Archive for ‘The immigration debate’

October 4, 2010

Blog round up

Lady Poverty: Poverty and abundance

Large-scale commodity production gives us a sense of material abundance. So much stuff! We call ourselves “developed” because we have advanced so much further than the “developing” or “underdeveloped” world in terms of the things we can buy. In other parts of the world, and at other times in history, consumer options have been much more limited. Nevertheless, individuals in any society are vulnerable anytime things like food, shelter and medicine are treated as commodities, not rights.

Poverty in an advanced consumer society can look a lot different than poverty in an early- or semi-capitalist one. [READ THE REST]

Harry’s Place: The Islamic Republic’s corporate enablers

The Guardian reports:

Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, paid the state-owned Iranian oil company at least $1.5bn (£0.94bn) for crude oil this summer, increasing its business with Tehran as the international community implemented some of the toughest sanctions yet aimed at constricting the Islamic republic’s economy and its lifeline oil business.[…]

Now I realize there is some dispute among opponents of the regime over the effectiveness of economic sanctions on Iran. But it’s hard for me to grasp how pouring one-and-a-half billion dollars into the coffers of the Iranian government does anything other than strengthen the regime– not only in its nuclear program but also in its ability to brutalize and repress its political opponents, to keep a lid on wider opposition through state subsidies and to supply weapons to the likes of Hezbollah.

Shell Oil’s reputation for responsible and ethical behavior is already pretty lousy, and they may figure that doing business with Iran won’t make it much worse. But I have to believe that they– like other companies– would be susceptible to worldwide pressure to stop funding the Iranian regime.

Earlier this year the telecom giant Nokia-Siemens Networks got around to admitting a “share of the blame for Iran’s brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrators last year after selling mobile phone surveillance to the authoritarian regime.”[…]

Arguing the World: Partial Readings: The World Has Changed

Poverty Rising

The 2009 census data unveiled a few weeks ago revealed a troubling, if unsurprising, fact: one in seven Americans is now below the poverty line—and when the number of those now sharing homes is included, the figures are even starker. There is one glimmer of hope amid the grim news: senior citizens have actually seen a rise in income—a testament to the effectiveness of Social Security as an anti-poverty program. The safety net for families with children, especially those with single mothers, has proved far less effective; and a new Pew study illuminates the dire economic straits in which former prison inmates and their families find themselves. The effects have been exacerbated by rising incarceration rates: “1 in every 28 children (3.6 percent) has a parent incarcerated, up from 1 in 125 just 25 years ago. Two-thirds of these children’s parents were incarcerated for non-violent offenses.”

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July 10, 2010

This week’s news, comment and analysis

In this edition: how Mexico’s drug wars relate to economic globalisation, how the German Left Party is navigating the new global cartography of power, the British national obsession with immigration, and more on the oil spill.

read more »

April 12, 2010

NEWS: Malay employers refusing to let foreign workers go home

Kuala Lumpur, Apr.11 (ANI): Over 150,000 foreign workers employed in restaurants and coffee shops are unable to return home because their Malay employers are holding on to their passports, the Star quoted Malaysia Trade Union Congress (MTUC) officials, as saying yesterday.

[READ THE REST]

April 2, 2010

ANALYSIS: Immigration and government borrowing [Chris Dillow]

If you’re serious about wanting to reduce government borrowing, you should encourage more immigration, at least of a particular type. That’s the message of an article in the latest issue of Fiscal Studies (early version here).
Christian Dustmann and colleagues show that migrants from the A8 nations “have made a significant net contribution to the UK fiscal system.” This is because even those of them who are eligible for welfare benefits are much less likely to claim them than are native  people. They are also much less likely to live in social housing.

[READ THE REST]

April 1, 2010

COMMENT: “More immigrants, fewer white-trash dole scroungers” [Francis Sedgemore]

Actually, the prime minister didn’t say that in his speech today in Shoreditch, but you have to admit it’s an entertaining variation on the misrepresentative headline theme.

[READ THE REST]

March 30, 2010

ANALYSIS: The limits to limits [Sarah Mulley]

Facing high levels of public concern about migration, and worried about the continued threat posed by extremists like the BNP, all three main parties are keen to emphasise they are “tough on immigration”. But only the Conservatives have promised to cap immigration levels.  They have been reluctant to specify the details, so it’s not clear which immigration flows they would cap, or at what level.

[READ THE REST]

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March 29, 2010

NEWS: New research questions viability of capping immigration

new study by the leading independent think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, published today March 28, examines whether a cap on net immigration would be workable in practice, and  questions the validity of claims that an immigration cap would be a political ‘quick win’.

As we approach a general election, all three main parties are keen to emphasise that they would be tough on immigration. But the Conservatives have gone a step further and made a cap on immigration a flagship policy. Although they have not yet provided much detail about their plans, they have talked about reducing annual net immigration  to ‘tens, rather than hundreds of thousands’, and have hinted that they support calls (for example from the Cross-Party Group on Balanced Migration) for annual net immigration to be reduced to around 40,000.

The ippr briefing says that while delivering a cap on net immigration of 100,000 or less would be challenging enough, reaching the lower figure of 40,000 would require drastic measures which could damage the economy; it would require very significant restrictions on high-skilled migration and international students, as well as further limiting the scope for family members to join relatives in the UK.

[Read the rest]