Guest Post: Immigration: Cui Bono ?
Submitted by The Needle Blog
Immigration: Cui Bono?
Immigration is always a tricky subject to address honestly. Racists and the far right have dominated the debate and appropriated the language necessary to make even a well reasoned argument. Nevertheless, I think it is about time that some aspects of immigration, in the context of it’s supposed benefits (cui bono ?) are more widely understood and if by doing so I upset anyone, then I hope it will suffice to say that it is not my intention to do so. If you are from the USA you may like to know that the UK, with a population of 63 million, is one fifth of that of the USA, but the USA has a land mass 38 times bigger. In the USA there are 32.3 people per square kilometre, in the UK it is 250.2 per sq km.
It is a little known fact that if the immigration numbers were excluded from the UK population figures then the population would be fairly stable with only reasonable growth.
The Graph, above, shows the Total Fertility figures. These are the amount of children, on average, each woman has. Since the early 1970s the average has been less than two, you’ll notice an upturn since 2002, that’s a cultural change due to immigration [more on that below]. I want to consider why it is that the UK birth rate has remained at that low rate for 40 years.
There are a couple of reasons and they should be well known, in a country where there is an extremely low child mortality rate and which is relatively wealthy women tend towards smaller families. The poorer the country, the higher the child mortality rate, then, as a rule, the higher the fertility rate.
But a fertility rate below two does not mean that the population should be shrinking, because improved health care has increased life expectancy.
This all looks encouraging. The UK, like many developed nations appears to be naturally compensating for increased life expectancy and improved health care with lower birth rates. This seems to indicate that we have reached a subtly new stage of human evolution of a mature civilisation.
But there is one big problem with all this, for some people at least. If you have a developed economy the economic growth based on efficiency is harder to find. It is far easier to get economic growth, especially if your economy is dependent of the domestic service sector, as the UK is, if you artificially increase the population of the country.
11.3% of the UK’s population was not born in the UK. Only 3.6% are from EU countries, 7.7% are from outside of the EU. So, if the UK’s population is 63 million, 7.119 million are not born in the UK, 2.268 million are from the EU, and 4.851 million are from outside of the EU. Without immigration the UK population would be less than 56 million, far less if you were to take away the children born to immigrants in the UK only in the last 10 years. [remember that upturn, top graph, in the Total Fertility statistics from 2002 onwards ?] (source)
How many times have you heard that immigration is good for the UK economy ?
But all the benefits of this increased population go to the top 5% and all the costs are laid at the door of the other 95%.
For the top 5% the UK is nothing more than a market. Increase the size of the market and they increase the size of their profits, it really is as simple as that.
Don’t blame the immigrants for taking advantage of the situation in a perfectly legal way.
Blame the people who sold our country for their own profit!