a very good salary. California (and a few other places) is an outlier –

    • Evander says


      Damn, I just checked out that young Australian home ownership graph in that article. 11% drop between 2010 to 2014! I can’t imagine it’s got better since.

    • Peter from Oz says

      The post at the link doesn’t quite explain why migrants are forcing Sydneysiders to move out. In fact if house prices are so high, then how could new poor migrants afford them any better than the locals.
      What is actually happening is that successful locals are moving out of the West to the Central Coast, because the lifestyle is better. That may be in part because they don’t like the immigrant enclaves. But mostly it’s about upward mobility. Being closer to the ocean is always a marker of social success in Sydney.

      • Ethnic enclaves are often immune from market forces. Why is the rent in a NAM part of town so much lower then an adjacent white/Asian part of town? Even when the buildings are the same and the commuting options the same? Are whites/Asians just crazy people that want to go into massive debt bidding up housing stock while ignoring “perfectly good” land just across the tracks?

        The answer is that if one tried to move in they would be met with hostility. They would be unable to form connections with the local community. Communal assets like public schools would be abysmal. In free market theory they would just price these people out, but reality is more complicated.

        The reason hipsters are the vanguard of gentrification is that they are young, childless, and don’t have need of public goods and safety concerns as much. They rarely form a stable middle class bloc though (if they have kids they move out). If they do fix up a place it usually just gets bid up by the UMC two income professional crowd, and the minorities that were priced out generally just move to another part of the city which now “goes downhill”.

        I suggest looking into credible sources on “white flight” as a phenomenon. Violence, crime, ethnic political spoils systems, and high city taxes made white middle class abandonment inevitable.

        Nobody moves 45+ minutes away from their job and pays massive commuting costs because they are upwardly mobile.

  2. Evander says

    “As a classical liberal, or libertarian, I am not generally disposed to supporting government controls including restrictions or “protections” on trade, which includes people as well as goods and services.”

    What about governments who eagerly pursue high-skilled mass immigration? Welfarism isn’t the problem; sheer volume is, and the inequities that form from elite migration.

    Australia has very high levels of legal immigration (190,000 p.a. since 2012), most of whom invariably settle in the major capital cities (Sydney and Melbourne). The problem is that governments eager for tax-revenue from high-skilled migrants have responded reactively to infrastructure and community needs; they’re behind in meeting them. They’re also in bed with developers who have erected hundreds if not thousands of mega apartment blocks – they’re still building them – all over the greater metropolitan area. Wealthy elites from overseas, many of whom have already established themselves financially, are buying property, which, coupled with the huge intake of people, drives up housing prices. So, we’ve got young people priced out of the housing markets, the city and wider suburbs littered with cranes for street-community-destroying apartment blocks, congestion getting worse, not enough school places, etc.

    Sorry for the whinge, but the pollies here who take a very libertarian approach are screwing things up a bit at the moment, imo. We need to scale the numbers down a little and plan further ahead. Not sure what the situation is like in other countries.

    • Peter from Oz says

      No politicians are taking a libertarian approach, Evander. That’s the problem. The wets in the Liberals are in command and Labor is becoming more and more enamoured with huge government intervention in all aspects of life. The problem is that Governments are being activist in immigration by trying to predict how it should work. It would be far better to allow the free market to operate or to restrict immigration to very low numbers. Both of those are free market solutions

      • Evander says

        I think we’re in agreement on the issue but we need to quickly deal with some semantics.

        I meant ‘libertarian’ in the sense he specified: letting people through the door. That’s the result of a deliberate choice by government pursuing Big Australia. So, restricting immigration, in the pure philosophical sense, would be seen as interventionist.

        Also, what would a market solution to immigration levels look like? I thought the market, ultimately, has bugger all control over this; government makes the call.

        BTW, I simply don’t understand the non-conversation around immigration. Well, I do, but it depresses me. The bipartisan discourse black-out on this fundamental issue is shameful.

        • Peter from Oz says


          I think we are in agreement.
          What pains me about politicians is that they listen too much to noisy pundits and pressure groups and not to the people. It is too easy for these wankers to call those who question immigration ”racist.” I’m wondering when someone of integrity and intellectual rigour is going to retort ”so what’s wrong with this ‘racism’ of which you speak? Is our duty to look after our own people or to care only about people from other places?”
          As the article says the libertarian/free market solution is to keep government out of setting criteria for immigrants and just registering them when they come. It is to allow employers to import what workers they want.
          Our governments are not doing that. They are instead being activist in the selection of migrants.

  3. Peter from Oz says

    Having grown up as a member of the cosmopolitan elite, I have always understood that there is an international class of people who have much more in common with others than they do with the mass of the people.
    We dealt a lot with people of all nationalities who had a similar outlook to us.
    I don’t think it was then a ”somehwere vs anywhere” distinction, because the elites then were more aware of their local culture. But over the last 20 years I have seen the quality of the elites’ cultural awareness deteriorate markedly. As the author intimates, many in the elites now seem to think that all migrants are broad-minded, cosmopolitan sophisticates who think just like they do. They can’t understand how the mass of the host nation don’t want their culture adulterated or dismissed as lesser than those of the immigrants.
    The problem is that a lot of the elites have, in their ignorance, turned into oikophobes. i.e. those who loathe their own culture. This is a new way to enshrine doublethink. On the one hand they pretend to care about the disadvantaged and the poor, whilst on the ther hand they support policies and ideas that keep people poor. They can also be scornful of the working class culture without being regarded as snobs.
    Of course many if not most of the elites oppose the new oikophobes. It is not for nothing that those true elite opinion-forming publications, the Telegraph and the Spectator supported Brexit.
    But it is time for the right wing members of the elite to be more forthright in the defence of national culture and traditions. The elites need to be from somewere and anywhere.

    • Emmanuel says

      @ Peter from Oz, you make an excellent point when you say that the “elite” cruelly lack self-awareness and I believe that situation is at the core of the modern “populist” problem : when you ignore the situation and the problem of the majority population within your country and dismiss their concerns as xenophobia, well, they are going to report their votes on people who may not support the best policies but at least aren’t denying unpleasant realities.

      When it comes to immigration in France, I am amazed by the kind of double standard I witness all the time : the people supporting more immigration are the one who can afford to live in neighbourhood far from the newly arrived immigrants and put their kids in schools where they won’t have to share the company of freshly arrived, non assimilated Third World youth. In the same time, a growing number of people from immigrant background are starting to acknowledge that immigration has created many problems in France and that we should try to solve them before letting in more people.

      Immigration is definitely one of the domains where the Overton window must be massively enlarged.

    • Evander says

      “But it is time for the right wing members of the elite to be more forthright in the defence of national culture and traditions.”

      No one on the horizon. The elite sphere has been colonised by the left.

      The only real influential conservatism atm is religious, not political. The Sydney Archbishops – Davies (Anglican) and Fisher (Catholic) – along with the Presbyterian Assembly are genuinely traditionalist and do a bloody good job imo, offering thoughtful and trenchant positions on major issues – SSM, abortion, religious freedom, persecuted minorities – and maintaining their civic presence, e.g. choral performances, remembrance ceremonies, and civil services for, e.g. victims of terror (Lindt Cafe). But because they’re Bible-types they’re either ignored or ridiculed.

      Print media? I’m a Speccie subscriber, Quadrant peruser, but those readerships are small and disparate without any real big hitters. Columnists and contributors for those publications don’t have the same profile as wishy-washy slightly-right journos like Paul Kelly or Greg Sheridan. Contrast this with the Guardian (Oz edition, of coruse) – I’m a daily reader – which boasts tens of thousands of readers, all unambiguous lefties, whose journos are amplified by sympathetic platforms like ABC.

      And the politically front is utterly depressing. I liked Tim Wilson for a time. I thought he was principled. Same as SloMo. But the moment he knifed Abbott I smelled a rat. As you’ve said, the wets are at the helm, and left media are amplifying the message of ‘moderate/centrist’ Libs whose message to the party is approximate Labor in order to win votes from… Labor voters?… the Liberal base? Their madness can only be matched by their neglect of the conservative constituency.

      Genuinely perplexed by this one.

      All I know is that the working class, aspirational types (native and immigrant), nonpoliticised Aborigines, the religious, and small-government types lack authentic representation.

  4. What does this word “white” mean anyway? Parvini presumes his father to be non-white but if his background is Persian then he is Caucasian and speaks the Indo-European language Farsi? Where do you think the word Aryan comes from? So if Parvini Senior is not “white”, then what is he?

    • Evander says

      In the article it’s used to mean someone who is ethnically Anglophone. For you it seems to be some sort of transracial genetic trait.

      Why is this significant?

      • @Evander

        It’s significant because it is a novel and non-standard use of a politically charged term “white” when she appears to mean the culture of Wales.

      • Evander says


        White in the article just meant native British with unambiguously white / fair skin. Yeah, Germans are white in the skin tone sense, too.

        I find discussion of pigmentation labels and their implications boring. I’ll leave others to it.

    • ga gamba says

      In the UK we have the acronym BAME, which is Black, Asian (from the subcontinent) and minority ethnic, which is everyone else from Turks to Persians, Chinese to Poles, and includes the Irish Travellers but not the Irish.

      So, whites are white people of English, Welsh, Scots, and Irish (and Cornish too) ethnicity and also includes all those with Norman, Huguenot, Flemish, Norse (Dane/Norwegian), and Anglo-Saxon backgrounds who arrived, peaceably or not, and settled.

      All the Eastern Europeans only started arriving about a decade and a half ago, so Poles, Latvians, Romanians, etc, are white ethnic minorities and the Irish, Scots, Welsh, and Cornish are white national minorities. And the English are left muttering “Cor blimey.”

      Bizarrely, the Irish Travellers are also deemed an ethnic minority in both Northern Ireland and Ireland.

      All of this is subject to change based on nothing other than whingeing. But everyone is getting in on the game.

  5. Reluctant reactionary says

    The economic and social benefits of large scale immigration from the developing world to the developed world accrue disproportionately to the richer half of the society of the receiving nation. The economic and social costs accrue disproportionately to the poorer half. There are no metrics that say otherwise. Not to mention the significant loss of educated young go getters for the sending nation. So much for egalitarianism and helping those worse off than ourselves at home or abroad. Australian immigration is “planned” in two sentences in a cabinet submission around a GDP growth target and the States and local Councils are blamed for not having the foresight to “plan” for infrastructure needs of people that are not even here yet. We need skilled migrants apparently (we are meant to have a mainly skilled based program) but why would business meet its training needs when there is fresh meat off the plane. Young Australians wont do shitty jobs anymore, well not when the pay and conditions are garbage so we need a proportion of low skilled migrants to build a new class of serfs and congratulate ourselves when one or two rise through the muck and become human rights lawyers. Aren’t they wonderful, much better than our mob we fawn. We need more people to care for our growing elderly demographic but apparently age shall not weary the six weeks of training age care wonder worker who replaced your registered nurse neighbour and can wipe your grannies dribble but cant understand when she says her hip is hurting, Not to mention the health cost incurred for the workers granny when she comes on a family reunion scheme. The pie is bigger but most get a smaller slice and its far less tasty. Those of the bottom end paying the price are clearly lumpen racists who should do as they are told. Its a ponzi scheme for the benefit of the robber barons and their upper middle class lefty guilt ridden, couch fainting, useful idiots. I feel much better after that rant thanks for the article :).

  6. Donald Collins says

    I had this conversation with a nurse at work the other day. He told me your president is gassing immigrants, I told him I do not worship government but yes Trump is president but that law enforcement was gassing folks rushin the border, much like he would slam the door in someones face if they were trying to come in his house uninvited…..but I told him thats not the point and explained thus

    I really do not care if these folks get in, as they will not be coming where I live, but rather going to the bigger cities like Huston, San Diego, LA, Chicago and New York and many more and who EXACTLY is it they will displace. Me? You? or the poor in those cities that already have bad housing a neighborhoods? How about the schools, are those districts going to expand them? Hire more teachers? How about hospitals, are the ERs going to be better staffed? How about law enforcement in those even more stressed out areas, are they going to hire more cops build bigger jails? Those are just SOME of the social cost that come with problems we haven’t solved BEFORE these folks come in and now the well meaning but naive want to add gas to that fire?

    To be sure, some are not well meaning but rather want to use these folks for power and once used keep them in that position to use them even further, but some folks are not thinkers but rather feelers and that is dangerous.

    Once I had wrapped up my thoughts and asked him if he is then ready to pay more taxes via user taxes such as gas, sales, and property, because we know if the government will do nothing else on both sides during this debate they will want more money for whatever solution each side has and it sure isn’t going to be an in your face income tax, he retorted, I had never actually thought about it in real terms that way, I just don’t like Trump

    Don’t let hating Trump make you dumb enough to cut your own pay or the reality that these folks , for the most part, are pawns being used by the elite for power and they will be no better off once here than our current poor, and you will be worse off because the fact is, someone has to pay for it

  7. Andrew Leonard says

    Last year Douglas Murray wrote a well-researched and erudite book called The Strange Death of Europe, which seemed to sum up what a lot of people were thinking, but the anywhere-person newspaper The Guardian’s only response was to call it “gentrified xenophobia.”

    Perhaps under remarked if not underrecognized, is how much Progressive ideology has become a marker of class. Progressivism now seems baked into the social structure of countries like the United States, Great Britain and Sweden. Perhaps there is more regionalism in the U.S., but regardless I think this is a topic that warrants more discussion.

    It is almost inconceivable the a “middle class” Guardian reader would seriously consider any argument for Brexit (for example), regardless of who might be making the argument, given Brexit’s strong association with working class people. The same being true for discussions of immigration levels, especially non-European immigration.

    The merging of a political movement with socio-economic classes, and therefore with personal identities, is a serious impediment to democratic debate and social cohesion. There are numerous radical Islamists in Britain, intent on flying the flag of ISIS over 10 Downing Street. The current socio-political state of Britain is not fully compatible with dealing with this threat, and IMO, the medium to longer term prospects for that country are quite dire.

    What, if anything can be done to improve the outlook? The first step to better dialog would be to focus on the enormous power that words such as racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia have obtained. Those in possession of these words no longer need to debate, while many of those who may be interested in arguing against Progressive policies, are so desperate to avoid being labelled with these words that they shy away. It is incredible to me how much discussion of important social matters has been undermined by simple shaming tactics. However, it is up the rest of us to work on undermining the excessive power these and similar words have over us.

  8. Andrei says

    People do not want immigration to stop because >>high brow analysis<<. People want it to stop because they do not want to be replaced by other people. H-o-w hard is that to grasp?!? With all due courtesy, when the British-born offspring of an Iranian and Welsh is called ****Neema**** and not *Catrin*, I say it counts to my point of view! Please spare me of Quillette or whatever outlet columns, albeit against (merely uncontrolled, mind you) immigration, when the British-born author is named according to Iranian plateau traditions.
    A Romanian in London

  9. I have a strong emotional reaction against the “Californication” of the world, the hollowing out of the middle class, the technocratic elite living in gated communities, the disappearance of local cultures. Most of the migrants are coming from places where population growth rates over the past 50 years have been been about 3 percent per year, so they have tripled their population or more (Middle East, Africa, Latin America). As a result these places have become racked by semi constant civil war, murder rates approaching 0.5 % rates per year (Latin America). They are using the West as a pressure valve release. But where does the obligation to accept these people come from? Isn’t the first obligation of a state to its own citizens? Don’t these countries have some moral obligation to slow down their population growth to sustainable levels? Doesn’t the future of the world depend on it?

  10. jimhaz says

    I agree fully with what you’ve said.

    Lately I has been wondering what the unintended consequences on the Australian spirit have been as result of our recent decades of sustained high immigration.

    Can’t say I’m having a great deal of success. It seems rather difficult to work out just what is an affect of affluence and technology, what memes or attitudes are imported from overseas and the affect of the immigrants themselves.

    Gut feeling tells me that high immigration is about 1/3rd of the problem.

    Even “the problem” is hard to identify. For me at core it relates to boganism.

    My definition of boganism is rather broad. Lets just call it uncouth, non-migrant people. The majority and most obvious being those from the worst suburbs with a lot of alcohol, drug, long term unemployment and nowadays diet/exercise problems. There is the Tea Party or Trump Supporter kind of bogan, the capitalist bogan, the country bogan, the religious bogan, the SJW bogan, the Politician bogan etc.

    Australia is just not maturing or improving in the same way it MIGHT have had immigration been halved. We are not using the wealth to become more sophisticated or to decrease the destruction that boganism causes, namely the ability to have a positive life.

    I think we need to look to the past to when there was more equality between workers and those who make profit driven use of those workers. 90’s? High immigration or a globalise workforce, does not allow this to occur as it changes the basic supply and demand dynamics, to disfavour the lower and middle classes and their families.

    What is not clear is the affects of this on the way we think. Bubble level house prices were a direct result of high immigration. This will motivate those with the natural skills required to rise in income, but for the others? How many people now take the attitude “I’ll just give up on having a home, on having that great safety net, perhaps even having a family – I cannot afford a loan of X”. If young, they might just decide to live for the now, forgo education or general motivation to improve, and be dammed for the future. Of those that can afford homes, will it always be a unit, rather than The Castle. What will a boxed in life do to the manner in which they relate to the otherwise Australia identity? How many young adults will remain childlike or pampered if they live at home longer? Is the additional competiveness simply making us more American, as in dog eat dog, than Australian?

    My work domain is dominated by migrants. Co-workers born here are a small minority. I train to work and have seen only Asian faces in my carriage. My neighbours and local stores are primarily Asian. I do feel like a stranger in a strange land – even though they are much the same as us.

    The young migrant with growing family situation and cultures that are more restrained or obedient by nature, or who do not know or positively value Australian culture, create a different kind of workplace. There is a noticable difference at work in a typical office environment, where the migrant workers are not a majority. One thing that is good about it, is avoiding rangry feminists 🙂

    There is nothing particularly dramatic about the differences between born here and the 27.8% not (much higher if one includes temporary visas). Some cultures are troublesome but most are not. All the same, my view is that the end result is that the negative outweigh the positives, except where immigration levels are low to moderate. Moderate migration forces more of our way of thinking to wear away the way of thinking from their homeland, and importantly allows us to adapt more slowly, to add parts of their culture to ours, creating less resentment. The Australian identity, it’s “vibe”, remains stronger thus more cohesive, more in flow. The comfort of a cohesive society, and the confidence this generates, results in a standard of living improvement. It also makes us focus more on resolving our own problems like some wealthy northern European countries can do.

    Australia has not had a recession or depression for a long time, but they are like taxes, some people avoid them, but most don’t. No one really knows how that situation will affect racial power plays. A majority of migrants are better savers, willing to work more, better educated, have more kids or are better parents, and some are provided migration by wealth/investment – this will mean they will clearly dominate within a generation or two. Can the Australian psyche, the one the over 40’s grew up with survive that?

    These questions are arising at a time when I see huge affects of technology and capitalism on the way we live, think and react. I think we have to evolve through that, but having a cohesive society will help ground us and give us a better social background. Immigration is different though. The level of migration is a social policy issue that if reduced will incur costs to business and result in some inflation as traditional supply and demand sorts out fairer wages and profit levels. It is something we can change, if we force our common wishes to be prioritised over those of business interests. It is an action that creates sustainable population and an improved mental health standard of living for more of the existing population.

  11. What should the labour force participation rate be? The authour clearly thinks Britain’s 78.8% is low yet this wil include all those with significnat health problems, mothers who wish to raise a family at home and those wealthy enough to retire early. At nearly 80% it seems extraordinarily high to me and it means that the author has not answered the point about low unemployment rates. Britain has both a very low unemployment rate and an historically high labour force participation rate. This is the correct context to discuss immigration and welfare within.

    • Carlton says

      Did you miss where it said 57% of family units receive some form of welfare benefits and 50.5% of all UK population are net takers rather than contributors to tax?

      • I don’t understand the relevance of your comment to what I said.

        I am not arguing that immigration has no effect and I am certainly not arguing that there are many features of the modern labour market, tax and welfare system which are undesireable. What I am arguing is the narrow point that arguing that economic participation is low as a way of countering an argument against the impact of immigration based on the high employment simply doesn’t work at a time when the economic particiaption rate is at a high. A different argument is needed.

  12. Richard says

    Sadly unless Trump can muscle through proposals/laws/money to protect America with real border protection immigration will never be solved. This is an old problem in America and not enough of our elected officials have the political courage to fix it. As much as I write/call/vote/support candidates who will take steps to secure America, it is not enough.

    The vast majority of our elites and political overlords/academia/media/hollywood/artists do not care one wit about the future of normal average everyday working people and our families.

    What’s it going to take? Pitchforks and torches? They will never do it, 60 Minutes on 11/25/2018 ran a propaganda piece about a poor illegal immigrant and their child. I feel bad for them, but 60 Minutes will never do a story of victims of rape and murder of any of the millions of people living here as legal citizens who are victims of illegal immigrants. Our Government refuses to even publish such statistics or track them. IMO crimes of illegal aliens should be front page news everyday.

    Our Government and the very wealthy love illegal immigrants because it polarizes America, makes the rich richer, and keeps the poor, poor.

    These people truly hate themselves, America, and the vast majority of Americans.

    The caravan on the US Southern Border – how about we transport them straight to Canada, by passing America, where our Northern Neighbors welcome all immigrants…

    • dellingdog says

      @Richard, I think you have some misconceptions about immigrants.

      (1) The southern border is relatively secure, especially in the vicinity of populated areas. That’s why thousands of migrants have died in remote desert areas trying to cross, and most of those who cross successfully pay coyotes (human smugglers) to transport them. Roughly half of people in the U.S. illegally come to the country via legal means and overstay their visa. Migrants will find a way into the country as long as there are jobs available. If we truly want to limit illegal immigration we should crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers (which the Trump administration has started doing, but not at a sufficient scale to make a real difference).

      (2) On average, immigrants (both legal and illegal) commit significantly fewer violent and property crimes than native-born Americans. Of course, victims of all violent crimes deserve our sympathy.

      (3) The economic impact of immigration is much more complicated than you suggest. Most economists have concluded that immigration provides a net benefit for the economy, which is not a zero-sum game. Many legal immigrants start businesses and create jobs; illegal immigrants often work in jobs that native-born Americans are unwilling to take for the pay being offered. Although this drives down wages for unskilled laborers, it also lowers the price of products and services.

      (4) The refugees in the caravan have the right to request asylum under U.S. law. The application process is fairly stringent and most asylum seekers are ultimately rejected. The caravan was never a threat to national security; President Trump’s decision to send troops to the border was political theater intended to influence the midterm elections.

      • 1) Something like 50 million Latinos came here in the last few decades. Most illegally (overstaying a visa is illegal, being born to illegal immigrants ought to not grant citizenship, Puerto Rico is a colonial loophole and those people shouldn’t have citizenship, and the Amnesty of Reagan and the descendants of those people are here due to an original illegal act).

        2) Latino immigrants have lower crime rates then native blacks (and maybe even some black/white average, depends), not native whites. This is especially true of second generation Latino immigrants, who see increased rates of divorce, crime, and other dysfunction.

        3) Excepting totalitarian hellholes, the wealth of a nation is based on the average IQ of its demography. Latinos have lowered the average IQ of America, making it poorer. Most analysis shows they take more in government benefits than they pay in taxes.

        4) The caravan is fleeing having to live in a country full of people like them (a shithole). Asylum is frequently abused to sneak in either illegally or on a loophole. We shouldn’t have asylum from third world countries anyway.

      • ga gamba says

        Had the illegal immigrant not been in the country the crime wouldn’t have happened. I’m sure the victims’ families are grateful your sympathy though.

        Of the legal immigrants, only a small percentage are a net contributor to the economy. These are the highly educated ones, such as the Indians mentioned by Mr Parvini, and those arriving with capital (or upon arrival join social networks such as the Korean kye, a rotating credit system). Though not entirely, Canada and Australia use a points-based immigration system that favours the young and well-educated. One even gets points for English fluency. Contrast this with Britain where activists demand the gov’t fund English as a second language classes for adult immigrants so they won’t feel isolated.

        The immigrants of the caravan are abusing the asylum process, and in doing are impeding the process for those with legitimate asylum applications. It was intended to handle those fleeing persecution. What persecution is occurring in either Honduras and Guatemala ? “It’s not safe” and “There are gangs” are not valid reasons. The Hondurans and Guatemalans were offered asylum in Mexico yet most rejected it. This tells us these migrants are shopping not for safety from persecution but for economic benefits, which does not fall under a persecuted class. However, because those applying asylum are allowed to work after 180 days have passed from the date of their application, they often jump the queue into the workforce faster than those who have applied for a green card.

        The refugee system was created in the aftermath of WWII to address a specific problem, and clearly today it is being abused by many. It needs to be revised to stop these mass rushes of people into Europe and the US.

      • @dellingdog

        I am lifelong Southern Californian resident.

        1.BS that the border is secure. What utter ignorance. You may need to go visit the border once in a while before you make that call.

        2. If you are talking about crime and violence that statistic is utter nonsense when talking about ILLEGAL immigrants. Many crimes are under the radar as they are not tracked. There are so many crimes commited on a daily basis, everything from driving without insurance, leaving the scene of an accident, domestic violence. I see these communities and interract with them and you can quote any statistic you want at me.

        3. Having a population take jobs that the natives are unwilling to take means those jobs will never be improved. Maybe if everyone is unwilling to work for a specific job that work needs improvement. Having a constant flow of people willing to take shit jobs mean shit jobs stays at statis quo.

        4. You must not be familiar with the asylum process. I believe 60% of asylum seekers are rejected but while the process is going on they are allowed to be in the country unmonitored. That means once they are rejected, they stay. Hence why Trump was seeking to have asylum seekers stay in Mexico while the courts reviewed their cases. That proposal was ultimately rejected by our own court system.

        The system is incredibly broken at this point.

      • @dellingdog
        your #4 is correct, just as much as organizing and reporting on the caravan was intended to influence the mid-terms.

        Largely Americans are not against immigration. Many are against illegal immigration as am I. We want immigration put back the way it was before Teddy Kennedy mucked things up. We want the melting pot paradigm restored and the cessation of the balkanisation of America. We lament that this will never be fixed by the current political class – but at least Trump is sounding the horn, albeit a little off key- he deserves credit for that.

  13. Mr. Parvini seems confused.
    He can’t seem to craft a vision of what justice looks like, or what a preferred state of affairs would be.

    Does he want to have a higher wage for the native born citizens?

    And if so, does immigration hurt native workers more than offshoring of jobs?

    Which is worse, to import low paid workers to build widgets in America, or relocate the widget factory to Mexico?

    • Neema Parvini says

      I don’t usually respond to comments but will do here: I’d say that almost certainly the relocation of the widget factory to Mexico would be preferable because it would take away the incentives of those people to immigrate. The standard of living in Mexico would rise with the increased trade and everyone is better off.

      Those former widget factory workers in the US would put their labour towards more productive ends, just as workers have done for centuries now. The idea of “protecting jobs” is a folly — would you stunt the rise of the computing industry to protect the jobs of typewriter manufacturers and typists? Would you stunt the rise of cars to ptoect the jobs of horse cart drivers and manure sweepers? Such short-term thinking always seems silly in retrospect.


      • OK, lets go with this set of assumptions.
        Imagine for a moment that we magically eliminated all low wage immigration, but gave a freer hand to companies to ship production to the 3rd World.

        How would things be any different than now? Does my life get better if the Chevy trucks are made by a Mexican worker in Oaxaca, instead of that very same worker in Ohio?

        If jobs flow towards the lowest wage around the globe, by what mechanism will wages in America rise? And since we now have decades of experience in this phenomenon, when is it expected to change?

        This assertion that displaced workers will “put their labour towards more productive ends” seems like handwaving.

        • Horse says

          Your life will be better because you’ll have more money in your pocket because you would get to keep the portion of your income that would have been appropriated and given to said low-wage worker. In other words, you’ll only be required to contribute to the welfare of the citizen low-wage worker displaced from his job after it’s outsourced overseas rather than to both the welfare of the low-wage immigrant as well as the citizen low-wage worker left jobless after his job was given to the low-wage immigrant. Either way, the citizen worker gets the shaft, but at least you’ll only have to subsidize just his life rather than both his and the low-wage immigrant’s life (and likely the lives of his more than likely larger family). Then you’ll be able to afford that Chevy truck you’ve been eyeing.

          • What if that shafted citizen worker is also the customer who buys my product?

    • Workers in Mexico are not entitled to the same state benefits as US citizens. You don’t have to pay for their healthcare, their education, their infrastructure, real estate is less scarce, etc. Whenever a low wage worker moves to the first world it represents a massive destruction of wealth. These entitlements (which when you think about it are basically the labor/access to mid/high IQ professionals and limited in supply) are never something that the immigrants could pay for themselves because their productivity is too low.

    • jimhaz says

      A country needs sufficient manufacturing jobs to enable work for those unsuited to service jobs.

      If you do not provide these jobs then you get more “deplorables”.

      A decent manufacturing industry also leads to a more inventive society. For Australia 15% manufacturing would be ample.

  14. Ghatanathoah says

    In America anyway, the “somewhere people” who don’t want their living spaces to fundamentally changed by immigration don’t seem to have much to worry about. Tiny countries like Britain might be different, but America is gigantic. There is plenty of room for huge immigrant communities to exist alongside native communities with minimal interaction.

    It seems bizarre to me that the majority of voters for nativist Republicans live in areas where most immigrants are uninterested in moving. Small towns, Rust belt cities, flyover states, etc. By contrast, the people who live in the huge metropolises and coastal states where immigrants move to are tend to vote against nativism.

    I think maybe bringing in immigrants is like installing a new computer system at an office. At first everyone is complaining because they haven’t learned how to use the new system and don’t think they ever will. But soon enough they figure it out and are just as productive, if not more so, than before.

    • Most of the country is empty because most of the country isn’t where the jobs are. They are in the cities on the coasts. The white family suburbs and exurbs of these areas vote R.

      Five seconds of examining real estate prices and patterns in our major cities would put to rest the idea that we can get along. Family friendly real estate where the jobs are in a zero sum game.

    • R Henry says

      “In America anyway, the “somewhere people” who don’t want their living spaces to fundamentally changed by immigration don’t seem to have much to worry about. ”

      This indicates the same fundamental misunderstanding of the American citizenry that enabled Hillary Clinton’s electoral defeat.

      Nobody, whether rural laborer or urban techie, wants cultural conflict and instability in the place where s/he lives. It is human nature to seek others who share our traditions, beliefs, habits, behaviors, language, sexuality, and language. To think otherwise is to ignore the history of human nature, and to be taken in by the false ideology of multiculturalism.

  15. lloydr56 says

    I guess one argument for multiculturalism might be like Federalist 10: the solution for faction is to have more factions. No one faction should feel particularly strong, therefore they have to tolerate each other, therefore individuals can flourish regardless of what faction they or their parents started from. A promise of toleration more than acceptance to say nothing of love. Has this ever worked? Is California working? The EU? India didn’t exactly choose to be a secular multicultural, multireligious etc. state. I think they are doing a heroic job given all the circumstances, but why would anyone choose to emulate them? China is arguably a lot more successful, and a lot less multicultural.

    • Hence the failure of having a 2-party system, winner takes all. No matter how diverse the people are, we’re all forced to be either a democrat or a republican in the US, so we have just 2 factions rather than many, and that’s just the right size for violence, civil war and growing conflict.

      • TarsTarkas says

        The alternative of having a home-grown French Third Republic does not appeal. Coalitions, especially those composed of multitudes of personality-based or single-issue parties, does not a good government make. Much better to have a bi-party system with a stronger chance of decisive electoral victory (even if by narrow margins) then floating along aimlessly like a piece of ant-propelled driftwood in a current.
        I also disagree with your belief that a two-party system has an innate propensity for civil war or major social unrest; it depends on the underlying culture. South and Central America is rife with examples proving your point, whereas the Anglophone nations do not. Rebellion only results when one faction becomes convinced that a return to power or partial power is impossible without significant violence, or is a quicker way to power than the ballot box.

      • Circuses and Bread (Solutions, not politics??) says

        @David of Kirkland:

        The underlying problem isn’t the number of political cults (my preferred term), but with politics itself. The motivation for politics is power. Wielding it, increasing it, and abusing it. You can multiply the political cults, but that isn’t going to necessarily provide a better end result. Likely you’ll end up with an even worse result as you’ll end up with more True Believers trying to sell their own peculiar political catechism.

    • China actively suppresses non-Han cultures, almost all of which have not shared in any economic improvement except by internal migration. Note that internal migration in China is only tolerated, not encouraged, by restricting state benefits only to those initially born in the city or area. Changing that registration to the new place is very difficult.

  16. R Henry says

    Nobody, whether rural laborer or urban techie, wants cultural conflict and instability in the place where s/he lives. It is human nature to seek others who share our traditions, beliefs, habits, behaviors, language, sexuality, and language. To think otherwise is to ignore the history of human nature, and to be taken in by the false ideology of multiculturalism.

  17. If you bring in new poor, you certainly don’t make things better for the current poor. But do you really think it’s better to bring in new rich? The new rich would not only make things worse for the poor, but also for the wealthier current population.

    • Farris says

      “The new rich would not only make things worse for the poor, but also for the wealthier current population.”

      Could you elaborate further on this statement?
      Specifically, how would importing wealth from another country be detrimental to anyone in the host country?
      Wouldn’t it be a form of capture?
      Mass immigration in Europe began as a way to have foreigners pay for the benefits of a soon declining indigenous population.

  18. Pingback: Mass immigration: immigrants lose dignity, natives lose money and culture, polarization is inevitable – Rise Of The Everyman

  19. I for one am far more concerned about the implications of immigration on Western Values.

    Frankly, I don’t care where you come from so long as you respect Freedom of Speech, Religion (or from Religion), Expression, etc. live peacefully and make some effort to support yourself and family.

    I am concerned that the hard Left will use immigrants (and their sensibilities) to attempt to restrict our freedoms.

    The rest (economic competition etc.) is important but ephemeral and secondary…

    Simply, come to the West to be a Western person in so far as basic freedoms and rights of all are concerned.

  20. Raj M says

    Speaking in regards to Brahmins in India the identity police that’s creeping here in the US has an actual legal backing in India meaning everything from jobs, welfare, university spots, etc. in India is allocated on a quota system based partially on caste, religion, gender, etc. yet another reason so many Brahmins end up leaving the country. They don’t get a fair shake at home so it literally is worth it to uproot yourself 10,000 miles.

    If India got a Uniform Civil Code and stopped “reverse discrimination” then they’d have a much larger more competent labor pool to build up their economy.

  21. Flavius says

    Great Article AA. Another problem with immigration is that it changes the political ideology of the region. You mention California, where the middle classes have “emigrated”, many of which have moved to Texas, taking their progressive ideology with them. In 10-20 years, Texas will probably be a solid blue state.

    The UK also has a similar problem with the vast majority of immigrants, high skilled and low skilled, voting Labour.

  22. TheSnark says

    On a practical level, we both need immigration but need to restrict it.

    We need high-skill immigrants because we need the best and brightest from around the world to start, build, and staff our companies (if you think immigrants are stealing the jobs, you have not tried to hire a programmer recently) We also need low-skilled immigrants because there are a lot of jobs the natives just won’t do (ever tried picking strawberries for 10 hours/day?)

    On the other hand, new immigrants need to be integrated into society. The melting pot doesn’t work very well when it is overflowing, hence we need to restrict and manage how many we allow in. Right now in the US about 15% of the population is foreign born. That is very high by any historical standard. My guess is that somewhere between 5% and 10%, if done properly, is enough to fulfill the need listed above, while not over-running the melting pot and/or driving up native xenophobia.

  23. Actually there lives are not close to unimaginable poverty the working poor that get welfare in the United States. This has been researched many times. The vast majority of these people live in a home bigger then the flats of western Europe, have three squares a day, tv, microwave, air conditioning, and usually a car or two. Yes how unimaginable. The United States is a land of plenty and we want to keep it that way and that means get a hand on illegal immigration.

  24. Deepa says

    You have good points, but the Brahmin example from India is plainly wrong. Brahmins could only be called social elites and not wealth-based elites in India. In addition, they are facing reverse discrimination in both universities and public sector jobs due to a massive affirmative action plan (as much as 50% of university seats and jobs are kept aside for the so-called backward groups). The exodus or the brain-drain of brahmins happened due to this “reservations”. Of course, it helped that they were more into education for generations.
    The reason for the Indians to have higher median income is simply due to the choice to go into IT professions, followed by other engineering or medical professions – all of which, pay well.
    Please avoid making claims about things you don’t know well enough. The point could have been made in general about all skilled immigrants.

  25. Tony C says

    Thought experiment: many people would DISAGREE with the economic analysis you put forward. As I don’t do original research on the subject, I can’t personally check for accuracy, but sufficed to say, your take as immigrants as a net-negative is CERTAINLY not a universal given.

    Seeing as so much of your article hinges on this ‘fact’, I find this article quite disappointing. Your article hinges on ‘If A, then B”. Seeing as many people disagree with your ‘A’ statement, a lot sort of falls apart.

    • P Banks says

      For low-paid, low skilled immigration discussed in this article, the facts are a given as cited. What are the grounds of disagreeing with these facts?

  26. Jyn Ranlom says

    As a Californio, not by birth, but of more decades than I’d prefer to admit, I’ve got to tell you that you would have to see the actual, physical, real time situation in California to believe it. It’s my opinion that the immigration “problem” that got Trump to the EO is, as NP points out, the (I say) about 30 million “undocumented” [illegal] immigrants in the US, halving, more or less, the wages and compensation of what would otherwise be the bottom 1/3 of the labor force. This has been going on – in the west, certainly – well back into the 19th century. And before, and in the 19th century, where slavery was not illegal, indentured servitude was. Today, Human Nature is on full display anywhere you go in the SF bay suburbs, in Sacramento, and in LA, from what I’m told. The Middle Class, of any stripe or flavor (the middle class of CA IS colorblind in this characteristic) wakes up with a convulsing, mortal fear, be it latent or present, each morning, of the dim, vague possibility of having to work with their hands and bodies ONLY – that is, in a non-iphone job(!!) and supplicates themselves figuratively or literally in front of whatever shrine they’ve erected in their space (the coffee machine – some new age crystal or herb) and prays with body, mind and soul, that they would will never, ever, ever, have to seriously contemplate the real possibility of having to paint a house or replace sink or sweep a driveway or maintain a landscape in order to feed themselves.

    Why? Because that’s what THEY do: the slaves, the servants. It has nothing to do with color, race or religion, as far as I can tell. It’s everything to do with social status. People who can’t afford to save more than 2% of their income hire women to dust and vacuum the house, and guys to pull little weeds in the little yard, edifying themselves with the thought that they are “lifting the world out of poverty” (as the illegal laborers send a surprising proportion of their money back to their home countries) while native born or long term residents who might operate those services at a rate that would sustain a lower-middle class life are indirectly informed that they can have the rough end of a steel rod where they’d rather not have it.

    This is why “immigration” is such a big issue in the US currently. I am the son of an immigrant, btw. I work. I work in the trades. I make a living, but not that much of one.

    Thank you for the opportunity to offer my well-considered rant.

    Peak population and stable, or the Earth Abides (for want of the academic term) effect? Universal war seems to be certainty either way. And no, I did not reproduce. Lucky for you.

  27. ga gamba says

    By and large I share much in common with Dr Parvivi’s views.

    That said, what fun is it to simply write “I agree” and close the comment?

    I think we need to look at the distortive effects of immigration on the sending state as well as the receiving state.

    If you live in the US, Canada, or UK and visit a hospital you may find a lot a Filipina nurses. I have no complaint about that. But, having lived in the Philippines, I learnt several things that few ever talk about, and may not even have considered, in the developed world. Many Filipinos study nursing not for the love science or helping others but because they want to emigrate to a developed country. Further, many diploma mills play up the chance the emigrate to entice unqualified students, provide poor quality instruction, and many are unable to pass their board certifications. BTW, not only do nurses emigrate, doctors do so to and accept nursing jobs in the West because it’s easier than getting board certified as a physician in the receiving state. I have no complaint about people emigrating for better opportunities; I’ve been a migrant worker in many countries most of my adult life, and as a child I lived in the several countries my father worked, so I appreciate the benefits of

    Consequently, the Philippines trains more nurses than it needs, yet has a nurse shortage, especially in the provinces. Doctors are tough to find in the provinces too, but that’s true in rural America also. Private hospitals know that new graduates need experience to get a work visa, so jobs are in such demand the nurses work for free. Public hospitals pay their nurses, and demand is so great that for those who simply can’t afford to work for free or don’t want to emigrate this corrupts the system…. in a country that’s already very corrupt. Jobs are secured by nepotism, patronage, and favours, be they money under the table or services provided.

    After a year or two many acquire enough on-the-job experience to obtain a work visa… in the Middle East. Canada, the US, and other developed countries usually want five or more years of experience. Salaries in Kuwait and UAE aren’t great, but they’re better than no pay. Hospitals in the Gulf states know that these Filipinos need the work to build their CVs. If one is lucky or especially well qualified, s/he’ll find work in Dubai. If one is unlucky or desperate, it’s KSA.

    Those Filipinos who can’t afford to work without a pay cheque and can’t secure work in the public hospital end up transitioning out of nursing. They find jobs in call centres processing orders or handling customer complaints. Some are able to find work as air hostesses; airlines learnt that having some flight staff with medical know-how is a nice bonus; one that they don’t pay extra for.

    This brain drain also distorts the receiving states. As demand for nurses increases salaries ought to rise and non-pay benefits improve. More students ought to be attracted to a nursing career. This year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 1.1 million additional nurses are needed to avoid a further shortage. Parts of England National Health Service are only able to fill one in 400 nursing vacancies; across England as a whole, only one in seven of all empty nursing posts were filled. Medical associations ought to be lobbying to expand or create more nursing programmes and, if needed, scholarships.

    In the US, nursing schools have for a decade rejected approx. 30,000 applicants annually who met admissions requirements, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Nursing schools are struggling to hire more qualified associate professors because the older ones are retiring and the younger ones earn better salaries outside of academia. Yet, universities are able to find money to install climbing walls, hire bias response teams, as well as bend to activists’ demands for ever more administrators and to build ethnic student centres. In some states the nursing boards contribute to the shortfall by shrinking the nursing student-to-faculty ratio for clinical training in hospitals and clinics. Hospitals know they can address shortfalls (in part) by importing nurses from the third world, who often are paid less than locals, so they’re not yelling bloody murder. Universities don’t spend the money to expand their programmes, increase instructors’ pay, or offer scholarships.

    These shortfalls don’t happen overnight. Not everyone got hernias, fell from ladders, or was diagnosed with cancer suddenly. A large part of the population didn’t shift from being 37 years old one day to 87 the next. The shortfalls are largely due to demographic change, which is easy to evaluate and forecast, and shifts in career choices and preferences, the reasons for which are a bit trickier to analyse. Still, more secondary school graduates than ever are entering university, so it wasn’t that everybody decided forego tertiary education to work at Nando’s instead. The number of nursing students and associate professors was knowable, so too was demographic change, thus shortfalls should have been anticipated years ago and policies implemented to handle this domestically. “We’ll import them” is a… erm … ought to be a stop-gap measure. It’s become the way of doing business.

  28. “We recently saw a cruder version of this same debate in the USA, when Jim Acosta asked Donald Trump why he called the migrant caravan an “invasion” which in turn led Trump to call him a “rude, terrible person.”

    I feel the author needs the facts. It was not in response to the question Acosta asked that Trump called him rude. You need to watch the video of the exchange professor, and not inject international press bias into your tale. Acosta had asked a question and received an answer. The President, who runs the press room wished to move on and he called on another reporter, but Acosta refused to give up the mike, and began shouting his questions at the President. This is not appropriate behavior in the White House press briefing room, and the President accurately described Mr. Acosta’s behavior. The young woman who was attempting to retrieve the mike from Acosta and hand it to the next questioner, as is her job, was physically restrained from doing so by Acosta, who pushed away her arm. The man could use lessons in decorum; I would never have allowed him back in. CNN could have sent a replacement.

  29. Susan says

    “Welfarism?” F’n Really?
    What absolute BS. There has been a 5 year lifetime limit on collecting welfare since the Clinton administration. You’ve had more than your lifetime to get used to it.

  30. Philip Witriol says

    As is often the case, it’s a “minority ethnic” who makes obvious points that white, middle class, PC ‘liberals’ call racist.

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