Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Does Rabbitte go around the Sun?

An article in today’s Irish Times pretty much made the same argument as this. But I started this yesterday so I say poo to you Irish Times not everyone reads you so here is my take.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the sun goes around the earth. I mean if you walk out the door at 9 O’ Clock and see the sun to your left and then you walk out the door at 4 and it is on your right. You haven’t moved house so you presume that the sun most have moved. However facts don’t lie and the earth goes around the sun.

Much of the recent talk about worker displacement and wage deflation starts with the sentence “anecdotal evidence suggests”. Yet if we look at the facts wage deflation is a not supported. The CSO's current (Q3 2005) Quarterly National Household Survey reports that approximately 25% of the 40,000 immigrants who joined the labour force found work in the construction industry. Yet wages in construction have experienced inflation of 6%. So to say that foreign workers are bringing down wages is on the whole wrong. (Article here from Freedom Institute)

But what about the anecdotal evidence. It has to be based in fact doesn’t it? Well yes of course there are people losing jobs because of migrants and unscrupulous employers are employing them at lower wages. But that is due to lack of enforcement of labour laws more then anything. Also the unemployment in Ireland is dropping in Ireland so it seems to suggest that these people losing jobs are gaining other jobs. But if Pat Rabbitte’s restrictions come into place they will only put the workers in a less secure situation. Leading to more exploitation.

Every country has its glory days France had the Belle Epoch Italy had the Roman Empire, Britain had its Victorian era but what was Irelands. Many would say when we were the isle of saints and scholars but is a few monks copying the bible really anything to Ireland taking its place as one of the leading countries in the world. We have never been as free and peaceful. Now we are a world leader in economic thought. Eastern European countries and many around the world do not look at France America or Sweden to inspire their political direction they look to us. They see low unemployment, high minimum wage, high social welfare payments, high productivity and amongst the highest rate of life satisfaction and want to emulate it in their countries. However the price paid for this our economy is a hungry beast it needs to be feed the things it needs. Houses, spending and workers. Now the houses are going to stay going for a while the demand is high and demographics suggest there is another few years in it yet. Watch Eddie Hobbs any night and you will see the Irish have no trouble spending. So the one factor challenging Irelands golden age is workers. We just don’t have enough.

I bet jobs created in this country over the next 2 years will be greater then the available unemployed. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this would mean every unemployed person would get a job. But if you look at the facts a pharmaceutical company is going to employ someone qualified in the same way that a plastering company is going to employ a plaster. Put simply the unemployed pool simply do not have the skills we need. This means we have to retrain and import the talent. So what happens if we decide what we have is enough and should stop importing labour like about 70% of the people polled want. Firstly companies will stop investing in Ireland. Two the companies here already here will not expand but setup operations in other countries and eventually leave increasing unemployment. House price will increase as there will be less people to build houses increasing cost. Slowing the sector and eventually crippling the economy. This is one of many scenarios that will happen. I can’t think of any good ones for sending them home or blocking entry.

One of the arguments is what happens when are country goes bust. Well that is a presumption that many people have. They have lived through the 80s and expect it to go like that again. I am no economist but I don’t think this will happen. True our economy will decline but unemployment will be no where near the 20% of the 80s. But the question is then how will we handle these people in social welfare. Firstly they can’t claim social welfare unless they have been working for 2 years. This means they have been paying taxes for 2 years. Which frankly is a lot more then some on unemployment at the moment. So are they not entitled to something at that stage? Also we hear the figures for immerigrants every year coming to this country. But how about the figures for leaving. Like many Irish going to oz now immerigrants come to Ireland for a year or two to make a bit of money, have a good time and learn English. The figures support this, the Department of Social and Family Affairs say that the majority of the workers stay only 10 months. They want to go back home and do go back. Ireland’s economy is booming Sweden’s is not and more people from Eastern Europe take the longer trip to Ireland. They come to work and make some money. So on a scale from 1 to yogurt the likelihood of many staying on in a 1980sesque Ireland getting social welfare is just not that creamy.

But then what about Irishness. Some say that they are going to dilute Ireland and eventually turn the Irish into a minority race in Ireland. This really is crap. Look at America some of the most proud Americans are Irish-Americans. They say they are Irish but are utterly dedicated to America. In 30 years time the 19 year old Polish-Irish Tipperary full forward is going to drill the ball past the legendary Nigerian born Kilkenny goal keeper to bring Liam McCarthy cup back to its rightful place. If these immigrants kids are given equal education opportunities and this anti-Immigrant sentiment that Pat Rabbitte is tapping is done away with these people are going to fit into to Irish life with out much hassle.

Political correctness people throw out the word racist for anyone that disagrees with them no matter what the facts are. The reason I called Pat Rabbitte’s comments racial scaremongering was because in my opinion the facts do not back up any call for restricting the movement of labour. So why are politicians coming out in favour of restrictions? Well if 78% of people are in favour of it do you not think they are seeing a big pile of votes in the next election. The Labour party was for the Nice referendum the very referendum that brought in unrestrictive access from Eastern Europe. Now they are against it. Who ever said politics was about principles.


Cian said...

I have to agree with the thrust of your argument against rabbitte's proposals. Immigration is good for this country, diversity is good for this country and this country can be very good for migrants.
If there are problems then it seems that full and forceful enforcement of existing labour laws would suffice to safeguard those who arrive on our shores.
On a related point, it seems labour are spinning on one side that they are only discussing 'green cards'which are fundamentally different while also sounding like they are continuing the theme of limits. That is nearly worse, milking both sides of the party on the debate.

Simon said...

Ya they are still trying to appeal to their caring base. I think. Hopefully they see the proposels for what they are.

Cian said...

I think they are trying to ride two horses at once. the whole policy malarky is here.
Focus seems to be on Green Cards but the publicity that has been generated by a work permit position hasnt been refuted.
As i said two horses.

Anonymous said...

Haha, Bunny ain't popular down here at The Dossing Times.

Simon said...

, Bunny ain't popular down here at The Dossing Times.
Do you agree with his plans

Anonymous said...

No way. He is definitely the villain of the site though. Which is fair enough.