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What is the economic case for Freedom of Movement?


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So what do you think happened before FOM......who picked all the crops then? remember there was even less automated machinery then?.....well lots of young people from all over the country would work for the picking season, accommodation provided, make friends, earn some cash then return home....nothing fell apart, what difference is there to young people now serving in shops, packing shelves in supermarkets or making coffee, just different kind of work......zero hours contracts?;)

 

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2 hours ago, crashbaby said:

So freedom of movement is the opposite of personal ownership rights?

Yes.

Land ownership is a restriction on free movement and that's all it is.  Landlords and governments are two different words for the same thing.

It is hypocritical to favour free movement of people from abroad and yet to oppose squatting. 

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12 hours ago, BuyToLeech said:

I don't think pushing down wages is necessarily a bad thing. We all employ people every time we buy something, and so we all benefit from those people becoming cheaper. 

The issue is pushing up the costs of living (or reducing wages relative to the cost of living). 

Immigration pushes up the cost of living through competition for services that are in fixed supply. Housing is a major one, but there are others.  

On top of that are the hidden costs, congestion, queues and overcrowding, that are real and could be priced but typically aren't.

Finally, there is the increased taxation necessary to support immigrants who can't afford to support themselves, which isn't a necessary feature of immigration, but it is a feature of a great deal of immigration to the uk at the moment. 

These costs hit different people in different ways.  They may actually add to the GDP of the country, in the way that a crowded train is more profitable than an uncrossed train and more economically efficient, from a naive point of view.

However, they make the typical member of the current electorate poorer, in the same way that I don't want anyone else forcing their way into my packed carriage. 

+1

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3 hours ago, crashbaby said:

The short answer is: it doesn't matter. The UK is not filtering skilled labour by policy, it allows anyone to move here. This makes it fair and promotes freedom. 

I reject the idea that it makes things more "fair" in the round. It simply trades one form of fairness for another - I personally think its "fair" that myself and my family continue to have access to this country's resources which we and our decedents have invested in for generations without those resources being diluted by people who have not done so.

 

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27 minutes ago, hotairmail said:

It pushes down the prices of goods, but due to the effect on inflation and interest rates it naturally increases the cost of assets - notably the 2 biggest commitments one has - shelter and pension.

Further, the effect is even more deflationary as purchasing power is reduced and real demand wanes pushing government towards tax credits and trying to 'get credit into the economy'.

I was making a theoretical rather than a practical point.  I think most of us on this site would agree that global monetary policy over the last couple of decades has been sub-optimal!

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24 minutes ago, hotairmail said:

It pushes down the prices of goods, but due to the effect on inflation and interest rates it naturally increases the cost of assets - notably the 2 biggest commitments one has - shelter and pension.

Further, the effect is even more deflationary as purchasing power is reduced and real demand wanes pushing government towards tax credits and trying to 'get credit into the economy'.

 

Agreed, my point is that the argument 'immigration is bad because it reduces wages' is overly simplistic and so can be (and is) waved away.

I will never understand the fight against deflation, deflation is the selling point of capitalism.

 

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Just now, Funn3r said:

I don't understand why it is such an issue. Does anyone concern themselves with the pros and cons of FOM between Basingstoke and Milton Keynes? EU FOM is the exact same thing on a larger scale.

If 2 million people moved from Basingstoke to Milton Keynes there would be an issue.

Also if you move from one place to another in the UK you probably wouldn't get a council house, not the same for EU migrants.

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9 minutes ago, Funn3r said:

I don't understand why it is such an issue. Does anyone concern themselves with the pros and cons of FOM between Basingstoke and Milton Keynes? EU FOM is the exact same thing on a larger scale.

Actually scale makes a difference being 1 lb  overweight is not the same as being 100lb overweight is it?

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4 minutes ago, iamnumerate said:

Actually scale makes a difference being 1 lb  overweight is not the same as being 100lb overweight is it?

Scale, language, economic development.

It would be like 3m people from 1920 Basingstoke turning up in todays MIlton Keyes..

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1 minute ago, hotairmail said:

 

The excellent 'train carriage' analogy earlier in this thread is particularly apt.

You may get more gdp and ram more people onto the existing infrastructure making it nominally more 'efficient' but the deterioration in quality of life is not worth it.

Good point - it is amazing that some people don't get, although I guess those are people are like people in the first class carriage!!!

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When the EU was 12 countries with similar economies the FOM was a good idea. But the world has changed.

But combining FOM with a whole bunch of cheap labour countries has caused a flood of cheap labour.

This makes the EU more competitive against the big power houses of China, USA, Asia, etc. But it does nothing for average citizens.

Our free NHS and juicy benefits system, combined with no opt out to FOM for new members meant we got 500k a year of polish plumbers.

The strain on our infrastructure is colossal.

Throw in a border free path for migrants, and it is an absolutely unmitigated disaster.

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6 hours ago, crashbaby said:

Even today, the UK is still taking in unskilled migrants from outside the EU. Looking at the charts, it feel that there is some sort of target immigration and when the UK doesn't get enough people from the EU, they take them from outside the EU. I expected EU immigration to be at least 75% of UK immigration, but it turns out it's just below 50%. You don't need FoM to suppress wages/inflate GDP when you can take people from all over the planet.

It's hard to know how many EU immigrants are in the UK as those who've not been here under a year aren't counted - so there's a large constituency of people who come and go and are treated as "visitors" even if they live in the UK 90%+ of the time and visit their homeland 10%- of the time. 

Why are there so many EU-migrant hotspots in the UK, but this is not a modern day (last 15 years) phenomena for non-EU? I've always used Northampton as a good example - town centre / local parks are anywhere between 30% to 90% EE EUs depending where you are - it's so in your face.

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18 minutes ago, GrizzlyDave said:

When the EU was 12 countries with similar economies the FOM was a good idea. But the world has changed.

But combining FOM with a whole bunch of cheap labour countries has caused a flood of cheap labour.

This makes the EU more competitive against the big power houses of China, USA, Asia, etc. But it does nothing for average citizens.

Our free NHS and juicy benefits system, combined with no opt out to FOM for new members meant we got 500k a year of polish plumbers.

The strain on our infrastructure is colossal.

Throw in a border free path for migrants, and it is an absolutely unmitigated disaster.

Sadly, we are not getting Plumbers.

Mots of the last 10 years have been pretty unskilled - box packers, mopper uppers and the like.

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7 minutes ago, spyguy said:

Sadly, we are not getting Plumbers.

Mots of the last 10 years have been pretty unskilled - box packers, mopper uppers and the like.

In the U.S. It is Mexicans, who do a lot of this menial labour. And they work hard. I've seen them in the mid-day Texas sun building houses, respect. But in the U.S. They have huge amounts of space, combined with a fend for yourself culture. Here we have very finite space and resources and it's handed out on a plate!

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9 minutes ago, spyguy said:

Sadly, we are not getting Plumbers.

Mots of the last 10 years have been pretty unskilled - box packers, mopper uppers and the like.

And not all from the EU.  There are also those who have managed to secure EU 'citizenship ' and who then make a beeline for all the lovely and very generous UK benefit ;) 

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1 minute ago, GrizzlyDave said:

In the U.S. It is Mexicans, who do a lot of this menial labour. And they work hard. I've seen them in the mid-day Texas sun building houses, respect. But in the U.S. They have huge amounts of space, combined with a fend for yourself culture. Here we have very finite space and resources and it's handed out on a plate!

And the Mexicans do not get ~1k/onth tax credits, child benefit and housing benefits.

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Just now, One-percent said:

And not all from the EU.  There are also those who have managed to secure EU 'citizenship ' and who then make a beeline for all the lovely and very generous UK benefit ;) 

Sadly true.

All those Norwegians and Swedish somalians.

 

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57 minutes ago, iamnumerate said:

If 2 million people moved from Basingstoke to Milton Keynes there would be an issue.

Also if you move from one place to another in the UK you probably wouldn't get a council house, not the same for EU migrants.

Well of course as the MK population is only a quarter of a million to start with, so I don't see the logic of that reply. It's not like the UK has been or will be deluged with eight times its population. Also I have not moved from anywhere recently and I still can't get a council house so don't understand that either. While trying and failing to get a council house I have partially understood the rules and where you were born does not come into it, although where I am does require 12 months residency to qualify.

A thousand years ago migrants from West Blobham to East Blobham were viewed with suspicion. Then migrants from Blobshire to Globshire, and so on as ability to travel improved. The only difference between that and today's migrants from EU Country A to EU Country B is the number of miles in between.

As I've said before anyone having a problem with immigrants from Union of Europe countries should logically also have the same problem with immigrants from other Union of UK countries. Or immigrants from the next town. That is if I understand their problem correctly, competition for jobs, people from poorer areas will work for less, competition for housing, all that. I am certainly an economic migrant myself having moved from an extremely depressed North England area to the prosperous South.

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48 minutes ago, GrizzlyDave said:

When the EU was 12 countries with similar economies the FOM was a good idea. But the world has changed.

But combining FOM with a whole bunch of cheap labour countries has caused a flood of cheap labour.

This makes the EU more competitive against the big power houses of China, USA, Asia, etc. But it does nothing for average citizens.

Our free NHS and juicy benefits system, combined with no opt out to FOM for new members meant we got 500k a year of polish plumbers.

The strain on our infrastructure is colossal.

Throw in a border free path for migrants, and it is an absolutely unmitigated disaster.

The solution is to invest in the economies of eastern Europe to erase the wage disparity.  That's what happened when previous poorer members joined such as Spain, Portugal, Ireland and, yes, Britain.

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